Business

The Salt
11:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:22 pm

Long John Silver's has gained some notoriety in the past for serving up what the food police dubbed the most unhealthful meal in America. (aka heart attack on a hook.)

But the fast-food chain is out to change its reputation. One step in this new direction: a quick transition from partially hydrogenated oils that contain bedeviled trans fats. Today, the chain announced it is moving to a 100 percent soybean oil that is trans-fat free.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Almost No Poor Nations By 2035? That's What Bill Gates Says

Bill Gates at an event held by his foundation in Berlin last November.
Maurizio Gambarini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:26 am

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor," and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates writes in his latest annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conditions in the nations where the foundation works.

Gates sees a world where once-impoverished countries have already made tremendous progress and where more will follow their lead.

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Business
5:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Amazon Does The Math, Anticipates Your Needs

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Amazon has a patent for what it calls "anticipatory shipping" — shipping goods to a warehouse near you before you've bought them. Renee Montagne talks to Tim Stevens, editor-at-large for CNET, about Amazon developing a sales method to ultimately read your mind.

Around the Nation
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Punishing Winter Temperatures Drain Propane Supplies

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this latest winter storm and those freezing temperatures are putting a strain on already low supplies of propane in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions of Americans use the liquefied gas to heat their homes. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're paying more and getting less this winter season, which started early, thanks to the extreme cold of the polar vortex.

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Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Banks Challenged By Economy Despite Positive Earnings

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over the past week or so, most of the country's banks have reported their profits for the last quarter of 2013. The numbers, mostly, have better than most analysts expected. After a rough few years, most big financial institutions are faring pretty well. But there's some debate about how sustainable the numbers really are.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Global Economic Recovery To Keep Strengthening

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

The International Monetary Fund has updated its outlook for the world economy. The IMF boosted its forecast for global growth slightly. It also hiked its estimate for U.S. growth.

Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Sears To Close Flagship Store In Downtown Chicago

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Chicago farewell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Sears announced its closing its flagship store in downtown Chicago as part of an ongoing effort to cut expenses. It was once the largest retailer in Chicago. In fact, it was the namesake for the Sears Tower, the country's second tallest building.

One executive said that ever since it moved from the Sears Tower - which is now the Willis Tower - the downtown Chicago Sears has lost millions of dollars.

Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Quicken Loans Offers $1 Billion In NCAA Bracket Promotion

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

The finance company is offering a $1 billion prize to whoever correctly picks each game in the men's NCAA tournament. The odds of correctly picking every game are more than 9 quintillion to 1.

Around the Nation
1:43 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

The bustling Sidamo coffee shop in Washington's H Street Northeast neighborhood. The area has attracted many new, young residents and high-end bars, retail and restaurants over the past several years.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:34 am

Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.

"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."

Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Buying A Detroit House For $500, And Then Explaining Why

A corner in Poletown, the section of Detroit where Drew Philip bought a house for $500.
Courtesy of Garrett MacLean

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:43 am

Drew Philp made waves this month by explaining to the Internet why he bought a house in struggling Detroit for $500. In his much-discussed story for Buzzfeed, Philp said that he is part of "another Detroit," one where people are working to help each other and save their city.

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Business
4:50 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Big Bike-Sharing Supplier's Bankruptcy Doesn't Doom U.S. Programs

A major supplier to bike-sharing companies declared for bankruptcy this week — but experts say they still see the services spreading. Here, a man rides a Citibike through the Dumbo district of Brooklyn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:29 pm

The Canadian company that is the main equipment and technology suppliers for bike-sharing systems across the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy.

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MPX Lead
3:40 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Hackers Go 'Phishing' In The Wake Of Target Data Breach

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:55 pm

The retailing giant Target is doing what it can to limit the damage from a massive data breach. But there are signs that other hackers are trying to take advantage of the original data theft with elaborate "phishing" schemes.

MPX Lead
3:28 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

High Court Considers Legality Of 'Fair Share' Union Fees

A worker clears snow from in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:57 am

The rest of Washington may have shut down for the snow, but not the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, the justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could decimate public employee unions. At issue: whether nonunion members can be required to pay fees to help cover the cost of negotiating a contract from which they benefit.

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The Salt
1:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

A woman shops in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York City. The company recently announced it would prohibit produce farmed using biosolids in its stores.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:55 pm

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.

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Economy
10:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Falling Unemployment Rate: Are We Delusional About The Economy?

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, much of the news out of Detroit has been bad lately, but one guy says it's a great place to live. We'll hear why he decided to help the Motor City comeback by purchasing a $500 wreck of a house. That's just ahead.

