Business

4:55am

Sun August 11, 2013
The Salt

America, Are You Tough Enough To Drink Real Russian Kvas?

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 2:09 pm

A man drinks fresh kvas, the ancient Russian fermented-bread drink, in Zvenigorod, 35 miles west of Moscow.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

While American kids stand in line for the ice cream truck on sweltering summer days, kids in Russia have historically queued up for something different: the kvas truck.

Kvas is a fermented grain drink, sort of like a barely alcoholic beer. And in the heat of the summer, it was served from a big barrel on wheels, with everyone lining up for their turn at the communal mug. It may sound like a far cry from rocket pops and ice cream sandwiches, but most Russians have fond memories.

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5:44pm

Sat August 10, 2013
Media

The Tricky Business Of Predicting Where Media Will Go Next

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:26 pm

On Monday, the Washington Post Co. announced the sale of its newspaper to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a move that comes as the paper struggles to keep up revenue.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

What's next for The Washington Post? With a new owner, the paper is stepping into a new era. Its path may lead to the ever-evolving future of journalism.

"There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy," said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with the announcement of his purchase Monday. "We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."

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7:56am

Sat August 10, 2013
Economy

Rise Of The New American Barons

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. This week, Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post; Google's Sergey Brin backed the creation of a lab-grown beef burger. Then there's Richard Branson and his commercial space flights, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's win in the America's Cup - a very small group of incredibly well-heeled men with the power, and the deep pockets, to effect real change in the world.

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7:56am

Sat August 10, 2013
Economy

Housing Market Shows More Signs Of Life

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 7:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This week, the U.S. housing market showed a few more signs of life. New reports show home sales and prices rising. And those gains have been coming despite the recent rise in interest rates. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke out about changes he'd like to see in the mortgage market. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold who's been keeping an eye on all of this. Hi, Chris.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Hey, Celeste.

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5:41am

Sat August 10, 2013
Parallels

Russian Vodka (Made In Latvia) And Other 'National' Products

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:01 pm

If you look carefully, you'll see that the labels on bottles of Stolichnaya vodka sold outside Russia (like these in New York City) read "Premium Vodka," not "Russian Vodka."
Craig Barritt Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Activists around the world are trumpeting a call to "Dump Russian Vodka" — Stolichnaya, in particular — a protest against the implementation of several anti-gay laws in Russia, the latest in a marked surge in anti-gay sentiment and violence in the country.

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4:37am

Sat August 10, 2013
Sports

Bocce Ball: From Old-World Sport To New-School Phenomenon

Talbot Martin plays bocce ball at the Washington bar and restaurant Vendetta.
Hayley Bartels NPR

On the corner of H and 12 streets, across from the auto parts store sits a decently sized Italian restaurant and bar called Vendetta. Inside, there's a wooden bar and brick walls salvaged from churches in upstate New York and Maryland, and authentic Italian advertisements line the walls. Upstairs, old restored Italian Vespas hang from the ceiling.

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6:38pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Two-Way

ITC Says Samsung Infringed On Apple Patents

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:18 pm

A woman talks on an iPhone as she walks past construction of a new Apple store in Berlin in April.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

U.S. trade officials have ruled that South Korea's Samsung infringed on patents owned by Apple for specific smartphone features, ratcheting up a tit-for-tat legal battle between the two electronics giants that is matched only by the ferocity of their marketplace competition.

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5:38pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Salt

Did Tyson Ban Doping Cows With Zilmax To Boost Foreign Sales?

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:36 pm

A pen at a feedlot in central Kansas that houses 30,000 cattle. Feedlots are where cattle are "finished" before slaughter, often with the use of growth-promoting drugs like zilpaterol.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Tyson Foods Inc. announced this week that it would soon suspend purchases of cattle that had been treated with a controversial drug, citing animal welfare concerns.

But many in the industry wonder if the real reason is the battle for sales in other countries, where certain drugs that make livestock grow faster are banned.

"I really do think this is more of a marketing ploy from Tyson to raise some awareness so they can garner some export business from our overseas export partners," says Dan Norcini, an independent commodities broker.

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3:31pm

Fri August 9, 2013
Planet Money

The Raisin Outlaw Of Kerman, Calif.

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:39 pm

Raisin farmer Marvin Horne stands in a field of grapevines planted next to his home.
Gary Kazanjian AP

Meet Marvin Horne, raisin farmer. Horne has been farming raisins on a vineyard in Kerman, Calif., for decades. But a couple of years ago, he did something that made a lot of the other raisin farmers out here in California really angry. So angry that they hired a private investigator to spy on Horne and his wife, Laura. Agents from a detective agency spent hours sitting outside the Hornes' farm recording video of trucks entering and leaving the property.

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12:40pm

Fri August 9, 2013
The Salt

Wine Waste Finds Sweet Afterlife In Baked Goods

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 11:26 am

At her bakery in Costa Mesa, Calif., Rachel Klemek sells cabernet brownies made with a flour substitute derived from grape pomace, a byproduct of winemaking packed with nutrients known as polyphenols.
Mariana Dale NPR

When winemakers crush the juice from grapes, what's left is a goopy pile of seeds, stems and skins called pomace. Until several years ago, these remains were more than likely destined for the dump.

"The pomace pile was one of the largest problems that the wine industry had with sustainability," says Paul Novak, general manager for WholeVine Products, a sister company to winemaker Kendall-Jackson in Northern California.

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