If you're not snacking on pretzels, try some Thin Mints, because it's the middle of Girl Scouts cookie season. And our last word in business today is: cookie outsourcing.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Last year, Girl Scouts around the country sold 200,000 boxes of cookies and raised nearly $800 million. But maybe we should say not the Girl Scouts sold them all. Sometimes the work is outsourced to their parents. And a recent opinion article in the Washington Post, criticized that practice.
Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."
But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.
With a bit more than a month left for people to sign up for health insurance plans set up under the Affordable Care Act, the federal website known as HealthCare.gov finally seems to be working smoothly — in 36 states.
But what's happening in the 14 states that are running their own exchanges?
Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a bill that would block one of the firms seeking to bid on a multibillion-dollar light rail project from winning its bid unless its majority stockholder agrees to pay reparations to Holocaust victims.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Maryland Delegate Kirill Reznik, would block a consortium including Paris-based rail company Keolis from winning a public-private partnership for the state's Purple Line project, a 35-year contract worth more than $6 billion.
Malware is malicious, bad software. It's the code that cybercriminals use to steal credit card numbers and bank accounts. And the big hack against Target showed how good these criminals are getting: They've built a thriving underground where credit cards go on sale before anyone even knows that a massive breach has happened.
In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."
But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 12:29 pm
The worldview of Russian President Vladimir Putin could be summed up along these lines:
Moscow's precipitous decline in global influence since the Soviet breakup must be reversed. Russia must be respected as the dominant power in former Soviet republics like Ukraine. Russia is entitled to a strong voice in the Middle East based on longstanding ties to Syria and other Arab states. In the rest of the world, Russia will be a counterweight to the U.S. and the West, which meddles in far too many places.
This Thursday, three Native American tribes are changing how they administer justice.
For almost four decades, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred tribes from prosecuting non-American Indian defendants. But as part of last year's re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a new program now allows tribes to try some non-Indian defendants in domestic abuse cases.
Suzie Felber's kids are only just learning what a commercial is.
"They start screaming when they come on," she says. "They think the TV's broken."
The Felbers usually stream television shows over the Internet in their New Jersey home.
More and more people are following suit, using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But these programs take up a huge amount of digital bandwidth, and that's led to a dispute between these services and the Internet service providers that carry them.
The state of New York is taking a step toward a more humane prison system. Prison officials reached a landmark agreement today to limit the use of solitary confinement. The deal prohibits the use of extreme isolation to discipline under-age prisoners. It also offers new protections for pregnant women and for the disabled.
With us to talk about the deal is NPR's Carrie Johnson. Hi.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Yesterday, Facebook bought a little startup for a lot of money, $19 billion in cash and stock. It's hard to fathom a price tag that big. Half the companies in the S&P 500 aren't worth that much. But a look at who exactly is using the application called WhatsApp may explain the value that Facebook sees in it. Here's more from Aarti Shahani of member station KQED in San Francisco.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
In Ukraine, protesters and police clash today in the worst violence yet during the three-month old uprising against President Viktor Yanukovych. A flurry of diplomatic visits to Kiev and the EU's threat of sanctions have failed to slow the carnage. At least 100 people are reported dead after two days of fighting. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Kiev covering the crisis.
Russia's president is also being criticized by Ukrainian-Americans watching the violent confrontations going on in their home country. Ukrainians in the U.S. tend to side with those protesting in Kiev's independent square. They're angry that President Viktor Yanukovych chose a closer relationship with Russia over a deal with the EU.
The Philadelphia area is home to more than 55,000 people of Ukrainian ancestry. NPR's Jeff Brady reports the community is holding rallies and lobbying their members of Congress.