Business

The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Off The Rails: Strike-Hit Bay Area Struggles With 'Horrible' Commutes

Frustrated commuters wait at the Transbay Temporary Terminal in San Francisco to catch a bus over to Oakland on Tuesday.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:44 pm

Andrea Brearley's kids really want to see Pixar while on vacation. The problem is that the family is staying in San Francisco, and with rail workers on strike, they're having a hard time figuring out how to get to the cartoon-maker's headquarters across the bay in Emeryville, Calif.

Brearley, who lives in Windsor, Ontario, says it's been "scary" trying to figure out an alternative route. "Three different people told me three different buses," she says.

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The Salt
11:56 am
Tue July 2, 2013

'Heart Attack On A Hook': Meet America's 'Worst Restaurant Meal'

Long John Silver's Big Catch platter will net you 33 grams of trans fats in one meal.
Courtesy of Clare Politano Center for Science in the Public Interest

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 10:19 am

Seafood is generally considered a more healthful choice when dining out — but not if you're battering and deep-frying it and serving it up with hush puppies and onion rings.

And that is precisely why the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition and health policy watchdog group, have named Long John Silver's new "Big Catch" meal the worst restaurant meal in America.

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Parallels
4:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Kind Of Ikea Hack: Flat-Packs Head To Refugee Camps

Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Ikea Foundation

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 9:20 am

My name is Maureen, and I am an Ikea-holic. Sure, I laughed knowingly at The Narrator's "slave to Ikea" speech as much as the next Fight Club fan. But the awful truth is, I've got a Beddinge in my bedroom.

And I'm not embarrassed to say so.

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Europe
3:17 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Trade Talks Threatened By Allegations U.S. Spied On E.U.

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Europe is in an uproar over revelations that U.S. intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington. The new allegations come from the latest secret U.S. National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

Economy
3:15 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Economic Squeeze Plays Out On Egyptian Streets

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

David Greene talks to Farah Halime, a Cairo-based financial journalist who writes about Egypt's economy. Whether President Morsi caves to protesters' demands to step down, whoever ends up running the country will have to deal with a terribly deteriorating economy. Halime's blog is called the RebelEconomy.com.

Economy
3:10 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Portugal's Budget Austerity May Do More Harm Than Good

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I always wondered where some of those stock market symbols came from.

To Europe now. Portugal's finance minister - the architect of the country's economic bailout deal with the European Union - has resigned. In stepping down, he cited the backlash against the policies he imposed at the urging of European lenders.

NPR's Lauren Frayer reports on this latest turn in the debate over whether severe budget austerity does more harm than good.

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Business
2:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts on a high note.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Steinway Musical Instruments announced Monday that it would be acquired by the private equity firm Kohlberg and Company in a deal worth $438 million. Kohlberg says it plans to build on Steinway's 160 years of piano-making tradition and expand its sales globally.

Business
2:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Former Energy Secretary Wants Power Generation Decentralized

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama announced, last week, a hugely ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push the country towards cleaner energy. Right now, just nine percent of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources.

Former U.S. secretary of energy Steven Chu would like to see us get to 50 percent by the middle of the century. Chu left the cabinet in April, but even before that, he began talking to utility companies could adopt a radically different business model.

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Africa
2:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Obama Announces Trade Africa Initiative

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And farther south on the African continent, President Obama is wrapping up a three-country tour. He's in Tanzania now, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. NPR's Ari Shapiro is travelling with the president and reports on Obama's first day in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.

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Television
2:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Local TV Stations Snapped Up In Buying Sprees

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Chicago-based Tribune Company, newly out of bankruptcy, is trying to sell off its newspaper holdings. Yet even as the company withdraws from print media, it's making a big push into local television, following the lead of other major media players.

NPR's David Folkenflik reports

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Business
2:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is sure to get you in an Empire State of mind.

Many city-dwellers have embraced Uber. This is an app that allows you to call a taxi or a town car and then track its timely arrival to your location.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:23 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To Make Hearing Aids Affordable, Firm Turns On Bluetooth

Sound World Solution's hearing device lets a user customize its settings using a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone.
Courtesy of Sound World Solutions

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:38 am

As many as 300 million people around the world need hearing aids. The vast majority of the 7 million people who get them annually are in the U.S. and Europe.

One big reason is cost. On average, a set of hearing aids rings up a tab of about $4,000. Most insurance policies don't cover them.

A company called Sound World Solutions is trying to do something about the limited reach of hearing aids by creating a high-quality hearing device that costs less than a tenth the normal price.

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Parallels
2:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

An Online Upstart Roils French Media, Politics

Edwy Plenel, head of the online investigative journalism website Mediapart, at his Paris office in April. The paper has attracted paying subscribers and is making a profit.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:11 pm

Every week, it seems, a new scandal is unearthed by the upstart, online newspaper Mediapart. The most recent bomb was that President Francois Hollande's budget minister was evading taxes when he was supposed to be cracking down on tax cheats. After vehemently denying the allegations, in the face of overwhelming evidence, Jerome Cahuzac was forced to resign.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Top Vatican Bank Officials Resign

Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican Bank Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, talks with The Associated Press during an interview June 10 at his office in Vatican City. He was named the bank's interim director on Monday after the director and the deputy director both resigned.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:42 pm

Two top officials of the Vatican bank resigned Monday just days following the arrest of a senior cleric with ties to the institution after police caught him with the equivalent of about $26 million in cash that they say he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland.

