Business

Goats and Soda
5:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

The Whole World Is Fat! And That Ends Up Costing $2 Trillion A Year

This Chinese teenager weighs 353 pounds. At a "slimming center" in China's central Hubei province, he's exercising and undergoing acupuncture to lose weight.
Color China AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:37 pm

Obesity used to be an issue primarily in well-off countries. It was one of those things flippantly dismissed as a "first-world problem." Now people are packing on the pounds all over the planet. In some fast-growing cities in China, for example, half the people are now overweight.

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NPR Story
5:02 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Low Consumer Spending Hinders Japan's Economic Recovery

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 8:28 am

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

A big aim of Japan's effort to revive the economy is to get consumers to start buying again. Consumers are spending a little more, but apparently not enough. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tokyo.

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NPR Story
5:02 am
Thu November 20, 2014

What The U.S. Could Learn From Japan's Latest Recession

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:37 pm

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

New Boom
3:55 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Despite Low Employment, Millennials Hold Key To Reviving South Texas

Olmo Maldonado (center) returned to his hometown of McAllen, Texas, despite the low employment rate for millennials.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:02 pm

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Welcome to boot camp for the young and unemployed in McAllen, Texas.

"We're going to go ahead and do this," says instructor Marco Lopez, leading a small classroom of millennials through do's and don'ts for job seekers inside a strip mall near McAllen.

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New Boom
4:37 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

For Millions Of Millennials: Some College, No Degree, Lots Of Debt

Noelle Johnson has a lengthy commute via bus and train to her job near Washington, D.C. She's been working toward her B.A. for nine years, and when she finally finishes, she says, she'll be able to afford to live closer to work.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:38 pm

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

If Noelle Johnson had a bachelor's degree, she'd be able to live closer to work, she says. She wouldn't have to spend so much of her free time hustling for baby-sitting gigs. She'd shop at the farmers market. She'd be able to treat her sister to dinner for once. She and her husband could go on trips together — they'd be able to afford two tickets instead of one.

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Business
4:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

1 Million American Pension Plans Could Be Insolvent In 10 Years

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:16 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
8:59 am
Wed November 19, 2014

6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Picking Insurance On The Job

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 10:27 am

You don't get a pass this year on big health insurance decisions because you're not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace. Employer medical plans — where most working-age folks get coverage — are changing too.

Rising costs, a looming tax on rich benefits packages and the idea that people should buy medical treatment the way they shop for cellphones have increased odds that workplace plans will be very different in 2015.

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The Salt
3:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

No 'Misteak': High Beef Prices A Boon For Drought-Weary Ranchers

Black Angus cattle in pens outside the sale barn at 44 Farms, a 3,000-acre ranch in Cameron, Texas. The cattle were on display for bidders ahead of 44 Farms' fall auction in October.
Andrew Schneider Houston Public Media

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 11:18 am

If you've shopped for meat recently, you no doubt have noticed that beef prices are up. Some grades are even at the highest levels ever recorded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Though the inflated prices may be hard on consumers, they're helping Texas cattle ranchers recover from a fierce drought.

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New Boom
5:23 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Amid The Stereotypes, Some Facts About Millennials

Chart: U.S. Estimated Population, By Age
NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:33 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

"Millennial" is the buzzword of the moment — with much of the national conversation focused on stereotypes and anecdotes. But are young adults today really all that different from those of previous generations?

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It's All Politics
11:51 am
Tue November 18, 2014

How Many Louisiana Jobs Are Actually At Stake In Keystone Debate?

The State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline defines a job as lasting for only one year.
United States Department of State

With the Louisiana Senate runoff driving votes in both chambers of Congress on the Keystone XL pipeline, here's a question: How many of those jobs will actually be in Louisiana?

The answer: zero.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue November 18, 2014

With Japan In Recession, Prime Minister Calls For Snap Elections

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference Tuesday at his official residence in Tokyo.
Kazuhiro Nogi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 12:07 pm

Just after his country's economy officially fell back into recession, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he would dissolve parliament and call for elections two years ahead of schedule.

The BBC reports:

"Mr Abe was elected two years ago with an ambitious plan to revive the economy, but has struggled to do so.

"His popularity has fallen but he is expected to win the election, which will take place in mid-December.

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Business
5:06 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Who Pays For Outdated Power Plant That Lacks Customers?

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:11 am

Copyright 2014 Interlochen Public Radio. To see more, visit http://interlochenpublicradio.org/.

Business
3:33 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Firm Accused Of Illegal Practices That Push Families Into Foreclosure

Gary Klein is one of the lead attorneys representing homeowners in the case against Ocwen Financial.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:13 pm

The fallout from the housing crisis isn't over.

According to Moody's Analytics, there were 700,000 foreclosures last year. And some of those people probably didn't need to lose their homes. Even now, more than six years after the housing crash, lawyers for homeowners say mortgage companies are still making mistakes and foreclosing on homes when they shouldn't be.

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Energy
6:38 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:36 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: The Senate voted against completing the Keystone pipeline.

The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long — just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

'Flying Doughnuts': Airbus Files Patent For A New Kind Of Plane

Airbus' patented design for amphitheater-like seating.
Espacenet

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 1:50 pm

Airbus has filed a patent for a new plane that looks decidedly more Star Trek Enterprise than airplane.

The Financial Times dubbed it "flying doughnuts."

