Business

Shots - Health News
6:55 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Affordable Care Act Makes This Tax Season Painful For Many

Tax preparation software doesn't always calculate the complexity of Affordable Care Act subsidies and credits properly.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:08 pm

This tax season, for the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences.

Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance, or have to figure out whether they need to pay back part of the subsidy they received to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz, Kraft Announce Merger

Commemorative ketchup bottles with portraits of Warren Buffett are seen at the exhibition of Berkshire Hathaway companies at the annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., on May 3, 2014. Kraft Foods said it will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co., owned by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to form the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group said they are merging to create the world's fifth-biggest food and beverage company.

The new company will be called The Kraft Heinz Co. and will be co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and the Chicago area, the companies said in a statement. The new company will have revenues of approximately $28 billion.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Ex-Inmate Uses His Sentence To Create Successful Business Plan

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 12:38 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Youth Radio
2:21 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Oakland Kids Get A Raise From The New Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:21 pm

Eighteen-year-old Alicia Donaldson works at a busy McDonald's in East Oakland. Her job is more complicated than anyone might think.

"When you do the grill and the chicken by yourself, it's not easy," she admits. "You have to put down the meat on the grill, and then put chicken in the grease. People get burned a lot."

That's a lot of pain for only $9 an hour. Today it's still hard work, but now Alicia is making $12.25 instead.

"When I worked 56 hours my check was about $480," she remembers.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Obama Administration Emissions Rules Face Supreme Court Test

Steam from a coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the sun near St. Marys, Kan. Industry groups say there should be a far more aggressive consideration of costs of regulation than the Obama administration took into account.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:20 pm

The Supreme Court hears a challenge Wednesday to Obama administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants emitted from coal- and oil-fired utility plants. The regulations are being challenged by major industry groups like the National Mining Association and more than 20 states.

The regulations have been in the works for nearly two decades. Work on them began in the Clinton administration, got derailed in the George W. Bush administration, and then were revived and adopted in the Obama administration.

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Parallels
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Foreign Carmakers Shift Into Reverse In Russia

Cars drive past the Kremlin along the Moscow River last December. Foreign automakers had been ramping up production in Russia, but the country's economic woes have caused car sales to drop sharply. Several foreign automakers have cut back production, and General Motors is pulling out of Russia.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

General Motors announced last week that it's closing its auto plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Volkswagen says it will lay off workers and reduce shifts at a plant in central Russia.

The latest auto industry troubles highlight a dismal picture for foreign investment in Russia, which could see a 35 percent drop in sales this year.

Seven years ago, GM was looking at a bright future in the Russian market. Cars sales were taking off and would eventually grow at a rate of more than 10 percent a year.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

A Top Weedkiller Could Cause Cancer. Should We Be Scared?

Central Illinois corn farmer Jerry McCulley refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. A new assessment of the chemical finds that the (uncertain) risks mainly affect the people who work with it or who come in direct contact with areas where it's applied.
Seth Perlman AP

An international committee of cancer experts shocked the agribusiness world a few days ago when it announced that two widely used pesticides are "probably carcinogenic to humans." The well-respected International Agency for Research on Cancer published a brief explanation of its conclusions in The Lancet and plans to issue a book-length version later this year.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
8:16 am
Tue March 24, 2015

What If Web Search Results Were Based On Accuracy?

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 11:24 am

Imagine, for a moment, that every Web search gave only accurate, verified information. Imagine that questions concerning real facts about the real world returned lists of websites ordered by how well those site's facts matched the real world.

Search for "Barack Obama's nationality," and websites claiming "Kenya" would be banished to the 32nd page of the list. Search for "measles and autism" and you'd have to scroll down for 10 minutes before you found a page claiming they were linked.

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Research News
3:14 am
Tue March 24, 2015

How Money Managers' Personal Lives Affect Your Investments

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
1:41 am
Tue March 24, 2015

For Banks 'Too Big To Jail,' Prosecutors Count On A Promise To Behave

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the company's headquarters in Zurich. U.S. officials are investigating whether UBS and Barclays manipulated currency rates at a time when they were already operating under a deferred prosecution agreement for manipulating interest rates.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:49 pm

Last week, a top Justice Department official issued a tough warning to banks and other corporations that repeatedly commit crimes. She said U.S. officials could do away with their deferred-prosecution agreements.

Such deals allow companies that have broken the law to escape criminal convictions by promising to clean up their act. A new book looks at the role these agreements play in the corporate world.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Does This Strong Dollar Make U.S. Look Too Fat For Foreign Investors?

President Obama speaks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, hosted by the Commerce Department on Monday, at National Harbor, Md.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 11:51 am

The U.S. economic expansion has been gaining so quickly that foreign investors are paying attention. Many want to open factories and offices that could swell their profits while creating jobs for Americans.

But U.S. growth also has pushed up the value of the dollar, which has surged about 14 percent over the past year relative to other currencies. That makes it more difficult for foreigners to spend their money in the U.S. The dilemma is not lost on the White House.

