Business

The Two-Way
9:33 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Hewlett-Packard Will Split Into Two Companies

Meg Whitman, the current president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will lead one of the two companies the tech giant is creating by dividing its corporate services and printing/PC units.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 6:30 pm

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard, a stalwart through decades of shifts in America's technology landscape, is dividing itself into two companies in its most drastic attempt yet to adjust to new markets.

The ailing company that was founded 75 years ago in a Palo Alto garage was synonymous with Silicon Valley.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 am
Mon October 6, 2014

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Jean Jennings (left) and Frances Bilas set up the ENIAC in 1946. Bilas is arranging the program settings on the Master Programmer.
Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 12:35 pm

If your image of a computer programmer is a young man, there's a good reason: It's true. Recently, many big tech companies revealed how few of their female employees worked in programming and technical jobs. Google had some of the highest rates: 17 percent of its technical staff is female.

It wasn't always this way. Decades ago, it was women who pioneered computer programming — but too often, that's a part of history that even the smartest people don't know.

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Around the Nation
10:16 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Atlantic City Falls From Glittering Resort To Bargain Basement

The Revel was one of four Atlantic City casinos to shut down this year.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 1:36 pm

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses could mean a future of boarded windows and abandoned buildings.

In the 1970s, Atlantic City had lost the glitter of its golden years — the 1940s and '50s, when it was a favored summer spot with a broad beach, the Boardwalk, pastel resort hotels and the home of the Miss America Pageant.

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Politics
4:29 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Obama Plays Off Positive Jobs Report But Voters May Not Buy It

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 6:17 pm

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

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Fri October 3, 2014

How Tough Is The Mortgage Market? Even Bernanke Can't Get Refinanced

Ben Bernanke stepped down as the chairman of the Federal Reserve in January. He told an audience in Chicago on Thursday that he has had trouble refinancing his home.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:51 pm

Banks have made it tougher for people to get mortgages after the Great Recession. Just how hard is it? Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told an audience in Chicago Thursday that he was unable to refinance his home loan.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Unemployment Falls To 5.9 Percent, Lowest In 6 Years

Construction workers build a commercial complex in July, in Springfield, Ill. On Friday, the government said the unemployment rate had fallen below 6 percent for the first time in more than six years.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:19 pm

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent for the first time since July 2008, with nonfarm payrolls adding 248,000 new jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
7:06 am
Fri October 3, 2014

U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

A worker cuts slabs of steel at a mill in Cleveland in 2004.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:28 am

If it weren't for American manufacturing, I wouldn't be here today.

Literally.

A century ago, my grandfather moved from Poland to Youngstown, Ohio, to work in a steel mill. At the time, Ohio factories were cranking out steel slabs, tires and cars — building a mountain of wealth that the next generation could climb. And the generation after that.

But what will happen in the 21st century? Is the path that led to higher ground blocked now?

The answer is complicated.

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NPR Story
5:05 am
Fri October 3, 2014

New Jobs Report Is A Bounceback From Disappointing August

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 12:26 pm

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

Politics
5:05 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Obama's Approval Rating Dragged Down By Economic Disconnect

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 7:36 am

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

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Planet Money
3:36 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Bedbugs, Lava And Bowling Balls: Inside My Homeowners Insurance Policy

The details in a homeowners insurance policy are amazing
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 9:02 am

My homeowners insurance policy reads as though somebody took all of the bad things that can happen in the world and divided them into two buckets: stuff that is covered and stuff that is not covered.

I'm covered for damage from fire, lightning and malicious mischief. I'm covered if a volcano spews lava onto my house. It's right here under "Additional Coverages." Paragraph 10. "Volcanic Action."

But there's this other section, "Losses Not Insured," that tells you how insurance really works. For example, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph e:

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Planet Money
11:54 am
Thu October 2, 2014

40 Years Of Income Inequality In America, In Graphs

Household Income
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:40 pm

Here's the story of income inequality in America over the past 40 years.

Hover over each line to identify household income, and click through to see the percentage growth over the past 40 years.

The graph reveals a striking pattern. After adjusting for inflation, income was basically flat for households in the bottom half of the economic ladder. Right around the middle, income starts to pick up — and the higher you go up the income ladder, the more income growth you see.

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NPR Story
5:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Tech Firms Chip Away At Credit Cards' Share Of Transactions

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:16 am

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

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Economy
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Transcript: Sen. Warren's Full NPR Interview On Financial Regulation

"Who does Washington work for?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after her bill that would let people refinance student debt was shot down in June. It was a question she came back to repeatedly in an NPR interview on the Goldman Sachs bailout and federal regulation of the financial sector.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:17 am

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed Sen. Elizabeth Warren about the audio tapes made by Carmen Segarra, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York investigator who was examining Goldman Sachs. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: You described what you learned from this report as disturbing. What's disturbing about it?

