Business

Politics
10:05 am
Tue February 12, 2013

What to Expect From The President

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world when he announced his resignation yesterday, so we decided to talk about some of the issues facing the church worldwide and to see if there are any potential papal candidates from the developing world, which is where most Catholics actually live. That's coming up later in the program.

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The Salt
6:37 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Why Russia Is Saying 'Nyet' To U.S. Meat Imports

A man buys meat at a butcher's stand in Moscow's Dorogomilovsky market in 2011. On Monday, Russia began blocking U.S. meat imports until those imports are ractopamine-free.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:36 am

Chances are, you've never heard of ractopamine. But as of Monday, U.S. meat exports to Russia — worth $500 million dollars a year — have been suspended, all because of this obscure chemical.

Russian officials say American meat products won't be allowed into their country unless the meat is certified free of ractopamine.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:08 am

The credit reporting agency TransUnion says people who took on mortgages well after the housing bust are keeping up with their payments. In part, that's because lenders have tightened borrowing criteria.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Tue February 12, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.

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Governing
1:40 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Treasury Nominee's Citigroup Experience Raises Questions For Some

Jack Lew testifies before a House budget panel in 2011. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to consider Lew's nomination to be Treasury secretary on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:02 am

Jack Lew, the man President Obama has chosen to help oversee the country's biggest banks, has said it plainly — he's no expert on banking. Lew said as much when the Senate was vetting him to head the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2010.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Lew if he thought deregulation of Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Lew said he didn't consider himself the best person to answer that question.

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Under The Label: Sustainable Seafood
12:38 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Is Sustainable-Labeled Seafood Really Sustainable?

Capt. Art Gaeten holds a blue shark that was caught during a research trip in Nova Scotia. Scientists are studying the impact of swordfish fishing methods on the shark population.
Dean Casavechia for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 11:19 am

Part one of a three-part series by Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams.

Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.

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Around the Nation
12:00 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Gas, Oil Booms Bring Complications To Small Towns

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. There's a new generation of boom towns across the American West sparked by the explosive growth of oil and natural gas. When these industries move in, small towns near the fields change almost overnight. Once-sleepy main streets suddenly boast improved schools, libraries and community centers. Quiet rural airports expand to take corporate jets. Restaurants and motels and hardware stores all thrive.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Cruise Ship Drifts In Gulf Of Mexico, Will Be Towed To Port

In a photo from 1999, the Carnival Cruise line Carnival Triumph, foreground, arrives in Miami. Measuring 893 feet in length, the ship has been adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 24 hours, after a fire hit its engines.
Andy Newman AP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 10:49 am

More than 3,000 cruise ship passengers who thought they'd be heading home today have instead been told they'll remain in the Gulf of Mexico until Wednesday, stranded by an engine fire that set their ship, the Triumph, adrift. Onboard power and sewer system outages have been reported. The ship, which was 150 miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula when the fire struck early Sunday, has a crew of more than 1,000.

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Gastro-Nomics: Hunting for A Good Meal In Puerto Rico

You'd think tropical fruit would be everywhere on a Caribbean island. But we had to search fairly hard to find these beauties.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:27 pm

To be clear, the trip I took a couple of weeks ago to Puerto Rico with an NPR team was not about food. We headed down to the island to report on the economic and crime troubles that are driving people off the island and to Florida in record numbers. And though we did tons of advance research about census figures and crime statistics, none of us really looked up good places to eat.

In a tropical, Latin land, we assumed we'd be practically stumbling over savory local meals and exotic fruits.

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Energy
3:36 am
Mon February 11, 2013

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Stirs Debate

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.

SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.

INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.

LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.

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Business
3:26 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's move on from pretzels to potato chips with our last word in business. Why not - as in - why not make potato chips that taste like chicken and waffles or cheesy garlic bread?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Or hot sauce? Why not? We imagine that's what someone at Lays Potato Chips said because these chip flavors are apparently real.

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Business
3:26 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's take off as we begin NPR's business news.

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Asia
1:33 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Auntie Anne's Pretzels In Beijing: Why The Chinese Didn't Bite

The China Twist by Wen-Szu Lin chronicles the author's (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to bring Auntie Anne's pretzels to China.
Courtesy

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

The lure of the China market is legendary. The dream: Sell something to 1.3 billion people, and you're set.

The reality is totally different.

Ask the MBAs from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who tried to launch Auntie Anne's pretzels in China. The result is a funny, instructive and occasionally harrowing journey that is now the subject of a new book, The China Twist.

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Space
2:58 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

To Infinity And Beyond: Would-Be Astronauts Keep Faith In Uncertain Era

A child poses for a picture in front of an astronaut space suit at the Kennedy Space Center on the eve of the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour July 14, 2009 in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Space exploration has stirred imaginations and piloted hopes and dreams, but the future of space travel looks very different from the age in which Neil Armstrong made it to the moon.

Since NASA is no longer doing manned missions, astronaut hopefuls have turned their sites on the private sector.

Private Adventurism

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Business
4:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Bloomingdale's Lays Out Welcome Mat To Chinese Shoppers

To mark the Lunar New Year, Bloomingdale's is catering to affluent Chinese tourists with an array of pop-up shops.
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 6:04 pm

A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.

The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.

