Business

Planet Money
1:05 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Three Ways To Totally Transform U.S. Immigration Policy

Immigrants wait for their citizenship interviews at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Jan. 29.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:42 am

With immigration policy in the news again, I asked three economists, "Dream big: If you could create any immigration policy for the U.S., what would it be?" Here's what they said.

1. The Best And The Brightest

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research would give out more visas to highly skilled workers: scientists, engineers, computer programmers and doctors.

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The Salt
1:01 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Secret Menus Give Restaurants A Not-So-Secret Boost

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:06 am

When you're trying to decide where to eat, knowing what's on the menu is important. But for restaurants trying to bring customers through the door, what's not on the menu is just as important.

Secret menus aren't new. In-N-Out Burger has had one for years. But experts say more companies are now adding secret menu items, which are even catching on overseas in places like the United Kingdom and Singapore.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New York Times Co. Plans To Sell 'Boston Globe'

A Boston Globe newpaper sits inside a vendor box in 2009.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

The New York Times Co. will continue shedding assets, this time announcing it is looking to sell The Boston Globe.

The New York Times reports the company said it was looking to sell off the Globe and "other New England properties" to "focus energy and resources on its flagship newspaper."

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Business
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Office Depot Announces Plans To Merge With OfficeMax

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block, with this accounting of the rapid pace of deal making in corporate America. This month alone, U.S. Airways and American Airlines merged, Comcast bought up NBC Universal, Warren Buffett teamed up with a Brazilian firm to buy the Heinz Company, and Michael Dell helped take the public company that bears his name private.

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Media
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New York Times Plans To Sell 'Boston Globe'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

The Grey Lady is shedding more of its assets. This afternoon, The New York Times Company announced that it intends to sell The Boston Globe and other properties it owns in New England.

For more on this, NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me from our bureau in New York. And, David, what can you tell us? Why this sale, and why now?

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Business
2:41 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

For The Publicly Traded, Going Private Can Be Risky Business

Dell's founder and another tech company have announced plans to take the computer giant private. While companies can benefit from withdrawing from the stock market, there are potential pitfalls as well.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

It's been a busy month for corporate America.

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All Tech Considered
1:23 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Google's Glass Project: Can You Make The Grade?

This view from Google Glass shows the wearable technology's perspective. Selected applicants will be chosen via social media and given the opportunity to try them.
Google

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:35 pm

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Cash-Strapped Postal Service To Launch A New Clothing Line

A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service delivers mail on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:32 pm

The U.S. Postal Service is getting creative in its search for new revenue after last year's $15.9 billion budget shortfall. The agency says it will debut a new clothing and accessories line called Rain Heat & Snow, inspired by its unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Japan: Probe Of Battery Fire On Boeing 787 Finds Improper Wiring

The first Boeing 787-881 Dreamliner delivered to All Nippon Airlines.
Keith Draycott FlickrVision

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 11:33 am

Two reports on troubles with lithium ion batteries aboard Boeing's 787 Dreamliner:

In Japan, where a battery on an All Nippon Airlines 787 overheated and began smoking on Jan. 16, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, the Transport Ministry released a report Wednesday saying it found that the battery in question had been improperly wired.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Wed February 20, 2013

OfficeMax, Office Depot Confirm Merger Deal

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The deal has been talked about for days. Now it's official:

"OfficeMax Incorporated and Office Depot, Inc. today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement," reads a statement posted online by Office Depot.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Single-Family Housing Starts Edged Up In January

Going up: A construction worker at a housing development in San Mateo, Calif., in June 2012.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Work was begun on 0.8 percent more single-family homes in January than had been started the month before, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

And the number of single-family starts was up 20 percent from January 2012.

A 26.1 percent drop in starts, from December to January, on construction of apartment buildings and other multi-family homes dampened the news somewhat.

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Politics
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Automatic Spending Cut Would Cause 'Hardship' For People

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Business
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In its quest to stem its losses, the U.S. Postal Service is venturing into new territory. We are you know, of course, it plans to end certain Saturday mail service to trim costs. But the USPS is also looking into a new revenue stream, which is today's last word in business: fashionable delivery.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
4:31 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Law Change Makes It Harder To Unlock Cellphones

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Maybe you don't like your mobile phone carrier, but you like your phone and you want to keep it but change providers. An obscure change in federal law makes it illegal to switch without permission from your carrier.

If you have, for example, AT&T, in order to switch to T-Mobile you have to unlock the phone, and AT&T can now stop you from doing that.

The change in the copyright law has some people upset, and they're petitioning the White House for a fix.

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Health
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Being Obese Can Weigh On Employees' Insurance

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As Yuki just reported, employers are looking very closely at using carrots and sticks to get workers to change their unhealthy ways. Let's learn more now about that provision in the health care law which allows employers to put in place wellness programs aimed at improving health and managing health care costs. Morgan Downey is an advocate for people with obesity. He's also the editor of the Downey Obesity Report.

Thanks for joining us.

MORGAN DOWNEY: Not at all. It's my pleasure.

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Business
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a jumbo raise.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A new regulatory filing by Bank of America shows its CEO received quite a raise last year. Brian Moynihan got nearly a 75 percent increase in 2012 - a pay package valued at more than $12 million. The previous year he was paid a measly $7 million.

