This undated image shows the Amenas natural gas field in Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages last week. Dozens of hostages and their captors were killed when Algerian forces subsequently raided the facility.
The prime minister of Algeria is defending his government's response to last week's attack on a natural gas plant that left 37 hostages dead. He says the Islamic militants who were behind the attack planned to blow up the facility and would have killed a lot more people if they hadn't been stopped.
The attack happened at a huge, internationally operated facility in the Sahara. And it underscores the dangers that energy companies face when they do business in politically unstable places.
And today's last word in business is: Who do you trust with your money?
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MONEY")
PINK FLOYD: (Singing) Money, get away. Get a good job with more pay and your OK.
INSKEEP: Any excuse to play Pink Floyd. A new ranking suggests which industries consumers trust. And for the third year in a row, the industry consumers trust the least is the industry that you pretty much have to trust with your money.
NPR business news starts with global unemployment figures.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: We usually focus on American unemployment, which has been going down. But world unemployment may hit record levels this year, according to an annual report by the International Labor Organization, which is forecasting that up to 202 million people who won't work will be out of work around this world this year.
Lots of companies make products that don't have much in common, but AeroVironment specializes in two products that are very different — electric vehicle chargers, which keep cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road, and military drones. The Los Angeles-area firm is a leading manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft.
One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support — universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.
When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.
All eyes will be on the First Lady Michelle Obama's fashion choices at Monday's inaugural events. Presidential fashions do make history — think Ronald Reagan's brown suits, or Jimmy Carter's cardigans.
And we're in the midst of year-end earnings announcements. This week, companies including Apple, Lockheed-Martin, Microsoft and Starbucks will announce their final 2012 results. NPR's Yuki Noguchi has a preview of the corporate earnings season.
INSKEEP: OK, last year, the United States government shut down the file-sharing website Megaupload over charges of copyright infringement. That was a popular place for users to share pirated films and music. Over the weekend, the founder of Megaupload, the New Zealand tycoon Kim Dotcom, launched a successor to the site. It's called simply Mega.
With huge crowds expected in Washington, D.C., dozens of pedicab drivers have come to town to take advantage of the president's swearing in. Mike Kowalczyk of Newport, Rhode Island, told WTOP he's a little worried about directions. He said he got lost his first night in the nation's capital.
After the first Obama inauguration, everybody talked about three things: the historic moment, the Arctic weather — and Aretha Franklin's hat.
If it is possible for a piece of millinery to steal the thunder of one of the most-watched moments in recent memory, the Queen of Soul's hat managed to do it. Her gray felt cloche was topped with a giant, matching bow, outlined in rhinestones that flashed in the chill sunlight as she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.
His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.
Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.
Standing near the Remington Arms factory, Beth Neale, deputy mayor of Ilion, N.Y., says she's watched a lot of large manufacturers leave the region. She's not sure Ilion would easily recover from losing Remington.
Credit Mike Groll / AP
Workers from Remington Arms Company in Ilion, N.Y., talk with Assemblyman Marc Butler and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney about gun legislation at the Capitol on Jan. 14 in Albany, N.Y.
With the global auto industry gathered in Detroit this week for the city's renowned auto show, Renee Montagne talks to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne about his company's stunning turnaround, manufacturing overseas and a Chrysler IPO.
Steve Inskeep interviewed Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Wednesday and Thursday. Mackey has a new book out called Conscious Capitalism. Mackey used the word "facism" when answering a question about the health care measure.
Much of the money from the Hurricane Sandy relief bill the House of Representatives passed will fund beach and infrastructure restoration projects in areas such as Mantoloking, N.J., seen on Oct. 31.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Hurricane Sandy exposed weaknesses in New York City's electricity grid. Experts say work can be done to revamp it so it's more tolerant to support backup solar power. Here, the New York City skyline, seen from the Brooklyn Bridge, on Nov. 3.
Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:06 pm
When The Salt posted Wednesday that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey told Morning Edition that President Obama's health care overhaul isn't socialism, it's "fascism," there was quite a response. The post has more than 500 comments, so far.
The Federal Reserve, yesterday, released its latest snapshot of the state of the U.S. economy. Retail and auto sales were up slightly over the year before, as was activity in the all important housing sector. Real estate sales were seen as steady or improved across much of the country.
For more on housing prices and economic recovery, we turn this morning, as we often do, to David Wessel. He's economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. Good morning.
The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is unveiling today the second half of its new mortgage rules. It will outline how the mortgage industry must manage loans that are delinquent or in the process of being foreclosed.
NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that these rules, among other things, aim to make it easier for borrowers to communicate with the people handling their mortgages.
And today's last word in business is: outsourcing.
When an American-based company noticed that somebody had been logging onto their computer system from China, day after day, they worried it was hackers so they called in some telecom risk experts from Verizon.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And what they discovered was surprising. The activity from China was all being done with the logon of one of the firms' top software developers. Turns out the unnamed employee was outsourcing his job to several Chinese consulting companies.