Business

The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

A drilling site rises from the middle of farmland near Fairfield, N.D. Many farmers and ranchers are profiting from the state's oil boom, but others complain that drillers are interfering with their business.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:00 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

Donny Nelson is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Keene, N.D., a rural community located in the center of an oil rush.

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Business
3:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 12:56 pm

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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All Tech Considered
1:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Boarding Pass Design That's So Much Better Than What We Have

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:58 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:14 pm

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Missing For 112 Years, First Porsche Is Found In Warehouse

The P1, now known as the "first Porsche."
Juergen Skarwan Porsche.com

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:21 pm

Even the famed German automaker concedes that it "may resemble an old horse-drawn carriage."

But the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds," writes the automotive news site Jalopnik, and could chug along at 22 mph.

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Around the Nation
11:36 am
Wed January 29, 2014

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 5:55 pm

On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
9:04 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Boom: See A Modern-Day Gold Rush In Motion

Ritter Brothers, a jewelry shop in Williston, N.D., sells novelties that might appeal to those benefiting from the region's recent oil boom.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:30 pm

If you've seen any coverage of North Dakota's oil boom, you've seen the images — oil rigs, truck traffic, "man camps," miles of temporary housing.

But there is something about this place that just can't be captured by a still photograph. It's a feeling you get when you cruise down an endless highway under a vast, big sky — until suddenly: BOOM. You're wedged between semitrucks dwarfing what was once a quiet farm town.

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Business
4:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Interpol On The Case Of Stolen Stradivarius

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business is: the $6 million heist.

Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra had just finished a performance Monday night with his Stradivarius violin from 1715, when the violin was stolen from him.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:17 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Cold Temperatures Boost Demand For Natural Gas

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama used the State of the Union speech to talk up the state of the domestic fuel industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. One of the reasons why is natural gas.

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Sports
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Is There An Economic Benefit To Hosting The Super Bowl?

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Super Bowl is just four days away in New York.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Actually, New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The teams have arrived at their New York hotels.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: The game itself will be played at New York's MetLife Stadium.

MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.

INSKEEP: Local towns have been hoping for an economic boost from hosting the big game. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some officials in New Jersey complain that tourism dollars seem to be flowing instead to New York City.

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Product Launches Expected To Drag Ford's 2014 Profits Down

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a strong finish.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Ford Motor Company closed the books on 2013 with higher than expected profits. The Detroit automaker's net earnings for the year surpassed $7 billion.

But as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, Ford is warning that 2014 will be more challenging.

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Politics
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Business
2:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

NCAA To Fight Football Team's Decision To Unionize

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?

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Around the Nation
12:54 am
Wed January 29, 2014

On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything

Diners at Lonnie's Roadhouse Cafe eat breakfast before heading to work in Williston, N.D.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:49 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.

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Business
2:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

A Chinese Company Brings Hope To Former GM Workers In Ohio

An abandoned General Motors automotive assembly plant near Dayton, Ohio, will soon become home to Fuyao Auto Glass, a Chinese windshield maker.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:55 pm

For years, industrial cities across the U.S. have watched factories pack up and leave, taking their operations to Mexico or China. But here's something relatively new: increasing numbers of Chinese companies are bringing manufacturing to the United States.

Just south of Dayton, Ohio, a Chinese auto-glass maker now plans to open up shop in what used to be a large General Motors truck plant.

The announcement is a big deal for this former factory town.

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Planet Money
2:33 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Who Are The Long-Term Unemployed? (In 3 Graphs)

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Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:54 am

When you are out of work and looking for 27 weeks or longer, you become part of a group the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls long-term unemployed. The share of long-term unemployed workers hit its peak in May 2010, when 46 percent of the unemployed were long-term unemployed. It has hovered around 40 percent of the unemployed in the three years since.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Illinois Train Conductor's Challenge: Keep The Beer From Freezing

In an Illinois railyard, train cars carrying beers such as Corona and Pacifico are at risk of spoiling their cargo if freezing temperatures take hold.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:18 pm

In a railyard outside Chicago, the deep cold of winter can threaten a Midwest staple: beer. The large distribution hub regularly holds more than 1 million cases, according to Crain's Chicago Business. A Crain's reporter spent a night on the job with the man who must keep the beer safe.

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Shots - Health News
9:27 am
Tue January 28, 2014

How A Divorce Can Boost Health Insurance Subsidies

iStockphoto

As the enrollment period continues for health coverage on the state health insurance marketplaces, people continue to have many questions about buying a plan there.

