Business

Business
2:54 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

What Do Shorted Stocks Tell Us About The Economy?

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 8:40 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Code Switch
1:02 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Claude Sitton, 'Dean Of The Race Beat,' Dies At 89

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:56 pm

It may be that Claude Fox Sitton so outraged the white Southern segregationists he reported on throughout the civil rights movement because, by all appearances, he could have been standing beside them instead of writing about them in the New York Times.

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All Tech Considered
10:57 am
Wed March 11, 2015

The App Of The Moment: Meerkat Tests Our Desire To Share Live Video

Meerkat, a live-video streaming app, has been this week's tech media darling.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:08 pm

After Jon Ward happened upon Meerkat, the newest live-video streaming app, he couldn't stop thinking about the reporting potential. As the senior political correspondent for Yahoo News, Ward knew the technology involved is anything but revolutionary. Yet there was something captivating about Meerkat.

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Shots - Health News
10:37 am
Wed March 11, 2015

The Boss Can Force You To Buy Company's Health Insurance

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:09 am

Under the health law, large employers that don't offer their full-time workers comprehensive, affordable health insurance face a fine. But some employers are taking it a step further and requiring workers to buy the company insurance, whether they want it or not.

Many workers may have no choice but to comply.

Some workers are upset. One disgruntled reader wrote to Kaiser Health News: "My employer is requiring me to purchase health insurance and is automatically taking the premium out of my paycheck even though I don't want to sign up for health insurance. Is this legal?"

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The Salt
9:12 am
Wed March 11, 2015

How Big Sugar Steered Research On A 'Tooth Decay Vaccine'

Garry Gay Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:18 pm

Sugar can promote tooth decay. Duh.

So if you want good oral health, it makes sense to brush and floss regularly and perhaps limit the amount of sugar you consume. Right?

In 2015, this may seem fairly obvious.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Critics Take Aim At Port Of Seattle's Lease With Shell Oil

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:41 am

Copyright 2015 Puget Sound Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.kuow.org.

Economy
1:39 am
Wed March 11, 2015

With Prices Down And Layoffs Up, Copper Industry Still Looks To Grow

A driver operates a haul truck in the Ray Mine near Kearny, Ariz. Falling copper prices have residents of some small mining towns in Arizona worried as shrinking revenues bring layoffs.
Christopher Deahr FlickrVision

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:41 am

The price of copper is down more than 40 percent from its peak just four years ago. Some of that is due to a drop-off in construction activity in the United States and China. The trend has some small mining towns in Arizona worried as shrinking revenues are starting to translate into layoffs.

It's hard to miss the Ray Mine near Kearny in southern Arizona. The open-pit copper mine spans nearly two square miles and extends more than 1,000 feet into the ground.

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Parallels
1:37 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Nicaragua's Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country's electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years.
Inti Ocon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 2:26 pm

Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it's a renewable energy paradise — and today the Central American nation is moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse. Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua's electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms.

Nicaragua's largest wind farm lies on the shores of giant Lake Nicaragua, which stretches halfway across the country.

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The Two-Way
9:16 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Feds Add Coal-Dust Coverup Allegation To Mine CEO's Indictment

Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, faces trial on federal conspiracy charges related to the 2010 fatal explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.
Jeff Gentner AP

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 12:32 am

Six weeks before a landmark mine disaster trial, federal prosecutors in West Virginia have added a new allegation to the criminal conspiracy charges lodged against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

FDA Decision Signals New Competition For Some Of The Costliest Drugs

A look inside the factory in Kundl, Austria, where Sandoz, a unit of Novartis, makes biosimilar drugs.
Novartis

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 3:46 pm

Mark McCamish spent more than five years preparing for a presentation he gave this winter.

McCamish is in charge of biopharmaceutical drug development at the Sandoz division of Switzerland's Novartis. He and his colleagues made the case to a panel of 14 cancer specialists and a group of Food and Drug Administration regulators that a company drug codenamed EP2006 should be approved for sale in the U.S.

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Television
12:55 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

New HBO Now Streaming Service Shows Consumer's Will Is King

Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, talks about HBO Now during an Apple event Monday in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:40 pm

There's a lesson at the heart of the announcement Monday by HBO that it was finally starting the standalone video streaming service they have been talking about for five months, HBO Now.

In a media world fragmented by digital technology, the consumer's will is king.

