Business

Business
2:31 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Takata Pressured By Congress To Take Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:34 am

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

Transcript

Read more
The Salt
1:51 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Hey, College Kids: You Really Can Minor In Craft Beer Studies

Nicholas Komninos (from left), Anthony Pernisi and Ashlee Doele are among the 25 students who signed up for the first suds-specific class in Paul Smith's College's new minor in craft beers. It's a three-credit course in brewing, replete with labs and lectures.
Joe Conto Courtesy Paul Smith's College

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 2:52 pm

You've heard it before — that quip to describe crazy college days: "I minored in beer studies."

Well, now you can.

Paul Smith's College, a small, isolated campus in the northernmost reaches of upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains, is among a handful of higher education institutions tapping the ever more potent keg of the craft beer explosion.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Takata Back On Capitol Hill After Deadline To Widen Air Bag Recall Passes

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 1:00 pm

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET.

Federal regulators had given Takata Corp. until Tuesday to widen its recall of air bags to the entire U.S., but the Japanese company appeared to ignore that demand, causing one House lawmaker to say today that her constituents were "literally afraid to drive their cars."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Kalashnikov's New Slogan? 'Weapons Of Peace'

A promotional image of a Kalashnikov rifle.
Rostec

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 11:40 am

Kalashnikov, the maker of the world-renowned AK-47, has unveiled a new logo and a new slogan.

In a briefing for reporters, Rostec Corp. said the new branding emphasizes that its weapons are "protecting peace."

"The rebranding is a symbol of changes in the way our business works and our product lines that have been long in the making," Alexei Krivoruchko, Kalashnikov's chief executive, said at Tuesday's unveiling. "The new brand will reflect our main principles: reliability, responsibility and technological efficiency."

Read more
Asia
3:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Is 'Womenomics' The Answer To Japan's Economic Woes?

Lumberjack Yukiko Koyama cuts pine trees on a hillside overlooking Matsumoto City in Nagano prefecture on Japan's central Honshu island. Koyama's employment at a local timber mill is partially subsidized by a government program to get more Japanese women into the workforce.
Yo Nagaya NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:59 pm

Yukiko Koyama kicked around Tokyo for a few years looking for the right job. For a while, she designed costumes for classical ballet dancers. But she longed to work in the great outdoors, and to find a job she could really sink her teeth into.

Two years ago, she found just the right thing for her: sinking a chainsaw's teeth into the pine forests of Matsumoto City in landlocked Nagano prefecture. Forests there on the central island of Honshu have been growing since the end of World War II, and many are in need of weeding.

Read more
Europe
3:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Russia Heads Toward Recession, With No Relief In Sight

Pedestrians walk past a board listing foreign currency rates against the Russian ruble in Moscow on Wednesday. The ruble was trading at about 35 to the U.S. dollar this summer. Now it's more than 50 rubles to the dollar and the currency has been hitting record lows recently.
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:12 am

Russia's economy has taken a series of heavy hits in the past few months, and now it seems to be in the midst of a perfect storm.

The country depends heavily on oil exports, and prices are down sharply. The Russian currency is losing value fast. And U.S. and European sanctions, imposed after Russia's takeover of Crimea, are biting hard.

President Vladimir Putin remains defiant, saying sanctions will never bring Russia to its knees.

Read more
Law
2:02 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Did UPS Discriminate Against A Pregnant Worker By Letting Her Go?

When Peggy Young, a UPS truck driver, told the company she was pregnant, she lost her job. The Supreme Court will hear her case Wednesday, putting pregnancy discrimination in the national spotlight.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 12:00 pm

Women's reproductive rights are once again before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. Only this time, pregnancy discrimination is the issue and pro-life and pro-choice groups are on the same side, opposed by business groups.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:20 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Mischief Under The Mistletoe: Office Partygoers Behaving Badly

Too much partying at the office holiday bash can lead to lawsuits, firings or just plain awkwardness.
Bill Sykes Images Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:32 am

Thanksgiving kicks off holiday party season, and at office holiday parties around the country, this means co-workers will make merry and mischief.

This time of year, Minneapolis attorney Kate Bischoff is a busy woman.

"I often represent clients who are handling the aftermath of a holiday party when it has gone off the rails," Bischoff says.

This includes, but is not limited to, bosses hitting on interns. There was also the case in which a manager gave a direct report a sexually explicit gift. Perhaps it was a joke, but it resulted in a harassment claim.

Read more
All Tech Considered
6:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Microsoft Says Goodbye To Clip Art

Microsoft's Clip Art has come to an end.
Microsoft Office

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:20 am

Microsoft Office announced Tuesday that it's moving on from Clip Art, the image service that proved oh-so-popular in many a school paper and work presentation for years:

"The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices (phones, tablets, and PCs), OneDrive, and SharePoint."

