Business

The Salt
2:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

At His Own Risk, Somali Chef Creates Gourmet Haven In War-Weary Mogadishu

Somali chef Ahmed Jama holds up freshly caught spiny lobsters he's about to cook in one of his restaurants in Mogadishu.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:48 pm

Ahmed Jama was running a successful Somali cafe in southwest London when he decided it was time to go home. Against the urgent advice of friends, he returned to Mogadishu three years ago and started cooking.

Jama epitomizes the spirit of rebirth in the city that has been brutalized by 21 years of civil war. As expatriates return to take their homeland back from warlords, terrorists and looters, Jama is doing his part to revive Mogadishu one prawn at a time.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

An Entrepreneur Expands The Lego Universe

The bodies of these World War II U.S. Marines and Western Front soldiers are made by Lego, while the helmets and weapons are made by BrickArms. The uniforms are designed and printed by BrickArms.
Will Chapman

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:49 pm

Lots of good business ideas have emerged from kids' play. Seattle-area resident Will Chapman could thank his youngest son. At the age of 9, he wanted to know all he could about World War II and was using Lego toys to act out history. But his son was stymied — he couldn't find all the pieces he wanted.

Each year Lego turns out 19 billion plastic bricks, figures and gears for building things. But sometimes, it seems, even 19 billion isn't enough.

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U.S.
2:49 am
Mon November 26, 2012

'Giving Tuesday': The Start Of A Holiday Tradition?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:50 pm

First, there was the post-Thanksgiving sales spectacle Black Friday and then the online version, Cyber Monday. Now, charitable groups want to start a new holiday tradition — it's called Giving Tuesday and the first one is tomorrow.

It may seem a little surprising that no one came up with the idea before of designating a specific day to help launch the holiday charitable giving season.

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Business
4:34 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Retail Arms Race Escalates To New Level

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 8:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In American retail history, this may be the year that Black Friday shaded into Thursday night. Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart, several other retailers opened on Thursday night, Thanksgiving night, and on Friday, many other online retailers offered flash sales - special deals lasting just a couple of hours. Patty Edwards is the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial, a financial services firm in Washington state. She joins us from member station KUOW in Seattle. Thanks so much for being with us.

PATTY EDWARDS: Absolutely my pleasure.

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Europe
3:43 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Glitzy Burgundy Wine Auction Taps Celebrities

France's former first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, auctioneer Francois de Ricqles and former soccer coach Guy Roux preside over the 152nd Hospices de Beaune wine auction Sunday in Beaune, France. The charity auction raised an all-time high of $7.5 million, which goes to area hospitals.
Tardivon Jean-Christophe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 12:09 pm

For the last century and a half, the wine season in France's grape-growing region of Burgundy has revolved around one major commercial event. On the third Sunday in November, hundreds of barrels of the recent harvest are sold to the highest bidder in a charity wine auction. The historic event, which took place this year on Nov. 18, has evolved into an A-list rendezvous for the power players in the international wine industry.

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Business
3:22 am
Sat November 24, 2012

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 11:04 am

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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The Picture Show
8:23 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Don't Like Shopping? Take Pictures Instead

black_friday_buy1.jpg
Courtesy of Sandy Carson

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:36 pm

If you like photographing, but are somehow not enticed by long lines, getting elbowed in the ribs and cut off by shopping carts in pursuit of a red tag sale, Picture Black Friday might give you another excuse to get out there today.

"I think there are enough people turning the economy over," says Sandy Carson. "I'd rather just make photos and be an observer."

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Why 'Black Friday' Has Dark Roots

People waited in line to make purchases at a Macy's department store in New York during last year's "Black Friday" shopping weekend.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:43 am

Black Friday may not yet be a bigger holiday than Thanksgiving, but it certainly has a bigger marketing budget. Retailers may have needed it to overcome the term's long and negative history.

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Business
2:35 am
Fri November 23, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Today's last word in business is busting the doorbusters.

Shoppers are heading out to stores today. Many went shopping overnight to seize those Black Friday bargains. But are the deals really unbeatable?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

No. Not according to an analysis by pricing research firm Decide Incorporated and The Wall Street Journal. They found that many products with so-called doorbuster deals had deals that were available at even lower prices at other times of the year - even at the same retailer.

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Business
2:35 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Cyprus Natural Gas

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

The tiny eastern Mediterranean country of Cyprus is expected to become the fifth eurozone nation to receive a bailout. But the island-nation, which is about half the size of Connecticut, could soon access a massive treasure under the sea: natural gas.

If all goes well, Cyprus could start making more than $25 billion a year — about the same as the country's current GDP — starting as early as 2015, says Solon Kassinis. Twenty years ago, few listened to the engineer when he said there was gas and oil under the seabed.

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Business
2:35 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 11:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Greek debt plan.

Europe
1:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Burgundy's Yield Fails To Meet Grape Expectations

Workers pick fruit Sept. 22 during the grape harvest at the Gevrey-Chambertin vineyard in France's Burgundy region. Bad weather has reduced the grape yield by as much as 70 percent in some vineyards.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Neat rows of grapevines run down the slopes of the Cotes de Beaune, all the way to the gravel driveway at Chateau de Corton Andre. The castle's traditional Burgundy black-and-yellow-tiled roof glistens in the autumn sun.

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Business
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Rich Jaroslovsky's Gadget Picks For 2012

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 1:54 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As we charge into the holiday gift buying season, gadgets are usually near the top of many people's wish lists. Our regular technology commentator Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News tells us about his gadget picks for 2012.

Rich, thanks for joining us.

RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: First, Rich, let's look at the camera. It's an amazing little machine. It doesn't even vaguely look like a camera. It looks like it must be expensive and do lots of clever tricks?

