Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:09 pm
Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.
"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.
"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.
On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the baseball season with two games in Sydney, Australia. Fans in most of the country watched the games on the official Major League Baseball Network. But in Los Angeles, home of the Dodgers, fans could only watch on a brand new all-Dodgers channel.
Google. Twitter. Facebook. Back before they got big, companies like these were just startup ideas, born in dorm rooms and run out of garages. Then came the venture capitalists: rich, older men ready to fund the brilliant ideas of younger, creative men.
But what if you are a woman with a startup idea? A new study says you might not do so well. It's been well-documented that businesses started by women receive very little venture capital money.
Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:26 pm
Rather than letting people keep their old health plans that don't comply with the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the head of the group that represents the nation's health insurance companies is floating an alternative: weakening the requirements.
In what has likely come as a rude shock to some Russians, Visa and MasterCard have stopped processing payments at several of the country's banks as part of U.S. sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
The BBC reports that four banks have been affected, "all of which have links to Russians blacklisted by the U.S."
E-cigarettes aren't yet federally regulated as tobacco products, but many cities and some states are already moving to include the devices in their smoking bans. Such bans are raising a debate about whether e-cigarettes should be permitted to be used in smoke-free workplaces.
Gary Nolan was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker until he switched to e-cigs. Now Nolan, who hosts a libertarian talk show based in Columbia, Mo., freely puffs — or vapes, as it's come to be called — at work.
In the past week, Volkswagen recalled 150,000 Passats because of potential hood problems that could damage the headlights, and Honda recalled 900,000 Odyssey vans because of a potential fire hazard.
Those moves follow the recent General Motors recall of 1.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to 12 deaths. It took the company nearly a decade to inform the public of the problem.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Little Big's Bakery in South Portland, Maine worked up its version of the cronut, the croissant-donut hybrid. The Mainers tried to stand out, spelling theirs C-R-A-U-X-nut. But the original New York baker sent a letter saying he has trademarked the cronut name, no matter how you spell it. So Little Big's took another stab at it. Now they call their popular pastry C-and-Ds - standing for cease and desist. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
NPR'S business news begins with German intervention.
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STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, have been pushing for European pension begin to Russian in retaliation for the takeover of Crimea. The German government recently blocked the sale of arms by a local manufacturer to the Russian military.
GREENE: But as Esme Nicholson reports from Berlin, the government is not interfering in the sale of an oil and gas company to Russia.
Say this to yourself: "I'd like a grande skim Oprah."
Let it roll off your tongue. Let it echo in your head. Let it burn itself into your brain. Really feel it.
On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that, in partnership with Oprah Winfrey, it had developed Oprah Chai Tea, which will be available either as regular tea or as a chai latte. When will it be here? "In time for Mother's Day."
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:51 pm
It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster: Villains bent on chaos set their sights on a food company — an easy target — with plans to lace its products with a chemical or pathogen. The hero finds out in time to save the day.
Sound far-fetched? Not according to U.S. regulators who have been pondering such scenarios.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:53 pm
A year-long review of the Boeing 787, which experienced problems such as fuel leaks and a battery fire, has concluded that the plane is safe.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday that a review team believes the aircraft, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, "was soundly designed, met its intended safety level, and that the manufacturer and the FAA had effective processes in place to identify and correct issues that emerged before and after certification."
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:20 am
Hoping to foil counterfeiters, Britain's Royal Mint is planning to introduce a new £1 coin that's described as the most secure in the world.
As British Chancellor George Osborne explained to Parliament on Wednesday, "the £1 coin has become increasingly susceptible to forgery" — noting that 1 in 30 of the £1 coins currently in circulation are fakes. The BBC reports that an estimated 45 million forgeries are in circulation.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:43 am
Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.
Fans of Formula One racing love the roar of the engines.
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MONTAGNE: But this year's F1 cars are hybrids and that familiar roar has been reduced to a purr.
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MONTAGNE: Australia's Grand Prix organizers are not loving the quiet. They say fans aren't getting what they paid for. One official described the new engines - hmmph, like harpsichords in a chamber orchestra.
Social media allows the NFL, NASCAR and other pro sports leagues to hear from fans in real time. And that feedback has become so important, leagues have built what are essentially social media command centers to monitor trends and engage directly with fans.
One big challenge in the U.S. economy is the skills gap. Employers are finding workers just don't have the skills to get the job done. The White House has focused on the problem. At a manufacturing plant this year President Obama said the United States has to improve job training programs and community colleges and trade schools are trying. Susanna Capelouto reports on why Europe might have some tips.
The laboratories at The Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, Calif., look more like a bunch of stuff from the hardware store than the set from Star Trek. But physicist John Hurrell gazes at a nondescript collection of tubes with admiration. It's a transmission electron microscope.
"This is one of the pieces of equipment which will enable us to get down pretty well to atomic-level sensitivity," he says.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:38 am
If you think craft beer is seemingly everywhere these days, there's good reason. From bars and restaurants to supermarket aisles, the selection of locally made, often quirkily named brews has grown at an exponential rate.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:34 pm
Many plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces offer a trade-off: lower premiums in exchange for limited choices of doctors and hospitals. But consumers who opt for these plans with the idea that they'll go out of network when necessary may be taking a big financial risk.
The health law generally limits how much consumers can be required to pay out of pocket for medical care (not including premiums). In 2014, the limit for an individual plan is $6,350 and for a family plan, $12,700.