Business

NPR Story
3:09 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Microsoft And Sony Kick Off E3 With Dueling Announcements

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:15 am

Every year, gamers turn their eyes to Los Angeles for E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It's the annual video game industry convention.

Around the Nation
1:47 am
Tue June 10, 2014

How Coal Industry Jobs Coexist With Rising Sea Levels In Virginia

Rough surf pounds a fishing pier as Tropical Storm Hanna passes through Virginia Beach, Va., in 2008. Virginia is dependent on coal mining but it also faces routine flooding from rising sea levels.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:49 am

Skip Stiles stands on the edge of a small inlet known as the Hague, near downtown Norfolk, Va. The Chrysler Museum of Art is nearby, as are dozens of stately homes, all threatened by the water.

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Music News
2:16 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Apple Jacks The Headphone Port

What do you mean Apple is getting rid of the headphone jack? Where's it going?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:54 am

Apple may be set to end its use of the standard 3.5mm headphone connector — the mini plug — in favor of its proprietary connector, the Lightning port. If it was to do that, new iPhones, iPads and iPods wouldn't work with old headphones. It's had more than a few industry folks and Apple fanatics upset, to say the least.

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The Salt
2:03 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water?

Allen Peterson's farm, near the city of Turlock, Calif., lies next to a concrete-lined canal full of water. He's one of the lucky ones.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:29 am

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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Music News
1:47 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Reach For The Sky, YouTube: Music Service In Standoff

A still from Vampire Weekend's "Diane Young" music video, which has received more than 3 million views on YouTube.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:41 am

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Obama Signs Order Easing Student Loan Payments

President Obama is introduced by Andy MacCracken, before signing a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt on Monday in East Room of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 2:27 pm

(This post was updated at 3:24 p.m. ET.)

President Obama signed an order on Monday that expands the number of Americans whose student loan payments will be capped at 10 percent of their monthly incomes.

CNN reports the new order would allow an additional 5 million borrowers to take advantage of the cap beginning in December 2015.

Bloomberg adds:

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Business
6:14 am
Mon June 9, 2014

French Open Ups Prize Money

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
6:14 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Tyson Foods Prevails In Bidding War For Hillshire Brands

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News like, perhaps your breakfast, begins with sausage. Tyson Foods has prevailed in a bidding war for Hillshire Brands, the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage as well as Ball Park hotdogs. The deal, reportedly worth just under $7 billion, was made over the weekend, although details have not yet been made public. Tyson, the nation's biggest meat company, beat out Pilgrim's Pride, which is owned by a giant Brazilian food Corporation. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:24 am
Mon June 9, 2014

HealthCare.gov's Next Version Is In The Hands Of Young Techies

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 6:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Television
3:23 am
Mon June 9, 2014

More Scripted TV Shows Included In Top-10 List

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 6:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Not sure if you heard or not, but American Idol just crowned a new winner.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN IDOL")

RYAN SEACREST: The winner of "American Idol," season 13, is Caleb Johnson.

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Business
4:25 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

'Downton Abbey' Craze Serves Up A Demand For Butlers

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey, which has helped fuel a growing demand for butlers around the world.
WGBH/PBS

Originally published on Sun June 8, 2014 3:05 pm

Butlers in American pop culture tend to provide comic relief — think The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Birdcage. Or, like Batman's Alfred, the butler is more of a friend than an employee.

But one show has brought back the classic butler, with a vengeance. Since the British period drama Downton Abbey made its debut on PBS in 2010, the demand for butlers in some parts of the world has surged.

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All Tech Considered
8:46 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Tech Week: Apple In Homes, Snowden Anniversary, Sexism Flare-Ups

Apple's Craig Federighi introduces the company's Home Kit platform during the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's time for your quick rundown of the week that was in technology and culture.

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Economy
3:46 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger

Kaitlin Foran, a senior at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, meets with a prospective employer at a job fair at National Harbor in Maryland.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 1:07 pm

Congratulations Class of 2014! You are entering a labor market that offers a record number of paychecks.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy now has 138.5 million jobs, slightly more than the previous high set in early 2008 — just as the Great Recession was tightening its grip.

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Economy
3:43 am
Sat June 7, 2014

To Sell A House In California, It Might Need Good Feng Shui

About 40 miles east of Los Angeles, houses in the new College Park subdivision are designed to have good feng shui.
Miles Bryan NPR

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 10:41 am

If you leave Los Angeles, Calif., on Interstate 10 and head east for about 40 miles, you'll run into a quintessentially suburban phenomenon: the opening of a subdivision.

At one such development called College Park in Chino, Calif., the lawns are bright green, the D.J. is spinning classic rock and a lot of the conversations are in Mandarin. Among those looking for a house is Eddie Yung. He lives in China now, but he's moving to California.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

GM Recalls 105,000 More Vehicles

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is among the vehicles being recalled.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 4:59 pm

A day after General Motors admitted it failed customers who owned cars with a defective ignition switch, the automaker issued a recall for 105,000 more vehicles, bringing the total number of GM recalls so far this year to 34, involving 14 million vehicles, Michigan Public Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Despite Va. Order, Car Services Uber, Lyft Refuse To Pull Over

Passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car operated by a driver for Lyft. Virginia has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lyft, Uber and other car-sharing services.
Jeff Chiu AP

Uber and Lyft car services have said they will continue to operate in Virginia, despite a cease-and-desist letter from the state saying the service is illegal because it hasn't received authorization from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It comes a day after Colorado became the first state to pass a law regulating such companies, which use smartphone apps to connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services and have seen fast growth in recent years in some parts of the country.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Uber Car Service Company Is Now Valued At $17 Billion

Its service is still growing, and it faces legal challenges from taxi companies. But Uber, the company whose app pairs drivers with passengers, was a hit it big in a financing round, bringing in investments of $1.2 billion and sending its valuation skyward.

