Business & Education

Sports
4:44 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Did You Place Your Bet? March Madness Betting Could Surpass Superbowl

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will bet $9 billion over the course of this year's March Madness tournament, more than double what they bet on the Super Bowl. NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Jay Rood, vice president of racing and sports books at MGM Resorts, about this busy time of year for betting in Las Vegas.

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The Salt
4:42 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

Not so ugly, eh? Supposedly imperfect produce rescued and reclaimed for consumption by Bon Appetit and Better Harvests.
Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:47 am

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what's happening in a field.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:31 am

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones?

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Census Data Prove It: We Prefer Sunshine And Golf Carts

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:17 pm

If you live in a town still dotted with dirty piles of old snow, this is not going to come as good news:

The U.S. Census Bureau today listed the nation's fastest-growing metro areas. And it turns out, Americans prefer Florida's sunshine, lakes and beaches to your cloudy, cold climes.

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Shots - Health News
9:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

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Politics
6:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Payday Loans — And Endless Cycles Of Debt — Targeted By Federal Watchdog

Maranda Brooks stands in January outside a payday loans business that she used to frequent. Troubled by consumer complaints and loopholes in state laws, federal regulators are proposing expansive, first-ever rules on payday lenders, aimed at helping cash-strapped borrowers from falling into a cycle of debt.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:01 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. E.T.

For millions of cash-strapped consumers, short-term loans offer the means to cover purchases or pressing needs. But these deals, typically called payday loans, also pack triple-digit interest rates — and critics say that borrowers often end up trapped in a cycle of high-cost debt as a result.

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Animals
5:36 am
Thu March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Ads Counter Criticism Over Treatment Of Whales

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 2:18 pm

Two years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld continues to struggle. The film shone a critical spotlight on the theme park's treatment of its captive orcas, also known as killer whales.

Since then, SeaWorld has experienced a decline in profits. Attendance was down by a million people last year. But it is launching a new ad campaign aimed at restoring its image and winning back the public.

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Around the Nation
2:49 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Closure Of Private Prison Forces Texas County To Plug Financial Gap

A riot late last month forced officials to close the Willacy County Correcitonal Center in Wallcy County, Texas.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:17 am

The Willacy County Correctional Center is empty now. The tall security fences and dome-like housing units set out on the coastal prairie have no one inside them.

One morning late last month, the prisoners rioted. They set fires and tore the place up. Guards put down the uprising in about five hours. But the destruction was so severe that the sprawling detention compound has been shut down. All 2,800 inmates were transferred.

Willacy County is now facing the question — what does it do now that its biggest moneymaker is out of business?

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The Two-Way
9:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:40 am

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

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The Salt
4:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 7:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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Business
4:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Kraft, Heinz Merger Brings Together Famous Food Brands

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:44 pm

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Revives Pregnant UPS Worker's Discrimination Lawsuit

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:58 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court gave a former UPS driver another chance to show her employer discriminated against her when she was pregnant, sending the case back to a lower court.

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Shots - Health News
7:29 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Affordable Care Act Makes This Tax Season Painful For Many

Tax preparation software doesn't always calculate the complexity of Affordable Care Act subsidies and credits properly.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:08 pm

This tax season, for the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences.

Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance, or have to figure out whether they need to pay back part of the subsidy they received to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz, Kraft Announce Merger

Commemorative ketchup bottles with portraits of Warren Buffett are seen at the exhibition of Berkshire Hathaway companies at the annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., on May 3, 2014. Kraft Foods said it will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co., owned by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to form the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company.
Rick Wilking Reuters /Landov

H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group said they are merging to create the world's fifth-biggest food and beverage company.

The new company will be called The Kraft Heinz Co. and will be co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and the Chicago area, the companies said in a statement. The new company will have revenues of approximately $28 billion.

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