Business

Latin America
12:58 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

World Cup Makes Brazilians Crazy, But Soccer's Not To Blame

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now - let's talk World Cup. Every four years, people around the world tune into the same thing at the same time over the same four weeks. They're watching the World Cup. This year's tournament will be held in Brazil, and the first match between Brazil and Croatia is just six days away.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The U.S. Finally Gets Past Pre-Recession Jobs Total

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 12:45 pm

The U.S. hit a milestone Friday, as the government's monthly jobs report showed that in May, the country finally surpassed the number of jobs it had before the recession started. The gain of 217,000 jobs put the total U.S. payroll number at nearly 138.5 million jobs.

But analysts note that the recovery has taken more than six years and has excluded many workers.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: Jobs Gain Of 217,000 Reported

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Economy
5:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Farm Workers' Low Wages Hinder San Joaquin Valley's Economy

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, that's the national picture. Let's zoom in on a region that stands out for its high unemployment, Central California's San Joaquin Valley. NPR's Kelly McEvers went to find out why it's so hard to get a job amid some of the most productive farmland on earth.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Employment Development Department, work force services.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: It's first thing in the morning. And people are calling and lining up to sign up for unemployment benefits and look for jobs.

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Economy
5:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

May Employment Data Show U.S. Surpassed Pre-Recession Job Totals

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 12:08 pm

The Labor Department released its monthly employment report on Friday. The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent.

Parallels
3:47 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The 'Cool War' With China Is Unseen, But Comes With Consequences

Chinese paramilitary police march at Tiananmen Square in Beijing during winter 2014.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:13 am

The days of the Cold War are long gone — no more zero-sum showdowns against communism, no duck-and-cover lessons in propaganda videos. But some scholars argue that something else has taken that conflict's place: a "cool war," pitting the U.S. against China.

That war is flaring up, and it's high stakes for American industry.

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Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
3:46 am
Fri June 6, 2014

From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing

Uri Berliner drinking coffee at the NPR headquarters.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:09 am

A year ago, NPR's Uri Berliner decided to take his money out of a savings account that was losing value to inflation and turn it loose in an investing adventure. A series of stories in 2013 described his newly acquired assets and sought to shed light on how the markets for them worked.

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Economy
6:34 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Is Pushing Interest Rates To Less Than Zero A Crazy Idea?

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at a news conference Thursday in Frankfurt after the ECB said it was cutting rates.
Arne Dedert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:17 pm

By now, you may have heard that on Thursday, the European Central Bank shifted to a negative interest-rate policy for deposits.

That news may have prompted two thoughts: 1) Isn't that crazy? 2) Who cares what happens in Europe?

These questions have answers. But first, some background:

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Business
4:32 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sprint Might Finally Get Its Way With Possible T-Mobile Deal

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Sprint has made no secret of its designs on its smaller rival, T-Mobile. And today, there were multiple reports of a tentative deal valued at around $32 billion. Sprint chairman, Masayoshi Son, has said a deal would make it possible for Sprint to offer more competition in high-speed Internet. But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, there are still plenty of obstacles to the proposed takeover.

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Economy
4:32 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Europe's Central Bank Goes Negative

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The European Central Bank announced today a negative interest rate for banks in the euro zone. It's one of several dramatic steps designed to boost the European economy but also it's just strange. What is a negative interest rate anyway? We asked Jacob Goldstein of our planet Money Team.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sprint Is Reportedly Close To Deal To Buy T-Mobile For $32 Billion

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 4:36 pm

In a deal that's sure to face scrutiny from U.S. regulators, Sprint is reportedly close to sealing a deal with T-Mobile to buy the company for around $40 a share.

If the sale goes through, T-Mobile would join Sprint as the second U.S. wireless company acquired by Japan's Softbank. It would unite the third- and fourth-ranked carriers in their fight against the industry's two dominant leaders, Verizon and AT&T.

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Arts & Life
12:57 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Couple Goes High-Tech And Low Cost For Their Big Day

Putting on a wedding in New York City can be financial suicide. But one young couple, profiled in Fast Company, say they priced their upcoming celebration at just $10,000 by using online startups.

NPR Ed
8:03 am
Thu June 5, 2014

A Master's In Media...From Conde Nast?

If she were your professor, all your work would be on time and fabulous. Or else.
Anonymous ASSOCIATED PRESS

Conde Nast, the magazine publishing company known for The New Yorker, Wired and Vogue, is getting into the US higher education market.

As our public media colleagues at Marketplace reported, the company is partnering with a venture capital firm and some as-yet-unnamed universities to launch a set of co-branded certificate courses, and eventually a master's degree.

Why is a media company getting into the higher education business? And why now?

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Business
5:19 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Afghans Must Pass Anti-Money Laundering Law Or Face Blacklist

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 12:40 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, several important dates to follow in Afghanistan this month. On June 14, Afghans will vote in a runoff election to choose their next president. And about a week later is a deadline for Afghanistan to enact new laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. If the government misses the deadline, Afghanistan will be placed on a blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force, an international agency made up of the world's strongest economies. That could have devastating consequences for a fragile economy. Here's NPR's Sean Carberry.

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Hydroponic Tomatoes May One Day Be Tastier Than Ones Grown Outside

Hydroponic tomatoes are now just as tasty as tomatoes grown outside in perfect summer conditions, scientists say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 12:42 pm

Peak tomato season — July through September here on the East Coast — is almost upon us, and the anticipation is palpable. Before we know it, those super sweet, juicy fruits, grown outdoors under the hot sun, will be back in abundance.

