Business

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Coast Guard Proposes Rule For Transporting Fracking Leftovers By Barge

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fracking leftovers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Fracking, I said fracking. The controversial process used to extract natural gas produces millions of gallons of wastewater. Now to cut costs, energy companies want to transport that leftover water on barges. But, the U.S. Coast Guard has concerns.

Katie Colaneri of member station WHYY reports.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Besides The Olympics, What Will $50 Billion Get You?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's try to put that nearly $50 billion price tag for the Sochi games in context. And we've turned to the website BuzzFeed for help with this. Our last word in business today is: $50 billion.

That's enough to buy all 32 NFL teams, we're told.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Or it's more than the entire economy of Costa Rica.

INSKEEP: It is almost five times Hollywood's domestic box office.

MONTAGNE: It's enough for 18 Oprahs.

INSKEEP: Although, can you really put a price tag on Oprah? I don't think so.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Russian Companies Fret Over Cost Of Sochi Games

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In just a couple of months, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Russia is reportedly spending nearly $50 billion on those games, which would be an Olympic record. To finance venues and housing, one of Russia's state-owned banks lent about $7.5 billion to an elite group of industrialists who are helping bankroll the games. Now, those investors are getting a little nervous.

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Business
12:56 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Could Hawaii Become A Same-Sex Wedding Destination?

Sunset on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Starting Monday, same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii. The state has long been a destination for weddings and honeymoons. And now state officials, as well as hotels and restaurants, are hoping the latest marriage-equality law will spur a new market for wedding tourism.

Wedding planner Keane Akao is showing off a secluded beach wedding site, one of several on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"You can use the beach for pictures," he tells a couple, "and this is actually called Secret Beach."

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Business
3:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Bentley, Once An Exclusive Car, Trying To Become 'Mainstream'

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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Economy
6:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:55 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Earlier this year, NPR's Planet Money team decided to make a T-shirt for their fans.

ZOE CHANCE, BYLINE: What does it say?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let meput it on. Planet Money. Wow.

MARTIN: But this bit of public radio garb was different. This shirt would come with an autobiography. The Planet Money team set out to understand how the T-shirt was made and just who made it - from cotton field to final stitch. Alex Blumberg of Planet Money explains.

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Business
3:08 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Boston Says It Has A Plan To Erase The Gender Wage Gap

It doesn't matter if you're a surgeon, a banker or a fisherman — if you're a woman in the United States, you're probably paid less than a man. That hasn't changed with federal laws or the feminist movement.

But now, Boston thinks it has a solution to completely erase the gender wage gap.

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Health Care
5:47 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act

Insurance companies say they are finding numerous mistakes on a digital form that's essential for signing up through HealthCare.gov.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:13 pm

Saturday is the day the Obama administration promised it would have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the majority of people who need to sign up for health insurance.

As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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Books News & Features
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Sherman Alexie Wants You To Be A 'Superhero' For Indie Bookstores

Sherman Alexie models an Indies First tote bag. He plans to put in shifts at five Seattle bookstores this Saturday.
American Booksellers Association

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:18 pm

Back in September, poet and novelist Sherman Alexie wrote an open letter to a group of people whom he called the "gorgeous book nerds" of the world, asking them to become "superheroes" for independent bookstores.

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Economy
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A Day For Small Businesses To Stand Out In The Crowd

President Obama shopped with daughter Malia at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on Small Business Saturday last year.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:09 pm

After Black Friday has come and gone, a new shopping day arrives: Small Business Saturday.

Small-business owners hope that after you've spent time at the big-box stores and the mall, you'll spend money with the mom-and-pops in your neighborhood.

The idea for the day came out of a committee at American Express in 2010, after the depths of the recession. AmEx President Ed Gilligan loved the idea of creating a new holiday.

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Media
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Infomercials Still Tell, And Sell, Product Stories

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 8:29 am

The infomercial industry is predicted to hit $250 billion — 1 percent of U.S. GDP. Host Scott Simon speaks with business writer Jon Nathanson about the economics and enduring strength of infomercials.

The Salt
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Party Like It's 1799: Traditional Cider Makes A Comeback

Chuck Shelton in the cold room at Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia, which makes sparkling alcoholic cider with some of the same apple varieties used by Thomas Jefferson.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:51 am

Feeling extra American this week? Wanna keep that post-turkey glow going? Well, how about a very American beverage: cider?

We're not talking about the hot mulled stuff that steams up your kitchen, or the sweet pub draft in a pint glass. This cider is more like sparkling wine.

"This is a phenomenally funky, sour, even mildly smoky cider that has to be tasted to be believed," says Greg Engert, one of the owners of a bar in Washington called ChurchKey. He's pouring cider from a tall champagne-style bottle that retails for around $15.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

From Shop Class To Shipyard: Oregon's Plan For Industrial Interns

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Obama often talks about making sure American students graduate high school ready for college. But one program in Oregon is reaching out to the shop class crowd of students who would rather learn a paying trade right away than stay in a classroom. Manufacturers there are using a new internship program to recruit and train teenagers straight out of high school to be machinists, welders and painters. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning reports.

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Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Black Friday's Mission Creep: When The Holiday Deals Are Elsewhere

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one the busiest, most hectic shopping day of the year. But how important is it for retailers and as an indicator of the strength of the holiday shopping season?

Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

'Retail Theater:' Inflated Retail Prices Meant To Look Like Steals

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Ari Shapiro talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner about the fake discounts retailers build into their products during the holiday season.

Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

In A Small Town With Big Events, Some Are Tiring Of Tourism

In Traverse City, which has hosted the National Cherry Festival since 1926, some residents say festivals occupy the public park too much, while others say it's a reasonable price to pay for the money it brings to businesses.
Traverse City Tourism AP

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 8:29 pm

Many small towns across the country are using special events to attract visitors and commerce. The strategy has been a big hit in places like Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah, whose names have become synonymous with major festivals.

But it can take a toll. Some residents in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City complain that they're suffering from festival fatigue and would like a little less excitement.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri November 29, 2013

After Thanksgiving, Americans Pursue Another Tradition — Shopping

People enter Macy's Herald Square store after opening its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in New York City.
Kena Betancur Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:21 pm

Black Friday — the day on which Christmas shopping starts in earnest for many Americans — may have started on Thanksgiving Day this year, but it gave many shoppers extra time to hunt for deals.

NPR's Sonari Glinton spoke to shoppers in Colorado Springs, Colo., where people were camped out Thursday to get deals at the local Target.

"Do you think I need sweaters at Kohl's? No!" Janine Reed said. "But they're 10 bucks. You think I'm going to get one? Yeah – just 'cause."

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Health Care
3:25 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Health Care Frustrations Turn Into Satisfaction For Ga. Man

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, we'll introduce you to someone who did successfully sign up for insurance on HealthCare.gov. Michael Lappin of Atlanta, Georgia had a reason to shop for insurance early. His husband has health care needs that made buying their insurance on the individual market difficult and expensive.

Jim Burress, from WABE in Atlanta, profiles the small business owner.

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Business
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Burberry Fights China's Trademark Decision

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: trademarked tartan.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Officially, it's called Haymarket Check. But the iconic tan, black and red tartan is best known as the symbol of the Burberry brand. The British fashion house came up with it at its Haymarket shop in London over a century ago.

WERTHEIMER: But Chinese officials are not impressed. They've decided to revoke Burberry's tartan trademark in China.

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Business
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Growing Holiday Shopping Season May Hurt Retailers' Profits

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

No surprise. NPR's business news begins with Black Friday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Yes, this is the day when retailers begin to turn a profit for the year. But, the deals and door buster sales keep getting earlier and earlier each year. And that's actually beginning to cut into profits.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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NPR Story
2:59 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Theater Chains Upgrade To Attract Homebodies

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Movies theaters have tried different ways over the years to combat declining ticket sales. Topher Forhecz reports on the latest attempts to bring in audiences by recreating the comforts of home.

TOPHER FORHECZ, BYLINE: When I decided to see a movie at an AMC Theatre in upper Manhattan, the first change I noticed was I had to reserve my seat when I bought my ticket beforehand.

So I just walked in and there are about nine rows of leather seats and I am in D6, so I've got to go find it.

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All Tech Considered
12:49 am
Fri November 29, 2013

For Advocacy Groups, Video Games Are The Next Frontier

A screenshot of Half the Sky, where virtual successes sometimes lead to real-life donations.
Games For Change

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:07 pm

Movies and books have long been used to advocate for causes, such as climate change or breast cancer. As video games become more mainstream, advocates are beginning to see how this art form can be a new way to reach out and get people engaged in a cause.

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All Tech Considered
12:47 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Businesses Woo Customers With Free Phone-Charging Stations

Customers at Honeygrow in Philadelphia can charge their cellphones while they dine using one of Doug Baldasare's kiosks.
Emma Lee For NewsWorks

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

It's around dinner time at Honeygrow, a casual restaurant in central Philadelphia.

Erin Campbell was on her way here to meet a friend when she realized, with panic, that her cellphone battery was dying.

"I noticed I only had 14 percent [battery] left, and I actually texted her on my way in to see if she could bring a charger with her," Campbell says.

But Campbell's friend told her there was no need to bring a charger — just inside the door of Honeygrow is a kiosk where customers can charge their phones.

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
12:46 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Epic Commutes Face Those Caught In Public Transit Puzzle

It takes Chicago resident Sarah Hairston two hours to go 15 miles to get to her part-time job.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

It's a sign of the times: More people are commuting for more than an hour to get to work, and many of the longest commutes are at least partially on public transportation.

Take Sarah Hairston's commute from her apartment on Chicago's South Side to her part-time job at a shelter for homeless teens on the north side of town.

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Shots - Health News
2:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:43 pm

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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All Tech Considered
8:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov Team Working Through Holiday To Meet Deadline

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits navigators helping enroll people on HealthCare.gov.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:07 pm

Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.

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Business
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Giant Louis Vuitton Trunk Removed From Red Square

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:48 am

The trunk, which stood just steps away from Lenin's tomb for two weeks, was supposed to host a six-week exhibition celebrating the companies ties to Russia. The suitcase also blocked the view of the St. Basil's Cathedral from the square's entrance, enraging some politicians.

Business
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Retailers Hope 'Gray Thursday' Boosts Bottom Line

K-Mart was one of the chains deciding to open early this Thanksgiving Day.
Jan Somma-Hammel Staten Island Advance /Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 12:06 am

You are not imagining it, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. Black Friday has been around for decades — that's the point where retailers hope to begin to make a profit.

Shoppers looking to get a jump on deals can shop on Gray Thursday – think Black Friday intruding into Thanksgiving Day.

This Turkey Day, many national chains will open their doors early in an effort to boost sales. K-Mart opened at 6 a.m.

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Economy
2:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Greece's Economy Predicted To Shrink In 2014

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:08 am

The forecast, by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was issued on Wednesday. It contrasts with that of the Greek government which says the economy will grow next year.

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