Business

U.S.
12:57 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Why The AR-15 Is More Than Just A Gun

"We've always sold more guns when Democrats are in office than we ever sell when Republicans [are] in office," says Mitch May, the general manager at Clark Brothers Gun Shop in Warrenton, Va.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:07 am

Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that gun control legislation is not dead — they say they're strategizing on how to bring the issue back to the Senate floor.

Even if it does return, one proposal unlikely to survive is an assault weapons ban. Military-style assault rifles now form a nearly $1 billion industry supported by gun owners who spend thousands of dollars collecting these firearms.

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The Sunday Conversation
5:37 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Breaking Into The Business World With 'Woman-Friendly' Model

Stephanie Shirley says there have been improvements in flexible work schedules since she implemented the practice in the '60s.
Courtesy of Dame Stephanie Shirley

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 11:16 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley started a software company in 1962. FI Group, now known as Xansa, was "a company of women, a company for women," Shirley says. She wanted to create a new business model, encouraging women to work in the tech industry — with flexible schedules.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Southwest Airlines Computer Outage Causes Delays, Cancellations

Southwest jet at the gate at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in December 2011.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines says some of its Saturday flights will still be affected by a network computer outage that snarled check-ins, forcing the cancellation of more than a dozen flights and temporarily grounding some 250 others – mostly on the West Coast.

Although the carrier's computer system was back up and running after Friday's problems, Southwest says there was still a backlog that could cause flight delays.

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Monkey See
4:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The Kendama: Can A Wooden Toy Be A Viral Sensation?

The traditional Kendama is making a splash with kids.
Norasit Kaewsai iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

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All Tech Considered
4:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

NSA Leak Could Be Bad Business For U.S. Tech Companies

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

The disclosure of previously secret National Security Agency surveillance programs has left many Americans worried that the privacy of their personal data and communications is in jeopardy.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Judge Shaves 10 Years From Ex-Enron CEO's Prison Sentence

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling talks to the media after his October 2006 sentencing in Houston.
Johnny Hanson Getty Images

Disgraced former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling — convicted of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading related to the 2001 collapse of the Houston-based energy company — has gotten a decade subtracted from his 24-year sentence.

Skilling, 59, has been in prison since he was convicted and sentenced in 2006. With the sentence reduction on Friday and time off for good behavior, he could go free in 2017.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Pirate Bay Co-Founder Gets Two Years For Hacking And Fraud

A co-founder of the file-sharing website Pirate Bay has been sentenced in Sweden to two years in prison for hacking into a bank computer.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 28, was arrested in Cambodia last year after Swedish authorities issued an international warrant. He was convicted and sentenced Thursday for hacking Sweden's Nordea bank and U.K.-based services firm Logica.

"The data intrusion has been very extensive and technically advanced," the court said in its ruling.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Online Sales Cost Cities And Counties Billions In Taxes, Mayors Say

A chart shows estimated tax revenue losses due to online sales in 11 U.S. cities. Figures for 2013 are projections.
IHS Global Insight

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 3:53 pm

Online retail sales are cutting into tax revenue in counties and cities, according to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. They estimate the lost revenue for America's largest cities and counties came to about $2.8 billion for 2011 and 2012, combined.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Book News: Apple, DOJ Tussle As Ebook Price Fixing Trial Ends

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:32 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Asia
2:40 am
Fri June 21, 2013

China's Credit Crunch Felt Across Financial Markets

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Alarm bells went off in China's financial system yesterday. That's because interest rates for loans that banks make to each other - like the loans we've just been hearing about - shot up, drying up credit as China's banks searched for cash. The effects reached markets here, where the Dow dropped more than 2 percent yesterday.

All of this seems to be caused by the Chinese government trying to send its banks a message. To explain what happened and why, we turn to NPR's correspondent in Shanghai, Frank Langfitt. Good morning.

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Business
2:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Instagram Expands With Video Feature

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 4:18 am

This move pits Facebook against Twitter, which owns the six-second video-sharing service, Vine. Adding video brings significant change to the Instagram experience.

Planet Money
2:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

How Brush Factories Survive In America

Fourth-generation owner of Braun Brush, Lance Cheney, stands next to a special-order brush his company made for the artist Richard Artschwager.
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 1:46 pm

Brushes are pretty simple: a bunch of flexible fibers sticking out of something stiff. Not surprisingly, Chinese manufacturers have grabbed a big share of the U.S. brush market. But several hundred small U.S. brush factories are still hanging on. Here are three strategies they're using to survive.

1. Compete On Quality

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Business
2:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:01 am

Libor is the London interbank offered rate. It's important because it establishes the rate that banks pay to borrow from one another.

Business
2:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:46 am

Gandolfini, who died this week while vacationing in Italy, became famous for his role in The Sopranos. Tony Soprano, the mob boss, described his job as "waste management consultant." Call it what you want, but on the job, Tony Soprano had plenty of business insights.

Shots - Health News
1:04 am
Fri June 21, 2013

With Health Exchanges Poised To Open, PR Push Draws Scrutiny

In San Jose, Calif., on June 6, President Obama encouraged people to sign up for insurance in the nation's largest health insurance market.
Stephen Lam Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 7:07 pm

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Dow Loses 350 Points After Fed Hints It Will Stop Buying Bonds

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the opening bell on Thursday.
John Moore Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 353 points on Thursday in a selloff sparked by uncertainty about the end of a government monetary stimulus program and a credit crunch in China.

