Business

The Two-Way
11:56 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter In $2.5 Billion Grocery Deal

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:30 pm

In a merger of grocery chains, Kroger Co. is buying Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. The move expands the reach of Kroger, already the nation's largest grocery chain, into the Mid-Atlantic region. The buyout values Harris Teeter at $49.38 per share, a premium of more than 33 percent over its share price earlier this year.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Who's Watching When You Look For Health Information Online?

Down the online privacy rabbit hole.
NPR

When it comes to sensitive health information, government-run websites appear to do a better job protecting your privacy than many news and commercial sites.

A brief survey published online by JAMA Internal Medicine looked at how 20 health-related websites track visitors. They ranged from the sites of the National Institutes of Health to the health news section of The New York Times online.

Read more
Business
3:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Companies Cash In On Royal Baby Watch

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:18 am

Britain's latest royal may arrive this weekend. Advertising Age reports Harrod's, the venerable British department store, is selling royal baby china. Others getting in on the action: Krispy Kreme is offering doughnuts with pink or blue filling, which color you get is a surprise — just like the baby's gender.

Business
3:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:56 am

Over the next few weeks, thousands of U.S. based publicly traded corporations will be reporting their quarterly results. Within days though, judgments will start to be made on whether the economy is holding up well enough to justify stock prices that are approaching a new peak. Alcoa says it lost more money than expected during the second quarter of this year because of restructuring costs.

Business
3:01 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Resigns

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:01 am

Lynch's exit comes just two weeks after the bookseller announced it was shelving its goal of becoming a player in the tablet business. Lynch has a tech background, and as CEO focused his attention on the Nook digital business. But the quarter that just ended showed huge losses for the digital devices.

Games & Humor
1:43 am
Tue July 9, 2013

A Zombie Horror Game, Inspired By ... A Nature Documentary?

In The Last of Us, a fungus called Cordyceps that commonly infects insects has jumped over to humans, creating a fungal zombie apocalypse.
Naughty Dog

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:20 am

The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game and it features — no big surprise — zombie-like creatures. But these are not the same old zombies that have dominated movie and TV screens in the past few years.

Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us, says he wanted a fresh new way to wipe out humanity — and he found it in a BBC documentary series called Planet Earth, which depicts the scary effects of the Cordyceps fungus.

Read more
U.S.
1:42 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Employers Face Changes After Same-Sex-Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will bring changes to retirement plans, health care and other benefits.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:45 am

There are an estimated 225,000 Americans in legally recognized same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act means they are now eligible for the same federal benefits as straight couples.

Many of those benefits touch the workplace, and employers are beginning to think about the changes they will have to make.

Read more
The Salt
1:40 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Why There Are Too Few Cooks For New York City's Elite Kitchens

A view inside the kitchen at chef Peter Hoffman's farm-to-table restaurant, Back Forty West, in New York's Soho neighborhood.
Simon Doggett Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:10 pm

New York City has long been considered the nation's epicenter for all things culinary. The borough of Manhattan had more than 6,000 restaurants at last count. And the city has the most three-star Michelin-starred restaurants in the country — closing in on Paris.

But lately, some cooks have begun to go elsewhere to make names for themselves.

Among the reasons for the culinary exodus: Chefs' obsession with local ingredients is making smaller communities a lot more appealing.

Read more
The Salt
1:39 am
Tue July 9, 2013

As Biotech Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt

Crop consultant Dan Steiner inspects a field of corn near Norfolk, Neb.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:56 pm

Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture.

Read more
U.S.
3:02 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

In The World Of Air Travel, Not All Passengers Created Equal

Only a few of these passengers will be able to get flights out of San Francisco, depending on how many miles they fly and their "value" to the airline.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:36 am

When Asiana Flight 214 from South Korea crashed onto the runway at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, hundreds of flights into that airport were canceled, stranding thousands of travelers at airports across the country.

The Asiana crash came right in the middle of a holiday weekend, disrupting airline networks. And it occurred during a weekend when many flights were intentionally overbooked.

Read more
The Salt
2:35 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

France Battles Scourge Of Ready-To-Eat Meals In Restaurants

We're guessing microwavable, premade meals are not an issue in this kitchen, at the three-Michelin-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon, France.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:47 pm

France's vaunted culinary culture has been taking it on the chin lately.

First came the news, which we told you about in April, that the majority of France's restaurants are now fast-food joints.

Read more
Parallels
9:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Retailers Sign Pact On Bangladesh Factory Inspections

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday. Hundreds of garment workers demanded better conditions.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:36 am

We've been following the story of the collapse in Bangladesh of a building that housed several factories where clothes were made for Western retailers. More than 1,000 people died in that disaster in April, and the incident shed light on working conditions in Bangladesh, the world's No. 2 exporter of clothing.

Read more
Energy
3:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

'Gasland' Helped Add Fracking To U.S. Lexicon, Now There's A Sequal

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 6:12 am

The documentary Gasland inspired legions of "fracktivists" to oppose natural gas drilling booms across the country. Now the film has a sequel. Gasland Part II by director Josh Fox begins airing on HBO Monday night.

Business
3:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Emotions, Fees Play Major Roles For Individual Investors

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:17 am

In recent weeks, NPR's Uri Berliner took money from his personal savings account that was losing value to inflation and sought out various investments. What did he learn?

Business
3:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:25 am

On Saturday, speaking to priests-in-training and nuns, Pope Francis said a car is necessary to do a lot of work, but it shouldn't be a fancy one. He said, "Just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world." He added that seeing priests and nuns in the latest-model cars hurts him.

Economy
3:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

IMF Warns Of Global Slowdown

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:20 am

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Sunday singled out the U.S. Congress for failing to avert across-the-board spending cuts that slow down potential for growth. She called U.S. deficit reduction in 2013 excessively rapid and ill-designed.

