Business

All Tech Considered
2:34 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Smart Power Outlet That Can't Shock You

Normal outlets are always live at 120 volts, but the Brio Safe uses embedded sensors to accurately identify a plug before delivering a current.
Brio

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:21 pm

If you're a parent, you know the aggravation that comes with baby-proofing an entire house. Probably one of your biggest fears is that your child might stick her finger or a foreign object into an electrical outlet.

More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur annually, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, and each day, nearly seven children are treated in a hospital due to injuries from tampering with an outlet.

Read more
NPR Ed
7:57 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Community College Programs Can Lead To Big Payoffs — In The Right Fields

Dental students use practice dummies Aug. 27 in a newly renovated section of Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Health care is one field for which a recent study found that a community college degree produced a strong financial return.
Zach Gibson MLive.com/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:54 pm

When it comes to higher education, we've all heard the talking points: More people than ever are pursuing four-year degrees — despite skyrocketing tuition costs — because they don't have many other choices if they want to be competitive in the workforce.

Read more
Business
3:04 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid?

Solar energy panels on a roof in Marshfield, Mass.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:14 am

The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics.

Read more
Religion
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Problems With Your Boss? Try A Chat With The Office Chaplain.

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

Copyright 2014 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Around the Nation
1:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:51 pm

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

Read more
Parallels
1:52 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'People Are Going To Rebel': Slow Pace Of Rebuilding Frustrates Gazans

Men load bags of cement from a warehouse in Gaza. Under a complicated system meant to prevent militants from getting cement to use for tunnels, Palestinians must get approval from home inspectors to buy just one sack.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:31 am

Angry men crowded outside the Beautiful Tower Co. for Trade and Contracting in Gaza City last week. They wanted to pay for cement, but the man at the door would let in only one person at a time.

Everyone pushing for a turn had been authorized through a complicated monitoring system endorsed by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to buy materials to fix war-damaged homes. The system is meant to stop militants from getting cement to use for tunnels and even requires Palestinians to get prior approval from home inspectors to buy a single sack of cement.

Read more
The Salt
1:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Women's Work Is Never Done On The Farm, And Sometimes Never Counted

Owner Mary Kraft at Badger Creek Dairy outside Fort Morgan, Colo.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:45 am

The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that's who's in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012. And if you dig a little deeper, you'll find women are showing up in new roles. But because of the way farm businesses are structured, women's work often isn't included in those USDA counts.

Read more
The Salt
4:39 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

More Drinking, Less Buzz: Session Beers Gain Fans

Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers — meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent.
Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:13 pm

Tailgating, camping trips and wedding receptions are just some of the occasions when many Americans down a few beers in one sitting. For those who prefer high-alcohol microbrews and other craft beers, that can lead to trouble.

But a growing trend is offering another option: Session beers emphasize craft-beer taste with alcohol as low as or lower than big-brand light beers.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Stocks Are Battered As Oil Hits Another 5-Year Low

Today was another big day for energy news: Oil prices fell to a new five-year-low, below $61 per barrel on world markets; the U.S. said its supplies of crude oil increased last week; and OPEC said it expected lower demand next year.

The news prompted a selloff on Wall Street. Jim Paulson, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, tells our NPR's Newscast unit investors fear global economic tumult.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Detroit's Outgoing Emergency Manager Is Leaving City In Better Shape

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Uber's Troubles Mount Even As Its Value Grows

The Uber smartphone app is seen next to a taxi sign in Madrid, Spain. A Spanish judge this week ordered Uber to cease operations in the country. It's among the latest challenges facing the ride-sharing service recently valued at $40 billion.
Sergio Perez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:39 am

Uber, the ride-sharing service that is growing in value, is also watching its troubles mount.

It's latest woes are in California where, as NPR's Laura Sydell tells our Newscast unit, the attorneys general of San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are suing Uber. Here's more from Sydell's report:

Read more
Goats and Soda
11:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Alleged Rape Of Passenger Raises Concerns About How Uber Runs Abroad

After a woman reported that she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, protesters gathered outside a police station.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Uber is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Detroit's Bankruptcy Is Over, Michigan's Governor Says

Gov. Rick Snyder speaks today flanked by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (left) and emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Snyder said that the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy will end at midnight.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:59 am

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said today that Detroit's bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, will end at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday.

"The financial emergency in the city of Detroit will be defined as wrapping up today," Snyder said at a news conference in Detroit.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed December 10, 2014

After Raid On Its Servers In Sweden, Pirate Bay Goes Offline

Supporters of the website The Pirate Bay, one of the world's top illegal file-sharing websites, demonstrate in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2009.
Fredrik Persson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:35 am

Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular and largest file-sharing sites, is offline today, after police in Sweden raided their servers.

TorrentFreak, which reports on file-sharing sites, says that while Pirate Bay has been targeted by authorities in the past, this is the first time the peer-to-peer network disappeared from the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Read more
Movies
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

'The Interview,' The Hack, And The Movie Studio Dealing With The Fallout

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:23 am

Copyright 2014 KCRW-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kcrw.com.

Economy
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Cheap Crops Mean Tight Times For Midwest's Fledgling Farmers

Like many beginning farmers, Grant Curtis wants to invest in his operation, but expectations of low prices are tying his hands.
Abby Wendle Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Farmers who just got into the business in recent years found it was a good time to both plant and harvest.

