Business

Business
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Big Mac Whacked: McDonald's U.S. Sales Continue To Slide

McDonald's says that same-store sales in its U.S. locations dropped nearly 5 percent in November, continuing a downward trend.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:34 am

McDonald's is not loving its financial numbers these days. The fast-food chain reported that same-store sales in the U.S. tumbled 4.6 percent in November compared with a year ago, as the company continues to struggle to find solid footing.

"McDonald's news this morning was jarring," says John Gordon, a consultant with Pacific Management Consulting. He has either worked in or tracked the fast-food industry for four decades. Monday's announcement, he says, had his colleagues abuzz.

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Business
2:32 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:57 am

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Afghanistan Vets Are Trying To Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

At about $15 a gram, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Rumi Spice has a unique model of employing Afghan farmers who are growing it that aims to double or even triple their annual income.
Cristina Hirschkorn Courtesy of Rumi Spice

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:02 pm

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

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The Salt
11:05 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Fringe No More: 'Ancient Grains' Will Soon Be A Cheerios Variety

The new box of Cheerios + Ancient grains cereal.
General Mills

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:26 am

So-called "ancient grains" have moved with breathtaking momentum from America's culinary dissident fringe toward the mainstream — and now they've arrived. After all, what's more mainstream than Cheerios? In January, General Mills will introduce a new version of its flagship breakfast cereal, called Cheerios + Ancient Grains.

The new version of Cheerios will contain small amounts of quinoa, Kamut wheat and spelt along with the traditional oats.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects BP's Challenge To Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:13 pm

Oil giant BP has suffered a legal setback in its effort to limit how much the company will pay under a 2012 settlement with thousands of individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast. Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's request that it review previous lower court decisions that favored plaintiffs.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Mon December 8, 2014

IOC Unveils Changes Including Lower Bidding Costs, More Sports At Olympics

A reduced cost of bidding, a new Olympic channel and a more flexible program that could see the inclusion of new sports — those are among the recommendation approved unanimously today by the International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Monaco.

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Parallels
2:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

U.S. Tech Firms See Green As They Set Up Shop In Low-Tax Ireland

The Apple campus in Cork, southern Ireland, employs 4,000 people — though its financial benefits are felt across the city. But Ireland's attractive tax laws — which have lured other industry leaders — are now under scrutiny.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:54 am

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Female Butchers Are Slicing Through The Meat World's Glass Ceiling

Master butcher Kari Underly cuts into a hog during a "Women in the Meat Business" workshop in Chapel Hill, NC.
Leoneda Inge North Carolina Public Radio

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:30 am

Kari Underly is slicing through half a hog as if it were as soft as an avocado ... until she hits a bone.

"So what I'm doing now is I'm taking out the femur bone," she explains to a roomful of about 30 women watching as she carves the animal. "The ham is a little bit of a drag, if you will, 'cause we have to make money, and not everybody wants a big ham."

Underly is a fit, 46-year-old master butcher from Chicago. Her father and grandmothers were butchers. She put herself through college cutting meat. These days, she encourages other women to enter the business.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sun December 7, 2014

'Washington Post' Reporter, Detained For Months In Iran, Is Charged

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for The Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign even for President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2013. Rezaian, who was arrested in July, was charged by Iran on Saturday.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:27 am

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has been held by the Iranian government for more than four months, was formally charged over the weekend, but the specifics are not yet known, his newspaper reports.

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Media
3:36 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

How The 'Rolling Stone' Story Could Hurt Future Victims

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 5:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
10:22 am
Sat December 6, 2014

LAPD Says It Will Investigate Abuse Claim Against Cosby

Judy Huth, left, appears at a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred outside the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Division station on Friday. Huth says she was drugged and raped by comedian Bill Cosby in 1974 when she was 15 years old.
Anthony McCartney AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:09 am

Los Angeles police say they will investigate a woman's claims that in the mid-1970s at the age of 15, she was molested by comedian Bill Cosby.

The Associated Press says: "The investigation was opened Friday after Judy Huth, who is suing Cosby for sexual battery, met with detectives for 90 minutes, Officer Jane Kim said."

Further, the AP says: "Huth's civil suit claims Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was underage."

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Media
3:12 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Defining Narrative Questioned In 'Rolling Stone' UVA Rape Story

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
3:12 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Labor Secretary: Job Growth Is Good, But Wages Need Help

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joins me here in the studio to talk about those new jobs numbers. Welcome back to the program.

U.S. LABOR SECREATRY THOMAS PEREZ: Melissa, it's always a pleasure to be with you.

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Economy
2:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

'Blockbuster' Jobs Report Shows 321,000 Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Business
1:38 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

2014: The Year When The Job Market Finally Turned The Corner

A construction worker clears wood from a platform that spans the Penn Station railroad tracks in New York City on Nov. 18. Construction jobs rose by 20,000 according to the November jobs report.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 2:23 pm

As 2014 winds down, you might want to save that calendar hanging next to the fridge.

Maybe even frame it.

After so many years of misery for the middle class, 2014 is now looking like the one that finally brought relief. The November jobs report, released Friday by the Labor Department, had blowout numbers showing a surge in job creation, an upturn in work hours and a meaningful boost in wages.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Economy Adds 321,000 Jobs In November, Unemployment Holds Steady

The number of jobs added each month, dating back to 2004.
BLS

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 8:14 am

The November jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. job market continues to improve at a steady pace.

Here are the two big numbers from Friday's report:

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Economy
3:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

November Jobs Report Shows Steady Growth

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
1:24 am
Fri December 5, 2014

For World's Oil Exporters, Falling Prices Have A Domino Effect

A sculpture of oil workers in Caracas, Venezuela. The country is heavily dependent on oil exports, and falling oil prices have had a ripple effect on the country's already troubled economy.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:07 am

Imagine you're sitting back one evening, planning your holiday shopping list, knowing that every day you wait to get to the shops, the value of your money will be losing ground.

