Business

5:26am

Mon June 17, 2013
Economy

Poor Economy Encourages Scientists To Leave Spain

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More than 40,000 scientists in Spain have signed a petition calling on the government to end cuts to their budget. They're blaming austerity for an exodus of the country's best and brightest researchers.

Lauren Frayer has more from Madrid.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Spanish spoken)

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Hundreds of lab-coated scientists delivered their petition to Spain's Economy Ministry. They marched there last week because the Science Ministry, itself, was closed in budget cuts.

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2:56am

Mon June 17, 2013
U.S.

Visa Exchange Program Draws Scrutiny Under Immigration Bill

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:33 pm

Australian counselors at the French Woods camp in upstate New York celebrate their culture on July 4, 2012. All of French Woods' foreign employees work in the United States through the J-1 visa program.
Courtesy of French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts

Landing a job at a summer camp or at an amusement park is a rite of passage for many young Americans. Those jobs also appeal to foreigners participating in a cultural exchange using J-1 visas. But with U.S. youth unemployment at 25 percent, Congress is now taking a close look at the J-1 visa exchange program.

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11:13am

Sun June 16, 2013
The Protojournalist

World's Shortest Business Brief: The Smoffice

The World's Smallest Office competition is over. But will the Smoffice create jobs?

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:51pm

Sat June 15, 2013
The Two-Way

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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11:25am

Sat June 15, 2013
The Two-Way

Facebook, Microsoft Reveal Requests For User Data

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:08 pm

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests from government agencies during the last six months of 2012.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.

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9:09am

Sat June 15, 2013
The Record

Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters' Group Calls It A 'Stunt'

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 4:40 pm

Blake Morgan's songs were played some 28,000 times over a 90-day period on Pandora, earning $1.62 in royalties.
Jim Herrington Courtesy of the artist

This week, the Internet radio broadcaster Pandora made what seems like a backward move — technologically speaking. Pandora purchased a local radio station in Rapid City, S.D. The company says it's aiming to get the more favorable royalty rates given to terrestrial broadcasters, but the move has songwriters and composers up in arms.

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5:24am

Sat June 15, 2013
It's All Politics

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:10 pm

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

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5:28pm

Fri June 14, 2013
Business

Housing Market Watchers Edgy As Mortgage Rates Keep Climbing

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:12 pm

Home values have been rising in recent months, but mortgage rates have taken a rapid turn upward as well. Some investors are worried that the housing recovery may stall if mortgage rates jump too quickly.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Mortgage rates have seen a relatively sharp rise this month. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan hit 4 percent earlier in June — a big jump from the record lows of recent years. Some investors are now concerned that the housing recovery could be stifled if rates continue to rise quickly.

The Federal Reserve has two main missions: to maximize employment and minimize inflation. Right now, there are few, if any, signs that prices for goods are spiking, and the job market is still crawling out of its long, deep slump.

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3:15pm

Fri June 14, 2013
Planet Money

When People Make Their Own Banks

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:12 pm

Harlem funeral directors Tamara Bullock and Patricia Hamilton are going to spend their next savings-club payout on a sky-diving trip (unless Bullock can get out of it).
Marianne McCune NPR

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.

"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.

This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" – basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.

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1:24pm

Fri June 14, 2013
The Salt

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:35 pm

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

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