Business

Code Switch
1:04 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Rewatching 'The Wire': Classic Crime Drama Seems Written For Today

Detectives Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters, left) and Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) kneel beside a body, befuddled.
Nicole Rivelli AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 1:36 pm

Like many devoted fans, I jumped on the release of newly reconfigured, high-definition versions of HBO's classic cop series The Wire, binge-watching much of the show's five seasons on the HBO GO streaming service over the holidays.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Obama Will Veto Keystone XL Legislation, White House Says

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:25 pm

Updated at 5:46 p.m.

The White House says President Obama will veto any congressional legislation that approves the Keystone XL pipeline.

"If this bill passes this Congress, the president wouldn't sign it," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

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Business
8:57 am
Tue January 6, 2015

How A Too-Strong Dollar Might Lead To A Too-Weak World

If the dollar gets too expensive, U.S. exports like heavy equipment made by Caterpillar can get priced out of the market.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:53 am

It's flattering to be King of the Hill.

And these days, the U.S. dollar is wearing the crown. It has climbed to its highest point in 11 years, with global investors pushing it ahead of the euro and other major currencies.

But while it's a compliment to have a strong dollar, the honor is not without its downsides. When the dollar rises against other currencies, it increases risks to U.S. manufacturers.

So economists are looking for signs that a good thing may be starting to go too far. These questions and answers may help explain what's happening.

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Economy
3:17 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Euro's Drop Raises Questions About Its Long-Term Prospects

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 8:34 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Economy
3:14 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Adequate Housing Hard To Find In Boom Towns For Oil, Gas

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 8:34 am

Copyright 2015 Wyoming Public Radio Network. To see more, visit http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Research News
3:06 am
Tue January 6, 2015

The Downside Of Cheaper Gas: More Accident Fatalities

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 1:57 pm

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Believe it or not, there is a downside to cheap gas, even for consumers. There's a way low prices can end up being very costly. To explain, NPR's Shankar Vedantam talked to our own David Greene.

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Business
3:05 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Trend Of Falling Gas Prices Expected To Continue

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:39 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country yesterday, the nationwide average price for a gallon of regular gas was just below $2.20; that's according to AAA. Some people have been paying less than $2. NPR's John Ydstie reports the falling prices are likely to continue.

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The Record
1:59 am
Tue January 6, 2015

With Downloads In Decline, Can iTunes Adapt?

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs stands in front of a projection of iTunes at a presentation in 2004.
Ian Waldie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:44 am

Apple's innovative iTunes music service is still the market leader in music downloads, but after more than a decade of growth, sales of music tracks on iTunes have been declining. Last year saw the largest drop in sales — 14 percent. The drop is attributed to the increasing popularity of streaming music services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. These services give fans access to millions of tracks from any Internet-connected device for a monthly fee or in return for listening to commercials.

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

U.S. Credit Cards Tackle Fraud With Embedded Chips, But No PINs

To protect against fraud, U.S. banks will be issuing credit cards with small computer chips. But some experts say using a PIN to complete a transaction is more secure than a signature.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 9:00 am

This year, there will be an important change in the way Americans use their credit cards. More banks will be issuing cards with small computer chips, a move they say will protect against credit card fraud.

But banks are stopping short of another step that will make credit card usage even safer. And a lot of retailers aren't too happy about it.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

SpaceX Plans A Perfect Landing

The massive first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is designed to return to earth.
SpaceX

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:09 am

Update at 6:46 a.m. ET. Launch Scrubbed:

Early on Tuesday, SpaceX scrubbed a scheduled launch, citing technical problems. The next possible attempt is Friday at 5:09 ET, NASA said.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Business
3:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Low Gas Prices Give SUV Sales A Boost, But Automakers Take Long View

Dodge Ram pickup trucks await customers Jan. 5 on the lot at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Morrow, Ga. Buoyed by a resurgent economy, holiday sales, cheap gasoline and a love affair with pickup trucks, Americans headed to car dealers in droves last month, pushing full-year sales to what's likely to be the highest level since 2006.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:07 am

Sales of cars surged in December, and analysts believe that the year's total will exceed 17 million, making it the fifth straight year of growth for the industry.

Cheap gas prices helped make that happen, as sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles rose rapidly. Jeep's sales, for instance, were up 40 percent on increased consumer demand for crossover SUVs. Meanwhile, demand for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles shrank.

Scott Painter, founder and CEO of auto sales website TrueCar, says those trends aren't necessarily good for the industry as a whole.

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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Self-Tracking Gadgets That Play Doctor Abound At CES

The San Francisco-based startup CellScope has built a tool to do ear exams at home, instead of going to the doctor.
Cellscope

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:30 am

When your kid's ear is throbbing at 2 a.m., you might want to grab the car keys and head to the emergency room. But now you can pick up your iPhone instead.

A startup called CellScope has built a little ear probe that you clip on top of your iPhone camera. The footage streams into an app where you can view the inside the ear.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Crude Oil Dips Under $50 A Barrel, A Price Last Seen In 2009

U.S. gasoline prices have fallen sharply since last summer, driven by surging oil production and other factors. The price for a barrel of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $50 Monday.
David N. Goodman AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:45 pm

The price for a barrel of U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $50 Monday, matching levels seen in the spring of 2009. The drop is linked to both OPEC's boosted production and a stronger dollar.

Oil's latest fall came along with a dip on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 330 points to finish at 17,501 — a drop of 1.86 percent that's also seen as a reaction to new instability in Europe.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Report: St. Louis Rams Owner Plans New Stadium In LA

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 1:10 pm

The owner of the St. Louis Rams plans to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, in a move that could see the team return to the city where it spent almost five decades.

The Los Angeles Times reported today that Stan Kroenke and the Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns the 238-acre site in Inglewood, plan to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium. The site also includes space for retail, offices and residences.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Why The Euro Fell To A 9-Year Low Against The Dollar

The euro sank to a nine-year low Monday as new doubts surfaced about Greece's commitment to the common currency bloc.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 10:22 am

The euro fell today to a nine-year low against the dollar amid continuing doubts over Greece's future in the currency union and renewed prospects of monetary easing in the eurozone, the club of 19 EU countries that share the common currency.

The euro fell 1.2 percent against the dollar to $1.1864 — the lowest level since March 2006; it later recovered to $1.19370.

Here's why this is happening:

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Business
9:04 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Housing In 2015: Four Reasons For Optimism (And One For Worry)

A builder works on the construction of new homes in Belmar, N.J. Increased hiring and a boost in consumer confidence are expected to lift the housing market this year.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 10:43 am

Six years ago, homebuilders and Realtors were facing brutal business conditions: millions of Americans were losing their jobs and homes.

As 2015 begins, hiring is strong and economic indicators are pointing up. Could this be the year when the housing market finally breaks out of its tepid recovery and takes off?

Economists see several reasons why 2015 might be a banner year for homebuying — and not just in San Francisco and Miami.

They also see One Big Factor that potentially could block a buying binge.

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The Salt
7:08 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

With so many craft breweries now in operation, just about every beer name you can imagine is taken. That's making it harder for newcomers to name that brew without risking a legal fight.
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 2:49 pm

Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they're all taken.

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Environment
3:02 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Entrepreneurs Find Ways To Make Money From Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 7:41 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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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