Business

Law
1:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

One of the questions before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:40 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.

At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.

To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

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Business
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

T-Mobile CEO Swears (Like A Sailor) That Industry Will Change

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And it's been a big year for T-Mobile. The telecom company finally landed the iPhone. It started trading as a public company and has kicked off a price war with its competitors. In the process, it's become the fastest-growing mobile phone company in the country, recruiting 4.4 million new customers. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, T-Mobile's combative and profane CEO, John Legere, is grabbing all the headlines.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

D.C. Barbecue Joint Serves Food For Soul And Mind

Chef Furard Tate says he wanted to "bring love back" to a Washington, D.C., neighborhood damaged since the 1968 riots.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Chef Furard Tate is the kind of man who never sits still. He flits from the order desk at Inspire BBQ back to the busy kitchen, where young men are seasoning sauce, cooking macaroni and cheese, and finishing off some dry-rubbed ribs smoked on a grill.

"We grill on a real grill," Tate says. "None of this electric stuff."

But as important as the food is, Tate says it's also important that it's made by young hands who must learn a slow, consistent process.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

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Business
6:04 am
Mon January 20, 2014

There's An App To Fight A San Francisco Parking Ticket

People in the Bay Area are familiar with San Francisco's many complicated parking laws, and the very expensive consequences of disobeying them. Nearly half of all parking tickets are dismissed in court but fighting a ticket takes time and knowledge. David Hegarty started Fixed, an app that fights parking tickets for you.

The Salt
6:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

Marty Travis (right) started the Stewards of the Land food hub in 2005. His son Will helps him transport food from local farms to area restaurants.
Sean Powers Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:10 pm

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they're not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

But they need help, and increasingly it's coming from food hubs, which can also serve as food processing and distribution centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are about 240 of them in more than 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 11:34 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Media
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Biography Argues Roger Ailes Uses Fox To Divide Nation

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Roger Ailes is a hero to the political right and a boogeyman to the left for leading the Fox News Channel to become the top-rated force in cable news --- the competition is not even close. Ailes and Fox refused to cooperate with author Gabriel Sherman.

Business
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Movie Studio To Phase Out 35 Millimeter Film

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a film phase out.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Paramount Pictures will be the first major Hollywood studio to stop releasing movies on 35 millimeter film. The Los Angeles Times reports the motion picture studio is now distributing its films to U.S. theaters in digital format only.

Around the Nation
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Miami Children's Hospital Sheds Light On Upfront Costs

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Every hospital has a price list but it is hard for the average consumer to figure out what a hospital really charges for care. Traditionally, the price on that list is nowhere near what it actually expects you or an insurance company to pay.

Around the Nation
1:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label

Prince George's County, Md., Police Officer Juan Damian and Dora Escobar outside one of her popular check cashing businesses.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

On a recent Friday evening in Langley Park, Md., police officer Juan Damian drives his patrol car past fast food restaurants, discount stores and Hispanic groceries.

Damian estimates that at least two-thirds of the people here are undocumented, and that has made it a magnet for robberies over the years. Gangs know undocumented day workers are especially lucrative targets, he says. Their pockets are often stuffed with a day's or even a week's worth of wages. The street term for these men: "walking ATMs."

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Business
3:19 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Ford's Master Of Disguise Keeps Latest Models Undercover

Al Wilkinson, who created the disguise for the 2015 Ford Mustang, says the extra layers don't affect the car's aerodynamics.
Brenda Priddy Brenda Priddy & Company

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 4:42 pm

For months, the 50th anniversary 2015 Ford Mustang was cloaked in secrecy. But an upcoming car can't stay in the garage forever. It has to undergo rigorous testing, and that means taking it out in traffic to monitor its handling on roads across the U.S.

To keep the redesign out of the public eye before December, Ford completely covered the car with camouflage.

"Underneath that material is a whole science and art, all-in-one," says Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak. "They're creating a new exterior over the exterior."

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Europe
3:16 am
Sun January 19, 2014

From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.
Courtesy Rinaldo Willy/Algordanza

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 9:59 am

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend. Now, they might also be her mother, father or grandmother.

Swiss company Algordanza takes cremated human remains and — under high heat and pressure that mimic conditions deep within the Earth — compresses them into diamonds.

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Sports
4:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

The NFL: Big Business With Big Tax Breaks

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will hold the 2014 Super Bowl. The stadium gets a break on local property taxes.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 9:04 am

If you're a football fan, Sunday is kind of like Christmas.

Two conference championship games will determine the teams that advance to the Super Bowl, and the matchups couldn't be more exciting: Denver vs. New England (Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady). And some would say the other game, pitting San Francisco against Seattle, might just feature the two best teams in the league.

America shows its love for the sport in many ways beyond breathless anticipation of big games. It also gives back to the National Football League with tax breaks and publicly funded stadiums.

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Around the Nation
7:31 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Donors Pitch In To Protect Detroit's Art And Pensions

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 9:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Ford's New Truck, GM's New CEO Star At Detroit Auto Show

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 9:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The North American International Auto Show opens to the public today. That's the fancy name for the Detroit car show. NPR's Sonari Glinton has been getting a sneak preview in the Motor City, hanging out with engineers and auto execs. And he's with us now. Good to talk with you, Sonari.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: It's good to be here, Lynn.

