Business

5:38am

Mon February 25, 2013
Business

Insurance Industry Lab Creates Indoor Hailstorm

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bad weather can mean big losses for homeowners and insurance companies. So recently, the insurance industry built a laboratory in rural Richburg, South Carolina in hopes of developing more weather-resistant buildings. The latest experiment was a giant, indoor hailstorm.

Julie Rose of member station WFAE takes us inside.

JULIE ROSE, BYLINE: Tanya Brown has had a single obsession these past two years...

TANYA BROWN: I'm a research engineer and the lead engineer on this project.

ROSE: How to make hail.

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5:07am

Mon February 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Oakland To Issue IDs That Double As Debit Cards

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 9:11 am

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (center) and former Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente are registered for the Oakland City ID Prepaid MasterCard program by Jaime Suriano (left) Feb. 1 in Oakland, Calif.
Ben Margot AP

The city of Oakland, Calif., is taking a major step toward helping to bring many of its residents, especially illegal immigrants, out of the shadows.

It will issue a municipal identification card to anyone who can prove residency.

Oakland isn't the only city to issue such ID cards to illegal immigrants. New Haven, Conn., and San Francisco already do that.

The Oakland card, however, has a unique feature — it doubles as a debit card.

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5:35pm

Sat February 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Flipping The Switch: What It Takes To Prioritize Electric Cars

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:48 am

A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

"Electricity is the most likely out of all of the alternative fuels ... to be the next fuel for the consumer."

That's what Jonathan Strickland of the website HowStuffWorks tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But electric vehicles are not without their controversies or challenges. One of the biggest questions is how a transition from gasoline to electric fuel can actually take place.

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12:54pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards

Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:47 pm

Despite its dark themes (slavery and the Civil War are hardly feel-good topics), Lincoln, like other Oscar nominees, has done very well at the box office. Disney has spent about $10 million campaigning for the best-picture prize, hoping for a payoff down the line.
DreamWorks

How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?

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12:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
BackTalk

Who Should We Honor On Presidents' Day?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

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12:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Economy

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

5:42am

Fri February 22, 2013
Business

Boeing Believes It Has Safety Fix For 787s

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:22 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's talk about another meeting happening today. Senior officials from Boeing are sitting down with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing wants its 787 Dreamliner fleet back in service. It's been grounded for more than a month. Neither Boeing nor safety investigators have discovered exactly what caused two 787 batteries to overheat and in one case catch fire last month. But, Boeing believes, it can mitigate any future risk with a series of fixes.

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5:42am

Fri February 22, 2013
Politics

Obama To Urge Japan To Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.

But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.

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5:42am

Fri February 22, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:33 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Oscar swag.

On Sunday, nominees who do not win an Academy award will nevertheless take home about $47,000 worth of consolation gifts - which sounds like a lot, but in 2010 the swag was worth a lot more - more than $90,000.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This year, goodies include trips to places like Australia, Hawaii and Mexico. The gift bags may also include such useful items as hand illustrated tennis shoes, portion controlled dinnerware, and a book by Leeza Gibbons.

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3:46am

Fri February 22, 2013
Planet Money

At A Trade Show, Power Tools Fit For The Amish

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:59 pm

Robert Smith / NPR

The Buckeye Tool Expo in Dalton, Ohio, is held in a massive hall filled with bearded men in black hats and women in white bonnets. A few horses and buggies are tied up outside.

The Amish have chosen to forgo many of the delights of the modern world, but they still need to drill, sand and cut wood. This trade expo shows off all the loopholes that let the Amish get their hands on power tools.

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