Business

Business
3:37 am
Fri May 23, 2014

France's Big Train Problem: New Fleet Too Wide For Platforms

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Somewhere in Paris, railways executives must be cursing in French. They ordered $4 billion worth of new trains. Turns out the trains are be too big to fit in many French train stations around the countries. Sacre bleu.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN WHISTLE)

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Gleaming trains from across France pull into this Paris station. The decade-long modernization and expansion program is designed to handle the huge rise in passenger traffic across France.

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Politics
3:03 am
Fri May 23, 2014

House Passes Measure Reining In Government Surveillance

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One year ago, President Obama called to reshape the fight against terrorism and for more privacy protections as the government intercepts new types of information. Just days later, the extent of data collection by the NSA would be revealed by Edward Snowden. Yesterday, the House passed legislation reining in government surveillance.

NPR's David Welna reports.

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

McDonald's CEO Says Fast-Food Jobs Can Lead To 'Real Careers'

Hundreds of workers, organizers and supporters gather outside McDonald's Corp. on Thursday, in Oak Brook, Ill., calling for $15 an hour and the right to unionize.
M. Spencer Green AP

As hundreds of protesters loudly demanded higher wages outside McDonald's headquarters in suburban Chicago, the company's CEO told an audience inside that the fast-food giant has a heritage of providing opportunities that lead to "real careers."

"We believe we pay fair and competitive wages," Donald Thompson said at the company's annual meeting on Thursday.

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Insurance Fee For Big Businesses Helps Fund Obamacare

Employees lift weights near the end of a workout class at the Sherwin-Williams corporate health and wellness center in downtown Cleveland.
Sarah Jane Tribble / WCPN

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:46 pm

The world of health care, like any, is full of haves and have-nots.

It's not hard to the haves at Sherwin-Williams' corporate headquarters in downtown Cleveland where some 2,500 employees have access to an in-house health and wellness center.

The huge paint company offers comprehensive health coverage to its employees and encourages them to take a break from work for an exercise class, a workout on the elliptical trainer or a run on the treadmill.

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Around the Nation
11:25 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Poor People Can Pay Twice After Committing A Crime

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 2:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an unexpected consequence of getting caught up in the justice system. By now, many people know that getting involved in a criminal proceeding can be expensive. But they're probably thinking about attorneys' fees. What you might not know about - unless you've been there - are the other fees that are increasingly being charged to defendants when they go through court or to prison or receive probation or parole.

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Economy
11:25 am
Thu May 22, 2014

In Charge Of Nearly $20 Trillion, Are Women The New Global Players?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to talk about an overlooked economic force. We are talking about women. In recent years, a lot of advocates and activists have talked about the global economic importance of educating girls and women. But there's an aspect of this that seems to have been overlooked, and that is the financial education of women.

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The Salt
7:50 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Amish Leave Pa. In Search Of Greener, Less Touristy Pastures

The tourism attracted by the Amish population in Lancaster, Pa., is now making it harder for Amish to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Some families are leaving the area as a result.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets — these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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Business
4:09 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Fiat Is Tired Of losing Money On Its Electric Car

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business news today is a request from the CEO of Fiat Chrysler: Don't buy the Fiat 500e.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Chief executive Sergio Marchionne says he loses $14,000 every time his company sells that electric car. Even federal tax credits do not make it profitable. Demand simply has not pushed the price of the car high enough to recover the cost.

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Business
3:12 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Online Gambling Dealt A Blow To State Expansion

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a setback for online gambling.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's a multi-billion-dollar enterprise around the world. It's easy, addictive. You can do it anywhere. But Internet gambling is just getting started in the United States. It is only legal in a few states. Now the group representing the country's casino industry says it will no longer seek to expand online gambling here.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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Planet Money
3:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

On The Internet, A Penny Is Nothing To Sneeze At

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our Planet Money team this week is taking a look at the lowly penny. People discard pennies in bowls by cash registers. They walk by them on the street without a thought of picking them up. In fact, a lot of us don't even pick them up when we drop them. NPR's David Kestenbaum reports that there is one place where people think pennies could really cause some change.

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Economy
3:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Russian Economic Forum Boycotted Over Ukraine Crisis

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Each spring Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomes international business and political leaders to an economic forum in St. Petersburg. It started today and Putin told those who arrived that Russia is ready to do business, although it expects to be treated as an equal.

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The Salt
1:29 am
Thu May 22, 2014

In A Coal Town Where Jobs Are Few, Wild Ramps Are Plenty

The wild leek, or ramp, is one of the first edibles to appear in spring in Appalachia.
Wendell Smith Flickr

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 7:18 am

The air in Richwood, W.Va., is saturated with the smell of ramps — a pungent, garlicky, peppery smell so strong that it eclipses almost everything else in the room. Under this smell there's the faint aroma of bacon grease, in which the ramps have been fried. They're served with brown beans and ham.

As hundreds of people wait in line for their meal, local songwriter John Wyatt plays his Richwood Ramp Song, including this verse:

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All Tech Considered
4:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Automakers, Internet-Connected Cars Are A Balancing Act

General Motors says its OnStar 4G LTE connection will allow cars to act as a mobile Internet hub.
General Motors

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

The Internet is coming to your car. Later this year, General Motors will put Internet connectivity directly into its vehicles. It's the largest auto company to do so.

Of course, safety advocates have some concerns about more distractions for drivers.

The promise of technology is always the same one — that it's going to make our life easier. But anyone who's tried to make a hands-free call in the car knows that's not always true. A task as simple as asking your device to call your mom can be an exasperating experience.

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Economy
2:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

JPMorgan Chase Announces Detroit Investment

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:21 pm

JPMorgan Chase will invest $100 million into the Motor City. The bulk of the money will go to small business development, blight removal and job training. Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reports.

The Two-Way
11:23 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Saying It Was Hacked, EBay Urges Users To Change Passwords

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Wed May 21, 2014

GM Announces Its 30th Recall Of The Year Thus Far

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 10:15 am

General Motors' recall problems continue to mount. On Wednesday, the automaker announced it was recalling 218,000 additional vehicles from its Chevrolet Aveo line.

The daytime running light system in the dashboard of cars from the 2004 to 2008 model years can overheat, melt and cause fires, The Associated Press reports.

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Business
5:03 am
Wed May 21, 2014

General Motors Issues Another Major Recall

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:06 am

GM is recalling another 2.4 million cars and trucks. The vehicles have many problems involving seat belts, air bags and gear shifts.

Business
3:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Koch Brothers' Group Tries To Derail Detroit Bankruptcy Deal

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Michigan lawmakers are debating a big aid package for Detroit, nearly $200 million. The city has been in bankruptcy court for almost a year. And until now, the state hasn't been willing to help it with anything that could be called a bailout.

While Michigan Governor Rick Snyder supports the current deal, many of his fellow Republicans appear to be balking, especially after a threat of political retribution from the Koch Brothers political network.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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NPR Story
3:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Cable Companies Are Among The Most Hated Industries In U.S.

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Cable Rage.

Cable companies make up one of the most hated industries in America.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And even among cable providers, one brand is despised above all others. A new survey of cable, satellite and other TV providers shows Time Warner Cable gets the lowest marks for consumer satisfaction.

Planet Money
3:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

These Days A Penny Doesn't Buy Very Much

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's go from billions to pennies. The penny occupies a strange spot on the economic landscape: It's worth almost nothing, but not quite. Tomorrow and today, our Planet Money team will be reporting on the penny, starting with this report from Robert Smith and Jacob Goldstein, who set out on the streets of Manhattan with a simple question: Can you buy anything for a penny?

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: We started with the guy who runs the fruit stand outside our office.

What if we wanted to buy one cherry?

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Environment
1:21 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Why Those Tiny Microbeads In Soap May Pose Problem For Great Lakes

Researcher Sherri Mason looks for microbeads in a water sample from Lake Michigan. Legislation to phase out products containing the beads is pending in New York and Illinois.
Cheryl Corley

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:19 pm

From the shoreline at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, the blue water of Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see. But beneath that pristine image, there's a barely visible threat, says Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes: microbeads.

These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.

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The Salt
1:19 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Double Trouble For Coffee: Drought And Disease Send Prices Up

A fully formed coffee berry, left, is shown next to a damaged coffee berry due to drought, at a coffee farm in Santo Antonio do Jardim, Brazil on Feb. 6.
Paulo Whitaker Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:29 am

If you're drinking a cup of coffee right now, treasure it. The global supply of coffee beans may soon shrink because of problems in coffee-growing areas of Brazil and Central America.

With supply threatened and demand strong, prices are taking flight. Wholesale coffee prices are up more than 60 percent since January — from $1.25 per pound of bulk Coffea arabica beans to $1.85 this week.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Royal Caribbean Offers 5-Week-Long U.S.-To-China Cruise

This computer-generated image provided by the Royal Caribbean International cruise line shows its forthcoming ship, Quantum of the Seas.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:28 pm

Royal Caribbean says it's offering a 53-day voyage from the U.S. to China to inaugurate its newest giant luxury liner, the Quantum of the Seas, which is scheduled to begin cruises out of Shanghai next year.

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All Tech Considered
3:19 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Deals: We Charted Billion-Dollar Tech Buyouts Since 2002

NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:25 pm

Lately, there have been so many billion-dollar tech acquisitions in the headlines that it's hard to keep them straight. We await Apple's buyout of Dr. Dre's Beats for $3.2 billion. YouTube is reportedly close to a purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch, for $1 billion.

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Media
2:37 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

In Layoff Announcement, NPR Says It Will End 'Tell Me More'

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 6:16 pm

National Public Radio has eliminated 28 positions and plans to end the program "Tell Me More." The moves come as the network continues its attempt to eliminate budget deficits.

The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

North Carolina Union Seeks To Enlist College Athletes

The State Employees Association of North Carolina has invited athletes at the state's 17 public universities to enroll in the union as state employees.

The move follows a National Labor Relations Board ruling in March that athletes at Northwestern University are employees of the school and are therefore entitled to form a union.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Tue May 20, 2014

NPR To End 'Tell Me More,' Eliminate 28 Positions

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:41 pm

NPR announced Tuesday that it would cease broadcast of the weekday program Tell Me More on Aug. 1 and eliminate 28 positions as part of a larger effort to end the company's persistent budget deficits.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue May 20, 2014

G.M. Recalls 2.42 Million Vehicles Over Four Different Issues

A 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ.
GM

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:50 am

General Motors is recalling another 2.42 million vehicles for four separate issues, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

According to NBC News, that brings the total number of GM vehicles under a recall to 13.6 million.

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Business
9:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Wave This Scanner Over Your Plate, Get A Nutritional Analysis

Renee Montagne reports on a tiny hand-held device that you wave over your food and find out the chemical components and calories.

Planet Money
8:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

How Far Your Paycheck Goes, In 356 U.S. Cities

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:16 pm

There's this thing people say all the time in New York and other expensive cities: If I could move somewhere cheaper, and keep my income the same, I'd be much better off.

Alas, in places where the cost of living is lower, pay tends to be lower as well.

So what you really want to know is this: How much do workers make in different cities? And how far does that money go in each city?

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