NPR News

As Turkey’s currency tumbles, contagion fears rise

Aug 10, 2018

Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall. It’s been declining for months and today it reached a record low, down by as much as 18 percent. Part of the reason is Turkey’s bad relations with the United States. The two countries have been at odds lately over the detention of an American pastor. And today, President Donald Trump announced that he’d double tariffs on Turkish metals. The turmoil has rattled European markets, which fear they may get hurt, too. How justified are those fears? And what’s the global risk?

Summertime is for road trips. Atlas Obscura and All Things Considered are traveling up the West Coast, from California to Washington, in search of "hidden wonders" — unique but overlooked people and places.

A hedge fund gets hungry for Campbell Soup

Aug 10, 2018

There is a certain circle of life quality to corporate finance in this economy. Almost every day on Wall Street, big investment companies like hedge funds and private equity firms go looking for companies to invest in or to acquire.

This happens all the time with lesser-known companies, but just this week, it happened with the Campbell Soup Co. Its soups are an iconic American brand, and the company’s been around for 149 years, but looking at its flagging soup sales alone, you can tell it’s a bit of a dinosaur.

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Multiple wildfires have already burned hundreds of thousands of acres in California this summer. The Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California is the largest in the state’s history, and the Ferguson fire forced the National Park Service to close parts of Yosemite during the busiest part of the tourist season.

We wanted to know how tourist-dependent businesses up there are doing, so we called up Lori Howard at the Yosemite Sierra View Bed and Breakfast in Oakhurst. It’s about 14 miles away from the gate of Yosemite National Park on Highway 41.

"Hearing it changed everything for me," former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman told NPR on Friday.

Manigault Newman was referring to what she calls the "N-word tape" — a long-rumored but never surfaced tape of Donald Trump on the set of The Apprentice allegedly using the racial slur. In her interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Manigault Newman claims to have heard the tape and heard Trump using that slur on the tape.

But that's not what it says in her tell-all book, Unhinged, due out on Tuesday.

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The economics of disability (encore)

Aug 10, 2018

Roughly one in five Americans has a disability. Those numbers increase with age and vary across race and gender, but every single one of those people is carving out an economic life. In this hourlong special, we focused on three pillars of the economy: education, work and health care. 

Are Turkey's problems contagious?

Aug 10, 2018

It's rare that foreign exchange markets top the news, but when they do, it's never good. Turkey's currency, the lira, fell to record lows against the dollar as President Donald Trump hit the country with additional tariffs on steel and aluminum. We'll break down what happened and try to figure out if other countries should be worried. Then, we'll talk to a business near the wildfires that closed down Yosemite National Park during peak season. Plus: The sun sets on the celebrity chef restaurant.

The business behind celebrity auctions

Aug 10, 2018

As a public school teacher in New York City, Richard Andino isn't making boatloads of money. But that doesn’t stop him from attending celebrity auctions.

At a Park Avenue sale last month, he dropped five grand on a gold watch once owned by the mid-century jazz legend Art Tatum, known as one of the greatest piano players of all time.    

“It’s something that belonged to my idol,” Andino said. “So it’s worth it.”

Andino, who’s 53 and plays piano himself, has been obsessed with Tatum since he was a teenager. That’s why he’s willing to pay up.

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Toxic workplaces can lead to a balancing act for HR

Aug 10, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has now chimed in on Turkey’s economic crisis, tweeting out that he’s cranking up the tariffs on Turkey, calling relations with the country “not good.” And while the Turkish economy is only the 17th largest in the world, it still carries potent global impact.

Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

Aug 10, 2018

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.

The lira tumbled 13 percent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further shake international investors’ confidence in the country.

New inflation numbers were released Friday morning, and it’s a curious thing: the economy is going strong and consumers are spending, which tends to push prices up. And yet, we haven’t seen all that show up in the inflation numbers yet.

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The role of human resources in workplace harassment

Aug 10, 2018

When there are cases of harassment and bullying in the workplace, it's likely the company's human resources department (or a close equivalent) will eventually get involved. But according to some workplace culture experts, turning to human resources can prove to be potentially dangerous for the employees involved in workplace bullying incidents. There may be retaliation against the employee who brought the complaint about a bullying boss or manager to HR in the first place.

