Business

The Two-Way
9:14 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Sales Of New Homes Rose Last Month

A new home under construction earlier this year in Petaluma, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

While sales of existing homes dipped in March because of a tighter inventory, sales of newly built homes rose 1.5 percent from February and were up a whopping 18.5 percent from March 2012, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue April 23, 2013

The Last Word In Business

David Greene has the Last Word in business.

Business
3:34 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:07 am

The Senate voted Monday to advance a bill that would allow states to force online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes. Currently, states can only require brick and mortar stores to collect the sales tax. This greatly benefits online shoppers, who save by not paying the tax.

Around the Nation
3:34 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Mississippi River Communities Brace For Flooding

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now here's a change. Earlier this year, the worst drought conditions seen in the Midwest in decades threatened to close the Mississippi River to barge traffic. Now, communities along the river in Missouri and Illinois are bracing for flooding.

St. Louis Public Radio Maria Altman reports.

MARIA ALTMAN, BYLINE: The threat of flooding on the Mississippi River came on quickly after last week's storms dumped rain across the Midwest. The town of Clarksville, Missouri didn't even have time to erect its metal flood wall.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:34 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Media, Social Media Misidentify Bombing Suspects

Brown University student Sunil Tripathi, who has been missing since March, was wrongly identified in social media as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Reddit has apologized to Tripathi's family "for the pain they have had to endure."
Brown University AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:39 pm

Last week, the New York Post ran a front page photo of two teenage runners under the headline "Bag Men," implying that they had something to do with the Boston Marathon backpack bombs.

It turns out those kids had nothing to do with the attacks. But they came to the public's attention after their images were scooped up and pored over by hundreds of online amateur sleuths.

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All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Google Execs Talk Privacy, Security In 'The New Digital Age'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 10:35 am

Imagine a world with machines that wash, press and dress you on the way to work and vacations via hologram visits to exotic beaches. In his new book, The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt does just that — but it's no gee-whiz Jetsons fantasy.

Schmidt partners up with Jared Cohen, a foreign policy counterterrorist specialist poached from the State Department now working for Google Ideas. Together they forecast a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries, terrorists and you.

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Business
3:28 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Airport Delays Raise Questions About Controller Furloughs

Passengers check their flight status at Los Angeles International airport on Monday. The FAA said staffing cuts were causing delays in the Eastern U.S.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Some air travelers faced delays Monday as furloughs of air traffic controllers began taking effect.

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Planet Money
11:57 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Why Amazon Supports An Online Sales-Tax Bill

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:10 pm

If you:

1. Live in a state that charges sales tax

and

2. Buy something from an online store that does not charge you sales tax,

then you are supposed to:

3. Calculate the sales tax yourself and add it onto your annual state tax bill.

Not surprisingly, as we reported last week, almost no one actually does this.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Worst-Case Avoided: Few Airports Link Delays To FAA Furloughs

An American Airlines passenger is helped at the ticket counter at Miami International Airport last week. Many airline industry observers expect delays to strike Monday, the first full day of FAA furloughs.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:26 am

Many airline passengers saw only moderate flight delays stemming from the first full day of furloughs for nearly 15,000 flight controllers and other Federal Aviation Administration workers, as industry analysts' worst fears did not materialize. But the reduced staffing was blamed for some slowdowns, and observers say it also increased the length of unrelated delays.

We'll be keeping an eye on possible delays today, and updating this post with new information.

Update at 6:45 p.m. ET. Delays Build, Tied To Weather And Furloughs:

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Sales Of Existing Homes Slip As Inventories Tighten

A sale-pending sign is posted in front of a home last month in San Anselmo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 11:42 am

There was a 0.6 percent dip in sales of existing homes in March from February, the National Association of Realtors reports, because the supply of homes for sale has tightened as the number of would-be buyers rises.

Its data suggest that sales ran at a 4.92 million annual rate last month, falling from a "downwardly revised" pace of 4.95 million the month before.

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Business
5:42 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Boeing 787 Problems May Be Fixed Soon

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with better batteries.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Engineers are starting to repair some of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner planes today. They are installing new batteries - ones that hopefully don't overheat.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Technology
5:07 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Video-Streaming Firms Attract Customers With Exclusive Shows

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now online streaming is playing a bigger and bigger role in news events. Many people listened and watched the Boston bombing coverage on their laptops. And on Friday as the manhunt came to a close, tens of thousands of people were listening to police dispatches live online. In the entertainment world, video streaming is also having a big impact.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now solar power has had its problems in recent decades. For years, solar panels were too expensive to compete. More recently, as we heard earlier in the business news, solar panels got so cheap that manufacturers ran into trouble. But solar energy had a signal achievement in March, and that is our last word in business today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:28 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Scammers Find Fertile Ground In Health Law

Confusion over the details of the new health care law is leaving many people vulnerable to con artists. Evelyne Lois Such, 86, was recently the target of an attempted scam.
Matt Nager for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:18 am

One recent morning, Evelyne Lois Such was sitting at her kitchen table in Denver when the phone rang. Such, who's 86, didn't recognize the phone number or the deep voice on the other end of the line.

"He asked, 'Are you a senior?' and I said yes, and he said, 'Well, we are sending out all new Medicare cards, and I want to make sure I have all your statistics just correct,' " Such recalls.

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Shots - Health News
1:26 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs

Amelia Schabel, 23, works with art director Andrew LaBounty at the nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas.
Courtesy of nonPareil

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:07 pm

The job hunt is complicated enough for most high school and college graduates — and even tougher for the growing number of young people on the autism spectrum. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, there's a natural landing place: the tech industry.

