Business

Business
6:07 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Before The Holiday Weekend, Latest Jobless Report Is Issued

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll get an important snapshot of the U.S. economy today. The job market in this country has been racking up some healthy gains over the past few months. That trend is expected to continue. We'll find out if it does when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report later this morning. Here's a preview from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Business
3:09 am
Thu July 3, 2014

An Uncertain Future For The U.S. Terrorism Insurance Program

If the government scales back its terrorism insurance program, the cost of doing business in America's downtowns could rise significantly.
Gary Hershorn/Insider Images EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 12:16 pm

If terrorists were to attack a U.S. city again, who would pay for catastrophic damage? In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, Congress provided the answer: the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.

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Parallels
3:07 am
Thu July 3, 2014

With Dirt And A Vision, Palestinian Architects Break The Mold

ShamsArd, a Palestinian architecture firm, uses packed earth to construct its environmentally friendly homes.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:31 am

The city of Jericho sits in the hot, flat Jordan Valley down the hill from Jerusalem. Jericho has bragging rights as one of the oldest towns on Earth. But one of its newest homes looks like it might have arrived from outer space.

Ahmad Daoud hired a firm of young Palestinian architects to build this house. Like Jericho's original homes, it is built of dirt. This one has a contemporary twist, though: It's constructed with earth compacted in bags that are then stacked and plastered over.

Daoud loves the domed rooms, the nod to the past and the environmental advantages.

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Business
5:09 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Reliance On Systems At P&G Could Help VA Nominee McDonald

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:53 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Obama has nominated a former Army ranger to take over the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert McDonald is also the former CEO of Procter & Gamble. He spoke on Monday about the challenges he'll face if confirmed to head the VA.

ROBERT MCDONALD: At Procter & Gamble, we always focus on our customer. At the VA, the veteran is our customer. And we must all focus all day, every day on getting them the benefits and the care that they so earned.

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Economy
4:11 am
Wed July 2, 2014

A 'Lost Generation Of Workers': The Cost Of Youth Unemployment

Alexandria Roberts, 23, recently graduated from the University of Nevada but hasn't been able to find full-time work. She plans to join the military soon, unless her employment situation changes.
Will Stone Reno Public Radio

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:52 am

It makes some sense that young people might work less than their older counterparts. They are figuring out their lives, going in and out of school and making more short-term plans.

But a whopping 5.8 million young people are neither in school nor working. It is "a completely different situation than we've seen in the past," says Elisabeth Jacobs, the senior director for policy and academic programs at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Wed July 2, 2014

For Sale: Vacant Lots On Chicago Blocks, Just $1 Each

Sonya Harper picks peppermint she's been growing in a vacant lot on her block in Chicago. With her neighbors, she's hoping to acquire two adjacent overgrown lots under the city's "Large Lot Program" so they can expand the community garden.
David Schaper

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:08 pm

Chicago is practically giving away land: vacant lots for just $1 each. The catch? To buy one, you must already own a home on the same block.

Like many U.S. cities, Chicago has struggled with what to do with a growing number of empty lots in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. Efforts to develop affordable housing or urban farms have had some mixed results.

So Chicago officials and community development advocates hope the vacant lot program can help spark a renewal in some of the city's most blighted areas.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:08 pm

Employers say obesity is a top health concern for their workers. But health is a sensitive and personal issue. Some employees say these wellness initiatives can go too far.

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Money Coach
1:25 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

To Get Kids To Save Their Summer Money, Turn To 'Simple Lessons'

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

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Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Skimpier Health Plans Could Impose Big Out-Of-Pocket Costs

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:02 pm

People are worried about being able to pay for health insurance. So the insurance industry and a group of Democratic senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper plans" on the health law's marketplaces that could draw in people who were unhappy with the cost of available plans.

But consumer advocates and others who study the insurance market suggest that there may not be a big demand for these plans and that they could expose people to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they got sick.

