Business

Economy
5:20 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Drop In Oil Prices Is Being Felt By U.S. Drillers, Oil Field Firms

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Falling oil prices have begun to hurt oil companies. This may be the point where you make a sarcastic remark - oh, the poor oil companies.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:54 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Obamacare 'Glitch' Puts Subsidies Out Of Reach For Many Families

Don Benfield is trying to get health care coverage for his family. The options at work are too expensive, but his employer's option disqualifies him from Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Courtesy of Don Benfield

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:50 am

Don Benfield of Taylorsville, N.C., makes $11 an hour working for a mobile-home parts business, selling things like replacement doors and windows.

Benfield, 51, doesn't have health insurance.

"I haven't had health care insurance in years, simply because I haven't been able to afford it, especially with food prices, how they went up," he explains.

Benfield's employer does offer health insurance coverage, even though, with fewer than 50 employees, the business is not required to.

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Business
3:52 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

Brooke Gehring, CEO of Patients Choice and Live Green Cannabis, stands in one of her company's grow houses in Denver.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:04 am

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

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Parallels
3:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Black Friday Sales Down At Stores, Surge Online

Shoppers Manuel Orellano, middle, with his daughter Marcela, left, and her son Manuel, 6, shop for children's clothing at JCPenney at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, on Friday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

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New Boom
4:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

Millennials Might Be 'Generation Twin.' Is That A Bad Thing?

Mike (left) and Matt (right) Gragnani are 25-year-old identical twins. Together, they've been able to buy an apartment and start a business before many of their peers.
Courtesy of Mike Gragnani

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:08 pm

There are more twins in the "millennial generation" than any other generation, thanks partly to a twin boom in the '90s. The main reason was a new technology called in vitro fertilization, which in its early days frequently produced twins, triplets and other multiple births.

The result? A million "extra" twins born between 1981 and 2012.

And all of them might be hurting the economy.

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World
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Black Friday Crosses The Pond

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movies
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Revisiting The Stories Told In Murrow's 'Harvest of Shame'

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro, and this is CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow in 1960.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "HARVEST OF SHAME")

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Business
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Despite Cold Weather And Protesters, Shoppers Seek Black Friday Sales

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Black Friday can signify a lot of different things. It can mean braving freezing temperatures in Minnesota like this.

SHACARAH REYNOLDS: I'm out here with everyone else for a TV.

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Economy
5:02 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Immigration Policy May Mean Better Jobs, But Impact On Labor Unclear

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:56 am
Fri November 28, 2014

America's Black Friday Craziness Has Crossed The Pond

Police are on guard as shoppers line up for a Black Friday sale at a Tesco store in Cardiff, Britain.
Mattthew Horwood EPA/Landov

Black Friday is in full swing in U.S. stores and online, with shoppers across the country hoping to snatch up Christmas bargains.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over the same period last year, bringing the total to $616.9 billion. It would be the biggest jump in sales since 2011. The NRF has a breakdown of shopping behavior last year posted here.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Experts Predict Low Oil Prices Through Next Year

A Rosneft oil rig at the Vankor oil field in eastern Siberia. Russia is already feeling the pinch of low oil prices.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 11:29 am

OPEC's decision not to cut production continues to reverberate through global oil markets, with the price of Europe's benchmark Brent crude falling to a four-year low today — bad news for petroleum exporters in the Middle East and Russia, but good news for nearly everyone else.

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NPR Story
5:07 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Mega-Rich Invest In Works By Living Artists

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
4:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

AFL-CIO Supports Black Friday Strikes Against Walmart

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Bargain hunters heading to Walmart, in addition to looking for holiday deals, may find workers participating in Black Friday Strikes.

Since 2012, Our Walmart, which is an employee labor group, has been staging strikes on the day after Thanksgiving.