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Business
2:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:19 am

A wealthy New York couple is suing their son's kindergarten, claiming they were tricked into paying $50,000 for a finger painting done by a group of five-year-olds — including their son. The couple was out of town during the school's benefit auction, so they instructed a proxy to make sure they made the highest bid. The couple claim the school rigged the auction by having a first-grade teacher drive up the price.

Africa
2:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

U.S. Investors, Businesses Hesitant To Set Up In Africa

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:19 am

President Obama's trip to Africa comes at a time of increasing African economic growth and declining U.S. influence on the continent. To be successful, he will need to overcome a general perception that the United States has withdrawn from Africa. At the same time, he must convince an American public and private sector that getting more invested in Africa will be good for American jobs and the economy.

Business
2:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:19 am

Two of San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit's largest unions went on strike after weekend talks with management failed to produce a new contract. The move ensures a nightmarish journey ahead for Monday commuters.

Europe
1:01 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Thar He Blows: Trump Tussles With Scots Over Wind Turbines

Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:52 am

A fierce legal battle is under way in Scotland, involving U.S. tycoon Donald Trump.

At the heart of the wrangle: wind.

Europe is leading the way in generating energy using wind. Huge turbines whir away on the hills and in the seas throughout the continent.

The roots of Trump's hatred for these turbines can be found, at least in part, in what was once a stretch of rolling dunes and grassland in northeastern Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.

He is spending hundreds of millions creating a resort there.

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Economy
12:28 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Alabama County Files Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:57 am

Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County has filed a 101-page plan that would force creditors to lose up to 70 cents on the dollar.

In 2011, the county underwent what's been called the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. It's in debt by about $4.2 billion.

Because of combination of corruption and poor management, the municipality was unable to repay money it borrowed to upgrade its sewage system.

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Business
3:06 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Puerto Rico Rolling Out The Welcome Mat For Millionaires

Children play on a beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government hopes that convincing wealthy investors to relocate here will boost the island's economy.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 7:22 pm

A few weeks ago, Alberto Baco Bague arrived in New York for a roadshow of sorts. In just 48 hours, Baco, Puerto Rico's secretary of economic development and commerce, met with more than 30 hedge fund managers, investors and others who could be classified as very well-off.

His mission might seem quixotic at best: trying to convince these well-heeled New Yorkers to uproot themselves from Manhattan and relocate to Puerto Rico. But he says they are starting to come.

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The Salt
1:46 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Avocado-Fed Pork? Why Animal Feed Is Going Gourmet

Russ Kremer with some of his hogs on his farm in Frankenstein, Mo., in 2009. Instead of buying conventional feed, Kremer grazes his hogs in a pasture, and grows grains and legumes for them.
Jeff Roberson AP

Peanuts, flax, sprouts and avocados: It's not the menu at a health food deli, but the menu inside some barns. What's more, many farmers experimenting with these gourmet feeds are growing the ingredients themselves.

Take Russ Kremer, the Missouri pig farmer whose operation served as the inspiration for the 2011 Chipotle ad. Kremer hasn't bought commercial animal feed in 30 years. Instead, he grazes his hogs in a pasture, and grows (or buys from neighbors) grains and legumes to supplement their nutrition.

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The Salt
12:41 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Bikini Baristas And Sexist Sausages: Food Marketing Gone Wrong

KOMO News

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 2:22 pm

In Seattle, the city that sired Starbucks, you don't have to travel more than a few steps to find a decent — nay, great — cup of joe. Java is the lifeblood of the city: Where other cities might offer walking tours of historic sites, in Seattle, "coffee crawls" take visitors to the city's best-loved coffeehouses.

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Parallels
12:03 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

China's 'Shadow Banking' And How It Threatens The Economy

A woman walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing.
Jason Lee Reuters/Landov

Last week was a wild one for China's economy.

Interest rates on the loans that banks make to one another soared to alarming levels, and lending began to freeze up. Shanghai stocks nose-dived, taking Asian markets and the Dow, briefly, with them.

Things have calmed down, but the crisis showed how China's new leaders are trying to confront threats to the health of the world's second-largest economy.

Many here see it as the first shot in a long battle to reform a once-successful economic model that is now running out of gas.

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Africa
10:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Can Africa Manage Its Own Growth?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Bust Drug Websites Masquerading As Big-Name Chains

Federal authorities seized a bunch of websites belonging to online pharmacies that were allegedly breaking the law.
FDA

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 2:55 pm

If you're looking for a deal on prescription drugs or tired of standing in line at the drugstore counter, maybe you'd be inclined to try an online pharmacy.

Perhaps you'd feel better about that choice if the site carried the name of a well-known chain, say, www.walgreen-store.com or www.c-v-s-pharmacy.com.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Who Are These 'Bankers' Ecuador Keeps Referencing?

Ecuador is considering an asylum request from Edward Snowden, who reportedly is still holed up at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:38 am

If you've paid attention to the case of Edward Snowden, you might have heard Ecuadorean officials refer to some bankers the U.S. is refusing to hand over.

Ecuador, of course, is considering an asylum request from the NSA leaker. The U.S. is pressuring them to abide by an extradition request, while Ecuador is taunting the giant.

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Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Anyone who's seen a North Carolina license plate knows the state proudly claims itself as the site of the first airplane flight. But this week, Connecticut said not so fast. The state passed a law declaring it was home to the first flight.

Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new charges against China.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The United States charged a Chinese wind turbine maker, yesterday, with stealing trade secrets from a U.S. company. The Department of Justice says China's Sinovel stole more than $800 million worth of intellectual property from U.S. company AMSC.

AMSC is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Agencies Continue To Identify Fallout From Sequestration

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.

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Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Sue Jon Corzine Over MF Global Collapse

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.

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