National/International

Netflix or cable? Why not both?

Aug 8, 2017

The nation’s third-biggest cable company, Charter Communications, has a new feature for its subscribers: access to Netflix. More than half of the leading cable and subscription TV companies now offer Netflix. It wasn’t too long ago these forces were fierce rivals. So what’s behind the business of partnering instead?

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Google has fired an engineer who sent around an internal memo criticizing the company's diversity initiatives. On today's show, we'll talk about the role the First Amendment plays when it comes to what you can say publicly. Afterwards, we'll discuss Nebraska's increasing reliance on coal — despite the rest of America's move away from it.

It’s that time again when lottery jackpots are big enough that even non-regulars are daydreaming about what they might do with the windfall. The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are both over $300 million. You know, of course that if you win, you’ll have to pay big federal income taxes. But state income taxes on lottery wins are all over the map.

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08/08/2017: A new generation of phones

Aug 8, 2017

With Samsung and Apple getting ready to launch new phones, we'll take a look at what we can expect from these new devices. Afterwards, we'll discuss Netflix's decision to buy Millarworld, the publishing company of comic book writer Mark Millar.

 

 

While it is true that Nebraskans love their corn, turns out they also love their coal. Nebraska is the only state in the lower 48 using more coal for generating electricity than it did a decade ago.

San Francisco's Federal Reserve Bank is looking into whether Wells Fargo failed to refund insurance money it owed to some customers that financed car purchases through the bank. These customers may be entitled through this money through a type of insurance known as Guaranteed Auto Protection. On today's show, we'll explain how exactly GAP works. Afterwards, we'll look at why you want to be living in Texas or California when you win a lottery, and then talk about Eros International's potential plans to sell its catalog of movies and music.

Checks are the economic dinosaurs Americans won't give up

Aug 7, 2017

Online payment systems like Venmo and Paypal are benchmarks of the digital era of banking that we're living in. There's also Zelle, a new peer-to-peer payment app launched by big banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America. So you might expect paper checks to be disappearing, but Americans just won't let their checkbooks go. In the U.S., people wrote about 38 checks on average in 2015, compared to 18 in Canada, 8 in the U.K., and almost none in Germany.

One of the big names in corporate earnings news today was SoftBank, which reported that its quarterly profit rose 50 percent from a year ago. If you’ve never heard of the Japanese conglomerate, you probably have heard of Sprint. SoftBank bought a majority stake in the U.S. wireless carrier four years ago for 22 billion dollars. And that’s not where SoftBank’s U.S. ambitions stop. 

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We’re at the 200-day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency. One policy goal that seems to have been achieved so far: cutting the size of the federal workforce. The July jobs report found that the Trump administration has shed almost 11,000 workers since January. In comparison, President Obama added 60,000 new federal employees in his first 6 months in office. What does this number mean?

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Can sanctions deter North Korea’s nuclear ambitions?

Aug 7, 2017

Over the weekend, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new round of sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions could shave a billion dollars off the country's annual export revenue, essentially cutting it by a third. This is in response to North Korea's recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which broke existing international sanctions. Is there any chance these new sanctions will be different?

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What went wrong with globalization?

Aug 7, 2017

 Thoughts of a self-proclaimed "globalist": My generation of 40-somethings came of age just as the Berlin Wall fell. The proclaimed ending of the Cold War delivered a new era of increasingly open borders. We could feel it: Professors spoke of the Iron Curtain parting; President George H. W. Bush proclaimed  "new world order"; his successor President Bill Clinton talked up the benefits of trade; and now we could see Prague. 

How countries have tried to retaliate against North Korea

Aug 7, 2017

The U.N. Security Council agreed to sanction North Korea over the weekend, after reports the country successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in the last month. The sanctions would cut North Korea's exports by roughly $1 billion, a move backed by China, which accounts for nearly all of North Korean trade. 

The sanctions ban North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood. Thomas Byrne, head of the Korea Society, a nonprofit dedicated to U.S.-Korea relations, said China and North Korea used to have a much stronger trade relationship.

08/07/2017: The dismal state of retail

Aug 7, 2017

As retail chains prepare to report results, we'll chat with Julia Coronado from Macropolicy Perspectives about the state of the industry. Job prospects in this sector are looking dim as Amazon rises in power. Afterwards, we'll look at how Trump is doing with filling government positions, and then talk about Mexico's push to legalize marijuana.

At the 200-day mark, Trump is still behind on nominations

Aug 7, 2017

During his first 200 days in office, President Donald Trump has sent 279 nominations to the Senate for confirmation. That compares to more than 400 nominations for Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the same point in their administrations. President Trump still hasn't nominated anyone for some key economic positions.

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.

On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate," Emanuel said.