We tend to fetishize summer tomatoes, especially heirloom varieties like Brandywine and Cherokee Purple, and regard them as the pinnacle of tomato flavor.

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Economy
11:59 am
Wed June 4, 2014

There's Trouble In The Job Market For Black College Graduates

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:44 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
11:59 am
Wed June 4, 2014

What's Keeping Some Graduates From Getting Hired?

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:44 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
5:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Into The Virtual Reality Lab With Pioneering Researchers

Peter Mason tries the Oculus virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this year. Some see Facebook's acquisition of the company as a turning point.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:41 pm

When Facebook paid $2 billion to buy Oculus VR, the company that makes the virtual reality goggles, it turned heads. Oculus doesn't even make a profit, but many enthusiasts believe this may be a turning point for a technology that's been around for decades.

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Education
3:37 am
Wed June 4, 2014

As Banks Open In Schools, A Chance For Students To Learn To Save

At a student-run Union Bank branch located inside Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, Calif., students can build credit and learn about finances with their real money.
Alexandra Schmidt NPR

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:20 am

Wearing a red Union Bank polo shirt, high school senior Jerry Liu politely helps a peer with a bank deposit. With a waiting area and even a decorative plant on the table, this could be any bank branch — but right outside this island of adulthood are the hallways of Lincoln High School in Los Angeles.

This is one of three student-run Union Bank branches in California. They're all located in low-income, immigrant-heavy neighborhoods. You can only bank here if you're a student, teacher or parent, but these are real accounts handling real money.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Minimum Wage Hikes Popular, But May Not Spread Everywhere

Seattle waitress Wendy Harrison picks up a lunch order on Monday. She stands to be affected by a $15 minimum wage approved by the Seattle City Council.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:12 pm

No political idea is being as heavily test-marketed these days as the minimum wage.

The Seattle City Council voted Monday to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour — more than double the federal rate of $7.25 and almost 50 percent more than the $10.10 per hour figure favored by President Obama.

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Money Coach
1:09 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Layoff 101: Don't Blame Yourself

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN: I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly conversation about personal finance - one of our money coach conversations. We've been hearing that the economy is slowly but surely picking up, which means that finally people are getting hired again. But in some industries, people are still getting laid off. And unfortunately, we know a little bit about that ourselves.

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Business
7:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

GOP Demonizes Once Favored Cap-And-Trade Policy

The Homer City Generating Station in Homer City, Pa. Republicans say the Environmental Protection Agency will kill jobs and raise electricity prices with new carbon emissions limits.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:04 pm

Republicans say the Environmental Protection Agency will kill jobs and raise electricity prices with new carbon emissions limits. But their tactics in fighting the proposed rules are targeting a policy that their own party championed during GOP presidencies.

Republicans are touting a letter signed by 41 GOP senators asking President Obama to withdraw what they call his "cap-and-trade rule."

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Seattle Ordinance Gradually Increases Minimum Wage To $15

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 10:01 am

The city council has approved a measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The wage will be phased in over a number of years. The measure takes effect on April 1, 2015.

Environment
5:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Pa. Coal Area Worries Emission Rules Will Cost Economy Jobs

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, as we just heard, there is concern these new rules may hit coal communities hard. And let's spend some time in coal country now to listen to the reaction. Greene County, Pennsylvania, is in the southwest corner of the Keystone state - south of Pittsburgh, hugging the West Virginia border. One out of every five jobs there is linked to coal, but it's really part of the culture for everyone. Reid Frazier has this report, introducing us to the people of Greene County.

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Business
5:16 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Commodities Traders: 'The Secret Club That Runs That World'

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 9:42 am

David Greene talks to reporter Kate Kelly about her new book, The Secret Club that Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodity Traders. The commodities market is a high-stakes place to invest.

Business
1:22 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Regulators And Airlines Fight Over Fares, Fees And Fairness

The government wants airlines to be more up front with passengers about the total cost of tickets.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

This week, the Department of Transportation hit Southwest Airlines with a $200,000 fine for touting a fare that did not exist. The carrier had said in a TV ad that customers in Atlanta could fly to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles for just $59. But the bargain fare turned out to be too good to be true.

Southwest, which paid a fine for a similar problem last year, says the ad was a mistake. The airline pulled it as soon as the error was discovered.

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All Tech Considered
10:23 am
Sat May 31, 2014

With Beats, Apple Buys A Quick Start On Smart Headphones

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks wears Beats headphones before a preseason football game last August.
John Froschauer AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 3:39 pm

Apple's purchase of headphone maker Beats By Dre for $3 billion is a big payday for Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. But what's in it for Apple?

Beats By Dre headphones are flashy, cool, a fashion statement. One critic called them the Air Jordans of headwear. Most reviewers, however, say Beats headphones aren't actually that good.

"Every time I've listened to them, I think, 'Oh, right, I really don't like these,' " says Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief of Lifehacker.com.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

Fred and Wayne Schmedt say the drought has withered their wheat plants down from an average height of 24 to 30 inches to just 6 to 8 inches.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oaklahoma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:27 pm

Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. And that means that the wheat crop grown in brothers Fred and Wayne Schmedt's farm is several inches shorter than normal as well.

Laughter is key to surviving as a farmer here. Fred Schmedt looks out on his field, then down at his legs and laughs at how short the wheat stalks are.

"What would you call that, high-shoe-top high?" he says. "In a normal year — a really good year — it'd be thigh-high. So we're looking at plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall versus 24 to 30 inches tall."

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Business
5:27 am
Fri May 30, 2014

IMF Predicts Europe's Economic Growth Will Continue To Be Weak

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 12:36 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Salt
5:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 7:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
4:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:58 pm

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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