The Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges that Bank of America made false statements about the quality of home loans it sold off to investors, $850 million worth of loads. The Justice Department move is the latest in a series of cases being brought against financial firms.
NPR's Chris Arnold has been following all of this and joins us now. Good morning.
The idea of raising backyard chickens has become very popular. But people who follow through on the idea don't always know what they are getting into. So a few companies are letting would-be chicken farmers try out the experience — for a fee.
Once again, Spain and Britain are at odds over a tiny limestone peninsula at Europe's southern tip — Gibraltar. It's physically attached to Spain but has been a British territory for 300 years. Now some Spaniards want it back.
President Obama is in California, where he'll visit Marines at Camp Pendleton. On Tuesday, he spoke about housing in Phoenix. Among other items, he talked about winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the companies that guarantee most long-term fixed-rate mortgages in the U.S.
News that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is buying The Washington Post for $250 million took many in the news media and publishing industries by surprise. For more insight into Bezos, David Greene talks to BusinessWeek senior writer Brad Stone. He is the author of an upcoming book: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.
A series of threats and abusive messages aimed at prominent women in the U.K. have placed Twitter in an awkward spot. As the company gears up to go public and expand its brand around the world, it is increasingly running into cultural and legal hurdles that challenge Twitter's free speech ethos.
Earlier this year, Caroline Criado-Perez led a successful campaign to keep non-royal British women on the country's currency. Then last week, because of that work, the 29-year-old activist and blogger became the target of an organized barrage of hateful messages on Twitter.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:33 pm
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it was suing Bank of America for allegedly lying to investors about the riskiness of about $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities back in 2008.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 2:20 pm
Public health advocates have lobbied hard in recent years to clear restaurants, bars and other workplaces of tobacco smoke, and the winds seem to be at their back.
Already, 36 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some version of an indoor smoking ban to protect the health of workers and patrons, and many local communities in other states have followed suit.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer. This morning, The Washington Post is in its own headlines. The Graham family, which controlled the Post for eight decades, is selling the flagship paper. Here's Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham, in a Post-TV video talking about the sale.
The world of newspapers was rocked Monday by news that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, is buying The Washington Post for $250 million. Bezos' purchase of the paper will bring to an end its association with the Graham family, which bought the Post in 1933.
The company is hoping the move will increase sales. The 2014 model of the plug-in car will now cost about $35,000 — more than 12 percent less than last year's model. Ford and Nissan have already reduced the prices on their electric cars.
Today's Last Word In Business is criminal glass ceiling. A new study suggests that female white collar crooks face the same barriers as their law-abiding counterparts in the corporate world.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
A team of researchers from Penn State studied the involvement of women in recent corporate fraud cases. It found women held inferior positions in criminal conspiracies, and profited significantly less from their misdeeds.
With sizzling temperatures in much of the country, tourists are turning to mountain ski resorts to find relief. Resorts from Colorado to California and Oregon are on track to set a record this year for summer business.
Brandon Wilke is spending a long weekend at a resort just down the road from Aspen, Colo. He came for a wedding, but Wilke and his brother-in-law decided to bring their mountain bikes and try out some bike trails at the Snowmass ski resort. At first, Wilke says he didn't know mountain biking was an option.
Louis Marcell and Adam Jones prepare to search for old logs, known as sinker wood, on the bottom of Ashley River near Charleston, S.C. They use sonar and a book of old train lines to find the timber, some of which has been preserved in the mud since the 1800s.
Credit Noam Eshel
A cypress log, dredged from a river in South Carolina, being milled for furniture and other uses. The rough bottom edge indicates that the tree was originally felled by ax.
On the Ashley River, a few miles south of Charleston, S.C., the water is murky and the marsh grass high. A three-man logging crew is cruising on a 24-foot pontoon boat. It's low tide and logs are poking out everywhere.
Hewitt Emerson, owner of the Charleston-based reclaimed wood company Heartwood South, is in charge. He's going to an old saw mill site, but won't say exactly where. He's heading to Blackbeard's Creek, he says, as in pirate Blackbeard — the early 18th century scourge of the seas.
Apple has been notoriously disinterested in Washington politics. But two decisions coming from the Obama administration in the past few days indicate that Washington is increasingly interested in Apple.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:04 am
Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.
But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economistexplains it.
So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.
E-books have strained the relations between libraries and the major publishing houses. Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they could lose money selling e-books to libraries. After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. But some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on e-books.
The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the U.S. in a long-standing trade dispute over allegations China unfairly imposed anti-dumping tariffs that restricted American poultry exports. China could appeal the WTO decision.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:36 am
Saw mills are re-opening in Colorado and Wyoming after a long lull in the timber industry. They're harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Beetle killed wood is just as strong as regular wood.
Over the weekend, the Obama administration vetoed a ban on imports of older iPad and iPhone models. This kind of White House veto hasn't happened since 1987. The decision by the U.S. trade representative reverses a ruling by the International Trade Commission.
Fox Ranch, outside Yuma County, Colo., is a 14,000-acre nature preserve and working commercial cattle ranch. The ranch is used by the Nature Conservancy to put into practice its panned grazing technique.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media
Ecologist William Burnidge checks a map of Fox Ranch that details the different areas rancher Nathan Andrews can graze his cattle.
The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.
In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.
Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.