Business

Around the Nation
3:14 am
Fri May 17, 2013

First U.S. Company To Enter Export Market For Natural Gas

With supplies high and prices at historic lows, there's debate whether companies should be allowed to export the gas overseas for a higher price. Many energy companies have applied for government approval to ship liquefied natural gas worldwide. So far, only one company has gotten a license to do that in the past 30 years..

Planet Money
1:04 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Why Is There An Ammunition Shortage In The U.S.?

"We're going to keep prices as fair as we possibly can," says Bob Viden of Bob's Little Sport Shop in southern New Jersey.
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 8:04 pm

Sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they went through the roof starting late last year, when a school shooting led to a push for new gun control measures. That's led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Congress: Where Food Reforms Go To Die?

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:17 pm

Two seemingly common-sense, bipartisan food reforms have gotten mugged on Capitol Hill in recent days. If you're a loyal reader of The Salt, you've heard of them.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

No More Smuggling: Many Cured Italian Meats Coming To America

1971 film Lady Liberty." href="/post/no-more-smuggling-many-cured-italian-meats-coming-america" class="noexit lightbox">
Even Sophia Loren felt compelled to smuggle mortadella, despite a U.S. ban — well, her character did, anyway, in the 1971 film Lady Liberty.
Warner Bros/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:36 am

American gourmets and lovers of Italian food products, your days as food smugglers are over.

No more stuffing your suitcases with delicacies bought in Italy, hoping the sniffer dogs at JFK or other American airports won't detect the banned-in-the-USA foodstuffs inside your luggage.

In the U.S., they're called cured meats, the French say charcuterie and in Italy, the word for cured-pork products is salumi.

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Business
2:29 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A 'Wake-Up Call' To Protect Vulnerable Workers From Abuse

For decades, Hill County Farms, also known as Henry's Turkey Service, housed a group of mentally disabled men in squalor in this former schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. The EEOC won a judgment against the company for exploiting the men.
John Schultz/Quad-City Times ZUMAPRESS.com

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:35 am

Four years ago, 21 men with intellectual disabilities were emancipated from a bright blue, century-old schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. They ranged in age from their 40s to their 60s, and for most of their adult lives they had worked for next to nothing and lived in dangerously unsanitary conditions.

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won a massive judgment against the turkey-processing company at which the men worked. The civil suit involved severe physical and emotional abuse of men with intellectual disabilities.

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Parallels
2:25 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Underground Tunnels Feed Gaza's Hankering For KFC

KFC is delivered in one of the many underground smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip city of Rafah.
Wissam Nassar Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 8:38 am

Hundreds of underground passageways wind like a maze beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, providing a way for Gazans to maneuver around the 2007 Israeli-led economic blockade that took effect after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.

And while subterranean tunnels may seem like something out of a thrilling spy movie, the reality and practicality of these channels is somehow not surprising.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Airlines Forecast A Sunnier Summer

More passengers are expected to fly on U.S. airlines this summer, an industry group said Thursday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:53 pm

After a long bumpy ride that started five years ago, the domestic airline industry seems to be pulling up and smoothing out.

The number of passengers planning to fly this summer will tick up 1 percent from 2012, climbing back to the highest level since 2008, an industry group said Thursday.

The airlines' profit outlook is also brighter, as jet fuel prices have settled down a bit. Passenger complaints are quieting down, too.

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All Tech Considered
12:45 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Google's Privacy Shift Powers New Customized Maps

The new Google Maps features tailor-made results based on users' habits and search histories.
Google

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:15 am

This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.

At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.

"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.

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Your Money
12:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

The Tricky Business Of Retirement: Hidden 401(K) Fees

iStockPhoto.com

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

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U.S.
11:59 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Managing The $30 Million 'One Fund' To Aid Boston Victims

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Thirty million dollars is a lot of money, but how do you divide it among the families of the three people killed, the dozens maimed, the hundreds who spent time in the hospital, the thousands who witnessed the blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month?

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Economy
11:59 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Will Strong Summer Travel Be A Turning Point For Airlines?

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Salt
11:15 am
Thu May 16, 2013

How Trace Amounts Of Arsenic End Up In Grocery Store Meat

Roxarsone, a drug linked to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic in chicken meat, is no longer used in broiler chicken farming, producers say. But another arsenic-based drug is still used to raise turkeys.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:18 am

A study published online recently in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives documented slightly elevated levels of arsenic in samples of chicken purchased at grocery stores in 10 cities in the U.S.

So how did trace amounts of this toxin end up in supermarket poultry?

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Berkshire Hathaway's Credit Rating Knocked Down A Notch

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:53 am

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Conflicting Signals From Latest Economic Indicators

Thursday morning's economic news:

-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.

