Business

Guilty And Charged
1:31 am
Mon January 5, 2015

How Driver's License Suspensions Unfairly Target The Poor

McArthur Edwards' driver's license was suspended for two years because he was unable to pay a $64 fine. He's using this bus stop to commute.
Joseph Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 8:21 am

This is the second of two stories. Read the first story here.

If you get caught drinking and driving in Wisconsin, and it's your first offense, you lose your license for nine months. For a hit-and-run, the punishment is suspension for one year.

But if you don't pay a ticket for a minor driving offense, such as driving with a broken tail light, you can lose your license for two years.

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Business
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Border Businesses Lose Bank Accounts Amid Money-Laundering Fears

La Roca restaurant in Nogales, Mexico, draws a mix of American tourists and locals. It used to have an American bank account and credit card until the bank closed the account.
Jude Joffe-Block KJZZ

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:53 pm

In the border town of Nogales, Mexico, the lunch crowd is settling in at La Roca restaurant. Its live music and traditional cuisine have made it a landmark for 43 years.

The prices are listed in dollars, and many of the diners come in from Arizona. The ownership is American, and so was the restaurant's bank account and credit card until a couple of months ago.

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The Salt
5:01 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

Marketers Turn To Memories Of Sweeter Times To Sell Cereal

General Mills is bringing back the popular '90s cereal in a nod to nostalgia and in the hopes of boosting its weak cereal sales.
General Mills AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 8:54 am

The taste of foods from our childhood can trigger intense emotional reactions. It's a fact well known to students of French literature and marketing executives.

And it's changing the make-up of the cereal aisle. Thanks to the power of food nostalgia, General Mills is bringing back the sugary cereal French Toast Crunch.

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Around the Nation
1:20 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

A Young Generation Sees Greener Pastures In Agriculture

Marya Gelvosa and Josh Gerritsen run a small farm on Maine's rocky mid-coast, providing their local community with beef, lamb and heritage poultry. They're decades younger than the average American farmer, but they love the lifestyle. "It's very fulfilling work," Gelvosa says.
Josh Gerritsen Donkey Universe Farm

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 8:54 am

America's heartland is graying. The average age of a farmer in the U.S. is 58.3 — and that number has been steadily ticking upward for more than 30 years.

Overall, fewer young people are choosing a life on the land. But in some places around the country, like Maine, that trend is reversing. Small agriculture may be getting big again — and there's new crop of farmers to thank for it.

Fulfilling Work, Noble Work

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Shots - Health News
11:33 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Rural Doctor Launches Startup To Ease Pain Of Dying Patients

Palliative medicine physician Michael Fratkin gets off a plane after visiting a patient on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He's recently launched a startup to support this kind of work.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:16 pm

Dr. Michael Fratkin is getting a ride to work today from a friend.

"It's an old plane. Her name's 'Thumper,' " says pilot Mark Harris, as he revs the engine of the tiny 1957 Cessna 182.

Fratkin is an internist and specialist in palliative medicine. He's the guy who comes in when the cancer doctors first deliver a serious diagnosis.

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All Tech Considered
3:33 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Tech Week: FBI Still Blames North Korea; App Encourages Sharing

Amid much speculation by private security analysts, the FBI stood by its claim this week that North Korea was responsible for the hack against Sony Pictures.
Damian Dovarganes AP

This week, the FBI stood firm on its claim that North Korea was responsible for the hack on Sony Pictures, even though independent cybersecurity experts have questioned the FBI's stance. We also looked at a new app that helps people share their stuff, and at Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's handling of the net neutrality debate.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Obama Authorizes New Sanctions On North Korea Over Sony Hack

A South Korean army soldier walks near a TV screen showing an advertisement of Sony Picture's The Interview, which sparked condemnation in North Korea, which allegedly hacked the studio.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 12:52 pm

President Obama today issued an executive order authorizing expanded sanctions against North Korea and the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in response to Pyongyang's alleged role in the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The White House accused North Korea of "destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014."

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Chinese Gamblers See Macau As Bad Bet Amid Corruption Crackdown

Wynn Macau casino resort is one of several new glitzy hotel-casinos that have gone up in the former Portuguese colony since the gambling industry there was liberalized in 2002.
Bobby Yip Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 10:43 am

Revenue at casinos in the Asian gambling mecca of Macau fell in 2014 for the first time in more than a decade, as Chinese government officials are increasingly betting that it's a bad idea to show their wealth amid Beijing's aggressive crackdown on corruption.

