Business

The Salt
12:55 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do

In 2013, Americans on average spent 5.6 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food they consumed at home.
April L. Brown ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 1:10 pm

When admiring such enticing items at the grocery store as an avocado for $1.50, an $8 chocolate bar or fresh wild Alaskan salmon for $20 a pound, you've probably experienced sticker shock.

Indeed, retailers and restaurants offer myriad opportunities to blow your food budget in one fell swoop.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Wages And Prices: A Welcome Breakup

Bigger paychecks plus lower prices add up to more buying power for consumers.
DNY59 iStockphoto

A new government report confirms: Wages and prices are going their separate ways.

This breakup is helping consumers on the rebound from recession.

Fresh evidence of the split came Monday in the Commerce Department's monthly report on personal spending, income and saving. It showed paychecks are fatter, prices are leaner and Americans are saving more.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

The Nasdaq composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, crossing the 5,000 mark in early trading Monday. The index hit the mark nearly 15 years to the day since it surpassed the 5,000 mark on March 9, 2000.

We'll note that the index didn't have far to rise from Friday's close of 4,963.53.

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Business
3:17 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Architect Turns Old Cleveland Bank Into Heinen's Supermarket

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:15 am

Copyright 2015 Cleveland Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wcpn.org.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:08 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Orlando Considers Hiring Private Airport Screeners

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:15 am

Copyright 2015 WMFE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wmfe.org.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

People With Low Incomes Say They Pay A Price In Poor Health

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 7:37 am

When you ask people what impacts health you'll get a lot of different answers: Access to good health care and preventative services, personal behavior, exposure to germs or pollution and stress. But if you dig a little deeper you'll find a clear dividing line, and it boils down to one word: money.

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U.S.
1:58 am
Mon March 2, 2015

A Nearly Recession-Proof City Is Not Slowing Down

Lincoln has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing its downtown, a historic area called Haymarket, to create a more culturally vibrant urban center that is helping the city keep and attract young adults.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:15 am

At 2.5 percent, Lincoln, Neb., has one of the lowest jobless figures in the country. But that's nothing new — the city has ranked at or near the top of the nation, with one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, even during the Great Recession.

But on a recent visit, it's clear that Lincoln is not resting on its laurels. It's working hard at keeping and drawing talent to this city of nearly 300,000.

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The Salt
3:56 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through 'Adopt A Cow'

In exchange for a fee of 60 euros, members of Adopt A Cow get an assortment of aged and soft cheeses made from the milk of cows like Mery.
Christopher Livesay for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 12:26 pm

Foodies have long savored the cheeses of the Italian Alps. Dairy farmers still make it by hand, but unless you live in the region or can travel there, you'll have a hard time getting your hands on it. Much of this precious cheese isn't exported.

As you might imagine, this has not been good for business and the Alpine cheese makers have been slowly disappearing. That is until some farmers banded together — with the help of the Internet — and came up with an unusual adoption program called Adopt A Cow.

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Planet Money
2:44 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

How The Electronic Spreadsheet Revolutionized Business

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 6:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:18 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Fines Remain Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Multiply

ProPublica

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 12:25 pm

In a string of meetings and press releases, the federal government's health watchdogs have delivered a stern message: They are cracking down on insurers, hospitals and doctors offices that don't adequately protect the security and privacy of medical records.

"We've now moved into an area of more assertive enforcement," Leon Rodriguez, then-director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights, warned at a privacy and security forum in December 2012.

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NPR Ed
9:08 am
Fri February 27, 2015

A Glut Of Ph.D.s Means Long Odds Of Getting Jobs

Jorge Cham is the creator of PHD Comics and received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) is a comic strip about life (or the lack thereof) in academia. See more of his work at www.phdcomics.com.
Jorge Cham PHD Comics

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 12:54 pm

This week marked National Adjunct Walkout Day, a protest to gain better working conditions for part-time college instructors. Why are college professors from San Jose State University to the City University of New York taking to the streets like fast-food workers?

