For the past six years in a row, the World Bank has rated the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business. Drawn in part by this reputation, money and talent are pouring into the island nation's growing technology sector.
One of Facebook's co-founders recently renounced his American citizenship and relocated to Singapore, where he has been investing in tech startups.
Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.
Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
As Americans increasingly rely on cards, not cash, to pay for small items like coffee and snacks, it's not always easy to tip the baristas and counter folks who make those transactions run smoothly. A new device called the "Dip Jar" might fix that, by allowing customers to dip a card to give $1 to the staff.
That might come as welcome news to workers behind the counter, who've seen debit and credit cards take over from cash. As a result, there's less change from which to pull a tip for the traditional jar that's often seen on counters where coffee, beer, or sandwiches are sold.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, last year the Occupy Wall Street movement dominated headlines for weeks and added terms like the 99 percent to our political vocabularies. But a year after the protests started we wanted to know where the movement stands now. We're going to call writer and activist Debra Dickerson about this. She's at the heart of the anniversary protest. That's later in the program.
A trade dispute between the U.S. and China is at the top of NPR's business news.
The United States has filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization. Washington charges that China subsidizes its cars and auto parts, giving it an unfair trade advantage over U.S. automakers.
This move comes as President Obama campaigns in Ohio today. Ohio is a political swing state and a place where many jobs rely on the auto industry.
And our last word in business today is: kicking the crack berry habit. That's what BlackBerry users at Yahoo are being encouraged to do.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And take up other addictions instead. Over the weekend, Yahoo announced it will buy employees the smartphone of their choice so long as it is not a BlackBerry. The company will however, pick up the tab with a data plan for the brand new iPhone 5 and the yet-to-be-released Windows Phone 8.
Another massive financial fraud case is going to federal court on this Monday. In Iowa, the founder and CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, or PFG, is expected to plead guilty to charges that he swindled customers out of at least $100 million. NPR's David Schaper reports.
And gas prices are on the rise again - speaking of autos. Since the beginning of July, the average price for regular gasoline in the U.S. has gone up more than 50 cents, which makes the national average just under $3.90 a gallon.
Though NPR's Jeff Brady has some good news, prices are likely to go down soon.