Economy & Business

Business news

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As Bernie Sanders sees it, Wall Street got a big boost when U.S. taxpayers bailed out some of the largest financial institutions in 2008. Now it's time for Wall Street to return the favor.

Sanders has proposed something he calls a speculation tax, a small levy on every stock, bond or derivative sold in the United States.

The revenue would go toward free tuition at public colleges and universities and would also be used to pare down student debt and pay for work-study programs, as well as other programs, Sanders says.

A string of attacks on cities, schools and workplaces has prompted many employers to turn to a new area of security for their employees: active-shooter training.

Until about a decade ago, workplace security focused mostly on preventing theft. Now, businesses are trying to give their employees guidelines on how to escape or handle armed intruders.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

North Dakota's economic fortunes have taken an abrupt turn for the worst. This is after 15 years of receiving almost entirely good news.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Rob Schmitz

The streets of Pianma are lined with sawmills. They’re also lined with logs as big as cars: Teak, Rosewood, and Golden Camphor — all of them felled illegally across the border in Burma from old growth forests and brought to the Chinese side to be cut down into furniture.

“These trees were several hundred years old," said Li Xiaomei, showing off a two-story stack of logs outside the mill she owns with her husband, Li Jianli.

Inside a huge air pollution scrubbing unit

17 hours ago
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Reid R. Frazier

What does it take to keep 100,000 tons of pollution out of the air? At one coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, the answer is: lots and lots of air filters.

Sulfur in coal is a big cause of pollution. To take sulfur out of the coal it burns, the Homer City Generating Station — an hour east of Pittsburgh — is putting in thousands of air filters.

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Kai Ryssdal

Whole Foods just became more Whole Food-ish.

The company's in the middle of rolling out a new store brand.

It's called Friends of 365.

Smaller, just as natural organic healthy, you know the drill.

Here's the twist, though: Bloomberg reported today, and the company confirms, that the new stores will also host smaller pop-up shops.

Record stores, perhaps. Vinyl, of course. Or, tattoo parlors.

Deep in the heart of the arcane laws that give farmers a helping hand, there's something called "crop insurance." It's a huge program, costing taxpayers anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion each year.

It's called an insurance program, and it looks like insurance. Farmers buy policies from private companies and pay premiums (which are cheap because of government subsidies) to insure themselves against crop failures and falling prices. It's mainly used by corn, soybean, cotton and wheat farmers. Defenders of the program call it a safety net.

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