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All Tech Considered
3:48 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Now Algorithms Are Deciding Whom To Hire, Based On Voice

Ilana Kohn Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:47 pm

If you're trying out for a job in sales, the person who judges your pitch may not be a person — it could be a computer.

Job recruitment is the newest frontier in automated labor, where algorithms are choosing who's the right fit to sell fast food or handle angry cable customers, by sizing up the human candidates' voices.

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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Wilson Sporting Goods Acquires Louisville Slugger Brand

A 120-foot-tall replica bat fronts the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Ky. Hillerich & Bradsby on Monday announced a deal to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 9:31 am

Update at 7:21 p.m. ET. Jobs to be lost in deal:

Baseball's most iconic bat has a new owner. Monday, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., which owns Louisville Slugger, announced the brand would be acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million in cash. The move means that Wilson, maker of Major League Baseball's official glove, will soon own the maker of MLB's official bat.

Jacob Ryan of NPR member station WFPL reports that some jobs will be lost in the acquisition:

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The Salt
12:19 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Liberte, Egalite, Gastronomie? France Rallies To Defend Its Food's Honor

A sampling of the multicourse menu served at the Gout de France dinner at the French embassy in Washington, D.C.: (clockwise from top left): seasonal vegetables with winter truffle Bayonne ham crisps; slowly cooked monkfish with fennel pollen flavors in "Armoricaine" sauce; Ariane apple and Guanaja chocolate onctueux; Saint-Nectaire cheese and grilled bread with nuts and raisins.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:48 am

What do the French do when their economy and identity are under assault? Throw a dinner party, of course – a global one.

From Madagascar to Washington, D.C., more than 1,000 French chefs on five continents hosted multi-course gastronomic dinners last Thursday in celebration – and defense – of France's culinary prowess.

At one dinner, at the Chateau of Versailles west of Paris, around 600 guests (including NPR), dined in the lamp-lit Battles' Gallery, flanked by oil paintings of French military victories through the ages.

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Parallels
10:07 am
Mon March 23, 2015

An Object Of Desire: Hope And Yearning For The Internet In Cuba

The Havana studio of prominent artist Kcho is ringed by Cubans with their heads buried in screens. Users say the only other free Internet connection in Havana is at the U.S. Interests Section.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:05 pm

After the sun sets on Havana on weekends, G Street turns into a kind of runway.

Blocks of the promenade — which is very colonial with its big, beautiful statues and impeccable topiaries — swell with crowds of young Cubans. For the most part, they just walk up and down, greeting each other with kisses.

It's a spectacle: Everyone, it seems, is here to impress. They're perfectly coiffed, perfectly matched; they're splayed on benches, arms wrapped around each other.

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NPR Story
2:56 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Eurozone Threatened By Divide Between Greece And Germany

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Sun March 22, 2015

Starbucks Will Stop Putting The Words 'Race Together' On Cups

Larenda Myres holds an iced coffee drink with a "Race Together" sticker on it at a Starbucks store in Seattle. Starbucks baristas will no longer write "Race Together" on customers' cups starting Sunday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 10:08 pm

The most visible part of Starbucks' campaign to get customers talking about race — putting the slogan "Race Together" on coffee cups — has come to an end.

In a memo sent to all Starbucks employees Sunday, CEO Howard Schultz wrote: "This phase of the effort — writing 'Race Together' (or placing stickers) on cups, which was always just the catalyst for a much broader and longer term conversation — will be completed as originally planned today, March 22."

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Business
3:33 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

Starbucks' 'Race Together' Campaign Begins

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 5:41 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
7:58 am
Sat March 21, 2015

A New 3-D Printing Method Is Rising Out Of The Ooze

Continuous Liquid Interface Production, or CLIP, uses liquid resin with ultraviolet light and oxygen projected through it to create more complex structures than those of existing 3-D printers.
Nina Gregory NPR

One of the presentations at the TED Conference in Vancouver this week that had much of the tech elite oohing and ahhing was something called CLIP (no relation to Microsoft's reviled animated helper) or Continuous Liquid Interface Production.

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Business
7:34 am
Sat March 21, 2015

As Americans Eat Healthier, Processed Foods Starting To Spoil

This week Kraft Foods recalled nearly 2.5 million boxes of macaroni and cheese that were potentially contaminated with metal pieces. Kraft and other processed food manufacturers are facing many challenges.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 12:24 pm

Kraft Foods is going through a rough patch.

This week, Kraft recalled nearly 2.5 million boxes of macaroni and cheese that were potentially contaminated with metal pieces.

Also, Kraft Singles, a pre-sliced processed cheese product, earned a nutritional seal from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The seal prompted outrage from nutritionists.

