National/International

What happens when government breaks the rules

Apr 28, 2017
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Eliza Mills

In government, as in life, things don't always go according to plan. Bills stall, disagreements cause gridlock, tax bills, like the one introduced this week by President Trump, are passed back and forth, changed and debated.

Things rarely run smoothly, and some sometimes, they're even dramatic. Congress can shut down the government. The Supreme Court can spend nearly a year with eight justices instead of nine.

Rules are broken and changed, and it affects everyone living in the U.S.

We asked what was stressing you out about the economy. You had a lot to say.

Apr 28, 2017
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Marketplace

This week, our Marketplace-Edison Anxiety Poll found that 18- to 24-year-olds were feeling pretty stressed about the economy. So we asked you to tell us about what was giving you anxiety.

People had a lot to say on the matter. Listeners called, emailed, wrote to us on Facebook and tweeted.

 

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Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace has been working on a new series since inauguration day called "The Big Promise." Based out of Erie, Pennsylvania, it's a look at how President Trump's policies and the promises he made are playing in a town where the economy is changing.

We were in Erie yesterday and took a swing by a bait shop called Presque Isle Angler Bait and Tackle. It's the kind of place where you can get your supplies: a couple of worms, some tackle and a cup of coffee, too.

President Obama signed offshore drilling bans for Arctic and Atlantic areas just before he left office, but President Trump's new executive order could cancel that.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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Jana Kasperkevic

Turns out, the "Fearless Girl" statue is not just a feminist symbol, it’s also generated millions in free advertising for the financial firm that commissioned it.

Apex Marketing crunched the numbers and found that since State Street Global Advisors installed the statue in early March, it has been worth $7.4 million in advertising, according to Bloomberg. All the tweets, selfies and news reports mentioning the artwork resulted in:

First-quarter economic growth numbers are out this morning, indicating that GDP underwent the slowest pace of growth in three years. We'll explore what the data points reveal about consumer and business activity. Next, we'll look at the local South LA economy 25 years after the infamous LA riots, which followed the acquittal of several white police officers who were caught on video beating the unarmed black motorist Rodney King. Today, some residents are enjoying a housing boom, but for many, economic conditions haven't improved since 1992.

The final member of President Trump's Cabinet — secretary of labor — was confirmed by the Senate Thursday in a bipartisan vote of 60-38.

Alexander Acosta, 48, will be the Cabinet's first Latino member. Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

Acosta was assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, who later appointed him U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

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Tony Wagner

We started kicking the tires on a Make Me Smart book group a couple weeks ago, and today we're making it official.

The GDP first estimate for the first quarter is out Friday. President Trump has promised growth of 4 or even 5 percent; his treasury secretary just promised major economic growth in defense of the president’s supply-side tax proposal. But what, realistically, is the first quarter GDP likely to show? Economists are puzzling over a contradiction between what they call “hard” and “soft” data. Reports on consumer and business spending, industrial output — the “hard data — have been pretty mediocre so far this year.

The former Mormon who created a hacktivist website

Apr 28, 2017
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Bruce Johnson and Danielle Stephens

On Marketplace Tech, we’re taking a deeper look at "hacktivism," activist hackers who use their digital toolkit to push a social agenda. But in their mission to make information more transparent or accessible to all, some hacktivists take a lot of personal risks when they go up against the status quo.

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Bruce Johnson

In our series on "hacktivism," we take a deeper look at how hackers use their digital toolkit to push for a particular agenda. We looked at the debate over Sci Hub, a site that allowed scientific research papers, previously behind a paywall, to be shared with everyone. We heard from John Bohannon, a contributing correspondent for Science Magazine. Below is an edited transcript of his conversation with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.

How hacktivism intersects with the law

Apr 28, 2017
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Bruce Johnson and Danielle Stephens

We’re taking a deeper look at the idea of hacktivism, and how activists use technology to push forward a social or political agenda.

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Marketplace

It's been a busy past few days in the tech world, so we're going to kick off the show by playing "Silicon Tally" — the game where were try to stump people with numbers from the week's tech news. Our guest this Friday: Melissa Kirsch, editor in chief of Lifehacker. Afterwards, we'll look at virtual reality's strong presence at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, and then chat with researcher Molly Sauter about the laws governing cyber crime.

Byron W. Brown, the mayor of Buffalo, says his community is not a "sanctuary city," but a "refugee resettlement city."

According to a February 2016 report published by the New York community, “Between 2006 and 2013, the foreign-born population in Buffalo increased by 95 percent, and the most recent American Community Survey reports that the city is home to over 22,000 foreign-born residents.”

The March for Science, happening Saturday in Washington, DC, started as a reaction to the Trump administration’s attitudes toward science. But since it was dreamed up in late January, the movement has spread well beyond the Beltway.

As of Friday afternoon, organizers say there are more than 600 demonstrations planned, including roughly 200 outside of the United States.  

Science events — not all of them actual marches — are happening from the North Pole to Cape Town, from Bhutan to Greenland.

