Business

Business
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:30 am

Nancy Brinker the founder of the breast cancer charity is giving up her CEO role for a lower profile job. President Liz Thompson has resigned. The statement issued by the charity makes no mention of it, but Komen's been dealing with fall-out from a decision earlier this year to stop funding cancer screenings conducted by Planned Parenthood. The funding was restored, but following the flap, participation in races has dropped by as much as 30 percent.

Business
6:03 am
Thu August 9, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:33 am

Austin Wierschke, 16, has maintained his place atop the pantheon of texters. The competition took place Wednesday in New York City's Times Square. There were 11 competitors.

Planet Money
1:22 am
Thu August 9, 2012

The Building That's In Two Countries At Once

Hans Hover has one foot in Germany, and one in the Netherlands.
Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 12:43 pm

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This is the first story in a four-part series.

A metal strip on the floor of Eurode Business Center marks the border between Germany and the Netherlands.

On one side of the building, there's a German mailbox and a German policeman. On the other side, a Dutch mailbox and a Dutch policeman.

The building was supposed to make it easy to work in both countries. But it's also a reminder of how the European dream isn't yet a reality.

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Business
4:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Tax Evaders Beware! Money's Getting Harder To Hide

The U.S. government has been working for years to crack down on Americans dodging taxes overseas. In 2009, under intense pressure, the Swiss bank UBS released the names of its American customers.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:51 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has acknowledged that he had money in a Swiss bank account until 2010. Romney says he wasn't trying to hide the money, since he reported the account to the government.

Even so, he closed the account at a time when the federal government was in the middle of a major crackdown on offshore tax havens — a crackdown that has made it harder for Americans to hide their money overseas.

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All Tech Considered
12:36 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

As Starbucks Adopts 'Square' Payments, Will Other Merchants Follow?

Square allows merchants to accept payments automatically from recognized registered customers.
Square screen grab

You could soon pay for a latte at Starbucks simply by walking into the store with a smartphone in your pocket and giving the cashier your name.

Square, a San Francisco-based payments startup unveiled a deal Wednesday with the world's largest coffee chain that will move its mobile payments products into Starbucks stores around the U.S. starting this fall.

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The Torch
8:53 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Rogue Condoms Appear In Olympic Village; Organizers Take Action

London Mayor Boris Johnson picks up a packet of Olympic branded condoms during a visit to the Olympic Village last month. Durex, the official Olympic supplier, has sent 150,000 condoms to the village. A bucket of rogue condoms has created a small controversy.
Scott Heavey Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that Olympics organizers take brand endorsements and official suppliers very seriously. That extends beyond logos on shorts and shoes — up to, and including, condoms. That's right, the Olympics has an "official" condom — and organizers want to get to the bottom of how a bucket of rogue condoms reached the Olympic Village.

As has happened before at the London Games, it started with a tweet.

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Business
2:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business is: shocking - positively shocking.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Any James Bond fan knows that's a line from (Singing) "Goldfinger."

It's what Bond says after electrocuting a henchmen in a bathtub.

MONTAGNE: Britain has the Olympics, and this fall, it will have a 24-hour James Bond channel. British broadcaster BSkyB is launching the channel for the month of October to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bond franchise.

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Business
2:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with markets rather optimistic.

Stock market averages in Asia closed higher today for the third day in a row. There's apparently a feeling that the U.S. and Europe are poised to make moves that will help the global economy. Investors are betting that the Federal Reserve will launch new stimulus action. And they're also betting that some decisive action will be taken soon to reign in the fiscal crisis in Europe.

Business
2:50 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Chevron Fire May Lead To Higher Calif. Gas Prices

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in the U.S., analysts are trying to figure out what affect an oil refinery fire could have on gasoline prices. The fire erupted Monday night at an important refinery in Richmond, California. It's owned by Chevron Corporation. It was extinguished within five hours, but could have a lasting impact.

NPR's Richard Gonzales reports that gas prices are expected to shoot up in an already expensive market.

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Business
1:19 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Natural Gas Giant Tries To Shift Gears

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in 2010.
Ralph Wilson AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:54 pm

A drop in natural gas prices is hurting balance sheets across the petroleum industry. The second-largest natural gas producer in the United States — Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy — has been hit especially hard.

After 23 consecutive years of touting its increasing natural gas production, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told investors during a conference call Tuesday that the company projects its gas output will drop about 7 percent in 2013.

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Business
2:26 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank's Value Tanks After Laundering Charges

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 4:00 pm

At a time when European banks already are struggling, three huge British banks recently have been charged with engaging in bad practices or flat-out corruption. Barclay's had its LIBOR scandal, HSBC had its drug money scandal and now Standard Bank is being accused of money laundering. What's going on in London and what are the potential impacts on the U.S. economy?

National Security
12:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Is There A Role For Government In Cybersecurity?

The Cyber Security Act of 2012 failed in the Senate, despite growing alarm in the intelligence community about the vulnerabilities of the nation's infrastructure. The episode highlights a unique problem for politicians concerned about the balance between national security and federal regulation.

All Tech Considered
11:04 am
Tue August 7, 2012

How His Life Was Hacked In The Cloud

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:45 am

I spent some time at the Defcon and Black Hat conferences in Las Vegas over the past few weeks listening to hackers describe the myriad security holes and flaws in some of the most popular products and applications that roam free in the online world.

While this experience made me nervous, so far at least I have fared better than writer Mat Honan.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Denies Laundering Iranian Money; Say It's Not A 'Rogue Institution'

As its stock tumbled today following word that New York State regulators have labeled it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid about 60,000 secret transactions involving $250 billion in Iranian funds, Britain's Standard Chartered Bank strongly denied the accusations.

