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Anger and fury led Jiim Siin to embrace political satire.

“Every time I get into a conversation or any discussion about the situation in Syria, I get very angry,” he says.  

Jiim Siin is a Syrian who’s emotionally battered by what’s happened to his country. 

AP world history covered about 10,000 years when 16-year-old Paige Becker took it last year in Lady Lake, Florida.

“For me, it wasn’t too much because I love the course,” she says, “but I know not everybody’s a history lover.”

And now, a currency war?

Jul 20, 2018

President Donald Trump today accused Beijing of manipulating its currency. This is not a new charge. But what has occurred is an 8 percent fall in the Chinese currency against the dollar since the trade spat began in the spring. That helps Chinese exporters, because it effectively makes their products cheaper.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

"Mamma Mia!" The numbers behind the music

Jul 20, 2018

Ten years after the original movie hit the big screen, the sequel, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," has been released.

via GIPHY

The musical follows a single mother, her daughter and three potential fathers — it's a long story — all set in the beautiful (and fictional) island of Kalokairi. 

In honor of the release, let's do the numbers on "Mamma Mia!," the stage production and the movie. 

So long as sharks are terrifying, there will be shark content

Jul 20, 2018

In 1975, "Jaws" became the first movie to gross over $100 million. Its success made it the first summer blockbuster. This summer's shark offering is "The Meg," a story about Carcharodon megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived. The movie is based on a novel written by Steve Alten, who saw "Jaws" when it came out and became obsessed with sharks. It turned out to be a lucrative obsession — sharks are a moneymaker.

In a rare move for a president, Donald Trump has criticized the Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates.

“I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up,” Trump said in an interview with CNBC.

Live every week like it's Shark Week

Jul 20, 2018

President Donald Trump accused China of manipulating its currency today. It's not the first time the White House has thrown out the accusation, but this time it comes amid trade tensions, when the yuan has fallen 8 percent compared to the dollar, which could offset the effects of tariffs. We'll talk about that at the top of the show today, along with Trump's recent comments about the Fed. Then, the latest in Trump’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations includes the Endangered Species Act.

The extraordinary power of Comic-Con and pop culture

Jul 20, 2018

Ready your wigs, blasters, and convention badges — the mecca of all things pop culture has finally arrived.

This weekend kicks off the 49th annual Comic-Con International: San Diego. Taking over downtown San Diego, California for upwards of four days, SDCC has become ground zero for all things entertainment – everything from films, television, video games, and of course, all things comic book.

The U.S. economy is going strong nearly a decade after the Great Recession. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in June 2018, and fell even lower earlier in the year (3.8 percent in May 2018) before ticking up as new job seekers entered the labor force.

(Markets Edition) President Trump has criticized the China and the European for allegedly "manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower." Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to discuss how true these claims are. Afterwards, we'll chat with labor economist Giovanni Peri about what America's changing immigration policies could mean for wages, employment growth, and the overall economy.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest point since 1969, according to data released by the Labor Department Thursday. These numbers are another sign of a tight labor market. And they’ve got retailers thinking about the holiday season.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The wealth of the world's billionaires has increased steadily by 13 percent per year since 2010, according to a report released by Oxfam in January. This rate is six times faster than that of regular workers.

Concrete has built our modern world. It makes our homes, offices, sidewalks, roads and bridges. But its production also spews carbon dioxide into the air. And as developing countries urbanize, global markets for the sand used in concrete are being stressed

Scientists around the world are developing more sustainable versions of the all-important material. 

Deep in rural Cambodia, Chan Vanna pushes his longtail boat through the calm waters of the Koh Kong estuary. Until about 10 years ago, Vanna made a living fishing here, providing for his wife, Wid, and their seven children. Then one day, he says, giant machines showed up at their small inlet and started dredging sand from the bottom of the river.

“They never discussed with our community,” Vanna says. “They came to dredge and the land fell down. And the water became deep.”

The land “fell down” because the dredging caused the riverbanks to wash away.

(U.S. Edition) General Electric has reported second-quarter earnings, revealing that it beat expectations. But over the past year, its stock has been down 50 percent. We'll take a look at how a company that used to be the most valuable in the world is trying to turn itself around. Afterwards, we'll discuss how a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany is causing controversy, and then we'll turn back the clock to examine whether the job market is as good as it was at the end of the Clinton administration.

What U.S. immigration policy has to do with wages and labor shortages

Jul 20, 2018

A report from the U.S. Department of Labor on job opportunities and labor turnover, or JOLTS, showed there were more reported job opportunities than unemployed people in May. This suggests that the economy is dealing with a labor shortage, but that raises the question of where these workers will come from when current U.S. immigration policy is reducing the amount of immigrant labor.