Employees at stores in six states and Washington, D.C., plan to participate and more locations are expected to join in.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

WTO Members Approve Historic Trade Deal

The World Trade Organization has received the unanimous backing of its 160 member nations for a first-ever multilateral trade deal, an agreement that has been years in the making and that the organization claims could add $1 trillion annually to global commerce.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Oil Prices Tumble After OPEC Holds Firm On Output

The lowest gas prices in years are seen Wednesday on a fuel sign in Lawrence, Kan. A day later, OPEC decided to maintain current production levels, virtually ensuring continued low prices at the pump.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 11:53 am

Update at 5:50 p.m. ET

OPEC oil ministers have agreed to keep production levels steady, virtually ensuring continued low prices at the gas pump and lower costs for jet fuel that could translate into cheaper air-ticket prices.

Reuters reports: "Benchmark Brent futures settled at $72.58 a barrel, down $5.17, after hitting a four-year low of $71.25 earlier in the session. The contract was on track for its biggest monthly fall since 2008. U.S. crude was last down $4.64 at $69.05 a barrel."

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Around the Nation
5:09 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Energy Boom Helps Texas Commuter School Launch Football Program

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Copyright 2014 KRTS-FM. To see more, visit http://www.marfapublicradio.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
5:05 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Louisiana Woos Movie Industry With Tax Credits

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Louisiana is known as the pelican state, but it's now trying out a new nickname, Hollywood South. Thanks to some very generous tax credits more movies are filmed in Louisiana than any other state, California included. From New Orleans, Kate Richardson of member station WWNO has the story.

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Economy
5:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Don't Feel Guilty — The Holidays Are A 'Macroeconomic Cheat Day'

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What do you mean? Wait a second. Wait a second. I'm pretty sure it starts right now.

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Goats and Soda
12:10 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

A Somali Aid Worker Would Rather Give Out Cash Than Free Food

Degan Ali, a Somali-American humanitarian, describes herself on Twitter as a "social justice activist, Muslima."
Courtesy of Adeso

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 7:43 pm

In 2011, drought hit Somalia hard, triggering a famine that ultimately killed some 260,000 people. Now, after a poor rainy season, the Food and Agriculture Organization is warning that the country could be on the brink of another famine.

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Goats and Soda
12:02 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Hissing And Sighing: The Lament Of Sex Workers In Sierra Leone

On Lumley Beach, after day trippers have headed home, prostitutes look for customers along a 100-yard stretch of road near some of the nicer hotels as well as near the bars and restaurants along the beachfront.
Simon Akam Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 3:15 pm

When a man drives by the strip at Lumley Beach in downtown Freetown at night, he'll probably hear a sharp hiss. That's not an unusual sound in Sierra Leone. People hiss instead of whistling — to get your attention, to call for the bill at a restaurant, to buy a bottle of water on the street.

But the hissing along a stretch of beachfront road at Lumley Beach has a different purpose. It's the sound prostitutes make, and they've perfected the hiss. That's why they're called serpents.

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Business
6:30 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Holiday Shopping Ads Are Geared Toward Brain's Reward Center

Retailers' Black Friday ads and other parts of the holiday season are designed to tap into a very ancient part of our brains.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year. But what makes us want to rush to the stores or online to snap up the best bargains?

Those wall-to-wall TV ads — and the holiday season itself — are tapping into a very primitive part of our brains.

"There is more of a sport to Black Friday shopping, and people expect some deal, but they aren't likely to get the best deal on a particular item because the best deal may have already happened six months ago," says Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst with Forrester Research.

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NPR Story
5:13 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Why Fed Officials Are Concerned About Too Little Inflation

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 8:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Bureaucratic Hoops Make D.C. Affordable Housing Units Hard To Sell

Affordable housing condo buyer Marilyn Phillips says she had to jump many hoops before purchasing her unit in D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood.
Courtesy of Manna Inc.

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 6:31 pm

In Washington, D.C., a city with one of the highest costs of living in the nation, low-income residents are having trouble buying affordable housing — not because of a lack of it, but because of all the red tape.