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It's All Politics
9:01 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Wild Day In Madison Likely To Be Another Win For Gov. Walker

Protesters filled Wisconsin's state Capitol in Madison on Monday, demonstrating against last weekend's shooting death of Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:21 pm

You could scarcely imagine a day that better demonstrated the split personality of Wisconsin politics.

On Monday, the state Capitol building in Madison was flooded once again with an angry crowd of protesters. This time the outrage was sparked by a local police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old black man.

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NPR Story
3:08 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Apple's Partnership With HBO May Redefine Cable TV

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:45 am

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

Parallels
3:08 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Architect Renzo Piano: The Future Of Europe's Cities Is In The Suburbs

Italian architect Renzo Piano talks to journalists in Paris in 2014.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:16 am

Architect Renzo Piano spends one week a month in his hometown of Genoa, Italy. His house-workshop is perched 300 feet above the Mediterranean Sea and can only be reached by a glass-enclosed funicular that crawls slowly up a steep incline dotted with cypress and olive trees. The airy, multi-story greenhouse workshop buzzes with young architects working on the many Piano projects under way across the world.

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Shots - Health News
2:21 am
Tue March 10, 2015

With Medicare Pay On The Line, Hospitals Push Harder To Please Patients

Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C.
Joanna Serah/Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:33 am

Lillie Robinson came to Rowan Medical Center for surgery on her left foot. She expected to be in and out in a day, returning weeks later to the Salisbury, N.C., hospital for her surgeon to operate on the other foot.

But that's not how things turned out. "When I got here I found out he was doing both," she said. "We didn't realize that until they started medicating me for the procedure." Robinson signed a consent form and the operation went fine, but she was in the hospital far longer than she'd expected to be.

"I wasn't prepared for that," she said.

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Business
2:16 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Low Oil Prices Could Stall Explosive Growth In Montana Boom Town

A pump-jack sits atop an oil well near downtown Sidney, Mont. The oil boom has brought thousands of new residents to the town, almost all of whom work in the Bakken oil fields in Montana and North Dakota. Sidney sits at the western edge of the Bakken oil patch, one of the most productive drilling areas in the country.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 2:52 pm

What happens when the price of oil tanks and suddenly you're faced with a whole lot less money to deal with your town's explosive growth?

If you're 52-year-old Rick Norby, you lose a lot of sleep.

"I haven't slept since I became mayor," he says. "I really ain't kidding you."

When Norby became mayor of Sidney, Mont., oil prices were about $100 a barrel. A year later, they've fallen to roughly half that. Yet oil production has continued to churn right along.

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Business
10:03 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

The Numbers Add Up To This: Less And Less Opportunity For Poor Kids

An employee at the American Disposables Inc. factory works on the assembly line in October 2009 in Ware, Mass. The state has seen rapidly expanding income disparity in the past 50 years as highly educated tech and financial workers have seen big gains and inflation-adjusted income has shrunk for the poorest residents.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:57 am

In this country, all children are supposed to have a shot at success — a chance to jump "from rags to riches" in one generation.

Even if riches remain out of reach, then the belief has been that every hard-working American should be able to go from poverty to the middle class.

On Tuesday, a book and a separate study are being released — both turning up evidence that the one-generation leap is getting harder to accomplish in an economy so tied to education, technological know-how and networking.

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All Tech Considered
3:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Neighbors And Fans Are Curious About Apple's Massive New HQ

The new doughnut-shaped building will be a mile in circumference. "The office areas are laid out in little wedges all around the building," says Dan Whisenhunt, Apple's vice president of real estate and development.
Anya Schultz KQED

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 6:07 pm

In Silicon Valley, the world's largest Apple product is taking shape — a glass and concrete ring wider than the Pentagon.

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Economy
2:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Credit Rating Agencies Agree To Change Process For Reporting Errors

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:36 am

The three major credit rating agencies reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday to change the way they handle errors on credit reports. Under the reforms, consumers can initiate a formal dispute to challenge inaccurate information and agencies must use trained employees to investigate the complaints.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Right-To-Work Bill

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 1:02 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a right-to-work measure Monday that makes his state the 25th in the nation with such a law. That effectively means that mandatory union membership and dues are banned at privately owned businesses — a move strongly opposed by unions, which say it restricts collective bargaining.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Mon March 9, 2015

#AppleWatchEvent: Apple Reveals Its Much-Anticipated Smart Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the new Apple Watch at an event Monday in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 4:21 pm

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

The cheapest one will cost $349 and prices go all the way up to $10,000 for one that is gold plated. For that, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Monday, you can use your Apple Watch to make calls and send emails, check your heart rate and your Twitter feed and, yes, tell time, as well.

