PRI - APM

News and features from American Public Media and Public Radio International.

Ways to Connect

Sharon McDonnell is seeing a new public health crisis unfold in West Africa: droves of patients without Ebola who are turned away from medical facilities.

The Labor Department has suggests that considering values other than traditional measures like profits and losses when running a retirement plan could be a violation of a company's fiduciary responsibility. Chris Farrell, a Marketplace senior economics contributor, spoke with David Brancaccio about what this means for the future of socially conscious investment. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Starting today, fast food restaurants, grocery store chains, convenience stores and even movie theaters must start posting calorie counts. The law — which was a provision tucked into Obamacare — applies to food retailers with 20 locations or more. How will this affect businesses?   

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

05/07/2018: Is ethical investing unethical?

May 7, 2018

(U.S. Edition) That's what the Labor Department is suggesting with a new announcement that socially responsible investments could be a violation of a company's fiduciary responsibility. In other words, considering values other than traditional measures like profits and losses when running a retirement plan is frowned-upon, though not outlawed. What does this mean for the future of "ethical" investing? We talk to Senior Economics contributor Chris Farrell to find out. Plus, the price of crude oil crossed above $70 per barrel today, the highest it's been since 2014.

Jorge Ramos has been called "the most influential news anchor in the Americas."

He's the face of Univision's flagship Spanish-language news broadcast. He was front and center during some of the most compelling moments of the last presidential campaign — like a press event in Iowa in 2015 where he sparred with then-candidate Donald Trump over Trump's proposal to use mass deportations to rid the US of criminals.

Search and rescue workers in Syria say civilian lives are at risk after being hit by a freeze in US funding for their organization.

The US is currently reviewing its support for the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, and other Syrian assistance programs worth around $200 million.

A State Department official told PRI that the review came at the request of President Donald Trump. They added that the US has provided more than $33 million in financial support to the group since 2013.

Khalida Popal was at the top of her game in Afghanistan. She became the captain of Afghanistan's women's national team and was competing on the international field.

Steven Davy

Boston artist Bren Bataclan often gives away his paintings with a note asking people to "smile at random people more often." He gave us two to give to PRI listeners and readers. Bataclan selected two people who commented on PRI The World’s Facebook page about the random acts of kindness they did for others or someone had done for them.

Surveys of employers indicate labor shortages are increasing in multiple sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, health care and IT (to name a few). With the April jobs report out Friday, we'll look at which employers are hurting the most in this full employment economy. And are employers raising wages and benefits enough to attract workers?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

This story was updated at 7:45 a.m. CT. 

U.S. employers stepped up hiring modestly in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, evidence of the economy's resilience amid the recent stock market chaos and anxieties about a possible trade war.

Job growth amounted to a decent 164,000 last month, up from an upwardly revised 135,000 in March. The unemployment rate fell after having held at 4.1 percent for the prior six months largely because fewer people were searching for jobs.

(U.S. Edition) Back in 2015, we learned that Volkswagen rigged its cars to cheat emissions tests. Then-CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned during the fallout of the scandal, and now he's being charged with fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice. On today's show, we'll look at what exactly he's been charged with and what this means for Volkswagen as a whole. Afterwards, we'll run down what the U.S. asked for during its trade talks with China this week, and discuss how likely it'll be that China will agree to these demands. 

In SeaTac, Washington, the airport is booming, property values are rising, and Francisco Rodriguez says he’s feeling squeezed.

"It's been really stressful for everybody, for my kids, for me, and my wife you know," he said.

Rodriguez has lived at the Firs Mobile Home Park in SeaTac for 11 years. There are plans to redevelop the land into apartments and a hotel, and he doesn’t know where his family is going to go, he said.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Trade talks in Beijing between the U.S. and China end today – both investors and corporations are watching for any developments. We hear from Alibaba’s general manager for Europe about how the company is operating as fears of a trade war loom. Then, a host of mining companies have agreed to millions in compensation for South African gold miners who contracted incurable lung disease. An attorney representing the miners tells us what’s next. Afterwards, what the end of a separatist conflict in Spain means for the local economy. 

Getting "terms of service" updates lately? Here's why

May 4, 2018

You may have noticed a trend in your inbox lately. A lot of “we’re changing our terms of service” emails. It’s no coincidence. Lots of companies are rewriting these agreements ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation rollout in Europe. That’s the new set of stricter privacy rules that goes into effect in Europe at the end of the month. Marketplace’s Amy Scott spoke with Jessica Lee, partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb, about what the GDPR means and how it will affect the U.S. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

You may have noticed a trend in your inbox lately. A lot of “we’re changing our terms of service” emails. It’s no coincidence. Lots of companies are rewriting these agreements ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation rollout in Europe. That’s the new set of stricter privacy rules that goes into effect in Europe at the end of the month. Marketplace’s Amy Scott spoke with Jessica Lee, partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb, about what the GDPR means and how it will affect the U.S.   

