Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."
Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.
Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."
Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.
After an unsuccessful face-lift attempt by Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney will be led by former CEO Myron Ullman. Some analysts say this might be it for the retailer; others say it must "embrace" its customers to recuperate.
A year and a half ago, J.C. Penney's then-brand new CEO Ron Johnson undertook what was supposed to be a transformation of the 110-year-old department store. Yesterday, the retailer cut his tenure short.
J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion last year as customer traffic dropped off.
Now, it's bringing back former Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman to try to stanch the bleeding.
KPMG has withdrawn as auditor of Herbalife and Skechers USA after the accounting firm revealed that one of its partners may have sold inside information on the companies to a third-party stock trader.
Nutrient-supplement seller Herbalife briefly halted activity in its shares after the revelation, only reopening trading Tuesday afternoon. The company's stock was down 21 cents at $38.18 Tuesday. The broader market was mixed.
In the 75 years since it was introduced, Americans have been arguing over the minimum wage.
Some say government intervention to artificially raise wages lowers demand for workers and interferes with economic freedom — preventing people who would be willing to work for less from getting jobs at all. They argue that the minimum wage especially hurts teenagers and young adults with few or no skills.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:27 am
Which Japanese-manufactured car is the world's most popular vehicle? Maybe none of them. It might just be the Ford Focus.
More than a million Focus models were sold worldwide last year, with Toyota's Corolla coming in second. Next was Ford's top-selling F-Series pickup, sold almost exclusively in the U.S. and Canada, according to the marketing firm R.L. Polk.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Louisville Cardinals capped off a dramatic journey through March Madness to take the NCAA men's crown last night. We'll look back on the men's college basketball tournament. We'll look ahead to the women's final. That conversation is just ahead.
In a courtroom in New Orleans, the oil giant BP has begun presenting its defense in a case connected to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Plaintiffs include individuals and businesses hurt by the spill, as well as and state and federal governments. And they've argued BP was grossly negligent in drilling the deep water well.
But now it's BP's turn. The company argues that contractors who helped it drill should share the blame for the accident, which killed 11 workers and spilled more than four million barrels of oil.
All right. If you happen to be listening to this program while having a mango for breakfast, there is a good chance that mango is grown in Mexico. Our neighbor to the south says it is now the world's largest exporter of fresh mangos.
India still reigns king in exports of mango products, but as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, Mexican mangos are now grown at an astonishing rate and the American market is the main target.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. Steve Inskeep is in Venezuela, reporting this week on that country's presidential election, and he'll be on the program tomorrow. I'm David Greene.
NPR's business news starts with J.C. Penney's revolving door.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: J.C. Penney has ousted its high-profile CEO, Ron Johnson. The retailer recruited Johnson from Apple, to revitalize the company. But since his arrival less than 18 months ago, things at J.C. Penney have only gotten worse.
In New York and Washington, government regulators are cracking down on insider trading, the illegal practice in which people with internal information about important company events make stock market trades before ordinary investors find out what's happening.
Main Street in Webster City, Iowa, has so far survived the 2011 closure of an Electrolux factory. But retraining funds and unemployment are running out for former workers, leaving businesses worried that a serious downturn is ahead.
Credit Andrea Hsu / NPR
Electrolux's former warehouse and distribution center in Webster City, Iowa, is up for sale. The plant itself, across the street, will soon be demolished.
What becomes of a city of 8,000 people when its main employer leaves town? What does it look like, and what does it feel like? I set out to answer those questions on a trip to Webster City, Iowa, last month, as part of my report on the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux.
Electrolux's new plant in Memphis, Tenn., is the Swedish appliance company's most modern and high-tech facility. The factory will open this summer while an Electrolux plant in Quebec, Canada, is being shuttered.
Credit Courtesy of Electrolux
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton (left) with Jack Truong of Electrolux at the company's new plant. The city used a large incentive package to entice the company.
Credit NPR / Andrea Hsu
Jerry Kloberdanz and seven family members were laid off when Electrolux closed its Webster City, Iowa, plant in 2011.
The United States lost close to 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. Now, slowly, some of those jobs are coming back. Over the past three years, the U.S. economy has gained a half-million manufacturing jobs.
But even with the manufacturing recovery, there are both winners and losers — and sometimes they're created by the same company.
Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.
That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.
As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from the financial crash, and Europe is buffeted by a series of banking crises, attention has focused on the presidents and prime ministers who've tried to cope with it all. Journalist Neil Irwin, an economics writer for The Washington Post, says there's an elite group of policymakers who can make enormously important decisions on their own, often deliberating in secret, and in many ways unaccountable to voters.
In what would seem to be a contradiction, a respected study says that the quality of service provided by U.S. airlines remained near an all-time high last year even as passengers' complaints soared 22 percent.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear the latest installment in our tweet poetry series, Muses and Metaphor, but first, we'd like to talk about an effort to add some flavor to the top ranks of restaurant kitchens in America's spiciest city.
Target has apologized for a poor choice of words. Susan Clemens was looking at a grey dress on the company's Web site, when she noticed how the color described. Regular sizes were Dark Heather Gray. Plus sizes, in the exact color, became Manatee Gray. Manatees are walrus-like animals. They're also known as sea cows. Clemens tweeted her disgust and it went viral. The company says from now on they're just going to go with gray.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
After a 15-month hiatus, the world's newest nation is pumping oil again. It's a key step toward mending relations with Sudan, its former civil war foe. And it's a crucial step if South Sudan is to avoid economic collapse.
Earlier this year, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded after overheating issues caused by its batteries led to electrical failures in two separate incidents. Boeing is analyzing flight data and submitting materials to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Car2Go vehicles lined up in Washington, D.C., as the company prepared to launch service there last year. The car sharing service is also in Europe and other American cities, including Seattle; Austin, Texas; Miami; and Portland, Ore.
Late last week, Amazon, which features reader reviews on its sales website, announced that it's buying Goodreads, a hugely popular reader review site. Now, the announcement jarred a lot of Goodreads fans and upset lots of reader-reviewers and authors too. Greg Bensinger has been covering the story for the Wall Street Journal. He joins us from KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.
GREG BENSINGER: My pleasure, hello.
SIMON: Why did Amazon want to inhale Goodreads so much?
Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.
This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.
On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.