Business

U.S.
1:47 am
Mon April 20, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger And Recovery Is Slow

Pelicans are nesting at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay. Five years ago, the nesting season here was marred by the oil gushing out of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 5:04 pm

Five years ago, BP's out-of-control oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig. But it was more than a deadly accident — the blast unleashed the nation's worst offshore environmental catastrophe.

In the spring and summer of 2010, oil gushed from the Macondo well for nearly three months. More than 3 million barrels of Louisiana light crude fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida, affecting wildlife and livelihoods.

Today, the spill's impacts linger.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Murrah Building Bombing Prompted Oklahoma City's Downtown Revival

A general view of downtown Oklahoma City as basketball fans gather outside Oklahoma City Arena. The once run-down area has undergone a major transformation over the past 20 years.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 4:33 pm

It's been 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more.

As Oklahoma City prepares to look back on the bombing, one thing is clear — downtown is a far different and much better place than it was in 1995. And it's hard to deny the role the bombing played in the area's resurgence.

Even on a weekday, visitors line up in downtown Oklahoma City to take a tour of the area.

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Technology
5:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRUCKIN'")

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) What a long, strange trip it's been.

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Europe
5:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

Greece Risks Losing Future Bailout Funds

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

It's Record Store Day – Here Are Pictures To Prove It

A customer walks in the Record Collector store in Sheffield, England, Friday. Hundreds of independent record stores are putting on special promotions for Saturday's Record Store Day.
Oli Scarff AFP/Getty Images

In the music world, today is all about bricks and mortar. It's the annual Record Store Day, when music fans are urged to get out to support their local shop.

From new releases to vintage finds, people have been posting photos of beloved albums and record stores Saturday.

Music companies are putting out dozens of limited-edition releases for the occasion. One example: Johnny Marr doing a live version of his old band The Smiths' song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want."

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Digital Life
5:45 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Company's Secret Weapon To Make Videos Go Viral

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 8:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

How The Food Industry Relies On Scientists With Big Tobacco Ties

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 2:20 pm

This story is excerpted from an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization.

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Politics
4:32 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Hillary Clinton Supports Amendment To Get Hidden Money Out Of Politics

"We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccounted money out of it, once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment," Hillary Clinton said at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa Tuesday.
Michael B. Thomas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 10:27 pm

Hillary Clinton made a surprising move this week. It wasn't running for president — she'd already set the stage for that — but embracing the idea of a constitutional amendment to restrict or eliminate big money in politics.

The notion of amending the Constitution this way has been discussed, literally for decades. But Clinton is joining a new, if small, chorus of prominent politicians who are talking it up.

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Around the Nation
3:28 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Actors' Equity Minimum Wage Proposal Could Threaten LA's Small Theaters

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 5:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:20 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

As Ebola Cases Dwindle, West Africa Turns To Economic Recovery

Liberian workers dismantle shelters in an Ebola treatment center in the Paynes Ville neighborhood of Monrovia. Doctors Without Borders closed the center last month because it was no longer needed.
Zoom Dosso AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:28 pm

West Africa is about to receive a hefty infusion of cash. This Friday the World Bank unveiled a major aid package for the three West African countries at the center of this past year's Ebola epidemic.

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Business
3:12 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Verizon Announces Changes To Its Cable TV Service

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:05 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Record
2:35 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Solving The Vinyl Comeback's Big Problem, One Antique Machine At A Time

One of the record presses on the floor at the Quality Record Pressings plant in Salina, Kan.
Courtesy of Acoustic Sounds

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 9:15 am

Saturday is Record Store Day, when independent music retailers around the country host parking-lot concerts and sell limited-edition pressings of vinyl records, which have made a small but forceful comeback in an age dominated by digital listening habits. But if there's one problem with the vinyl resurgence, it might be this: The machines that press vinyl records are decades old, and no one's building new ones, so keeping up with increased demand is hard.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Why A Blockbuster Of A Trade Deal With Asia Matters

Freighters wait to unload cargo at the Tanjung Pagar container port in Singapore.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 3:51 pm

It has been a decade in the making, but when completed, it will be a free trade agreement to beat all others — representing 40 percent of the world's economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, agreement would bring together the economies of the U.S., Japan, Australia and nine other Pacific Rim nations, allowing the free trade of everything from agriculture to automobiles and textiles to pharmaceuticals.

President Obama said Friday that the deal is critical for the U.S. market.

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Goats and Soda
11:46 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Yes, You Can Help The World And Make Money At The Same Time

A woman cultivates seaweed off the coast of Madagascar to counter overfishing. She's working with Blue Ventures, a business that supports its conservation projects by giving ecotours.
Courtesy of Skoll Foundation

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:05 pm

What do you call someone who runs a successful business that aims to make the world a better place? A CEO with a conscience? A do-good bottom-liner?

At the Skoll World Forum this week in Oxford, England, the preferred term is social entrepreneur. In fact, the conference is completely devoted to the idea — and promoting its rising stars.

Young entrepreneurs are invited to join veterans for workshops, talks and confabs. Awards are given for "social entrepreneurship."

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Fri April 17, 2015

TV's 'Sabado Gigante' Will Cease Production This Fall, Ending Record Run

Chilean TV host Mario Kreutzberger, seen here in 2012, will stop making his Sabado Gigante show this September.
Mario Ruiz EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:26 pm

After 53 years, Don Francisco will finally put down the mic. Univision says it will stop making the legendarily unpredictable variety show Sábado Gigante in September, ending a run that began in 1962 when Chile's Mario Kreutzberger started entertaining viewers as Don Francisco.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Bloomberg Terminals Go Dark For Hours, Sending Ripples Through Markets

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange on Friday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:03 am

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

If there's one piece of hardware that can be found on nearly every trader's desk, regardless of time zone, it's the Bloomberg data terminal.

