Business

The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon February 9, 2015

From Soy Sauce To Bullet Trains: Famed Japanese Designer Dies At 85

After designing a soy sauce bottle for Kikkoman in 1961, Kenji Ekuan went on to design everything from motorcycles to a bullet train.
Mj-bird Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 9:24 am

As with many elite industrial designers, you know his work even if you don't know his name. Decades after Kenji Ekuan created Kikkoman's iconic soy sauce bottles with their red caps, he designed Japan's Komachi bullet train, in a career driven by a desire to make good design accessible to everyone.

Ekuan died Sunday in Tokyo at age 85; Japanese news outlets say he had suffered from a heart disorder.

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Business
3:12 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Victims Of Social Security Number Theft Find It's Hard To Bounce Back

Stolen Social Security numbers can be used to create bogus documents like these, but also over the phone to open bank accounts or make purchases.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:26 pm

Tens of millions of people may have had information stolen, including their names, Social Security numbers and birth dates, when health insurer Anthem's database was hacked.

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Economy
1:34 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Oil Price Dip, Global Slowdown Create Crosscurrents For U.S.

Oil pumpjacks are seen in McKenzie County in western North Dakota. Cuts in production and energy company payrolls will cost the U.S. economy up to $150 billion, economist David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors projects.
Matthew Brown AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:48 am

Continued job growth has boosted prospects for the U.S. economy, but it continues to face some tricky crosswinds. The big drop in oil prices and a stronger dollar both help the economy and hurt it. Add to that the recent slowdown in global growth.

Lots of economists have suggested the big drop in oil prices is a gift to consumers that will propel the economy. David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors is one of them. He argues that cheaper oil will ultimately be a positive.

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Business
11:47 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Leaked HSBC Documents Shed Light On Swiss Banking Industry

Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 2:59 pm

A huge trove of leaked documents is shedding new light on the secretive Swiss banking industry.

The documents were downloaded by a former computer security expert at the giant bank HSBC, and they were released over the weekend by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Sat February 7, 2015

NBC's Brian Williams To Temporarily Step Away From Anchor Desk

NBC's Brian Williams, seen here on Nov. 13, 2014, has apologized for incorrectly saying he was aboard a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 that was hit and forced down by enemy fire.
Julio Cortez AP

Brian Williams — the NBC Nightly News anchor who apologized earlier this week for misremembering that a military helicopter he was in during the 2003 invasion of Iraq had been fired upon — says he has temporarily taken himself off the air over the controversy.

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Media
5:04 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Huffington Post Bets People Will Read Good News — And Share It, Too

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, speaks at the 2014 World Economic Forum. Reporters and editors in 15 countries will contribute to "What Works," her site's new initiative focused on covering positive news.
Ruben Sprich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

Greek-born author Arianna Huffington created a digital powerhouse in May 2005 on the back of two major elements: famous bloggers, and the relentless aggregation of stories from elsewhere on politics, pop culture and almost everything else.

Huffington Post's original reporting really came later — and so did a Pulitzer Prize. But the clickbait endures.

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Economy
3:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

U.S. Jobs Picture Finally Getting Back To Normal

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

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

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Media
2:45 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Brian Williams Under Microscope After Recanting Helicopter Story

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

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

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The Salt
2:38 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

For Rockfish, A Tale Of Recovery, Hidden On Menus

A school of vermilion rockfish. After being depleted decades ago by overfishing, rockfish — a genus of more than 100 tasty species — have made a remarkable comeback.
Donna Schroeder From 'Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast'/Courtesy Milton Love

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 5:59 pm

For West Coast commercial fishermen and seafood lovers, there is reason to cheer. Rockfish, a genus of more than 100 tasty species depleted decades ago by excessive fishing, have rebounded from extreme low numbers in the 1990s.

It's a conservation and fishery management success story that chefs, distributors and sustainable seafood advocates want the world to hear.

The rub? It's hard to communicate this success if purveyors continue to misidentify the fish, as many do.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri February 6, 2015

NBC 'Gathering The Facts' About Brian Williams' Claims, Network's Chief Says

NBC news anchor Brian Williams
Danny Moloshok Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 3:18 pm

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

An NBC team is looking into Brian Williams' claims that a helicopter he was on in Iraq in 2003 came under fire, a claim the Nightly News anchor apologized for this week in the face of pushback from soldiers.

In a memo to staff, NBC News President Deborah Turness said:

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TED Radio Hour
6:44 am
Fri February 6, 2015

How Should We Distribute Our Wealth?

Nick Hanauer says increasing the minimum wage would be good for the poor and the super rich.
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 2:50 pm

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Seven Deadly Sins

About Nick Hanauer's TED Talk

Nick Hanauer is a rich guy with several houses, but is he greedy? He argues that an increase in minimum wage would be good for everyone.

About Nick Hanauer

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Economy Adds 257,000 New Jobs; Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

A construction worker looks down on the site of the Manhattan West project last month in New York. Construction was among the hardest-hit sectors during the worst recession in modern memory.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 8:47 am

Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET

Some 257,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January, continuing a 12-month span of growth that saw at least 200,000 jobs added each month, according to the Department of Labor. Even so, in a separate survey released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the benchmark unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.7 percent.

