Business

Parallels
1:40 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Cuba's Budding Entrepreneurs Travel A Rocky Road Toward Success

Cuban entrepreneur Barbara Fernandez Franco oversees two employees in the small living room of her home in Havana, the Cuban capital. Her boyfriend, Michel Perez Casanova (right), works in the tourism industry but also helps with her business.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:57 am

When Americans think of business in Cuba, they think of government-owned enterprise. And the vast majority of Cubans do work for the state.

But in recent years, private business owners known as cuentapropistas have flourished on the island.

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The Salt
1:28 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Tequila Nation: Mexico Reckons With Its Complicated Spirit

Blue agaves grow in a plantation for the production of tequila in Arandas, Jalisco state, Mexico, in December 2010. In the past 20 years, tequila has become fashionable all over the world, demonstrating that producers' international sales strategy has been a great success.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:54 pm

The Mexican town of Tequila in the western state of Jalisco is the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit. Any bottle of tequila must be made from the Weber Blue species of agave, grown and distilled in this region.

Field after field of agave gives this land a blue hue, defining an economy and its traditions.

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Environment
1:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning

The naval base at Norfolk has had to build two levels to its docks to accommodate rising sea levels. The water level has risen about 1 1/2 feet since 1920.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 9:25 am

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.

But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."

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NPR Story
1:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

With Cash And Fat Fryers, Americans Feed Cuba's Growing Free Market

A man stands in line at Miami International airport to board a charter flight to Havana, Cuba. Travelers often fly to Cuba from the U.S. with piles of goods, despite a decades-long trade embargo.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:38 am

Every day, you can see signs of a subtle change in relations between Cuba and the U.S. at Miami International Airport.

More Cubans than ever before are coming to the U.S. to visit, and the number of Cuban-Americans traveling back to the island is also at record levels. With all the visitors, money and goods are now traveling to the island from the United States.

It's a legal loophole in the 50-year-old trade embargo — one that's having a real impact on Cuba's economy, and allowing Cuban-Americans to become investors in Cuba's emerging private sector.

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Law
2:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

U.S. Tip-Toes Closer To Unprecedented Fine On French Banking Giant

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

U.S. officials are close to a multibillion-dollar settlement with the giant, French bank BNP Pariba over allegations of sanctions violations. The bank is expected to admit that its affiliates did business with countries subject to U.S. economic sanctions - Sudan, Cuba and Iran. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Opinion
8:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Meanstruation: HelloFlo's Mother-Daughter War Is Funny, And Sad

The new commercial from HelloFlo, which markets menstruation care packages for tweens, features a girl whose mother throws her a "first moon party."
HelloFlo/YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:20 am

HelloFlo's new ad for "period starter kits" is getting a lot of hype, and deservedly so, as it is a refreshing break from any other ad campaign about the agony surrounding the curse of Eve.

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Politics
4:23 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Administration Focuses On Challenges Working Families Face

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
3:07 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Sting's Kids Better Not Plan On Being Left A Big Inheritance

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to our last word in business - stung. There was a tough public revelation for the children of pop-star Sting over the weekend.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The man who once sang (singing) if you love somebody, set them free - must love his children a lot because he's really setting them free. The former lead singer of The Police told Britain's Mail On Sunday newspaper that his offspring will not be inheriting any of his estimated $300 million fortune.

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Business
3:07 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Amazon Relents: Begins Selling Rowling's 'Silkworm'

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:11 am

J.K. Rowling's new book, The Silkworm, has been caught up in Amazon's ongoing fight with publisher Hachette Book Group. Amazon has been delaying delivery on more than 5,000 of Hachette's titles

Business
2:02 am
Mon June 23, 2014

As Carmakers Recall Vehicles, Dealers Might Make A Profit

Chevrolet dealerships like this one might actually benefit from General Motors' recall of millions of cars — as long as customers don't have to wait too long for their repairs.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 3:20 am

The auto industry is cruising toward a record number of safety recalls: GM has recalled 20 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and most carmakers have lowered the bar for the kind of problems that'll have them sending you back to your local dealers.

But while that sounds like bad news, it turns out that recalls can have an upside — at least for car dealers.

