Business

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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Shots - Health News
8:06 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Despite Rocky Economy, Money For Global Health Remains Solid

After going through a huge growth spurt, money for global health has plateaued recently. The U.S. government remains the biggest donor, but private charities like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have boosted donations.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Given the world's economic troubles, you'd probably expect money to fight HIV and other illnesses around the world to have plummeted in the past few years.

But foreign aid for global health held steady in 2011 and 2012, hovering right around $28 billion a year, a report published Wednesday finds.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu February 7, 2013

366,000 New Claims For Jobless Benefits, Down Only Slightly

There were 366,000 first-time clams for unemployment insurance last week, down just 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Of note: that number from the previous week — 371,000 — is an upward revision. A week ago, the agency estimated there had been 368,000 claims over that period.

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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Postal Service To End Saturday Mail Delivery

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service likes to talk about how reliable it is, and they are determined to keep that reputation, even after the change announced yesterday. The Postal Service plans to end Saturday delivery of regular mail. They will continue delivering packages on Saturdays. The decision will save some $2 billion a year, but it's getting mixed reviews, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Politics
4:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Obama Picks REI Ceo Jewell To Head Interior

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Let's meet the woman who may be the nation's next Secretary of the Interior. President Barack Obama has named Sally Jewell to the post. She still needs to be confirmed by the Senate. Jewell does not have a background in government or politics. She's CEO of the outdoor gear company REI. Supporters say her love of the outdoors goes much deeper than that. And they say she has a savvy social conscience.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Boeing's battery problem.

Boeing's new fleet of Dreamliner 787 aircraft is grounded. But there is one in the air right now. The FAA cleared the plane's flight this morning from Fort Worth, Texas to Seattle. Engineers at the Boeing factory there will study the plane's lithium ion batteries and look for ways to reduce fire risk. Regulators around the world grounded the Dreamliner last month after batteries overheated on two planes. Only crew are aboard the 787 currently on its way to Seattle.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we have news of another fire sale. Our last word in business today is the buy of a lifetime.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's what some are calling the sale of a 20-acre estate outside Cedar Falls, Iowa, which sold for a winning bid of around $600,000. The precise amount was not disclosed. One expert says to build something like that estate today would cost $1.5 million.

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Europe
1:39 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Privatization Of Greek Assets Runs Behind Schedule

Employees of Hellenic Postbank protest during a strike against the bank's privatization in Athens, in December.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

In exchange for multibillion-euro bailouts, Greece was required to sell state-owned assets. But the sweeping privatization process is behind schedule. In addition, European governments are nervous that Chinese, Russian and Arab companies are lining up to take advantage of the Greek fire sale.

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Planet Money
1:34 am
Thu February 7, 2013

'Give Me The Money Or I'll Shoot The Trees'

Pay up, or the bird gets it. (A hoatzin perches on a branch in Yasuni National Park.)
Pablo Cozzaglio AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 1:07 pm

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. But there's a complication: The park sits on top of the equivalent of millions of barrels of oil.

This creates a dilemma.

Ecuador prides itself on being pro-environment. Its constitution gives nature special rights. But Ecuador is a relatively poor country that could desperately use the money from the oil.

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It's All Politics
2:58 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

NRA's 'Anti-Gun' List Includes Some Not-So-Obvious Names

The Kansas City Royals professional baseball team is among more than 500 groups and individuals listed by the NRA as "anti-gun."
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:12 pm

What do the Kansas City Royals, C. Everett Koop, Jack Nicholson and the United Methodist Church all have in common?

Turns out the Major League Baseball team, the former surgeon general, the actor and the denomination's general board and church society are all enemies of firearms, and as such have made it onto the National Rifle Association's list of "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies."

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U.S.
1:59 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

As Drought Intensifies, 2 States Dig In Over Water War

Harlan County Lake, the Republican River's main reservoir in Nebraska, dropped 10 feet during the summer drought and hasn't recovered.
Grant Gerlock

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 5:28 pm

Epic water battles are the stuff of history and legend, especially in the West. And as a severe drought drags on in the Midwest, a water war is being waged over a river that irrigates agriculture in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

It's that last border crossing where this water war is under way. Kansas has gone to the Supreme Court to argue that Nebraska uses too much water from the Republican River, and that there's not enough left for Kansas farmers.

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Economy
11:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The Squeeze: Higher Costs And Smaller Paychecks

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:31 am

The economy may be on the rebound, but life is getting tougher for some people in the middle class. With rising gas prices, insurance costs, and higher payroll taxes, people are feeling squeezed. Host Michel Martin asks if there's any financial relief in sight.

The Two-Way
10:07 am
Wed February 6, 2013

REI Executive Tapped For Interior; Geithner Joins Council On Foreign Relations

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, who is in line to be the next secretary of interior.
Ron Sachs EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET. It's Official:

Praising Sally Jewell as an executive who turned outdoors equipment retailer REI into one of the nation's most successful and environmentally conscious companies, President Obama just said he is nominating her to be his next interior secretary.

Noting that Jewell, who in a previous job worked as an engineer for Mobil, has also climbed mountains in Antarctica, the president joked about that being "just not something I think of doing."

Our original post:

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Economy
9:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

Raul Rivero fills up in Miami. Having less take-home pay at the same time gas prices are rising could dampen consumer spending, economists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:30 am

Business leaders involved in homebuilding, oil drilling or automaking are happy about the way 2013 has kicked off. Lower- and middle-income consumers, on the other hand, are feeling like the year has kicked them in the head.

"Consumers have not rebounded with the arrival of the new year," says Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "Middle-income Americans were particularly hard hit this month and appear to be losing ground."

