Business

Business news

The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It's the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

On Thursday, Shell released its full year report that showed an 80 percent drop in earnings from 2014 to 2015. The company's earnings fell steeply from $19 billion in 2014 to $3.84 billion in 2015.

Members of Congress at a Thursday hearing wrestled with questions about why the prices of some old drugs are rising so fast.

Much of the session held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was dominated by Martin Shkreli, the bad-boy former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who earned notoriety by raising the price 5,000 percent for the drug Daraprim, a treatment for toxoplasmosis.

For the first few minutes of his appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, pharma bad boy Martin Shkreli was the soul of decorum.

He sat placidly, hands clasped, a polite smile fixed upon his face, as members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee fired questions at him.

And to every question he gave the same answer:

Morocco has officially turned on a massive solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans.

The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants.

The British car show Top Gear will have a fresh central cast when its 23rd season airs in May – but many TV fans will see a familiar face on the show, which announced Thursday that it has hired Matt LeBlanc, the former Friends star, as a new co-host.

So, you know that presidential election you've been hearing so much about?

Well, you're not alone.

A new survey conducted last month found there's a lot of interest in the presidential campaign; nine in 10 American adults had learned something about the election in the past week.

If you're a fan of trivia, you might want to remember the name Dree Hemingway. She's the first Playboy Playmate to be featured in the magazine's new life without full-frontal nudity.

Hemingway — Miss March 2016 — is the great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. According to her bio sheet on Playboy's website, she's 28, drinks only tequila and is a fan of the band alt-J. Her mother, Mariel Hemingway, was on the cover of Playboy in 1982.

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who inspired wrath when he raised the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday for a hearing on prescription drug prices.

But his testimony was far from fruitful.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new, stricter limit on salmonella bacteria in poultry products. It's a new attempt to make headway against one of the country's biggest, and most intractable, food safety problems.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves has been named executive chairman of the CBS Board of Directors, following longtime chief Sumner Redstone's resignation.

"I am honored to accept the chairmanship of this great Company," Moonves said in a statement. "I want to thank Sumner for his guidance and strong support over all these years. It has meant the world to me."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Last November, Amazon did the unthinkable for an online retailer known for undercutting brick-and-mortar bookstores: It opened a walk-in store in Seattle. Now, there's talk that Amazon plans hundreds of them.

On an investor call Tuesday, Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties, said: "You've got Amazon opening bricks and mortar bookstores, and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing that $30 million in state funds be used to help pay Flint residents' bills for the city's lead-tainted water.

This comes after a growing outcry from Flint residents about having to pay for water that isn't safe to drink. Residents have been relying on donated bottled water.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells tells our Newscast unit how Snyder's proposal would work:

The government of Luxembourg announced Wednesday that the country will be investing in the as-yet-unrealized industry of asteroid mining.

Toyota has announced that it is pulling the plug on Scion, its offshoot car brand aimed at younger drivers.

Scion, which started in 2003, has seen lagging sales, with a mere 56,167 cars sold last year in the U.S.

Scion owners will be able to get their cars serviced by Toyota, and many Scion vehicles will be re-branded as Toyotas, according to a press release.

Southern California Gas Co., the utility that owns a natural gas storage well that has been leaking since November, faces criminal charges over the leak and its alleged delay in alerting authorities to the problem.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Intel has a new report out today. It's not about semiconductors. It's about diversity: how Intel is doing when it comes to women and underrepresented minorities on its staff. The results are mixed — some strong and some, frankly, failures. Still the sheer amount of information is exceptional, and a direct challenge to other Silicon Valley giants who've chosen to hide their data.

Be Engineers About Diversity

Let's start with some numbers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Amid growing questions over the future of Obamacare exchanges, the head of California's marketplace said the nation's largest private health insurer should take responsibility for nearly $1 billion in losses and stop blaming the federal health law.

In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside.

Customers go past a window where travelers can exchange foreign currencies, up a narrow staircase and into a room stacked high with books. The walls are painted red and decked out with 1960s Cultural Revolution propaganda posters and other Mao-era memorabilia. The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers.

Yahoo, the Internet pioneer, continues to lose money. Tuesday in its fourth-quarter report, the company said it had a loss of $4.4 billion.

It's also laying off about 15 percent of its workforce and closing offices in five locations. Yahoo says it will explore "strategic alternatives" for its struggling Internet businesses including getting rid of services and assets that CEO Marissa Mayer has decided are not worth continued investment of time and money.

Saru Jayaraman may be restaurant obsessed, but don't call her a foodie. She's the founding director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national organization that advocates for better wages and working conditions for restaurant workers. She's also published several studies in legal and policy journals as director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley.

A memo from congressional investigators sheds new light on the inner workings of Martin Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals after the company jacked up the prices of a decades-old drug used to treat AIDS patients.

The House Committee on Oversight and Investigations is looking into Turing and other drug companies' price increases. This memo, released Tuesday, includes excerpts from the company's internal documents and emails.

BP Earnings Plunge 91 Percent In 4th Quarter

Feb 2, 2016

Global oil and gas price drops have shattered BP's profits.

The British energy giant said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter "underlying replacement cost profits" (or net income) dropped 91 percent. Profits fell to $196 million, compared with $2.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

The full-year figures were somewhat less dramatic: 2015 profits amounted to $5.9 billion, down from $12.1 billion the previous year. That's a 51 percent drop.

Pages