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Your Money
3:33 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Investment Guru Teaches Financial Literacy While Serving Life Sentence

Known by the nickname "Wall Street," Curtis Carroll teaches financial literacy at the San Quentin Prison, helping inmates prepare for life after incarceration. Carroll, however, is serving a life sentence.
Courtest of The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 11:33 am

Prison is perhaps the last place anyone would expect to learn about investing and money management.

But at San Quentin Prison, Curtis Carroll's class is a hot item. The 36-year-old has gained a reputation for his stock-picking prowess. He's even earned the nickname "Wall Street."

Carroll and prison officials have teamed up to create a financial education class for inmates. He starts off the class with a motivational speech.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

It's All About The Benjamins And Jacksons — But What About The Women?

"There hasn't been a change of the portraits since 1929 ... it's time to bring our money into the 21st century," says Susan Ades Stone, spokeswoman for Women on 20s.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:58 pm

The college basketball playoffs have turned March into a month when many of us become bracket watchers. There is another playoff taking place that you may not have heard of — an online campaign to choose a woman to put on the $20 bill.

If you look into your wallet, whether you're feeling flush, or not, there's one thing the bills you do find all have in common ... the faces of dead white men. Most are presidents: Washington, Lincoln and Jackson. A few, Hamilton and Franklin among them, famous for other reasons. But not one of the faces is female.

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The Salt
1:27 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Why Los Angeles' Fast Food Ban Did Nothing To Check Obesity

An economist with the Rand Corporation argues that Los Angeles' fast-food ban failed because it merely blocked new construction or expansion of "stand-alone fast-food" restaurants in neighborhoods where that style of restaurant was uncommon to begin with.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 12:34 pm

There's a researcher at the RAND Corporation who has been building a reputation as a curmudgeonly skeptic when it comes to trendy ways to fight America's obesity epidemic.

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Business
12:11 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Some Anxiety, But No Slowdown For North Dakota Oil Boom Town

A production site in the Bakken oil patch as seen from inside an abandoned farmhouse just outside Watford City, N.D.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:58 pm

Low oil prices are causing a drop in new drilling and exploration in North Dakota, but not as much as you might expect.

Take the boom town of Watford City, over in the northwestern corner of the state and in the heart of the Bakken oil patch. Its population has tripled since 2010, and today, continues to climb.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Interior Department Issues New Fracking Rules For Federal Lands

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks in Anchorage, Alaska. The Obama administration is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
Dan Joling AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:18 pm

The Department of the Interior has unveiled new regulations on hydraulic fracturing operations that take place on federal lands, requiring companies using the drilling technique to ensure wells are safe and to disclose chemicals used in the process.

The rules change follows a more than three-year review process and will affect the 90 percent of oil and gas wells on federal lands that now use so-called fracking to extract oil and gas.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Prices For Chanel Handbags To Rise In Europe, Lower In Asia

A sales assistant arranges handbags inside a Chanel boutique at a shopping mall in central Guangzhou, China, in February 2014.
Alex Lee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:49 am

A Chanel handbag is classic, designed to withstand upheavals in fashion and taste. But not price. The Paris-based fashion house has announced that the prices will go up in Europe, and down in Asia.

The move will affect the 11.12, the 2.55, and the Boy Bag models.

At the moment, there's a significant difference in cost between the two regions. Hana Ben-Shabat, a retail and consumer goods specialist at A.T. Kearney, tells NPR that a bag that costs $3,500 in Europe can run up to $6,000 in China.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Target Offers $10 Million Settlement In Data Breach Lawsuit

Shoppers line up outside a Target store in South Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:58 pm

Target has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the company's 2013 data breach.

Court documents show hacking victims could get as much as $10,000 apiece.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson indicated a hearing Thursday in St. Paul, Minn., that he planned to grant preliminary approval of the 97-page settlement, The Associated Press reported.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Cramped Chicken Cages Are Going Away. What Comes Next?

Free-range houses allow chickens to move around freely, but operating costs were 23 percent higher than for traditional cages, according to a new study.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 1:57 pm

For the past two years, at an undisclosed location in the Upper Midwest, a large commercial egg farm has been probed with every tool of modern science. Researchers have collected data on feed consumed, eggs produced, rates of chicken death and injury, levels of dust in the air, microbial contamination and dollars spent. Graduate students have been assigned to watch hours of video of the hens in an effort to rate the animals' well-being.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Thu March 19, 2015

NPR Appoints The AP's Michael Oreskes As News Chief

Michael Oreskes says that he admires NPR's reportorial muscle and that the network's greatest strength can be found in its ability to tell stories that listeners find compelling, accessible and absorbing.
Chuck Zoeller AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 12:57 pm

NPR has named Michael Oreskes, a top Associated Press executive and former New York Times editor who has led newsrooms in such global centers as New York, Washington and Paris, to run its news division.

Officially, Oreskes will be the network's senior vice president for news and editorial director, a slightly refashioned title. Oreskes is currently vice president and senior managing editor at the AP, where he oversees the giant international news wire's daily report.

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Business
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Blue Shield Of California Loses Its Tax-Exempt Status

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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