Business & Education

The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Big Bike-Sharing Supplier's Bankruptcy Doesn't Doom U.S. Programs

A major supplier to bike-sharing companies declared for bankruptcy this week — but experts say they still see the services spreading. Here, a man rides a Citibike through the Dumbo district of Brooklyn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The Canadian company that is the main equipment and technology suppliers for bike-sharing systems across the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy.

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MPX Lead
5:26 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Hackers Go 'Phishing' In The Wake Of Target Data Breach

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:55 pm

The retailing giant Target is doing what it can to limit the damage from a massive data breach. But there are signs that other hackers are trying to take advantage of the original data theft with elaborate "phishing" schemes.

MPX Lead
5:20 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

High Court Considers Legality Of 'Fair Share' Union Fees

A worker clears snow from in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:57 am

The rest of Washington may have shut down for the snow, but not the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, the justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could decimate public employee unions. At issue: whether nonunion members can be required to pay fees to help cover the cost of negotiating a contract from which they benefit.

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The Salt
2:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

A woman shops in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York City. The company recently announced it would prohibit produce farmed using biosolids in its stores.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:55 pm

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.

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Economy
11:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Falling Unemployment Rate: Are We Delusional About The Economy?

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:52 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, much of the news out of Detroit has been bad lately, but one guy says it's a great place to live. We'll hear why he decided to help the Motor City comeback by purchasing a $500 wreck of a house. That's just ahead.

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Economy
10:13 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring

Is the economy strengthening, or is the jobless rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:52 am

For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.

But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Or is the rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?

In coming weeks, members of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board will be making big policy decisions based upon their best understanding of those unsettled questions.

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Business
6:49 am
Tue January 21, 2014

More Cities Bring Buried Streams Back To Life

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many cities across this country have paved over their streams, often to make way for urban development. The streams go underground. Now cities are realizing that uncovering those streams can have environmental and economic benefits.

Ann Thompson of member station WVXU reports so-called daylighting could be coming to a stream near you.

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Business
6:49 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Cost Overruns Threaten Widening Of Panama Canal

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Anyone who's lived through home construction knows that delays and higher costs than expected are inevitable, and that is playing out on an enormous scale at the Panama Canal.

Work on expanding a 50-mile long commercial waterway has been under constant threat of a work stoppage because of a dispute over who will pay huge cost overruns, now estimated to top $1.6 billion.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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Business
4:16 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Union Angered By Postal Service Deal With Staples

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The American Postal Workers Union is fighting back against a deal that puts U.S. Postal Service counters inside Staples stores. The Postal Service is facing a deficit and increased competition, so it's developing retail partnerships with companies like Staples.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Law
2:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

One of the questions before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:40 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.

At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.

To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

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Business
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

T-Mobile CEO Swears (Like A Sailor) That Industry Will Change

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And it's been a big year for T-Mobile. The telecom company finally landed the iPhone. It started trading as a public company and has kicked off a price war with its competitors. In the process, it's become the fastest-growing mobile phone company in the country, recruiting 4.4 million new customers. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, T-Mobile's combative and profane CEO, John Legere, is grabbing all the headlines.

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The Salt
3:55 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

D.C. Barbecue Joint Serves Food For Soul And Mind

Chef Furard Tate says he wanted to "bring love back" to a Washington, D.C., neighborhood damaged since the 1968 riots.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:44 pm

Chef Furard Tate is the kind of man who never sits still. He flits from the order desk at Inspire BBQ back to the busy kitchen, where young men are seasoning sauce, cooking macaroni and cheese, and finishing off some dry-rubbed ribs smoked on a grill.

"We grill on a real grill," Tate says. "None of this electric stuff."

But as important as the food is, Tate says it's also important that it's made by young hands who must learn a slow, consistent process.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

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The Salt
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

Marty Travis (right) started the Stewards of the Land food hub in 2005. His son Will helps him transport food from local farms to area restaurants.
Sean Powers Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:10 pm

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they're not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

But they need help, and increasingly it's coming from food hubs, which can also serve as food processing and distribution centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are about 240 of them in more than 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

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Business
6:38 am
Mon January 20, 2014

There's An App To Fight A San Francisco Parking Ticket

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:04 am

People in the Bay Area are familiar with San Francisco's many complicated parking laws, and the very expensive consequences of disobeying them. Nearly half of all parking tickets are dismissed in court but fighting a ticket takes time and knowledge. David Hegarty started Fixed, an app that fights parking tickets for you.

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