Nearly 1 in 5 D.C. residents lives at or below the poverty line.

D.C. real estate developer Buwa Binitie offers affordable housing units as well as market-rate condos and says his rental properties can get snapped up quickly but the for-sale properties take a whole lot longer.

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Goats and Soda
5:12 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class For 150 In A Cowshed

Aansoo Kohli is running a makeshift class in a cowshed for children who have no access to school.
Abdul Sattar for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 7:26 pm

Every day, shortly after breakfast, more than 150 noisy and eager-eyed kids, coated in dust from top to toe, troop into a mud cowshed in a sun-baked village among the cotton fields of southern Pakistan. The shed is no larger than the average American garage; the boys and girls squeeze together, knee-to-knee, on the dirt floor.

Words scrawled on a wooden plank hanging outside proudly proclaim this hovel to be a "school," although the pupils have no tables, chairs, shelves, maps or wall charts — let alone laptops, water coolers or lunch boxes.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Turning 21? Here's How To Avoid A Big Hike In Health Premiums

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 11:55 am

For young people, turning 21 is generally a reason to celebrate.

If they're insured through the federal health insurance marketplace that operates in about three-dozen states, however, their birthday could mean a whopping 58 percent jump in their health insurance premium in 2015, according to an analysis by researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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All Tech Considered
5:46 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

As Hackers Hit Customers, Retailers Keep Quiet About Security

Leading retailers are tight-lipped about what they're doing to protect customers from credit card breaches.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 10:15 am

As the holiday buying season approaches, retailers remain open to the same attack — called a "point of sale" attack — that hit Target and Home Depot, security experts say. Those analysts say that retailers have their fingers crossed, hoping they're not next.

And leading companies are keeping very tight-lipped about what, if anything, they're doing to protect customers.

Is This Store Hackerproof?

It's easy to spot a scratched face on a watch. It's much harder to tell if the checkout machine that you swipe to pay for that watch is defective.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

California College Students Walk Out Of Class To Protest Tuition Hikes

Students shout their disapproval after the University of California Board of Regents voted Nov. 20 to raise tuition. UC students across the state protested Monday by walking out of class.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 9:05 pm

Students in the University of California system staged walkouts on campuses throughout the state Monday, in response to proposed tuition hikes at their schools. Last week, the UC Board of Regents voted for hikes of up to 5 percent a year, for the next five years, unless state funding is increased. California Gov. Jerry Brown has come out against the tuition increases, and as a UC regent himself, he also voted against the measure. But the regents approved the hike in a 14-7 vote.

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The Salt
2:18 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

For The Next Food Drive, Go For The Canned Tuna, Not The Saltines

Peanut butter, canned tuna and canned fruits in natural juices are among the "superfoods" on Feeding America San Diego's list of requested donations.
Courtesy Feeding America San Diego

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:15 pm

When you donate to a food drive, do you ponder the nutritional labels of the can in your hand? Or do you grab a packet of ramen or a bag of marshmallows from the dark corners of your pantry and hope it hasn't expired?

Healthfulness isn't typically a well-intended food donor's top concern, says hunger advocate Ruthi Solari. The ramen and marshmallows, along with a container of Crisco and a few other items, were basically the entire contents of a food box delivered to one of her volunteer's grandmothers who received food aid, Solari says.

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Business
1:01 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

The Economics Of Thanksgiving 2014

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 1:39 pm

Thanksgiving is remembered for feasts, family gatherings and ... awkward conversations.

You know what I'm talking about. You're back with relatives you haven't seen in years, and the conversation takes a frightening turn toward politics, religion or, worse, your love life.

You need help. You have to switch to a newsy but neutral topic. Here's a handy list of conversation changers you can use at any time.

Just start each sentence with, "Hey, did you know that ... " and here are the safe categories:

The Road

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