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With the arrival of winter and the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in full swing, the restaurant industry expected to lose more than $230 billion in 2020 is clinging to techniques for sustaining outdoor dining even through the cold and vagaries of a U.S. winter.

Michael Pack's stormy tenure over the federal agency that oversees government-funded broadcasters abroad — including Voice of America — appears to be coming to a close. Yet President Trump's appointee has sparked an internal outcry by taking bold steps to try to cement his control over at least two of the networks and shape the course of their journalism well into the Biden administration.

A clash has broken out between factions at the White House over whether to extend an expiring freeze on various temporary work visas, including those used by foreign high-tech workers and by au pairs, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The measure, which President Trump signed earlier in 2020, is due to expire at the end of the year, on Thursday.

China's president and European leaders met Wednesday to mark their agreement on an investment deal between the European Union and China despite a request for talks on the issue by the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Something significant shifted in media this year — and it's not just about the pandemic keeping us inside, glued to screens. It's all due to a simple idea: cater to the will of the consumer.

Health officials in the U.K. authorized the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, giving the nation a second option for inoculation against the coronavirus.

The government will begin rolling out the inexpensive and easy-to-store vaccine beginning Monday. It has ordered 100 million doses — enough to vaccinate 50 million residents, or three-quarters of the country's population.

The government has already given first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than 600,000 Britons.

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Back in the spring, farmers who raise pigs were in a panic. Many major customers, such as food service companies that supply restaurants, weren't buying pork. Prices had fallen sharply. Some hog farmers had no place to ship their animals because so many workers in pork processing plants got sick from COVID-19.

"Our folks need a lifeline," said Nick Giordano, top lobbyist for the National Pork Producers Council, on a call with journalists in May. "Unless there is a large cash infusion from the federal government, we're going to lose a lot of producers."

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Senate Democrats tried to force a vote today on whether to send $2,000 relief payments to most Americans as a way to cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the idea has broad bipartisan support.

A Boeing 737 Max carried paying passengers on a U.S. flight Tuesday for the first time since March 2019 as American Airlines put the aircraft back in service. The planes had been grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes highlighted safety problems.

American Flight 718 took off from Miami around 10:40 a.m., heading to New York's LaGuardia Airport, according to the aviation tracking site Flightradar24.com. The plane landed ahead of schedule, shortly after 1 p.m.

French designer Pierre Cardin, who extended his brand far beyond the fashion world, has died at age 98. The son of Italian immigrants worked with luminaries such as filmmaker Jean Cocteau and designer Christian Dior before launching his own fashion house, drawing on his love for futuristic design.

Cardin's family announced his death to Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing.

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Hi.

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Hi.

MARTIN: How are you doing?

GREENE: You know, just another morning like any other morning.

Updated at 8:27 p.m. ET

Omni Hotels & Resorts, the international luxury hotel chain owned by billionaire Robert B. Rowling, is being accused of misusing millions of dollars in federal pandemic relief funds meant to keep workers on payroll.

This year, the hottest trend on Wall Street could be summed up in one strange and unfamiliar word: SPAC.

Shaquille O'Neal's got a SPAC. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan's got a SPAC. Famed investor Bill Ackman launched a $4 billion SPAC. And a 25-year-old became the youngest self-made billionaire thanks to — you guessed it — a SPAC.

So what is a SPAC? A "special purpose acquisition company" is a way for a company to go public without all the paperwork of a traditional IPO, or initial public offering.

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Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, the mobile payments company run by billionaire Jack Ma, to overhaul major aspects of its business — a move that follows a scuttled IPO and comes just days after regulators announced an investigation of affiliate Alibaba.

Regulators announced Sunday that it had found major problems in Ant Group's business practices in China.

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Relief aid will be on the way to millions of struggling Americans and a looming government shutdown has been avoided. President Trump signed into law last night the massive coronavirus relief and spending package that Congress passed last week.

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The hottest trend on Wall Street this year is a SPAC. That's spelled S-P-A-C.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: Constantly now - SPAC, SPAC, SPAC.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: SPAC frenzy.

The model train company Hornby has seen a big increase of sales because families are spending more time at home. Prior to the pandemic, it was described as a "company in chaos."

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The pandemic has damaged countless businesses, but in the U.K...

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

Willy Solis never saw himself as an activist.

"I'm an introvert, extreme introvert," he said. "That's my nature."

But 2020 changed that — like so many other things.

Food banks have seen demand climb dramatically this year. Eric Cooper of the San Antonio Food Bank talks about how additional federal dollars could make a difference to his clients.

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The legendary El Chapultepec has closed after 87 years in business — not only because of the pandemic, but also because Denver has changed.

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U.S. tourists aren't welcome in most countries around the world because of the high number of coronavirus cases surging in the United States. But at least one country is keeping its borders open: Mexico. And many Americans, keen to escape the cold or lockdowns, are flocking to its stunning beaches.

On a recent weekend in Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico's top tourist destinations, Sharlea Watkins and her friends downed beers at a restaurant overlooking the city's marina.

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