Business

Technology
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Apple Must 'Think Different' On Cars, Or Join Ranks Of Failed New Brands

Sears β€” the Apple of its day for disruption and innovation β€” sold its own car from 1908 to 1912, before ceding the market to Ford and others. According to one expert, there hasn't been a successful new entrant into the industry in nearly a century. That track record could present a challenge to Apple, which is rumored to be thinking about launching its own line of electric cars.
searsmotorbuggy.com

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 8:04 pm

Is Apple about to change our lives again?

The company's stock has been on the rise this week, partly because of a rumor that Apple wants launch a line of cars, and do it by 2020.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley are excited, but people in the car business? Not so much.

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The Two-Way
7:51 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

West Coast Ports, Dockworkers Reach Tentative Deal

A cargo container ship operated by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. sits docked Friday at the Port of Tacoma. Negotiators for the two sides in the labor dispute that has snarled international trade at U.S. West Coast seaports reached a settlement late Friday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 9:23 pm

West Coast ports and the labor unions that service them reached a tentative agreement Friday night, NPR's Kirk Siegler reports, potentially ending a nine-month standoff that had snarled the movement of cargo.

Most of the big aspects of a deal β€” wages, benefits, even maintenance contracts β€” have been settled for weeks, Kirk says, but some sticking points remained.

"This week the high drama seemed to be over something somewhat minor ... who has the power to hire and fire an arbitration during separate, smaller disputes," he says.

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Planet Money
3:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Bakers And The Birth Of The Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 8:43 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On January 1, 20 states raise their minimum wage and several states have additional increases planned in the coming months. Yesterday, we learned that Walmart will raise its base pay to $9 an hour this April.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Salt
1:11 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Have Big-Box Superstores Helped To Make Us Fat?

A woman pushes a cart at a Costco store in Hackensack, N.J., in 2013. Big-box stores are effective delivery devices for fattening foods, economists argue in a new study.
Ron Antonelli Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:21 pm

The humorist Bill Bryson once wrote that "the purpose of the modern American suburb is to make sure that no citizen is ever more than 500 yards from a food product featuring melted cheese."

That's an exaggeration, but health officials have long worried that our environment of plentiful, cheap and easily accessible calories is contributing to obesity.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Fri February 20, 2015

YouTube Is Expected To Unveil New App Just For Kids

YouTube Kids
YouTube

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:48 pm

There's some relief on the way for parents who worry what their young children may be watching on the internet. YouTube is set to release a new app that will offer more age-appropriate viewing for kids. An official with YouTube says the app - YouTube Kids - is due to be released by Google on Monday. It will initially be available only on Android devices.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Labor Secretary Perez Says To Dock Workers And Port Operators: Squash It Today

The labor disputes have been ongoing for the last nine months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has given West Coast dockworkers and the Pacific Maritime Association an ultimatum. If they don't resolve their ongoing labor dispute, he'll move neogotiations from the west coast to Washington, D.C.

The labor dispute started nine months ago, between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) of shipping lines and terminals and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 20,000 dockworkers.

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Shots - Health News
9:39 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Administration Grants Tax Time Reprieve For Obamacare Procrastinators

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 12:02 pm

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year.

The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit.

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Business
9:02 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Banned From The Ride-Share Business In Spain, Uber Turns to Food Delivery

A screen image from UberEATS. In Spain, Uber is trying to reinvent itself as a food delivery service.
courtesy Uber

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 9:53 am

Late last year, a Spanish judge prohibited Uber from operating in Spain, after protests by taxi drivers. Days later, the company announced it was closing down operations here.

But less than two months later, it's reinvented itself as UberEATS, converting its network of drivers into food deliverymen.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Greece Reaches Deal With EU To Extend Loan Terms

A man passes a graffiti in central Athens Friday, as Eurozone finance ministers consider Greece's request to extend the bailout loans that have kept its government afloat.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

After lengthy negotiations, Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to extend Greece's financial rescue package, removing the immediate risk of a default that could have forced Athens out of the grouping's common currency.

"It's done. For four months," one of the finance ministers was quoted by Reuters as saying following a meeting in Brussels.

