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The Trump administration is sending a delegation to China this week. Sure, they’ll be talking about tariffs. But there’s something else that’s expected to be big on the agenda. The Trump administration is considering limitations on Chinese investment in the U.S., similar to Chinese restrictions on American companies.

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Last month, when violent mobs attacked members of a Muslim minority group in Sri Lanka, the government responded by shutting down access to social messaging networks. At least one person was killed.

The government's contention at the time is a fairly familiar criticism at this point — through services like Facebook, inflammatory hate speech and propaganda spread uncontrolled and fed violence.

But as Mark Zuckerberg defends his social media network, activists in Sri Lanka say they've been warning about this for years.

Even TV networks agree there are too many commercials

Apr 30, 2018

Over the past 10 years, the number of ads on TV has been rising, with some channels featuring as much as 15 minutes' worth of them in a single hour. 

But as people flock to streaming services like Netflix, their tolerance levels are decreasing. As a result, traditional networks like Fox are trying to come up with ways to reduce your commercial load — without reducing their ad revenue. 

A forklift, some saw stations, and an unfinished wood frame house fill the classroom at the Home Builders Institute building on Fort Stewart military base in Georgia. Inside, 15 men and women in hard hats and steel toe boots maneuvered the bare-bones structure of a wall switch.

“We’re wiring up a receptacle that is constant hot and also controlled by a single-pole switch,” said Tony Dyke, with a drill in hand.

Ethnomusicologist Sidney Robertson Cowell first started lugging her Presto instantaneous recording machine around Fresno, California, in 1938. There, she recorded Armenian dances at community picnics, hymns at the Armenian cathedral and songs at musicians' homes.

And then, on Oct. 30, 1939, Vartan Shapazian in nearby Fowler, California, sang a mournful song for Cowell called "Groong Jan" or "Dear Crane." It laments the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Why did the Avengers partner with a mortgage lender?

Apr 27, 2018

"The Avengers: Infinity War" isn’t just a showcase for more than 70 of Marvel’s popular characters, it’s also a big stage for advertisers—with more brand partnerships and product placement than any Marvel Studios movie to date. One of the brands you’ll see on the big screen is Rocket Mortgage, a service from Quicken Loans that lets you get mortgage approval in minutes using an app on your phone.

The NFL draft is a business all its own

Apr 27, 2018

The National Football League Draft kicked off Thursday night in Arlington, Texas, where college players are selected by pro teams and paid lots of money to play on Sundays. The event is a theatrical enterprise, with wall-to-wall television cameras and loud, thematic music. 

Outside, after the first round ended, about 50 people stood at a major intersection trying to hail a cab. One guy described to his driver how to recognize him on the street:

“I’m with a guy wearing a Jets, No. 28 jersey.” 

Seven months after Hurricane Maria, people are still putting pieces of their lives back together. Across the island that takes plenty of different forms. As power, access to clean water and business opportunities slowly come back to Puerto Rico, people have been spending a lot of money, in plenty of different ways. We revisit a dairy farmer, a convenience store owner, a homeowner and a community center to see where things stand with recovery after the hurricane. 

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Now that the two Koreas have made history, it’s Donald Trump’s turn. 

If Trump sits down to meet Kim Jong-un as expected, he will be the first American president to hold a face-to-face meeting with a leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

But if a Trump-Kim summit has a chance of going down in the history books as anything like a success, both sides have some big decisions to make. 

Denuclearization is priority No. 1. 

What’s that old saying? You’ve got to spend money to make money? The U.S. Department of Transportation is trying a variant on that when it comes to funding road and bridge improvements. It’s tripled the amount of money in what’s known as the BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program to $1.5 billion. But part of the criteria for state and local governments to get a grant is showing they can raise new non-federal funding. We’re talking taxes and tolls, and it’s got a lot of people seeing red.

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A slice of life — and pastelillo — in Puerto Rico

Apr 27, 2018

Puerto Rico is slated to lose 280 of its public schools in an effort by the government to consolidate resources and improve students' academic achievement. This has triggered protests across the island, including at the Escuela Elemental John F. Kennedy in Toa Baja, fifteen miles west of San Juan, where parents, students, and teachers are mobilizing a campaign against the Education Department's plan to close the school.  

How to talk to your co-workers

Apr 27, 2018

We have Alison Green on Marketplace Weekend every month to answer your questions about the tricky, awkward or downright strange parts of being at work. Her new book "Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work," features new advice plus letters from readers featured on her popular blog of the same name.

A Saudi Arabian diplomat said last weekend that 19 oil tankers were seized by rebel forces off the coast of Yemen. Then, the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, repeated the story. But based on interviews and research conducted by PRI, there is no hostage situation at all. 

Societies often change slowly. Shifts in values and allegiances can be so subtle you might miss them. A smart politician knows that.

Consider how fascist leader Benito Mussolini consolidated power in Italy in the 1920s. He likened the process to carefully preparing a chicken for slaughter.

“If you pluck a chicken one feather at a time people don’t notice it,” says former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. “So I’m concerned about the feather-plucking.”

