Business

All Tech Considered
2:48 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cinemas Struggle As Film Fades Out Of The Picture

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco still has two 35 millimeter projectors, but the switch to digital is inevitable.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 pm

Cinema owners who don't have a digital projector in their movie house can't show Paramount Pictures' latest release: The Wolf of Wall Street. This year Paramount became the first big studio to distribute a major release in the U.S. entirely in a digital format, and other studios are likely to follow.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 7:55 am

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion

A Tesoro Corp. refinery is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash., after an explosion and fire that killed eight people.
Ted S. Warren AP

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Defining Success Beyond The Dollar Sign

iStockphoto

Amy Chua is known as the Tiger Mom. Ever since writing a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about raising her daughter according to the strict — and very high — expectations of her own Chinese-immigrant parents, she's been a lightning rod for controversy about parenting and our notion of success in this country.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

The old and new maple syrup grading systems compared.
Courtesy of Butternut Mountain Farm

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:03 pm

Why would you choose a B grade if you can get an A?

Ask a baker. They'll tell you that if you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B.

But the idea that B beats A seems counterintuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Sick Ship Sets Dubious Record For Royal Caribbean

The New York skyline is seen in a distance as Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas enters New York harbor on Wednesday after a massive ship-borne outbreak.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:35 am

It was a record-setting voyage, but not one that Royal Caribbean's public relations team is likely to be bragging about: The cruise line's MS Explorer of the Seas now has the distinction of more sick passengers (630) and crew (54) than any cruise ship since the CDC starting keep stats 20 years ago.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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Around the Nation
2:43 am
Thu January 30, 2014

New York Looks To Bring Bitcoin Out Of The Shadows

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss testified Wednesday at a hearing about virtual currencies held by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 12:58 pm

New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.

The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.

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Around the Nation
2:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ridge Of High Pressure Blocks Snow From Oregon Ski Resort

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:24 am

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

Around the Nation
2:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Drought Forces Calif. Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 4:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Awful snowstorms and a brutal cold snap dominated the weather news this week. But in the background, a long dry spell in parts of the Central and Western U.S. has now turned into a full scale drought. Farmers and ranchers across 11 states are struggling with a severe lack of rain and snow. Among the hardest hit states, California.

NPR's Nathan Rott traveled to the Central Valley, California's agricultural hub, and has this story.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Let's jump in a truck, and I'll explain as we go.

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Business
2:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gunmakers Protest Microstamping Law In Calif.

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news includes halted gun sales in California.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Two of the nation's largest gun manufacturers have announced they will stop selling semi-automatic hand guns in California. This is because of a dispute over a new identification law.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

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Around the Nation
2:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

In Las Vegas, Lawns Are The Biggest Water Waster

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:24 am

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

Business
2:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Lawmakers To Address Delaware's Troubled Casino Industry

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Delaware's gambling industry is struggling. Revenues at the state's three casinos have steadily declined in recent years, as competition from neighboring states grows. A state task force is set to make recommendations to lawmakers this week to save the troubled casino industry from layoffs - or worse. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BACKGROUND CASINO NOISES)

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
1:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Clears House, On Its Way To Senate

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Republican-run House of Representatives accomplished a feat of across-the-aisle cooperation today. A minority of House Democrats joined a majority of Republicans to pass a five-year renewal of the Farm Bill. The bill had been mired in partisan disputes for nearly two years. The most divisive issue was the food stamp program. It is by far the Farm Bill's biggest expenditure, and Republicans wanted to shrink it. As NPR's David Welna reports, the bill that passed does include some cuts but they'll be much smaller than many had sought.

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Economy
3:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Income Inequality, As Seen From Two Angles

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Economic inequality was a key theme of the president's State of the Union address. Clearly, it's a subject that he is determined to get the country talking about and talking about in a different way; more broadening of opportunity, less talk of raising taxes on the rich. Here's part of what he said last night.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

A drilling site rises from the middle of farmland near Fairfield, N.D. Many farmers and ranchers are profiting from the state's oil boom, but others complain that drillers are interfering with their business.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:00 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

Donny Nelson is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Keene, N.D., a rural community located in the center of an oil rush.

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Business
3:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:56 pm

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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All Tech Considered
1:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Boarding Pass Design That's So Much Better Than What We Have

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:58 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:14 pm

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Missing For 112 Years, First Porsche Is Found In Warehouse

The P1, now known as the "first Porsche."
Juergen Skarwan Porsche.com

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:21 pm

Even the famed German automaker concedes that it "may resemble an old horse-drawn carriage."

But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.

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Around the Nation
11:36 am
Wed January 29, 2014

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 5:55 pm

On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
9:04 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Boom: See A Modern-Day Gold Rush In Motion

Ritter Brothers, a jewelry shop in Williston, N.D., sells novelties that might appeal to those benefiting from the region's recent oil boom.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:30 pm

If you've seen any coverage of North Dakota's oil boom, you've seen the images — oil rigs, truck traffic, "man camps," miles of temporary housing.

But there is something about this place that just can't be captured by a still photograph. It's a feeling you get when you cruise down an endless highway under a vast, big sky — until suddenly: BOOM. You're wedged between semitrucks dwarfing what was once a quiet farm town.

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Business
4:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Interpol On The Case Of Stolen Stradivarius

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is: the $6 million heist.

Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra had just finished a performance Monday night with his Stradivarius violin from 1715, when the violin was stolen from him.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:17 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Cold Temperatures Boost Demand For Natural Gas

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama used the State of the Union speech to talk up the state of the domestic fuel industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. One of the reasons why is natural gas.

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Sports
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Is There An Economic Benefit To Hosting The Super Bowl?

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Super Bowl is just four days away in New York.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Actually, New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The teams have arrived at their New York hotels.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The game itself will be played at New York's MetLife Stadium.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: Local towns have been hoping for an economic boost from hosting the big game. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some officials in New Jersey complain that tourism dollars seem to be flowing instead to New York City.

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Product Launches Expected To Drag Ford's 2014 Profits Down

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a strong finish.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Ford Motor Company closed the books on 2013 with higher than expected profits. The Detroit automaker's net earnings for the year surpassed $7 billion.

But as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, Ford is warning that 2014 will be more challenging.

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Politics
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

NCAA To Fight Football Team's Decision To Unionize

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?

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Around the Nation
12:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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