NPR Story
2:40 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Congress Called On To Reverse Student Loan Rate Increase

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:02 pm

Rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans, which help low and middle-income college students, doubled on July 1. There is now pressure for a deal to undo the increase. NPR's David Greene talks to Matthew Chingos, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy.

Parallels
1:52 am
Mon July 8, 2013

EU-U.S. Trade: A Tale Of Two Farms

Farmer Richard Wilkins, a firm believer in genetically modified crops, examines the corn crop at his farm in Greenwood, Del. U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement. One stumbling block is agriculture. Unlike the U.S., the EU bans the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
Jackie Northam/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:12 pm

U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement aimed at generating billions of dollars of new trade. But negotiators must overcome barriers created by cultural and philosophical differences over sectors like agriculture. In Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned, while in the U.S., they are a central part of food production. NPR's Jackie Northam visited a farm in Delaware and NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited one in Burgundy, France, to look at those deep-seated differences. We hear from Jackie first.

Read more
Parallels
1:41 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Call Centers Call On Multilingual Portuguese

New employees train for call center work at Teleperformance Portugal, an outsourcing company in Lisbon. The outsourcing industry is adding thousands of jobs while other Portuguese industries shed them.
Jose Faria Courtesy of Teleperformance Portugal

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:04 am

Filipa Neves speaks five languages but still couldn't find steady work in her native Portugal. So she was about to move to Angola, a former Portuguese colony in Africa, where the economy is booming.

But she sent off one last resumé — to a call center. It was sort of a last resort. She'd heard the stereotype.

Read more
U.S.
12:53 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Despite Hefty Payouts, Fire Insurance Costs Hold Steady

Firefighter Brandie Smith walks by the remains of a structure destroyed in the Black Forest wildfire north of Colorado Springs last month. More than 500 homes have been lost to wildfire in the state this year.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 12:46 pm

Wildfires have already destroyed hundreds of homes in the American West this year. The insurance industry is once again poised to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those losses, as it already has for homeowners who lost their houses during last year's fire season.

Read more
National Security
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 3:12 pm

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

Read more
Economy
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

June Job Numbers Perk Up Optimists

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The economy added 195,000 jobs in June. That was a surprise and a delight to both economists and Wall Street. But the unemployment rate was stuck at 7.6 percent.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that the economic recovery continues at a slow but steady pace.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sat July 6, 2013

With Bullets Scarce, More Shooters Make Their Own

Since the Newtown school shooting in December, gun stores nationwide have had difficulty keeping ammunition, like these .223-caliber rifle bullets, in stock.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:05 pm

Gun stores around the country have had difficulty keeping up with demand for ammunition in recent months. Fears of government tightening of gun and ammunition controls have meant that retailers, from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop gun shops, haven't been able to keep bullets on the shelves.

Cliff Poser's gun shop, Cliff's Guns, Safes and Reloading in Boise, Idaho, is one of them. Business has been so crazy lately that he has to keep a special stash of ammunition, just so customers who buy guns from him can also buy bullets.

Read more
Economy
3:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Jobs Keep Growing. How Soon Should The Fed Stop Helping?

Many economists are encouraged by the latest jobs report because the stronger growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

The latest employment report is encouraging to many economists because the stronger job growth doesn't appear to be just a one-month blip. But some worry that it's so strong the Federal Reserve may pull back efforts to boost the economy.

The Labor Department's newest data released Friday shows the U.S. added 195,000 jobs in June. The prior two months were also revised upward — above 190,000 for both April and May.

That's three months of more-robust job growth.

Read more
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
2:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

At Cambodia Hotel, The Workers Are The Boss

Traffic passes in front of the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

This story is part of NPR's ongoing series about social entrepreneurs — people around the world who are dreaming up innovative ways to develop communities and solve social problems.

Read more
Planet Money
1:05 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

How To Spend $442 On A 15-Minute Cab Ride

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

Say you're in Midtown Manhattan at rush hour. You need to go a mile uptown, and you can't find a cab. A pedicab, a taxi-bicycle hybrid (like the one in the picture) may not be a bad option.

Riding through the middle of Manhattan on the back of a bike, dodging buses and cabs, feels like the Wild West of transportation options. The pricing feels that way too: Unlike buses or cabs, pedicabs don't charge a set fee. It's whatever the rider and the driver agree to. And, like in the Wild West, innocents often get fleeced.

Read more
Business
10:37 am
Fri July 5, 2013

June Jobs Report Exceeds Expectations, But Concerns Remain

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the jobs report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

All Tech Considered
7:20 am
Fri July 5, 2013

At Tech-Free Camps, People Pay Hundreds To Unplug

Camp Grounded is located in Northern California.
Courtesy of Scott Sporleder

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 10:17 am

The overwhelming and endless stream of electronic alerts and messages on our computers, phones and tablets is driving demand for a new kind of summer camp for adults. "Technology-free" camps that force their campers to surrender their gadgets, wallets and that nagging "fear of missing out" — FOMO — are booking up fast.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:50 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Better Than Expected Job Growth In June

At a job fair in Los Angeles last month, job seekers filled out applications.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 8:48 am

More jobs were created last month than economists had expected, but the unemployment rate held steady.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that employers added 195,000 jobs to public and private payrolls. That's better than the gain of 165,000 that forecasters had predicted.

Read more
Business
2:51 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 4:53 am

The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency and its two largest unions have reached an agreement — sort of. The unions are ending the five-day strike that halted commuter-rail service throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. BART and the unions agreed to extend their contracts for a month while negotiations continue.

Pages