Business

All Tech Considered
4:07 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

How Apple Hopes To Take A Bite Out Of The News Business

Susan Prescott, Apple vice president of product management and marketing, demonstrates the News app during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:01 pm

What if there were an app where a user could have all of the news he was interested in, from the outlets he trusted, all in one place?

That's the goal of Apple's new iOS 9 feature, called, simply, News. It will be a permanent fixture on the iPhone and iPad home screen, just like Calendar, Maps and Weather.

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The Salt
2:08 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Monsanto, Angling For Global Pesticide Dominance, Woos Syngenta

Central Illinois corn and soybean farmer Tim Seifert loads his field planter with Syngenta insecticide while planting seed corn in 2011. Monsanto has made a bid to buy Syngenta for its pesticide business.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 3:18 pm

Selling seeds and pesticides used to be a sleepy, slow-moving business. That was, until about 20 years ago, when the chemical company Monsanto introduced genetically modified crops and started buying up seed companies. Ever since, companies in this industry have been maneuvering like hungry fish in a pond, occasionally dining on pieces of each other, hoping to survive through size and speed.

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Parallels
1:36 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Anxious About China, Asian Nations Buy More U.S. Military Hardware

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, and Vietnam's Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh review the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Defense Ministry in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 1. The U.S., Russia, France, the U.K. and other countries are all jockeying to sell military equipment to Southeast Asian countries.
Hoang Dinh Nam Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 4:57 pm

Southeast Asia is becoming a booming market for U.S. defense companies. Countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are spending billions to upgrade and expand their defense systems. At the heart of this shopping spree is anxiety over China.

But American defense companies have plenty of competition.

Southeast Asian countries have been steadily building up their defense systems over the past decade — some more than others. But the pace has picked up recently, says Anthony Nelson, with the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

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It's All Politics
10:34 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Here's How Inflation Has Eroded American Workers' Overtime Eligibility

Sheila Abramson serves customers of Langer's Delicatessen in Los Angeles in 2013.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 1:23 pm

President Obama is once again poised to go it alone on labor policy, this time on overtime. The Labor Department is expected in the coming weeks to release a rule making millions more Americans eligible for overtime work — currently, all workers earning below $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours a week. The law may raise that as high as $52,000, Politico reports.

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Shots - Health News
9:01 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Highest-Charging U.S. Hospitals Are For-Profit And Concentrated In Florida

Talk about sticker shock: Some U.S. hospitals charge patients more than 10 times the rates paid by Medicare.

Of the 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest charges, 49 are for-profit institutions, 20 operate in Florida, and half are owned by a single chain, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs Monday.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Apple Jumps Into The Music Streaming Business

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 12:07 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now to some news about how you get your music. Apple has jumped into the streaming music business. It announced the new service, Apple Music, at its developers conference yesterday in San Francisco. And as NPR's Laura Sydell reports, DJs may be key to its success.

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Shots - Health News
1:47 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Some States Make Obamacare Backup Plans, As Supreme Court Decision Looms

Michael Carvin (right), lead attorney for the petitioners speaking before the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on March 4. The justices heard arguments in King v. Burwell.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 12:18 pm

Online health insurance marketplaces are central parts of the Affordable Care Act. And HealthCare.gov, the federally run exchange, is where 27-year-old Kathryn Ryan, a restaurant server in Philadelphia, turned for health coverage, as soon as the law took effect.

"I was excited because if it weren't for Obamacare, I wouldn't be insured at all," she says. "I wouldn't have the ability to go to the doctor."

She can afford health insurance thanks to a $200 a month subsidy that brings her premium down to $60 a month.

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NPR Ed
1:42 am
Tue June 9, 2015

This Summer, The Cafeteria Comes To The Kids

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 6:08 am

"Chow bus! Chow bus! Chow bus!" chants Gunner Fischer, 3, as a custom-painted school bus rounds the corner and rumbles toward his apartment complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

About 21 million students nationwide eat free and reduced-price meals throughout the school year, but getting those same kids fed during the summer is a challenge. Only a fraction of those make it to schools or community centers for summer meals.

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Around the Nation
1:40 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Texas Cattle Ranchers Whipsawed Between Drought And Deluge

Cattle stand in floodwaters at 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas. The water demolished fences and ruined crops planted as feed.
Katlin Mazzocco 44 Farms

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 6:08 am

The drought finally broke for Texas ranchers late last year. The range and pasturelands on which cattle graze began to recover. Then came the spring. In Cameron, about 140 miles northwest of Houston, the rain began falling at the start of May — and didn't stop all month.

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U.S.
1:38 am
Tue June 9, 2015

For Baltimore Businesses, Aid For Riot Repair Is Not Coming Fast Enough

Volunteers clean up a business damaged during an evening of riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray on April 28 in Baltimore.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 7:57 pm

It took only minutes for stores in Baltimore to be destroyed on the night of April 27. But six weeks later, the repair process is still limping along. And stores not directly affected by the violence say they've also seen a sharp decline in business.

"Look outside, there's nobody," says Pedro Silva, owner of Carolina's Tex-Mex Restaurant in Fells Point, a usually busy tourist spot. "Before, we used to be no parking space. Now it's empty. It's empty — day, night."

