National/International

Updated at 9:45 p.m.

Former first lady Michelle Obama might find some of the latest actions by the Trump administration pretty difficult to stomach.

On Monday newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a rollback of school lunch standards championed by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would "Make School Meals Great Again."

What Apple’s big pile of cash allows it to do

May 2, 2017

Apple will report earnings on this afternoon. Its stockpile of cash had been growing to nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars by the end of last year, most of that held overseas. What does that cash allow Apple to do?

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When you buy insurance for your car or your house, you and your insurance company hope you’ll never have to use it. Well, not so much in 2017. Property insurers are reporting the worst first-quarter profits in more than 20 years.  You can blame hailstorms, ice storms, tornadoes—the kind of severe weather that contributes to the fact that billion-dollar disasters are becoming more common. In an average year, over the last few decades, insurance companies would’ve shelled out roughly $4.5 billion for weather damage by now.  But this year, so far, the damage is more like $6 billion. 

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Amy Scott

A few dozen professors are packed into a lecture hall at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They’re here from schools all over the country to talk about how to bring the critical thinking and creativity associated with the liberal arts into their business programs.

“Traditional business programs really tend to be taught from a single standpoint, usually a managerial standpoint,” said Jeffrey Nesteruk, a professor of legal studies at Franklin & Marshall. “What we strive to do is to teach these same subjects but from multiple standpoints.”

'State of Black America' report warns progress is fragile

May 2, 2017
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David Brancaccio

The National Urban League is out with its latest annual assessment of equality in America. This year's "State of Black America" report, titled "Protect Our Progress," finds African-Americans are still well behind white Americans when it comes to equality.

05/02/2017: Can we actually prevent piracy?

May 2, 2017
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Marketplace

The new season of "Orange is the New Black" has been released a little earlier than expected this year. A hacker (or group of hackers) named thedarkoverlord leaked the episodes online, and has threatened to post shows from other networks. Michael Smith of Carnegie Mellon and the author of "Streaming, Sharing, Stealing" stopped by to explain the cost of piracy and whether anti-piracy legislation has an effect on consumer behavior. Afterwards, we'll discuss what the vast amount of venture capital money flowing in China right now could mean for its economy.

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Marketplace

Turns out Apple may have more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in cash. With a stockpile that you can practically see from space, what does one do? We'll discuss the exact powers that amount of money gives the electronics giant. Afterwards, we'll look at why property insurers had the worst set of quarterly profits in more than 20 years, and then examine the National Urban League's annual report on equality in America.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump has made it clear from day one that his administration will push an “America first” policy platform. So when he announced last week that May 1 — commonly known as International Workers’ Day or May Day — would be celebrated nationwide as “Loyalty Day,” many of his critics were quick to attack the declaration as an alarming example of the president's nationalism.

President Trump, how will your tax plan spur economic growth?

May 1, 2017
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#96. @realDonaldTrump, how will your tax plan spur economic growth? #100Days100Qs

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Ajani Torres-Cedillo

This story was produced by Youth Radio.

The American Psychiatric Association has an annual pitch off for big ideas. And this year, organizers are expecting to hear a lot about one kind of innovation: artificial intelligence. Already, psychologists and techies have started to collaborate and experiment with AI as a tool for mental health.

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Kai Ryssdal

If you look at the immigration debate, you could say it's fundamentally a jobs debate: who's going to do the jobs, who's taking the jobs and what the pay will be.

A good place to get a ground-level view of it is the construction industry in Los Angeles.

In general, the proportion of immigrant workers is up while the proportion of builders who are in unions is mostly down. And the pay is also down: Adjusting for inflation, construction workers in LA make $5 an hour less than they were making in the early 1970s.

When historic buildings make economic sense

May 1, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

When people talk about infrastructure, they normally mean roads, bridges and public transportation. But the CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation says maybe we should think about historic buildings and places as infrastructure, too. The NTHP is a nonprofit organization that works to save old buildings from demolition and revitalize historic neighborhoods.

A live news service from Bloomberg is one of many new video partnerships that Twitter unveiled today, part of a bid to attract new users and ad revenue.

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Congressional negotiators have reached a $1 trillion deal to fund the government through September. If approved by both chambers before Friday, the deal would avoid a government shutdown. But short-term budgets and stopgap measures are inefficient and wasteful tools for running a government. Beyond the dissent over what gets funded and what’s on the chopping block, there are other speed bumps, namely automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. 

