Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:44 am
(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)
As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:
The snowstorm is also interfering with Valentine's Day. Mary Beth Reagan, owner of The Flower Pot in Knoxville, Tenn., says that day is very important to business and even a couple of inches of snow could be trouble.
The new head of the Federal Reserve made her debut this week in a marathon hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution about Janet Yellin's first days as chair of the Fed, and what message she sent to Congress in six hours of testimony.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has a problem: It can't find enough pilots to fly its planes. And so it plans to take more than two dozen of its jets out of service. Six months ago, the FAA boosted the number of hours it takes to qualify as a commercial pilot, and that has made it difficult for small, regional carriers to get the pilots they need.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:11 pm
Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.
The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
MONTAGNE: Virgin America aims to go public this year after recording its first profits since it was founded 10 years ago. Barclays and Deutsche Bank will co-lead the IPO.
Virgin Airlines is currently backed by billionaire Sir Richard Branson. And it was last year is Conde Nast traveler reader's choice pick for best airline. The IPO is slated for the second half of the year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here.
Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.
Community college leaders are in Washington this week, pushing for a bigger role in getting more people to enroll in two-year schools. They're also pushing the job training that business and industry say they desperately need.
Still, community colleges are significantly underfunded. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, it's unclear whether these schools can open their doors to more people or offer programs that are likely to cost a lot more.
We heard elsewhere in our program that conservation experts are meeting in London this week to try to crack down on the trade in illegal wildlife. Here in Washington, the White House announced yesterday new restrictions on the import and sale of African elephant ivory.
NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports.
ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Elephant ivory goes for $1,500 a pound. Rhino horn is worth its weight in gold - $45,000 a pound. Dan Ashe heads the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service.
Less than a week after CVS announced its decision to stop selling tobacco products, the company's stock is on the rise. Share prices were up 2.3 percent yesterday, after posting higher-than-expected quarterly profits.
And when it comes to hiring pastors and teachers, religious organizations - churches and schools - are exempt from most laws against discriminating and employment. Now a lawsuit in Massachusetts aims to clarify how much leeway those institutions have. For example, can they discriminate against people in same-sex marriages for non-religious jobs like gym teacher or cafeteria worker? NPR's Tovia Smith reports.
TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Matthew Barrett thought he'd scored his dream job when he was hired to be the boss of a school cafeteria.
This year, the models on the runway at New York Fashion Week look downright comfortable — and Deborah Needleman, editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, says that's "good news for real people."
In the semi-annual event, fashion editors and store buyers attend elaborate runway shows staged in tents at Lincoln Center and other locations around New York City. Designers present clothes to them that consumers may see in stores in the fall.
Tom Brokaw, the NBC News correspondent who for years was one of America's favorite news anchors, has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects blood cells in bone marrow, the network says.
Saying that Brokaw "and his physicians are very encouraged with the progress he is making" as he undergoes treatment, NBC released a statement on Brokaw's behalf. Here it is:
Despite efforts by two-thirds of its 28 member states to block the move, the European Union took a large step toward approving a new genetically modified corn Tuesday. It opponents say the corn, a DuPont Pioneer product called TC1507, has harmful qualities. They also predict the decision will prove to be controversial in Europe.
The House of Representatives has voted to extend the federal debt limit, after the Republican majority abandoned its hopes to tie other provisions to the measure. By a 221-201 vote, the House voted to extend the debt limit to March 15, 2015.
Update at 5:35 p.m. ET: Ryan Reportedly Voted 'No'
In the end, 28 Republicans joined with 193 Democrats to approve the move.
On Twitter, several congressional reporters quickly noted that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was one of many Republicans who voted against the legislation.
Melissa Conklin, 23, stands in the kitchen of her two-bedroom apartment at Woodmere Trace in Norfolk, Va. She earns about $30,000 a year at a nearby car dealership, and says these apartments are not only convenient, but affordable. She pays about $900 a month here, far less than other apartments in the area.
Credit Pam Fessler / NPR
The 40-year-old Woodmere Trace apartment complex in Norfolk is being fixed up by the housing trust, allowing low-income residents to move in.
One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.
According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:21 pm
When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."
Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.
As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:27 am
Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla are among nearly 6,000 websites participating in "The Day We Fight Back," an online protest Tuesday against government surveillance.
The goal of the protest, organizers say, is partly to pass a federal bill called the USA Freedom Act, which is intended to rein in the mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency that were exposed by Edward Snowden.
Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:
"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."
INSKEEP: McDonald's says its sales in the United States fell for the third straight month. The world's largest burger chain reports bad weather hurt its U.S. sales in January, which fell 3.3 percent. McDonald's fared better overseas. Global sales rose 1.2 percent, as the fast food chain continues to expand abroad.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:21 pm
Most people who follow the headlines are aware of the lifestyles of Wall Street's titans — and the vast bonuses that fund those lives of luxury. Kevin Roose's new Young Money looks at the bottom of that ladder: the college kids who arrived on Wall Street after the economic crash of 2008, prepared to put their noses to the grindstone in the hopes of making it big — or just making a decent living.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.
In the coming weeks, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik will tell us about media outlets grappling with how to report and present the news, and how to pay for that reporting amid major changes in the industry. In this, his first story, David reports on a new news organization called First Look Media, which made its debut yesterday.
A well-known name at The New York Times is making the change to digital. After 30 years at The Times as foreign correspondent, executive editor and columnist, Bill Keller announced yesterday he is leaving the paper. He joins journalist and former Wall Street money manager Neil Barsky to report on the criminal justice system. The new venture is called The Marshall Project.
and we've been hearing in recent weeks about a propane shortage, which is really more about distribution. Companies are having trouble transporting their gas from where it's stored to where it's needed. Now the agency that regulates pipelines is taking an unprecedented step to try to fix that problem.