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Business
3:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Learning More About Longshoremen And Their Powerful Union

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:30 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

U.S. West Coast Port Dispute Forces Shippers To Find Alternatives

Trucks move containers at the Port of Long Beach in California on Tuesday. Contract negotiations between dockworkers and shipping companies have led to a slowdown on the piers.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:52 pm

The global shipping industry is a ferociously competitive business, and the trans-Pacific route β€” from Asia to the West Coast seaports of the U.S. β€” is considered one of the most lucrative routes. Normally, cargo ships carrying everything from fruits and vegetables to cars and electronics can count on getting into a berth at one of the 29 West Coast seaports in a reasonable time.

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NPR Story
3:05 am
Fri February 20, 2015

FEMA In Talks To Settle Sandy Flood Insurance Claims

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 10:50 am

Copyright 2015 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.

Business
4:08 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

As Oil Prices Tank, Firms Large And Small Feel The Pain

An oil well in Garden City, Texas. With prices plunging, oil companies are laying off thousands of workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

It's a painful time to be in the oil business. With the price of crude oil about half what it was six months ago, companies large and small are being pressured to cut costs.

On the front lines are oil services companies that do everything from drilling to providing electrical power at well sites. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are threatened as companies try to adjust.

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Sports
2:25 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

NASCAR Enters New Season After Shifting Gears To Bump Viewership

NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick (in car on left) and Ryan Newman lead the pack during the Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16, in Homestead, Fla.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

The green flag drops on the NASCAR season this Sunday, with the Daytona 500. NASCAR enters its new year with a giant TV contract and a revamped playoff system that led to wrecks, fights and some higher ratings last year.

But the sport is still nowhere near as well-viewed or attended as it was before the recession.

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Business
2:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

'Lady Brigade' An Answer To Limited Patriotic Clothing For Women

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

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

Business
2:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Under Competitive Pressure, Wal-Mart To Rollout Raises

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

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

Transcript

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The Salt
12:03 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

A Wet And Wild Look Inside The 'Mushroom Houses' Of A Fungi Farm

Mushrooms from a farm in Chester County, Pa., dubbed the "Mushroom Capital of America."
Rich Roberts/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 3:29 pm

As most people know, mushrooms love dark places. You can find them growing in the dim recesses of forests or at the foot of old trees. But is that where we get most of the mushrooms that end up in our hearty risottos and juicy portabella sandwiches?

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Humana Discloses Widening Justice Dept. Probe Of Medicare Advantage Plans

Health insurer Humana Inc. disclosed that its Medicare Advantage plans are being looked at by the feds.
Brian Bohannon AP

Humana, Inc. faces new scrutiny from the Justice Department over allegations it has overcharged the government by claiming some elderly patients enrolled in its popular Medicare plans are sicker than they actually are.

The Louisville, Ky.-based insurer disclosed the Justice Department's recent civil "information request" in an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18. The company noted that it is cooperating with authorities.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Wal-Mart Gives 500,000 Employees A Pay Raise

Wal-Mart says it will raise hourly wages for thousands of full- and part-time employees.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:29 pm

Some 500,000 Wal-Mart employees will soon be getting a pay raise. Starting in April, the company's full- and part-time U.S. employees will earn at least $9 an hour, at least $1.75 above today's federal minimum wage.

The pay boost will also apply to employees of Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart.

The retailer says wages will jump to at least $10 one year from now.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Greece Seeks To Extend Eurozone Loans, As Deadline Looms

Greece's hopes for reaching a new compromise with Eurozone members on the terms of its loans are seen as hinging on promises to reform its economy β€” and submit to outside inspections.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:05 am

With the bailout package that has kept Greece's economy afloat set to expire in just over a week, the country has formally asked Eurozone members for a six-month extension. Finance ministers will hold an emergency meeting Friday to consider the proposal.

The new request will face opposition, with Deutsche Welle reporting, "A spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang SchΓ€uble rejected the proposal saying it lacked substance."

