Business

Parallels
10:15 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Has Vladimir Putin Just Overplayed His Hand?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown delivering his state of the union speech earlier this month, was riding high this year as the country hosted the Winter Olympics. Russia is now embroiled in economic turmoil, and Putin has alienated Western countries that could potentially help.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:16 am

Since his return to the Russian presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has been on a tear: He has annexed Crimea, crushed opposition at home and challenged the West at most every turn.

With oil seemingly stable at more than $100 a barrel, the government coffers were full, and Putin received mostly cheers at home and few repercussions abroad for his consistently aggressive approach.

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All Tech Considered
8:31 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Successful Tech Requires An Old-Fashioned Skill: Organizing People

iStockphoto

There is a new educational fad taking off across America: Everyone needs to learn how to code. Moms should code, girls should code, kids in every classroom in America should code. There are boot camps for it, academies to learn it, leagues to teach it. All with the promise that code will set you free.

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Shots - Health News
6:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Few Employers Cover Egg Freezing For Women With Cancer

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:56 am

As some companies add egg freezing to their list of fertility benefits, they're touting the coverage as a family-friendly perk.

Women's health advocates say they welcome any expansion of fertility coverage. But they say that the much-publicized changes at a few high-profile companies such as Facebook and Apple are still relatively rare, even for women with serious illnesses like cancer who want to preserve their fertility.

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Code Switch
6:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Is Courting Controversy An Urban Outfitters Strategy?

This Lord Ganesh tapestry is currently being advertised on Urban Outfitters' website. The company previously drew outrage for its Lord Ganesh duvet cover.
Urban Outfitters

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:38 pm

Earlier this week, Gawker published an image of an invitation sent to Urban Outfitters employees, exhorting them, as the invite put it, to "break out your juttis, kurtas, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem pants" for the company holiday party.

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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Top Chefs Discover Denver's Fast-Growing Restaurant Scene

James Beard-award winner and Top Chef Masters star Jen Jasinski recently opened a seafood restaurant in Denver called Stoic and Genuine that features a raw bar.
June Cochran Stoic and Genuine

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:00 pm

When you think of the restaurant scene, Denver probably doesn't come to mind. But that's just the latest change for a city whose population has ballooned in the last couple of years, thanks in part to a nearby oil and gas boom. Top chefs are beginning to take notice.

Award-winning pastry chef Keegan Gerhard, for example, just opened a new location of his restaurant, D Bar, that is three times the size of his old one. His chef buddies wonder why he's in Denver.

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Economy
1:36 am
Tue December 16, 2014

'Reshoring' Trend Has Little Impact On U.S. Economy, Study Finds

An "Assembled in the USA" stamp is seen at the side of a box containing a 32-inch television set May 29 in the warehouse of Element Electronics, in Winnsboro, S.C. For the phenomenon of "reshoring," or bringing overseas jobs back to the United States, the electronics sector has been a leader.
Chris Keane Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:27 pm

A report on the phenomenon known as "reshoring" — the opposite of offshoring — shows that while a growing number of companies are returning to the United States to do their manufacturing, the trend is smaller and less significant to the economy than it appears.

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Parallels
1:24 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Argentina's Approach To Inflation: Ditch The Peso, Hoard U.S. Dollars

A man gets information about how to buy dollars at a foreign exchange business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Jan. 27.
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:00 pm

Kelly Brenner ushers in guests at the Adentro Dinner Club. This is a "​puertas cerradas"​ restaurant — meaning behind closed doors. It's a culinary movement where people cook for paying guests in their homes. Adentro is the most well-reviewed in Buenos Aires​.

​Brenner, who is originally from Boulder, Colo., acts as the host, and her Argentine fiance, Gabriel Aguallo, does the cooking, focusing on grilled meat.

