Economy & Business

Business news

This week, Google, already a leader in mapping, created more space between itself and its competitors by more deeply mining the data users provide the company when using its various services.

At the Google developers' conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps, crowed about the company's mapping app for the iPhone — and couldn't quite stop himself from taking a dig at Apple.

"People called it sleek, simple, beautiful, and let's not forget, accurate," he said.

A couple generations ago, when older Americans retired they could rely on pension plans to support them. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, many companies switched their retirement plans over to 401(k) accounts. The security of workers' retirement savings suddenly became subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Thirty million dollars is a lot of money, but how do you divide it among the families of the three people killed, the dozens maimed, the hundreds who spent time in the hospital, the thousands who witnessed the blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month?

A study published online recently in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives documented slightly elevated levels of arsenic in samples of chicken purchased at grocery stores in 10 cities in the U.S.

So how did trace amounts of this toxin end up in supermarket poultry?

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Gov. Walker appears to be a quarter-way to his goal of creating 250,000 private sector jobs from 2011-2015.

Billionaire investment legend Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has had its credit rating lowered from AA+ to AA by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

In a statement, S&P says that even though Berkshire Hathaway has an "excellent business profile," the lower credit rating "better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income." (S&P's statement is posted on its website, but you have to register to view it.)

Thursday morning's economic news:

-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.

Copyright 2014 North Country Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yen's Drop In Value Could Fuel Curency War

May 16, 2013

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's economy is finally getting a lift. The stock market is soaring there. Companies like Toyota and Sony are seeing a surge in profits. And today, Japan's government reported the economy grew a three-and-a-half percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a significant improvement.

Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.

Caterpillar and its South Milwaukee Union are engaged in tough talks.

Last week, the United Steelworkers Local 1343 voted down a contract that called for allowing the company to temporarily close the plant if needed during downturns, along with wage freezes.

Where are you from?  Ask that to the next person you meet on the street in Milwaukee, and they’ll probably look at you funny.  So, instead, take our word for it – the answer is probably someplace local.

Writer and Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank says where we are from says a great deal about where we are going:

Olivu

Napoleon Dynamite included, a lot of us rely on lip balm to keep our mouths moisturized. But it's likely few of us ever thought about making our own product.

One Sheboygan woman has given more than lip service to the importance of pampered puckering. Caitlin Brotz is carving a niche for her homegrown lip balm company, called Olivu 426.

Pages