Business & Education

The Great Plains Oil Rush
6:14 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

One Montana Town Finds Itself Buckling Beneath The Oil Boom

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The economy of eastern Montana is surging and oil and gas development is the driver. Last year alone, the oil industry brought in $200 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. Unemployment in counties near the oil fields is well below the state average. This week, we're reporting on effects of the fracking boom in the region known as the Bakken. And today, Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce tells us that that activity comes with a cost.

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All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cinemas Struggle As Film Fades Out Of The Picture

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco still has two 35 millimeter projectors, but the switch to digital is inevitable.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:00 pm

Cinema owners who don't have a digital projector in their movie house can't show Paramount Pictures' latest release: The Wolf of Wall Street. This year Paramount became the first big studio to distribute a major release in the U.S. entirely in a digital format, and other studios are likely to follow.

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Parallels
4:30 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 8:55 am

When celebrities get drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wittingly or not, controversy is sure to follow.

American actress Scarlett Johansson is the latest to discover this ironclad law of Middle East politics. And the issue is soda.

Johansson has for the past eight years been the celebrity representative for Oxfam International, the global aid organization.

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft atop rocket Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in May 2012. The launch made SpaceX the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:00 pm

The space company SpaceX has identified a remote spot on the southern tip of Texas as its finalist for construction of the world's newest commercial orbital launch site.

The 50-acre site really is at the end of the road. Texas Highway 4 abruptly ends at the warm waves of the Gulf surrounded by cactus, Spanish dagger and sand dunes.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

New Animation Details What Went Wrong In 2010 Plant Explosion

A Tesoro Corp. refinery is shown Friday, April 2, 2010, in Anacortes, Wash., after an explosion and fire that killed eight people.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:53 pm

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released its draft report into the causes of a devastating 2010 explosion at a Tesoro refinery on Puget Sound. The accident killed seven workers, and the community has been increasingly upset by how long the investigation has dragged on.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Defining Success Beyond The Dollar Sign

iStockphoto

Amy Chua is known as the Tiger Mom. Ever since writing a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about raising her daughter according to the strict — and very high — expectations of her own Chinese-immigrant parents, she's been a lightning rod for controversy about parenting and our notion of success in this country.

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The Salt
10:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

The old and new maple syrup grading systems compared.
Courtesy of Butternut Mountain Farm

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:03 pm

Why would you choose a B grade if you can get an A?

Ask a baker. They'll tell you that if you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B.

But the idea that B beats A seems counterintuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Sick Ship Sets Dubious Record For Royal Caribbean

The New York skyline is seen in a distance as Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas enters New York harbor on Wednesday after a massive ship-borne outbreak.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:35 am

It was a record-setting voyage, but not one that Royal Caribbean's public relations team is likely to be bragging about: The cruise line's MS Explorer of the Seas now has the distinction of more sick passengers (630) and crew (54) than any cruise ship since the CDC starting keep stats 20 years ago.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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Business & Education
5:57 am
Thu January 30, 2014

11,000 Alabama students stranded by storm

AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A spokesman for the state Department of Education says about 11,000 students spent Tuesday night at Alabama public schools. Most of those were in the Birmingham area. Spokesman Michael Sibley says about 1,600 students remained at schools as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. He says there are plans to get most of them home by Wednesday evening, but some students will have to spend a second night at school. The students became stranded Tuesday when school buses couldn't get them home and parents couldn't drive to the schools.

Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ridge Of High Pressure Blocks Snow From Oregon Ski Resort

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Drought Forces Calif. Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Awful snowstorms and a brutal cold snap dominated the weather news this week. But in the background, a long dry spell in parts of the Central and Western U.S. has now turned into a full scale drought. Farmers and ranchers across 11 states are struggling with a severe lack of rain and snow. Among the hardest hit states, California.

NPR's Nathan Rott traveled to the Central Valley, California's agricultural hub, and has this story.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Let's jump in a truck, and I'll explain as we go.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

In Las Vegas, Lawns Are The Biggest Water Waster

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

Business
3:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gunmakers Protest Microstamping Law In Calif.

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news includes halted gun sales in California.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Two of the nation's largest gun manufacturers have announced they will stop selling semi-automatic hand guns in California. This is because of a dispute over a new identification law.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

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Business
3:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Lawmakers To Address Delaware's Troubled Casino Industry

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Delaware's gambling industry is struggling. Revenues at the state's three casinos have steadily declined in recent years, as competition from neighboring states grows. A state task force is set to make recommendations to lawmakers this week to save the troubled casino industry from layoffs - or worse. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BACKGROUND CASINO NOISES)

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