Business

The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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Business
12:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

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All Tech Considered
6:22 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Utah Internet Firm Defies State's Warrantless Subpoena Law

Pete Ashdown is founder and CEO of XMission, Utah's oldest Internet service provider.
Flickr via Center for Study of Ethics at UVU

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:51 am

Utah's oldest Internet service provider, XMission, has refused to give up customer information to law enforcement, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Specifically, the company says it won't comply with administrative subpoenas.

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The Two-Way
3:41 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Investors Brace For News Out Of Fed Minutes

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a news conference in June. Financial markets reacted to comments he made then by selling off bonds and stocks.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:13 am

After the Federal Open Market Committee meeting last month, the financial markets "freaked out," according to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks at the time sent a shockwave through the markets when he suggested the Fed's stimulus could end.

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Shots - Health News
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

How Oregon Is Getting 'Frequent Fliers' Out Of The ER

Jeremie Seals used to go to the hospital emergency room to avoid sleeping in his car.
Kristian Foden-Vencil OPB

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Forty-year-old Jeremie Seals has had a tough life.

He left home at 14, and his health isn't good. He had a heart attack when he was 35. He has congestive heart failure, and nerve pain in his legs that he says is "real bad."

"Long story short, I'm terminal," he says, matter-of-factly.

Seals is unwilling to divulge too much about his past. But over the years, he says his health has deteriorated to such a degree that he can no longer hold a job.

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Asia
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Bangladesh Collapse: The Garment Workers Who Survived

Rebecca Khatun, a worker at Rana Plaza, lies in a hospital bed. She lost her left leg and right foot in the collapse, which also killed five members of her family. Khatun received $120 and free medical care for her loss --€” compensation she says won't be enough for what she's been through.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:57 pm

(We updated this post at 11:58 a.m. ET to include a statement released Wednesday by Walmart. Click here to see that)

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Rana Plaza collapsed on garment workers in Bangladesh, exposing abysmal safety conditions in the country's factories.

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Animals
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Virus Targets Baby Pigs

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the agriculture industry is dealing with a new worry: a virus that is spreading through farms. It has killed hundreds of thousands of baby pigs.

Frank Morris from member station KCUR has more.

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: Like most hog farmers, Brent Sandidge in Missouri has been losing money lately.

BRENT SANDIDGE: We've had a drought, and record high feed prices, so that would be the last thing you'd need, another hit.

MORRIS: But that hit came this spring for some with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

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Business
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

China Issues Grim Trade Outlook

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with China's grim trade outlook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Numbers from the month of June offered more evidence that the world's second-biggest economy might be losing steam. Exports from China fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier. Imports were down, as well, by almost a percent.

NPR Story
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Egypt's Economic Health Needs Outside Help

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's political future will largely depend on its economy, and its economic future will largely depend on help from other countries. To talk more about this, we reached Mohsin Khan. He's a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center on the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. He's also the former Director of the Middle East Department at the International Monetary Fund. Good morning.

MOHSIN KHAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What are Egypt's most immediate economic needs?

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Business
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Twinkies To Return to Store Shelves On Monday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is one of our favorite subjects: Twinkie resurrection.

The yellow spongy cakes will be back on store shelves this Monday. There had been a run on Twinkies following the bankruptcy of Hostess, Twinkies' parent company.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:42 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

After Asiana Crash, Pilot Training Gets New Scrutiny

Much of the training for pilots for major airlines is conducted on sophisticated flight simulators, like this Boeing 787 simulator operated by an All Nippon Airways captain. Pilots are also trained to communicate clearly about problems they may encounter in flight.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:40 pm

Investigators are continuing to examine the training and experience of the cockpit crew of the Asiana flight that crashed Saturday in San Francisco. The pilot at the controls had nearly 10,000 hours of experience flying large jets, but only 43 hours in that particular plane, a Boeing 777. Saturday was also the pilot's first 777 landing at San Francisco International.

Pilots transition from flying one airplane model to another all the time; it's a regular part of the job as airlines add new aircraft and pilots fly new routes or get promotions to piloting bigger jets.

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Business
2:54 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Despite Scandal, Wall Street Lines Up To Bid For LIBOR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

On Wall Street, many things are bought and sold, including, occasionally, interest rates. That happened today. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange bought LIBOR, a hugely influential benchmark rate that is set in London. LIBOR is used to set many other interest rates, from credit cards to derivatives contracts.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate Can Reveal Pulse Of Global Economy

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now for our regular primer on global economics, no student loan required. Remember the European economic crisis? Just months ago, there was near panic that the euro zone would collapse, bringing down with it the entire international economy, again. So, how is Europe doing now and what is the overall state of the global economy? Well, one place economists look for answers to those questions is in the exchange rate between dollars and euros.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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?

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