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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
NPR's business news begins with a Target executive out.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
NPR's business news begins with spring in the air.
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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.
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.