Amelia Schabel graduated from high school five years ago. She had good grades and enrolled in community college. But it was too stressful. After less than a month she was back at home, doing nothing.

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Business
1:24 am
Mon April 22, 2013

This Building Is Supergreen. Will It Be Copied?

This Seattle building, a project by the Bullitt Foundation, is said to be the world's greenest office building. It uses a weather station to conserve energy, creates lighting via photovoltaic cells on the roof and features composting toilets.
Courtesy of John Stamets

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:18 am

One of the world's greenest office buildings formally open its doors Monday — Earth Day. It's a project of the environmentally progressive Bullitt Foundation. Its ambition is bold: to showcase an entirely self-sustaining office building hoping that others will create similar projects.

The first thing that strikes you about the new Bullitt Center is the windows. Walking up to the building in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, six stories of floor-to-ceiling glass soars above you.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
10:47 am
Sun April 21, 2013

An Exploration Of The Changing Lives Of Women

Graphic designer Kaleena Porter sits with her dog, Moby, in the living room of her new home in Washington, D.C.
Marie McGrory NPR

Many revolutions begin with the sound of explosions and marching boots.

Now, another revolution is shaking up the world, and it's moving forward to the beep of alarm clocks and the clack of heels heading out.

Legions of women around the world are leaving their homes to join the paid labor force. Worldwide, 4 in 10 paid workers are female; in the coming decade, an estimated 1 billion more women will enter the formal workforce, pushing up economic growth.

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Business
3:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Boeing's 787 Dreamliners To Fly Again After FAA Approval

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And as we continue to cover the events in the Boston area, we want to also talk about one other story, Boeing 787. The jet known as the Dreamliner will be back in the air soon. This afternoon, the FAA approved Boeing's redesign of the plane's battery system. Fifty 787s have been grounded for the last three months following two serious battery failures, one which led to a fire.

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Business
3:59 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Pilot Flying J Gas Stations Target Of Federal Investigation

This week the FBI and IRS raided the headquarters of one of the country's largest private employers: Pilot Flying J. The chain operates more than 600 gas stations and convenience stores in 44 states. It's owned by billionaire Jimmy Haslam. Haslam also owns the Cleveland Browns and his brother is Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who owns shares in the company.

The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

FAA OKs Boeing's 787 Battery Fix

A part of a charred battery from a Japan Airlines 787 on display at the NTSB headquarters in January.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved changes to the design of the Boeing 787's battery system — the first step toward returning the grounded aircraft to service.

The approximately 50 787 "Dreamliners" delivered to airlines worldwide were grounded in January after incidents involving overheating problems in lithium-ion batteries.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Frozen Food Gets Ready For Its Image Upgrade

Are you thinking healthy and nutritious?
Bebeto Matthews AP

Alarmed by a nation that increasingly equates fresh with healthy, the frozen food industry has a message for you.

"What we call fresh in the supermarket is really better termed raw," says Kristin Reimers, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition for ConAgra Foods. "A lot of times, those vegetables have been transported for days, and then sit. It could be a matter of weeks between when they're picked and consumed."

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Business
6:42 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Google, Microsoft Look Past Desktop Computers To Increase Earnings

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 11:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the tale of two companies.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Google and Microsoft quarterly earnings reports are in and it appears their slugfest continues with Google's earnings up 23 percent and Microsoft up 18 percent. That is even as sales of desktop computers decline.

GREENE: As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the future for both companies is on the small screen.

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Business
6:42 am
Fri April 19, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 11:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. Today's last word in business is be careful what you ask for.

The small Indian city of Motihari is not known for much.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So when locals discovered a few years ago that the writer George Orwell was born there, they saw a tourism opportunity. Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports locals put up a sign outside the birthplace of the author of "1984," "Animal Farm" and other books, and they asked the state government to turn that modest home into a museum.

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NPR Story
4:45 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Have Banks Recovered From The Financial Crisis?

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 11:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:59 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Blast Rips Through West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

A fertilizer plant exploded near Waco, Texas, Wednesday night. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.

Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Glitch Causes Foreclosure Settlement Checks To Bounce

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. In recent days, the government has begun sending out checks to about 4 million people whose homes fell into foreclosure during the housing crisis. This is part of a multibillion dollar agreement with banks accused of making serious errors in processing those foreclosures.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Most of these checks are not so big. They average several hundred dollars. But still a check, an effort to make amends, so this is a bit of a problem. When some of the home owners try to cash their checks, the checks bounced.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Newtown, Ct., Businesses Suffer After Nearby School Shooting

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're also reporting on the aftermath of another tragedy. Four months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents in Newtown, Connecticut are still trying to move forward. And the same goes for business owners, especially in Sandy Hook Village, just a mile from the school.

Neena Satija of member station WNPR has more.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Airline Mergers Push Fares Higher

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with some sky-high prices.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: If you travel, you might have noticed airfares are going up sharply in many markets - and the reason is mergers. This could be just the beginning. Prices may keep rising if government regulators approve another merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

To talk more about this, we reached Scott McCartney. He writes an airline's column for "The Wall Street Journal."

Scott, thanks for coming on the program.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

American: 'Near Normal' Flights After Day Of Delays

American Airlines passengers wait in line for a flight at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:53 am

American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.

American Airlines and American Eagle scuttled 970 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others Tuesday, The Associated Press said, citing flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.

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