Business

The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Reports: FCC Poised For About-Face On Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to propose new rules that amount to an about-face for the regulator when it comes to net neutrality, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are reporting based on unnamed sources.

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Shots - Health News
3:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street's estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the "NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance", on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff signed into law a kind of Internet bill of rights on Wednesday.

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Law
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Under Calif. Law With Teeth, Big-Time Lawsuits Hit Small Businesses

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Some California lawyers and litigants have created a cottage industry around the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some plaintiffs file hundreds of complaints a year, collecting a living off small businesses that aren't compliant with the ADA. Small business advocates and community leaders say they focus on minority businesses because they make for easier targets.

Business
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Blockbuster Trades Are Changing The Face Of Pharmaceuticals

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Pharmaceutical companies are suddenly trading entire divisions the way sports teams swap players. Glaxo, Novartis and Ely Lily are all involved in a complicated deal announced Tuesday, and so far this year, five deals exceeding $2 billion have been announced. What's driving the deal-making?

The Salt
2:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

Vincent Mourou, co-founder of Vietnam's first artisan chocolate maker Marou, inspects cacao beans at a farmer's garden in Go Cong Tay district.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:51 pm

When you think about Vietnamese food, you might think of savory beef noodle soup, or endless fields of rice paddies. But chocolate?

As the world's demand for chocolate grows, Vietnam is making a bid to become one of the world's newest high quality suppliers.

Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou are two players in the country's small but growing cocoa industry. They founded Marou, an artisan chocolate company, three years ago in Ho Chi Minh City.

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All Tech Considered
10:53 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Volvo's inflatable car seat is a concept and not a marketable product right now.
Courtesy of Volvo

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:32 pm

Forget wearables, let's talk about inflatables.

Volvo's new child safety seat concept is a fully inflatable device designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

So compact is this prototype that it goes from a stylish-looking backpack into a rear-facing car seat in less than a minute. You can pump it in the car — the seat comes with its own pump — and it's Bluetooth-connected so you could pump it remotely.

When inflated, the seat weighs just under 11 pounds.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed April 23, 2014

American Journalist Kidnapped By Ukraine's Pro-Russia Insurgents

In a photo taken earlier this month, U.S. reporter Simon Ostrovsky stands with a pro-Russian gunman at a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. Ostrovsky has reportedly been seized by the pro-Russian insurgents.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:34 pm

An American journalist operating in eastern Ukraine has been kidnapped by pro-Russian gunmen, the separatists said Wednesday.

Simon Ostrovsky, working for Vice News, was seized at gunpoint early Tuesday by masked men in the restive eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.

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Shots - Health News
5:40 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

Even some euro bank notes may need a good scrubbing. Like dollar bills, these notes are made from cotton and they harbor an array of bacteria.
Thomas Leuthard The Preiser Project/Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:44 pm

You may have heard that dollar bills harbor trace amounts of drugs.

But those greenbacks in your wallet are hiding far more than cocaine and the flu. They're teeming with life.

Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface, scientists have found. Most are harmless. But cash also has DNA from drug-resistant microbes. And your wad of dough may even have a smudge of anthrax and diphtheria.

In other words, your wallet is a portable petri dish.

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Law
4:16 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Networks Tell Supreme Court Aereo Steals Their Content

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts in the cloud.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Our tech reporting team has its head in the cloud this week. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in a case concerning over-the-air television being stored in the cloud. A start-up company called Aereo lets customers access broadcast TV shows through computers, smartphones and tablets. Protesters say they're stealing content.

Here's NPR's Steve Henn.

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Education
3:54 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Income Inequality Is A Major Barrier To Attending College

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:45 am

Morning Edition co-host David Greene talks to Suzanne Mettler of Cornell University, author of the new book, Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream.

NPR Story
3:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Haagen-Dazs Experiments With Veggie Ice Cream

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Our last word in business is: Veggie Ice Cream.

Japanese parents trying to get their kids to eat vegetables can skip to desert.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Haagen-Dazs is testing vegetable-flavored ice cream in Japan. Flavors include tomato cherry and carrot orange.

NPR Story
3:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Urban Libraries Become De Facto Homeless Shelters

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Whether they like it or not, libraries in some cities serve as homeless shelters. People come off the streets to find quiet and warmth. If libraries want to do something about this, they have some choices: They can put homeless visitors back out on the street. San Francisco libraries want to get them back on their feet.

Scott Shafer reports from member station KQED.

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Education
3:03 am
Wed April 23, 2014

One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents

Tiffany Contreras walks her daughter Kyndall, 4, to preschool at Disney Elementary in Tulsa, Okla.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:48 am

President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for "high-quality preschool" for all. In fact, those two words — "high quality" — appear time and again in the president's prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation's preschool programs from the rest?

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All Tech Considered
2:33 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet

A Google data center in Oklahoma is shown. Google recently slashed prices for its cloud services; Amazon responded by cutting its cloud prices.
Connie Zhou AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:02 am

This week, our tech reporting team is exploring cloud computing — the big business of providing computing power and data storage that companies need, but which happens out of sight, as if it's "in the cloud."

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U.S.
2:31 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Subminimum Wages For The Disabled: Godsend Or Exploitation?

Workers shrink-wrap products at the Sertoma Centre outside Chicago. Sertoma provides employment opportunities to about 250 people with disabilities through subcontracting jobs.
Courtesy of Sertoma Centre

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:00 am

The president recently signed an executive order raising the minimum hourly wage to $10.10 for workers employed by federal contractors — including those with disabilities.

That's a victory for disabled workers who can make just pennies per hour at so-called sheltered workplaces.

While some call sheltered workshops a godsend, others say they are examples of good intentions gone wrong.

