Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:02 pm
Dealing with the aftermath of a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. But some health plans make a harrowing experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide, even though the federal health law doesn't allow such exclusions, legal and government analysts say.
Yet patients or their loved ones often don't realize that.
King Digital Entertainment filed for an initial public offering aimed at bringing in a half-billion dollars. The company revealed it has 128 million active daily users, with 93 million playing Candy Crush Saga, the Apple App Store's No. 2 highest-grossing game. King also makes Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
The cost of health care in this country seems to be coming under control. Health care spending, while still on the rise, has increased at historically levels the last few years, which makes you wonder: Why aren't we feeling it?
When CVS announced it would stop selling tobacco products later this year, industry experts predicted that other drugstore chains might follow suit - which makes you wonder if this means more business for other places that sell cigarettes.
Reporter Kaomi Goetz checked in with some of the grocery stores, newsstands and other small shops in New York City.
NPR's business news starts with the Bank of Japan.
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MONTAGNE: This morning, Japan's Central Bank doubled incentives it offers to banks in an effort to encourage more lending. The move is meant to weaken the yen, which would make Japanese goods more affordable - in turn, encouraging Americans and Chinese to buy those goods.
Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.
"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."
So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy's said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April.
That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.
Horst Rechelbacher died over the weekend at age 72 at his farm in Wisconsin. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago. Aveda was among the first to use organic ingredients for hair and skin.
Gold has reached a price of more than $1,300 an ounce — the highest since early November. Gold is up 10 percent this year after a 28 percent drop in 2013. Silver has posted even greater gains – it's up 12 percent.
This week, a federal judge in Oklahoma is considering whether a particular drug used to carry out lethal injections amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The drug in question is prepared by a compounding pharmacy, a business that's asked to mix specific drugs - in this case, with the intention of executing a prisoner. David Miller of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists says this is not a service they're eager to provide.
Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.
In the past, you could go to jail for selling marijuana. Now, depending upon where you live, you could end up going to the bank.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. It's become a $1.5-billion-a-year industry, and it's expected to triple in just a few years. With legal cannabis one of the world's fastest growing market sectors, investors are seeing green.
The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.
This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about a new texting service that promises tight security. While Snapchat has become a popular way to text photos that disappear after a number of seconds, recent hacks have raised questions about its security. A service called Privatext provides an alternative that has gained interest among some professionals.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Tough night for the United Auto Workers. The union hoped employees at Volkswagen's only U.S. plant might help give them a foothold into foreign-owned auto plants across the South, but VW workers voted no, and Volkswagen had not opposed their efforts. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has been covering the story and joins us now. Blake, thanks for being with us.
BLAKE FARMER, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.
SIMON: Didn't the union think they had the numbers?
Some 1,500 workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have voted not to join the United Auto Workers union. The tally of the three-day vote follows days of political prodding from both sides of the issue.
The 712-626 vote was a devastating blow to the UAW, which had tacit support from VW. The union had hoped to make inroads in auto plants in the South, where organizers have been striving for decades to represent factory workers.
VW had even allowed organizers into the plant to make their sales pitches.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
The Treasury and Justice Departments today sought to clarify for banks how they might navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky because pot is legal in a growing number of states but remains illegal under federal law. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on these new terms under which a bank must operate if it wants to offer financial services to this emerging industry.
The federal government on Friday issued guidelines for banks seeking to do business with the legal marijuana industry, stopping short of a blanket immunity for them, but strongly indicating that prosecutions for such crimes as money laundering would be unlikely.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that the Department of Justice and Treasury Department on Friday sought to "clarify rules for banks trying to navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky, because pot is legal in a growing number of states, but remains illegal under federal law."
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweethearts. Since we saw that the holiday was falling on a Friday this year, our tech reporting team spent the week exploring love in the digital age. To go along with the theme week, our weekly innovation pick was Nothing. Emily Siner explains in the post.
What were you talking about this week? Be part of the conversation in our comment section below or tweet at us.
Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 12:41 pm
The world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in the Mojave Desert, just inside southeastern California near the border with Nevada.
The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which covers 5 square miles and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.
NPR's business news starts with a big clothing purchase.
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INSKEEP: Big purchase this morning. The giant clothing chain store Joseph A. Bank announced it has agreed to buy casual sportswear maker Eddie Bauer for $825 million in cash and stock. That's a lot of short sleeve shirts. This acquisition comes in the midst of ongoing hostile efforts by Joseph A. Bank and its main competitor Men's Warehouse to buy each other. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
No. No. No. People have not come up with an e-Joint. Shares of Tesla Motors crossed the $200 barrier yesterday before falling back down to around $197. That was a record high for the upstart electric car maker. In the last month, Tesla stock has soared more than 43 percent.
The luxury automaker share price quadrupled in 2013. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
On this Valentine's Day, Renee Montagne talks to a young economist about how he tried to apply the rules of the market to his love life. William Nicolson chronicles his journey to find a girlfriend in the memoir, The Romantic Economist.
Methane is both a fuel and a potent greenhouse gas. A study in Science magazine suggests that about 50 percent more methane is leaking into the atmosphere than official estimates suggest. Even so, they conclude that it's better for the environment to switch electricity generation from coal power plants to those that burn methane.
The proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast is raising concerns, not just for the mega cable provider it would create, but also because of the questions it raises about broadband access at a time of uncertainty around the future of network neutrality. More than half of Americans with broadband access are getting it from their cable provider.
This week Getty Images teamed up with LeanIn.org, the nonprofit foundation of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, to release a new collection of stock photos. There are about 2,500 new images of modern women and families.
It's Valentine's Day, and if you aren't giving roses to someone special — or getting them — you might be thinking ahead to next year.
But OkCupid and Match.com may be considered old-school ways to find a mate. These days, whether you're gay or straight, the online dating scene is all about apps. Like a lot of technological change, apps bring efficiency to the process. But that isn't always a good thing.
Kristy Vannatter used to use the online dating service eHarmony, but she says it was a lot of work.