Business

The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Online Poker Companies Strike Deal With Justice, Will Reimburse U.S. Customers

Federal prosecutors shut down the three most popular online poker sites Friday.
iStockphoto.com

Pokerstars, an online gambling site, says that it has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in which it has agreed pay the government $547 million over three years, part of which will be used to reimburse customers of the site Full Tilt Poker.

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The Two-Way
6:58 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Did Twitter Go Too Far When It Suspended Critic Of NBC's Olympics Coverage?

Twitter.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 5:54 am

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. Adams Has Been Reinstated On Twitter:

Guy Adams just tweeted that "Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?"

That doesn't change the thrust of our post. And we haven't heard back from Twitter about his questions regarding the suspension.

Update at 4:23 p.m. ET. Twitter's Response:

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:52 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Critic Of Olympics Telecast Says Twitter Blocked Him

Guy Adams, a reporter at the British daily The Independent, says his Twitter account was shut down after he urged followers to contact an NBC executive with their gripes about the delayed broadcast. He included the name of the network's Olympics president and his e-mail address. NBC filed a complaint with Twitter, arguing the tweet violated the service's privacy rules because it included personal information.

Business
5:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Profits Slide For UBS, Deutsche Bank

Swiss bank UBS reported a 58 percent decline in profit for its second quarter. Some of the losses are tied to Europe's debt crisis, as well as the botched Facebook IPO. Also Tuesday, Germany's Deutsche Bank said its second-quarter earnings slid 63 percent.

Education
5:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Senate Panel Gives For-Profit Colleges An 'F'

Renee Montagne talks with Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa about what can be done to regulate for-profit colleges' alleged abusive recruitment policies and high dropout rates. Harkin heads the committee that conducted a two-year investigation into the colleges — and issued a scathing report Monday.

Business
5:19 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Olympics TV Delay Criticized, But Ratings Are Up

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:45 am

There has been much grousing on social media about NBC tape-delaying marquee Olympic events until its prime-time broadcast. Twitter users say it's a "stone-age" model, but NBC says it needs to protect its $1.8 billion investment. So far, ratings are up.

Crisis In The Housing Market
3:07 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone Is Convinced

A construction worker carries lumber while working on new homes in San Mateo, Calif., in March. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 3:08 pm

Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.

The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.

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Planet Money
2:30 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Four Signs Your Awesome Investment May Actually Be A Ponzi Scheme

Spotting a con artist isn't usually this easy. Allen Stanford was recently sentenced to 110 years in a $7-billion fraud, but a new book suggests the Ponzi business continues to thrive.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

Ponzi schemes get a lot of attention when big ones go bust. Bernie Madoff, of course, got a ton of attention when his $20-billion con collapsed in late 2008. So did Allen Stanford, who was recently sentenced to 110 years in prison for scamming investors out of more than $7 billion over two decades.

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Business
11:56 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Mixing Business With Beliefs

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:30 pm

Calls continue for boycotts of Chick-fil-A, while supporters are organizing a national "buycott." But Chick-fil-A is far from the only business to incorporate political or religious values into their business — or to stumble or jump into the culture wars in the process.

Shots - Health Blog
11:15 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Cancer Patient Gets Help From 'Bake Sale' And Aetna CEO

One of the slogans on a T-shirt sold to raise money for the care of Arijit Guha.
Poopstrong.org

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 11:52 am

It's a diagnosis nobody in grad school would ever expect.

Arijit Guha, who's working on a doctorate at Arizona State, felt sick after coming back from a trip to India in early 2011. His severe stomach pain, which he thought was probably from a bug he caught on the journey, turned out to be caused by colon cancer. He was 30.

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Planet Money
7:26 am
Mon July 30, 2012

The Economic Dog Days Begin

The Fed doesn't literally print money, but it can create more if it wants to try to spur the economy.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 1:36 pm

August is supposedly a quiet month on Wall Street, in Washington, D.C., and for business and finance generally. Except sometimes it isn't — and it's always the run-up to September, which can be pretty eventful in itself (think 2008 and the collapse of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman Bros.).

So this week is shaping up to bring August in like a lion, with several potentially significant economic developments already on the calendar.

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Business
6:24 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Paris Transit Launches Politeness Campaign

The public transport authority received complaints about train etiquette. New billboards poke fun at bad manners, featuring Frenchmen with giant animal heads: a donkey spitting out gum, a frog leaping the turnstile, a chicken clucking loudly on her cellphone.

Technology
3:04 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Samsung Fight Among Many In Apple's Patent War

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S (left) and Apple's iPhone 4 are displayed at the headquarters of South Korean mobile carrier KT. Apple claims some of Samsung's designs violate its patents.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 7:01 am

An epic battle between the two biggest smartphone makers begins Monday in a federal district court in San Jose, Calif., where computing giant Apple is asking for more than $2.5 billion from rival phone maker Samsung for patent violations.

The suit would be the most expensive patent violation in history, and it's just one front in Apple's war against phones running Google's Android operating system.

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Book Reviews
2:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

A Portrait Of A Country Awash In 'Red Ink'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:15 pm

As the federal debt balloons, reducing it would seem more and more pressing. Yet policymakers remain far apart. Debt, deficit and budget rhetoric is often accompanied by numbers cherry-picked to support a particular political view.

But a new book by Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel lays out the numbers that both political parties face.

