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Artificial demand is driving the electric vehicle market in China

Jan 10, 2018

In China, if you buy an electric vehicle, you'll receive a license plate for free — only one of the benefits the Chinese government is offering in order to rev up the country's EV market. Chinese consumers bought more than double the number of electric cars that the U.S. did in 2016, according to analyst data, and the government has said it wants 11 percent of all cars sold there to be electric by 2020. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talked with Marketplace's China correspondent Jennifer Pak about the supply and demand of the Chinese electric vehicle industry.

Less than two weeks from now, the federal government could shut down unless Congress can pass a spending bill. But the status of undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children has once again become a point of contention.

(Markets Edition) 2018 could be a strong year for economic growth around the world, particularly for one South American country. On today's show, we'll discuss at why Brazil is expected to see big gains. Afterwards, we'll look at how some San Diego workers are deciding to commute from Tijuana, Mexico, so they can save on rent.

SAN SEBASTIAN SALITRILLO, El Salvador (AP) — Every two weeks, Flor Tovar receives a lifeline in the form of cash wired from her husband living in the United States.

The money pays the $50 rent for her modest two-bedroom home in a low-income housing development about an hour northwest of El Salvador’s capital. It also covers school transportation for their two sons, the electricity, water and cable television.

The number of vehicles imported to the United States from Mexico reached an all-time high last year. Mexico’s auto industry exported 2.3 million vehicles, which is nearly a 10 percent increase from the year before.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

In Southern California, rental prices have been skyrocketing in recent years, leaving many residents wondering where to live. But some have found the answer just south of the Mexican border in Tijuana. Cheap rent, hip bars, and a burgeoning artisanal food culture are enticing Americans to move. The Sentri pass, which allows expedited border crossing for prescreened individuals, has helped some Americans commute from Tijuana to their jobs in San Diego in under an hour.

01/10/2018: Closing the race wage gap

Jan 10, 2018

(U.S. Edition) AT&T had planned to carry a phone made by the China-based electronics company Huawei, but they're now pulling out based on national security concerns. On today's show, we'll examine why the end of this deal is a huge blow to Huawei. Afterwards, we'll discuss how the number of vehicles Mexico has imported to the U.S. reached an all-time high last year — despite the Trump administration's threats to renegotiate NAFTA. Then, we'll look at how Bay Area restaurants have started training programs to address the race wage gap.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Higher oil prices and cultural changes are expected to help boost economic growth in developing areas of the world this year. We dive into momentum drivers and looming risks with Franziska Ohnsorge, the author of some new World Bank research. Then, against the backdrop of a strong economy with full employment, steelworkers in Germany are demanding higher wages and more flexible working hours. We’ll tell you what it means for the industry and the nation’s economy. 

The Fed rethinks its inflation target

Jan 9, 2018

The Federal Reserve has two main jobs: maximize employment and keep prices stable. That second piece, stable prices, has meant the Fed tries to keep inflation at 2 percent. Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke made that target the explicit goal about six years ago, but it's been unofficial far longer than that. Lots of other countries have this 2 percent goal, too. But now there's talk about changing the 2 percent target. Marketplace's Tracey Samuelson and Kai Ryssdal discuss the implications. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

New York's wealthy balk at the new tax law

Jan 9, 2018

Residents of New York City pay some of the highest taxes in the country. In exchange, they enjoy some of the richest services in America: a $10 billion police force, guaranteed shelter for the homeless, a public health care corporation and 24/7 public transit (when it works).

And the city’s tax system is especially progressive — the richer you are, the more you pay. In fact, NYC’s 1 percent — those people in the top income-earning percentile of the whole city — provide nearly half of the city’s $11 billion in personal income tax revenue.

Diane Gilman is one of them.

Ronyde Christina Ponthieux's smile widens as her father, Rony, gives her a nod of approval. The 10-year-old proudly rattles off a list of interesting facts about the United States's unique connection to Haiti but isn't sure if she correctly remembers the number of Haitian soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.

His nod is all the confirmation she needs.

"I knew I was right," she giggles excitedly. "It's 477!"

Here’s why bond yields are rising

Jan 9, 2018

When you buy 10-year Treasury bonds, you are essentially making a 10-year loan to the government. The returns on those loans are rising every day. There are a couple of reasons for that — and there are a couple of economic messages there as well. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How the "The Good Place" creator Mike Schur found hell in Los Angeles

Jan 9, 2018

For those of us who keep an eye on the good old broadcast television calendar in this age of streaming and on demand, some favorite shows have started coming back from their winter hiatuses. On that list is NBC’s "The Good Place," back to continue its second season.