According to data released today by Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, revenue at the territory's casinos fell 2.6 percent in 2014, with December posting a record 30.4 percent fall over the same period in 2013.

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Business
3:02 am
Fri January 2, 2015

High-Tech Tools Help Irish Dairy Farmers Produce More Milk

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
1:27 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

Peerby allows people to share their stuff through a mobile app for free.
Peerby

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 11:41 am

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Business
4:02 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Tesla Battery Factory Could Be A Boon For Nevada

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:34 pm

Tesla Motors recently chose Nevada for its massive battery factory in exchange for one of the biggest incentives packages in recent history. The factory will be built in a rural area about an hour east of Reno with little infrastructure and years of high unemployment. Small communities are scrambling to prepare for a wave of speculators, businesses and people.

These story first aired on Morning Edition on Dec. 29, 2014.

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Business
2:21 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

More States Raise Minimum Wage, But Debate Continues

Protesters march in New York City on Dec. 4 to demand an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. New York state's minimum wage rose to $8.75 on Wednesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:34 pm

The minimum wage went up in 20 states Thursday, a day after the state of New York boosted its minimum, which means a majority of states now have a minimum wage higher than the federal government's, which is set at $7.25. The state with the highest minimum wage is now Washington state, at $9.47 an hour.

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The Salt
2:21 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

A Restaurant That Serves Up A Side Of Social Goals

Srirupa Dasgupta opened Upohar, a restaurant and catering service, with a social mission. Her employees — primarily refugees — earn double the minimum wage.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 5:23 pm

This is part of a series of stories about starting over, profiling people who, by choice or circumstance, reinvented or transformed themselves.

When Srirupa Dasgupta came to the U.S. from India to attend college in the mid-1980s, she was determined to work in high-tech, not the restaurant industry. But today, she owns a small restaurant and catering service in Lancaster, Pa., and employs primarily refugees who might have trouble finding work elsewhere.

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Planet Money
3:14 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Why Cutting A CEO's Pay Can Be Very Difficult

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 5:48 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Plenty of people complain about the huge compensation collected by corporate CEOs. But as this story from our Planet Money team shows, actually cutting a CEO's pay turns out to be difficult. Here are David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein.

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Media
2:36 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Fallout Continues For CBC In Wake Of Ghomeshi Sex Assault Scandal

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 4:48 pm

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

Around the Nation
3:03 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Grucci Family To Shower Las Vegas With Giant Fireworks Display

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 6:09 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, this New Year's Eve is a day of celebration for some, and for others, a day of work.

PHIL GRUCCI: There's about 75 pyrotechnicians preparing for that proverbial push of the button at midnight.

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Parallels
1:22 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Sanctions Intensify Russia's Free Fall Into Economic Crisis

President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow on Dec. 23. Russia's current economic crisis stems from Western sanctions and diving oil prices.
Maxim Shipenkov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 9:39 am

A year ago, Russia's economy was riding high. Today, the country is widely thought to be entering a recession, if it's not already there.

The plunge in oil prices has been the main culprit, but Russia's economy has had trouble regaining its footing because of sanctions imposed by the West after the annexation of Crimea. President Obama and other Western leaders were quick to condemn Russia when it annexed the Crimean Peninsula last March, and they struggled to find a way to show their outrage.

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Planet Money
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Why We Sign Up For Gym Memberships But Never Go To The Gym

Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:23 pm

  • Gyms have built their business model around us not showing up. Gyms have way more members than they can actually accommodate. Low-priced gyms are the most extreme example of this. Planet Fitness, which charges between $10 and $20 per month, has, on average, 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can hold around 300 people. Planet Fitness can do this because it knows that members won't show up. After all, if everyone who had a gym membership showed up at the gym, it would be Thunderdome.
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Business
2:20 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Comcast-Time Warner Deal Tops A Year Of Corporate Mergers

There were $3 trillion worth of corporate mergers in 2014. Comcast's proposed acquisition of fellow cable company Time Warner was the largest at $45 billion.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 5:05 pm

This year saw some very large corporate mergers and takeovers. Comcast and Time Warner's proposed deal topped the list.

Globally, there were $3 trillion worth of deals announced this year — the biggest year for mergers and acquisitions since the financial crisis. And the trend is expected to continue next year.

