Business

U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Media
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Time Warner Rebuffs Rupert Murdoch's Big-Dollar Bid For Media Giant

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are few media companies bigger than 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. And today came reports of a possible merger that would create a huge new empire. If Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bought Time Warner, all of these media brands could have the same owner. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) The Simpsons...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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All Tech Considered
12:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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Goats and Soda
10:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Move Over Hong Kong: The World's Priciest Cities Are In Angola And Chad

Photos of Luanda, Angola, tell a tale of two cities: sprawling poor neighborhoods and a glitzy waterfront.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images; Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:23 am

Ask someone to guess the world's two most expensive cities and it's a safe bet that the capitals of Chad and Angola — two of Africa's more impoverished nations — won't leap to mind. Geneva, perhaps, the home of Rolex watches, or one of those moneyed Asian capitals — Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo — or maybe, if you're thinking Nordically, somewhere in Scandinavia, somewhere like, say, Oslo, where a beer in a pub can famously set you back $15.

But Luanda? N'djamena?

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Business
8:32 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Says His Bid For Rival Time Warner Was Rejected

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirmed that it made an offer to buy the owner of HBO, Warner Bros., TBS and CNN but got shot down.

The Two-Way
6:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Confirms A Spurned Bid For Time Warner

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:43 am

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox says it sought to buy Time Warner last month, confirming reports of a deal that would have reshaped America's media landscape. The offered price, which Time Warner rejected, was reportedly $80 billion.

The deal would have put HBO, CNN and other Time Warner properties under the same corporate umbrella as Fox News, a situation that The New York Times said would have forced the sale of CNN.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

EEOC Announces Tougher Rules Protecting Pregnant Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's new guidance states that employers who allow parental leave must provide it to men and women equally.
Yuri Arcurs iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Discrimination against female workers who might get pregnant in the future, or have been pregnant in the past, is against the law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week. For the first time in 30 years, the agency has updated its rules against pregnancy discrimination.

The agency clarified several policies, including one that spells out when businesses may have to provide pregnant workers light duty and another that bans employers from forcing a pregnant worker to take leave even in cases when she's able to continue on the job.

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NPR Ed
6:21 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

Everest Institute in Boston.
Mallory Noe-Payne WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:49 am

Listen to this story on Morning Edition.

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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Politics
3:23 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Senate Democrats Aim To Overturn High Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Marvel Comics Rewrites Thor Into A Woman

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in Business is Goddess of Thunder.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Marvel Comics is turning one of its biggest superheroes into a woman. Thor is the hammer-wielding, long-haired protagonist, based on the god of Norse mythology.

INSKEEP: Who's been fighting aliens, demons and even Dracula since 1960s. The new Thor will be the eighth title from Marvel to feature a lead female. The publisher says it's aiming to speak directly to women and girls, not the traditional target audience for comic books.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Apple Teams Up With Former Rival On Business App

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with old rivals teaming up. Apple and IBM were intense competitors 30 years ago during the early days of the personal computer. But now, in the mobile age, the two companies have struck a deal to develop business apps. The hope is to translate IBM's vast corporate computing services into easy-to-use apps. The deal also includes plans to sell iPhones and iPads to IBM's corporate customers, expanding Apple's traditional customer base beyond consumers. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Salt
1:42 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Craft Beer Reaches New Depths As Mainers Brew A Batch From Seaweed

A glass of the seaweed beer created by Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, Maine.
Jay Field MPBN

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:14 am

More craft breweries are using exotic ingredients in their creations these days. There are ales made with all kinds of fruit, beers infused with coriander and other spices, stouts brewed with oysters — even beer made from yeast scraped off 35 million-year-old whale bones. But what about a beer made with seaweed?

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Coping With A Co-Worker's Body Odor Takes Tact

We can all work up a stinky sweat — welders, ballerinas and number-crunchers alike. Would you want to know?
emreogan/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:14 am

It's summer. It's sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odors that their colleagues can't help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn't easy.

She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.

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All Tech Considered
5:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

A flood of comments about net neutrality crashed the Federal Communications Commission's commenting site on Tuesday, the original deadline for public comments on the controversial Internet proposal. But the tech problems are buying those who want to weigh in some extra time — the deadline for public commenting is now Friday at midnight.

Of the 780,000 comments submitted to the FCC, 100,000 came on Tuesday alone, which the FCC's outdated electronic comment filing system was not capable of handling.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Apple Teams Up With Former Rival IBM On Business Apps

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:08 pm

Apple announced on Tuesday a deal with the company it once painted as Big Brother in its infamous 1984 ad: IBM.

