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(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Apple is getting ever closer to becoming the first trillion-dollar company as investors cheered second-quarter earnings released yesterday. But with the company’s share price pacing higher, we’ll explain one race in which the tech titan has lost ground. Then, for centuries, diamonds have been seen as precious objects of desire, and near necessities for couples about to be married.

Free food is a legendary perk of working at a tech company. The cafeterias at Apple, Google, and Facebook are almost like a tourist attraction. But cities in the San Francisco Bay Area are saying that the free lunches are killing local business, and they're moving to ban company cafeterias.

In fall of 2008, I was working in a restaurant in lower Manhattan while trying to learn how to be a radio producer. The restaurant was called Savoy, and it was a nice, comfortable place – lots of wood, fireplaces on both floors; we actually cooked things in those fireplaces — it kind of felt like a big family dining room, and the kitchen felt like it extended into the restaurant.

Free food is a legendary perk of working at a tech company. The cafeterias at Apple, Google, and Facebook are almost like a tourist attraction. But cities in the San Francisco Bay Area are saying that the free lunches are killing local business, and they're moving to ban company cafeterias. The city of Mountain View made a law in 2014 that said Facebook's new campus couldn't offer free food, and last week, San Francisco city supervisors proposed a rule that any new offices in the city couldn't include cafeterias.

Mid-luxury brands say no to discounted goods

Jul 31, 2018

Fashion house, Ralph Lauren posted a better-than-expected earnings report Tuesday. Net income increased to $109 million this quarter and shares in the company have risen 31 percent since the beginning of the year. The high-end apparel maker — known for the iconic Polo shirt — cut back on discounts and focused on selling more products at full price. It seems that when it comes to luxury goods, exclusivity is key to business growth.

Why a comment on a tariff exemption application could make or break business

Jul 31, 2018

As the Department of Commerce continues to grant and reject steel tariff exemption applications, we check back in with Sam Desai in South Plainfield, New Jersey, whose company makes parts for appliances. He shares his frustration with how objection comments can derail an exemption application. That frustration is also familiar to Kate Karol, counsel at a law firm in Detroit with a lot of clients in the auto industry waiting to hear about their exemption applications. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

We hear all the time that the labor market is strong. Unemployment is at record lows. Most qualified workers aren’t out looking for a job because they have one already. So employers are eager to keep their workers, and keep them happy. Happy enough to pay them more? It appears so.

President Donald Trump was in southwest Illinois last week touting the re-opening of a steel mill. He credited tariffs for bringing back steel jobs.

But Illinois is also soy country — it’s America’s No. 1 soy-producing state — and soy and corn farmers there are worried about tariffs, retaliatory ones from China.

Speaking in Granite City, Illinois, Trump said American farmers would act like patriots to help him win a trade war.

Your shopping bill could be getting noticeably higher. Procter & Gamble today announced it's planning to raise prices on a lot of its products, including Bounty paper towels and Puffs tissues. One reason for those increases? P&G is having to pay a lot for wood pulp, which is basically what paper towels, diapers and toilet paper are made from.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Most Americans don't consume a lot of ginseng, or even think about the crop, aside from the occasional tea or energy drink. But in rural central Wisconsin, people think about ginseng a lot. It's an economic driver for the state, which produces nearly all the American ginseng and sells most of it to China at a premium. 

Why is CBS keeping CEO Les Moonves on board?

Jul 31, 2018

Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, will continue leading the company while it investigates sexual misconduct claims against him.

The board of CBS met on Monday, releasing a statement shortly after that it was "in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation," but that "no other action was taken on this matter."   

“If I didn’t have my grandparents, I would definitely be in a shelter right now,” said Stephanie Snowball just hours before picking her three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son from daycare in Salt Lake City. The 34-year-old single mother has one source of income: state assistance for food and childcare. She tries to save on expenses whenever she can. Most weekdays, it means picking her kids up from daycare around 5:30 pm, right after dinnertime.

“They like the food,” she said.

The CEO of CBS is keeping his job for now

Jul 31, 2018

(Markets Edition) Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, will continue leading the company while it investigates sexual misconduct claims against him. We'll talk to New York Times media reporter Ed Lee about why he's keeping his position during a time when other CBS has taken swift action against other figures — like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer — with allegations against them. Afterwards, we'll  chat with economist Lindsey Piegza about what the latest data says about inflation and how the Fed might react to it, and then we'll explore how long-distance buses are making a comeback.

The waning days of summer bring a familiar refrain in Washington — the threat of a government shutdown.

Long distance buses are making a comeback

Jul 31, 2018

When it comes to traveling between major cities, trains, planes and automobiles are the usual go-tos, but buses are beginning to make a comeback. Amid rising gas prices and increasing airfares, companies offering bus services for trips of 200 to 400 miles have sprung up. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The U.S. Secretary of State plans to visit Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia this week as part of the Trump administration’s increased focus on what they call the “Indo-Pacific region.” The U.S. plans to spend $113 million on new initiatives in the region.

