Business

Economy
8:52 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Who Really Changes The Economy?

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
AP

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 9:05 am

With Election Day drawing closer, each presidential candidate is pushing harder to make the case that he would be a better leader for the economy.

And voters are listening to the pitches. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed that nearly 3 in 4 Americans say the candidate's approach to the economy will be a "major factor" in deciding between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Jobless Claims Saw Little Change Last Week; Four-Week Average Is Up

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment remained flat, last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. In the week that ended Aug. 25, a seasonally adjusted 374,000 claims were filed, matching the previous week's total, which was revised up.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:44 am

The more than $3.5 billion deal was signed during a visit to China by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Business
3:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Overseer issues Report

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Samsung Licks Its Wounds After Losing Patent Suit

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:17 am

David Greene talks to Ina Fried, a senior editor at the website All Things Digital, about the next steps for Samsung after it lost a patent lawsuit to Apple.

Business
3:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:02 am

Sweden's spy agency sanctioned the elegant party last year. It cost more than $650,000 at a time when the government was pushing austerity measures.

Planet Money
1:21 am
Thu August 30, 2012

What The Apollo Astronauts Did For Life Insurance

A astronaut cover signed by Neil Armstrong.
via collectspace.com

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:48 pm

This week, Americans have been remembering Neil Armstrong. But before he walked on the moon, he had to solve a much more prosaic problem.

"You're about to embark on a mission that's more dangerous than anything any human has ever done before," Robert Pearlman, a space historian and collector with collectspace.com, told me. "And you have a family that you're leaving behind on Earth, and there's a real chance you will not be returning."

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Around the Nation
1:15 am
Thu August 30, 2012

In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel?

Drought has taken a toll on corn this year, and as a result, a growing number of ethanol plants have closed.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:56 am

Standing outside the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op in Little Falls, Minn., there's not a lot going on. The pungent smell of fermentation that typically hangs in the air here is absent. And trucks piled high with corn are nowhere to be seen.

They're idled in part because of high corn prices. And it's unclear when that will change.

"Most of the industry is just breaking even in terms of profitability or actually running at slightly negative margins," says Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Wed August 29, 2012

U.S. Economy Grew At 1.7 Percent Annual Rate In Second Quarter

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:53 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its GDP numbers today, saying that during the second quarter of this year, the United States economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

That's up from its original estimate of 1.5 percent.

The BEA reports:

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Business
4:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with upping the oil output.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The group of seven most industrialized nations are urging oil producing countries to ramp up production. In a statement yesterday, the so-called G-7 nations warned of the risks, quote, "posed by elevated oil prices." Demand for gasoline usually starts to wane at the end of the summer but right now gasoline prices are hitting new highs. Oil prices are surging because of tensions with Iran and the ongoing concern about Hurricane Isaac.

Business
4:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a home run for Major League Baseball.

ESPN agreed yesterday to pay the baseball association $5.6 billion over the next eight years for broadcast and digital rights to games. That is a record, we're told, for baseball broadcasting rights. It is also about double what ESPN currently pays to broadcast Major League Baseball games, although the sports network will be getting a lot more for its money this time around - more international rights, radio rights, rights to more games.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Calif. Leaders Agree To Overhaul Pension System

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

California's governor, Jerry Brown, has announced a set of long-awaited reforms to his state's underfunded public pension system. The Democratic governor says the package will save the state about $30 billion in the future. More details of the cost savings are expected later today.

Brown is hoping the reforms will pave the way for another of his policy goals, as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

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Business
4:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

White House Unveils New Fuel-Efficiency Standards

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama's administration has adopted new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. They're expected to nearly double fuel efficiency and slash greenhouse gas emissions.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports the new requirements are a rare example of industry agreeing to tough environmental regulations.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: The new standards were the result of many months of negotiation between the Obama administration, the state of California, the auto industry and environmental groups.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Fracking Activists Try To Sway N.Y. Gov. Cuomo

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Hundreds of protestors rallied, this week, in Albany, New York. They are trying to put pressure on New York's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. They want him to reject a plan to expand natural gas drilling. Specifically, Cuomo's expected to decide in the coming days whether to allow more aggressive hydraulic fracturing to reach gas deposits that are locked deep underground. As North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports, people on both sides are mounting eleventh-hour campaigns to try and sway the governor.

