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Another government shutdown might be around the corner

Jun 21, 2018

The U.S. already had one government shutdown earlier this year, now we might be headed toward another this October. 

OPEC poised to shift oil agreements

Jun 21, 2018

Representatives from oil producing nations are in Vienna for the biannual OPEC summit. The organization’s most recent agreement capped production. But demand is soaring, so some significant changes could come out of this round of meetings. That’s because of varying goals among oil producing countries.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Reps from oil-producing countries are meeting for the bi-annual OPEC summit, and it has the potential to turn sour. We'll look at the varying goals these nations have and the geopolitical factors that could complicate this meeting. Afterwards, we'll discuss reports that the Trump administration is planning to combine the U.S.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending his administration’s policy of separating migrant children and parents at the southern border. Instead, the order says, they will be kept together in detention as their legal cases are resolved.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … New retaliatory measures are aimed at the U.S., this time from India in response to steel and aluminium tariffs. Then, it’s a big day for Greece as its creditors are expected to unveil an economic road map for the country’s third bailout. Afterwards, roads, railways, and bridges were supposed to form the foundations of a prosperous economy in Zambia. But the country has borrowed too much too quickly and now it’s in trouble.

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

Jun 21, 2018

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes. Bird is being valued at $2 billion.

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

Jun 21, 2018

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes.

Earlier this year, corporate titans Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced they would team up to form a new health care company. Their mission: Improve health and save a few bucks for the 1 million people who work for Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Today we learned that Atul Gawande will lead this still-to-be-named venture. Gawande is an accomplished surgeon, a Harvard professor, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a best-selling author.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With NBA picks, data can only take you so far

Jun 20, 2018

The NBA draft takes place tomorrow in Brooklyn, when teams make big bets on young players, hoping they might been the next LeBron James or Steph Curry, that once-in-a-generation player who can transform a team's fortunes. But these players are notoriously risky investments.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

At 9 years old, my grandfather Lew Din Wing was separated from his family and placed in immigration detention.

In 2002, I went to visit YeYe in his San Francisco apartment and I brought a tape recorder with me. He told me about his experience in detention in the last conversation we had before he died. Now, 16 years later, I can still listen to his voice, his labored breathing, and his life story. Or at least I can listen to the story he wanted to live on.

How a red-hot housing market made Zillow a media company

Jun 20, 2018

A few years before the financial crisis hit, Spencer Rascoff was among the entrepreneurs who started a new website devoted to real estate. They named it Zillow, and it was meant to hold all the data and information consumers needed to buy and sell their homes. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Rascoff, who is now CEO, about the years the company's spent collecting data as home values crashed, recovered and are now skyrocketing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Ireland is famous for its hospitality, offering visitors an abundance of “craic,” or fun.

And that warmest of warm welcomes has been extended to embrace foreign corporations, too. If they set up in Ireland, they get to pay one of the lowest rates of corporate tax in the European Union: 12.5 percent compared with the recently reduced rate of 21 percent in the United States. There are numerous, generous tax breaks in the Emerald Isle as well.

Let's do the Zestimate

Jun 20, 2018

If you've been listening the past few weeks, you know the federal government is working on a list of companies to exclude from new, costly tariffs on steel and aluminum. During testimony today about that list, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross promised one senator that he’d personally consider a company residing in the senator's district. Ross called the place right after the hearing, and we did, too. Then: Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon have tapped surgeon and writer Atul Gawande to run their new health care company.

From the outside, there’s nothing special about the building at 606 South Olive Street in downtown Los Angeles. If anything, the 50-year-old office tower, with vacant retail space on the ground floors, is dingy compared to the newer, swankier buildings being built around it. 

Lisseth has been locked up in family immigration detention for close to 365 days with her 6-year-old and she wants it to be known.

That’s why she joined a hunger strike at Berks County Residential Center in Pennylvania. After 16 days of skipping the three meals offered, Lisseth says she began to feel weak and nauseated. She is from El Salvador and crossed the southern border in Texas to seek asylum in the US. She fears retaliation for speaking to the press, so she asked us not to use her real name.

How far would you go to have a biological child?

Jun 20, 2018

Surrogacy is a multimillion-dollar, global industry. People who face infertility have tough choices when it comes to deciding whether to keep trying to get pregnant via infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization — only to experience disappointment when it doesn’t take — or resort to surrogacy, which can get complicated.

