Business & Education

Code Switch
9:05 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Chinatown 'Blessing Scams' Target Elderly Women

More than 50 people have reported being victims to the "blessing scams" in San Francisco over the last year. Their losses topped $1.5 million.
San Francisco district attorney's office

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

In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.

This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.

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Business & Education
8:25 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Alabama University Expands Programs in Brunswick

Troy University is expanding its satellite programs in the coastal Georgia town of Brunswick.
troy.edu

An Alabama university is expanding its programs in the coastal Georgia town of Brunswick.

   The Brunswick News reports (http://bit.ly/1cQmyXq) that Troy University is expanding its satellite programs in the Georgia community with its School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management.

   School officials say that beginning this fall, students will be able to obtain a bachelor of science degree in the three areas of concentration - hospitality, sports or tourism management.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Good Signs: Jobless Claims Dip And Job Growth Picks Up

A help wanted sign in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif., last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:54 am

Three reports Wednesday morning all offer at least modestly good news about the U.S. economy:

-- There were 343,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, says the Employment and Training Administration.

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The Salt
7:03 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Coke Changed Caramel Color To Avoid Cancer Warning; Pepsi In Transition

Pepsi says it plans to reformulate all its colas sold in the U.S. by February 2014 to eliminate 4-MEI, a chemical listed as a carcinogen by the state of California.
PR Newswire

In 2011, the state of California created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color that Coke and Pepsi used to give colas that distinctive brown hue contained a chemical, 4-methylimidazole — 4-MEI — that is listed as a carcinogen by the state.

And in accordance with California's Proposition 65 law, the levels of 4-MEI found in sodas would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

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Business
3:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with Toyota recall.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Toyota, the world's best-selling automaker, is recalling approximately 185,000 vehicles. The worldwide recall is due to a problem with its electric, power steering. It affects Yaris models made between November 2010 to March 2012, and Verso-S models made between August 2010 and August 2011. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Health Care
3:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

White House Delays Key Piece Of Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The Obama administration set off some pre-4th of July fireworks last night. They announced a one-year delay in implementing a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Employers with 50 or more workers will now have until 2015 to meet new health insurance requirements for their workforce.

NPR's Julie Rovner has more.

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Business
3:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business, which is: "Hardly Workin'."

That's the title of an album just out from Andrew Mason, the ex Groupon CEO, who was fired from the dally deals company earlier this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALBUM, "HARDLY WORKIN'")

ANDREW MASON: (Singing) If you're seeking business wisdom, you don't need no MBA. Look no further than the beauty that surrounds us every day. In the...

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Investors Turn Away From Emerging Markets

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the world of global finance, emerging markets where a hot place for American investors to park their money. The hope was that fast growth in developing economies, like Brazil, Turkey and China, could yield higher returns. But there's been a big shift in recent weeks. Investors have been yanked their money out of the emerging markets in a big way. The unrest in Egypt and protests in Brazil and Turkey are only part of the story.

To find out more, we turned - as we often do - to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal.

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Business
3:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

June Sales Rev Engines Of Detroit Automakers

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Well, here's some better news for automakers. In June, cars and trucks sold at a rate close to pre-recession levels. The Detroit automakers all saw gains, as did the big Japanese firms.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one number that's important to auto executives, and that number is...

JESSICA CALDWELL: The SAAR.

GLINTON: Come Again?

CALDWELL: The SAAR, the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate.

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Shots - Health News
2:39 am
Wed July 3, 2013

One Man's Quest To Make Medical Technology Affordable To All

Patients sit with their eyes bandaged at an Aravind Eye Care clinic in Madurai, India after cataract surgeries. Aravind performs more than 300,000 cataract surgeries annually.
Reinhard Krause Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 1:47 pm

David Green is a man on a mission to drive down the cost of medical devices and health services.

His tactic: Use market forces and slightly tweaked business strategies to make health care accessible to even the poorest people. And he's had some amazing success.

I caught up with Green (no relation to NPR's David Greene) at a company he is launching in Chicago that's taking on the high cost of hearing aids. He's demonstrating how to program his company's new hearing device on a cellphone.

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The Salt
2:37 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Guess Who's Fighting To Keep Indiana Dry On Sundays?

Kyle Fronke inventories the wine in Kahn's Fine Wines and Spirits in Indianapolis last year. Only liquor stores in the state can sell cold beer, and on Sunday, practically all carry out alcohol sales are prohibited.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:52 am

When you think summer, you might think of cold beer at a barbecue, maybe a bottle of wine with a Sunday picnic. A lot of people take it for granted that they can just go to the store and pick up alcohol.

Not in Indiana.

While many states have laws restricting liquor sales, Indiana is the only one where you can't buy packaged beer, wine and liquor on Sundays, and it's the only state that regulates alcohol sales based on temperature. Only liquor stores can sell cold beer.

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The Record
2:18 am
Wed July 3, 2013

New Jay-Z Album Tests The Musician And Samsung

A still of Jay-Z from the commercial for his new album.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 2:26 pm

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Your Money
4:51 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

As Mortgage Rates Rise, Homebuyers Face New Dilemma

Mortgage interest rates have spiked recently, causing unease among potential homebuyers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:12 pm

A recent spike in mortgage rates has created a new predicament for potential homebuyers: Forge ahead and try to lock in now? Or hold off?

Dhruv Gupta was quoted a 3.5 percent rate in May while searching for a place to buy in the San Francisco area. Less than two months later, he's looking at 5.2 percent for the same loan. But this trend has not deterred Gupta.

"It's a fact of life," he says. "I mean I can't control them, so what do you do?"

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Tools To Help You Hide Online Raise The Ire Of Advertisers

People wait to attend a Mozilla press conference in Barcelona, Spain, in February. Mozilla's Firefox and other Web browsers allow users to opt out of third-party tracking cookies.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:12 pm

When Mozilla announced a plan to improve its system for blocking third-party cookies, it didn't seem like the kind of thing that would make waves. But it didn't take long for the Internet advertising industry to react — furiously.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Off The Rails: Strike-Hit Bay Area Struggles With 'Horrible' Commutes

Frustrated commuters wait at the Transbay Temporary Terminal in San Francisco to catch a bus over to Oakland on Tuesday.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:44 pm

Andrea Brearley's kids really want to see Pixar while on vacation. The problem is that the family is staying in San Francisco, and with rail workers on strike, they're having a hard time figuring out how to get to the cartoon-maker's headquarters across the bay in Emeryville, Calif.

Brearley, who lives in Windsor, Ontario, says it's been "scary" trying to figure out an alternative route. "Three different people told me three different buses," she says.

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