Business & Education

The Salt
5:12 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Vigor, Brain Power And Other Health Claims From Coke's Advertising Past

(1905) Courtesy of Tom Bates

Coca-Cola is taking a lot of flak for its new television ad campaign addressing America's obesity epidemic – an epidemic in which sugary sodas are widely fingered as a key culprit.

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Economy
4:26 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 4:36 pm

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.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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World
2:16 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Spain's Strapped Towns Look To Churches For Cash

The Cathedral of Alcala de Henares is one of many buildings owned by the Catholic Church in Alcala de Henares, Spain. The town, which is outside Madrid, is broke and is pursuing a plan to have the church pay additional taxes.
JMN JMN/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:12 pm

The Catholic Church is Spain's largest and richest landowner, though its nonprofit status means it is exempt from paying most taxes.

But amid the current economic crisis, that may be changing.

One college town just outside Madrid is leading an effort by some Spanish municipalities to serve the church an up-to-date property tax bill.

Alcala de Henares is re-evaluating the status of hundreds of church holdings that have been exempt from paying property tax for hundreds of years.

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Planet Money
12:49 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Free Breast Pumps And The Cost Of Health Care

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 4:12 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Exxon More Golden Than Apple Again

In this Oct. 20, 2012 photo, people line up to enter a newly opened Apple Store in Beijing. Exxon has once again surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after the iPhone and iPad maker saw its stock price falter.
Andy Wong AP

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.

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Business & Education
10:45 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Auburn Considers Graduate-Level Program in Brewing

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.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Sales Of New Homes Fell In December, But Were Up Sharply In 2012

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction last fall in Peoria, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.

Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.

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Business
4:15 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

Business
4:15 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Cause Of Boeing's 787 Problems Remains A Mystery

This Boeing 787 battery case was damaged in a fire in Boston earlier this month. The state-of-the-art aircraft is still grounded, as the investigation of the fire's cause continues.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:37 pm

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.

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NPR Story
3:50 am
Fri January 25, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:50 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Dodgers Channel Close To Being A Reality

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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Planet Money
1:48 am
Fri January 25, 2013

At $17.5 Million A Year, LeBron James Is Underpaid

A bargain at $17.5 million a year.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:29 am

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.

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Movies
1:46 am
Fri January 25, 2013

For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films

A scene from 99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, a Sundance documentary that raised more than $23,000 on Kickstarter.
Ari Ress Sundance Film Festival

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

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.

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U.S.
1:44 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Foreign Investors Trade Dollars For U.S. Residency

This Marriott hotel in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood was rebuilt by American Life Inc. using EB-5 visa investment money. The project helped dozens of well-to-do people obtain permanent green cards.
Jennifer Wing for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Svetlana Anikeeva was 15 in the early '90s when she visited America as an exchange student.

"And it was completely different place in every imaginable aspect," she recalls.

Anikeeva grew up in Vladivostok on the eastern edge of Russia, and studied abroad in Savannah, Ga., where the experience, she says, changed her life.

"The people were different. The culture was different. The weather, the food, the school. Everything was fascinating," she says. "I knew that I wanted to come here."

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School Closings
5:09 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Friday's Freezing Rain Forces School Delays In North Alabama

Freezing rain conditions in north Alabama could cause trouble for motorists Friday morning.
Credit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx/

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.

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