Apple, of course, has never been shy about touting its products, and Cook, at an event in San Francisco to announce the launch of the much-anticipated watch, called the device "the most advanced timepiece ever created."

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Business
3:22 am
Mon March 9, 2015

As Commodity Prices Sink, Mining Equipment Makers Suffer

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 6:20 am

Copyright 2015 Wisconsin Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpr.org.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
2:00 am
Mon March 9, 2015

As Apple Watch Launches, Taking Stock Of Competitors And Possibilities

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks Sept. 9 during an event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif., where he unveiled the Apple Watch. The device officially goes on sale Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:32 am

Like an elephant splashing down in a mud hole, Apple's entry into the smart watch market is expected to have a huge impact. How much of one is a multibillion dollar question.

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All Tech Considered
1:57 am
Mon March 9, 2015

In Kansas City, Superfast Internet And A Digital Divide

Since Google Fiber rolled out gigabit broadband in Kansas City four years ago, residents have enjoyed fast Internet connections, including what locals call "the world's fastest Starbucks."
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 11:35 am

Kansas City has some of the Internet's best service anywhere. Providers there jostle for customers who can now expect broadband that's about 100 times faster than the national average.

But, four years after Google Fiber landed in Kansas City, people are still trying to figure out just what to do with all that speed.

Kansas City's a modest, Midwestern place. Residents are proud of their barbecue and baseball team. But Aaron Deacon says that now there's something else: inexpensive, world-class Internet.

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The Salt
1:02 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

FDA Tests Turn Up Dairy Farmers Breaking The Law On Antibiotics

FDA tests have turned up residues suggesting a few dairy farmers are illegally using antibiotics.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 10:00 am

When it comes to the current controversy over antibiotic use on farm animals, milk is in a special category.

Lactating cows, unlike hogs, cattle or chickens that are raised for their meat, don't receive antibiotics unless they are actually sick. That's because drug residues immediately appear in the cow's milk — a violation of food safety rules.

Milk shipments are tested for six of the most widely used antibiotics, and any truckload that tests positive is rejected. So when cows are treated, farmers discard their milk for several days until the residues disappear.

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All Tech Considered
6:10 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Developers Continue Push To Make Virtual Reality Mainstream

MindMaze Software Engineer Nicolas Bourdaud demonstrates a virtual reality system at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 10:09 pm

I had a lot of experiences this past week: I shot birds out of the sky with my eyes, my fingers were on fire, I flew on top of a drone over the arctic and looked into the jaws of a dragon.

I did all this without leaving San Francisco, at the 2015 Game Developers Conference, where the people who make the video games we love to play come to the city by the thousands to check out the latest hardware and software for making games.

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Movies
4:31 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Movie Chains Balk At Netflix's Plan For Simultaneous Release

Idris Elba stars as an African warlord in the forthcoming film Beasts of No Nation. Netflix recently purchased distribution rights for the film for nearly $12 million.
Jac Cheairs Red Crown Productions/Participant Media/Netflix

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 10:58 am

Beasts of No Nation is the story of a West African child who is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Actor Idris Elba portrays a brutal warlord who recruits the child soldier.

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Economy
7:22 am
Sat March 7, 2015

More Jobs, Less Inflation Drive Down 'Misery' — So Where's The Joy?

Construction workers in Washington, D.C., in December. The latest jobs report will further drive the "misery index" to its lowest level in more than half a century. But economists say meager wages and big debts are still problems.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

For decades, economists have tracked the "misery index," a simple formula that adds the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. The result equals how miserable — or not — you feel.

On Friday, the Labor Department released February's jobs report, and the good numbers will further drive down the misery index, already at its lowest level in more than a half-century, thanks to falling oil prices.

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U.S.
4:22 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Part-Time Workers Struggle With Full-Time Juggling Act

Note: Seasonally adjusted, in millions, for each February (2007-2015)
NPR Bureau of Labor Statistics

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 6:05 pm

The cold weather did not hamper hiring last month. Employers added nearly 300,000 jobs to payrolls, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent.

Despite another strong report, there is little evidence that all the hiring is putting upward pressures on wages.

And there are more than 6.5 million people working part time who would like to have more hours.

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