Business & Education

The Two-Way
9:56 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose 6.5 Percent In July

A "sale pending" sign in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:22 am

There was a strong increase in sales of existing homes in July, the National Association of Realtors reports, in yet another sign that the important housing sector is back on its feet.

In fact, says The Associated Press, sales approached "a healthy level for the first time since November 2009."

According to the NAR:

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tech Giants Launch Internet.org, A Global Plan To Widen Access

A new project announced by Facebook seeks to make it more affordable to access the Internet via cellphones around the world. In Africa, 16 percent of the population currently uses the Internet. Here, a man looks for a network signal in Somalia.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Citing the billions of people worldwide who can't access the Internet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the leaders of other technology firms are launching an ambitious project to narrow the digital divide Wednesday. The plan focuses on widening access via mobile phones.

"There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy," Zuckerberg says. "Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making Internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."

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Alabama Power Scam
8:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Alabama Power Warns of Billing Scam

Alabama Power Co. says scammers are calling customers, pretending to be from the utility.

Alabama Power Co. is trying to stop what it calls "an unusually effective scam."

   The power company says its customers have been called for months by people pretending to be from Alabama Power. The customers are told they have a short deadline to make a payment.  They are instructed to go to a local retailer, buy a reloadable debit card for a given amount, and then call another phone number to share the account number on the card. Alabama Power says the fraud has focused on commercial customers because they are more likely to have larger bills.

Business & Education
8:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Auburn University Unveils New Recreation Center

Auburn University's new recreation center includes an outdoor pool and a 45-person hot tub shaped like a tiger paw.
Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com

Auburn University has unveiled its new, $72 million recreation and wellness center.

   The 240,000 square-foot facility opened after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

   The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/1cX5p3U ) the facility is home to modern health and wellness equipment, an indoor running track, rock climbing walls and more.

   Recreation and Wellness Director Jennifer Jarvis says the recreation center is likely to help students stay on campus longer, working to develop strong bodies and spirits.

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Business
7:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Lowes Reports Earnings On The Heels Of Home Depot

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Home Depot says it has had "one of the best quarters in its recent history." It credits the recovery in the housing market. Main rival Lowes also benefited from the housing recovery, and strong demand for home refurbishings.

The Two-Way
6:24 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Book News: Barnes & Noble Founder Pulls Plug On Buyback Plan

A Barnes & Noble store in Bethel Park, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:19 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
4:47 am
Wed August 21, 2013

U.S. Retailers Vow To Upgrade Bangladesh's Safety Standards

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Some of America's biggest retailers announced new steps yesterday aimed at improving safety standards in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry. Wal-Mart and the Gap were among the companies that formed a group called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety after the deadliest accident ever in the garment industry.

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Business
4:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Earnings Report On Home Depot And J.C. Penney

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some home improvement.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Home Depot says it had one of the best quarters in recent history. The number behind that claim, a 17 percent jump in earnings this past quarter. The company credited the recovering housing market in the U.S. and said spending by both contractors and regular customers was up.

Business
4:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Math Class: Oreo's Double Stuf Doesn't Measure Up

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a bit of confectionery math: one plus one equals 1.86.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now you may remember the minor scandal that was kicked up when it was proved that Subway's foot-long sandwiches were actually less than a foot long.

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Colorado Gold Mine Bucks Closing Trend

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's stay in Colorado to hear about another business traditional to the West - gold mining. After peaking a couple of years ago, the price of gold has fallen dramatically, which has forced many gold mines to close. Bucking that trend is the largest mine in Colorado - and it's expanding aggressively, taking the long view. From Colorado Public Radio, Ben Markus reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BULLDOZER)

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Television
4:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Al Jazeera Offers Americans An Alternative For News

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Among the news organizations following every development in Egypt is Al Jazeera. And now they are making a bit of news of their own. Al Jazeera America went on air yesterday afternoon, entering the crowded and competitive world of cable TV news in the United States. The new network is available in about 45 million households.

But as NPR's David Folkenflik reports, there are many people inside the industry skeptical that its promise of thoughtful and serious news coverage will woo American audiences.

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The Two-Way
3:41 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Kodak Reinvents Itself As Judge Approves Bankruptcy Exit

Guy Solimano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:54 pm

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper has approved Kodak's plan to emerge from court oversight. That paves the way for it to be a much smaller company focused on commercial and packaging printing.

The plan received the judge's approval on Tuesday, and the company hopes to put it into effect as soon as Sept. 3, reports Kate O'Connell of member station WXXI in Rochester, N.Y.

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The Salt
2:36 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field

Eva Teague, 31, is trying to start her own pig farm in Colorado but is running into financial obstacles typical of many young farmers trying to break into the business.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:29 pm

As the average age of the American farmer has crept up to 60, fewer young people are filling in the ranks behind them. That's prompted some to ask if young people even want to farm anymore.

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don't want to farm in conventional ways.

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Millennials and The Changing Car Culture
2:03 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Why Millennials Are Ditching Cars And Redefining Ownership

Zach Brown's preferred mode of transportation is his skateboard. Brown, 27, is an artist and actor who doesn't own a car.
Courtesy of Zach Brown

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:30 am

Part of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

You might think there's one place in America you absolutely need a car: Los Angeles. You'd be wrong.

"I have been in L.A. without a car for two years now," says Alyssa Rosenthal, a makeup artist.

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Your Money
11:06 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Women Shortchanged In Retirement Earnings

The American workforce is graying. And while many people aren't saving enough for retirement, that's especially true for women. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with reporter Paul Solman and aging specialist Helen Dennis, about a gender gap in retirement earnings.

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