Business

Energy
3:03 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix?

John Brown, the head of Zion Oil & Gas, believes the Bible will help him find oil in Israel. The company, which is listed on Nasdaq, has so far spent $130 million and drilled four dry holes. Brown is shown here at one of the company's drilling rigs in Israel.
Courtesy of Zion Oil

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 10:44 am

They say an oilman has to be a gambler, but can he be a prophet?

Zion Oil & Gas, based in Dallas, is a publicly traded company that believes it is commanded by the Bible to search for oil in Israel, both to help the Holy Land and make money for investors. The 22 employees of Zion Oil in Texas and Israel, and many of its 30,000 investors, believe the company is on a mission from God.

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Business
1:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

How Shopping Malls Are Adapting In An Online World

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 9:49 am

Traditional shopping malls took a big hit after the economic collapse. Problems at big retailers Sears and J.C. Penney — two of the biggest mall tenants — could signal even more troubles.

But malls are trying to adapt. As online shopping grows, things are getting more and more competitive out in the real world of brick-and-mortar retail.

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Media
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Report: Humane Association Covered Up Animal Abuse On Hollywood Sets

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:56 pm

An investigation by The Hollywood Reporter alleges that the American Humane Association has tried to cover up instances of animal abuse and deaths on Hollywood sets. Melissa Block talks with Gary Baum, a senior writer for the magazine who reported the story.

Media
3:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

CBS Puts Lara Logan On Leave After Review Of Flawed Benghazi Report

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:42 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

An internal review of a report that aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reached damning conclusions. Now, Laura Logan, the CBS correspondent who reported that story, and her producer are taking leaves of absence at management's request.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

After Internal Review On Benghazi Report, CBS Puts Logan On Leave

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 7:09 am

CBS has asked 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan to take a leave of absence, along with her producer, after her recent story on the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was found to have multiple flaws. An internal report also found broader failings in how the news division handled the story. A summary of the report's findings was obtained by NPR on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Jury Orders Newegg To Pay $2.3 Million In 'Patent Troll' Case

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:47 pm

The online retailer Newegg has lost a patent case centering on Web encryption, after a Texas jury rejected its argument that a claim from the company TQP Development was invalid. The jury ordered Newegg to pay $2.3 million — less than half the damages TQP had sought.

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Monkey See
10:39 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Katie Couric And Yahoo!: Two Brands Wondering What's Next

Katie Couric made her name on NBC's Today show, which she hosted for 15 years. Since leaving the network in 2006, Couric has anchored CBS Evening News and launched her own daytime talk show on ABC, Katie.
Ida Mae Astute AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:56 pm

Depending on which analyst you read, Katie Couric's move to become "global anchor" for Yahoo! News is either a "bad bet" and an "awkward fit," or an "upheaval in the pecking order" that could "signal the end of old media dominance."

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Supreme Court Will Hear New Challenge To Health Law

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases brought by companies who say they have religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they offer employees health insurance that includes contraception benefits.

In a statement released late Tuesday morning, justices say they have consolidated four related cases and will hear one hour of oral arguments. That will happen next year, likely in late March.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Home Prices Rise Again; Consumer Confidence Dips

Housing has been one of the economy's bright spots.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 8:07 am

While home prices rose in major cities across the nation during the third quarter, data suggest that the housing market is beginning to shift to a slower rate of growth, according to the economists who put together the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

Their statistics show prices rose 3.2 percent in the quarter and were up 11.2 percent from a year earlier.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Book News: Secret Video Documents Conditions In Amazon Warehouse

A worker at the Amazon fulfillment center in Swansea, Wales, processes orders in 2011.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 6:58 am

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

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Business
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Longtime Wal-Mart Employee Chosen As CEO

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a new chief at Wal-Mart.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Doug McMillon of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started at Wal-Mart in 1984. It was a summer job, he was unpacking trucks. Yesterday, he was named as the retail giant's new CEO. Not only is the 47-year-old McMillon an insider who rose through the ranks, he's one of the few executives who actually worked under founder Sam Walton.

Business
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

FDA Tells Company To Stop Selling Genetic Test

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A high-profile genetic medical testing company is in trouble with the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration has asked 23 And Me to temporarily halt its work.

As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the FDA has accuracy concerns.

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Business
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Uncollected Change At TSA Security Gates Adds Up

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you're in the right place in the right time, you could fund your company with spare change. Because our last word in business today is: Economy Class.

Imagine you're in an airport security line and realize you have loose change in your pocket.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know, you plop your coins into that little plastic bin, send it down the x-ray conveyor belt and maybe forget to pick up the change.

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The State Of The American Small Business
12:57 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

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Environment
12:51 am
Tue November 26, 2013

What's In It For U.S. To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

The chimneys of the Kolaghat Thermal Power Station loom above a field flooded for rice farming near Mecheda, West Bengal, India, in July 2011.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

The United Nations negotiations in Warsaw over a climate treaty are moving at glacial speed — and that's in part because there's a fundamental problem.

In the coming decades, carbon dioxide emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries are expected to grow quickly. Residents there aspire to lifestyles Americans and Europeans enjoy today, and those nations aren't willing to slash emissions, because doing so could slow their economic growth.

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

FDA Tells 23andMe To Stop Selling Popular Genetic Test

YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:41 am

You don't need to be an expert in the regulations covering medical tests to know that the Food and Drug Administration has just about had it with Silicon Valley's 23andMe.

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Business
3:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

China Pits Hollywood Blockbusters Against Each Other

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

The 3D space epic Gravity made $35.5 million over its first weekend in China. Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games franchise opened two days later. The China Film Group says it does that to "create a space for domestic movies to survive and grow."

