Business

Planet Money
1:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Drone Wars: Who Owns The Air?

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:50 am

There are lots of entrepreneurs who would love to fly drones — tiny unmanned aircraft — all over the country. They dream of drones delivering packages and taking photos, but there's a battle in the courts right now standing in their way. The battle is about whether it's legal for drones to take to the sky.

The question at the core of the battle: Who owns the air?

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Media
10:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Period Of Turmoil' Preceded Abramson Firing, Says Top Editor At 'Times'

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, seen in 2006 while serving as editor of the Los Angeles Times, said in an interview with NPR that he doesn't believe his predecessor, Jill Abramson, was fired because of gender.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:57 am

Dean Baquet sat in his new office in Midtown Manhattan, the very picture of composure and precision, as he described the top-level dysfunction that led to the firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of The New York Times and his promotion to replace her as the top news executive there.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
2:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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U.S.
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states have withered after four years of extreme drought. Farmers in Oklahoma are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in the state's history. As StateImpact's Joe Wertz tells us, that poor wheat harvest could have national consequences.

JOE WERTZ: Wayne Schmedt adjust's his faded, blue baseball cap and crouches down in a wind-whipped field of stunted wheat.

W. SCHMEDT: We don't have any use for this, so we'll give it to you as a souvenir.

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Economy
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Germany's Economy Is Doing Well — And That's Bad For The Eurozone

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.

ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.

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Media
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

For TV Advertisers, A Hunt For Live Audiences

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now, if you're a company wanting to buy advertising on television, nowadays you'll find some heavily watched programming more attractive than some other heavily watched programming, for example the old reliable.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: A big, live sports event, or a more novel idea, the familiar musical, performed live.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL)

CHORUS: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun.

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Environment
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Conservatives, Environmentalists Found Common Ground In Cap And Trade

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now more about the history of cap and trade and how conservatives and environmentalists came together to establish that approach to reducing emissions. To tell us that story, joining us is C. Boyden Gray who assist in the formulation of the policy during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Gray, welcome to the program.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Thank you very much.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles For Various Defects

2010 Ford Explorers move through final assembly at the Louisville, Ky., plant. The Explorer is one of several vehicles subject to Thursday's recall.
Sam VarnHagen AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:33 pm

Ford announced Thursday a recall of some 1.4 million vehicles, including more than 1 million SUVs with a power steering defect and nearly 200,000 Taurus sedans with a corrosion problem. The company also said it was recalling 82,576 sedans with floor mats that could interfere with the accelerator.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said the recall involves 915,000 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs. A separate recall covers 196,000 Ford Explorer SUVs. The SUVs affected are from model years 2008 to 2011.

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All Tech Considered
10:37 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Google's White Male-Heavy Staff Underlines Tech's Diversity Problem

A long line for a men's room at a 2009 tech conference in Omaha, Neb. Photos of this situation have now inspired a Twitter feed.
SleepyJeanne Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:38 pm

When it finally published a demographic breakdown of its workforce this week, tech giant Google admitted, "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues."

This is what the numbers showed: Google's staff is made up of 70 percent men, is 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, and all other races and ethnicities don't register above 5 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:39 am

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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Business
5:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Apple's Beats Acquisition Could Facilitate Streaming Service

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And with that, our last word in business is winners and losers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

According to Zack O'Malley, Greenburg of Forbes, thanks to that Beats sale, Dr. Dre stands to surpass Sean Diddy Combs as hip-hop's richest man.

O'MALLEY: We placed Diddy's net worth at 700 million as of a couple of months ago. Dr. Dre was at 550 million.

GREENE: Greenburg says the deal with Apple will likely bump up his net worth between 700 and 800 million.

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Energy
3:32 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Russia-China Natural Gas Deal Likely To Reshape Energy Markets

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep in New York.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in Washington. Good morning. Let's look now at the shifting balance of power in East Asia. In a moment, we'll hear President Obama's view of a rising China. First we'll report on the implications of China's latest energy deal. China signed an agreement to buy Russian natural gas sent through a pipeline in Siberia. This deal has far-reaching implications as we hear from NPR's Jackie Northam.

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Book News & Features
3:25 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Authors Angered Over Amazon's Dispute With Publisher Hachette

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We've reached a moment that probably shouldn't surprise us when it comes to the modern publishing industry. A lot of people are addicted to buying books online using Amazon. But Amazon is now in a pricing dispute with the publisher Hachette. The online giant is refusing to accept orders for upcoming books from Hachette, which has a heavy-hitting roster of authors. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: Some authors are furious at Amazon.

NINA LADEN: They don't really care. It's all about money.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu May 29, 2014

For $3 Billion, Apple Buys Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Apple is moving to the beat. The company's made it official. It's buying Beats Electronics, which streams music and makes the popular Beats headphones. Rumors of this deal leaked earlier this month. All told, Beats came with a $3 billion price tag - the largest acquisition in Apple's history. As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, it's a deal that has some analysts scratching their heads.

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Business
3:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Lifting Ban On Crude Oil Exports Would Boost U.S. Economy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with something a little crude. A new study is recommending the United States end its four-decade ban on crude oil exports. The report by the energy branch of the global consulting firm IHS says ending the ban would lower gasoline prices, create jobs and boost government revenues. NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Apple Buys Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics For $3 Billion

Apple announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Beats, the headphone and music streaming specialist, also brings the swagger of rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:41 pm

Apple announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Beats Electronics, agreeing to pay $3 billion for the audio equipment and subscription streaming music service founded by Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.

