Lesley McClurg

The San Francisco Giants, who started the season with the worst record in the National League, are adding a little extra juice to their routine.

About a third of the major league roster, including some big-name players, are working out while using high-tech headgear that sends a weak electric current to the brain, said Geoff Head, the team’s sports scientist. The team is testing whether the technology, called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, improves athletic performance.

06/13/2017: The politics of advertising

Jun 13, 2017

Marketing decisions seem to be getting a lot more polarized these days. Bank of America and Delta have pulled their sponsorship from New York's Public Theater because its Julius Caesar resembles Donald Trump, while JP Morgan Chase is pulling its ads from NBC because Megyn Kelly is interviewing a right-wing conspiracy theorist named Alex Jones. On today's show, we'll dig into the growing politicization of advertising.

Miles Bryan

The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University recently took an unusual step for a top-rated program — it allowed its accreditation to lapse.

As of May 1, Medill is no longer accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, a nonprofit organization that reviews journalism programs across the country on a voluntary basis, usually once every six years.

06/13/2017: Uber's board vs. Travis Kalanick

Jun 13, 2017

Uber's board has now seen a report on the company's internal culture and is considering changes. Except ... it doesn't have a whole lot of power. In many Silicon Valley companies, the power actually lies with the founder. Noam Wasserman, author of "The Founder's Dilemma," joined us to discuss whether these founder-centric structures are becoming trendier, and why some founders are able to gain so much control. Afterwards, as part of the launch of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, we'll look at the rise of professional virtual reality sports.



Panama has abruptly cut ties with Taiwan and embraced mainland China, a major blow for Taiwan's government. On today's show, we'll take a look at some of the likely incentives for the Central American country's move. Afterwards, we'll discuss Gymboree's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and then talk about the Medill School of Journalism's decision to let its accreditation lapse. 

Children’s clothing chain Gymboree announced Sunday it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The retailer will close about 400 of its 1,300 stores and restructure debt in a bid to stay alive. Gymboree views its troubles as part of the larger challenges facing the retail industry as customers move their business online, but some of its competitors are staying ahead of the trouble.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

General Electric will have to shed more than CEO to boost profits

Jun 12, 2017

General Electric announced today that its CEO, Jeff Immelt, is stepping down. He’ll be replaced by John Flannery, who had been in charge of GE’s health care division. Shareholders have not been happy with the company’s stock performance under Immelt’s leadership. GE will have to let go of some segments dragging it down.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Kai Ryssdal

Though it was largely lost in the political chaos, the White House had wanted last week branded as “Infrastructure Week” to drum up support for the president's promised trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. The plan hinges on the government spending $200 billion as a way to generate $800 billion more in private spending on infrastructure projects. Austin Golding is president of his family’s barge line business down in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Why Uber may not be ready to part with Travis Kalanick

Jun 12, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

On Sunday, the Uber board of directors received a report by former Attorney General Eric Holder on Uber's company culture under founder and CEO Travis Kalanick — and its dysfunctions. While they accepted Holder's report without question, it left the rest of the business world wondering what's next for Uber and for Kalanick. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal got senior tech correspondent Molly Wood on the line to talk about what's in store for Kalanick. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Two German grocery giants are casting a big shadow in the U.S. Aldi, which has operated here since the late 1970s, says it wants to add about 800 stores to the 1,700 it operates today. Meanwhile, Lidl, another German chain, will open the first of its planned U.S. stores later this week on the East Coast. The hallmark of both chains is a limited selection of items, offered via store brands at steep discounts — a big growth area in groceries right now. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Want a 212 area code? It's gonna cost you.

Jun 12, 2017
Marielle Segarra

Sherri Littlefield wants a phone number with the 212 area code.

“I think if people saw that, they would just immediately know, ‘Oh, she lives in New York City,’” Littlefield said.

Littlefield is sitting on a brown leather couch at Foley Gallery, a contemporary art space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side where she’s associate director. Behind her is a photo of a pink rose, frozen in liquid nitrogen and shattered.

Does Trump-like Julius Caesar cross artistic lines? Sponsors say yes

Jun 12, 2017

The day before its opening night, Shakespeare in the Park had two corporate sponsors pull support over the modern staging of the classical play “Julius Caesar." Delta Airlines and Bank of America took issue with this year’s version, specifically the fact that the Julius Caesar character, who — spoiler alert! — is assassinated, resembles the current president of the United States.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

The CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, is stepping down after 16 years. On today's show, we'll give a brief recap of the big changes he made at GE during his tenure. Next, we'll talk about the Fed's plans for interest rate hikes for the rest of the year. Then, we'll examine pushback against proposed housing for the homeless in some Los Angeles County neighborhoods. 

Credit card companies are easing lending standards

Jun 12, 2017

Credit card defaults are rising as lending standards have started to fall from the early post-recession days — that’s according to a new report by the credit rating agency Moody's. The report shows even with unemployment at low levels, those charge-offs have increased significantly for some U.S. lenders, exceeding expectations of a modest rise.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Saudi allies ramp up sanctions on Qatar

Jun 12, 2017

Qatar is promising not to surrender in the face of sanctions imposed on it last week. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain halted land, air and sea traffic to Qatar and blacklisted several Qatari-linked organizations and individuals. They accuse the small oil-rich nation of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups they consider terrorist. Qatar, which denies supporting terrorism, is already feeling the pain. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Los Angeles grapples with rising homeless population

Jun 12, 2017
Libby Denkmann

Va Lecia Adams Kellum points out nearly empty baskets of fruits and vegetables as she walks through the pantry at St. Joseph Center in Los Angeles.

