Business

The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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Business
11:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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The Salt
11:39 am
Thu February 14, 2013

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:08 pm

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'It Could Be A Lot Worse,' Triumph Passenger Says; Cruise Ship Docking At Ala. Port

Makeshift tents are seen on the deck of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, in a photo taken Sunday, the first day it spent without engine power. The image was provided by Kalin Hill of Houston.
Kalin Hill AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:21 am

The Carnival cruise ship Triumph docked in Mobile, Ala., late Thursday night, as the job of towing the stricken 100,000-ton ship hundreds of miles across the Gulf of Mexico took longer than expected. The ship's 3,143 passengers had coped with sewage problems and a lack of ventilation since Sunday, when the Triumph was crippled by an engine room fire.

Updated 2:15 a.m. ET Friday: All Passengers Disembarked

A spokesman for Carnival says all passengers have left the cruise ship that was stranded for days without power and running water.

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Business
9:15 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:24 pm

American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

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Business
8:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway To Buy Heinz

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Warren Buffett is teaming up with another big investor in the $28 billion deal. Berkshire Hathaway has been looking for places to invest, with other recent deals involving consumer icons Coca-Cola and Mars.

The Two-Way
7:49 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Warren Buffett Puts Heinz In His Pantry

J.B. Reed Landov

The Oracle of Omaha is again showing he's got a taste for companies that make the kinds of food many Americans love.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is joining with the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. Add in the debt that the new owners will assume and the deal's value grows to $28 billion, Buffett's company says.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell By 27,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance fell by 27,000 last week, to 341,000 from 368,000 the week before.

The Employment and Training Administration also reports that the "4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 1,500." That average, in theory, gives a better picture of the trend.

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Business
4:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Merger Deal Expected For American, U.S. Airways

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

More now on this morning's merger announcement by American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The deal would create the biggest air carrier in the U.S., with an estimated value of $11 billion. The merger must still be approved by regulators. And since American Airlines is working its way out of bankruptcy, a federal bankruptcy judge will also have to OK the deal.

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Business
4:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with healthier retirement accounts.

The nation's largest administrator of 401(k) accounts says the average account balance grew by 12 percent last year. Two-thirds of that growth is attributed to the surging stock market. The other factor is increased contributions from workers and their companies. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Our last word in business today is love, marriage and taxes. Just in time for Valentine's Day and tax filing season, the independent Tax Policy Center has updated its online marriage bonus and penalty calculator.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The new numbers reflect the latest changes in the tax code. Couples considering a walk down the aisle might want to take a look at this before saying I do.

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Planet Money
1:09 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Mavericks, Hot Documents And Beer

Lawrence Jackson AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

The boards of American Airlines and US Airways just approved a merger of the two airlines. But the deal still has to win the approval of antitrust regulators at the Justice Department — regulators who last month sued to stop a merger between the beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo, which brews Corona.

The antitrust division has dozens of economists on staff. Their job, essentially, is to figure out whether a merger would reduce competition so much that a company could raise prices without losing business to competitors.

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All Tech Considered
1:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

When It Comes To Fashion, Shouldn't There Be An App For That?

Fashion from designers like Oscar de la Renta were on display at Fashion Week in New York.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Thursday is the last day of New York Fashion Week, and some cutting-edge design will be presented in the tents at Lincoln Center — literally. Standing on the runway will be computer programmer types rather than models. This follows an event that kicked off Fashion Week — something called a "hackathon."

A hackathon, explains Liz Bacelar, is a "fast-paced competition in which graphic designers, software developers and people with ideas, they come together to build an app in 24 hours. "

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U.S.
3:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Lew Criticized For Citigroup Connection During Senate Confirmation Hearing

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to the nation's capitol, where senators are considering the president's nominee to manage the country's finances. Jacob Jack Lew is slated to replace Timothy Geithner as secretary of Treasury, and the Senate Finance Committee posed questions to him today. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, everyone was on their best behavior. It was nothing like the slugfest Geithner had at his confirmation four years ago.

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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

With the Carnival cruise ship Triumph and its 3,143 passengers now being towed to Mobile, Ala., more reports are emerging from passengers aboard the ship that lost engine power Sunday. They describe a tent city on the upper deck and continuing problems with the sewage system.

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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

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.

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)

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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