Business

The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Pentagon: China's Government Hacked U.S. Networks

The 12-story building outside Shanghai that is alleged to be the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army's hacking group.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:53 pm

The Pentagon has for the first time fingered Beijing directly for cyberattacks against both U.S. government networks and commercial computers, calling the practice a "serious concern."

The new report says numerous U.S. diplomatic, economic and defense industry networks were hacked in 2012 at the direction of China's government and its military.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports: "In previous reports, the Pentagon has linked computer attacks to China, but not its government."

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Death Toll In Bangladesh Factory Collapse Surpasses 650

A Bangladeshi family member holds up the portrait of her missing relative, believed to be trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza.
AFP/Getty Images

The grim toll from the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh last month has risen to more than 650, as more bodies have been pulled from the rubble of the eight-story complex.

The number of people confirmed dead has now reached 657, CNN quoted Col. Sheikh Zaman, a military official overseeing the recovery operation in Savar, as saying.

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Senate Poised To Approve Online Sales Tax Bill

Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it will level the playing field between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Mike Coppola Getty Images for eBay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 5:24 pm

Update at 7:00 p.m.:

The Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27, The Associated Press reports.

Here's our original post:

The Senate is expected to approve a measure on Monday that would end tax-free shopping for online purchases, a move that concerns many e-retailers but has the support of the states that stand to collect billions in previously lost revenues.

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Shots - Health News
9:59 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Pfizer Goes Direct With Online Viagra Sales To Men

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:23 am

The ubiquitous blue-toned TV ads for Viagra look downright tame compared with Pfizer's latest gambit for the impotence remedy.

Pfizer is now selling the drug directly from the official Viagra website.

Men still need a prescription for the diamond-shaped blue pills. But instead of going to the pharmacy in person, or taking their chances buying from an online pharmacy of unknown repute, men will be able to buy Viagra from the maker of the drug itself and have it shipped to their homes.

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Economy
9:17 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Black And Latino Wealth Falls Further Behind

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're talking about the effects of those across the board budget cuts caused by the sequester. We've been particularly interested in education, and today we're going to hear about the effect on Head Start. That's a program that helps low income kids get ready for school. That conversation is later in the program.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Wal-Mart Reclaims No. 1 Spot On 'Fortune' 500 List

A shopping cart at a Wal-Mart store in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:40 pm

Wal-Mart has reclaimed the lead spot on the Fortune 500 list released today. For the past few years, the giant retailer has been battling it out with Exxon for top billing.

This year, Exxon Mobil dropped to No. 2.

Fortune writes about Wal-Mart:

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Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Warren Buffett Welcomes Bershire Shareholders To Omaha

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:12 am

The topics discussed during a five-hour question-and-answer session Saturday included: Berkshire Hathaway's increased size and who will take over as CEO when Buffett, 82, steps down. While admitting the company's expansion has changed things, Buffet demurred when it came to succession specifics.

Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

eBay CEO: Web Sales Tax Would Create 'Administrative Burden'

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 4:07 am

David Greene talks to eBay CEO John Donahoe about the political battle over online sales tax. On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that would end the free ride that consumers have enjoyed when shopping online. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers, and pay them to states where customers live — just like brick and mortar stores.

Author Interviews
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Journalist Robert Kaiser Chronicles Financial Overhaul Bill

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:01 am

The economic crisis in 2008 led to a massive overhaul of financial regulations. Journalist Robert Kaiser was given behind-the-scenes access to congressional reaction to the crisis. He saw that even with the threat of another Great Depression, Capitol Hill remained mired in dysfunction. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Kaiser about his book, Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, And How It Doesn't.

Around the Nation
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

'Bertha' Does The Heavy Lifting In Seattle Tunnel Project

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:28 am

The world's largest tunnel boring machine in a few months will begin digging a new double-decker highway tunnel under downtown Seattle. If all goes according to plan, Bertha will start digging this summer. It'll emerge again late next year on the other side of downtown, not far from the Space Needle.

Business
3:11 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Spice Girls Musical To Close Early

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 4:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now our last word in business. Critics and ticketholders wanted something more from the Spice Girls musical. So the last word in business today is: sad spice.

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Around the Nation
1:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Chicago's Famed Field Museum Struggles To Dig Out Of A Hole

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"Sue," the Tyranosaurus rex skeleton, is one of the most famous exhibits at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History
John Zich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:25 pm

The economy may be on the rebound, but many cultural institutions are still struggling to regain their financial footing. That's especially true for one of the country's most recognized museums — the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Known internationally for its research as well as its exhibits, the Field Museum must pay off millions in bond debt — and toe an ethical line as it does.

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Around the Nation
1:42 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Port Of Baltimore Seeks Boost From Panama Canal Expansion

The Port of Baltimore recently completed a major expansion, which included building a 50-foot berth and dredging the channel. It's in anticipation of increased traffic following the completion of a project to widen the Panama Canal.
Jonathan Blakely NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:59 am

There is constant motion around four new supersized, Chinese-made cranes as they unload cargo from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's freshly constructed Seagirt Marine Terminal.