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Economy
9:13 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring

Is the economy strengthening, or is the jobless rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:52 am

For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.

But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Or is the rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?

In coming weeks, members of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board will be making big policy decisions based upon their best understanding of those unsettled questions.

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Business
5:20 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Cost Overruns Threaten Widening Of Panama Canal

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Anyone who's lived through home construction knows that delays and higher costs than expected are inevitable, and that is playing out on an enormous scale at the Panama Canal.

Work on expanding a 50-mile long commercial waterway has been under constant threat of a work stoppage because of a dispute over who will pay huge cost overruns, now estimated to top $1.6 billion.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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Business
5:13 am
Tue January 21, 2014

More Cities Bring Buried Streams Back To Life

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many cities across this country have paved over their streams, often to make way for urban development. The streams go underground. Now cities are realizing that uncovering those streams can have environmental and economic benefits.

Ann Thompson of member station WVXU reports so-called daylighting could be coming to a stream near you.

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Business
3:16 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Union Angered By Postal Service Deal With Staples

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The American Postal Workers Union is fighting back against a deal that puts U.S. Postal Service counters inside Staples stores. The Postal Service is facing a deficit and increased competition, so it's developing retail partnerships with companies like Staples.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Law
1:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

One of the questions before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:40 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.

At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.

To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

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Business
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

T-Mobile CEO Swears (Like A Sailor) That Industry Will Change

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And it's been a big year for T-Mobile. The telecom company finally landed the iPhone. It started trading as a public company and has kicked off a price war with its competitors. In the process, it's become the fastest-growing mobile phone company in the country, recruiting 4.4 million new customers. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, T-Mobile's combative and profane CEO, John Legere, is grabbing all the headlines.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

D.C. Barbecue Joint Serves Food For Soul And Mind

Chef Furard Tate says he wanted to "bring love back" to a Washington, D.C., neighborhood damaged since the 1968 riots.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Chef Furard Tate is the kind of man who never sits still. He flits from the order desk at Inspire BBQ back to the busy kitchen, where young men are seasoning sauce, cooking macaroni and cheese, and finishing off some dry-rubbed ribs smoked on a grill.

"We grill on a real grill," Tate says. "None of this electric stuff."

But as important as the food is, Tate says it's also important that it's made by young hands who must learn a slow, consistent process.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

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Business
6:04 am
Mon January 20, 2014

There's An App To Fight A San Francisco Parking Ticket

People in the Bay Area are familiar with San Francisco's many complicated parking laws, and the very expensive consequences of disobeying them. Nearly half of all parking tickets are dismissed in court but fighting a ticket takes time and knowledge. David Hegarty started Fixed, an app that fights parking tickets for you.

The Salt
6:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

Marty Travis (right) started the Stewards of the Land food hub in 2005. His son Will helps him transport food from local farms to area restaurants.
Sean Powers Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:10 pm

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they're not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

But they need help, and increasingly it's coming from food hubs, which can also serve as food processing and distribution centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are about 240 of them in more than 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 11:34 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Media
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Biography Argues Roger Ailes Uses Fox To Divide Nation

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Roger Ailes is a hero to the political right and a boogeyman to the left for leading the Fox News Channel to become the top-rated force in cable news --- the competition is not even close. Ailes and Fox refused to cooperate with author Gabriel Sherman.

Business
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Movie Studio To Phase Out 35 Millimeter Film

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a film phase out.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Paramount Pictures will be the first major Hollywood studio to stop releasing movies on 35 millimeter film. The Los Angeles Times reports the motion picture studio is now distributing its films to U.S. theaters in digital format only.

Around the Nation
3:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Miami Children's Hospital Sheds Light On Upfront Costs

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

Every hospital has a price list but it is hard for the average consumer to figure out what a hospital really charges for care. Traditionally, the price on that list is nowhere near what it actually expects you or an insurance company to pay.

Around the Nation
1:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Police, Banks Help Undocumented Workers Shake 'Walking ATM' Label

Prince George's County, Md., Police Officer Juan Damian and Dora Escobar outside one of her popular check cashing businesses.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:04 am

On a recent Friday evening in Langley Park, Md., police officer Juan Damian drives his patrol car past fast food restaurants, discount stores and Hispanic groceries.

Damian estimates that at least two-thirds of the people here are undocumented, and that has made it a magnet for robberies over the years. Gangs know undocumented day workers are especially lucrative targets, he says. Their pockets are often stuffed with a day's or even a week's worth of wages. The street term for these men: "walking ATMs."

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