What happens with premium tax credits if a couple gets divorced? If the premium tax credit is based on the previous year's income when the couple filed taxes jointly, many wouldn't qualify. But once someone is divorced, one individual might have little income. What is the subsidy based on in that situation?

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Tue January 28, 2014

One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is a co-sponsor of the new bill.
Charles Dharapak AP

HealthCare.gov's infamous failure to launch has inspired some fresh legislation that aims to organize and streamline the currently scattered — and expensive — approach to multimillion-dollar technology projects built by the government and its contractors.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

President Obama, working at his desk Monday night on the eve of his 2014 State of the Union address.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:06 am

News broke this morning that President Obama will announce during his State of the Union address tonight that he's going to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage in new federal contracts.

And as stories about that were popping up on news sites, one of the president's top advisers was on Morning Edition saying that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using such executive orders to advance his agenda.

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Business
5:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

P&G To Roll Out Chocolate-Flavored Crest

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:20 am

Mint Chocolate Trek is one of three new flavored toothpastes P&G has announced. The other two: Lime Spearmint Zest and Vanilla Mint Spark. Procter and Gamble says the dessert flavored toothpastes are as effective on teeth as any toothpaste.

Business
3:17 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Paid Leave Laws Catch On Across the Nation

Activists hold signs during a rally for paid sick leave at New York's City Hall last year.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:55 am

This month, Rhode Island became the third state in the nation to offer workers paid family leave to care for a loved one. And on Tuesday, Newark, N.J., became the latest in a small wave of cities to mandate paid sick leave.

The policies cover both public and private sector workers, and a dozen more areas are considering some variation of them.

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Planet Money
2:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

White House Reminds Firms Not To Overlook Long-Term Jobless

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's another item likely to be part of tonight's State of the Union address: helping the long term unemployed. The president is expected to announce that some of America's firms have signed a pledge not to discriminate against the long term unemployed when they're hiring. This week, the president plans to meet with many of the CEOs of those companies. NPR's Zoe Chace from our Planet Money team reports on the surprising experiment that, in part, lead to this meeting.

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Economy
2:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Researchers Examine Gap Between Rich And Poor

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with income inequality.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: President Obama has dropped a few hints that one of the themes of his State of the Union address tonight will be the growing gap between the rich and the poor. He recently called economic mobility and inequality the defining challenge of our times. So is it?

Harvard researchers have been examining this question, including a co-author of a study, Nathan Hendren.

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Politics
2:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Capitol Hill Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Farm Bill

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All that took was a two year delay. House and Senate negotiators last night reached a compromise on the Farm Bill. That legislation deals with agriculture, of course, and also governs the federal food stamp program, from which billions will be cut. Derek Wallbank of Bloomberg News has been covering this story. He's on the line. Welcome to the program.

DAVID WALLBANK: Thank you very much for having me.

INSKEEP: So what took Congress so long?

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All Tech Considered
7:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

Tom Perkins is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist and the author of the novel, Sex and the Single Zillionaire.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:09 pm

Multi-millionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins tried to apologize — kind of — for comparing the protests against the techno-affluent to Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi rampage that led to 91 killings and 30,000 Jews sent to concentration camps.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:53 pm

Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.

The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.

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Economy
3:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Middle Class Took Off 100 Years Ago ... Thanks To Henry Ford?

Ford's use of a moving line reduced a car's assembly time from 12 hours to 93 minutes, but this made the work repetitive for workers like the ones here, who are making flywheels. So Ford paid workers $5 a day, an extraordinary amount at the time.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:17 am

The home of the Ford Model T is now an abandoned factory complex along busy Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, Mich., and there's not much to distinguish this place from Detroit's other industrial ruins.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:53 pm

The National Security Agency, along with its British counterpart, the GCHQ, can exploit sometimes very personal data that leaks from popular phone apps.

That's according to The New York Times, which is basing its reporting on secret British documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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The Salt
10:51 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

A worker at New York's Kings County Distillery, which opened in 2010. Before going legit with the operation, co-founder Colin Spoelman (not pictured) learned to make moonshine in his Brooklyn apartment without a permit.
Courtesy of Valery Rizzo

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:26 pm

Within days after each season premiere and season finale of the Discovery Channel's reality show "Moonshiners," they come — a small but perceptible wave of people — to purchase suspiciously large amounts of corn, sugar and hardy strains of fermenting yeast at Austin Homebrew Supply.

"We know what they're up to," says Chris Ellison, the manager of the Texas store.

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