Business

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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Media
2:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

The Rise Of The Online Rebuttal — And How It's Making Waves In Print

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 4:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Law
2:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To $7 Billion Fine For 'Egregious' Misconduct

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 4:24 pm

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle claims that it committed fraud when it sold mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. Most of the money will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, but some will be used to provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.

All Tech Considered
2:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

In Europe, Google Stumbles Between Free Speech And Privacy

A Google search removal request is displayed on the screen of a smartphone in London. The company says it has received more than 70,000 takedown requests following a European court ruling.
Dominic Lipinski PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 4:24 pm

Google is trying to make sense of a sweeping decision about the Internet. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that people have the right to be forgotten. That is, if you don't like something about you that pops up on a Google search, you can make Google hide that result.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Accounting Giant To Pay $4 Million After Improper Lobbying

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:45 pm

The accounting firm of Ernst & Young has agreed to pay $4 million to settle civil charges that it violated federal rules when a subsidiary lobbied Congress on behalf of audit clients.

"Ernst & Young engaged in lobbying activities that constituted improper advocacy and clearly violated the rules," said Scott W. Friestad, associate director of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced the penalty Monday.

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Author Interviews
1:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:34 pm

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Trump Plaza Latest Atlantic City Casino To Fold

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino opened to much fanfare in 1984 but may close by mid-September.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:37 pm

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is expected to close on Sept. 16, making it the latest in a series of Atlantic City casinos to go under.

As required by federal law in advance of mass layoffs, the hotel sent out warnings about the planned closure to employees on Monday. According to a document obtained by The Associated Press, a total of 1,153 layoffs are expected.

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All Tech Considered
11:16 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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Business
10:34 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Settles Subprime Mortgage Case For $7 Billion

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Citigroup has agreed to settle allegations that it defrauded investors in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The settlement requires Citigroup to pay $7 billion. Two and a half billion will go toward mortgage relief for homeowners. Now, this settlement involves mortgage-backed securities the bank packaged and sold to investors, and it was announced this morning by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. We're going to talk this through with NPR's Jim Zarroli who's on the line. Jim, good morning.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

A store manager arranges merchandise in a Russell Stover Candy store in Overland Park, Kan., in this file photo. The candy maker is being bought by Swiss company Lindt & Spruengli.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:07 am

In a push for greater prominence in the American market, Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has reached a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the company whose products include the time-tested Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, a product featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

The deal would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America, Lindt says in a news release announcing the deal. The company says the acquisition is the "biggest and most important strategic acquisition" in its history.

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Business
6:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Settlement Over Risky Mortgages

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:40 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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Business
5:34 am
Mon July 14, 2014

In The Future, Calorie Counting Could Be A Lot Easier

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:15 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And if you've eaten a few too many Saskatoon berries, our last word in Business is for you, a calorie-counting app.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Losing weight pretty much boils down to a simple equation, calories in versus calories out. But tracking that can be tedious, logging everything you order or cook at home. Now picture this, a device that you place over your plate and it shows you exactly what's in the food you're about to eat.

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Business
3:31 am
Mon July 14, 2014

China Indicts GlaxoSmithKline Investigators

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Prosecutors in Shanghai have charged a British detective and his American wife with illegally buying and selling personal information about Chinese citizens. They were working for a company that was already under scrutiny from China's government. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.

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The Salt
1:35 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Saskawhat? A Novel Berry Takes Root On Michigan Farms

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:23 pm

A new kind of berry has found its way into Michigan grocery stores. These dark purple fruits are called saskatoons.

This commercial cultivar of the wild juneberry is pretty common in Canada, but it hasn't been grown by farmers in the U.S. until recently. Here, the berry, also sometimes called the serviceberry, has been collected in the wild for generations.

One farmer who has started growing them in Michigan isn't quite sure how to describe the taste.

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Law
1:28 am
Mon July 14, 2014

How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job

Sherman Justice says he struggled when he got out of prison after serving time for robbery and drug trafficking.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 5:40 pm

Washington, D.C., is expected to join four states and several cities soon in prohibiting companies from asking job applicants — up front — if they have a criminal record.

It's part of a growing movement called Ban the Box, a reference to that box on a job application form that asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"

Advocates for the laws say having to check the box prevents many ex-offenders from getting a fair shot at a job.

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Business
3:19 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Congress' Latest Death Match Involves A Bank You've Never Heard Of

A worker stacks traffic safety poles at Pexco's manufacturing center in Fife, Wash. The small company ships products all over the world, with the help of federal insurance from the Export-Import Bank.
Drew Perine MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:39 am

It sits in an imposing building just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Yet the Export-Import Bank, which has been offering credit to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods for 80 years, could start shutting down operations within a matter of weeks.

