Business

Shots - Health News
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life

Dr. Angela Alday talks with Isidro Hernandes, via a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Armando Jimenez. Both patient and doctor say they much prefer an in-person interpreter to one on the phone.
Jeff Schilling Courtesy of Tuality Healthcare

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:58 am

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sun October 26, 2014

EU Stress Test Finds 25 Banks Need To Shore Up Reserves

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 2:37 pm

After a comprehensive review of banks in the eurozone, regulators say that 25 banks out of 130 had a capital shortfall that would expose them to severe problems in an economic crisis.

The European Central Bank released the results of its yearlong study Sunday, putting banks on notice to boost their reserves within 9 months. Officials say many banks have begun that process — and some of them have already made up the shortfall that's based on a snapshot of data taken last December.

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Business
7:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Tobacco Farmers Lose Longtime Safety Net

Marvin Eaton owns a farm in Belew's Creek, N.C., where he grows 200 acres of tobacco. He bought the farm from his grandfather and plans to pass it down to his son.
Emily McCord WFDD

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Tobacco growers are about to face a completely free market. This month, they'll receive their last checks from a government program meant to ease them out of a Depression-era tobacco-price-fixing system.

That has left Stanley Smith, who grows about 60 acres of tobacco on his farm not far from Winston-Salem, N.C., feeling a little unsettled.

"I've farmed all my life," Smith says. "I think the best way to sum it up is our safety net now is gone."

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Economy
10:52 am
Thu October 23, 2014

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

Macy Gould shared this photo from Lexington, Ky., where the gas prices are under $3.
Macy Gould Instagram

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:40 pm

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

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Business
5:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

What The New Factory Worker Should Know

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:15 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
5:53 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year Buying Begins

Candice Nelson fits her daughter Arya Kubesh with a Halloween hat at a store at Galleria Mall in Edina, Minn. Retailers are hoping Halloween will give them a good bounce into the peak spending time of the year.
Elizabeth Flores MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:58 am

At any big-box store, you can find the annual holiday mash-up now on garish display: Halloween costumes are stacked next to the decorative turkey napkins and pre-lit Christmas trees.

It's time to celebrate the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year season!

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The Changing Lives Of Women
4:30 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Duke Energy CEO: 'I Don't Think Of Myself As A Powerful Woman'

Lynn Good has had many mentors throughout her career — but few of them were women. "So I'm generationally on the early part of the ascent of women into leadership roles," the Duke Energy president and CEO says.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 7:01 am

The first time I meet Lynn Good, she's tucked behind a set of doors with her bags, calmly waiting for the hotel's fire alarms to stop bleating.

She's at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in California to speak, even though, she says, "I don't think of myself as a powerful woman."

It occurs to me later that the unexpected run-in is a fitting introduction to a woman whose corporate ascent has been marked by some emergency detours.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

Did worries about financial stability get more men to say no to fatherhood?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:27 am

The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Tue October 21, 2014

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has capped how much it will pay for some common medical procedures and tests.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:29 pm

To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

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Planet Money
9:40 am
Tue October 21, 2014

When Women Stopped Coding

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Modern computer science is dominated by men. But it hasn't always been this way.

A lot of computing pioneers — the people who programmed the first digital computers — were women. And for decades, the number of women studying computer science was growing faster than the number of men. But in 1984, something changed. The percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged, even as the share of women in other technical and professional fields kept rising.

What happened?

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Around the Nation
6:38 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns

The Washington, D.C., suburb of Arlington, Va., was dubbed a top destination for millennials this year.
Arpad Benedek iStockphoto

"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Tue October 21, 2014

U.S. And Japan Hit Snag In Major Trade Pact Negotiations

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:16 am

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

The Changing Lives Of Women
4:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Look Of Power: How Women Have Dressed For Success

A publicity still from the movie Working Girl, which prominently featured the beloved power suit.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:22 am

Remember power suits? At the same time women were entering the corporate workplace in large numbers, the power suit began to pop up. It was usually a long jacket with the kind of big, padded shoulders Joan Crawford made famous, a straight skirt and, often, a floppy silk bow tie that Little Lord Fauntleroy would have been at home in. The 1980s power suit was designed to ignore a woman's shape so it didn't hinder her mobility as she worked her way up the corporate ladder.

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Book Reviews
5:32 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Amid The Chaos Of Debt Collection, 'Bad Paper' Offers A Riveting Roadmap

cover crop
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Outside a corner storefront in Buffalo, six men tumble from a parked Mercedes. Most of them are ex-cons, some of them are armed and one of them — the polygamist — is packing his machete, to be ready, in his words, "when I run out of bullets." Not one of them weighs less than 240 pounds, and they're all keyed up for a confrontation with a suspected crook — which, as it turns out, goes down in a small storage closet. (Don't worry: No one gets injured.)

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Economy
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Pritzker Travels Europe And Asia On Commercial Diplomacy Tour

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 3:46 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Economy
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

European Slowdown Drives Roller-Coaster Week In Markets

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 7:33 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Economy
4:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Drop In Unemployment Raises Debate On Optimal Rate

A notice in a store window in New York City announces a retail job opening. Now that unemployment has slipped below 6 percent, there's renewed interest in what the Federal Reserve's target for joblessness should be.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:26 pm

The U.S. unemployment rate has been falling steadily over the years. Down from the recession peak of 10 percent in 2009, it reached 5.9 percent in September.

That's getting close to what economists call the natural unemployment rate — the normal level of joblessness you'd expect in a healthy economy.

