Business

All Tech Considered
7:57 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Gaza Tech Hub Finds Success In International Crowdfunding

Gaza Sky Geeks, a startup accelerator, is drawing interest and crowdfunding from around the region and the world.
Gaza Sky Geeks

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:23 pm

People in Gaza are getting impatient with the slow pace of rebuilding. International donors pledged $5.4 billion to help, but little of the money has made it to Gaza yet.

A Gaza tech startup accelerator has gone a different route — international crowdfunding.

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Arts & Life
7:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season — Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

So bad it's ... good? Consumer appetite for ugly Christmas sweaters — the tackier, the better — has had an impact on how retailers stock for the season.
TheUglySweaterShop.com Flickr

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 7:56 pm

Looking for a stylish sweater for the holidays? Forget cashmere. Instead, go for the light-up, dancing Santa.

This season, holiday shoppers are demanding the ugliest, gaudiest, tackiest sweaters out there. They need them for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater fun runs — even an ugly sweater party cruise.

All that demand has had an impact on stores large and small. On the national level, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Target all sell vintage-looking sweaters with all the bells and tinsel you could want.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Tech Week: Instagram Vs. Twitter And Europe Vs. Google

Instagram topped Twitter in active users in its latest count.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If you've been too busy finalizing holiday vacation plans and buying gifts, we're here to catch you up on the tech headlines you may have missed from NPR and beyond.

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Around the Nation
4:16 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Do Guns On The Premises Make Workplaces Safer?

In 2010, Omar Thornton killed eight colleagues in Manchester, Conn., before killing himself. Private employers used to create their own rules about guns on their property. But over the past five years, many states have adopted laws that allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles at work.
Douglas Healey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:49 am

This year, Tennessee joined 21 other states that allow employees to leave guns in their cars in the office parking lot. The laws have left many employers debating how best to ensure safety at work.

After Georgia passed its law allowing employees to keep firearms in their employers' parking lots, Sally Roberts installed a sign on her newspaper firm's door. It read: "No Weapons Allowed."

A job candidate once threatened her, says Roberts, human resources director at Morris Communications. "She did become violent, and I'm very thankful she did not have a weapon."

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New Boom
2:51 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

To Attract Millennials, A Company Changes Its Product And Workplace

Employees at LifeSize in Austin, Texas, take a midday break to play a game of volleyball. The court was installed to help attract millennials to work for the company.
Nicole Beemsterboer NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

It's lunchtime at a company called LifeSize in Austin, Texas. A dozen employees are playing beach volleyball on a sand court next to the parking garage behind their offices. Corrine Heery, a 28-year-old financial analyst, says she loves the "midday endorphin rush." And that it enhances her bragging rights when discussing her work with friends. "It's not just the business side, it's this side too — people getting along and playing fun sports," she says.

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Business
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Low Gas Prices Expected To Continue As Crude Oil Drops To $58 A Barrel

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Media
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Al Sharpton's Two Hats: Cable News Host And Activist

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Confusion Over Job-Based Insurance Can Shortchange Consumers

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:20 am

Misunderstandings about whether some types of job-based coverage disqualify consumers from signing up for subsidized insurance through the health law's marketplaces may lead some people to buy skimpier employer plans instead.

In recent weeks, some of the people called assisters, who help shoppers find coverage, say consumers are being told by employers that their bare-bones plans meet the minimum requirements under the law. That kind of insurance would cover preventive benefits, for instance, but might leave out prescription drugs and emergency care.