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Economy
6:55 am
Tue July 1, 2014

A Tale Of Two Cities: Mixing The Urban Poor Into A Rich Urban Life

The escalators in Medellin, Colombia, on Dec. 26, 2011, the day of their inauguration.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:17 am

Skyscrapers and shanties, gleaming malls and rundown markets, palatial houses and the piss-poor guys who build them: Those are the divides in cities like Mumbai, Nairobi and Manila. Rich and poor do not much mingle.

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Business
5:21 am
Tue July 1, 2014

French Bank To Pay $8.83 Billion In Sanctions Probe

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:24 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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News
6:20 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

BNP Paribas Agrees To Nearly $9 Billion Fine And Admission Of Guilt

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:30 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Banking giant BNP Paribas has agreed to pay American regulators nearly $9 billion dollars to settle charges of economic sanctions violations. It's the largest such fine ever imposed by the U.S. The bank will plead guilty to two criminal charges. It was accused of helping clients in Sudan, Cuba and Iran conduct business in the United States. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Parallels
3:44 am
Mon June 30, 2014

In Shetland, Oil Shapes Debate Over Scottish Independence

Scotland's offshore oil platforms in the North Sea generate significant wealth for the nation — especially for the Shetland Islands, where oil tanker traffic boosts the local economy.
Andy Buchanan - WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 1:32 pm

In September, Scotland will vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom and declare independence.

So far, the debate has been largely about money: One poll says most voters would switch their vote if it meant an extra 500 pounds, or around $800 dollars.

North Sea oil and gas are central to this economic debate — nowhere more so than in the remote Shetland Islands, many miles from the Scottish mainland, where tankers carrying North Sea oil come ashore. The oil has transformed both the local and national economy.

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Business
6:45 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

For Tipped Workers, A Different Minimum Wage Battle

States may have their own higher wage laws, but the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:14 am

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.

In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay — and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.

Living On Tips

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Economy
12:31 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists

Homebuilding remains slumped at levels not seen since WWII.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Others are from outside the U.S.

"Top of the list in terms of cash sales in the first quarter was Florida, with 64 percent of all sales going to cash buyers, followed by New York, 59 percent; Alabama, 56 percent," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, which did a study on cash purchases.

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Your Money
2:27 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Being 'Rich' Is More Common Than You Think, At Least Temporarily

By the time they turn 60 years old, 21 percent of U.S. adults have enjoyed an annual household income of above $250,000 for at least one year of their working lives.
iStockphoto.com

We tend to think of income groups such as the "top 1 percent" as being relatively stable collectives, particularly in nations like the U.S. that, despite popular rhetoric, enjoy rather low levels of social mobility.

But the truth is more complicated, and more volatile. The average American's chances of attaining the American dream, at least in terms of a high income, are greater than you might think, but so are the odds of waking up from that dream.

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The Salt
5:39 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Got Leftovers To Share? In Germany, There's A Website For That

Europeans throw away 90 million tons of food each year, including these vegetables pulled from waste bins of an organic supermarket in Berlin. A new German website aims to connect surplus food with people who want it.
Fabrizio Bensch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:26 pm

Child psychiatrist Vero Buschmann says she was looking for a way to get rid of leftovers without having to throw them away. At the same time, the Berlin resident wanted to meet new people.

She found a nonprofit website in Germany that allows her to do both. On a recent evening, her doorbell rings and she buzzes Franzi Zimmerman in to her fifth-floor apartment.

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Latin America
4:07 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Bitter Debt Fight Between Argentina And U.S. Set To Reach Climax

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:26 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

U.K. Loses Big Vote On The Future Of Europe — Now What?

On the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said the choice of Jean-Claude Juncker to head the European Commission marks "a bad day for Europe."
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 2:30 pm

The European Union made history Friday by bringing three of Russia's neighbors — Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova — under its economic tent.

The eastward expansion of trade agreements will push European influence deep into a region that Russia would like to dominate. In light of recent Russian aggression in Ukraine, that's a big deal.

