Business

Business
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And in our last word in business today, we remember a woman who inspired one of TVs most famous moms.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

JULIE KAVNER: (as Marge Simpson) Oh, I've never been so proud. You both deserve a big, big reward.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with record fines for PG&E.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Regulators have recommended that the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric - that's PG&E pay a $2.25 billion penalty for a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, California.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That fire, blamed on poor maintenance on an aging pipeline, it killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco suburb.

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Business
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Tile Business Owners: Web Sales Tax Would Be A 'Nightmare'

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Right now online you can buy virtually anything: shoes, books, jewelry, tools, and you pay no state sales taxes. Well, that might soon change.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Marketplace Fairness Act. That bill gives states the power to enforce their sales tax laws on online retailers making more than $1 million per year.

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Business
3:11 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Casino Gambling Indicates Economic Turnaround Is Solid

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a sign of economic recovery: Americans are gambling again. People apparently have enough money to throw some of it away. After a drop during the slowdown, casino revenues are up nationwide. In fact, up to pre-recession levels.

NPR's Nina Gregory reports.

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National Security
1:03 am
Tue May 7, 2013

U.S. Turns Up Heat On Costly Commercial Cybertheft In China

Chinese cyber-espionage is threatening U.S. economic competitiveness.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 11:04 am

American companies that do business with China make good money. They also lose a lot of money there to cyberthieves, who routinely hack into the computers of the U.S. firms and steal their trade and technology secrets.

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Joe's Big Idea
12:59 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Envisioning The Future With Cori Lathan

AnthroTronix Founder and CEO Corinna Lathan, at the company's offices in Silver Spring, Md.
Courtesy of AnthroTronix, Inc.

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 am

Computers were created to be useful tools, but all too often it's still a chore to get technology to do our bidding.

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Net Retailers Aren't Buying Online Sales Tax Proposal

The Senate on Monday approved a bill to allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say sellers will get help navigating tax collection, but many retailers says complying will be burdensome and opens the door for unforeseen problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Congress is considering a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say a law is necessary to level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores and to raise revenue for states.

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Technology
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Tech Week Ahead: YouTube's Subscription Service

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

CORNISH: YouTube, the website that made its name as the place where you can broadcast yourself, is on the verge of launching a subscription service. NPR's Laura Sydell joins us now to talk more about it. And, Laura, what is YouTube up to?

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U.S.
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Another Vote Ahead For Pot In Colorado: This Time, On Taxes

Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado for more than a decade. Coloradans voted to legalize recreational use in November, but lawmakers say the industry can be properly regulated only if voters approve a new tax.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

This week, Colorado lawmakers hope to pass the first comprehensive set of recreational pot regulations in the country. The proposed rules involve who can sell it, where and to whom, and also include a big new tax — one that voters must go back to the polls to approve.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Pentagon: China's Government Hacked U.S. Networks

The 12-story building outside Shanghai that is alleged to be the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's hacking group.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:53 pm

The Pentagon has for the first time fingered Beijing directly for cyberattacks against both U.S. government networks and commercial computers, calling the practice a "serious concern."

The new report says numerous U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks were hacked in 2012 at the direction of China's government and its military.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports: "In previous reports, the Pentagon has linked computer attacks to China, but not its government."

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Death Toll In Bangladesh Factory Collapse Surpasses 650

A Bangladeshi family member holds up the portrait of her missing relative, believed to be trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza.
AFP/Getty Images

The grim toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh last month has risen to more than 650, as more bodies have been pulled from the rubble of the eight-story complex.

The number of people confirmed dead has now reached 657, CNN quoted Col. Sheikh Zaman, a military official overseeing the recovery operation in Savar, as saying.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Senate Poised To Approve Online Sales Tax Bill

Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it will level the playing field between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Mike Coppola Getty Images for eBay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:24 pm

Update at 7:00 p.m.:

The Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27, The Associated Press reports.

Here's our original post:

The Senate is expected to approve a measure on Monday that would end tax-free shopping for online purchases, a move that concerns many e-retailers but has the support of the states that stand to collect billions in previously lost revenues.

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Shots - Health News
9:59 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Pfizer Goes Direct With Online Viagra Sales To Men

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:23 am

The ubiquitous blue-toned TV ads for Viagra look downright tame compared with Pfizer's latest gambit for the impotence remedy.

Pfizer is now selling the drug directly from the official Viagra website.

Men still need a prescription for the diamond-shaped blue pills. But instead of going to the pharmacy in person, or taking their chances buying from an online pharmacy of unknown repute, men will be able to buy Viagra from the maker of the drug itself and have it shipped to their homes.

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Economy
9:17 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Black And Latino Wealth Falls Further Behind

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're talking about the effects of those across the board budget cuts caused by the sequester. We've been particularly interested in education, and today we're going to hear about the effect on Head Start. That's a program that helps low income kids get ready for school. That conversation is later in the program.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Wal-Mart Reclaims No. 1 Spot On 'Fortune' 500 List

A shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:40 pm

Wal-Mart has reclaimed the lead spot on the Fortune 500 list released today. For the past few years, the giant retailer has been battling it out with Exxon for top billing.

This year, Exxon Mobil dropped to No. 2.

Fortune writes about Wal-Mart:

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Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Warren Buffett Welcomes Bershire Shareholders To Omaha

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:12 am

The topics discussed during a five-hour question-and-answer session Saturday included: Berkshire Hathaway's increased size and who will take over as CEO when Buffett, 82, steps down. While admitting the company's expansion has changed things, Buffet demurred when it came to succession specifics.

Author Interviews
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Journalist Robert Kaiser Chronicles Financial Overhaul Bill

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:01 am

The economic crisis in 2008 led to a massive overhaul of financial regulations. Journalist Robert Kaiser was given behind-the-scenes access to congressional reaction to the crisis. He saw that even with the threat of another Great Depression, Capitol Hill remained mired in dysfunction. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Kaiser about his book, Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, And How It Doesn't.

Around the Nation
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

'Bertha' Does The Heavy Lifting In Seattle Tunnel Project

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:28 am

The world's largest tunnel boring machine in a few months will begin digging a new double-decker highway tunnel under downtown Seattle. If all goes according to plan, Bertha will start digging this summer. It'll emerge again late next year on the other side of downtown, not far from the Space Needle.

Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Spice Girls Musical To Close Early

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 4:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now our last word in business. Critics and ticketholders wanted something more from the Spice Girls musical. So the last word in business today is: sad spice.

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Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

eBay CEO: Web Sales Tax Would Create 'Administrative Burden'

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 4:07 am

David Greene talks to eBay CEO John Donahoe about the political battle over online sales tax. On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would end the free ride that consumers have enjoyed when shopping online. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers, and pay them to states where customers live — just like brick and mortar stores.

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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