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Business
2:33 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Researchers Don't 'Wine' About The Cold, Their Grapes Thrive

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Minnesota. Vermont. South Dakota. OK. These are not states people normally associate with fantastic wine - or wine at all, for that matter. Grapes didn't always ripen in the state's short growing season. And even when they did, the grapes were better suited for jelly and juice. Their musty taste left little to really desire in a glass of wine.

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Television
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Is TV's Traditional Business Model Broken?

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:55 am

The broadcast networks are in New York this week pitching their fall TV shows to advertisers. David Greene talks with reporter Kim Masters, of The Hollywood Reporter, about the new shows and indications the industry is in decline. Masters also hosts The Business on member station KCRW.

Business
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:17 am

NASA has announced that the three astronauts on the International Space Station were first to watch Star Trek Into Darkness. It opens in theaters on earth Thursday.

Around the Nation
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Federal Forecasters To Juggle Active Hurricane Season With Sequester

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:03 am

The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved a sweeping farm bill that would trim the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. The panel rebuffed Democratic efforts to keep the program whole, as debate on the farm bill turned into a theological discourse on helping the poor.

All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A New 'Smart Rifle' Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses

A TrackingPoint rifle features a high-tech scope that includes a laser rangefinder and a Wi-Fi server.
Courtesy of TrackingPoint

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:14 am

A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.

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The Record
2:39 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Google Launches A Streaming Music Service

Chris Yerga, engineering director for Android at Google Inc., speaks at the company's I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:19 pm

The competition for your ears — and dollars — just got a little tougher. On Wednesday, Google launched a paid music subscription service that will put it in direct competition with other streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. The announcement may just be the beginning for Google.

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Business
2:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Airlines Can Keep You From Snapping, But Not Sharing Photos

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:39 pm

A recent incident on a commercial airliner raises an interesting question: can an airline bar you from taking pictures on their plane?

The Salt
1:30 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Can Star Power Make New Orleans' Food Deserts Bloom?

Wendell Pierce, the actor and co-owner of Sterling Farms grocery store, chats with Dwight Henry, who will be making doughnuts and buttermilk drops in the store.
David Grunfeld The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:59 pm

Plenty of celebrities leverage their star power to raise awareness of complicated food issues. Some of the biggest names include Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Walmart Has Its Own Plan To Help Bangladesh Garment Workers

A Wal-Mart store in Paramount, Calif. The company announced it would conduct its own inspections at Bangladeshi factories that produce its goods rather than joining an agreement with other Western retailers.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 1:30 pm

Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Cup Of Joe With Apple CEO Goes For $610,000

An anonymous bidder has offered $610,000 to have coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a charity auction that closed Tuesday afternoon.
Mark Lennihan AP

It turns out that the desire to speak with Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with $610,000, will buy you a cup of coffee. That's the winning bid offered in a charity auction for up to an hour of Cook's time.

As we reported last month, the chance to grab coffee with Cook at Apple's headquarters zoomed past the suggested value of $50,000 set at the Charitybuzz auction site, rising to more than $600,000 in just three days.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Book News: Justice Department Says Apple Led Price-Fixing Ring

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the 2011 Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. He died later that year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 6:54 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
4:28 am
Wed May 15, 2013

'Revolutions' Unfold Within Oil Industry

In the stodgy world of global oil, we don't hear the term revolution tossed around very often. But oil analysts are watching dramatic change take place on the supply side of the industry. Things like where the oil is coming from and who is buying it.

Business
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Grad Students Tracks His Online Moves, Looks To Sell Data

Everyone is tracked by marketers online. Federico Zannier wants to sell his information.
myprivacy.info

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:50 am

You know you're being tracked by marketers online. But instead of fighting it, a grad student in New York decided to sell his personal data directly.

It wasn't hard to get hold of Federico Zannier. His phone number and email are right on his website. For a couple of bucks, I could have learned a lot more about him.

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Business
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Budget Deficit Outlook Improves Since February

Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal 2014 are prepared for delivery at the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington in April. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply cut the outlook for the federal deficit.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:22 am

As the economy improves, the federal budget deficit is growing dramatically smaller. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply revised its estimates from just a few months ago, knocking off $200 billion in red ink for the current fiscal year. Some temporary factors are being cited for the projected improvement.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
4:04 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work

Dawn Heisey-Grove hands off Zane to Jonathan after a midday feeding. The couple were both working full time when Jonathan lost his job as a graphic designer two years ago.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:21 pm

The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.

"I'll get the, 'Oh, look, it's a dad! That's so sweet!' "says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he's just giving Mom a break for the day. In fact, he's part of a growing number of fathers who are minding the kids full time while their wives support the family and who say societal expectations are not keeping up with their reality.

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