Wall Street followed a downturn in global markets. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index lost 2.5 percent, while the Dow and Nasdaq composite indexes both lost 2.3 percent.

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Environment
12:35 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

The Business And Politics Of Air Quality Regulation

In a speech in Germany Wednesday, President Barack Obama said it's time to take "bold action" on climate change. Many believe that major changes to policies on carbon emissions lie ahead, which would mean a host of new regulations for businesses.

The Salt
11:04 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Why Slave Labor Still Plagues The Global Food System

Workers process shrimp at a factory in Thailand in 2009.
Chumsak Kanoknan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 8:01 am

When the State Department released its annual report on human trafficking Wednesday, we got a chilling reminder that even in 2013, slave labor is still embedded in the global food system.

As many as 27 million men, women and children are estimated to be trafficking victims at any given time, according to the report. And some of those victims, the State Department says, are later forced to work in agriculture and food processing (though no one has a good idea how many).

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Thu June 20, 2013

He's An Impostor, The Navy Says About Cap'n Crunch

Say it ain't so, Cap'n.
Quaker Oats Company PepsiCo

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:53 am

We don't know how, but we missed a major scandal brewing in the Navy for decades. It's important, so even if we're a little late to the story we still wanted to point it out: Cap'n Crunch is an impostor.

The Cap'n was unmasked on June 14 by a food blogger, who noticed the uniform he wears on cereal boxes had the stripes of a commander, not a captain. That is: A captain has four stripes on his sleeve, while a commander has three.

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Music
9:48 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Free Music? Yes Please!

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:42 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we want to talk about the way people are getting new music across the globe. Earlier this week, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z announced he's teaming up with Samsung to release his next album "Magna Carta Holy Grail." Here he is advertising that release.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAY-Z COMMERCIAL)

JAY-Z: The idea is to really finish the album and drop it, giving it to the world at one time and then letting them share it when it goes out.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise Slightly

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:31 am

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 18,000 last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 354,000, the number remained at a level consistent with modest job growth.

According to the agency, the four-week moving average, a less volatile indicator, rose 2,500, to 348,250.

The AP reports:

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Code Switch
7:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

For Black Americans, An Even Split In Financial Perceptions

If our survey is any indication, this cash-rich stock photo model probably feels pretty good about life.
Willie B.Thomas iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:07 am

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health recently polled 1,081 African-Americans about their lives. One of the areas respondents were asked about was their perceptions of their financial status.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Obama Working On Plan That Limits Power Plant Emissions

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, W.Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 9:29 am

President Obama will soon unveil a plan that will put limits on the carbon emissions of existing power plants, the administration's top energy adviser says.

The New York Times reports this is the most consequential part of a bigger plan to curb climate change. The newspaper adds:

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All Tech Considered
5:38 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Will Video Ruin Instagram's Appeal?

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has announced a new video feature.
Ramsey Mohsen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:31 pm

UPDATE on Thursday at 1:44 p.m. ET: Instagram For Video Arrives

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Business
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It may cost you more and more to fuel it, but this is still your chance to buy a vintage boat. Today's last word in business is your own personal D- Day.

The U.S. Navy is auctioning off two vintage landing craft. They are available on GovLiquidation.com - which is a real website, we checked.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Economy
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Fed Warns Stimulus Package Will Be Ratcheted Down

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Those Chinese figures helped Asian markets to take a big tumble today, as did yesterday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said the Fed will likely begin slowing down its economic stimulus later this year. The Fed's massive bond buying program - which is a major part of that stimulus - is seen as a big reason behind recent rallies in the financial market.

NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Business
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with mixed signals.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Output in the eurozone's service and manufacturing sectors is still falling. But this quarter, that output fell at its slowest rate in more than a year, according to a recent survey. Analysts say that could mean a return to growth could be on the horizon.

Business
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Founder Of Men's Wearhouse Fired By Company's Board

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's report on some changes in the American clothing world. George Zimmer, of Men's Wearhouse, might still like the way he looks, but we can guarantee he doesn't like this. The famous face - and gravelly voice - and founder of the company, is out. The company gave no reason for the abrupt firing. But Zimmer is speaking out, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: His graying beard is instantly familiar. And he speaks with that signature deep, gravelly voice when delivering this famous tagline:

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Planet Money
1:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

A Surprising Barrier To Clean Water: Human Nature

Rodan Gatia gets water from a spring. A chlorine dispenser is behind her.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 8:38 am

In many parts of the developing world, drinking a glass of water can be deadly — especially for young children, who can die of diarrheal diseases contracted from dirty water.

So getting clean water to people in the developing world has been a top priority for aid groups for a long time. But it's been a surprisingly hard problem to solve.

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Business
1:02 am
Thu June 20, 2013

If Supplies Of Oil Are Up, Why Is Gas Still Pricey?

Jim White of Pennsylvania pumps gas at a BP station in Ocala, Fla., in April. The price of gasoline remains stubbornly high, which may put a crimp on summer travel plans.
Doug Engle Ocala Star-Banner / Landov

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 6:00 pm

Supplies of oil have been surging this year, and U.S. drivers, who have been switching to more fuel-efficient cars, are using less gasoline.

That would seem to be the right economic combination to push down prices at the pump, but gasoline prices have remained stubbornly high this summer.

Even some people in the industry are wondering whether the law of supply and demand somehow has been repealed.

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