That's what's happening in places like Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria and other nations that rely heavily on oil exports.

Oil was more than $100 a barrel at the start of the summer. Now it's around $70 a barrel, and many forecasts say it could go lower still.

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The Two-Way
7:02 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Uber Is Richer Than Ever, But The Company Still Isn't Playing Nice

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arrives at the 2014 TIME 100 Gala in New York. Kalanick is known for being a tough guy, and by some measures, that reputation has helped the company.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 8:20 am

Uber is riding high. The company announced its latest investment numbers Thursday, and they're impressive. Uber Technologies Inc. raised $1.2 billion in its latest round of financing, and is now valued at over $40 billion. Fortune magazine also reports that the ride-sharing service was recently authorized to sell up to $1.8 billion in stock.

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The Salt
4:49 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Burger Joint Pays $15 An Hour. And, Yes, It's Making Money

A worker at Moo Cluck Moo, a fast-casual burger and chicken chain in suburban Detroit, prepares a meal. Workers at Moo Cluck Moo all make $15 an hour.
Zachary Rosen for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:56 am

Fast-food workers rallied around the country Thursday, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. But in suburban Detroit, a small but growing fast-casual burger and chicken chain has already figured out how to pay higher wages and still be profitable.

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Youth Radio
4:47 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

With Harvest Season, 'Trimmigrants' Flock To California's Pot Capital

Trimmers prepare the marijuana flower, or bud, to make it more appealing to consumers. They use scissors to snip off the leaves and stems.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:42 pm

California's Humboldt County is known for its towering redwoods. But this region about 200 miles north of San Francisco has another claim to fame. Humboldt is to weed what Napa is to fine wine — it's the heart of marijuana production in the U.S.

Every fall, young people, mostly in their 20s, come from all over the world to work the marijuana harvest. They come seeking jobs as "trimmers" — workers who manicure the buds to get them ready for market. The locals have a name for these young migrant workers: "trimmigrants."

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

'New Republic', In Major Change, Cuts Publishing Schedule; Top Editor Out

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 6:10 am

The New Republic, the influential, century-old publication that during the Clinton presidency was called the in-flight magazine of Air Force One, announced today a slew of changes and cuts. Its editor, Franklin Foer, and longtime literary editor Leon Wieseltier both announced they were leaving the magazine.

NPR's David Folkenflik is reporting on the news for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:

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All Tech Considered
3:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

North Korea's Cyber Skills Get Attention Amid Sony Hacking Mystery

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen in The Interview. The North Korean dictator promised "merciless counter-measures" if this film was released.
Ed Araquel AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:32 am

The most closed country on earth — North Korea — is now denying its involvement in one of the biggest corporate hacks in history.

Someone attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment last week and made public troves of stolen data, including five unreleased films, medical records and salaries of nearly 7,000 global employees. But before a recent denial — another North Korean diplomat played coy about the country's involvement.

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Planet Money
12:59 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Where Wages Are Rising (And Falling), In 1 Graph

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:23 pm

Job growth has been strong and steady over the past year. Wages, not so much: Average pay for U.S. workers barely kept up with inflation. But there was a fair bit of variation across different sectors. Here's a look. (In the graph, the size of the circle indicates the total number of jobs in each sector.)

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The Salt
11:45 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out

Vani Hari, known as the "Food Babe," speaks at the Green Festival in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Hari has made a name for herself by investigating ingredients in Big Food products that she deems potentially harmful. But critics accuse her of stoking unfounded fears.
Jonathan Alcorn Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 8:01 pm

In an age when consumers have become increasingly suspicious of processed food, the Internet has become a powerful platform for activists who want to hold Big Food accountable.

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Law
4:05 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Justice Department Plans New Cybercrime Team

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 11:17 am

The leader of the Justice Department's criminal division is expected to announce today the creation of a new unit to prevent cybercrime and work alongside law enforcement, private sector companies and Congress.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell will debut the initiative at a daylong CyberCrime2020 symposium at Georgetown University's law school, according to a copy of her prepared remarks.

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Planet Money
3:16 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Making Electronics Cheaper Requires Detective Work

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:57 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Parallels
1:37 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Syrian Entrepreneur Looks To Build The Amazon Of The Arab World

Ronaldo Mouchawar, a native of Syria, is the founder of Souq.com, which is now considered the leading e-commerce site in the region. He says his company, which is based in Dubai, reflects a quiet transformation that is taking places in parts of the Arab world.
Courtesy of Souq.com

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 7:11 pm

When Ronaldo Mouchawar was working in a Boston engineering firm he dreamed of moving back to the Arab world. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he had come to the U.S. to study, then got a high-paying job, but he believed he "owed something" to his home region.

It turned out his ticket back was a smart idea at the right time.

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Parallels
1:28 am
Thu December 4, 2014

The Man Argentines Love To Hate Is An American Judge

A wall in Buenos Aires, Argentina, displays posters with an image of U.S. Judge Thomas Griesa and a message in Spanish — "Sovereignty or vulture scam" — in support of Argentina's government in its dispute against a U.S. hedge fund, known locally as a "vulture fund."
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 11:32 am

For an American, it probably would be a really hard Jeopardy question, but in Argentina, pretty much anyone you stop can answer this: Who is the judge in New York at the center of Argentina's default crisis?

Pablo de Luca, a systems engineer walking along a downtown Buenos Aires street recently responded easily: Judge Thomas P. Griesa.

"Griesa is an enemy for us," he says.

Georgina Segui, an office secretary stopped while she was doing errands, also knew the answer.

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Business
2:31 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Takata Pressured By Congress To Take Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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