National/International

After the arrest of two black men who sat in a Philadelphia Starbucks without buying a drink, Starbucks is going through a public relations tailspin — and the company can't seem to say mea culpa fast enough.

CEO Kevin Johnson announced today that Starbucks would close its 8,000 company-owned stores on May 29 so that the approximately 175,000 employees could attend a day of bias training. But will that be the end of the company's attempts to restore its image?

Everyone gets another day to file their taxes after IRS site outage

Apr 17, 2018

Americans who waited until the last day to pay their taxes online got an unwelcome surprise: The IRS website to make payments and access other key services went down earlier today.

Now, taxpayers will get a one-day extension, and the filing system is back online.

IMF bumps up U.S. growth projections for 2018

Apr 17, 2018

The International Monetary Fund raised its growth target for the American economy today to 2.9 percent. That’s very close to the three percent forecast the Trump administration promised.  In a conversation about President Donald Trump's tax cuts and the overall state of the economy on Fox News this morning,  Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said we are starting to see "an economic boom.”

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal called up Kathy Bostjancic, the chief U.S. financial markets economist at Oxford Economics to get some context on the economic growth projections.

Restaurants say diners are bad at making reservations

Apr 17, 2018

When you try to reserve a table at a restaurant, you make a call or click a button online. But on the restaurant side, things could get messy and complicated. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke to journalist Marissa Conrad about her story  on why diners are bad at making restaurant reservations and how restaurants are trying to change that.

59: Adam ruins our show

Apr 17, 2018

What does the sketch comedy TV show "Adam Ruins Everything" have in common with our podcast? Well, we kinda share the same mission. In his TruTV show, live tours and podcast, comedian Adam Conover takes on topics we think we know about — like dieting, going green, taxes and, uh, circumcision — then punctures our assumptions with facts and comedy. We learn about his process, whether he actually changes minds and truth-squadding in the age of alternative facts. But first we chat about our own news fixations, like who bought divisive digital ads, Beyoncé and currency manipulation.

Every weekday for more than three decades, his baritone steadied our mornings. Even in moments of chaos and crisis, Carl Kasell brought unflappable authority to the news. But behind that hid a lively sense of humor, revealed to listeners late in his career, when he became the beloved judge and official scorekeeper for Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! NPR's news quiz show.

Kasell died Tuesday from complications from Alzheimer's disease in Potomac, Md. He was 84.

At least once a week, Reynald Justance visits a small, fairly inconspicuous office building on Orlando’s west side. The building, located across from a shopping plaza, is unmarked, except for a yellow sign by its door that reads in French: Authorized CAM Agent Serving the Community. 

CAM, short for “Caribbean Air Mail,” is a popular wire service with agencies in Haitian beauty salons, bakeries, shopping plazas — and office buildings.  

(Markets Edition) Starting today, the Supreme Court will hear a case on whether out-of-state businesses should pay South Dakota state and local taxes if they ship a product to a state. We'll take a brief look at the advantage online retailers have in not charging sales taxes, and why Amazon might actually be at a disadvantage here. Afterwards, we'll look at a new report showing that we're not building new homes fast enough to meet demand in 22 states.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, fired FBI Director James Comey defended his controversial decisions during the 2016 campaign and asserted that the reputation of his agency — which operates under near daily siege from the president and his allies — "would be worse today had we not picked the least bad alternatives."

"I saw this as a 500-year flood, and so where is the manual? What do I do?" he said.

Study finds housing shortages in 22 states

Apr 17, 2018

The Commerce Department reports March housing starts Tuesday, giving us a snapshot of new home construction. U.S. housing production is finally returning to pre-recession levels, but a new report underscores that we’re still not building new homes fast enough to meet demand in 22 states. And while much of that demand is in the state of California, other states outside of coastal areas are feeling shortages as well. So what might help fix that?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Starbucks is now planning to make its managers undergo unconscious bias training. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe meets with President Donald Trump today at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Likely to be on tap: trade, tariffs and North Korea. 

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

(U.S. Edition) President Trump is blocking economic sanctions on Russia proposed by U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. We'll recap what the sanctions included and the reason Haley wanted to impose them. Afterwards, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets ready to meet Trump today, we'll discuss what might be on the agenda. Possible topics: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and planned U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … After years of debt binges, bail-outs and sluggish growth, the European economic recovery is gaining traction. Now, French President Emmanuel Macron has laid out his vision for the future of Europe in a major speech. Macron called on policymakers to defend democracy in the European Union and work harder to build up the eurozone's defenses against another economic meltdown. But with political deadlock in Italy and populism on the rise, is Macron’s grand plan destined to fail?

More than half of middle schools in the United States allow students to carry their phones, which filmmaker and Stanford-trained physician Delaney Ruston finds concerning.

The gig economy: It's not just for rides or rooms. It's also for taxes.

