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.
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.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:35 am
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 8:08 am
Saying that Google has abused its dominant position in the search market "by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product," the European Commission has sent a list of antitrust charges to the search giant. The European Union has also opened a new inquiry into the Android mobile system.
"I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service" and broken European law, says the EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.
Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 9:49 pm
The state of California is asking a basic question right now that people often fight over: What's a fair way to divide up something that's scarce and valuable? That "something," in this case, is water.
There's a lot at stake, including your very own nuts, fruits and vegetables, because most of the water that's up for grabs in California goes to farmers. This year, some farmers will get water, and others will not, simply based on when their land was first irrigated.
When Henry Paulson first visited Beijing in 1991 as a banker, cars still shared major roads with horses.
"I remember getting into a taxi that drove too fast on a two-lane highway ... [that was] clogged with bicycles and horses pulling carts," says the former secretary of treasury under George W. Bush. "You still saw the hutongs — the old neighborhoods [with narrow streets] — which were very, very colorful and an important part of life."
Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 11:06 pm
After a one-day delay due to weather, SpaceX successfully launched a resupply mission to the International Space Station. In a tweet, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote, "Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station."
Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 4:05 pm
The global economy won't sink this year, thanks to the oceans of cheap oil keeping it afloat.
That's the bottom line of the World Economic Outlook, released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund. The 2015 pace of economic growth will tick up to 3.5 percent, helped along by lower energy costs and weaker currencies.
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 12:13 pm
Odds are your employer has a wellness program that prods you to exercise and eat healthy. But that program may not be doing all that much for your health, according to the American Heart Association, and attempts to measure the benefits of wellness programs often fail.
Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 12:49 pm
The unpredictable schedules of retail and fast-food workers is a big issue in workers rights campaigns. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating the way some of the country's biggest retailers handle scheduling.
In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift that he doesn't end up being needed for, the law says he still is due four hours of pay. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says retailers, especially, rely heavily on systems that require workers to be ready to work a shift — regardless of whether they end up working. It's called on-call work.