Business

The Salt
1:31 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Dr Pepper's Evolution Ad Strikes A Nerve With Some Christians

Dr Pepper's Facebook ad is the latest riff on a 1965 evolutionary graphic, which apparently still has the power to provoke.
Dr Pepper/Facebook

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:22 am

I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, but clearly, some people are not Peppers.

Dr Pepper's new Facebook ad campaign featuring an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.

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Business
12:16 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Can Anyone Compete With Apple?

Demand for Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be so big that one economist predicted sales could boost the U.S. economy 1/2 percent. And Apple's going to court to shut down what it sees as copycats. Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo talks about who's competing with Apple, and whether it's working.

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:37 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Big Data And Its Big Problems

Imagine every thousandth blood cell in your body has a tiny radio transmitter in it. Imagine that 10 times a second that transmitter sends each cell's location to a computer storing the data. Along with position, it also sends the concentration of a list of 10 chemicals encountered at receptors distributed at 10 sites over the surface of each cell. Now imagine following all those blood cells for an hour. That makes a billion blood cells being sampled 10 times a second for 3,600 seconds.

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Business
4:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a delay in Arctic drilling.

A controversial oil drilling project in Arctic waters off Alaska is being pushed back to next year. Oil giant Shell blames a combinations of problems with an oil containment device, drifting sea ice and the need for permits. This is the second delay this year in oil companies search for oil in the Arctic. In July, BP shelved its plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea because of new stricter safety standards. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
4:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: red, white or diet - wine, that is.

Weight Watchers has announced a new line of reduced-alcohol wines soon to be available in the U.K., the wines billed in the trend of popular diet alcoholic drinks in the United States.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
4:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Obama Gets Tough On China's Auto Subsidies

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for not taking a harder line against China. On Monday, the White House announced a new trade complaint over what the administration calls China's unfair subsidies for auto parts. The news came as Obama campaigned in Ohio, where auto parts are big business.

Business
4:11 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Google's Digital Library Plan Hits Another Snag

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Google's plan to create the world's largest digital library ran into legal problems when groups of authors sued to defend the rights to their work. If that sounds like an old story that's because it is. The lawsuit, now in its 11th year, has run into yet another legal delay.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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The Salt
1:33 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Japanese Sake Makers Shake Off Tradition, Try Brewing Craft Beer

Kiuchi Brewery vice president Youichi Kiuchi holds a bottle of his company's Hitachino Nest beer. To make beer, the brewery is using equipment that once was used for sake.
Lucy Craft NPR

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:25 am

Until recently, if you ordered Japanese beer, there weren't many to choose from. Before the industry was deregulated in the 1990s, four major brewers — Asahi, Suntory, Sapporo and Kirin – controlled the manufacture of Japanese beer.

But the major brands' domination is ebbing, for reasons that have as much to do with Japan's ancient history as with its evolving palates. And now some traditional sake brewers are ditching the tradition and trying their hand at craft beer brewing.

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All Tech Considered
3:03 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Singapore's Rising Tech Industry Draws Expat Innovators And Investors

Andrew Roth is co-founder of Perx, a Singapore-based firm that uses smartphones as virtual loyalty cards.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 4:39 pm

For the past six years in a row, the World Bank has rated the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business. Drawn in part by this reputation, money and talent are pouring into the island nation's growing technology sector.

One of Facebook's co-founders recently renounced his American citizenship and relocated to Singapore, where he has been investing in tech startups.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Canada Stops Its Defense Of Asbestos, As Quebec's Mines Close For Good

A former Asbestos plant is seen February in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Canada has ended its refusal to allow chrysotile asbestos to be added to the U.N.'s Rotterdam Convention on hazardous materials.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:45 am

Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.

Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.

As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Shriveled Mich. Apple Harvest Means Fewer Jobs, Tough Year Ahead

A lonely Michigan apple.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:42 pm

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.

Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Makers Of the DipJar Hope That Dipping To Tip Catches On

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:46 am

As Americans increasingly rely on cards, not cash, to pay for small items like coffee and snacks, it's not always easy to tip the baristas and counter folks who make those transactions run smoothly. A new device called the "Dip Jar" might fix that, by allowing customers to dip a card to give $1 to the staff.

That might come as welcome news to workers behind the counter, who've seen debit and credit cards take over from cash. As a result, there's less change from which to pull a tip for the traditional jar that's often seen on counters where coffee, beer, or sandwiches are sold.

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Economy
9:34 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Is The 'Fiscal Cliff' As Bad As It Sounds?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 10:29 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, last year the Occupy Wall Street movement dominated headlines for weeks and added terms like the 99 percent to our political vocabularies. But a year after the protests started we wanted to know where the movement stands now. We're going to call writer and activist Debra Dickerson about this. She's at the heart of the anniversary protest. That's later in the program.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Mon September 17, 2012

White House Launching Trade Complaints Against China

A worker inspects auto parts at a factory in Chengdu, China. (2005 file photo.)
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 11:10 am

"The White House Monday will demand through a world trade panel that China stop subsidizing auto parts made for export," reports Cleveland's Plain Dealer.

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Business
2:48 am
Mon September 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: kicking the crack berry habit. That's what BlackBerry users at Yahoo are being encouraged to do.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And take up other addictions instead. Over the weekend, Yahoo announced it will buy employees the smartphone of their choice so long as it is not a BlackBerry. The company will however, pick up the tab with a data plan for the brand new iPhone 5 and the yet-to-be-released Windows Phone 8.

