Business

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There are some big companies out there that you've probably never heard of, that know more about you than you can imagine.

They're called data brokers, and they collect all sorts of information — names, addresses, income, where you go on the Internet and who you connect with online. That information is then sold to other companies. There are few regulations governing these brokers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pokemon Go Is Catching Us All — In Unexpected Ways

Jul 11, 2016

It's been an eventful weekend for Pokémon trainers — even without Team Rocket around.

After being released Wednesday, the mobile app Pokémon Go is currently the top-downloaded free app, and the top grossing app, in both the Apple and Android stores.

Most everyone knows someone adversely affected by student debt: More than 40 million Americans are shouldering a crippling $1.3 trillion in loans.

That burden is obstructing careers, families, dreams, employment and even retirement.

Uncle Sam and Wall Street have made lots of money off the crisis.

The past few days may mark the moment at which the interests of Fox News and its charismatic chairman, Roger Ailes, diverge from those of its parent company, 21st Century Fox, and the Murdoch family that controls it.

Here's a typical scenario when you have a medical problem. You go to your doctor's office, then have to run across town to a lab for a blood test and then you also have to get an appointment for an X-ray or MRI. There's a good chance this will all require a phone call — or a lot of phones calls — with your insurance company.

It's a hassle and it's time-consuming.

But for many people it's even worse than that.

Theranos was poised to revolutionize the blood testing industry by using only a few drops of blood in inexpensive tests. But now, federal regulators say they will bar the company's dynamic founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from owning or operating a lab for at least two years.

"Last year the government began to scrutinize the company after experts found that the results of the blood tests were inaccurate," as NPR's Laura Sydell told our Newscast unit.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

When the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report Friday, it showed a hiring surge in June, with 287,000 new jobs popping up.

And the report suggested something else: we're spending more to have fun.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This is a tale of two former bodybuilders, facing off in court — over a patent.

And not just any patent: Based on federally funded research, this one has a pedigree that links back to one of the most prestigious universities in the world. And this kind of legal mano a mano raises questions about the role of universities in the patent system.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After months of bargaining and backroom arguments, the Senate has voted in favor of a new national standard for labeling food that contains ingredients from genetically modified crops. The essence of the deal: Companies will have to disclose their GMO ingredients, but they won't have to put that information right on the label.

Many food companies are fiercely opposed to such GMO labels because they believe consumers will perceive them — incorrectly — as a warning that those products are nutritionally inferior or even unsafe to eat.

For American consumers there's a bit of economic silver-lining in the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union last month: Lower mortgage rates.

In the week after Brexit, the interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to their lowest levels in more than 3 years. And that spurred a boom in mortgage applications that, experts expect, will continue.

Spencer Cullen is a loan originator for CRM Lending in Tysons Corner, Va. Since the Brexit vote, he's seen business increase 60 percent to 70 percent.

In June, U.S. employers added 287,000 jobs — a very strong number that provided some reassurance the economy is still on track.

The June hiring surge, reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, far exceeded projections. Analysts had expected the economy to add some 170,000 jobs.

Getting To Know Ivanka Trump

Jul 8, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hillary Clinton spoke in Atlantic City, N.J. Wednesday, calling for more jobs in the city and blasting Donald Trump's business record in the area.

NPR's politics team has annotated Clinton's speech below. Portions we commented on are highlighted, followed by analysis, context and fact check in italics.

The speech follows:

That was really great. Thank you so very much.

What does it mean to be middle class in America?

When All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro asked people in New York City's Times Square, the answers were all over the place.

"You're struggling, like, paycheck to paycheck, and you're going, 'Oh shoot, I want to go into H&M, but you know what, I'll do it next week when I get paid again,' " said Erin Kennedy, a 44-year-old who runs a gym in the Bronx.

Building manager Bob Berger, who's in his 60s, also identifies as middle class, but this New Yorker's experience differs greatly.

When Britain's voters decided last month to exit the European Union, they created huge legal and economic uncertainties. Those unknowns have pushed up investors' fears — and driven down demand for goods and services.

Less demand equals lower prices.

With the Great Recession now over for seven years, how is job growth coming along in the world's wealthiest countries?

Slow.

In fact, it has been "painfully slow," according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Labor markets have been held down by a "low-growth trap characterized by low investment, anemic productivity gains and weak job creation with stagnant wages," it said Thursday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

More than 500,000 balancing scooters — better known as hoverboards, though they do no hovering — are being recalled because of the risk of fire or explosions.

The devices were extremely popular gifts this past holiday season. Online, they were hits in viral dance videos ... and in less-impressive videos of people falling off their new toys.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has been sued for sexual harassment by a longtime Fox News host and anchor who alleges her career suffered at the network because she refused his sexual advances.

Gretchen Carlson's contract at the network expired late last month after a long stint as the co-host of the morning show Fox & Friends and nearly three years hosting her own show in the afternoon.

The accusations are not subtle.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For 12 years, Chester, Pa., had no supermarket. In an effort to end this so-called food desert, a local food bank plunked down a nonprofit grocery store in the impoverished Delaware County city in October 2013.

Area food bank Philabundance opened the new store, called Fare & Square, in the same footprint as a former supermarket at the corner of Trainer and 9th streets.

The days of peak BlackBerry in the U.S. capital are hard to forget. The swift clackety-click of the keyboard and the soft trrrrrrr of the trackpad scroll invaded every corner of Washington: You'd hear it on the Metro and in building hallways, at dinner tables and in bars, in elevators and, yes, even bathroom stalls.

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