Business

Business
9:14 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Can A Huge Hog Deal Pose A National Security Risk?

Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?

Maybe.

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.

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BackTalk
9:10 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Should Art Sale Help Save Detroit?

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 10:37 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is with me once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Planet Money
3:22 am
Fri May 31, 2013

How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:34 pm

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.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Massachusetts Fights New Codfish Limits With A Lawsuit

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:26 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Environment
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Houston's Petrochemical Industry, Source Of Jobs And Smog

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Business
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Moto X: First Smartphone To Be Assembled In U.S.

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now let's go to Texas for another follow-up - where Motorola Mobility's new smartphone, Moto X, is set to become the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S.

As Lauren Silverman of member station KERA reports, the Google-owned company has already begun hiring for its new plant in Fort Worth.

LAURA SILVERMAN, BYLINE: There are more than 130 million smartphones in the U.S. But none of them say assembled in the USA. When Motorola debuts its Moto X this summer, it will be the first.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

10-Year Strike Against Chicago Hotel Ends

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Chicago, one of the longest labor strikes in U.S. history has finally come to an end. Hospitality workers at the Congress Plaza Hotel have put down their picket signs after almost 10 years.

But as Susie An reports from member station WBEZ, getting back on the job may not be so easy now that the strike is done.

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Europe
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Mired In Recession, EU Eases Some Austerity Measures

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Parallels
1:19 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:57 pm

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.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
3:54 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Baton Rouge's Corroded, Overpolluting Neighbor: Exxon Mobil

An evening view of the Exxon Mobil oil refinery complex in Baton Rouge, La.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 7:50 am

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."

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Business
3:09 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Kellogg's Agrees To Settlement In Frosted Mini-Wheats Suit

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.

The Salt
3:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

No, Frosted Mini-Wheats Won't Make Your Kids Smarter

YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:23 pm

  • Hear Robert Siegel's Interview With Attorney Tim Blood

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Business
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Retired Gen. David Petraeus Heads To Wall Street

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA chief, speaks at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 26. Petraeus announced Thursday that he was joining the private equity firm KKR.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:32 pm

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.

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Business
2:33 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Drive-Ins Soon Face Hollywood's Digital Switch

Many drive-ins and mom and pop theaters will soon have to make the switch from film to digital after putting it off because of the high cost of new projectors.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:48 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Ubuntu Marks 'Bug No. 1' As Fixed, After Nearly Nine Years

Since it was first filed in August of 2004, Ubuntu's Bug #1 attracted many comments. With comment number 1834, Mark Shuttleworth declared the issue fixed today.
Launchpad

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.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu May 30, 2013

New Data Confirm The Economy Isn't Growing As Fast As Hoped

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:57 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That basically confirms what the agency said a month ago, when it released its initial estimate for gross domestic product growth in the quarter. Then, it reported the economy had expanded at a 2.5 percent pace.

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Animals
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Ga. Center Takes Pets When Families Have To Evacuate

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Investors Approve Empire State Building IPO

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

Here's NPR's Dan Bobkoff.

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Asia
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Examining China's Investment Record In U.S. Companies

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

How many Chinese companies have already bought U.S. businesses? David Greene talks to Dexter Roberts, Beijing bureau chief for Bloomberg Businessweek, about Chinese investment in the U.S.

Politics
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Select Senators Stall Budget Process

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Business
4:25 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Texas smartphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NPR Story
3:58 am
Thu May 30, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

Amazon asked subscribers of its video-streaming service to do the jobs usually left to focus groups and executives. The company released 14 pilot TV shows, then looked at customer reviews and view counts. Amazon announced five pilots have been approved for a full season.

The Salt
1:07 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Will Chinese Firm Bring Home The Bacon With Smithfield Deal?

Smithfield Foods, makers of ham products under a variety of brand names, is being purchased by Chinese food maker Shuanghui International for $4.72 billion.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:38 am

There were questions Wednesday about whether U.S. regulators will approve the takeover of Smithfield Foods Inc., the company that sells all-American hams, hot dogs and bacon, by China's Shuanghui International.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

Genetically modified wheat has been discovered growing in a field in Oregon. GMO wheat is not approved for sale in the U.S. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:03 pm

A farmer in Oregon has found some genetically engineered wheat growing on his land. It's an unwelcome surprise, because this type of wheat has never been approved for commercial planting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's investigating, trying to find out how this wheat got there. The USDA says there's no risk to public health, but wheat exporters are worried about how their customers in Asia and Europe will react.

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Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
1:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

How A Trip To Costco Can Work As An Investment Strategy

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought — and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year.
Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Monkey See
1:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

As Trailers Eat Up Movie Time, Theaters And Studios Squabble Over Shortening Them

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:18 am

Here's a question: If you go to the movies and the scheduled showtime is, say, 7:30, when do you actually expect the movie to start? If you said 7:30, you go to very unusual screenings. If you said 7:45, you're closer to what many experience. If you said 7:50, you're still in range: There's often some advertising other than trailers, the limit for trailer length is 2 1/2 minutes, and theaters sometimes run seven or eight trailers. Eight would add up to 20 minutes.

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All Tech Considered
3:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Fixing Your Online Reputation: There's An Industry For That

What a potential employer finds when researching an applicant online can make or break a job opportunity.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:21 am

This year, nearly 1.7 million students will graduate from college. Many of them are engaged in a new ritual of the digital age: cleaning up and polishing their online profiles. The demand is so great an entire industry has sprung up to help.

According to numerous surveys, the vast majority of hiring managers routinely Google potential job candidates. And what they see on that first page of search results matters — a lot. Just ask Pete Kistler, who was a college junior when he started applying to a bunch of computer software firms, looking for a summer job.

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Business
2:11 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Smithfield Deal Highlights China's Reliance On U.S. Farmers

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Smithfield Foods, one of the country's biggest meat producers is being sold to a Chinese company, the price $4.7 billion. If approved by regulators, this will be the biggest acquisition in history of a U.S. corporation by a Chinese company. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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