Every week, it seems, a new scandal is unearthed by the upstart, online newspaper Mediapart. The most recent bomb was that President Francois Hollande's budget minister was evading taxes when he was supposed to be cracking down on tax cheats. After vehemently denying the allegations, in the face of overwhelming evidence, Jerome Cahuzac was forced to resign.
Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican Bank Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, talks with The Associated Press during an interview June 10 at his office in Vatican City. He was named the bank's interim director on Monday after the director and the deputy director both resigned.
Two top officials of the Vatican bank resigned Monday just days following the arrest of a senior cleric with ties to the institution after police caught him with the equivalent of about $26 million in cash that they say he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland.
Two of San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit's largest unions went on strike after weekend talks with management failed to produce a new contract. The move ensures a nightmarish journey ahead for Monday commuters.
A wealthy New York couple is suing their son's kindergarten, claiming they were tricked into paying $50,000 for a finger painting done by a group of five-year-olds — including their son. The couple was out of town during the school's benefit auction, so they instructed a proxy to make sure they made the highest bid. The couple claim the school rigged the auction by having a first-grade teacher drive up the price.
President Obama's trip to Africa comes at a time of increasing African economic growth and declining U.S. influence on the continent. To be successful, he will need to overcome a general perception that the United States has withdrawn from Africa. At the same time, he must convince an American public and private sector that getting more invested in Africa will be good for American jobs and the economy.
Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Credit Andy Buchanan / AFP/Getty Images
Sheep graze on land in front of wind turbines in Cowdenbeath, Scotland, in Nov. 2012. Scotland's ambitious plans for renewable energy are clashing with Donald Trump's plans to develop a luxury golf resort on the country's northeastern coast.
Credit Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
Trump holds the plans for the MacLeod Course, his second Scottish golf course, during a visit to the Trump International Golf Links, on June 6.
Credit Danny Lawson / PA Photos /Landov
Trump, left, follows bagpipers to the opening of his Trump International Golf Links golf course near Aberdeen, northeast Scotland, last July.
A few weeks ago, Alberto Baco Bague arrived in New York for a roadshow of sorts. In just 48 hours, Baco, Puerto Rico's secretary of economic development and commerce, met with more than 30 hedge fund managers, investors and others who could be classified as very well-off.
His mission might seem quixotic at best: trying to convince these well-heeled New Yorkers to uproot themselves from Manhattan and relocate to Puerto Rico. But he says they are starting to come.
Peanuts, flax, sprouts and avocados: It's not the menu at a health food deli, but the menu inside some barns. What's more, many farmers experimenting with these gourmet feeds are growing the ingredients themselves.
Take Russ Kremer, the Missouri pig farmer whose operation served as the inspiration for the 2011 Chipotle ad. Kremer hasn't bought commercial animal feed in 30 years. Instead, he grazes his hogs in a pasture, and grows (or buys from neighbors) grains and legumes to supplement their nutrition.
In Seattle, the city that sired Starbucks, you don't have to travel more than a few steps to find a decent — nay, great — cup of joe. Java is the lifeblood of the city: Where other cities might offer walking tours of historic sites, in Seattle, "coffee crawls" take visitors to the city's best-loved coffeehouses.
NPR's business news starts with new charges against China.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: The United States charged a Chinese wind turbine maker, yesterday, with stealing trade secrets from a U.S. company. The Department of Justice says China's Sinovel stole more than $800 million worth of intellectual property from U.S. company AMSC.
AMSC is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.
Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.
Anyone who's seen a North Carolina license plate knows the state proudly claims itself as the site of the first airplane flight. But this week, Connecticut said not so fast. The state passed a law declaring it was home to the first flight.
And last week was a wild one for China's economy. First, interest rates on the loans that banks give each other spiked. As the banks struggled to get money, stock markets dropped - not only in China - but throughout Asia - and briefly in New York.
Things have calmed down since then. But the crisis showed how China's new leaders are just beginning to confront some fundamental problems in the world's second largest economy.
We're going to NPR's Frank Langfitt in Shanghai to tell us what they're doing.
Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.
"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.
Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.
The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.
It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.
Developers in Phoenix are scrambling to keep up with another frenzied demand for housing. During the Great Recession, homebuilders in the suburbs abandoned neighborhoods that were only half-built. These so-called zombie subdivisions left a ring of unfinished construction around the city.
Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.
Kid Rock is tired of scalpers taking tickets away from his biggest fans.
One way to stop that: Raise ticket prices. If Kid Rock charged more for his tickets, scalpers wouldn't be able to sell them at such a big markup.
But Kid Rock doesn't want to raise prices.
"I don't want to break you by coming to see me, " he says. "I want to make as much money as I can, but I don't need to drive around in a tinted down Rolls-Royce or Maybach and hide from people because I felt like I ripped them off."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
Farmers work at the mercy of three forces that are largely outside their control: weather, markets, and government. The weather has been good in many parts of the country and the markets are up. But government remains the wild card. Congress failed to pass the Farm Bill, the huge package of legislation that lays out years of food policy. And that leaves farmers in limbo.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
He was a governor, a senator and a Wall Street success story. Now, Jon Corzine faces federal civil charges. Regulators filed them today in connection with the collapse of Corzine's commodities firm, MF Global. The government says he failed to stop the firm from misusing customer funds during the financial crisis in October 2011.
The U.S. suspended some trade benefits to Bangladesh on Thursday, citing unsafe working conditions. But in the near term it appears unlikely to have a major impact on the country's crucial garment industry.
Here's why: Bangladesh was suspended from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, so U.S. duties will rise on a range of items from tobacco to plastic. But this program doesn't cover garments — Bangladesh's main export to America.
In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.
Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:49 pm
American businessman Chip Starnes finally left his factory in China on Thursday after he and a union negotiator worked out severance payments for Chinese employees.
Starnes had been stuck inside his medical supply parts factory since last Friday. That's when workers, fearing they were all going to be laid off and that the company wasn't going to compensate them fairly, blocked all of the exits out of the plant. Starnes couldn't get out.