National Partners

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

Can kids recognize fake news? Sort of.

Dec 11, 2017
Thomas White/Reuters

Sometimes a story is so outrageous that it’s easy to recognize as fake news.

But it can also be much more subtle: It can be hard to flag a story with just one incorrect statement or opinion masquerading as a fact.

And if it’s hard for adults to spot fake news, can children do it?

The University of Salford teamed up with the BBC Newsround for one year to study how well children ages 9 to 14 can spot false information.

For most people, the top of the mine shaft at the Prosper-Haniel coal mine in Bottrop, Germany, just looks like a big black hole. But Andre Niemann looked into that hole and saw the future.

Part 1: No regrets from this soon-to-be-ex-miner

In the late 1970s, Ireland’s economy was struggling. So they decided to cut business taxes dramatically while also increasing individual taxes including on the middle class. The idea was that stronger businesses would benefit everyone.

It worked.

How hate and debate came to a Connecticut mosque

Dec 11, 2017

The night of Nov. 14, 2015, was not the first time Ted Hakey, 50, went into his backyard in Meriden, Connecticut, and fired guns to let off some steam. It was the night after a deadly terror attack in Paris, and Hakey was furious.

So he shot his Springfield Armory M1A .308-caliber rifle into the air. Some of those shots hit the Baitul Aman Mosque next door. Luckily, no one was in the building at the time.

Poland's ruling party has used the term "fake news" to attack its critics in the media. Monday, the government took its attack a step further. It levied a $415,000 fine on TVN24, a US-owned independent Polish news channel, saying the broadcaster's coverage of anti-government street protests had encouraged illegal activities.

Last week, German media reported that some pilots have refused to carry out deportations of Afghan refugees.

"Following an information request from the Left party," reported Deutsche Welle, "the government said that 222 planned expulsions were stopped by pilots."

While it may seem the pilots are refusing to fly Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan out of sympathy, that's not the only reason.

12/11/17: Such a bubblicious economy

Dec 11, 2017

We’ve all heard bitcoin is volatile, risky, quite possibly a bubble. So why then the demand for bitcoin futures? We take a look at what happened during yesterday’s bitcoin futures trading launch. And in Saudi Arabia, a ban on movie theaters has been lifted, ushering in what is predicted to be a $24 billion cinema industry to offset the economy’s dependence on oil.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced 21 new places to be deemed Superfund sites, areas with toxic pollution around the country. Being added to the Superfund list means federal officials oversee the cleanup. Yet the White House budget proposal includes a 30 percent cut for the Superfund program.

Roland Williams isn’t like other 11-year-old boys. He has stage 4 lung cancer, and he is bedridden most days. 

“My son doesn’t get to do anything,” says his mother, Myra Gregory. “He’s at home in bed in pain right now.”

Gregory and Roland live in St. Louis, Missouri. Roland and his two brothers rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for access to medical care. Nearly 9 million children across America depend on CHIP for everything from annual checkups and vaccinations to treatment for serious illnesses.

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on movie theaters

Dec 11, 2017

The announcement, made today, ends a ban that dates back to the 1980s. Saudis will be able to go out to the movies as soon as next year. It’s all part of a push by the Saudi royal family to diversify the economy away from oil.

President Donald Trump is killing regulations with a caveat — many are already dead. In a meeting with House Republicans last month, the president said: “In the history of our country, no president, during their entire term, has cut more regulations than we’ve cut." But according to Alan Levin of Bloomberg, the president is exaggerating.

Bringing regulation to cryptocurrency

Dec 11, 2017

Bitcoin’s wild ride is getting even wilder. Yesterday saw the launch of bitcoin futures, trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Interest was so high it nearly crashed the CBOE website and the exchange briefly halted trading a couple of times after the price jumped erratically. So, we’ve all heard bitcoin is volatile, risky, maybe a bubble. So why then the demand for bitcoin futures? 

Medical school students today are trained to diagnose complicated diseases, but they are rarely trained to engineer the solutions themselves. To change that, soon Texas A&M University will start training doctors and nurses to also be engineers.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

President Vladimir Putin, during a surprise visit to Russia's Hmeymim air base in Syria, ordered "a significant part" of Russia's military contingent in Syria to start withdrawing.

Putin made the announcement adding that Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying ISIS in just over two years.

The Russian president was in Syria to hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad and to address Russian forces.

A recent ribbon cutting in downtown Denver gave a snapshot of electric vehicle charging in the U.S.

The event, dubbed “Ride into the Future,” brought in several car companies with EVs for people to test drive around the block. There were electric bikes too. But, the real highlight was the unveiling of the first electric car fast charger in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood.

While there are already more than 150 charges citywide, Cindy Patton, who runs parking and mobility services for the City of Denver, said the new installation is a win against climate change. 

