National/International

GoDaddy drops neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer

Aug 15, 2017

Protests against this weekend's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, continue to crop up in cities across the country. And they're also happening online.

Daily Stormer, which describes itself as "The World's Most Genocidal Republican Website," has been let go from the domain GoDaddy after posting personal attacks about Heather Heyer, one of the Charlottesville victims. On today's show, we'll look at the role that services like GoDaddy play in controlling internet content. Afterwards, we'll look at a growing debate over the manufacturing standards for environmentally friendly electronics.

Two more high-profile CEOs — including Intel's Brian Krzanich and Under Armour's Kevin Plank — have resigned from President Trump's manufacturing advisory council. On today's show, we'll look at how businesses are responding to this weekend's violence in Virginia. Afterwards, we'll talk about the possibility that the U.S. will place tariffs on foreign-made solar panels, and then discuss the controversy over allowing children to translate for their parents in emergency situations.

The US far-right is a fan of — Syria's Assad?

Aug 14, 2017

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has some unlikely fans in the US among far-right communities.

In a video that was posted on Twitter, three men who took part in the Charlottesville protests talk about their support for Assad, the notorious Syrian leader accused of killing thousands of his own people. One of the men is wearing a T-shirt that reads “Bashar’s Barrel Delivery Co.”

"Support the Syrian Arab army," one of them says.

Can Netflix afford more big gets like Shonda Rhimes?

Aug 14, 2017

Netflix, the big video on demand company, committed what amounts to a raid on the content stable of Disney. It has signed a multiyear production contract with Shonda Rhimes —creator of hit TV series such as "Grey’s Anatomy" and "Scandal." With more than 50 original shows under its belt just this year, Netflix is doubling down on the old notion that content is king. However, creating shows costs a lot of money, and with $20 billion in debt already, how many more shows can Netflix bankroll?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Think about the hardest negotiation you’ve ever done — maybe over a salary or buying a house. Maybe some big deal at work. Those are like the simplest kiddie-puzzles compared with the 5,000 piece jigsaw that is a trade negotiation. Then, imagine you had to start all over once it was done, and maybe add in a few extra pieces this time around. Trade negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada will meet in Washington, D.C., this week to begin trying to update the North American Free Trade Agreement. Former trade negotiators let us in on the process. 

An ode to network TV with the creator of "This Is Us"

Aug 14, 2017

Before there was Netflix, or HBO, or cable, or streaming television of any kind, there were networks and seasons of TV that fed water-cooler conversation because everyone was watching the same shows. Now the television landscape is much more spread out, but that doesn't mean a network show can't still capture the public's attention. NBC's "This Is Us" averaged 15 million viewers a week last year and racked up a list of Emmy nominations for its first season, including outstanding drama series.

A job isn’t always just a job – sometimes it is a way of life. This story is part of a series exploring what it means when jobs define several generations and are part of the very fabric of a community.

On some days, students at the Harpswell Coastal Academy don’t even see a classroom. Behind the school, sixth-grader Easton Dundore shovels mulch into an outdoor hoop house he helped design with a few other students.

The villain in James Patterson’s new book seems strangely familiar…

Aug 14, 2017

James Patterson may have pulled inspiration from a very public disagreement he had with online retailer Amazon for his latest novel.

NASA is testing supercomputers to send to Mars

Aug 14, 2017

Scientists in space have computers, but they don't exactly look like the one you might be reading this on. Computers in space have highly specific functions. There is no consumer-grade Mac or PC up in space. A lot of that has the do with the fact that laptops in space degrade quickly out there.

But NASA wants to fix that problem by creating new supercomputers, developed in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The technology is being tested on the International Space Station in hopes that the computer can withstand trips to Mars. 

08/14/2017: Countering domestic terrorism

Aug 14, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called Saturday's deadly car attack in Charlottesville an act of domestic terrorism. On today's show, we'll chat with Faiza Patel from NYU's Brennan Center for Justice about how the government tries to combat violent extremism. Afterwards, we'll discuss Uruguay's attempt to draft a measure that would provide transgender people with reparations.

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of the nation's third largest pharmaceutical company resigned from a manufacturing council that advises President Donald Trump days after racially tinged clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing "a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.''

The conversation is continuing into this week over what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. There are now questions about the future of one set of federal programs established under the Obama administration to target homegrown extremism called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).

Sandra Valin, who is transgender, was born in 1974 and said growing up in Uruguay, her mom wouldn't allow her to leave home alone.

"When I was a kid I was a target because I was flamboyant and feminine, it was horrible, and it didn't end with the dictatorship - the persecution continued into the 1990s," Valin said.

Effectively cut out of Uruguay's formal economy, Valin relied on sex work to survive.

Who owns the seeds bought by farmers and gardeners?

Aug 14, 2017

The seeds planted by farmers and gardeners used to be in the public domain. But then, in the 1980s, new laws and court rulings made it easier to patent them.