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Politics
3:48 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Top Spenders On Capitol Hill Pay Billions, Receive Trillions

The amount of money spent on Capitol Hill is way more than small change — but the impact of that money is a little murky. Here, the U.S. Capitol is reflected in a fountain full of coins on Election Day this year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

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The Salt
3:47 am
Mon November 17, 2014

To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home

Sherri Erkel and her daughter, Asa, cook dinner in their kitchen in Iowa City, Iowa. The Erkel family is part of an EPA study measuring the amount of food wasted in U.S. homes.
Pat Aylward NET News

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

It's a hot summer day outside Lincoln, Neb., and Jack Chappelle is knee-deep in trash. He's wading in to rotting vegetables, half-eaten burgers and tater tots. Lots of tater tots.

"You can get a lot of tater tots out of schools," Chappelle says. "It doesn't matter if it's elementary, middle school or high school. Tater tots. Bar none."

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Economy
7:52 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Despite Job Growth, Voters Focus On Stagnant Wages

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

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

Business
6:34 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Workers Say Employers In Ailing Atlantic City Hold All The Cards

Paul Smith, a single father and a longtime cook at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, is worried about losing his health benefits if the casino closes in December.
Rob Szypko NPR

Valerie McMorris has served drinks at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., since it opened 24 years ago.

Casinos have sustained McMorris most of her life; both of her parents worked in casinos, she says. "It just allowed so many people a middle class status."

But McMorris says that's changing. Her pay and benefits have been cut. Her husband lost his job at the Revel, a gleaming $2.4 billion casino that went bust this year.

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Asia
5:08 am
Fri November 14, 2014

To Lure Investors And Move Money, China Links Two Stock Markets

Floor traders study stock prices in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2013.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 5:14 pm

Investors in Shanghai's stock market will for the first time on Monday be able to invest directly across the border in Hong Kong's Hang Seng stock exchange and vice versa.

The new system, called the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, will give foreign investors direct access to Shanghai's so-called A shares, including many blue chip, state-owned companies.

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Business
5:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

As Casinos Fold, Stakes Are High For Atlantic City Transformation

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian stands in front of an outdoor goods store under construction. The state's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority contributed land and $12 million for the project.
Rob Szypko NPR

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:46 pm

In gambling, they say, the house always wins. But that hasn't been the case in Atlantic City this year. By year's end, the city that once had an East Coast monopoly on gaming may lose its fifth casino.

The city is reeling from the closures. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that the first order of business is to "stop the bleeding." So city and state officials are trying to reposition Atlantic City by literally building it up.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Congress Will Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline, With An Eye On Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate energy committee, spoke Wednesday about getting congressional approval for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. With her is Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 11:19 am

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

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U.S.
12:03 am
Thu November 13, 2014

After Solyndra Loss, U.S. Energy Loan Program Turning A Profit

Beacon Power President and CEO Barry Brits, at the company's plant in Hazle Township, Pa. He says a loan from the Department of Energy made it possible for his company to develop its flywheel energy storage technology.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:53 pm

In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them.

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Business
5:36 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Treasury Secretary: Boosting World Economy Requires 'Tough Decisions'

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

Economy
5:01 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

As U.S. Leads Growth, It Wants Others To Step Up

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the global economy is relying too heavily on just the United States for growth.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:41 pm

The global economy rolls along more smoothly when it's not riding a unicycle. It needs additional wheels for momentum and stability.

That is, in effect, what Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is telling leaders of other advanced nations.

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Business
4:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Banking Giants Settle Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:45 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Six big banks will pay more than $4 billion to U.S. and European regulators for more bad behavior, this time rigging foreign currency markets. Among the charges? That currency traders at the banks collaborated in online chat rooms to cheat customers.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Big Banks Will Pay $4.25 Billion In Fines Over Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:19 pm

Accused of working together to manipulate the foreign exchange market, six huge banks have been ordered to pay fines to agencies in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland totaling around $4.25 billion. U.S. firms Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase will pay the largest fines, about $1 billion each.

The fines are part of an agreement to settle civil charges, and the banks could still face criminal charges. Other banks that agreed to settle the accusations include Bank of America, UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and HSBC.

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Politics
5:20 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Anti-Poverty Groups Prepare For Battles With New Congress

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 8:09 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Fine Art
3:49 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Famous Paintings Sell For Millions At Auction, But The Artist Gets Zero

Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] is set to be auctioned at Christie's, and expectations are high — but Warhol's estate won't see any of the money.
Christie's Images LTD. 2014

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 2:02 pm

It's fall auction season in New York, and two Andy Warhol silkscreens are on the block at Christie's. One is of Elvis Presley — it's called Triple Elvis; the other is Four Marlons — as in Marlon Brando. In the late 1970s, a German casino bought both works for $185,000. This time around, they're expected to fetch more than $100 million. Andy Warhol's estate won't see any of that money: Unlike musicians or novelists, visual artists don't earn future royalties. But that may be about to change.

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The Two-Way
8:00 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Chinese Shoppers Set Record For 'Singles Day' Shopping Spree

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:26 am

You might not know this, but today is "singles day." That's according to China and the world's largest supplier of goods, Alibaba. Together the two have turned an obscure student holiday into the country's biggest shopping event.

In the 1990s, Chinese university students began celebrating being unattached on Nov. 11, which of course is abbreviated 11/11.

The idea was for singles to go out, go to parties, go to bars without all the Valentine's Day commercial schmaltz.

At least that's what it was. Now it's the biggest commercial holiday on the planet.

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