Business

The Salt
4:14 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Can Quinoa Farming Go Global Without Leaving Andeans Behind?

A man cleans quinoa grain in Pacoma, Bolivia.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:53 pm

I ate quinoa-and-turkey chili in a cafeteria today, which, when you think about it, is pretty amazing. Rarely does an entire culture, almost overnight, adopt an entirely new food.

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Economy
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Fears Of A Diminished Stimulus Send Stock Market Falling

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The stock market usually likes good news about the economy, but that's not always the case. This morning, stocks opened down sharply just after the government announced a surprisingly large drop in initial claims for unemployment benefits. In fact, claims fell to the lowest level since before the recession and the Dow Jones Industrials ended the day down 225 points, a decline of 1.5 percent.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

EPA To Crack Down On Accuracy Of MPG Claims By Car Makers

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:43 pm

For auto companies, that Environmental Protection Agency-approved MPG sticker on a new car is a high stakes and expensive process. These days it can be damaging to a company's image if customers can't achieve that great fuel economy in their own commutes.

U.S.
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

States Target Hybrids As Gas Tax Revenues Ebb

Sara Busch of Havertown, Pa., owns a Chevy Volt, an electric hybrid. Like a lot of Americans, she's buying less gasoline than she used to, which means she's paying less in gas taxes.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:50 pm

Americans are buying less gasoline than they did just a few years back. While many people believe this is a good thing, it does present a problem: Most road construction is paid for with fuel taxes. Less gas tax revenue means less money for roads.

One reason gas purchases are down is that more people are driving more efficient cars, such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Now states are looking for solutions, including charging hybrids extra fees or imposing fees based on miles driven.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Ford Lowers Mileage Rating On Its C-Max Hybrid

A Ford C-MAX hybrid vehicle goes through assembly at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, last November.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:05 am

(Updated 8:40 p.m. ET)

Ford on Thursday backpedaled on the stated fuel economy for its C-Max hybrid after customer complaints and an EPA investigation found that the vehicle wasn't living up to its advertised 47 mpg.

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Business
8:36 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Can Paula Deen Recover (And Who Really Pays If She Doesn't)?

In better times — just last year — Paula Deen promoted a new line of furniture. While Universal Furniture International said in July it will continue to market the Paula Deen Home Collection, several other endorsers have dropped Paula Deen products.
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 10:10 am

Paula Deen might have a hard time recovering.

The other day, a judge threw out charges of racial discrimination filed against the celebrity chef. That made sense, since the person suing Deen is white.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Blames Economy And Payroll Taxes For Slowed Earnings

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Wal-Mart is blaming depressed demand amid a still-shaky economy and a rise in payroll taxes for disappointing earnings in the quarter ending July 31.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday that its net income rose to $4.07 billion, barely above the $4.02 billion it earned in the same quarter last year.

According to Reuters, sales at U.S. stores that have been open for at least one year fell 0.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a career fair held by the National Urban League last month in Philadelphia.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:37 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Auto Industry's Pent-Up Demand Expected To Ease Slowly

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If economists looking at the housing sector are generally optimistic, those who follow the auto industry are practically brimming with glee. Right now, the average age of cars on the road is the oldest ever recorded, at 11-and-a-half years, which means at some time, people will have to buy newer ones. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, that time may be now.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Team Walks Florida's Beaches With Google Eye

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:44 am

Google Street View cars have been photographing roads and highways for years, but how about this: Google Beach View. Florida is paying a pair of intrepid trekkers to walk all 825 miles of the state's beachfront carrying the Google Eye camera in a 40 pound backpack — blue orb sticking out the top.

National Security
3:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Drone Manufacturers Confident Domestic Industry Will Grow

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:53 am

Gathering in Washington, D.C., drone manufacturers say they are optimistic about their business, despite a downturn in defense spending. The unmanned vehicle industry is hopeful the domestic market will open up. But they first must address privacy concerns exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal.

Business
3:13 am
Thu August 15, 2013

2 Ex-Traders Accused Of Covering Up JPMorgan Losses

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:24 am

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. have charged two former traders in JPMorgan Chase's London office with securities fraud. The two men were part of the so-called "London Whale" case, which ended up costing the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting losses.

Business
3:13 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Attorney Dispenses Legal Advice As Well As Shaving Cream

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:24 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Law school grads have been facing a tough job market, and this has prompted some young entrepreneurial attorneys to try out hybrid businesses.

Diane Orson from member station WNPR reports on one Connecticut attorney who's opened a shop that combines his passion for the law - with his skill as a barber.

DIANE ORSON, BYLINE: Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 am
Thu August 15, 2013

The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing For

Part of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, N.Y., is seen from the air on Aug. 14, 2003, during a massive power outage that stretched from New York to Detroit and into Canada.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:49 am

In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.

But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.

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Business
2:52 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

More Companies Encourage Workers To Volunteer, On The Clock

Kristin Yentes (right) and other volunteers from U.S. Bank serve breakfast to diners at Catholic Charities Opportunity Center in Minneapolis. Workers from the bank have been volunteering with Catholic Charities for more than a year.
Jeffrey Thompson MPR

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

You're not likely to find many bankers wearing those old stereotypical green visors these days. But at U.S. Bank, some employees sport hairnets — at least when they're serving breakfast.

Every Friday morning, a group of U.S. Bank employees stands elbow to elbow at a Minneapolis soup kitchen, doling out French toast, sausage and other breakfast goodies. Most of the people getting free breakfast are homeless men who lug their belongings in plastic bags.

