Business

10:19am

Fri January 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Sales Of New Homes Fell In December, But Were Up Sharply In 2012

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction last fall in Peoria, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.

Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.

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5:15am

Fri January 25, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In today's last word in business is: censored, not stirred.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SKYFALL")

DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) Bond, James Bond.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The new Bond film "Skyfall" is now playing in the world's second-largest movie market - that would be China - and some 007 fans are furious about the nips and tucks Chinese censors have made to the movie.

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5:15am

Fri January 25, 2013
Business

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Microsoft's earnings.

Yesterday we told you about Apple earnings. Despite heavy sales of iPhones and iPads, its profits were flat last quarter. That's still better than Microsoft, which reported a four percent earnings decline. Those disappointing figures are blamed on sagging sales of personal computers, which have created a shrinking market for Microsoft's newest PC operating system, Windows 8. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

5:15am

Fri January 25, 2013
Business

Cause Of Boeing's 787 Problems Remains A Mystery

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 2:37 pm

This Boeing 787 battery case was damaged in a fire in Boston earlier this month. The state-of-the-art aircraft is still grounded, as the investigation of the fire's cause continues.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Federal safety investigators remain perplexed by what caused a battery on a Boeing 787 to burst into flames earlier this month in Boston. All of the 787s are grounded worldwide after problems with the new airliner also surfaced in Japan.

At a briefing Thursday, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said it could be a long time before the plane dubbed the Dreamliner is cleared to fly.

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4:50am

Fri January 25, 2013
Business

Dodgers Channel Close To Being A Reality

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In recent years, regional cable TV sports networks have been a financial windfall for pro sports and college teams. And now it seems to be the turn of the Los Angeles Dodgers to make a record haul here.

There are reports the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable are close to announcing a deal for a Dodgers channel that would pay the team around $7 billion over at least 20 years.

But NPR's Tom Goldman reports it may be one windfall too many in a crowded Los Angeles market.

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2:48am

Fri January 25, 2013
Planet Money

At $17.5 Million A Year, LeBron James Is Underpaid

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 12:29 pm

A bargain at $17.5 million a year.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.

"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.

James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.

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2:46am

Fri January 25, 2013
Movies

For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

A scene from 99% — The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, a Sundance documentary that raised more than $23,000 on Kickstarter.
Ari Ress Sundance Film Festival

If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.

Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Some 10 percent of the films selected for this year's iteration of the prestigious festival raised money through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

In the three years since the website launched, Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, picked up by Showtime and HBO, and honored with awards at Sundance, South By Southwest and Cannes.

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2:44am

Fri January 25, 2013
U.S.

Foreign Investors Trade Dollars For U.S. Residency

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:14 am

This Marriott hotel in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood was rebuilt by American Life Inc. using EB-5 visa investment money. The project helped dozens of well-to-do people obtain permanent green cards.
Jennifer Wing for NPR

Svetlana Anikeeva was 15 in the early '90s when she visited America as an exchange student.

"And it was completely different place in every imaginable aspect," she recalls.

Anikeeva grew up in Vladivostok on the eastern edge of Russia, and studied abroad in Savannah, Ga., where the experience, she says, changed her life.

"The people were different. The culture was different. The weather, the food, the school. Everything was fascinating," she says. "I knew that I wanted to come here."

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5:14pm

Thu January 24, 2013
Business

Still No Answers In 787 Battery Malfunctions

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Boeing's flagship jetliner, the 787, has been stuck on the ground lately. The FAA and safety authorities around the world grounded the fleet after battery problems. And today we have an update on the investigation of the battery fire onboard a Japan Airlines 787 this month in Boston.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman has been following this story and joins us now for an update. And, Wendy, what did the National Transportation Safety Board have to say today?

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4:13pm

Thu January 24, 2013
All Tech Considered

Swinging From 140 Characters To Six-Second Videos, Twitter Launches Vine

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:02 am

Twitter announced its partnership with Vine, a video-sharing app that posts six-second videos onto a tweet, on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Marie McGrory NPR

If you thought 140 characters of text was too short, try grabbing your Twitter followers' attention with six-second videos. Six seconds.

Twitter on Thursday launched the video app Vine, which allows users to shoot brief videos and directly tweet them. The social media company acquired the video-sharing startup last fall, according to All Things D.

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