Business

Book News & Features
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

3 Business Best-Sellers Show Inequality Is Now The Hot Topic

Best-selling business books typically tell you how to get rich β€” either by becoming a better worker or investor, or perhaps by learning the secrets of successful entrepreneurs.

And in 2014, readers could find plenty of books promoting pluck and hard work, such as MONEY Master the Game and The Innovators.

But three books broke the pattern, generating headlines and big sales by focusing on unfair aspects of wealth creation.

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Business
3:26 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Tourism Industry Gears Up For Lifting Of Cuban Travel Ban

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:17 am
Fri December 19, 2014

U.S. Authorities Investigate, Sony Reels From Computer Hack

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Your Money
3:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When A Hospital Bill Becomes A Decade-Long Pay Cut

Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center β€” many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

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All Tech Considered
2:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

For An Island Trapped In The '50s, An Instant Digital Revolution

Cubans try to connect to the Etecsa server during a May 9 service outage as they wait with other customers outside the offices of the state telecom monopoly in Havana, Cuba. Cuba's government has blamed technological problems on a U.S. embargo. Critics of the government have said it deliberately strangles the Internet to mute dissent. Normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations may prove who's right.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:02 am

This week's historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to reinstate diplomatic relations after decades of silence could launch a digital revolution in the island nation.

According to the White House, only 5 percent of Cubans have access to the open Internet, comparable to North Korea. As part of the deal, that could change overnight.

Status Check

Maribel Fonseca a teacher in Miramar, Cuba, has never seen the Internet. A few of her more privileged students have been online.

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Humans
5:17 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

When Working In Mixed Groups, Staying P.C. Boosts Productivity

In diverse workplaces and classrooms β€” such as this one at Connections Education in Baltimore β€” recent research suggests that adhering to standards of political correctness can actually boost, rather than inhibit, the generation of fresh ideas.
Tom Dubanowich PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:46 am

Here's some advice for your next office meeting: Hold your tongue. Total freedom of speech, recent research showed, has the potential to squash creativity. As it turns out, if you're in a group of both men and women, adhering to standards of political correctness can help generate far better ideas than simply letting the conversation run wild.

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Economy
4:32 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Opportunity, Caution Seen For U.S. Banks As Cuba Rules Ease

President Obama announces changes to U.S. policy on Cuba, including relaxing restrictions on U.S. banking in the country, in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
Doug Mills / Pool EPA/Landov

Among the changes to U.S. restrictions on Cuba President Obama announced Wednesday was a relaxation of the rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there.

Americans traveling in Cuba will now be able to use their credit cards and ATM cards, but many U.S. banks see the new rules as something of a legal minefield.

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Movies
3:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Risky Comedies Could Be In Jeopardy After 'Interview' Is Pulled

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last month's cyberattack on Sony pictures is now a national security matter. U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea is behind the incident and today the White House said it's taking hacking attacks seriously.

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Energy
3:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

No Fracking In New York? That's OK With Pennsylvania

Leslie Roeder of New York City cheers outside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Wednesday after the state announced a ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Andrew Kelly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:16 pm

Pennsylvania's fracking boom has led to record-breaking natural gas production, but its neighbor, New York, announced Wednesday it was banning the practice. Industry and environmental groups say New York's decision could be good for Pennsylvania.

New York's ban comes six years after the state placed a temporary moratorium on fracking to study the gas drilling technique. Now, officials question fracking's economic benefits and cite environmental risks.

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Business
3:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

How Much Will The Hack Cost Sony?

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
3:08 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

Sugar, coffee, fruit juice for babies, oil and salt inside a market subsidized by the government in Havana on July 11, 2013.
Enrique De La Osa Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:47 pm

It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani SΓ‘nchez.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

A surge in popularity of L.L. Bean boots has the Maine company scrambling to fill orders.
Murray Carpenter NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots β€” long worn by practical and preppie New Englanders β€” have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever.

The recent surge in demand has the company scrambling to fill orders, upgrading its manufacturing equipment and adding a third shift at its Maine boot factories.

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Goats and Soda
1:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

And The Award For Most Offensive Fundraising Video Goes To...

The "Rusty Radiator" award for most offensive or stereotypical portrayal of the developing world in a fund-raising video went to Feed A Child South Africa.
Feed A Child South Africa

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:46 am

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble's Tumble

Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference in Moscow on Thursday, where he blamed Western sanctions and falling oil prices for his country's economic troubles.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West in a year-end news conference today, blaming international sanctions and a steep plunge in oil prices for the precipitous drop in the value of the ruble.

Putin, speaking during a more than three-hour news conference attended by some 1,200 journalists, "promised never to let the West chain or defang his proud nation," according to The Associated Press.

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Around the Nation
3:16 am
Thu December 18, 2014

TSA Administrator Says Airport Screening Is More Efficient, Risk-Based

Travelers wait in a security line at Chicago's Midway International Airport in November.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:22 pm

As the holiday travel season picks up, the head of the government agency that screens airline passengers is winding down his duties. John Pistole is leaving the Transportation Security Administration at the end of December, after 4 1/2 years as administrator.

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NPR Story
3:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Rapprochement With Cuba: What It Includes And Excludes

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, that report came to us from NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, and she's on the line with us still this morning. Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Hi.

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National Security
7:07 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

The U.S. Says North Korea Ordered The Sony Hack. How Do We Respond?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Movies
4:18 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sony Cancels Theatrical Release Of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
3:19 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

A customer picks up a block of butter at a food store in Tokyo on Nov. 10. Japanese shoppers are up in arms over a serious butter shortage that has forced Tokyo to resort to emergency imports, as some grocers limit sales to one block per customer.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:21 am

We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter. But the Japanese have been using even more butter for their Christmas cakes this year, exacerbating what was already a national butter shortage.

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Economy
3:19 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Fed: Interest Rates Could Rise As Early As May 2015

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Major Movie Theater Chains Drop 'The Interview' After Threats

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movies
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Studios Hope Holiday Family Movies Will Grab Slice Of Shrinking Box Office

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hollywood likes to roll out their big family movies around the holidays. This season the lineup includes "Big Hero 6," "Annie," "Penguins Of Madagascar," and the offbeat fairy tale musical, "Into The Woods."

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Goats and Soda
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

We're Down To 5 Northern White Rhinos: Is It Too Late For Babies?

Najin, a female northern white rhino, gets a pat from keeper Mohamed Doyo. Najin, who lives at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, is one of only five of its subspecies left in the world.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

A 44-year-old northern white rhino named Angalifu died this week at the San Diego Zoo of old age.

Now only five animals remain in this subspecies, all in captivity. Four are females. The lone male lives in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

So it would seem the northern white rhino is doomed to extinction. Poachers are to blame β€” they've slain thousands of the rhinos to get their horns, which are hawked in Asia as a health tonic.

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The Two-Way
1:23 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sony Cancels Christmas Day Release Of 'The Interview' Amid Threats

A sign posted Wednesday on the box office window at the Sunshine Cinema in New York. The New York premiere of The Interview, a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong Un, has been canceled.
Andrew Kelly Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Sony Pictures has canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. The move came after the largest U.S. movie theater chains said they won't screen the film in the wake of threats against them by a group that also allegedly hacked Sony's internal documents.

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Economy
4:16 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Fed Officials May Be Closer To Raising Interest Rates

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Hacking Of Sony's Computers Creates Much Drama

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:09 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Ruble's Drop Has Implications For Global Economy

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Europe
3:08 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Is Russia's Currency On Its Way To Collapse?

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Russian president Vladimir Putin has succeeded in taking a bite of Ukraine, but Russia may be paying a price.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Expected To Impose New Sanctions On Russia

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:15 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
1:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge β€” short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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