Business

Business
1:58 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Massive Recalls Give The Auto Industry An Unwanted Record

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before a Senate panel July 17 at a hearing about auto safety recalls.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 4:35 pm

More than 60 million cars, trucks and SUVs have been recalled this year — nearly twice the previous record. That translates to nearly 1 out of every 4 cars on the road recalled for a safety-related defect.

But analysts say those recalls say more about the way the industry has restructured than about overall car safety.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Mon December 29, 2014

'The Interview,' Now Sony's Top Online Film Ever, Earns Nearly $18M

The Interview is now Sony's top online movie. It earned $15 million through rentals and sales, the studio said. It pulled in almost another $3 million from theater screenings.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 6:22 pm

The Interview, the Sony Pictures' movie that was pulled from theaters after threats from a group of hackers, has earned the studio $15 million in online rentals and purchases in the four days since it was made available last week. It also brought in nearly $3 million from theater screenings.

Together, that's only slightly less than the $20 million the studio had estimated The Interview to generate in its opening weekend in theaters across the nation.

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Business
8:02 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Looking To 2015, Economists See 5 Reasons To Celebrate

Target shoppers Kelly Foley (from left), Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor's prices while shopping shortly after midnight on Black Friday, in South Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 8:39 am

Each December, economists make predictions. And each new year, they get hit by unexpected events that make them look more clueless than prescient.

This year's bolt out of the blue was the plunge in oil's price, which no one saw coming.

Still, top economists' forecasts did get a lot right for 2014. One year ago, most were predicting healthy growth, tame inflation, low interest rates, rising stock prices and declining unemployment — and that's just what we got.

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Business
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Nevada's Tesla Battery Factory Triggers Wave Of Follow-Up Business

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 7:11 am

Copyright 2014 KUNR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kunr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Europe
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Europe's Largest Zinc Mine Lies Deep Under Ireland's Countryside

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 7:11 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now let's go overseas. Here is one more reason for Ireland's economic growth. It's a giant mine beneath the rolling countryside. It's the largest zinc mine in Europe. That's big business. NPR's Ari Shapiro went down to have a look.

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Book News & Features
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Nonprofit Fights Illiteracy By Getting Books To Kids Who Need Them

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer reads to children during a book distribution event.
Courtesy of First Book

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 2:41 pm

When it comes to learning to read, educators agree: the younger, the better. Children can be exposed to books even before they can talk, but for that a family has to have books, which isn't always the case.

There are neighborhoods in this country with plenty of books; and then there are neighborhoods where books are harder to find. Almost 15 years ago, Susan Neuman, now a professor at New York University, focused on that discrepancy, in a study that looked at just how many books were available in Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods. The results were startling.

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Remembrances
4:02 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

He Turned Classic Books Into Oscar Winners — And Hit-Singer Into Nemesis

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

How To Pitch A Hamburger In A War Zone

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Economy
5:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Economist: This Recovery Is Broad-Based And Stable

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
9:10 am
Sat December 27, 2014

King Kong Out To Crush Bigfoot's Claim To Fame As First Monster Truck

Bigfoot 4X4 is a legend in the monster truck world, but another truck is challenging its claim as first car crusher. The bragging rights are big deal in what has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

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Business
2:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Businesses Buzz With Anticipation In Wake Of U.S.-Cuba Thaw

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Technology
2:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Doubts Persist On U.S. Claims Of North Korean Role In Sony Hack

A South Korean student looks Dec. 23 at a diagram at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, that depicts how the cyberwarfare will be waged in the future in the Korean Peninsula.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:08 pm

Within days of the hack against Sony Pictures, the U.S. government came out and said, in no uncertain terms, the attacks originated from North Korea — and the nation-state of North Korea was involved. Well, both claims have raised eyebrows among private security researchers. Many just don't believe it.

Circumstantial Evidence

The FBI says the attack came from IP addresses — unique computer addresses — that trace back to North Korea.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Sony Hack Reveals Hollywood's Acceptance Of White Privilege

The Rev. Al Sharpton (left) and Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, speak to reporters after they met with Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal on Dec. 18.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:00 pm

It is, perhaps, the worst nightmare for those of us constantly trying to get a white-dominated Hollywood to widen its doors of opportunity for people of color: All those executives who say the right things in public and give to the right causes, just might think something much less admirable about diversity behind closed doors.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Possible Hack Of Sony, Microsoft Game Console Sites

Attendees walking past the Sony PlayStation booth at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in 2012. The PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox consoles were experiencing a possible hack on their online sites.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 9:56 am

If you can't get your new Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox online today, you can blame the Lizard Squad – or (indirectly) North Korea. Or maybe neither.

The Lizard Squad purports to be a group of hackers now claiming responsibility for a denial of service attack on the two game consoles' online sites.

