Business

Shots - Health News
1:20 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses

Workers prepare orders to be loaded for shipment at a UPS Healthcare Supply Chain and Distribution Center in Atlanta on March 12. The company recently announced that it would no longer offer coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance.
Robin Nelson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:05 am

When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.

So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. The practice began well before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the connection to the law, in some cases, isn't that direct.

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Economy
4:12 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Fed's Surprising Decision: Should You Cheer Or Boo?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to speak at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Fed cut its economic growth forecasts and said it would keep buying bonds in a bid to keep interest rates down.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.

Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.

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Business
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Man Who Made Toyota A Modern Success Dies At 100

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

A giant of the auto business died yesterday, a few days after he turned 100. Eiji Toyoda was president and later chairman of Toyota. The family name is T-O-Y-O-D-A. Toyoda played a key role in the company going worldwide, especially Toyota's move into the U.S. market. Micheline Maynard covers the automotive industry. She's a contributing editor for Forbes these days. Welcome to the program.

MICHELINE MAYNARD: Thanks for having me, Robert.

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Economy
3:00 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Fed Decides Not To Taper Bond Buying Yet, Surprises Analysts

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The stock market hit new highs today after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement. Investors and economists had expected the Fed to start winding down it's $85 billion a month stimulus program at its policymaking meeting today, but it didn't. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the Fed said it wanted to make sure a recent improvement in the economy and labor market continued before pulling back its stimulus.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Fed Says It Will Continue Stimulus; Markets Reach New Highs

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:28 pm

The Federal Reserve said today that it is not slowing down its monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds.

The program is intended to stimulate a sluggish economy and the Fed was widely expected to announce that in light of a recovering economy, it was tapering the bond-buying program. Instead, it delivered a surprise that caused the markets to jump, as the Dow and the S&P closed at record highs.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Beanie Babies Creator To Pay $53 Million For Tax Evasion

Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys, attends the 2003 American International Toy Fair in a rare appearance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Beanie Babies toy line.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:31 pm

The man behind Beanie Babies, the toy animals that saw their heyday in the mid-1990s, has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion for failing to report income held in Swiss bank accounts.

H. Ty Warner, 69, has been charged in U.S. District Court with felony tax evasion. The indictment alleges that in 1996, Warner traveled to Zurich to open an account with Union Bank of Switzerland with the intent to "evade and defeat" taxes on $3.1 million in foreign income.

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Economy
10:15 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Minority-Owned Banks Play A Real Role In Recovery?

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:51 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we will meet the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, and we'll find out how she's already gotten a lesson in grace under fire after her Indian-American heritage drew a swarm of haters on the web. It's the first of two conversations we'll have this hour about the interesting politics of beauty right now.

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All Tech Considered
10:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

This Board Game Aims To Teach Preschoolers How To Code

Robot Turtles is for future programmers ages 3 to 8.
Courtesy of Robot Turtles

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:01 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Proposed Rule Would Make Companies Disclose CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratio

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, bucks the trend on executive pay, with a salary only 11 times what the company's average worker makes.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:58 pm

Update At 12:30 p.m. ET. SEC Approves Rule:

The Securities and Exchange Commission has voted 3-2 to move the proposed rule ahead, with the two Republican commissioners opposing the measure.

The rule now goes for a 60-day public comment period, after which it could be formally adopted.

SEC commissioners also voted unanimously to require municipal advisers to register with the agency.

Here's our original post:

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Parallels
8:09 am
Wed September 18, 2013

More Old People, Fewer Workers: Nations Look To Immigration

A man relaxes at a downtown park in Seoul. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:43 pm

A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.

The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Wed September 18, 2013

No Guns Please, Starbucks Tells Customers

A Starbucks customer — gun on his hip and drink in his hand — watches a rally by gun control advocates, in Seattle in 2010.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:42 am

With the coffee giant caught in the middle of what he says is an "increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening" debate, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has posted a letter to "fellow Americans" asking that they not bring guns into Starbucks' shops.

Schultz writes that:

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Business
2:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Walgreen's Revamps Employee Health Care Package

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:10 am

The pharmacy chain is expected to announce that it will provide payments to employees so they can shop around for their own insurance. That is in lieu of supplying a company-sponsored benefit plan.

Business
2:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Police Impersonators Jump Line To Buy 'Grand Theft Auto V'

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:06 am

Three New York men were so eager to get the game; they hatched a scheme that could be one of its plots. According to the New York Post, the men pulled up to a mall in an unmarked vehicle, walked past hundreds of people in line and purchased the game. Real police pulled them over after they ran multiple stop signs trying to get away.

Education
2:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Should It Take 2 Or 3 Years To Earn A Law Degree?

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. And students are hoping that a recent comment from President Obama, will boost one reform in particular: cutting law schools down to two years, from three.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

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Sweetness And Light
1:19 am
Wed September 18, 2013

More Than Average: Dow Jones Adds The 'Swoosh'

Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:01 pm

After 117 years, sports has finally made it to the big time, when, starting next Tuesday, a sports company will be included in the Dow Jones averages.

The Dow Jones, of course, has always preferred very serious corporations –– your banks, your automotives, your insurers. OK, the movies were allowed in 1932 with the inclusion of Loews, and Walt Disney was brought onboard in 1991, but sports was never considered substantial enough for an industrial average until now, when Nike has been ordained.

Yes, Dow Jones has the swoosh.

