Business

Television
3:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Competition, High Bills Hurt Cable Companies

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. In the next few days, cable companies announce how they did financially in 2012. Most industry watchers expect some negative trends to continue. More people are canceling their cable subscriptions. They are called cord cutters, because they are getting TV from the Internet and over the air, not their cable cords. But they're not the only problem the cable industry needs to worry about. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Meet Comcast's worst nightmare.

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Asia
1:02 am
Wed January 30, 2013

In China, The Government Isn't The Only Spy Game In Town

A man sells surveillance cameras at the main electronics market in Tienhe district, Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province, on Aug. 8.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

The final of two reports

It all started with a local Chinese official.

He couldn't figure out how his wife, who suspected him of having an affair, knew the contents of his private conversations.

"His wife knew things that he said in his car and office, including conversations over the telephone," recalls Qi Hong, a former journalist from Shandong province in eastern China, and a friend of the official.

So Qi asked a buddy who owned bug-detecting equipment to help.

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Economy
2:29 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Latest Figures Suggest U.S. Housing Recovery Is Still On Track

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Home prices were either up or down, depending on how you read the latest Case-Shiller survey, which was released this morning. Prices were down a bit in November from the previous month, but up sharply compared to the previous year. Taken together, most analysts say the housing recovery is still on track. And joining us now to discuss the housing market is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Hi there, Yuki.

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U.S.
2:21 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves

Ongoing beach nourishment, like this project in Viriginia Beach, has been the topic of debate. Some people say it's needed to protect beach communities; others decry the costs.
Pam Spaugy U.S. Army

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 10:49 am

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

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Economy
12:19 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Paul Krugman's Unconventional Outlook On The Economy

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 4:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on how address the problems of deficit and debt, but there's broad consensus that we need to reduce both by significant numbers, and soon. In his columns in New York Times and in a book called "End this Depression Now!" Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman defies the conventional wisdom. He argues for more spending, not less, says the deficit's not too bad, and that a little inflation might be a good thing.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Judge Approves BP's Manslaughter Plea In 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:03 pm

A federal judge has approved a guilty plea by BP to manslaughter charges in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The approved deal includes a record $4 billion in criminal penalties.

Eleven workers on the Deep Water Horizon rig died in the April 2010 explosion. BP pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for those deaths and to lying to Congress about the amount of the oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Latin America
11:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

For Your Next Caribbean Vacation, Haiti ... Maybe?

Mont Joli Hotel looks out over Cap-Haitian in northern Haiti. The owner says he's usually fully booked and plans to double the hotel's capacity. Haiti is trying to expand its tourism infrastructure and tap in to the multibillion-dollar Caribbean travel market.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:29 pm

Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.

Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.

President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.

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Money Coach
10:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retirement Accounts: Don't Rob Peter To Pay Paul!

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we have the latest installment in our series Social Me. We'll talk about how educators could use their students' social media habits to figure out how they learn.

But first, to matters of personal finance: We want to talk about retirement. While earlier generations might have had a pension, now millions of Americans, if they have any savings, probably have some kind of retirement account like a 401K.

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The Salt
10:02 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Chicken Wings Dominate Super Bowl Snack Time

Blame sports bars for the chicken wing boom, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
jeffreyw Flickr.com

Take a look at this remarkable graph — is it the stock market? Home sales?

Nope. Click on the blue box in the lower right-hand corner and you'll see that the blue line tracks the number of chicken wings that Americans bought at grocery stores over the last year. See that mighty surge of wing-buying in early February? Apparently, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings — millions and millions of chicken wings.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Drops; All Of 2012's Gains Gone

Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise; Housing Is Now Economic 'Bright Spot'

A sign of the times in Boca Raton, Fla. (November 2012 file photo.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

There's more good news about the housing market this morning.

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Media
3:27 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Redesigns 'New Republic'

North Carolina-born Chris Hughes attended Harvard University, where he shared a room with his Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg. He bought a majority stake in the venerable magazine The New Republic in 2012, and is the magazine's publisher and editor-in-chief.
Jason Gardner The New Republic

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:58 am

Chris Hughes, 29, is the co-founder of Facebook, a former adviser to the Obama campaign, and now the publisher of the 98-year-old magazine The New Republic.

He's facing the same challenges other print media owners do: how to marry in-depth news articles with screens that seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Hughes tells NPR's Steve Inskeep it's a task he's prepared to tackle.

Interview Highlights

On redesigning to fit the way we read

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Business
3:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Yahoo Earnings Beat Wall Street Expectations

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

While CEO Marissa Mayer is getting praise, it's unclear which part of Yahoo's business, if any, will turn the once-flagging company around. Yahoo is making more money from users clicking ads while searching but less money on display ads.

Business
3:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

The nickel — with Lady Liberty on the front and the Roman numeral V on the reverse — shows the date 1913. The problem is the liberty head was replaced by the buffalo head in 1912. Making this nickel a bootleg — one of five allegedly cast at the Philadelphia Mint by a crooked employee. One nickel is expected to sell for more than $2 million at an auction this spring.