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Sports
1:31 am
Mon June 23, 2014

The WNBA Televises Its Pride With LGBT Campaign

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (No. 42) is among the WNBA players participating in the league's effort to embrace the LGBT community.
Stacy Bengs AP

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:39 am

Sunday's nationally televised WNBA game between the Tulsa Shock and Chicago Sky was more than just two teams playing basketball. It was billed as the league's first national Pride Game, and it is part of a bigger initiative by the WNBA to embrace the LGBT community.

For the first time in its 18 years of existence, the league addressed the issue of equality and tolerance during a televised game.

"We're the pioneers. We're showing our league is strong and we're branching out into different communities. We need more LGBT role models," says WNBA player Brittney Griner.

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Business
3:09 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Puma's Pink And Blue Cleats Make A Bold Play At The World Cup

Italy's Mario Balotelli sports Puma's new evoPOWER Tricks cleats.
Frank Augstein AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 4:25 pm

Athletes aren't the only ones battling for supremacy on the World Cup pitch: Shoe brands are fighting for glory, too.

For the most part, it's the fluorescent Nike Vapors versus the Adidas Adizero Battle Pack cleats. But while those brands dominate the soccer market, Kyle Stock of Bloomberg Businessweek says Puma has a counterattack: the mismatched pink and blue soccer cleats called Tricks.

"You see a lot of yellows out there and oranges and reds, but in the blur of the feet, you notice [the Tricks]," Stock tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Business
3:36 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

In Attempt At Turnaround, Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Hires Outside The Box

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 4:19 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Code Switch
12:41 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home

Despite the challenges to finding affordable housing, blacks and Latinos still say they feel like home ownership is an excellent investment.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 2:30 pm

If it seems like we talk about housing a lot on Code Switch, it's because we do. But the fact is it's really hard to talk about all the ways race correlates to different outcomes — in health or education, say— without talking about where people live. Take household wealth, for example: The major reason whites have so much more of it is because of how much likelier they are not just to own homes, but to own homes in places where that property might appreciate in value.

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All Tech Considered
7:56 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Tech Week: Yo, The Amazon Fire Phone And Apple's iWatch?

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone in Seattle on Wednesday.
David Ryder Getty Images

It was a big week for product news in the tech world, a topic we typically reserve for your weekly round-ups. Here we go ...

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Business
2:57 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S.-Foreign Mergers Raise Calls For Tax Reforms

Medtronic Chairman Omar Ishrak said the $43 billion merger with Covidien isn't just about cutting taxes — it makes business sense.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

This week the big medical device company Medtronic said it was moving its legal headquarters from Minneapolis to Ireland. It's part of a $43 billion merger with another medical company, Dublin-based Covidien.

The move is a tax-saving strategy called an inversion and it's growing more common in the corporate world.

U.S. companies make huge amounts of money overseas every year and much of it stays there, stashed away in foreign accounts.

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

From Organic Pioneers, Son Inherits Passion, Just Not For Farming

Writer Arlo Crawford (left) with his father, Jim Crawford, an elder statesman of the organic farming movement who dropped out of law school in 1972 to grow vegetables.
Melanie McLean/Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:00 am

If you're a listener, you may recognize the name New Morning Farm.

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The Salt
10:19 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Going Against The Grain: FDA Threatens Brewers' Feed For Farmers

Although the FDA seems to have backed off, farmers and brewers are still nervous about the FDA's rule, which will be proposed again at the end of summer.
Shelly Pope/KQED

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:57 pm

Want to infuriate the entire brewing industry? Start poking around its trash.

That's what the Food and Drug Administration discovered when it threatened to dramatically affect how breweries use their spent grain.

Last fall, the FDA proposed a new rule: Facilities producing feed for animals should be subject to regulations similar to those in food manufacturing. Any facility producing animal feed would be required to produce a written plan to identify and minimize contamination.

