NPR's business news begins with a new chief at Wal-Mart.
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GREENE: Doug McMillon of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started at Wal-Mart in 1984. It was a summer job, he was unpacking trucks. Yesterday, he was named as the retail giant's new CEO. Not only is the 47-year-old McMillon an insider who rose through the ranks, he's one of the few executives who actually worked under founder Sam Walton.
The United Nations negotiations in Warsaw over a climate treaty are moving at glacial speed — and that's in part because there's a fundamental problem.
In the coming decades, carbon dioxide emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries are expected to grow quickly. Residents there aspire to lifestyles Americans and Europeans enjoy today, and those nations aren't willing to slash emissions, because doing so could slow their economic growth.
The 3D space epic Gravity made $35.5 million over its first weekend in China. Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games franchise opened two days later. The China Film Group says it does that to "create a space for domestic movies to survive and grow."
NPR's business news starts with no salary cap for Swiss executives.
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GREENE: A proposal in Switzerland to limit executive pay has been rejected by voters there. As we reported on the program last week, the initiative would have meant that an executive could never earn more money in a month than what the lowest-paid employee earns in a year.
In the past week, this street market in Tacloban has grown exponentially as people try to earn money to rebuild their lives.
Credit Frank Langfitt/ NPR
Mark Lakaba, who was a construction worker before the storm, now sells candles, energy drinks and shampoo from a tarp in the market. He says about 90 percent of the goods in the market were looted in the frenzy that followed the typhoon.
Commerce has returned to the storm-savaged streets of Tacloban in the past week. People sell bananas along the roads, and a bustling market has sprung up across several blocks downtown.
Jimbo Tampol, who works for a local Coca-Cola distributor, drives across Tacloban selling ice-cold sodas from coolers. In a city where there is no electricity and little refrigeration, a cold soda is a big deal, a symbol of normalcy.
Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.
There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.
This week, JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the sale of faulty mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis. It's the largest settlement with a single company in U.S. history.
From that settlement, $4 billion must go to help the millions of families who saw the values of their homes plummet and who still struggle to keep up with mortgage payments.
Public transit vehicles may be the key to China's success in the U.S. auto market. Chinese company BYD, based in Shenzhen, is manufacturing electric buses. It's an appealing option for a place like California, where emission standards are strict.
At BYD's North American headquarters in Los Angeles, one of the 40-foot electric K9 buses sits on display. BYD Fleet Sales Manager James Holtz sits in the driver's seat and pushes the power button on the dashboard.
Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:15 am
The anti-poverty group Oxfam is asking Pepsi's shareholders to approve a resolution that, if passed, would force the company to disclose its sugar suppliers and investigate whether those suppliers are implicated in "land grabs" that unfairly take land from the poor.
While there is widespread frustration over the rollout of the health insurance exchanges, some people see opportunities. Venture capitalists are thinking a lot about what the health care industry may look like in the future while they invest today. Annie Lamont has been a health care venture capitalist for over 30 years. She's a managing partner at Oak Investment Partners. And we asked her what opportunities she sees coming up in her field.
Of the $13 billion settlement between JPMorgan and the Justice Department, $1.5 billion will go to underwater homeowners to help them avoid foreclosures. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR economics correspondent Chris Arnold about how the settlement will be spent.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:54 pm
Some cars are meant to be beautiful; some cars are meant to serve a purpose. The makers of the Youabian Puma say their car was created with one goal: "to stand out and be unique." And that's what they've done, as dozens of howling headlines attest.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:56 pm
The Obama administration confirmed early Friday afternoon that starting next year, it plans to push back the start of enrollment for coverage under the new health care law by one month.
NPR's Julie Rovner tells us via Twitter that White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Department of Health and Human Services "has indicated its intent to shift the 2015 marketplace schedule by one month."
California has rejected President Obama's offer to extend canceled health insurance policies. The board that oversees the state's health insurance marketplace voted unanimously Thursday to let canceled policies expire. The board said it didn't want to confuse consumers and disrupt the state's surge in enrollment.
The Treasury Department announced on Thursday that the U.S. government will sell its remaining 31 million shares in GM by the end of the year. The government received the stock when it bailed out GM during the financial crisis.
Phil's Crummy Corner, a bar in Brooklyn, announced it is raising its drinking age to 25. The restaurant manager told local news site DNA Info that the age limit will only be in place on weekend nights. It's an attempt to keep out loud and rowdy late night crowds.
Consumer advocates are hailing a decision by federal regulators to crack down on so called deposit advances — a type of payday loan offered by some banks. Going forward, banks will not be allowed to let their customers take deposit advances more than once a month, or take them in consecutive months.