Business

The Salt
1:04 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Soon To Be Big In Japan, Jim Beam's Roots To Stay In Kentucky

In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., maker of Jim Beam and owner of other popular bourbon brands, including Maker's Mark.
Bruce Schreiner AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:48 am

In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and the owner of other popular bourbon brands like Maker's Mark.

Those and most other bourbons are made in Kentucky, and the deal has some hoping the drink's growth in the global market won't come at the expense of its uniquely Kentucky heritage.

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The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Battery Problem Reported On Boeing Dreamliner In Japan

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787, like this one seen last July in Boston, was temporarily grounded Tuesday after a mechanic spotted smoke coming from the craft's battery compartment.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:01 pm

Reports of white smoke from a battery compartment have temporarily grounded a Boeing 787 in Japan, nearly a year after all the new airliners were grounded owing to a problem with batteries overheating. Today's incident happened on an airliner at Tokyo's Narita Airport that had no passengers aboard.

It was during a preflight checkout that a mechanic saw smoke emerging from the underside of a Japan Airlines 787, according to Japan's NHK TV News

From the broadcaster:

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue January 14, 2014

JPMorgan Says It Will Replace 2 Million Credit Cards, Due To Breach

JPMorgan Chase says it will replace about 2 million of its customers credit cards because they were compromised in recent security breaches at major retailers.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the bank's CEO Jamie Dimon said the problems on that front are likely not over. Yuki filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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All Tech Considered
10:20 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Feds Can't Enforce Net Neutrality: What This Means For You

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler says his agency will consider appealing a court ruling against the FCC's net neutrality policy.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:09 pm

In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission's open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can't require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency's rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:

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Your Money
9:53 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Minorities' Savings Accounts Aren't Adding Up For Retirement

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, last week we talked with a former teacher who said that teachers of color are more likely to quit than others. And she offered some thoughts about why that is. This week, we get a different perspective from another teacher, also of color, who has 13 years in and is still going strong. And we'll hear from her in a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Tue January 14, 2014

20 Million DirecTV Customers Just Lost The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

What was already a stormy relationship between The Weather Channel and DirectTV has now become something of a Category 3 communications catastrophe.

Twenty million DirecTV customers can't see The Weather Channel today because the two sides didn't reach an agreement on a new distribution deal before a midnight Monday deadline.

According to The Associated Press, "the two companies pointed fingers at each other":

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Business
5:32 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pope To Sell Harley To Benefit Homeless

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Pope on a Hog.

(LAUGHTER)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Of course it is.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: Stop. There have been many famous owners of Harley Davidson over the years - Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Hells Angels, - but Pope Francis might be the holiest roller yet.

INSKEEP: Almost by definition. He's the proud owner - the pope is - of a Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide, which was given to him as a gift.

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Health Care
4:55 am
Tue January 14, 2014

New York Consumers Frustrated By Insurance Delays

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

New York's health insurance marketplace is working, but some consumers are still having problems with insurers. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is the state's largest insurer and the target of a lot of consumer complaints.

Business
4:23 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Ford Unveils F-150 With Aluminum Body

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Ah, the North American International Auto Show begins this week begins this week in Detroit. At least 50 new car models will make their debuts. Ford Motors is unveiling its highly anticipated makeover of the F-150 with a body made in part of aluminum - an aluminum truck.

Recent advances have made aluminum, which is lighter than steel, of course, viable on a large scale for manufacturing.

One of our favorite correspondents, NPR's Sonari Glinton, reports on what that means for the car industry.

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Business
4:21 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Google Buys Home Automation Company Nest

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:53 am

On Monday, Google announced it had purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest is focused on the "automated home" concept, making smoke detectors and thermostats that connect to the Internet. Google's purchase signals a strong interest in this arena.

Business
4:18 am
Tue January 14, 2014

More Workers Forced To Pick Up Pension Investment Risks

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Boeing just extended its contract in Washington, keeping more than 10,000 jobs in state, partly by adjusting employees' pension plans. Last week, we heard on this program how these kinds of deals can cripple the middle class as corporations shift benefit costs from their books into the pockets their workers.

Today, Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics offers a counterpoint to David Greene, beginning with a breakdown of what that means for workers.

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All Tech Considered
1:36 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Security Experts Say Data Thieves Are Getting Harder To Fight

Target Co. estimates that at least 70 million individuals may have had information including their "names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses" stolen in a recent data breach.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:53 am

The recent disclosure that a large trove of customer information was stolen from Target, and now also from Neiman Marcus, points to growing vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. And experts say the problem is becoming more difficult to combat.

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All Tech Considered
3:52 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Game Over For Nintendo? Not If Mario And Zelda Fans Keep Playing

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:09 pm

Some analysts say that Nintendo's days are numbered. Holiday sales of its new console, the Wii U, have been lackluster compared to Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.

But since Nintendo still offers some of the most popular game franchises, the love of Zelda and Mario may keep the company going for a long time.

In preparation for this story, I put out a call to talk to die-hard Nintendo fans. I was inundated with responses. Among them, Brian White, 30, grew up playing the Zelda games.

Now he's got a daughter. "We named her Zelda," he says.