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Law
2:48 am
Mon September 17, 2012

'Bernie Madoff Of The Midwest' To Plead Guilty

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Another massive financial fraud case is going to federal court on this Monday. In Iowa, the founder and CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, or PFG, is expected to plead guilty to charges that he swindled customers out of at least $100 million. NPR's David Schaper reports.

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Business
2:48 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Gasoline Prices Expected To Start Dropping

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And gas prices are on the rise again - speaking of autos. Since the beginning of July, the average price for regular gasoline in the U.S. has gone up more than 50 cents, which makes the national average just under $3.90 a gallon.

Though NPR's Jeff Brady has some good news, prices are likely to go down soon.

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Business
2:48 am
Mon September 17, 2012

White House To Launch Trade Case Against China

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A trade dispute between the U.S. and China is at the top of NPR's business news.

The United States has filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization. Washington charges that China subsidizes its cars and auto parts, giving it an unfair trade advantage over U.S. automakers.

This move comes as President Obama campaigns in Ohio today. Ohio is a political swing state and a place where many jobs rely on the auto industry.

The Salt
4:23 am
Sun September 16, 2012

To Find Truly Wild Rice, Head North To Minnesota

Joe Hoagland, left, pushes a canoe through a wild rice bed as 14-year-old Chris Salazar learns how to harvest the rice.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:43 pm

Harvest season is upon us, but in the U.S.'s northern lakes, it's not just the last tomatoes and first pumpkins. Through the end of this month, canoes will glide into lakes and rivers for the annual gathering of wild rice, kick started with the popular Wild Rice Festival in Roseville, Minn., on Saturday.

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Africa
4:20 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Rwanda's Economy: An Unlikely Success Story

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at the International Fund for Agricultural Development headquarters in Rome in February. Changes in agriculture have been part of the country's economic growth.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

East Africa is a tough place to do business. Want to open shop in Kenya? Prepare for a month of paper work, surly officials and bribes. To the west, in Rwanda, it's a different story.

"Registering a business takes just a matter of hours. It no longer takes months, weeks, as it used to be," says Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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The Salt
1:12 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Penn State's Latest Woes: There's Something In The Ice Cream

An ice cream recall is the latest in a line of Penn State's woes.
slightly everything Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:44 pm

As if Penn State didn't have enough problems these days, it looks like someone may be spiking its famous ice cream.

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Planet Money
12:37 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Even If You're All-Powerful, It's Hard To Fix The Economy

This guy lives in a computer. Can you get him a job?
Walt Disney Pictures The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:43 pm

The world inside Mark Zandi's computer model feels pretty familiar. It's full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They're paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can't find jobs.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Fri September 14, 2012

What Anti-Islam Film Says About Free Speech And The 'Hecklers Veto'

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:47 am

After the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this week, Google took down the YouTube video said to have sparked the violence — but only in Libya and in Egypt, where anti-American protests also flared up.

It's an example of the challenges of balancing U.S. free speech concerns and of something known as the "heckler's veto."

The Innocence of Muslims isn't the only YouTube video that can be seen in the U.S. but not elsewhere. Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, for example, and slurs against Turkey's founder don't appear in that country.

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Business
4:43 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Fed's New Plan Focuses On The Housing Market

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Federal Reserve in this country is embarking on another unconventional program to strengthen the sluggish economic recovery. This time, the Fed is focused on the housing market, as NPR's John Ydstie reports.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: At the end of their two day meeting yesterday, Fed officials said they intend to buy $40 billion a month of mortgage backed securities to help the struggling housing market.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke explained the rationale at his post meeting new conference.

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Business
4:41 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Home Depot To Close 7 Stores In China

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a do-it-yourself downsizing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Home Depot, the U.S.-based home improvement big box chain, says it's going to leave some big boxes behind. It's going to close seven of its stores in China. The company says it's moving away from the do-it-yourself model in China.

Business
4:32 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Psy's 'Gangnam Style' Sets Records

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Gangnam Style.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC VIDEO, "GANGNAM STYLE")

PSY: (Rapping) Oppan gangnamseutail.

INSKEEP: That's the music video by the Korean rapper Psy - P-S-Y. Since it was posted in July, it has gotten more than 160 million views - 160 million. The song recently made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And at the rate it's going it will surpass the summer earworm "Call Me Maybe" in YouTube views.

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Economy
2:24 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Discouraged In Hunt For A Job, Many Stop Looking

A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.

The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.

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U.S.
2:24 am
Fri September 14, 2012

California Online Sales Tax Faces Enforcement Hurdle

An Amazon worker sorts packages at a fulfillment center in Goodyear, Ariz.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

It's not hard to find online shoppers these days. Take the hipster cafe in San Francisco's Mission District where Shirin Oskooi opens her laptop and ticks off her latest Amazon purchases.

Next to her is Craig Sumner. He opens an Amazon invoice to see how much sales tax he was charged on his latest pair of Levis: none.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Ben Bernanke: Fed Is Looking For 'Sustained Improvement' Of Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 1:55 pm

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke said the new monetary policy announced today is aimed at getting the U.S. economy moving for good.

After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced that it would spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.

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Planet Money
1:04 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

The Fed Goes Big

Any questions?
Jim Watson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 4:06 pm

What people think is going to happen to the economy has a huge influence over what actually happens. If you can change peoples' expectations, you can change the world.

The Federal Reserve knows this. And, as Robert Smith pointed out this morning, Ben Bernanke and the Fed have been using the power of expectations more and more in recent years.

This afternoon, the Fed took another huge step in this direction.

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