A key battle to capture a seaport in Yemen is entering its second week, as residents and humanitarian workers worry fighting could soon reach civilian neighborhoods.

Yemeni troops, backed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, claim to have captured an airport just south of the city of Hodeidah. And inside the city center, residents can hear explosions from airstrikes, artillery and mortars.

Even the markets care about sound bites

Jun 20, 2018

(Markets Edition) From a markets perspective, we're in a lull right now. No data releases, no big announcements from the Fed. But they will be looking out for soundbites, especially around trade, according to Westwood Holdings Group's Susan Schmidt. We'll hear from her about how all this tariff talk could *eventually* cause concern to creep into the markets. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new technology that'll help preserve avocados, and then we'll chat with the Economist's Natasha Loder about why automation doesn't necessarily spell doom for radiologists.

Spencer Rascoff has been at Zillow, the company familiar to many a person searching for a home or apartment, pretty much from the beginning. Since 2005, he's weathered the housing crisis and another housing boom. And as CEO, he's leading the real estate/tech/data company into a new market: buying and selling its own homes. He talked with us about where the housing market's been and where it's going. 

Holy guacamole! That avocado could last four weeks.

Jun 20, 2018

Giving a whole new meaning to shelf life, avocados wearing a life-extending plant-based coating debut this week on U.S. grocery shelves. It’s one of the first products to potentially help cut down the billions of dollars in food waste each year in the United States.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Audio Part One: A divisive national strike in the 1980s stripped the once-dominant UK coal industry of its economic and political influence

Audio Part Two: 30 years after the strike, a ground-breaking climate law meets almost no opposition and leads to an almost total phase-out of coal.

The UK, perhaps more than any other country in the world, was built on coal.

The facilities that are housing children separated from their parents

Jun 20, 2018

Who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children?

In March, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge people illegally crossing the border and separate children traveling with their parents. Marketplace's Andy Uhler looked at the money that flows into the facilities housing these children, starting with a firm called Southwest Key. Below is an edited transcript. 

David Brancaccio: Tell me more about this company. How did this nonprofit grow to be such a key player in this industry?

(U.S. Edition) We're looking into who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children at the U.S. border. One of the principal firms: Southwest Key. Afterwards, we'll discuss what to expect from today's Senate testimony with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who's likely to get an earful on tariffs, and then we'll talk about a new "life-extending" coating for avocados.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Higher tariffs on goods for the U.S. and China might be theoretical at this point, but the escalating threats are already having a real effect on financial markets. So how are emerging-market currencies – already under pressure from local political turmoil – feeling the heat? Then, there's a vote by the International Monetary Fund today on a record-breaking aid package for Argentina. But what is the country doing to help give international investors more confidence in the economy?

You have more choices for wireless than you might think

Jun 20, 2018

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive.

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive. But there is another collection of wireless providers like FreedomPop, Mint, Boost Mobile, Tello and Metro PCS that offer an alternative, at least on price. These companies are what's called mobile virtual network operators.

69: Why does "zero tolerance" look like this?

Jun 19, 2018

By now, you've probably seen them. Heart-wrenching images of parents and children separated and the southwest border, sent to jail or youth detention centers. The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" for illegal border crossings is just one of several seismic changes to immigration enforcement in recent weeks. Immigrants seeking asylum from gangs or domestic violence will no longer be admitted, reducing legal immigration as well. So how'd we get here? And what does Congress need to do to fix a policy that's drawn bipartisan outrage?

This guy's invention got U.S. Patent No. 10 million

Jun 19, 2018

Today marks a milestone of in the American innovation economy. Back in 1836, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent No.1 under the current numbering system. It took 155 years to get up to patent No. 5 million and then just another 27 years to issue 5 million more. Patent number No.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision on asylum seekers is 30 pages long.

Advocates and many judges say that the decision is extraordinary, not only because the attorney general took steps to overrule the court's’ prior rulings, but because the decision that victims of certain kinds of violence can qualify for asylum has been previously reviewed over the course of decades.

A look at China's unlikely lingerie capital

Jun 19, 2018

On a dusty road in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, a slim, middle-aged man stood in front of an open truck and played an announcement through a speaker.

“Apples for sale! 1.20 yuan per jin,” the message repeated on a loop.

That's less than 20 cents a pound, which is cheap even for China. Guanyun County, some 300 miles north of Shanghai, used to consistently rank among the poorest areas in this province.

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