And now another chapter in our series on African-American lives. NPR conducted a poll of African Americans with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The survey found optimism but many respondents expressed fears about the economy.
One of the largest public works project in California history is struggling to re-gain public confidence amid construction delays and questions about whether the new bridge will be safe. A scheduled opening for Labor Day is in doubt as officials race to fix a series of bad bolts that were meant to keep the bridge secure in a catastrophic earthquake.
Twenty percent of Netflix's streaming is made up of content for kids. Amazon just ordered a bunch of pilots of kids' shows. TV critic Eric Deggans says subscription streaming services are going to lean on parents' desire for control of what their kids watch as they build their audiences.
Disney is trying something new. It's charging a higher admission price for the Magic Kingdom than its other theme parks in Orlando. A one-day pass to the Magic Kingdom now costs $95 — compared to $90 for Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.
The conventional shorthand for the IRS scandal is that employees "targeted" conservative groups for extra scrutiny in the applications for tax-exempt status. Except, as an inspector general's report showed, it wasn't just conservative groups that got extra scrutiny. Plenty of liberal groups had to produce extensive documentation answer dozens of questions, too.
A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?
"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."
So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.
A woman tries on a jacket at a Zara store in Madrid. Zara's parent company, Inditex, was among Spanish companies to sign fire and building safety agreements for their factories in Bangladesh following a deadly fire in April.
Credit Courtesy of Yolanda Dominguez
Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez' latest art installation, Fashion Victims, conjures up images of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh.
If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.
The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.
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.
Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America's mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure, according to a Salon.com report.
A new study finds that while "receiving unearned preferential treatment does generate positive reactions, it is not always an entirely pleasurable experience." Examples include getting a free upgrade on a hotel room.
Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.
In the past decade, Mexico's tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico's startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.
And today's last word in business is home detention.
The story comes to us from New Zealand, where authorities have been locking up some criminals in their homes rather than jail. House arrest is a lot cheaper, but it turns out that serving time at home is not as comfortable as you might think.
Some other news. Authorities in New York have announced the arrest of eight men and one woman who operate several 7-Eleven convenience stores in New York and in Virginia. They're accused of staffing their stores with undocumented workers and then stealing those workers' wages.
From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz has details.
NPR's business news begins with Ben Bernanke's future.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: OK, President Obama has given the clearest hint yet, that Ben Bernanke's time as chairman of the Federal Reserve may soon be up. In an interview that aired last night on PBS's "Charlie Rose" program, the president said this...
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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think Ben Bernanke's done an outstanding job. Ben Bernanke's a little bit like Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI...
It's not your everyday real estate deal. A team of young entrepreneurs persuaded about 50 deep-pocketed investors to help them purchase a mountain. The deal just closed in April, and development on Utah's nearly 10,000-acre Powder Mountain is now underway.
"When we made those first phone calls, everybody's like, what? That being said, they know that we aren't kidding," says Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, the group that led the purchase of the peak.
Editor's Note: Many of you noted that the price for a 10-pound bag of potatoes cited in the lawsuit seems ridiculously high. So we look into the matter further — you can read what we found in this follow-up post.
High-tech spying with satellites. Intimidation. Price fixing.
The Supreme Court sided with government regulators in an important case involving the pharmaceutical industry and patent law. At issue were contracts between "brand-name" pharmaceutical companies and "generic" producers in which the brand-name company paid the generic not to compete. The court said the Federal Trade Commission could challenge such contracts.
When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.
The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.
We've written before about the wealth gap between whites and people of color — a divide that's only grown wider over the past half decade. And since so much of Americans' household wealth is wrapped up in homes, a significant amount of that wealth gap has been chalked up to an array of barriers to homeownership for people of color.
A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:13 am
If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"
They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.
Let's look now at another change in health care, and this one has to do with paperwork. Hospitals and clinics are slowly replacing paper files with sophisticated electronic health records. But with a variety of systems in use, they often can't easily share medical information with each other, and this can be a pretty serious problem in the case of an emergency.
As Elizabeth Stawicki reports, smartphones might be one way to bridge this electronic gap.