Business & Education

Business
4:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Cyber Monday Sales Up From Last Year

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We begin NPR's business news starts some mobile browsing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Millions of consumers - maybe including you - went online yesterday searching for deals on Cyber Monday. This is the biggest e-commerce shopping day. Online sales for the day hit $2 billion. That's up nearly 20 percent over last year.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Your Money
4:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

U.S. Workers Lack Confidence To Manage Retirement Savings

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Its open enrollment season at many work places, which means opportunities to make changes in your retirement savings plans. The investment company Charles Schwab has found that many American workers lack the confidence to effectively manage their retirement savings.

In search of advice, we called up The Washington Post's financial columnist Michelle Singletary. Glad to have you back.

MICHELLE SINGLETARY: Oh, it's my pleasure to be here.

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Business
4:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Planet Money Spins A Yarn And Makes A 'Perfect' T-Shirt

Inside a yarn factory in Indonesia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:10 pm

NPR's Planet Money team has manufactured a T-shirt. All this week we're following its journey around the globe. Today, the T-shirt makes a detour in the Pacific Ocean. Cotton from America gets shipped to a factory in Indonesia where it gets transformed into yarn.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Law
2:18 am
Tue December 3, 2013

A Supreme Court Fight For The Rights Of (Frequent) Fliers

Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines for what he says was unfair termination from its frequent-flier program. His case goes goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:02 pm

Do airline frequent fliers have any legal rights when they get into disputes over their club memberships?

That's the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices examine whether, and under what circumstances, frequent fliers can sue in these disputes.

Frequent-flier programs — famous for their free trips, upgrades and goodies — are also infamous for what some members view as arbitrary airline behavior.

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Around the Nation
2:17 am
Tue December 3, 2013

As Rent Soars, Longtime San Francisco Tenants Fight To Stay

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:02 pm

San Francisco has long been a desirable place to live — and that's even more true today as the city is basking in the glow of another tech boom. But the influx of new money and new residents is putting a strain on the city's housing market.

The city has the highest median rent in the nation, and evictions of longtime residents are skyrocketing.

Ground zero for San Francisco's eviction crisis is the Inner Mission District. Until recently, this edgy neighborhood was home to a mix of working-class Latinos, artists and activists.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Could A Tech Giant Build A Better Health Exchange? Maybe Not

Workers process applications for Oregon's health exchange program. The state paid tech giant Oracle to build its online exchange, but with the site still not functional, people shopping for insurance have been forced to apply on paper.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:48 pm

Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper.

Some Oregon officials were sounding alarms about the tech company's work on the state's online health care exchange as early as last spring. Oracle was behind schedule and, worse, didn't seem able to offer an estimate of what it would take to get the state's online exchange up and running.

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Politics
4:23 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Unemployment Benefit Program Set To Expire At Year's End

Job seekers attend a March health care job fair in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:12 pm

More than 1 million people will see their extended unemployment benefits immediately cut off at the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

An emergency federal benefit program was put in place during the recession to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. That allowed them to get as much as a year and a half of help while they searched for work, even after state benefits ran out.

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Business
3:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Sluggish Start To Holiday Sales May Mean More Price Cuts

Shoppers crowd a Macy's store in New York on Thursday. Many retailers stayed open on Thanksgiving Day this year, a new holiday tradition that analysts say is here to stay.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Despite retailers offering Thanksgiving hours and more online sales, Americans still nervous about the economy spent less this long weekend than they did last year, according to preliminary estimates.

But analysts say retailers will be working harder to boost sales in coming weeks by offering even deeper discounts.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Amazon's Drone Has Many Asking 'What Could Go Wrong?'

Buzzing to a neighborhood near you? Amazon.com's Prime Air prototype may someday fly small packages right to customers' homes.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:37 pm

The news that Amazon is hoping to one day use semi-autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers has many asking a familiar question:

What could go wrong?

Check this tweet:

"An Amazon drone!? What could go wrong?! 'They're autonomous' - this is how the Terminator started FYI..."

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Planet Money
2:59 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Afterlife Of American Clothes

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sarah Elliott for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 9:45 am

This story is part of the Planet Money T-shirt project.

Jeff Steinberg had a maroon and white lacrosse jersey that he wore for years. It said "Denver Lacrosse" on the front and had his number, 5, on the back.

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Planet Money
2:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries

PLANET MONEY MAKES A T-SHIRT: How to send a shirt around the world for pennies
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

"There's our ship!" says Officer Lisa Sacco.

We're standing at the Port of Miami, where Sacco works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our ship, the Hansa Kirkenes, left Cartagena, Colombia, about a week earlier carrying all 6,078 of the Planet Money women's T-shirts.

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Planet Money
2:57 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh

There are more than 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. One way or another, most of them trace their lineage to Abdul Majid Chowdhury, Noorul Quader and the 128 Bangladeshis who traveled to Korea 30 years ago.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:35 am

More details were added to this post after it was published. The new information was courtesy of Vidiya Khan, director of the Desh Group, and daughter of Noorul Quader.

Bangladesh was created out of chaos in the early 1970s, at a moment when millions in the country were dying from a combination of war and famine. The future looked exceedingly bleak.

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Business
11:58 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Five Cyber Monday Stories From NPR's Archives

Workers pull merchandise as it arrives at the Amazon.com's 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in Phoenix on Nov. 26. Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:50 pm

The term Cyber Monday wasn't established until 2005, but online shopping was popular even in the early days of the Internet.

Analysts questioned how business models would have to change. Retail stores came up with new partnerships to help lure buyers into an online shopping world. A little company called Amazon helped us feel comfortable buying items online. And the simple perk of "free shipping" tried to make a dent in holiday sales.

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Economy
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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The Protojournalist
10:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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