Economy & Business

Business news

President Donald Trump picked his new National Security Adviser today. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will replace Michael Flynn, who resigned after withholding information about a call with Russia's ambassador. Tomorrow, Scott Pruitt -- another high-profile appointee -- will take his job as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Pruitt has a complicated past with his new agency. He sued the EPA 14 times when he the was Attorney General of Oklahoma. The Trump administration has said it wants to move quickly to dismantle some of the Obama administration's regulation.

Sitting inside a glass-encased cockpit, two men fiddle with joysticks controlling giant claws outside. They look like they're playing at a vending machine at a mall, where you try to grasp a stuffed animal. But these are engineers. The claws they're manipulating are as big as houses, and they're sifting through hundreds of tons of garbage thrown away by the world's largest consumer class.

Canada increases immigration to build its workforce

Feb 20, 2017

Two years ago, Canada passed a troubling milestone. The number of people age 65 and over surpassed those age 14 and under.  To bolster its workforce, the country is increasingly relying on immigrants and has brought in more than 800,000 over the past five years. But with a twist. More than half of those immigrants came in through a system that awards points for things like age, education and language fluency.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

About 13 years ago, The Alchemist brewery in Waterbury, Vt., released a new IPA called Heady Topper. The brewer, John Kimmich, had decided to neither filter nor pasteurize the beer — both common methods of extending a commercial beer's shelf life. The result was an IPA thicker with the microscopic compounds and particulates that add flavor and aroma. Customers noticed and praised the beer as being especially tasty.

How an old shipyard became a home for hardware startups

Feb 20, 2017
newlab_0.jpg
Stephanie Hughes and Bruce Johnson

New York City is known for lots of things, but having plenty of space isn’t one of them. And space is what you need when you’re creating hardware--the actual stuff that makes our technology work.

New Lab is a new facility located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a massive building that was once used to build ships. Now, New Lab is receiving a tax credit to house companies that are building new hardware. But if those companies are successful, will they able to remain in New York City?

Presidents Day is a time to reflect on the giants. Lincoln. Jefferson. Washington.

And of course, mattress sales.

"You go hunting when the ducks are flying," says Kevin Damewood, the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Kingsdown, a mattress manufacturer.

He says three-day weekends are when people have time to shop for a new mattress. It's also when many people decide to move, and consequently when many people are in the market for a new mattress.

The Republican Congress is using a little-known law to reverse regulations put into place by President Barack Obama in the waning days of his presidency, including rules on gun control, environmental issues, and federal contracting. The Congressional Review Act, which got bipartisan support when it was passed in 1996, requires a veto-proof majority in the House and Senate, and gives Congress a limited amount of time to act.

Unilever has shot down Kraft Heinz's $143 billion proposal to merge the two companies. We'll explore why it may have to do with an election in the Netherlands. Afterwards, we'll look at the reason mattresses are being heavily promoted today; Canada's reliance on immigrants to bolster its workforce; and an architectural design aimed at making your home ideal for Airbnb-like pursuits.

homeshare%20outside.jpg
FRANK MARTIN

Home sharing through websites like Airbnb has become increasingly popular and can give hosts some cash on the side. In Houston, Lydia Afeman has come up with an architectural design for her townhome that takes the concept further: It aims to make her house easier to divide, so that sharing can become a steady source of income.

It’s a two-story building that looks pretty plain from the outside — it’s a white rectangle without many windows. But it’s what’s inside that makes this home special.

E-commerce giant Amazon is one of seven retailers entering a pilot program allowing some food stamp users to order groceries online. The first states to participate with Amazon starting this summer are New York, New Jersey and Maryland, though other states are working with different participating companies. Last year, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provided food assistance to about 44 million low-income Americans. What’s the business incentive for Amazon to do this?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

moreitz.png
Greg Presto

The comic book character Ikoyo is a warrior from the Jangwa nation. And he carries a big stick. He swings hard and crack — whacks his enemies in the ear.

“The spear he has some magical runes on it that make them extend. It’s some form of enchanted wood,” said Morietz Muthui. He’s the artist behind Ikoyo’s battle scene. It’s part of a comic book called "The Continent" printed on glossy paper and sold here in Kenya for 200 shillings, about $2.

heinz_0.jpg
Marketplace

Unilever has turned down Kraft Heinz's $143 billion proposal, a move that lowered its stock. What went wrong? Next, we'll look at a pilot program that will allow some food stamp users to purchase groceries online, and then explore the market for locally produced comics in Africa.

02/20/17: Not exactly IKEA furniture

Feb 19, 2017
cube.png
Marketplace

While many might be thinking about the next big thing in software, one Brooklyn facility is focused on hardware. We'll talk about the history and future of New Lab, a building that has several companies sharing its space to build new products. Joining us on today's show: David Belt, its cofounder; Sean Petterson, the cofounder of Strong Arm, which makes exoskeletons for industrial workers; and Jessica Banks from Rock Paper Robot, a kinetic furniture company (think levitating tables). 

The chief of Facebook made an ambitious announcement last week, though it would have been easy to miss. It came Thursday afternoon — about the same time that President Trump held his news conference. While the reality-TV icon is a genius at capturing our attention, the technology leader's words may prove to be more relevant to our lives, and more radical.

This is a two-part story on immigrants and small town viability. Part one aired on this Weekend Edition Saturday. For the full story, listen to both audio segments.

Like thousands of rural towns across the country, Cawker City, Kan., was built for bygone time.

Resident Linda Clover has spent most of her life in Cawker City, and she loves the place, but it's a shell of the town it used to be.

Pages