India's Supreme Court says drug maker Novartis can't hold onto its patent for the pricey cancer drug Gleevec simply by tweaking its chemical formula. That means generic drug makers can keep making a form of the drug at a tenth of Novartis's price — for the Indian market and for other low- and middle-income markets. Consumer advocates call it a major advance for access to generic drugs. Novartis and drug industry allies say it will chill companies' willingness to produce innovative products.
Steve Inskeep talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, of The Economist, about the long-term impact of the Cyprus crisis on European economies. Beddoes offers the view from Germany. That country is now turning its attention to its own general elections in September.
A federal judge has ruled that Stockton, California, may enter into bankruptcy proceedings. That opens the way for Stockton to become America's largest bankrupt city. The population there is 300,000, bigger than Cincinnati, Newark, New Jersey or St. Paul, Minnesota. NPR's Richard Gonzalez reports that others cities share Stockton's problems.
When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, there is no magic age. Today's boomers can begin collecting full benefits at 66, tap in early for a modified benefit at 62 or delay receiving benefits until 70.
But the importance of making a smart decision on how and when benefits are claimed can't be underestimated, says Mary Beth Franklin of Investment News.
Two startup automakers with big ambitions for electric vehicles appear to be headed in different directions. Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker has hired a law firm to advise it on a possible bankruptcy, according to multiple published reports. Electric car maker Tesla announced on Monday that it expects to turn its first ever profit in the first quarter.
A decision by India's Supreme Court to reject Novartis AG's bid to patent a version of one cancer drug could lead to more exports of cheap medicine from that country to "poor people across the developing world," the BBC writes.
NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast Desk that the ruling, announced Monday, ends a six-year legal battle that has been closely watched by pharmaceutical firms, humanitarian aid organizations and generic drug manufacturers.
And today's last word in business is one of this year's contenders for highest profile April Fools joke.
The video-sharing website YouTube announced yesterday it's shutting down.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In a video message, YouTube executives said that the whole site was actually designed as an eight-year contest to find the best video on the web. Well, eight years are up. And now panel of experts, the company said, will spend the next decade watching everything uploaded on the site to choose a winner.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E15.
This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.
Mike Mitchell was once a true believer in ethanol as a homegrown solution to foreign oil imports. He owns gas stations, and he went further than most, installing expensive blender pumps that let customers choose E15, E20 and all the way up to E85.
If you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
Quick trivia question: Name a global superpower technology company, that is the world's biggest seller of smartphones headed by a charismatic CEO surrounded by a cult of personality. I'm guessing most of you just said Apple, right? You would be wrong. The answer is Samsung.
Online retailer Amazon has acquired Goodreads. It's a popular site where people who love to read exchange reviews and recommendations about books. As NPR's Lynn Neary reports, Amazon now has a powerful new tool for enhancing its customers' ability to find out about books they might want to buy.
When fortunes rise in the housing industry — as they currently are — it tends to lift sales for other businesses, too. Home construction, sales and prices are all improving. And according to many analysts, the market is gaining steam.
For nearly two decades, Scott Gillis has owned his own moving company, Great Scott Moving in Hyattsville, Md. Moving high season is just around the corner, which means Gillis is hiring.
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but Margaret Heffernan says good disagreement is central to progress. She argues the best partners aren't echo chambers, and how great teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.
Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.
The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")
MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.
The leaders of five giant economies gathered in South Africa this week for a summit. The group is known as the BRIC nations - that would be Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now South Africa is sometimes in the group, which puts the S in BRICS. The meeting and the grouping are largely an effort to counterbalance what many in the developing world see as the dominance of America and Europe in the global economy.
On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.
Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.
Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. "You have to have a feel for it, and after 30 years I have a pretty good feel for it."
Caracciolo calls himself a hopeless romantic. And, really, you have to be a romantic to try to make a $33 bottle of cabernet sauvignon blend in New Jersey.
If you haven't done your taxes yet, this ad from H&R Block might make you feel even more anxious.
"The Affordable Care Act means big changes this year when you file your taxes," says the young woman in the ad, with a smug smile. She then claims to have read "all 900 pages" of the law so she can offer you a "solution."
After noticing that most of the lifeguards at the public pools used by Latino and African-American kids were white, the Phoenix aquatics department decided to try to recruit minorities.
More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn't have a swim team.
"We will work with you in your swimming abilities," Boyle says.
While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.
Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.