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The Salt
3:21 am
Fri June 27, 2014

As Pig Virus Spreads, The Price Of Pork Continues To Rise

Michael Yezzi raises 1,000 pigs a year in Shushan, N.Y. He's worried about how to keep his farm safe from a disease that has no proven cure.
Abbie Fentress Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 8:31 am

If you're bringing home the bacon, you may have noticed a price tag inching upward.

Consumers are paying nearly 13 percent more for pork at the supermarket than they were this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A deadly pig disease is partially to blame.

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Business
1:47 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Business Owners Have 'A Special Challenge' To Help Working Families

Business leaders and policymakers gathered at the White House to discuss how working families can get ahead. One participant explains how he feels companies can stay competitive and help families.

Politics
1:47 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Sen. Tim Scott's Mission: Build Wealth Among 'The Most Vulnerable'

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has become a leading conservative voice focused on building wealth among people of color. Scott tells host Michel Martin about his ideas for growing the economy.

Europe
7:03 am
Thu June 26, 2014

In Flanders Fields, Europeans Still Learning How To Get Along

British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a technology Trade fair March 10 in Hanover, Germany.
Nigel Treblin Getty Images

On Thursday, European leaders are gathering in Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I — the bloodbath that ended millions of European lives.

And killed 116,516 U.S. troops. And laid the groundwork for World War II.

The centenary ceremony in Ypres, Belgium, provides a good reminder that whenever relations among European nations break bad, the rest of us need to pay attention.

It's time to listen up again.

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Politics
5:29 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Interest Groups Come Down On Opposite Sides Of Export-Import Bank

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's follow up on a story we heard about yesterday with the Republican Party's primary season winding down, the party establishment and Tea Party conservatives are shifting the focus of their fight. This time it's over a federal agency that helps to finance American companies in foreign trade. The legal authority for the Export-Import Bank expires in September. Small government conservatives are going all out to abolish it. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Heirs Of The Revolution: A Changing Cuba
3:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Tourism Money Flows Into Cuba, Bringing Economic Hopes And Fears

A couple walks along the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:30 pm

Every morning, Manuel Landin Rodriguez walks past the luxurious state-owned Xanadu Mansion hotel and crosses its neatly trimmed golf course all the way to its edge. He camps out on the cliff overlooking the turquoise Caribbean waters that make the resort town of Varadero on Cuba's northern coast so famous.

Landin, a retired physical education teacher, comes to the spot to fish. When we meet him on the cliffs, he's trying to catch mojarras -- small silver fish that hang out in the shallow waters to avoid sharks — which he will use to feed his family of five.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Conservative Critics Lobby For An Early End To Export-Import Bank

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:30 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Economy
5:04 am
Wed June 25, 2014

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Leads Pledge Of Income Equality

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When the country's mayors gathered for their annual conference, much of the talk was about income inequality. And New York's new mayor was in the thick of it.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At his inauguration six months ago, Bill de Blasio told the crowd we are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. Now, he's heading a task force to tackle the issue at the local level. And we reached Mayor de Blasio at his office at City Hall. Welcome to the program.

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Around the Nation
3:25 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Opiate Use Spikes On Martha's Vineyard

A cache of Percocet and other opiates seized by Oak Bluffs police in an arrest earlier this year.
Courtesy of Oak Bluffs Police

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

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It's All Politics
8:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

New House Leadership Puts Export Bank On Shakier Ground

The U.S. government-backed loans that help Boeing and other U.S. manufacturers sell abroad has opponents of renewing the Export-Import Bank's charter accusing it of crony capitalism.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 6:36 pm

The Export-Import Bank, created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 to boost U.S. exports during the Great Depression, needs its charter to be reauthorized by September's end if it is to continue providing loans to U.S. exporters and overseas companies.

The bank has the support of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, so it sounds like an easy vote.

But Cantor was recently defeated in his primary by David Brat, the libertarian college professor who portrayed the soon-to-be-ex-majority leader as a shameless tool of big business.

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Environment
4:15 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Former Treasury Secretary Finds In Climate Change An Economic Threat

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:14 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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