Business & Education

Business & education news

Office holiday parties have always posed a liability for employers, as coworkers mix with one another with plenty of company-supplied alcohol. Sensitivity is running particularly high this year, though, as new sexual harassment allegations emerge against high-profile figures every day.

Office holiday functions do serve a legitimate business purpose: They can boost morale and reward workers for jobs well done.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

In Sidney, Neb., Cabela's corporate headquarters and flagship superstore sit up on a hill like a castle over the prairie. Pretty much everybody in town has deep ties to it. Melissa Norgard got her first job there working in the store's deli when she was 16.

"When I was growing up here, no, I never would have ever thought, Cabela's leaving, no," Norgard says.

On the evening of Saturday, Nov. 4, the authorities in Saudi Arabia began rounding up dozens of businessmen, ministers and princes. It was a striking start to an anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by the young and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Updated on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans handed their party and the president a major legislative victory when they passed their tax cut plan.

The New York Produce Show and Conference looks like a grocery store the size of the Javits Center, one of the biggest convention centers in the country. But it's a grocery store that's nothing but produce aisle. Fruits are carefully displayed, often accompanied by slick videos or Christmas trees. Salespeople wait at booths to extol the virtues of their pumpkins and avocados. They're eager to give away t-shirts, pens, lip balm, even bags of sweet potatoes. Their goal isn't just to network, it's to woo the power players of produce, who make decisions about the fate of fruits.

The Trump administration has announced plans to withdraw a regulation that would have required organic egg producers to give their hens room to graze outdoors.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Given that I work in a newsroom, maybe I shouldn't be surprised by how many office romances take place there in the movies: say, Broadcast News from 1987, or His Girl Friday from 1940.

A real-life copy editor might have had these films in mind when she started a new job about 10 years ago.

"I got to the paper and I noticed this really cute boy who was a senior editor," says Carolyn Huckabay. "That was Brian."

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans released a final draft of their tax bill Friday. With newfound support from two wavering senators, lawmakers appear to be on track to pass the measure and deliver it to President Trump for his signature by Christmas.

Votes in the House and Senate are expected next week.

Forget Neutrality

Dec 15, 2017

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to end net neutrality — a rule that required internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

The decision was really controversial. And a lot of the controversy boils down to a single number. As luck would have it, that number is today's indicator: 58 percent. As in, 58 percent of Americans have access to at most one option for broadband Internet.

On today's show, how the broadband market got the way it is, and what it means for the debate over net neutrality.

Between my dad's love for upstate New York's sharp cheddars and the annual gift-pack of farmhouse cheeses my brother sends from California, cheese figures pretty heavily in my holiday season. This year Bronwen and Francis Percival's new book, Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese, makes that not just cause for pleasure, but reflection as well.

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that's not a weird cucumber. It's the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks & Spencer.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

U.S. retailers are looking forward to a strong holiday season this year after new numbers show higher than expected sales for November.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail and food sales were up 5.8 percent last month over November 2016, according to advance estimates. And, sales were up a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from October of this year.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

First, it looked like the GOP tax bill was going to be a done deal by Christmas. Now, who knows?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

With lawmakers in the House and Senate announcing that they've reached a deal, affordable housing advocates are anxiously waiting to see which version of the bill wins out with regard to housing. They say the House bill has a poison pill in it.

"The effect would be devastating," says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "It would mean a loss of around 800,000 affordable rental homes over the next 10 years."

“Mouse Eats Fox” the Variety headline says, announcing a $52.4 billion deal for Disney to acquire most of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment company owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Americans are big tippers.

Every year, we leave more than $30 billion in tips, mostly in restaurants but also casinos, nail salons and other service businesses.

Traditionally, the owners of those businesses have not had much control over how tips are distributed. But a proposed rule from the Trump administration could change that.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday aimed at a Trump administration they feel has let them down.

The New York Times announced today that come January, it will have a new publisher. But the name at the top of the masthead won't be changing much.

The person who will replace Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. in helming the Gray Lady? His 37-year-old son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, known as A.G.

It has been more than nine months since a family in Canada realized that UPS lost a bank draft worth $846,000 (Canadian) that was sent to an inheritor. So far, the only money recovered is the $32 it cost to ship the document. The family's bank, TD Canada Trust, has delayed issuing a new bank draft.

Lorette Taylor, who lives in Ontario, was distributing the proceeds from her late father's estate when she tried to send an inheritance to her brother, Louis Paul Hebert, who lives near Cornwall, Ontario, some 270 miles from the office of the family's lawyer.

Earlier this year, SoundCloud was said to be in imminent danger of collapsing under the weight of its high overhead, low revenues and poor leadership. SoundCloud first launched in 2008 out of Berlin with a concept so simple — make audio easy to share — that it had to be brilliant. And it was, particularly in the elegance of its execution; clean, easily postable widgets that could be placed anywhere on the web and easy uploads with clever software integrations for artists.

Ultimately, it was the Mouse that roared — and the Fox that beat a retreat from the global stage.

The Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal valued at $52.4 billion to acquire much of the Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox, the global television and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The deal occurs against a backdrop of swift changes to the industry's finances and uncertainty about succession plans at both companies.

Ten years ago this month, you may not have noticed the cracking and crumbling under you.

At the time, you may have had a job, a home and rising retirement savings. Sure, the housing market was hurting a lot, but stock prices were still holding up and Federal Reserve policymakers were offering reasons for calm, saying they expected strong consumer spending.

CVS Health CEO On Aetna Deal

Dec 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A CVS Pharmacy commercial from 1990 portrays the pharmacist as a friend, a confidant.

(SOUNDBITE OF CVS AD)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS #1: (As Gail) Judy, I'm so embarrassed. The school nurse sent Lisa home today with this note.

Pages