A survey on Americans and their workplaces by RAND, the nonprofit think tank, shows a lot of us work in high-pressure, stressful environments and don’t have enough time to get the job done, so we have to take it home with us.

08/14/2017: Weaponized audio technology

Aug 14, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has developed a Spaceborne computer that'll be tested at the International Space Station to see if it can withstand trips to Mars. Mark Fernandez, lead developer for the NASA project, joined us to talk about the technology and why a private company like HP is getting involved. Afterwards, we'll look at news that State Department workers in Cuba may have suffered from an "acoustic attack." 

A rally planned by white nationalist groups ultimately led to violent clashes and the death of an anti-racist protestor, Heather Heyer, this weekend. One federal effort to target domestic terrorism, the Countering Violent Extremism program, had been set up by the Obama administration. But recent changes under the Trump administration have raised questions about the program's future. On today's show, we'll take a look at what the program does and what might change.

Back-to-school supplies are a little more expensive — and complicated

Aug 11, 2017

You’re not imagining it — you are paying more for back-to-school supplies than last year.

Parents on average will spend about $500 per child this year, according to a yearly survey by Deloitte. That's up from $488 last year. This year's back-to-school shopping season is expected to pull in $27 billion in sales, the survey said.

John Hockenberry gives us his takeaway

Aug 11, 2017

So, what do you say about nearly 10 years of your life measured out in radio programs?

For me, it's that long, though not for most of you, because this show was birthed in the shadows of a long-forgotten mission to become a public radio alternative in morning drive time. That goal, which was written into grant proposals and pitches, launched The Takeaway. Then two of the biggest stories of the century — the election of Barack Obama and the financial debacle that almost took down the global economy — lifted us steadily as a place where people could hear ideas mixed with the news.

Online audio platform SoundCloud, a favorite of indie musicians, has been struggling to stay afloat financially. Last month, it laid off 40 percent of its staff, and the company has been urgently seeking a reported $170 million cash injection to keep going. Today it got that emergency investment approved by shareholders. As part of that deal, the CEO of video streaming service Vimeo will now lead SoundCloud. So it lives to see another day. But why is it that a company with more than 175 million monthly users can’t make money?

Shouldn't the person telling you what to do with your retirement accounts be legally required to act in your best interest? Sounds simple enough, but regulation to that affect has long been resisted by the financial industry. The Obama administration pushed for the so-called Fiduciary Duty Rule, but this week the Labor Department sought to delay implementation of the rule by 18 months. As it turns out, this rule might actually help brokers instead of hurting them.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Nela Richardson of Redfin and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economics news. We’ll get into inflation at the consumer level and how Trump's threats of nuclear war aren't having much effect on Wall Street. Plus, with Trump singling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, we look at what’s next for the president’s agenda. 

With a new class of freshmen heading off to college over the next few weeks, parents, friends and relatives are scrambling to get their students situated and send them off with a memorable gift. Marketplace Weekend spoke to Emma McAnaw, market writer on BuzzFeed's shopping team, about her picks for goodbye gifts for college students. 

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Dealing with identity theft can cost you — but should it?

Aug 11, 2017

We often talk about cyber security as a way to prevent other people from accessing your personal information, but what can you do if the worst actually happens? That's what David Lazarus had to find out after someone used his social security number. Lazarus, who writes the Consumer Confidential column for the LA Times (and is a guest host at Marketplace), first reported on Derrick Davis, the man who took his identity, back in 2007.

Lunch shaming is on its way out of schools

Aug 11, 2017

Have you heard of lunch shaming? Even experienced it, perhaps?

It's what happens when a kid can't pay for their school lunch, and the lunch service staff, or other students or teachers, make them feel bad about it. There have reportedly been instances where a student was obliged to help clean up the lunchroom to pay off their debt, or when a school stamped "I need lunch money" on a child's arm. Sometimes, it's just embarrassing for a student to have to go get the "courtesy meal" at the salad bar instead of the hot lunch offered to all the other students.

President Trump has made it clear that he wants to put America first. Globalization and free trade, he suggests, have gone too far. Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on cheap Chinese steel is a prime example. In July, Trump told reporters he might impose both tariffs and quotas to protect the American steel industry.

The year 2016 was the warmest on record for the planet as a whole, surpassing temperature records that date back 137 years, according to an annual report compiled by scientists around the globe.

For global temperatures, last year surpassed the previous record-holder: 2015.

Teachers spend hundreds of dollars on back to school supplies

Aug 11, 2017

Parents aren't the only ones who spend big getting ready for the school year. Teachers, it turns out, fork over about $500 of their own money each year for school supplies, according to a survey by Scholastic.

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump

Aug 11, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) —Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group.

The Environmental Integrity Project looked at that civil penalties paid by polluters during the first six months under Trump. The group published an analysis Thursday that found penalties were less than half their levels under each of the past three presidents.

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