Skip Navigation
NPR News
People shop outside of a Family Dollar discount store in Waterbury, Connecticut. (Getty Images)

Dollar Tree To Buy Family Dollar In $8.5 Billion Deal

by Eyder Peralta
Jul 28, 2014

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Eyder Peralta

With Dollar Tree's agreement to purchase Family Dollar on Monday, two of the United States' biggest discount stores are coming together in a deal estimated at $8.5 billion in cash and stock.

The New York Times reports:

"The deal comes amid pressure on Family Dollar by the activist investor Carl C. Icahn, who urged the company last month toexplore a sale of itself. But Family Dollar said in a statement that it had been exploring strategic options since the winter.

"Under the terms of Monday's deal, Dollar Tree will pay $74.50 for each share of Family Dollar. The bid is made up of $59.60 a share in cash and Dollar Tree stock worth about $14.90. Including debt, the deal values the target company at about $9.2 billion.

"The bid represents a premium of nearly 23 percent to Family Dollar's closing price on Friday."

The Wall Street Journal reports the deal has been approved by the boards of both companies. Dollar Tree, the Journal reports, will continue to operate Family Dollar as a separate brand and keep Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine.

The paper adds some background:

"Family Dollar, with more than 8,100 stores across the country, has been at a crossroads in its retail strategy. Early this year, Mr. Levine said the chain was shelving a strategy that used price cuts on some items, while keeping others elevated, and instead would emulate the everyday low price model favored by rivals Dollar General and Wal-Mart.

"In April, Family Dollar said it would close about 370 stores and lower prices on nearly 1,000 basic items in an effort to remain competitive. Earlier this month, it reported its fiscal third-quarter earnings slid 33% as higher costs offset a slight increase in revenue.

"Meanwhile, activist investors—like Mr. Icahn—have been flexing their muscles this year, pushing for everything from sales to boardroom shake-ups."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

NPR One, Now Available At Your Preferred App Store

Jul 28, 2014

See this


Share this

NPR One is our new digital listening app that blends NPR and Member Station news reporting into a rich, localized, on-demand experience. We have been working on this new audio news app for iOS and Android for some time, and now it's your turn to download it and experience public radio made personal.

Listen to the latest local, national and international news in a curated stream customized for you. With NPR One you're in control: you can pause, skip or spend more time with the news and entertaining stories that you might have otherwise missed. NPR One remembers your history as you go, so you'll never hear the same story twice. Search for shows and podcasts, review your listening history or look ahead at upcoming stories.

With NPR One there is a new way to listen to public radio, one that's responsive to your tastes, your routines and your local interests. Open the app, and you'll hear the best news and programming from NPR and your local public radio station. As you listen you can mark individual stories as 'interesting' so it can better tailor the content just for you. It blends NPR's editorial judgment with your personal tastes and creates moments of discovery - things you didn't even know you'd find, sent right to your smart phone or tablet.

And the more you use NPR One, the better it will work. We want to make sure you can hear the important stories of the day crafted in a listening experience just for you. So start listening and when a story resonates with you, mark it as 'interesting' or share it with your friends. We think you'll be surprised how well NPR One fits into your day.

Background on the app (for the real public radio nerds)

The app has been developed with the participation of six Member Station partners:

KPCC-Southern California Public Radio; KQED-Public Media for Northern California; Minnesota Public Radio; WBUR-Boston; WHYY-Philadelphia; and WNYC-New York Public Radio.

The app was built by NPR's Digital Media and Digital Services divisions. It is an example of NPR's investments in the future of digital listening.

NPR One is supported in part by $10M in gifts and grants NPR announced in December 2013. The James L. Knight Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, together with Paul and Heather Haaga, William and Lia Poorvu, and Howard and Fredericka Stevenson, are behind this ambitious effort. The majority of the Knight Foundation's gift is comprised of matching grants to the six stations.

