Business

Business
4:00 am
Fri November 30, 2012

European Bank Chief: 2013 Will Be Better For Euro

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

The president of the European Central Bank said Friday that the eurozone has yet to emerge from its economic crisis but is on a path to see a recovery by the second half of 2013. But there are still many challenges. Just after that interview, new numbers showed unemployment in the euro zone rose to a record 11.7 percent in October.

Planet Money
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Why Mexico Is The World's Biggest Exporter Of Flat-Screen TVs

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 9:04 am

Most of the news we hear about Mexico these days is about drug-related violence. But it turns out there's another, brighter story there: The country's economy has been growing at a solid pace for the past couple years, driven in large part by solid exports.

Among other things, Mexico is the world's largest exporter of flat-screen TVs. There are a lot of factories just south of the U.S. border, filled with workers putting together televisions. The individual parts come from Asia, but the final assembly is done in Mexico.

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Sports
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

How David Beckham Changed U.S. Soccer

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

Five years after his much-hyped arrival in the United States, David Beckham is playing his last game for the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. David Greene speaks with Los Angeles Times sportswriter Kevin Baxter about whether Beckham lived up to America's expectations.

Politics
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Debate Moves To TV, In Ad War

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

Just when you thought you never had to look at another political ad, they're back — this time focused on the big debate in Washington about taxes and spending. Unions, business groups and other special interests have taken their arguments to the nation's living rooms and computer screens.

Business
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

N.Y. Fast-Food Workers Strike For Better Wages

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

Fast-food workers staged protests Thursday at restaurants in New York. The workers said their low wages need to be raised. But with the economy still slow, restaurant managers are determined to hold down labor costs so they can offer dollar foods.

It's All Politics
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

How Much Income Taxes Could Rise: A Breakdown Of The Options

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday after private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 8:46 am

"No substantive progress has been made." That's what House Speaker John Boehner had to say Thursday about efforts to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at year's end.

The administration's lead negotiator, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, met with congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle Thursday, looking for an agreement on the hazard Congress and the White House created last year to focus their minds on deficit reduction.

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All Tech Considered
3:25 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Yet Another Shift In Facebook Policies Raises Privacy Concerns

Joerg Koch AP

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:37 pm

Facebook has a long history of upsetting its users by suddenly announcing a change to its privacy settings. In 2009, as a way to quiet the critics, Facebook set up a system for its customers to vote on changes. If enough of them were unhappy, the company would back down. Now, Facebook wants to get rid of the voting.

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Business
3:25 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Lower Water Levels Dry Up Business On Great Lakes

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Business
3:25 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

A Bet Or A Prediction? Intrade's Purpose Is Debated

Ireland-based Intrade lets users bet money on all manner of predictions — like if a particular film will win an Oscar. The site is ceasing operations in the U.S.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:02 pm

The popular website Intrade allows its users to bet on the odds of almost anything — like whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will get ousted by a certain date, or whether the movie Argo will win best picture at the Oscars.

This week, Ireland-based Intrade announced that U.S. users will have to unwind their bets and shut down their accounts by the end of the year. That's after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Intrade for operating an unregistered exchange.

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It's All Politics
2:51 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Would Raising Taxes On Investment Income Hurt The Economy?

A screen grab from an ad by the Defend My Dividend campaign, which is funded by utilities and other companies. They don't support a proposed increase in taxes from investment income.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:53 pm

As Democratic and Republican leaders try to work out a deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases of the fiscal cliff, one area they're zeroing in on is investment income.

Raising the rates on capital gains and dividends, even just for the wealthy, would bring in $240 billion over the next decade. That makes them an easy place to look for new revenue.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Tastier Winter Tomatoes, Thanks to A Boom in Greenhouse Growing

The taste of Mock's tomatoes starts with the seed. He uses only organic varieties, including cherry and several heirloom varieties.
Allison Aubrey NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:36 am

It may sound like an oxymoron: a delicious local, winter tomato — especially if you happen to live in a cold climate.

But increasingly, farmers from West Virginia to Maine and through the Midwest are going indoors to produce tomatoes and other veggies in demand during the winter months. "There's a huge increase in greenhouse operations," Harry Klee of the University of Florida tells us.

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The Salt
10:33 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Quinoa Craze Inspires North America To Start Growing Its Own

The seeds of this goosefoot plant are known as quinoa, a superfood now in high demand and grown almost exclusively in South America. But some growers think they have the formula to grow it up north.
Janet Matanguihan courtesy Kevin Murphy

The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.

But plant breeders and scientists who study the biology and economics of quinoa say that is about to change.

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Politics
9:54 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Will Payroll Tax Cut Survive Fiscal Talks?

The Bush-era tax cuts are taking center stage on discussions about deficit reduction. But the payroll tax holiday is also at risk, which could cost the typical family $1,000 a year. Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about the fiscal cliff and how the outcome could affect consumers.

It's All Politics
8:10 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Why Dividends, Capital Gains Are Big Part Of Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:58 am

As the White House and Congress debate how to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, one obstacle is the president's insistence that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. And one way that could happen is through changing the rules for dividends and capital gains.

If you own a share of stock in a company today, when the company pays out a dividend, the most you're taxed is 15 percent. And if you decide to sell the stock and cash out, you'd also pay 15 percent on your profits — the capital gains.

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Media
7:18 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Report Proposes Tougher Oversight For British Press

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Britain, Brian Leveson, the judge who has spent eight months probing tabloid news excesses, has just issued his suggestions for reigning in Britain's sometime-rambunctious press. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the wide-ranging inquiry in the wake of revelations of illegal phone-hacking at the Murdoch-owned News of the World and other newspapers. The victims included actors Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller, as well as the parents of a murdered teenager and other crime victims.

