Business news

Why the US is on Apple's side in EU decision

Aug 30, 2016
Reema Khrais

On Tuesday, Apple was ordered to pay Ireland as much as $14.5 billion in back taxes. That’s because the European Union ruled that the tech giant gave special and illegal tax treatment to the country.

Shortly after the decision, the U.S. Treasury Department expressed disappointment.

“The commission’s actions could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU,” the department said in a statement.

Why Uber's business model could fail

Aug 30, 2016
David Brancaccio

There are many different ways to look at the revolutionary car service Uber. It's the company with a whopping $9 billion or $10 billion in cash reserves on hand. Or it's the company that lost $1.2 billion in the first half of this year, as we learned last week.  

A growing industry caters to college cheats

Aug 30, 2016
Amy Scott

Here’s a troubling thought as college classes start up again: More than two-thirds of college students admit to having cheated on an assignment.

The Chronicle of Higher Education spent months investigating a growing industry that has cropped up to help those students cheat.

With the rise of online courses, students aren’t just buying term papers or one-off assignments, said Chronicle reporter Brad Wolverton.

Decline in unions hurts non-union workers' wages

Aug 30, 2016
Gigi Douban

There’s this notion out there that unions are great for union members, and that’s pretty much it. But a new report from the Economic Policy Institute  looks at how the decline in labor unions has affected nonunion workers. 

Massachusetts could move one time zone east

Aug 29, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is trying to figure out its place on the space-time continuum.

As part of an economic development bill Governor Charlie Baker signed a couple of weeks ago, the Bay State is going to study changing the time zone that it's in.

Because, lo and behold, in the wintertime in the greater Northeast, it gets dark really early.

When nations police what women wear

Aug 29, 2016
Donna Tam

The head of the India’s tourism efforts got some flack this weekend by saying that female tourists should not wear skirts or walk alone at night “for their own safety.”

Minister Mahesh Sharma later clarified his statement, saying he meant it as advice for tourists visiting religious places.

"Good ideas never die at Disney"

Aug 29, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

So far this calendar year, Disney has made more than $2 billion at the box office. That's thanks to animated movies like "Finding Dory" and "Zootopia," and also some live action stuff, like "The Jungle Book" and, of course, "Captain America: Civil War."

But there was a time when Disney wasn't the entertainment giant it is today, when it was kind of just a place where artists could go and do some creative work. 

Drones: getting down to business

Aug 29, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour and Stephanie Hughes

Businesses that want to use drones have had, up 'till now, to get special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration. But starting today, the FAA is loosening the rules a little bit.  You can now get a commercial drone pilot's license and be on your way, but you can't go higher than 400 feet, and you can't fly the drones further than you can see them.  

Mylan to offer cheaper EpiPen

Aug 29, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Amazon's plans to enter the crowded on-demand music market; Mylan's plans to sell a generic version of the life-saving EpiPen; and Florida's struggles to retain corrections officers.  

Amazon to launch music streaming service

Aug 29, 2016
Reema Khrais

Amazon plans to a launch a music streaming service as early as next month, according to the Financial Times.

The company is reportedly wrapping up deals with the world’s largest record labels. In terms of price, Amazon would charge subscribers $9.99 a month, which is what Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Google Play all charge.

And Amazon isn’t the only looking to enter this space. Pandora is reportedly also wrapping up agreements with major record companies.

Alisa Roth

Driving up to the compound in south Florida that houses the Dade and Homestead prisons, you'll see the job ads. Stuck like campaign signs in the lush green lawns outside the perimeter fences, they said “Now Hiring,” in big red letters, along with a phone number to call for more information.

More companies insure against employee harassment

Aug 29, 2016
Lane Wallace

Workplace sexual harassment has been in the news once again as several women have publicly alleged that they were sexually harassed by the former head of Fox News, Roger Ailes.

Drones rule: FAA makes commercial drones legit

Aug 29, 2016
Gigi Douban

The Federal Aviation Administration’s new rules on commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, take effect Monday. The regulations, announced in June, apply to drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Commercial drone pilots must take a test, at one of the FAA’s 689 testing centers, to get a remote pilot certificate.

But know this: If the terms “density altitude” and “temperature inversion” mean nothing to you, you’re probably going to have a hard time passing this test.

There might be a way to eliminate traffic jams

Aug 26, 2016
David Lazarus and Crystal Castle

Next weekend for Labor Day, AAA estimates that 35 million Americans will travel. And about 86 percent are due to fill up their gas tanks for one final summer road trip. 

The company also estimates that it costs about 57 cents a mile to drive. But with so many people on the road, most of that fuel will be wasted idling in traffic. However, there is a glimmer of hope. Benjamin Seibold, a professor at Temple University who studies traffic, said jams can be mitigated simply by changing the way you drive. 

Donna Tam

The burkini just keeps making waves. France’s highest administrative court has made it possible to overturn the bans implemented on the full-body swimsuit, the BBC reported today.

