Business

5:09am

Sat February 9, 2013
Economy

For Rural Towns, Postal Service Cuts Could Mean A Loss Of Identity

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Brookfield, Vt., residents fear that Postal Service changes will eventually lead to the closing of their small town post office. About 1,300 people live in Brookfield, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
Steve Zind Vermont Public Radio

In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.

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2:16pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Planet Money

The Real Story Of How Macklemore Got 'Thrift Shop' To No. 1

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:09 pm

Twitter

The No. 1 song in the country right now is "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a rap group out of Seattle. Their claim to fame: They got the song to the top of the chart by themselves, without being signed by a major label.

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1:16pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Technology

Automakers Drive Towards Hydrogen Cars

Toyota and BMW have formed an alliance to work on fuel cell cars. So have Daimler, Ford, and Nissan, with hopes of having cars on the road by 2017. But why now, and what obstacles still stand in the way? Jennifer Kurtz discusses the current state of hydrogen fuel technology.

11:45am

Fri February 8, 2013
Around the Nation

The Difficulties of Proving Housing Discrimination

Civil rights advocates have long relied on a principle called, "disparate impact," to prove minorities are discriminated in housing. Now, the Supreme Court is poised to review whether it's a legitimate tool in such cases. Host Michel Martin speaks with investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who has written about the issue for ProPublica.

5:58am

Fri February 8, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:28 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. And our last word in business today is snakebite.

Over the next couple of weeks skies in many parts of Asia will be lit up with fireworks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dragon is ending and Sunday marks the start of, yes, the Year of the Snake.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:58am

Fri February 8, 2013
Business

Spain's Wind Energy Industry Breaks Record

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:28 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll begin NPR's business news starts with strong winds in Spain.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Spain has a pretty good location in the south of Europe. They are accustomed to good weather, plenty of sunshine, clear skies and wind - which the country is putting to good use. Spain has become a leader in renewable energy.

In fact, the countries wind farms have broken a new record, as Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF WIND TURNING TURBINES ON PLAINS SOUTH OF MADRID)

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5:58am

Fri February 8, 2013
Business

Do Boeing Engineers Have Enough Leverage To Strike?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Boeing engineers in the Pacific Northwest are voting on whether to authorize a strike. The labor dispute is playing out against a dramatic backdrop. Here, the engineers are needed, now more than ever, to help fix the batteries on Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner.

As Ashley Gross of member station KPLU reports, that's given the engineers something that is rare for unions, these days - leverage.

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3:33am

Fri February 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Even Without Earmarks, Tax Breaks And Special Deals Fill Bills

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:28 pm

Tourists take photographs in front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 2, the day after Congress passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Congress likes to say it no longer does earmarks, the provisions that direct federal dollars to serve local interests or campaign supporters. And though that may be true, it's also a fact that targeted provisions are still useful in moving legislation — even critical legislation like the bill that pulled Washington back from the fiscal cliff last month.

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3:14am

Fri February 8, 2013
Planet Money

How Happy Is America?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 12:28 pm

In recent years, Canada, France and Britain have added measures of citizen happiness to their official national statistics. The U.S. government is now considering adopting a happiness index as well.

This makes a certain amount of sense. Everything a government does — hiring soldiers, building bridges, providing pensions — is supposed to make citizens happy.

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5:08pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Art & Design

New York's Grimy Garment District Hatches Designers' Dreams

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:07 pm

From West 24th to West 42nd Street, New York's Seventh Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue." It's home to major designers as well as those who are just starting out, like Ann Yee and Daniel Vosovic.
Michael Katzif for NPR

Thursday marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week, where big-name designers like Michael Kors, Anna Sui and Vera Wang will debut their Fall 2013 collections. It's part of an industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue for New York City, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. But the real business of fashion happens several blocks south of the glamorous Lincoln Center runways, in New York's Garment District.

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