Business

Around the Nation
1:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Chicago's Famed Field Museum Struggles To Dig Out Of A Hole

"Sue," the Tyranosaurus rex skeleton, is one of the most famous exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History
John Zich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:25 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.

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Around the Nation
1:42 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Port Of Baltimore Seeks Boost From Panama Canal Expansion

The Port of Baltimore recently completed a major expansion, which included building a 50-foot berth and dredging the channel. It's in anticipation of increased traffic following the completion of a project to widen the Panama Canal.
Jonathan Blakely NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:59 am

There is constant motion around four new supersized, Chinese-made cranes as they unload cargo from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's freshly constructed Seagirt Marine Terminal.

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Children's Health
4:02 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Bulletproof Whiteboards And The Marketing Of School Safety

This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Hardwire, LLC

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:58 pm

A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."

Bulletproof what? Where?

That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Dow Hits 15,000 For The First Time; Closes Just Shy Of The Mark

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the morning bell on May 1.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The stock market continues its winning streak: The Dow Jones hit another milestone today, tapping 15,000 for the first time, but closing just shy of the milestone.

This, of course, follows good news about the job market released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Business
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

New U.S. Trade Representative Faces Big Challenges Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Expanding trade abroad is a high priority for President Obama. This week, he nominated a trusted adviser named Michael Froman to become the next U.S. trade representative. Froman is currently deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the challenges he would face as trade representative.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Employment Numbers Tell Us A Lot (But Not That Much)

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 3:17 pm

The nation's unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.5 percent and the job market improved last month. Friday's news helped push the Dow Jones industrial average above 15,000 for the first time.

Was that a rational response?

Although the jobs report for April was positive, what triggered the market reaction was the fact that it was better than expected. Instead of 145,000 jobs created, as most economists predicted, the Labor Department says there were 165,000 new jobs.

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Economy
10:58 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Reality Check: Strapped States Cutting Unemployment Benefits

California saw unemployment benefit cuts of 18 percent go into effect this week, reducing checks for more than 400,000 people.
Douglas Dickens iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 11:27 am

The jobs report for April showed some improvement — but not much — in the unemployment rate and the total number of unemployed workers.

It's not great news for people looking for work, and it's also not great for states. After years of persistently high unemployment, states have drained their unemployment trust fund accounts.

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Economy
10:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

The Changing Face Of The Working Poor

The latest employment figures are out and they show gains in hiring. The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy joins host Michel Martin to talk about the report, and the millions of working Americans who still fall below the poverty line.

The Salt
10:09 am
Fri May 3, 2013

How A Distillery Ages Bourbon In Days, Not Years

A bottle of Cleveland Whiskey's bourbon sits on a shelf with empty bottles at the company's distillery.
Courtesy of David Kidd

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:54 pm

When it comes to bourbon, Tom Lix doesn't believe in age discrimination. Most bourbons might age in the barrel for eight to 12 years or more, but Lix figures his are ready to drink in less than a week.

Lix makes Cleveland Whiskey, a new brand of bourbon that exemplifies two major trends in American whiskey-making today: the desire to speed up the process and the effort to establish a local identity.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Bangladesh Fears Exodus Of Western Retailers

Relatives react after identifying the body of a loved one who was killed in last week's building collapse in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:46 am

The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to end its apparel production in Bangladesh after more than 500 people died in the collapse of a garment factory complex has sparked fears of a mass exodus of Western retailers.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Waiting for work: Job seekers lined up last month at the 25th Annual CUNY big Apple Job and Internship Fair in Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 8:05 am

(Most recent update: 10 a.m. ET.)

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Plodding Along Or Picking Up Speed? News On Job Growth Due

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in New York City earlier this year. Figures on job growth and unemployment in April are due Friday morning.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:53 am

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Better Than Expected:

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Our original post:

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Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with sky-high airline fees.

First United did it, then U.S. Airways followed suit, and now Delta and American say they too are raising the fee for changing a domestic flight reservation to 200 bucks - that is up from 150.

Economy
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Economists Predict April's Jobless Rate Will Remain Steady

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

The Labor Department's monthly employment report is issued Friday morning. Economists are predicting that more than 100,000 jobs were added last month, but not enough to change the jobless rate of 7.6 percent.

Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Post-Bankruptcy, Kodak Will Be Commercial Printing Business

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Kodak expects to emerge from bankruptcy this year as a new company with a new focus. The one-time photo giant finds itself operating in a more competitive and diversified market.

From member station WXXI in Rochester, New York Kate O'Connell reports.

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Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Within an hour of signing up Thursday, the 82-year-old Berkshire Hathaway CEO had more than 50,000 followers. His first tweet read: "Warren is in the house."

