Business

The Two-Way
1:22 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Chuck Foley, Co-Creator Of Twister, Dies At 82

Festivalgoers play a giant game of Twister during the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in southwest England last month.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:40 am

One of the men responsible for getting people tied up in knots while they played Twister has died.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died earlier this month in St. Paul, Minn. He was 82.

Foley and his business partner Neil Rabens invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. The pair originally called it Pretzel, and it was Milton Bradley who came up with the name Twister.

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Shots - Health News
1:16 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Messy Rollout Of Health Law Echoes Medicare Drug Expansion

Back in 2006, President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt talked with reporters during a trip to Florida, where Bush spoke to volunteers helping seniors sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Mike Stocker AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

It hasn't been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on.

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Planet Money
12:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Will A Health Insurer Sponsor The Next 'Jackass' Movie?

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:13 am

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.

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Planet Money
4:21 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Where The Jobs Are (And Where They Aren't), In 1 Graph

Jobs and wages
NPR

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.
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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Report: Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Get Around Encryption

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces Microsoft's purchase of Skype in 2011, in San Francisco.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:53 am

The latest in The Guardian's series of 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.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Bernanke's Comments Lift Stocks To Record Highs

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:29 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:55 am

There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, up 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The "four-week moving average," which gives a sense of the recent trend, "was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750."

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Politics
3:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Senators Express Concerns About Smithfield Foods Merger

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Data From RealtyTrac Indicates Housing Market Is Improving

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fewer foreclosures.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

New Law Creates Business Opportunities In China

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Chinese culture, filial piety is the virtual of respect for one's elders. In fact, a new Chinese law requires adults to provide financial and emotional support to their elderly relatives, which brings us to today's last word in business: outsourcing tender loving care.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's right. This new law is giving entrepreneurs a business opportunity. The Wall Street Journal reports that China's version of eBay now has listings that offer services like running errands or standing in line.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Wal-Mart Fumes Over D.C. Council Wage Vote

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Wal-Mart is changing its plans for the nation's capital. The company says it won't be building stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a law requiring big-box retailers to pay what's known as a living wage.

Patrick Madden of member station WAMU has the story.

PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: Before the vote, Wal-Mart issued city lawmakers an ultimatum: kill the living wage bill, or it would pull the plug on three stores it has planned to build in the nation's capital.

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Business
2:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Wal-Mart, Gap Join Bangladesh Factory Safety Group

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Some of the country's biggest retailers have unveiled an initiative they say will improve conditions for workers on the other side of the world. The move by Wal-Mart, Target, and others is intended to boost safety in Bangladesh garment factories.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports the plan is a response to the devastating building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in April.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Science Of Twinkies: How Do They Last So Darned Long?

Unlike the dodo that sits next to it on an NPR Science Desk shelf, this year-and-a-half-old Twinkie is still around — but that doesn't mean you want to eat it.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:56 am

We have to confess: When we heard that Twinkies will have nearly double the shelf life, 45 days, when they return to stores next week, our first reaction was — days? Not years?

Urban legend has long deemed Twinkies the cockroaches of the snack food world, a treat that can survive for decades, what humanity would have left to eat come the apocalypse. The true shelf life — which used to be 26 days — seems somewhat less impressive by comparison.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Lawmakers Express Concern About U.S.-Chinese Pork Deal

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a lot of questions today about the takeover of Smithfield Foods. That's because a Chinese company has offered to buy America's largest pork processor. Both Democratic and Republican senators have expressed concerns about the $4.7 billion deal and its potential effects on U.S. food safety and security.

NPR's John Ydstie has been following the testimony today and joins us now. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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Business
12:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 8:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

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All Tech Considered
6:22 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Utah Internet Firm Defies State's Warrantless Subpoena Law

Pete Ashdown is founder and CEO of XMission, Utah's oldest Internet service provider.
Flickr via Center for Study of Ethics at UVU

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:51 am

Utah's oldest Internet service provider, XMission, has refused to give up customer information to law enforcement, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Specifically, the company says it won't comply with administrative subpoenas.

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The Two-Way
3:41 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Investors Brace For News Out Of Fed Minutes

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a news conference in June. Financial markets reacted to comments he made then by selling off bonds and stocks.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:13 am

After the Federal Open Market Committee meeting last month, the financial markets "freaked out," according to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks at the time sent a shockwave through the markets when he suggested the Fed's stimulus could end.

