Business

Guilty And Charged
4:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:43 am

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees.

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Business
3:26 am
Tue May 20, 2014

St. Louis Holds Competition To Attract Startups

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 1:40 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Many cities are trying to attract startups. In St. Louis, the goal is to nurture the budding tech scene. To do that, the city sponsors a startup competition called Arch Grants - which awards 20 young businesses $50,000 a piece.

St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman reports.

MARIA ALTMAN, BYLINE: FoodEssentials has the typical startup vibe. The company gathers and organizes food label data for retailers and brands, like which products are gluten-free or are heart healthy.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

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Business
3:23 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Malicious Software Probe Reveals Vast Criminal Network

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a crackdown on hackers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Law Enforcement officials announced charges in connection with malicious software that makes it easy for anyone to spy on computer remotely. The case reveals a vast international criminal network that made blackmail and password theft simple and cheap.

As NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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Economy
3:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Foreclosure Overhaul Comes Too Slowly For Many Homeowners

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:43 am

The biggest U.S. banks are still foreclosing on homeowners who qualify for new loans, according to a coalition of non-profits. That's despite settlements aimed at preventing unnecessary foreclosures.

Business
3:09 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Think Twice Before Getting A Corporate Logo Tattoo

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 1:41 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business: Corporate Tattoos.

The now former executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson cared so deeply for the paper that she got The Times signature T tattooed on her back.

In a commencement address yesterday at the Wake Forrest University, Abramson said there's no chance she'll get rid of the tattoo. Other people in the same situation might sound a little bit more regretful, and they might go see Dr. Will Kirby, the medical director for the tattoo removal clinic, Dr. Tattoff.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty To Helping U.S. Tax Evaders

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department on Monday. Holder announced that Credit Suisse had agreed to pay $2.6 billion in a criminal settlement. With him are IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (left) and Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:03 pm

Credit Suisse AG has pleaded guilty to helping wealthy Americans evade taxes in offshore havens, and the Swiss bank has agreed to pay U.S. authorities $2.6 billion in penalties, the Justice Department has announced.

Attorney General Eric Holder told a news conference in Washington on Monday that the Swiss bank had "engaged in an extensive and wide-ranging conspiracy ... to help tax cheats dodge U.S. taxes."

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Business
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

AT&T And DirecTV Mega-Merger Spells Changes For Media Landscape

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Federal regulators are facing a decision on whether to allow another big media merger. This time, it's AT&T and DirecTV. Yesterday, the board of AT&T voted to acquire the satellite television company in a deal worth almost $50 billion. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports that the hope is to be a stronger competitor against the likes of Verizon and Comcast.

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Law
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

In Rare Concession, Credit Suisse Admits Criminal Wrongdoing

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Credit Suisse will plead guilty to criminal charges and pay over $2 billion in fines in connection to allegations of tax evasion. But the CEO and chairman are reportedly expected to keep their jobs.

Media
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

In Jill Abramson's Firing, Was The 'Glass Cliff' To Blame?

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, was abruptly fired last week, made her first public comments today. She did so in an address to the 2014 graduating class of Wake Forest University. And she told them: Like you, I'm a little scared but also excited.

JILL ABRAMSON: What's next for me? I don't know. So I'm in exactly the same boat as many of you.

(LAUGHTER)

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The Salt
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

With Cartels On The Run, Mexican Lime Farmers Keep More Of The Green

Workers sort through key limes at a packaging house in Apatzingan, Michoacan. More than 90 percent of limes imported into the U.S. come from Mexico.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

If the prices of a margarita or guacamole have been too high for you lately, blame it on a key ingredient of the Mexican treats — the lime. Prices for limes, imported almost exclusively from Mexico, hit record highs this year, and demand remains high. But now the price is dropping and farmers couldn't be happier.

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The Salt
10:09 am
Mon May 19, 2014

'Fed Up' Portrays Obese Kids As Victims In A Sugar-Coated World

The true stars of the documentary film Fed Up are several children — including Maggie Valentine, 12 — who are trying to lose weight.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Just who's to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games, Happy Meals and the hamburgers in the school cafeteria.

