Business

Ways to Connect

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When Marlene Fowler wakes up in the northern Arizona town of Kaibeto, she can see a yellow-green haze on the horizon. But Fowler's not worried about the pollution. It's her husband's job at the Navajo Generating Station that has her on edge.

"Even though they say the pollution is all this and that, it's been there years," she says.

The dream of reviving Puerto Rico's chocolate tradition took root in Juan Carlos Vizcarrondo's mind years ago.

He's always been obsessed with flowers and trees. As a boy, he planted so much greenery in his mother's backyard, there was hardly room to walk.

But in his thirties, he started planting cocoa trees, with their colorful pods full of magical seeds. "Something told me, just keep planting, because nobody has it! It's so strange, nobody has it!," he recalls.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway acted "inadvertently" when she urged shoppers to buy Ivanka Trump's products on Fox and Friends last month and won't make the same mistake again, the Trump administration says.

A Canadian investigative consumer program ordered DNA analysis of several fast-food chicken sandwiches and concluded that Subway chicken was only half meat — with the other half soy.

The sandwich chain strongly rebuts the allegations, with a spokesman calling them "absolutely false" and calling for a retraction.

On a mild, sunny afternoon, hordes of tourists stroll down Barcelona's famous tree-lined pedestrian avenue, La Rambla. They love it — the weather, the tapas, the laid-back bohemian vibe. One tourist from Australia says he's visited Barcelona 12 times in 10 years.

But the city doesn't always love them back.

In January, thousands of Barcelona residents marched down La Rambla and "occupied" the entrance to a hotel there, to protest the volume of tourists and gentrification in the city.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Trump's address to Congress last night was a chance to double down on one very big campaign promise.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Starbucks has come full circle.

More than three decades ago, during a trip to Milan, Howard Schultz was inspired to turn the coffeehouse chain into a space that served as a community gathering place. Now Schultz, the company's CEO, has announced Starbucks is opening its first location in Italy, in the heart of Milan's city center.

One might think Italian coffeehouses would be shaken by the looming arrival of this global java giant. But many are saying, bring it on.

Those gas-powered leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and mowers you hear in your neighborhood aren't just annoying — they make a lot of pollution, too.

In California, they're about to pass cars as the worst air polluters, spewing out formaldehyde, benzene and particulate matter. According to Michael Benjamin at the California Air Resources Board, in just three years' time, the biggest single ozone polluter in the state is going to be all this gardening equipment.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It started in late January. At my local grocery store in South London, salad seemed to be just a few pence pricier than usual. But I didn't think much of it.

Later that week, the same market had conspicuously run out of zucchini. I'm not particularly fond of it, but I lamented for the carb-conscious yuppies who depended — and subsisted — on spiralized zucchini spaghetti. How would they cope?

President Trump has pushed aggressively against illegal immigration, while his specific plans for legal immigration — including the popular but troubled H-1B work visa — remain unclear. He has said he wants to crack down on abuses and protect American workers, but it's Congress that holds the power to fundamentally reform the program.

A broken system

When 2011 began, the worst recession in two generations was technically over, but Annica Trotter, Ray Meyer, and Jennifer and Brian Barfield were unemployed and searching for work. Six years later, their experience demonstrates life doesn't just snap back to normal after a job loss. Their economic recovery remains incomplete and in some ways their story is America's story.

The acting head of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has been charged with bribery and embezzlement in connection with the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea's president.

NPR's Elise Hu reported from Seoul that prosecutors announced the indictment after a three-month investigation:

"Samsung acting head Lee Jae-Yong got ensnared after documents showed Samsung funneled some $36 million to the president's close confidant. Prosecutors say the money was paid to win government support of a controversial 2015 company merger.

Before a book ever gets published, it can go through a lot of changes — an editor might question the structure, the plot, the grammar. Now, there's a new layer to the process: Some writers are turning to sensitivity readers to be sure they haven't inadvertently offended someone from a different culture.

In 1890, Sir Thomas Lipton arrived on the island of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to purchase a plot of land that would become the first tea estate in his global tea empire. These days, in the Ambadandegama Valley located just a few miles from Lipton's original estate, another experiment in tea production is unfolding.

Some large health insurance companies have suffered losses under the Affordable Care Act, leading to a few high-profile exits from the health exchanges.

Beyond tax proposals from the Trump administration and the House GOP leadership, there's a long-shot idea that's received recent attention — a carbon tax. Simply put, that means setting a price on carbon to encourage energy efficiency and limit the impact of climate change.

President Trump goes to Congress Tuesday night and is expected to lay out his legislative agenda. Sweeping tax cuts, for businesses and individuals, will be at or near the top of the list for both the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress.

Trump isn't expected to offer a detailed tax proposal during his speech. But he and the Republican Congress appear to agree on some important elements of a plan.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, and agreed to pay $1 billion for concealing a defect in millions of its air bag inflators.

The decision played out in a federal courtroom in Detroit on Monday, following a deal with the U.S. Justice Department.

The private company SpaceX has announced that it plans to send two passengers on a mission beyond the moon in late 2018.

If the mission goes forward, it would be the "first time humans have traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo," as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit.

The two private citizens approached the company about the idea and have already paid a sizable deposit, CEO Elon Musk told reporters in a conference call. These private individuals will also bear the cost of the mission.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

One of the places Trump has focused on is Indianapolis. He took credit for preventing a Carrier plant there from moving some jobs to Mexico.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

One of the very first bills President Trump signed into law this month killed a Securities and Exchange Commission rule meant to promote transparency in countries riddled with corruption. Trump said getting rid of the rule, which required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose overseas royalties and other payments, would bring back jobs and save extraction companies many hours of paperwork and, potentially, hundreds of millions of dollars.

China, Japan, and other Asian economic powers are trying to work out a new trade deal, in meetings that have taken on new importance after President Trump rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The sessions in Kobe, Japan, could create the largest free-trading region in the world.

There was a time when a whistleblower had to rely on the Postal Service, or a pay phone, or an underground parking garage to leak to the press.

This is a different time.

A renewed interest in leaks since Donald Trump's surprise election victory last fall, and a growth in the use of end-to-end encryption technology, have led news organizations across the country to highlight the multiple high-tech ways you can now send them anonymous tips.

The Indonesian island of Java has long been synonymous with coffee. But it's only in the past decade or so that Indonesians have begun to wake up and smell the coffee — their own, that is.

Big changes are brewing in the country's coffee industry, as demand from a rising middle class fuels entrepreneurship and connoisseurship.

The trend is clear at places like the Anomali Coffee shop in South Jakarta. It roasts its coffee just inside the entrance on the ground floor.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on Wilbur Ross' nomination as the U.S. commerce secretary. As required by the Ethics in Government Act, the billionaire businessman has reached an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics to sell off most of his holdings.

For more than a decade, Kuwait's ambassador to the U.S., Salem al-Sabah, has held a gala event every Feb. 25 to celebrate his country's national day. The annual holiday commemorates the tiny Gulf state's independence from British rule in 1961. Traditionally, the event has been held at the Four Seasons Hotel, in the heart of Washington, D.C.

But Sabah says he feels his guests have wanted a change. Last year, he held the celebration at the Newseum. For this year, he and his wife, Rima, looked into the newly opened Trump International Hotel as another possibility.

Episode 756: The Bees Go To California

Feb 24, 2017

Every spring convoys of trucks arrive in the almond orchards of central California. They are carrying bees. Millions of them.

They arrive from all over the country, but especially southern states like Louisiana, and they have to get there at just the right time, when the almond trees start to flower so the bees can pollinate hundreds of acres of almond fields.

Pages