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The Salt
11:28 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Florida Tomato Pickers' Wins Could Extend To Dairy, Berry Workers

Farm workera at Lipman Produce load tomatoes on a truck on Jan. 16, 2014 in Naples, Fla. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. joined an initiative that will require its Florida tomato suppliers to increase farm worker pay and protect workers from forced labor and sexual assault, among other things.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 9:10 am

Farm workers in America have long been among the nation's poorest paid and most abused workers. But conditions have been improving for Florida tomato pickers, and those advances may soon reach other farm fields, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Fair Food Standards Council, or FFSC, a labor oversight group based in Sarasota, Fla.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Wealth Gap Between Races Widened During Recession, Study Says

Occupy Wall Street protesters join a labor union rally in Foley Square before marching on Zuccotti Park in New York's Financial District in 2011. A new report shows that wealth inequality between whites and nonwhites grew during the Great Recession.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:50 pm

The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap among white, black and Hispanic Americans, with median net worth in white households increasing to 13 times that for African-Americans, a new Pew Research Center study shows.

The study also shows that from 2007 to 2013, the wealth of white households has grown to 10 times that of Hispanic households.

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The Salt
9:56 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Aerial Photos Are New Weapon In Organic Civil War

The Cornucopia Institute commissioned this photo of an organic egg producer in Saranac, Mich. According to Cornucopia, the facility is owned by Herbruck's Poultry Ranch, which has a license to maintain up to 1 million chickens on this site.
Courtesy of The Cornucopia Institute

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:11 pm

If you look at it one way, these are the best of times for organic egg and milk producers. They can barely keep up with demand. Prices for their products are high. Profits are rolling in. Operations are expanding.

But that expansion is provoking suspicion, name-calling, and even clandestine investigations within the organic "community" because some organic advocates believe that some of these megafarms are not truly organic.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Fri December 12, 2014

SeaWorld CEO Steps Down Amid Controversy, Drop In Attendance

In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together earlier this month at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:44 am

Plagued by controversy and sharp drops in attendance and stock prices, SeaWorld has announced that CEO Jim Atchison will step aside.

U-T San Diego reports that the amusement park also plans on cutting an unspecified number of jobs. Atchison, according to the newspaper, will receive a $2.4 million payout and become vice chairman of the board.

Chairman David F. D'Alessandro will take on the job of chief executive officer while a permanent replacement is sought.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Why The White House Wants To Go After Seafood Pirates

A crab pot full of snow crabs, fished out of the Bering Sea.
Josh Thomas Courtesy of WWF

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 8:02 pm

Americans eat more seafood than just about anyone else. Most of it is imported from abroad. And a lot of it — perhaps 25 percent of wild-caught seafood imports, according to fisheries experts — is illegally caught.

The White House is now drafting recommendations on what to do about that. Fisheries experts say they hope the administration will devote more resources to fight seafood piracy.

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Movies
2:38 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Hacked Sony Emails Pull The Curtain Back On Hollywood

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Economy
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Controversial Budget Bill Would Roll Back Dodd-Frank Provision

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Iceland Experiments With A Jubilee Of Debt Forgiveness

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
2:34 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Smart Power Outlet That Can't Shock You

Normal outlets are always live at 120 volts, but the Brio Safe uses embedded sensors to accurately identify a plug before delivering a current.
Brio

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:21 pm

If you're a parent, you know the aggravation that comes with baby-proofing an entire house. Probably one of your biggest fears is that your child might stick her finger or a foreign object into an electrical outlet.

More than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur annually, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, and each day, nearly seven children are treated in a hospital due to injuries from tampering with an outlet.

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NPR Ed
7:57 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Community College Programs Can Lead To Big Payoffs — In The Right Fields

Dental students use practice dummies Aug. 27 in a newly renovated section of Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Health care is one field for which a recent study found that a community college degree produced a strong financial return.
Zach Gibson MLive.com/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:54 pm

When it comes to higher education, we've all heard the talking points: More people than ever are pursuing four-year degrees — despite skyrocketing tuition costs — because they don't have many other choices if they want to be competitive in the workforce.

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Business
3:04 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid?

Solar energy panels on a roof in Marshfield, Mass.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:14 am

The costs of solar energy are plummeting, and now are about on par with the electricity generated at big power plants. This new reality intensifies a long-running business and regulatory battle, between the mainline electric utility companies and newer firms that provide solar systems for homeowners' rooftops. Sometimes the rivalry looks more like hardball politics than marketplace economics.

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Religion
2:55 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Problems With Your Boss? Try A Chat With The Office Chaplain.

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

Copyright 2014 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Around the Nation
1:54 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:19 am

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

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Parallels
1:52 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'People Are Going To Rebel': Slow Pace Of Rebuilding Frustrates Gazans

Men load bags of cement from a warehouse in Gaza. Under a complicated system meant to prevent militants from getting cement to use for tunnels, Palestinians must get approval from home inspectors to buy just one sack.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:31 am

Angry men crowded outside the Beautiful Tower Co. for Trade and Contracting in Gaza City last week. They wanted to pay for cement, but the man at the door would let in only one person at a time.

Everyone pushing for a turn had been authorized through a complicated monitoring system endorsed by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to buy materials to fix war-damaged homes. The system is meant to stop militants from getting cement to use for tunnels and even requires Palestinians to get prior approval from home inspectors to buy a single sack of cement.

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The Salt
1:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Women's Work Is Never Done On The Farm, And Sometimes Never Counted

Owner Mary Kraft at Badger Creek Dairy outside Fort Morgan, Colo.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:45 am

The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that's who's in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012. And if you dig a little deeper, you'll find women are showing up in new roles. But because of the way farm businesses are structured, women's work often isn't included in those USDA counts.

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The Salt
4:39 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

More Drinking, Less Buzz: Session Beers Gain Fans

Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers — meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent.
Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:33 pm

Tailgating, camping trips and wedding receptions are just some of the occasions when many Americans down a few beers in one sitting. For those who prefer high-alcohol microbrews and other craft beers, that can lead to trouble.

But a growing trend is offering another option: Session beers emphasize craft-beer taste with alcohol as low as or lower than big-brand light beers.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Stocks Are Battered As Oil Hits Another 5-Year Low

Today was another big day for energy news: Oil prices fell to a new five-year-low, below $61 per barrel on world markets; the U.S. said its supplies of crude oil increased last week; and OPEC said it expected lower demand next year.

The news prompted a selloff on Wall Street. Jim Paulson, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, tells our NPR's Newscast unit investors fear global economic tumult.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Detroit's Outgoing Emergency Manager Is Leaving City In Better Shape

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Uber's Troubles Mount Even As Its Value Grows

The Uber smartphone app is seen next to a taxi sign in Madrid, Spain. A Spanish judge this week ordered Uber to cease operations in the country. It's among the latest challenges facing the ride-sharing service recently valued at $40 billion.
Sergio Perez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:39 am

Uber, the ride-sharing service that is growing in value, is also watching its troubles mount.

It's latest woes are in California where, as NPR's Laura Sydell tells our Newscast unit, the attorneys general of San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are suing Uber. Here's more from Sydell's report:

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Goats and Soda
11:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Alleged Rape Of Passenger Raises Concerns About How Uber Runs Abroad

After a woman reported that she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi, protesters gathered outside a police station.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters /Landov

Uber is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Detroit's Bankruptcy Is Over, Michigan's Governor Says

Gov. Rick Snyder speaks today flanked by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (left) and emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Snyder said that the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy will end at midnight.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:59 am

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said today that Detroit's bankruptcy, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, will end at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday.

"The financial emergency in the city of Detroit will be defined as wrapping up today," Snyder said at a news conference in Detroit.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed December 10, 2014

After Raid On Its Servers In Sweden, Pirate Bay Goes Offline

Supporters of the website The Pirate Bay, one of the world's top illegal file-sharing websites, demonstrate in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2009.
Fredrik Persson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 11:35 am

Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular and largest file-sharing sites, is offline today, after police in Sweden raided their servers.

TorrentFreak, which reports on file-sharing sites, says that while Pirate Bay has been targeted by authorities in the past, this is the first time the peer-to-peer network disappeared from the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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