Business

Economy
6:44 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union And Your Economic Reality

President Barack Obama looks at a crank shaft as he tours General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility on Thursday in Waukesha, Wis. as part of a four-stop tour he is making to expand on themes from his State of the Union address, including the economy.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:20 am

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.

"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.

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Energy
3:25 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban

A pipeline carries oil at the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility near Beaumont, Texas. U.S. oil companies are urging an end to a 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:00 am

When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.

Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.

But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?

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Politics
10:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

State Department: Keystone XL Would Not Worsen Warming

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Keystone XL oil pipeline may be closer to being built. The U.S. State Department's released an environmental impact statement that says the project would not make climate change any worse, and it's now up to President Obama to decide the fate of the pipeline. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that environmental groups and many Democrats want the president to reject the review's findings.

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Business
10:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Obama Pushes Employers To Consider The Long-Term Jobless

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Labor Department says there are nearly four million people in America who've been unemployed for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. Yesterday, President Obama met with U.S. business leaders and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.

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Education
10:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

The High Cost Of Testing For College

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A college education is famously expensive. But what about the tests just to apply? Benjamin Tonelli wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal this week; and he questioned the costs of the SAT and AP tests that students have to take just to be considered for admittance to college, and asked if this doesn't discriminate against poorer families especially. Mr. Tonelli is a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, and he joins us. Thanks very much for being with us.

BENJAMIN TONELLI: Of course, of course.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
4:55 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost

A cold night in the city center of Williston, N.D. Law enforcement agencies are concerned that rapid changes in the region have created conditions conducive to organized crimes like sex trafficking.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

A Friday night at J Dub's Bar & Grill in Williston, N.D., begins and ends with multicolored flashing lights, thumping dance music and crowds of young men with money to spend.

"A lot of testosterone being thrown around in this town," says Nathan Kleyer, 24, a Williston native who's at J Dub's with some friends for a few drinks.

And he's seen it all over town, he says: "These scantily clad women walking in, and they will hop tables until they find a john to take them home."

He's seen it in bars, and he's even heard about it at a nearby chain restaurant, he says.

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Economy
5:50 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job

Janet Yellen smiles as President Obama announces her nomination for Federal Reserve chairwoman on Oct. 9.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.

The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Yellen was "clearly smart, and she was smart among a lot of smart kids," he says.

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Politics
5:46 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Obama Hosts Business Leaders, Hopes They Change How They Hire

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama summoned business leaders to the White House today. His message: Hire people who've been out of work for a long time. It's just the latest example of the president trying to get things done without having to turn to Congress. So far, more than 300 companies have promised to re-examine their hiring practices to make sure that they are not discriminating against the long-term unemployed.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

U.S. Issues Keystone XL Pipeline Environmental Review

Pipefitters work on construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline's southern portion outside Tulsa, Okla., last January.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:11 pm

The State Department says that production of Canadian tar-sand crude, which has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than other types of oil, is unlikely to be increased if the Keystone XL pipeline goes ahead — and therefore would do little to contribute to climate change.

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Around the Nation
12:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Indian Country Sets Priorities With State Of Nations Address

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 12:59 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Many of us are continuing to talk about President Obama's State of the Union address. In fact, the Barbershop guys will give us their thoughts about it later this hour. But there was another important speech this week laying out the priorities of the nations within the nation. I'm talking about yesterday's State of Indian Nations address. That speech is a chance for the president of the National Congress of American Indians to lay out his priorities for Indian country.

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Politics
5:06 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Obama: We've Got To Move Away From 'Train And Pray'

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

President Obama meets with a group of high-powered corporate executives at the White House today. He plans to encourage the CEOs to offer a second chance to job applicants, even if they've been out of work for six months, or even more.

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The Salt
3:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Ads Go Healthy: Selling Yogurt With A Steamy Kiss

The Full House cast John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier are featured in Dannon's Superbowl ad.
OikosYogurt/Youtube

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:58 am

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
2:59 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price

The small streets of Williston, N.D., are bustling with trucks early in the morning.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:26 pm

Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.

Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Often, he makes the trip on a plane his company charters to shuttle workers between here and the Northwest.

