National/International

Finland's guaranteed basic income is working to tackle poverty

May 6, 2017
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Tuomas Forsell/Reuters 

In several corners of the world, nonprofits and governments are introducing guaranteed basic income.

Entire villages in Kenya have been receiving a basic income through a charity program, there's a small test initiative in the Netherlands, India is considering it, and Canada is rolling out a basic income pilot program in several cities in Ontario this summer.

Thousands of workers, government officials and aviation enthusiasts gathered to cheer as China's C919 passenger plane touched down at Shanghai's international airport Friday after its maiden trip to the sky.

State media broadcast the test flight all across the country, and Chinese officials heralded it as the start of a new era.

Chairman Mao Zedong tried and failed to build a commercially viable passenger plane in the 1970s, but the dream persisted. The government created the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) in 2008 with this specific goal in mind.

KFC wants mom to spend her special day with Colonel Sanders

May 5, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal, Jana Kasperkevic and Michelle Philippe

Mother’s day is just a week away. If you are still scrambling to get the perfect gift for the occasion, KFC has humbly offered up a special combo: A $20 Fill-Up bucket packed with crispy chicken and a novella. This isn’t just any novella, either. It’s KFC-themed and it is called, we kid you not, “Tender Wings of Desire.”

100 days into Trump's presidency, Union City, Pennsylvania, stands behind him

May 5, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal, Daisy Palacios and Caitlin Esch

In a series called “The Big Promise,” Marketplace has been looking at how President Trump’s policies and the promises he made are playing out in a place where the economy is changing. In January, we introduced you to Union City in Erie County, Pennsylvania. It was once known as the “chair capital of the world” because manufacturers like Ethan Allen made furniture there. But when Ethan Allen and other manufacturers left, Union City changed.

The wages-to-jobs ratio is out of whack

May 5, 2017
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Mitchell Hartman

Today’s job report has unemployment in April falling to 4.4 percent, a decade low (that we hit last in March 2007, before the recession). That lower unemployment is supposed to make for an ever-tighter labor market for employers. With fewer people looking for work, employers should need to lure candidates away from other jobs, which means sweetening the pot with better benefits and higher wages.

These aren’t the best of times for local television stations. More of us are watching our TV on streaming services, like Hulu and Netflix. Fewer of us are tuning in to local news. Still, it looks like there may be a bidding war brewing for the 40-plus stations that make up Tribune Media. Both Sinclair Broadcasting and 21st Century Fox are said to be interested. Why is that?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Weekly Wrap: Can Trump's tax reform hold up?

May 5, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal

Cardiff Garcia from FT Alphaville and Rachel Abrams from The New York Times join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. This week they discuss the numbers from the recent jobs report and try to piece together President Trump's tax reform plan. Just what challenges does his plan present? 

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Sam Beard

Emmanuel Macron is the clear favorite to win the second and final round of the French presidential election on Sunday. He enjoys a 20-point lead in the opinion polls over his rival, Marine Le Pen, and now appears unstoppable. The choice between the two candidates could not be starker: He is a centrist, pro-European Union and pro-globalization, while she is a far-right politician who is anti-EU, anti–immigration and is calling for protectionist measures to defend French companies and jobs against foreign competition.

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Jana Kasperkevic

Juicero found itself in a quite a pickle last month. Turns out, it didn’t take a $400 juicer to squeeze the juice out of Juicero’s juice packs. All it took was … hands.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring in the United States rebounded in April as employers added a brisk 211,000 jobs, a sign that the economy's slump in the first three months of the year could prove temporary.

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent — its lowest point in a decade — from 4.5 percent in March.

The figures suggest that businesses expect consumer demand to rebound after a lackluster first quarter, when Americans increased spending at the slowest pace in seven years, and will need more employees.

Movie theaters find new ways to lure kids

May 5, 2017
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Adrienne Hill

For years, movie theaters have been trying to lure the grown-up audience by offering better food, comfier chairs and classier theaters. Box office revenues have climbed the last few years, but ticket sales remain stagnant.

Now some theaters have turned their attention to the younger set, including Cinepolis USA, a theater chain that’s added kids’ climbing structures and play spaces to a couple of its theaters. Kids get to play before the movie and at a 15-minute intermission.

05/05/2017: Are the alarm bells ringing at the Fed yet?

May 5, 2017

The April jobs report is out, revealing the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs to payrolls and that the unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent — the lowest level in a decade. FTN Financial's chief economist Chris Low explains why that unemployment figure might alarm the Fed. Afterwards, we'll look at the potential ramifications of the GOP's health care replacement bill, and then discuss movie theaters' attempts to appeal to younger audiences. 

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Justin Ho

Horse racing’s Triple Crown kicks off Saturday with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It’s been a good year for the racetrack’s parent company, whose stock has risen 30 percent, double last year’s gains in the S&P 500. These days though, Churchill Downs Inc. doesn’t really resemble a racetrack company.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

In French election, the EU looms large

May 5, 2017
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Sam Beard

The European Union is preparing to let out a huge, collective sigh of relief. The latest potential crisis to threaten the bloc has, apparently, been averted. The clear favorite to win the French presidential election this weekend is not the EU-hating, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The front-runner, with a 20-point lead in some opinion polls, is Emmanuel Macron, leader of a new party called On the Move and a real EU enthusiast. Some say a Macron victory could help the bloc recover from its deep and chronic malaise.