Apr 17, 2018

It's Tax Day, and if you, like me — and 50 million others — prepared your taxes online this year, you might have seen an option to talk to an accountant if you were having problems. This year, TurboTax includes a feature that lets you video chat with an accountant if you have a question.

"I mean, I get every kind of question,” said Jake Bakke, an accountant based in Denver. “Some of it has to do with where do I enter my W2 ... or the person might have incentive stock options and are trying to calculate the adjusted basis."

What happens when you download your Facebook data

Apr 16, 2018

During his congressional testimony last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked by Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal whether he thinks Facebook users should be able to get their hands on all the information the company and advertiser have on them. Zuckerberg told him that Facebook already has a “download your information” tool that “allows people to see and to take out all of the information that Facebook — that they've put into Facebook or that Facebook knows about them.”

Beyoncé left a "big pair of beautiful silvery boots" to fill at Coachella

Apr 16, 2018

Beyoncé made her Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival debut this weekend. She’s the first black woman to headline at Coachella. Some reviewers described her two-hour set at the highest-grossing music festival in the country as a tribute to black culture. Danielle Young is a writer and producer at The Root. She talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about Beyoncé’s performance. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

In China, policies can be incredibly effective, if the government wants them to be. Public anger mounted in 2013 after a particularly bad bout of smog hung across parts of northeastern China forcing highways and airports to close. China’s premier Li Keqiang declared a “war on pollution” the following year.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. EDT

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen also has been representing Fox News host Sean Hannity, it emerged in federal court on Monday.

Federal judge Kimba Wood ordered an attorney for Cohen to reveal the identity of a client that Cohen's team had withheld in earlier court documents as part of a dispute over evidence seized by the FBI from Cohen's home and office earlier this month.

A fun thing to do when you have few minutes is watch college acceptance videos on YouTube.  In one classic example, Rylee Hickman, a high school senior in St. Petersburg, Florida, sits at her laptop, flanked by her mom and dad, awaiting a message from Cornell University. It’s December 2017, and the living room is decked out for Christmas. Hickman is a wreck.

“On no, oh no,” she says, holding her hand over her mouth.

And then, she screams. And screams. Her mom waves a red Cornell tee-shirt for the camera.

It's a bit of a musical episode today, from Beyoncé's mammoth Coachella performance to... the new Fed appointments? We'll explain. None of our trading partners were hit with a currency manipulator label in the latest report from the Treasury department last week, but decisions by the president's own government often don't dissuade him from tweeting what he believes, like "Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game." We'll talk about it. Plus: We're just past the point of maximum pressure for a lot of high school seniors.

Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen is set to appear in federal court on Monday afternoon as he and the president are fighting to be able to review documents seized last week by federal agents before prosecutors do.

Report: U.S. falling behind in 5G

Apr 16, 2018

A new report from a trade group representing the U.S. wireless industry shows the U.S. is lagging China and South Korea when it comes to 5G. CTIA says companies in those countries are getting help that U.S. firms aren’t.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) 2017: spectacular year for global economic growth. 2018: not so much. We'll talk to economist Julia Coronado from MacroPolicy Perspectives about whether our lackluster first quarter is just hitting a few bumps in the road, or whether the global economy has plateaued. Afterwards, we'll chat with travel aficionado Mark Orlowski about the best ways to turn your credit card reward points into airline tickets. 

 

You may not know it, but if you're a member of a credit card rewards program, you're probably sitting on unused miles for airlines that you've never used before. Several credit card reward programs give consumers the option to simply convert those points into airline miles for non-domestic carriers like British Airways, Singapore Airlines and others. 

For now, they're counting on customers to keep buying, according to a survey from the National Small Business Association.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Can states force online retailers to collect sales taxes? That question is at the heart of a case headed to the Supreme Court tomorrow. We'll talk about the players involved and how much states and local governments are losing in tax dollars. Afterwards, we'll find out why the new GOP tax bill is confusing small business owners. Plus, with public-private partnerships a key part of the Trump administration's infrastructure plan, we'll look at a $2.3 billion project in Central Florida that both state and private companies are working on.

On any given day, cars zip on and off Interstate 4, the regional highway that carries an estimated 20 million commuters and tourists in and out of Orlando. For many drivers, the interstate on- and off- ramps at Lee Road, in particular, are the way into Winter Park, a bedroom community near Orlando known for historic homes and  shopping opportunities. For others, it’s the path to an easily-accessible plate of pancakes.

The Denny’s sign towers over the interstate.

(Global edition) From the BBC World Service … The boss of WPP, the world’s biggest advertising firm, quit Saturday amid allegations of personal misconduct. What does his departure signal for the future of the ad business, and is there a chance he could return to the industry? Then, the U.S. is weighing a third round of sanctions against Russia today, targeting companies with links to chemical weapons use in Syria. But is Russia ready to flex its own retaliation muscles – and who will it hurt more?

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