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The Salt
2:20 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Fast-Food CEOs Earn Supersize Salaries; Workers Earn Small Potatoes

According to a new report, YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) compensated its CEO $22 million in 2013.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 4:05 pm

At a time when fast-food workers make an average of about $9 an hour, what are the chief executives bringing home?

According to a new report, YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) compensated its CEO $22 million in 2013.

Chipotle's CEO took home $13.8 million in total compensation. And McDonald's CEO compensation totaled $7.7 million. (Compensation includes salary, bonus and the value of exercised options.)

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All Tech Considered
2:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Online Sales Taxes Shift Consumer Behavior, Study Shows

Monica Chavez packs up a box at an Amazon.com fulfillment center Dec. 2, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 4:38 pm

Technically, consumers are supposed to pay taxes on things they buy online. In fact, few do.

Congress is considering a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act that would force many online sellers to collect sales taxes for the first time.

In the meantime, some states have already enacted so-called Amazon taxes, forcing the giant online retailer to collect sales taxes the same way traditional brick-and-mortar stores do.

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Business
12:47 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Monday BusinessWatch

  Every Monday at 7:51am on Morning Edition, Fred Martino covers the week's top local business stories with Las Cruces Sun News Business Editor Brook Stockberger.  Subscribe to our podcast on the right side of this page so you never miss a segment.

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Change Your Income, Change Your Health Insurance Plan

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:46 am

People who qualified for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act aren't necessarily locked into the plan they chose. And that can be good news for people whose income fluctuates during the year. Here's our response to the latest reader questions on coverage through the health exchanges.

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Business
6:13 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Netflix To Raise New Customers' Subscription Rates

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the rising cost of Netflix.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The online video provider will raise the price of its subscriptions by one or two dollars over the next few months. This only affects new subscribers for now. Current subscribers won't see a rate hike for at least a year.

CEO Reed Hastings says the higher fees will increase the number of TV shows and movies Netflix offers and improve video streaming. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Law
5:16 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Case Could Change How You Watch TV

An economic model is being challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a battle between broadcast television networks and the startup Aereo Inc. The issues focus on copyright law, but the outcome could alter broadcasting in the U.S.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:42 am

Bruce Springsteen may have been ahead of his times with his song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)," released in 1992. These days there are hundreds of channels, and whether you like it or not, you get most of them in your basic cable package. On Tuesday, that economic model is being challenged in the Supreme Court in a high-stakes legal battle between the broadcast television networks and a tiny startup, or at least tiny by broadcast standards.

The issues focus on copyright law, but the outcome could alter the face of broadcasting in the United States.

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Law
3:01 am
Tue April 22, 2014

High Court To Consider Political Lies, Future Of Broadcasting

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two important cases will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today. One of them involves a high-stakes, high-tech battle that has raised the possibility of major TV networks no longer broadcasting over the air. The other case involves the future of lying in political campaigns. Here's NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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Asia
2:58 am
Tue April 22, 2014

8-Day Asia Trip Critical To Obama's Regional Strategy

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The schedule of President Obama's trip to East Asia offers a reminder that there are at least two East Asias. There's the giant of the region, China, the focus of so much attention.

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Business
2:56 am
Tue April 22, 2014

For Short Trips, Intercity Buses Horn In On Airline Customers

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. It's hard to imagine a bus getting you some were faster than a plane. But for travelers planning relatively short trips, a new study shows bus companies are gaining on the airlines.

NPR's David Schaper reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF STREET TRAFFIC, HONKING HORNS)

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Here on a downtown Chicago sidewalk, a few dozen people are standing in the Midwestern spring air, waiting for a Megabus to take them out of town.

JOE SCHWIETERMAN: A whole new demographics are taking the bus.

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NPR Story
2:56 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Fur Flies Over First Cat Cafe

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Meow.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: Actually, it's cat cafe. There's been a bit of a cat fight over which city would host the nation's first cat cafe, meaning a place where patrons can cozy up with a latte and also a feline in need of a good home and hopefully adopt that cat.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
1:29 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval

Morphine and oxycodone (the active ingredient in Oxycontin) are strong narcotic pain relievers on their own. Moxduo, a drug now up for FDA approval, would combine morphine and oxycodone in a single capsule.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:34 am

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.

While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.

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The Salt
1:26 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought

Recent rains kept Suzanne and Mike Collins' orange grove alive, but the rainy season is ending. If they don't get federal irrigation water by this summer, their trees will start dying.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:47 pm

On a recent afternoon on the main drag of Orange Cove, Calif., about a dozen farm workers gather on the sidewalk in front of a mini-mart.

One man sits on a milk crate sipping a beer. A few others scratch some lotto tickets. Salvador Perez paces back and forth with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans.

If there is no water, there's no work, he says in Spanish.

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All Tech Considered
4:03 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud

MidAmerican Energy's wind farm in Adair, Iowa. Facebook is working with MidAmerican to build a similar wind farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, where it will help power Facebook's planned data center.
Courtesy of MidAmerican Energy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:55 am

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Business
3:16 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

To Keep Business Growing, Vendors Rebrand Pot's Stoner Image

Alison Ledden, marketing director for The Farm, a recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo., says some customers come in thinking they're at a specialty grocer, not a marijuana store.
Luke Runyon KUNC

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:26 pm

From the outside, Jan Cole's recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo., just feels welcoming. Big glass windows let in natural light, and the walls are painted in soothing earth tones. Cole used her background in spa management to build a "warm and inviting" pot shop that puts customers at ease.

In fact, the store's name, The Farm, is so inconspicuous, "we have a lot of people who come in think that we might be an organic food grocer or something," she says.

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