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All Tech Considered
3:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:14 pm

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

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Economy
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

How The Hackers Did It: A Dicussion About Target's Data Breach

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Business
3:31 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Ford's New F-150 May Pave The Way For More Aluminum Cars

At Detroit's North American International Auto on Monday, Ford unveiled the new F-150 with a body built almost entirely out of aluminum.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:53 pm

The North American International Auto show begins this week in Detroit, a preview of the most important car technology on the horizon. One of the stars of the show this year is the Ford F-150, a truck that's been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades. And it's by far Ford's most important model.

On Monday, the company unveiled a radically new more fuel-efficient redesign of the F-150 — featuring a lighter-weight aluminum body.

Aluminum's Advantages

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Japan's Suntory To Buy Maker Of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark

Three bourbon whiskeys.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 11:59 am

A piece of legendary Americana will now be owned by a Japanese firm.

Beam Inc., the maker of the bourbons Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, will be sold to Japan's Suntory in a deal the companies say is worth $16 billion, including assumed debt.

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Technology
10:02 am
Mon January 13, 2014

From The Archives: 1984, The Year Of Online Shopping?

In 1984, shopping online wasn't this easy.
Guy Erwood iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:41 pm

Amazon.com was founded in 1994.

A decade earlier, in 1984, only 8.2 percent of households in the United States had computers, according to the U.S. Census.

But there were limited ways to shop via a computer in 1984. And Robert Krulwich, who was then NPR's business correspondent, decided he wanted to try it.

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Soft Launching In Nine Months? You'll Need A Social Strategy

Don't Forget Buzzfeed. 34 Signs That You're Expecting ... That You're Not Expecting.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:07 am

Editor's Note: If you can't tell from your own Facebook or Twitter feeds, many young couples these days are sharing news of their growing families by making pregnancy announcements via social media. So our social media team's Melody Kramer decided, if you can't beat 'em, improve 'em! Here's her humorous take on how to really think through the social media strategy of the baby to be, er, "product" you're about to "launch."

Dear Jackie and Jeff,

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The Salt
9:09 am
Mon January 13, 2014

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:08 pm

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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Business
4:57 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Volkswagen To Invest $7 Billion In North American Operations

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a little German engineering.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Volkswagen has announced plans to invest $7 billion in its North American operations. It's part of an effort to boost sales in the United States, which slid 7 percent last year. A new seven-seat SUV designed specifically for the American market is a central part of the new investment plan.

It is believed the new vocal will be built at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
2:56 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Surveillance Controversy: NSA Versus Tech Companies

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama is expected to announce Friday how he wants to reform surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency. Those previously secret programs were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. American technology companies are among those pushing hardest for change. Having been caught up in the surveillance controversy, they are braced for battle. NPR's Tom Gjelten dubs that battle the NSA versus the techs.

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Economy
1:08 am
Mon January 13, 2014

What Does Living In Poverty Really Mean?

Elba Salsado walks with her groceries after receiving them from a food bank in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Financial writer Tim Harford, author of the new book The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, says the poverty line for a single American in 2012 was $30.52 per day. But Harford, talking with NPR's David Greene, says it's also about how people view themselves and how they're viewed by other people.


Interview Highlights

On defining and measuring poverty

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Internet In America: An On Again, Off Again Relationship

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States. A recent survey found that many Americans give Internet service providers low marks for satisfaction.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:50 pm

The American Customer Satisfaction Index surveys large swaths of consumers about various industries. And in last year's survey, Americans rated Internet service providers at the very bottom for satisfaction. That puts them below the postal service, health insurance and even airlines.

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Television
3:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Why Live Award Shows Have High Value, Even When We Hate Them

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:50 pm

Award shows are a booming business these days. Ratings have been climbing year by year, and networks are definitely paying attention — and packing their schedules to the brim.

There are at least 19 televised award shows airing between the start of the year and the broadcast of the Academy Awards on March 2.

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Music News
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Insane Clown Posse Sues FBI For Targeting Fans

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSANE CLOWN POSSE: (Singing) If magic is all we've ever known, then it's easy to miss what really goes on.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Neiman Marcus Credit Card Breach Heightens Consumer Concerns

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you use a credit card - and most of us do - it's hard not to be a little concerned. Discount retailer Target continues to apologize for a massive security breach over the holidays. And just yesterday, the high-end retailer Neiman Marcus disclosed that shoppers at its stores have been compromised as well. Independent investigative reporter Brian Krebs was the first to report on both these security breaches. He joins us to talk more. Welcome to the program, Brian.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:08 am

Updated 8:50 p.m.

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Saturday. CGI Federal's contract expires on Feb. 28.

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Opinion
3:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A New Rule For The Workplace: 'Hug Sparingly'

Research psychologist Peggy Drexler says one way to resist an unwanted hug at work is with a stiff handshake.
Simone Becchetti iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Everyone loves hugs right? Well, no. And for those who aren't fans, things can get really awkward.

In a recent piece for TIME.com, research psychologist Peggy Drexler declared: "I am not a hugger. And I am not alone."

She calls for an end to the "hugging arms race," particularly at work.

"It's something that's in the zeitgeist, but we really haven't made any rules," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath. "My own rule is: I won't hug if you don't."

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Religion
3:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

When The Right To Religion Conflicts With A Changing Society

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

As the White House continues dealing with well-publicized problems with the HealthCare.gov website, there's at least one big question related to the Affordable Care Act that's outside the president's control: Can employers with religious objections be compelled to provide access to contraception coverage for their workers?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has granted a temporary injunction while she considers a challenge to the contraception requirement by a group of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Catholic organization serves the poor elderly.

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