Business & Education

The Two-Way
9:46 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Feds Prepared To Reopen All Superstorm Sandy Insurance Claims

A worker shovels muck out of a home in Longport, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Federal regulators say homeowners will be able to challenge insurance payouts they believe shortchanged them.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 6:37 am

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it is prepared to reopen all 144,000 insurance claims that resulted from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The move comes after months of questions over whether insurance companies contracted by the National Flood Insurance Program fraudulently altered engineering reports.

After thousands of homeowners said their insurance claims were systematically lowballed, FEMA began negotiations in an attempt to regain the trust of policy holders.

No agreement has yet been signed.

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Business
3:54 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Targeting Unions: Right-To-Work Movement Bolstered By Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became a Republican political star by taking on his state's public employee unions. This week he signed a bill that would weaken private-sector unions.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 9:40 pm

This week, Wisconsin became the nation's 25th right-to-work state. It passed a law saying workers cannot be forced to join labor unions, or pay union dues, to keep a job.

There's a concerted effort in many states to pass laws that would weaken the power of labor unions. But unions and their allies are also fighting back in many places.

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Business
3:36 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

What Do Shorted Stocks Tell Us About The Economy?

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 9:40 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Code Switch
2:08 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Claude Sitton, 'Dean Of The Race Beat,' Dies At 89

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:56 pm

It may be that Claude Fox Sitton so outraged the white Southern segregationists he reported on throughout the civil rights movement because, by all appearances, he could have been standing beside them instead of writing about them in the New York Times.

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All Tech Considered
11:57 am
Wed March 11, 2015

The App Of The Moment: Meerkat Tests Our Desire To Share Live Video

Meerkat, a live-video streaming app, has been this week's tech media darling.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:08 pm

After Jon Ward happened upon Meerkat, the newest live-video streaming app, he couldn't stop thinking about the reporting potential. As the senior political correspondent for Yahoo News, Ward knew the technology involved is anything but revolutionary. Yet there was something captivating about Meerkat.

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Shots - Health News
11:32 am
Wed March 11, 2015

The Boss Can Force You To Buy Company's Health Insurance

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:09 am

Under the health law, large employers that don't offer their full-time workers comprehensive, affordable health insurance face a fine. But some employers are taking it a step further and requiring workers to buy the company insurance, whether they want it or not.

Many workers may have no choice but to comply.

Some workers are upset. One disgruntled reader wrote to Kaiser Health News: "My employer is requiring me to purchase health insurance and is automatically taking the premium out of my paycheck even though I don't want to sign up for health insurance. Is this legal?"

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The Salt
10:12 am
Wed March 11, 2015

How Big Sugar Steered Research On A 'Tooth Decay Vaccine'

Garry Gay Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 2:18 pm

Sugar can promote tooth decay. Duh.

So if you want good oral health, it makes sense to brush and floss regularly and perhaps limit the amount of sugar you consume. Right?

In 2015, this may seem fairly obvious.

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NPR Story
4:02 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Critics Take Aim At Port Of Seattle's Lease With Shell Oil

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 6:41 am

Copyright 2015 Puget Sound Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.kuow.org.

Economy
2:39 am
Wed March 11, 2015

With Prices Down And Layoffs Up, Copper Industry Still Looks To Grow

A driver operates a haul truck in the Ray Mine near Kearny, Ariz. Falling copper prices have residents of some small mining towns in Arizona worried as shrinking revenues bring layoffs.
Christopher Deahr FlickrVision

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 6:41 am

The price of copper is down more than 40 percent from its peak just four years ago. Some of that is due to a drop-off in construction activity in the United States and China. The trend has some small mining towns in Arizona worried as shrinking revenues are starting to translate into layoffs.

It's hard to miss the Ray Mine near Kearny in southern Arizona. The open-pit copper mine spans nearly two square miles and extends more than 1,000 feet into the ground.

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Parallels
2:37 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Nicaragua's Renewable Energy Revolution Picks Up Steam

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country's electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years.
Inti Ocon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:26 pm

Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it's a renewable energy paradise — and today the Central American nation is moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse. Within a few years the vast majority of Nicaragua's electricity will come from hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants and wind farms.

Nicaragua's largest wind farm lies on the shores of giant Lake Nicaragua, which stretches halfway across the country.

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The Two-Way
10:16 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Feds Add Coal-Dust Coverup Allegation To Mine CEO's Indictment

Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, faces trial on federal conspiracy charges related to the 2010 fatal explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.
Jeff Gentner AP

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:32 am

Six weeks before a landmark mine disaster trial, federal prosecutors in West Virginia have added a new allegation to the criminal conspiracy charges lodged against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

FDA Decision Signals New Competition For Some Of The Costliest Drugs

A look inside the factory in Kundl, Austria, where Sandoz, a unit of Novartis, makes biosimilar drugs.
Novartis

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 4:46 pm

Mark McCamish spent more than five years preparing for a presentation he gave this winter.

McCamish is in charge of biopharmaceutical drug development at the Sandoz division of Switzerland's Novartis. He and his colleagues made the case to a panel of 14 cancer specialists and a group of Food and Drug Administration regulators that a company drug codenamed EP2006 should be approved for sale in the U.S.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Television
1:55 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

New HBO Now Streaming Service Shows Consumer's Will Is King

Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, talks about HBO Now during an Apple event Monday in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:40 pm

There's a lesson at the heart of the announcement Monday by HBO that it was finally starting the standalone video streaming service they have been talking about for five months, HBO Now.

In a media world fragmented by digital technology, the consumer's will is king.

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It's All Politics
10:01 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Wild Day In Madison Likely To Be Another Win For Gov. Walker

Protesters filled Wisconsin's state Capitol in Madison on Monday, demonstrating against last weekend's shooting death of Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 7:21 pm

You could scarcely imagine a day that better demonstrated the split personality of Wisconsin politics.

On Monday, the state Capitol building in Madison was flooded once again with an angry crowd of protesters. This time the outrage was sparked by a local police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old black man.

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