NPR Business

Environment
3:16 am
Fri May 10, 2013

College Divestment Campaigns Creating Passionate Environmentalists

Students associated with the group Brown Divest Coal protested in front of the Brown University president's office during a rally May 3. The group is demanding that the university stop investing in certain oil and coal companies.
Courtesy of Brown Divest Coal

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 11:04 am

At about 300 colleges across the country, young activists worried about climate change are borrowing a strategy that students successfully used in decades past. In the 1980s, students enraged about South Africa's racist Apartheid regime got their schools to drop stocks in companies that did business with that government. In the 1990s, students pressured their schools to divest Big Tobacco.

This time, the student activists are targeting a mainstay of the economy: large oil and coal companies.

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Planet Money
3:12 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:50 pm

When you arrive in Myanmar, you can see how eager the people are to do business. At the airport in Yangon, new signs in English welcome tourists. A guy in a booth offers to rent me a local cellphone — and he's glad to take U.S. dollars. But when I pull out my money, he shakes his head.

"I'm sorry," he says.

He points to the crease mark in the middle of the $20 bill. No creases allowed.

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Business
5:29 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

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The Salt
5:11 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Big Ag Agrees to Conserve Cropland, But At What Cost?

Peanut plants grow on a Halifax, N.C., farm that received federal subsidies in 2011.
Robert Willett MCT /Landov

Taxpayers help subsidize crop insurance premiums for farmers to the tune of about $9 billion dollars, a figure that's growing each year. These policies protect farmers from major losses, and help support their income even if there's no loss of crops.

And in return? Well, environmentalists argue that farmers who receive this financial support should be required to be good stewards of the land.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Samoans Await The Return Of The Tasty Turkey Tail

A chef in the kitchen of NPR headquarters prepares turkey tails.
Art Silverman/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:04 pm

This is the tale of turkey tail — it's convoluted arrival, disappearance and highly anticipated return to the Pacific island the Republic of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa).

It's hard to pinpoint precisely when turkey tails started being imported into Samoa from the U.S. and when they became a favorite, affordable dish. Meat byproducts (Spam and fatty lamb cuts from New Zealand) started showing up sometime after World War II, and turkey tails came shortly thereafter.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Charge Alleged New York Cell In International Cyber Heist

Cybercriminals allegedly hacked into databases for prepaid debit cards and used the compromised data to steal from ATMs around the world.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:39 pm

Eight people in New York have been charged as part of what prosecutors say was a global ring of cybercriminals who stole $45 million by hacking into prepaid credit card accounts and then using the data to get cash from thousands of ATMs around the world.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch described the alleged scheme as "a massive 21st century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe. In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet."

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Monkey See
11:23 am
Thu May 9, 2013

PBS Continues The March Into Streaming Programming

Antiques Roadshow is one of the programs available from PBS's new Roku channel.
PBS

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:25 am

Let's start with a brief tour of streaming television online.

For quite a while, streaming television meant sitting and watching it on your computer. It wasn't ideal, for obvious reasons. Then, it got easier to sit and watch it on your phone. That wasn't ideal, either, if you liked the living-room experience. Tablets do a better job than phones of delivering a portable but less tiny experience.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Jobless Claims Stay Near 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 10:16 am

There were 323,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Note: As often happens, the previous week's figure is a slight revision from what was reported earlier. Initially, the ETA said there had been 324,000 first-time claims during the week ending April 27. Now, it says there were 327,000 that week.

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Business
6:14 am
Thu May 9, 2013

U.S. Foreclosure Rate Dips To 6-Year Low

Home foreclosure filings in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest levels in more than six years. They're down more than 20 percent from last year, according to the company RealtyTrac. Inexpensive mortgages and a rising demand for homes seem to be at play here.

Politics
6:05 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Lawmakers Use Web To Request Help Simplifying Tax Code

Steve Inskeep talks with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan about their bipartisan efforts to rewrite the tax code. On Thursday, the lawmakers launched TaxReform.gov in an effort to solicit direct input from Americans on simplifying the tax code.

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