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Economy
3:09 am
Sat February 9, 2013

For Rural Towns, Postal Service Cuts Could Mean A Loss Of Identity

Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Steve Zind Vermont Public Radio

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:11 am

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

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Technology
11:16 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Automakers Drive Towards Hydrogen Cars

Toyota and BMW have formed an alliance to work on fuel cell cars. So have Daimler, Ford, and Nissan, with hopes of having cars on the road by 2017. But why now, and what obstacles still stand in the way? Jennifer Kurtz discusses the current state of hydrogen fuel technology.

Planet Money
11:13 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The Real Story Of How Macklemore Got 'Thrift Shop' To No. 1

Twitter

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:09 pm

The No. 1 song in the country right now is "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a rap group out of Seattle. Their claim to fame: They got the song to the top of the chart by themselves, without being signed by a major label.

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Around the Nation
9:45 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The Difficulties of Proving Housing Discrimination

Civil rights advocates have long relied on a principle called, "disparate impact," to prove minorities are discriminated in housing. Now, the Supreme Court is poised to review whether it's a legitimate tool in such cases. Host Michel Martin speaks with investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has written about the issue for ProPublica.

Business
4:34 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Do Boeing Engineers Have Enough Leverage To Strike?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:28 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Boeing engineers in the Pacific Northwest are voting on whether to authorize a strike. The labor dispute is playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Here, the engineers are needed, now more than ever, to help fix the batteries on Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner.

As Ashley Gross of member station KPLU reports, that's given the engineers something that is rare for unions, these days - leverage.

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Business
4:31 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Spain's Wind Farms Break Energy Record

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll begin NPR's business news starts with strong winds in Spain.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Spain has a pretty good location in the south of Europe. They are accustomed to good weather, plenty of sunshine, clear skies and wind - which the country is putting to good use. Spain has become a leader in renewable energy.

In fact, the countries wind farms have broken a new record, as Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF WIND TURNING TURBINES ON PLAINS SOUTH OF MADRID)

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NPR Story
3:50 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. And our last word in business today is snakebite.

Over the next couple of weeks skies in many parts of Asia will be lit up with fireworks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dragon is ending and Sunday marks the start of, yes, the Year of the Snake.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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It's All Politics
1:33 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Even Without Earmarks, Tax Breaks And Special Deals Fill Bills

Tourists take photographs in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 2, the day after Congress passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:28 am

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

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Planet Money
1:14 am
Fri February 8, 2013

How Happy Is America?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:28 am

In recent years, Canada, France and Britain have added measures of citizen happiness to their official national statistics. The U.S. government is now considering adopting a happiness index as well.

This makes a certain amount of sense. Everything a government does — hiring soldiers, building bridges, providing pensions — is supposed to make citizens happy.

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Business
3:28 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Government Investigators Question Safety Of Boeing 787's Battery

The National Transportation Safety Board says the battery fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was caused by multiple short circuits in a single cell, but it still doesn't know what caused the problem. The NTSB also says the process the FAA used to approve the plane needs to be reviewed.

Asia
2:45 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Move Over James Bond, China Has An Unlikely Box Office Champ

The surprise hit Lost in Thailand, a road comedy that cost less than $5 million to make, has become China's highest-grossing domestic film.
Enlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:32 am

Movies are big business in China, and 2012 was another record year: Theaters raked in about $2.7 billion, pushing China past Japan to become the world's second-largest market.

Those blistering sales were expected; China's ultimate box-office champ, however, was not.

Hollywood blockbusters usually do well in China. And last year, competition was stiff, including a new installment of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise, as well as Skyfall, the latest James Bond flick.

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Art & Design
2:44 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designers' Dreams

From West 24th to West 42nd Street, New York's Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue." It's home to major designers as well as those who are just starting out, like Ann Yee and Daniel Vosovic.
Michael Katzif for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:07 pm

Thursday marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, where big-name designers like Michael Kors, Anna Sui and Vera Wang will debut their Fall 2013 collections. It's part of an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for New York City, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. But the real business of fashion happens several blocks south of the glamorous Lincoln Center runways, in New York's Garment District.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

NTSB Says Regulators Should Reconsider Approval Of Dreamliner Battery

Pieces of damaged electrode coils from a battery cell that resulted in a fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The head of National Transportation Safety Board said today that the FAA should reconsider their approval of the Dreamliner's lithium-ion battery.

Essentially, the NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said during a news conference, what Boeing told the FAA about the risks involving the battery have proved different in practice.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu February 7, 2013

What Nations Were The Most Forward-Looking In 2012?

The Future Orientation index shows a strong correlation between Internet activity and its gross domestic product. Countries in blue are deemed forward-looking.
Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:16 pm

Germany was the world's most future-oriented country in 2012, followed by Switzerland and Japan, according to the "Future Orientation Index." Researchers found that in Germany and 10 nations last year, more people used Google to search for "2013" than for "2011."

The 11 countries represent a gain over 2011, when only seven countries had as many searches for the upcoming year as for the prior one.

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The Salt
10:09 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Chain Restaurants Boost Sales With Lower-Calorie Foods

Ordering the small fries? You're part of a trend.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:54 pm

Lower-calorie foods are driving growth and profits for chain restaurants, according to fresh research, suggesting that people are making smarter choices when it comes to burgers and fries.

We're still ordering the burger and fries, mind you. But we're going for smaller portions and shunning sugary drinks. French fry sales dropped about 2 percent from 2006 to 2011, while sales of lower-calorie beverages rose 10 percent, the study found.

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