Big-hearted Americans always rush to give money after a disaster. Just how much and how fast is often determined by technology. After the earthquake in Haiti, texting small donations, for example, became a new standard practice.
This time around, Hurricane Sandy has shown crowdfunding websites are a simple tool for quick-response giving. Anyone can go on these sites and ask for money to rebuild or to help their neighbors rebuild. Friends, family and strangers chip in.
The Orange Country Register in suburban Los Angeles is expanding its newsroom. Not only that — the owners are emphasizing print, not digital.
In the past few weeks, longtime Register editor Ken Brusic has hired some two-dozen positions: critics to review food, TV and cars, a society columnist and investigative reporters. He's still looking for a movie critic, a magazine writer and many more reporters.
Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:53 pm
The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. A patch to the alternative minimum tax. An increase in capital gains taxes.
As the "fiscal cliff" approaches, all of these are possible, but none certain. That uncertainty solicits many questions from anxious taxpayers. But, for accountants and financial planners, there are a few definitive answers.
Financial professionals who spoke with NPR say they are not strangers to uncertainty. When the Bush tax cuts were up for expiration two years ago, for instance, the feeling was similar.
Three years of euro-zone recession have badly hurt Spain's media sector, where some 8,500 journalists have lost their jobs. Dozens of newspapers have closed and the remaining publications are sharply cutting back as ads plummet.
That's led to warnings from journalists, who see a threat to press freedom at a time when Spaniards want to understand why their financial stability is unraveling.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
We're talking about the small but significant trend called insourcing, manufacturing things here in the U.S. Earlier this year, Bayard Winthrop opened up a sweatshirt and hoodie business in San Francisco, and he called it American Giant. He's got 10 people in the front office and up to 150 workers in a factory where his entire line, soup to nuts, is made in America.
Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:04 pm
When clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reached an impasse in talks with management over job security last week, they took what has become something of a rare step: They went on strike.
Customer loyalty programs have been around for years. You think nothing of giving the supermarket or pet supply store your personal information. In exchange you get a card or a key ring tag that you present at checkout to get a discount.
Now wireless carriers are taking it a step further, raising alerts from privacy advocates.
Verizon and AT&T recently launched programs allowing customers to receive rewards based on information their smartphones share with the carriers.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we'll crack open the mail bag to hear what you have to say about stories we covered this week. That's Backtalk and it's coming up. But first, we want to talk about the latest unemployment numbers which are now out. The Department of Labor says that unemployment is down to its lowest level since December 2008.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:49 am
The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.
That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:11 am
It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.
If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.
On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:41 am
Oil development in North Dakota and Montana has caused ridership to increase dramatically on the only Amtrak line running through those states. Nationally, the railroad company costs the federal government more than $400 million every year, so rail enthusiasts thought the oil boom might turn around the losing rail proposition in certain regions. But the Empire Builder Line is still not making money.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:08 am
Ever wonder why you have to turn off your e-reader or tablet before a plane takes off and lands? The Hill newspaper obtained a letter written by the head of the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal Aviation Administration. Julius Genachowski has asked for the FAA to loosen the rules on those devices.
The drop is another sign that after several weeks of spikes because many people were thrown out of work due to damage related to late October's Superstorm Sandy, claims have now settled back into the range where they've been for most of the past year.
A month after Hurricane Sandy pounded the New Jersey Shore, Atlantic City is back in business. Even though most of the casinos and restaurants sustained very little damage in the storm, they're now suffering from a lack of visitors. But the city has launched an effort to change that.
As three young boys roll their skateboards down the "World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk," it's proof that it is still here, fully in tact, and that rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
And our last word in business today is Trump versus Forbes. The Forbes we're talking about is a Scotsman named Michael Forbes. He has the misfortune of living right next to Donald Trump's new golf course in Scotland. Forbes has refused to sell his property to Trump; and what has ensued is the war of words that you probably would expect between the property magnet, and anyone who gets in his way.
We begin NPR's business news with possible bank settlements.
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GREENE: One of Britain's largest banks, Standard Chartered, says it expects to pay around $330 million to the United States. This would settle a case with regulators here who accused the bank of failing to comply with sanctions against Iran. Standard Chartered has already paid out $340 million to the state of New York on the same claims.
As President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers assess the need for spending cuts and tax increases against the risk of triggering a new recession, they might look across the Atlantic for insights from those who have already grappled with those budgetary questions.
The problem of excessive government debt has swamped economies across Europe and forced countries to take severe measures to cut their deficits. The first lesson from their "fiscal consolidation" experiences: It will hurt.
The president and House Republicans continued to snipe at each other Wednesday over the impending set of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. They traded accusations and blame during another day with plenty of talk, but — until late in the day, at least — no negotiations.
Tax increases are only a part of what lies ahead if Congress can't come to an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year. Massive spending cuts will also kick in — and those cuts will be felt throughout the economy.
The current stalemate got under way two years ago when Congress, locked in a bitter partisan battle over whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, passed what was known as the Budget Control Act of 2011.