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Business news

As heroin and opioid addictions continue to spread among middle-class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth — treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. And some are turning to the time-honored method of the community fundraiser.

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Andy Uhler

European officials met Wednesday morning, tentatively agreeing that Turks should be allowed to travel in much of Europe without a visa. 

In March, Turkey agreed to help stop migrants crossing the Aegean Sea into Europe. The European Union had agreed to give Turkey €6 billion. Eric Schwartz, dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, said Turkey was in a strong bargaining position.

Cutting prison hepatitis C rates: costly, but worth it?

May 4, 2016

At the prison hospital inside the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo, 75-year-old Floyd Masterson is waiting to pick up some medication. He carries a walking stick in one hand and a pink appointment slip in the other. Like the rest of the inmates around him, he’s dressed in a dark blue prison uniform. He has something else in common with many prisoners: hepatitis C. The disease affects about 1 percent of the country’s population as a whole, but 17 percent of those in prison.

Full interview: Vimeo CEO on helping creators

May 4, 2016
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Bruce Johnson

The video-sharing company Vimeo bought a service this week called VHX, which may help creators on its service sell more of their content.  

“Now any creator can essentially launch their own version of Netflix," said Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor. "[It's] a premium ad-free channel of their own videos at any price they wish, launched anywhere in the world, consumable on any device.”

April not a blockbuster month for hiring in the U.S.

May 4, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about April employment numbers; Tesla's future; and fundraising as a way to pay for the high costs of drug rehab. 

Original Pizza Logs

The Wheatfield company that has been producing a favorite game-day snack for more than two decades is expanding.

A possible strategy change for the financially strapped United States Postal Service.

The USPS is in some trouble, as you may have heard. Billions in deficits every year more billions in pension liabilities.

The Finnish post office is in the red, too, and has a plan. Posti, as the Finnish postal service is called, will start mowing customers' lawns starting next month.

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post and John Carney of the Wall Street Journal. The big topics this week: interest rates, global markets and China's slowing economy.

The Lowline experiments with natural sunlight underground

Apr 29, 2016
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Lizzie O'Leary and Bruce Johnson

Part-public park, part-mad scientist experiment, The Lowline in the Lower East Side of New York City hopes to bring natural sunlight and gardens indoors and underground. Using mirrors, lenses and aluminum in a formerly abandoned building, co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch Dan hope to turn their 1,000-square foot experiment into a 60,000-square foot public park and garden open to the public.

You can read more about the park's plans at their website: thelowline.org

California makes an expensive primary appearance

Apr 29, 2016
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Sabri Ben-Achour

To the many unexpected things in this presidential campaign cycle, add California.

“This is the first time a California presidential primary will make a definitive difference since the 1972 Democratic primary,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

Usually, by now, the winners of the national primaries are pretty much figured out and they can just snooze through California's June primary. But on the Republican side especially, things aren't quite figured out. That means the state's 172 GOP delegates have suddenly become very important.

Marketplace for Friday, April 29, 2016

Apr 29, 2016
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Karen Clark

Unpacking this week's business and economic news with the Weekly Wrap; the cost of California's impact on this election cycle; and introducing The Uncertain Hour, a podcast from the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk that looks at the impact welfare reform 20 years after changes took place.

Comcast to buy DreamWorks for more than $3 billion

Apr 28, 2016
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Marketplace staff

To listen to Marketplace’s Adriene Hill and Variety’s Cynthia Littleton talk more about what this deal means for Comcast and movie goers, click on the audio player at the top of the page.

Comcast confirmed Thursday its interest in DreamWorks Animation, announcing it will pay more than $3 billion for the film company. Wall Street responded favorably.

US GDP growth slows to 0.5 percent

Apr 28, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about slow economic growth for the U.S.; the decline of brick-and-mortar stores; and how the NFL draft grew into a major public spectacle. 

NFL draft has become a spectacle in itself

Apr 28, 2016
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Nova Safo

The NFL draft, which begins Thursday in Chicago, has undergone a major evolution.

The draft used to be a closed-door meeting of NFL team officials who huddled to make deals over college players who are drafted into the professional football league.

"It used to be only sports writers cared. They used to hang out in the hotel where the draft is going on," said Rodney Fort, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan.

Retail shakeout: Web stores on the rise

Apr 28, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Brick-and-mortar retail is going through a substantial shakeout in 2016. While retail sales overall have held up moderately well (up 3.1 percent in 2015), growth has stalled over the past several years. Virtually all the recent expansion in retail has been in online sales, rising by double digits annually.

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Annie Baxter

A new report from the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, Feeding America, points to a persistent problem of food insecurity: the socio-economic condition where people have limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

The report said food insecurity rates across counties remained high at 14.7 percent in 2014, the most recent year its data captured.