They say they have something in common.

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Planet Money
3:27 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Using A Can Of Coke To Explain A Currency Lesson

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 5:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
2:08 am
Fri February 27, 2015

White House Move To Protect Nest Eggs Sparks Hopes And Fears

President Obama remarks on his proposal to tighten consumer protections for people saving for retirement as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Labor Secretary Tom Perez listen, at AARP on Monday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:12 pm

The Obama administration is creating new protections for Americans saving and investing for retirement, but industry groups say the new rules could hurt the very people the president says he wants to help.

If you're building a retirement nest egg, big fees are the dangerous predators looking to feast on it. The White House says too many financial advisers get hidden kickbacks or sales incentives to steer responsible Americans toward bad retirement investments with low returns and high fees.

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All Tech Considered
12:20 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Long Before Net Neutrality, Rules Leveled The Landscape For Phone Services

Operators at a Bell System telephone switchboard, as photographed by the Department of Labor Women's Bureau.
U.S. National Archives

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:59 am

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate access to the Internet as it would a public utility, under something called Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Critics of the FCC say it's an old, dusty law meant to apply to phone service, not the complexities of the modern Internet. But there are some parallels to the days when Title II was enacted.

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Technology
3:04 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves New Rules Intended To Protect Open Internet

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to regulate Internet access more like a public utility, the vote split 3-2 along party lines. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, the vote reflects deep divisions over the future of the Internet.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet'

At the start of a meeting to decide the issue of net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (center) holds hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC headquarters Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:27 pm

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

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Economy
10:01 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Higher Wages, Lower Prices Give Consumers A Break

A sharp drop in gasoline prices led the consumer price index to fall in January. The CPI posted its first year-over-year drop since 2009.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:54 am

Economists usually worry about a "wage-price spiral" taking hold. That's when workers are earning more, but losing buying power as prices rise.

For now, at least, something very rare is happening: Paychecks and prices are heading in opposite directions.

"You have a schism that's helpful to consumers," IHS economist Doug Handler said about the recent decline in prices and rise in wages.

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Shots - Health News
7:10 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Attention, Shoppers: Prices For 70 Health Care Procedures Now Online!

Shopping for an MRI scan? Guroo.org, won't yet show you what your local hospital or radiologist charges, but it will reveal the average cost of the test in your area.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy's and getting the bill months after you leave the store, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say.

But an online tool that went live Wednesday is supposed to help change that, giving patients in most parts of the country a small peek at the prices of medical tests and procedures before they open their wallets.

Got a sore knee? Having a baby? Need a primary-care doctor? Shopping for an MRI scan?

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Planet Money
3:36 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Gets A Chance To Fix Beleaguered Economy

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:52 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Business
3:16 am
Thu February 26, 2015

West Coast Ports Dispute Caused Collateral Damage, Labor Secretary Says

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:52 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
2:13 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Gov. Scott Walker Goes Head-To-Head With Labor Over Right-To-Work

Hundreds of union members rally outside the Capitol in Madison on Tuesday to oppose a Republican-led measure that would make Wisconsin a right-to-work state.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:13 pm

Wisconsin is set to become the nation's 25th "right to work" state. Republicans in the state Legislature are fast-tracking a bill to Gov. Scott Walker, who is a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

The state Senate passed a right-to-work bill late Wednesday, and the State Assembly could pass it next week.

The measure aims to weaken private sector unions by letting workers opt out of mandatory dues. Wisconsin Republicans appear to be following an anti-union playbook that's been circling the Midwest.

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It's All Politics
1:44 am
Thu February 26, 2015

On Net Neutrality, Republicans Pitch Oversight Rather Than Regulation

Republicans in Congress are no fans of FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler's "net neutrality" plan.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:37 am

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday morning to put more stringent regulations on Internet providers.

Backers, including many tech firms and the Obama administration, say the net neutrality rules will ensure equal access to the net for content providers. But Republicans in Congress are no fans of FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler's plan.

