Business

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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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/.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/.

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:

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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/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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:

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Business
2:32 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:57 am

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Afghanistan Vets Are Trying To Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

At about $15 a gram, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Rumi Spice has a unique model of employing Afghan farmers who are growing it that aims to double or even triple their annual income.
Cristina Hirschkorn Courtesy of Rumi Spice

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:02 pm

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

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The Salt
11:05 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Fringe No More: 'Ancient Grains' Will Soon Be A Cheerios Variety

The new box of Cheerios + Ancient grains cereal.
General Mills

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:26 am

So-called "ancient grains" have moved with breathtaking momentum from America's culinary dissident fringe toward the mainstream — and now they've arrived. After all, what's more mainstream than Cheerios? In January, General Mills will introduce a new version of its flagship breakfast cereal, called Cheerios + Ancient Grains.

The new version of Cheerios will contain small amounts of quinoa, Kamut wheat and spelt along with the traditional oats.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects BP's Challenge To Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:13 pm

Oil giant BP has suffered a legal setback in its effort to limit how much the company will pay under a 2012 settlement with thousands of individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast. Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's request that it review previous lower court decisions that favored plaintiffs.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Mon December 8, 2014

IOC Unveils Changes Including Lower Bidding Costs, More Sports At Olympics

A reduced cost of bidding, a new Olympic channel and a more flexible program that could see the inclusion of new sports — those are among the recommendation approved unanimously today by the International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Monaco.

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Parallels
2:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

U.S. Tech Firms See Green As They Set Up Shop In Low-Tax Ireland

The Apple campus in Cork, southern Ireland, employs 4,000 people — though its financial benefits are felt across the city. But Ireland's attractive tax laws — which have lured other industry leaders — are now under scrutiny.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:54 am

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Female Butchers Are Slicing Through The Meat World's Glass Ceiling

Master butcher Kari Underly cuts into a hog during a "Women in the Meat Business" workshop in Chapel Hill, NC.
Leoneda Inge North Carolina Public Radio

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:30 am

Kari Underly is slicing through half a hog as if it were as soft as an avocado ... until she hits a bone.

"So what I'm doing now is I'm taking out the femur bone," she explains to a roomful of about 30 women watching as she carves the animal. "The ham is a little bit of a drag, if you will, 'cause we have to make money, and not everybody wants a big ham."

Underly is a fit, 46-year-old master butcher from Chicago. Her father and grandmothers were butchers. She put herself through college cutting meat. These days, she encourages other women to enter the business.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sun December 7, 2014

'Washington Post' Reporter, Detained For Months In Iran, Is Charged

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for The Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign even for President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2013. Rezaian, who was arrested in July, was charged by Iran on Saturday.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:27 am

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has been held by the Iranian government for more than four months, was formally charged over the weekend, but the specifics are not yet known, his newspaper reports.

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