Business & Education

Business
4:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Wal-Mart Fumes Over D.C. Council Wage Vote

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Wal-Mart is changing its plans for the nation's capital. The company says it won't be building stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a law requiring big-box retailers to pay what's known as a living wage.

Patrick Madden of member station WAMU has the story.

PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: Before the vote, Wal-Mart issued city lawmakers an ultimatum: kill the living wage bill, or it would pull the plug on three stores it has planned to build in the nation's capital.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Data From RealtyTrac Indicates Housing Market Is Improving

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fewer foreclosures.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:52 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Wal-Mart, Gap Join Bangladesh Factory Safety Group

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Some of the country's biggest retailers have unveiled an initiative they say will improve conditions for workers on the other side of the world. The move by Wal-Mart, Target, and others is intended to boost safety in Bangladesh garment factories.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports the plan is a response to the devastating building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in April.

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NPR Story
3:50 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Lawmakers Express Concern About U.S.-Chinese Pork Deal

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a lot of questions today about the takeover of Smithfield Foods. That's because a Chinese company has offered to buy America's largest pork processor. Both Democratic and Republican senators have expressed concerns about the $4.7 billion deal and its potential effects on U.S. food safety and security.

NPR's John Ydstie has been following the testimony today and joins us now. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Science Of Twinkies: How Do They Last So Darned Long?

Unlike the dodo that sits next to it on an NPR Science Desk shelf, this year-and-a-half-old Twinkie is still around — but that doesn't mean you want to eat it.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:56 am

We have to confess: When we heard that Twinkies will have nearly double the shelf life, 45 days, when they return to stores next week, our first reaction was — days? Not years?

Urban legend has long deemed Twinkies the cockroaches of the snack food world, a treat that can survive for decades, what humanity would have left to eat come the apocalypse. The true shelf life — which used to be 26 days — seems somewhat less impressive by comparison.

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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Business
1:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:19 pm

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

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Business & Education
7:58 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Drummond Says it Plans to Cut 425 Mining Jobs

Drummond Co. plans to cut more than 400 jobs in Jefferson, Walker and Tuscaloosa counties. The layoffs take effect Sept. 9.
en.wikipedia.org

A Birmingham-based mining company has filed notification of plans to eliminate 425 jobs from its operations in Alabama.

   Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/16q9hSa ) that Drummond Co. that the notification filed with the state says the job cuts in Jefferson, Walker and Tuscaloosa counties will take effect Sept. 9.

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Parallels
7:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Bangladesh Collapse: The Garment Workers Who Survived

Rebecca Khatun, a worker at Rana Plaza, lies in a hospital bed. She lost her left leg and right foot in the collapse, which also killed five members of her family. Khatun received $120 and free medical care for her loss --€” compensation she says won't be enough for what she's been through.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:57 pm

(We updated this post at 11:58 a.m. ET to include a statement released Wednesday by Walmart. Click here to see that)

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Rana Plaza collapsed on garment workers in Bangladesh, exposing abysmal safety conditions in the country's factories.

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All Tech Considered
7:22 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Utah Internet Firm Defies State's Warrantless Subpoena Law

Pete Ashdown is founder and CEO of XMission, Utah's oldest Internet service provider.
Flickr via Center for Study of Ethics at UVU

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:51 am

Utah's oldest Internet service provider, XMission, has refused to give up customer information to law enforcement, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Specifically, the company says it won't comply with administrative subpoenas.

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Investors Brace For News Out Of Fed Minutes

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during a news conference in June. Financial markets reacted to comments he made then by selling off bonds and stocks.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:13 am

After the Federal Open Market Committee meeting last month, the financial markets "freaked out," according to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks at the time sent a shockwave through the markets when he suggested the Fed's stimulus could end.

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Animals
3:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Virus Targets Baby Pigs

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And the agriculture industry is dealing with a new worry: a virus that is spreading through farms. It has killed hundreds of thousands of baby pigs.

Frank Morris from member station KCUR has more.

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: Like most hog farmers, Brent Sandidge in Missouri has been losing money lately.

BRENT SANDIDGE: We've had a drought, and record high feed prices, so that would be the last thing you'd need, another hit.

MORRIS: But that hit came this spring for some with the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

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Business
3:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

China Issues Grim Trade Outlook

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 7:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with China's grim trade outlook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Numbers from the month of June offered more evidence that the world's second-biggest economy might be losing steam. Exports from China fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier. Imports were down, as well, by almost a percent.

Middle East
3:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Egypt's Economic Health Needs Outside Help

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's political future will largely depend on its economy, and its economic future will largely depend on help from other countries. To talk more about this, we reached Mohsin Khan. He's a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center on the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. He's also the former Director of the Middle East Department at the International Monetary Fund. Good morning.

MOHSIN KHAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What are Egypt's most immediate economic needs?

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