Business

The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, on Wednesday. The Fed announced that it was cutting back on bond buying and would leave short-term rates unchanged.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:03 pm

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve said today it will further curtail its bond purchases because of an improving U.S. job market, but it offered no hint as to when it might start raising short-term interest rates.

A statement from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee said:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Unleashes Fire Phone To Compete With Apple, Samsung

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon Fire Phone on Wednesday, in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:24 pm

This post updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

It's called the Fire Phone, and Amazon is hoping that its entry into the mobile arena will prove a hot seller that puts the iconic brand at everyone's fingertips.

CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the Fire Phone at an event Wednesday in Seattle.

In screen size, the Fire Phone's, which measures 4.7 inches diagonally, falls somewhere between the Apple iPhone and its larger competitor, the Samsung Galaxy.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:23 am
Wed June 18, 2014

House Panel Grills GM CEO And Investigator Over Switch Recall

Family members of victims of a faulty GM ignition switch lined the rear wall of a congressional hearing with their photos Wednesday.
Cliff Owen AP

Questions about a potential cover-up and an unhealthy corporate culture dominated a congressional hearing today about General Motors' handling of a deadly safety flaw in ignition switches in millions of its cars.

Read more
The Salt
9:55 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Goats In The City? Making A Case For Detroit's Munching Mowers

Leonard Pollara, of Idyll Farms, with some of the goats housed in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.
Max Ortiz Courtesy of The Detroit News

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:14 pm

As more urban folk strive to produce their own food, gardens both large and small are popping up everywhere. And while it's not unheard of for city dwellers to keep bees and even chickens, only a brave few have been willing to try their hand at goats.

Like hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel, who recently tried to revitalize Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood with a herd of 18 baby goats.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:19 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Washington Redskins' Trademark Registrations Cancelled

Several of the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations have been canceled. The team will appeal the decision.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:25 pm

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revoked the trademark of the NFL's Washington Redskins, after ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans who say the name disparages them. While the decision could have wide repercussions, it does not require the team to change its name. It is also subject to appeal, which the team has confirmed it will pursue.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:18 am
Wed June 18, 2014

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Area Would Nearly Double Under New Plan

The Department of the Interior is proposing a large expansion of U.S. efforts to make energy from offshore winds, with a plan centered off the Massachusetts coast. Here, a 2010 photo shows a sunrise over Nantucket Sound.
Julia Cumes AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:55 am

A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.

Read more
Business
5:09 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Dunkin Donuts To Open 5 Stores In California

The company says it expects to eventually open 1,000 shops in California. There were about a dozen Dunkin Donuts there in the 1990s, but they closed more than a decade ago.

Planet Money
4:22 am
Wed June 18, 2014

CHEP Builds A Better Pallet And It's Blue To Boot

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

Simple wooden pallets make transporting items, loading and unloading easier. Our Planet Money team dives deep into the pallet world to see how this ubiquitous item is changing.

Business
3:20 am
Wed June 18, 2014

As Exasperation Mounts, French Rail Strike Turns Violent

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

The French rail strike has enters it second week and train workers have clashed with riot police in Paris. The latest poll shows the striking train drivers are losing public support.

Around the Nation
3:11 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Whitewater Rafting Companies Benefit From Abundant Snowfall

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A near-record snowpack in the central Rockies means rivers in Colorado are running high this year, which is good news for whitewater rafting companies. Swollen rivers now should mean rapids that will be rushing throughout the summer. Marci Krivonen of Aspen Public Radio reports.

MARCI KRIVONEN, BYLINE: Long-time rafting guide Bob Morse is giving his safety spiel to a small group preparing to board a bright yellow raft.

BOB MORSE: OK, and the way we sit in the boat is sidesaddle - both feet inside.

Read more
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
1:24 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Benefit Corporations Look Beyond The Profit Motive

Stephen Maydwell adjusts tins of Badger Balm before a machine fills them at the W.S. Badger Co. Inc. factory in Gilsum, N.H.
Jack Rodolico

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:53 am

A corporation has one core obligation: to make money. But some companies are signing a deal, promising to create not only profit but also a tangible benefit to society and the environment. They're called benefit corporations, and their movement has caught the ear of lawmakers across the country.

In the tiny town of Gilsum, N.H., you'll find the headquarters of W.S. Badger Co. Inc. The company makes all-natural cosmetics marketed under the name Badger Balm. When CEO Bill Whyte founded the company two decades ago, the staff was lean.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

SunTrust To Pay Nearly $1 Billion For Mortgage Practices

SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.

The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Read more
All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

How Yahoo's Diversity Numbers Compare With Google's

Yahoo is famously led by a woman, CEO Marissa Mayer. But its workforce, like most tech companies, is dominated by men.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:

Read more
Business
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

A View Of The Ride-Share Debate From The Backseat Of Both Sides

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Local governments across the U.S. are struggling to decide how to handle new ride-sharing services, which are often at once popular and unrelated — or even illegal. Odette Yousef of WBEZ reports on the debate in Illinois, trying to determine the answer to one important question: What makes ride-share services different from taxis?

Read more
Digital Life
12:26 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

After Flickr, Startup Guru Smells The Sweet Success Of Failure

After co-founding Flickr, Stewart Butterfield founded Slack, a project management tool.
Kris Krug

Stewart Butterfield has a problem the rest of us can only dream of. His business has turned into a runaway train. Daily users of his product, Slack — aimed at helping corporate teams communicate better — have grown from 10,000 to 90,000 in just five months.

How'd he do it? Not with a marketing or sales team — because he doesn't have one. It's all been word of mouth.

"We're hiring as fast as we can right now. We've got 34 people. A month ago we had 20. And six months ago we had eight," he says.

Not that he's complaining.