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Europe
3:30 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Political Crisis Hammers Greece's Financial Markets

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:17 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:13 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Progressives Create State Innovation Exchange To Counter ALEC

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:19 am

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

The Salt
4:38 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

How California's New Rules Are Scrambling The Egg Industry

These "enriched cages" from the JS West farm in Atwater, Calif., in 2011 comply with the state's new law. They are larger and allow chickens to perch and lay eggs in enclosed spaces.
Jill Benson AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 10:34 am

Within just a few days, on Jan. 1, all eggs sold in California will have to come from chickens that live in more spacious quarters — almost twice as spacious, in fact, as the cages that have been the industry standard.

It's been a shock to the egg industry, and to grocery stores. Eggs are one of those staples that self-respecting grocery retailers absolutely, positively have to keep in stock. "You have to have bread, milk, lettuce. You have to have eggs," says Ronald Fong, the president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

As Bourbon Booms, Demand For Barrels Is Overflowing

Kelvin Cooperage, owned by brothers Kevin and Paul McLaughlin, is making white oak barrels for the newly-rising craft distillers. Here, oak scraps are burned inside the finished barrels to char them.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 4:35 pm

If you could make a lot of bourbon whiskey these days, you could be distilling real profits. Bourbon sales in this country are up 36 percent in the past five years.

But you'd need new wooden barrels for aging your new pristine product. Simple white oak barrels, charred on the inside to increase flavor and add color, are becoming more precious than the bourbon.

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Movies
3:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Online Success For 'The Interview' May Not Change Movie Distribution

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 11:42 am

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

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
3:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

The 2014 Tech Trends We'll Still Be Talking About Next Year

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 4:35 pm

And just like that, 2014 is coming to a close. We live in fast-moving, hyper-connected times in which it seems technology is driving numerous cultural changes. NPR tech reporters Laura Sydell, Aarti Shahani and I looked back on a few ideas and topics that intrigued us this year but will continue to get attention in the year ahead.

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Business
1:58 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Massive Recalls Give The Auto Industry An Unwanted Record

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before a Senate panel July 17 at a hearing about auto safety recalls.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 4:35 pm

More than 60 million cars, trucks and SUVs have been recalled this year — nearly twice the previous record. That translates to nearly 1 out of every 4 cars on the road recalled for a safety-related defect.

But analysts say those recalls say more about the way the industry has restructured than about overall car safety.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Mon December 29, 2014

'The Interview,' Now Sony's Top Online Film Ever, Earns Nearly $18M

The Interview is now Sony's top online movie. It earned $15 million through rentals and sales, the studio said. It pulled in almost another $3 million from theater screenings.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 6:22 pm

The Interview, the Sony Pictures' movie that was pulled from theaters after threats from a group of hackers, has earned the studio $15 million in online rentals and purchases in the four days since it was made available last week. It also brought in nearly $3 million from theater screenings.

Together, that's only slightly less than the $20 million the studio had estimated The Interview to generate in its opening weekend in theaters across the nation.

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Business
8:02 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Looking To 2015, Economists See 5 Reasons To Celebrate

Target shoppers Kelly Foley (from left), Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor's prices while shopping shortly after midnight on Black Friday, in South Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 8:39 am

Each December, economists make predictions. And each new year, they get hit by unexpected events that make them look more clueless than prescient.

This year's bolt out of the blue was the plunge in oil's price, which no one saw coming.

Still, top economists' forecasts did get a lot right for 2014. One year ago, most were predicting healthy growth, tame inflation, low interest rates, rising stock prices and declining unemployment — and that's just what we got.

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Europe
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Europe's Largest Zinc Mine Lies Deep Under Ireland's Countryside

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 7:11 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now let's go overseas. Here is one more reason for Ireland's economic growth. It's a giant mine beneath the rolling countryside. It's the largest zinc mine in Europe. That's big business. NPR's Ari Shapiro went down to have a look.

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Book News & Features
3:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Nonprofit Fights Illiteracy By Getting Books To Kids Who Need Them

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer reads to children during a book distribution event.
Courtesy of First Book

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 2:41 pm

When it comes to learning to read, educators agree: the younger, the better. Children can be exposed to books even before they can talk, but for that a family has to have books, which isn't always the case.

There are neighborhoods in this country with plenty of books; and then there are neighborhoods where books are harder to find. Almost 15 years ago, Susan Neuman, now a professor at New York University, focused on that discrepancy, in a study that looked at just how many books were available in Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods. The results were startling.

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