Business

Around the Nation
3:07 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Feds Consider How Colo. Pot Shops Can Get Bank Accounts

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Treasury and Justice Departments issued guidelines, last week, allowing marijuana stores to do their banking like any other small business. The new rules assures banks there will be no retribution if they provide financial services to state licensed firms that provide medical or recreational marijuana. Banks are still not so eager to play since the drug is still against federal law, which leaves legit pot businesses dealing mostly in cash.

Ben Markus reports from Colorado Public Radio.

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Latin America
2:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Trade Issues Expected To Dominate Obama's Trip To Mexico

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

And I'm Renee Montagne. President Obama arrives in Mexico today to meet with Mexico's president and Canada's prime minister. It's been dubbed the meeting of the Three Amigos. The one day summit of North America's leaders will focus on trade and commerce, but also on the agenda: security, energy, border issues and immigration. NPR's Carrie Kahn is in Toluca near Mexico City, where the summit begins later today. Good morning.

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The Salt
1:44 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Is Tyson Foods' Chicken Empire A 'Meat Racket'?

Chickens gather around a feeder in a Tyson Foods poultry house in Washington County, Ark.
April L. Brown AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:38 pm

Christopher Leonard's new exposé on the chicken industry, The Meat Racket, doesn't devote much ink to the physical object on our plate, the chicken meat itself.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs

Darlene Handy of Baltimore holds up a banner at a rally supporting a pay measure in Maryland. More than 20 states have raised minimum pay rates above the federal level.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."

Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.

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The Salt
2:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Order Up! Food Businesses Find An Appetite For Bitcoin

Bitcoin isn't just for shady business — it can also buy you some delicious goodness. The Old Fitzroy pub in Sydney is one of many food and drink businesses beginning to accept bitcoins as a valid method of payment.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 4:22 pm

Hungry for a Philly cheesesteak or a hot Reuben sandwich? That'll be about 0.001 bitcoin, please.

From restaurants to breweries, to even your local farmers market and lemonade stand, the popular cryptocurrency has inched its way into the food industry, as more vendors consider it a valid form of payment.

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Business
2:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Dealt A Recent Defeat, Union Organizers Plot A Future In The South

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The United Auto Workers Union suffered a major defeat when a drive to represent workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee failed last week. Right now, leaders of the AFL-CIO are holding their winter meetings in Houston and that VW vote is a major topic.

NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea has more.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Obama Wants Tougher Fuel Standards For Big Trucks

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:02 pm

President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Chinese Firm Gets Approval To Buy Electric Carmaker Fisker

The Karma sedan, a premium electric plug-in hybrid by Fisker Automotive, is seen at the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:51 am

This post was updated at 11:45 a.m.

A bankruptcy judge in Delaware has approved the sale of bankrupt electric carmaker Fisker to China's largest auto parts company.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reported on the story for our Newscast Unit.

"Wanxiang Group — China's largest auto parts company — won a bankruptcy auction last week for Fisker, which made plug-in, hybrid sports cars. Wanxiang's bid is valued at about $150 million. Fisker, which is based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection late last year.

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Shots - Health News
8:34 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Despite Law, Health Plans Refuse Medical Claims Related To Suicide

iStockphoto

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.

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NPR Story
6:08 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Candy Crush Saga's Developer Plans To Go Public

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:09 am

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.

Health Care
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

More U.S. Companies Switch To High Deductible Health Plans

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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?

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Around the Nation
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

California Toasts 2013's Record Wine Grape Harvest

Chardonnay grapes are picked in the Stelling Vineyard at Far Niente winery Wednesday morning, Aug. 28, 2013 in Oakville, Calif.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:03 pm

California may be stricken by drought, but this month it's also celebrating a record wine grape harvest for 2013.

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Business
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Black Market Tobacco Sales Hurt New York Businesses

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

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Business
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Japan's Central Bank Tries To Encourage More Lending

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the Bank of Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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.

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Around the Nation
1:33 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.
Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:39 am

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."

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Business
2:13 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Demographic Shifts Contribute To The Changing Face Of Retail

Retailers, including Wal-Mart, are trying to adapt their models to suit urban areas, including this mixed-use retail and residential development in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:59 pm

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.

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All Tech Considered
2:13 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Hurting For Cash, Online Porn Tries New Tricks

Porn has a distinct problem that less racy media companies don't have: Users are afraid of leaving a digital record. Paid sites are trying to lure viewers out of the shadows and into credit card payments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:59 pm

I hit the streets of San Francisco to ask strangers their favorite search terms for online pornography. It was not hard to get answers, even on the record.

"Teacher porn, student-teacher fantasy," Jason Ravel says at a coffee shop. "That's who I was around most often in grade school. I was a really good student."

Chanelle Dorton, who's passing by a train station, is into ebony lesbian sex. "I don't like straight porn," she says.

Cab driver Neel Bell likes "heterosexual porn that doesn't involve porn stars. It lets you think that it's a real-life situation more."

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Business
5:36 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Founder Of Hair And Skin-Care Line Aveda Dies

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:57 am

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.

Business
4:20 am
Mon February 17, 2014

So Far, 2014 Is A Good Year For Precious Metals

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:57 am

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.

Business
3:23 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Compounding Pharmacies Called On To Make Execution Drugs

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Shots - Health News
1:39 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Finessing Health Coverage: When To Buy Insurance For A New Baby

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 am

We're heading into the home stretch to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act this year. The open enrollment period ends March 31 for most people.

But there are exceptions. And they are the subject of many of our questions this month.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids' Menu

Kids as young as 13 purchase e-cigarettes, or "vape pens," online, where independent sellers don't necessarily ask a buyer's age.
Jenny Lei Bolario Youth Radio

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:59 pm

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.

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Business
7:09 am
Sun February 16, 2014

The Green Rush Begins: Investors Get In On Pot's Ground Floor

Marijuana is sold for recreational use in Denver. Legalization of pot has set off a "green rush" to invest among venture capitalists.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 9:44 am

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.

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The New And The Next
3:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Super-Secure, Temporary Texts Draw Interest Of Business Crowd

Image Source

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:00 am

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.

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Around the Nation
9:13 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Tenn. Workers Vote To Reject Union At VW Plant

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 11:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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?

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The Two-Way
8:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Tenn. VW Workers Reject Move To Join Union

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. Its employees voted this week on whether to join the United Auto Workers union.
Volkswagen

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.

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Law
4:12 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

With New Rules, Pot Business Gets A Little Less Hazy For Banks

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Feds Clear Banks To Do Business With Budding Pot Industry

A bag of marijuana being prepared for sale sits next to a money jar at BotanaCare in Northglenn, Colorado, in this file photo taken on December 31, 2013.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

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."

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All Tech Considered
10:35 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Tech Week: Love In Digital Times, Big Cable, Facebook Genders

Comcast announced a $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable this week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In California

NRG celebrates the future of solar energy at the grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on Thursday in Nipton, Calif.
Jeff Bottari Invision for NRG

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.

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