Join us now and discover public radio made personal.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
Members of a Palestinian family break their fast with the "Iftar" meal during the holy month of Ramadan at a United Nations school, where hundreds of families have sought refuge after fleeing their homes following fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas. (AP)

For Muslims In Gaza, End Of Ramadan Marred By Fighting

Jul 28, 2014

See this

Children ride on a hand-crank Ferris wheel in Gaza City on Monday. The owner says he usually sets it up the last couple of weeks of Ramadan. He set it up much later this year, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Emily Harris

Um Ahmed Ahmed almost ignored Eid this year.

The Muslim holiday, which began Monday, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This year, it also marks three weeks since the current war in Gaza started.

"My plans were to have no plans for Eid," Ahmed says, pausing in the Firaz market area on a main street in Gaza City. "But my son kept bugging me, 'Mom, aren't you going to buy me something for Eid?'"

Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday and a family celebration. Relatives offer each other gifts of cash and chocolate. Kids look forward to special cookies and new clothes.

Ahmed's 9-year-old son Mahmoud shyly opens up a plastic bag to show off his brand-new Eid outfit: tan pants and a matching shirt. Shoes are next — bright sandals and trendy sports shoes line the window of the shop they're entering.

"The kids are suffering so much," Ahmed says, adding that her brother gave her money for Eid shopping because neither she nor her husband works. "They hear the planes. They don't sleep all night. I just wanted to make a little difference for him."

But on the first day of what is traditionally a three-day holiday, Israeli jets continued their offensive in Gaza and Hamas militants continued to launch rockets into Israel — despite a call by the United Nations for both Israel and Hamas to implement a humanitarian cease-fire for "the Eid period and beyond."

As a result, Gazans like Ahmed say they're not expecting to go visiting during Eid. Ahmed's home is crowded with relatives who have fled fighting in their own neighborhoods. With nearby explosions puncturing the air, she acknowledges it might be a risk to shop.

Indeed, few shops were open in Gaza on Sunday, the day before Eid this year — perhaps half as many as usual in the Firaz market section of town. But up and down streets in Gaza, most stores remained closed with tall, metal shutters.

"There is a big difference between Eid this year and last year," says Ali Rajeh, also out buying clothes for his children. "Last year we could enjoy it at least somewhat. This year, as adults, we can't at all. Many of my cousins were injured. I know some people who died. One of my close friends is in the hospital. He'll be there for Eid."

Tens of thousands of other Gazans will spend this Eid in overcrowded classrooms. The United Nations daily headcount shows 9 percent of Gaza's population has taken refuge from the war in agency-run schools. U.N. officials say they aren't distributing any special Eid treats. They're barely keeping up with basic demands.

"It's just the scale," says Scott Anderson, deputy director of UNRWA, the major U.N. agency operating in Gaza. "One-hundred and seventy thousand people take 200 metric tons of food a day."

Much of that food is brought in through Israel, via the sole commercial crossing. Unfortunately for U.N. logistics, Kerem Shalom is near the border with Israel and has been closed periodically due to fighting around it.

By special agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the crossing will be open on Eid, Anderson says.

"The government of Israel has done a lot to try to keep it open," he says. "But I prefer to have redundancy."

Merit Heitanen, who coordinates water deliveries to schools, worries about Eid. Many adults fast all day during the preceding month, not even sipping water.

"After Ramadan finishes, how much more will people be drinking?" she wonders. Already some schools have run out of water after two deliveries a day.

During a 12-hour cease-fire on Saturday, thousands of people who had left their homes for safety rushed back to pick up mattresses, clothing and cooking pots. Their focus was on survival rather than celebration. Hamas rejected a cease-fire extension proposed by Israel early Sunday — but then suggested a cease-fire itself the same afternoon, in part citing Eid.

"Based on a U.N. request and because of the circumstances our people face and the holiday of Eid, the resistance factions have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire for 24 hours," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in a statement.

Despite clashes Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on all parties "to prolong the suspension of the fighting for an additional extendable period of 24 hours to allow vital humanitarian efforts to continue." He reiterated his demand for "a durable cease-fire that could set the ground for the start of comprehensive negotiations."

Ali Rajeh, the father buying his children clothes Sunday, hasn't been following cease-fire politics. He says he told his children to just expect the worst during this war.