Read more
Business
4:24 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

Read more
Food
3:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Girl Scouts Bring Cookie Sales Online With Sites, App

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:03 pm

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

Planet Money
3:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Silk Road Drug Market Was An Economic Experiment Gone Wrong

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:11 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
2:59 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Shucking Oysters By The Thousands, With A Steady Smile

George Hastings shucks oysters at the Oyster Riot 2014 in Washington, D.C. He's been traveling the country on the shucking circuit for four decades.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:44 am

When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Apple's Success Continues Under Tim Cook, But Steve Jobs Still Looms Large

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's market capitalization neared $700 billion late last month.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:55 pm

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

Read more
The Salt
1:08 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Fill 'Er Up: The Joys Of Good Gas Station Food

A look inside the kitchen of the Whoa Nellie Deli, in Lee Vining, Calif. The casual eatery, which operates out of a Mobil gas station, turns out everything from vegetarian chili to wild buffalo meatloaf and fish tacos.
Courtesy of Tioga Gas Mart

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 9:23 am

Gas stations have long been synonymous with cold pizza, dried-out doughnuts and mediocre hot dogs rotating on unappetizing roller grills. But in cities like Miami, Kansas City, and even Saxapahaw, N.C., among others, patrons can fuel up on gourmet grub and top off their tanks in one stop.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Chicago Council Strongly Approves $13 Minimum Wage

A new minimum wage was approved Tuesday in Chicago, where fast food workers and activists demonstrated outside McDonald's downtown restaurant this summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 1:13 pm

By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.

The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.

Read more
Goats and Soda
11:36 am
Tue December 2, 2014

For Giving Tuesday: A Guide To Gifts That Give Back

Each item, including boots from Guatemala, a basket from Rwanda and a soda can cuff from Kenya, are handmade. And when people buy these gifts, the profits go back to the artisans and their community.
Courtesy of Teysha; Indego Africa; Serrv

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 12:18 pm

After you've seized all the deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it's giveback time.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:24 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Study: Campaign Cash Brings Tax Benefits On Capitol Hill

J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:55 pm

A new analysis takes aim at one of political science's evergreen topics: What do donors get in exchange for their campaign contributions?

The answer, according to three researchers at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, is that "investments in on-going access to policymakers are associated with future tax benefits."

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Government Says Bosses Can't Force Workers To Get Health Tests

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 6:33 am

Do it or else. Increasingly, that's the message from employers who are offering financial incentives to workers who take part in wellness programs that include screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index.

But the programs are under fire from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed suit against Honeywell International in October charging that the company's wellness program isn't voluntary and thus violates federal law.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:08 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Obamacare 'Glitch' Puts Subsidies Out Of Reach For Many Families

Don Benfield is trying to get health care coverage for his family. The options at work are too expensive, but his employer's option disqualifies him from Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Courtesy of Don Benfield

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:50 am

Don Benfield of Taylorsville, N.C., makes $11 an hour working for a mobile-home parts business, selling things like replacement doors and windows.

Benfield, 51, doesn't have health insurance.

"I haven't had health care insurance in years, simply because I haven't been able to afford it, especially with food prices, how they went up," he explains.

Benfield's employer does offer health insurance coverage, even though, with fewer than 50 employees, the business is not required to.

Read more
Business
1:52 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

Brooke Gehring, CEO of Patients Choice and Live Green Cannabis, stands in one of her company's grow houses in Denver.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:04 am

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

North Korean Government Thought To Be Behind Sony Pictures Hack

James Franco, left, as Dave, and Seth Rogen as Aaron, in a scene from Columbia Pictures' The Interview. The movie imagines a plot to kill Kim Jong-un, and has angered the North Korean government. It's believed to have led to a cyberattack on Sony Pictures.
Ed Araquel AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 12:57 am

A recent hack of Sony Pictures resulted in a leak of at least five of the company's movies and the disabling of its corporate networks and email. The attack began last Monday, when screens at Sony displayed the words "Hacked By #GOP," as well as images of a skull. (#GOP reportedly stands for Guardians of Peace.) According to NBC News, an accompanying message "threatened to release 'secrets and top secrets' of the company."

Read more
Energy
2:35 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Low Oil Prices Accelerate Trouble For Venezuela

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 4:28 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Business
2:35 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sony Pictures Hack Not The Company's First Time With Security Problems

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 4:28 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
8:47 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies Will Soon Be Just A Click Away

In this undated photo released by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts Bria and Shirell practice selling cookies on one of two new digital platforms. It's the first time the organization has allowed the sales of cookies using a mobile app or personalized websites.
Girl Scouts of the USA AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 11:56 am

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Charities Kick Off Holiday Season With Giving Tuesday

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:24 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In the pattern of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, tomorrow is labeled Giving Tuesday. Charities want to attract new donors. It's the third Giving Tuesday and the biggest so far, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:21 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Amazon Unleashes Robot Army To Send Your Holiday Packages Faster

Kiva robots maneuver around one of Amazon's newest distribution centers on Sunday in Tracy, Calif.
Brandon Bailey AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:42 pm

For many online retailers, Cyber Monday is likely to be the peak shopping day of the year. To handle the onslaught of orders, Amazon has begun rolling out a new robot army.

The Amazon order-fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif., is more than a million square feet — or 28 football fields, if you prefer — filled with orange and yellow bins flying this way and that on conveyor belts. Chances are, if you ordered a bunch of items in the San Francisco Bay Area recently, Amazon put that box together here.

Read more
Parallels
1:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Black Friday Sales Down At Stores, Surge Online

Shoppers Manuel Orellano, middle, with his daughter Marcela, left, and her son Manuel, 6, shop for children's clothing at JCPenney at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, on Friday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 12:33 pm

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

Read more
Digital Life
6:07 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Podcasts Rise In Popularity, Funded By Advertisers And Listeners

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 10:44 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more

Pages