Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:49 pm
When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.
Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:08 pm
Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.
"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll hear about the latest project by Harvard professor and documentary filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. It's a sweeping six-part series about the history of Africans in the Americas dating back to the 1500s. He'll tell us more about that in just a few minutes.
Minimum wage workers in a tiny suburb of Seattle may soon get a big pay raise - a big raise - if voters approve a controversial ballot initiative there next month.
NPR's Martin Kaste reports.
MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: This is SeaTac - it's a smallish suburb halfway between Seattle and Tacoma - hence the name - and the site of the international airport. Tucked behind the long-term parking lots is a low-rise apartment building that's home to some of the airport's workers.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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Let's talk about the latest employment numbers and what they mean. The economy, we're told by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gained 148,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.2 percent. We're getting these numbers a couple of weeks late because of the government shutdown. NPR's Chris Arnold has been following the economy and the shutdown. He's on the line. Hi, Chris.
One year ago the Michigan apple harvest, hurt by a late winter warm-up and a spring freeze, was almost nonexistent at 3 million bushels. This fall, the crop is projected to yield a record-setting 30 million bushels, but now there's concern that not enough pickers will be in the orchards.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:12 pm
The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.
When it comes to union organizing at an auto plant, the tension is typically between the workers and the management. But not at Volkswagen in Tennessee. There, the United Auto Workers is attempting to finally unionize the automaker's first foreign-owned plant in the South. And so far, Republican officials are the ones trying to stand in the way.
Now to a story about automobiles and arachnids. Last week, Toyota announced it will recall more than 800,000 cars - that includes Camrys, Avalons, Venzas - all because of a problem with the air-conditioning system.
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The company says condensation from the A/C unit could leak on to sensors that cause the airbag to spontaneously deploy or the airbags could go off because of spiders, specifically spider webs.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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For years, predictions about the demise of the news business have been rampant. But lately, digital industry billionaires are entering the fray, bringing hope that those forecasts are wrong. Earlier this year, Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post.
A former UBS bank executive who has been a fugitive since being indicted on federal charges in 2008 has been arrested in Italy. Swiss citizen Raoul Weil, the former head of UBS Global Wealth Management International, is accused of defrauding the U.S. government by helping clients evade taxes.
From Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed this report for our Newscast unit:
If you've flown across Nebraska, Kansas or western Texas on a clear day, you've seen them: geometrically arranged circles of green and brown on the landscape, typically half a mile in diameter. They're the result of pivot irrigation, in which long pipes-on-wheels rotate slowly around a central point, spreading water across cornfields.
Yet most of those fields are doomed. The water that nourishes them eventually will run low.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 11:13 am
Britain has approved the construction of the country's first nuclear power station in 20 years.
NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on the announcement for our Newscast unit, said the move goes counter to a European trend to phase out nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. The Justice Department is on the verge of a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. That would make it the biggest government fine involving a single company. It involves the allegedly improper sale of mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis of 2008. NPR's Chris Arnold has been following this and he joins us now. Good morning.
If you want to watch MTV, you have to pay for ESPN, even if you don't want to watch sports, and a lot of cable customers don't like it. In the cable TV business, it's called bundling. Now, the government of Canada is requiring cable companies to take those bundles apart. NPR's Mandelit del Barco reports on why that is unlikely to happen in the U.S.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Channel surfing in, say, Montreal, you can find everything from American TV sitcoms to shows in French.
Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about the U.S. government's massive surveillance program, is quittingThe Guardian. He's leaving the British daily and joining a journalism startup with eBay founder and billionaire philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.
Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 3:28 pm
In what would be the largest such settlement in U.S. history, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reportedly reached a tentative deal with the Justice Department that would see the bank pay $13 billion to settle civil charges related to wrongdoing by some of its units just before and during the housing crisis.
The deal, sources tell news outlets including NPR, would not absolve JPMorgan from possible criminal liability.
Word of the tentative agreement emerged around 3 p.m. ET. Saturday. We posted when the news broke and followed with background and more details.
Earlier this month, major credit card processors including MasterCard, Visa and America Express announced they would stop processing payments to websites that collect and publish mug shots online. The sites say they are providing a public service, but they make their money by charging people a fee to remove these embarrassing photos from the Internet.
Americans started thinking differently about U.S. dependence on imported oil 40 years ago this Sunday. Decades later, the U.S. is in the midst of a homegrown energy boom.
The oil embargo began in 1973. The United States had long taken cheap and plentiful oil for granted when Saudi Arabia shocked the country by suddenly cutting off all direct oil shipments in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel. Other Arab countries followed suit.
Prices soared. Gasoline lines stretched for blocks. Richard Nixon became the first of many U.S. presidents to call for energy independence.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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One effect of the 16-day government shutdown is that economists have had only a murky picture of the state of the economy. That's because the government is one of the most important sources of economic data. And as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, most of the people responsible for compiling and analyzing the numbers were furloughed, even barred from checking their email.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 4:18 pm
In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.
This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.