Business
3:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:36 am

When all Boeing 787 Dreamliners were grounded for electrical issues, it sent the stock of the company that makes the plane's batteries into a tailspin. Now that company, GS Yuasa, is seeing its stock bounce back. The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau cleared the company of all responsibility for Boeing's electrical issues.

The Record
1:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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All Tech Considered
1:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

As Developing World Goes Mobile, Can Apple Make The Sale?

A salesperson demonstrates the Apple iPhone 4 in New Delhi, India. While mobile device use is growing rapidly in emerging markets, Apple's current product line may prove prohibitively expensive for many consumers.
Manish Swarup AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

With the majority of adults in the U.S. and Europe walking around with smartphones in their pockets, the idea of having a high-powered computer at your beck and call may seem like old news.

But globally, the smartphone revolution is just beginning.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Driving Past GM In 2012, Toyota Poised To Boost Sales Further In 2013

Vehicles in the lot of a Northbrook, Ill., Toyota dealer last October.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.

The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.

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Business
11:35 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A 'Permatemp' Economy: The Idea Of The Expendable Employee

According to the American Staffing Association, the U.S. temp industry has added more jobs than any other over the past three years.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:00 pm

As lawmakers in Washington debate job creation, and unemployment rates remain high, the temporary labor workforce continues to grow.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Mon January 28, 2013

After Rising To Pre-recession Levels, Stocks Pause; Will Bulls Resume Running?

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Almost as surely as the sun rises in the east, stories about the stock market hitting new highs are sure to be followed by declines in key indexes.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is, fly like an eagle. Maybe you've seen this viral video. It's of a golden eagle swooping down and snatching up a baby in a park. The bird carries the kid a few feet before dropping him and flying away.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It caused quite a stir online - horrifying many, many viewers before it was revealed as a hoax. The video was a project made by students at a 3-D animation and design school in Montreal.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Energy Department Encourages New Energy Technology

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has incubated many important technologies over the decades in computer networking and other areas. The Energy Department wants to make similar strides with an agency called ARPA-E. Over three years now in operation, ARPA-E has spent nearly $800 million on 285 experimental projects.

We invited the agency's deputy director, Cheryl Martin, into our studio so we can find out more about these projects. Good morning.

CHERYL MARTIN: Good morning.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with bookstores closing shop.

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Digital Life
1:34 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Google Posts How It Handles Requests For Users' Data

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Google wants you to know you're being watched. Or rather, the company wants you to know how and when the police get to watch what you do online.

For the first time, the company has posted its policies for when it gives up users' information to the government. It's part of a broader company strategy to push for tougher privacy laws.

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Business
1:33 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Beyond Portlandia: Subaru Drives For America's Heartland

Subaru, known for its success in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, aims to expand its market to Texas and Tennessee.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

The car market in the U.S. is at its most competitive. Not only are big companies like General Motors and Toyota slugging it out, but in order to survive, small-niche players like Subaru also are trying to push into the mainstream.

The Japanese carmaker is popular in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Now Subaru has its sights on Texas and Tennessee.

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The Salt
1:31 am
Mon January 28, 2013

How One Man Tried To Slim Down Big Soda From The Inside

PepsiCo's product line ranges from salty chips and its sugary namesake drink to more healthful fare like hummus and yogurt. In 2010, the company announced plans to cut sugar, fat and sodium in its products to address health and nutrition concerns.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 6:42 am

Many big food companies are caught in a dilemma these days. They want to rebrand themselves as merchants of health — Coca-Cola's new anti-obesity ads are just the latest example — but many of their profits still come from products that make nutritionists scowl.

If there's one person who symbolizes this tension, it's Derek Yach.

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Around the Nation
1:29 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Hemp Gets The Green Light In New Colorado Pot Measure

Hemp products for sale in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of hemp products, although growing hemp is illegal under federal law. Colorado recently passed a measure that legalizes growing hemp.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:13 am

With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.

Why? When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last November, they also legalized hemp.

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U.S.
4:34 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Investing In Citizenship: For The Rich, A New Road To The U.S.

The Barclays Center in New York, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, was built partially with investment from overseas donors seeking U.S. citizenship. A little-known immigration program allows wealthy investors to get a green card in exchange for funding American businesses.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:17 pm

The traditional immigrant story is a familiar one.

Someone who longs for a better life makes the tough journey, leaves behind the hardships of his or her native land and comes to the United States to start again. That story, in a lot of ways, helped build this country.

These days, however, there's a very different kind of immigrant who wants to come to this country — the rich — and they have a different set of dreams.

Anthony Korda was a barrister, or lawyer, in England who vacationed frequently in the U.S. with his family.

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The Salt
4:12 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Vigor, Brain Power And Other Health Claims From Coke's Advertising Past

(1905) Courtesy of Tom Bates

Coca-Cola is taking a lot of flak for its new television ad campaign addressing America's obesity epidemic – an epidemic in which sugary sodas are widely fingered as a key culprit.

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Economy
3:26 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.

Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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