Business

The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama: If You 'Work More, You Should Get Paid More'

President Obama signs a memorandum for overtime protections for workers, at the White House on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:50 pm

Flanked by a cadre of salaried workers, President Obama signed a memo directing his labor secretary to rewrite the rules governing overtime in the country.

"Americans have spent too much time working more and making less," Obama said during comments preceding the signing ceremony.

Obama's proposal would rewrite a commonly used exemption in which a salaried worker designated as "executive, administrative and professional" is denied overtime if he or she is making more than $455 a week.

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The Salt
12:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise

From the botanical to the economic, spring's iconic vegetable still harbors surprises.
Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.

"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.

It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Thu March 13, 2014

When Bad Things Happen To Planes, Flight Codes Get 'Retired'

The charred tail section of Delta Flight 191 sits near a runway at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in August 1985 after it crashed on approach. Delta quickly retired the "191" designation.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:00 am

Malaysia Airlines announced Thursday that it will stop using two flight numbers associated with the plane that disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand on March 8, following a long-standing practice of retiring codes after similar incidents.

Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. That number, which Malaysian Airlines uses to denote that particular route, will no longer be used after Friday as a "mark of respect" for the passengers and crew. MH371, the code used for the return flight, also will be retired.

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Economy
10:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Gentrification: Progress Or Destruction?

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:28 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Touch 3-Month Low

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:41 am

There were 315,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week and marks a three-month low.

So for the second straight week, there's at least modestly good news to report about the labor market.

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Business
6:49 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages

Economists are divided about the White House plan to boost overtime pay for workers.
Doug Finger Gainesville Sun/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 12:56 pm

On Thursday, President Obama rolled out his plan for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.

But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.

Which scenario is right?

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Business
5:39 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Yahoo Partners With Yelp For Local Search Data

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a partner for Yahoo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Yahoo is trying to boost search traffic with reviews of businesses from Yelp - in hopes that some of its popularity will rub off. Among their favorite search engines, Yahoo is a distant third after Google and Microsoft's Bing.

Ratings and snippets from "Yelp" reviews began appearing in Yahoo search results yesterday as a result of a partnership between the two companies. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
5:39 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Hasbro To Update Official Scrabble Dictionary

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

In an effort to stay relevant, the dictionary is being updated for the first time in nearly a decade.

Code Switch
5:12 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:03 am

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

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Business
3:27 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Number Of Calif. Homes In Foreclosure Process Soars

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And there's some good news for the nation's housing market. Numbers are out today and national foreclosure filings in February were the lowest they've been since 2006. That means on a national level, lenders repossessed fewer homes and fewer homeowners got in mortgage trouble. That's not the case though, here in California.

As NPR's Nathan Rott reports, the number of homes just entering the foreclosure process here is way up.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Berlinda Phommalayvane has a story that isn't uncommon in Southern California.

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Business
3:23 am
Thu March 13, 2014

FTC Launches Civil Probe Into Herbalife

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

The nutrition supplement company has been under attack by billionaire investor William Ackman, who's been pressing regulators to look into the way Herbalife operates.

NPR Story
3:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Senate Committee To Consider Fischer For Fed's No. 2 Spot

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Stanley Fischer used to be head Israel's Central Bank, and he was once second in command at the International Monetary Fund. Barring the unexpected, he'll soon be confirmed as vice-chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. President Obama nominated him for that post. And today he'll go before the Senate Banking Committee.

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Politics
3:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama To Push Expanded Overtime Pay

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Today, President Obama will tell the Department of Labor to rethink the rules for how employers pay overtime. The president wants millions more people to get paid overtime, particularly those who are exempt. And by signing a presidential memo to the department, he doesn't have to ask Congress to make that happen.

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

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Parallels
1:37 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Hitching A Ride On The World's Biggest Cargo Ship

NPR's Jackie Northam on the Maersk McKinney Moller, a new container megaship that can carry about double what many other big cargo ships can carry. It's 20 stories high and four football fields long.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:17 am

I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.

I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.

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Business
2:59 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Health Care Law Helps Entrepreneurs Quit Their Day Jobs

The Affordable Care Act could encourage people to start new businesses by solving an age-old problem: job lock.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:37 am

The Affordable Care Act — which many see creating challenges for businesses — could benefit a particular group of business people: entrepreneurs.

Joshua Simonson was reluctant to give up his job at a Portland, Ore., area grocery store, New Seasons Market, which he says had provided excellent health care for him and his family. He had a pre-existing condition that has prevented him from getting insurance in the private market, but one key development helped convince him to quit and start a farm.

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News
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

FTC Investigates Herbalife, Following Claims It's A Pyramid Scheme

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Herbalife shares dropped on news the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company. After shorting Herbalife's stock, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman's been lobbying politicians to investigate.

News
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

President Obama Moves To Expand Overtime Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama is taking another step to raise the wages of workers and he plans to do it without getting Congress involved. The White House says tomorrow Obama will direct the Labor Department to change the rules for businesses on overtime pay. The change could mean that millions of private sector workers currently classified as management could eventually qualify for overtime.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Government's Empty Buildings Are Costing Taxpayers Billions

A 132-year-old building owned by the federal government, just six blocks from the White House, has been sitting empty for three decades.
Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:07 am

On a street corner in downtown Washington, D.C., David Wise is opening a century-old iron gate in front of an old, boarded-up brick building.

Wise is an investigator for the Government Accountability Office, the government's watchdog group. His mission is to figure out why the government owns so many buildings, like this one, that it doesn't use.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

FTC Launches Civil Probe Into Herbalife Ltd.

Susan Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:46 pm

Herbalife revealed on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission has opened a civil investigation into the practices of the nutrition company, which sells weight-loss shakes, vitamins and other products.

Moments after Herbalife made the announcement, its stock price plunged. At 1:51 p.m., it had lost 12 percent of its value.

Bloomberg explains that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Bloomberg adds:

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Around the Nation
1:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Juggling Work And Motherhood On A Shoestring Budget

Katrina Gilbert, a single mother raising Brooklynn, Trent and Lydia, says she got involved with an HBO documentary to inspire others.
Barbara Kinney/Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:06 pm

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The Salt
12:39 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Water-To-Wine Machine Sound Too Good To Be True? It Is

Philip James, Chairman of CustomVine, and Kevin Boyer, President and CEO of CustomVine, film a video to promote The Miracle Machine, which turns water into wine with the use of an app.
Courtesy of The Miracle Machine

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:01 pm

Think a machine that can turn water into wine is too good to be true? Well, it turns out, it is.

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It's All Politics
12:11 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters

President Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour during an event last week in New Britain, Conn. The effort to raise wages is seen as part of his State of the Union promise of a "year of action."
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:42 am

President Obama's planned move to expand the pool of the nation's employees covered by overtime pay laws was hailed Wednesday by Democrats as key to their midterm election strategy.

And it was just as predictably criticized by conservatives as an overreach by a president who recently characterized income inequality as the "defining challenge of our time."

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All Tech Considered
11:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

SXSW: Tech Industry Inspires New Shows From HBO, AMC

Scoot McNairy (left) and Lee Pace star in AMC's upcoming show Halt and Catch Fire.
Tina Rowden AMC

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:41 am

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Reports: Obama Will Move To Expand Overtime Pay

Punching a time card: It's still one way of tracking hours worked. President Obama believes more workers need to be able to add overtime to their pay.
Armin Weigel dpa/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 11:37 am

The Obama administration's push to put income inequality atop the domestic political agenda has another battlefront.

According to The New York Times, the president "this week will seek to force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have had soaring profits even as wages have stagnated."

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Politics
4:35 am
Wed March 12, 2014

White House Meeting To Examine Women's Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

President Obama is expected to meet on Wednesday with female members of Congress. There are reasons for the president's focus on women that involve both policy and politics.

Economy
4:05 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Study: Boys Report PTSD When Moved Out Of Poverty

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the 1990s, the U.S. government embarked on an ambitious social experiment to try to help people get out of poverty. The Moving to Opportunity Program gave housing vouchers to single mothers so they could raise their kids in areas with better job prospects and better schools. The hope was the families would thrive.

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Business
4:04 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt General Motors

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Both houses of Congress are set to investigate, and the Justice Department is reportedly looking into why it took GM so long to inform the public. GM may have known about the problem for a decade.

Business
4:02 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Bipartisan Plan Reached On Fannie-Freddie Overhaul

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Senate lawmakers, this week, are announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage market. The stock prices of the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on the news.

NPR's Chris Arnold has our report.

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Business
3:55 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Philadelphia Capitalizes On Energy Boom

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The shale oil boom is having a major impact on cities across the U.S. In Philadelphia, trains bringing crude oil from North Dakota have helped revived refineries there. Plus, other businesses are now eagerly looking for ways to tap into Pennsylvania's own vast supply of natural gas.

Katie Colaneri of member station WHYY reports.

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Business
3:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Toyota Workers In Japan Get Slight Increase In Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with raises at Toyota.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Toyota employees in Japan will seek their biggest pay raise in 21 years - though it's not very big. The giant Japanese automaker says it will boost pay by just under one percent. This is less than the workers union was asking for.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pressuring Japanese businesses to raise rates in an effort to pull Japan out of decades of deflation. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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