Business

4:04am

Thu June 27, 2013
Business

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:49 am

New York City became the most populous place in the United States to require businesses to give employees paid sick leave. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had previously vetoed this requirement, but has now been overruled by the City Council.

4:04am

Thu June 27, 2013
Business

Walgreens Cashes In On Department Stores' Pain

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 1:21 pm

Customers check out at the new flagship Walgreens in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown.
Brenda Salinas NPR

At the turn of the 20th century, drugstores were little more than a pharmacist and a soda fountain. If you wanted to go shopping, you went to a department store.

Now, that trend is reversing. Department stores are suffering and drugstores are booming.

So much so that Walgreens — one of the industry's leaders — is experimenting with expanding its goods and services.

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12:03am

Thu June 27, 2013
The Two-Way

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:48 pm

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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3:59pm

Wed June 26, 2013
The Salt

Rosie The Robot Won't Serve Your Food, But She'll Pick It

A lettuce thinner manufactured by Ramsay Highlander removes excess seedlings from the field so that others have room to grow. Just one worker is required to operate the machine.
Rachel Estabrook

From manufacturing to cupcake sales, companies are finding that machines can often do the job just as well, or better, than humans. But some tasks – like picking and tending to fruit and vegetable crops – have remained the territory of low-wage laborers.

But labor-starved growers are now eying machines with increasing interest.

Some 90 percent of the strawberries and 80 percent of the salad greens grown in the U.S. come from California. These crops and a lot of others have always been picked by hand because they don't ripen all at once and can bruise easily.

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1:31pm

Wed June 26, 2013
Parallels

Angry Chinese Workers Resort To Direct Action

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, waves Monday from a window where he is being held by angry workers inside his plant at the Jinyurui Science and Technology Park on the outskirts of Beijing. He remained confined to the plant on Wednesday.
Andy Wong AP

When Chinese workers have a grievance, they are increasingly taking dramatic and direct action.

As we've reported, an American executive at a Chinese factory has been prevented by workers from leaving the plant since Friday. Chip Starnes of Specialty Medical Supplies says it's a misunderstanding following a decision to shut down part of his medical-supply business and move some jobs to India where wages are lower.

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5:46am

Wed June 26, 2013
Politics

Senate Bill Would Do Away With Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In the midst of the housing crisis in 2008, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were brought into government hands. And today, over 90 percent of mortgages are guaranteed by the U.S. government. That's a potential burden for taxpayers if mortgages fail. Yesterday, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced to try to unwind the government takeover, as well as Fannie and Freddie. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

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5:42am

Wed June 26, 2013
Environment

Coal Industry Concerned By Obama's Climate Change Plans

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.

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5:34am

Wed June 26, 2013
Business

Sprint Shareholders Approve SoftBank Merger

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a new wireless giant.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Sprint Nextel, the nation's third largest wireless carrier, is about to be bought out by Japan's SoftBank. The deal was approved by Sprint shareholders yesterday.

And as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, this should boost competition.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
Economy

Real Estate Sizzles Again In Las Vegas

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:43 am

Las Vegas, the recession's foreclosure capital, is seeing a surge in single-family home prices.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

High-paying investors have helped Las Vegas' real estate prices to bloom in a place that once ranked as the country's foreclosure capital.

Thanks to these big-money investors as well as a shortage of supply, the median price for a single-family home in Vegas is up 32.8 percent from a year ago, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

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5:00am

Wed June 26, 2013
U.S.

Some Tech Companies Find Ways Not To Hire Americans

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:31 am

Tech workers looking for jobs may think twice before looking at job ads that are targeted at Americans but actually are intended for foreigners.
iStockphoto.com

Lawmakers continue to wrangle over a bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration system. One provision in this bill would allow companies to import a lot more skilled workers. The tech industry has lobbied hard for this, despite fears among some American workers about the extra competition.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says the bill has American workers covered. "Employers will be given a chance to hire a temporary foreign worker when truly needed. But first, they'll be required to recruit Americans. No exceptions, no excuses," he said.

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