Business

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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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed April 15, 2015

EU Charges Google With Antitrust Violations, Will Also Look At Android

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announces formal charges against Google, accusing the company of abusing its dominant position as Europe's top search engine.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

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.

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Europe
6:21 am
Wed April 15, 2015

European Union Accuses Google Of Abusing Its Market Dominance

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 10:34 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
1:35 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Redistribute California's Water? Not Without A Fight

Workers pick asparagus in early April at Del Bosque Farms in Firebaugh, Calif. This year, some farmers in the state will get water, others won't, based on when their land was first irrigated.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg/Getty Images

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.

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Goats and Soda
1:33 am
Wed April 15, 2015

From Horses To High-Rises: An Insider 'Unmasks' China's Economic Rise

As China continues its massive economic growth, especially in cities, the government continues to severely limit people's rights. Is that system sustainable?
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 6:26 pm

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."

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

SpaceX Launches Successfully, But Rocket Doesn't Survive

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."

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Europe
3:56 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

When Rates Turn Negative, Banks Pay Customers To Borrow

Earlier this year, the European Central Bank, headed by Mario Draghi, launched a bond-buying program to drive down interest rates and boost borrowing.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:13 pm

So what if the bank paid you to take out a loan? That's what's happening in some European countries, where interest rates have gone negative amid efforts by central bankers to boost economic activity.

NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with NPR's John Ydstie about this unusual turn of financial events.

Audie Cornish: What's going on?

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Cheap Oil Fuels Global Growth. Now If We Just Had Roads And Bridges

Men work on an oil pump during a sandstorm in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, in January.
Hasan Jamali AP

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.

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Shots - Health News
10:31 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Is That Corporate Wellness Program Doing Your Heart Any Good?

The "My Life Check" calculator gives a personalized readout on heart-healthy behaviors.
via American Heart Association

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.

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Digital Tools For Health Come With 'Hope, Hype And Harm'

Dr. Robert Wachter writes that computers have crowded out eye contact between the doctor and patient, in his latest book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age.
Courtesy of Susan Merrell/University of California, San Francisco

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 3:16 pm

Dr. Robert Wachter has long been an advocate for patient safety and a keen observer of trends in medicine.

Years ago, Wachter coined the term "hospitalist" and predicted the rise of these doctors who specialize in caring for hospitalized patients.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Tue April 14, 2015

'Clintonomics' Ruled The 1990s; 'Hillarynomics' Would Be Different

Hillary Clinton begins to speak as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, moves to take a seat after introducing her at the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 22, 2014, in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:47 pm

If you are under 30, this may be hard to imagine, but in the late 1990s, the economy was a job-generating machine.

In 2000, the final year of Bill Clinton's presidency, the unemployment rate fell as low as 3.8 percent. Then, within a decade of his White House departure, the rate was up to 10 percent.

Those two numbers explain why the name "Clinton" remains magic for many. People who got jobs, bought homes and invested money two decades ago associate "Clintonomics" with good times.

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NPR Story
3:01 am
Tue April 14, 2015

IRS Budget Cuts Make For Nightmarish Filing Season

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 4:02 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:17 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Big Bills A Hidden Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment

Anne Koller closes her eyes as an oncology nurse attaches a line for chemotherapy to a port in her chest. Koller typically spends three to six hours getting each treatment.
Sarah Jane Tribble WCPN

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 12:13 pm

Anne Koller was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer in 2011 and has been fighting it since.

But it's not just the cancer she's fighting. It's the bills.

"Think of those old horror flicks," she says. "The swamp creature ... comes out and is kind of oozy, and it oozes over everything."

When she was able to work, Koller, who just turned 65, was in the corporate world and safely middle-class, with health insurance and plenty of savings.

At first, she was too sick to deal with the bills. They piled up.

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Business
2:43 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

New York Investigates Retailers For Unpredictable Work Schedules

Gap is among 13 big retailers that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating for possible violations of "reporting time" laws. Gap says it is establishing "sustainable scheduling practices."
Andrew Burton Getty Images

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.

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Business
1:29 am
Mon April 13, 2015

In Pennsylvania, Employment Booms Amid Oil And Natural Gas Bust

Students at the Pennsylvania College of Technology are learning a technique called "tripping pipe," moving a pipe from a stack into a horizontal position and lowering it down into a well. The students train on a practice drilling rig to learn how to be roustabouts.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 6:00 am

Lower oil and natural gas prices have the petroleum industry laying off tens of thousands of workers. It looks like a decade-long trend of job growth in the U.S. oil business may end.

But there are parts of the country where those job numbers are still rising. Pennsylvania is one of them.

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