It's been three months since the start of across-the-board, federal spending cuts. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal, about how badly the sequestration is cutting into the economy.
A new airline with an innovative, "all you can fly" business model is about to take off. Federal regulators have just given California-based Surf Air permission to begin passenger service.
Surf Air is a big idea with small planes. For a flat monthly fee, subscribers will be able to take all the trips they want among four California cities: San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
The airline's co-founder and CEO Wade Eyerly boasts that Surf Air will offer frequent commuters a corporate jet experience for not that much more than regular airline prices.
It has been a good week for economic news. Here's a quick rundown of the positive signs: Home prices showed their best gains in seven years. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high. The stock market set a new record. All just this week.
"We're seeing progress," President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning, "and the economy is starting to pick up steam. The gears are starting to turn again, and we're getting some traction."
You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was leading up to a "but."
Prized Burgundies and Bordeaux once served at the presidential palace in France were sold for the first time ever as the wine cellar at Elysee Palace gets an overhaul.
Some 1,200 bottles, or 10 percent of the palace wines, went on sale this week at the famous Drouot auction house in downtown Paris. On the block were vintages from 1930 to 1990, including famous names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Montrachet.
American households lost roughly $16 trillion in net worth since the recession started in 2007. According to the latest Fed data, we regained about $14.6 trillion, or roughly 91 percent, of it. But let's not break out the champagne glasses just yet.
A new report from the St. Louis Fed shows that, after adjusting those numbers for inflation and normalizing them for population growth, we recovered less than half of what we've lost in wealth.
Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?
This week, China's biggest pork producer announced plans to buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants a national security review by an interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.
If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.
Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players pretend to drive the notoriously wild buses crisscrossing the Nigerian city Lagos. It's called Danfo, after the buses.
The state of Massachusetts is suing the Obama administration over fishing regulations. Ocean-going commercial fishermen say new limits on the amount of codfish they can catch will put them out of business.
Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.
CURT NICKISCH, BYLINE: Generations of fishermen have hauled cod, halibut and flounder into the port of Gloucester, where today Joe Orlando runs a 65-foot trawler, the Padre Pio.
JOE ORLANDO: I've been fishing with this boat almost 38 years.
And our last word in business today is living on a prayer.
The rock band Bon Jovi recognizes that song is the reality for many cash-strapped fans in Spain, which is deep in recession. So the New Jersey rockers waived their performance fee for an upcoming concert in Madrid. The newspaper El Mundo reports tickets for the show now cost half as much as most of the band's other European shows. And it seems their fans in Madrid are grateful. The concert is completely sold out.
Houston, Texas provides a dramatic example that it's possible to make great strides in reducing air pollution. Our story yesterday talked about how that came about, but Houston still does not quite meet the federal smog standard. So, the question for the nation's fourth largest city is what's next. NPR's Richard Harris explores that question as part of our series Poisoned Places.
NPR's business news begins with Japan's wheat ban.
Japan has suspended wheat imports from the Pacific Northwest states. This comes after the U.S. Agricultural Department found genetically modified wheat growing on an Oregon farm - as we reported on this program yesterday. GMO wheat has not been approved for U.S. farming, and it's not clear how the wheat found its way onto the farm.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.
On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.
If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.
"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."
Robert Siegel speaks with Tim Blood, managing partner of the law firm Blood, Hurst & O'Reardon, about the class-action suit accusing Kellogg's of making false claims in its Frosted Mini-Wheats advertisements, as well as other cases he's pursued. Blood talks about what kind of people file these suits, and why.
Retired Gen. David Petraeus is headed to Wall Street where he will join Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a firm that invests globally in everything from real estate to coffee to biotech.
Over nearly four decades in the military, Petraeus traveled the world on diplomatic and intelligence missions. Even then, he says in a video posted Thursday on KKR's website, he occasionally viewed these trips through an investor's lens.
Pull into the Bourbon Drive-In just off U.S. Highway 68 near Paris, Ky., and it's like stepping back in time. Patricia and Lanny Earlywine own the 7-acre drive-in. It's been connected to the family since the theater opened in 1956. Even the popcorn machine is original.
"To do a drive-in, it sort of gets in your blood. You have to love it," Patricia says.
In the more than eight years since it was written, the open-source operating system Ubuntu's "Bug #1" has been seen as a rallying call. After all, the bug's title is "Microsoft has a majority market share."
But the entry was officially closed Thursday, partly because the "broader market has healthy competition" as Ubuntu leader Mark Shuttleworth writes in his comments on closing the bug today.
Even as parts of the U.S. are being devastated by tornadoes, hurricane season it just beginning - officially this Saturday. One of the toughest decisions for people when a storm is approaching is whether to evacuate. Pets add to that dilemma, since most shelters don't accept animals. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Adam Ragusea tells us about a new evacuation center that's trying to change that.
If you've ever wanted to own a piece of the Empire State Building, I guess now is your chance. The building's investors have approved a plan to turn the iconic New York high-rise into a publicly-traded company. This could mark the end of a bitter struggle over the buildings future.
OK. The nomination we just heard about involves reaching across the aisle. That's not something we hear much about. When it comes to the federal budget, if it feels like we haven't heard about the budget in a while, there's a reason for that. The process is stalled. Back in March, the House and Senate passed vastly different spending plans. In theory, the next step would be a conference committee to hash out the differences, but a handful of senators are blocking that from happening.