The former rivals agreed on an exclusive partnership to work together on new business applications for Apple's iPads and iPhones. As part of the deal, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the software to businesses all over the world.

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It's All Politics
4:54 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Temporary Fix For Highway Money Is Well-Traveled Road

The I-75 highway modernization project in Dayton, Ohio, in April 2014.
Skip Peterson AP

If kicking the can down the road were a competitive sport, the championship trophy would never leave Washington.

When the need to make a difficult choice collides with an unyielding deadline, the tendency in a city where partisan gridlock is the norm is to put the tough decisions off for another day.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Fate Of Decades-Old Cigar Factory Dangles By A Phrase

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUSIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Tampa was once known as Cigar City. Today, there's just one cigar factory left. The J.C. Newman Company makes cigars in Tampa the way it has for more than 80 years on machines made in the 1930s. Now, as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the company's owners and employees are worried new federal regulations may put them out of business.

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Business
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Blockbusters And Flops Cost The Same At The Box Office

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
9:53 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:38 pm

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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Business
9:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort'

The Citigroup Center is viewed in midtown Manhattan. Critics say the U.S. settlement with the banking giant will do nothing for those hurt most by the foreclosure crisis: people who lost their homes.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?

The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help settle charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

NPR News Executive Leaves For Job At The Atlantic

Margaret Low Smith is leaving her post as NPR News' senior vice president to become president of AtlanticLIVE.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:14 am

Margaret Low Smith, a longtime NPR executive who has served as senior vice president for news for three years, is leaving the company to become the president of The Atlantic's live events business.

"Her departure will be felt as profoundly as any in recent memory," NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday.

He added that Smith's final day at NPR will be at the end of July. She joined the company in 1982 as an overnight production assistant on Morning Edition.

Wilson added that:

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The Two-Way
6:06 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Tobacco Giant Reynolds American To Buy Lorillard In $27B Deal

Cigarette maker Reynolds American, which makes Camel, said it's buying Lorillard Inc. for $27 billion.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:41 am

Cigarette giant Reynolds American announced Tuesday that it's buying rival Lorillard in a $27 billion deal that unites two of the country's biggest tobacco companies.

The acquisition creates a giant to rival Philip Morris USA, which is owned by Altria Group Inc., the No. 1 tobacco company in the country. Altria's Marlboro brand dominates the U.S. cigarette market.

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Business
5:14 am
Tue July 15, 2014

VW To Expand Chattanooga Plant

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
4:30 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Coal-Burning Power Plant To Give New Life To Texas Oil Field

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:15 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is a coal-burning power plant outside of Houston that ranks among the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. With pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the plant is hoping to capture that CO2 and use it to boost energy production in an old oilfield. Houston Public Media's Andrew Schneider reports.

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NPR Story
3:18 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Employees Criticize CIA Cafeteria, FOI Request Reveals

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

The news website MuckRock published complaints about the CIA cafeteria which came from a 2010 Freedom of Information Act request. Spies prefer individual ketchup packets to pump dispensers.

NPR Story
3:11 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Chocolatier Lindt To Buy Russell Stover

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So the Swiss chocolate maker, Lindt, has announced plans to gobble up Kansas City-based Russell Stover, the company behind all those Valentine samplers. I know what you are thinking. I know what you are thinking - you know, that's all very fine. You're thinking about all of this business news, but what does it mean for my chocolate? Well, Frank Morris of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports.

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Parallels
1:32 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Kurds May Have Oil To Export, But Buyers Are Harder To Find

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraq's Kurdish region anchors near Ashkelon, Israel. It's believed the oil has been off-loaded into Israel. The U.S. and Baghdad oppose the Kurdish export of oil from the autonomous northern region.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:14 am

Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.

But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.

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Business
1:31 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Leased Solar Panels Can Cast A Shadow Over A Home's Value

Mark Bortman of Exact Solar in Yardley, Pa., says having leased solar panels on a roof can add an extra step when selling a house. He says typically a buyer will assume the remainder of the lease, but that requires a credit check and some paperwork
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:11 am

Installing solar panels on a house to generate electricity often costs $20,000 or more, and many homeowners have turned to leasing programs to avoid those upfront costs. But most leases are for 20 years, and that can present problems if someone wants to sell the house before the lease is completed.

Peter Auditore of El Granada, Calif., was happy with the leased solar panels he installed a few years back. When he decided to sell, he found a buyer who also appreciated the environmental benefits of solar panels. But then there was a hitch just as the sale was about to go through.

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