"We were all spoiled little brats the past two years, with $5, $6, $7 corn, yep," says farmer Grant Curtis.

He's sitting in the captain's chair of his combine on a brisk, overcast day in western Illinois. He's driving back and forth over rows of corn on his family's farm. Then he arcs the 80,000-pound machine off course towards a single stalk he missed.

Read more
Business
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Justices: If You Aren't Working, No Pay, Even If You Can't Leave

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:23 am

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

The Salt
7:02 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Mexican Megafarms Supplying U.S. Market Are Rife With Labor Abuses

At the end of the day, Roma tomatoes are ready for transport in Cristo Rey in the state of Sinaloa. Half the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico.
Don Bartletti Los Angeles Times

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 7:06 pm

"Product of Mexico" — it's a label you see on fruit and vegetable stickers in supermarkets across the U.S.

It's also the name of an investigative series appearing this week in the Los Angeles Times.

Read more
The Salt
5:06 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

In Europe, Ugly Sells In The Produce Aisle

Intermarche/Vimeo

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:20 pm

In Europe, the ugly ducklings of the produce aisle are increasingly admired for their inner swans.

Call it the return of unsightly fruit.

Retailers (at least in Europe and the U.S.) by default now cater to the perfectionist shopper who prefers only the plump, round tomato or the unblemished apple to grace the fruit bowl. But many fruits and vegetables, while edible and nutritious, don't measure up.

Read more
Law
3:03 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Employers Are Not Required To Pay For Security Time

The court's ruling came Tuesday in a case involving Amazon warehouses and a temp agency, Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. Hourly workers were required to wait in line for an average of 25 minutes after they clocked out.
Ross Franklin AP

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that companies do not have to pay workers for time spent in anti-theft security screening at the end of a shift.

The decision is a major victory for retail enterprises and manufacturing businesses that could have been on the hook for billions of dollars in back pay for time spent in security screenings.

Read more
Business
2:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Tenn. VW Plant Closer To Unionizing With UAW Agreement

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:47 pm

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

Business
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

That Nest Egg Needs To Last As Long As You Do. So How Do You Start?

While people can often estimate how much they might need for 10 or 15 years of retirement, that calculation becomes more difficult for retirement that could last 20 years or more.
Gary Waters Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 3:47 pm

Retirement for baby boomers will look different than it did for their parents — Americans are living longer, health care costs more, fewer people have pensions today, and many people facing retirement haven't saved much.

All of that makes managing the nest egg you do have even more vital. But many people need and want guidance on what they should do to make sure their retirement savings last.

Read more
Media
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

New Republic Staffers Saw A Clash Between Its Mission And New Methods

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:27 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Environment
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Scientists Track Down Serious Methane Leaks In Natural Gas Wells

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:27 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Business
3:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Ireland Softens Under Pressure To Drop Its Corporate 'Duty-Free Zone'

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:27 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

FBI Wanted Little To Do With James Bond, Memo Reveals

Sean Connery sits beside his co-star, English actress Shirley Eaton, covered in gold, during the filming of a scene from Goldfinger in 1964.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 7:36 am

Auric Goldfinger might have expected James Bond to die, but the FBI wanted nothing to do with 007. That's according to FBI records released today from the agency's vault.

At issue was a request from Harry Saltzman, who with Albert Broccoli produced the Bond films, seeking to use a military aircraft for Goldfinger. In the film, Bond thwarts the title character from stealing the precious metal from Fort Knox. (It was the 1960s, folks.)

Read more
Economy
3:06 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Some Liberals And Tea Partiers Unite To Oppose Trade Deals

Protesters of varied stripes and political affiliations gathered outside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where negotiators from 12 nations were meeting to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:15 pm

When it comes to environmental regulations, taxes and the minimum wage, business groups generally object to President Obama's positions, while liberals support him.

But one issue blurs the usual political lines: trade.

Just last week, Obama told the Business Roundtable he would push to complete massive trade deals with both Asian and European nations. "If we can get that done, that's good for American businesses," he said.

Read more
Food
2:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Olive Oil Producers In 'Crisis' From Weather, Pests And Disease

Damaged olives hang in the grove belonging to Augusto Spagnoli, an oil producer from Nerola, near Rome. Producers and experts declared Italy's 2014 olive harvest the worst in history, due to adverse climatic conditions that helped the olive fly proliferate, thus destroying the olives before they could be harvested.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:15 pm

There's been a dramatic drop in oil production, but it's not barrels of light sweet crude. It's olive oil.

Curtis Cord, publisher of the Olive Oil Times, tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered there are many reasons why production has fallen so much in Italy and Spain this year.

Read more
Media
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

'New Republic' Owner Defends Strategy Shift That Led Many To Quit

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Business
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Big Mac Whacked: McDonald's U.S. Sales Continue To Slide

McDonald's says that same-store sales in its U.S. locations dropped nearly 5 percent in November, continuing a downward trend.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:34 am

McDonald's is not loving its financial numbers these days. The fast-food chain reported that same-store sales in the U.S. tumbled 4.6 percent in November compared with a year ago, as the company continues to struggle to find solid footing.

"McDonald's news this morning was jarring," says John Gordon, a consultant with Pacific Management Consulting. He has either worked in or tracked the fast-food industry for four decades. Monday's announcement, he says, had his colleagues abuzz.

Read more

Pages