The court said the ban  in one Mediterranean town "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms," and the ruling could set precedent for other towns with similar bans. The burkini covers everything, but a person’s hands, feet and face.

On today's show, we'll talk about the possible demise of ITT Tech; a billion-dollar hit to Japan's pension fund; and the Port of Houston's efforts to gain some post-Panamax traffic.


Tony Wagner

The U.S. Department of Education said Thursday that ITT Educational Services – which is the parent company of ITT Technical Institutes – can’t use federal financial aid to enroll new students anymore. It’s the latest in the department’s move to assert closer regulation on for-profit colleges.

Houston spends millions to woo post-Panamax ships

Aug 26, 2016
Gail Delaughter

The widened Panama Canal is likely to have a significant impact on global shipping. Here in the U.S., gigantic ships that could only fit on West Coast docks can now get through the canal to the Gulf of Mexico. That means a sizable increase in traffic for the Port of Houston — which has already begun a billion-dollar plan to upgrade its infrastructure.

Prince's Paisley Park will open its doors to fans

Aug 26, 2016
Reema Khrais

The rumors are true. Paisley Park – Prince’s 65,000 square foot compound outside of Minneapolis – is becoming a museum.

In October, guests will be able to tour through his recording studios, video-editing rooms, rehearsal rooms and the performance hall. They’ll also get glimpses of more personal items: his wardrobe, dozens of instruments, motorcycles, artwork and rare music.

“It keeps his name alive. It keeps his music alive,” said John Kellogg, who teaches music business and management at Berklee College of Music.

Dan Bobkoff

The residents of Kibera, in Nairobi,  have a message for foreign aid groups in their community: if you want us to come hear what you have to say, you need to pay us. 

So many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have flooded this poor area that many locals have become disillusioned by the foreigners who say they want to help. 

Gigi Douban

Today the CEO of Mylan responded to the uproar over her company's price increases for EpiPens, the life-saving anti-allergy injectors. A pack of two EpiPens now costs $600, up from $100 in 2007. CEO Heather Bresch said Mylan will offer more financial assistance to help people pay their out-of-pocket costs — the piece that health insurance doesn't cover. But she did not offer to take back any of the price increases.

On today's show, we'll talk about emergency measures to help those affected by Wednesday's earthquake in central Italy; why Nevada is an unusual battleground state, economically, for presidential candidates; and how the U.K. is doing two months after the Brexit vote. 

Andy Uhler

Representatives of Orlando Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital who treated victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, said they're not going to send those people bills for the medical services they received. 

New home sales up, existing home sales down

Aug 25, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Late August has delivered a mixed picture on the U.S. housing market, seven years after the Great Recession ended and a long, slow economic recovery began.

New home sales in July were reported at an annual rate of 654,000 units, up 12.4 percent from the previous month, and up 31.3 percent from July 2015, to the highest rate since 2007.

In UK, Brexit vote effects still unclear

Aug 25, 2016
Sam Beard

Two months ago, the Brits woke up to find that they had voted to leave the European Union. Doom mongers predicted disaster. So two months on, what effect has the Brexit shock had on the U.K. economy?  

EU supporters had warned that Brexit could cause mass unemployment — that as many as 3 million people could be thrown on to the dole. 

That has not even begun to happen. Unemployment has fallen to 4.9 percent, an 11-year low.  

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to campaign in Nevada. Statewide polls show a tight race there between her and Donald Trump.

Nevada is a most unusual battleground state. Unlike traditional Rust Belt swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, the economic concerns of Nevada present a new set of problems for would-be presidents, a potent cocktail of America’s economic past, present and future. This includes issues currently scorching the campaign trail, such as immigration and infrastructure.

Graduate students win recognition as employees

Aug 24, 2016
Amy Scott

Colleges and universities are still absorbing the news of a ruling Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board. The board voted 3-1 that graduate student research and teaching assistants at Columbia University are employees and have the right to unionize. Grad student unions have been recognized at many public universities since 1969. Among private schools, just New York University voluntarily recognizes a student union.

TPP proponents face a tough crowd this election season

Aug 24, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Trade deals are rarely popular in election years but this year they seem to be extra unpopular.  Mr. Trump appears opposed to most of the U.S. trade deals up to this point and both he and Secretary Clinton oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership.  That complicates the efforts to get the thing passed, even as President Obama has said he would make a push for the deal after the election. 

Sam Beard

The warnings were dire.  Vote for Brexit and Britain will suffer a disaster, said a whole slew of experts before the referendum . The stock market will crash.  House prices will plummet. Three million people will be thrown onto the dole.

Two months on, none of this has happened. In fact, the opposite has occurred: the stock market has reached new highs, unemployment has sunk to its lowest level for a decade and house prices are stable and retail spending is up.

Big banks team up to create digital currency

Aug 24, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about a decline in stock market volatility over the summer; a collaboration between four big banks to create an alternative to Bitcoin; a labor ruling that's granted graduate students from private colleges the right to unionize; and the return of Fugitive Tech CEO Kobi Alexander to the U.S.