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Shots - Health News
1:18 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Florida Makes Spreading Word On Health Care Law A Challenge

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has questioned efforts to use federally funded navigators to help people enroll for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:01 am

At a community center named for Florida civil rights pioneer Carrie Meek, a few dozen members of Miami's National Church of God gathered over the weekend for a tea party — and to hear from a special guest, Monica Rodriguez of Enroll America.

The organization is working to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that will let people without health insurance shop for coverage starting Oct. 1.

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Your Money
1:15 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Your Kids And Money: Teaching The Value Of A Dollar

What's the point of an allowance?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:41 pm

What's the point of an allowance?

For Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for The New York Times, it's a tool to help teach values and character traits like patience, moderation, thrift and generosity. And Lieber, who's writing a book, The Opposite of Spoiled, about kids, money and values, tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep there are three basic ways that parents approach an allowance.

No chores necessary.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Car Factories Turn Robots And Humans Into Co-Workers

A robot arm helps make engine components at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. For the first time, robots are working alongside humans without guards or other safety barriers between them.
Universal Robots

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:24 pm

Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.

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Parallels
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

As Economy Cools, Brazilians Find Themselves Trapped In Debt

A woman looks at clothes inside a shop in Rio de Janeiro. Consumption has been a huge driver of the Brazilian economy, but the boom years are over, and economists say the outlook isn't good.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:44 pm

It all started out so promisingly. She was young, still in her teens, and she'd landed her first job. As is the custom in Brazil, to get your salary you have to open an account with the bank the company deals with — and with that new account came the woman's first credit card.

"The banks say, 'I want to help you,' " she says. "And if you have a credit card, it's a status symbol, you are well-regarded."

She switched jobs. That company dealt with another bank — which issued her another credit card. She got a store credit card, too.

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Economy
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Census Report Paints Troubling Economic Picture On Incomes

Raisa Ruiz (right) and her niece Mary Badels wait in line at the Manna Food Center, Gaithersburg, Md., on Sept. 13.
Chloe Coleman NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:34 pm

For the first year since the recession, median household incomes did not decline in 2012. But it's hardly a reassuring picture. Incomes were flat despite the economic recovery and big gains in the stock market. That's a troubling aspect about today's labor market. It's four years since the official end of the recession and many households are worse off than when it started.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Frontrunner For Fed Chair Saw Financial Crisis Coming

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:34 pm

Now that Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Fed, has emerged as the frontrunner. For more on Yellen and her career, Audie Cornish talks with Alan Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton University.

Media
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Why Outlets Often Get It Wrong In Breaking News Coverage

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As news traveled about the mass shootings at the Navy Yard, there were some missteps by the media. At first, some news outlets reported there were up to three different gun men. So far, that's turned out not to be the case. There were reports that there was a second shooting at Bolling Air Force Base, that turned out not to be the case.

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Economy
3:18 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

CBO Report: Long-Term Deficit Picture Gloomy

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:34 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.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just added fuel to the fire already raging in Washington over what to do about the deficit. A new CBO study paints a grim picture of the nation's long-term debt and deficit.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports that despite three years of fighting over it, Congress hasn't done much to improve things.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Poverty Rate Unchanged In 2012

How the number of Americans below the poverty line and the poverty rate have changed.
Census Bureau

The nation's poverty rate remained unchanged at 15 percent in 2012, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

For a family of four (two adults, two children) the poverty threshold in 2012 was $23,283.

There were 46.5 million Americans below the poverty line last year, Census says, vs. 46.2 million in 2011.

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Digital Life
10:17 am
Tue September 17, 2013

#LATISM: Digital Media's Pull For Latinos

Reports show that Latinos are plugged into social media, but does this mean they are turning from traditional media? Host Michel Martin speaks with Viviana Hurtado, founder of The Wise Latina Club, and entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas about how social media is helping to empower Latinos.

Business
10:17 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Drive To 'Create Stuff' Brings Immigrant Success

Entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas speaks with host Michel Martin about why he thinks more Latino business leaders need to step up to the plate. Espuelas was named by PODER Magazine as one of "The Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics" in 2012.

Parallels
9:06 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Why Is The Global Shipbuilding Business Struggling?

Laborers stand on a new ship at a Rongsheng Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China, in 2012. The troubles at Rongsheng, China's largest private shipbuilder, mirror what's happening in the global industry.
Aly Song Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 10:43 am

There's news this week that shipbuilder STX Finland will close what it describes as "the world's leading ferry builder," a yard where the company also built small cruise ships, icebreakers and naval craft.

The company blamed economic conditions for the closure of the Rauma Shipyard. Work from there will be shifted to the company's facility in Turku. About 700 people will lose their jobs.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Tue September 17, 2013

No Inflation In Sight As Federal Reserve Policymakers Meet

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:31 am

Consumer prices rose a scant 0.1 percent in August from July and were up a modest 1.5 percent since August 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday morning.

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Business
4:45 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Hello Kitty Pitches Beer

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Next, we go to a wildly successful Japanese export that specializes in cute. I'm talking about the white cat with a red bow and a button nose, whose image adorns everything from school supplies to rifles to RVs.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yes, our last word in business today is: Hello Kitty - in a can.

The Japanese company Sanrio has licensed the pudgy face cartoon cat to a Taiwanese beverage maker which is selling fruit-flavored beer in China and Taiwan.

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Business
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Fed Meeting Could Lead To Stimulus Reduction

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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