Business

Politics
3:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama's Call To Raise Minimum Wage Not Likely To Go Anywhere

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Among the things President Obama proposed last night in his State of the Union Address, an increase in the minimum wage.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty...

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: ...and raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

(APPLAUSE)

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Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Maine Employment Agency Gives Convicted Felons A Second Start

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For convicted felons, it can be hard to land a job regardless of how much it pays. But there's an employment agency in Maine that's focused on putting felons into the workforce. Get an ex-con a job, the idea goes, and it might keep them from going back to prison.

Tom Porter introduces us to the founder of Maine Works.

TOM PORTER, BYLINE: For Margo Walsh, a typical day starts well before dawn.

Good morning, Margo.

MARGO WALSH: How are you?

PORTER: OK.

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Economy
12:52 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama's Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

So maybe the Great Recession really is over.

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called upon Congress to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, up from the current $7.25. The wage would rise in steps, and after hitting the maximum in two years, would thereafter be indexed to inflation.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Carnival Apologizes For Triumph Conditions, Cancels 14 Upcoming Cruises

The Triumph cruise ship, set adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire Sunday, is being towed to Mobile, Alabama. The Carnival cruise ship line has cancelled the ship's next 14 voyages.
U.S. Coast Guard

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:49 pm

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Around the Nation
10:07 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Kitchen Table Reactions To State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:01 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. First of all, you might be noticing that the program sounds a little bit different today. We are having some technical difficulties that are not allowing us to play some of the music and other elements you're used to hearing. But we're still going to have great conversations.

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Around the Nation
10:07 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Did State Of The Union Hit The Mark — Or Not?

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:01 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will talk about why the government doesn't want to send you a Social Security or veterans' benefits check anymore. Don't panic. They're going to send you the money. They just don't want to send you a check. We'll tell you why in just a few minutes.

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Your Money
10:07 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Can Social Security Make The Leap To E-Banking?

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:01 am

Beginning March 1st, many people who receive social security and other federal benefits will no longer receive paper checks. The Treasury Department says sending payments electronically will save nearly a billion dollars. But some experts say it could affect the "un-banked." Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.

The Salt
9:21 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Four Loko Cans Will Now Make Clear They're Loaded With Alcohol

Popular fruit-flavored malt liquor Four Loko
Haraz Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:32 am

Cans of the popular flavored malt beverage Four Loko will soon sport an "Alcohol Facts" label to make it plain they pack a potent punch.

The changes are part of a final settlement announced Tuesday between the Federal Trade Commission and Phusion Projects, whose products have been blamed for hospitalizations and deaths among young people.

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Around the Nation
4:53 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Airlines Take To Bundling A La Carte Frills

Airlines have found another way to make money on top of the base ticket price. Linda Wertheimer talks to Scott McCartney, the airline columnist for The Wall Street Journal, about a new trend in the airline industry.

Business
4:42 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Comcast To Complete NBCUniversal Buyout Early

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.

Business
4:24 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:42 am

The credit card company American Express has teamed up with Twitter to allow its customers to buy products just by tweeting about them. Tweet the item you want, confirm your purchase and your item will be delivered.

Business
4:24 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an unlikely call for assistance.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
4:24 am
Wed February 13, 2013

What Would Natural Gas Exports Mean For Utility Bills?

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:00 am

The Department of Energy will soon decide whether to allow more liquefied natural gas exports. The gas industry argues more exports are good for the U.S. economy. But manufacturers want cheap gas to stay at home and power factories. Environmentalists worry exports will increase drilling across the country even more.

Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:43 am
Wed February 13, 2013

For One Senior, Working Past Retirement Age Is A Workout

John David, 73, teaches fitness classes to help older people stay healthy and fit. Here he teaches an hourlong class at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 6:29 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

Retirement isn't what it used to be, or even when it used to be.

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All Tech Considered
4:43 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Electric Car Review Dust-Up May Put Brakes On Tesla Profits

Showgoers check out the Tesla Model S at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:19 am

One of the long-standing knocks against electric cars is that it can be hard for the machines to hold a charge in cold weather. That's exactly what New York Times reporter John Broder says he found when he took a Tesla Model S on a road trip from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Comcast To Finish Buying NBCUniversal For $16.7 Billion

An NBC store is seen through a window reflecting Rockefeller Center in New York City. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since 2011.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday it will complete its buyout of NBCUniversal from GE for about $16.7 billion, ahead of schedule. Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has owned 51 percent of NBCUniversal since their $28 billion merger in 2011.

NBCUniversal owns several familiar news and entertainment brands, including NBC, CNBC, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, USA Network and Universal Parks and Resorts.

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Planet Money
1:12 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The Jobs With The Biggest (And Smallest) Pay Gaps Between Men And Women

Kathryn Gilles, a new registered nurse at Sutter Memorial Hospital, in Sacramento, Calif., puts information into a patient's chart under the supervision of her mentor, Eileen Anderson, R.N., BSN.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:31 pm

Women are paid significantly less, on average, than men — even when they're doing the same jobs. But the gap varies dramatically for workers in different jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics sent us some data on how much women made in comparison to their male counterparts in hundreds of different jobs; here are the jobs where the wage gap is smallest, and those where the gap is biggest. The gap is based on comparisons of full-time workers.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Cruise Ship Triumph Now Being Towed To Alabama; Investigation Announced

Two tugs tow and steer the Carnival Triumph cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. The ship is headed to Mobile, Ala., after an engine room fire on Sunday.
Ensign Chris Shivock U.S. Coast Guard

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:28 pm

Passengers aboard the cruise ship Triumph, set adrift after an engine fire Sunday, will now wait until Thursday before what was billed as a four-day cruise finally ends, the Carnival cruise ship line says. Strong currents have pushed the ship another 90 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, foiling plans to tow it to Progreso, Mexico.