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All Tech Considered
8:49 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Yo Is The Buzzy App Of The Moment, Whether Yo Like It Or Not

justyo.co

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 12:41 pm

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Married Same-Sex Couples To Receive More Federal Benefits

The Obama administration is set to announce expanded federal benefits for same-sex spouses, no matter what state they live in. On Thursday, demonstrators supporting same-sex marriage marched in front of the Supreme Court.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:31 pm

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The Family Medical Leave Act's benefits will be extend to married same-sex couples in all of the U.S., under a White House announced today. The change comes as the Obama administration alters federal policies to fit the Supreme Court's repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

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Business
4:41 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Yo App Raises $1 Million

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Yo, Renee.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yo, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: There's a new phone app. It's called Yo. It allows you to chat to a friend but the only word you can use is yo. That's literally all Yo does. But it's raised a million dollars from investors. They buy the hype from the App Store description which says, Yo is everything and anything. It all depends on you, the recipient and the time of the yo. OK, it's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:24 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Universal Bets Wizarding World Will Bring In Big Money Magic

The fire-breathing dragon that helped Harry and his friends escape from the banker goblins sits on top of Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando's newest attraction.
Ken Kinzie Universal Orlando

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Universal Orlando Resort's new Diagon Alley attraction is true to the books — a place where people who love magic can buy anything from wands to butterbeer.

At the end of the street is Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and on top, the fire-breathing dragon that helped Harry and his friends escape from the banker goblins.

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NPR Story
3:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

High Court Ruling Supports Employees In Retaliation Cases

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed public employees a victory, ruling that they cannot be fired for testifying truthfully on matters of public concern. The unanimous decision broadens protections for government employees. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Your Favorite Musicians, Straight From Their Laptop To Yours

Stageit and another startup, Concert Window, have made it easy to play online shows — and make money doing it.
Stageit.com

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:47 am

At midnight on a Wednesday night, the young Irish singer Janet Devlin kicks off an acoustic show. She's in London, but her audience is all over: from Norway to South Africa to the U.S. A few hundred fans have paid $8 to watch online, and some have been chatting with each other for hours — and even leaving tips of $10 and $25 before Devlin sang a note.

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Business
2:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

American Apparel's Founder Is Out, Tailed By Reports Of Misconduct

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. America Apparel has ousted its founder, his name is Dov Charney. The clothing company had dealt with allegations of misconduct against him and lawsuits for years. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Harley-Davidson's New Bike Hums, Instead Of Roaring

Harley-Davidson's new electric motorcycle can hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4 seconds. The company plans to unveil the LiveWire model Monday in New York.
M.L. Johnson AP

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:21 am

Don't expect to hear the roar of a gas engine when you see the new motorcycle from Harley-Davidson. That's because it's powered by batteries. The Wisconsin-based company unveiled its new LiveWire bike today, saying it's "time to shape the next generation" of riders.

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The Salt
10:18 am
Thu June 19, 2014

It's Not Tennessee Whiskey If It's Aged In Kentucky, State Says

New regulations on what can be called "Tennessee whiskey" have sparked a fight between the makers of Jack Daniel's and George Dickel, two best-selling brands.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:10 am

Tennessee whiskey comes from Tennessee, Scotch comes from Scotland, and tequila hails from Mexico.

Simple, right?

Well, actually, no. The latest chapter in the Tennessee whiskey wars revolves around the finer points of making whiskey in the Volunteer State — specifically, where you take the spirit to age.

The kerfuffle began in 2013, as NPR's Scott Simon explained earlier this spring, when the state Legislature decided to specify what exactly qualifies as Tennessee whiskey.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Patents For Abstract Ideas

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:13 am

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that using a computer to implement an abstract idea does not make that invention eligible for a patent.

At issue in the case, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International: Do software inventions get the same kind of patent protections as other inventions?

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Thu June 19, 2014

American Apparel Ousts Its Controversial Founder, Dov Charney

American Apparel founder Dov Charney was ousted Wednesday by the company in the wake of allegations of misconduct against him.
Monika Graff UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 9:38 am

The board of clothing chain American Apparel voted Wednesday to replace founder Dov Charney in the wake of allegations of misconduct against him.

In a statement on its website, the board said that it notified Charney of its intent to terminate his employment as president and CEO. He is expected to be fired following a 30-day period, the statement added.

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NPR Ed
6:06 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Free College For All: Dream, Promise Or Fantasy?

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:56 am

"Free" is a word with a powerful appeal. And right now it's being tossed around a lot, followed by another word: "college."

A new nonprofit, Redeeming America's Promise, announced this week that it will seek federal support to make public colleges tuition-free. That effort is inspired by "Hope" and "Promise" programs like the one in Kalamazoo, Mich., which pays up to 100 percent of college tuition at state colleges and universities for graduates of the city's public high schools.

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