Court orders EPA to ban pesticide

Aug 10, 2018

It's called chlorpyrifos. It's a widespread and controversial insecticide — and now it's been banned. On Thursday, a federal court ordered the EPA to end the use of the chemical, which has been linked to developmental disabilities in children. DowDuPont Inc. is the largest producer of chlorpyrifos, which is used on crops like soybeans, apples and oranges. 

Click on the audio player above to hear more. 

Detailing the origins of the celebrity auction

Aug 10, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The plummeting value of the Turkish lira has now gotten the attention of the European Central Bank, which is keeping an eye on how the crisis could be affecting other foreign banks. Also, a federal court has banned an insecticide that has been linked to developmental disabilities in children — the latest development in the insecticide's contentious history. And, if you're in the market for any odd items that have been graced with the presence of a celebrity, Graceland in Memphis is holding an auction that includes things like a jacket from Elvis.

Updated on Aug. 10 at 4:45 p.m. ET

Immigration officials have returned a mother and daughter to the United States after they were deported, which had angered a federal judge who was hearing their lawsuit.

The American West appears to be moving east. New research shows the line on the map that divides the North American continent into arid Western regions and humid Eastern regions is shifting, with profound implications for American agriculture.

In western Oklahoma, farmers like Benji White and his wife, Lori, have become ranchers.

A key initiative of the Affordable Care Act was a program designed to help control soaring Medicare costs by encouraging doctors and hospitals to work together to coordinate patients' care. This led to the formation of what are known as accountable care organizations or ACOs.

The program was expected to save the government nearly $5 billion by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

It hasn't come anywhere close.

First lady Melania Trump's Slovenian-born parents were sworn in as U.S. citizens Thursday, benefiting from a path to citizenship known as family-based immigration that the president and others have derisively dubbed "chain migration."

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, attended a private swearing-in ceremony in Manhattan, according to their lawyer, Michael Wildes, who said the couple had "travailed a wonderful journey" to become Americans.

It was Bea Duncan who answered the phone at 2 a.m. on a January morning. Her son Jeff had been caught using drugs in a New Hampshire sober home and was being kicked out.

Bea and her husband, Doug Duncan, drove north that night nine years ago to pick Jeff up. On the ride back home, to Natick, Mass., the parents delivered an ultimatum: Their son had to go back to rehab, or leave home.

Jeff chose the latter, Bea says. She remembers a lot of yelling, cursing and tears as they stopped the car, in the dead of night, a few miles from the house.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Several NFL players knelt, raised fists or simply refused to take the field during the playing of the national anthem as a controversial protest against police brutality dragged into the 2018 preseason.

As The Associated Press reports, in Philadelphia, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who suspended his protest last December, and cornerback De'Vante Bausby, raised their fists while defensive end Chris Long stood with his arm around Jenkins' shoulder.

To finish out our series on venture capital, we'll take a look to the future. Cryptocurrency may have its disruptive eye cast toward venture capital. The initial coin offering is a type of crypto-crowdfunding that startups can use to raise cash quickly without kissing the Silicon Valley ring. But do ICOs really have the potential to replace venture capital for startups? We go back to the time Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Yuliya Chernova, who covers venture capital for the Wall Street Journal, about the pros and cons of ICOs. 

When we started thinking about big cooking projects for our Project Cooking episode, one of the first people that came to mind was Rodney Scott, the pitmaster and owner of Rodney Scott's Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. Scott's specialty is whole hog barbecue.

It’s funny to think that many of the things we take for granted are relatively new concepts, like having your own oven in your own kitchen. In some societies, even today, whole villages might share a single oven that someone fires up, and everyone brings their bread to bake or their stews to braise. The idea of community ovens has also taken hold in towns across America. Artist and school librarian Jennifer Burton wanted to see what having a communal oven might do for her town of Johnson, Vermont. So, last year she helped build one in a public square.

Above: Chef Justin Smillie with Francis Lam and a dish of freshly
made summer tomato panade at Upland restaurant in New York City.

America's Test Kitchen makes it easy to cook paella on the grill

Aug 10, 2018

Above: Lan Lam takes notes during one of her recipe tests for paella on the grill.

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