Business

6:12am

Fri February 15, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's catch up on yesterday's $23 billion bid to buy H.J. Heinz Company. Warren Buffett is one of the investors. The Oracle of Omaha is famous for snatching up American staples, like ketchup.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lesser known is one of Buffet's partners in the acquisition - a Brazilian, equally found of American companies.

Today's last word in business is: another oracle?

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6:12am

Fri February 15, 2013
Politics

Automatic Budget Cuts Near As Democrats, GOP Stand Firm

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

With Congress headed for a recess, prospects are dimming for a deal to keep the nation from falling off the next fiscal cliff - sequestration. That's the term for automatic spending cuts that go into effect March 1.

NPR's Mara Liasson explains how the White House and Congress got to this impasse and why it's so hard to get past it.

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2:52am

Fri February 15, 2013
Economy

In Kansas, A 'Glide Path' To No Income Taxes. Will It Work?

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:47 am

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, shown delivering the State of the State address last month, is pushing to get rid of the state's income tax, which has some Republicans concerned.
Charlie Riedel AP

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has put the state on what he calls a "glide path to zero" income tax. But that glide path is far from being clear or smooth.

On the face of it, Brownback seems to enjoy a remarkably strong political position. He's a conservative Republican, flanked by GOP supermajorities in both legislative chambers. His allies helped purge moderate Republicans from the state Senate in last year's election.

"I think the road is open," Brownback says. "I think we do provide an alternative model. I think we do provide a red-state model."

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5:28pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

Airline Mega-Mergers: 'Good, Bad And Ugly'

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:24 pm

A United Airlines aircraft passes by a Continental Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in 2006. Their merger, begun in 2010, has been difficult, analysts say.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The proposed marriage of American Airlines and US Airways announced Thursday is likely the last in a series of industry mega-mergers, but history suggests combining two big carriers isn't easy.

"The history of airline mergers in the U.S. is good, bad and ugly," says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at the consulting firm Hudson Crossing. He and many others point to the 2008 union of Delta and Northwest as the best merger in recent memory.

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5:14pm

Thu February 14, 2013
U.S.

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:15 pm

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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5:14pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

Merger Of American Airlines and US Airways Will Create World's Largest Carrier

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

The boards of US Airways Group and AMR have approved the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The resulting company will become the world's largest airline. American is in bankruptcy, so its creditors will own a big chunk of the new company and US Airways shareholders will own the rest.

5:14pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

Berkshire Hathaway And Private Equity Firm To Buy Heinz For $23 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the private equity firm 3G Capital are set buy ketchup giant Heinz.

2:20pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:42 pm

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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1:46pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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1:30pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Salt

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:08 pm

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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