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

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Law
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

U.S. Judge Holds Argentina In Contempt After Debt Default

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

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

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The Salt
3:38 am
Tue September 30, 2014

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Mute Schimpf doesn't want to eat American chicken. That's because most U.S. poultry is chilled in antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.

"In Europe there is definitely a disgust about chlorinated chicken," says Schimpf, a food activist with Friends of the Earth Europe, an environmental group.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Rochester Focuses On A New Picture Of American Manufacturing

Tom Worden works on a fixed-abrasive grinding table at Exelis Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. Exelis is an aerospace and defense company, and employs numerous former Kodak workers in its facility.
Mike Bradley for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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Goats and Soda
11:29 am
Fri September 26, 2014

And The Million Dollar Hult Prize Goes To A Doc In A Box

It's being called the million dollar faint.

Ram Lakshmanan and his team were onstage at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York on Tuesday evening. They were finalists for the Hult Prize, which each year awards $1 million to the best plan for addressing global problems. They were making their pitch for a better healthcare plan that would include something they're calling "Doc-in-a-Box."

And then the 30-year-old entrepreneur collapsed.

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Politics
8:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Despite A Bumpy Tenure, Holder Had A Broad Impact

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Eric Holder's arrival in early February 2009 had all the hallmarks of a homecoming. Justice Department employees fatigued by scandals in President Bush's second term greeted Holder with sustained applause.

The Senate was receptive too, confirming him on a 75-21 vote and officially making him the first African-American attorney general in U.S. history.

But soon after he took the helm at Justice, Holder ran into headwinds — at times generated by his own words.

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The Salt
3:33 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Sayonara To 'Super-Size Me'? Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

Wouldn't this salad make a healthful addition to your pizza for dinner?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:48 am

It just might be the dawn of a new era in American eating. Two-thirds of us are now more likely to go for foods marketed as lower-calorie and "better for you," and that means we're finally eating fewer calories.

But all this calorie-cutting from our cookies and cupcakes isn't just benevolent behavior on the part of the big food and beverage companies. It's also good for their bottom line.

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Politics
5:11 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Shifting Stance, Some GOP Candidates Back State Minimum Wage Hikes

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says under certain conditions, he would support a higher minimum wage in his state.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 6:15 pm

Here's another entry in the strange bedfellows political show, 2014 edition: As Election Day gets closer, some Republicans in battleground races seem to be moving to the center on a number of issues. Their latest sea change is the minimum wage.

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Research News
5:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Why Some Federal Agencies Panic This Time Of Year

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

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

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Goats and Soda
5:03 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Nobelist Muhammad Yunus: Be A Go-Getter, Not A Job Getter

Nobel Peace Prize winner and microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus is a champion of big ideas and small loans.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:01 pm

Muhammad Yunus, the founding father of "microcredit" and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, is in New York City this week to take part in the annual Clinton Global Initiative meetings.

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Business
4:22 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Move To Curb U.S. Corporate Tax Dodges Could Delay Reform

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has announced rules aimed at discouraging U.S. companies from moving their headquarters overseas to cut their tax bills.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:48 pm

The Obama administration's effort to curb corporate inversions — the strategy of moving company headquarters overseas to dodge U.S. taxes — drew boos from business on Tuesday, and cheers from consumer and labor groups.

No surprise there. But the Treasury Department's rule tweaks to discourage tax-avoidance deals also united everyone on one point: The country needs comprehensive tax-reform legislation.

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Business
5:07 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Treasury Announces Steps To Reduce Corporate Tax Dodges

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

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

Around the Nation
5:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Seattle Plan To Ease Public Housing Waitlist Is Met With Criticism

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Copyright 2014 KPLU-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kplu.org.

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Goats and Soda
5:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Ebola's Toll: Farmers Aren't Farming, Traders Aren't Trading

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

The Ebola outbreak is having a devastating effect on the economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, crippling major industries and forcing people out of work.

The three nations hardest hit by the virus are among the poorest on the African continent. Combined, their GDP is less than 3 percent of Nigeria's, the regional economic powerhouse.

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Treasury Announces New Steps To Reduce Corporate Tax Dodges

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:17 pm

The U.S. Treasury announced steps on Monday to reduce the number of American companies who are dodging taxes by moving their parent companies overseas.

"These transactions erode the U.S. tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans," Treasury said in a statement.

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Planet Money
3:28 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Why Jewelry Stores Hide The Price Tags

How much for the blue one?
Stacey Vanek Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:12 am

When Tara Silberberg was a little girl, she helped out at her parents' jewelry store and wrote the prices on the tiny price tags.

"I had such good handwriting, too," said Silberberg. "Just teeny tiny, minuscule little handwriting."

Not that customers would see it: The price tags were turned upside down or tucked away. Even now, when Silberberg runs the store, she still hides the prices.

Customers have to ask Silberberg what the price is, or guess it. It's like playing a jewelry store version of The Price Is Right.

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