Business

Economy
1:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Jobs Report A Litmus Test For Economy's Direction

The U.S. economy added only 120,000 jobs in March, far below expectations. The job gains were the smallest in five months. The report isn't a conclusive verdict on the economy. It could be an off month of weak growth or the sign of something more troubling — a serious hiring slowdown.

Business
1:00 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Hiring Climate Affects Small Businesses

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We head to Ohio now for Bruce Lackey's view of the economy. He's CEO of Happy Chicken Farms, a wholesale egg and dairy distributor in Urbancrest, Ohio. The company has been in business since 1953, now has 32 employees. Mr. Lackey joins me from his office. Welcome to the program.

BRUCE LACKEY: Well, thank you very much for the invitation.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
11:59 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Company Ties Shoes And Ethics Together

Gideon Shoes co-founder Matt Noffs with youth from The Street University, the nonprofit youth center that launched the fair trade company.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Sat April 7, 2012 10:16 am

You don't go through corporate communications to meet the executive steering committee at Gideon Shoes.

Instead, you walk through a basketball court with graffiti-covered walls and into a sound studio. There, Gideon employees are warming up their talking points: rap lyrics.

"There's no excuses in this life, so I'm fighting on. ... The flame inside my heart is more like a firestorm," they rap.

The team is made up of Suhkdeep Bhogal from India, Thane Poloai from Samoa and Allan from New Zealand, who doesn't want to give his last name.

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Economy
11:49 am
Fri April 6, 2012

For Long-Term Unemployed, Help Is Running Out

Job seekers line up to enter a career fair in Los Angeles. Both Congress and states are cutting back on unemployment benefits.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Diane Turner can't find work. She spent 30 years managing dental practices in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, but lost her last job in that field a couple of years ago.

She worked for a while greeting customers at an auto body shop, but lost that job a year ago. "It was very depressing," Turner says. "I always worked, and I was always able to get a job."

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Economy
7:12 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Jobless Rate Slips; Fewer New Jobs Than Expected

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's talk about the surprisingly weak jobs report that came out from the Labor Department today. The numbers for March show just 120,000 new jobs were added to U.S. payrolls. That's considered a disappointment, even though the unemployment rate did decline slightly, to 8.2 percent.

NPR's John Ydstie is here to talk with us about what all this means. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Media
2:04 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Murdoch's 'Australian': A Powerful Player

A jogger runs past a banner for The Australian, part of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire, in Sydney last year.
Tim Wimborne Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 1:14 pm

Part three of four

Robert Manne, one of Australia's top public intellectuals and journalists, tells me the first thing to know about The Australian.

"It is by far the most detailed paper in regard to national politics," he says. "And it's also at a higher level of analysis, in general, than the other papers."

Second, he says, the paper is "smarter, sharper" than the others — with more resources and fewer profit demands to boot. Manne explains why:

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Business
2:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

GOP, Democrats Budgets Reflect Different Approaches

Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about how the Republican budget by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan compares with President Obama's proposal. The plans show differences on spending, taxes and dealing with the government.

Business
2:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

According to The Consumerist, the video game publisher received more than 250,000 reader votes for that distinction. It was singled out for deliberately holding back video game content so it can charge for it later, and for buying up small video game companies to squash competition.

Starting Up: Silicon Valley's Origins
1:26 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Intel Legends Moore And Grove: Making It Last

Intel's first hire (from left), Andy Grove, and Intel co-founders Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore in 1978, the 10th anniversary of the company. Grove is sitting on a graphical layout (a rubylith) of one of Intel's early microprocessors.
Courtesy of Intel

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 7:06 am

Part 3 of a series on Silicon Valley's history

In Silicon Valley, the spotlight is often on young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas that will change the world — people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, or Jack Dorsey of Twitter.

But for decades, two older titans of the high-tech industry thrived in that fast-paced world: Gordon Moore and Andy Grove of Intel.

Speaking recently in a rare joint interview, the two discussed how their company survived, and what they think of the current crop of Silicon Valley techies.