The news comes as those aboard the ship have been reaching out to loved ones on shore to describe life on the stricken vessel, marked by a lack of air conditioning and ventilation below decks, improvised toilets, and sleeping on the open deck.

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Politics
10:05 am
Tue February 12, 2013

What to Expect From The President

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world when he announced his resignation yesterday, so we decided to talk about some of the issues facing the church worldwide and to see if there are any potential papal candidates from the developing world, which is where most Catholics actually live. That's coming up later in the program.

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The Salt
6:37 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Why Russia Is Saying 'Nyet' To U.S. Meat Imports

A man buys meat at a butcher's stand in Moscow's Dorogomilovsky market in 2011. On Monday, Russia began blocking U.S. meat imports until those imports are ractopamine-free.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:36 am

Chances are, you've never heard of ractopamine. But as of Monday, U.S. meat exports to Russia — worth $500 million dollars a year — have been suspended, all because of this obscure chemical.

Russian officials say American meat products won't be allowed into their country unless the meat is certified free of ractopamine.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:08 am

The credit reporting agency TransUnion says people who took on mortgages well after the housing bust are keeping up with their payments. In part, that's because lenders have tightened borrowing criteria.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Tue February 12, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.

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Governing
1:40 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Treasury Nominee's Citigroup Experience Raises Questions For Some

Jack Lew testifies before a House budget panel in 2011. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to consider Lew's nomination to be Treasury secretary on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:02 am

Jack Lew, the man President Obama has chosen to help oversee the country's biggest banks, has said it plainly — he's no expert on banking. Lew said as much when the Senate was vetting him to head the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2010.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Lew if he thought deregulation of Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Lew said he didn't consider himself the best person to answer that question.

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The Salt
4:14 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Less Potent Maker's Mark Not Going Down Smoothly In Kentucky

With too little distilled bourbon to meet demand, Maker's Mark is lowering the product's alcohol content from 90 to 84 proof.
Ed Reinke AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 5:58 pm

Kentucky is bourbon country. Bar shelves in Louisville are stocked with a crowded field of premium bourbons; the city's Theater Square Marketplace restaurant alone carries close to 170 different brands. So when news trickled out that longtime distillery Maker's Mark plans to water down its bourbon, locals were stunned.

Bourbon has to be aged at least two years — and that's where Maker's Mark got in trouble. Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels says the company simply didn't make enough.

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Under The Label: Sustainable Seafood
12:38 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Is Sustainable-Labeled Seafood Really Sustainable?

Capt. Art Gaeten holds a blue shark that was caught during a research trip in Nova Scotia. Scientists are studying the impact of swordfish fishing methods on the shark population.
Dean Casavechia for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:19 am

Part one of a three-part series by Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams.

Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.

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Around the Nation
12:00 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Gas, Oil Booms Bring Complications To Small Towns

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. There's a new generation of boom towns across the American West sparked by the explosive growth of oil and natural gas. When these industries move in, small towns near the fields change almost overnight. Once-sleepy main streets suddenly boast improved schools, libraries and community centers. Quiet rural airports expand to take corporate jets. Restaurants and motels and hardware stores all thrive.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Cruise Ship Drifts In Gulf Of Mexico, Will Be Towed To Port

In a photo from 1999, the Carnival Cruise line Carnival Triumph, foreground, arrives in Miami. Measuring 893 feet in length, the ship has been adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 24 hours, after a fire hit its engines.
Andy Newman AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:49 am

More than 3,000 cruise ship passengers who thought they'd be heading home today have instead been told they'll remain in the Gulf of Mexico until Wednesday, stranded by an engine fire that set their ship, the Triumph, adrift. Onboard power and sewer system outages have been reported. The ship, which was 150 miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula when the fire struck early Sunday, has a crew of more than 1,000.

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Gastro-Nomics: Hunting for A Good Meal In Puerto Rico

You'd think tropical fruit would be everywhere on a Caribbean island. But we had to search fairly hard to find these beauties.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:27 pm

To be clear, the trip I took a couple of weeks ago to Puerto Rico with an NPR team was not about food. We headed down to the island to report on the economic and crime troubles that are driving people off the island and to Florida in record numbers. And though we did tons of advance research about census figures and crime statistics, none of us really looked up good places to eat.

In a tropical, Latin land, we assumed we'd be practically stumbling over savory local meals and exotic fruits.

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Energy
3:36 am
Mon February 11, 2013

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Stirs Debate

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.

SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.

INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.

LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.

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Business
3:26 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's move on from pretzels to potato chips with our last word in business. Why not - as in - why not make potato chips that taste like chicken and waffles or cheesy garlic bread?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Or hot sauce? Why not? We imagine that's what someone at Lays Potato Chips said because these chip flavors are apparently real.

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