Business

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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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, CEO of the BitInstant bitcoin exchange, and another man have been charged with allegedly laundering money for individuals who illegally bought drugs online.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon January 27, 2014

FAA Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 767 Jets

An American Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from Miami International Airport.
Wilfredo Lee AP

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered safety inspections on Monday of all Boeing 767 jets.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, the FAA is worried about potential problems to the aircraft's horizontal flight-control surfaces, which could result in a "possible loss of control of the airplane."

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Parallels
7:52 am
Mon January 27, 2014

As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are 'Reshoring'

Paul Gibson works on the Geo-Spring hybrid water heater at General Electric's Louisville, Ky., plant. For many years, GE outsourced manufacturing of the water heater to a company in China. But in 2009, it decided to bring production back to the U.S.
Jackie Northam NPR

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

For decades, American companies have been sending their manufacturing work overseas. Extremely low wages in places like China, Vietnam and the Philippines reduced costs and translated into cheaper prices for consumers wanting flat-screen TVs, dishwashers and a range of gadgets.

But now a growing number of American companies are reversing that trend, bringing manufacturing back to the United States in a trend known as "reshoring."

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Business
6:15 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Rate Of First-Class Stamp Increases

A first-class stamp costs 49 cents as of Monday. That's a three-cent increase. It's the largest increase in consumer postage prices in more than a decade.

Business
6:14 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Not Shaving Hurts Razor Sales

Proctor & Gamble says the trend of letting facial hair grow is hurting sales in its razor division.

Business
3:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Federal Reserve Officials To Evaluate Stimulus Easing

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week to decide whether to continue easing up on economic stimulus measures. The pullback by the Fed so far is being felt around the world, especially in some emerging markets.

Business
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Former Wonkblog Team To Create New Site For Vox Media

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Ezra Klein and the team behind the Wonkblog at The Washington Post have found a new home. They are joining Vox Media, a digital outfit with sites serving sports fans, foodies and gamers — but little in the way of news about politics. The creation of the new site, tentatively called Project X, demonstrates the pull of digital media for entrepreneurial journalists.

Politics
2:55 am
Mon January 27, 2014

IRS Wants To Tighten Its Rule On Social Welfare Groups

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Internal Revenue Service wants to tighten rules on social welfare groups and it has opened itself up for public comment, giving Americans a chance to sound off. It seems people have a lot to sound off about. The agency has received thousands of comments about the IRS scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status and the hundreds of millions of dollars raised from unnamed donors and spent on the 2012 elections. NPR's Peter Overby has more.

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Economy
1:31 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Bernanke's Fed Legacy: A Tenure Full Of Tough Decisions

Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke about the Federal Reserve's first and next century on Thursday at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:25 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will preside over his last Fed policy-making meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Saturday morning, the first woman ever to lead the nation's central bank, Janet Yellen, will take over.

There's no doubt that during his two terms as chairman, Bernanke faced a challenge unlike any Fed chairman since the Great Depression: a global financial crisis that threatened to become financial Armageddon and followed by a deep recession.

Bernanke talked about how he survived it all during an appearance at the Brookings Institution recently.

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Economy
3:50 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Taking Stock Of The Northern Plains Oil Boom

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 4:20 pm

Beginning next week, NPR News will be taking an in-depth look at the unprecedented oil drilling boom happening on the Northern Plains, where the state of North Dakota has fast become one of the nation's most productive drilling regions. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with NPR reporter Kirk Siegler, back from a recent reporting trip in North Dakota for the series.

Media
3:50 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

'The Tonight Show' And The Business Of Late Night

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:54 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, in for Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")

JAY LENO: Welcome to "Tonight Show." Now, folks...

: Next month, a new host will welcome the audience on "The Tonight Show." After two decades of hosting the program, Jay Leno is passing the torch to Jimmy Fallon. Fallon announced NBC's decision to change hosts last spring.

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Code Switch
7:43 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Can The Auto Industry Win The Future If It Looks Like 1974?

Incoming General Motors CEO Mary Barra at the center of the press scrum during the North American International Auto Show.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:33 pm

So my week at the North American International Auto Show is wrapping up. It's my fourth Detroit Auto Show. And boy has it come a long way.

There is a vibrancy and spirit this year that's different than other shows. There's also been a lot more money spent. The tenor of the show is very different than when the federal government had an ownership stake in Chrysler and General Motors.

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Technology
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Paramount Cuts Film, Giving The Starring Role To Digital

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's a heavy burden for such a light movie but it's possible that Anchorman 2 is the movie that will ring in the end of film. The L.A. Times reported last week that Paramount Pictures, the studio that made "Anchorman 2," will move to a completely digital format to distribute its films to theaters. It's a shift with huge implications, not just for cinephiles who are attached to the warmth and quality of 35 millimeter film, but for archivists who rely on film as a medium that will stand the test of time.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon

Piglets at Hilldale Farm in State Center, Iowa in March 2013, just before porcine epidemic diarrhea began spreading through hog farms in the U.S.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.

Canada reported its first case Thursday, and the disease shows no sign of abating. That has veterinarians worried.

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The New And The Next
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

The Business Of Hip-Hop; Luring Millennials To Life Insurance

Rayon Richards Ozy

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 8:44 pm

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 guest host Kelly McEvers about a rising star who has made hip-hop serious business, and the advertising tactics that life insurance companies are using to attract young people.

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Economy
4:04 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Trouble In Emerging Markets Causes Stocks To Take A Tumble

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Stock prices soared in the past year, but this was a rough week and prices really tumbled today. The Dow lost 318 points, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fell 2.1 percent. This was part of a global sell-off, as investors focus on the growing financial turmoil in the developing world. NPR's Chris Arnold is following this and he joins me now. Chris, the year started off looking like the global economy was more stable. We didn't have a financial crisis unfolding somewhere. So what's going on now?

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Holder Favors Pot Banking, And Legal Dealers Shrug

A marijuana bud and cash at a shop in Denver. An owner of marijuana stores in the city says of his company's bank account, "We treat it like gold."
Ed Andrieski AP

When I heard late Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder had come out in favor of bank accounts for state-sanctioned pot businesses, I assumed the industry would react with cheers. After all, they've long complained about being black-balled by banks, which are justifiably afraid of violating federal laws against handling drug money.

But when I started calling around today, the reactions ranged from "That's nice" to "Meh."

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Dow Loses 318 Points, The Most In One Day Since June

The Dow closed 318 points lower on Friday, the biggest one-day drop since June.

As NBC News puts it, the index joined the rout that hit European and Asian markets on fears that the global economy is slowing.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

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Business
2:27 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

In The Super Bowl Ad Game, One Small Business Will Win Big

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:55 pm

Super Bowl suspense is building — for the game and the commercials. With an audience of over 100 million people, advertisers covet this space, but at a reported $4 million a spot, only the mightiest corporations can afford Super Bowl exposure. This year, though, there's an exception. One lucky little business will get one of those primo slots — free.

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