Economy

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

In this week's roundup, Apple rolls out its mobile payment system but confronts a security test in China, the problem with voice mail messages and Mark Zuckerberg shows off his Mandarin.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.

All Things Considered

No Quick Fixes For Drivers Affected By Air Bag Recall

The massive auto recall announced this week is different from most. It affects more than one-third of air bags on the road and there are no simple fixes, short of a full air bag replacement.

Morning Edition

Facebook's Zuckerberg Shares His Mandarin Skills

In a question-and-answer session in China, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg showed that he's conversant in Mandarin — but far from perfect. He doesn't quite have his tone down.

Morning Edition

Tobacco Farmers Lose Longtime Safety Net

The last tobacco subsidy payments go to tobacco farmers at the end of this month. The government program was intended to help growers transition out of a Depression-era tobacco-price-fixing system.

All Things Considered

Calling 911 On Your Cell? It's Harder To Find You Than You Think

If you call 911 from inside a tall building, emergency responders may have difficulty finding you. Cellphone GPS technology currently doesn't work well indoors — but the FCC hopes to change that.

How 'Foodies' Were Duped Into Thinking McDonald's Was High-End Food

A viral video shows people lauding fare billed as an "organic" fast-food option that was actually McDonald's. It wasn't just pranksters playing tricks on these poor folks, but maybe their brains, too.

For U.S. Queen Of Alligator-Skin Goods, Business Is Booming

Christy Redd's Georgia company moves 25,000 skins a year, with some made into handbags sold for tens of thousands of dollars. But activists say the ways the gators are grown and slaughtered are awful.

All Things Considered

Cigarette-Maker Reynolds American To Ban Smoking At Work

Until now, Reynolds employees have been able to light up at their desks. But come January, workers will have to either go outside or use specially equipped smoking rooms.

All Things Considered

FDA Cracks Down On Fake Ebola Cures Sold Online

The Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to companies marketing products claimed to be cures for Ebola. One firm says it will drop such claims — but it's still selling the product.

As McDonald’s Prices Rise, Some Customers Go Elsewhere

October 24, 2014
A sign for the fast food chain McDonald's is pictured in Nampa, Idaho. (Roadsidepictures/Flickr)

With prices up about 3 percent over last year, some customers are turning to chains like IHOP, Denny’s and Chili’s instead.

One Voice Of The ‘New Boom’ In China

October 23, 2014
Apartment blocks form a symmetrical pattern in Hong Kong, on January 2, 2014. Home prices in the southern Chinese city have risen by 120 percent since 2008, and by more than 30 per cent from their previous peak in 1997, with prices in the luxury market being pushed up by wealthy buyers from mainland China. (Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)

Yang Zhuo, a Chinese millennial who works as NPR’s news assistant in Shanghai, talks about about what life is like for him and his peers.

Two Perspectives On Question 3: To Repeal Casinos Or Not To Repeal?

October 22, 2014
A proposed resort casino on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett, Mass. (AP)

A “yes” vote on Question 3 means yes to repeal and no to casinos. A “no” vote would uphold the state’s gaming law.

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

October 22, 2014
U.S. Treasury checks are piled at the U.S. Treasury printing facility July 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo illustration by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.

China’s Economic Growth Falters

October 21, 2014
A Chinese migrant worker passes by The People's Bank of China as he heads to a bus station in Beijing on May 1, 2013. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Its economy grew by 7.3 percent in the third quarter – better than expectations, but still the weakest performance in five years.

Holiday Retail Sales Projected To Be High

October 20, 2014
People shop in Macy's department store November 26, 2004 in New York City. The Friday after Thanksgiving, called "Black Friday," is one of the busiest shopping days of the year with stores opening early and a large number of shoppers looking for holiday gifts. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A new report finds people are as ready and willing to go shopping as they were before the financial crisis.

Mass. Gas Prices Drop 9 Cents To Lowest Level Since 2011

October 20, 2014

Despite the steep drop, Massachusetts prices are 7 cents above the national per-gallon average.

The Economic Impact Of Ebola

October 17, 2014
World leaders meet about the impact of the Ebola crisis, during the IMF World Bank 2014 Annual Meetings on October 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Bank estimates Ebola could drain $32.6 billion from the global economy if it spreads beyond Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Mayor Walsh’s Plan To Create More Than 50,000 Housing Units

October 16, 2014
Celso Bias carries out a mattress from his apartment in Allston. (Chitose Suzuki/AP)

Mayor Marty Walsh has released a $20 billion plan to create 53,000 new housing units by the year 2030 spread throughout the city at a variety of income levels.

Larry Summers: Worry About Deflation Not Inflation

October 16, 2014
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 15, 2014 in New York City. As fears from Ebola and a global slowdown spread, stocks plunged on Wednesday with the Dow falling over 400 points during the afternoon before receovering slightly. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In light of the volatile stock market, we asked Larry Summers for some perspective.

Mass. Adds 9,400 Jobs In September, After Market Basket Disruptions End

October 16, 2014
Protesters celebrate outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury after the grocery chain reached a deal to return control back to Arthur T. Demoulas. (Aram Boghosian for WBUR)

Amid erratic jobs numbers, the state unemployment rate increased last month, from 5.8 percent to 6 percent.

What’s Behind Falling Stock Prices?

October 15, 2014
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 14, 2014 in New York City. Yesterday, the Dow dropped over 200 points as investors grow concerned about the global economy falling back into recession. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Stocks are falling sharply as traders dump risky assets and park their money in investments seen as relatively safe.

Oil Prices Plummet Amid Global Unease

October 14, 2014
Oil prices are at a four year low. One of the contributing factors is the shale boom, as on the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. Pictured here Scott Berreth, a derrick hand for Raven Drilling, works on an oil rig drilling into the Bakken shale formation on July 28, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Oil prices are at a four year low. But lower gas prices might mean trouble for the economy.

French Economist Wins Nobel Prize

October 13, 2014
French economist Jean Tirole is seen at the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) on October 13, 2014 in Toulouse. Tirole is a master of game theory and industrial organisation. (Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images)

Jean Tirole won the Nobel prize for economics for research on market regulation that has helped policymakers regulate industries dominated by a few companies.

MIT Graduate Jean Tirole Wins Nobel Economics Prize

October 13, 2014
French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel prize for economics Monday for research on market power and regulation. (TT, Bertil Ericson/AP)

French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel prize for economics Monday for research on market power and regulation that has helped policy-makers understand how to deal with industries dominated by a few dominant companies.

Untapped Potential: Autistic Adults

October 10, 2014
Susan Senator: "Cleaning up the shopping carts may not be your dream job, but for guys like my Nat, walking around in the fresh air, putting things away, and not having to talk to people is an ideal way for him to spend his time." (arlophoto/Flickr)

Cleaning up the shopping carts may not be your dream job, but for guys like my Nat, walking around in the fresh air, putting things away, and not having to talk to people is an ideal way for him to spend his time.

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