When I was growing up, my aunt used to stack dozens of magazines high on a side table at the top of her stairs. It was an accidental library of black magazines — lots of Ebony and Essence, the stray Black Enterprise here and there, but especially the digest-sized Jet. When I was at that age where kids want to consume every written word, I would blow through those old issues of Jet by the pile. That's probably the only real way to "read" Jet, since every article seemed to be shorter than 300 words. It was black news, bite-size.
If the students at Stanford University believe they sent the coal industry a strong message this week, they should think again. The school's decision to eliminate coal from its portfolio did not send shock waves through the industry. In fact, representatives say it will have no financial impact on the industry at all. Nor will it curb the growing demand around the world for coal-generated electricity.
Stanford's trustees say the school will no longer invest in companies that mine coal, joining about a dozen other colleges that have taken the step. The decision cited alternate energy sources that emit less greenhouse gases.
Stanford will liquidate any current holdings in coal-producing companies, the school says. Of the schools that have divested, it's by far the largest.
"Stanford wouldn't say how much it currently invests in coal companies," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports. "Its total endowment was just shy of $19 billion last year."
The Beverly Hills City Council voted Tuesday night to ask the government of Brunei to divest itself of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.
At issue: Shariah, or Islamic, law. Last week, Brunei, a tiny oil-rich kingdom in southeast Asia, adopted Shariah as part of its penal code. The law, which will be introduced in phases, makes abortion, adultery and gay relationships punishable by flogging and stoning.
The stock market has been on a winning streak — and that means these are busy times in exclusive U.S. housing markets. How else to explain three homes that each reportedly sold for more than $100 million in the past three months?
News that hedge fund founder Barry Rosenstein is buying an East Hampton, N.Y., property for $147 million prompted Bloomberg News to declare, "The U.S. trophy-home market is shattering price records this year."
Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants.
"It's all over the marketplace," said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm. "Employers are inquiring about it, and brokers and consultants are advocating for it."
And our last word in business is: A Yogurt State of Mind.
The New York State Senate voted on yesterday on the official state snack.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
They were voting to give that honor to yogurt. Apparently, New York is the leading yogurt producer in America. But in a state famous for bagels and giant pretzels, not to mention big apples, the debate got heated.
MONTAGNE: The social media site BuzzFeed tweeted the highlights, such as a state senator asking, was yogurt the only option?
A Chinese e-commerce giant filed for an initial public stock offering yesterday. Alibaba - which has no exact equivalent in the U.S. - will, however, conduct its IPO here. And it's expected to raise billions. The IPO could be the biggest since Facebook back in 2012. To learn more about Alibaba, we turn to NPR's Frank Langfitt, who's in Shanghai. Good morning.
There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.
And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?
The founders of Brewskee-Ball like to say they've taken Skee-Ball from the arcade to the bar, turning the old-time amusement park game into a competitive sport with hundreds of dedicated players in a handful of locations across the country, including Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Austin.
But the company that makes Skee-Ball machines is not amused.
The company runs the largest online and mobile commerce site in the world, controlling a huge portion of the Chinese market. Its intent to go public marks the biggest IPO of the Internet age since Twitter went public in November of 2013.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to turn to matters of personal finance. It turns out that money is more than what you have in your pocket. Today we want to take a look at the digital currency known as bitcoin.
German drug company Bayer has agreed to acquire the consumer care business of U.S.-based Merck & Co., in a deal that would bolster Bayer in the over-the-counter drug sector. The $14.2 billion purchase includes brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's.
NPR's Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. It was put together by more than 300 experts "guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee."
There's plenty of anxiety in the U.S. over getting into a top college. But a new Gallup poll suggests that, later in life, it doesn't matter nearly as much as we think. In fact, when you ask college graduates whether they're "engaged" with their work or "thriving" in all aspects of their lives, their responses don't vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.
Target has been through a lot of turmoil these last few months. Of course, there was that cyberattack on customer credit card data - one of the largest in retail history. But that's not Target's biggest problem or the only reason its chief executive announced he was stepping down yesterday.
From Minnesota Public Radio, Annie Baxter explains.
NPR's business news starts with a recipe change from Coke.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: No, no, no. There's not going to be a new Coke. They're not going to try that again. Several of Coca-Cola's fruity drinks, like Fanta and Power Aid contain brominated vegetable oil or BVO. In 2012, a teenager in Mississippi started a petition to remove BVO from sports strings for health reasons, because it contains a chemical used in some flame retardants.
It's a big day for Fiat Chrysler. The Italian-American automaker will outline a strategic plan for the next five years.
The marriage between two once troubled companies, Chrysler and Fiat, has surprised many in the auto industry by thriving - not just surviving. Now, the company is looking to build on its strengths, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.
Next, we'll report on the latest effort to make impulse purchases easier. Our last word in business today is: Hashtag, Amazon Cart.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Let's say you see a tweet about reduced sugar Gummy Bears or a banana slicer and you think, if I don't put those in my shopping cart right now I will forget that I want to buy them, and that would be a disaster.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new measure that will give the government much greater control over the Internet.
Critics say the law is aimed at silencing opposition bloggers and restricting what people can say on social media. It would also force international email providers and social networks to make their users' information available to the Russian security services.
University of Chicago economist Gary Becker died Saturday at the age of 83. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for broadening the horizons of economics, using economic analysis to explore social issues like crime, racial discrimination and drug addiction.
Becker was a giant in the field of economics, and his pioneering application of economic theory to social questions extended to the marriage market. In an NPR interview on the day he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, Becker explained:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Five months after Target disclosed a massive data breach, its CEO has lost his job. Greg Steinhafel is stepping down from his dual posts as president and CEO at Target Corporation. His resignation underscores the company's effort to overhaul its entire business. Here's NPR's Yuki Noguchi.