Business

Economy
1:25 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Job Growth Was Disappointing, But Some See Reasons For Hope

Hans Kahl (left) speaks with prospective employees at a job fair for veterans, in Miami on Tuesday. With job growth still slow, the Federal Reserve may keep trying to stimulate the economy.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Amazon Raises Minimum Purchase For Free Shipping By $10

Missed It By That Much: Amazon has raised its minimum price for free shipping to $35, meaning that horse masks — a popular item among reviewers — are subject to a shipping fee.
NPR

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.

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Money Coach
10:28 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Cities Grapple With Pension Debt

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Fewer Jobs Than Expected In Sept., But Jobless Rate Fell

People looking for work were filling out applications earlier this month at a career fair in Emeryville, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:20 am

The nation's jobless rate ticked down to 7.2 percent in September from 7.3 percent in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday.

But just 148,000 were added to public and private payrolls. That's below the 180,000 economists expected. It's yet another sign that job growth remains soft.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Modest Job Growth, No Change In Unemployment Rate Expected

The scene earlier this month at a job fair in Sunrise, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 9:46 am

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. The Report Is Out:

Fewer Jobs Than Expected In Sept., But Jobless Rate Fell

Our original post follows:

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Around the Nation
4:53 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Seattle Suburb Considers Setting $15 'Living Wage'

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

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Economy
3:35 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Shutdown-Delayed Jobs Report Is Released

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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.

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Business
1:17 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Michigan Apple Harvest Recovers, But Pickers Are Scarce

Apples sit in a bin after being harvested at Riveridge Produce in Sparta, Mich. The apple harvest in Michigan this year is projected to be about ten times larger than in 2012.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:29 am

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.

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

It's Back To The Future For E-Cigarette Ads, At Least For Now

The FDA is expected to determine whether e-cigarettes should be regulated like tobacco products later this month.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:23 pm

  • Listen To Melissa Block's Coverage Of The E-cigarette Industry

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

5 Questions Kathleen Sebelius Must Answer

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is likely to have a very long day when she testifies before Congress about the Affordable Care Act website problems.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

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.

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Economy
3:07 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Volkswagen Union Opposed By Tennessee Republican Officials

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. It's also the only VW plant around the world without a workers union.
Volkswagen

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

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.

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Business
2:59 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Toyota Recalls 800,000 Vehicles Because...Spiders?

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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Media
2:59 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Why's eBay's Pierre Omidyar Bankrolling A Journalism Startup?

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Fugitive Arrest: Former Banking Executive Caught In Italy

Former UBS banking executive Raoul Weil was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in 2008, on charges that he helped wealthy clients avoid billions in taxes.
Antonio Calanni AP

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:

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The Salt
1:38 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Kansas Farmers Commit To Taking Less Water From The Ground

The long arms of pivot irrigation rigs deliver water from the Ogallala Aquifer to circular fields of corn in northwestern Kansas.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:38 am

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.

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Parallels
9:46 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Britain To Build New Nuclear Plant, Bucking European Trend

A worker walks inside the turbine hall of the Sizewell nuclear plant in eastern England in 2006. The U.K. government on Monday announced that French-owned EDF would build the first new British nuclear power station in 20 years.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

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.

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip After Hitting 4-Year High

A sold sign in Chicago earlier this year.
Scott Olson Getty Images

There were 1.9 percent fewer existing homes sold in September than in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Facebook Users Don't 'Like' This: Status Update Error Messages

Facebook

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:51 am

If you tried to post a status update on Facebook or "like" someone else's Monday morning, you probably got a message like this:

"There was a problem updating your status. Please try again later."

You are not alone. The Miami Herald reports:

"Facebook users are reporting trouble logging in and posting updates Monday morning.

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Around the Nation
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out

The changing landscape of of agriculture is leaving many sheep farms in the dust. Farms are larger and technology makes crops more economically attractive and sheep herds less.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Meida/KUNC

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has plummeted by half. The sheep industry has actually been declining since the late 1940s, when it hit its peak.

The sharp drop in production has left ranchers to wonder, "When are we going to hit the bottom?"

Some sheep are raised for their wool, others primarily for food. Consumption of both products — lamb meat and wool — have been declining in the U.S.

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Business
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

What To Know About The Tentative JPMorgan Deal

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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Television
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Canada Takes Cable A La Carte, But Don't Expect U.S. To Follow

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW)

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Media
4:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

What Glenn Greenwald Could Gain From New Media Venture

Glenn Greenwald, who first reported the disclosures of U.S. surveillance programs, is now leaving The Guardian to work with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar on a new journalism venture.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:58 am

Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about the U.S. government's massive surveillance program, is quitting The Guardian. He's leaving the British daily and joining a journalism startup with eBay founder and billionaire philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.

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The Salt
4:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Unleashed On Halloween, Monster Cereals Haunt Hoarders

This Halloween season, the three big Monster Cereals will be joined by Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, which haven't been on the market in decades.
Dan Pashman

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 1:11 pm

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

JPMorgan Strikes Tentative $13B Mortgages Settlement

JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

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.

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Business
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Business Leaders Decry The Economic Cost Of Uncertainty

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:08 am

Running a company is like driving a car. You need to be able to see what's coming down the road. The dysfunction in Washington has created a fog, and when driving in the fog, you have to slow down.

That's basically what's happening at thousands of companies around the country.

Bob Mosey, chairman of the National Tooling and Machining Association, bemoans the "uncertainty of not being able to plan for the future."

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All Tech Considered
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Credit Cards Under Pressure To Police Online Expression

Some advocacy groups say credit card companies should stop doing business with websites that promote controversial views or policy positions.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:01 pm

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.

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Politics
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

'It Takes A Crisis': How '73 Embargo Fueled Change In U.S.

Drivers and a man pushing a lawnmower line up at gas station in San Jose, Calif., in March 1974.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:26 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Google's Stock Closes Above $1,000

Attendees line up to enter the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:11 pm

Google's stock closed at $1,011.41 today, joining an exclusive, over-$1,000 club that includes Priceline.com and Seaboard Corp., which produces turkey and hogs.

The rally for the world's largest search engine, Bloomberg reports, comes on the heels of optimism about the company's advertising offerings.

Bloomberg reports:

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Economy
2:43 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Economists Await Shutdown-Delayed Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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.

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The Salt
1:58 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

A Fight Over Vineyards Pits Redwoods Against Red Wine

Environmental groups are fighting to stop the leveling of 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Courtesy Friends of the Gualala River

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.

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