Business & Technology

Planet Money
12:56 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Inside America's Most Indebted City

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg, Pa., incinerator.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:58 pm

Harrisburg, Pa., leads the nation in a dubious distinction: It has the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion.

The bizarre tale behind the massive debt includes a do-gooder who skipped town, an epically mismanaged incinerator, and possible criminal behavior.

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Business
11:48 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Bernanke Defends His Efforts To Lift Economy

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the latest comments from Ben Bernanke

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

The Two-Way
9:29 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Fed Chief Bernanke Issues Strong Hint Of Further Stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives for a dinner at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Thursday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:49 am

As the AP reads it, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stopped just short of "committing the Fed to any specific move, such as another round of bond purchases to lower long-term interest rates."

Bernanke gave a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wy. today. As with all his speeches, it was being closely watched for signs on what the Federal Reserve would do next.

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Monkey See
7:51 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Hey, I Know That One: How SongPop Got Millions Of Players Naming That Tune

SongPop

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:16 am

Today, four million people all over the world will log on to Facebook — or take out their phones — and play SongPop. This summer, it's become the fastest growing social game on Facebook, taking a run at old standards such as Farmville and Words with Friends.

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All Tech Considered
5:09 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Drone-Tracking App Gets No Traction From Apple

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan in 2010. Apple has rejected an app that tracks U.S. drone strikes around the world.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Cellphones have ushered in an age of interruption, with apps that notify you when you're mentioned on Facebook or Twitter, or even if your favorite ball team scores a run.

But Apple is the ultimate arbiter of what kinds of notifications iPhone users can receive — and some apps just don't pass muster with the tech giant.

Take Josh Begley's idea, for example. Begley created an app that sends a push notification — or beep — to an iPhone whenever there is a U.S. drone strike anywhere in the world.

Apple blocked it from its App Store.

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Around the Nation
3:34 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Despite Drought, Some Corn Farmers Reap Bounty

Grimes Sweetcorn worker Paulette Vandyke waits to sell fresh corn in Grimes, Iowa. The drought has pushed the price of corn per bushel up nearly 40 percent in the past two months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 7:18 pm

For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.

"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.

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Business
12:25 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

La. company has $11.9M beach contract in Va.

A Louisiana company has won an $11.9 million contract as part of a project to add sand to Virginia Beach, Va., for hurricane protection.

A news release from the Pentagon says Weeks Marine Inc., of Covington, was one of four bidders on the project in support of the Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection Beach Re-Nourishment.

Work will be done in Virginia Beach, with an estimated completion date of May 15, 2013.

OSHA Fine
12:21 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

OSHA cites Eunice plant after blast left one hurt

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Plains Gas Solutions LLC in Eunice following a February explosion and fire that left a worker severely burned.

OSHA Wednesday issued one willful and seven serious violations against the company, which produces liquid natural gas through a cryogenic process. Proposed penalties total $111, 000.

OSHA says cryogenic liquids were improperly routed, as part of a re-starting process, through equipment not rated to withstand extreme cold temperatures. That resulted in the explosion and fire.

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Business
4:46 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Overseer issues Report

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Bank Of America Hasn't Modified Any Mortgages, As It Had Agreed To

Last February, five major banks came to an agreement with the United States government that would provide $26 billion in mortgage relief aid to homeowners.

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