Journalist Vicki Barker joins us from London.

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The Salt
6:59 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Key To E. Coli-Free Spinach May Be An Ultrasonic Spa Treatment

Spinach has lots of opportunities to pick up E. coli and other bugs during harvest and growing. Here, a Mexican migrant worker cuts organic spinach during the fall harvest at Grant Family Farms in Wellington, Co.
John Moore Getty Images

Salad producers haven't succeeded in banishing E. coli and other dangerous microbes from fresh greens, though they've tried hard. As we've reported before, it's a major challenge to both growers and the environment. But one scientist thinks he's making progress – with a spinach spa that zaps bad bugs with ultrasound.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Third-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Upward

Better than expected: Economic growth was higher in the third quarter than first thought. Here, a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan plugs a batter into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. That's a sharp upward revision in its estimate of gross domestic product growth from mid-summer into the fall. In its first look at the quarter's GDP, the agency estimated growth at a 2 percent annual rate.

According to BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment, exports and federal spending all contributed to growth from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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Business
6:19 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Companies Rush Dividends To Beat Possible Tax Hike

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
6:19 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Obama's Plan For Dividends, Gains: Who Would Pay?

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest effort to avoid the automatic fiscal cliff tax hikes and spending cuts, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets today with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.

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Business
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

N.Y. Electrician Shortage Hampers Sandy Recovery

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 8:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's been a month since Sandy made landfall in the northeast. For millions in that big storm's path, life is returning to normal - not for tens of thousands of people in New York City who still, still don't have electricity or heat. Many of them are waiting for an electrician to come to repair or certify wiring that was damaged by all the flooding. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, there aren't enough electricians to go around.

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Business
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Contract Ban, Civil Litigation Add To BP's Woes

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The multinational oil firm BP is being taken to account for the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Yesterday, the Obama administration banned BP from any new contacts with the federal government, citing, quote, "a lack of business integrity" related to the spill - that after BP admitted criminal wrongdoing in its recent settlement with the U.S. Justice Department.

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Europe
5:43 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Judge's Report Due On Regulating British Press

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this morning, a British judge who spent eight months investigating the excesses of the nation's media will issue his suggestions for how to rein in the sometimes rambunctious British press. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the wide-ranging inquiry in the wake of revelations of illegal phone hacking at The Tabloid News of the World and other papers owned by Rupert Murdoch.

But as Vicki Barker reports, Cameron's likely to face an uproar whether or not he accepts Brian Leveson's recommendations.

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Business
5:28 am
Thu November 29, 2012

GM Plans $1 Billion Auto Factory In China

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with GM investing in China.

General Motors says it's building a $1 billion factory with its joint venture partners in China. It's set to open in 2015 and will be the third GM plant in what is now the world's biggest auto market. The company hopes the plant will eventually produce up to two million vehicles a year. Auto sales in China are expected to hit 20 million this year - about five million more than in the U.S. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
5:25 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Amazon's 'Prime' Customers Get A Deal On Hefty Safe

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Amazon's"Prime" service — at $79 a year — includes free two-day delivery on any item Amazon stocks. That includes, according to the Wall Street Journal, a 1,500-pound safe. The company that makes the safe says it usually ships for $700.

Strange News
5:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Start Your Day With Bacon ... Shaving Cream

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Planet Money
3:01 am
Thu November 29, 2012

A Huge Pay Cut For Doctors Is Hiding In The Fiscal Cliff

How much is it worth?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:53 am

Yesterday, in the Bronx, Chris Veres took his grandfather to see Dr. Bob Murrow. He was worried about his grandfather's heart. Dr. Murrow talked to the family and ordered a cardiogram, which came back normal.

It was a pretty routine visit. But what happens next for the doctor — getting paid by Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for the elderly — is suddenly sort of a big deal.

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Business
3:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Toyota unveils its new RAV4 crossover SUV to the media Wednesday before the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 10:55 am

Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.

But at this year's L.A. Auto Show, you won't see any revolutionary new rides — at least not on the outside. You'll find the same sameness in your grocery store parking lot. A lot of cars look alike. Why is that?

"What they're relying on to distinguish these cars from one another is not so much the mechanical pieces of them or the design," says Brian Moody of Autotrader.com. "They're selling sort of a lifestyle or an experience or a philosophy."

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Business
3:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Propeller Planes Come Back Amid High Fuel Prices

Turboprop planes make up the entire fleet at Silver Airways. Airlines are increasingly using propeller planes to cut costs.
Courtesy of Silver Airways/SBPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 4:41 pm

Record-high fuel prices have hammered airlines, forcing executives to eliminate flights, cut back on unprofitable routes and make passengers pay for many perks that used to be free.

Now the airlines are looking at other ways to save money. That means a new opportunity for a plane from the past.

On a typical day at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the "Plane Train" ferries some 200,000 travelers a day between terminals. One of those passengers, Rebecca Hamilton, is on her way home to Florida.

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Energy
2:43 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

EPA Bans BP From Bidding On Federal Contracts

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that it is temporarily banning BP from doing new business with the federal government. The agency cites BP's lack of business integrity as a reason, pointing to the company's conduct during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. The suspension doesn't affect current contracts.

The Salt
2:33 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

No Simple Recipe For Weighing Food Waste At Mario Batali's Lupa

Glen Osterberg (right) and another line cook at Lupa learn how to use the LeanPath waste tracking software.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:44 am

Every year, restaurants throw away as much as 10 percent of the food they buy, as we reported yesterday, yet food waste ranks low on most chefs' list of priorities. But some restaurants want to do something about food waste in their quest to go green. That includes Mario Batali's Lupa Osteria Romana, one of New York's trendiest restaurants.

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