Business & Education

The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Head Of White House Economic Council To Step Down

Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, shown in November.
Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press

Alan Krueger, the chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, says he will step down to return to Princeton to resume his post as a professor of economics.

Krueger, who has served as CEA chairman for the past two years, will return to Princeton in time for the beginning of the fall term. The Associated Press quotes a source familiar with the situation as saying Jason Furman, who served in President Obama's 2008 campaign, will be tapped as a replacement.

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Planet Money
5:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

In A Single ATM, The Story Of A Nation's Economy

A bank in Yangon recently opened the first ATM in Myanmar that's connected to the rest of the world.
Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 3:35 pm

Nan Htwe Nye works at an elementary school in Yangon, Myanmar. She started trying to use ATM machines a few months ago, and things haven't been going so well.

The machines are often broken, she says. "But," she adds, "we hope it will better in the future." This is, more or less, the story of ATMs — and of banking in general — in Myanmar.

She's visiting the headquarters of CB Bank, at the first ATM in the country that was connected to banks all around the world.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Wal-Mart To Pay $81 Million For Hazardous Waste Dumping

A photo from earlier this month taken in front of a Wal-Mart store in La Habra, Calif.
Jae C. Hong Associated Press

Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to pay $81 million in penalties as part of a guilty plea on criminal charges of improperly disposing of hazardous waste in California and Missouri.

Prosecutors said the violations occurred between 2003 and 2005 and included employees negligently dumping pollutants from stores into sanitation drains.

The Associated Press reports that the plea agreements announced Tuesday "end a nearly decade-old investigation involving more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental groups."

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Business
4:15 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Cruise Industry Adopts Passenger 'Rights' As Incidents Mount

Damage on the Royal Caribbean ship Grandeur of the Seas is visible as the ship docks in Freeport, the Bahamas, on Monday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 7:43 am

About 2,200 passengers were being flown back to Baltimore on Tuesday, a day after their cruise ship caught fire on its way to the Bahamas. There were no injuries aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.

But in the wake of the incident and others like it, the cruise ship companies have something of a black eye. The industry is now trying to reassure passengers it's OK for them to sail, adopting what it called a passenger "bill of rights."

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Around the Nation
1:09 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

The Business And Science Of Storm Shelters

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Liberty Reserve Charged In $6 Billion Money-Laundering Conspiracy

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 3:39 pm

Saying it was the world's largest international money laundering prosecution in history, authorities announced charges against the operators of Liberty Reserve, an online currency exchange that prosecutors say enabled more than a million people worldwide to launder about $6 billion.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Does Canada's $100 Bill Smell Like Maple Syrup? Many Say So

Canada's $100 bill. Some think it smells sweet.
Bank of Canada

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:31 pm

This much is true: Many Canadians apparently think their government has embedded a maple-scented scratch-and-sniff patch in the nation's $100 bills.

According to CTV, "dozens of people" contacted the Bank of Canada after the polymer bills were introduced in 2011 to say they were sure there was something fishy ... or perhaps we should say sweet ... about the money.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Home Prices Post Biggest Jump Since 2006

This single family home was for sale last week in Encinitas, Calif.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:18 am

Home prices in major cities across the nation were up 10.9 percent in March from March 2012, the biggest year-over-year increase since April 2006, according to the data trackers who put together the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Their surveys show that:

-- While prices rose 10.9 percent on average across 20 metropolitan areas, the strongest gains were in Phoenix (22.5 percent), San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent).

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Business
6:14 am
Tue May 28, 2013

What's That Smell? Pancakes Or Canadian $100 Bills

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 6:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We all know pancakes are best when slathered with maple syrup. But cash? The Bank of Canada is denying it's given its new plastic $100 bills a syrup scent. The rumor is that the new bills contain a scratch-and-sniff section. The Canadian press obtained a bunch of emails to the bank about the fabled edition of the maple syrup. One complained the notes stick together. Another lamented that some had lost their smell.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
4:15 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Okla. Real Estate: Priced To Sell Includes Storm Shelter

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 6:58 am

After last week's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla,, hundreds of homes were damaged. Maurice Smith is optimistic about the future in Moore. So much so, he is planning to build a new home and sell the old one without an agent. And he expects it will be snapped up quickly. The reason? Displaced residents are looking for homes, and his has a storm shelter.

Business
3:53 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Girl Scout Troops Look To Sell Real Estate

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's move now to another group of young tech savvy folks - the Girl Scouts. The organization now offers merit badges for things like website design and digital movie making.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Still, they do place value on the great outdoors - like always - offering camping and hiking badges. And that brings us to today's last word in business: unhappy campers.

MONTAGNE: As we head into summer, many young Brownie and Junior Scouts are signing up for the Girl Scout camp.

(SOUNDBITE OF GIRL SCOUT AD)

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NPR Story
3:42 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 6:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with corporate sell-offs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Bausch + Lomb has been sold. The drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals is buying the 160-year-old eye care company for $8.7 billion.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Valeant - which is a Canadian company - has been on a buying spree recently, as it moves to become a bigger player in the global pharmaceutical market.

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NPR Story
3:42 am
Tue May 28, 2013

How Apps Help Kansas City Work Better

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 6:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now for people who enjoy using technology, it might feel like there's an app for everything. Some are mindless. I mean I'm a little embarrassed to tell you how much time I spend baking fake pizza on my mobile device. Then there are apps that are meant to actually be productive. And let's hear about one of those now.

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The Salt
2:49 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Why Healthful Vending Machines Might Hurt The Blind

Vending machines at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark., were stocked with more healthful snacks in 2006.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:52 am

Look in any vending machine, and you can find plenty of snacks with dubious nutritional profiles. Take the ones in the state Capitol in Salem, Ore.

"We've got a lot of Cheetos and Pop-Tarts and candy bars and cookies and things like that," says state Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Hearing Aids: A Luxury Good For Many Seniors

Basic hearing aids cost an average of $1,500 per ear.
IStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 11:07 am

More than 30 million Americans experience significant hearing loss, but only a third of them get hearing aids.

There are a lot of reasons why someone who needs a hearing aid won't get one: Some think their hearing loss is not that bad, others are too embarrassed to use them, and many people say they are just not worth the price.

Hearing aids cost an average of $1,500 per ear for a basic model, and unlike most technology, their price has not dropped over time.

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