The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."
Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.
Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.
General Motors has been the American car company in China. Even when GM was in bankruptcy, the Chinese continued to view Buick as a high-status, luxury brand.
But now Ford, an also-ran in the market for years, is making a push to change all that. Last year, Ford's sales were up more than 30 percent in China, and the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in both the world and China.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:30 pm
The redesigned U.S. $100 bill will begin appearing after October with new security features that will make it "easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
That market dip yesterday that Steve mentioned, the result of a hacked Twitter feed, highlights how much the financial industry relies on computer algorithms. U.S. stock markets lost $200 billion in value in just a few minutes. The markets bounced back when the Associated Press made clear there was no explosion at the White House and the tweet was a hoax.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Boeing says its 787 jetliner should resume passenger service early next month. The so-called Dreamliner has been grounded since problems with the lithium ion batteries surfaced back in January. Batteries on two different planes overheated. One of them, a Japan Air Lines jet, caught fire. Boeing is now working with airlines to retrofit its planes with redesigned batteries now housed in fireproof boxes.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we speak with people who've made a difference in their fields.
Today, we hear from one of the most influential tech executives you probably have never heard of unless you're in that field. Not only that, his personal story is just as - if not more - interesting than those of the superstar CEOs you may have heard about in high tech.
In today's economy, many people in search of work can only find part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds the number of 'involuntary' part-time workers has doubled since 2006. Host Michel Martin talks about what this means for the workplace and the economy, with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:11 am
Update at 10:50 a.m. ET: Boeing to resume deliveries of 787s
Boeing, which had delivered about 50 of its new passenger aircraft before battery failures in January grounded the plane, says it will resume deliveries to airline customers in early May, The Associated Press reports.
Boeing and the Federal Aviation Authority may be in for another day of tough questions as the National Transportation Safety Board continues its probe of batteries on the 787 Dreamliner. Two severe battery failures prompted the world-wide grounding of the fleet in January.
People who measure risk and uncertainty ranked in the top spot of the survey by CareerCast.com. At the bottom of the list with reporters are flight attendants, roofers, mail carriers, meter readers, dish washers and lumber jacks.
DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Hackers got into the Associated Press's Twitter account yesterday and sent out a fake tweet saying that the White House had been attacked. Though the tweet was discredited very quickly, it created a swift and panicked reaction on the stock market.
Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The tweet said that a pair of bombs had gone off in the White House and President Obama was injured. Almost instantaneously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points.
The massive swath of Boston that has been closed for more than a week is getting closer to reopening. City officials yesterday brought victims of the marathon bombings and their relatives in for a private visit and allowed neighborhood residents back home for the first time in over a week. Businesses also began the process of cleaning up and preparing to reopen.
The hardest-hit shops and restaurants remain boarded up. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, others are hoping to reopen today or tomorrow.
Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.
It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.
More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.
The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, part of a visit to build business ties and boost nuclear energy plans. But it was the handshake they shared that created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.
We've reported on how cheap natural gas is revolutionizing the energy industry. It's plentiful, thanks to the drilling technique known as fracking. Well, that's also changing American manufacturing. Factories are turning to natural gas to replace oil and even biomass sources like woodchips. And here's an example, a paper mill in East Millinocket, Maine.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. This afternoon, investors watched even more closely than usual as Apple released its quarterly earnings. The numbers beat Wall Street's gloomy expectations. But for the first time in a decade, Apple's profits fell from the same period a year earlier. NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins us from Silicon Valley to talk about today's results. Hey there, Steve.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:40 pm
Some 93 percent of Americans saw their mean net worth fall in the first two years of the post-recession recovery, while the remaining 7 percent increased net worth by nearly a third, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 12:10 pm
A federal court has approved a settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev that will allow the mammoth beer company to complete its purchase of Grupo Modelo, a Mexico-based brewer that produces Corona, Pacifico and other beers.
The deal, which requires AB InBev to sell all of Modelo's U.S. business, clears the way for the $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining portion of Modelo that AB InBev did not yet own. Terms of the deal were announced Friday.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:37 am
Update at 5 p.m. ET:
Reuters reports that Apple has posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings of $43.6 billion, "reflecting strong sales of the iPad and iPhone." Wall Street had forecast revenue of $42.3 billion, the wire service says.
We pick up our original post here:
Investors are waiting, many not so eagerly, for a look at how Apple for the second quarter.
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.
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.