"I'm expecting the worst," he says. "I'm telling my kids we might get bombarded in our house, even before reaching Eid. Security or safety are like canceled concepts for them because of what is going on."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
Band of Horses performs at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival. (Adam Kissick for NPR)

Band Of Horses, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2014

Jul 28, 2014

See this

Children ride on a hand-crank Ferris wheel in Gaza City on Monday. The owner says he usually sets it up the last couple of weeks of Ramadan. He set it up much later this year, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Cinematic sweep is hardwired into Band of Horses' sound: Ben Bridwell's voice always seems to be echoing through some canyon or other, whether the guitars are chiming to the rafters or drifting along drowsily. The group's most recent records, Infinite Arms and Mirage Rock, have tended toward the latter half of that equation, but Band of Horses remains versatile in tone, especially onstage.

Open-air festivals often bring out the group's anthemic energy — whether in plugged-in workouts or in an acoustic configuration like the one heard in Band of Horses' recent live album, Acoustic at the Ryman. Hear the band perform as part of the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Friday, July 25 in Newport, R.I.

Set List

  • "St. Augustine"
  • "Part One"
  • "Weed Party"
  • "Everything's Gonna Be Undone"
  • "The Great Salt Lake"
  • "Is There A Ghost"
  • "Laredo"
  • "No One's Gonna Love You"
  • "Islands On The Coast"
  • "The General Specific"
  • "Ode To LRC"
  • "The Funeral"
  • "Am I A Good Man?"
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
A child grabs sleep after a long day of labor in a struggling West African fishery. (Courtesy of Jessica Pociask, WANT Expeditions)

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

by Michaeleen Doucleff
Jul 28, 2014

See this

Children ride on a hand-crank Ferris wheel in Gaza City on Monday. The owner says he usually sets it up the last couple of weeks of Ramadan. He set it up much later this year, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

Hear this

Launch in player

Share this

When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.

But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley, say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work. And more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists wrote Thursday in the journal Science.

"My students, postdocs and I spent a year stepping back and trying to connect the dots between wildlife decline and human exploitation," says ecologist Justin Brashares, who led the study. "We found about 50 examples around the world."

One those examples made international headlines in June when the Guardian published a report about slavery in the Thai shrimping industry.

"Large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns," the British newspaper reported. These shrimp are "sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco," the report said.

The world's food supply, both here in the U.S. and abroad, is increasingly connected to child labor and human trafficking, Brashares says. And the problems isn't just in the fishing industry or large supply chains that stock megagrocery stores. Many of the world's poorest people are turning to exploitative labor practices to earn a living and feed their families as traditional sources of food disappear.

Wild animals, both on land and in the sea, provide incomes for about 15 percent of the world's population, Brashares and his team wrote. These animals are also the main source of protein for many of these people.

"We have more than one billion people on our planet whose livelihood and survival is tied to rapidly declining resources," Brashares says. "They're not going to take it lying down, nor should they."

As the fish in the ocean decline and forests are destroyed, families have to work harder and harder to get the same nutrition or wages. For instance, many communities in West Africa have hunted animals in local forests for thousands of years. Because of deforestation, now many hunters there must travel for days to find prey, Brashares and his team wrote in Science.

To make up for these extra costs, hunters and fishermen around the world have increasingly turned to cheaper labor. In many cases that ends up being children or people in desperate situations.

"Child labor and slavery is exploding because the time needed to catch fish [or hunt animals] has gone up exponentially," Brashares says.

But many policies and laws aimed at stopping these abuses focus on stopping traffickers, instead of trying to fix the source of the problem, he says. "The government's strategy of tracking down key traffickers and arresting them is missing the scale of the problem, and the underlying issues driving them: The rapid destruction of wildlife."

Brashares thinks biologists need to work together with politicians, economists and social scientists to figure out ways to slow down the destruction of the environment. At the same time, communities that depend on local wildlife for food and income should have the rights to these natural resources, he says.

"We need to target areas where we know reliance one wildlife is the largest," Brashares says. "Then local communities need to have tenure rights to these animals. This strategy may be working against the U.S. economically in the short term, but in the long term, it's a no-brainer for the world."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.