From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports
The deal we posted about Sunday evening — a $13 billion bailout by international creditors for the beleaguered banking system on Cyprus — is being met with skepticism on that Mediterranean island nation.
Cyprus has secured a $13 billion package of rescue loans in tense, last-ditch negotiations. Some in Cyprus question whether the European Union wanted Cyprus' recently discovered natural gas reserves or big bank deposits to go to German banks.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
The tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus was on the brink of bankruptcy. But at the last minute, European finance ministers approved a multibillion-dollar bailout for the country. The deal will keep the island's banking system from collapsing, but the country is far from out of the woods.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson begins our coverage from Berlin.
Well, Passover begins tonight at sundown. Observant Jews will commemorate the mass exodus from Egypt and for the next eight days eat matzo, the dry flat cracker known as much for its bland taste as its symbolism. It's also fueled the entrepreneurial spirit of an Atlanta couple.
Susan Mittleman sampled their business venture, a venture that mixes matzo with granola.
SUSAN MITTLEMAN, BYLINE: Wayne Silverman has made maple-nut matzo granola in his kitchen for more than 40 years.
And our last word in business today is: highly illogical, captain.
Congress has rebuked the IRS for spending tens of thousands of dollars to film a "Star Trek" parody video.
(SOUNDBITE OF IRS VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y. Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms, to explore strange new regulations, to boldly go where no government employee has gone before.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The video stars IRS workers and was shown at a conference in 2010.
NPR's business news starts with Apple doing some shopping.
Apple has been trying to go head-to-head with Google to provide better mapping services. Apple's latest effort to do that has a price tag of $20 million. That's how much it paid for a small startup company called WiFiSLAM, which maps indoor settings. Think shopping malls and airports. Apple confirmed the purchase to The Wall Street Journal, but wouldn't discuss its plans. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.
Despite the enormous destruction Hurricane Sandy caused to the Jersey Shore, realtors who specialize in the region say business has been steady. Plenty of home buyers and investors appear eager to jump into the market. Damaged homes and lots have been selling for discounted rates, while prices are inching up on houses that survived since there are simply fewer properties available.
In the New York City prison system, the outlook for juvenile offenders is bleak. They're falling through the cracks, being arrested repeatedly, and being re-released onto the same streets only to be picked up again.
The criminal justice system is failing these 16- and 17-year-olds, says Dora Schriro, the commissioners of the city's Department of Corrections.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been a lot of places since his glory days with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for Buffalo and Dallas and in his retirement, he returned to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, where he founded a winery. Bledsoe has not forgotten his New England fans. In fact, he wants people in Massachusetts to be able to buy his wine and, for that matter, other wines online.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:21 pm
HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.
Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:47 am
As a deadline on Cyprus to come up with a financial bailout plan nears, a possible rescue from Russia looks to have fallen apart, leaving the island nation few options for staving off default.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said as far as Moscow was concerned "the talks have ended," but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev left the door open, saying aid from Moscow would be contingent on Cyprus gaining European Union backing for its other money-raising ideas.
NPR's business news starts with high debt and low wealth.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Since the financial crisis, many Americans have been saving money and paying down debt. Many are in better financial shape than a few years ago. But when you look at the longer term, it is clear that Americans as a whole have not regained all the ground they lost.
The Census Bureau compared Americans in 2011 with their wealth and debt burdens in that seemingly long-ago year, 2000.
What better place to play video games than in a man cave? That's our last word in business today. It's how real estate website Zillow describes a Cold War-era bomb shelter in South Florida, now on sale for just under half a million dollars - 30-inch thick, steel-reinforced, concrete walls; decontamination showers; and 17-foot high ceilings.
There's even some milk solids and canned sugar left over, and it allegedly could be turned into a home. The listing agent describes the property as something out of an old Japanese Godzilla movie.
The tiny Mediterranean island-nation of Cyprus is teetering on the edge of insolvency after rejecting a tax on bank deposits imposed by the E.U. and IMF in exchange for a bailout. Cyprus has until Monday to approve a new bailout plan.
In Chicago, officials have released a long-feared list that places more than 50 schools on the chopping block. The public school district faces a $1 billion shortfall, and the mayor says many of the city's school buildings are half empty. Some angry parents and teachers say the plan will harm children and they'll fight to keep the schools open.
For eight decades, Daily Variety has been a Hollywood must-read for everyone from studio heads to actors looking for a big break. But the days of assistants running out to grab the "trades" are over: This week, the Los Angeles institution published its last daily edition.
This generation of video game consoles will be remembered for over-the-top, knock-you-out-of-your-seat extravaganza games like Halo, Call of Duty — and Gears of War, a juggernaut of a game. The first three Gears of War sold 19 million units, making it a $1 billion franchise. And the latest, Gears of War: Judgment, has just hit stores at a crucial time in the video game industry — sales are down, new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are due out, and mobile gaming is growing.
For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.
Steve Inskeep talks to Richard McGregor of the Financial Times about Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's trip to China. He bought a long list of economic agenda items to his meetings with top officials, ranging from cyberwarfare to China's currency controls.