The health care fix announced by President Obama on Thursday may be good news for some consumers, but it creates a big headache for insurance companies and regulators. An insurance industry trade group warns the last-minute change could destabilize the market and lead to higher premiums.
Google won a key victory in a nearly decade-long lawsuit over fair use of the collections of works at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress and various other university libraries. A U.S. circuit court judge in Manhattan found Google's project to digitally copy millions of books for online searches does not violate copyright law.
NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Google began scanning books back in 2004, many of the works were by living authors.
An NFL season filled with surprise and controversy is heading into its 11th weekend. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season so far is the last remaining undefeated team. It's the Kansas City Chiefs, one of two teams with the WORST record in the league last season. Sunday, the Chiefs play the Denver Broncos in a game fans have been anticipating for weeks.
Our today's last word in business today goes to the people who got the last word on Twitter. JPMorgan tried a Twitter public relations stunt. It announced that the company's vice chairman, Jimmy Lee, would take over the company's Twitter account. In other words, he could field questions from the masses.
NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Lockheed Martin.
As the federal budget goes, so go defense contractors. Lockheed Martin says it's forced to reduce costs as federal defense spending declines. The nation's largest military contractor announced plans yesterday to eliminate 4,000 jobs over the next year and a half. Lockheed Martin also plans to close plants in several states, including California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Laura Lane met Paquita Williams, a New York City subway conductor, when their train was stopped underground for two hours. Generally, Paquita says, most passengers are nice, but "there's times if the train breaks down, people think that's my fault."
While the health law's insurance markets are still struggling to get off the ground, the Obama administration is moving ahead with its second year of meting out bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on the quality of their care. This year, there are more losers than winners.
Medicare has raised payment rates to 1,231 hospitals based on two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and — for the first time — death rates. Another 1,451 hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.
Robert Shiller was surprised when he got the call telling him he'd won the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics — surprised that he'd won (of course), but also surprised that he was sharing the award with Eugene Fama.
"He and I seem to have very different views," Shiller told me. "It's like we're different religions."
In particular, they have very different views about economic bubbles.
"The word 'bubble' drives me nuts, frankly," Fama told me.
Trout fishing is a magnet that draws people from around the world to places like Ovando, Mont. Just ask the owner of Blackfoot Angler and Supplies, Kathy Schoendoerfer.
"Every state in the nation has been through this little shop in Ovando, Montana, population 50," says Schoendoerfer with a mix of pride and perhaps a little fatigue. "And we've also had everybody from Russia, Latvia. We get a lot of Canadians, France, Finland, Brazil, Scotland, Germany, South Africa. We get a lot of business out here. You know, fly-fishing is huge."
The city of Oakland, Calif., is in the middle of a robbery epidemic. In response, some residents in several Oakland neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands, hiring private security companies to patrol their neighborhoods.
Overall, robberies in Oakland are up 24 percent over the past year, with armed robberies up 45 percent. Since the recession dried up local tax revenues, the Oakland Police Department has been hamstrung by the loss of more than 200 officers and can't respond to all the calls it receives for help.
Emergency aid, including stocks of food, started arriving this week in cyclone-devastated areas of the Philippines; more is on the way.
The first wave of aid — high-energy biscuits designed to keep people alive when food is scarce — arrived via airlift. Huge shiploads of rice will be needed in the weeks and months to come. And exactly how the U.S. donates of that rice is a flashpoint in a long-running debate in Washington, D.C., about food aid.
For the past week or so, France has been deep in debate, wondering if there's a resurgence of an old colonial racism, or if people have just become more tolerant of bigots.
The questions stem from a series of race-based taunts against Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who is black. Many of the statements seem to stem from Taubira's championing of the country's gay marriage legalization, which was signed into law in May.
Sachin Tendulkar: The very name evokes Indian national pride, and it resounded through Wankhede Stadium Thursday in the cricket superstar's hometown of Mumbai.
That's when Tendulkar took the field for the final test match of his fabled 24-year long career. There are fevered celebrations for the 40-year-old batsman who has dominated the Indian imagination on and off the field, and whose self-effacing demeanor masked a steely determination to win.
The atmosphere was electric as India's favorite son stepped onto the field.
Food labels have become battlegrounds. Just last week, voters in Washington state narrowly defeated a measure that would have required food manufacturers to reveal whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.
Supporters of the initiative — and similar proposals in other states — say that consumers have a right to know what they're eating.
But there are lots of things we might want to know about our food. So what belongs on the label?
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 9:44 am
It's well known that President Obama is an avid sports fan: he had a basketball court installed at the White House shortly after taking office, fills out his NCAA tournament bracket on ESPN every year and often hits the links on weekends.
So it comes as little surprise that Obama leaned heavily on sports metaphors at his press conference Thursday, where he took responsibility for the problems the administration has experienced rolling out the Affordable Care Act and explained how he plans to fix things.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 4:00 pm
As the young U.S. senator takes the oath to become president, he sets out to fix an economy struggling with rising unemployment, slumping profits and depressed stock prices.
He knows the deep recession could prevent him from advancing his broader domestic and diplomatic agenda. Yes — all true for President Obama.
But that's what John F. Kennedy faced as well. On his frosty Inauguration Day in January 1961, Kennedy had to start fulfilling his campaign pledge to "get America moving again." Like Obama, he would need to win over a deeply skeptical business community.
Friday night at 1:45 a.m., at least a hundred people were on the main door line for Output, a dance club in Brooklyn that opened near the beginning of the year. They wouldn't be getting in for a while: the spot had reached capacity a half-hour before, shortly after the night's headliner, John Digweed, had begun his DJ set, and they were only letting in folks who'd bought tickets specifically for the show. "No wristbands," said the doorman. The wristbands were all-events passes for the sixth annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) — the nominal reason for Digweed's appearance.
The oil rich Arab states of the Persian Gulf typically depend heavily on foreign labor. In Saudi Arabia, according to the census there a couple of years ago, almost a third of the population of 27 million or so are foreign workers, typically low paid workers from Africa and Asia. This year, that system seems to be breaking down.
The Saudis are clamping down on illegal immigrants and that campaign has led to departures, protests, mass detentions, and scenes of violence in the streets of the capital, Riyadh.