Economy

Law
3:15 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Miss. Prison Operator Out; Facility Called A 'Cesspool'

In 2010, former inmate Ross Walton describes mistreatment he says inmates received from guards. Faced with a court order to reform the Walnut Grove juvenile prison, the company managing the prison is leaving Mississippi.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 7:06 pm

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Home Prices Continue Downward Drift

A sign of the times, last year in Tigard, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 9:17 am

"Broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," according to economist David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Focus On Murdochs Shifts: Were They Bamboozling British Politicians?

A video grab from pooled footage taken inside the Leveson Inquiry shows former News International executive chairman James Murdoch giving evidence at the High Court in London earlier today.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:59 am

  • Philip Reeves on 'Morning Edition'

Half-way through today's hearing in London into the Murdoch family's "scandal-tarred British newspaper unit," and the ethics of British media outlets, the inquiry's focus has shifted, NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Tue April 24, 2012

It's Zip It Day On Google

Google

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 7:31 am

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Business
4:39 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Bankrupt American Airlines Spars With Unions

American Airlines and American Eagle employees protest Monday in New York City against American's plans to cut jobs and labor costs while under bankruptcy court protection. American is seeking permission to break up union contracts and cut expenses, but the unions oppose those plans and support a potential takeover bid by US Airways.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:24 pm

With US Airways breathing down its neck, making nice with its unions as well as its creditors, American Airlines came to New York City on Monday to ask a federal bankruptcy judge for relief. Mostly, American wants relief from its unions — 13,000 jobs would be eliminated under its reorganization proposal. American has been hemorrhaging money for years and wants to lower its costs to compete.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

AP Analysis: Half Of Recent College Grads Are Jobless Or Underemployed

Students from John Moores' University celebrate graduation.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

It's hard out there for a college grad.

The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."

The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Mon April 23, 2012

DARPA Explains Crash Of Hypersonic Glider

This US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) artists rendering shows the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2).
AFP/Getty Images

The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.

As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."

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Business
3:35 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Continued Job Growth Will Help Housing Industry

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.

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Planet Money
2:53 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Should We Kill The Dollar Bill?

Robert Benincasa NPR

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 3:53 pm

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

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Central Standard
12:27 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Discussing Changing Technology And Culture At KC Forum

Ten years ago, this was a different city.

In the last year alone, Kansas City saw a change in leadership with a new mayor, then a new Police Chief; plus, the opening of another world-class performing arts center.

So, what could this city see in another year? Another five?

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Central Standard
5:04 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Two KC Businesses Build Largest Solar Canopy In Area

The Solar Panel at Travois Holdings in the Crossroads
Beth Heap Travois

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but collaboration might be the father of innovation.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Shifting Into Reverse, Detroit Automakers Lose Some Market Share

A worker assembles a Silverado truck on the assembly line at the GM Flint Assembly plant in Michigan.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors gained market share in the past couple years. Helped by Toyota's much-publicized recalls, the problems that Japanese carmakers faced after last year's earthquake and tsunami, and an improving reputation for the quality of American-made vehicles, Detroit's Big Three grabbed 47 percent of sales last year — up from 45.1 percent in 2010 and 44 percent in 2009.

Our friend Micki Maynard of Changing Gears, though, reports that the Detroit companies' comeback — in terms of market share — may be over.

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All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Greenpeace: How Clean (And Green) Is Your Cloud?

Greenpeace's annual report ranks Internet companies based on the efficiency of their cloud facilities.
szaz iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 2:22 pm

Greenpeace released its latest report today asking, "How clean is your cloud?"

The annual report examines the server farms built by the largest Internet companies — including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — and ranks them according to how efficient their cloud facilities are, and where they get their electricity.

Yahoo — which has struggled to please investors in recent years — was the only major Internet company in the study to get most of its electricity from renewable or clean energy sources, according to the report.

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Around the Nation
11:12 am
Tue April 17, 2012

War Of The Worlds: When Science, Politics Collide

In 1925, people lined up to buy anti-evolution books in Dayton, Tenn., where the "monkey trial" of teacher John T. Scopes took place. Tennessee recently enacted a law encouraging teachers to question accepted science on evolution and other issues.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:36 pm

Roger Cone is a microbiologist, not a politician. He struggles with a basic truth: For all the scientific acceptance of evolution, many Americans simply don't believe it is factually accurate.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Housing Starts Drop, But Building Permits Are Up

There was a 5.8 percent drop in housing starts from February to March, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

Bloomberg News says the decline was unexpected and left starts at a five-month low.

Still, the number of starts was up 10.3 percent from March 2011.

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All Tech Considered
4:35 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Another Tech Bubble? Maybe Not

Jean-Paul Rodrigue Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:16 pm

It's beginning to feel frothy in Silicon Valley. Here are a few numbers:

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Central Standard
1:28 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Computer Guys: What Privacy?