B of A's stock has been performing well, but analysts say the bank still faces issues from the financial crisis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:30 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Boeing's Tech Workers Vote To Authorize Strke

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Boeing has won a partial victory in a contract dispute with its engineering union, and that reduces the odds of a strike, as Ashley Gross of member station KPLU in Seattle reports.

ASHLEY GROSS, BYLINE: The engineering union covers two sets of workers - salaried engineers and hourly technical workers. The engineers voted to accept Boeing's final offer. The technical workers rejected it and authorized a strike.

They'll negotiate again before a walkout, but that split vote puts union leaders like Tom McCarty in a tough position.

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All Tech Considered
1:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

In New York, Taxi Apps Raise Objections From Competitors

New York City rules will soon permit yellow cab drivers to accept rides through smartphone apps.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:56 am

Even people who've never been to New York can tell you how to hail one of the iconic yellow cabs there. You just raise an arm and flag one down.

But the city wants to change that. Following the lead of cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., New York wants to permit passengers to use smartphone apps to find a cab.

Since Mayor La Guardia established New York's modern taxi system in 1937, there have been two big innovations in cab hailing: the whistle and the red light bulb on top of apartment building awnings.

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Technology
3:24 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Report: Chinese Government Hackers Behind Dozens Of Attacks On U.S. Companies

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Chinese army is the source of a persistent and prolific cyber espionage unit, whose hackers have attacked dozens of U.S. corporations and government agencies. That's the conclusion of a lengthy report released today by the computer security firm Mandiant. Mandiant says the hacking campaign goes back at least to 2006 and it targeted industries strategic to China's growth, including IT, energy and aerospace.

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Shots - Health News
3:17 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Why The Hospital Wants The Pharmacist To Be Your Coach

Walgreens is one of several pharmacies that have partnered with hospitals to help manage patients after they've returned home.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 7:41 am

About 1 in 5 Medicare patients who leave the hospital come back within 30 days. Those return trips cost U.S. taxpayers a lot of money — more than $17 billion a year.

In October, the federal government started cracking down on hospitals, penalizing them if too many of their patients bounce back.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

President Obama, accompanied by emergency responders — workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts — speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office building in Washington on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:02 pm

By now, it's widely accepted that indiscriminate spending cuts in defense and domestic programs due to start March 1 are likely to occur owing to the failure of President Obama and the Republican-led House to reach an agreement to avoid the budgetary cleaver.

So now, the contest boils down to each side scampering for the higher ground of moral indignation.

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Economy
2:56 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

End Of Winter Drives Nation's Gas Prices Uphill

Reports indicate that gas pump prices are at their highest level on record for this period of the year, but consumers might see a break in the near future — if all goes well.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:42 pm

If you've been behind the wheel recently, you already know gasoline prices are up.

The national average price for regular gas rose to nearly $3.75 a gallon Tuesday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

"Retail prices have gone up for each of the last 33 or so days — dating back to about Jan. 17," says Denton Cinquegrana, executive editor at the Oil Price Information Service.

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The Salt
1:38 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

English Whisky Aims To Give Scotch A Run For Its Money

Darren Rook checks out a new still at The London Distillery.
Kirsty Chant Courtesy of The London Distillery

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Move over, Scotland. It's time to make room on the shelf for English whisky. London's first distillery in over a century is about to begin production of single malt whisky in a former Victorian dairy.

Darren Rook and his partner decided to open The London Distillery after reading about Australian distilleries. "We wondered why there were none in London," he tells The Salt.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Like Facebook, Apple Says It Was Attacked By Hackers

People walk past the Apple logo at the Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:49 pm

Apple said today that the computers of some of its employees were attacked by hackers, who used the same vulnerability to access computers at Facebook.

All Things D reports:

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Digital Life
12:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Social Media And Work: Is It Ever OK To Complain Online?

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:52 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, filling in for Neal Conan from Washington. These days Facebook and Twitter are almost ubiquitous, and online our friends and family members are just as likely to talk about their jobs as their children and spouses.

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Politics
10:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Again Calls For Balanced Plan For Cuts

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Judge OKs Transocean's $1 Billion Civil Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.

As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."

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Politics
9:39 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Sequestration: Are the Negations Just 'Theater?'

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:29 am

The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.

Planet Money
9:29 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Beer Map: Two Giant Brewers, 210 Brands

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:10 pm

In the past decade, a few big beer companies went on a buying spree, spending some $195 billion to buy up brewers around the world, according to Bloomberg.

Beer drinkers can be excused for not noticing. Unlike, say, airlines, which fold their acquisitions into one big, global brand, big beer companies tend to keep the brands they buy in the market.

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Business
3:51 am
Tue February 19, 2013

India, Italy Accused Of Kickbacks In Defense Deal

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with begins with a corruption case in India.

India has dispatched investigators to Italy to examine allegations of kickbacks, kickbacks involving a $700 million defense deal. The case involves the sale of a dozen helicopters to India from one of Italy's largest industrial groups.

From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy has more on a case that's rattling the Indian government.

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