Intel's Odd Couple

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Education
12:30 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Calif. College Hikes Tuition For In-Demand Classes

After years of state budget cuts resulting in fewer classes, Santa Monica College has a solution. Starting this summer, certain classes will cost $180 per credit hour compared to the current price of $36 per credit hour. That's raised concerns of a two-tier system: one for those who have financial resources and another for those without.

Around the Nation
12:03 am
Fri April 6, 2012

'Three Cups Of Tea' Author To Repay Charity

The Montana attorney general's office has reached a settlement with author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson, and his non-profit Central Asia Institute. While a year-long probe found "serious internal problems" in the charity's management, the attorney general says the settlement allows CAI to continue with what he describes as a "worthwhile" mission.

Technology
1:00 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Phone Tracking Big Business For Cell Companies

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We learned several days ago, thanks to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act suit, that local law enforcement is often tracking cell phones without court orders to do so. The New York Times, which looked at documents that the ACLU received, reported that cell phone tracking has become widespread, and that it's also big business for cell phone companies.

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Economy
11:50 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Just How Strong Is The Job Market?

Job seekers attend a career fair in New York City. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the quick drop in unemployment might have been a reversal of overzealous cutbacks during the financial crisis.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 3:44 am

The monthly employment report Friday could help answer a key question about the economy: Will the recently strong job growth slow once employers finish replacing the people they fired during the depths of the recession?

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Monkey See
9:54 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Google's New Glasses And The War On Serendipity

A woman wears a design version of Google's intended smart glasses from its Project Glass.
Google AP

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Planet Money
7:10 am
Thu April 5, 2012

What America Buys

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:04 pm

See our earlier entries in this series: What America Sells To The World and What America Does For Work

How do ordinary Americans spend their money? And how has spending changed over time?

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Business
2:00 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Bond Auction Indicates Europe's Troubles Persist

A Spanish bond auction went poorly Wednesday, suggesting that Spain may be becoming the next Greece. It was the first auction without a lot of help from the European central bank.

Business
2:00 am
Thu April 5, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is cardboard to classy.

Today, Domino's Pizza is hoping to complete its rebranding as a place that does not sell lousy pizza. The effort started a couple of years ago when the company actually criticized itself in ads like this one.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOMINO'S PIZZA AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Domino's Pizza crust, to me, is like cardboard.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Media
1:49 am
Thu April 5, 2012

The Roots Of An Empire: Rupert Murdoch's Australia

Rupert Murdoch takes over the Daily Mirror, a Sydney tabloid, in May 1960. Sometimes soft-spoken, but invariably hard-driving, Murdoch acquired major papers in every Australian state. He bought TV stations and established the first truly national daily.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 5:44 am

First of four parts

Ultimately, all roads lead home for Rupert Murdoch.

"The story of our company is the stuff of legend: from a small newspaper in Adelaide to a global corporation based in New York, with a market capitalization of about $44 billion," he said last October, when he addressed a News Corp. shareholders meeting in Los Angeles.

Australians view the company's history differently.

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Around the Nation
1:33 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Ohio Tears Through Blighted Housing Problem

The remains of a Cleveland house after demolition in February. Ohio has set aside $75 million to raze abandoned homes across the state.
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 8:33 am

Cleveland resident Cedric Cowan was asleep on an overcast spring morning when the roaring sounds of splintering wood and falling rubble jolted him awake.

Cowan lives in a neighborhood hit hard by foreclosures. He initially thought someone was moving into the house on the other side of Fairport Avenue.

Instead, he woke that morning to find a crew tearing down the two-family house.

Over the course of three hours, an excavator smashed, crushed and ripped apart the abandoned house while a worker sprayed the rubble with a hose to keep the dust down.

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Starting Up: Silicon Valley's Origins
1:20 am
Thu April 5, 2012

America's Magnet For Innovation, And Investments

Virginia Klausmeier (left) makes her pitch for Garage Technology Ventures to invest in her clean diesel fuel company, Sylvatex, to Bill Reichert and Joyce Chung, two of the firm's general partners.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Part 2 of our Silicon Valley history series

Think of the most technologically innovative companies of the past 50 years, such as Intel, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. Each company has a Silicon Valley address — and each one got backing from venture capitalists. Over the past decade, more than 35 percent of the nation's venture capital has gone to Silicon Valley startups.

