Business & Education

Business
3:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Sluggish Start To Holiday Sales May Mean More Price Cuts

Shoppers crowd a Macy's store in New York on Thursday. Many retailers stayed open on Thanksgiving Day this year, a new holiday tradition that analysts say is here to stay.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Despite retailers offering Thanksgiving hours and more online sales, Americans still nervous about the economy spent less this long weekend than they did last year, according to preliminary estimates.

But analysts say retailers will be working harder to boost sales in coming weeks by offering even deeper discounts.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Amazon's Drone Has Many Asking 'What Could Go Wrong?'

Buzzing to a neighborhood near you? Amazon.com's Prime Air prototype may someday fly small packages right to customers' homes.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:37 pm

The news that Amazon is hoping to one day use semi-autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers has many asking a familiar question:

What could go wrong?

Check this tweet:

"An Amazon drone!? What could go wrong?! 'They're autonomous' - this is how the Terminator started FYI..."

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Planet Money
2:59 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Afterlife Of American Clothes

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sarah Elliott for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 9:45 am

This story is part of the Planet Money T-shirt project.

Jeff Steinberg had a maroon and white lacrosse jersey that he wore for years. It said "Denver Lacrosse" on the front and had his number, 5, on the back.

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Planet Money
2:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries

How to send a shirt around the world for pennies" href="/post/giant-book-creates-and-destroys-entire-industries" class="noexit lightbox">
PLANET MONEY MAKES A T-SHIRT: How to send a shirt around the world for pennies
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

"There's our ship!" says Officer Lisa Sacco.

We're standing at the Port of Miami, where Sacco works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our ship, the Hansa Kirkenes, left Cartagena, Colombia, about a week earlier carrying all 6,078 of the Planet Money women's T-shirts.

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Planet Money
2:57 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh

There are more than 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh. One way or another, most of them trace their lineage to Abdul Majid Chowdhury, Noorul Quader and the 128 Bangladeshis who traveled to Korea 30 years ago.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:35 am

More details were added to this post after it was published. The new information was courtesy of Vidiya Khan, director of the Desh Group, and daughter of Noorul Quader.

Bangladesh was created out of chaos in the early 1970s, at a moment when millions in the country were dying from a combination of war and famine. The future looked exceedingly bleak.

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Business
11:58 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Five Cyber Monday Stories From NPR's Archives

Workers pull merchandise as it arrives at the Amazon.com's 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in Phoenix on Nov. 26. Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:50 pm

The term Cyber Monday wasn't established until 2005, but online shopping was popular even in the early days of the Internet.

Analysts questioned how business models would have to change. Retail stores came up with new partnerships to help lure buyers into an online shopping world. A little company called Amazon helped us feel comfortable buying items online. And the simple perk of "free shipping" tried to make a dent in holiday sales.

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Economy
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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The Protojournalist
10:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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Code Switch
10:08 am
Mon December 2, 2013

A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

"Every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live...cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood," ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones said.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:08 pm

It's not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it's hard not to see the consequences of our country's long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:37 am

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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Shots - Health News
9:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:21 am

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Business
3:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Planet Money Explores The Economics Of T-Shirts

NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:19 pm

Our Planet Money team is making a T-shirt and following the shirt around the world as it gets manufactured — from the farms where the cotton is grown to the factories where the shirts are sewn together. All this week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered we'll be hearing stories about the fascinating world behind that T-shirt.

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Business
3:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Coast Guard Proposes Rule For Transporting Fracking Leftovers By Barge

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fracking leftovers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Fracking, I said fracking. The controversial process used to extract natural gas produces millions of gallons of wastewater. Now to cut costs, energy companies want to transport that leftover water on barges. But, the U.S. Coast Guard has concerns.

Katie Colaneri of member station WHYY reports.

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Business
3:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:27 pm

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

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