Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.
It turns out that the desire to speak with Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with $610,000, will buy you a cup of coffee. That's the winning bid offered in a charity auction for up to an hour of Cook's time.
As we reported last month, the chance to grab coffee with Cook at Apple's headquarters zoomed past the suggested value of $50,000 set at the Charitybuzz auction site, rising to more than $600,000 in just three days.
Following a factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people, Wal-Mart has declined to join a multi-company factory safety accord to try to prevent future disasters. Instead, the world's largest retailer announced its own set of inspection and safety measures.
As the economy improves, the federal budget deficit is growing dramatically smaller. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply revised its estimates from just a few months ago, knocking off $200 billion in red ink for the current fiscal year. Some temporary factors are being cited for the projected improvement.
In the stodgy world of global oil, we don't hear the term revolution tossed around very often. But oil analysts are watching dramatic change take place on the supply side of the industry. Things like where the oil is coming from and who is buying it.
The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.
"I'll get the, 'Oh, look, it's a dad! That's so sweet!' "says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he's just giving Mom a break for the day. In fact, he's part of a growing number of fathers who are minding the kids full time while their wives support the family and who say societal expectations are not keeping up with their reality.
Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.
These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
There is a global race on, an odd one. Countries are competing to be the cheapest source of goods. We're not talking about low-wage countries, like China or Bangladesh. No. This is a battle between Japan and Germany and the United States. And today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the latest scores in this race.