Today, March 14th, 3-14, is Pi Day. In case you didn't know, it's actually a national holiday - certainly an important day for math lovers. In Austin, festivities started early - with skywriting. A company called AirSign tried to write the long famous ratio across 100 miles of sky. It turned out writing Pi in the Sky was a little easier.
NPR's business news starts with BP doing business in the Gulf.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: The petroleum company is once again allowed to seek oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday lifted a ban that kept BP from bidding on new federal contracts. The suspension had been in effect since 2012, when regulators determined that BP had not corrected problems that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill two years before.
Scott Clapham peers down into a cavernous dry dock at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. He points to massive pieces of steel, some covered with a light dusting of snow. When assembled, they will form a 115,000-ton oil tanker.
Late last year, during the holiday season, hackers somewhere in Europe stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers and tens of millions of other pieces of personal information from Target customers in the United States. As reported by Bloomberg Businessweek's Michael Riley, the malware attack wasn't particularly sophisticated or unique, and Target's security systems were extensive and ready for such an attack — and yet Target missed the early security warnings.
Things can take off fast on Twitter. And that's what happened when a couple of writers expressed how much they like riding trains, Amtrak specifically. It started with an idea: Wouldn't it be great if Amtrak would offer writers a chance to ride the rails for free and do some writing along the way? Soon, the idea was being tweeted and retweeted, and Amtrak replied: Sure.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:50 pm
Flanked by a cadre of salaried workers, President Obama signed a memo directing his labor secretary to rewrite the rules governing overtime in the country.
"Americans have spent too much time working more and making less," Obama said during comments preceding the signing ceremony.
Obama's proposal would rewrite a commonly used exemption in which a salaried worker designated as "executive, administrative and professional" is denied overtime if he or she is making more than $455 a week.
As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.
"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.
It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."
Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:00 am
Malaysia Airlines announced Thursday that it will stop using two flight numbers associated with the plane that disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand on March 8, following a long-standing practice of retiring codes after similar incidents.
Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. That number, which Malaysian Airlines uses to denote that particular route, will no longer be used after Friday as a "mark of respect" for the passengers and crew. MH371, the code used for the return flight, also will be retired.
NPR's business news begins with a partner for Yahoo.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Yahoo is trying to boost search traffic with reviews of businesses from Yelp - in hopes that some of its popularity will rub off. Among their favorite search engines, Yahoo is a distant third after Google and Microsoft's Bing.
Ratings and snippets from "Yelp" reviews began appearing in Yahoo search results yesterday as a result of a partnership between the two companies. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And there's some good news for the nation's housing market. Numbers are out today and national foreclosure filings in February were the lowest they've been since 2006. That means on a national level, lenders repossessed fewer homes and fewer homeowners got in mortgage trouble. That's not the case though, here in California.
As NPR's Nathan Rott reports, the number of homes just entering the foreclosure process here is way up.
NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Berlinda Phommalayvane has a story that isn't uncommon in Southern California.
I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.
I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.
The Affordable Care Act — which many see creating challenges for businesses — could benefit a particular group of business people: entrepreneurs.
Joshua Simonson was reluctant to give up his job at a Portland, Ore., area grocery store, New Seasons Market, which he says had provided excellent health care for him and his family. He had a pre-existing condition that has prevented him from getting insurance in the private market, but one key development helped convince him to quit and start a farm.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama is taking another step to raise the wages of workers and he plans to do it without getting Congress involved. The White House says tomorrow Obama will direct the Labor Department to change the rules for businesses on overtime pay. The change could mean that millions of private sector workers currently classified as management could eventually qualify for overtime.
On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.
Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out why the government owns so many buildings, like this one, that it doesn't use.
Herbalife revealed on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a civil investigation into the practices of the nutrition company, which sells weight-loss shakes, vitamins and other products.
Moments after Herbalife made the announcement, its stock price plunged. At 1:51 p.m., it had lost 12 percent of its value.
Bloomberg explains that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Bloomberg adds: