Business

Business news

columbia%20university.jpg
Andy Uhler

Graduate students at Columbia, Duke and other places of higher education are celebrating a labor ruling made Tuesday night. The National Labor Relations Board decided that graduate students working as teaching or research assistants at private universities have the right to bargain collectively, to organize a union. Students at public institutions can already do this.  

How HP is faring with its printer-PC business

Aug 24, 2016
hewlett_0.jpg
Gigi Douban

The Hewlett-Packard Company's share price fell by half last year after HP broke itself into two smaller companies, and hasn't recovered much. As HP — the HP that kept the printer and computer lines — reports quarterly earnings, investors are looking for clues that getting smaller is working.

Consider this: In the printer world, there’s an old running joke. And if you’ve ever bought cartridges or toner, you’ll get it.

Rafters%20for%20web.jpg
Grace Hood

In Colorado, nothing quite says summer like a rafting trip down thrilling rapids. In the southwestern town of Durango, hundreds sign up for trips in July and August.

On a late June afternoon, Dylan and Elizabeth Burton from Washington stepped out from the Animas River in Durango riding a rush of adrenaline. “Perfect, beautiful, fantastic in every way possible,” Dylan Burton said.

KFC releases fried-chicken scented sunscreen

Aug 23, 2016
Cqd5m4sWgAAI3VY.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

Some of you will remember that time KFC decided to release fried chicken-flavored nail polish a while back. The restaurant chain is out with another non-edible fried chicken product — I'm just gonna let this speak for itself, you decide:

Paris begins construction of urban refugee camp

Aug 23, 2016
Sami%20Achakzaiweb.jpg
Emma Jacobs

The city of Paris has started construction on a pair of urban refugee camps, which will provide modular shelters for more than 1,000 people.  The city hopes the project, announced by Mayor Anne Hidalgo in May, will help to eliminate tent cities that have emerged in public spaces throughout Paris.

stethoscope_3.jpg
Gigi Douban

People who buy individual health plans through the federal exchange in Alabama might soon see a big premium jump, anywhere from 26 to 41 percent over last year. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, soon to be the state’s only health insurance provider, has proposed the rate hike to take effect in 2017. 

The business of building sandcastles

Aug 22, 2016
GettyImages-56744559%20%281%29.jpg
Andy Uhler

Sandcastles have been around a while. In the 1970's, a couple of guys even started an organization called Sand Sculptors International — sort of the de-facto source for sandcastle standards.

Marketplace for Monday, August 22, 2016

Aug 22, 2016
welfare.jpg
Caitlin Esch

A look at what welfare dollars are being spent on now and how life has changed for those on welfare, 20 years after welfare reform; European Union's deal with Turkey over migration could be in jeopardy in the aftermath of the country's recent attempted coup; why Donald Trump's supporter base of disaffected white male voters are angry and what it might mean for the election.

Weekly Wrap: Jobs, oil and markets

Aug 19, 2016

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal and Linette Lopez from Business Insider. This week, they discuss a hopeful report on middle-income jobs from the Fed the upcoming OPEC meeting.

What visual albums say about today's music industry

Aug 19, 2016
endless.png
Sabri Ben-Achour

If you haven't been waiting for Frank Ocean's first new album in four years, you probably know someone who has. Or maybe you found out about the whole thing when your Twitter blew itself up last night over Ocean’s new 45-minute-long "video album." It's called "Endless" and is available, at least now, only on Apple Music.

Ocean's taking a page from Beyonce, who did the same thing with "Lemonade," which debuted on HBO and then was released exclusively on the streaming service Tidal. That's the one co-owned by her husband, Jay Z. 

A machine that puts sunscreen on for you, in a snap

Aug 18, 2016
12240299_1088729407845228_6278989731116721987_o.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

People are taking in the last rays of summer, but others may be soaking up too many. According to Snappy Screen founder Kristen McClellan, a major problem is that people are not reapplying sunscreen enough (or not applying at all in the first place). So, she was determined to fix the problem and invented a machine that applies sunscreen for you, in less than 10 seconds. 

On where her inspiration came from:

Arctic climate change: less ice, more cruise ships

Aug 18, 2016
Brashear_CrystalSerenity1.jpg
Graelyn Brashear

The Crystal Serenity set out from Seward, Alaska this week on a historic trip. With 1,700 people onboard, it will be the first big luxury ship to chart a course through the Northwest Passage, the once-elusive sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific above North America.

Marketplace for Thursday, August 18, 2016

Aug 18, 2016
GettyImages-589932060.jpg
Andy Uhler

The Justice Department announced today that it will end the use of private companies to run prisons; how the government plans to pay for the flood damage in Louisiana; and how coal companies in bankruptcy are getting out of huge liabilities for cleaning up their mine sites because of a loophole

GettyImages-588643142.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

Update: McDonald's announced it was removing the trackers from Happy Meals Thursday amid concerns the plastic band could irritate children's skin.

I'll preface by saying I know sometimes I come off as cynical, maybe too cynical.

This may be Obamacare’s biggest test

Aug 16, 2016
GettyImages-450630085.jpg
D Gorenstein

Aetna now joins UnitedHealth, Humana and others insurers in scaling back their involvement in healthcare exchanges.

“Aetna’s decision has a direct effect on competition in many parts of the country and it’s a bit of a red flag for the future,” said Larry Levitt with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Trump calls for "extreme vetting" and more sanctions

Aug 15, 2016
GettyImages-589916654.jpg
Kim Adams and Molly Wood

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is calling for more thorough vetting of immigrants and visitors to the United States, including ideological tests. In a foreign policy speech Monday in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump also called for an end to the foreign policy of “nation building”, citing the Iraq war as an example of how the policy went wrong.

