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Sousou and Maher Cissoko make beautiful music together — both in a musical partnership and as husband and wife.

It's also music that brought them together, specifically the West African kora, a 21-stringed lute-type instrument.

The kora is not an instrument often associated with Sousou's native Sweden.

"My father is a musician and he was playing together with a kora player from Gambia," she explains.  

The European Union's top official is due to meet with President Donald Trump tomorrow in Washington. Jean-Claude Juncker — head of the EU's executive arm — will be trying to stave off a full-blown transatlantic trade war and persuade the president not to go ahead with a threatened tariff of up to 25 percent on European auto imports. Could Junker succeed where Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May have so far failed?  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 


"Money is never enough,” the former federal education secretary says

Jul 24, 2018

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan has thought a lot about how schools work. From tutoring kids on Chicago’s South Side to serving as secretary of education under the Obama administration, he’s spent nearly three decades working in education. He talked with Marketplace’s Amy Scott about his new book, “How Schools Work” and how his views were shaped early by the after-school program his mother ran. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

The tech tool for police accountability that's like "Yelp for cops"

Jul 24, 2018

In the age of the Black Lives Matter movement, the question of how to hold police accountable gets brought up a lot. One Brooklyn-based startup, Elucd, has partnered with the New York Police Department to develop a tool they say aims to answer this question. Marketplace host Amy Scott talked to Simone Weichselbaum, who covered it for The Marshall Project in a piece called "Yelp for Cops." The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

74: What do we do about Elon Musk?

Jul 24, 2018

In some ways, Elon Musk is made for our times. He's a fiercely polarizing billionaire who's positioned himself as a singular visionary, capable of remaking the auto industry and revolutionizing space travel while building rescue submarines on the side. He knows his way around a Twitter fight, too. But why do the media, Tesla fans and Musk himself always cast him as the lead in an epic tale? Bloomberg Businessweek editor Max Chafkin will help us unpack the cult of personality that surrounds Musk. Then, we'll look at Tesla's legion of short-sellers and Musk's fight against them this week.

The #MeToo movement continues to resonate around the world, and France is no exception. There was a remarkable development there this month.

A notorious rock singer was pressured into canceling the remainder of his tour in the face of a public outcry. Bertrand Cantat, once the frontman for the popular 1990s band Noir Désir, had been attempting several career comebacks over the past decade. But faced with mounting protests, he had to give up. This is why.

The U.S. readied a plan Tuesday to send billions in emergency aid to farmers who have been hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China and other American trading partners.

The Agriculture Department was expected to announce the proposal that would include direct assistance and other temporary relief for farmers, according to two people briefed on the plan, who were not authorized to speak on the record.

The plan comes as Trump speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Kansas City in the heart of the nation’s farm country.

Ivanka Trump is shutting down her clothing company

Jul 24, 2018

Ivanka Trump's clothing company is shutting down after some stores dropped her line and she decided ethics restrictions were holding back its ability.

In an email to CNBC, Ivanka Trump said: "When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve. After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners."

Where is that foreign car *really* made?

Jul 24, 2018

(Markets Edition) As tensions between the U.S. and Iran persist, prices for crude oil in New York have risen. We'll discuss what the energy markets are looking like long-term.

Marc Alain Boucicault has a vision for Haiti. It’s one that comes from experience at home and in the US, and one he hopes other Haitians who return to the island can get on board with.

The urge to buy an American-made car may be motivated by a desire to help the U.S. economy, but a report out from the American University Kogod School of Business shows customers can provide plenty of help by purchasing some ostensibly foreign models.  

The 2018 Made in America Auto Index ranks vehicles sold in America on the value they provide to the U.S. economy. It takes into account not only where the final car was assembled but also where its parts came from, where it was researched and developed and where profits go.

(U.S. Edition) Let's recap where the U.S. is at in its trade conflict with China. In June, Trump announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, which the U.S. is planning to completely implement soon — but not before a hearing today and tomorrow with business leaders. We'll look at which products are being targeted and why. Afterwards, we'll discuss how a key Chinese biotech company — Changsheng — has apologized for falsifying production data for one of its vaccines.

In June, President Donald Trump announced tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, most of which went into effect earlier this month. Now U.S. trade officials are set to impose the rest of them, but not before a hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday with U.S. business leaders. The list of products includes industrial machinery, communications technology, and aerospace parts from China. While many U.S.

Almost half of tech employees who reported incidents at their workplace, like sexual harassment, have faced backlash from management or HR, according to the anonymous app Blind.  

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service …What do you do when your country’s inflation rate is expected to hit 1 million percent by the end of the year? That’s what the International Monetary Fund is predicting for Venezuela, a country in economic crisis. Then, shares in Chinese biotech firm Changsheng plunged for the seventh straight day after regulators accused it of fabricating data on some of its vaccines. Afterwards, a Syrian family whose chocolate factory was destroyed in 2012 by bombs fled to Canada. There, the brand is booming and set to expand nationwide.

Hey, kids! Robots aren't people

Jul 24, 2018

Whether it's YouTube video recommendations, robotic toys or talking digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa, there is a debate about how much tech products are designed to addict or even trick us into thinking they’re more real than they are. When products are created to make kids attach to them like a real-life friend, what happens to that child’s empathy?

