NPR Business

Shots - Health News
3:23 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To Make Hearing Aids Affordable, Firm Turns On Bluetooth

Sound World Solution's hearing device lets a user customize its settings using a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone.
Courtesy of Sound World Solutions

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:38 am

As many as 300 million people around the world need hearing aids. The vast majority of the 7 million people who get them annually are in the U.S. and Europe.

One big reason is cost. On average, a set of hearing aids rings up a tab of about $4,000. Most insurance policies don't cover them.

A company called Sound World Solutions is trying to do something about the limited reach of hearing aids by creating a high-quality hearing device that costs less than a tenth the normal price.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Top Vatican Bank Officials Resign

Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican Bank Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, talks with The Associated Press during an interview June 10 at his office in Vatican City. He was named the bank's interim director on Monday after the director and the deputy director both resigned.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:42 pm

Two top officials of the Vatican bank resigned Monday just days following the arrest of a senior cleric with ties to the institution after police caught him with the equivalent of about $26 million in cash that they say he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland.

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Parallels
3:09 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

An Online Upstart Roils French Media, Politics

Edwy Plenel, head of the online investigative journalism website Mediapart, at his Paris office in April. The paper has attracted paying subscribers and is making a profit.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:11 pm

Every week, it seems, a new scandal is unearthed by the upstart, online newspaper Mediapart. The most recent bomb was that President Francois Hollande's budget minister was evading taxes when he was supposed to be cracking down on tax cheats. After vehemently denying the allegations, in the face of overwhelming evidence, Jerome Cahuzac was forced to resign.

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Africa
5:05 am
Mon July 1, 2013

U.S. Investors, Businesses Hesitant To Set Up In Africa

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:19 am

President Obama's trip to Africa comes at a time of increasing African economic growth and declining U.S. influence on the continent. To be successful, he will need to overcome a general perception that the United States has withdrawn from Africa. At the same time, he must convince an American public and private sector that getting more invested in Africa will be good for American jobs and the economy.

Business
4:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:19 am

A wealthy New York couple is suing their son's kindergarten, claiming they were tricked into paying $50,000 for a finger painting done by a group of five-year-olds — including their son. The couple was out of town during the school's benefit auction, so they instructed a proxy to make sure they made the highest bid. The couple claim the school rigged the auction by having a first-grade teacher drive up the price.

Business
4:39 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:19 am

Two of San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit's largest unions went on strike after weekend talks with management failed to produce a new contract. The move ensures a nightmarish journey ahead for Monday commuters.

Europe
3:01 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Thar He Blows: Trump Tussles With Scots Over Wind Turbines

Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:52 am

A fierce legal battle is under way in Scotland, involving U.S. tycoon Donald Trump.

At the heart of the wrangle: wind.

Europe is leading the way in generating energy using wind. Huge turbines whir away on the hills and in the seas throughout the continent.

The roots of Trump's hatred for these turbines can be found, at least in part, in what was once a stretch of rolling dunes and grassland in northeastern Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.

He is spending hundreds of millions creating a resort there.

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Economy
2:28 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Alabama County Files Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:57 am

Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County has filed a 101-page plan that would force creditors to lose up to 70 cents on the dollar.

In 2011, the county underwent what's been called the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. It's in debt by about $4.2 billion.

Because of combination of corruption and poor management, the municipality was unable to repay money it borrowed to upgrade its sewage system.

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Monkey See
5:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 9:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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Pop Culture
3:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Lego Markets New 'Friends' For Girls

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:35 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Two years ago, 90 percent of kids playing with Legos were boys. You heard that right. Nine-zero. That's partly because Lego had turned from gender neutral buckets of bricks to selling heavily franchised sets such as "Star Wars" or "Avengers." For our series about kids and culture, NPR's Neda Ulaby looked at Lego's recent gamble on girls.

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