Business & Education

Business
4:34 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Shell Gets Interior Department's Ok To Drill Off Alaska's Arctic Shore

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 7:12 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Salt
2:45 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Sheep Ranchers Count On American Muslims To Keep Lamb On Menu

Sheep are sold in small lots like this one at the Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins, Colo.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 2:23 pm

Sheep ranchers, feedlot owners, and processors in states like Colorado, Nebraska and Illinois are banking on America becoming a more diverse place.

Specifically, they want American Muslims to buy more of their lamb.

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The Salt
5:10 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Why Food Companies Should Be More Afraid Of Water Scarcity

Coca-Cola cans on a production line at a bottling plant near New Delhi in 2013. The company decided in April 2015 not to build an $81 million bottling plant in southern India because local farmers said it might exhaust groundwater supplies.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 8:50 am

America's biggest food production companies face a growing threat of water scarcity, according to a new report from Ceres, an environmental sustainability group.

Producing food, after all, requires more water than almost any other business on Earth. And the outlook isn't pretty: One-third of food is grown in areas of high or extremely high water stress, while pollution and climate change are further limiting supplies of clean water around the world.

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All Tech Considered
4:22 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Using Investments And Technology To Rebuild Hawaii's Koa Forests

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods has created an Internet interface so customers can zoom in and view information about specific koa trees from their computers.
Courtesy of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 8:00 pm

As with tropical trees around the world, the koa forests of Hawaii have been decimated — cut down to make way for sugar plantations and cattle ranches. One company is using an innovative business model to bring back koa forests. The secret is a digital tag that helps track individual trees.

At upscale Hawaiian shopping malls like Kings' Shops, wood from the native koa tree is in high demand. Its color ranges from light to dark brown. Koa's curving lines make it popular for furniture, or ukuleles.

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Business
4:21 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

New York Announces Crackdown On Nail Salons

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 2:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Parallels
4:21 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Saudi Women Can't Drive To Work; So They're Flocking To The Internet

Nouf al-Mazrou, with the red head scarf in the center, runs a barbeque catering business from her home in the Saudi capital Riyadh. She's shown here at a gathering of Saudi women who have launched businesses on Instagram. The event was held at a private girls school.
Deborah Amos / NPR

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:14 am

In a country where women are prohibited from driving themselves to work, technology is opening new avenues to the job market in Saudi Arabia.

Thousands of women use Instagram, the popular photo-sharing site, to launch businesses that sell goods and services, from cupcakes to sushi, in the desert kingdom.

At a recent convention of Instagram businesses, hundreds of women set up booths at a private girls school in the capital Riyadh to share success stories.

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All Tech Considered
3:50 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Why California Farmers Are Conflicted About Using Less Water

Tanimura & Antle workers use tractors to install drip tape into fields that will be used to grow lettuce and other crops in California's Salinas Valley.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 2:39 pm

The drought across much of the Western U.S. is now in its fourth year. In California — where it's the most intense — farms are not under the same strict orders to conserve as cities are.

And inside the agriculture industry, farmers are quietly debating how best to respond to the drought. Given uncertainty around pending state regulations, some say there may be an incentive to not invest in water-saving technologies right now.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Jury: Starbucks' Free Coffee Not At Fault In Police Officer's Burn Claims

A police officer blamed Starbucks after his hot coffee spilled, saying it resulted in burns and other medical problems. A jury in Raleigh, N.C., does not agree.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 3:30 pm

A North Carolina jury has rejected a $750,000 civil lawsuit filed by Lt. Matthew Kohr of the Raleigh Police Department, who said a Starbucks store had given him a large cup of hot coffee with an unsecured lid.

Last week, Kohr's attorney said the free cup of coffee spilled onto the officer's lap because it didn't have a properly attached lid or an insulating cardboard sleeve. Evidence submitted in court included photos showing red burn marks.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

New York Governor Pledges Action After Revelations Of Nail Salon Work Conditions

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 3:36 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the creation of a task force to investigate and tackle abuse in the state's more than 2,000 nail salons.

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Monkey See
10:16 am
Mon May 11, 2015

What Is Upfronts Week, Anyway?: 5 Questions Answered

The limited information of upfronts week: This is John Stamos in the new comedy Grandfathered, coming to Fox. In it, he apparently hangs out with this baby!
Jennifer Clasen Fox

What's upfronts week, anyway?

Upfronts week is when the broadcast networks, in this order and in general, (1) make final decisions about canceling or keeping existing shows, (2) unveil their schedules for the fall and spring seasons, and (3) present their new shows to advertisers to kick off their ad sales. In other words, "Look at this beautiful show! Wouldn't you like to put your beautiful commercial right between the first and second acts?"

What do we know about new shows at this point?

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Europe
5:44 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Courier Strike In Berlin Keeps ATMs From Being Replenished

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Salt
9:19 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Seattle Restaurants Scramble To Pay A Higher Minimum Wage

Carter Jorgensen, with head chef Zephyr Paquette in the background, at Seattle's Coastal Kitchen. Restaurants are one of the largest employers of low-wage workers in the city.
Deborah Wang KUOW

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 7:26 pm

In the rough and tumble world of restaurants, Jeremy Hardy considers himself something of a survivor.

Hardy's restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, has been a fixture of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood for 20 years. Notoriously low-margin businesses, restaurants have a high failure rate. Hardy says even in good times, running one is like juggling with clubs.

"With the labor pressures that are coming from this $15 eventual minimum-wage increase, we are juggling with razor-sharp daggers," Hardy says. "And if you don't get it right, it's really going to hurt."

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Economy
3:34 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Ore Price Collapse Hits Minnesota's 'Iron Range'

U.S. Steel's Minntac taconite mine and plant looms over the city of Virginia. The company plans to lay off around 700 employees on June 1.
Dan Kraker MPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 9:38 pm

The price of iron ore has crashed recently — from more than $190 a ton in 2011, to about $60 today. Iron ore is the key ingredient in steel, and global demand for it, especially in China, is way down. That's being felt far away in northern Minnesota.

Miners have clawed iron ore out of northern Minnesota for more than a century. The Iron Range, as it's known, is pockmarked with deep abandoned pits carved out of the red earth.

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Economy
3:34 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Oil Companies Look To Fill Employment Gap With More Women

After completing training in 2013, Claire Kerstetter now works as a fluid technician on fracking jobs.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 9:38 pm

Look at the oil business and you'll notice it's mostly men. That's a problem for an industry that needs legions of new workers to replace retirees in coming years.

The industry hasn't always treated women fairly, but now it needs them.

The oil business just 30 years ago was a lonely place for the few women who chose to work in it. Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, says attending industry conferences made that clear.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Would More Trade Help The Job Market Run Faster Or Trip It Up?

Workers unload cargo at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 in Portland, Ore.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 2:48 pm

The Labor Department's latest report shows employers created 223,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate went down another notch to 5.4 percent.

So, yay!

But study the wage figures in Friday's report — and your "yay" turns to "meh."

Workers got raises of just 0.1 percent in April. Over the past year, wages advanced only 2.2 percent, a pace that amounts to treading water for most families. The average workweek has stalled at 34.5 hours, unchanged from the previous month — and from a year ago.

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