NPR Business

Parallels
3:32 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Kurds May Have Oil To Export, But Buyers Are Harder To Find

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraq's Kurdish region anchors near Ashkelon, Israel. It's believed the oil has been off-loaded into Israel. The U.S. and Baghdad oppose the Kurdish export of oil from the autonomous northern region.
David Buimovitch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:14 am

Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.

But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.

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Business
3:31 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Leased Solar Panels Can Cast A Shadow Over A Home's Value

Mark Bortman of Exact Solar in Yardley, Pa., says having leased solar panels on a roof can add an extra step when selling a house. He says typically a buyer will assume the remainder of the lease, but that requires a credit check and some paperwork
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:11 am

Installing solar panels on a house to generate electricity often costs $20,000 or more, and many homeowners have turned to leasing programs to avoid those upfront costs. But most leases are for 20 years, and that can present problems if someone wants to sell the house before the lease is completed.

Peter Auditore of El Granada, Calif., was happy with the leased solar panels he installed a few years back. When he decided to sell, he found a buyer who also appreciated the environmental benefits of solar panels. But then there was a hitch just as the sale was about to go through.

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Media
4:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

The Rise Of The Online Rebuttal — And How It's Making Waves In Print

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Law
4:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To $7 Billion Fine For 'Egregious' Misconduct

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle claims that it committed fraud when it sold mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. Most of the money will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, but some will be used to provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.

All Tech Considered
4:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

In Europe, Google Stumbles Between Free Speech And Privacy

A Google search removal request is displayed on the screen of a smartphone in London. The company says it has received more than 70,000 takedown requests following a European court ruling.
Dominic Lipinski PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Google is trying to make sense of a sweeping decision about the Internet. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that people have the right to be forgotten. That is, if you don't like something about you that pops up on a Google search, you can make Google hide that result.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Trump Plaza Latest Atlantic City Casino To Fold

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino opened to much fanfare in 1984 but may close by mid-September.
Mel Evans AP

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is expected to close on Sept. 16, making it the latest in a series of Atlantic City casinos to go under.

As required by federal law in advance of mass layoffs, the hotel sent out warnings about the planned closure to employees on Monday. According to a document obtained by The Associated Press, a total of 1,153 layoffs are expected.

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Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Accounting Giant To Pay $4 Million After Improper Lobbying

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:45 pm

The accounting firm of Ernst & Young has agreed to pay $4 million to settle civil charges that it violated federal rules when a subsidiary lobbied Congress on behalf of audit clients.

"Ernst & Young engaged in lobbying activities that constituted improper advocacy and clearly violated the rules," said Scott W. Friestad, associate director of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which announced the penalty Monday.

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All Tech Considered
1:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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Business
12:34 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Settles Subprime Mortgage Case For $7 Billion

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Citigroup has agreed to settle allegations that it defrauded investors in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The settlement requires Citigroup to pay $7 billion. Two and a half billion will go toward mortgage relief for homeowners. Now, this settlement involves mortgage-backed securities the bank packaged and sold to investors, and it was announced this morning by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. We're going to talk this through with NPR's Jim Zarroli who's on the line. Jim, good morning.

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