Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 3:13 pm
Keeping with our just-started tradition, all the features that we do during our themed reporting week get a new home in a podcast on SoundCloud. The first episode featured kids and technology, this time around, our four stories on the sharing economy get freshened up and hosted by our Silicon Valley correspondents, Steve Henn and Laura Sydell. Just press play or download for your device.
Since the typhoon hit the Philippines, doing business in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban has been next to impossible But on Wednesday, five gas stations, two hardware stores and several banks reopened.
Here in the United States, Wal-Mart is trying to play down accusations that it underpays its staff. An effort by employees at an Ohio Wal-Mart to collect food for fellow workers' Thanksgiving dinners has gone viral - and not in a good way.
M.L. Schultze, from member station WKSU, reports some see the food drive simply as people helping people.
NPR's business news starts with a giant hip check.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: You know, sort of like you'd have in basketball or hockey. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay out $2.5 billion to settle a lawsuit over faulty artificial hips. The medical products maker will reportedly pay 8,000 American patients $250,000 each for new hip replacement surgery. An additional $475 million will cover other health problems caused by the faulty device which is called the articular service replacement or ASR.
The Obama administration is asking for people who've been turned off by the government's problem-plagued insurance website to come back. Officials say the website is working better now, though it's still far from fixed.
The Justice Department on Tuesday announced a landmark $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. That's the largest settlement the federal government has ever made with a single company. It's three times the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:04 pm
Thirteen billion dollars is a lot of money, but it's not going to add up to a huge windfall for many consumers.
Thousands of homeowners will receive significant financial relief under the terms of a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. that was announced Tuesday by the Justice Department. But the bulk of the funds will be going either to investors or government coffers.
Colorado and California both just proposed new regulations for oil and gas production in their states. Both states have been pushed by environmental concerns to establish rules tougher than federal requirements. If Colorado's proposal goes ahead, it would be the first state in the nation to directly regulate methane. California also says its proposed rule would be the toughest in the nation. It regulates the engineering technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
A portion of the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase mortgage settlement will go to anti-blight measures across the country. One of the groups that might receive some of those funds is the Thriving Communities Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. Melissa Block talks with the non-profit's director, Jim Rokakis, about how the group tries to fight blight by establishing land banks, demolishing vacant properties and finding new ways to use the land.
A long-awaited deal between JP Morgan Chase and the Justice Department was finalized Tuesday. The bank — one of Wall Street's largest — agreed to pay a total of $13 billion to resolve a number of legal issues stemming from mortgage securities sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.
In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:38 pm
In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.
The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.
Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO Elon Musk (in driver's seat) and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen (in passenger seat) drive the new Tesla Model S all-electric sedan in Hawthorne, California on March 26, 2009.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:38 pm
It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.
A Cambodian gambler talks on 18 cellphones at once at a boxing match in Phnom Penh in 2010. There are nearly 132 cellphones for every 100 Cambodians, but the country has also seen a surge in the number of landlines.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:03 am
On All Things Considered, NPR's Martin Kaste reported Monday on U.S. landline infrastructure. One fact stood out: 96 percent of homes had landlines in 1998, and that number is down to 71 percent today.
New figures show women have more jobs in the U.S. than ever before - but men are still struggling to pull out of the recession. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and Ariane Hegewisch from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
The Chinese government announced last week that soon families will be permitted to have two children — if one of the parents is an only child. They haven't announced when that policy change will occur. Still, on Asian markets, stock prices of baby formula, diaper and stroller companies all soared on Monday in anticipation.
Neville Amaria's commute to work used to take up to 1.5 hours each way. He carpooled with colleagues including Stefanie McNally, Cristina Cooper and Bryan Kim. The gang passed the time by sleeping and snapping photos of unlucky commuters.
For two years, Neville Amaria carpooled to his office in Los Angeles. That puts him in the same category as about 10 percent of American workers, who drive or ride to work in a car with two or more passengers.
Even still, Amaria's carpool stood out for its extremes. His mega-commute lasted two to three hours, round trip. And he did it with up to four co-workers squeezed into the car with him — most carpoolers only ride with one other passenger.
Participants compete in the 2013 Pokemon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, on Aug. 10. The Pokemon franchise has become a billion-dollar franchise since it debuted on American shores 15 years ago.
Fifteen years ago, pocket-sized characters known as Pokemon arrived on American shores from Japan. The cute creatures were suddenly everywhere: television, video games, card games and a movie.
When the Pokemon cartoon theme song first hit American TV airwaves in 1998, "Gotta catch 'em all" became a mantra for kids. But few people imagined that in 2013 the stars of this cartoon would still be going strong.
A lineman grounds a line on a replacement pole in McNeill, Miss., after 2012 Christmas day storms downed both telephone and electric power lines and poles throughout the state. Upkeep on traditional landlines is expensive, and some are pushing for relaxing requirements that phone companies maintain these lines.
America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.
It's a big week for the video game industry; Sony just released the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft will release its new Xbox games console Friday. All Tech Considered is kicking off the week with a look at just how big the industry has become and who plays these days. Robert Siegel talks with industry expert John Davison. He's currently general manager of content and publishing for video game company Red Robot Labs.
Reruns used to mean watching the same network episodes over again, say during the summer. Years later, viewers could catch a favorite show on cable. These days, reruns are tucked in just before prime-time lineups. And now binge viewers can catch them online with services such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. In the movie "Christmas Vacation" Chevy Chase's character attaches thousands of Christmas lights to his roof with a staple gun. When the lights go on, utilities have to boost their power to avoid a blackout. That would not happen today. Stores are selling more LED lights this year, which use less energy.
The Dubai Air Show kicked off this weekend, a chance with people in the aviation industry to see and be seen, and show off technology and usually to announce a lot of the sales. In the first three hours of the show, more than $150 billion in airplane orders were announced. And the biggest beneficiary was Boeing. The Seattle-based company said it had orders for more than 350 of its new passenger jets. There's still a question of where those aircraft will be built. NPR's Nathan Rott reports.
Throughout Mexico, shoppers filled malls and department stores in hopes of snatching up deep discounts and pre-holiday savings. If that sounds like the Mexican version of Black Friday, it is. Shop owners and economists alike are hoping consumers spend big and give Mexico's sagging economy a much needed end-of-the-year boost.