NPR Business

Planet Money
3:21 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:16 am

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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Digital Life
3:18 am
Thu August 23, 2012

In Japan, Mobile Startups Take Gaming To Next Level

According to consultant Serkan Toto, the anonymity of mobile gaming is tailor-made for the Japanese.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

On the subway, in doctor's waiting rooms and during college lectures, millions of Japanese can be found glued to their smartphones. But they're not texting or making phone calls — they're playing video games.

In the U.S., video games are usually played on computers and consoles, like the PlayStation or Wii, but in Japan, gaming has migrated to smartphones.

With an ice coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other, grad student Yoshiro Hinoki is fixated on slaying tiny cartoon monsters.

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The Salt
5:24 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Food Waste Is Overwhelming. Here Are Five Things People Are Doing About It

Rotten jackfruit and tomatoes are sorted at a dump in New Delhi. India loses an estimated 40 percent of its produce harvest for lack of infrastructure. And Americans waste about 40 percent of our food.
Mustafa Quraishi AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 5:39 pm

The food world is buzzing today about the latest news on just how often we waste perfectly good food. And we admit, the statistics are pretty depressing.

About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Fed Hints At More Action To Boost Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks to educators Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C. At their most recent meeting, many Fed members backed action to boost the economy.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The Federal Reserve could take more steps to boost the struggling U.S. economy. That's according to minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.

"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," the minutes said. [PDF]

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The Salt
4:28 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Spice Man Cometh To Cuba, A Hot Land Of Bland Food

Cuba has tight advertising restrictions, so Cedric Fernando uses his British-made 1955 MG convertible to spread the word about his Indian restaurant, Bollywood, in Havana.
Nick Miroff NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:57 am

Cuba has hot weather, hot music, hot politics and hot Cubans. So why is the food so bland?

Tourists who have visited the island, particularly Cuba's state-run restaurants, know that Cuban chefs are deeply fond of frying their ingredients, but the range of seasonings tends to span from salt to garlic, with not much else in between.

Enter the Spice Man. He is Cedric Fernando, co-proprietor of the first and only Indian restaurant in Cuba, called Bollywood. And he's definitely turning up the heat in the kitchen.

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Business
5:21 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Video Game Retail Sales Fall, While Downloads Increase

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:03 am

Video games are getting better in terms of quality, so why are sales falling month after month? David Greene talks to Chris Kohler, who writes about video games for Wired Magazine. The two examine the trends and new technologies reshaping this big, and growing industry.

Business
5:21 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:05 am

Congress hasn't agreed on a budget for the next fiscal year. So President Obama is extending a two-year pay freeze for federal workers. That means no raises for federal employees at least until next spring. That's when a short-term budget deal runs out.

Business
5:21 am
Wed August 22, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. And our last word in business today is Wi-Fi donkeys. Just follow along here.

A theme park in Israel called Kfar Kedem, or Village of Yore, depicts life in Israel in the first and second centuries. The Times of Israel describes it as a Galilean version of Colonial Williamsburg.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
5:21 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Chinese Factories Improve Conditions Where iPads Are Made

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Law
4:51 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Jury To Decide Apple's Patent Case Against Samsung

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:10 pm

What your next smart phone or tablet computer might look like is in the hands of a California jury. In one of the biggest patent infringement cases ever, Apple is suing Samsung — charging that in creating its products, Samsung ripped off iPhone and iPad technology. Samsung countered with its own allegations.

This case is complex, the legal issues are daunting, and the jury's decision has to be unanimous.

"What's at stake here is the future of smartphones and the tablet market," says intellectual property expert Christopher V. Carani.

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