Business & Education

Business
4:54 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Foreign Factory Audits, Profitable But Flawed Business

A Bangladeshi soldier walks through rows of burnt sewing machines Nov. 25, after a fire in the nine-story Tazreen factory in Savar, near Dhaka. The fire killed 112 people.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 10:11 am

A factory collapse in Bangladesh last week killed more than 400 people, mostly garment workers. Hundreds more are still missing, making it one of the largest manufacturing disasters in history. It's just the latest horrific accident in the garment industry despite more than a decade of auditing aimed at improving working conditions.

In September 2012, a fire at the Ali Enterprises factory in Pakistan killed nearly 300 workers. Six weeks later, in November, a fire in the Tazreen factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people. Then, last week, there was the Rana Plaza collapse.

Read more
Business
4:54 am
Wed May 1, 2013

J.C. Penney Wins Legal Fight Over Martha Stewart

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Proof of Martha Stewart's ongoing commercial appeal has been on display in a New York courtroom. Yesterday, an appeals court decided that department store J.C. Penney can continue selling a new line of housewares designed by Stewart. But the ruling keeps Macy's from having the exclusive rights to the brand.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one reason why both J.C. Penney and Macy's want Martha Stewart.

MARSHAL COHEN: She's had a history of having success.`

Read more
Your Money
2:21 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Automatic-Enrollment IRAs Get A Test Run In California

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:51 am

With all of the controversy over entitlement reform, there's one thing both sides can agree on: Social Security alone does not provide enough money for a comfortable retirement. For these workers, the Obama administration is proposing automatically enrolling workers in IRAs through their employers.

California adopted a version of this last year. Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon sponsored the bill to automatically enroll workers in an individual retirement account. The inspiration, he says, was his Aunt Francisca, who's 74.

Read more
Business
2:20 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Would You Pay A Higher Price For 'Ethical' Clothing?

The Joe Fresh store in New York City. Some of the clothes made in the building that collapsed last week in Bangladesh were destined for the brand.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:51 am

Look at photographs from the Bangladesh garment factory collapse, and you can see clothing in the rubble destined for a store called Joe Fresh, one of the many retailers using supercheap fashions made overseas to keep shoppers buying often.

But in the aftermath of the tragedy, would customers pay more if they knew the clothes were made by workers treated fairly and safely?

Read more
The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Expands Parental Leave

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Feb. 20, 2013. Under Mayer, Yahoo is ending its remote work policy for employees.
Peter Kramer ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who sparked plenty of discussion about work-life balance when she prohibited telecommuting this past winter, took a step in the opposite direction, Tuesday: Mayer expanded Yahoo's parental leave policy.

Reuters reports:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

NBA Player Jason Collins Could Snag Endorsements, Speaking Gigs

Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards rebounds against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center earlier this month in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 3:04 pm

For Jason Collins, coming out just might prove a winning career strategy.

Before this week, the NBA center seemed like just another second-tier professional athlete, slouching toward retirement while still in his 30s. But all that changed overnight when Collins acknowledged he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine published Monday.

Read more
The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

Read more
Code Switch
11:43 am
Tue April 30, 2013

What Do We Do About America's Racial Wealth Gap?

When the housing market collapsed, Latino families lost two-thirds of their household wealth while black families lost half.
Jae C. Hong ASSOCIATED PRESS

We've known about the gap in wealth between white Americans and black and Latino Americans for some time. Just last year, the Census revealed that whites had about 22 times the wealth of African-Americans and 15 times the wealth of Latinos — and those numbers only got worse over the last five years during the Great Recession.

Read more
The Salt
10:45 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Mon Dieu! Fast Food Now Rules In France

Fast times on the Champs-Elysees: People walk past a McDonald's on one of Paris' most storied avenues. But it's not just McD's that has caught French interest: Fast food now accounts for the majority of restaurant spending in the country.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:27 am

When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:41 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise Across The Nation

A home that was for sale earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:10 am

There were solid increases in home prices during the month of February across all 20 major cities where that data is tracked, according to the latest S&am

Read more
Business
4:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Re-'Training' Los Angeles' Car Culture

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Los Angeles has notoriously awful traffic. I know. I live here, and it seems to have gotten worse, as the city tries to fix it with a massive transportation development project aimed at getting commuters to choose the train over jammed freeways.

As Alex Schmidt reports that a change on that level needs to involve more than just laying down tracks.

Read more
Business
4:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Virgin Galactic Reaches Milestone In Space Tourism Industry

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The billionaire Richard Branson is happy this morning. His Virgin Galactic spacecraft successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Branson's high flying endeavor has been plagued with delays and technical problems, but on Monday, after an early morning flight from the California desert, the often flamboyant billionaire said history was being made.

Read more
Business
4:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So that's a vision of L.A.'s future. Our last word in business is a vision for clothes of the future.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In particular, it's a dress shirt for those who are tired of the effort to look dressy. The American company Wool and Prince says it has developed a wool shirt so odor resistant you could wear it for 100 days in a row without washing it.

Read more
Business
4:13 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a rare payment on the debt.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

All Tech Considered
2:19 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Will Bureaucracy Keep The U.S. Drone Industry Grounded?

Paul Applewhite of Applewhite Aero isn't allowed to fly this 3-pound Styrofoam plane. That's because he has added circuitry to make it autonomous — it can find its way to specified coordinates — which means it's an unmanned aerial vehicle requiring a special testing permit.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:27 pm

Americans are suspicious of drones. Reports of the unmanned aerial vehicles' use in war zones have raised concerns about what they might do here at home. For instance, in Seattle earlier this year, a public outcry forced the police department to abandon plans for eye-in-the-sky UAV helicopters.

Read more

Pages