Business

3:00am

Fri March 22, 2013
Business

Google's Eric Schmidt Heads To Another Isolated Asian Nation

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman and former CEO, stands near a statue of the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang in January. He's headed now to Myanmar, another largely untapped market.
David Guttenfelder AP

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who went to North Korea in January, is making a short visit Friday to Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Why is the senior executive of a U.S. technology powerhouse visiting some of the poorest and least wired countries in Asia?

Schmidt will be the first top U.S. executive to travel to the Southeast Asian nation since it began emerging from decades of international isolation under a military dictatorship.

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3:00am

Fri March 22, 2013
All Tech Considered

After Conquering Consoles, Hard-Core Gaming Shifts To Mobile

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

Gears of War: Judgment hit stores on Tuesday.
Courtesy Microsoft Studios

This generation of video game consoles will be remembered for over-the-top, knock-you-out-of-your-seat extravaganza games like Halo, Call of Duty — and Gears of War, a juggernaut of a game. The first three Gears of War sold 19 million units, making it a $1 billion franchise. And the latest, Gears of War: Judgment, has just hit stores at a crucial time in the video game industry — sales are down, new Xbox and PlayStation consoles are due out, and mobile gaming is growing.

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6:28pm

Thu March 21, 2013
The Salt

Did Congress Just Give GMOs A Free Pass In The Courts?

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 2:58 pm

Farmers harvest a sugar beet crop in Gilcrest, Colo.
Matthew Staver Landov

Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a "Monsanto Protection Act."

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4:27pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Around the Nation

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:00 pm

Baseball fans watch an exhibition spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spring training contributes $35 million to the local economy.
Julio Cortez AP

For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.

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12:29pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Crisis In The Housing Market

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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10:16am

Thu March 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Europe's Central Bank Issues Cyprus Ultimatum

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 2:42 pm

People line up at an ATM in Nicosia to withdraw cash on Thursday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

The clock is ticking on Cyprus' fiscal cliff.

The European Central Bank has given the Mediterranean country just four days to come up with its own bailout plan, or a eurozone lifeline to its struggling banks will be severed.

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10:16am

Thu March 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up; Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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7:32am

Thu March 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Is Amazon Building A CIA Cloud?

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:44 pm

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices at a press conference in 2012.
David McNew Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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5:30am

Thu March 21, 2013
Business

In China, Treasury's Lew Discusses Cybersecurity, Yuan

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:23 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Richard McGregor of the Financial Times about Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's trip to China. He bought a long list of economic agenda items to his meetings with top officials, ranging from cyberwarfare to China's currency controls.

5:10am

Thu March 21, 2013
Asia

Solar Panel Maker Suntech Forced Into Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 2:55 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Not long ago, it seemed that China was on its way to owning the solar energy business. China was making solar panels far more cheaply than U.S. companies. Now things look a little more complicated. China's Suntech was forced into bankruptcy yesterday. It's one of the world's largest solar panel makers. Suntech has to reorganize after defaulting on a bond payment of more than half-a-billion dollars.

Its falls reflects problems in China's approach to the global solar industry. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

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