Business

Economy
4:01 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Big-Time Home Sales Stoke Hope For Northeast Housing Market

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:09 pm

Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.

Shots - Health News
7:43 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

Even some euro bank notes may need a good scrubbing. Like dollar bills, these notes are made from cotton and they harbor an array of bacteria.
Thomas Leuthard The Preiser Project/Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:44 pm

You may have heard that dollar bills harbor trace amounts of drugs.

But those greenbacks in your wallet are hiding far more than cocaine and the flu. They're teeming with life.

Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface, scientists have found. Most are harmless. But cash also has DNA from drug-resistant microbes. And your wad of dough may even have a smudge of anthrax and diphtheria.

In other words, your wallet is a portable petri dish.

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Education
5:54 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Income Inequality Is A Major Barrier To Attending College

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:45 am

Morning Edition co-host David Greene talks to Suzanne Mettler of Cornell University, author of the new book, Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream.

NPR Story
5:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Urban Libraries Become De Facto Homeless Shelters

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Whether they like it or not, libraries in some cities serve as homeless shelters. People come off the streets to find quiet and warmth. If libraries want to do something about this, they have some choices: They can put homeless visitors back out on the street. San Francisco libraries want to get them back on their feet.

Scott Shafer reports from member station KQED.

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Education
5:03 am
Wed April 23, 2014

One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents

Tiffany Contreras walks her daughter Kyndall, 4, to preschool at Disney Elementary in Tulsa, Okla.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:48 am

President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for "high-quality preschool" for all. In fact, those two words — "high quality" — appear time and again in the president's prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation's preschool programs from the rest?

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All Tech Considered
4:33 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet

A Google data center in Oklahoma is shown. Google recently slashed prices for its cloud services; Amazon responded by cutting its cloud prices.
Connie Zhou AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

This week, our tech reporting team is exploring cloud computing — the big business of providing computing power and data storage that companies need, but which happens out of sight, as if it's "in the cloud."

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U.S.
4:31 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Subminimum Wages For The Disabled: Godsend Or Exploitation?

Workers shrink-wrap products at the Sertoma Centre outside Chicago. Sertoma provides employment opportunities to about 250 people with disabilities through subcontracting jobs.
Courtesy of Sertoma Centre

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:00 am

The president recently signed an executive order raising the minimum hourly wage to $10.10 for workers employed by federal contractors — including those with disabilities.

That's a victory for disabled workers who can make just pennies per hour at so-called sheltered workplaces.

While some call sheltered workshops a godsend, others say they are examples of good intentions gone wrong.

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All Tech Considered
4:39 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Online Sales Taxes Shift Consumer Behavior, Study Shows

Monica Chavez packs up a box at an Amazon.com fulfillment center Dec. 2, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Technically, consumers are supposed to pay taxes on things they buy online. In fact, few do.

Congress is considering a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act that would force many online sellers to collect sales taxes for the first time.

In the meantime, some states have already enacted so-called Amazon taxes, forcing the giant online retailer to collect sales taxes the same way traditional brick-and-mortar stores do.

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Shots - Health News
11:11 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Change Your Income, Change Your Health Insurance Plan

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 7:46 am

People who qualified for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act aren't necessarily locked into the plan they chose. And that can be good news for people whose income fluctuates during the year. Here's our response to the latest reader questions on coverage through the health exchanges.

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Asia
4:58 am
Tue April 22, 2014

8-Day Asia Trip Critical To Obama's Regional Strategy

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:34 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The schedule of President Obama's trip to East Asia offers a reminder that there are at least two East Asias. There's the giant of the region, China, the focus of so much attention.

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The Salt
3:26 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought

Recent rains kept Suzanne and Mike Collins' orange grove alive, but the rainy season is ending. If they don't get federal irrigation water by this summer, their trees will start dying.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:34 pm

On a recent afternoon on the main drag of Orange Grove, Calif., about a dozen farm workers gather on the sidewalk in front of a mini-mart.