High-tech and venture capital go hand and hand in the valley where technology and venture capital grew up together.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Meet The New Official Cab Of New York City

Nissan's NV200 taxi model features expanded headroom and passenger USB chargers.
Courtesy of Nissan

The "Taxi of Tomorrow" has arrived in New York City. On Tuesday night, officials unveiled the Nissan-designed cab that, over the next 10 years, will gradually replace the country's largest taxi fleet. It's the first New York taxi to be designed for the job since the city's iconic Checker cab.

For Nissan's designers, the process of putting the new cab together involved months of riding in taxis and talking to cab owners, drivers and passengers about what they did and didn't like.

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Around the Nation
1:28 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Fewer Tribal Ironworkers Reaching For The Sky

Kaniehtakeron Martin's work site at 54th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, which will someday be an office building.
Stephen Nessen for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:54 am

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Europe
1:11 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Italian Law Pits Older Workers Against Younger Ones

Members of the Italian metalworkers trade union Fiom-CGIL hold a placard reading "Enough now!" during a protest in Rome on March 9.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 7:06 am

Italy's technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti, came to office less than five months ago as the country's finances were in a tailspin. And now he could be facing his toughest challenge yet — pushing through changes to labor regulations.

Italian labor rules ensure job security for older workers but can condemn the younger generation to a series of insecure, temporary jobs.

Since taking office, Monti has pushed through a round of tough austerity measures, budget cuts, pension reform and some deregulation.

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Technology
1:00 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Flying Car Glides Closer To Reality

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

A New England company thinks it's tackled a problem that has been vexing the auto industry for decades - how to make a car fly. For about $300,000, you buy a plane that drives on the ground and parks in your garage. It's called the Transition and it's meant to be just that, bridging the gap between road and sky.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has our story from the New York Auto Show.

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Business
1:00 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Latest Round Of Yahoo Layoffs The Most Severe

Yahoo will lay off 2,000 employees in an attempt to save money and restructure the company. Despite an enormous Web audience, Yahoo has struggled to build an identity as social media has taken off. It is currently embroiled in a big patent dispute with Facebook.

Technology
11:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Robots Creep Into Every Corner Of Life

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We've all become accustomed to robots on the assembly line. We don't even think about automatic doors and the card swipe that lets us fill up when the gas station is closed. But Marketplace special correspondent David Brancaccio recently drove across the country with the goal of never speaking to another human being along the way.

He did meet a robot comic, hotel check-in kiosks and a robot receptionist.

DAVID BRANCACCIO, BYLINE: So Tank(ph), I'm looking for Room 2111.

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Business
10:58 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Yahoo Cuts 2,000 Employees

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Yahoo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Economy
10:37 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Private Hiring Signals Another Strong Jobs Report

Joanely Carrero restocks shelves at a Target store in Miami. Two reports Wednesday indicated that private hiring grew in March.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Jobs at U.S. businesses increased by 209,000 in March, according to a report released Wednesday by the payroll processing firm ADP. That's in line with expectations for the monthly jobs report due out Friday.

Analysts expect Friday's official employment report from the Labor Department to show that employers added 215,000 in March and that the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, according to Bloomberg News.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Business News

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Silicon Valley lawsuit.

Facebook has fired back in its patent dispute with Yahoo. The social networking site says Yahoo products, including the photo-sharing site Flicker, are infringing on 10 of Facebook's patents. Facebook's legal action is a counter-claim to a suit filed by Yahoo last month, also claiming 10 patent infringements. The pending court battle is a distraction for Facebook as it prepares to go public - a move that could see the company valued at up to $100 billion.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Nokia Aims For Comeback With New Phone

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this weekend Nokia rolls out its newest smartphone to the American public. It's called the Lumia 900. Nokia is trying to break its way back into the high-end mobile phone market it once dominated. In this fight against Apple iPhone and Google's Android, Nokia is the underdog now.

And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, it has joined up with Microsoft in its bid to make a comeback.

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