A new documentary, Fed Up, alleges it all boils down to a simple substance most of us consume every day: sugar. The pushers of "the new tobacco," according to the film, are the food industry and our own government.

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Economy
10:02 am
Mon May 19, 2014

3 Million Young People Missing From Housing Market? It's Everyone's Problem

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:43 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Fired 'New York Times' Editor: 'Losing A Job You Love Hurts'

Jill Abramson
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:39 am

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, addressed her sudden and controversial firing during a commencement address at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Monday.

"Sure, losing a job you love hurts," she admitted. "But the work I revered, journalism that holds powerful institutions and people accountable, is what makes our democracy so resilient. This is the work I will remain very much a part of."

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Mon May 19, 2014

U.S. Files Criminal Charges Against Chinese Officials Over Cyberspying

Press materials are displayed on a table at the Justice Department in Washington on Monday before Attorney General Eric Holder was to speak at a news conference.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:19 am

(This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.)

The United States has for the first time filed criminal charges against foreign government military officials in connection to cyberspying allegations.

The Justice Department is accusing five Chinese government officials of using military and intelligence facilities to steal trade secrets from U.S. companies, including Alcoa Inc., Westinghouse Electric Co., United States Steel Corp., and Allegheny Technologies Inc.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon May 19, 2014

AT&T, DirecTV And Finding A Prom Date: Reactions To Merger

"I was scratching my head," one analyst says of news that AT&T will acquire satellite TV company DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, or $95 per share. Analysts are mixed in their reactions to the deal.
Seth Perlman, Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:18 am

AT&T's plan to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion is the latest tectonic shift in the media industry, with many viewing the deal as a response to the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Among business analysts and consumer advocates, response to the AT&T-DirecTV deal is mixed. Here's a roundup of what we're seeing:

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Business
5:19 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Chinese-American Venture To Create Huge Car Interiors Firm

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Chinese-American cooperation.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: An industrial conglomerate, Johnson Controls, based in Milwaukee, announced yesterday that it will spin off its automotive interiors business in order to create a joint venture with a Chinese company. That partnership with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems will create the world's biggest car interiors company in the world - making items like instrument panels, door panels and floor consoles for various carmakers.

Business
3:18 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Oil Industry Blamed For Freight Rail Delays

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And here in the U.S., in the upper Midwest and Northern Plains, many grain bins and silos are still full, long after last fall's harvest. This is because the railroads are months behind in shipping.

A huge slowdown in rail service is delaying deliveries of grain and other commodities as well, like corn, coal and cars. Many of those affected are blaming the booming domestic oil industry for tying up the rails.

NPR's David Schaper reports.

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Business
3:11 am
Mon May 19, 2014

AT&T To Buy DirecTV In Nearly $50 Billion Deal

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 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.

If you've streamed a movie or a TV show recently, you are part of the problem facing cable and satellite providers. These companies are facing more and more competition from Internet streaming, and to survive, some are consolidating.

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NPR Story
2:57 am
Mon May 19, 2014

'Buy My Volvo' Ad Goes Viral

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our Last Word In Business today is buy my Volvo.

When Christopher Castor wanted to sell his 1993 Volvo 245 GL, he didn't just put up any old ad. The Swedish graphics artist made a video with his friends and posted it on YouTube. And we're talking about it because it went viral.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHRISTOPHER CASTOR: Do you want to be perceived as rich and godly? Of course, you do. Then buy my car with your dough.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

AT&T To Acquire Broadcast Provider DirecTV

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 10:17 pm

Telecommunications giant AT&T and DirecTV announced Sunday that the two companies had reached a definitive agreement which would see AT&T acquiring the broadcast service provider.

AT&T is buying DirecTV for about $48.5 billion, reports The New York Times. But the Times reports that the deal, including debt, is valued at about $67 billion.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Fighting Bugs With Bugs: Hatching A Solution For Troubled Trees

The invasive Asian citrus psyllid can carry citrus greening disease, which kills trees within a few years of infection.
Mike Lewis Center for Invasive Species Research, UC Riverside

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 1:11 pm

We all know about the drought in California, but farmers there have more to worry about than a lack of water.