Read more
Money Coach
10:34 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Coupling Finances: The First 'I Do' For Newlyweds?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
10:13 am
Tue June 17, 2014

How Does The Federal Health Law Affect Insurance Price Hikes?

What will insurance buyers find when they look to get or renew coverage?
Zack Blanton iStockphoto

Buying health insurance, even on the exchanges created by the health law, can be an expensive proposition. And some consumers are already wondering how much coverage will cost next year. That led to a recent question about the rules that apply to insurance premiums.

I understood that under the health law, premiums for individuals could not increase by double digits, that rate increases were capped at under 10 percent unless approved by the government. Isn't that right?

Read more
All Tech Considered
10:01 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Democrats Unveil A Bill To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

The bill is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:52 am

Net neutrality has become a hot topic this summer, despite its snooze-inducing name. The principle governs that data on the Internet should be served to customers on a level playing field — at the same speeds — without priority for certain companies that might be able to pay for "fast lanes" for content.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Book News: Apple Settles In E-Book Price-Fixing Lawsuit

The Apple logo hangs outside San Francisco's Moscone Center earlier this month during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:21 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Business
4:00 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Charitable Giving Nears Pre-Recession Levels, Annual Report Shows

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with giving on the rise. Americans last year gave $335 billion to charity. That's according to a new report released today by the Giving USA Foundation. That is close to the levels of donation before the recession. NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: After the recession, experts predicted it would take many years - maybe even a decade - for charitable giving to get back to where it was before the economic downturn. But it now appears to be right around the corner.

Read more
Business
3:33 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Dent Guys Chase Hail Storms To Find Repair Work

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 5:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When a severe hailstorm hammers a community, it's often a group of PDR technicians who straighten things out. Vermont Public Radio's Nina Keck tell us more about the nomadic, little-known world of paintless dent repair.

NINA KECK, BYLINE: Last month, Rutland, Vermont, got hit with something it rarely encounters - big, destructive hail.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Read more
Around the Nation
3:33 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Florida's New Regional Rail Service Raises Residents' Concerns

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 5:26 am

Florida East Coast Railway plans to start construction on an passenger line linking Miami with Orlando. Residents in towns through which the train passes worry about the impact on their communities

NPR Story
3:33 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Delta Airlines Apologizes For World Cup Tweet

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 5:26 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And today's last word in business is, giraffe gaffe. Delta Airlines joined many others on twitter yesterday, congratulating the U.S. men's soccer team for their dramatic World Cup win over Ghana.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The airline included images in its tweet - the statue of liberty to symbolize America and a giraffe for Ghana.

WERTHEIMER: Only problem - there are no giraffes in Ghana. Delta later tweeted out an apology.

Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Entrepreneurs Buzzing Over Medical Marijuana In Florida

One of three marijuana plants growing in the backyard of a 65-year-old retiree from Pompano Beach, Fla. He grows and smokes his own "happy grass" to alleviate pain.
Carline Jean MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:05 am

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing for some form of medical marijuana.

Florida appears poised to join the club. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use.

If it passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. But cannabis entrepreneurs from around the country are already setting up shop in the state.

Read more
The Salt
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain

When families give up farming and move away, it drains life out of small communities.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 9:37 am

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.

Read more
NPR Ed
3:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Can Schools Solve The Tech Industry's Pipeline Problem?

When Google went public with data about the diversity of its workforce, it fueled the ongoing conversation about diversity in the technology industry.
Virginia Mayo AP

It's been only a couple of weeks since Google released the diversity numbers on its workforce, and there's been a lot of talk since then about why the tech giant and others in the industry don't really reflect the American population as a whole.

A well-written piece today in Mother Jones offers some provocative thoughts on what can be done about it — and schools could play a big role.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

GM Recalls 3.2 Million More Cars For Faulty Ignition Switches

A 2006 Chevrolet Impala LTZ is one of the vehicles on the latest recall list.
WIECK/GM AP

General Motors has announced the recall of 3.2 million more cars for faulty ignition switches. The latest recall is in addition to the 2.6 million cars that GM has already recalled for a similar problem.

"The safety recall follows a review of ignition issues following the recall in February of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this recall," GM said in a statement.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Software That Sees Employees, Not Outsiders, As The Real Threat

Military contractor Raytheon is marketing its employee surveillance software to smaller companies that handle big data.
Raytheon

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

A growing number of companies are under pressure to protect sensitive data — and not just from hackers lurking outside the digital walls. They're also looking to protect it from insiders — employees who may want to swipe information such as customer bank account numbers or electronic medical records.

A new breed of security software is hitting the market to help with insider threat detection. And it raises some real labor-relations issues.

Monitoring To Find Bad Intent

Read more
Business
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Growing Worker Shortage Looms Over Logging Industry's Future

Michael Redfern's family has been logging Tennessee forests for four generations. But it's hard, dangerous work in a volatile industry, so fewer young people are pursuing the trade.
Bobby Allyn Nashville Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:10 am

Timber is big business in Tennessee. About $1 billion worth of the state's tree products is shipped abroad every year. But within the industry, there is concern that there may soon be too few loggers to keep the profession going.

The Redfern family has been working the state's forests for four generations, but it isn't sure it will see a fifth.

Michael Redfern, 57, runs a three-man operation with his two sons on a 25-acre property in Cedar Hill, near Tennessee's northern border with Kentucky.

Read more
Technology
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

How Retailers Use Smartphones To Track Shoppers In The Store

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, from tracking you where you work to where you shop. This doesn't just happen when you shop online, but in actual brick-and-mortar stores, too. And for more on this, I'm joined now by Latanya Sweeney. She's chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, and she has written about how this works. Dr. Sweeney, welcome to the program.

LATANYA SWEENEY: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: And you've actually written on your own blog. This isn't in your official capacity with the FDC.

Read more

Pages