The sitcom was created by Mike Schur, who you might know from his other work, like "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

We talk about the yield of the 10-year T-note a lot on our show. Maybe you're not quite sure what that means. Maybe your eyes glaze over a little bit. Well, it's time to pay attention. We'll tell you everything you need to know to read the tea leaves with us. Then: Residents of New York City pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and in turn they have some of the most expensive public services in in the country. The top 1 percent of the city's economic pyramid pays nearly half of New York's income taxes. So what happens to them under the new federal tax law? We'll talk about it.

Many young girls take fashion cues from their Barbie dolls, and I suppose I was no different. OK, I was pretty different. I have spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, and when I was about 10, someone gave me a Share-a-Smile Becky.

Five years ago, a massive tsunami hit the coast of Japan, killing nearly 16,000 people and leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people are still displaced from homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and workers are using shovels and rakes to remove radioactive topsoil from towns that may never rebound from the devastation.  

Crews at the nuclear facility are building tanks to hold the tons of water that needs to be piped into the damaged reactors every day to keep nuclear material cool.

Homesteading in the digital age

Jan 9, 2018

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

In Oakland, California, Stephanie Goode, who has no yard, runs a small homestead on her roof. While it's not a money-making operation, her farm provides about a tenth of her monthly groceries. 

Warm ocean temps could be starving Alaskan seabirds

Jan 9, 2018

An estimated 8,000 black and white seabirds, called murres, were found dead on a beach in Alaska earlier this month.

Their bodies were found floating in the surf and washed ashore in the Prince William Sound community of Whittier. Wildlife ecologist Dan Grear said this is the biggest die off of the common murre in Alaska this season, but not the first.  

"Carcasses started to be noticed this fall in Alaska, and as the winter has progressed into December and early January, observers ... have started to find thousands of dead murres on specific beaches,” Grear said.

Volkswagen’s new chief Matthias Mueller is scheduled to meet with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency in DC Wednesday.

Mueller is expected to propose a fix to bring the German automaker’s hundreds of thousands of tainted diesel models into compliance with US pollution standards.

The company’s proposed solution in the EU was approved by authorities weeks ago. That fix includes software changes and the installation of a simple plastic tube and mesh device meant to better aim air toward emissions sensors. 

Want to install solar panels but can't? No problem.

Jan 9, 2018

Coming up with a climate agreement in Paris last month, getting nearly 200 countries to commit to lowering their greenhouse gases, well, that was the easy part. Now nations have to actually achieve their targets to transition to a lower-carbon future, which includes investments in more renewable energy.

Follow all of our coverage of the Paris talks and the global climate crisis

How German 'wood detectives' protect endangered species

Jan 9, 2018

The words “endangered species” might make you think of tigers and panda bears. But in 183 countries, an international law also protects the wood from endangered trees — which can affect everything from kitchen tables to paper plates.

A-side B-side is a reoccurring segment on The World as part of a partnership with Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The series compares the sounds and ideas of two songs, albums or artists. On the A-side: a folk or traditional selection; on the B-side: a contemporary selection.

"Stambul Naturil" and "Beatriz" are both folk songs, but they are not one and the same simply because of the genre.

The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is well-versed in the art of sarcasm and dark humor, to the point of upsetting many with controversial covers.

In their first issue this year, the weekly opens up about the trials of maintaining a publication that has been the target of deadly attacks and wonders how long they will be able to keep the lights on.

(Markets Edition) The yield on the 1-year U.S. treasury note moved above 2.5 percent this morning. What are the global implications of this milestone, and what does it means for the U.S. government? Then, fashion brand H&M is under fire for "cultural incompetency" over an advertising misstep. And, how Airbnb may keep French châteaux from becoming ruins.




After the first formal talks between North and South Korea in just over two years, the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games have become the catalyst for some easing of tensions. South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters today that the North Korean delegation said it would send an Olympic delegation, including officials, athletes, and cheerleaders, according to the Associated Press.

California legalized marijuana on New Year’s Day.

But pot possession and use could still have dire effects for noncitizens and undocumented immigrants.

Marijuana is still illegal federally. And federal law controls immigration. 

“It’s really unfortunate,” says Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods. “For immigrants, anyone who is convicted of possession of over 30 grams of marijuana, whether here legally or not, will be deportable.”   

(U.S. Edition) After the first formal talks between North and South Korea in just over two years, the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games have become the catalyst for some easing of tensions. We speak with BBC's Hyung Kim about what that means for economic sanctions. Plus, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood gives us the rundown on what to expect from this year's CES.

The next year in oil could be hard to predict

Jan 9, 2018

As the Energy Information Administration forecast looks to 2019, experts see lots of wildcards that could impact the carefully played hands of oil and gas producers.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

France may be home to thousands of castles but many French châteaux and other historic buildings are in such a poor state of repair they risk becoming ruins.

In Iceland, a new law that works to ensure that men and women get paid equally went into effect this month.

It requires all companies with at least 25 employees to obtain government certification of their equal pay policies. Those that fail to receive this certification will be fined and publicly outed.