Business

The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

U.S. Treasury To Sell Remaining Stake In AIG

In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department said it will launch an underwritten public offering to sell its remaining 234,169,156 common stock shares in insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG.

The U.S. government bought the controlling stake in the company as part of the $182 billion bank bailout in 2008. The sale would bring an end to the government's run as the company's largest shareholder, which represented a 16-percent ownership in the company.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Reports: $1.9 Billion Settlement Expected In HSBC Money-Laundering Case

The $1.9 billion settlement from British banking firm HSBC will settle allegations of allowing money laundering and transfers of billions from Iran.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:06 am

  • Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 11. Settlement Announced:

Saying that "we accept responsibility for our past mistakes," the chief executive of Britain's HSBC has confirmed that the banking giant will pay a record $1.9 billion to settle charges related to a money laundering scheme in the U.S.

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All Tech Considered
2:43 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Forget The Register: Stores Use Mobile To Make Sales On The Spot

A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly.
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

The women's shoe department at Nordstrom's flagship store in Seattle is bustling. Shoppers are trying on everything from stilettos to rain boots — and when they're ready to buy, they can pay up right where they are.

The sales associate simply whips out a modified iPod Touch and scans the shoe box's bar code. The handheld device contains a credit card reader, too, so the customer can just hand over the plastic and sign with a fingertip. There's no trek to the cash register and no line to wait in.

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Economy
10:00 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Cutting the Untouchable?

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear about elections in Ghana. We'll talk about whether the election of President John Dramani Mahama to a new term confirms the country's reputation for leadership in democratic processes, or perhaps undermines it. That's later.

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Africa
10:00 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Trying To Reform Nigeria Amid Family Kidnapping

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We want to turn now from Ghana to Nigeria, where there is disturbing news. The mother of Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped this weekend. Police say they've launched a massive search to find her.

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Europe
9:47 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Spain's Crisis Leads To Rise Of Grass-Roots Groups

A demonstrator shouts during a protest against housing evictions in Madrid last month. The sign to his right reads, "Stop evictions."
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:44 pm

A year and a half ago, recession-ravaged Spanish society reacted to the economic crisis with the "Indignados," a mass protest that inspired the worldwide "Occupy" movement.

The "angry ones" are long gone from Spanish streets, but they've evolved into many grass-roots associations now filling the gaps left by the eroding welfare state, spawning a new form of anti-austerity resistance that embraces all branches of society, from those who have lost homes to foreclosures, to the entire judiciary.

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The Salt
9:22 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Want To Find A Restaurant That Treats Workers Well? There's An App For That

A group that advocates on behalf of food service workers has created an app that helps diners find restaurants that pay their workers livable wages and offer room for advancement.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:42 am

Smartphone users have a wide range of apps to choose from if they're looking to dine ethically. There are apps that advise which supermarkets have good environmental records and apps that keep tabs on restaurants and markets offering sustainable seafood.

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Business
4:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:33 am

A Japanese university says researchers discovered a chemical compound which apparently wards off the virus responsible for respiratory infections such as pneumonia. The compound is found in hops — which means you can drink it up in your beer. But for any benefit, you'd need to drink about 30 beers.

Business
4:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

12 Days Of Tax Deductions

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:08 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ah, 'tis the season for gift giving. And some feel Congress could give us no greater gift than a budget deal that would keep our economy from going off the fiscal cliff.

One idea to raise revenue: reduce the deductions, credits, and other benefits that taxpayers now enjoy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So, in the spirit of this deficit deadline season, we are going to consider them too. It's our 12 Days of Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

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Technology
4:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Will U.S.-Made Mac Computers Start A Trend?

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 4:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's been years since Apple computers were made in this country, but last week, the company's CEO, Tim Cook, announced that was about to change. He said Apple is spending about $100 million to begin manufacturing a line of Macs in the U.S. NPR's Steven Henn reports it's a tiny investment for Apple, but it could be the beginning of a trend by makers of other products.

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Business
4:07 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:28 am

In an announcement made Sunday night, Yahoo and NBC Sports are combining their offerings online and on TV. This means NBC will have a larger sports presence on the web and for Yahoo, it means access to NBC's video and live sports coverage.

Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:25 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Everyone Chip In, Please: Crowdfunding Sandy

Jenny Adams in the Wayland Bar in Alphabet City, where she stored piles of relief supplies to distribute. Adams raised $10,000 through a crowdfunding website to help her neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Alex Goldmark NPR

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:40 pm

Big-hearted Americans always rush to give money after a disaster. Just how much and how fast is often determined by technology. After the earthquake in Haiti, texting small donations, for example, became a new standard practice.

This time around, Hurricane Sandy has shown crowdfunding websites are a simple tool for quick-response giving. Anyone can go on these sites and ask for money to rebuild or to help their neighbors rebuild. Friends, family and strangers chip in.

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Media
1:22 am
Mon December 10, 2012

'Orange County Register' Presses Hum With Optimism

Ken Brusic, senior vice president for content, works in his office overlooking the 5 Freeway. In the past few weeks, Brusic has hired some two-dozen newsroom positions.
Grant Slater KPCC

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 1:01 pm

The Orange Country Register in suburban Los Angeles is expanding its newsroom. Not only that — the owners are emphasizing print, not digital.

In the past few weeks, longtime Register editor Ken Brusic has hired some two-dozen positions: critics to review food, TV and cars, a society columnist and investigative reporters. He's still looking for a movie critic, a magazine writer and many more reporters.

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Your Money
3:09 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Leaves Accountants Hanging, Too

With major tax changes still undecided, accountants and other financial professionals must advise their clients on various possible scenarios.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:53 pm

The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. A patch to the alternative minimum tax. An increase in capital gains taxes.