But a lot of economists are asking whether the old rules about full employment still apply.

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Business
9:27 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Predictions Of 'Peak Oil' Production Prove Slippery

Workers drill for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, N.D., an area experiencing an oil boom.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 12:52 pm

The dustiest portion of my home library includes the 1980s books — about how Japan's economy would dominate the world.

And then there are the 1990s books — about how the Y2K computer glitch would end the modern era.

Go up one more shelf for the late 2000s books — about oil "peaking." The authors claimed global oil production was reaching a peak and would soon decline, causing economic chaos.

The titles include Peak Oil and the Second Great Depression, Peak Oil Survival and When Oil Peaked.

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Business
6:25 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Sustained Lower Gas Prices Could Drive Economic Growth

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:53 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk next about the economic effects of oil prices. We've been reporting this week on oil prices that seem to drop measurably day by day. Eventually, that translates to cheaper gas. We asked NPR's Chris Arnold just how much that matters.

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NPR Story
5:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Why Has There Been So Much Turmoil In Financial Markets Lately?

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:53 am

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

All Tech Considered
3:21 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Silicon Valley Companies Add New Benefit For Women: Egg-Freezing

A technician opens a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in April 2011 in Amsterdam.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:10 pm

In the Silicon Valley arms race to lure the top talent with the best benefits, Facebook and Apple are adding egg freezing for female employees. The two companies may be the first to pay for the procedure for women who choose it to delay childbearing.

The addition of egg-freezing to the benefits plan comes as tech companies face mounting pressure to hire more women. And it's a perk that some women may find attractive.

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Goats and Soda
3:20 am
Fri October 17, 2014

World Bank Head On Ebola: Put The Fire Out Where It's Raging

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim wants the international community to step up its response to Ebola.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:38 pm

To stop the raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa, "we need to pay attention to where the fire is burning."

That means there is no "magic solution," Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, told NPR's Steve Inskeep during an interview on Morning Edition. So appointing an Ebola czar to monitor the international response isn't going to suddenly stop the outbreak.

Neither will closing the borders between U.S. and the three hardest-hit countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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All Tech Considered
2:21 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Your Car Won't Start. Did You Make The Loan Payment?

A borrower enters a code into a starter interrupt device installed in a car in Limerick, Pa.
Rick Smith AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:10 pm

For borrowers in default, the repo man is no longer the one to fear — it's Big Brother. Growing numbers of lenders are getting tech savvy, remotely disabling debtors' cars and tracking customer data to ensure timely payment of subprime auto loans. The practice has created problems for consumers and raises privacy concerns.

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Planet Money
1:05 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

The Most Common Jobs For The Rich, Middle Class And Poor

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 4:38 pm

We've written a lot about how income has changed (or not) for the rich, middle class and poor in the U.S. We've written much less about what the rich, middle class and poor actually do for work.

To remedy that, we made this graph. It shows the 10 most popular jobs in each income bracket. Click on each job to see where it appears in different income brackets.

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Parallels
12:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

As Oil Prices Fall, Who Wins And Who Loses?

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, shown in Kuwait last month, has played down the drop in oil prices. The country continues to pump oil at high levels, saying it wants to preserve its market share. But this has also contributed to a 25 percent drop in oil prices since June.
Yasser Al-Zayyat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 2:47 pm

With oil around $85 a barrel and tumbling to its lowest levels in several years, here's the upside: Gasoline prices are down, the U.S. is feeling less dependent on foreign crude, and serious economic pressure is growing on oil producers such as Iran and Russia.

Here's the downside: The low demand for oil reflects a fragile global economy that's vulnerable to additional shocks, like falling stock markets around the world.

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Business
5:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Crude Oil Prices Drop As Saudis Refuse To Cut Production

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:32 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The price of oil is plunging. Earlier this week, we told you it hit $89 a barrel.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Today we can tell you it's down below $85 - the lowest price in years and down 25 percent in recent months.

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Planet Money
5:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Strong U.S. Dollar Pushes Oil Prices Lower

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:32 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:32 am
Thu October 16, 2014

W.Va. Pottery Company Keeps Popular Fiesta Line Thriving

Fiesta settings are displayed at the Homer Laughlin China Co. showroom at the company's headquarters in Newell, W.Va. The line currently has 15 colors.
Ross Mantle for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:20 am

You may not know the name Homer Laughlin, a china factory in Newell, W.Va., but you'll likely recognize — or have eaten off of — its most famous product: brightly colored, informal pottery called Fiesta.

While most of America's china factories have closed, unable to compete with "made in China" or Japan or Mexico, Homer Laughlin, which set up shop on the banks of the Ohio River in 1873, is still going strong. It employs about 1,000 people.

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New Boom
3:32 am
Thu October 16, 2014

For More Millennials, It's Kids First, Marriage Maybe

Phillip Underwood and Michelle Sheridan and their children, Logan and Lilliana, gather in their living room in Frederick, Md., after a long day of work and school. The couple had delayed marriage, in part for financial reasons.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:09 am

Decades ago, an "oops" pregnancy might have meant a rush to the altar. But when Michelle Sheridan got pregnant three years ago, the topic of marriage never came up with her boyfriend, Phillip Underwood, whom she lives with in Frederick, Md.

If anything, it was the opposite.

"It changes the dynamic of the household," she says. "I had a friend who put off her marriage. Got pregnant, and she's like, 'Let's just wait, 'cause we don't know if we're going to be able to make it through this.' "

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The Two-Way
2:29 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

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