Business

All Tech Considered
10:52 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The $7 Billion Tech Acquisition You Haven't Heard Of

Molex makes the four-prong connector you see at left.
Taylor Bennett Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:33 am

While most of us were distracted waiting for a gold iPhone — gold! — the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers quietly made a deal to acquire an electronics company for $7.2 billion. The company they bought? Molex.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Thu September 12, 2013

D.C. Mayor Vetoes 'Living Wage' Bill Targeting Large Retailers

A worker collects shopping carts at a Wal-Mart parking lot, in Bristol, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:25 pm

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray has vetoed a controversial "living wage" bill that would have forced large retailers such as Wal-Mart to pay a 50 percent premium on the district's $8.25 per hour minimum wage.

When the bill was approved by the city council in July, Wal-Mart said it would abandon three of the six stores it planned to build in the district, claiming the required minimum $12.50 it would have to pay was too much.

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Parallels
10:30 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Libya Faces Looming Crisis As Oil Output Slows To Trickle

Libyan oil exports have plunged because of strikes at oil terminals on the northeastern coast. Supply has also been disrupted in the country's southern fields.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:47 am

If you looked for stories on Libya's oil industry after the revolution that ousted Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, you'd find encouraging headlines like these:

Spared in War, Libya's Oil Flow Is Surging Back

Libya rises fast from the ashes

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Bitter Battle Ends As Dell Shareholders OK $25 Billion Buyout

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell in 2011.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:44 am

Dell Inc. shareholders, as expected, have approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion offer to take the company private, ending a protracted battle that saw billionaire investor Carl Icahn mount his own takeover bid for the computer maker.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Jobless Claims Hit 7-Year Low, But Data Weren't Complete

At a Target store in San Francisco last month, job seekers waited in line.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A plunge in the number of first-time claims for jobless benefits last week — to a 7-year-low 292,000 — can be partly explained away by "technical problems," Reuters writes:

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Mill Closing Is 'Major Setback' For Ala. Town

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The world's largest paper producer says it's closing a mill in Alabama that employs 1,100 people. International Paper Company blames the closure in the town of Courtland on a decline in the demand for paper. Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports.

STAN INGOLD, BYLINE: The small town of Courtland, Alabama is reeling after the announcement by Memphis-based International Paper to close their mill. Diane Scanland is the executive director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

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Business
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Britain Plans To Privatize Royal Mail

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:57 am

British officials unveiled plans Thursday morning to sell the majority of its centuries old postal service. It's the largest privatization of a government service the country has seen in decades. The public offering of the world's oldest postal service would take place in the coming weeks.

Business
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Village People Singer Wins Copyright Case

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:05 am

Victor Willis has finally won a share of the income from his most famous song. The New York Times reports Willis, you know him as the police officer, has emerged from six years of legal wrestling with a new copyright in hand. The victory gives him substantial control over "YMCA" and 32 other Village People tunes.

Business
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Calif. City Proposes Unique Plan To Avoid Foreclosures

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:09 am

A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday hears arguments over a radical plan to stem the foreclosure crisis. The City of Richmond is proposing to buy underwater mortgages in order to help keep local residents in their homes. If banks don't want to sell those mortgages, the city says it is prepared to invoke eminent domain to seize the mortgages.

Business
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

A Check On The Housing Industry

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is, of course, a lot of attention being paid about what's happening in Richmond because millions of other American homeowners around the country are also underwater - again, homes that are worth less than their mortgages. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who's been following all of this. Good morning.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: How many homeowners are still underwater? I gather with the housing market coming back, this is changing - for the better.

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Missouri Tax Posturing May Influence Other States

Republican lawmakers in Missouri on Wednesday failed to override a tax veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The controversial measure would have lowered state income taxes for the first time in decades.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:50 am

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used some fancy footwork to ensure his veto of a tax cut stayed in place — even though it faced a supermajority of Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate

Nixon said he vetoed the tax cut because the $700 million price tag was "unaffordable." But he knew in doing so, he was up against a lion of a legislature, with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.

Lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override Nixon's veto.

Dan Ponder, a political scientist at Drury University, says the governor had a decidedly uphill battle.

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Author Interviews
1:43 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Tired Of Inequality? One Economist Says It'll Only Get Worse

Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.
Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:57 am

Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:

"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."

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Media
11:36 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Tina Brown To Leave The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown plans to leave the website to produce live forums on news topics.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:41 am

Celebrity editor Tina Brown announced Wednesday that she's leaving The Daily Beast to launch her own media company. She has been a regular guest on Morning Edition. Brown, 59, plans to produce live forums on news topics.

Brown has edited some of the most prestigious publications: Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Tattler. Five years ago, she helped found The Daily Beast — a news and opinion website. Now, the editor-in-chief says she's leaving to do what she calls "theatrical journalism" before live audiences.

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All Tech Considered
4:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Coming Soon: A Jolt Of Caffeine You Can Spray On Your Skin

Sprayable Energy will be on sale in November, says its creator, Ben Yu.
Courtesy of Sprayable Energy

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Salt
3:25 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Pets Or Livestock? A Moral Divide Over Horse Slaughter

Jamesport has the largest Amish community in Missouri, and horse-pulled buggies are often parked alongside cars. Horse owners in the state are divided over whether to allow horses to be killed for meat in the U.S.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:30 pm

Few Americans eat horse meat, and many don't like the idea of slaughtering horses. But a handful of investors are struggling to restart the horse-slaughter industry in the U.S.