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Business
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Apple Vs. Samsung Showdown Heads To Trial

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If you own a smartphone, chances are it's made by Apple or a company that Apple is suing. And for the first time tomorrow, one of those lawsuits is going to a jury trial. Apple wants more than two and a half billion dollars from Samsung for what it claims is patent violation.

NPR's Laura Sydell has been following this story and joins us. Hey, Laura.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Hi.

GREENE: So, two and a half billion dollars? I mean is that real? That's a huge amount of money.

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Business
5:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Jack Daniel's To Author: Cease And Desist

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:58 am

Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey is an American classic with a distinctive black-labeled bottle that kind of looks like the typeface on an old wanted poster. Patrick Wensink wrote a novel called Broken Piano for President with a cover that was clearly inspired, maybe a little too much, by Jack Daniel's.

Shots - Health Blog
5:17 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Longtime Chick-Fil-A Spokesman Dies

The longtime spokesman of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has died.

The Atlanta-based company released a statement Friday announcing the death of Don Perry, 60.

"Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years. For many of you in the media, he was the spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him."

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Economy
2:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

U.S. Economy Continued To Slow In Second Quarter

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 4:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The government said today that the U.S. economy continued to slow during the second quarter of the year. The overall U.S. growth rate fell to just 1.5 percent, as consumers cut back on purchases and spending by businesses, which has been a source of economic strength, also fell. NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more.

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U.S.
2:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies

Protesters from the Human Rights Campaign chant against Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage stance in front of a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long stood by its Bible-based roots, keeping stores closed on Sundays and donating millions to Christian causes. But when its president, Dan Cathy, went public to defend his company's stance against gay marriage, he set off a considerable controversy that has everyone from politicians to puppets weighing in.

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Planet Money
2:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Losing With LIBOR: One Trader's Story

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 4:02 pm

We've been talking a lot lately about what's been dubbed the "LIBOR rate fixing scandal," where some of the biggest banks in the world have been accused of manipulating a key global interest rate.

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Media
2:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

CNN's President Steps Down Amid Poor Ratings

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 4:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. After more than three decades at CNN, the company's president is stepping down. His resignation is an admission of the challenges facing the profitable but poorly rated network. NPR's David Folkenflik has that story.

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Law
2:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

LCD Price-Fixing Ends With Historic Settlement

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 4:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In San Francisco today, a federal judge gave preliminary approval to a multimillion dollar settlement. It comes in response to a class action lawsuit over the cost of LCD computer and television screens. The deal, once it's finalized, will be the largest settlement ever in a class action case about price-fixing.

From member station KQED, Aarti Shahani explains.

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Google Admits It Did Not Delete Data Taken From Wi-Fi Devices

The camera mounted on a Google Street View car used to photograph whole streets obscures part of the U.S. Internet giant's logo.
Daniel Mihailescu AFP/Getty Images

We told you before about the Google Street View vehicles that illegally collected data from unprotected Wi-Fi devices while they took pictures of the streets in Europe, Australia and the United States.

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Economy
1:57 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Will A Slowing GDP Nudge The Fed To Do More?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appears before the House Financial Services Committee July 18. Economists expect Fed policymakers to consider further steps to boost growth when they meet next week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The Commerce Department's latest report confirms that economic growth was as lousy this spring as you suspected it was.

Now the question is: Can anyone do anything to make it better in the year's second half?

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Planet Money
10:32 am
Fri July 27, 2012

The U.S. GDP, Sliced And Diced In Two Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 4:31 pm

No surprise: The economy grew only sluggishly in April, May and June. The U.S. Commerce Department says gross domestic product — the sum of all goods and services produced in the country — grew by just 1.5 percent in the second quarter.

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The Salt
9:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

McDonald's Food Has A Healthy Glow, At Least In China

Tomatoes getting a splash of water reinforces the notion that McDonald's food is wholesome in China, as seen in this video screengrab.
McDonald's China

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:34 am

Here in the U.S., McDonald's food is not usually considered all that healthy. But in China, it is.

That's because Chinese consumers trust American brands more than their own, says Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research, who studies Chinese consumer behavior. Rein says that in China, McDonald's is seen as providing safe and wholesome food.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Did Economy Slow Further In Second Quarter? We Find Out Today

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:01 am

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning, down from a 2 percent pace in the first quarter.

This is the bureau's first estimate of GDP growth in the spring months. It will revise the figure twice in coming months. It's now 8:33 a.m. ET. We'll have more about the report shortly.

Update at 10 a.m. ET. The White House Points To String Of Positive Quarters:

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Business
4:19 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hearing Postponed In Peregine CEO's Fraud Case

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 3:09 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Russell Wasendorf had hoped he'd be released on bail today, but the bail hearing has been postponed. So the former head of Peregrine Financial Group remains in jail, and the business empire he built continues to crumble.

Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank reports Wasendorf's once fairy tale lifestyle came to an abrupt end earlier this month. He was arrested following an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

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Business
4:16 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Facebook Earnings Reflect Slowing Ad Revenue

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with earnings at Facebook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: For the first time as a public company, Facebook has reported it's earnings. After its botched IPO, investors were hoping for a big, positive surprise to put the shine back on the social network. That didn't happen.

As NPR's Steve Henn reports, Facebook recorded a loss.

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It's All Politics
11:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:42 pm

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

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