Business & Education

The Salt
5:14 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Olive Oil Producers In 'Crisis' From Weather, Pests And Disease

Damaged olives hang in the grove belonging to Augusto Spagnoli, an oil producer from Nerola, near Rome. Producers and experts declared Italy's 2014 olive harvest the worst in history, due to adverse climatic conditions that helped the olive fly proliferate, thus destroying the olives before they could be harvested.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:15 pm

There's been a dramatic drop in oil production, but it's not barrels of light sweet crude. It's olive oil.

Curtis Cord, publisher of the Olive Oil Times, tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered there are many reasons why production has fallen so much in Italy and Spain this year.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

FBI Wanted Little To Do With James Bond, Memo Reveals

Sean Connery sits beside his co-star, English actress Shirley Eaton, covered in gold, during the filming of a scene from Goldfinger in 1964.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:36 am

Auric Goldfinger might have expected James Bond to die, but the FBI wanted nothing to do with 007. That's according to FBI records released today from the agency's vault.

At issue was a request from Harry Saltzman, who with Albert Broccoli produced the Bond films, seeking to use a military aircraft for Goldfinger. In the film, Bond thwarts the title character from stealing the precious metal from Fort Knox. (It was the 1960s, folks.)

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Economy
4:06 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Some Liberals And Tea Partiers Unite To Oppose Trade Deals

Protesters of varied stripes and political affiliations gathered outside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where negotiators from 12 nations were meeting to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:15 pm

When it comes to environmental regulations, taxes and the minimum wage, business groups generally object to President Obama's positions, while liberals support him.

But one issue blurs the usual political lines: trade.

Just last week, Obama told the Business Roundtable he would push to complete massive trade deals with both Asian and European nations. "If we can get that done, that's good for American businesses," he said.

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Business
3:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:57 pm

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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Media
3:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

'New Republic' Owner Defends Strategy Shift That Led Many To Quit

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:49 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Business
3:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Big Mac Whacked: McDonald's U.S. Sales Continue To Slide

McDonald's says that same-store sales in its U.S. locations dropped nearly 5 percent in November, continuing a downward trend.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:34 pm

McDonald's is not loving its financial numbers these days. The fast-food chain reported that same-store sales in the U.S. tumbled 4.6 percent in November compared with a year ago, as the company continues to struggle to find solid footing.

"McDonald's news this morning was jarring," says John Gordon, a consultant with Pacific Management Consulting. He has either worked in or tracked the fast-food industry for four decades. Monday's announcement, he says, had his colleagues abuzz.

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The Salt
2:07 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Afghanistan Vets Are Trying To Cultivate Peace Through Saffron

At about $15 a gram, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Rumi Spice has a unique model of employing Afghan farmers who are growing it that aims to double or even triple their annual income.
Cristina Hirschkorn Courtesy of Rumi Spice

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:02 pm

When you think of saffron, dark red strands from Spain or Iran may come to mind. But the delicate spice, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive in the world, grows well in another country long plagued by conflict: Afghanistan.

Rumi Spice, a small, enterprising company in Brighton, Mass., is trying to build an Afghan saffron connection for lovers of the spice in the U.S., and cultivate peace through trade.

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The Salt
12:05 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Fringe No More: 'Ancient Grains' Will Soon Be A Cheerios Variety

The new box of Cheerios + Ancient grains cereal.
General Mills

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 9:26 am

So-called "ancient grains" have moved with breathtaking momentum from America's culinary dissident fringe toward the mainstream — and now they've arrived. After all, what's more mainstream than Cheerios? In January, General Mills will introduce a new version of its flagship breakfast cereal, called Cheerios + Ancient Grains.

The new version of Cheerios will contain small amounts of quinoa, Kamut wheat and spelt along with the traditional oats.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects BP's Challenge To Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:13 pm

Oil giant BP has suffered a legal setback in its effort to limit how much the company will pay under a 2012 settlement with thousands of individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast. Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's request that it review previous lower court decisions that favored plaintiffs.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Mon December 8, 2014

IOC Unveils Changes Including Lower Bidding Costs, More Sports At Olympics

A reduced cost of bidding, a new Olympic channel and a more flexible program that could see the inclusion of new sports — those are among the recommendation approved unanimously today by the International Olympic Committee at its meeting in Monaco.

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Parallels
3:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

U.S. Tech Firms See Green As They Set Up Shop In Low-Tax Ireland

The Apple campus in Cork, southern Ireland, employs 4,000 people — though its financial benefits are felt across the city. But Ireland's attractive tax laws — which have lured other industry leaders — are now under scrutiny.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:54 am

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Female Butchers Are Slicing Through The Meat World's Glass Ceiling

Master butcher Kari Underly cuts into a hog during a "Women in the Meat Business" workshop in Chapel Hill, NC.
Leoneda Inge North Carolina Public Radio

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:30 pm

Kari Underly is slicing through half a hog as if it were as soft as an avocado ... until she hits a bone.

"So what I'm doing now is I'm taking out the femur bone," she explains to a roomful of about 30 women watching as she carves the animal. "The ham is a little bit of a drag, if you will, 'cause we have to make money, and not everybody wants a big ham."

Underly is a fit, 46-year-old master butcher from Chicago. Her father and grandmothers were butchers. She put herself through college cutting meat. These days, she encourages other women to enter the business.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sun December 7, 2014

'Washington Post' Reporter, Detained For Months In Iran, Is Charged

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for The Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign even for President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2013. Rezaian, who was arrested in July, was charged by Iran on Saturday.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:27 am

Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has been held by the Iranian government for more than four months, was formally charged over the weekend, but the specifics are not yet known, his newspaper reports.

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Media
4:18 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

How The 'Rolling Stone' Story Could Hurt Future Victims

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 6:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:22 am
Sat December 6, 2014

LAPD Says It Will Investigate Abuse Claim Against Cosby

Judy Huth, left, appears at a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred outside the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Division station on Friday. Huth says she was drugged and raped by comedian Bill Cosby in 1974 when she was 15 years old.
Anthony McCartney AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:09 am

Los Angeles police say they will investigate a woman's claims that in the mid-1970s at the age of 15, she was molested by comedian Bill Cosby.

The Associated Press says: "The investigation was opened Friday after Judy Huth, who is suing Cosby for sexual battery, met with detectives for 90 minutes, Officer Jane Kim said."

Further, the AP says: "Huth's civil suit claims Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was underage."

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