Business

4:45am

Thu December 5, 2013
Business

Apple Gets Business Boost In China

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an Asian breakthrough for Apple.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Wireless phone carrier China Mobile has signed a deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal would give Apple access to China Mobile's many subscribers - around 700 million of them. That's about seven times more subscribers than Verizon - which is the largest mobile carrier in the United States.

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4:45am

Thu December 5, 2013
Business

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Federal regulators are setting new rules for banks that offer deposit advances.
iStockphoto

A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.

A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."

That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. 21 and put new restrictions on the loans.

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2:16am

Thu December 5, 2013
Parallels

Help-Wanted Ad Shows Depths Of Spain's Unemployment Problem

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

People line up outside a government unemployment office in Madrid on Oct. 5. Spain has an unemployment rate of 26 percent.
Paul White AP

Having trouble wrapping your head around southern Europe's staggering unemployment problem?

Look no further than a single Ikea furniture store on Spain's Mediterranean coast.

The Swedish retailer plans to open a new megastore next summer near Valencia. On Monday, Ikea's Spanish website started taking applications for 400 jobs at the new store.

The company wasn't prepared for what came next.

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6:26pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Around the Nation

Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 9:28 pm

A train leaves the Rangeland Energy company's crude oil loading terminal near Epping, N.D. So far this year, 60 percent of all oil produced in North Dakota left the state by rail. One economist says there aren't enough oil tankers to fill the demand.
AP

The oil boom in the United States is creating another boom — for the railroad industry.

So far this year, in North Dakota alone, 140 million barrels of oil have left on trains. Shipments of crude oil by rail are up almost 50 percent over last year — and this upward trend is expected to continue.

A visit to the world-famous Tehachapi Loop, part of a winding mountain pass in Southern California, demonstrates the scale and reach of the oil boom in the middle of the country. As a train full of oil tanker cars rumbles past, it's hard not to think of it as a pipeline on wheels.

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5:55pm

Wed December 4, 2013
The Two-Way

MSNBC's Martin Bashir Steps Down Over Palin Remarks

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:27 pm

Martin Bashir attends the Today show's 60th anniversary celebration, in January 2012.
Evan Agostini AP

MSNBC host Martin Bashir has resigned from the network following controversial remarks he made about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Some three weeks ago, Bashir referred to Palin as a "world-class idiot" for suggesting that U.S. indebtedness to China was akin to slavery. The television host quoted from plantation owner Thomas Thistlewood's diary describing a punishment for slaves that involved having others defecate in their mouths.

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1:46pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Planet Money

'Our Industry Follows Poverty': Success Threatens A T-Shirt Business

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 6:26 pm

Noreli Morales (right) works on the Planet Money women's T-shirt at a factory in Medellin, Colombia.
Joshua Davis for NPR

The Planet Money men's T-shirt was made in Bangladesh, by workers who make about $3 a day, with overtime. The Planet Money women's T-shirt was made in Colombia, by workers who make roughly $13 a day, without overtime.

The wages in both places are remarkably low by U.S. standards. But the gap between them is huge. Workers in Colombia make more than four times what their counterparts make in Bangladesh. In our reporting, we saw that the workers in Colombia have a much higher standard of living than the workers in Bangladesh.

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11:50am

Wed December 4, 2013
Your Money

Shopping With Your Values In Mind

Shopping is on everyone's mind during the holiday season — not just what to buy, but where you buy it. Host Michel Martin speaks with columnists David Sirota and Mario Loyola about shopping with your values in mind.

10:54am

Wed December 4, 2013
The Two-Way

European Union Fines Banks Billions For Rigging Interest Rates

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 12:45 pm

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia announces fines against eight large banks, in a scandal over rigging interest rates.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

European regulators have fined eight large banks a total of more than $2 billion over an illegal cartel scheme to fix interest rates. The fine, the largest ever issued in such a case by the European Union, comes after a two-year investigation into banks' collusion. And the inquiry isn't yet complete.

Two American banks — JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — are included in the list of financial institutions fined as part of a settlement deal. Several banks that cooperated with investigators saw their fines reduced or eliminated.

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10:13am

Wed December 4, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Job Growth Surged In November, Report Signals

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 12:54 pm

Air Force Staff Sgt. Bri Smith (right) of Atlanta talks with a Mary Kay consultant during a November job fair for veterans.
David Goldman AP

A report from payroll company ADP finds that "the U.S. private sector added 215,000 jobs during November making it the strongest month for job growth in 2013," says the company's president and chief executive, Carlos Rodriguez.

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7:31am

Wed December 4, 2013
Business

Confirmation: Selfies Are Forces Of Evil

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. For those who believes selfies are a force of evil, here's confirmation. Darth Vader just posted on Instagram a photo of his face - that is, his iconic black helmet - with the tag GPOM for Gratuitous Portrait Of Myself. The selfie launched the Star Wars Instagram account - a marketing effort by Disney - two full years before the next sequel. It's a pretty good shot, though we have to say a little on the dark side. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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