Business
3:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Swiss Voters Reject Attempt To Limit Executive Pay

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with no salary cap for Swiss executives.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: A proposal in Switzerland to limit executive pay has been rejected by voters there. As we reported on the program last week, the initiative would have meant that an executive could never earn more money in a month than what the lowest-paid employee earns in a year.

Asia
3:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

After The Storm: Commerce Returns To Damaged Philippines City

In the past week, this street market in Tacloban has grown exponentially as people try to earn money to rebuild their lives.
Frank Langfitt/ NPR

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Commerce has returned to the storm-savaged streets of Tacloban in the past week. People sell bananas along the roads, and a bustling market has sprung up across several blocks downtown.

Jimbo Tampol, who works for a local Coca-Cola distributor, drives across Tacloban selling ice-cold sodas from coolers. In a city where there is no electricity and little refrigeration, a cold soda is a big deal, a symbol of normalcy.

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Health Care
3:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Health Exchanges Brace For A December Deluge

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

The race is on to get the federal insurance website HealthCare.gov working smoothly by the end of November.

And it's not just because that's what federal officials have promised. December could see a surge in demand for health insurance.

"There is an avalanche coming," says Bryce Williams, managing director for exchange solutions at the benefits consulting firm Towers Watson.

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Code Switch
12:55 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Hollywood's New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters

Hollywood's version of Iron Man 3 shown in China played down the rather unfortunately named baddie, The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley.
Marvel

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

If you've seen the 2012 science fiction movie Looper, you might remember a telling exchange when a time-traveling hitman (Bruce Willis) sits down with a young version of himself (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and offers some advice.

"You should go to China," Willis says firmly.

Gordon-Levitt resists: "I'm going to France."

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Middle East
12:52 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Crippled By Sanctions, Iran's Economy Key In Nuclear Deal

A man pushes his cart loaded with fuel containers in Tehran, Iran. Sanctions on Iran's oil have put a serious dent in the country's economy, pushing up the inflation rate to 40 percent.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.

There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.

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Business
3:52 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Reviving Las Vegas With Less Sin, More City

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 5:38 am

In Nevada, there is no income tax. And if you've ever been to Las Vegas then you know why — they don't need one.

More than 30 million tourists a year stumble down the Las Vegas Strip, and many of those tourists come to gamble, leaving behind a ridiculous amount of money. For decades, business boomed.

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Economy
12:09 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Many Americans Will Be Giving Thanks For Lower Prices

Gas prices are down compared with last year, but slumping consumer confidence could dampen Thanksgiving holiday travel.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

When Americans drive to their Thanksgiving gatherings this week, they will have one more blessing to count: lower costs.

Gasoline is cheaper than last year. Turkey prices are down, too. And retailers are joining in, offering big discounts on TVs and other goods.

For people who watch every penny, this Thanksgiving will be a good time for pinching.

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Business
4:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

What Have Mortgage Settlements Done For Homeowners Lately?

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $13 billion settlement over faulty mortgage securities with the Justice Department on Tuesday, though it did not admit any wrongdoing.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:51 pm

This week, JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the sale of faulty mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis. It's the largest settlement with a single company in U.S. history.

From that settlement, $4 billion must go to help the millions of families who saw the values of their homes plummet and who still struggle to keep up with mortgage payments.

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Business
2:21 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Electric Bus Fleet Brings Chinese Manufacturing To America

BYD's North American headquarters is located in Los Angeles. Next year, the Chinese-based auto manufacturer will roll out electric buses in LA and Long Beach.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 5:15 pm

Public transit vehicles may be the key to China's success in the U.S. auto market. Chinese company BYD, based in Shenzhen, is manufacturing electric buses. It's an appealing option for a place like California, where emission standards are strict.

At BYD's North American headquarters in Los Angeles, one of the 40-foot electric K9 buses sits on display. BYD Fleet Sales Manager James Holtz sits in the driver's seat and pushes the power button on the dashboard.

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The Salt
11:46 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Pepsi Pressured To Fight Big Sugar's 'Land Grab'

Tractors sit on a sugarcane plantation on the land of a Guarani-kaiowá indigenous community in Brazil.
Tatiana Cardeal Courtesy Oxfam

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:15 am

The anti-poverty group Oxfam is asking Pepsi's shareholders to approve a resolution that, if passed, would force the company to disclose its sugar suppliers and investigate whether those suppliers are implicated in "land grabs" that unfairly take land from the poor.

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Economy
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Who Gets JPMorgan's Settlement Cash?

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

Of the $13 billion settlement between JPMorgan and the Justice Department, $1.5 billion will go to underwater homeowners to help them avoid foreclosures. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR economics correspondent Chris Arnold about how the settlement will be spent.

Health Care
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Obamacare Offers New Ways To Invest

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

While there is widespread frustration over the rollout of the health insurance exchanges, some people see opportunities. Venture capitalists are thinking a lot about what the health care industry may look like in the future while they invest today. Annie Lamont has been a health care venture capitalist for over 30 years. She's a managing partner at Oak Investment Partners. And we asked her what opportunities she sees coming up in her field.

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All Tech Considered
3:57 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Hard-Core And Casual Gamers Play In Different Worlds

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screenshot

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

This holiday season, the video game industry is looking to reignite sales as two game titans, Sony and Microsoft, launch the next generation of game consoles.

Their target demographic is the group of dedicated players known as hard-core gamers. Dive into the wide world of video game culture on YouTube and you'll hear that term being thrown about.

So what exactly is a hard-core gamer?

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