KRWG

Business

Please note: Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs. We also publish national/world news on our home page.

For decades, the label "Made in Germany" has stood for quality and a guarantee of expensive, precision engineering. Conversely, "Made in China" has long been a marker of substandard, cheap, knockoff products. But this is changing.

Beijing's "Made in China 2025" policy aims to transform its manufacturing sector into an excellence-driven, global leader in high-end technology. While Germany still has the edge in engineering expertise, a steady increase in the number of Chinese firms buying up key German tech firms has triggered angst in Berlin.

Cow Dung Soap Is Cleaning Up In India

Oct 3, 2018

The shelves in Umesh Soni's little store in downtown Mumbai are neatly stacked with soaps. There are handmade translucent bars, brightly colored circular soaps in tropical variants and square black bathing bars. It looks like any other soap shop.

Except all the soaps include cow dung and cow urine as ingredients.

Why make soap from this stuff?

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the desert scrubland of Morocco's Tangier region, a donkey laden with water bottles trots down a pebble lane chased by two small children. A farmer herds his cows in the near distance. Crickets leap in the dry grass.

It's within these gently undulating hills, just inland from the coast, that China plans to build an entire city that will stand in monument to its expansion into a North African nation on Europe's doorstep.

Updated 11:00 p.m. ET

Chocolate cupcake, creme, mango, tutti frutti, "blue" — sugary-sounding flavors familiar to teenage e-cigarette users are facing more crackdowns from the Food and Drug Administration.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Working on your own can have its rewards, such as being able to set your own hours. But being self-employed also brings with it the headache of handling taxes — something a traditional employer normally does.

"It's just excruciatingly difficult to manage our finances," says P. Kim Bui, who has been a freelance consultant off and on for two years.

In addition to the Web design and social media work she's hired to do, she must also manage all her own office functions, from accounting to payroll.

Financial bubbles arise because people start taking more and more risks that they don't really understand.

But these bubbles are also fascinating for another reason: they tend to reflect the particular characteristics — the psychological and societal characteristics — of the times in which they inflated.

Today on the show, we speak with Joe Weisenthal of Bloomberg about the bubbles of the past decade, how they differ from earlier bubbles, and what they tell us about the times we're living through.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Amazon will pay all of its U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The retail giant, run by the world's richest man, was criticized earlier this year after revealing its workers' median pay was $28,446.

Amazon says the new rate will go into effect on Nov. 1, covering all of its full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees in the U.S.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

How much besides the title is really changing in the North American Free Trade Agreement?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Once approved, this will be a new dawn for the American auto industry and for the American auto worker.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

California will be the first state to require publicly traded companies to have at least one woman on their board of directors.

The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday, requires public companies whose principal executive offices are located in California to comply by the end of 2019. The minimum is two female directors if the company has five directors on its board, or three women if it has seven directors by the close of 2021.

D.C.'s Billion-Dollar Lawsuit

Oct 1, 2018

Back in the 1970s, black residents made up more than 70% of Washington, D.C.'s population. Since then, that share has fallen to less than half. There are many reasons for this demographic shift, but Ari Theresa, an attorney, says one big one is the city's implementation of an unofficial policy aimed at attracting workers in tech, science education, the arts, media and design — the so-called creative class.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

India has 1.3 billion people, and no equivalent of the Social Security number. About 4 in 10 births go unregistered. Less than 2 percent of the population pays income tax.

Many more are eligible for welfare benefits but may never have collected them, either because they can't figure out how or a middleman stole their share.

If you're looking for cheaper health insurance, a whole host of new options will hit the market starting Tuesday.

But buyer beware!

If you get sick, the new plans – known as short-term, limited duration insurance — may not pay for the medical care you need.

General Electric has booted out its chairman and chief executive, John Flannery, after a little more a year on the job, amid declining profits and cash-flow problems.

Flannery will be replaced by H. Lawrence Culp, a current GE board member who served as chief executive of the Washington, D.C.-based conglomerate Danaher Corp. from 2000-2014, GE said.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. and Canada reached a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed a quarter-century ago, with a new pact that the Trump administration says is easier to enforce.

In remarks in the Rose Garden formally announcing the agreement, President Trump called it "the most important trade deal we've ever made by far."

Ahead of a midnight deadline set by the White House, Trump approved changes that essentially revamp the 1993 NAFTA deal, bringing Canada on board after Mexico had already agreed in August.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Does the neighborhood you grow up in determine how far you move up the economic ladder?

A new online data tool being made public Monday finds a strong correlation between where people are raised and their chances of achieving the American dream.

Harvard University economist Raj Chetty has been working with a team of researchers on this tool — the first of its kind because it marries U.S. Census Bureau data with data from the Internal Revenue Service. And the findings are changing how researchers think about economic mobility.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Just how much further is the Federal Bureau of Investigation supposed to look into the life of Brett Kavanaugh?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

California just approved net neutrality rules. The home of Silicon Valley says Internet firms must treat all traffic equally. And as soon as Governor Jerry Brown signed that measure, the Justice Department sued. Here's Ryan Levi of KQED.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 1:02 a.m. ET Sunday

Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive, has reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a securities fraud charge brought against him on Thursday, the agency announced on Saturday.

Under the terms of the settlement, Musk has agreed to step down as chairman of the Silicon Valley-based company, but will remain in his post as CEO.

What NAFTA Without Canada Would Mean

Sep 29, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's being called the highest minimum wage in the country. Thousands of airport workers in New York and New Jersey — baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, people at concession stands — will see their hourly pay rise to $19 by 2023, after the Port Authority Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to require businesses to increase the minimum wage.

Pages