Business

3:45am

Wed December 17, 2014
Around the Nation

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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6:16pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Around the Nation

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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5:17pm

Tue December 16, 2014
The Two-Way

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

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5:07pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Business

Shopping On Shore Leave: How Seafarers Head To The Mall

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

First Officer Dheeraj Singh spends most of his time at the helm of a container ship, but on a three-hour shore leave from the Port of Oakland, he visits Old Navy at Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, Calif.
Julie Caine KALW

Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.

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4:18pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Economy

Ruble's Troubles Tied To Falling Oil Prices, International Sanctions

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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1:40pm

Tue December 16, 2014
The Two-Way

Apple Wins $1B iPod Antitrust Lawsuit

A California jury has found that Apple's iTunes 7.0 did not violate antitrust laws when it restricted files bought on other music services.

After deliberating for around three hours, the eight-member jury in the U.S. District Court in Oakland unanimously found that iTunes 7.0 was an improvement over the previous version of the software. Bloomberg reports that the finding means Apple can't be held liable for hindering competition even if it hurt its rivals.

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1:23pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Business

Economists: Congress Gets A Hat Tip (Barely) For Its Efforts

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:59 pm

The Capitol's dome and Christmas tree are illuminated on Dec. 11 as Congress worked to pass a $1.1 trillion U.S. government-wide spending bill and avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

As the latest Congress draws to a close, economists are looking back — and seeing little.

Lawmakers passed no measures addressing tax reform, trade, immigration or even the minimum wage.

But judged by the very low standards of recent years, the 113th Congress did manage to win at least light applause from economists who are watching as the curtain goes down.

Sure, Congress allowed a disruptive government shutdown in 2013 — but it avoided repeating that drama in 2014.

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12:30pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Parallels

Has Vladimir Putin Just Overplayed His Hand?

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:16 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown delivering his state of the union speech earlier this month, was riding high this year as the country hosted the Winter Olympics. Russia is now embroiled in economic turmoil, and Putin has alienated Western countries that could potentially help.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Since his return to the Russian presidency in 2012, Vladimir Putin has been on a tear: He has annexed Crimea, crushed opposition at home and challenged the West at most every turn.

With oil seemingly stable at more than $100 a barrel, the government coffers were full, and Putin received mostly cheers at home and few repercussions abroad for his consistently aggressive approach.

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10:31am

Tue December 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

Successful Tech Requires An Old-Fashioned Skill: Organizing People

iStockphoto

There is a new educational fad taking off across America: Everyone needs to learn how to code. Moms should code, girls should code, kids in every classroom in America should code. There are boot camps for it, academies to learn it, leagues to teach it. All with the promise that code will set you free.

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8:22am

Tue December 16, 2014
Code Switch

Is Courting Controversy An Urban Outfitters Strategy?

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:38 pm

This Lord Ganesh tapestry is currently being advertised on Urban Outfitters' website. The company previously drew outrage for its Lord Ganesh duvet cover.
Urban Outfitters

Earlier this week, Gawker published an image of an invitation sent to Urban Outfitters employees, exhorting them, as the invite put it, to "break out your juttis, kurtas, turbans, saris, lehenga cholis and harem pants" for the company holiday party.

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