There's also the looming threat of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), an invasive pest that flies from tree to tree, feeding on tender leaves. By itself, the psyllid is not particularly harmful, but it can carry citrus greening disease, which kills trees within a few years of infection. There is no cure.

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Business
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

New Initiative Aims To Encourage Diversity In Kids' Publishing

First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer says her data shows children read more enthusiastically when they see themselves reflected in their books.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

The lack of diversity in children's literature is nothing new – it's an issue that's been roiling the book world for years. Just in the past few weeks, it's come to a head with the We Need Diverse Books campaign on Twitter and Tumblr. Everyone agrees: all kinds of kids need to be able to see themselves reflected in the books they read.

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Economy
3:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

The Merits Of Income Inequality: What's The Right Amount?

The Occupy Wall Street movement helped put the issue of income inequality in the spotlight. But economists say there's a balance.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:38 am

Income inequality is a big problem, many economists agree. But they also say some level of inequality is necessary for capitalism to work.

Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s. The top 1 percent pocket more than 20 percent of the nation's income, and the 400 richest people in the country own more wealth than everyone in the bottom 50 percent.

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Your Money
3:07 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

In 'Clash Of The Financial Pundits,' Clarity For The Investor?

It's one thing to listen to financial pundits for insight. It's another to act on their advice.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:51 pm

Millions of Americans get financial advice from pundits on talk radio and cable television.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, many of those pundits have gotten a bad name for failing to warn investors about the crash. Yet public frustration has done little to hurt the financial media industry as a whole.

In their new book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, Joshua Brown and Jeff Macke argue that financial punditry is not going anywhere; it's been around as long as there have been economies.

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All Tech Considered
3:37 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Tech Week: The Right To Be Forgotten And The Open Internet

Protesters hold a rally to support net neutrality at the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

It's that time again! Just as we do every weekend, let's take a look back at the week's big technology headlines from NPR and beyond.

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Apple, Google, Agree To Drop Patent Infringement Dispute

Apple and Google have agreed to settle a patent infringement suit over smartphone technology.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Apple and Google have agreed to drop perhaps the highest-profile lawsuit in high-tech, ending litigation over smartphone patents.

"Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies," the tech giants said in a joint statement on Friday. The two firms added that they "have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform."

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Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

FDA Dangles Golden Ticket To Spur Drugs For Neglected Diseases

Drew Kilb Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:07 am

When the Food and Drug Administration gave the OK to a new treatment for a parasitic disease called leishmaniasis in late March, the Canadian company that owns the medicine got something that's quite likely to prove even more valuable than U.S. sales of the drug will ever be.

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Will Soda Lovers Drink To Less Sugar?

Samples from Dry Soda, Spindrift, Q and Veri Organic, four small companies that are trying to win back soda lovers by lowering the sugar.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 1:18 pm

Who's a member of the Pepsi Generation? Anyone?

Would anyone still "like to buy the world a Coke"?

Yes, it's tough times for Big Soda in the U.S. The numbers alone make it clear. "The entire [U.S.] carbonated soft drink category has been down for nine years," says John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest. "Diet [soft drinks] are declining at a steeper pace than sugared [soft drinks]," likely because people are concerned about artificial ingredients.

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All Tech Considered
2:34 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

European Ruling On Removing Google Links May Leave A Mess

Legal experts say it's too soon to know the impact of a European court ruling that will require Google to remove some links upon request.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:31 pm

Google's lawyers are trying to make sense of a ruling they did not expect.

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Business
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Feds Slap GM With $35 Million Penalty For Safety Law Violations

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The federal government is hitting General Motors with its maximum fine for delays in an auto recall, $35 million. It's a response to GM's recall of cars with faulty ignition switches, a defect that's been linked to 13 deaths.

And as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, today's agreement with the Department of Transportation won't close the books on the problem.

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