Indian workers win "the right to sit"

Jul 20, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … North Korea’s economy suffered its biggest contraction in two decades as international sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear programs began to bite. But can the economic pressure on Pyongyang force change to its nuclear policy? Then, feeling tired at work? Spare a thought for a group of women in India who have just won the right to sit down on the job. We'll explain how the case began. And, what do you do if you're a luxury clothing brand with excess stock at the end of the season? Apparently you burn it.

This week, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook all spoke at a congressional hearing about how they present news and opinions on their platforms. The next day, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told the Recode podcast that Facebook shouldn't overregulate speech on the site, even if it means not banning Holocaust deniers. 

This week, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook all spoke at a congressional hearing about how they present news and opinions on their platforms. The next day, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told the Recode podcast that Facebook shouldn't overregulate speech on the site, even if it means not banning Holocaust deniers. So how much should these companies be responsible for what is said online?

Comcast looks to Sky for international expansion

Jul 19, 2018

Comcast said today it was giving up its bid to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets. Instead, Comcast said it will “focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the U.K.-based broadcaster. Last week, Comcast upped its offer to $34 billion. Sky has until Aug. 22 to accept. So what does Sky have that Comcast wants?

A dreaded ending to the tariff exemption process

Jul 19, 2018

 Todd Adams is vice president of Stainless Imports Inc., a small family-owned stainless steel manufacturer based in Florida. We had Adams on the show in early May. His company had applied for an exemption from tariffs on a specific product; the company had "combed the earth" to find a mill that could produce it and found one in China.

Today, surrounded by executives from some of the country's best-known companies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, aimed at developing a stronger workforce. The strategy is heavy on pledges, committees and advisory boards. But who’s going to foot the bill?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Nicaragua is living an Orwellian nightmare.

Over the past three months, Daniel Ortega's government of "reconciliation and national unity" has killed more than 300 people, injured thousands and abducted and disappeared hundreds more. Sandinista "death caravans" of hooded police and government paramilitaries raid towns like hordes of invading Huns, firing battlefield weapons at unarmed protesters, dragging people from their homes, torching buildings and leaving dead bodies in the street.

What does summer sound like?

Jul 19, 2018

"Domestic car company" is kind of a misnomer these days. Auto manufacturers get parts from all over the world, and companies like Ford and General Motors stand to both benefit and be hurt by tariffs, making the politics much murkier. We'll talk about it, plus we'll hear from one business owner who applied for exclusions from steel tariffs and was denied. Plus, we'll talk about urban heat islands and how we crown the Song of the Summer. 

For the past three years, Pastor Liliana Da Valle has watched the small congregation of Grace Baptist Church in downtown San Jose become increasingly diverse.

“A woman with an accent is preaching and all of a sudden people know, ‘If this is a church where they have a pastor with an accent, then they will receive me,’” says Da Valle, who immigrated from Argentina to the US 36 years ago.

Not only has her church attracted more Latinos, it has also drawn Asians, many of them students at nearby San Jose State University.

In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective. In the early days of Egypt's democracy, you've got Bassem Youssef. He's been called the "Egyptian Jon Stewart." The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt's revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures. And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers. But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he's funny, but the Egyptian government does not.

Why the auto industry (mostly) opposes proposed tariffs

Jul 19, 2018

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum first. It then added tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese exports, which it may increase to $250 billion in the coming months. Since May, it’s also been considering whether to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of cars and auto parts.

The American brand might be on the decline

Jul 19, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has threatened "tremendous retribution" against the European Union over trade, possibly targeting imported cars, trucks and auto parts. We'll look at how groups representing automakers feel about these potential penalties, and what they mean for car prices. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk, chief economist for the firm Grant Thornton, about what she expects the country's second-quarter GDP results to look like, and then we'll talk with political risk consultant Ian Bremmer about how America is doing as a brand.

At New Mexico's state capitol Monday, state legislators heard, for the first time, testimony from people who have been detained inside the two for-profit immigration detention centers in the state. What they heard were memories of trauma and allegations of abuse — and calls to end privately-run detention in New Mexico for good.

Composer Sawan Dutta had scored the music for two Bollywood movies. After meetings with movie executives, long nights in the studio, these two projects would be her most high-profile work yet. And then, disaster. One film lost distribution. The other lost its mega-star talent.

The scores? Left unheard, abandoned on a hard drive.

But Dutta turned her frustration into The Metronome Song Vlog, India’s longest-running song videoblog, or vlog. Now she’s a viral internet sensation.

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