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Reema Khrais

The U.S. Department of Education is one of the many agencies President Trump is looking to shrink. His administration is calling for a $9 billion — or 13 percent — cut to the Education Department’s $68 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

The auto industry came to Washington today for talks with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation. On the table: tweaks to the emissions and mileage requirements currently in place. The White House and automakers want lower standards to be considered.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Is Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' political commentary?

Apr 27, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Daisy Palacios

This week, Hulu premiered the first three episodes of "The Handmaid's Tale." The TV show is based on the book by Margaret Atwood and set in a dystopian America with a totalitarian government in charge. It's a world where women have been stripped of their right to control their bodies, to work and to control money. Bruce Miller is the showrunner and creator of "The Handmaid's Tale." He talked with Marketplace host Adriene Hill about developing this show.

Appliance manufacturers and home builders are in Washington, D.C., today to celebrate a popular energy efficiency program, even as it's slated for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget.

You probably know the program's little blue label with the star — the Environmental Protection Agency says 90 percent of U.S. households do.

Maria Soria Castañeda grew up in North Carolina but was born in Mexico. She moved to the US with her family when she was 3. She’s also undocumented and, now, a junior at Swarthmore College, where she feels like a bit of a pioneer.

"We don’t really know what undocumented students they had before, but we were under the impression there weren't that many," says Castañeda. "Once we got here, we had to be the ones to sort of bring up what we would like to have here."

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Jana Kasperkevic

It’s been a busy day for United Airlines.

The airline has been doing some serious lifting in an effort to repair its reputation after a passenger was dragged off one of its flights. Dr. David Dao’s removal, which was captured on a widely shared video, sparked outrage and led the airline to reevaluate and overhaul its procedures for overbooked flights.

Early this afternoon, United also announced that it has reached a settlement with Dao.

How much do manufacturing jobs really matter?

Apr 27, 2017
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Mitchell Hartman

In the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, 80 percent of respondents said they consider manufacturing jobs to be “very important” (43.5 percent) or “somewhat important” (36.1 percent) to the local economy where they live. Support for manufacturing jobs was relatively strong across all demographic groups and income brackets, receiving the strongest support from those making less than $25,000 a year, and those with only a high school education or some college but not a bachelor’s degree.

Before the Affordable Care Act, if you were living with a pre-existing condition, it usually meant you'd pay through the nose for coverage, your condition might not get covered or you'd have no insurance at all. Now, under the ACA, these same people can't get charged more for their condition. But that may be about to change. In the House Republicans' most recent effort to repeal the health law, a new amendment would allow states to charge the sick higher rates — if those people dropped their coverage.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

United Airlines is issuing a series of changes, including offers of up to $10,000 for passengers who shift flights, in response to the dragging incident earlier this month. CEO Oscar Munoz joined us to talk about the company's new policies and the "awful choice of words" in his initial apology. Afterwards, we'll look at a movement in Mexico to stop imports of U.S. corn, and then talk about the practice of brand relabeling.

The novel 'Startup' casts a critical eye on the tech world

Apr 27, 2017
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Lizzie O'Leary and Hayley Hershman

Doree Shafrir's debut novel "Startup" centers on three main characters: Mack, Katya and Sabrina. Mack McAllister is a 28-year-old entrepreneur who runs the meditation app company TakeOff. He's trying to raise more money to keep the company afloat. Katya Pasternack is a young journalist working for a tech blog and in search of a big scoop. Then there is Sabrina Choe Blum. She's the wife of Katya's boss and is back in the job market after taking time off to raise her children. She is working for none other than Takeoff.

A Mexican movement pushes back against U.S. corn

Apr 27, 2017
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Annie Baxter

President Trump has put Mexico and Canada on notice that he wants to change up U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Trump has directed criticism at Mexico, citing its trade surplus with the U.S. Those criticisms, along with Trump's harsh rhetoric towards Mexican immigrants, have prompted one group to strike back against Trump with a trade-based weapon: corn.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

President Trump told reporters Thursday he had been planning to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement within days, but decided to try to renegotiate the agreement instead. The president held out the possibility of killing the trade deal later if the negotiations fail.

Nearly 100 days into his administration, President Trump has drastically reduced the flow of immigration, both legal and illegal, to the U.S. He's been able to accomplish that without any new legislation — and without many of his signature ideas solidly in place, including executive orders that have been put on hold by the courts and a proposed wall on the Mexican border.

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Aaron Schrank

This week, G-III, the company that manufactures and distributes Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, acknowledged it’s been switching the tags and selling the first daughter’s apparel at discount retailer Stein Mart as Adrienne Vittadini Studio.

A key Senate committee is expected to vote Thursday on the confirmation of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to head up the Food and Drug Administration. If confirmed, which is expected, one of the headaches Gottlieb will inherit on Day 1: filling as many as 1,000 vacancies at the agency. Filling some of those jobs could speed the approval of generic drugs, which would help lower prices.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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