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Planet Money
3:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Ecuador's Answer To The Global Cocoa Shortage

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:56 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
1:26 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Chocolate Makeover: Nestle Dumps Artificial Colorings

Nestle announced that it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products β€” including the dyes used to give the inside of a Butterfinger, like this one, that orange hue.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars β€” including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger β€” are about to get an ingredient makeover. Nestle USA announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Will A Tipped-Wage Hike Kill Gratuities For New York's Waiters?

Diners fill Riverpark, a New York City restaurant, in January. Restaurateurs fear that the tipped-wage hike being proposed in New York will force them to get rid of tipping altogether.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:59 pm

The restaurant economy of New York City may be nearing a tipping point.

State officials are recommending a big hike in the minimum hourly wage for people who work for tips. But that idea is giving many restaurateurs indigestion in New York City, home to more than 20,000 restaurants. Some say a tipped-wage hike could upend the whole system of tipping.

And many servers say tips are the No. 1 reason they started waiting tables.

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Food
2:56 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Some Gas Stations Find New Business As Food Destinations

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:59 pm

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

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Business
2:49 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

From Jobs To Car Parts, Port Dispute Rippling Through The Economy

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:59 pm

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

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The Salt
1:49 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Heaps Of Oranges Could Rot As West Coast Dock Dispute Drags On

Oranges sit in crates at the Rancho Del Sol Organics farm in San Diego County, Calif., in 2014. A labor dispute at major West Coast ports has left millions of pounds of California oranges stranded in warehouses and on half-loaded boats.
Sam Hodgson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 12:23 pm

California citrus growers are caught in the middle of a labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping lines that could end with millions of pounds of rotten oranges.

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Media
1:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

David Remnick Looks Back On Tough Decisions As 'The New Yorker' Turns 90

David Remnick has been the editor of The New Yorker since 1998.
Courtesy of The New Yorker

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:21 pm

When David Remnick took the job as editor of The New Yorker in 1998, he learned quickly to make firm decisions about contentious stories. Just a few months into the position, Remnick called Si Newhouse, the magazine's owner, to tell him about a piece he was running that was accusing "all kinds of high-level chicanery."

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It's All Politics
12:47 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

2014 Midterm Election Was The Most Expensive One Yet

Supporters cheer in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a television broadcast declares that Republicans have taken control of the Senate. Republican candidates, party committees and outside groups spent about $44 million more than Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:41 pm

As the presidential hopefuls chase after big donors, the Center for Responsive Politics brings us a quick look in the rearview mirror:

The 2014 congressional midterm elections cost $3.77 billion, the center says, making them β€” no surprise here β€” the most expensive midterms yet. CRP also reports that those dollars appeared to come from a smaller cadre of donors β€” 773,582, the center says. That's about 5 percent fewer than in the 2010 midterms.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Blind Boy's Quest Prompts Australia To Plan Tactile Cash

The next generation of Australian dollar notes will include tactile features to help people with visual impairments differentiate between them, says the Reserve Bank of Australia. Last year, the agency met with a boy who started a petition asking for the change.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 12:13 pm

It started with frustration at Christmas, says Connor McLeod, 13. Blind since birth, he couldn't tell how much money he'd been given. So he started a petition β€” and now the Reserve Bank of Australia says it will create bank notes with tactile features to help visually impaired people tell the difference between denominations.

McLeod explains to Australia's ABC network what prompted him to act:

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Parallels
8:52 am
Wed February 18, 2015

'You Are Invited': Isolated Iran Seeks Foreign Tourists

People ride a horse and carriage through Isfahan's central square in June 2014. With its immense mosques, picturesque bridges and ancient bazaar, the city is a virtual living museum of Iranian traditional culture and is a top tourist destination. After decades of difficult relations with the West, Iran now says it wants more foreign tourists, including Westerners.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:39 am

Two events last week suggested the conflicting currents in Iran. The country marked the anniversary of its revolution last Wednesday with the usual slogan, "Death to America." The following day, Iran opened an international tourism exhibition with a different slogan: "You are invited."

Iran wants to welcome more international tourists, including Americans. But that's a challenge for a country that's wary of outsiders, and closely monitors its own people.

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