NPR Story
2:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Obama Encourages U.S., Mexico To Focus On Economic Relationship

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama says it is time to focus on the strong economic relationship between the United States and Mexico and not get bogged down on more contentious issues like cooperation on the war on the drugs.

Obama made his comments yesterday as he began a two-day visit to Mexico. He flies on to Costa Rica later today. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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Your Money
1:22 am
Fri May 3, 2013

John Bogle's Latest Advice: A 'Gatekeeper' For Your Nest Egg

John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group and president of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center, says the government should set standards to protect Americans' retirement savings.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Mutual funds, which have topped $13 trillion, are the way many Americans interact with the financial markets. You may have come across mutual funds when you set up an individual retirement account or a company-sponsored retirement account like a 401(k).

A "basket" of stocks, bonds or both, mutual funds are seen as safer to own than individual stocks. Having many in one basket spreads the risk, especially over time. But high fees, lack of diversification, or a focus on short-term gains can put your nest egg at risk.

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Planet Money
3:47 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Millions Of Americans Are Leaving The Workforce. Why?

Alyson Hurt National Public Radio

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:02 am

Earlier this year, the percentage of Americans who are working or looking for work fell to its lowest level since 1979.

The figure (wonks call it labor force participation rate) rose for decades, as more women entered the workforce. It started falling over a decade ago. And the decline is now being driven by a bunch of different factors — some of which are scary and recessiony, and some of which are not.

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World
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Labor Watchdog Groups Limited In Their Power To Enforce Laws

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh is seen as a gross violation of safety and workers rights. There are international organizations which try to guide and encourage companies and governments towards better codes of conduct, but the groups have no legal recourse.

News
2:39 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?

A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Steve Jessmore The Flint Journal/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

The shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother has opened up yet another debate about gun control.

While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.

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U.S.
2:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill Would Put Immigration Verification System To The Test

Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.

While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.

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The Salt
1:29 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Can Salmon Farming Be Sustainable? Maybe, If You Head Inland

These sockeye salmon were raised at a land-based fish farm in Langley, British Columbia.
Courtesy Willowfield Enterprises

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:43 pm

Is salmon farming ever sustainable?

For years, many marine biologists have argued that the floating, open-ocean net pens that produce billions of pounds of salmon per year also generate pollution, disease and parasites.

In some places in western Canada, the open-ocean salmon farming industry has been blamed for the collapse of wild salmon populations in the early 2000s — though other research has challenged that claim.

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Digital Life
11:58 am
Thu May 2, 2013

A Look Ahead At The Future Of Tech

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:14 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Technology's already changed our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago, and now seems ready to reinvent our future. As we continue our series of conversations looking ahead, we've invited Farhad Manjoo to join us - he's Slate's technology columnist and a frequent guest on this program - on the latest gadgets, on the business of consumer electronics and on how we've adapted our lives, our jobs and our manners to all these changes.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Thu May 2, 2013

'Warren Is In The House,' Buffett Says As He Joins Twitter

Twitter.com/WarrenBuffett

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:33 am

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the "oracle of Omaha" and renowned for making lots of money for both himself and his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, joined Twitter on Thursday.

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Business
9:57 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Overseas Labor Abuses Prompt Business Shutdown

Host Michel Martin talks to Loretta Tofani, who closed her furniture store after discovering poor working conditions at the Chinese factories that supplied her business. She talks about how she made her decision, and about the factory building collapse in Bangladesh.

The Salt
9:37 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Grocery Home Delivery May Be Greener Than Schlepping To The Store

Amazon Fresh delivery man Tim Wilkie totes food to a house on Mercer Island, Wash.
Joe Nicholson AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:20 am

Home grocery delivery sounds like a frill for people too lazy to schlep to the store. But having food delivered can be more environmentally friendly than driving to the store, researchers say.

Having groceries delivered can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half, compared to driving to the store, according to a new study. That's because the delivery truck offers the equivalent of a "shared ride" for the food.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Again, Stay Near 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 7:33 am

There were 324,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 18,000 from the previous week's 342,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Claims continue to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven't been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000.

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Business
2:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Maneuvering The System That Is The H1B Visa Program

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's say you're highly skilled and interested in emigrating to the United States. Well, there are reasons to think you have a pretty good shot. Those with a specialty that's rare and highly valued can take advantage of what's called the H-1B visa. It is specifically for people with a Bachelor's degree or higher and you can only get one if an American company explicitly wants to hire you.

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Business
2:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Stocks Rise Despite Lackluster Corporate Earnings Reports

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. From understanding language, let's try to understand one development in the economy. Corporate revenues have been lackluster. But despite that, stock prices keep going up. This might have something to do with what the Federal Reserve has been up to. Hoping to get money into the economy and stimulate growth, the Fed has been aggressively buying bonds. And Fed officials said, after their two-day meeting ended yesterday, that they could even accelerate the bond purchases if necessary.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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