NPR's business news begins with another bad day for Chinese stocks.
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GREENE: The major indexes in China closed down more than five percent - making it the worst day of losses since 2009. And the plunge reverberated, weighing down markets across Asia. The losses we apparently caused by the Chinese government's ongoing attempt to reform its banking system. It's using high interest rates to cut down on risky loans, making access to cash very tight. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that gun control legislation is not dead — they say they're strategizing on how to bring the issue back to the Senate floor.
Even if it does return, one proposal unlikely to survive is an assault weapons ban. Military-style assault rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms.
Each week,Weekend Edition Sundayhost Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley started a software company in 1962. FI Group, now known as Xansa, was "a company of women, a company for women," Shirley says. She wanted to create a new business model, encouraging women to work in the tech industry — with flexible schedules.
Southwest Airlines says some of its Saturday flights will still be affected by a network computer outage that snarled check-ins, forcing the cancellation of more than a dozen flights and temporarily grounding some 250 others – mostly on the West Coast.
Although the carrier's computer system was back up and running after Friday's problems, Southwest says there was still a backlog that could cause flight delays.
Disgraced former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling — convicted of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading related to the 2001 collapse of the Houston-based energy company — has gotten a decade subtracted from his 24-year sentence.
Skilling, 59, has been in prison since he was convicted and sentenced in 2006. With the sentence reduction on Friday and time off for good behavior, he could go free in 2017.
A co-founder of the file-sharing website Pirate Bay has been sentenced in Sweden to two years in prison for hacking into a bank computer.
Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 28, was arrested in Cambodia last year after Swedish authorities issued an international warrant. He was convicted and sentenced Thursday for hacking Sweden's Nordea bank and U.K.-based services firm Logica.
"The data intrusion has been very extensive and technically advanced," the court said in its ruling.
Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities, according to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. They estimate the lost revenue for America's largest cities and counties came to about $2.8 billion for 2011 and 2012, combined.
Alarm bells went off in China's financial system yesterday. That's because interest rates for loans that banks make to each other - like the loans we've just been hearing about - shot up, drying up credit as China's banks searched for cash. The effects reached markets here, where the Dow dropped more than 2 percent yesterday.
All of this seems to be caused by the Chinese government trying to send its banks a message. To explain what happened and why, we turn to NPR's correspondent in Shanghai, Frank Langfitt. Good morning.
Gandolfini, who died this week while vacationing in Italy, became famous for his role in The Sopranos. Tony Soprano, the mob boss, described his job as "waste management consultant." Call it what you want, but on the job, Tony Soprano had plenty of business insights.
Brushes are pretty simple: a bunch of flexible fibers sticking out of something stiff. Not surprisingly, Chinese manufacturers have grabbed a big share of the U.S. brush market. But several hundred small U.S. brush factories are still hanging on. Here are three strategies they're using to survive.
This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.
But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.
In a speech in Germany Wednesday, President Barack Obama said it's time to take "bold action" on climate change. Many believe that major changes to policies on carbon emissions lie ahead, which would mean a host of new regulations for businesses.
When the State Department released its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, we got a chilling reminder that even in 2013, slave labor is still embedded in the global food system.
As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, according to the report. And some of those victims, the State Department says, are later forced to work in agriculture and food processing (though no one has a good idea how many).
Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:53 am
We don't know how, but we missed a major scandal brewing in the Navy for decades. It's important, so even if we're a little late to the story we still wanted to point it out: Cap'n Crunch is an impostor.
The Cap'n was unmasked on June 14 by a food blogger, who noticed the uniform he wears on cereal boxes had the stripes of a commander, not a captain. That is: A captain has four stripes on his sleeve, while a commander has three.
Now we want to talk about the way people are getting new music across the globe. Earlier this week, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z announced he's teaming up with Samsung to release his next album "Magna Carta Holy Grail." Here he is advertising that release.
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JAY-Z: The idea is to really finish the album and drop it, giving it to the world at one time and then letting them share it when it goes out.
NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health recently polled 1,081 African-Americans about their lives. One of the areas respondents were asked about was their perceptions of their financial status.
Those Chinese figures helped Asian markets to take a big tumble today, as did yesterday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said the Fed will likely begin slowing down its economic stimulus later this year. The Fed's massive bond buying program - which is a major part of that stimulus - is seen as a big reason behind recent rallies in the financial market.
MONTAGNE: Output in the eurozone's service and manufacturing sectors is still falling. But this quarter, that output fell at its slowest rate in more than a year, according to a recent survey. Analysts say that could mean a return to growth could be on the horizon.
And let's report on some changes in the American clothing world. George Zimmer, of Men's Wearhouse, might still like the way he looks, but we can guarantee he doesn't like this. The famous face - and gravelly voice - and founder of the company, is out. The company gave no reason for the abrupt firing. But Zimmer is speaking out, as NPR's David Schaper reports.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: His graying beard is instantly familiar. And he speaks with that signature deep, gravelly voice when delivering this famous tagline: