Business

4:40am

Wed May 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Congress Considers Patch To Keep Helium Supply Afloat

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:39 pm

Deward Cawthon, a plant operator at the Federal Helium Reserve, walks through the Federal Crude Helium Enrichment Unit near Amarillo, Texas, in 2011.
Joyce Marshall MCT/Landov

The Senate is considering legislation to prevent a global helium shortage from worsening in October. That's when one huge supply of helium in the U.S. is set to terminate. The House overwhelmingly passed its own bill last month to keep the Federal Helium Program going.

That was a relief to industries that can't get along without helium. The gas is used in MRI machines, semiconductors, aerospace equipment, lasers and of course balloons.

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2:53am

Wed May 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

Will Tweaking Windows 8 Be Enough To Revive The PC?

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:43 am

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system was criticized when it was released last year for features some said didn't mesh with a desktop PC environment. The company has indicated that it will address some of those issues in an upcoming update.
Richard Drew AP

When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 last year, the software giant billed the new operating system as one of the most critical releases in its history. The system would bridge the gap between personal computers and the fast-growing mobile world of tablets and smartphones.

But this week, the company sent signals that it might soon alter Windows 8 to address some early criticism of the operating system.

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4:10pm

Tue May 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Dow Jones Closes Above 15,000 For First Time

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 4:24 pm

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 15,000 on Tuesday for the first time in its history.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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2:39pm

Tue May 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Feds Say Debt Settlement Firm Defrauded 'Financially Desperate'

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 4:33 pm

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara addresses the media on Tuesday during a news conference on the indictment of Mission Settlement Agency.
John Moore Getty Images

The work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal oversight agency established by Dodd-Frank three years ago, has resulted in its first criminal referral — a case against a debt-settlement company it says defrauded thousands of people.

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12:04pm

Tue May 7, 2013
The Salt

Wake Up And Smell The Tuna? Sunrise At Honolulu's Fish Auction

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:48 am

Among the 50,000 pounds of fish at the Honolulu auction last Friday was this opah, or moonfish, Lampris regius.
Joe Palca NPR

If you are up at 5 in the morning in Honolulu and are wondering what to do, I have a suggestion: Head over to Pier 38 and watch the Honolulu Fish Auction. It's quite a scene.

Getting up at 5 may seem a bit extreme, but for recent arrivals to Hawaii from the East Coast of the mainland — as I was last Friday — the six-hour time difference makes waking up early easy, if not inevitable.

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11:56am

Tue May 7, 2013
Planet Money

A 'Poison Pill' In The Immigration Bill?

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:51 am

That big immigration bill working its way through the Senate would let in lots more highly skilled workers on temporary visas. But there's a catch.

The bill says all employers who want to hire workers on these H-1B visas:

... would be required to advertise on an Internet website maintained by the Department of Labor and offer the job to any U.S. worker who applies and is equally or better qualified than the immigrants ... sought...

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5:11am

Tue May 7, 2013
Economy

Portugal Struggles To Avoid 2nd Bailout

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe is debating whether austerity - with its deep budget cuts and tax hikes - is the right cure for the continent's debt crisis. But in Portugal, one of the first countries bailed out by the European Union, the austerity drive goes on. The government there is struggling to repay its loans, and has announced more steep job and benefit cuts, as the country struggles to avoid what was Greece's fate - a second bailout.

Here's Lauren Frayer reports.

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5:11am

Tue May 7, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And in our last word in business today, we remember a woman who inspired one of TVs most famous moms.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

JULIE KAVNER: (as Marge Simpson) Oh, I've never been so proud. You both deserve a big, big reward.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:11am

Tue May 7, 2013
Business

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with record fines for PG&E.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Regulators have recommended that the utility company Pacific Gas and Electric - that's PG&E pay a $2.25 billion penalty for a natural gas explosion in San Bruno, California.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That fire, blamed on poor maintenance on an aging pipeline, it killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco suburb.

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5:11am

Tue May 7, 2013
Business

Tile Business Owners: Web Sales Tax Would Be A 'Nightmare'

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Right now online you can buy virtually anything: shoes, books, jewelry, tools, and you pay no state sales taxes. Well, that might soon change.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Marketplace Fairness Act. That bill gives states the power to enforce their sales tax laws on online retailers making more than $1 million per year.

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