Business and Economy

The Salt
9:57 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 Was The Year Bills To Criminalize Animal Cruelty Videos Failed

A Humane Society investigation of a Wyoming pig breeding facility to the introduction of an ag-gag bill in Wyoming, which eventually failed.
Courtesy of Humane Society of the U.S.

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:07 pm

The past year was a busy one for the animal welfare activists who've turned their hidden cameras on confinement facilities where huge numbers of food animals are raised.

Livestock producers — and the policymakers they influence — were just as busy trying to make it illegal for activists to enter these facilities undercover.

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Business
5:37 am
Fri December 27, 2013

McDonald's Shuts Down Employee Website

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

The restaurant chain pulled the plug on the website after what it said was "unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary."

Business
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Holiday Shoppers Spent More This Year Than Last

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with signs of an improving economy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GONYEA: New data out today show that shoppers spent 2.3 percent more this holiday season than last year. This would make for the highest holiday sales growth in three years.

Online retail was especially strong. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Economy
4:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Long-Term Unemployment Benefits To Expire On Saturday

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea.

The holiday season will come to an abrupt end this weekend for people who have been unemployed for more than six months. Saturday, benefits expire for 1.3 million Americans who've been on the Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefit Program, which picks up where state systems usually end. That has people worried, people like Allison Gwyn(ph), a professional music teacher and actor in New York, who lost her job early in the summer.

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Business
4:18 am
Fri December 27, 2013

How Consumers Can Guard Against Credit Card Fraud

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

The recent data security breach at Target got us thinking about the plastic cards we use to pay for so many things. Just how safe are they really? And how can we protect ourselves from fraudulent charges?

To get some advice, our colleague, David Greene, called Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center, which recently put out an advisory to consumers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So every time we use a credit card or debit card when we're shopping are we opening ourselves up to some kind of risk?

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Economy
4:16 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Interest Rates Move Higher On Signs Of Improving Economy

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Other signs of strength in the economy are sending interest rates higher. Yesterday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly rose above the psychologically important level of 3 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has that story.

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Politics
4:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Obama's Position On Free Trade Marks Subtle Evolution

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.

Business
4:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Cars Are Next Frontier For Sharing Services

Kevin Petrovic, 19, and his business partner, who's also 19, raised about $6 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to launch FlightCar. The company is trying to make its mark with car-sharing for travelers.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:57 am

Following the popularity of companies like Airbnb, which rent out a client's house or apartment to people visiting the area, more companies are trying the idea with cars. Companies like Uber help find someone to drive you around like a taxi. Another will let you rent out your car like a Zipcar while you're at work.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills

President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:58 pm

President Obama on Thursday signed the bipartisan budget bill agreed upon earlier this month, setting the stage for an easing of mandatory spending cuts over the next two years.

The Senate approved the spending measure last week, following its passage in the Republican-dominated House.

The president also signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014.

As The Associated Press reports:

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Planet Money
3:42 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

The Tragic Number That Got Us All Talking About Our Clothing

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:31 pm

1,134 is the official government death toll of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The building, which collapsed in April, was home to five garment factories.

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