Business & Education

Sports
1:24 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

March Madness: Good For Fans, Bad For Business

Pittsburgh fans try to distract Wichita State's Ron Baker as he shoots a free throw during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The distractions of the tournament are so great that worker productivity suffers.
George Frey AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 5:34 pm

March Madness is here. Even President Obama has filled out a NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament bracket. His pick to win it all was Indiana University.

The bracket frenzy is unbelievable, says Deborah Stroman, who teaches sports administration at the University of North Carolina.

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Business
3:56 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Former QB Drew Bledsoe Becomes Unlikely Lobbyist For Interstate Wine Sales

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 6:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been a lot of places since his glory days with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for Buffalo and Dallas and in his retirement, he returned to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, where he founded a winery. Bledsoe has not forgotten his New England fans. In fact, he wants people in Massachusetts to be able to buy his wine and, for that matter, other wines online.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

HBO: Programming Could Be Sold Directly Through Internet Providers

HBO chief Richard Plepler speaks in New York at a 2011 screening.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for Time Warner

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:21 pm

HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.

Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Fri March 22, 2013

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Says He Will Step Down

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski testifies before a Senate committee in March of 2013.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:24 pm

The chairman of the Federal Communication Commission announced during a staff meeting on Friday that he intends to step down "in the coming weeks."

Julius Genachowski's resignation comes just a day after Commissioner Robert McDowell announced his plans to step down.

The New York Times reports the Obama administration has not settled on a replacement for Genachowski. It reports:

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Cyprus Gets Cold Shoulder From Russia On Bailout Aid

An employee of Cyprus Laiki (Popular) Bank reacts as he takes part in a protest outside Parliament on Friday in the capital, Nicosia.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:47 pm

As a deadline on Cyprus to come up with a financial bailout plan nears, a possible rescue from Russia looks to have fallen apart, leaving the island nation few options for staving off default.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said as far as Moscow was concerned "the talks have ended," but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev left the door open, saying aid from Moscow would be contingent on Cyprus gaining European Union backing for its other money-raising ideas.

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Business
3:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Census Bureau: Americans Burdened By High Debt

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with high debt and low wealth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Since the financial crisis, many Americans have been saving money and paying down debt. Many are in better financial shape than a few years ago. But when you look at the longer term, it is clear that Americans as a whole have not regained all the ground they lost.

The Census Bureau compared Americans in 2011 with their wealth and debt burdens in that seemingly long-ago year, 2000.

NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Business
3:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

What better place to play video games than in a man cave? That's our last word in business today. It's how real estate website Zillow describes a Cold War-era bomb shelter in South Florida, now on sale for just under half a million dollars - 30-inch thick, steel-reinforced, concrete walls; decontamination showers; and 17-foot high ceilings.

There's even some milk solids and canned sugar left over, and it allegedly could be turned into a home. The listing agent describes the property as something out of an old Japanese Godzilla movie.

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Economy
3:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Examining The Banking Crisis In Cyrpus

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

The tiny Mediterranean island-nation of Cyprus is teetering on the edge of insolvency after rejecting a tax on bank deposits imposed by the E.U. and IMF in exchange for a bailout. Cyprus has until Monday to approve a new bailout plan.

Education
3:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Chicago Teachers, Parents Riled By Plan To Close 54 Public Schools

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks outside Mahalia Jackson Elementary School in Chicago about the planned closing of 54 public schools. Opponents say the plan will disproportionately affect minority students in the nation's third-largest school district.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:43 pm

In Chicago, officials have released a long-feared list that places more than 50 schools on the chopping block. The public school district faces a $1 billion shortfall, and the mayor says many of the city's school buildings are half empty. Some angry parents and teachers say the plan will harm children and they'll fight to keep the schools open.

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Movies
2:01 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Not Doing So 'Boffo,' 'Daily Variety' Drops Print Edition

Print versions of Daily Variety, like this one from 2003, will no longer be available on L.A. newsstands. Variety will continue online and in a print weekly, but the daily print edition is being dropped.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

For eight decades, Daily Variety has been a Hollywood must-read for everyone from studio heads to actors looking for a big break. But the days of assistants running out to grab the "trades" are over: This week, the Los Angeles institution published its last daily edition.

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All Tech Considered
2:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

After Conquering Consoles, Hard-Core Gaming Shifts To Mobile

Gears of War: Judgment hit stores on Tuesday.
Courtesy Microsoft Studios

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

This generation of video game consoles will be remembered for over-the-top, knock-you-out-of-your-seat extravaganza games like Halo, Call of Duty — and Gears of War, a juggernaut of a game. The first three Gears of War sold 19 million units, making it a $1 billion franchise. And the latest, Gears of War: Judgment, has just hit stores at a crucial time in the video game industry — sales are down, new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are due out, and mobile gaming is growing.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Google's Eric Schmidt Heads To Another Isolated Asian Nation

Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman and former CEO, stands near a statue of the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang in January. He's headed now to Myanmar, another largely untapped market.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:55 am

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who went to North Korea in January, is making a short visit Friday to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Why is the senior executive of a U.S. technology powerhouse visiting some of the poorest and least wired countries in Asia?

Schmidt will be the first top U.S. executive to travel to the Southeast Asian nation since it began emerging from decades of international isolation under a military dictatorship.

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The Salt
5:28 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Did Congress Just Give GMOs A Free Pass In The Courts?

Farmers harvest a sugar beet crop in Gilcrest, Colo.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:58 pm

Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a "Monsanto Protection Act."

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Around the Nation
3:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

Baseball fans watch an exhibition spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spring training contributes $35 million to the local economy.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 5:00 pm

For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
11:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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