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All Tech Considered
5:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Hustle Behind The Wheel: What It's Like To Be An Uber Driver

Ride-hailing services like Uber have changed ground transportation for both passengers and drivers. As Uber rapidly grows, it becomes more difficult for its drivers to keep up with the hustle.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:03 pm

The popular ride-hailing service Uber is valued at a staggering $40 billion — even though it's besieged by lawsuits, bad PR and outright bans in some cities.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Russia Boosts Interest Rates To 17 Percent Amid Currency's Slide

Russia's central bank raised its interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent in an early Tuesday decision that comes as the ruble continues its year as the world's worst-performing major currency.

"This decision is aimed at limiting substantially increased ruble depreciation risks and inflation risks," the Bank of Russia said in a statement on its website.

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Shots - Health News
9:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Small Businesses Drop Coverage As Health Law Offers Alternatives

Where are the health insurance deals? On the exchanges, many small businesses have concluded.
Bjorn Rune Lie Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:57 am

For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Subsidies under the health law for workers to buy their own coverage combined with years of rising costs in the company plan made dropping the plan an obvious — though not easy — choice.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

In its attempt to obtain a foothold in a market long dominated by Amazon, Apple ran afoul of antitrust law.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Apple is sliding back under the judicial microscope Monday in a legal challenge that could bear big implications for the e-book market. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the company's appeal of a verdict that found it guilty of violating antitrust law.

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Planet Money
8:53 am
Mon December 15, 2014

How The Gender Pay Gap Has Changed (And How It Hasn't)

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

The pay gap between men and women has been narrowing for decades. But it persists, and it gets larger as women move toward the middle of their careers.

In a recent paper, Harvard economist Claudia Goldin looked at the gap in a bunch of different ways — how it's changed over time, how it changes over the course of people's careers, and how it varies from industry to industry.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon December 15, 2014

From Australia To France, Another Bad Day For Uber

.
Screenshot

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:37 pm

Uber's troubles are mounting. The ride-sharing service was criticized in Australia after its "surge pricing" kicked in, quadrupling fares for some customers trying to flee the area in Sydney where a gunman took hostages in a cafe.

Here's a screenshot that one customer sent to Mashable with details of the increased fare:

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Families Of Newtown Victims Sue Rifle Manufacturer

A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn., in December 2013, a year after the shootings.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:24 am

Family members of some of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used by the gunman to kill 26 people.

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Planet Money
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

YY Changes Its Tune After Karaoke Is A Hit

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:53 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

For This Holiday Season, Old Toys Are New Again

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

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

Business
3:01 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Texas Braces For A Drop In Production After Oil Prices Fall

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 4:57 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
2:19 am
Mon December 15, 2014

'Warning Shot': Sen. Warren On Fighting Banks, And Her Political Future

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (right), a member of the Senate banking committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House financial services committee, express their outrage to reporters that a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was passed in Congress contains changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that regulates complex financial instruments known as derivatives.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:20 pm

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.

The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.

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Your Money
1:30 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Lockheed Martin Case Puts 401(k) Plans On Trial

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is being sued for choosing retirement funds that shortchanged its employees and charged high fees.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:16 am

A trial gets under way in St. Louis on Monday that could have a big impact on the way companies select 401(k) plans for their employees.

Lockheed Martin is being sued for choosing retirement funds that shortchanged its employees and charged high fees. The case tests the limits of a company's responsibilities to its employees at a time when 401(k) plans have become a central part of the nation's retirement system.

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Around the Nation
1:26 am
Mon December 15, 2014

When Grandma's House Is Home: The Rise Of Grandfamilies

The number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply.
Stephanie Wunderlich Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 8:42 am

In a shift driven partly by culture and largely by the economy, the number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply. According to recent U.S. census data, such families have increased by about a third over the past generation.

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All Tech Considered
7:57 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Gaza Tech Hub Finds Success In International Crowdfunding

Gaza Sky Geeks, a startup accelerator, is drawing interest and crowdfunding from around the region and the world.
Gaza Sky Geeks

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:23 pm

People in Gaza are getting impatient with the slow pace of rebuilding. International donors pledged $5.4 billion to help, but little of the money has made it to Gaza yet.

A Gaza tech startup accelerator has gone a different route — international crowdfunding.

