The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut has reported a near 70 percent drop in profits this quarter. Yum Brands relies on operations in China for three quarters of its revenue. Recent food safety issues and a bird flu outbreak there hit the company especially hard.
So many customers have been napping on the beds in Ikea's Chinese stores that employees have begun to change the sheets daily. One store in Hong Kong invited its customers to wear their pajamas and sleep over. About 80 of them did.
The Treasury Department says it will begin running out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, if the partial government shutdown isn't over by then. That prospect worries the financial markets. Treasury debt plays a fundamental role in the global economy, and economists agree that a debt default would have dire consequences. But some Republicans insist that a default doesn't have to happen.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:49 am
President Obama made his case for reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling at a White House news conference Tuesday afternoon. It was his first news conference in several weeks. House Speaker John Boehner spoke at the Capitol for about five minutes.
What used to be no-frills slot parlors off the highway are turning into resort-style destinations with spas, golf courses and luxury hotels. Native American tribes are hoping these added amenities will give them an edge in an increasingly competitive gaming market.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:30 pm
On Day 8 of the federal government's partial shutdown, President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner. But the morning phone call produced no movement toward resolution, according to readouts by aides to both men.
Here are some of Tuesday's news highlights:
Obama gave his first lengthy press conference since early August, answering questions for more than an hour.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. For many parts of the country, winter has already struck and struck hard. Residents in those areas have started turning up their thermostats and according to federal predictions, they're likely to notice an increase in how much it costs to heat their homes. As Fred Bever from member station WBUR reports, after years of natural gas being the cheapest heating option out there, the price is starting to go up.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:14 pm
Federal employees aren't the only ones feeling the heat in Week 2 of the government shutdown.
D.C. bars and restaurants are also getting nervous about just how long their customers will be out on furlough — and how that might dent their bottom line. While attendance at local happy hours was up in the past week, according to some reports, there are serious concerns about whether that can last with so many government workers sent home.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:49 pm
Imagine a poker table.
At one seat, China's President Xi Jinping studies his cards. At another, Russian President Vladimir Putin is stroking his chin. Asian leaders fill the other seats, each trying to win the pot, which is filled — not with poker chips — but with jobs.
That's the kind of high-stakes game that played out this week in Indonesia, where global leaders got together to discuss trade relations. Their gathering ended Tuesday, and exactly who won what is not yet clear.
But this much is known: President Obama was not at the table.
Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 8 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Among the only certainties: many federal workers are a day closer to missing a paycheck and the nation is a day closer to hitting the debt ceiling.
So, we're in the second week of the government shutdown, and just over a week from now, federal borrowing authority expires, making it possible the federal government could fail to pay many of its legal obligations that Congress previously approved. At the center of both issues is House Speaker John Boehner, who last week accused Democrats of letting the shutdown continue because Democrats felt they were winning.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: This isn't some damn game.
In our continuing coverage of the impact of the partial government shutdown, we head now to St. Louis. It's home to around 25,000 federal workers, and many of them are wondering when they'll get back to work. So too are the many small businesses that rely on those workers as customers. St. Louis Public Radio's Tim Lloyd has more.
INSKEEP: The French and American telecommunications manufacturer, Alcatel-Lucent, confirmed this morning it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide. A company statement said 2,100 of those cuts will be from its operations in North and South America.
Now Alcatel-Lucent has been losing money for years. About a quarter of its staff are based in the United States, where the company runs the Nobel Prize-winning Bell Labs research facility.
Nearly five years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud, some of his former employees are about to go on trial in New York. The trial is expected to focus on how much the employees knew about Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jury selections gets under way today.
The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.
"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
Japan Airlines stunned the aviation world today by announcing that for the first time in the company's history, it will buy new wide-bodied jets from Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer. The deal is worth billions and it's a big setback for Boeing, which has long dominated the Japanese aviation market. NPR's David Schaper reports.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier was positively beaming in Tokyo this morning in an interview with financial network CNBC.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:56 pm
China — which holds nearly $1.3 trillion in U.S. securities (pdf) — is asking the U.S. to get its finances in order and not allow a political stalemate to cause the country to default on its obligations for the first time in history.
The United States is expected to run out of money by Oct. 17, so the Treasury needs Congress to extend its credit limit before then. As has happened before, the House and Senate are at odds and the prospects of a compromise look shaky.
The airline's president, Yoshiharu Ueki, said the order was unrelated to Boeing's problems with the 787, but the huge order is seen as a major coup for the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer at the expense of its American rival.