One man sits on a milk crate sipping a beer. A few others scratch some lotto tickets. Salvador Perez paces back and forth with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans.

If there is no water, there's no work, he says in Spanish.

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Around the Nation
12:27 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

No Longer Marching Out To Work, More Mothers Stay Home

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we want to take a closer look at women who work full-time as stay-at-home moms. We have new numbers from the Pew Research Center that show the proportion of home stay-at-home moms in the U.S. has gone up since 1999. That number had been declining since the 1960s.

But between 1999 and 2012, the percentage of moms who stayed at home rose from 23 percent to 29 percent. Joining us to talk about this is D'Vera Cohn. She's a senior writer at the Pew Research Center and an author of the new report. D'Vera, welcome.

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Education
12:27 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

A 'Tennessee Promise' To Educate The State's College Students

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. This spring, along with NPR's Morning Edition, we're helping you navigate the higher education money maze with our "Paying for College" series.

We've heard about how college got so expensive and how families and students are taking on massive loans to pay for it. But today, we want to talk more about an effort to make college not just affordable, but free.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS)

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Economy
12:27 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

President Obama Will Skip China, But Asia Trip Sends A Message

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. President Obama heads overseas this week to Asia. He hopes to strengthen U.S. economic ties with that region.

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Business
5:20 am
Mon April 21, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments In Argentina Debt Case

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Argentina and its teetering economy will be affected by case being heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case goes back more than a decade and could have wide implications, not just for Argentina's economy, but also to relations with the U.S.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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All Tech Considered
3:44 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Who Should Pay To Keep The Internet's Locks Secure?

A lock icon signifies an encrypted Internet connection. But thanks to a recently discovered (and now fixed) bug, it's been bleeding out information for a few years.
Mal Langsdon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 1:01 pm

The encryption code unlocked by the Heartbleed bug last week provided vital security for some of the most widely used websites on the Internet. Fortune 1000 companies rely on the open source code for their core business. But it turns out no one is paying for it.

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Your Money
3:42 am
Mon April 21, 2014

How Do Companies Boost 401(k) Enrollment? Make It Automatic

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 2:15 pm

More Americans are saving for retirement through their employers' 401(k) programs. That's because in recent years they've been given a strong nudge — more companies are automatically enrolling workers in retirement savings programs.

Some firms are also automatically increasing the amount employees contribute. That's just as important, experts say.

And all of this makes a big difference: Without it, millions of Americans don't save at all.

Making Time For Retirement Planning

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Shots - Health News
3:40 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Scribes Are Back, Helping Doctors Tackle Electronic Medical Records

Medical scribe Connie Gayton keeps the electronic records, allowing orthopedic surgeon Devesh Ramnath to focus on his patients.
Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 9:43 am

Like many other doctors across the country, Dr. Devesh Ramnath, a Dallas orthopedic surgeon, recently made the switch from paper to electronic medical records. This meant he no longer had to just take notes when he was examining a patient — he also had to put those notes into the computer as a permanent record.

"I was really focused on just trying to get the information in, and not really focusing on the patient anymore," Ramnath says.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
5:12 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Advice From Women About Negotiating For A Raise: Just Ask

Many of the women who told us their stories said they didn't negotiate terms for their first job offers because they didn't know they could.
Thomas Barwick Getty Images

Twice Juno Schaser asked for a raise. Twice she was turned down, she says. If her group of female friends is any indication, it's a common experience.

" 'At least they'll respect you for trying,' " a friend told Schaser, a 23-year-old museum publicist.

"I think I'd feel more respected if I was paid at the same level as my male co-workers," Schaser says.

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All Tech Considered
5:08 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Tech Week: Earnings, A Heartbleed Arrest And Digital Distraction

Google and other tech companies reported earnings this week, amid fears of another tech bubble bursting.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There was really only one tech story last week — the potentially disastrous Heartbleed bug. This week, we return to more of a panoply of tech-related news, starting with NPR stories in the ICYMI section, the broader topics in the industry in The Big Conversation and fun links you shouldn't miss in Curiosities.