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Monkey See
8:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Get Severance: Interview With An Iron

The Monopoly iron token that was replaced by the new cat token.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:07 pm

Wednesday, Hasbro announced that it was welcoming a new member of the Monopoly-token family. And because it asked the Internet, it wound up with a cat. (For whatever reason, the Internet was not offered Gotye or a bacon cupcake.)

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Business
8:51 am
Wed February 6, 2013

In Cost-Saving Move, Post Office Cuts Saturday Delivery

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The U.S. Postal Service has just announced the end of first class mail deliveries on Saturday. It is part of an effort to slow enormous financial losses. And NPR's Yuki Noguchi has come into the studio to tell us what all this means for customers and the Postal Service. And Yuki, so when will my Saturday deliveries stop?

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Strange News
7:44 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Hasbro's Monopoly Trades Its Old Iron For A New Cat

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Monopoly players, your game will never be the same. Hasbro, which has been making the for some 80 years, is retiring a game piece. The iron will no longer be passing Go or stopping at Park Place. The company ran a Save Your Token campaign, and only eight percent of respondents fought for the iron. The winner? That little Scottie dog, who may prefer the old iron to the token replacing it - a cat - though players using the cat may get nine chances to win.

Business
7:02 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Postal Service Plans To End Saturday Mail Delivery

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with an ending.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Economy
3:37 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Obama Suggests Short-Term Fix To Sequester

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

If Congress and the president do not act in the next three weeks, deep across-the-board spending cuts will hit everything from the Defense Department to education programs.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big cable buyout.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Liberty Global is the cable company owned by American media mogul John Malone. Malone is about to have a much broader reach. His company already operates in 14 countries. And now Liberty Global has reached a deal to buy the British cable company Virgin Media for about $16 billion.

Business
3:36 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a Texas/California throwdown or thodown, depending on where you're from.

Texas' Governor Rick Perry is taking aim at California's business climate.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Building a business is tough. But I hear business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Come check out Texas.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Feds Bust Huge Credit Fraud Ring

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're also tracking a story that federal authorities call one of the biggest credit card fraud rings in U.S. history. Eighteen people are alleged to have created an elaborate web of fake identities and sham companies to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff has more.

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NPR Story
3:27 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Cities Must Strategize To Boost Service Workers' Pay

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's look at the economy in another way. The urban scholar Richard Florida has found a problem with the way our cities are evolving.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

He's famous for studying the creative class, his term for millions of entrepreneurs, writers, thinkers, engineers, the innovators who make an economy grow.

INSKEEP: Florida says cities become more prosperous when those innovators are concentrated there.

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All Tech Considered
1:05 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Using 3-D Printers To Make Gun Parts Raises Alarms

This AR-15 rifle's lower receiver (in soft green color) was produced with a 3-D printer. The 3-D printing industry has criticized the use of the technology for gun part making.
Courtesy of Defense Distributed Dev Blog

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:48 pm

You may have heard about 3-D printing, a technological phenomenon that uses a robotic arm to build objects one layer at a time. As people get imaginative and create items in a one-stop-shop fashion, one more creation has been added to the printing line: gun parts.

On the West Side of Manhattan, behind large glass windows, a dozen 3-D printers build plastic toys and jewelry. Hilary Brosnihan, a manager at 3DEA, an events company that sponsored a print pop-up store, says things are moving rapidly.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Is Online Gambling Legal If Bitcoins, Not Dollars, Are At Stake?

An image depicts the SatoshiDice website, which exclusively uses Bitcoin, not dollars, for gambling.
NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

With no government ties, Bitcoin is used to buy everything from blogging services to Brooklyn-made cupcakes. Theoretically, millions of dollars are being kept in the digital currency, and it's increasingly being used by specialized online gambling websites. But is Bitcoin gambling legal?

Purely in the interests of journalism, I decided to get my hands on some of the currency. When I did so, Bitcoin, which has been around for a few years now, was fetching around $17 on most exchange sites. It has since risen to more than $20.

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Puerto Rico: A Disenchanted Island
12:58 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Puerto Rico's Battered Economy: The Greece Of The Caribbean?

Edward Bonet, 23, lives in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and works on the dive team at the Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa in the town of Guanica. He lives with his grandmother, while his mother and sister live in Central Florida.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

Puerto Rico's population is declining. Faced with a deteriorating economy, increased poverty and a swelling crime rate, many citizens are fleeing the island for the U.S. mainland. In a four-part series, Morning Edition explores this phenomenon, and how Puerto Rico's troubles are affecting its people and other Americans in unexpected ways.

Edward Bonet's mom no longer tries to convince him to join her in Florida. Unlike his family, the 23-year-old from Puerto Rico refuses to leave the island and its shattered economy.

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The Salt
12:56 am
Wed February 6, 2013

New Hampshire Cuts Red Tape To Put Nanobreweries On Tap

Throwback Brewery co-owner Nicole Carrier and assistant brewer Chris Naro pour beer for customers at their North Hampton, N.H., taproom.
Emily Corwin NHPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:51 am

As beer drinkers demand increasingly obscure beers with ingredients like jalapenos or rhubarb, smaller and smaller breweries are stepping up to the plate. New Hampshire is one state helping these brewery startups get off the ground, with new laws that make it easier for small-scale breweries to obtain licenses and distribute their craft beers.

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Business
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Viral Story About Free Wi-Fi Spotlights Mostly Hidden Policy War

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last year warned of a "war on Wi-Fi."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:48 am

(Revised on 2/6/1013 at 12:28 pm ET to include FCC comment.)

In Washington, there's always one kind of alleged war or another against some group or idea — the war on women, the war on religion and the war on the Second Amendment come quickly to mind.

This week, many of us became aware of another supposed conflict we had never heard of: essentially, a war on Wi-Fi.

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Business
2:46 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:17 pm

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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