Business

The Two-Way
4:43 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Grocery Chains Safeway And Albertson's Announce Merger Deal

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has offered to buy Safeway, Inc., the nation's second-largest grocery chain, for a reported $9.4 billion. Cerberus plans to merge Safeway with another grocer, Albertson's.

"Safeway has been focused on better meeting shoppers' diverse needs through local, relevant assortment, an improved price/value proposition and a great shopping experience that has driven improved sales trends," Safeway CEO Robert Edwards said in a statement. "We are excited about continuing this momentum as a combined organization."

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Planet Money
3:41 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs?

Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs.

Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed.

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All Tech Considered
2:21 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

'Newsweek' Says It Found Bitcoin's Founder: 4 Things To Know

Newsweek's cover story reveals a man named Satoshi Nakamoto, who matches many characteristics of the elusive founder of Bitcoin but never explicitly admits to it.
Via Newsweek

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 8:31 pm

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET:

In an interview with the Associated Press, the man Newsweek claims is the founder of Bitcoin denies he has any connections to the digital currency.

Dorian S. Nakamoto told the AP that he had never heard of Bitcoin until his son told him a reporter had contacted him three weeks ago:

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Planet Money
1:30 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Beyond Job Titles: What Do You Really Do?

---
hairbycamas via Instagram

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:57 am

The big monthly jobs report that came out Friday has tons of numbers describing the American labor force. The numbers are helpful as far as they go, but they skip over a whole dimension of work: What it's really like.

So, over the past few weeks, we asked people over Twitter and Instagram to send us pictures of themselves at work, and to tell us: What's your job title? And what do you really do? What follows are some of the answers.

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All Tech Considered
10:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

SXSW Tech Preview: Snooping, Wearables And More 3-D Printing

Hugh Forrest, pictured here in 2009, is the director of South by Southwest Interactive.
Scott Beale Flickr

South by Southwest Interactive is the technology-driven part of the annual Austin-based festival for digital, film and music and it starts on Friday. An expected 30,000 people will take part in the interactive and film week that precedes music, and they love it for the spontaneity and the chaos. They also hate it because of the chaos — parties on every corner, marketing handouts at every turn and a sprawling program of panels, screenings and speakers that span at least a dozen city blocks in the heart of Texas.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu March 6, 2014

U.S. Anchor For Russian TV Quits, Says Network 'Whitewashes' Crimea

A screenshot of RT anchor Liz Wahl during her final broadcast with the network.
RT/Daily Beast

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 4:11 pm

An American host for the Kremlin-backed Russia Today television has quit on air, announcing from the channel's Washington, D.C., anchor desk that she doesn't want to be "part of a network ... that whitewashes the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."

Liz Wahl announced her resignation on Wednesday, saying Moscow's intervention in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is wrong and that she feels "very lucky to have grown up in the United States."

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Business
4:47 am
Thu March 6, 2014

2 San Francisco Bars Ban Google Glass

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: bars ban glasses.

Patrons at two San Francisco watering holes will have to heed a new rule before they go bellying up to the bar, no Google Glass allowed. Their ban on Google's wearable computer is meant to preserve the privacy of other customers who may worry about sneaky recordings.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Business
4:45 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Target's Technology Executive Resigns After Data Breach

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Target executive out.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The highest ranking technology executive is at Target stepped down yesterday. Beth Jacob was the retailer's chief information officer and executive vice president of technology. Her resignation follows that massive data breach that affected about 70 million customers late last year. And it comes just one week after Target reported a deep slump in profits since that hack.

Around the Nation
3:12 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Law Aims To Keep Chicago From Becoming Petcoke Dumping Ground

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Refineries looking for a place to store an ashy petroleum byproduct called pet coke can cross Chicago off their list. A new, tough city ordinance bans new storage facilities and prevents existing ones from expanding.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Before pet coke is shipped overseas where it's burned as fuel, huge piles of it are often stored in open air facilities. Residents in Detroit complained so much about swirling pet coke dust, it ordered a company to move the piles out.

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Law
3:08 am
Thu March 6, 2014

U.S. Judge Sides With Chevron In Amazon Pollution Case

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The oil company Chevron has been blamed for polluting a swath of rainforest in Ecuador. A judge in Ecuador ruled against the company, saying Chevron owed $9.5 billion to indigenous farmers and others who sued the company.

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Politics
3:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

New England Governors Back Obama's Minimum Wage Hike Plan

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Obama is hoping lawmakers will raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many Republicans call that a potential job killer, and they're blocking the president's efforts in Congress. So as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, the president took his pitch to a place with a more receptive audience.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is good to be back in Connecticut.

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All Tech Considered
1:04 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Anti-Muslim Video Still Stirring Controversy In The Courtroom

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia (right) brought a copyright claim against Google with the help of attorney Cris Armenta over the film Innocence of Muslims, which was posted to YouTube in 2012.
Jason Redmond AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 9:43 pm

Google intends to fight a court order to remove a controversial anti-Muslim video from YouTube in the U.S.

The company plans to file for a hearing before a full nine-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after two of three judges on a smaller panel forced the company to take down the film, Innocence of Muslims, which caused uproar in the Islamic world in 2012.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Selling Health Care To California's Latinos Got Lost In Translation

Covered California

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:59 am

It's been decades since the advertising industry recognized the need to woo Hispanic consumers. Big companies saw the market potential and sank millions of dollars into ads. The most basic dos and don'ts of marketing to Latinos in the United States have been understood for years.

