NPR Business

Parallels
11:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Retailers Sign Pact On Bangladesh Factory Inspections

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday. Hundreds of garment workers demanded better conditions.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:36 pm

We've been following the story of the collapse in Bangladesh of a building that housed several factories where clothes were made for Western retailers. More than 1,000 people died in that disaster in April, and the incident shed light on working conditions in Bangladesh, the world's No. 2 exporter of clothing.

Read more
Education
4:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Congress Called On To Reverse Student Loan Rate Increase

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:02 pm

Rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans, which help low and middle-income college students, doubled on July 1. There is now pressure for a deal to undo the increase. NPR's David Greene talks to Matthew Chingos, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy.

Business
4:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:25 am

On Saturday, speaking to priests-in-training and nuns, Pope Francis said a car is necessary to do a lot of work, but it shouldn't be a fancy one. He said, "Just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world." He added that seeing priests and nuns in the latest-model cars hurts him.

Economy
4:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

IMF Warns Of Global Slowdown

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:20 am

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Sunday singled out the U.S. Congress for failing to avert across-the-board spending cuts that slow down potential for growth. She called U.S. deficit reduction in 2013 excessively rapid and ill-designed.

Energy
4:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

'Gasland' Helped Add Fracking To U.S. Lexicon, Now There's A Sequal

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 8:12 am

The documentary Gasland inspired legions of "fracktivists" to oppose natural gas drilling booms across the country. Now the film has a sequel. Gasland Part II by director Josh Fox begins airing on HBO Monday night.

Business
4:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Emotions, Fees Play Major Roles For Individual Investors

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:17 am

In recent weeks, NPR's Uri Berliner took money from his personal savings account that was losing value to inflation and sought out various investments. What did he learn?

Parallels
3:52 am
Mon July 8, 2013

EU-U.S. Trade: A Tale Of Two Farms

Farmer Richard Wilkins, a firm believer in genetically modified crops, examines the corn crop at his farm in Greenwood, Del. U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement. One stumbling block is agriculture. Unlike the U.S., the EU bans the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
Jackie Northam/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:12 pm

U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement aimed at generating billions of dollars of new trade. But negotiators must overcome barriers created by cultural and philosophical differences over sectors like agriculture. In Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned, while in the U.S., they are a central part of food production. NPR's Jackie Northam visited a farm in Delaware and NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited one in Burgundy, France, to look at those deep-seated differences. We hear from Jackie first.

Read more
Parallels
3:41 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Call Centers Call On Multilingual Portuguese

New employees train for call center work at Teleperformance Portugal, an outsourcing company in Lisbon. The outsourcing industry is adding thousands of jobs while other Portuguese industries shed them.
Jose Faria Courtesy of Teleperformance Portugal

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:04 pm

Filipa Neves speaks five languages but still couldn't find steady work in her native Portugal. So she was about to move to Angola, a former Portuguese colony in Africa, where the economy is booming.

But she sent off one last resumé — to a call center. It was sort of a last resort. She'd heard the stereotype.

Read more
U.S.
2:53 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Despite Hefty Payouts, Fire Insurance Costs Hold Steady

Firefighter Brandie Smith walks by the remains of a structure destroyed in the Black Forest wildfire north of Colorado Springs last month. More than 500 homes have been lost to wildfire in the state this year.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:46 pm

Wildfires have already destroyed hundreds of homes in the American West this year. The insurance industry is once again poised to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those losses, as it already has for homeowners who lost their houses during last year's fire season.

Read more
National Security
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World

A mannequin in night-vision goggles is part of a display at a border-security expo in Pheonix last year. Defense companies are seeking growth in markets in the developing world, or in homeland and cybersecurity.
Amanda Meyers AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 5:12 pm

Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.

Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.

Read more

Pages