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Children's Health
4:02 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Bulletproof Whiteboards And The Marketing Of School Safety

This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Hardwire, LLC

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:58 pm

A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."

Bulletproof what? Where?

That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Dow Hits 15,000 For The First Time; Closes Just Shy Of The Mark

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after the morning bell on May 1.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The stock market continues its winning streak: The Dow Jones hit another milestone today, tapping 15,000 for the first time, but closing just shy of the milestone.

This, of course, follows good news about the job market released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Business
1:54 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

New U.S. Trade Representative Faces Big Challenges Abroad

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Expanding trade abroad is a high priority for President Obama. This week, he nominated a trusted adviser named Michael Froman to become the next U.S. trade representative. Froman is currently deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the challenges he would face as trade representative.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Employment Numbers Tell Us A Lot (But Not That Much)

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 3:17 pm

The nation's unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.5 percent and the job market improved last month. Friday's news helped push the Dow Jones industrial average above 15,000 for the first time.

Was that a rational response?

Although the jobs report for April was positive, what triggered the market reaction was the fact that it was better than expected. Instead of 145,000 jobs created, as most economists predicted, the Labor Department says there were 165,000 new jobs.

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Economy
10:58 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Reality Check: Strapped States Cutting Unemployment Benefits

California saw unemployment benefit cuts of 18 percent go into effect this week, reducing checks for more than 400,000 people.
Douglas Dickens iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 11:27 am

The jobs report for April showed some improvement — but not much — in the unemployment rate and the total number of unemployed workers.

It's not great news for people looking for work, and it's also not great for states. After years of persistently high unemployment, states have drained their unemployment trust fund accounts.

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Economy
10:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

The Changing Face Of The Working Poor

The latest employment figures are out and they show gains in hiring. The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy joins host Michel Martin to talk about the report, and the millions of working Americans who still fall below the poverty line.

The Salt
10:09 am
Fri May 3, 2013

How A Distillery Ages Bourbon In Days, Not Years

A bottle of Cleveland Whiskey's bourbon sits on a shelf with empty bottles at the company's distillery.
Courtesy of David Kidd

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:54 pm

When it comes to bourbon, Tom Lix doesn't believe in age discrimination. Most bourbons might age in the barrel for eight to 12 years or more, but Lix figures his are ready to drink in less than a week.

Lix makes Cleveland Whiskey, a new brand of bourbon that exemplifies two major trends in American whiskey-making today: the desire to speed up the process and the effort to establish a local identity.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Bangladesh Fears Exodus Of Western Retailers

Relatives react after identifying the body of a loved one who was killed in last week's building collapse in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Munir Uz Zaman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:46 am

The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to end its apparel production in Bangladesh after more than 500 people died in the collapse of a garment factory complex has sparked fears of a mass exodus of Western retailers.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Fri May 3, 2013

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Waiting for work: Job seekers lined up last month at the 25th Annual CUNY big Apple Job and Internship Fair in Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 8:05 am

(Most recent update: 10 a.m. ET.)

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Plodding Along Or Picking Up Speed? News On Job Growth Due

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in New York City earlier this year. Figures on job growth and unemployment in April are due Friday morning.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:53 am

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Better Than Expected:

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Our original post:

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Politics
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Political Battle Over Health Law Starts Next Chapter

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

It's one of the basic lessons in school - how a bill becomes a law - sounds so finite. Of course the part they don't always teach is how the political debate over a law can just keep going. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is now the law of the land. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional.

But as NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports, the fight of the law will likely just intensify ahead of the next elections.

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Economy
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Economists Predict April's Jobless Rate Will Remain Steady

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

The Labor Department's monthly employment report is issued Friday morning. Economists are predicting that more than 100,000 jobs were added last month, but not enough to change the jobless rate of 7.6 percent.

Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Post-Bankruptcy, Kodak Will Be Commercial Printing Business

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Kodak expects to emerge from bankruptcy this year as a new company with a new focus. The one-time photo giant finds itself operating in a more competitive and diversified market.

From member station WXXI in Rochester, New York Kate O'Connell reports.

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Politics
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Congress, Staffers Caught Up In Health Act's Sticky Political Situation

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Within an hour of signing up Thursday, the 82-year-old Berkshire Hathaway CEO had more than 50,000 followers. His first tweet read: "Warren is in the house."

Business
2:41 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with sky-high airline fees.

First United did it, then U.S. Airways followed suit, and now Delta and American say they too are raising the fee for changing a domestic flight reservation to 200 bucks - that is up from 150.

NPR Story
2:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Obama Encourages U.S., Mexico To Focus On Economic Relationship

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. President Obama says it is time to focus on the strong economic relationship between the United States and Mexico and not get bogged down on more contentious issues like cooperation on the war on the drugs.

Obama made his comments yesterday as he began a two-day visit to Mexico. He flies on to Costa Rica later today. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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