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Around the Nation
1:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Growing An Urban Neighborhood, One Store At A Time

Communications store owner Donny Seto (right) says other business owners shouldn't be so hesitant to set up in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Leah Binkovitz NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 9:30 am

Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.

Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.

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The Two-Way
8:22 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Facebook Moves To Restrict Posts About Gun Sales

Facebook is planning to roll out new restrictions on posts about gun sales on its social networking site and on Instagram.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:01 pm

This post was updated at 10:30 a.m. ET on March 6.

Facebook said Wednesday that it will limit minors' access to pages and posts that offer firearms for sale, along with other measures intended to curtail illegal gun trafficking.

"This is something we've been working on for a while," says Facebook spokesman Matt Steinfeld. "We want to balance the interests of people who come here to express themselves while promoting an environment that is safe and respectful."

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All Tech Considered
2:14 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Post A Survey On Mechanical Turk And Watch The Results Roll In

Researchers are paying people pennies to take their surveys on MechanicalTurk.com, an Amazon site.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 6:42 pm

You can buy just about anything on Amazon.com — clothes, books, electronics. You can buy answers, too. College students and professors are doing all sorts of research on an Amazon site called Mechanical Turk.

Need 200 smokers for your survey on lung cancer? Have a moral dilemma to pose for your paper on Kierkegaard? Now researchers can log in, offer a few pennies in payment and watch the data roll in.

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All Tech Considered
11:04 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Automakers Eye Laser Lights To Let Drivers See Farther At Night

The i8, which has the optional laser headlights, will be on sale in Europe this summer. BMW is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get it approved for a U.S. release.
BMW

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not know about yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use our form.

If you thought LED headlights were bright enough, automakers are looking ahead to even more powerful beams using lasers.

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Parallels
10:09 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Sanctions On Russia: Why The Europeans May Say Nyet

Ties between Russia and Europe are more than just gas.
Sergei Karpukhin AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:24 am

Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.

"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.

He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).

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The Salt
9:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Chipotle Says There's No 'Guacapocalypse' Looming

An employee prepares to make fresh guacamole at a Chipotle restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 1:16 pm

Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.

This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Italian Publisher Launches Pope Francis Fan Magazine

Publisher Mondadori provided this image of the first issue of Il Mio Papa (My Pope) on Tuesday, a day before it was slated to hit Italian newsstands.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:51 am

Pope Francis, fresh from getting his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone, now graces the pages of a new Italian fan magazine devoted to His Holiness.

But the pontiff tells an Italian newspaper that he views all the attention as "offensive."

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Job Growth Was Weak Again In February, ADP Survey Shows

The scene at a job fair last year in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Private employers added only 139,000 jobs to their payrolls in February and job growth in January was even less than previously thought, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

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Business
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his 2015 budget plan Tuesday at Powell Elementary School in Washington.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 9:02 am

Think of the budget plan released Tuesday by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?

Like this:

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Business
4:59 am
Wed March 5, 2014

The Town Where Everyone Talks About Death

Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:05 pm

George Phillips has his death planned out. His wife Betty has planned hers. They have filled out an advance directive, outlining how they want to die.

Their neighbors across the street have filled out the same paperwork, as has the family next door. In fact, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, you're unusual if you don't have a plan for your death. Some 96 percent of people who die in La Crosse have an advance directive or similar documentation. Nationally, only about 30 percent of adults have a document like that.

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Business
3:13 am
Wed March 5, 2014

House Approves Measure To Ease Flood Insurance Hikes

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation last night to undo flood insurance reform that Congress passed less than two years ago. When homeowners started calling lawmakers about sharp premium hikes, both chambers moved swiftly to ease the pain.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

AILSA CHNAG, BYLINE: In 2012, Democrat Maxine Waters of California put her name on a bill that was meant to help the National Flood Insurance Program dig itself out of huge debt. Last night, she said she made a big mistake.

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Business
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Air Travel Expected To Reach 2008 Levels

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with spring in the air.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The airline industry trade group Airlines for America released its Spring 2014 projections today. The report predicts a record-breaking season for international flights on U.S. airlines, forecasting 17.1 million travelers from March 1st to April 30th. Combined with domestic flights, air travel is expected to reach its highest levels since 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:02 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Chipotle Issues Guacamole Warning

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:17 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And our last word in business is: Holy Guacamole.

Chipotle goes through a staggering amount of avocados to make its fresh guacamole - 97,000 pounds of avocados every day. That adds up to 35 and a half million pounds of avocados every year.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
1:07 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Technology May Turn You Into A Bigger Tipper

Figuring out how much to tip, and when, is a delicate science. Some businesses are integrating technology into how you pay to encourage you to tip more.
Dan Bobkoff NPR

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:24 pm

You're probably used to rounding up the total on your taxi ride or dropping a buck in a jar at the coffee shop. Now, new high-tech ways to pay nudge you to tip more generously and more often.

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Economy
3:46 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear

It's too cold to eat out.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as this week's storm, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

RadioShack To Close 1,000 Stores Nationwide Amid Big Losses

People walk by a Radio Shack storefront on Tuesday in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:10 pm

RadioShack said Tuesday it will close 1,100 retail stores across the country amid a disappointing fourth quarter, in a sign that the electronics retailer is ceding ever-more market share to big box stores and online providers, such as Amazon.

CEO Joseph Magnacca said the closings would leave the company with more than 4,000 U.S. stores still operating. RadioShack did not say which of its stores it planned to shutter.

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Europe
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Deep Ties Between Russia And The West Make Sanctions Risky

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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