Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 11:55 am
The garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,000 people in April, has spurred the Parliament into action.
The legislature approved a law Monday that makes it easier for workers to unionize. The vote comes amid scrutiny of working conditions in the country after the building collapse outside Dhaka, the capital.
The building, Rana Plaza, housed garment factories that churned out products for some of the world's top brands.
In the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, a grim search continues this morning amid the ash and debris left after a train carrying oil crashed into the town. As investigators try to figure out what caused the fiery accident, the question has emerged across the border: Could the same thing happen here in the U.S.? NPR's Jeff Brady reports.
The little known crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling was written by someone using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. He claimed to be a first time author and former member of the British Royal Military police. London's Sunday Times revealed the writer to be none other than J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.
Earnings season will pick up pace this week with a lot of major financial companies releasing their reports. Big names like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley will spell out how they fared in the second quarter.
In the wake of the National Security Agency cyber-spying revelations, you may be worrying about the government keeping track of your digital life. But, for less than $300, a group of ordinary hackers found a way to tap right into Verizon cellphones.
This is a group of good-guy, or "white hat", hackers. They hacked the phones to warn wireless carriers that the phones have a security flaw.
Andrew Rosenkranz says at least two or three times a week, he finds himself sitting across from an employee at his market research firm near Seattle, listening to some complicated personal problem.
Just last week, an employee described how her daughter and baby granddaughter were assaulted by a boyfriend. The daughter wanted to come back to Washington state but didn't have money for a plane ticket. And so, Rosenkranz says, the employee "was coming to ask, 'Hey, is there anything you can do to help us here?' "
Even if passengers aren't eager to celebrate, airlines are. The fees, born in 2008, helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft as the U.S. economy was spiraling down.
"That was a watershed year that scared the bejeezus out of the airline industry," said Mark Gerchick, an aviation consultant who has just released a book, Full Upright and Locked Position. Even as ticket sales were sliding, jet fuel prices were shooting to historic highs.
Wal-Mart is threatening to walk away from plans to build three of six new stores slated for the nation's capital. Those three stores are supposed to go up in some of the city's neediest neighborhoods. But the city council in Washington, D.C., has approved a bill requiring big box stores to pay employees a living wage of $12.50 an hour. And Wal-Mart says if that becomes the law, it will scrap its plans.
NPR's Allison Keyes spoke to people in those communities about their thoughts on the standoff.
An Ethiopian Airlines jet caught fire on the ground today at London's Heathrow Airport. It was a Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, which has more than its share of troubles. The 787 has had serious problems with its lithium-ion batteries. In January, one overheated and another caught fire. The whole 787 fleet was grounded for more than three months after that.
Here's NPR's John Ydstie with more on what happened today.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:40 pm
A Boeing 787 caught fire on the tarmac at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday, followed hours later by a technical problem aboard another 'Dreamliner' that forced the plane to turn back from a trans-Atlantic flight. The incidents sent Boeing's stock down more than 7 percent at one point.
The first incident involved an Ethiopian Airlines plane with no passengers aboard. The second occurred aboard a Thomson Airways flight en route from Manchester, England to Sanford, Fla.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:42 am
If you think flight delays in the U.S. are bad, try China.
A new report from travel industry monitor FlightStats says China is the world's worst when it comes to delays at major airports.
FlightStats compiled statistics from June for the report, determining that eight of the world's worst airports for flight delays were in China. Beijing and Shanghai topped the list, although New York's LaGuardia had the highest number of flight cancellations.
Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:55 am
The morning's major economic news:
-- Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.
CEO Steve Ballmer has shuffled the organizational deck at Microsoft, breaking down long-standing barriers within the company. Microsoft has been criticized for internal turf battles and slow-footed responses to changes in technology.
The words eurozone and crisis have been firmly linked together for the past half decade. Many eurozone economies have collapsed to Depression-era levels. And yet this week, the Baltic nation of Latvia, chose to join the euro. To understand that move, David Greene talks to Pauls Raudseps, economics editor of the Latvian weekly news magazine IR.
A federal judge this week ruled that Apple conspired to raise prices of e-books, handing a victory to the Justice Department. Another winner in the fallout from this case was Amazon, the dominant seller of e-books.
Soon, most Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a fine. This sounds like a marketer's dream: Captive shoppers directed by the government to buy your product. But when the product you're selling is health insurance, there are some pitfalls. Your customers may not love you. In fact, they may despise you.
"I think it may be too little too late for health insurance companies to now come out, like, 'Hey,we were just kidding the last 50 years!,'" says James Percelay, co-founder of the viral marketing firm ThinkModo in New York.
It's been five and a half years since the recession started, and four years since the recovery began. It's been a brutal time for the U.S. job market (obviously), and the picture is still pretty bleak.
But when you look at individual industries, you see a more nuanced picture. Many industries have lost jobs, but others are employing more people than ever.
To see how the jobs picture has changed since the start of the recession, we created the graph below. Here's how it works:
The size of the circle represents the number of jobs in each industry today.
The latest in The Guardian's seriesof reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.
Stocks surged Thursday after the chief of the Federal Reserve sent signals that the central bank wasn't in a hurry to stop helping the economy. When the markets closed, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was at a record high. Other U.S. indexes were also up, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose nearly 170 points to a record 15,460.92.
Update at 5 p.m. ET: We've updated some figures in this post to reflect the markets' closing.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.