This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Now, the strange story of Tyrone Hayes. The biologist has devoted much of his career to studying a common herbicide used on corn, called atrazine; specifically, its effects on amphibians. Hayes believes the chemical impedes the sexual development of frogs, and he's publicly argued against the use of atrazine and criticized the corporation that makes it, Syngenta.
CVS CEO and President Larry Merlo joins Audie Cornish to discuss his company's big decision to eventually discontinue its sales of tobacco products. The decision didn't simply make headlines on Wednesday; it could also signal a shift in plans for the pharmacy giant's future.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:34 pm
Part of an antitrust agreement with the European Union regulators, Google has agreed to tweak its search results in Europe.
The search giant has agreed that when a user searches for a product, for example, the search results of its rivals — Amazon, let's say — will be displayed along with those of advertisers paying Google for prominent space.
Hackers who broke into Target's computer network and stole customers' financial and personal data used credentials that were stolen from a heating and air conditioning subcontractor in Pennsylvania, according to digital security journalist Brian Krebs.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman of its board and into a new role, which the company is calling "technology adviser." The change comes as a new CEO — Satya Nadella — takes the helm. Gates says he will actually be spending a little more time at Microsoft. Microsoft watchers say if he manages his new role well, it will be good for the company.
Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Credit Bongo Entertainment Inc.
<strong>Robot Beer Party:</strong> The electronic tongue works by using its array of sensors to identify the chemical components in a solution. Researchers taught the tongue how to distinguish among five distinct beer types.
Credit Manel del Valle/Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:43 am
Saying it is "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," the CEO of CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that the company's 7,600 pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. 1.
Larry Merlo also said CVS will try to help those who want to quit smoking with a "robust national smoking cessation program" at its locations.
NPR's business news starts with the restructuring of the Shack.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: RadioShack, that is. The company scored big with its Super Bowl commercial - the '80s themed ad that's being called one of the night's best. But that did not help the company's bottom line. RadioShack stock prices plummeted yesterday after news it plans to close 500 stores across the nation.
In advance of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, journalists have been arriving at Sochi area hotels. And they've immediately started complaining on Twitter about shabby or unfinished buildings.
Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella is part of a wave of highly educated Indian immigrants who came to America a generation ago with expectations back home that they would succeed. Nadella has done just that and more, taking the reins of one of the world's top companies.
Greece has historically spent an outsized amount of its budget on military equipment to protect its border with historic longtime rival, Turkey. Now an investigation into the purchase of submarines suggests that defense might not be the only reason for all that spending. The investigation exposed high-level corruption behind those arms deals.
The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.
"If anything, we've learned from this major, major breach that we can no longer do nothing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "We have to take action."
President Obama records students on a classroom iPad while visiting a seventh grade classroom before speaking about goals of connecting students to next generation broadband and wireless technology within five years on Tuesday, at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md.
"Money from Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other companies, combined with $2 billion from the Federal Communications Commission, will help connect up to 15,000 schools and 20 million students.
A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.
Satya Nadella is just the third CEO in Microsoft's 39-year history. He's a Microsoft insider tasked with re-energizing the company and making it more relevant in a future likely to be dominated by mobile technology. As Nadella moves into his new role, he will be supported by Bill Gates, who is stepping down as chairman to become more involved with technology development.
This is a case about a bankrupt company, legal shenanigans, and a rare type of cancer.
You may have seen TV commercials about mesothelioma, mainly caused by inhaling asbestos — minerals many companies once used in insulation and other products.
According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, companies have set aside more than $30 billion for mesothelioma victims since the 1980s. Asbestos lawsuits have played a role in about 100 companies' going bankrupt.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:09 am
With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.
The National Institutes of Health is teaming up with major drug companies in a new effort to identify disease-related molecules and biological processes that could lead to future medicines.
The public-private partnership is called AMP, for the "Accelerating Medicines Partnership," and it will focus first on Alzheimer's disease, Type 2 diabetes, and two autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
After a long and closely watched CEO search, Microsoft has tapped Satya Nadella, an insider and 22-year veteran of the company. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman and will help Nadella shape technology and product development.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for matters of personal finance. It's been a week since President Obama's State of the Union address. And you might remember him talking about the country's retirement crisis and his plan for something called up MyRAs to help people jumpstart their savings, especially if they don't work for a company with a retirement account.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:30 pm
While it's never been considered a "cool" company, Microsoft is still a force — worth $300 billion, and Windows operating systems still run on a big chunk of the world's computers. While the profile of founder and former CEO Bill Gates still looms large, outgoing leader Steve Ballmer took the reins in 2000. And Tuesday, the board chose an internal candidate — 46-year-old Indian-American engineer Satya Nadella — to head the company.
Next week, workers at a Chattanooga auto plant run by Volkswagen will vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. This is the first attempt in 13 years to unionize a plant that is not run by one of the big three Detroit automakers.
As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, Volkswagen has given the drive its blessing, so outside groups are stepping in to fight the union.