Business

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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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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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.

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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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Tech Week That Was: The Mac Turns 30, More NSA Rumblings

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs (left) and President John Sculley display the hardware unveiled at the annual shareholders meeting on Jan. 24, 1984.
Terry Schmitt UPI/Landov

It may have been a slow news week — no national security flaws or revelations, no more signs that Google is trying to take over the world — but we had plenty of content to feed your tech appetite here on All Tech Considered.

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Planet Money
11:54 am
Fri January 24, 2014

An Astonishing Share Of Homebuyers Are Paying All Cash

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More and more people are buying homes with pure cash. In December, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, a company that collects and analyzes housing data.

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

As Windows XP Fades Away, Will Its Users Stick With Microsoft?

A man walks past a Microsoft billboard featuring Windows XP in November 2001 in Beijing.
Kevin Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:10 am

Windows XP may have been largely developed in a different millennium, but it's not going into retirement without a fight.

Even as Microsoft promotes Windows 8, its latest operating system, Windows XP is still the second-most used OS on nonmobile computers, according to Net Applications web analytics. Debuting in 2001, XP lasted through three new Microsoft operating systems and the growth of mobile technology.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

David's Bridal Goes Upscale Near Beverly Hills

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

David's Bridal is famously known for carrying inexpensive bridal dresses, some for less than $100. Now the company wants to offer an elevated experience for brides to be — with chandeliers, marble tiling and plush chairs. There will be price tags to match — as much as 2,000.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Wal-Mart Creates Fund To Spur U.S. Manufacturing

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

The $10 million fund will supply grants to projects aimed at creating new processes and jobs in the sector. The fund will be launched in March, and Wal-Mart will fund the grants for five years.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

MIT Housing Survey Focuses On 70 Metro Areas

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

A new report from the MIT Center for Real Estate forecasts home prices in 60 U.S. cities. Whether housing prices are going up or down depends on where you live.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Drowning In Debt, Bike Sharing's Bixi Files For Bankruptcy

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

Montreal-based Bixi, which came up with the bike sharing systems offered in many American cities, has filed for bankruptcy. Renee Montagne talks with Andy Riga of the Montreal Gazette about where things went wrong for Bixi, and the future prospects of its operations in North America.

All Tech Considered
2:07 am
Fri January 24, 2014

At 30, The Original Mac Is Still An Archetype Of Innovation

A 1984 Apple Macintosh Classic was on display at the Museum for Art and Industry in Hamburg, Germany, in 2011.
Philipp Guelland dapd

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:58 am

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Planet Money
1:40 am
Fri January 24, 2014

When A $65 Cab Ride Costs $192

Update: Several readers commented on the route shown in the map above. Lisa Chow took the car for purposes of this story, and chose a route that began and ended near NPR's New York offices.
Lisa Chow

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:37 am

I was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. The ride normally would have cost me $65. But when it came time to pay, my driver, Kirk Furye, was concerned for me.

"Are you going to get in trouble with NPR?" he asked. "You are almost at three times the [normal] amount."

Final cost of a one-hour cab ride: $192.00.

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The Salt
2:45 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

4-MEI, a chemical created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown, is under new scrutiny.
iStockphoto

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.

The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.

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