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Computer Troubles Freeze United Airlines' System, Bringing A Cascade Of Delays

Two United Airlines planes sit at a terminal at San Francisco International Airport Friday. The airport briefly refused to accept any domestic arrivals Tuesday, after a computer crash disrupted United's system.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 1:51 pm

Many travelers using United Airlines faced delays Tuesday, but they weren't connected to Hurricane Isaac. Instead, the airline's computer network crashed, leaving large parts of its system paralyzed Tuesday afternoon.

First noted around 2:15 p.m. EDT, the problems persisted until about 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the airline tweeted that it is "in the process of resuming operations and rebooking customers."

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Business
2:27 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Bain Capital Tax Documents Draw Mixed Reaction

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 6:52 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Mitt Romney stands by his decision not to release more than two years of his tax returns. Democrats keep hammering away, suggesting the Republican presidential candidate has something to hide. Well, last week, the website Gawker released over 900 pages of financial documents related to Bain Capital. That's the private equity firm Romney co-founded.

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Business
3:53 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an eye on oil prices.

Isaac is not expected to grow beyond a Category 1 hurricane and that is easing some concerns it could damage oil and gas refineries along the Gulf Coast. Still, several have shut down operations and will probably be offline for a couple days. Depending on Isaac's severity, analysts say gas prices could go up by about 10 cents or so in the coming weeks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
3:53 am
Tue August 28, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Microsoft had to know there would be critics when it released its new logo late last week. And today's last word in business is: mixed reviews.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Microsoft used the old logo for 25 years. The tech world has certainly changed a lot since then. PCs, not iPads, where the big thing then and Microsoft dominated the software for them. Now, Microsoft says it's time to change its look.

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Business
3:53 am
Tue August 28, 2012

App Answers: Who's Paying For That Political Ad?

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now that Isaac has passed by Tampa, the Republican National Convention gets underway today, but voters living in swing sates have already heard plenty of messages from both political parties - unprecedented waves of ads.

NPR's Steve Henn reports there is an app - an application that can help you figure out who's behind them.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: If this is what your TV sounds like...

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER #1: Two wars. Tax cuts for millionaires. Death.

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The Salt
1:28 am
Tue August 28, 2012

In India, 100-Year-Old Lunch Delivery Service Goes Modern

Dabba wallahs carry lunchboxes to offices in Indian cities. But the old tradition is changing with modern times.
Aijaz Rahi AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:37 am

Every day in Mumbai, some 5,000 deliverymen called dabba wallahs hand deliver 200,000 hot meals to doorsteps across the city. It's an intricate network that requires precise timing and numerous handoffs from courier to courier. The century-old service is a staple for the city's office workers. (See how it works in this video.) But as the city has changed, so too has the service.

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Africa
1:12 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Somaliland: A Pocket Of Stability In A Chaotic Region

Bundles of Somaliland's own currency bills are laid out by a money-changer on a street in Hargeisa, capital of the unrecognized breakaway republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia. Investors are beginning to move into the untapped market in Somaliland, a stable island in a turbulent region.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

Somalia is synonymous with failed states, pirates and Islamist militants. But in the nation's northwest lies a peaceful, stable territory with an elected government known as Somaliland. The enclave broke away from the fractious Horn of Africa nation in 1991 and has been going it alone ever since.

To the disappointment of its residents, Somaliland has not been recognized as an independent nation, but its stability is attracting investors that other parts of Somalia can only dream of.

