Business

12:23pm

Thu February 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:19 pm

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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10:52am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Nebraska To Appeal Ruling That Blocks Keystone Pipeline In State

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:43 am

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling comments on the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska during a January 2013 news conference in Calgary, Alberta.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

The company in charge of the Keystone XL extension said Thursday that it is considering its next move now that a Nebraska judge has struck down a law that allowed the pipeline to be routed through that state.

"We are disappointed and disagree with the decision of the Nebraska district court and will now analyze the judgment and decide what next steps may be taken," TransCanada Corp. said in a statement. "Nebraska's attorney general has filed an appeal."

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9:06am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Dip In Weekly Jobless Claims Seen As Sign Of Better Times Ahead

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:37 am

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
Eric Gay AP

There were only 3,000 fewer first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week, but the slight decline is being seen as another sign that the nation's labor market will gain some strength once spring arrives.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that 336,000 applications were submitted last week, versus 339,000 the week before.

That means the pace of claims is still running about where it's been since late 2011.

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6:10am

Thu February 20, 2014
Business

Facebook To Buy WhatsApp Message Service

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:56 am

Facebook is buying an instant messaging service called WhatsApp for an eye-popping $19 billion. It's the latest salvo in an arms race by Silicon Valley giants to stockpile mobile technology.

5:35am

Thu February 20, 2014
Business

U.S. Government To Back Loans For Nuclear Power

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The first nuclear reactors to be built in decades are getting a helping hand from the government. Today, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz is in Georgia to mark billions in assistance towards the construction of two new nuclear units in the state.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports that building reactors is still an expensive proposition.

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5:34am

Thu February 20, 2014
Business

FCC To Propose New Rules On Internet Neutrality

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission tried to craft rules aimed at preserving Open Internet. Then last month, a federal appeals court struck down those rules. The FCC announced yesterday that it would not appeal the ruling, instead it will try to come up with a new set of rules.

NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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5:33am

Thu February 20, 2014
Business

Nebraska Court Ruling Further Complicates Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR business news starts with a clogged pipeline.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Clogged pipeline project, that is. The judge's ruling in Nebraska makes further delay completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision immediately prompted an appeal.

Fred Knapp of NET News reports.

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3:45am

Thu February 20, 2014
Environment

Toxic Leak Taints North Carolina Coal Plants, And Regulators

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:29 am

North Carolina's Dan River was polluted with toxic coal ash that leaked from a coal plant earlier this month. The spill is under investigation.
Gerry Broome AP

A broken pipe funneled 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina earlier this month, turning it gray. The pipe has been plugged, but the spill has reignited a fight over storage of coal ash, and scrutiny of the state regulators responsible for monitoring it.

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3:43am

Thu February 20, 2014
Planet Money

What It Was Like To Be A Wall Street Recruit After The Bailouts

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 10:05 am

John Angelillo UPI/Landov

Back in 2012, reporter Kevin Roose went undercover at a very exclusive party.

It was a dinner for a secret society, held once a year, at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The secret society is called Kappa Beta Phi, and it's made up of current and former Wall Street executives — people like Michael Bloomberg, former heads of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs. And every year the group holds a dinner to induct new people into the group — they're called neophytes.

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3:42am

Thu February 20, 2014
Parallels

Why More Americans Are Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:32 am

A case against the Swiss bank UBS in 2008 led Congress to create more regulations for foreign banks holding American money. Rather than comply, many banks opted to stop serving American account-holders.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

A few times a year, the Treasury Department publishes a long list of names announcing all of the Americans who have lately abandoned their U.S. citizenship.

According to the legal website International Tax Blog, the number hovered around 500 a decade ago. Last year, it hit a record high of nearly 3,000.

This was not a gradual change. It was a sudden spike. It's a story of dominoes falling, one after another, leading to an unexpected outcome.

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