NEARY: Now, you've spent, I think, four days at the car show. What are the standouts?

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Supreme Court To Decide If Warrant Needed To Search Cellphone

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if police can seize and look through a suspect's cellphone without getting a warrant. This photo shows women in Los Angeles using smartphones on Jan. 7.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court is delving into the technology-versus-privacy debate, agreeing to hear two cases that test whether police making an arrest may search cellphones without a warrant.

The court's announcement Friday that it would take the cases came just hours after President Obama outlined his proposals to address government retention of citizen phone data as part of his speech outlining reforms at the National Security Agency.

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Economy
3:28 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

In The Long Wait For Aid From Washington, Job Hunters Despair

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Lawmakers are promising new efforts to restore jobless benefits for long-term unemployed, but it may take a while - 1.4 million people who've been out of work long term saw their benefits disappear three weeks ago. Congress failed to agree on funding to renew them. NPR's Tovia Smith visited with a few people who are without work in Boston.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Chemical Company In West Virginia Water Crisis Files For Bankruptcy

Freedom Industries, which has been blamed for a chemical spill that left thousands of people without water, has filed for bankruptcy. The company's facility on Barlow St. is seen here on the banks of the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:40 pm

Freedom Industries, the West Virginia company that's been blamed for a chemical spill that left around 300,000 people without water for days, has filed for bankruptcy. The chemical used in cleaning coal leaked into the Elk River and into the public water system.

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All Tech Considered
1:53 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Week That Was: Smart Fridge Hack, Net Neutrality And The NSA

An LG representative shows off a smart refrigerator at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 10.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Nothing ends the tech week with a bang like the president's much-anticipated words on the NSA. But let's start with the weekly roundup of tech news from here at NPR and our friends at publications around the country.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
11:38 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Analysts: Credit Card Hacking Goes Much Further Than Target

Hackers use credit card scanning machines as part of their sophisticated campaign to steal credit card information and sell it.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:23 pm

The holiday season data breach at Target that hit more than 70 million consumers was part of a wide and highly skilled international hacking campaign that's "almost certainly" based in Russia. That's according to a report prepared for federal and private investigators by Dallas-based cybersecurity firm iSight Partners.

And the fraudsters are so skilled that sources say at least a handful of other retailers have been compromised.

"The intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," the iSight report says.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, U.S. Bank To End Payday Loan Program

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 6:09 am

Wells Fargo & Co., Fifth Third Bank and U.S. Bank said Friday that they will stop offering "deposit advances," a kind of payday loan that had come under fire by federal regulators last year.

With about $1.5 trillion in assets, Wells Fargo was the largest bank offering the costly, low-dollar loans. Regions Bank announced an end to deposit advances earlier this week.

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TED Radio Hour
7:36 am
Fri January 17, 2014

How Do We Cultivate Women Leaders?

James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Disruptive Leadership.

About Sheryl Sandberg's TEDTalk

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gets to the bottom line for women who want to lead.

About Sheryl Sandberg

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Expected To Say NSA Should Not Hold 'Metadata'

Nicolas Armer DPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 7:51 am

President Obama is expected to announce Friday morning that he is "ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone 'metadata' " that the National Security Agency collects, officials are telling Reuters and NPR.

The wire service, which broke the story, writes that:

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Business
4:41 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Colombia Aims To Improve Its Embattled Mining Industry

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Colombia is a country famous for its exports. It's well known that those exports traditionally include flowers and, also, unfortunately, cocaine. You may not realize Columbia is also the world's fourth largest coal exporter thanks in part to the Drummond Coal Company. The Alabama-based mining firm produces about 25 million tons of coal annually in the South American country.

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Europe
2:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Catalonia Pushes For Independence From Spain

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Many in the region of Catalonia in Spain are pushing to secede from the country, partly for cultural and partly for economic reasons. Naturally, the government of Spain opposes that. But yesterday, the regional parliament pressed the bid for independence a step further.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Lauren Frayer reports.

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Business
2:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

NBA's Sacramento Kings To Accept Bitcoins

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a slam dunk for Bitcoins.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Pro basketball's Sacramento Kings will now accept Bitcoins, the electronic currency, as payment for just about everything, from court-side seats, to a DeMarcus Cousins jersey. The Kings are the first major professional sports team to accept the virtual currency.

Business
2:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

DirecTV: Customers Balked At Weather Channel's Reality Shows

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story began as pretty much your standard contract dispute. The Weather Channel wanted more money for its programming, and DirectTV wanted to pay less.

So, at 12:01 Tuesday morning, the satellite service dropped the Weather Channel and replaced it with a smaller producer of weather programming, which raises the question: How much do TV viewers really want or need weather information when they can get it from other sources?

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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Business
2:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

'Omaha' Businesses Back Peyton Manning's Foundation

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is...

PEYTON MANNING: Omaha.

MONTAGNE: Yes, Omaha. It's more than just the biggest city in Nebraska. It's also a signal that Denver Bronco's quarterback Peyton Manning barked out repeatedly last Sunday during a playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.

MANNING: Omaha.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Denver.

MANNING: Omaha. Omaha.

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Planet Money
1:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America

Franklin D. Roosevelt Libarary

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:46 pm

In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.

"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."

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