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Tomorrow is supposed to be the final deadline  — per House Speaker Paul Ryan — for trade negotiators to agree to a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. That is if they want this Congress to vote on NAFTA before the end of the year. There's been some push back there — others counting calendar days differently and saying there's a bit more time still. But amidst this deadline pressure, there's also been talk that the countries narrow their focus and try to tackle fewer issues.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

When an anti-LGBTQ candidate won the first round of presidential elections in Costa Rica, Vincenzo Bruno took to Facebook to denounce him.

“We are completely against Fabricio Alvarado, He doesn’t represent us, he doesn’t represent anyone in the LGBTQ community,” Bruno told his followers in Spanish. “No! No more abuse, no more hate, we reject him!”

Two brothers who spent 14 years apart sit at a kitchen table in a mobile home outside of Minneapolis. The elder one, David, looks around at the freshly painted blue walls with pride. He’s adding new window frames, flooring and appliances bit by bit to make a home for his family.

David left El Salvador on Sept. 1, 2005. He was 20 and the journey to Minnesota, where his father was living, took 22 days.

“You remember the whole trip, counting each day to get here,” he says. “We didn’t come on the plane.”

It’s primary season, with voting in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania on Tuesday and dozens more elections in the coming week to determine who will land on the ballot for November’s midterm elections. 

Ali Ashkanani started studying English in elementary school in Kuwait, more than 6,000 miles away from where he now lives in Philadelphia.

He said he realized quickly that the English pronunciation he learned in Kuwait wasn't going to cut it, if he was going to pursues a degree in industrial engineering in the United States.

Take the common phrase — “bottle of water.”

(Markets Edition) The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note is still hovering above 3 percent. We'll talk with Susan Schmidt, senior portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings Group, about what this means for the U.S. economy, and whether China is holding too much of our debt. Afterwards, we'll chat with Boston College finance professor Richard McGowan about the legalization of sports gambling and its consequences for fantasy sports. (05/16/2018)

 

Macy’s: Rewards for all, no card needed

May 16, 2018

Struggling to keep the customers coming to stores, Macy’s is expanding special deals by offering rewards and discounts to all shoppers, not just its credit card holders.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

This week, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted in what’s commonly known as a “headcount tax.” Businesses that bring in more than $20 million in annual revenue will have to pay a $275 tax for each of their full-time employees. It’s a lower fee than what many were hoping for, but there are still plenty of concerns.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

A caution about workplace friendships

May 16, 2018

(U.S. Edition) Kellogg is the latest U.S. company to pull out of Venezuela amid soaring inflation and dwindling access to raw materials. We'll take a  look at how the country's president, Nicholas Maduro, is reacting to the news. Afterwards, we'll discuss Seattle's decision to approve a "headcount tax," which would require businesses that bring in more than $20 million in revenue a year to pay $275 for each full-time employee. Plus: We dive into some of the downsides workplace friendships with Nancy Rothbard, co-author of a new paper called "Friends Without Benefits." (05/16/2018)

What's the downside of making friends at work?

May 16, 2018

Workplace friendships could have negative effects for a company, especially in the age of social media, according to a study published in The Academy of Management Review.

63: Take your data and go home

May 15, 2018

What would a Hippocratic oath look like for the people we trust with our data? That's one of the questions NYU professor Laura Norén asks in her course "Ethics for Data Science." Consumers should be pushing for more empowered, informed consent, she says, because right now they have two choices: blindly agree to give up your data to [insert social media or digital platform here] or quit altogether. We'll start there, and somehow end up at trans-humanism — it's sci-fi stuff, but it's where the privacy conversation wants to go, if you let it.

Yunique walks around her Brooklyn neighborhood in stylish, loose clothing that skims over her body and a gray shawl that's delicately draped around a baseball cap.

It's not evident right away that she is dressed modestly because she is Muslim. The only giveaway of her faith might be if she decides to share her last name with you: Saafir, which means ambassador in Arabic.

Just about everyone agrees drugs are too expensive

May 15, 2018

So what are they actually doing about it? Today on the show, we'll do the numbers. The 100 most-common brand-name pharmaceuticals got 232 percent more expensive in the past decade. State lawmakers have filed more than 150 bills this year to rein in costs, something 80 percent of people surveyed by Kaiser agree we need. Some drug companies are starting to feel the squeeze from their own shareholders, too. We'll talk about it. But first: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has more than doubled workplace investigations over last year. Audits and arrests are up, too.

A story about steel ... and also, pizza

May 15, 2018

Andris Lagsdin is the inventor of the Baking Steel and the author of "Baking with Steel: The Revolutionary New Approach to Perfect Pizza, Bread, and More." He studied culinary arts, worked in restaurants and eventually came home to work in his family's steel business. Then he figured out how to combine the two. 

A Mother's Day to end all wars

May 15, 2018

If you haven’t heard, Mother’s Day is this weekend.

And at this point, maybe you’re panicking and trying to find same-day delivery for decadent chocolates and fragrant flowers. Or maybe you’re steeped in the semi-patriotic proclamation of the holiday's origin.

The U.S. bond market swoons

May 15, 2018

(Markets Edition) Interest rates moved sharply higher this morning (Tuesday, May 15, 2018) after a solid retail sales report. What does this mean for consumers? Then, we’ll hear a Michigan manufacturing CEO’s thoughts on tariffs ahead of the office of the United States Trade Representative's hearing on the topic. And, emergency rooms are often the first places people end up during a mental health crisis, but hospital officials say many ERs aren’t equipped to help.

 

Sears explores what assets it might sell

May 15, 2018

Sears has formed a special committee to explore selling off more parts of the struggling business. What assets still have value? The Kenmore appliance brand, for one, and Sears Home Services, a home improvement business. But the company has already sold off many assets, so its value is dwindling. One interesting wrinkle: A hedge fund operated by Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is a potential buyer. The company’s board of directors has formed an independent committee to see if there are any other interested buyers out there.

Emergency rooms are often the first places people end up during a mental health crisis. But many ERs aren’t really equipped to help. After they check in, patients can end up staying in emergency rooms for days just waiting for in-patient psychiatric treatment elsewhere. As emergency rooms see a growing number of behavioral health patients, hospital officials say resources are strained.

A version of this story ran on WABE. 

With all the talk of immigration reform, one of the president’s immigration proposals has gotten less attention lately: Trump and many republicans want to eliminate a law that lets naturalized U.S. citizens sponsor their parents and siblings for permanent residency in the United States. The White House says the rule doesn’t make sense for a “modern economy.” But how exactly does family-based immigration affect the economy? 

(U.S. Edition) For three days starting today (Tuesday, May 15, 2018), the office of the United States Trade Representative will hear sharply diverging views from American businesses about $50 billion worth of China tariffs. We hear from the CEO of a Michigan manufacturer, Lucerne International, who says tariffs could cripple the company's supply chain. Then, we check in on Germany's economic growth over the last three months (it's not what analysts expected).

Reddit's CTO on shedding its "dystopian Craigslist" vibe

May 15, 2018

Reddit is rolling out its biggest redesign in a decade. The site has a reputation for being very text heavy and sometimes hosting conversations that can get kind of rough. The redesign comes at the heels of a long effort to clean up those conversations and attract a broader audience. The site’s traffic has more than doubled in the past couple of years, but some loyal users aren’t fans of the redesign.

Will Reddit's new makeover make it more accessible?

May 15, 2018

Reddit is rolling out its biggest redesign in a decade. The site has a reputation for being very text heavy and sometimes hosting conversations that can get kind of rough. The redesign comes at the heels of a long effort to clean up those conversations and attract a broader audience. The site’s traffic has more than doubled in the past couple of years, but some loyal users aren’t fans of the redesign. For our podcast for Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Chris Slowe, Reddit’s chief technical officer and founding engineer, about the redesign. 

Erdogan sends Turkish lira to fresh low

May 15, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service for Tuesday, May 15, 2018: Turkey’s ailing lira has hit a fresh low against the U.S. dollar. President Erdogan issued a direct challenge to the central bank’s independence. But why does the country’s premier believe higher interest rates are “the mother of all evil?" Then, European ministers are meeting to try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal. We take a look at the economic and political tools the EU can deploy to circumvent US secondary sanctions.

It’s Groundhog Day again on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Last summer was rough for restaurants, hotels and other tourist shops that couldn’t find enough seasonal workers.

Most businesses there rely on foreign workers who come to the US on H-2B visas — those are temporary, non-immigrant visas given to seasonal employees. The US government issues 33,000 such visas each year for summertime workers and 33,000 for the winter months. With record demand, it’s proving to be not nearly enough.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that acted as a ban on commercial sports betting in all but four states. To be clear, this ruling doesn’t all of a sudden make it legal  to get some action on tonight’s Warriors-Rockets game, but it could pave the way for legalized gambling in a number of states. That could eventually yield a revenue bump.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Every weekday afternoon, about 30 members of the Opioid Shortage Working Group at Mass General Hospital crowd into a nondescript conference room. They come from every department — from the hospital’s head office, to nursing, to surgery, to anesthesiology — and every day they're ready to hear bad news. But, at a recent meeting, pharmacy director John Marshall also had a little good news to share.

Trump’s ZTE turnabout

May 14, 2018

The Chinese electronics manufacturer ZTE Corp. was on the brink of collapse after the U.S. government punished it last month for breaking American sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But in a sudden Twitter twist President Donald Trump says he's now working to save ZTE. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Welcome to ~*~the future~*~

May 14, 2018

It's not all it's cracked up to be. A Tesla Model S rear-ended a firetruck at a red light last night. The car was doing 60, and witnesses say it didn't break. The driver broke his ankle, and now investigators are wondering if the car's autopilot system was active at the time. The self-driving mode has been involved in two fatal crashes, and there are a lot of questions about whether drivers can be expected to take over when self-driving tech is essentially still in the testing phase.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump changed his stance toward Chinese smartphone company, ZTE Corp. Last week, the telecommunications company halted all major operations following an order by the U.S. Department of Commerce banning business between ZTE and American companies. U.S.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

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