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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about the inability for many Americans to access adequate food; look at Facebook's plan for a new class of shares; and interview Antoine van Agtmael about his new book, "The Smartest Places on Earth." 

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Amy Scott

This week marks a year since the city of Baltimore erupted in violence and looting following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody. The uprising brought national attention to stark inequality in the city. More than half the adults in the mostly black neighborhood where Gray grew up are unemployed. For a lot of people in impoverished neighborhoods, a history with the justice system can be a barrier to finding work. One program is trying to turn that around.

Now you can take celebrity online courses

Apr 26, 2016
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Ashley Milne-Tyte

An online learning startup called MasterClass raised a big round of funding — $15 million. It uses not academic celebrities, but the real US Weekly kind to teach its courses: from best-selling author James Patterson on writing, to Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey on acting.

Learning singing from Christina Aguilera or acting from Spacey is pretty tempting. You pay $90 for a five-hour course. Richard Garrett, chief research officer at Eduventures, said a company like MasterClass isn't a rival to online higher education, but they share some challenges.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for the biggest ever IPO

Apr 26, 2016
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JaeRan Kim

Saudi Arabia has begun releasing information on its ambitious plans to reform its economy away from oil dependence. Part of the plan includes offering up shares of state-owned oil company Aramco in what could be the largest-ever initial public offering. 

Though less than 5 percent of the company would be sold, such an offering would be expected to bring at least $100 billion. 

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Apr 26, 2016
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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about online campaign fundraising with BuzzFeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro; America's industrial technology landscape; and Twitter earnings. 

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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about why Saudi Arabia plans to weaken its dependence on oil, and the fall of Mitsubishi's stock amid an emissions scandal.

Teaching personal finance at high schools

Apr 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Obama's push for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal; the benefits of providing tuition reimbursement to your employees; and a Minnesota personal finance competition for high school students.  

Employers who help pay for tuition reap the rewards

Apr 25, 2016
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Mark Garrison

A new study says company-provided tuition assistance creates a big return for those companies, not just the employees upgrading their education.

In an analysis of the tuition reimbursement program at the health insurance company Cigna, a Lumina Foundation study said the insurer realized a 129 percent return on its investment in tuition reimbursement, in the form of personnel cost savings.

“We are definitely more likely to retain people if they’ve participated in the program,” said Karen Kocher, Cigna’s chief learning officer.

If I say it's artisanal... maybe it is

Apr 25, 2016
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Annie Baxter

Over the past few years, the word “artisan” has appeared on a growing number of mass-produced items — McDonald's "artisan grilled chicken sandwich" being but one example.

There are no rules dictating proper use of the term. For some people, it has become so overused as to lose its meaning.

A couple years ago, the research firm Canadean surveyed consumers about what they think “artisan” means. The greatest share, nearly a quarter, said they didn’t know. Others associated it with authenticity and features like a unique taste, high-quality ingredients or being “handmade.” 

The Fed still planning interest rate hikes — but when?

Apr 25, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the state of the economy, and to decide whether and when to raise interest rates again.

After pushing the federal funds rate to near zero (0 to 0.25 percent) in 2008 to try to blunt the impact of the Great Recession and stimulate the economy toward recovery, the Fed has now raised rates once, in December 2015, by 0.25 basis points. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has signaled that more rate hikes are in the cards, but has not indicated precisely when that will happen.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, April 25, 2016

Apr 25, 2016
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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about the success of Apple's apps; chat with the CEO of SecureWorks, the first tech IPO of the year; and look at Prince's protected legacy in the digital space.

On today's show, we'll talk about the number of people filing for unemployment benefits; China's new guidelines for it peer-to-peer and crowdfunding sector; and mutual funds.

China cracks down on Internet finance sector

Apr 21, 2016
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Rob Schmitz

The People's Bank of China has announced strict new guidelines for the country's ballooning peer-to-peer (P2P) and crowdfunding sector, a popular but unregulated part of China's economy. One reason? Climbing property prices.

Despite an overall slower growth economy in China, we’ve been seeing property prices in China’s wealthiest cities climb to new heights. One of the reasons for this is that more and more Chinese home buyers are using these online lending platforms to obtain mortgage down payments on new homes.

For families, even a small amount in savings goes a long way

Apr 21, 2016
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Nancy Marshall-Genzer

A new report from the Urban Institute connects the dots between the financial health of cities and their residents. Turns out even a small nest egg can help families weather a financial emergency so they don’t have to turn to the government for help.

The report says almost a quarter of American families have no savings outside of retirement plans. It’s a real problem, according to Caroline Ratcliffe, one of the report’s co-authors and a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

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