Business

Europe
3:24 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Spain's Beloved Four-Day Weekends Are At Risk

People relax at a beach in Barcelona, Spain, on a Monday last summer. Many Spanish workers are upset that some traditional four-day holiday weekends might be scaled back to just three days.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 5:36 am

One of the perks of living in Europe is the generous vacation schedule. But the austerity moves across the continent could be changing that, at least in some places. Portugal, for example, recently cut four of its 14 annual holidays.

And Spain is shuffling its calendar to shorten extended weekends — something the prime minister says it can no longer afford. The change could mean the loss of a celebrated tradition: the four-day weekend.

A Holiday For Bullfighting

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Business
3:16 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Time To Move Grandma: What To Do With Her Home?

Frank Christian takes a break from packing in the dining room of his home in Glen Allen, Va., which he co-owned with his mother. The family recently sold the home in order to free up money for Ida's care.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 9:04 am

Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.

The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.

A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.

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Europe
3:45 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

In Fiery Protest, Italian Museum Sets Art Ablaze

Antonio Manfredi, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Casoria, Italy, burns an artwork by French artist Severine Bourguignon. Manfredi is burning the museum's works to protest deep cuts to the arts.
Roberta Basile AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:21 pm

Casoria is a small town in the Naples hinterland known mostly as a hotbed of the local mafia. But last month, it achieved a different kind of notoriety when Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) launched his provocative challenge to the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Manfredi's "art war" consists of setting works of art on fire to protest cuts to Italy's arts budget. He's pledged to incinerate two or three pieces of art each week from a museum collection housing about 1,000 exhibits.

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Business
6:58 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Ex-Goldman Director Faces Insider Trading Trial

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A giant of American business goes on trial in New York today. Rajat Gupta is accused of insider trading. He's the one-time chief executive of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a former board member of Goldman Sachs.

Prosecutors allege he passed on information about Goldman to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who's already in prison for insider trading.

NPR's Jim Zarroli is covering this story from New York. Hi, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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NPR Story
4:37 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Did Bank's Culture Lead To JPMorgan's Big Loss?

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 4:49 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The head of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, has gotten an invitation to testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee about his bank's recent trading loss of at least $2 billion.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Dimon is very much the public face of his firm. In a Wall Street culture where banks are defined as much by the executives who run them is by the assets they hold. So, what kind of culture led to the multibillion dollar losses at JPMorgan Chase?

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Digital Life
2:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Facebook Users Should Expect Changes After IPO

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:40 pm

Facebook hopes to raise more than $100 billion in its initial public stock offering. In a piece at Slate.com, tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that Facebook users can expect to see changes, including lots more ads. But he warns the company must balance profit seeking with the desires of users.

Shots - Health Blog
10:47 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Embattled Hospital Debt Collector Taps Politicians For Defense

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announces a lawsuit against Accretive Health in Jan., saying the company failed to protect the confidentiality of health care records for thousands of Minnesota residents. The charges have widened to include the company's tactics in collecting debts.
Jim Mone AP

So what do you do when you're accused of hitting up sick patients in the hospital to pay their bills — sometimes even before they get treatment?

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Business
6:58 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Skechers To Settle FTC Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Skechers will pay more than $40 million to settle charges that the company made unfounded claims about its shape-up shoes. The FTC says the marketing was deceptive.

Economy
6:58 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Fed: Sizeable Risk From Capitol Hill Gridlock

The Federal Reserve has unsealed the minutes of its Open Market Committee meeting in April. Fed officials warn that a failure to agree on a federal budget plan could mean businesses will delay hiring plans.

Television
5:12 am
Thu May 17, 2012

TV Networks Try To Sell Advertisers On Fall Lineups

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. And let's talk a little TV now. The broadcast networks are all gathered up in New York this week for what's known in the biz as the upfronts. This is when they tout their fall lineups to advertisers with star-studded presentations, trying to get their share of about $9 billion worth of advertising.

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Business
4:29 am
Thu May 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 6:58 am

The hot dog is topped with lobster tail, contains safron aioli and is covered in gold dust. Four of the expensive dogs have been sold, and the proceeds donated to charity.

NPR Story
4:22 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Foreclosures Are Down For Third Straight Month

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some good news for the housing market.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Home foreclosures in the United States are down for the third straight month, according to the foreclosure listing from RealtyTrack. Nationwide, a new RealtyTrack report finds foreclosure rates in April were down 14 percent over last year, hitting the lowest monthly level in nearly in five years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
3:31 am
Thu May 17, 2012

'Dire Consequences' If Greece Exits Euro

People walk past the Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:46 am

Euros are being drained out of Greek banks at a rate of up to $1 billion a day this week. In the wake of the country's election turmoil, depositors are nervous about the heightened possibility of a Greek exit from the euro. If that were to happen, euros left in Greek banks could be worth much less than euros outside the country.

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The Salt
3:29 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Betting Better Fake Chicken Meat Will Be As Good As The Real Thing

Those who've tried it say fake chicken salad looks and tastes like the real thing.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 9:49 pm

Beyond Meat, a new company based in Maryland, has come up with an alternative to chicken meat that it claims is a dead ringer for the real thing. And unlike other meat alternatives on the market, this one aims to be cheap as well as tasty.

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