Business

The Salt
3:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

No 'Misteak': High Beef Prices A Boon For Drought-Weary Ranchers

Black Angus cattle in pens outside the sale barn at 44 Farms, a 3,000-acre ranch in Cameron, Texas. The cattle were on display for bidders ahead of 44 Farms' fall auction in October.
Andrew Schneider Houston Public Media

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 11:18 am

If you've shopped for meat recently, you no doubt have noticed that beef prices are up. Some grades are even at the highest levels ever recorded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Though the inflated prices may be hard on consumers, they're helping Texas cattle ranchers recover from a fierce drought.

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2:30 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

With Faith of Investors, Downtown Tulsa Reawakens

Lead in text: 
The New York Times looks at real estate investments and the subsequent rejuvenation of downtown Tulsa.
For decades, the Mayo Hotel had been the societal symbol of Tulsa's reign as the Oil Capital of the World, catering to oil barons with names like Getty, Skelly, Phillips and Sinclair. But its closing in 1981 underscored the city's faded status as Houston became the focal point of the energy industry.
Business
6:34 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Oil Prices Down As Saudis Slash Price Of Oil Sold To U.S.

Oil workers are seen at the Khurais oil facility in an area where operations are being expanded, about 60 miles southeast of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, June 23, 2008. (Hasan Jamali/AP)

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 6:34 pm

Saudi Arabia has dropped the price of crude oil that it sells to the U.S.

This move drove prices down to their lowest in three years. Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and members are reportedly in a price war due to a surplus of supplies.

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Business
12:21 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Thumbs Up For Higher Minimum Wages, And For Marijuana Industry

Fast-food workers and activists demonstrate outside a Chicago McDonald's in July in favor of a higher minimum wage. Illinois voters on Tuesday called on the state Legislature to approve a $10 minimum wage.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 3:44 pm

Besides electing lawmakers Tuesday, voters settled ballot initiatives affecting everything from soda-pop taxes to fracking to marijuana sales.

The outcomes varied, but there was one economic issue that united voters. Overwhelmingly, they approved raises for minimum-wage workers.

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Business
4:23 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Fiery Oil-Train Derailments Prompt Calls For Less Flammable Oil

A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., in this Dec. 30 photo. The fiery crash left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate.
Bruce Crummy AP

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 4:58 pm

Once a day, a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields rumbles through Bismarck, N.D., just a stone's throw from a downtown park.

The Bakken fields produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, making the state the nation's second-largest oil producer after Texas. But a dearth of pipelines means that most of that oil leaves the state by train — trains that run next to homes and through downtowns.

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Technology
5:30 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

Some Uber drivers and passengers complain that the app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions.
Adam Berry Getty Images

There are many things Uber customers love about the service; confusion surrounding the navigation process is not one of them.

Following complaints that Uber drivers didn't know the best routes to customers' destination, the company rolled out a new in-app navigation feature. It allows customers to plug in their destination before entering the car and provides turn-by-turn directions to drivers once the trip begins.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Apple Shows Off Larger iPhone 6; Unveils New Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif. Apple unveiled the long-awaited smart watch, which comes in two sizes and requires an iPhone.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 4:03 pm

After months of rumors and dozens of fan-created images of what an Apple watch might look like, today the tech giant will show us what it's been working on. Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled a new smart watch at a splashy event in Cupertino, Calif., called the Apple Watch

We'll be updating this post with news from Apple today, including tweets from NPR's Laura Sydell, who's at the event at the Flint Center.

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET: Apple Watch Price: $349

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Business
10:52 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Oklahoma City Featured on 'Meet the Press'

In Chuck Todd's debut as host of NBC's 'Meet the Press' this weekend, Oklahoma City was held up as a city putting politics aside to rebuild and revitalize their infrastructure and economy.

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Business
6:46 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling?

The Supreme Court said protecting the free-exercise rights of owners of corporations, such as Hobby Lobby Stores, protects religious liberty.
Ed Andrieski AP

When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations don't have to pay for workers' contraception, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.

Wrong. An estimated 9 out of 10 businesses are "closely held."

However, some benefits experts question just how many of those companies would want to assert religious views.

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All Tech Considered
5:19 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Storm Shelter App Helps Pinpoint People Amid Tornado's Rubble

After a tornado leveled Moore, Okla., last year, firefighter Shonn Neidel (left) developed an app that helps first responders locate storm shelters under the wreckage.
Courtesy of Shonn Neidel

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:24 pm

After a devastating tornado rolled through Moore, Okla., last May, firefighters were scrambling to pull people out of storm shelters. Actually finding those shelters, though, was difficult. Landmarks had been swept away, and the town's emergency dispatcher was overwhelmed with calls.

"Yes, we're at 604 South Classen. There's people down," one caller said. "We're stuck under rubble. ... Please hurry."

Shonn Neidel was one of the firefighters rushing to rescue people that day, and he quickly saw a problem.

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