Economy & Business

The Two-Way
8:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

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Business
7:20 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Don't Fall For The Oldest Trick In The Book

Police in Ceres, Calif., have a warning: If someone comes up to you in a silver Lexus at dusk offering a ridiculously cheap iPad — don't buy it. Authorities say several people have fallen prey to the alluring low prices.

Business
7:20 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Netflix Reports Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Netflix surge.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The video streaming company's shares spiked more than 17 percent yesterday during after-hours trading. That's thanks to better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Netflix reported a net income of $48 million for the last quarter of 2013 - up from eight million a year ago.

Business
5:06 am
Thu January 23, 2014

World Economic Forum Opens In Switzerland

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The World Economic Forum is underway at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. It's an annual meeting of the world's business elites but also in attendance are world leaders and academics, celebrities and charities.

Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. He's a regular at Davos and he joined us from there. Good morning.

GIDEON RACHMAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Tell us about who is there this year and if there are some names that you're surprised to find are not.

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Around the Nation
4:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Texas Landowners Keep Watchful Eye On Keystone KL Pipeline

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 7:20 am

Oil is now running through the southern part of the keystone XL pipeline. Supporters and opponents will be watching carefully to see what that could mean for the northern section of the project, that still awaits approval from the Obama administration.

Europe
2:51 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Spain Exits Bailout In A Sign Of Progress, Not Full Recovery

Shareholders protest bank practices at the headquarters of Spain's largest mortgage lender, Bankia, in Madrid on June 23, 2012, at the height of the country's banking crisis. Europe stepped in at that time with $56 billion in loans to help the banking system.
Andrea Comas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:47 pm

Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.

Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.

It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.

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The Salt
4:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Small-Batch Distilleries Ride The Craft Liquor Wave

Evan Parker built the interior space of the distillery himself in a small warehouse near the coast. Parker and his business partner, Mat Perry, have desks overlooking their 400-gallon copper kettle and still.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:01 pm

Wherever you live, you're probably not too far from a local microbrewery making beer. Now, the latest trend is the spread of what you might call "micro-boozeries." Craft liquor distilleries are springing up around the country like little wellheads spouting gin, whiskey and rum.

Turkey Shore Distilleries in Ipswich, Mass., is one of them.

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The Salt
4:27 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Should Farmers Give John Deere And Monsanto Their Data?

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:01 pm

Starting this year, farmers across the Midwest can sign up for a service that lets big agribusiness collect data from their farms, minute by minute, as they plant and harvest their crops.

Monsanto and John Deere are offering competing versions of this service. Both are promising to mine that data for tips that will put more money in farmers' pockets.

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All Tech Considered
4:27 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Putting The Brake On Who Can See Your Car's Data Trail

Auto show worker Jorge Martinez details a 2014 Buick Regal in preparation for display Jan. 11. The Regal is equipped with technology that senses a potential accident and slows the car automatically.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:01 pm

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, carmakers are happy to demonstrate the technology in their vehicles. A spokeswoman for Buick points out some of the safety features in the new Regal:

"Automatic crash preparation," she says. "Now we're actually able to help stop the vehicle in the event of sensing a potential crash, or at least reduce the speed."

And many new Chevrolets have a dashboard app that some of us in public radio are fond of: It lets you run any NPR station in the country on it.

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