05/05/2017: How to catch a liar

May 5, 2017
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Marketplace

France is gearing up to choose its new president in just a couple of days. Among those that are watching: Facebook and Google, who hope that fake news will be less visible than it was in the run up to the U.S. presidential election last fall. Sarah Frier, a tech reporter for Bloomberg, details the different efforts both companies are making to combat the issue, which includes collaborations with fact-checking organizations and research investment. And finally, we'll cap off today's show by playing Silicon Tally with Quartz reporter Mike Murphy.

We’ll get the Labor Department’s jobs report for April today. The report for March was dismal — just 98,000 jobs added — though economists think that was a winter-weather-induced aberration. But even if job creation rises this spring and summer, it’ll still be well short of what’s needed to create the kind of supercharged employment boom President Trump has promised. Trump has said that through tax cuts, better trade deals and deregulation, the economy will generate 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

Meet LoweBot, a customer-service robot here to give you 'superpowers'

May 4, 2017

It's the free market that decides which jobs stay and which jobs go, and technology and innovation are changing the present and shaping the future of the US labor market.

A trip to a Lowe’s hardware store in the San Francisco Bay Area shows this shift well. On the floor of this big-box home improvement store in east San Jose, shoppers can interact with a white plastic pillar that is touchscreen-enabled and speaks directly to users.

House Republicans approved their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

Here's a rundown of key provisions in the American Health Care Act and what would happen if the Senate approves them and the bill becomes law.

Buying insurance

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Kai Ryssdal

The House voted today to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with an amended version of the American Health Care Act, which was proposed by House Republicans earlier this year. Normally on major policy proposals like this one, lawmakers have non-partisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office assessing the economic impact of the legislation before voting.

Puerto Rico debt battle heads to federal court

May 4, 2017

Puerto Rico owes bondholders more than $70 billion, and it’s going to court to try to get its debts rescheduled. On Monday, a stay on lawsuits against Puerto Rico's government expired, so bondholders sued. The island's governor announced yesterday it was seeking court protection under Title III of the PROMESA Act, a bill passed last year that appointed a financial oversight board and was designed to get Puerto Rico out of debt. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Midwest flooding underscores a need for flood insurance reform

May 4, 2017

Floodwaters have displaced hundreds of people and lead to several deaths in the Midwest. Now the damage assessment starts. The National Flood Insurance Program helps homeowners buy affordable flood insurance, but it’s $25 billion in debt. Congress has a chance to reform it before it’s up for reauthorization in September, and those reforms could include more private insurers writing policies.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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Ryan Kailath

As President Trump visits New York City for the first time since his inauguration, he might find that things in his old neighborhood look a little bit different.

That neighborhood, Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, is home not only to Trump Tower, but the most expensive strip of retail real estate in the world. Gucci, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and more have flagship stores there.

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Sam Beard

Britain’s “Brexit” election is now underway. Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a fresh mandate ahead of the talks about the terms of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, talks that are due to start in late June and are scheduled to last for up to two years.  

May looks like a shoo-in for re-election. Victory would help her overcome some of the lingering domestic opposition to Brexit, but would it help her secure a better exit deal from the EU’s remaining 27 member states? 

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JaeRan Kim

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California provides as much as a third of the state’s freshwater supply in a normal year. This has not been a normal year. The final measurement of the Sierra snowpack came in earlier this week at twice the historical average.

Trump 'confident' Obamacare replacement will pass Senate

May 4, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

By just a handful of votes, a bill repealing parts of Obamacare and replacing it with a Republican plan passed through the House of Representatives on Thursday. No Democrats voted for the bill, which was approved in a 217-213 vote.

Before landing on President Trump’s desk, the bill will have to be approved by the Senate. The bill is expected to face some resistance there despite the fact that the both chambers of Congress have Republican majorities.

Paid interns are averaging $3,000 a month

May 4, 2017

It's high time for students to start thinking about that summer internship — and many should get lucky landing one since internships are up for the first time in years, according to the head of the research division for the National Association of Colleges and Employers. It's hard to know how many interns work for free, but the average paid intern is making about $3,000 a month. 

Click the above audio player to hear the full story. 

A couple of factors that may negatively affect the April jobs report: retail-store shuttering and a slowdown in health care hiring. But Diane Swonk from DS Economics argues the economy may actually be chugging along fine, in part due to this simple metric: how our service is behind the counter. Next, we'll look at the details behind a White House executive order on religion that President Trump is expected to sign today. According to the order, tax-exempt religious groups may have more freedom to participate in politics.

The real estate site Zillow has launched a new tool aimed at first-time home buyers on realestate.com. It features a calculator that adds up the expenses of owning a home, like property taxes and utilities — the kind of things that new buyers don’t always expect or budget for. It's designed to help ease the path of these buyers, who have different needs compared to more experienced house hunters.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed hiring its own prosecutor corps to bring cases related to drug trafficking, money laundering and asset forfeiture — a move that advocacy groups warn could exceed the DEA's legal authority and reinvigorate the 1980s-era war on drugs.

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