Four years after it began operations, San Francisco-based Uber is now valued at $17 billion, based on figures the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, released today.

Uber is creating 20,000 jobs a month, Kalanick said, and it's operating in 128 cities in 37 countries.

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Latin America
10:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

World Cup Makes Brazilians Crazy, But Soccer's Not To Blame

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now - let's talk World Cup. Every four years, people around the world tune into the same thing at the same time over the same four weeks. They're watching the World Cup. This year's tournament will be held in Brazil, and the first match between Brazil and Croatia is just six days away.

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Business
10:16 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Illinois Declares Truce In Cupcake War

Chloe Stirling presents cupcakes to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in his office last month.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 1:27 pm

No one really thinks 12-year-old Chloe Stirling presents a menace to public health.

The Illinois girl has a knack for baking cupcakes and has done pretty well selling them. So well, in fact, that her local newspaper published a story about her earlier this year. That drew the attention of the county health department — which shut her down for selling baked goods without a license or a state-certified kitchen.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The U.S. Finally Gets Past Pre-Recession Jobs Total

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:45 am

The U.S. hit a milestone Friday, as the government's monthly jobs report showed that in May, the country finally surpassed the number of jobs it had before the recession started. The gain of 217,000 jobs put the total U.S. payroll number at nearly 138.5 million jobs.

But analysts note that the recovery has taken more than six years and has excluded many workers.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: Jobs Gain Of 217,000 Reported

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Book News: Hachette Announces Layoffs Amid Amazon Dispute

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 6:41 am

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

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Business
3:58 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Beastie Boys Win Copyright Fight

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is monster settlement.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAKE SOME NOISE")

BEASTIE BOYS: (Singing) Yes, here we go again, give you more nothing lesser. Back on the mic is the anti-depresser...

GREENE: Oh, yeah, when the Monster Beverage Company used this Beastie Boys song "Make Some Noise" in an online promotional video, the band made some noise in court. They sued for copyright infringement.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

SEC To Focus Oversight On High-Speed Trading

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a modest crackdown on high-speed trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking new steps to regulate high-speed trading on Wall Street though it's not as if the head of the SEC is that worried as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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Economy
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

May Employment Data Show U.S. Surpassed Pre-Recession Job Totals

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:08 am

The Labor Department released its monthly employment report on Friday. The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent.

Politics
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Outside Groups To Spend Even More Ahead Of Miss. GOP Senate Runoff

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Well-heeled outside groups easily outspent Sen. Thad Cochran and challenger Chris McDaniel before the GOP Senate primary in Mississippi. They're going all in on the runoff election later this month.

Business
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

OTB Parlors Criticize Hike In Horse Racing Simulcast Rates

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tomorrow is a big day in horse racing - the Belmont Stakes, the last race in the Triple Crown. California Chrome has a chance to complete the Triple Crown for the first time in 36 years, having already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, of course. That's the excitement in the foreground. In the background, a quiet war is raging. Charles Lane, of member station WSHU, reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF KENTUCKY DERBY)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: (Yelling) But California Chrome shines bright in the Kentucky Derby.

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Economy
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Farm Workers' Low Wages Hinder San Joaquin Valley's Economy

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, that's the national picture. Let's zoom in on a region that stands out for its high unemployment, Central California's San Joaquin Valley. NPR's Kelly McEvers went to find out why it's so hard to get a job amid some of the most productive farmland on earth.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Employment Development Department, work force services.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: It's first thing in the morning. And people are calling and lining up to sign up for unemployment benefits and look for jobs.

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Parallels
2:19 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The 'Cool War' With China Is Unseen, But Comes With Consequences

Chinese paramilitary police march at Tiananmen Square in Beijing during winter 2014.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:13 am

The days of the Cold War are long gone — no more zero-sum showdowns against communism, no duck-and-cover lessons in propaganda videos. But some scholars argue that something else has taken that conflict's place: a "cool war," pitting the U.S. against China.

That war is flaring up, and it's high stakes for American industry.

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Economy
4:34 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Is Pushing Interest Rates To Less Than Zero A Crazy Idea?

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at a news conference Thursday in Frankfurt after the ECB said it was cutting rates.
Arne Dedert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:17 pm

By now, you may have heard that on Thursday, the European Central Bank shifted to a negative interest-rate policy for deposits.

That news may have prompted two thoughts: 1) Isn't that crazy? 2) Who cares what happens in Europe?

These questions have answers. But first, some background:

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Planet Money
4:08 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack

Peanut Butter M&M's are larger and more irregular than standard M&M's.
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 3:03 pm

The other day I went down to the little shop in the lobby of our building for a snack. I couldn't decide whether I wanted regular M&M's or Peanut Butter M&M's so I bought them both. On the way back upstairs to the office, I noticed something strange on the labels. Each had cost $1, but the pack of Peanut Butter M&M's was a very tiny bit lighter: 0.06 ounces lighter!

I wanted to know why, so I called a couple of experts and asked for their theories:

Theory No. 1: Peanut Butter M&M's are more expensive to make.

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