Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am
BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years.
Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 9:27 am
For millions of Americans, August is a month for relaxing and basking in the summer sunlight.
Those are the people without children.
The households with students are likely to be scurrying around under the bright florescent lights of big-box stores, searching for back-to-school bargains on clothes, shoes, notebooks, backpacks, computers and dorm furniture.
And many shoppers are timing their purchases to take advantage of sales-tax holidays for school-related items, hoping to keep a bit more in their wallets.
Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:17 pm
Inequality is rising in the U.S. You know this. As the graph below shows, incomes since 1988 have been flat for poor and middle-class people, and rising for the upper-middle-class and, especially, for the wealthy.
A bunch of causes are commonly cited for rising inequality. One is globalization: Competition from foreign workers has kept a lid on wages for low-skilled workers, and added to gains for some at the top of the income ladder.
Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:51 pm
Lynn Eldredge has worked hard for the past three decades. But somehow, it's still not quite enough.
Eldredge started his working life in the Air Force, and eventually found a steady job in a factory in Kansas. But then, in 2000, he was laid off — and has had six different jobs since then.
Over the past several decades in the U.S., wages have stayed flat or even gone down, while the cost of living has gone up. Economists say that's because jobs went overseas, technology replaced human labor and labor unions have seen their influence decline.
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am
The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.
Yesterday in New York, representatives from Argentina and some of its creditors emerged from negotiations to announce that they had failed.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, this meant that the country had fallen into default for a second time in more than 12 years. The repercussions of the default are unpredictable, but it could mean that the country is shut out of the international debt markets, perhaps pushing interest rates and inflation higher.
With that here are five headlines that tell the story of Argentina's default:
Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 2:50 pm
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is under fire for signing off on a building plan that allows a new luxury high-rise on Manhattan's western edge to have a separate entrance for low-income residents.
About 20 percent of the units in the 33-story tower will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents. But all the affordable units will be grouped in one area, and those tenants will have to enter through a separate door.
New Jersey used to be known as "the nation's medicine chest," but over the past two decades, many of the state's pharmaceutical industry jobs have dried up or moved elsewhere, and left millions of square feet of office space, warehouses and laboratories sitting empty.
NPR's Business News starts with big losses at Credit Suisse - really big. The Swiss bank is reporting a net loss of more than $770 million for the second quarter. That's the biggest loss for the bank since the 2008 financial crisis. Much of the loss is due to a legal settlement with U.S. tax authorities. In May, the bank pleaded guilty to helping Americans evade U.S. taxes by hiding the money in Swiss accounts. Credit Suisse paid a fine of $2.6 billion. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
This summer, we're also focusing on the high rate of youth unemployment and hearing what some out-of-work younger adults are doing to make ends meet. Christina Gastlelum is 32. She recently moved to Maine from New York City. She tried to keep doing her job as vice president of a nonprofit remotely which did not work out.
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 1:06 pm
The Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to former patients of a gynecologist who used a small camera to secretly film examinations, in one of the largest sexual misconduct settlements involving a physician.
The Baltimore-based hospital is settling a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women and at least 62 minors; more women will likely register with the suit.
From member station WYPR, Christopher Connelly reports:
Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:50 am
Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent.
Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm
ARUN RATH, HOST:
A federal grand jury indicted FedEx last week on charges the company knowingly shipped drugs from illegal online pharmacies. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the disputes over shippers' responsibilities in the illegal drug trade go back many years.