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Author Interviews
1:39 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Shipping: The 'Invisible Industry' That Clothes And Feeds You

Ninety percent of what we wear, eat and consume is carried by container ships like this one at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal of Sri Lanka's port of Colombo.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 2:38 pm

Imagine a ship carrying goods in containers that, if lined up, would stretch around 11,000 miles long, or nearly halfway around the planet. Rose George spent several weeks aboard one such ship as research for her new book, Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car and Food on Your Plate.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Wed August 14, 2013

San Diego's Hooters, Other Businesses Tell Mayor To Stay Away

At the entrance to this Hooters restaurant in San Diego, the sign is up telling Mayor Bob Filner that he's not welcome.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:51 am

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is refusing calls to resign following the dozen or so accounts of women who say he sexually harassed them, isn't welcome at his city's Hooters restaurants.

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All Tech Considered
10:14 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'The New York Times' Site, Apps Return After Two-Hour Outage

The New York Times headquarters in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

One of the world's most trusted sources for news is back up, after an internal outage knocked it out for nearly two hours on Wednesday morning. The New York Times' main site and mobile app went down a little after 11 a.m. ET, when users who tried to visit received a "Service Unavailable" message.

The news organization's Twitter account sent this message, before the site returned:

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All Tech Considered
8:55 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Man Learns How Not To Launch A Site For Women

Bryan Goldberg is founder and CEO of Bustle.com, a new site targeting female audiences.
Courtesy of Bryan Goldberg

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:02 pm

Bustle.com is a new women's site staffed by editors and writers from traditionally female-oriented organizations like Glamour and Seventeen but founded and led by a man, Bryan Goldberg. His previous venture was the multimillion-dollar sports site Bleacher Report. In announcing the launch of his new lady-targeted venture Tuesday, he wrote:

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Is Europe's Recession Really Over? It's Too Soon To Say

The line outside an employment office in Madrid last October. Spain's economy has been among the hardest hit in Europe.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 9:29 am

These headlines this morning make it sound like Europe's economy is up and running again:

-- "Euro Area Exits Longest Recession on Record." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Euro Zone Emerges from Recession." (The Wall Street Journal)

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Wed August 14, 2013

AOL CEO Apologizes For Public Firing

Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL.
Michael Kovac Getty Images for AOL

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:51 am

After several days of brutal criticism and commentary about the brutal way he fired a man during a conference call, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is now apologizing.

"I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz," Armstrong says in an email to AOL employees, which Mashable has posted here.

Armstrong adds that:

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Business
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Eurozone Shows Signs Of Economic Improvement

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with growth in the eurozone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It looks like Europe's long recession is finally over. Statistics out this morning shows signs of growth across the eurozone after a year and a half of declining numbers.

GREENE: It will take time and stronger growth to reverse the high unemployment of many countries but politicians are hailing the figures as an end to the dark years.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sent this report.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Does More Vacation Mean Happier Workers?

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

August means many parts of the world are virtually shut down with many workers off on summer holiday. A recent blog post in The Atlantic took on the question: Does more vacation mean happier workers? Some data suggests not so much.

Law
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Feds Sue To Block Proposed Airline Merger

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's hear now about a proposed airline merger. In a surprise move, the Justice Department announced yesterday that it will try to stop American Airlines and U.S. Airways from becoming one. This is largely because of two other mergers that made both Delta and United Airlines much bigger. Those deals were approved back in 2008 and 2010. Now, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports from Dallas, the government seems determined to change course.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Heard It Through The Grapevine: Raisin Grower Goes Rogue

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, the story of a man many call an outlaw. His crime: growing raisins and then deciding to sell them all. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Planet Money's Zoe Chace has the story.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: You might imagine that such an ordinary thing like a raisin works the same way lots of other stuff works. The raisin grower takes his sun-dried grapes and sells them, as many as he can to whoever wants them. That's not what happens.

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Latin America
3:21 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Top Foreign Real Estate Buyers In Miami Are Brazilians

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen, in Miami. To gauge the impact of Brazilians here, you only need to go downtown and look up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

ALLEN: Just a few years after the housing downturn, in Miami, once again, cranes and construction crews are hard at work building high-rise condominiums. Thousands of units are going up all over town, and many are being built for Brazilians.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Listeria Outbreak Still Haunts Colorado's Cantaloupe Growers

A melon washing station sprays cantaloupes with clean water and sanitizer.
Kristin Kidd

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:48 am

Two years after cantaloupe were linked to one of the worst foodborne outbreaks in U.S. history, lawyers have filed a fresh round of lawsuits. Meanwhile, farmers are trying to win back customers after their signature crop was tarred by a broad brush.

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The Record
1:04 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Why Steinway Is Likely To Be Sold To A Hedge Fund Manager

The Steinway Musical Instruments factory in Queens, N.Y.
Ilya Marritz

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:16 am

Steinway & Sons, the 160-year-old musical instrument maker, is set to change hands.

Last month, a private equity firm emerged as the company's likely buyer. But a mystery bidder — rumored to be hedge fund manager John Paulson — has swooped in at the last minute, and now looks likely to take control of one of the oldest manufacturers in the United States. Paulson made billions betting against the housing market at a time when many thought housing prices could only go up. His reported offer for the company is $458 million.

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Business
3:28 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

DOJ Suit Seen Delaying, Not Killing Big Airline Merger

A United Airlines jet takes off behind a US Airways jet at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.

"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Chipotle Is Keeping Its Meat Antibiotic-Free After All

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:26 pm

For a few hours Tuesday, it appeared that Chipotle Mexican Grill, an ever expanding source of fast food for the ethically conscious consumer, had softened its hard line against antibiotics in meat production.

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