Business & Technology

Farming
11:10 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Redbanded stink bugs showing up early in soybeans

Warm winter weather led to stink bugs showing up earlier than usual this year — bad news for soybean farmers because redbanded stink bugs can destroy entire fields if left unchecked.

The threat comes as high prices and drier weather prompted Louisiana and Mississippi farmers to boost soybean acreage from last year.

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Business & Technology
11:00 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Jeff company wins drainage contract

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded an $18.6 million contract for drainage construction in the Industrial Canal area on Jefferson Parish's west bank.

The contract, an element of the Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project, seeks to reduce flooding that might result from about 9 inches of rain falling over a 24-hour period.

The contract was awarded to Fleming Construction Co. of Jefferson Parish.

The 36-month project includes removing underground drainage pipes and replacing them with a reinforced concrete open channel.

Business
6:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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History
6:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

50 Years Ago, Communications Became Global

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fifty years ago this week, communications went global. July 12, 1962 the Telstar 1 satellite from AT&T became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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NPR Story
6:49 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Toil And Trouble: Eurozone Pot Continues To Boil

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

There's more gloomy news from the eurozone this week. Italy saw its sovereign debt rating lowered by one agency, at just a couple of notches above junk status. In Spain, civil servants, coalminers, and others took to the streets once again to protest more spending cuts and tax hikes. And Germany's highest court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of two measures considered central to efforts to try to contain the euro crisis.

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Jobless Claims
7:44 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Claims rise for unemployment benefits

First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Louisiana for the week ending July 7 increased from the previous week's total.

State labor department figures released Friday show initial claims rose to 3,960 from the previous week's total of 3,456. The figure was lower than it was for the comparable week a year earlier, when there were 4,053 initial claims.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,714 from the previous week's total of 3,792.

All Tech Considered
5:26 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Apple's Change Of Heart On Green Certification

Attendees of Apple's 2012 World Wide Developers Conference look at the new MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:24 pm

It's not often that one of the world's biggest companies says, "We goofed."

But in a surprising turn of events Friday, Apple admitted it made a mistake in pulling out of an environmental rating system for computers and other electronics. The company said it would rejoin the so-called EPEAT certification system, placing all 39 of its originally certified products back on the list. The company is also requesting certification for more products, including its new MacBook Pro model.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Visa, MasterCard Come To More Than $6 Billion Settlement With Retailers

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:31 pm

Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will pay retailers more than $6 billion to settle several class-action and individual lawsuits retailers have filed since 2005.

According to a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month, the settlement stems from complaints that Visa and MasterCard, the largest card-payments networks in the world, prohibited retailers from imposing surcharges to customers using those credit cards.

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Business
4:52 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Documents Lift Veil On Bank-Rate-Rigging Scandal

Police wait for protesters to appear at a branch of Barclays Bank in London on July 4.
Olivia Harris Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:24 pm

As the financial crisis began to unfold in 2007, the New York Federal Reserve learned that some banks might have intentionally underestimated the rates they expected to pay for loans from other banks.

Documents the New York Fed released Friday, in response to a request from Congress, show that the banking regulator began to be concerned about the accuracy of LIBOR — or the London Interbank Offered Rate — late in 2007.

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Energy
3:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

What's Killing 'King Coal' In West Virginia?

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.

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