As the "fiscal cliff" approaches, all of these are possible, but none certain. That uncertainty solicits many questions from anxious taxpayers. But, for accountants and financial planners, there are a few definitive answers.

Financial professionals who spoke with NPR say they are not strangers to uncertainty. When the Bush tax cuts were up for expiration two years ago, for instance, the feeling was similar.

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World
3:06 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Spain's Economic Woes Take A Toll On The Media

El Pais journalists demonstrate outside the newspaper's headquarters in Madrid last month.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:53 am

Three years of euro-zone recession have badly hurt Spain's media sector, where some 8,500 journalists have lost their jobs. Dozens of newspapers have closed and the remaining publications are sharply cutting back as ads plummet.

That's led to warnings from journalists, who see a threat to press freedom at a time when Spaniards want to understand why their financial stability is unraveling.

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Business
4:03 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Not Just Patriotic, U.S. Manufacturing May Be Smart

General Electric's Appliance Park has been in Louisville, Ky., since 1951. But it's putting new power behind its U.S. production.
General Electric Co.

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 6:12 pm

  • As Heard On Weekends On 'All Things Considered'

The advantages to making products in the U.S. are starting to stack up — and companies are taking notice. Among them are Apple, which announced Thursday it plans to start producing some of its Mac computers here instead of in China, and General Electric, which is making big investments at home.

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Business
3:04 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Hoodie Company Put U.S. Manufacturing In Style

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 4:51 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

We're talking about the small but significant trend called insourcing, manufacturing things here in the U.S. Earlier this year, Bayard Winthrop opened up a sweatshirt and hoodie business in San Francisco, and he called it American Giant. He's got 10 people in the front office and up to 150 workers in a factory where his entire line, soup to nuts, is made in America.

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U.S.
10:35 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Sign Of The Times: Labor Strikes May Make Comeback

An empty container ship waited near the Port of Los Angeles during the eight-day strike by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The stoppage put a halt to most of the work at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:04 pm

When clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reached an impasse in talks with management over job security last week, they took what has become something of a rare step: They went on strike.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mystery On Fifth Avenue: A Constant Line Outside Abercrombie & Fitch

A model at the front entrance to the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Every day I walk down Fifth Avenue on my way to work. I pass glittering holiday store windows, the Salvation Army ringing its bells and the sparkling tree at Rockefeller Center.

But for months I've noticed a mystery: Only one store has huge lines outside before it opens: Abercrombie & Fitch.

Perhaps 90 people stand on line every day before opening, rain or shine. It's been going on for years and not just during this season.

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All Tech Considered
12:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Big Brother Is In Your Pocket (But You Get A Discount)

Care To Share? Wireless carriers are launching programs allowing customers to receive rewards based on information their smartphones share — such as their location, app usage and Web surfing data.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Customer loyalty programs have been around for years. You think nothing of giving the supermarket or pet supply store your personal information. In exchange you get a card or a key ring tag that you present at checkout to get a discount.

Now wireless carriers are taking it a step further, raising alerts from privacy advocates.

Verizon and AT&T recently launched programs allowing customers to receive rewards based on information their smartphones share with the carriers.

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Shots - Health News
11:30 am
Fri December 7, 2012

How Miscommunication And A Simple Mistake Led To A Toxic Accident

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the accidental release of chlorine gas at a Tyson Food plant could have been prevented with better communication.
April L Brown AP

A year and a half ago, a mix-up at a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant landed more than 150 workers in the hospital. Five required intensive care.

The problem: Somebody poured a solution of sodium hypochlorite (think industrial strength bleach) into a 55-gallon drum that had contained an antimicrobial solution identified as FreshFx.

That stuff was acidic, according to investigators. Mix bleach and acid, and you can make a lot of chlorine gas in a hurry.

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Economy
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Crunching The Job Numbers

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we'll crack open the mail bag to hear what you have to say about stories we covered this week. That's Backtalk and it's coming up. But first, we want to talk about the latest unemployment numbers which are now out. The Department of Labor says that unemployment is down to its lowest level since December 2008.

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Economy
10:02 am
Fri December 7, 2012

A Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad For The Jobless

Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment benefits in August after being laid off from a catering job. More than 2 million people who get extended benefits may lose them if Congress doesn't act soon.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:49 am

The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.

That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.

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Economy
8:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:11 am

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.

If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.

On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 percent, As Economy Adds 146,000 Jobs

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:44 am

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. That's a four-year low.

The economy added 146,000 jobs, beating expectations. Surprisingly the BLS said that Hurricane Sandy "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."

The BLS adds that employment increased "in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care."

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Environment
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

World Bank Issues Alarming Climate Report

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:20 am

Countries attending U.N. climate talks were not able to come up with any major agreements on reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. This comes after the World Bank issued a report predicting global temperatures could rise by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century — possibly sooner if current promises to curb emission are not kept. Renee Montagne talks about this with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Amtrak's Empire Builder Line

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:41 am

Oil development in North Dakota and Montana has caused ridership to increase dramatically on the only Amtrak line running through those states. Nationally, the railroad company costs the federal government more than $400 million every year, so rail enthusiasts thought the oil boom might turn around the losing rail proposition in certain regions. But the Empire Builder Line is still not making money.

Business
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Starbucks Agrees To Pay British Corporate Taxes

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:24 am

After resisting for some time, Starbucks has agreed to pay corporate taxes in Britain. It was revealed earlier that the coffee company has paid no such taxes in the past three years.

Economy
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Could Hurt November's Job Report

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Michigan Likely To Become A Right-To-Work State

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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