While it is relatively small in comparison with major acquisitions made by other tech companies, the deal represents the largest-ever for 38-year-old Apple.

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Health Care
2:48 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study Questions Need For Employer Health Care Requirement

The employer mandate requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to their workers. A new study by the Urban Institute says the mandate should be eliminated.
Mutlu Kurtbas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:17 pm

When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers.

The Obama administration responded by pushing back the deadline for the coverage, so it hasn't yet taken effect. Now support for this so-called employer mandate is eroding in some surprising quarters.

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Business
2:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Google's Attempt To Make A Self-Driving Car: Big Idea Or Bad Idea?

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Google is getting into the car business - the self-driving car business, that is. Google is throwing away the steering wheel in the pedals, building prototypes of a cozy two-seater designed for city driving.

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Business
2:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The Anatomy Of A Corporate Tweet: 140 Characters In 45 Days

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Business Insider reporter Aaron Taube recently took a look at the world of corporate social media, where writing a 140-character tweet can take up to 45 days. He explains the long and careful process.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Church Group Announces Boycott Of NPR Over 'Tell Me More' Cancellation

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:43 pm

The National Black Church Initiative is calling for its members not to give money to NPR in response to the cancellation of Tell Me More, the nationally syndicated show that the company plans to stop producing after July.

"This cancellation disheartens us deeply," NBCI President Rev. Anthony Evans said in a statement. "Tell Me More is a brilliantly formatted radio program that showcases a multitude of viewpoints."

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All Tech Considered
2:02 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Snapchat CEO's Emails Didn't Disappear, Come Back To Shame Him

Evan Spiegel of Snapchat attends TechCrunch Disrupt in September. Responding to the release this week of emails from his not-so-distant fraternity days, Spiegel says they "in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women."
Steve Jennings Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:19 pm

We are in the midst of a realignment in the global economy, a new machine age in which technology is disrupting nearly every industry in the world. And who are the hot young stars of this great realignment?

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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Check Out This Underwear With Pockets So You Can Stash Stuff

These Speakeasy Briefs retail for $23.95.
Courtesy of Speakeasy Briefs

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:50 pm

It's a really simple concept — underwear with a special pocket in the front. But Speakeasy Briefs have taken off in the past year, becoming way more popular than their designers ever expected.

"It was a pretty crazy year, and after year one, we're finding our legs," says co-creator Dan Goldman, in an interview with NPR.

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The Salt
11:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Big Breweries Move Into Small Beer Town — And Business Is Hopping

John Stuart (left) of Green Man Brewery grabs a Tater Ridge mash sample from Sierra Nevada's Scott Jennings (center) at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C.
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:53 pm

With more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville, N.C., has become a sort of Napa Valley of beer.

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Book News: Amazon Defends Tough Negotiating Tactics

Amazon is "not optimistic that this will be resolved soon," speaking about its dispute with the publisher Hachette. The retailer is not allowing customers to pre-order Hachette's books.
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:17 am

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

Note: This post was written before news of writer Maya Angelou's death emerged. Annalisa will be away until early next week, but feel free to send her your bookish thoughts and questions on Twitter at @annalisa_quinn.

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Shots - Health News
8:23 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Can Employers Dump Workers On Health Exchanges? Yes, For A Price

retrorocket/iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Can the Affordable Care Act expand Americans' health insurance choices without sabotaging employer coverage? The Obama administration is still working to get the balance right.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Google's New Car Lacks A Steering Wheel (And Brakes)

An image released by Google Tuesday shows an early version of its driverless vehicle. The company has built several prototypes of the self-driving car.
Google

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:43 am

Google gave us an update on its driverless car project Tuesday, posting video and images of people trying out its self-driving car. The tech company built three prototypes from scratch, creating compact cars that look like they're on an extreme no-options diet. For now, their top speed is 25 mph.

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NPR Ed
5:49 am
Wed May 28, 2014

When College Isn't Worth It

Save up your pennies ... but shop wisely.
Doram iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:45 am

The New York Times highlighted new data yesterday that once again beats the drum: Despite skyrocketing costs, a college degree is a good investment. In fact, MIT economist David Autor writes in the journal Science that the value of a degree is rising. College grads made almost twice as much per hour in 2013 as workers without a four-year degree. And the lifetime value of a diploma is now around a half-million dollars, even after you factor in tuition.

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Food
5:16 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Reverse Food Truck Caters To Hunger Relief Programs

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in cities across this country, as people line up on sidewalks for everything from tacos to barbecue to sushi. This summer in Minnesota's Twin Cities, a new kind of food truck is on the streets. It's the brainchild of entrepreneurs who were aiming to satisfy a different kind of hunger. From Minneapolis, Jess Mador reports.

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Business
4:32 am
Wed May 28, 2014

World Trade Center Developer Wants Loan Guarantees To Resume Project

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The country's tallest skyscraper is having trouble finding tenants. The landlords at one World Trade Center in New York City, which is slated to open later this year say they're dropping the rent because of high vacancy rates. And that's adding to a heated debate over another skyscraper under development at the World Trade Center site. Here's NPR's Joel Rose.

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