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The Salt
1:42 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Farmers Fear Legal Status For Workers Would Lead Them Off The Farm

Nahun Villagomez Sanchez washes freshly dug Red LaSoda potatoes at T&D Willey Farms near Madera, Calif.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:00 am

The political battle over immigration, now provoking a confrontation between Congress and the White House, touches all of us in one very direct way: our food. That salad mix, and those apples, may well have been harvested by workers who arrived here in the U.S. illegally.

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The Two-Way
1:08 am
Thu February 26, 2015

The FCC's Net Neutrality Vote: Here's What You Need To Know

Protesters demonstrate in favor of net neutrality across the street from the Comcast Center in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:21 am

Later this morning, the Federal Communications Commission will take a vote on adopting new rules that would keep the Internet neutral.

Update at 1 p.m. ET 2/26: FCC Adopts Net Neutrality

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The Two-Way
8:41 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Dentists Have No Right To Limit Who Can Whiten Your Teeth, Justices Say

Want to get your teeth whitened? You may soon have more options. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state board of dentistry unfairly drove competitors out of business by trying to block non-dentists from providing whitening services.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:54 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the North Carolina dental board does not have the authority to regulate teeth-whitening services. By a 6-to-3 vote, the court said that the state board, composed mainly of dentists, violated the nation's antitrust laws by regulating the activity of competitors.

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All Tech Considered
4:28 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

What Net Neutrality Rules Could Mean For Your Wireless Carrier

T-Mobile CEO John Legere pitches a plan that allows unlimited music streaming without additional data charges. Some net neutrality proponents want the FCC to limit plans like these; the commission says it will review them on a case-by-case basis.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:37 am

After a decade of debate, the federal government is poised to change how it regulates Internet access, to make it more like telephone service and other public utilities.

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Africa
2:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Terrorism Fears Complicate Money Transfers For Somali-Americans

Customers wait to collect money at the Juba Express money transfer company in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Feb. 12.
Mohamed Abdiwahab AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:46 pm

Regulations intended to block money from getting into the hands of terrorist groups has led the last bank that handles most money transfers from the United States to Somalia to pull out of the business.

Somali refugees in the U.S. say their families back home need the money they send each month to survive, and they're counting on lawmakers and Obama administration officials, who are meeting in Washington on Thursday, to try to find a solution.

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Code Switch
2:12 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Supreme Court Looks At Abercrombie & Fitch's Hijab Discrimination Case

Samantha Elauf was not hired by the preppy retailer Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a headscarf during her job interview, which the company said conflicted with its dress code.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:27 pm

A closely watched case before the Supreme Court Wednesday could have big consequences for religious rights in the workplace. It involves Abercrombie & Fitch, the preppy, mall-based retailer, and a young Muslim woman who wore a headscarf to a job interview at the company seven years ago.

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All Tech Considered
12:14 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

The World Loves The Smartphone. So How About A Smart Home?

Guido Rosa Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 1:23 pm

My coffee maker is texting me again. It's scheduled to make coffee tomorrow, the message says, but I need to refill its water tank. Welcome to the future.

The Mr. Coffee Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker with WeMo — yes, that is its official name — is just one of many household appliances being remade to connect to the Internet and take care of themselves. There are thermostats, smoke alarms, washing machines and even $1,000 Bluetooth-connected toilets.

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Parallels
12:06 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Saudi Women Still Can't Drive, But They Are Making It To Work

Saudi women, shown here at a cultural festival near the capital Riyadh on Sunday, still need the permission of male relatives to travel and even receive certain medical procedures, but a growing number are entering the workforce.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 3:40 pm

The sign on the door to the office of eTree, an online advertising agency in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, reads: "Girls Only."

The company's founder, Esra Assery, admits it's a little sexist, and we both laugh at the joke in male-dominated Saudi Arabia — the only country that prohibits women from driving a car.

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