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Planet Money
3:25 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Federally Regulated Banks Begin To Work With States' Pot Businesses

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 11:19 am

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

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We've been hearing a lot about how hard it is to do banking when the business is selling marijuana.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Even though in 23 states, medicinal marijuana is legal.

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Business
3:13 am
Fri February 6, 2015

RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy; Sprint To Share Space With Some Stores

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 9:25 am

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

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RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy and the company plans to close most of its stores, as NPR's Aarti Shahani reports.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Economists Expect Data To Show A Pullback In Job Creation

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 9:25 am

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

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The Salt
5:46 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Are Farmers Market Sales Peaking? That Might Be Good For Farmers

A customer shops for produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on March 27th, 2014 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 6:25 am

After more than a decade of explosive growth, sales of local food at U.S. farmers' markets are slowing. A January report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that while more farmers are selling directly to consumers, local food sales at farmers markets, farm stands and through community supported agriculture have lost some momentum.

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Parallels
4:23 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

In 'Red Notice,' Success Draws Treachery, Tragedy In Putin's Russia

Bill Browder crosses Red Square in 2004, at the height of Hermitage Capital Management's success.
James Hill Courtesy of the Browder Family Archives

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:48 am

William Browder's new book, Red Notice, is named for the type of warrant the Russian government has sought from Interpol in hopes of capturing him.

The hedge fund manager made huge profits with Hermitage Capital Management, a company he started in Russia in 1996. That, he says, drew the attention and machinations of a corrupt group of Russian officials.

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Business
3:52 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Planning Through Oil Booms Helps Small Producers Weather The Busts

Tracy Perryman is production manager for his family's small oil company in Luling, Texas. B.J.P. Inc. owns 116 wells that, combined, produce about 100 barrels a day.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 8:55 am

Hard times have hit the oil fields. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude has dropped from a high of over $100 to less than $50. But Tracy Perryman, a small oilman in Luling, Texas, has learned how to survive the lean times.

Oil companies that take on a lot of debt sometimes don't survive the downturns. But veterans of oil busts have learned how to plan for the inevitable price plunges.

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Business
3:52 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Sony's Amy Pascal Steps Down In Aftermath Of Cyber Attack

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:23 pm

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

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All Tech Considered
3:52 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Anthem Hack Renews Calls For Laws To Better Prevent Breaches

Anthem says 80 million company records were accessed in what may be one of the largest health care data breaches to date.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 12:46 pm

The call for more systemic changes to prevent mega-hacks is getting louder after hackers hit Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. The company says cyberthieves gained access to the addresses, employment information and Social Security numbers of 80 million customers and employees.

Eighty million individuals is a lot — it's roughly the populations of California, Texas and Illinois combined.

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Digital Life
3:48 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

FAA Ban Hasn't Stopped Pilots From Snapping Selfies

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 5:06 pm

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

Planet Money
3:20 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Map: The Most Common* Job In Every State

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

*We used data from the Census Bureau, which has two catch-all categories: "managers not elsewhere classified" and "salespersons not elsewhere classified." Because those categories are broad and vague to the point of meaninglessness, we excluded them from our map.

What's with all the truck drivers? Truck drivers dominate the map for a few reasons.

  • Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can't drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can't drive cars (yet).
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Media
2:35 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Brian Williams Criticized For Exaggerated Iraq Story

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:23 pm

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

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Business
2:35 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

RadioShack May Be On Verge Of Collapse

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:23 pm

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

The Two-Way
10:43 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Amy Pascal Out As Sony Pictures Chairman

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 11:25 am

Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, one of Hollywood's longest-serving studio heads and one of its most prominent female executives, is leaving her job, the studio said in a statement.

She will "launch a major new production venture at the studio," the statement said. "Pascal will transition to the new venture in May 2015."

The Hollywood Reporter says that such a transition is "often ... the case with ousted studio heads."

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Thu February 5, 2015

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg To Step Down

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg in a photo taken last May. Hamburg, who has been in the top FDA job for nearly six years, will reportedly step down.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 2:56 pm

Updated at 10:23 a.m. ET

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg — who has been at the center of controversial decisions such as relaxing age restrictions on the Plan B contraceptive — has decided to step down after six years in the job.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Brian Williams' Self-Inflicted War Wounds

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admits that his story of being on a helicopter hit by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003 was untrue and has apologized to troops and viewers.
Monica Schipper Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 4:09 pm

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Around the Nation
2:03 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Stuck In Traffic? It's Likely To Be Worse In 30 Years, Report Says

Traffic clogs the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 11:27 am

Moving from crisis to crisis — for too long that's been America's strategy for dealing with the challenges of an aging transit infrastructure, from roads to bridges to ports. The result is a system that's crumbling and in desperate need of attention, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The massive study both looks at the current state of the country's transportation systems and forecasts the challenges that lie ahead.

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The Two-Way
1:16 am
Thu February 5, 2015

U.N. Agency Sets New Standards For Tracking Aircraft In Flight

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 6:11 am

The United Nations' aviation organization is endorsing a new standard meant to keep air traffic authorities and airlines from losing track of a jetliner, such as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

That plane disappeared into the Indian Ocean almost a year ago with 239 people on board.

Under the new policy, commercial airliners would be required to transmit their location every 15 minutes and every minute if in distress.

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Technology
3:27 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

FCC Proposal Would Regulate Internet Like A Public Utility

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 7:40 am

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

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