So when the terminals experienced a global outage lasting hours, it sent chaos through markets where the "screens" are relied upon to analyze and interpret financial data — and to exchange market gossip with traders around the world.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Former IMF Head Rato Is Arrested Over Tax Fraud Allegations In Spain

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:38 am

Rodrigo Rato, who led the International Monetary Fund from 2004-2007, was arrested in Spain last night over allegations of tax evasion and money laundering.

An influential figure in Spanish banking and politics, Rato was the predecessor of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Khan, who left office under a cloud of legal troubles and allegations of sexual assault.

From Madrid, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports:

"Tax and customs officials raided Rodrigo Rato's Madrid home last night and took him away in a police car.

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Europe
4:11 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Greece's Economy Remains Embroiled In Turmoil

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:10 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
3:15 am
Fri April 17, 2015

When It Comes To Buying Decisions, Why Feelings Come First

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

How are you feeling seems like the kind of question you might get from a psychiatrist, not an economist. Then again, Stacey Vanek Smith, from NPR's Planet Money team, reminds us about one vitally important economic indicator.

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Goats and Soda
1:43 am
Fri April 17, 2015

When The World Bank Does More Harm Than Good

In the 1950s, the World Bank funded the creation of the world's largest man-made dam, the Kariba Dam, which sits on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The construction of such dams can have dire consequences for poor people living near a river, an investigation found.
Jekesai Njikizana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:17 am

The World Bank's goal is to end extreme poverty and to grow income for the poorest people on the planet.

The bank does this by lending money and giving grants to governments and private corporations in some of the least developed places on the planet. For example, money goes to preserving land, building dams and creating health care systems.

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The Two-Way
6:44 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Feds Cancel Commercial Sardine Fishing After Stocks Crash

A tray of sardines in Costa Mesa, California, in this November 17, 2014 photo. Plummeting sardine populations force a complete ban on sardine fishing off the U.S. West Coast for more than a year.
LUCY NICHOLSON Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:58 am

Life has suddenly gotten easier for the sardine. Federal regulators are not only closing the commercial sardine fishing season early in Oregon, Washington and California, but it will stay closed for more than a year.

The decision to shut down the sardine harvest is an effort to build up depleted stocks of the small, oily fish. The conservation group, Oceana, says that sardine populations have crashed more than 90 percent since 2007.

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All Tech Considered
5:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket, And Why You Can't Use It

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:01 am

You may not know it but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off.

The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there.

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NPR Ed
2:44 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

LA Schools To Apple: You Owe Us

Jorge Quinteros Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:29 pm

The Los Angeles Unified School District is demanding that Apple Inc. refund millions of dollars for Pearson software that had been loaded onto iPads for the district's 650,000 students.

If an agreement on the dispute cannot be reached, the nation's second-largest school district could take Apple to court.

Two years after the district launched the most expansive school technology initiative in the country, its attorney said it is "extremely dissatisfied" with the work of Pearson, the publisher of the Common Core learning software.

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Economy
2:21 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

New Asian Development Bank Seen As Sign Of China's Growing Influence

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Oct. 24, in Beijing.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:54 pm

China says 57 countries have signed on as charter members of the new China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They include some of the United States' closest allies, which added their names despite pressure from the White House not to join.

The Obama administration is concerned the new bank will compete with Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but leaders of those institutions don't seem to be worried.

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Around the Nation
3:06 am
Thu April 16, 2015

In Record Drought, California Golf Course Ethically Keeps Greens Green

A bio-filtration basin, pictured during installation in 2007, captures water runoff from the Pelican Hill golf club's maintenance facility. The water is filtered through grass, gravel, sand, soil and filter fabric into an underground drainage system.
Pelican Hill

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:17 am

In drought-stricken California, golf is often seen as a bad guy — it can be hard to defend watering acres of grass for fun when residents are being ordered to cut their usage and farmers are draining their wells.

But golf is a $6 billion industry in the state and employs nearly 130,000 workers, according to the California Golf Course Owners Association. So while the greens are staying green, some golf courses are saving every drop of water they can.

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The Salt
1:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

How Almonds Became A Scapegoat For California's Drought

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 10:17 am

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

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Business
2:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Online Crafts Marketplace Etsy Prepares For Public Offering

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Business
2:19 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Pumpjacks Represent Symbol Of Life In American Oil Fields

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Wed April 15, 2015

U.S. Predicted To Be Net Energy Exporter In Next Decade; First Time Since 1950s

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:13 pm

The U.S. will reach a new balance in energy trade "sometime between 2020 and 2030," says the Energy Information Administration, which predicts the U.S. could become a net energy exporter in the near future.

The federal agency's prediction cites a rise in domestic natural gas production and changes in energy demands. If it happens, the shift would end a streak of more than 50 years in which the U.S. has been a net importer of energy.

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

You Didn't Check The 'Presidential Election Campaign' Box On Your Taxes, Did You?

iStock

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 10:46 am

Here's a question for you last-minute tax filers. See that little checkoff box at the top of the 1040 tax form, the one labeled "Presidential Election Campaign"? You didn't check it, did you?

If not, then you're just like pretty much everybody else.

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