Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, the first African-American woman on the New York Court of Appeals — the state's highest court — was found dead last month in the Hudson River.

On Wednesday, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the New York Police Department had completed its investigation into her death.

He said investigators had tracked down all leads and found no criminality, and that her death likely was a suicide.

The asset management industry has a diversity problem

May 4, 2017
David Brancaccio

The asset management industry has a diversity problem. Just 1.1 percent of the $71 trillion in private equity, mutual, hedge and real-estate funds is managed by firms that are owned by women or minorities, according to a new study from Harvard and Bella Research.

D Gorenstein

Ever since the introduction of Obamacare, people on Medicare now can get an annual wellness visit.

It’s a way to help doctors and nurses take stock of seniors and see what, if anything, can be done to keep them out of the hospital, which is an expensive place to get care. 

The appointments don’t cost the patients a dime. But new research shows this multibillion-dollar program is actually doing little for people on Medicare.

Sabri Ben-Achour

The requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions is a popular one. The challenge now is how do you pay for them?

“That is what a lot of the debate is around — individuals who do not have insurance who need it,” said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health.


Despite its popularity, the Netflix drama "13 Reasons Why" has received criticism for its very graphic depiction of suicide. Dan Romer, a research director at the University of Pennsylvania, joined us to discuss the effect of media depictions of the act on audience members. Next, we'll look at Facebook's decision to hire 3,000 people over the next year to help address violence on its site, and then check out the soundtrack "Bird World" from composer Leon Chang, which he created by imagining a video game that doesn't actually exist.

How do you capture the loneliness of being kept in a locked room? The shades are pulled. You have no books, TV or smartphone, and you're handcuffed to a radiator. Oh yeah — it's also been months, and you have no idea if you'll ever be released.

<a href="">USDA</a>/<a href="">CC BY 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

Nutritional standards in schools, which were established in the Obama era and championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, are now being relaxed under the Trump administration.

On Monday, the US Department of Agriculture announced that it “will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs” — which advocates say could lead to lower standards for milk, sodium and whole grains, among other things.

Avie Schneider

President Trump has walked back his latest threat to pull the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying he still wants to try to renegotiate the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. But he warns he’s ready to pull out if talks don’t produce “a fair deal.” That’s making a lot of industries that depend on cross-border trade nervous. Among the most concerned: cattle ranchers.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have just passed a bill that would allow employers to give workers paid time off instead of the time and a half normally paid as overtime. The legislation, called the “Working Families Flexibility Act,” is being touted by the GOP as way to provide more options for workers. Opponents of the bill say the move is more about providing flexibility for employers rather than workers, setting the table for a showdown in the Senate.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

There's some stark research out today from the real estate research firm Trulia that shows an uneven recovery in the housing market. According to Trulia, only 34 percent of homes nationally have returned to their pre-recession value. Now that is, of course, a comparison back to the crazy times of the housing bubble. So how much should homeowners use those old home values as a benchmark?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

How LAUSD raised the bar for chicken lunches

May 3, 2017
Kai Ryssdal

Besides tater tots, few things seem more like a stereotypical school lunch than chicken nuggets. Yet, for two years, the Los Angeles Unified School District (the second-largest school district in the country) has been chicken-less after negotiations fell through with Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride, two of the country's largest chicken distributors. The cause behind the falling out? Not the quality of the chicken, but the chicken's quality of life. 

The Trump effect on the Federal Reserve

May 3, 2017

During the next year or so, President Trump will be filling at least  five vacancies on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, possibly including the top spot, after Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires early next year.

Trump could ask Yellen to stay on as Fed chair. Here’s what he said in a Wall Street Journal interview a few weeks ago. He was asked if he would consider reappointing Yellen or was she “toast?”

Kai Ryssdal

There's some deeply political news out of the Washington policy world this week that's pretty broadly economic, too. Former GOP South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is out as president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Heritage has had substantial influence, not just on Washington policy, but on health care and welfare reform during the last 40 years.

05/03/2017: Who's watching the banks?

May 3, 2017

President Trump has his cabinet confirmed, but many key financial regulators are from the Obama administration. We'll look at who could get replaced and how fintech could become the next big issue regulators will keep their eyes on. Afterwards, we'll check out the latest private sector data on jobs and whether expectations were met. Finally, we'll discuss the closure of Lovesick, a spin-off of Torrid aimed at plus-size women and teens.

Sam Harnett

Berkeley's reclaimed trash company Urban Ore has diverted tons of garbage from the dump and into the hands of customers, and the company has become a key part of Berkeley’s recycling ecosystem. But it could disappear.

That’s because the owners of the 36-year-old business, Dan Knapp and Mary Lou Van Deventer, are ready to stop working.