Mexico is writing rules for medical marijuana

Aug 7, 2017

Margarita’s 13-year-old son, Carlos, usually sits in a wheelchair. He suffered a cardiac arrest just after birth and was diagnosed with near loss of brain function. Since then, Margarita has dedicated herself to taking care of him, becoming well acquainted with his frequent epileptic seizures and spending thousands of dollars on hospitalizations.

Tesla has installed its first solar roofs on the homes of some of its company executives. Instead of large panels, these roofs use tiles that look virtually indistinguishable from regular roofs. Solar power that looks nice and protects your home? Sounds like an idea that could sell itself. At least, that’s what Tesla’s counting on. 

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The World Bank has just issued $360 million in so-called "catastrophe bonds" in collaboration with Mexico. Global investors snapped up the bonds — the first issued directly by the World Bank — which will help Mexico cover emergency relief costs in the event of a major hurricane or earthquake, should one hit. 

Hot chicken — the spicy fried chicken that originated in Nashville, Tennessee — made its way to hipster restaurant menus and boutique food halls in the past few years. It's begun popping up in big chains like Shake Shack and Dave & Busters, and now has crossed the pond. In Fulham, a popular neighborhood for American immigrants in London, a Houston and Nashville native have teamed up to open Stagolee’s Hot Chicken & Liquor.

President Trump's security team could soon include drones

Aug 7, 2017

There's always been a looming fear of machines replacing people in the workforce. But who would have thought that they would encroach on the Secret Service?

During President Trump's 17-day working vacation at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this month, his security team will be testing to see how drones could protect and serve. It's the first known example of a drone being deployed for the president's personal security staff. Any data recorded will be erased or overwritten within 30 days.

Montreal's iconic Olympic Stadium has undergone a temporary transformation into a refugee welcome center.

The stadium has agreed to house about 450 asylum-seekers for a couple of months while the government figures out what to do next.

On Wednesday, the first busloads of people arrived, and now they are sleeping on cots, in a hallway, by the concession stands.

“The ambiance is camplike,” says Mireille Paquet, an immigration policy expert at Concordia University in Montreal, “but for now at least they're safe.”

Each week on The World, we feature a unique selection of music. And most every week, we put together the highlights for you here. 

WALK-OFF MUSIC FOR AN OLYMPIC STAR
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world. And this weekend, at the World Athletics Championships in London, Bolt will run his final 100 meters. There are years of musical tributes to him. 

Toyota and Mazda team up to open U.S. plant

Aug 4, 2017

Toyota and Mazda are planning to build a $1.6 billion plant in the U.S. in the next few years. Toyota's worth about 20 times what Mazda is, so it's unclear what Toyota is getting from the partnership, but the new plant is rumored to produce electric vehicles.

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How do you judge a child soldier?

Aug 4, 2017

No one seems to remember what the boy’s real name was. But his cousin, Lily Atong, remembers him well. When she talks about him, she gets a distant, wistful look in her eyes.

They grew up together, here in this village in northern Uganda. The boy was chubby, she says with a smile.

He would wake up early in the morning, clean and go tend the garden. He made her delicious, roasted sweet potatoes. And he was funny too — he’d tell stories that made everyone double over in laughter.

There wasn’t much to laugh about back then.

Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post and Sudeep Reddy from Politico join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Ten years after the financial crisis, we finally have some jobs numbers that are back at prerecession levels. We discuss what it would take for the economy's mood to match this recovery. And looking ahead, we weigh the likelihood of Congress tackling tax reform or even tax cuts. August is supposed to be a quiet news month, but let's not jinx it.

Momentum builds to end surgery on intersex newborns

Aug 4, 2017

America is at something of a turning point when it comes to issues of gender identity and gender expression.

Though messaging from the White House has become increasingly hostile, transgender Americans are slowly gaining more societal acceptance. Just this week, the commandant of the US Coast Guard said he would not “break faith” with transgender personnel, and would not enforce President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender servicemembers in the military.

08/04/2017: Talking trash

Aug 4, 2017

Today's jobs report was good, really good. But as with almost all things economic, it wasn't all sunshine. We'll talk about why, and recap the rest of the week's news. Then: Toyota and Mazda said today they're going to build a $1.6 billion plant in the U.S. in the next couple of years. The news comes amid seven straight months of falling sales for the Big Three American auto companies. Plus: New Yorkers produce a lot of garbage, which is only natural in a city of 8.5 million people. But what’s not so natural is the city's recycling rate: around 17 percent.

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands?

The best way to find a job might be to move

Aug 4, 2017

People looking for work in today's American labor market aren't necessarily finding jobs in the same cities they live in. President Trump said in his interview with the Wall Street Journal last month (the full transcript was published by Politico) that people are going to have start moving to where the jobs are if they want to find work.

NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Shkreli, the eccentric former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for a price-gouging scandal and for his snide “Pharma Bro” persona on social media, was convicted Friday on federal charges he deceived investors in a pair of failed hedge funds.

A Brooklyn jury deliberated five days before finding Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts. He had been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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