It "rejects the position or portrayal of facts as set out in the order," the bank said.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

British Bank Accused Of Hiding Iranian Transactions

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Financial regulators in New York said yesterday they may bar a British bank from doing business in the state. They said that because the bank allegedly laundered some $250 billion in Iranian money through its branch in Manhattan. The bank is Standard Chartered Bank. It does much of its business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But like any global bank, it wants to have a foothold in the U.S. markets, and that foothold is now in danger. For more, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli in New York.

Jim, Good morning.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with your happiness.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: That's the indicator Fed Chief Ben Bernanke wants to see. Bernanke told a conference of economists last night that despite data pointing to a recovery, many people still feel stressed. He said the economic well-being of Americans is the Fed's ultimate objective - that is, the sense that things are going well.

Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Best Buy's Founder Bids To Take Over Retailer

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Best Buy's founder and former chairman is not happy about the way things are going. That's why Richard Schulze said, yesterday, he wants to buy back the shares he does not already own and take the electronics retailer private. Schulze said he decided to publicly announce this offer because the board was taking too much time with it - could be worth nearly $9 billion in cash.

But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, the deal is being met with some skepticism.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

How Internet Browser Roles Are Changing

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As more people around the world get online using an increasing variety of devices, like smart phones and tablets, the browser wars are back and hotter than ever.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are battling to be the world's most popular browser. No matter what browser one may use, it's still the primary way through which many people still enter the Internet.

So, to browse the latest in browsers, we're joined by Rich Jaroslovsky. He's a technology columnist with Bloomberg News.

Good morning.

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Business
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a deal with some strings attached. You have no idea yet what a terrible pun that is. The final notes have been played in a criminal case federal prosecutors brought against Gibson Guitar Corporation.

The Justice Department is dropping its charges against the guitar maker for illegally buying and importing exotic wood - specifically, ebony from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India. The company will pay a penalty of $300,000 and give another $50,000 for conservation efforts.

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Health Care
3:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory, A Recipe For Health Care?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Dr. Atul Gawande spends a lot of time thinking about how to make health care better. A couple of years ago his best-selling book, "The Checklist Manifesto," demonstrated how following a simple list could prevent sometimes-deadly medical mistakes. Now he's looking at a bigger picture - the entire health-care system.

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World
1:27 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Growing Pains: Nations Balance Growth, Power Needs

Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
Parivatran Sharma Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.

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Business
3:27 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Car Insurers Eye Driving Skills To Calculate Cost

For years, car insurance companies have set rates based on where a driver lives. But new in-car tracking devices may soon transform how drivers are charged for insurance.
Mark Wilson Gettty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:37 pm

To the average consumer, car insurance can seem pretty arbitrary. What you get charged often depends more on where you drive than how you drive.

John Egan of InsuranceQuotes.com says it's very often about location, location, location. Two people, he says, can live in two different zip codes in the same city "and pay a substantially different amount of money, depending on exactly where [they] live in your community."

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Business
2:53 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Tech Week Ahead: Happy Birthday World Wide Web

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:44 pm

All Things Considered host Audie Cornish talks to NPR's Steve Henn about the World Wide Web's birthday.

The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Gibson Guitar Settles Criminal Case Over Exotic Wood Imports

Gibson guitars on sale in New York City.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:06 pm

"After years maintaining innocence," as Nashville Public Radio says, Gibson Guitar Corp. has agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty, donate $50,000 to a conservation fund and give up its claims to ebony and rosewood worth nearly $262,000 to avoid being criminally prosecuted for importing exotic woods.

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The Salt
9:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Purists Sniff As Stink-Free Durian Fruit Seeks A Fan Base

Durians for sale at a Singapore market.
momovieman Flickr.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

To lovers of the world's most odoriferous fruit, something doesn't smell right in Thailand's durian country, where a fruit breeder with the Horticulture Research Institute is in the midst of creating a line of durian varieties that lacks what some say is the most intriguing aspect of this large and spiky, creamy-fleshed tree fruit — its smell.

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Business
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Southwest Airlines Rectifies Ticket Billing Error

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an airline refund.

Refunds are starting to arrive in the bank accounts of Southwest Airlines' customers who were billed multiple times for promotional fares booked on Friday. Some customers paid for their discounted air travel as many as 20 times, according to the Associated Press. The company blamed the problem on a computer glitch.

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Asia
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Myanmar's Workers Exercise Rights To Organize

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:50 am

Political and economic changes in Myanmar have fueled a wave of labor unrest in the country also known as Burma. Myanmar is in the very early stages of industrial development and has some of the lowest wages in the world. Wages are unlikely to reach levels seen elsewhere in the region anytime soon.

Business
3:15 am
Mon August 6, 2012

The Last Word

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is extreme buzz.

If your regular coffee is not strong enough to jolt you awake in the morning, maybe you'll be interested in a cup of Death Wish, which is our last word in business.

Death Wish is the name of a coffee roaster in upstate New York. It claims to sell the strongest coffee in the world: 200 percent more caffeine than your typical coffee shop brew, according to the website, which also calls Starbuck's "sissy coffee."

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Author Interviews
1:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Sports
2:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

That's No Swimsuit, That's A Racing System

Gold medalist Ryan Lochte swims in Speedo's Fastskin3 system, which incorporates two caps and custom-fitted goggles.
Courtesy Speedo

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 4:24 am

In 2008, Speedo got too good at making swimsuits.

Ninety-eight percent of medal winners that year wore the company's LZR Racer, a zip-sealed full-body suit that carried many top athletes — including Michael Phelps — to gold.

But after those games, the sport's international governing body changed the rules to outlaw the LZR by banning zippers and restricting mens' suit coverage from the navel to the knees. So Speedo went back to the drawing board and spent years developing what's now known as the Fastskin3 system.

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