Google

In a world where we might all someday wear glasses that check the weather, give us directions, and let us take photos… where do you draw the line?

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Up to Date
11:14 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

Treasure Or Trash? Digging Up History

Just a small selection of the Roman coins found by Dave Crisp in a field near Frome, Somerset.
Photograph: British Museum/PA

You may encounter them looking down, listening to their headphones. No, they're not listening to an iPod...they're attuned to their metal detectors, attempting to find buried treasure. 

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U.S.
9:24 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Where Does America Get Oil? You May Be Surprised

The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1960s and 70s, it's been conventional wisdom to talk about American dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But the global oil market has changed dramatically since then.

Today, the U.S. actually gets most of its imported oil from Canada and Latin America.

And many Americans might be surprised to learn that the U.S. now imports roughly the same amount of oil from Africa as it does from the Persian Gulf. African imports were a bit higher in 2010, while Persian Gulf oil accounted for a bit more last year.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose By 13,000 Last Week

There were 13,000 more first-time claims for jobless benefits last week than the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

The agency says there were 380,000 such applications, up from 367,000 (a number that has been revised upward; previously, the agency had estimated there were 357,000 claims in the week ended March 31).

Claims had been running at the lowest pace since March and April 2008. At 380,000, the pace is the lowest since June 2008.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Facebook Is Buying Instagram

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 2:30 pm

"I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook," Mark Zuckerberg just announced.

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Business & Tech
11:59 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Long-Time Businessman Holds Hope For Prospect Renewal

Veteran businessman Kenneth Bledsoe with his wife and son.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

One veteran businessperson along Kansas City's Prospect Avenue took a very personal interest this week in a celebration of a multi-million dollar community development project along his blighted strip of the boulevard.

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Your Money
2:36 am
Mon April 9, 2012

What Do You Owe In Taxes? Depends Who's Counting

Which tax preparation service is best? That's what writer Joel Stein hoped to find out when he took his 2011 income data to different firms — including an H&R Block office, seen here in a file photo from last year's tax season.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 11:58 am

In 2012, the federal tax return deadline is Tuesday, April 17 — so if you haven't already filed your income tax return, you have about one week left to shop around for different options to finish your taxes, or request an extension.

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Technology
7:00 am
Sun April 8, 2012

A Brief History Of The Mobile Phone

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A new Smartphone goes on sale. The Nokia Lumina 900 represents the Finnish company's big and somewhat desperate effort to regain a toehold in the all-important U.S. market.

NPR's Wendy Kaufman offers this brief history of America's infatuation with the mobile phone.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: In The iconic 1987 film "Wall Street," Michael Douglas strolls the beach with and uses his cell phone to congratulate an associate on making a ton of money.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "WALL STREET")

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Economy
12:49 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

For Long-Term Unemployed, Help Is Running Out

Job seekers line up to enter a career fair in Los Angeles. Both Congress and states are cutting back on unemployment benefits.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Diane Turner can't find work. She spent 30 years managing dental practices in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, but lost her last job in that field a couple of years ago.

She worked for a while greeting customers at an auto body shop, but lost that job a year ago. "It was very depressing," Turner says. "I always worked, and I was always able to get a job."

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Economy
11:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

March Jobs Report Offers Mixed Messages

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 10:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
10:15 am
Fri April 6, 2012

When Online Hacking Poses Real-World Dangers

In January, the hacker group Anonymous staged a demonstration at a BART station in San Francisco after officials turned off cell phone service in its stations.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 9:08 pm

There are a couple interesting Anonymous stories out there in the ether today. First, the news.

The group claims to have hacked a number of Chinese government websites. Last month, Anonymous China launched its own Twitter account. It was endorsed by the YourAnonNews account, which is kind of the unofficial clearinghouse of Anonymous posts on Twitter. And then the folks who are behind this project got to work.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Just 120,000 Jobs Added, But Jobless Rate Dips To 8.2 Percent

The changes in payroll employment over the past two years.
NPR

Originally published on Fri April 6, 2012 9:37 am

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February, but only 120,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning in a report that was less positive about the labor market's health than economists had expected.

Prior to the news, forecasters had predicted BLS would say about 200,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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Monkey See
3:11 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Google's New Glasses And The War On Serendipity

A woman wears a design version of Google's intended smart glasses from its Project Glass.
Google AP

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 10:54 am

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

No One's Claimed Mega Millions Win, Maryland Lottery Official Says

We still don't know who bought the three winning tickets in Friday's $656 million Mega Millions lottery drawing — one in Illinois, one in Kansas and one in Maryland.

And we still don't know what's going on with Mirlande Wilson, the Maryland woman who has made headlines by claiming to have purchased a big winner, but who hasn't yet provided any proof.

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