Business & Education

Business
5:37 am
Fri December 27, 2013

McDonald's Shuts Down Employee Website

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

The restaurant chain pulled the plug on the website after what it said was "unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary."

Business
4:31 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How Consumers Can Guard Against Credit Card Fraud

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

The recent data security breach at Target got us thinking about the plastic cards we use to pay for so many things. Just how safe are they really? And how can we protect ourselves from fraudulent charges?

To get some advice, our colleague, David Greene, called Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center, which recently put out an advisory to consumers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So every time we use a credit card or debit card when we're shopping are we opening ourselves up to some kind of risk?

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Economy
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Interest Rates Move Higher On Signs Of Improving Economy

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Other signs of strength in the economy are sending interest rates higher. Yesterday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly rose above the psychologically important level of 3 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has that story.

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Business
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Holiday Shoppers Spent More This Year Than Last

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with signs of an improving economy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GONYEA: New data out today show that shoppers spent 2.3 percent more this holiday season than last year. This would make for the highest holiday sales growth in three years.

Online retail was especially strong. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Economy
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Long-Term Unemployment Benefits To Expire On Saturday

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea.

The holiday season will come to an abrupt end this weekend for people who have been unemployed for more than six months. Saturday, benefits expire for 1.3 million Americans who've been on the Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefit Program, which picks up where state systems usually end. That has people worried, people like Allison Gwyn(ph), a professional music teacher and actor in New York, who lost her job early in the summer.

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Business
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services

Kevin Petrovic, 19, and his business partner, who's also 19, raised about $6 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to launch FlightCar. The company is trying to make its mark with car-sharing for travelers.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:57 am

Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work.

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Politics
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Obama's Position On Free Trade Marks Subtle Evolution

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.

Shots - Health News
2:25 am
Fri December 27, 2013

The Number 6 Says It All About The HealthCare.gov Rollout

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:08 am

When it comes to health care, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be measured in the millions. That's how many people were expected to sign up for insurance to begin on Jan. 1.

But for both supporters and opponents of the law, there's one number that sticks out above all others. Six. That's how many people actually managed to enroll through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day it opened, Oct. 1.

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Planet Money
4:24 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

The Tragic Number That Got Us All Talking About Our Clothing

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:31 pm

1,134 is the official government death toll of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The building, which collapsed in April, was home to five garment factories.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills

President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:58 pm

President Obama on Thursday signed the bipartisan budget bill agreed upon earlier this month, setting the stage for an easing of mandatory spending cuts over the next two years.

The Senate approved the spending measure last week, following its passage in the Republican-dominated House.

The president also signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014.

As The Associated Press reports:

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Economy
3:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Manufacturing 2.0: Old Industry Creating New High-Tech Jobs

Unlike the smoky, eardrum-damaging factories of yesterday, today's manufacturing is going high-tech. That can mean more robots and automated machines than workers. But companies like Machine Inc. in Stoughton, Mass., are still growing and hiring.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:07 pm

As the U.S. economy continues to recover, it has been getting some help from an unexpected place. After decades of massive job losses, manufacturing firms have been steadily creating jobs — many of them well-paying. One particularly bright spot is a new generation of high-tech manufacturers.

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Business
3:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

With More Online Shopping, Expect More Holiday Shipping Delays

As the volume of online orders surged, some retailers and package delivery companies were unable to fulfill promises to deliver gifts by Christmas. UPS acknowledged it was overwhelmed by all the late traffic. In response to complaints, Amazon says it is offering gift cards and refunds for shipping charges.

Parallels
3:10 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Venezualan Flights Are Dirt Cheap ... If You Can Get A Ticket

At the official rate, 1 U.S. dollar is worth 6.3 Venezuelan bolivars. But in a country with runaway inflation, the black market rate is about 60 bolivars to the dollar. This has made airfares extremely cheap for those using currency acquired on the black market.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:35 pm

Reporter John Otis was looking for a flight to Venezuela. That may sound like a simple task, but air travel to and from that Latin American country turns out to be extremely complicated these days. Here's his story.

A direct flight from my home in Bogotá, Colombia, to Caracas, Venezuela, takes about 90 minutes. But when I tried to buy a ticket recently, none were available. I was offered a flight with an overnight stop in Miami, but that would have cost $5,000.

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Business & Education
1:57 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Calvert ThyssenKrupp steel plant sold

ThyssenKrupp

CALVERT, Ala. (AP) — Residents of the small town located outside of the gates of Alabama's ThyssenKrupp steel mill say they aren't overly worried about a deal to sell the mill. People in Calvert say they have faith that the new owners of the mill will keep the world's most modern steel manufacturing plant running in southeast Alabama and will continue to hire local workers. ThyssenKrupp began construction of the $5 billion plant in 2007.

The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

McDonald's Shuts Down Website That Told Workers To Avoid Fast Food

Protesters demonstrate at a McDonald's in New York on Dec. 5. Protesters staged events in cities nationwide, demanding a pay raise to $15 per hour for fast-food workers and the right for them to unionize.
John Moore Getty Images

McDonald's has decided to shut down a website aimed at providing work and life advice to its employees after it was reported that it had urged workers not to eat the very fast food they are hired to produce.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's said Thursday that information on its McResources Line site had been taken out of context thus generating "unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary," according to a McDonald's spokeswoman.

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