National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

The curious origins of the ‘Irish slaves’ myth

Mar 17, 2017
<a href="">Lewis Wickes Hine/Library of Congress</a>

Irish Americans were slaves once too — or so a historically inaccurate and dangerously misleading internet meme would have you believe.

The meme comes in many varieties but the basic formula is this: old photos, paintings and engravings from all over the world are combined with text suggesting they are historic images of forgotten “Irish slaves.”

The myth underlying the meme holds that the Irish — not Africans — were the first American slaves. It rests on the idea that 17th century American indentured servitude was essentially an extension of the transatlantic slave trade.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters&nbsp;

Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.

#54. @realDonaldTrump, why are you shrinking the EPA when Defense Sec. Mattis believes climate change is a national security threat? #100Days100Qs

The U.S. spends a lot less on foreign aid than you think

Mar 17, 2017
Sabri Ben-Achour

The idea that the United States spends too much on the rest of the world is a consistent theme from President Donald Trump.

Right there in the introduction to his budget proposal, he writes, "It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Washington, D.C., for the first meeting with President Donald Trump. The relationship between Trump and Merkel thus far has been somewhat frosty, in no small part because of Trump’s continued tough talk about Germany’s balance of trade status with the U.S.

Kai Ryssdal

Nela Richardson of Redfin and Cardiff Garcia of FT Alphaville join us for the Weekly Wrap to discuss the week's business and economic news. This week is all about Janet Yellen and Donald Trump. While Yellen's Federal Reserve increased interest rates, Trump released his budget proposal aimed at cutting funds for government agencies and increasing defense spending.  

03/17/2017: Stick it to the man

Mar 17, 2017

This week, indie music star Conor Oberst takes the Marketplace Quiz and explains how the music industry mimics the economy. Plus, The New York Times' Neil Irwin and Axios' Ina Fried go long and short on this week's news, we get an update on health care and we take a look at President Donald Trump's proposed budget.

Indie musician Conor Oberst takes the Marketplace Quiz

Mar 17, 2017

No matter who you are, you've probably had a rough day at the office that changed your perspective, or maybe you made an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back. This week, indie star Conor Oberst took our money-inspired personality questionnaire. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Oberst's new album "Salutations" is out now.

What is something you bought that you now completely regret buying?


German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent a few hours at the White House today for her first face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump. Things were a little frosty, and Trump made his thoughts on the trading relationship between the U.S. and Germany clear. Merkel surely knew this was coming, as she arrived in Washington with several execs, including the CEO of BMW. We'll look at the negotiation ahead. Then: How much of the U.S. budget is tied up in foreign aid, do you reckon? Most folks' guesses are way, way higher than the reality.

Trump's new budget blueprint for the upcoming year includes a $9 billion reduction in the federal education budget. We'll look at how the cuts will affect after-school programming and teacher training. Afterwards, we'll discuss what's on the agenda at this week's meeting between the world's finance leaders, and then explore the difficulties happening for rural hospitals across the country.

Kim Adams

A new report out from the International Energy Agency says global CO2 emissions remained flat for the third year in a row.

This plateau in emissions comes during a period of global economic growth. According to the agency:

Will ‘Beauty’ be a blockbuster?

Mar 17, 2017

Disney’s new, live-action movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” opens this weekend. The movie has set a record for advanced ticket sales for a family film. And it could be one of the top March openings ever. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Elly Yu

At the emergency room in Irwin County Hospital in Ocilla, Georgia, nurses treat a man for a possible stroke. The man is propped on a bed and hooked up to a machine that monitors his heart rate. He’s the only patient in the emergency room.

“Our ER is not very large. It’s only four exam rooms, a cardiac room and trauma room,” said Jason Baxley, a nurse at the hospital.

While it isn’t very large, Baxley said the ER stays busy treating patients from the community.

How will Merkel approach her meeting with Trump?

Mar 17, 2017
Mark Garrison

President Donald Trump will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel today at the White House, and while Trump has accused Germany of being a currency manipulator, Merkel will try to convince the president on the need for strong relations between the two countries. That’s what Ulf Roeller, the Washington, D.C. correspondent for ZDF sees happening.

Roeller joined host Mark Garrison to discuss how Merkel could approach today’s meeting with Trump. Below is an edited transcript. 

03/17/17: Economic espionage

Mar 17, 2017

Four people — including two Russian intelligence officers — have been charged over their alleged involvement in a massive Yahoo data breach. Chester Wisniewski of the cybersecurity firm Sophos explains the hacking methods involved in the case. Afterwards, we'll play this week's "Silicon Tally" with Sam Thielman from the Guardian.


Later today, President Donald Trump will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel — two leaders who have sharp differences on important issues involve business. We'll look at the messages Merkel will try to send during her visit, and how business/political leaders in Germany perceive Trump. Afterwards, we'll explore new report from the International Energy Agency that says global CO2 emissions have stayed flat for the third year in a row. And finally, we'll look at the connection between a movie's presale numbers and its box office success. 

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget marks a sweeping shift in domestic environmental policy and a decisive sign that US international leadership on climate change has ended.

The first draft of a 2018 budget, released by the White House on Thursday, would cancel funding for climate change research and United Nations climate programs. It would also chop funds for enforcing the Clean Power Plan, a rule that would have cut emissions from the electricity sector.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Unlike President Donald Trump’s refugee and travel ban, which is now stalled in the courts, the crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the US is ramping up.