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Marketplace Weekend Staff

A recent article in The Washington Post details the severe lack of home health aides across the country. What's driving the decline? Low wages combined with long hours and an emotionally taxing job that few people are willing to do. 

05/01/2017: The march for workers' rights

May 1, 2017

With inflation down from a five-year peak, Julia Coronado at Macropolicy Perspectives joins us to explain how the Fed could handle interest rates in the near future. Afterwards, we'll look at today's planned march for workers' rights, which is expected to focus on immigrant rights, and then discuss the public's rising support for infrastructure as part of our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

What Democrats and Republicans stand to gain from Congress' new $1 trillion spending bill

May 1, 2017
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Marielle Segarra and Marketplace staff

After talk about a possible government shutdown last week, Congress has released a new $1 trillion spending bill that would fund the government until September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed "May Day." Here in the U.S., they're expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.

When Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, he started forcefully laying out a plan for his first 100 days that included full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from specific majority-Muslim countries and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

While certainly not a cheap place to live, Washington, D.C., has never really been known as a place where the uber-wealthy go to buy property. But, some current members of President Trump’s cabinet may have changed that, according to a new report from the real estate brokerage Redfin. The D.C. luxury home market rose more than seven times the national rate in the first quarter of this year.

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Immigrant workers bolster May Day marches

May 1, 2017

Today is May Day, when labor unions and other groups traditionally march in favor of workers’ rights. Immigrant rights is expected to be a major focus this year as President Trump pursues a tougher line on immigration.

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A lot of people are worried about crumbling infrastructure

May 1, 2017
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Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Sixty-four-year-old Taylor Rickard is giving me a guided tour of her worst nightmare. We’re driving along the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia, under a bridge Rickard said is about 75 years old and showing its age.

“Look at the rust," Rickard said, pointing. "And look at the patches on the concrete. And that’s what we’re supposedly trusting our lives with.”

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Marketplace

A lot of people think bitcoin will play a part in the future of financial services, but what some have a bigger eye on is the currency's underlying technology: blockchain. That includes financial behemoths like JP Morgan Chase. We spoke with one of the company's directors, Amber Baldet, to find out what makes it so appealing. Afterwards, we'll chat with journalist Sarah Jeong about her experience getting hacked — on purpose. 

 

05/01/2017: Could robots create a recession?

May 1, 2017
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Marketplace

After the looming possibility of a government shutdown, Congress has a new $1 trillion spending bill. We'll examine who gets what, and how closely it aligns with President Trump's priorities. Afterwards, we'll look at a suggestion from the British Parliament that says U.S.-based social media companies should pay up when police investigate hateful content, threats or images of child abuse online. And finally, we'll talk about a recent report that calculates automation will create about 15 million jobs in the next 10 years, while eliminating about 25 million in the process.

President Trump’s latest executive order seeks to open new federal waters for offshore drilling, but the most popular place for oil companies is decidedly land based – the Permian Basin in Texas.

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A look at why first-quarter GDP is often lackluster

Apr 28, 2017

Today’s report of a tepid rise in first-quarter gross domestic product, by 0.7 percent, comes with an asterisk: There appears to be a recurrent pattern of low growth in first-quarter GDP going back years. Some economists argue it goes back decades.

Weekly Wrap: What Trump's tax plan tells us

Apr 28, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal

Nela Richardson from Redfin and Sudeep Reddy of Politico join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. This week, they talk about President Trump's tax plan. There are still a lot of questions surrounding it, but it aims to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and would benefit the wealthy and corporations the most. Plus, we revisit Trump's comments on NAFTA.    

There was a common theme in some of the big tech earnings announcements this week: the cloud. Most of Amazon’s more than $700 million first-quarter profit came not from shipping books and electronics all over the globe, but from its Amazon Web Services business. Amazon was a pioneer in letting companies rent computer processing and data storage on its huge collections of internet-connected servers, but this week, Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google also reported growth in their cloud businesses. 

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Andy Uhler

In the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll we asked people about a wall. The wall. Responses show that 57 percent of Americans think building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico would hurt the U.S. economy.

Workers who provide services to veterans and their families just took a pay cut

Apr 28, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst

The standard line about the American military, be it from politicians, celebrities or bumper stickers is “Support our troops.” But hundreds of the people who do that by helping service members, veterans and their families in what are called Family Assistance Service Centers just took a huge pay cut because of a new federal contract.

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