"There's about a 50-50 chance," says Dan Ikenson, who directs a trade policy center at the Cato Institute.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Truck-Limousine Crash

Tracy Morgan attends One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute To Don Rickles in May, a few weeks before the crash that seriously injured him and killed fellow comedian James McNair.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:59 pm

Comedian Tracy Morgan, who was seriously hurt last month when his limousine was hit by a Wal-Mart truck going 20 mph over the speed limit, is suing the retail giant for negligence.

The complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, says that Wal-Mart should have known that the driver of the truck had been awake 24 hours and alleges that he fell asleep at the wheel.

The Associated Press says:

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Parallels
6:08 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Financial Scandals Tarnish Spanish Soccer Glory

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi (right) leaves a courthouse in Gava, Spain, in September 2013, after a hearing on tax evasion charges. Messi and his father paid $6.5 million to try to settle the case, but his father may still go on trial.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:12 am

Many of the biggest stars in global soccer — Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo — play the regular season with club teams in Spain. Their marquee names have helped their Spanish teams get filthy rich. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona top Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest sports franchises. You have to scroll down to No. 4 to find the New York Yankees, and NFL teams below that.

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NPR Ed
3:37 am
Sat July 12, 2014

How Private Colleges Are Like Cheap Sushi

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:02 pm

In New York City's East Village, there are a number of hole-in-the-wall spots that advertise sushi at 50 percent off. But I can never bring myself to sample the goods. We're talking about a delicacy flown in from around the world. Marking it down drastically just doesn't sit right. Something — either the price, or the fish — has to be a little off.

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All Tech Considered
3:36 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Amazon, led by CEO Jeff Bezos, faces a federal lawsuit over unauthorized in-app purchases by children.
David Ryder Getty Images

Summertime in the tech world has made us eager for some lighter news, which you can find below. But the weightier legal battles in technology continue, as highlighted in our Big Conversation section. And links we think you should see are filed under Curiosities. Have a great weekend, readers.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Gorillas in Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2013. Great apes like the gorilla have become increasingly threatened by the expansion of palm oil production in Africa.
Brent Stirton WWF/Canon/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:10 pm

In recent years, consumers have grown increasingly aware that the explosion of palm oil plantations to supply food companies making everything from Pop-Tarts to ramen noodles has taken a heavy toll on the environment.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Newspaper Editor, Activist John Seigenthaler Dies At 86

Nashville Tennessean Editor John Seigenthaler testifies at a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington in 1969. Seigenthaler died Friday at 86.
Bob Daugherty AP

John Seigenthaler, the legendary journalist who edited The Tennessean, was instrumental in shaping the editorial page of USA Today and worked as an assistant to Robert Kennedy, has died at 86.

A statement from his son, broadcast journalist John Seigenthaler Jr., said his father died "peacefully at home," where he was recovering after a recent medical treatment.

NPR's David Folkenflik says Seigenthaler was known as a crusader against corruption and for civil rights.

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Business
2:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Declining Domestic Sales Speed Talks For Tobacco Mega-Merger

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. The U.S. tobacco industry could be in for a shakeup. Reynolds American, the maker of cigarette brands such as Camel and Pall Mall, confirmed today that it's in talks to buy its smaller rival, Lorillard. As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, the potential merger comes as the industry feels the pinch of declining sales.

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Sports
10:18 am
Fri July 11, 2014

With Brazil Out Of The World Cup, Was The Price Tag Worth It?

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
5:02 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami. The index of retail prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs was up 7.7 percent from a year ago — more than triple the overall inflation rate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 7:15 am

Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.

One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.

But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.

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Business
3:25 am
Fri July 11, 2014

World Cup Broadcasting Rights Pay Off For ESPN, Univision

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this Sunday, Germany and Argentina play the final game of the World Cup. If the last few weeks are any guide, a record number of Americans will be tuning in both on television and online. To hear more about the business of broadcasting soccer, we reached John Ourand, the media reporter at the Sports Business Journal. Good morning.

JOHN OURAND: Good morning Renee.

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Business
3:24 am
Fri July 11, 2014

FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Purchases Made By Kids

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:01 am

Amazon is facing charges by the Federal Trade Commission that it willingly allowed children to make millions of dollars in purchases inside apps without parental consent.

Business
3:06 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Economy Hurts Young Adults Looking For Their First Job

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 6:01 am

Youth unemployment is double the national rate. Renee Montagne talks to Roberto Angulo of AfterCollege Inc. and Courtney Hawkins of the Federation Employment & Guidance Service Bronx Youth Center.

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