October 26, 2014 06:56 UTC

Business

Wealth, Poverty Are Issues in Hong Kong Protests

10/24/2014
The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are mainly about the right to vote without interference from China’s central government. But there are at least two other less talked-about issues. One is concern about the rising cost of living in Hong Kong. Another is the gap between rich and poor. More

Audio Luxembourg Set to End Bank Secrecy

European Union finance ministers have reached an agreement that will make it more difficult for tax avoiders to hide their money. The new legislation was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. Countries known as tax havens had blocked the bank secrecy laws.

Audio French Economist Wins Nobel for Studies in Market Rules

Economists have studied how markets work for a long time. Generally, they work well. But markets do not always perform as expected. Jean Tirole of France won the Nobel Prize in Economics for studying why markets are imperfect, or inefficient, and what governments can do to regulate them.

Audio Chinese Firm Pays Record Price for Waldorf Astoria

The $1.95 billion deal with Anbang Insurance Group is the highest price ever paid for a U.S. hotel. Other Chinese buyers have also spent $22 billion on real estate investment in the U.S. for the twelve-month period ending in March 2014. In the 1980s, Japanese companies also bought US properties.

Video Long Drought Affects Farmers in Southwestern US

Parts of the southwestern American states of Texas and Oklahoma have experienced severe dry weather for several years. This drought has affected the growth of cotton and grains. The governor of Oklahoma says the state has suffered two billion dollars in agricultural losses since 2011.

Audio Vietnam Seeks to Build High-Tech Exports

Vietnam may not have its own center for high-tech businesses like Silicon Valley in the U.S. state of California, but the country is becoming more important in the worldwide manufacturing system. The country has even attracted major technology companies like Microsoft, Samsung, and Intel.

Audio Ebola Outbreak Also Harms Economies

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says the Ebola outbreak threatens West African economies noting other outbreaks that have created high economic losses.

Video New Beer Made From Old Bone

What happens when a beer-drinking bone digger and a creative scientist team up? Beer made with a really, really, really old ingredient. That’s what happens.

Audio Rich People Get Their Own Facebook

A new social media site, Netropolitan, promises to be more exclusive by only permitting people who are rich to join. Users must pay $9,000 to join. This includes a $6,000 entry fee plus $3,000 for the yearly membership fee.

Audio Safety Is a Concern in Turkey's Construction Boom

Istanbul is suddenly the skyscraper capital of Europe, thanks to a national construction boom. But recent construction accidents in the country have many people angry about worker safety.

Audio Scientists Discover Secrets of Coffee

Researchers have mapped the genes of a coffee plant. They may be able to use the information to create a plant without caffeine, improving the taste of the drink for people who now drink the decaffeinated version, which some say does not taste as good. | As It Is

Video Chinese Publisher Benefits Houston's Asian Population

Wea Lee started Southern News Group in Houston 35 years ago. Lee's first business was printing a newspaper for the small Chinese community. He now owns newspapers, a television station, the International Trade Center in Houston’s Chinatown and is a part owner of a local bank.

Audio Rwanda Opens Biggest Solar Power Plant in East Africa

The plant is in Agahozo Shalom village in eastern Rwanda. The plant is the first of its kind in the area.

Audio 'Exploding' Lake to Provide Power in Rwanda

A U.S. company will remove methane gas from Lake Kivu for use as a major supply of electricity. Two million people living nearby could use the power.

Audio Asian Insect Threatens Florida's Citrus Industry

Florida’s citrus industry is facing serious threats from an Asian insect. The insect can be a carrier of bacteria that attack citrus trees. The spread of the bacteria shows the danger of bringing non-native organisms to America soil.

Audio Alibaba Seeks to Raise Billions in IPO

The Chinese online company could raise $20 billion by selling stock to the public in the U.S. The company holds an 80 percent share of China’s online market.

Audio US, Japan to Connect with Fiber-Optic Cable

Work on $300 million project to begin immediately; five Asian companies and Google involved in the project, which will link US West Coast and Japan. | In the News

Audio Diners Increase Business with Healthy Food

Restaurants called “diners” can be found throughout the United States. They make simple, low-cost food. But traditional diner food is often unhealthy. One group of diners is cooking healthier food for their customers and, surprisingly, they love it.

Audio Learning to Grow Traditional Foods in Uganda

The "slow food" movement is growing in the Western world, but not in Africa. Group works to help people in Uganda and other countries grow local, healthy food. | Agriculture Report

Audio “Green Loans” Help Kenya’s Farmers

A new company offers a new kind of loan, and teaches farmers how to protect the soil and feed the nation. And it protects them from “loan sharks” | As It Is

Learn with The News

  • Anti-Occupy Central protesters (L) try to remove a barricade from pro-democracy protesters on a main street in Hong Kong's Mongkok shopping district October 4, 2014.

    Audio US Group Rejects Claims It Incited Hong Kong Protests

    Chinese media have been criticizing the National Endowment for Democracy. They accuse the US-based group of providing money to and advising the “Occupy” street protest movement. The group says it takes part in normal cooperation with civic groups in Hong Kong. But it says it has nothing to hide. More

  • A rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon ship lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 18, 2014.

    Audio You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Read This

    "You do not need to be a rocket scientist." Americans hear these words often. People say them in schools, offices and factories. Broadcasters on radio and television use them. How did the expression begin? No one seems to know for sure. But you can find out by reading this Words and Their Stories. More

  • Audio Control of US Senate Depends on North Carolina

    U.S. congressional elections are less than two weeks away. A small number of races will decide if the Democratic party keeps control of the U.S. Senate or if Republicans will have a majority. One of the closest Senate races is in the state of North Carolina between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis. More

  • Freed Vietnamese dissident Nguyen Van Hai (L) is greeted upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport on October  21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  The Vietnamese blogger, also known by his pen name "Dieu Cay," was handed a 12-year prison sentenc

    Audio Legality of Vietnamese Blogger’s Release Questioned

    Nguyen Van Hai arrived in the United States on Wednesday. Hai is one of Vietnam’s best known political bloggers. He has written about government corruption and the country’s territorial dispute with China. The United States was among several foreign governments to call for his release. More

  • A miner sifts through dirt for gold flakes at the Atunso Cocoase small-scale mine, Atunsu, Ghana, Oct. 16, 2014. (Chris Stein/VOA)

    Audio Gold Mining in Ghana Can Be Dangerous

    Small mining operations are a common sight in central Ghana. Here, mine workers dig deep into the earth in search of bullion. But not everyone returns alive. Earlier this year, six miners were killed when an earthen wall collapsed in Kyekyewere, a village in the Ashanti Region. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Oscar de la Renta Dressed First Ladies and Movie Stars

    Clothing designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at his home in the American state of Connecticut. He was 82 years old. His wife said he died of problems related to cancer. Mr. de la Renta dressed American movie stars and first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. More

  • Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation More

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs