National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

Americans do want tariff relief

Aug 3, 2018

In his interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal today, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that President Donald Trump's tariffs have left "very little impact, almost unmeasurable impact on real GDP. That's a fact." While gross domestic product may not have budged, we've talked to many manufacturers and farmers across America whose businesses have shifted to accommodate tariffs over the last several months.

Some weaknesses in the July jobs report

Aug 3, 2018

(Markets Edition) We have yet another trade war update. China is upping up the ante by announcing it may impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. We'll look at what's behind this decision and the kinds of U.S. exports China is targeting.

Heather Repennin, vice president of the Los Angeles Bureau of Public Works refers to herself as a "wastehead." 

“It’s someone who is completely immersed in discussions, operations and policy around the waste sector,” Repenning said. In her job, Repennin helps set waste and recycling policy for the city of Los Angeles. “Welcome to the world of being a wastehead," she said. 

One thing that keeps wasteheads up at night is the lousy job of recycling that non-wasteheads are doing.

It's a busy Tuesday evening in the trendy neighborhood of Podil, not far from the city center of Kiev. It's hot out but people are enjoying a breeze as they stroll through a mostly pedestrian-friendly part of the city. A street band plays in the background while people line up to ride a huge Ferris wheel. 

U.S. employers slowed their hiring in July, adding 157,000 jobs, a solid gain but below the healthy pace in the first half of this year.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.9 percent from 4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s near an 18-year low of 3.8 percent reached in May.

Will scandal slow CBS juggernaut?

Aug 3, 2018

CBS reported stellar earnings on Thursday, and CEO Leslie Moonves spoke about a bright future for the network even as he grapples with allegations of sexual misconduct. Similar charges have been leveled at the executive producer of one of the network's most popular shows, "60 Minutes." But will the scandals cause advertisers to flee the prime-time news magazine and the network as a whole? 

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We don't know how to recycle

Aug 3, 2018

(U.S. Edition) Since it's jobs day, we'll dive into how wages are faring in the U.S. While growth hasn't been impressive, not all sectors are seeing stagnation. Afterwards, we'll look at a new report that says the economies of Africa and Southeast Asia will be hit hardest by global warming over the next three decades.

For some workers, big pay raises. Others, not so much.

Aug 3, 2018

The Labor Department released the latest jobs numbers this morning, revealing that the economy added 157,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent.

The employment picture’s been pretty rosy lately, with average job growth above 200,000 a month since mid-spring and more people coming back into the labor market.

One thing that hasn’t impressed much is wage growth. Average hourly earnings increased 2.7 percent year over year — the same rate as it did in June.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…Four days after voters went to the polls, election results are finally in for Zimbabwe’s presidential race. But controversy is swirling about the credibility of the outcome. We’ll hear from one factory owner who describes how the results could impact ongoing international investment in the country. Then, despite Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis, the country’s gasoline is still the cheapest in the world. But President Nicolas Maduro wants to change that.

Kudlow: “Don’t class warfare me” on trade

Aug 3, 2018

With the caveat that President Donald Trump is often his own economic adviser, we headed to the West Wing today to chat with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. He joined the administration just as Trump levied new tariffs on steel and aluminum. We talked with him about those tariffs, today's jobs numbers and more in a wide-ranging interview. Plus, of course, we run it all back with our panelists on the Weekly Wrap.

Four of the biggest companies in the world — Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple — all reported earnings over the last two weeks. These companies either sell gadgets, services or ads — or maybe a combination of the three. And for a long time, it looked like selling ads, fueled by personal information, was the holy grail of digital business models. But lately, it looks like less of a slam dunk. Is the advertising star dimming as a reliable business model? Marketplace’s Molly Wood decided to ask an investor — Emily Melton, a partner at venture capital firm DFJ.

Why advertising is no longer the holy grail of tech revenue

Aug 3, 2018

Four of the biggest companies in the world: Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple all reported earnings over the last two weeks. These companies either sell gadgets, services , or ads — or maybe a combination of the three. For a long time, it looked like selling ads fueled by personal information was the holy grail of digital business models. But lately, it looks like less of a slam dunk.

The trade story of the day is actually more of a currency story. As you know, the Trump administration has proposed another round of tariffs on some $200 billion worth of Chinese products — ranging from tobacco to dog food to plywood. Now, the president is threatening to more than double the size of that tariff from 10 percent to 25 percent. One reason: the falling value of China's currency. The yuan is trading at a 14-month low against the U.S. dollar, blunting the intended effect of those tariffs.

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"These folks are caught in a trap" by tariffs, U.S. representative says

Aug 2, 2018

We've talked to handful of the businesses that submitted more than 23,000 applications for exemptions from steel and aluminum tariffs to the Department of Commerce. Some of them have managed to get a couple exemptions, others haven't been so lucky. Rep.

Today the Trump administration unveiled its proposal to roll back the federal emissions standards set under President Barack Obama.

The Obama standards called for vehicles to get around 50 miles to the gallon by the year 2025. Trump’s proposal lowers that to around 35 mpg by the year 2020.

Automakers had long bemoaned the Obama standards as too difficult to meet, especially as more consumers choose larger trucks, crossovers and SUVs, which guzzle more gasoline.

There's been almost no progress for females on screen in film for over a decade. That's the message from a report the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released this week on its annual research into inequality in the 100 top grossing films of the prior year. Women are still underrepresented on camera and behind it as well. Of the 109 people who directed a top movie in 2017, just eight of them were women.

Brookstone, the specialty retailer that sells eye masks, massage chairs and other gadgets, filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time Thursday. The company says it's going to shut down its roughly 100 mall-based stores. They've become less of an attraction as more shopping moves online. The company’s 35 airport-based stores are doing much better. Brookstone is looking for a buyer. Overall, airport retail seems to be doing much better than traditional malls. Why is that?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

A trilli, a trilli, a trilli, a trilli

Aug 2, 2018

We do the numbers all the time, but today's is the biggest yet: Apple is the first company to reach an estimated $1 trillion market capitalization. We'll talk about what that means on today's show. But first: The Trump administration announced its plans to freeze automobile fuel economy and emissions standards at 2020 levels. In theory, that's meant to help the car industry, right? It has to worry not quite as much about environmental regulations. But another way to look at it is that it's hard to do business when the goalposts keep moving.

Roomful of Teeth: Around the world in eight voices

Aug 2, 2018

Roomful of Teeth is a cutting-edge, eight-person vocal ensemble that commissions and performs music of all sorts of genres and techniques from all over the world. They’ve studied yodeling, Tuvan throat singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore and Korean pansori, just to name a few! 

Girl before ‘Girl Before a Mirror’

Aug 2, 2018

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, “Everything Here is Beautiful,” tells the story of two sisters, Miranda and Lucia, whose relationship is strained by the latter’s severe mental illness. Lucia is very bright and aspires to be a globetrotter journalist, but she periodically lapses into episodes of psychosis.

A decade after Ken Jennings finished his record-breaking "Jeopardy!" run, Paste Magazine named his Twitter account one of the best comedy feeds of 2014. His love of trivia and jokes comes together in his latest book, “Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture.”

Walk through enough open houses in Los Angeles, and you’ll find that they share a similar vibe: Midcentury modern furniture, fuzzy pillows, a surfboard on the wall, a vintage record player and zero clutter. 

Those are the tell-tale signs of a “staged” home: one that’s been cleared of the owner’s actual possessions and replaced with rented furnishings and decor that’s designed with the buyer in mind. 

Meridith Baer has made a living staging homes in hot real estate markets across the U.S. In Southern California, her company stages about 30 homes a week.

On a quiet street in Worcester, Massachusetts, there’s a little white clapboard church with a steeple called Hadwen Park Congregational Church. Over the past decade, this classic-looking, century-old New England church has become a destination for migrants who were persecuted for their gender or sexual orientation and had to flee their homes. Some find the church online: If you google words like “asylum-seeker,” “LGBT” and  “looking for help,” this church comes up. Others hear about it through word of mouth.

What's next for the Fed?

Aug 2, 2018

(Markets Edition) The Federal Reserve met this week, but they did not end up raising short-term interest rates. We'll look at what they have planned for the rest of the year and their assessment of the economy. Afterwards, we'll discuss the standards that currently exist for data breaches, and then we'll explore how Barcelona, Spain, is planning to turn some of its empty apartments into public housing.

Spain is in a housing crisis. According to the latest official figures from 2012, around 22,000 people are homeless, though more recent estimates from nonprofits say it could be closer to 40,000.

This week, the Treasury Department issued recommendations to protect consumers from big data breaches, like the ones we’ve seen at Equifax and Target. Among the Treasury Department’s recommendations: creating a national standard for handling the aftermath of data breaches.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

On Wednesday, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal for even higher tariffs on many consumer goods imported from China. We went to a shopping center in Austin, Texas, to find out what buyers of those goods thought about the plan.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The financial crisis that never fully goes away

Aug 2, 2018

(U.S. Edition) Wells Fargo has agreed to a $2 billion fine a decade after the financial crisis. We'll look at the details of the company's settlement with the Justice Department and how it compares with other settlements from the recession. Afterwards, we'll hear from customers at a Walmart in Texas to find out what they think of the Trump administration's tariff plans, and then we'll talk to reporter Paul Tullis about the vulnerabilities that exist with GPS.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Google has been non-operational in China for the last eight years thanks to worries about government censorship. But the tide could be about to turn. Then, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has been dubbed the “unreliable boyfriend” as Britain’s central bank has been weary to raise interest rates over the last few months. Today, though, investors are near certain a quarter percentage point rate rise will be delivered. But with Brexit looming and slow wage growth, is now – realistically – a good time?

This weekend in Las Vegas, the huge cybersecurity event Black Hat USA kicks off, followed immediately by the other big cybersecurity event of the year, Def Con. There are always some big hacker stunts at these events — hackers already broke into a voting machine as a Def Con demonstration. But after a year of major data breaches, there's also a sense of security fatigue. Chester Wisniewski is a principal research scientist at Sophos, a security firm.