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Arts & Life
7:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season — Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

So bad it's ... good? Consumer appetite for ugly Christmas sweaters — the tackier, the better — has had an impact on how retailers stock for the season.
TheUglySweaterShop.com Flickr

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 7:56 pm

Looking for a stylish sweater for the holidays? Forget cashmere. Instead, go for the light-up, dancing Santa.

This season, holiday shoppers are demanding the ugliest, gaudiest, tackiest sweaters out there. They need them for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater fun runs — even an ugly sweater party cruise.

All that demand has had an impact on stores large and small. On the national level, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Target all sell vintage-looking sweaters with all the bells and tinsel you could want.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Tech Week: Instagram Vs. Twitter And Europe Vs. Google

Instagram topped Twitter in active users in its latest count.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If you've been too busy finalizing holiday vacation plans and buying gifts, we're here to catch you up on the tech headlines you may have missed from NPR and beyond.

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Around the Nation
4:16 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Do Guns On The Premises Make Workplaces Safer?

In 2010, Omar Thornton killed eight colleagues in Manchester, Conn., before killing himself. Private employers used to create their own rules about guns on their property. But over the past five years, many states have adopted laws that allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles at work.
Douglas Healey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:49 am

This year, Tennessee joined 21 other states that allow employees to leave guns in their cars in the office parking lot. The laws have left many employers debating how best to ensure safety at work.

After Georgia passed its law allowing employees to keep firearms in their employers' parking lots, Sally Roberts installed a sign on her newspaper firm's door. It read: "No Weapons Allowed."

A job candidate once threatened her, says Roberts, human resources director at Morris Communications. "She did become violent, and I'm very thankful she did not have a weapon."

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New Boom
2:51 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

To Attract Millennials, A Company Changes Its Product And Workplace

Employees at LifeSize in Austin, Texas, take a midday break to play a game of volleyball. The court was installed to help attract millennials to work for the company.
Nicole Beemsterboer NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 4:46 pm

It's lunchtime at a company called LifeSize in Austin, Texas. A dozen employees are playing beach volleyball on a sand court next to the parking garage behind their offices. Corrine Heery, a 28-year-old financial analyst, says she loves the "midday endorphin rush." And that it enhances her bragging rights when discussing her work with friends. "It's not just the business side, it's this side too — people getting along and playing fun sports," she says.

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Business
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Low Gas Prices Expected To Continue As Crude Oil Drops To $58 A Barrel

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

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

Media
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Al Sharpton's Two Hats: Cable News Host And Activist

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

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

Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Confusion Over Job-Based Insurance Can Shortchange Consumers

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:20 am

Misunderstandings about whether some types of job-based coverage disqualify consumers from signing up for subsidized insurance through the health law's marketplaces may lead some people to buy skimpier employer plans instead.

In recent weeks, some of the people called assisters, who help shoppers find coverage, say consumers are being told by employers that their bare-bones plans meet the minimum requirements under the law. That kind of insurance would cover preventive benefits, for instance, but might leave out prescription drugs and emergency care.

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The Salt
11:28 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Florida Tomato Pickers' Wins Could Extend To Dairy, Berry Workers

Farm workera at Lipman Produce load tomatoes on a truck on Jan. 16, 2014 in Naples, Fla. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. joined an initiative that will require its Florida tomato suppliers to increase farm worker pay and protect workers from forced labor and sexual assault, among other things.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 9:10 am

Farm workers in America have long been among the nation's poorest paid and most abused workers. But conditions have been improving for Florida tomato pickers, and those advances may soon reach other farm fields, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Fair Food Standards Council, or FFSC, a labor oversight group based in Sarasota, Fla.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Wealth Gap Between Races Widened During Recession, Study Says

Occupy Wall Street protesters join a labor union rally in Foley Square before marching on Zuccotti Park in New York's Financial District in 2011. A new report shows that wealth inequality between whites and nonwhites grew during the Great Recession.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:50 pm

The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap among white, black and Hispanic Americans, with median net worth in white households increasing to 13 times that for African-Americans, a new Pew Research Center study shows.

The study also shows that from 2007 to 2013, the wealth of white households has grown to 10 times that of Hispanic households.

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