Puerto Rican debt could help swing Florida

Aug 15, 2016
flag_1.jpg
Lane Wallace

In Florida, as many as a thousand people are arriving every month from Puerto Rico, responding to a long recession and a crushing debt crisis there.

But Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico, who are U.S. citizens, nonetheless can’t vote in presidential elections, because Puerto Rico isn’t a state. When they move to Florida, a key swing state, that changes.  

Hillary Clinton says she opposes the TPP

Aug 11, 2016
GettyImages-587469750.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

There was a whole long section on trade in Secretary Clinton's speech Thursday comparing and contrasting her approach with that of her opponent.

They do, however, agree on at least one thing trade-related.

Both Clinton and Trump oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the big Obama trade deal currently hung up in Congress.

Here's Secretary Clinton today:

Swedish Fish Oreos are a thing

Aug 10, 2016
28786518271_274804f9b0_o.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

There's a new kind of Oreo on the market.

I should say here that Nabisco's famous for trying out new flavors for their iconic cookies, and those flavors usually kind of make sense.

Brownie batter Oreos. Yes, please.

https://twitter.com/kittenclxffxrd/status/648238210477367297

Facebook blocks the ad blockers

Aug 10, 2016
GettyImages-85595140.jpg
Ashley Milne-Tyte

There was a time long ago when online ads were a novelty. Now, most of us can’t click away fast enough. In fact more and more of us are using ad blocking software to filter out those messages.

Now Facebook has a message for us: don’t bother. The company just announced it’s blocking the ad blockers. If you’re using Facebook on a desktop computer you will no longer be able to nix those ads. 

GettyImages-1133153.jpg
Donna Tam

Americans both young and old are having trouble saving for retirement and there’s growing concern around the myriad of fees associated with these types of savings accounts.

 

A political swag season like no other

Aug 10, 2016
GettyImages-514888930.jpg
Reema Khrais

Ted Jackson runs an unofficial online Trump store stocked with shirts and hats with phrases like “Let’s Make America Great Again” (he added the ‘Let’s’ to avoid legal problems).

From the start, sales of Trump merchandise were strong, Jackson said. During the primaries, Trump outsold the other Republican candidates, 20 to one.

But everything that happened before the national conventions, “compared to what happens post-convention — to say is night and day is not even adequate,” Jackson noted.

Cell phone giants are sued for discounting 911 calls

Aug 10, 2016
atandt_0.jpg
Sally Herships

What exactly counts as a phone line nowadays? It's a key question in a series of lawsuits brought by municipalities around the country against big telecom, adding up to what could be a $600 million shortfall for call centers nationwide.

“How do we differentiate a phone line sitting on someone’s desk?" asked Derek Kerton, chairman of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley. "What about a phone number that works through a PC or a laptop? Is that also a phone line?" 

Jumbo mortgages bigger piece of the housing pie

Aug 10, 2016
homes_2.jpg
Mitchell Hartman

Home prices are approaching, and in some markets exceeding, the peaks hit during the run-up to the Great Recession. And that means ever more of the mortgages that buyers need are jumbo mortgages — typically for $417,000 or more. As jumbo loans become a bigger piece of banks’ lending business, some borrowers lower on the income ladder could lose out.

A college is offering a Pokemon Go class

Aug 9, 2016
GettyImages-576511694.jpg
Kai Ryssdal

Following the example of small businesses accross this great nation, Fresno City College is offering a new class based on "Pokemon Go."

Well, it was only a matter of time, you might be saying to yourself. What's the focus? Consumer psychology? Anthropology? Ethics?

The surprising story behind the rise of flip-flops

Aug 5, 2016
2798005611_2fdb5272d3_b.jpg
Reema Khrais

Last year, Americans spent $2.6 billion on arguably the most popular shoe of summertime – the flip-flop.

“They are probably the oldest form of footwear,” said Tamera Lyndsay, founder of The Shoe College in Arizona.

Flip-flops date back to ancient Egypt, around 4000 B.C, Lyndsay said. But multiple cultures have put their own twist on the sandals. For example, instead of placing the strap after the first big toe, “the Romans used the second toe, the Mesopotamians the third toe,” she said.

The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are kicking off today, and the massive protests aren’t the only problem facing the city. There’s also the question of  how much hosting the games is actually going to cost.

One estimate puts the tab at around $20 billion, but there was a time when the Olympics actually made money.

Thanks to existing infrastructure and sports facilities, plus sponsorship and broadcast deals, Los Angeles was able to net a profit by hosting the 1984 Summer Games.

GettyImages-585823962.jpg
Donna Tam

There’s been plenty of speculation over whether or not Rio can actually pull off the Olympics, despite all the money that the metropolis has spent trying to fix everything.

Trump is paying a price for being late to the TV ad party

Aug 4, 2016
GettyImages-578548918.jpg
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Hillary Clinton and super PACs supporting her have budgeted $100 million for TV ads between now and the November election.  That’s around $97 million more than Donald Trump and his super PACs have set aside for TV ads. According to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“It’s such a stark difference that it’s hard to believe that they’re real,” said Sarah Bryner, the center's research director.

How hackable is your car?

Aug 4, 2016

Andy Greenberg, a senior writer for Wired, went for a wild ride last year in a Jeep Cherokee that had been hacked by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.

Pages