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Business
3:18 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

In Atlantic City, A Silver Lining For Casinos Left Standing

A view of Atlantic City, N.J., in October. Two of the towering casinos in this photo, the Showboat (third tower from left) and the Revel (far right) closed last year.
Michael S. Williamson The Washington Post

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:22 pm

New casinos are popping up all along the East Coast, giving Atlantic City a run for its money. Four casinos out of 12 in Atlantic City closed last year. But those closures have, in turn, helped the remaining gambling houses there.

Casino customers tend to be pretty loyal to one or two houses — to accrue rewards, or sometimes for other reasons.

"We like to bring the dog down once in a while because he likes to walk the boardwalk, go in the ocean," says Patty Davis. She and her husband travel more than six hours to gamble in Atlantic City.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Online Health Searches Aren't Always Confidential

A researcher found that online medical searches may be seen by hidden parties, and the data sold for profit.
Stuart Kinlough Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 1:57 pm

In the privacy of a doctor's office, a patient can ask any question and have it be covered under doctor-patient confidentiality. But what happens when patients want to search possible symptoms of a disease or ailment online?

It's common to search for treatments for a migraine or stomach pain on WebMD, or a flu strain on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. But there's no way to know who else may be privy to that search information. So where do the data go when a patient presses enter?

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Apple Announces Music Streaming Service

Jimmy Iovine announces the new streaming service Apple Music in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 5:35 am

Apple has announced the launch of Apple Music, an app that adds a subscription streaming service to iTunes, the largest music retailer in the world.

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Shots - Health News
1:15 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Insurer Uses Personal Data To Predict Who Will Get Sick

Carol and John Iovine say the health coach their insurer assigned John after he had a torrent of grave health problems in 2014 has helped them get the medical care he still needs. And it's helped keep him out of the hospital.
Todd Bookman/WHYY

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 3:31 pm

The first thing out of John Iovine's mouth is an apology.

"You got to forgive me if I don't remember too much," he says. "I had a stroke."

Signs of that stroke are everywhere — the bed in the dining room, a shower installed in the pantry. John is thin, and sits in blue pajama pants in the wheelchair he uses to get around.

He may, however, have overstated his memory problems.

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The Salt
12:14 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Georgia's Giant Clay Pots Hold An 8,000-Year-Old Secret To Great Wine

Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili makes wine in clay vessels called qvevri, which he buries underground and fills with white grapes. There are no barrels, vats or monitoring systems for this ancient Georgian method, which is helping drive sales. Bitarishvili plans to bury these new qvevri in his cellar to expand production.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 12:35 pm

When I ask Iago Bitarishvili to climb into his qvevri, a Georgian clay wine barrel, he rolls his eyes before he drops a ladder into what looks like a hole in the ground and makes his way down. What is a novelty to an observer is, to Bitarishvili, simply the way things are done.

"I don't make anything special," he says. "I only continue in the way started by my parents."

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Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Mon June 8, 2015

5 Questions Answered On The Legal Challenge To Obamacare Subsidies

People protesting against the Affordable Care Act rallied outside the Supreme Court in March, before arguments in the second major challenge to the law.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 1:09 pm

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of the federal tax subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health insurance if they don't get coverage through an employer. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for people in about three dozen states using HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange website.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the case.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Spain's Air Traffic Controllers Go On Strike; Pay Isn't The Big Complaint

Two Spanish Iberia airplanes stand on the tarmac at the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport in Madrid on Monday. Spanish air traffic controllers started a four-day partial strike that could affect some 5,300 flights.
J.J. Guillen EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:26 pm

Despite being among the best-paid public workers in Spain, the country's air traffic controllers started a strike Monday. Their union is protesting the punishment of dozens of controllers who were involved in a 2010 strike that sparked a national state of alarm.

"Some 5,300 flights to and from Spain are expected to be affected," NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid. "This is the first of four days of work stoppage by Spain's air traffic controllers."

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NPR Story
3:06 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Federal Judge To Assess Damages In Chinese Drywall Lawsuit

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 5:51 pm

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Ed
3:06 am
Mon June 8, 2015

The Forces Behind The Decline Of For-Profit Colleges

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 11:43 am

Barring a last-minute legal decision, as of July 1, the nation's for-profit colleges are going to be subject to a new Education Department rule known as gainful employment. That is: Do students end up earning enough to pay off their loans?

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All Tech Considered
4:21 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

What Makes Algorithms Go Awry?

By clicking "Like" and commenting on Facebook posts, users signal the social network's algorithm that they care about something. That in turn helps influence what they see later. Algorithms like that happen all over the web — and the programs can reflect human biases.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 12:23 pm

Like it or not, much of what we encounter online is mediated by computer-run algorithms — complex formulas that help determine our Facebook feeds, Netflix recommendations, Spotify playlists or Google ads.

But algorithms, like humans, can make mistakes. Last month, users found the photo-sharing site Flickr's new image-recognition technology was labeling dark-skinned people as "apes" and auto-tagging photos of Nazi concentration camps as "jungle gym" and "sport."