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Asia
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Bangladesh Collapse: The Garment Workers Who Survived

Rebecca Khatun, a worker at Rana Plaza, lies in a hospital bed. She lost her left leg and right foot in the collapse, which also killed five members of her family. Khatun received $120 and free medical care for her loss --€” compensation she says won't be enough for what she's been through.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:57 pm

(We updated this post at 11:58 a.m. ET to include a statement released Wednesday by Walmart. Click here to see that)

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Rana Plaza collapsed on garment workers in Bangladesh, exposing abysmal safety conditions in the country's factories.

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Animals
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Virus Targets Baby Pigs

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the agriculture industry is dealing with a new worry: a virus that is spreading through farms. It has killed hundreds of thousands of baby pigs.

Frank Morris from member station KCUR has more.

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: Like most hog farmers, Brent Sandidge in Missouri has been losing money lately.

BRENT SANDIDGE: We've had a drought, and record high feed prices, so that would be the last thing you'd need, another hit.

MORRIS: But that hit came this spring for some with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

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Business
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

China Issues Grim Trade Outlook

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with China's grim trade outlook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Numbers from the month of June offered more evidence that the world's second-biggest economy might be losing steam. Exports from China fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier. Imports were down, as well, by almost a percent.

NPR Story
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Egypt's Economic Health Needs Outside Help

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's political future will largely depend on its economy, and its economic future will largely depend on help from other countries. To talk more about this, we reached Mohsin Khan. He's a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center on the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. He's also the former Director of the Middle East Department at the International Monetary Fund. Good morning.

MOHSIN KHAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What are Egypt's most immediate economic needs?

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Business
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Twinkies To Return to Store Shelves On Monday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is one of our favorite subjects: Twinkie resurrection.

The yellow spongy cakes will be back on store shelves this Monday. There had been a run on Twinkies following the bankruptcy of Hostess, Twinkies' parent company.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

How Oregon Is Getting 'Frequent Fliers' Out Of The ER

Jeremie Seals used to go to the hospital emergency room to avoid sleeping in his car.
Kristian Foden-Vencil OPB

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 6:03 am

Forty-year-old Jeremie Seals has had a tough life.

He left home at 14, and his health isn't good. He had a heart attack when he was 35. He has congestive heart failure, and nerve pain in his legs that he says is "real bad."

"Long story short, I'm terminal," he says, matter-of-factly.

Seals is unwilling to divulge too much about his past. But over the years, he says his health has deteriorated to such a degree that he can no longer hold a job.

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Business
3:42 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

After Asiana Crash, Pilot Training Gets New Scrutiny

Much of the training for pilots for major airlines is conducted on sophisticated flight simulators, like this Boeing 787 simulator operated by an All Nippon Airways captain. Pilots are also trained to communicate clearly about problems they may encounter in flight.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:40 pm

Investigators are continuing to examine the training and experience of the cockpit crew of the Asiana flight that crashed Saturday in San Francisco. The pilot at the controls had nearly 10,000 hours of experience flying large jets, but only 43 hours in that particular plane, a Boeing 777. Saturday was also the pilot's first 777 landing at San Francisco International.

Pilots transition from flying one airplane model to another all the time; it's a regular part of the job as airlines add new aircraft and pilots fly new routes or get promotions to piloting bigger jets.

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Business
2:54 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Despite Scandal, Wall Street Lines Up To Bid For LIBOR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

On Wall Street, many things are bought and sold, including, occasionally, interest rates. That happened today. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange bought LIBOR, a hugely influential benchmark rate that is set in London. LIBOR is used to set many other interest rates, from credit cards to derivatives contracts.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate Can Reveal Pulse Of Global Economy

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now for our regular primer on global economics, no student loan required. Remember the European economic crisis? Just months ago, there was near panic that the euro zone would collapse, bringing down with it the entire international economy, again. So, how is Europe doing now and what is the overall state of the global economy? Well, one place economists look for answers to those questions is in the exchange rate between dollars and euros.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter In $2.5 Billion Grocery Deal

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:30 pm

In a merger of grocery chains, Kroger Co. is buying Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. The move expands the reach of Kroger, already the nation's largest grocery chain, into the Mid-Atlantic region. The buyout values Harris Teeter at $49.38 per share, a premium of more than 33 percent over its share price earlier this year.

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Who's Watching When You Look For Health Information Online?

Down the online privacy rabbit hole.
NPR

When it comes to sensitive health information, government-run websites appear to do a better job protecting your privacy than many news and commercial sites.

A brief survey published online by JAMA Internal Medicine looked at how 20 health-related websites track visitors. They ranged from the sites of the National Institutes of Health to the health news section of The New York Times online.

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