Business

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

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

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

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:02 am

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 John Pistole To Leave At Month's End

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:52 am

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

NPR Story
3:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Rapprochement With Cuba: What It Includes And Excludes

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:52 am

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

All Tech Considered
1:46 am
Thu December 18, 2014

With Sony Hack, Nation-State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:29 am

NPR has confirmed from U.S. intelligence officials that North Korea was centrally involved with the recent attacks against Sony Pictures. And the company says it is pulling its comedy film The Interview from the box office. It was supposed to debut on Christmas. These are major developments in what we may now call cyberwarfare.

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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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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/.

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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/.

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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/.

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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 — 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/.

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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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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

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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/.

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

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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

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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 — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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The Two-Way
11:45 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Senate OKs Judicial Nominees, Tax Extensions Before Republican Takeover

Senator Harry Reid of Nev. on Tuesday, walks to one of his final meetings as the Senate Majority Leader. In January, Republicans take over the majority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:27 am

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

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Business
3:47 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Shopping On Shore Leave: How Seafarers Head To The Mall

First Officer Dheeraj Singh spends most of his time at the helm of a container ship, but on a three-hour shore leave from the Port of Oakland, he visits Old Navy at Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, Calif.
Julie Caine KALW

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

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Economy
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Ruble's Troubles Tied To Falling Oil Prices, International Sanctions

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

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

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Apple Wins $1B iPod Antitrust Lawsuit

A California jury has found that Apple's iTunes 7.0 did not violate antitrust laws when it restricted files bought on other music services.

After deliberating for around three hours, the eight-member jury in the U.S. District Court in Oakland unanimously found that iTunes 7.0 was an improvement over the previous version of the software. Bloomberg reports that the finding means Apple can't be held liable for hindering competition even if it hurt its rivals.

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Business
11:23 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Economists: Congress Gets A Hat Tip (Barely) For Its Efforts

The Capitol's dome and Christmas tree are illuminated on Dec. 11 as Congress worked to pass a $1.1 trillion U.S. government-wide spending bill and avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:59 pm

As the latest Congress draws to a close, economists are looking back — and seeing little.

Lawmakers passed no measures addressing tax reform, trade, immigration or even the minimum wage.

But judged by the very low standards of recent years, the 113th Congress did manage to win at least light applause from economists who are watching as the curtain goes down.

Sure, Congress allowed a disruptive government shutdown in 2013 — but it avoided repeating that drama in 2014.

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Parallels
10:15 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Has Vladimir Putin Just Overplayed His Hand?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown delivering his state of the union speech earlier this month, was riding high this year as the country hosted the Winter Olympics. Russia is now embroiled in economic turmoil, and Putin has alienated Western countries that could potentially help.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:16 am

Since his return to the Russian presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has been on a tear: He has annexed Crimea, crushed opposition at home and challenged the West at most every turn.

With oil seemingly stable at more than $100 a barrel, the government coffers were full, and Putin received mostly cheers at home and few repercussions abroad for his consistently aggressive approach.

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All Tech Considered
8:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Successful Tech Requires An Old-Fashioned Skill: Organizing People

iStockphoto

There is a new educational fad taking off across America: Everyone needs to learn how to code. Moms should code, girls should code, kids in every classroom in America should code. There are boot camps for it, academies to learn it, leagues to teach it. All with the promise that code will set you free.

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Code Switch
6:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Is Courting Controversy An Urban Outfitters Strategy?

This Lord Ganesh tapestry is currently being advertised on Urban Outfitters' website. The company previously drew outrage for its Lord Ganesh duvet cover.
Urban Outfitters

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:38 pm

Earlier this week, Gawker published an image of an invitation sent to Urban Outfitters employees, exhorting them, as the invite put it, to "break out your juttis, kurtas, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem pants" for the company holiday party.

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Shots - Health News
6:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Few Employers Cover Egg Freezing For Women With Cancer

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:56 am

As some companies add egg freezing to their list of fertility benefits, they're touting the coverage as a family-friendly perk.

Women's health advocates say they welcome any expansion of fertility coverage. But they say that the much-publicized changes at a few high-profile companies such as Facebook and Apple are still relatively rare, even for women with serious illnesses like cancer who want to preserve their fertility.

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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Top Chefs Discover Denver's Fast-Growing Restaurant Scene

James Beard-award winner and Top Chef Masters star Jen Jasinski recently opened a seafood restaurant in Denver called Stoic and Genuine that features a raw bar.
June Cochran Stoic and Genuine

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:01 pm

When you think of the restaurant scene, Denver probably doesn't come to mind. But that's just the latest change for a city whose population has ballooned in the last couple of years, thanks in part to a nearby oil and gas boom. Top chefs are beginning to take notice.

Award-winning pastry chef Keegan Gerhard, for example, just opened a new location of his restaurant, D Bar, that is three times the size of his old one. His chef buddies wonder why he's in Denver.

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