Wall Street nervous? No apologies from Elon Musk

May 3, 2018

Tesla stocks fell 8 percent when the market opened today following the company's earnings call May 2. Elon Musk says Tesla will be a year late on its promise to deliver 5,000 Model 3 cars per week. Right now Tesla has more than 450,000 customers still waiting for their Model 3s.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Amazon wants tax incentives, Texas knows the drill

May 3, 2018

Seattle-based Amazon is searching for a location for its planned second headquarters, or HQ2. In recent months, site selection teams have been visiting the 20 metro areas in North America (19 in the U.S., plus Toronto, Canada) that were selected as finalists from a field of 238 cities and regions that submitted proposals in response to Amazon’s callout in late 2017. 

The America left out of the economy

May 3, 2018

One of the defining characteristics of this economy in the decade since the financial crisis has been the uneven way that it has recovered. Generally speaking, the coasts have bounced back, but the big chunks of the middle of the country are still stuck. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to columnist Sarah Kendzior who lives in that middle area, St.

05/03/2018: Yes, millennials buy houses sometimes

May 3, 2018

We've been talking a lot about the countries and companies that have asked for exemptions from President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. But remember, the whole point of these things is to help out America's steel and aluminum industries. So we'll start today's show looking at the pro-tariff crowd before chatting with a few of the thousands of companies looking for exemptions. Then: Tesla's earnings call yesterday was feisty as Elon Musk's electric car company beat expectations while posting a record loss.

Hooker Furniture has been around since 1924, selling wooden furniture for the home — sofas, bed frames, dressers, you name it. Like many American furniture makers, Hooker located its factories in southern Virginia and North Carolina because of nearby supplies of Appalachian hardwood and cheap labor.

For more than a century, the area was the furniture-making center of America. By the late 1990s though, the model was crumbling.

“Increasingly, our customers weren't willing to buy domestically-produced furniture,” said Hooker’s Chairman and CEO Paul Toms.

How young homebuyers pull it off

May 3, 2018

After years of renting in Los Angeles, 32-year-old Laura Radke and her husband, Phillip Radke, finally found it. Their new home.

“We bought the ugliest house on the block,” Laura said.

Dirty peach stucco, rotting wood, burnt-out front yard — it wasn’t exactly what they had imagined for themselves and their new baby.

“I remember when we came here, looking around, trying to keep an open mind,” Phillip said. 

And that’s how Laura said they prepped their parents.

“We were like, ‘OK, we bought this house, but they advertised it as ‘needs cosmetic work.’”

Turkey’s red-hot economic growth has come with a painful side effect: booming inflation and a tumbling currency. At 7.4 percent, the country was the fastest growing G-20 economy last year.

It's been a rough ride for the State Department since President Donald Trump took office. Under Secretary Rex Tillerson, who was ousted in March, many seasoned diplomats left. Key posts the world over went unfilled and are still unfilled.

Little wonder, then, that the new man at the helm of America's diplomatic corps is trying to rally his charges. Mike Pompeo was sworn in on Wednesday as Trump's new secretary of state and said it's time to reinvigorate US diplomacy.

05/03/2018: And the trade talks begin

May 3, 2018

(Markets Edition) Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other key figures from the Trump administration are in China right now for trade negotiations. We'll chat with Seth Carpenter, who was a top treasury official in the Obama administration, about what the U.S. can realistically achieve during these talks. Afterwards, we'll look at how one small city in Texas is trying to improve internet access in the area, a problem that plagues low-income border communities. 

The Texas-Mexico border is one of the least connected in the U.S. A map  from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas shows border counties bathed in bright red, meaning less than around 60 percent have home internet access. It’s a distinction shared by the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia, other parts of the country with pernicious poverty. But that may change.

When it comes to snagging an interview for an entry-level job, you’d think that students with the highest grades would have the best odds. But a new study from Ohio State University suggests that might not be the case for women.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Cambridge Analytica, the data firm that harvested personal information from Facebook users to target voters in the 2016 presidential election, is filing for bankruptcy. We'll recap the company's involvement with conservative donors and why it says it can't continue to operate. Afterwards, we'll look at how Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker, is launching an initial public offering that would make it the third-largest tech IPO ever. Plus: We dive into a new study that suggests good grades may count against female job applicants. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Turkey was the fastest growing economy in the G-20 last year, but new figures today are stoking worries the economy is at serious risk of overheating. What can the government and the central bank to do ease concerns? Then, Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi filed to hold its IPO, the world’s biggest since 2014, in Hong Kong. Afterwards, marriage is a big business in India … but increasingly, so is divorce. We’ll take you to the country and explain how entrepreneurs are leveraging the trend. 

05/03/2018: Are universities targets for spying?

May 3, 2018

Should universities worry about spying? That’s what some people in the White House may think. The Trump administration is reportedly thinking about measures to prevent Chinese citizens from conducting sensitive research at American universities. The worry is that these researchers might take home secrets. Marketplace’s Amy Scott spoke with Daniel Golden, author of “Spy Schools,” about the front lines of academic espionage. 

American universities may be the target of espionage

May 3, 2018

Should universities worry about spying? That’s what some people in the White House may think. The Trump administration is reportedly thinking about measures to prevent Chinese citizens from conducting sensitive research at American universities. The worry is that these researchers might be taking home more than souvenirs —they might be traveling with secrets.

Pages