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All Tech Considered
1:36 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Sony Hack Highlights The Global Underground Market For Malware

The toxic ingredients of a cyberattack like the one North Korea is accused of unleashing on Sony Pictures are available in underground markets.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 12:12 pm

There are global underground markets where anyone can buy and sell all the malicious code for an attack like the one North Korea is accused of unleashing on Sony Pictures.

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All Tech Considered
1:31 am
Fri December 26, 2014

As Uber Expands, It Asks Cities For Forgiveness Instead Of Permission

The app-based car service Uber has had a big year for business --€” and controversy.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 10:18 am

Perhaps no single company has stirred so many emotions this year — across so many continents — as Uber.

In 2014 Uber became more — much more — than a car service: The Silicon Valley startup became a symbol for capitalism itself.

The company's value soared from under a billion to about $40 billion, making it one of the most valuable private companies on Earth. But it also has become mired in turf wars, legal battles and scandal.

Hypergrowth And Backlash

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Technology
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Online Sellers Pop Up In Real Life, For A Limited Time Only

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

One-click shopping is changing the ways people shop and retailers sell their wares. But some online retailers are opening physical stores — some of which last as short as a day. (This story originally aired on All Things Considered on July 28, 2014.)

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Business
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

How 'The Interview' May Change How Big Studios Do Business

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's Christmas day and it is opening day for the movie The Interview."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SETH ROGEN: Thank you so much for coming. And we thought this might not happen at all.

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Economy
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Low Gas Prices Predicted For 2015 And Beyond

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Employers Help Legal Immigrants On Path To Citizenship

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Economy
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Economy Weathers A Bad Winter And Other Storms To Finish 2014 Strong

A New York Stock Exchange trader works on the floor on Dec. 17. Stocks rose nearly 300 points after the Federal Reserve announced it plans to begin raising interest rates next year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

The economy was floored by the polar vortex early on in 2014 — plus, businesses and consumers were still a little dazed by a government shutdown and debt ceiling fight late in 2013.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says it all produced an anxious start to the year. "Yeah, a lot of worry, particularly because we had misstepped a few other times during the recovery," he says. "We had these false dawns when we really thought the economy was going to kick into gear and then we kind of fell back into the morass."

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Chicago Officials Spar With South Dakota Over Airport Ads

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Book News & Features
2:52 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Demand For Audio Books Keeps Penguin Random House Recording

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 5:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
1:29 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Christmas Tree Farmers Invest Long-Term In The Holiday Spirit

The Carrolls, who once raised cattle, decided three decades ago to raise Christmas trees instead. The trees take seven to 12 years to mature.
Courtesy of Claybrooke Farm

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 6:09 pm

When you step into the bright red barn at Claybrooke Farm in Louisa, Va., it instantly feels like Christmas. A pot of hot cider bubbles on the stove. Friends, neighbors and extended family make wreaths while owner John Carroll hauls in wood for the fire. It's gray outside, but the barn is full of holiday cheer.

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The Salt
1:27 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Cows rotate in the milking parlor at Fair Oaks Farms, a large-scale dairy and tourist attraction, near Rensselaer, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 9:47 am

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced that it was going into the milk business. Not just any milk, mind you: nutritious, reformulated supermilk.

It also invited ridicule. "It's like they got Frankenstein to lactate," scoffed Stephen Colbert on his show. "If this product doesn't work out, they can always re-introduce Milk Classic."

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Around the Nation
1:26 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Pittsburgh Tries To Attract Enterprising Immigrants And Refugees

The city of Pittsburgh is hoping that drawing more skilled immigrants will give it an entrepreneurial boost.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 1:54 pm

When Ammar Nsaif was 8, in Iraq, he often thought about his future wife and kids, about the car and house and business he'd own. As an adult, he became an electrical engineer and made his 8-year-old self proud.

"Before the war, I did many things," Nsaif says. "My cousins, my friends, my neighbors, they know Ammar. He's working, making business. I did very well."

But he lost everything when he fled Bagdad suddenly, in 2006. Nsaif, 39, says he received a death threat from terrorists over his work with an American company. They already had killed one of his older brothers.

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Around the Nation
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

'Greening' Squeezes Florida's Citrus Industry

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 WMFE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wmfe.org.

The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Sony To Stream 'The Interview' On YouTube, Other Sites Starting Today

A poster for The Interview, which will now be shown on streaming services as well as some theaters.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:40 am

Sony Pictures' The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, will be shown on streaming services starting today, the studio said in a statement.

Starting at 10 a.m. PST, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated website at a price of $5.99. The film can also be bought in HD for $14.99, the statement said.

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All Tech Considered
6:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In Its Strange Journey, 'The Interview' Becomes An Art House Film

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will show The Interview starting on Christmas Day.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:59 am

A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film.

In the satirical film, which is at the center of a geopolitical tussle, Seth Rogen and James Franco play television producers who get an interview with Kim but are then hired by the CIA to "take him out."

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Movies
3:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

More Than 200 Theaters To Show 'The Interview' On Christmas Day

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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