Thousands of American horses are already slaughtered in Mexico and Canada each year for their meat, which gets shipped to European and Asian markets.

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Economy
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Five Years Later, Lehman Brothers Fall Still Stings

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

Sept. 15 is the anniversary of collapse of Lehman Brothers, which many see as a watershed moment in the financial crisis. We look back at a time when fear and uncertainty gripped financial markets and policymakers around the world and drove the world economy into the Great Recession.

Business
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Verizon Makes Blockbuster Bond Sale To Buy Vodafone

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Wall Street is buzzing about Verizon today. The telecommunications giant carried out the biggest sale in the history of the bond market, $49 billion worth of corporate bonds. Verizon will use the money to finance its recent mega deal with Vodafone.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the sale comes at a time when interest rates are rising. And companies that want to raise money can't afford to lose any time.

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All Tech Considered
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Sexism In The Tech Industry Takes Center Stage

TechCrunch's Disrupt 2012 conference in San Francisco. This year, two hackathon presentations ignited a firestorm.
Max Morse Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

For women struggling to make inroads in the male-dominated tech industry, a few stunning situations this week have provided some extreme examples of what they're up against.

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All Tech Considered
12:01 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Court Decision Means Another Look At Google Street View Case

An employee drives a Google Maps Street View car around Palo Alto, Calif. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that Google went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication when it drew information from inside people's homes.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:20 pm

The U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses Google of violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting emails and data about people's Web surfing habits as the company's Street View cars crisscrossed the world.

Millions of people use unencrypted wireless networks in their homes to access the Internet. The lawsuit alleges Google's Street View cars were listening in to those digital conversations and making recordings of the traffic in violation of federal law.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Chinese Premier Says Foreign Companies To Get 'Equal Treatment'

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) listens to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a meeting last month.
How Hwee Young AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:25 pm

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to treat foreign multinational companies on a par with the country's own state-owned enterprises, but he warned that an economic rebound remains fragile.

Li, speaking at a business forum in the northeastern city of Dalian on Wednesday, cautioned that the global economic outlook was a "complex situation" and outlined a series of steps designed to keep the country on a moderate but sustainable growth path.

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Business
10:29 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Maybe 'Muddling Through' Isn't That Bad For The Economy

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:15 pm

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.

But that was then.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Wed September 11, 2013

If Verizon Sells A Record $49B In Bonds, Are Good Times Ahead?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 10:22 am

The number is stunning:

"Verizon Communications could be taking on nearly $50 billion in new debt in a massive bond sale to help the telecom giant pay for its $130 billion acquisition of Verizon Wireless shares," writes USA Today.

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Business
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Price Of New iPhone May Be Too Expensive For China Market

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

In a sign of China's growing importance as a market for Apple, the company will be rolling out its new iPhones simultaneously in the U.S. and China for the first time later this month. There are a few signs, however, that the new models will not find the sort of frenzied demand as before.

Business
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Dow Jones Changes Up Index

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is swapping out three of its blue chip companies, in what's being called the biggest shake up of the index in almost a decade. Standard & Poor's announced it's dropping Hewlett Packard, Alcoa and Bank of America at the end of next week. Sliding into their places: Visa, Nike and Goldman Sachs.

Around the Nation
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Good Work Comes Out Of The Sept. 11 Tragedies

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Over the last several years, a group of family members have created a movement to turn the anniversary into a national day of service. This year more than 30 million people will be involved, and they claim it's the largest day of service in the country.

Author Interviews
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Hitting Terrorists Where It Hurts: Their Wallet

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

Since Sept. 11, one of the most effective ways the United States has found to weaken terrorist groups has been to go after their finances. Renee Montagne talks to former Treasury official Juan Zarate, who's new book is: Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

Business
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

World's Largest Ferris Wheel Will Be In Las Vegas

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.

NPR Story
2:26 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Getting College Credit For What You Already Know

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Maybe you're one of the millions of Americans who attended college but never had a chance to finish. And you have dozens or scores or hundreds of credits just sitting there that don't quite add up to a degree. The University of Wisconsin system has introduced an alternative way to finish your degree by earning credits based on what you already know. It's the so-called Flex Option.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Planet Money
1:25 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Why Women (Like Me) Choose Lower-Paying Jobs

Share of women in most lucrative majors
Quoctrung Bui/NPR Anthony Carnevale

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:01 am

The other day, I was interviewing an economist who studies the effect college majors have on peoples' income. He was telling me that women often make decisions that lead them to earn less than they otherwise might.

Women are overrepresented among majors that don't pay very well (psychology, art, comparative literature), and underrepresented in lots of lucrative majors (most fields in engineering).

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All Tech Considered
4:11 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Key To Unlocking Your Phone? Give It The Finger(print)

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, speaks about fingerprint security features of the new iPhone 5s Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

The first note I sent out after Apple announced it was including a fingerprint scanner in the new iPhone 5s was to Charlie Miller.

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