"It's no fun coming over to North Dakota," he says, clutching a duffel bag and a cooler of food as he walks out of Williston's one-room airport and into the biting North Dakota winter.

But this is Richardson's new life.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
7:14 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

One Montana Town Finds Itself Buckling Beneath The Oil Boom

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:28 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The economy of eastern Montana is surging and oil and gas development is the driver. Last year alone, the oil industry brought in $200 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. Unemployment in counties near the oil fields is well below the state average. This week, we're reporting on effects of the fracking boom in the region known as the Bakken. And today, Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce tells us that that activity comes with a cost.

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Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft atop rocket Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in May 2012. The launch made SpaceX the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:00 pm

The space company SpaceX has identified a remote spot on the southern tip of Texas as its finalist for construction of the world's newest commercial orbital launch site.

The 50-acre site really is at the end of the road. Texas Highway 4 abruptly ends at the warm waves of the Gulf surrounded by cactus, Spanish dagger and sand dunes.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:35 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Defining Success Beyond The Dollar Sign

iStockphoto

Amy Chua is known as the Tiger Mom. Ever since writing a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother about raising her daughter according to the strict — and very high — expectations of her own Chinese-immigrant parents, she's been a lightning rod for controversy about parenting and our notion of success in this country.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Drought Forces Calif. Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Awful snowstorms and a brutal cold snap dominated the weather news this week. But in the background, a long dry spell in parts of the Central and Western U.S. has now turned into a full scale drought. Farmers and ranchers across 11 states are struggling with a severe lack of rain and snow. Among the hardest hit states, California.

NPR's Nathan Rott traveled to the Central Valley, California's agricultural hub, and has this story.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Let's jump in a truck, and I'll explain as we go.

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Around the Nation
5:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ridge Of High Pressure Blocks Snow From Oregon Ski Resort

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

Around the Nation
4:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

New York Looks To Bring Bitcoin Out Of The Shadows

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss testified Wednesday at a hearing about virtual currencies held by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:58 pm

New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.

The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.

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Politics
4:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Obama Calls For The Creation Of MyRA Accounts

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

A passage in President Obama's State of the Union speech promoted job training. He'll promote it again today when visiting a General Electric plant outside Milwaukee. The president is trying to follow up on his address, which is also why he promoted retirement savings while visiting Pittsburgh yesterday.

NPR's Scott Horsley was there.

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Business
4:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Lawmakers To Address Delaware's Troubled Casino Industry

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Delaware's gambling industry is struggling. Revenues at the state's three casinos have steadily declined in recent years, as competition from neighboring states grows. A state task force is set to make recommendations to lawmakers this week to save the troubled casino industry from layoffs - or worse. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BACKGROUND CASINO NOISES)

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
3:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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Your Money
5:41 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:56 pm

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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Economy
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Fond Farewell To Fed Chairman Ben

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Ben Bernanke steps down this week as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The new chair, Janet Yellen, will take over on Saturday. After a two-day meeting, the message today from Fed policymakers was simple: Stay the course. The Fed released a statement saying it will continue dialing-back its stimulus.

NPR's John Ydstie has more on that decision and Bernanke's legacy.

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Economy
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Income Inequality, As Seen From Two Angles

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Economic inequality was a key theme of the president's State of the Union address. Clearly, it's a subject that he is determined to get the country talking about and talking about in a different way; more broadening of opportunity, less talk of raising taxes on the rich. Here's part of what he said last night.

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Your Money
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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The Two-Way
2:24 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:14 pm

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
11:04 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Boom: See A Modern-Day Gold Rush In Motion

Ritter Brothers, a jewelry shop in Williston, N.D., sells novelties that might appeal to those benefiting from the region's recent oil boom.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:30 pm

If you've seen any coverage of North Dakota's oil boom, you've seen the images — oil rigs, truck traffic, "man camps," miles of temporary housing.

But there is something about this place that just can't be captured by a still photograph. It's a feeling you get when you cruise down an endless highway under a vast, big sky — until suddenly: BOOM. You're wedged between semitrucks dwarfing what was once a quiet farm town.

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Business
4:43 am
Wed January 29, 2014

NCAA To Fight Football Team's Decision To Unionize

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:49 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?

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