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Environment
3:18 pm
Sat June 6, 2015

Once Feared, Now Celebrated, Hudson River Cleanup Nears Its End

Crews perform dredging work along the upper Hudson River in Waterford, N.Y. General Electric's cleanup of PCBs discharged into the river decades ago will end this year.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sat June 6, 2015 4:40 pm

For half a decade, General Electric has been paying for a massive dredging operation on the upper Hudson River in New York.

The billion-dollar cleanup, designed to remove toxic PCBs, sparked fierce controversy when it was proposed. But as the project enters its final summer, it's been so successful that even some of the cleanup's most vocal critics want it expanded.

A Symbol For Sick Rivers

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The Salt
5:37 am
Sat June 6, 2015

For New Mexico's Chiles, The Enemy Isn't Just Drought But Salt, Too

Salt appears in white clumps in a newly sprouted chile field in Garfield, N.M.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe KJZZ

Originally published on Sat June 6, 2015 10:44 am

For some people, too much salt is bad for health. Too much salt is also bad for growing most crops.

Salty soil is a common problem for farmers in the arid West and it's gotten worse because of the ongoing drought. Water is necessary to flush salts out; without it, salt builds up over time.

In New Mexico, one crop that's suffering is the state's beloved chile pepper.

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The Salt
4:47 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Halibut Dumping Stirs Fight Among Fishing Fleets In Alaska

Pacific Halibut caught in Cook's Inlet, Alaska.
via Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 1:04 pm

If you've ever encountered halibut, it was probably as a tasty — and pricey — entree. But in Alaska, it's the subject of a fierce fish battle. On one side are small family-owned fishing boats. On the other, an industrial fleet delivering seafood to the world. This weekend, federal managers are trying to decide how both sides can survive.

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All Tech Considered
1:37 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Apple's Cook Takes Rivals To Task Over Data Privacy

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks in New York on April 30. This week, he said some of Silicon Valley's most prominent companies have "built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information."
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 4:47 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook made headlines this week when he lashed out at rival tech companies for selling people's personal data. He didn't mention Google, Facebook or Twitter by name, but it's pretty clear those were the companies he meant. But is Apple faultless on privacy issues?

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Economy
12:30 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Teens Hoping For More Jobs, Higher Wages This Summer

José Moncada, 16, signed up for a summer youth employment program in New York City. He said hopes to earn enough to help his family, which lives on less than $30,000 a year.
Kaomi Goetz for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 1:10 pm

Recipe for a good summer-job market: First, hire a lot of people in May. Second, give workers raises, and third, push down gasoline prices. Mix it all together — and pour out hope for teen workers.

"Having a job makes me feel really excited. I can put my own money in my pocket instead of asking my parents for money all the time," said José Moncada, a 16-year-old job seeker in New York City.

Moncada and other teens may have caught a break Friday when the economy followed that seasonal employment recipe precisely.

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The Salt
11:53 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Why Wal-Mart's Labor Issues Run Deeper Than Too Much Justin Bieber

Wal-Mart employee Dayngel Fernandez stocks shelves in the produce department of a Miami store in February. Activists say the company's recent corporate policy changes don't address systemic labor and environmental problems.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 3:06 pm

On Wednesday, in advance of a Friday shareholder meeting, Wal-Mart executives told employees it would turn up the heat and mix up the music in stores — after complaints that workers were chilly and subjected to endless repetition of Celine Dion and Justin Bieber songs.

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It's All Politics
10:41 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Why Political Campaigns Are Raising Money Faster Than Tech Startups

A quick staff-up and a fast-paced money grab are common to both startups and campaigns. Here, staffers work at computers during a tour of President Obama's re-election headquarters in Chicago on May 12, 2010.
Frank Polich Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 6:01 pm

It's the early presidential campaign season, and candidates are loudly courting voters in high-profile appearances nationwide. But in quiet, closed-press fundraisers, they're also asking well-heeled elites for the cash to keep campaigning. That cash grab is so fast-paced, it would make even hot Silicon Valley startups jealous.

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All Tech Considered
10:09 am
Fri June 5, 2015

#RaceOnTech: Sharing The Experiences Of Diverse Innovators

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 8:54 pm

Editor's Note: Our #RaceOnTech public call-out for diverse innovators officially ended June 15, but we encourage you to continue engaging around the #RaceOnTech hashtag to get to know each other's work. More than 150 people and organizations were suggested to join our "Day in The Life" social storytelling series set to begin July 13. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Fri June 5, 2015

India Orders Nestlé To Stop Selling Some Noodle Soup Products

Nestlé's Maggi instant noodles gained popularity in India as the snack of the middle class in the 1980s.
Chandan Khanna AFP/Getty Images

After wrestling with India's regulatory bodies over the safety of some of its products, Nestlé India says it will abide by a ban and pull its noodle soup products from shelves.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Economy Beats Expectations, Adding 280K New Jobs In May

Bazileo Hernandez (right) fills out a job application at a motel while searching for jobs in Williston, N.D., in January.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 9:55 am

The U.S. economy got 280,000 new jobs in May, comfortably beating economists' expectations. Even so, the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 percent, according to the latest Labor Department report.

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