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All Tech Considered
5:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Airbnb To Start Charging Hotel Taxes In A Handful Of Cities

Airbnb, the online home-rental service, says it will start collecting hotel taxes in a few American cities.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

When Regitze Visby, a tourist visiting San Francisco from Denmark, searched for accommodations for her trip and saw she could stay at one of the famed "painted ladies" on Alamo Square through Airbnb, she took it.

At $135 a night, "it was a good deal," she says.

But does she know if she's paying a transient occupancy tax or a hotel tax? "I have no idea," she says.

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Faith Matters
11:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Gefilte Fish Shortage: Best Thing Since The Parting Of The Red Sea?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 12:35 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Speaking of religion still, if there's one thing that goes hand-in-hand with faith, it is generally food. There have been a number of different food shortages in this country you may have heard about lately. We reported on this program about the shortage of limes. We've seen reports of rising beef prices as well. But right now, during Passover, gefilte fish is in short supply. Matt Chaban joins us now from member station WESA in Pittsburgh. He wrote about this for the New York Times. Matt, welcome.

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Business
6:40 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Obama Wants To Sell Exports To Asia, But Critics Aren't Buying

Members of Japan's farmers association protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks at a rally in Tokyo in March 2013.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 2:00 pm

Next week, President Obama is going to Asia, where he'll talk up a proposed deal to increase U.S. trade with that region.

If he succeeds, he could open up huge new markets for U.S. farmers and manufacturers, strengthen U.S. influence in Asia and set a path to greater prosperity.

At least, that's what the White House says.

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Business
6:25 am
Fri April 18, 2014

'Leftover Women' Blamed For China's Surplus Of Unmarried Men

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:10 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In China there's a phrase that refers to a certain demographic: Educated professional women in their late 20s or a little older who are still single. They're called Leftover Women.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This group of women is growing rapidly in the cities. They're facing an unprecedented unmarried crisis.

MCEVERS: An unmarried crisis. That's from Chinese state TV. Newspapers also use the phrase, which was coined by the government a few years back. Sociologist Leta Hong Fincher tracks how Leftover Women is used in the media.

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Business
6:23 am
Fri April 18, 2014

IPO Market Shows Signs Of Strain

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, Virtu Financial has reportedly decided to postpone its initial public offering. The decision comes during a week when several IPOs in U.S. markets had disappointing debuts. Virtu conducts high-frequency electronic trading on various exchanges and scrutiny of high-speed trading is growing.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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NPR Story
5:09 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Budget Cuts Threaten Mock Villages At Military Training Center

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 11:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

America has learned a lot about fighting wars over the past decade. And you can see how they apply the lessons learned at the Fort Irwin National Training Center in Southern California. The military still holds old-style war games there, with tanks and planes. But the war scenarios also reflect the recent challenges faced in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Planet Money
2:28 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

How Long Would You Have To Work To Buy A Burger In Your City?

istolethetv/Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 4:49 pm

How long does the average person have to work to buy a burger in his or her neighborhood? The maps below answer that question for neighborhoods in six cities around the country.

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All Tech Considered
2:27 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Can The Peer Economy Deliver Profits?

Postmates appeals to workers looking for a secondary income, CEO and co-founder Bastian Lehmann says.
Postmates.com

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 3:47 pm

Josh Gibbs normally wouldn't leave his apartment in Northeast Washington, D.C., pick up a loaded pizza from a restaurant in Chinatown, bike to a complete stranger's apartment, drop off the pizza and leave without any cash exchanging hands. But last week, he did just that. And truth be told, he kind of loved it.

"It's exciting. It's just fun," he says. "When the app goes off, when it beeps, I get this little adrenaline rush. I can make some money. It's like a game."

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Education
11:49 am
Thu April 17, 2014

You've Served Your Country, Now Get To Class

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 12:38 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This spring, we're joining our colleagues at NPR's Morning Edition to bring you stories that might help you navigate the higher education money maze. And today we want to talk about veterans.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 1:42 pm

There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

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