There's been concern about working conditions at factories run by Apple's foreign suppliers since the story last year about Foxconn. At the time, the tech giant moved to address those concerns to show that it took them seriously. But more allegations surfaced Monday centering on Apple's effort to build a cheaper iPhone.
David Greene talks to Vanity Fair financial journalist Bryan Burrough about the SAC hedge fund insider trading case, and how little the public cares, compared with the 1980s insider trading crackdown that was widely followed and became a part of popular culture.
The largest solar power plant of its kind is about to turn on in California's Mojave Desert.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will power about 140,000 homes and will be a boon to the state's renewable energy goals, but it was no slam dunk. Now, California is trying to bring conservationists and energy companies together to create a smoother path for future projects.
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, testifies before Congress about the program in 2010. Barofsky now says of the financial crisis: "The folks responsible for this incredibly painful economic damage that struck our economy have gone free."
U.S. sanctions mean that any citizen or business wanting to buy stuff from North Korea has to send a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. A few months back, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for those letters.
Our request was granted: We recently received a packet of 18 letters from Americans who wanted to do business with the most isolated nation on the planet. We've posted all of the letters online.
Jobs are the focus of this year's National Urban League Conference in Philadelphia. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with President and CEO Marc Morial, about how the League has progressed on that front, and asks about the biggest issues facing African-Americans today.
Guest host Celeste Headlee gets a wrap of the week's political news with journalist Callie Crossley and conservative commentator Lenny McAllister. They talk about President Obama's push to get the economy back on track, and the battle over the President's health care law.
Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:29 am
Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog, and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.
NPR's business news starts with Toyota holding onto the trophy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Toyota remains the world's top-selling automaker. Numbers out today show the Japanese company sold 4.9 million cars and trucks in the first half of the year, beating out its rival General Motors. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And the Justice Department took an unusual step yesterday when it indicted a firm for securities fraud. Officials say the hedge fund company SAC Capital and its founder Steven Cohen routinely tolerated and encouraged illegal activity by employees. SAC is denying charges that it engaged in massive insider trading over the years.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. Companies that are booming often want prestigious spaces, and this is especially true in the energy industry. The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States is having a major impact on the real estate market from Pennsylvania to Texas. It's certainly driving up prices and tightening the market in Denver. From Colorado Public Radio, Ben Markus reports.
William Roman wants to borrow money, but his bank won't lend him any more. So he's turning to his local pawn shop.
For Roman, a loan from the pawn shop is a lot easier to get. He doesn't have to fill out an application. The people at the pawn shop don't check his credit — all they want is something valuable, something they call sell if Roman doesn't pay them back.
"I've pawned laptops, PlayStations," says Roman. "If I'm not using it, then I'll just go and pawn it."
Makis Anagnostou, a worker and union leader, bottles lavender-scented fabric softener at VIO.ME, a former tile materials factory that went bust and has been revived by its staff as a collective making environmentally-friendly detergent.
Credit Joanna Kakissis
Empty bottles that will hold fabric softener made with vinegar and lavender.
The financial crisis in Greece has devastated the country's manufacturing sector, which has lost more than 30 percent of its jobs in the past three years. But at one factory in an industrial center in the north, workers have taken matters into their own hands.
Inside the cavernous factory on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, eight middle-aged men are filling bottles with a vinegar-based fabric softener that's scented with fresh lavender.
Federal prosecutors finally brought their case against SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund that for years has outperformed almost all of its competitors. Prosecutors say they know why. The firm encouraged the use of illegal insider information and trading on that information became a part of the firm's culture, according to the indictment.
In the high-profile civil case against Wall Street titan Steven Cohen, federal authorities accuse the hedge fund head of allowing insider trading within his ranks. Cohen's lawyers offered up a defense fit for the digital age: They claim he didn't see a key, incriminating email because he gets too many messages — an estimated 1,000 a day, and opens only 11 percent of them.
After what is rumored to be a multimillion-dollar naming deal, the iconic Cowboys Stadium will be called AT&T Stadium from now on.
In a press release, AT&T said part of its attraction to the deal was that Dallas is the company's home. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that the naming deal ties the team with "one of the world's strongest and most innovative companies."
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against one of the most famous and successful hedge funds in the world. The government alleges that SAC Capital Advisors is criminally responsible for insider trading that went on at the firm.
Organic egg farmers are divided in their reaction to a new FDA proposal that's intended to reduce the risk of salmonella infection among free-roaming chickens. They even disagree about what the document, called "Guidance for Industry," actually requires.
President Obama is putting out a message of economic revitalization, starting with the middle class. Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, explains why the executive branch is pushing the message now. She speaks with guest host Celeste Headleee.
Federal officials in New York City have charged SAC Capital Advisors with insider trading, the culmination of a protracted investigation into the hedge fund founded by embattled billionaire Steven Cohen.
SAC is charged with one count of wire fraud and four counts of securities fraud in connection with alleged insider trading by "numerous employees" at "various times between in or about 1999 through at least in or about 2010," according to the indictment.
The city of Detroit may be on the skids financially, but one of its traditional "big three" automakers just scored a big win.
For the first time since it began making such comparisons between sedans in 1992, Consumer Reports magazine has given its top rating to a model made by a U.S. automaker — not one made by a European or Japanese company.
The increase is from what had been a 10-week low. But basically, claims have been ranging between the mid-330,000s and mid-370,000s all year. Like other employment indicators, the jobless claims figures have been signalling that job growth remains modest.
DAVID GREENE. HOST: Hollywood movies are full of bombs this summer, and I mean both literally and figuratively. There have been a lot of big expensive movies, often action movies, that have not done very well at the box office. NPR's Elizabeth Blair says think "After Earth," "The Lone Ranger," and "White House Down."
ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: First, there have been some hits this summer, mostly sequels like "Iron Man 3."
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ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.: (as Tony Stark) We can do this, Heather.
A former executive at Goldman Sachs will take the stand again in his civil fraud trial this morning. Fabrice Tourre is accused of misleading investors about a security he marketed and sold in the months leading up to the subprime mortgage collapse.
Tourre began testifying yesterday afternoon, and NPR's Jim Zarroli was there. Jim, good morning.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Good morning.
GREENE: So give us the background, here, if you can. What is Fabrice Tourre accused of, exactly?
Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.
"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."
Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.