First, the good news: Manufacturing is up in Texas. That's according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve of Dallas that tracks production and factory output month to month. In July, hiring up was up, shipments were up and demand stayed above average. Now the not so good news: Uncertainty is also up. That may have something to do with a little thing called tariffs

A new deal for Puerto Rico's power company

Jul 31, 2018

(U.S. Edition) Puerto Rico's bankrupt power company is moving closer to privatization now that the government has announced it's reached a deal with the utility and its creditors over debt. We'll look at what exactly both sides have agreed on.

Bank of Japan kicks off week of central bank mania

Jul 31, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The Bank of Japan surprised investors today when it made no changes to monetary policy. We’ll explore why the decision from the BOJ – the last mover in the global central bank chain – was so closely watched. Then, new figures on U.K. car manufacturing look a bit shocking, but we look under the hood to identify what’s driving a domestic production decline and how Brexit is adding to a longer-term headache. Afterwards, large corporations, including Starbucks, have recently announced plans to eliminate single-use plastics.

Hackers, probably Russian, successfully broke into electric utilities last summer. Homeland security officials revealed those intrusions for the first time last week.

There were also reports last week of attempted cyberattacks on various members of Congress, and this week, the Senate is likely to have a showdown over funding for election security.  

Hackers, probably Russian, successfully broke into electric utilities last summer. Homeland security officials revealed those intrusions for the first time last week. There were also reports last week of attempted cyberattacks on various members of Congress, and this week, the Senate is likely to have a showdown over funding for election security.  There had been a White House cybersecurity coordinator who organized the national response to cyberattacks, but the Trump administration eliminated the job back in May.

Snapchat creators leave a mark on LA real estate

Jul 30, 2018

Is it possible for one company to have too many locations?

Snap Inc. of Snapchat fame might just have fit that bill in the Los Angeles beachside neighborhood of Venice.

Founded in 2011, Snap at one point had dozens of properties in the community. But just like its disappearing messaging function, Snap's been disappearing from Venice as it tries to cut costs.

The news comes as a relief to many in the neighborhood, who have long complained that Snap transformed their community, kicking out cherished businesses and restaurants during its rapid expansion.

2008 crash now an economic case study

Jul 30, 2018

In 2008, in the throes of the global financial crisis, the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, received a briefing on the turmoil in the international markets from academics at the London School of Economics. She posed a devastatingly simple question to them: “Why did no one see it coming?” Her slightly flummoxed academic host replied “Because at every stage, someone was relying on somebody else and everyone thought they were doing the right thing."

What it means to be a whistleblower

Jul 30, 2018

Whistleblowers expose frauds and scandals, and have the power to upend a company's bottom line. You don't have to look any further than the recent headlines around Theranos — which was exposed by a whistleblower for defrauding investors, leading the company's value to plummet from billions to zero — to know that reporting misconduct does make a difference.

But what really is the act of whistleblowing? What are the benefits? The risks? And, if you decide to become a whistleblower, will you be protected?

Joy walks along an overgrown path winding through a village on the rural outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria. She points out a few shops that have closed and a big house on an overgrown plot owned by somebody who has left for a job overseas. The neighborhood landmarks serve as constant reminders of the problem Joy grapples with daily: There is no work here. And she wants out.

“See I’m where I’m living?” she asked, sounding exasperated. “I can’t cope. I can’t cope at all. I don’t like it.”

It’s report card time for U.S. companies. Every three months, corporate executives from publicly traded companies sit down with their shareholders to share their quarterly earnings. They tell their investors how much money they made and what they expect for the year ahead.

Herberth Cortez Gaitan waited 16 years for his asylum application to be processed and rejected. It took nine more years for the courts to decide to deport him.

But, as it turned out, four months later, a US federal appeals court found that the government made a mistake.

Retail across the country changes so fast its hard to keep up. There are always new ways to shop, and people want to spend their money. Retail sales were up in the month of June and gross domestic product surged in the second quarter.

But e-commerce giants like Amazon make it hard for big box stores and malls to survive. To see if there are any new ideas about keeping stores open in malls, we called Alana Ferko, on-site manager of the Butte Plaza Mall in Butte, Montana. It just so happens the main department store there will be closed by the end of August.

Here's the next smooth step in Tash Sultana's flow state

Jul 30, 2018

Tash Sultana is making a smooth evolution with her latest single, "Salvation."

With her new track, the Australian native is giving her growing legion of fans a taste from her upcoming full-length album, which is expected to be released in August.

The direction of the economy

Jul 30, 2018

(Markets Edition) The Federal Reserve is gearing up for another meeting this week. We spoke with Julia Coronado, economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives, about what to expect from the meeting and what the interest rate forecast looks for the rest of the year. Afterwards, we'll discuss how Caterpillar's performance as a company can reflect how the global economy is doing, and then we'll explore the work obstacles some families face when trying to fulfill food stamp requirements.

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