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Technology
2:46 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Fallout After Apple-Samsung Suit

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:23 pm

Audie Cornish looks ahead to the week's tech news with Steve Henn. They cover fallout from the Apple's victory over Samsung in a mobile patents case.

The Salt
11:06 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Portland Company Aims To Tame Food Truck Trash

Portland-based GO Box, a service that provides and cleans reusable take-out boxes for local food trucks, hopes to keep some of the city's food waste from going in the dumpster.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:39 am

With nearly 700 food carts licensed last year, Portland, Ore., is arguable a leader in the mobile food revolution. Lucky residents can choose between Iraqi-Jewish sabich, yeasted Belgian liege waffles, or Indonesian rendang, all served out of a friendly window on the sidewalk. But all of these mobile meals come with a downside — namely, trash.

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Economy
9:48 am
Mon August 27, 2012

How Has The Economy Changed Since 2008 Elections?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the NFL is in the middle of another lockout, but it's not the players. We'll get more from Sports Illustrated's Pablo Torre in just a few minutes.

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Business
8:04 am
Mon August 27, 2012

As Conventions Begin, Where Is The U.S. Economy?

Sales of new homes, like this one in Palo Alto, Calif., rose 3.6 percent in July.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:52 pm

In late August of 2008, just as delegates were coming together for their political-party conventions, the U.S. economy was falling apart. Home sales were shutting down, employers were slashing payrolls, and financial institutions were lurching toward chaos.

Subsequent weeks saw political leaders and regulators fighting through one gut-wrenching day after another, trying to avert a complete collapse of global markets. On Sept. 24, Republican presidential candidate John McCain temporarily suspended his campaign to help Congress develop financial bailout plans.

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Business
2:56 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Samsung Shares Drop After Patent Verdict

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Samsung's slip.

This is the first trading day since Apple's win in a huge American patent battle with competitor Samsung. This weekend, the South Korean company was ordered to pay more than $1 billion in damages after a California jury found it copied features of Apple's iPhone and iPad.

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Business
2:56 am
Mon August 27, 2012

New Hampshire, A Low-Cost Massachusetts?

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 8:56 am

New Hampshire's economy is comparatively strong these days, but that strength varies depending on where you are in the small state. The closer you get to its border with Massachusetts, the more robust the economic activity. The state has been aggressive about marketing the so-called "New Hampshire Advantage."

Business
2:56 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Illegal Dowloads Follow Teen Into Adulthood, Court

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:23 am

A federal court in Massachusetts has upheld a $675,000 penalty against a Boston University graduate student for downloading 31 pirated songs online as a teenager. The recording industry says Joel Tenebaum was downloading and distributing thousand of songs and wouldn't stop even after warnings from his father, his college and a cease and desist letter from Sony.

It's All Politics
5:32 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Romney's Auto Bailout Stance Complicates Campaign In Battleground Ohio

Cars at the General Motors Assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in 2009.
Mark Stahl AP

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 2:00 pm

The auto industry is big business in Ohio. Billions of dollars' worth of cars and auto parts are made in the state each year. Thousands of unionized auto workers live in Ohio, as do the business owners and employees who make it one of the top auto parts suppliers in the nation.

So, the auto bailout is a hot issue — and a complicated one.

For Republicans in Ohio, the bailout is a tough issue — perhaps because of Mitt Romney's initial stance, or perhaps because of the consensus that the bailout worked.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Snakes, And The Snake Wranglers Who Love Them

Matt and Paula Wilson (in background) clear rattlesnakes from a field in Pennsylvania. They work as snake wranglers, clearing areas for natural gas company employees.
Scott Detrow WITF

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 10:32 am

Jobs on natural gas drilling sites can have funny-sounding names: There are roustabouts, mud men, doodlebuggers and snake wranglers. That last one — snake wrangler — is exactly what it sounds like.

Everyone hates snakes, right?

Even Indiana Jones hates snakes.

But — not everybody.

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