Another 228,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent — a 17-year low. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the U.S. economy is almost where it was before the 2008 economic crisis. Almost.

Hourly wages are still low — growing at just 2.5 percent over the last year. And more than 4.8 million people work part-time jobs, despite wanting and being able to work full-time.

12/11/2017: Janet Yellen's last Fed meeting

Dec 11, 2017

(Markets Edition) The Fed will likely raise interest rates before the end of 2017, the third increase this year. Julia Coronado, founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives, stopped by to discuss what else we should expect from the upcoming Fed meeting, given that it'll be Janet Yellen's last as the chair. Afterwards, we'll talk about Volkswagen's surprising statement that Germany should phase out diesel subsidies, then look at how one rural Alaska village is establishing a reindeer herd to improve the community's diet and boost its economy.

'Tis the season for ugly sweaters, festive lights, and presents — at least, when you're home. Things can get a little confusing when all that holiday stuff makes the jump to your workplace. Is it appropriate to get your co-workers holiday gifts, even if you're not sure they celebrate the holidays? Or what about the infamous office party — should you really let loose, or maybe go light on the spiked eggnog?

Most credit card users these days want something back – like points, miles or money.

“People of all shapes and sizes, all income levels, they all prefer cash back for their credit card rewards,” said Matt Schulz, with Creditcards.com. He said store cards can’t compete with perks from cards like Visa and American Express, which are in an arms race of rewards.

A big date on the economic calendar this week: the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting Dec. 12 and 13. We’ll find out Wednesday whether it’s raising short-term interest rates again. An important piece of the economic puzzle landed on today with the November jobs report. It showed unemployment at a low 4.1 percent and middling wage growth — just 2.5 percent year-over-year.

Listening to the Deep Ocean

Dec 11, 2017

Benoit Pirenne walks down a winding rubble path in a fjord on Canada's Vancouver Island.

He points toward the water, to a sign that reads, "WARNING: CABLE.

"The cable is going underneath here, and it's going out 800 kilometers in a big loop in the ocean," he says.

The cable connects to a network of scientific instruments deep in the Pacific Ocean. The network is called NEPTUNE Canada. (NEPTUNE stands for North East Pacific Time-Series Underwater Networked Experiments.)

(U.S. Edition) The first-ever Bitcoin futures began trading last night, which saw big price swings within minutes. On today's show, discuss what futures trading means for the cryptocurrency and investors. Afterwards, we'll examine why the Fed is looking at an interest rate hike this week, and the potential pitfalls of that decision. Plus: We look at how one 21-year-old student from Puerto Rico is handling her move to Florida after Hurricane Maria. 

 

Before the sun has risen over central Florida, Nicole Morales is inside a factory building in Orlando with thousands of workers testing out internet routers. She carpools 40 minutes to the quiet industrial complex most weekday mornings with her uncle, a supervisor there. When Morales’ shift is over, she heads across town to the outlet mall, where she sells clothes to tourists.

It is hectic. It is hard. But the 21-year-old is grateful.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…Enthusiasm pushed the price of bitcoin futures up in their trading debut on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. But what does that mean for what many are calling a crypto-currency bubble? Then, we explain the link between Legos and blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin. Afterwards, we talk about why global arms sales have risen nearly 2 percent.

Life in rural Alaska is expensive. For the many small villages that are not on the state road system, planes and boats are the only way in and out. For Port Heiden residents in Southwest Alaska, a gallon of milk can cost more than $20, and a pound of bacon can cost more than $13. So two years ago, the village fund raised and won grants to start a reindeer herd and run a farm, as a way to produce its own fresh food.  

The purpose of this farm is two-fold — to provide fresh food and economic infrastructure.

What's behind bitcoin's dramatic rise?

Dec 11, 2017

Bitcoin has had quite a few days. Its price soared to more than $15,000. And as of this week, investors can trade bitcoin futures on the public market — the Chicago Board Options Exchange launched bitcoin futures yesterday, and today's the first full day of trading. What's behind the incredible increase? Kevin Werbach, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, has a few theories. He talked with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about bitcoin's rise and what might happen if, and when, the bubble bursts. Below is an edited portion of their conversation.

Bitcoin’s price soared to more than $15,000 last week. And as of yesterday afternoon, investors can trade bitcoin futures on a major public market — the Chicago Board Options Exchange. What’s behind the cryptocurrency’s incredible rise? And what will happen when it falls? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Kevin Werbach, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School about the sensational rise of bitcoin and what could happen when the bubble bursts.

Microbes In Space! (But They’re Ours)

Dec 11, 2017

Dusting Off Voyager 1’s Thrusters

Dec 11, 2017

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