Hours before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced their intention to denuclearize and formally end the Korean War, demonstrators camped out in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square wearing the unity symbol and praying for peace.

04/27/2018: The U.S. economy is slowing down

Apr 27, 2018

(Markets Edition) The U.S. GDP's growth figure is out for the first quarter, showing that the economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent — a slowdown from 2.9 percent during the previous quarter. We'll hear from Chris Low — chief economist at FTN Financial — about the reasons for this, and why this percentage is still actually better than many people expected. Afterwards, we'll talk to Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary about Puerto Rico's housing crisis. 

The U.S. economy slowed to a moderate 2.3 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter as consumer spending turned in the weakest performance in nearly five years.

Still, the January-March increase came in better than expected and was enough to propel growth over the past year to come close to the 3 percent goal set by the Trump administration.

What really led to Trump's victory?

Apr 27, 2018

One of the prevailing narratives used to explain what motivated voters in the 2016 presidential election boils down to economic frustration. Specifically, that many Americans in manufacturing were left behind by a fast changing global economic order, and then lashed out against politicians who'd ignored them.

With the U.S.-based oil giants Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. scheduled to release their first quarter 2018 earnings Friday morning, we look at the state of the oil industry. Companies are reaping the benefits from higher oil prices and demand. But what is big oil investing in these days, with an eye toward the future?

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GOYANG, South Korea (AP) — The leaders of North and South Korea played it safe Friday, repeating a previous vow to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons but failing to provide any specific new measures or forge a potential breakthrough on an issue that has captivated and terrified many since the rivals seemed on the verge of war last year.

04/27/2018: What really drove Trump's victory?

Apr 27, 2018

(U.S. Edition) North and South Korea have pledged they will never fight another war — but are these truce talks too good to be true? We'll take a look at their decision to pursue "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." Afterwards, we'll talk about the percentage of GDP that Germany spends on defense, and how it's committed to hitting a 2 percent target by 2024, like all NATO countries.

Stagflation, explained

Apr 26, 2018

Inflation is kicking into gear. But it’s not clear economic activity will shift much higher. Higher prices and slow growth are some key ingredients for “stagflation.”  Is that where we’re headed?

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Ford Motor Co. is getting out of the car business

Apr 26, 2018

Ford Motor Co. announced it's going to stop making cars for the North American market, save the iconic Mustang. The automaker plans to phase out five of its cars to focus on SUVs, trucks and crossovers. Dan Neil writes about cars for the Wall Street Journal. He talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about why American automakers like Ford are betting big on big vehicles. Neil says it’s all about profit.

The global reach of 'Our Bodies, Ourselves'

Apr 26, 2018

"Our Bodies, Ourselves" has long been called the bible for women's health, but it didn't start out that way.

The big corporate headline of the day is an industrial story, a commodities story, a global trade story and a good ol' wow-that's-an-interesting-move story. Ford Motor Company announced this morning it's going to stop making cars for the North American market, save the iconic Mustang. We'll talk about what that means for the company and the auto industry writ large. Then: Despite Facebook's recent privacy fiasco, the company reported a 63 percent increase in year-over-year profits for the first quarter. We'll explain why.

The Puerto Rican education system is in the middle of a massive reorganization. The island's government recently announced they're planning on closing over 280 public schools, combining resources, and introducing charter schools and private school vouchers. The changes to the school system were promoted in part by damage from Hurricane Maria. But the island's schools had been struggling long before the hurricane hit.

At 7:45 a.m., teachers, parents and students gather outside of Escuela Elemental John F. Kennedy in Toa Baja, about 15 miles outside of San Juan. And it's loud.

04/26/2018: How winter weather affects the economy

Apr 26, 2018

(Markets Edition) On Friday, we'll get the first government reading on economic growth from January to March. We'll hear from Diane Swonk, chief economist at the consulting and accounting firm Grant Thorton, about what should we expect. Afterwards, we'll look at how Facebook fared in its first-quarter earnings report, and then we'll visit the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China — one of the world's largest import and export trade fairs — about how manufacturers are reacting toward the threat of U.S. tariffs. 

In Puerto Rico, no title, no lease and no assistance to rebuild

Apr 26, 2018

Luis "Jujo" Malave’s house was never very big. But to him those plywood walls were home. Then Hurricane Maria came.

Today, to get to what’s left of the house, you need to climb over it’s former self — a four foot high pile of rotting plywood and snapped tables.

"I started living here in 2002," Malave said, in Spanish, through an interpreter. "It was my house but I wasn't the owner there."

The 123rd Canton Fair is taking place in Guangzhou, China until May 5. One of the world’s largest import and export trade fairs, it takes place twice a year and is expected to draw close to 200,000 manufacturers in China and overseas buyers. Amid high trade tensions and proposed tariffs between the United States and China, business has to continue.

Marketplace asked importers and exporters on the ground in Guangzhou about how they're feeling regarding the looming threat of tariffs. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with President Donald Trump tomorrow, just ahead of the May 1 deadline for averting the steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration announced last month. What is the German leader hoping to get from her talks with the president?

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