Hey, kids! Robots aren't people

Jul 24, 2018

As part of our series on the grand bargain of tech and what it means for kids, we are taking a look at what happens when children form a bond with the robotic toys and digital assistants in their lives. MIT researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying what happens to empathy when products are designed to make kids get attached to them like a buddy, not a machine. Turkle spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about how robots and their attempts at empathy affect the kids they’re targeting. (07/24/2018)


U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is ready to negotiate with China, the EU, and Japan on trade. But at the conclusion of a G-20 finance leaders meeting in Argentina this weekend, Mnuchin said our trading partners would have to remove tariffs on U.S. goods — and get rid of "non-tariff barriers" on U.S. companies.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Existing home sales are down. What does that mean?

Jul 23, 2018

Sales of existing homes fell in June for the third straight month, the National Association of Realtors said today. Sales in June were about 2 percent below where they were a year ago.

What are existing homes sales? Existing homes have already been lived in — think used cars. Around 90 percent of the houses sold in the U.S. are existing homes, so they’re a good barometer for the housing market.

Investing in the weed stock market

Jul 23, 2018

Stock in a cannabis company called Tilray is up 46 percent since launching on the NASDAQ market on Thursday, and it's a multi-billion dollar bet that the legal marijuana business is here to stay.

You can trade stocks in marijuana companies informally over-the-counter (OTC is the term) but trading on a regulated big time U.S. stock exchange is the next big step for cannabis companies.

Where does welfare money really go?

Jul 23, 2018

Welfare reform is in the air again, with a House bill and a renewed push at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. But what do we really know about welfare in America? Especially since the last reform effort two decades ago? Our podcast The Uncertain Hour will break down the latest numbers. But first: Summer homebuying season is underway, but sales fell in June for the third-straight month amid a shortage of existing homes. We'll look at why, and what that says about the housing market. Plus, why is Amazon suddenly the destination for strange novelty food items? 


Giulnara Asanova and her husband remember when they decided to leave Crimea. 

"We sat down at the table and decided what to do," she says, speaking Russian through a translator. "We decided to save our children, save our grandchildren. We saw the tanks, we saw weapons and military.” 

That was in 2014.

No one really hears about Yosemite National Park's immigrant history.

Or at least Yenyen Chan hadn't. A park ranger at the famed national park, she grew up in Los Angeles with her Chinese parents. When she landed the job at Yosemite, she realized how little she knew about the park's immigrant past.

So she dug in and stories spilled out about the critical role Chinese workers played in shaping Yosemite during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

When your credit card can come to the rescue

Jul 23, 2018

(Markets Edition) GDP figures are out later this week, and it's possible that the economy grew more than 4 percent from the spring to the summer. We'll discuss how tariff fears might actually be contributing to this boost.

With Toys R Us gone, Hasbro's finding new retail shelves

Jul 23, 2018

Toymaker Hasbro will report second-quarter earnings later this morning. Earlier in 2018, the company reported that first-quarter revenue had fallen by 16 percent compared with the same period last year. It’s been a tough couple of months as retailer Toys R Us went bankrupt and closed hundreds of stores.

But Hasbro is finding new shelves to display its toys, both virtually and in brick-and-mortars. The company is expanding its e-commerce business and moving some of its toys to dollar stores, drug stores and sporting goods stores.

The stock market for weed

Jul 23, 2018

(U.S. Edition) A G-20 summit of financial ministers has ended with the U.S. signing (for a change) a joint statement about potential risks to global economic growth, which include trade tensions. We'll recap some of the key highlights from the event. Afterwards, we'll discuss how shifts in the toy and retail industry — like Toys R Us' bankruptcy — are affecting toymakers. Plus: We talk to Alan Brochstein, founder of the platform 420 Investor,  about what the stock market for weed is looking like.

How those big credit card reward programs could help you save on insurance costs

Jul 23, 2018

Credit cards with rewards programs are sometimes expensive and complicated to navigate. Their rewards vary depending on each individual's purchasing situation and not all credit cards are on equal footing. For example, you may be wasting money $450 a year on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card if you're not traveling and eating out very regularly. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … G-20 leaders have been meeting to try and head off a global trade war. We’ll bring you the latest. Then, in India, at least 18 people have been killed in a series of lynchings after a video spread widely via WhatsApp groups. The killings have prompted WhatsApp to take action. We’ll explain what it plans to do and how misinformation is being transmitted widely among those groups. Then, Americans streamed more than 400 billion songs in the first half of this year, a trend that’s upending the way the music industry works.

Between social media, election meddling, privacy concerns and fears of internet addiction, we are at a time when we are re-evaluating the grand bargain that we have made with technology. We've gotten used to trading personal information for tailored ads and letting devices into every part of our lives for convenience. But, as we develop these habits and make these trade-offs, what does it mean for our kids?

Between social media, election meddling, privacy concerns and fears of internet addiction, we are at a time when we are re-evaluating the grand bargain that we have made with technology. We've gotten used to trading personal information for tailored ads and letting devices into every part of our lives for convenience. But, as we develop these habits and make these trade-offs, what does it mean for our kids? For the next week, we're going to look at this tech bargain and its impact on the next generation. We're starting with a conversation about marketing.