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NPR Story
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business goes out to all you last-minute airline travelers on this Thanksgiving Day.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And the last word is: Leave that cranberry sauce at home.

MONTAGNE: The Transportation Security Administration has posted a special Thanksgiving notice on its website, reminding flyers about the foods they cannot hand carry through the security checkpoint.

WERTHEIMER: The list includes gravy, creamy dips, spreads.

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Business
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Protesters To Picket Wal-Mart On Black Friday

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:51 am

Union-backed organizations plan to picket selected stores across the country, about 1,000 in all. Journalist Charles Fishman tells Linda Wertheimer the groups protesting want to make Wal-Mart a better company and a better place to work. Fishman is the author of the book, The Wal-Mart Effect.

Business
2:43 am
Thu November 22, 2012

More And More Airline Flights Are Filled To Capacity

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:52 am

Airlines are always crowded during the Thanksgiving holiday. But if you've had the feeling they're becoming more crowded all the time, it's not just your imagination. On average, more than 80 percent of airline seats have been filled and plenty of flights have been packed to capacity.

Business
1:25 am
Thu November 22, 2012

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 5:11 am

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

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It's All Politics
1:23 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Before The Showdown: The Long Road To The Fiscal Cliff

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:45 am

New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

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Business
3:20 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

HP Says It Was Duped Into Overpaying For Company

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:57 pm

Hewlett Packard is claiming it was duped into overpaying when it acquired Britain's largest software company a little more than a year ago. HP released its latest quarterly earning report on Tuesday and announced that it was writing off most of the $11 billion investment. The firm HP bought, Autonomy, denies there were any improprieties.

The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Judge Approves Hostess' Plan To Liquidate

The big name in the Hostess lineup.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:02 pm

Maybe the end is nigh, after all.

A judge has approved Hostess' plan to liquidate the company, all but assuring that the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Donettes and Wonder Bread will cease to exist.

The New York Times reports:

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop; But Superstorm Sandy's Effects Still Being Felt

The scene at a career fair last month in New York City.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.

The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Wed November 21, 2012

'We Didn't Do Enough' To Protect S.C. Tax Records

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Here is a story that's has people in South Carolina on edge. Foreign hackers recently broke into the state's Department of Revenue and stole the records of 3.8 million individual taxpayers and nearly three-quarters of a million businesses. The breach affects everyone who filed an electronic tax return in South Carolina going back to 1998. NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

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Business
3:57 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Travelers Take Flight

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Between the lines and the crowds and the dashes to gates, airports are busy places. Atlanta's airport is one of the busiest in the world, especially during Thanksgiving, which is the busiest holiday for travel. Charles Edwards of member station WABE braved the city's airport to bring us this story.

CHARLES EDWARDS, BYLINE: So far this week, security lines inside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have been long. But, they're moving.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Shops, Buyers Slow To Return To South Street Seaport

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As the holiday season takes hold in New York City, shoppers are heading to FAO Schwartz near Central Park for toys, and to Macy's on 34th Street for clothes or cookware. They shouldn't have a problem, Midtown Manhattan was largely unaffected by Hurricane Sandy. One major tourist attraction in lower Manhattan wasn't so lucky.

Dan Tucker, of member station WNYC, has this report from the historic South Street Seaport.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a costly misstep by HP.

The California-based technology giant is writing down an $8.8 billion loss. CEO Meg Whitman says much of that comes from new revelations about Autonomy, a software company HP bought last year. She says the company lied about the state of its finances. HP plans to sue, and has asked authorities in both the U.S. and the U.K. to investigate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Health Care
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Fixing Health Care Waste Would Trip Deficit

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Washington, lawmakers are trying to work out a deal to keep the economy from going over the fiscal cliff. Many economists predict those automatic tax hikes combined with deep spending cuts set to go into effect on New Year's Day would throw the economy back into recession.

A group of top CEOs has been urging lawmakers to reach a deal to keep that from happening. Mark Bertolini is one of them. He's CEO of the health insurer Aetna and he said tax increases are as important as spending cuts. We called him to talk more.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Feds: Hedge Fund Benefited From Insider Trading

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have brought charges in what they are calling the biggest insider trading case ever. A former hedge fund employee made about a quarter billion dollars for the fund after allegedly getting a sneak preview of clinical trial data for a new drug.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports prosecutors believe this may lead them to even bigger cases.

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Business
3:36 am
Wed November 21, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: retro gift.

This holiday season Furby is making a comeback. That's the fuzzy owl-like creature that learns to speak. In his first incarnation back in the '90s 40 million Furbys were sold.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

To reach those numbers again, the 21st century version has some updates - like LCD screens for eyes. They dilate to display graphics like rainbows, love-hearts or diamonds.

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Business
1:34 am
Wed November 21, 2012

To Lure Shoppers, Wal-Mart Tries Same-Day Delivery

Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, Wal-Mart is trying to attract shoppers increasingly accustomed to online shopping. In one experiment, it's offering same-day delivery in four select markets.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:07 am

With the holiday shopping season shifting into high gear, retailers are doing everything they can to win consumer dollars. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is trying out one new strategy this season: same-day delivery. In a few select markets, it's joining online retail giant Amazon and eBay's "Now" service in offering super-quick delivery, straight to your door.

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The Salt
1:33 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Why Greek Yogurt Makers Want Whey To Go Away

Most of the gleaming steel tanks outside Fage's yogurt factory hold milk. One, however, holds the yogurt byproduct whey.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:45 am

A few months ago, I let you in on a little secret about Greek yogurt. Not all of this extra-thick, protein-rich yogurt is made the old-style way, by straining liquid out of it it. Some companies are creating that rich taste by adding thickeners, such as powdered protein and starch.

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