That could mean we'll see more people being sent to detention centers. For some companies, more detained immigrants mean more business. 

Sitara Sadaat

Across Women's Lives reaches out to women on the ground to include their voice in our global coverage. Afghanistan is one of the world's hardest places to be a woman in public. Here, our Afghan correspondent tells us about her sanctuary — a restaurant by and for women 

Afghanistan is not a safe place for women. Domestic and other kinds of violence and discrimination are endemic, and justice is not enforced fairly. 

Eye of the storm

Mar 16, 2017

On this episode of Reveal, three stories of men are at the center of controversy. He’s been punched on the streets of Washington, D.C., and kicked out of a major conservative political gathering, and yet white nationalist Richard Spencer has left Montana to set up shop in the nation’s capital. What does he have to show for it? Nearly 30 years ago, six firefighters in Kansas City, Missouri, died in an arson explosion that shook the city. Reveal follows a man in the case who was sent to prison for life as he's released and reunited with his family.

Bill Ackman's billion-dollar bet against Herbalife

Mar 16, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Investor Bill Ackman and his company Pershing Square Capital Management lost $4 billion on Monday by selling its stake in Valeant, the controversial pharmaceutical company. But this isn’t the first time that Ackman has taken a big stake in a company that didn’t turn out well. Before Valeant, Bill Ackman made a billion-dollar bet against the nutrition and weight-management company Herbalife. He accused Herbalife of operating a pyramid scheme and attempted to short Herbalife’s stock.

<a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;" target="_blank">Dorian Merina/American Homefront</a>

Military commissaries, the discount grocery stores found on US bases around the world, are bracing for big changes as lawmakers and the Department of Defense seek to reduce their reliance on taxpayer funds.

The stores offer low prices for service members and retirees. But taxpayers pay more than a billion dollars a year to subsidize them.

The reforms were set in motion by a law passed late last year. The commissaries are considered a military benefit for service members and their families.

Amy Scott

At the North Campus of Miami Dade College in Florida, more than half of the nearly 50,000 students live below the poverty line. About three years ago, the community college started a food pantry for students and their families. A counselor helps connect the students with other services, like tutoring and child care.

For decades, the college prided itself on providing academic supports to students, said Malou Harrison, president of the campus.

Let’s do the numbers: the U.S. relationship with Germany

Mar 16, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

Angela Merkel has been doing her homework. In anticipation of her meeting with Donald Trump this week, the German chancellor has been watching his speeches and interviews and spent time poring over a Playboy interview published in 1990, German officials told Reuters.

When robots get creative

Mar 16, 2017
Tony Wagner

Around here, we talk a lot about automation. Which jobs are being taken by robots? Does adding more automation to the workplace actually create more jobs? Which jobs are safe?

We got an email from Julian in Australia about that very issue. Here's part:

Janet Yellen and co. raised interest rates by a quarter percent — but there's much more to the story than that. DS Economics' Diane Swonk joined us to discuss what this says about the Fed's views toward inflation. Afterwards, we'll look at what Trump's budget proposal means for U.S. cities, and then explore the challenges that exist for luxury brands that go public. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is probably the happiest man in Europe today after the anti-Muslim and anti-European Union candidate Geert Wilders did worse than expected in elections yesterday. Trans-Atlantic economic attention now turns to Washington visits this week by two European leaders, both of whom have been critical of President Donald Trump. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is in town for the annual St. Patrick's Day Reception. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is at the White House tomorrow, and that meeting could be awkward. Trump has accused Germany of unfair trade practices.

President Donald Trump reminded Fox News' Tucker Carlson last night that he aims to bring taxes "way down" on businesses, from 35 percent to 15 percent. But a lot of companies don’t pay 35 percent, because they take deductions and exclusions to shave their tax bill. A drop in the overall tax rate could make U.S. corporate tax rates more competitive. However, some argue those tax breaks would have to go to offset huge revenue losses otherwise. So far, Trump's administration doesn't have a detailed tax proposal ready for Congress.

Trump’s opening salvo in the budget wars

Mar 16, 2017

President Donald Trump's proposed budget is known as the skinny budget, the basic outline of what the president's priorities are. It's a bit like an expanded version of one of his tweets. It's a long way from what the actual budget will be, but it is a window into his thinking when it comes to policy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

03/16/2017: It's budget day

Mar 16, 2017

The budget plan the White House released today is sort of like an extension of President Donald Trump's tweets: It gives you a sense of his thinking, but it's not the whole plan. It's called a "skinny budget." We'll discuss what that means and what it says. Then, Trump told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he wants to cut business taxes from 35 percent down to 15 percent. But what businesses actually pay that much, and what would a cut mean for the economy? Plus, a conversation with the CEO of the Uber-for-chores company TaskRabbit and one man's billion-dollar bet against Herbalife stock.

TaskRabbit doubles the number of cities it operates in

Mar 16, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

TaskRabbit is an on-demand app that lets users hire people to complete various household tasks. Think of it like Uber for chores. Stacy Brown-Philpot, the company's CEO, said over the next six months, the company will double the number of cities it operates in. Brown-Philpot talked with host Kai Ryssdal about the company. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Kai Ryssdal: So when you go to a dinner party or your kid's soccer game, or, I don’t know, out at the store and someone says, “What do you do?” what do you tell them?