Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.
Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.
Health insurance plans now have to cover the full cost of breast pumps for nursing mothers. This is the result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and the new rule took effect for many people at the start of this year.
It's led to a boom in the sale of the pumps, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
Apple stock has dropped sharply since it announced earnings that disappointed analysts. Now the tech tastemaker is paying another price, losing its crown as the world's most valuable company to Exxon Mobil.
Exxon's market capitalization, the total value of its outstanding stock, was about $417 billion Friday. Apple's was about $413 billion.
Auburn University officials are considering offering a graduate-level degree in brewing sciences.
The degree is among issues expected to be discussed at the school's board of trustees meeting Feb. 1.
The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/10IX8Fe) that the program would provide graduate-level coursework for students and professionals interested in learning about brewing, including malting, mashing, brewing and fermentation.
The trustees are also expected to discuss a possible graduate-degree program in turf grass management.
NPR's business news starts with Microsoft's earnings.
Yesterday we told you about Apple earnings. Despite heavy sales of iPhones and iPads, its profits were flat last quarter. That's still better than Microsoft, which reported a four percent earnings decline. Those disappointing figures are blamed on sagging sales of personal computers, which have created a shrinking market for Microsoft's newest PC operating system, Windows 8. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Federal safety investigators remain perplexed by what caused a battery on a Boeing 787 to burst into flames earlier this month in Boston. All of the 787s are grounded worldwide after problems with the new airliner also surfaced in Japan.
At a briefing Thursday, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said it could be a long time before the plane dubbed the Dreamliner is cleared to fly.
In today's last word in business is: censored, not stirred.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SKYFALL")
DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) Bond, James Bond.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The new Bond film "Skyfall" is now playing in the world's second-largest movie market - that would be China - and some 007 fans are furious about the nips and tucks Chinese censors have made to the movie.
In recent years, regional cable TV sports networks have been a financial windfall for pro sports and college teams. And now it seems to be the turn of the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a record haul here.
There are reports the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable are close to announcing a deal for a Dodgers channel that would pay the team around $7 billion over at least 20 years.
But NPR's Tom Goldman reports it may be one windfall too many in a crowded Los Angeles market.
LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.
"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.
James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.
If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.
Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Some 10 percent of the films selected for this year's iteration of the prestigious festival raised money through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.
In the three years since the website launched, Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, picked up by Showtime and HBO, and honored with awards at Sundance, South By Southwest and Cannes.
Alabama transportation officials say winter storm forecasts for northern portions of Alabama likely will result in icy roads causing hazardous driving conditions.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Alabama Department of Transportation strongly encourage all motorists to drive with extreme caution and to avoid roadways when weather conditions are prohibitive.
Much of northern Alabama is under a freezing rain advisory until mid to late morning tomorrow.