Adams Kellum, the nonprofit’s president, said the stock of produce, eggs and canned goods for low-income and homeless Angelenos looks thin after a busy day of service.

“If we needed to open like this tomorrow, we wouldn’t have enough to serve the people who need help,” Adams Kellum said.

The demand for a safety net like this is growing across Los Angeles.

What's growing in the Silicon Desert

Jun 12, 2017
Bruce Johnson and Clare Toeniskoetter

As part of our series looking at aspiring and emerging tech hubs, we visited Phoenix, the "Silicon Desert." It's home to a growing startup scene, testing sites for self-driving cars and many young entrepreneurs pitching themselves as the next big thing. The city has a lot of potential, but how does it compare to Boston, New York — or even San Francisco?

Matt Petrillo

In Orlando, Florida, many people will think of June 12th as the one year anniversary of a gunman walking into a gay nightclub and opening fire, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.

After the attack, nearby businesses shut their doors for more than a week while police processed the scene.

Now, some businesses are still struggling to bounce back while others are adjusting to the "new normal" in a neighborhood forever altered by the attack.

06/12/2017: Seattle's powerful tech scene

Jun 12, 2017

Myomo, a medical robotics company, is going public on the New York Stock Exchange. That's not exactly unusual, but it's the first company to do so on a national securities exchange using a provision that'll let companies advertise the stock directly to investors. Mark Elenowitz, head of TriPoint Global Equities, stopped by to explain why this is significant and why other companies haven't done this before. Afterwards, we'll take a look at Seattle's growing tech scene, including its funding environment and what makes it different from Silicon Valley.

Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET

Adam West, the actor behind one of the most beloved and enduring renditions of Batman, died Friday night at age 88. West donned the black mask of the Caped Crusader in the 1960s, playing the role as a plucky, intrepid hero for television.

While Washington and the media were preoccupied with James Comey hearings and Donald Trump press conferences this week, what else was going on that we didn't hear about? Or, ought to be paying closer attention to?

Nick Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs under George W. Bush, is a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The World's Marco Werman caught up with him so he could remind us about some issues that may have been overshadowed by the latest drama in Washington.

President Trump said Friday he would be willing to testify under oath about his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May.

The president said Comey's testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee mostly vindicated his previous claims about their interactions.

President Trump has broken the silence he maintained during former FBI Director James Comey's testimony Thursday, saying on Twitter that he was vindicated in the hearing that explored Russian meddling in the U.S. election, its ties to Trump's security adviser, and Trump's dealings with Comey.

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" the president tweeted early Friday morning.

For British whistle-maker, the future is cloudy after the election

Jun 9, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry

After the Brexit vote about a year ago, our partners at the BBC checked in with Simon Topman. Topman is the managing director at the Acme Whistle Co. in Birmingham, England, which does about 40 percent of its business in Europe — and the future felt pretty uncertain back then. After the huge upset in the U.K. general election yesterday, Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal called Topman to check in. An edited transcript of their conversation is below. 

Kai Ryssdal: Well, here we are the next day, as it were. What's your gut telling you about this election?

In 1996, the Federal Reserve picked 2 percent as a national goal for inflation. There was no consensus on that number, and it wasn’t seen as too terribly important at the time, since the economy was strong. But when the Great Recession hit, some economists say if we’d had a higher level of inflation, that would have given the Fed more options for handling it. Besides simply lowering interest rates to essentially zero, regulators could have aimed to lower inflation, too.

Is the UK facing parliamentary paralysis?

Jun 9, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Sam Beard

British Prime Minister Theresa May was picking up the pieces today after her Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in yesterday's election. She called for the election back in April seeking a clear mandate from British voters heading into negotiations with the European Union about leaving the bloc.

Aaron Schrank

As of today, Taylor Swift’s music catalog is back on Spotify and the other major streaming services. Swift pulled her music from Spotify in 2014, saying the company didn't pay artists fairly. But, to borrow some lyrics from a now-streamable Taylor Swift track: “Everything has changed.”

What's changed exactly? Well, Spotify has given the pop star some of what she wants. In April, the company inked a licensing deal with Swift’s distributor, Universal Music Group, which allow artists like Swift to do something known as “windowing” on new releases.

Kai Ryssdal

Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker and David Gura of Bloomberg join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. With the stunning election results in Britain now final, we look at how the political turmoil will impact Brexit negotiations and if the European Union now has leverage. Then, we turn our attention to the White House and Donald Trump's economic agenda. The House managed to gut Dodd-Frank while much of the country's attention was on James Comey's testimony. What will happen now to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

CEO Deborah Flint is at the helm of LAX and its multibillion dollar makeover

Jun 9, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Deborah Flint is about to celebrate two years as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, a job that puts her in charge of Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport. LAX was already in the middle of a multibillion dollar renovation project, which Flint continues to helm. It includes renovating terminals and finally linking the second busiest airport in the country with the city's metro system. 

Deborah Flint: Thanks for being here at LAX.