Business & Education

The Salt
1:52 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Why This Year's Blueberry Bounty Has Growers Feeling Blue

Picker Erika Nicolas Garcia, 18, fills her pail at a blueberry farm near Hillsboro, Ore.
Anna King Northwest Public Radio

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:52 am

The blueberries on your morning cereal are less expensive this year. That's because farmers are harvesting a bumper crop this summer. It's good news for berry lovers, but the bounty might wreck some blueberry growers.

In Richland, Wash., Genoa Blankenship pops open the lid on a box of blueberries. Her three young children struggle to stop wiggling. Blankenship loves the idea of healthy snacks that are easy to take along to soccer practice.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Can Quinoa Farming Go Global Without Leaving Andeans Behind?

A man cleans quinoa grain in Pacoma, Bolivia.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 2:53 pm

I ate quinoa-and-turkey chili in a cafeteria today, which, when you think about it, is pretty amazing. Rarely does an entire culture, almost overnight, adopt an entirely new food.

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Economy
4:43 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Fears Of A Diminished Stimulus Send Stock Market Falling

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The stock market usually likes good news about the economy, but that's not always the case. This morning, stocks opened down sharply just after the government announced a surprisingly large drop in initial claims for unemployment benefits. In fact, claims fell to the lowest level since before the recession and the Dow Jones Industrials ended the day down 225 points, a decline of 1.5 percent.

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Environment
4:43 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

EPA To Crack Down On Accuracy Of MPG Claims By Car Makers

For auto companies, that Environmental Protection Agency-approved MPG sticker on a new car is a high stakes and expensive process. These days it can be damaging to a company's image if customers can't achieve that great fuel economy in their own commutes.

U.S.
4:43 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

States Target Hybrids As Gas Tax Revenues Ebb

Sara Busch of Havertown, Pa., owns a Chevy Volt, an electric hybrid. Like a lot of Americans, she's buying less gasoline than she used to, which means she's paying less in gas taxes.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 4:50 pm

Americans are buying less gasoline than they did just a few years back. While many people believe this is a good thing, it does present a problem: Most road construction is paid for with fuel taxes. Less gas tax revenue means less money for roads.

One reason gas purchases are down is that more people are driving more efficient cars, such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Now states are looking for solutions, including charging hybrids extra fees or imposing fees based on miles driven.

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The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Ford Lowers Mileage Rating On Its C-Max Hybrid

A Ford C-MAX hybrid vehicle goes through assembly at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, last November.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:05 am

(Updated 8:40 p.m. ET)

Ford on Thursday backpedaled on the stated fuel economy for its C-Max hybrid after customer complaints and an EPA investigation found that the vehicle wasn't living up to its advertised 47 mpg.

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Business
9:36 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Can Paula Deen Recover (And Who Really Pays If She Doesn't)?

In better times — just last year — Paula Deen promoted a new line of furniture. While Universal Furniture International said in July it will continue to market the Paula Deen Home Collection, several other endorsers have dropped Paula Deen products.
Joshua Gunter The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 11:10 am

Paula Deen might have a hard time recovering.

The other day, a judge threw out charges of racial discrimination filed against the celebrity chef. That made sense, since the person suing Deen is white.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Blames Economy And Payroll Taxes For Slowed Earnings

Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:23 pm

Wal-Mart is blaming depressed demand amid a still-shaky economy and a rise in payroll taxes for disappointing earnings in the quarter ending July 31.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday that its net income rose to $4.07 billion, barely above the $4.02 billion it earned in the same quarter last year.

According to Reuters, sales at U.S. stores that have been open for at least one year fell 0.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Jobless Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Level

The scene at a career fair held by the National Urban League last month in Philadelphia.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 9:37 am

There were 320,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.

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Business & Education
7:28 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ala. Student Awarded Grant for HIV/AIDS Research

UA doctoral student Martina Thomas has been awarded a $16,000 grant to research HIV/AIDS.
http://uanews.ua.edu

A University of Alabama doctoral student has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to research social factors surrounding the spread of HIV/AIDS.

   Anthropology student Martina Thomas has been given a $16,000 grant for her research. AL.com reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/16l2RsG ) that Thomas formed her project after interviewing black women and their daughters for a project she needed to complete to earn her master's degree.

Business
4:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Attorney Dispenses Legal Advice As Well As Shaving Cream

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Law school grads have been facing a tough job market, and this has prompted some young entrepreneurial attorneys to try out hybrid businesses.

Diane Orson from member station WNPR reports on one Connecticut attorney who's opened a shop that combines his passion for the law - with his skill as a barber.

DIANE ORSON, BYLINE: Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.

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Business
4:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Team Walks Florida's Beaches With Google Eye

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:44 am

Google Street View cars have been photographing roads and highways for years, but how about this: Google Beach View. Florida is paying a pair of intrepid trekkers to walk all 825 miles of the state's beachfront carrying the Google Eye camera in a 40 pound backpack — blue orb sticking out the top.

National Security
4:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Drone Manufacturers Confident Domestic Industry Will Grow

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:53 am

Gathering in Washington, D.C., drone manufacturers say they are optimistic about their business, despite a downturn in defense spending. The unmanned vehicle industry is hopeful the domestic market will open up. But they first must address privacy concerns exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal.

Business
4:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Auto Industry's Pent-Up Demand Expected To Ease Slowly

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If economists looking at the housing sector are generally optimistic, those who follow the auto industry are practically brimming with glee. Right now, the average age of cars on the road is the oldest ever recorded, at 11-and-a-half years, which means at some time, people will have to buy newer ones. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, that time may be now.

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Business
4:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

2 Ex-Traders Accused Of Covering Up JPMorgan Losses

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. have charged two former traders in JPMorgan Chase's London office with securities fraud. The two men were part of the so-called "London Whale" case, which ended up costing the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting losses.

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