President Trump has seen every one of his cabinet secretaries confirmed but key financial regulators. Most are still holdovers from the Obama administration, though rumor has it that the comptroller of the currency could be replaced within days.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Quarterly earnings from several big food manufacturers will be announced this week, including the maker of Oreos and Ritz crackers, Mondelez. Kraft, Heinz and Kellogg will report their earnings later in the week. Packaged foods manufacturers have hit a rough patch in recent years as some consumers spurn big brands in favor of healthy, less processed food. One response from the food giants has been to buy up these smaller operations. But is that enough?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

CJ Greenspon

Plus-size women are losing an outlet for fast fashion. The Lovesick chain closed its 23 stores this week indefinitely for rebranding. Some stores may stay open longer to liquidate stock. Originally launched by Torrid, the brand targeted young plus-size women and teens, giving them the cute clothes they want instead of unflattering stuff they've had to put up with for years. So why is the brand being abandoned when there's such an obvious demand?


Some educational tools Microsoft is betting on: OneNote. Word. And, yes, Minecraft. The tech giant is releasing a suite of products for the classroom, which include "Minecraft: Education Edition," to get kids interested in the STEM fields. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Marketplace's Molly Wood to chat about these offerings, the company's competition, and why ed tech can't be a substitute for everything. Afterwards, we'll look at New Orleans' burgeoning tech scene by hearing from the CEO of a market research startup called Lucid.

05/03/2017: Another swing at health care reform

May 3, 2017

President Trump said his health care overhaul would keep protections for people with preexisting conditions. But it turns out this new proposal would allow states to get a waiver for rules that guarantee that coverage. We'll take a look at how Republicans are feeling about the plan. Afterwards, we'll check out one scrappy couple's strategy to keep their small business going, and then examine how big food companies are doing with consumers.

What we know so far about the police shooting of Jordan Edwards

May 2, 2017

Details are still emerging on the latest police shooting of an unarmed black teen. On Saturday, a police officer in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs shot 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, a high school freshman, through the passenger side window of a car. The officers were responding to calls of underage drinking at a house party.

Scott Tong

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Trump administration, has drawn fire for being too close to the industry he regulates by reversing a planned ban on a pesticide and rolling back rules of power plant pollution. But this isn’t the first time the EPA pendulum has swung this far. The last time it happened, in the dawn of the Reagan administration, the efforts crashed and burned.

Getting out of the office in Anchorage, Alaska

May 2, 2017
Robert Garrova

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

In this installment, we hear from Clark Yerrington, an independent house designer in Anchorage, Alaska. After more than 30 years working for architecture firms, Yerrington decided it was time to go it alone with his own business.

We are not a nation of savers. Not even close. The average working household has virtually no retirement savings, according to the National Institute on Retirement. Some of us who do — and it's not a big group — have employer- sponsored savings programs like 401(k)s, where money is deducted from your paycheck pre-tax. Decades ago, IRAs, or individual retirement accounts, were created to give that opportunity to everybody. But now comes news from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College that IRAs aren’t being embraced by the people they were most intended to help. 

A sales slump for cars can mean deals for buyers

May 2, 2017

Car sales in the U.S. are down, compared to last year, for the fourth straight month. That’s largely across the board. Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler and Toyota all reported lower sales. That means the bonanza that the auto industry has been enjoying for the past several years may be cooling off. That means dealership lots are full, and buyers can expect some deals.

 Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Kai Ryssdal

The internet, and Instagram in particular, is awash with pretty pictures of pretty people in pretty surroundings ... with a van in the shot.

The hashtag in question is vanlife, and really, it’s much more than people just grabbing a shot on a road trip.

Stopping ICU delirium by getting patients moving

May 2, 2017
Lauren Silverman

It would have been easier to leave 56-year-old patient Mary Hill in her hospital bed. She has tubes and lines attached to her. She just had two emergency stomach surgeries after going into septic shock, and she can’t move her legs.

Instead, Hill is being supported as she uses her arms to lift her legs, one at a time, and pull them toward the edge of the bed. Cara Tabor, the physical therapist in the surgical intensive care unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, is gently supporting her.

Why are people rich?

May 2, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

What’s the key to getting rich? Well, it depends on whom you ask.

Microsoft thinks Minecraft can help STEM education

May 2, 2017

Microsoft announced today a new version of Windows, with a suite of programs aimed at promoting coding and collaboration in classrooms.

The offerings include “Minecraft: Education Edition,” which will come with a new code builder feature and enable teachers to use programs such as Paint 3D in classroom. And just like grown-ups spend their days endlessly chatting with coworkers on Slack or Gchat, students will be able to chat with their classmates thanks to a Microsoft Teams app made for classrooms.

05/02/17: Mixing business with liberal arts

May 2, 2017

With a weak GDP report last month and a "meh" April jobs report, how will the U.S. economy end up faring in the second quarter? David Kelley, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, gives us his optimistic take on what's in store. Afterward, we'll talk about the decision from Angie's List to be purchased by an outfit called IAC, and then explore a new effort to incorporate liberal arts courses into business programs.