National Partners

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

Should newlyweds combine bank accounts?

Jun 15, 2018

It's wedding season, and while personal finance isn't the most romantic thing, it's important to talk about this time of year.

To get some tips on nuptials and money, we spoke with Beth Kobliner, a personal finance writer and author of the book "Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties." This transcript has condensed and edited for clarity.

If you've heard of Donald Glover, the multihyphenate actor-comedian-producer-writer-musician who also goes by the stage name Childish Gambino, then you're also familiar with the work of filmmaker Hiro Murai. They've collaborated on numerous projects over the last five years starring Glover, including creating the FX show "Atlanta" and the music video for "This Is America." 

Voting for the next president of Colombia looks deceivingly festive outside the Colombian consulate in Coral Gables, a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Colombians usually have notoriously low voter participation rates, both in Colombia and in the US, but this election has seen a rise in turnout. About 53 percent of voters participated in the first round of presidential elections, according to the National Civil Registry.

China’s government responded quickly to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods by announcing Friday it will immediately impose penalties of “equal strength” on U.S. products.

The Commerce Ministry said it also was scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports as part of efforts to defuse a sprawling dispute over its trade surplus and technology policy.

America's 1998 World Cup disaster

Jun 15, 2018

(U.S. Edition) That's soccer, if you were wondering which one. But first: China is threatening quick retaliation against U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods. Our Shanghai correspondent will bring us the latest before we shift our focus up north, our relationship with Canadian agriculture. Plus: History seems to be repeating itself for the American soccer team in this year's World Cup.

TGIF

Jun 15, 2018

(Markets edition) It's been a watershed week for people trying to figure out where to put their money. Big central bank meetings, an IMF report on U.S. fiscal policy and now President Trump is green-lighting $50 billion in tariffs against China, which has promised to retaliate. We'll check in on markets and talk about where things stand. Then, it's wedding season and we're wondering: Should newlyweds combine their bank accounts? Today's podcast is sponsored by Indeed. (06/15/2018) 

After the 1994 World Cup, being a soccer player in the U.S. became recognized as a real profession.

The U.S. team had a respectable finish that year, making it to the knockout stage of the tournament despite its defeat by Brazil on the Fourth of July. 

The International Monetary Fund warned this week U.S. tariffs could dent global growth, but according to reports, President Trump is preparing to unveil $50 billion worth of new tariffs on another batch of Chinese imports. If you’ve lost track of what’s covered and what’s not, we’ll take a step back and bring you up to speed. Then, China’s ride-hailing app Didi is the world’s most valuable startup, and it’s now expanding into Melbourne, Australia. Plus, the world’s most expensive movie poster ever sold fetched half a million dollars at auction, but what makes a poster so valuable?

Seattle fought Amazon ... and Amazon won

Jun 15, 2018

The Seattle City Council voted this week to undo a new tax that would have made big businesses pay per employee to generate money for public housing and help for the homeless. Seattle's housing costs and homeless population have both exploded in recent years as the tech industry, mainly Amazon, has brought higher salaries and lots more jobs. But Seattle businesses, including Amazon, pushed back hard on the new tax. One month after it passed, the city council flipped the reset button.

Gas prices are on the rise just in time for summer travel. But will that give drivers second thoughts about hitting the road during the summer vacation season?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

In order to afford a modest one-bedroom rental, an American would, on average, have to make $17.90 an hour. This is according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. There’s just one problem — $17.90 is far above the federal minimum wage. It means there are a lot of people who can’t really afford their rent. The question is, what other essentials are they giving up?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

New numbers out Thursday show that Americans spent a lot of their paychecks on retail last month. U.S. retail sales were strong in May, rising about eight-tenths of a percent from a month earlier.  That may sound small, but it’s the biggest one-month jump since last November. Among the merchants that got a lot of love are those that sell building materials.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

ECB to end stimulus. Is Europe's economy out of the woods?

Jun 14, 2018

The European Central Bank announced today it is doing something the Federal Reserve has been doing for several years now: It's taking its foot off the gas pedal of the economy — in this case, the eurozone economy. Specifically, it's ending its practice of buying up bonds. So is the eurozone back on track?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

What reporters couldn't see when they toured a Texas shelter for child migrants

Jun 14, 2018

Life for children inside a privately run facility for migrant children at the Southern border is a cross between living in a detention center and temporary shelter.  

That’s according to people who got a brief glimpse inside. This week, a small group of reporters toured Casa Padre, a converted former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, that houses nearly 1,500 boys ranging in age from 10 to 17 who were caught crossing the border between checkpoints. Most come from Central America.

Back in 2010, President Vladimir Putin helped secure Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup with guarantees the world would see a Russia both open and welcoming.

This week, the Russian leader said his country had made good on that promise. 

“We’ve done everything to ensure our guests — sportsmen, experts and, of course, fans feel at home in Russia,” said Putin in a video address released by the Kremlin. “We have opened our country and our hearts to the world.” 

In the potential tariff war between China and the United States, each state is choosing to protect different sectors. Which is right? And is there a way for a country to engage in “good” protectionism for its own interests?

First off, economists in general agree that tariffs should be avoided because they bring costly trade-offs. If a country taxes imported sneakers, for instance, it helps domestic shoemakers but deprives shoe buyers of the best, low-price kicks.

Sedans; we write songs about them, from the 1964 Impala to a little deuce coupe (OK, that’s a two-door but you get the drift). But it seems we’re changing our tune.

In a remote corner of Florida, an apocalypse blooms

Jun 14, 2018

Jeff VanderMeer is a science-fiction author for readers who don’t typically flock to the genre. The Floridian borrows from fantasy, horror and weird fiction to create eerily familiar landscapes in his “Southern Reach Trilogy.”

Beginning with “Annihilation,” which was made into a movie earlier this year, the books chronicle the investigation of a supernatural element that has invaded a stretch of coastline known as Area X.

Are you there, Florida? It’s me, Margaret.

Jun 14, 2018

Judy Blume mostly grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, but for two years during elementary school, she lived in Miami Beach. In the 1970s, she wrote a book about that time in her life, “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself,” which she calls her most autobiographical book.

In the book, Sally finds herself transplanted from New Jersey to Miami Beach just after World War II. It was a time when so many Jewish families from the Northeast came to spend the school year in Florida’s warmer climate.

The town that Disney built

Jun 14, 2018

One of the biggest draws to Florida is Disney World. It opened in 1971, 16 years after California’s Disneyland. Walt Disney’s original idea for the expansion was so much more than a theme park.

He envisioned a perfect Utopian city: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow — Epcot. The city was to be a “planned environment demonstrating to the world what American communities can accomplish through proper control of planning and design,” Disney said in a pitch video produced for Florida Legislators. 

Carl Hiaasen’s sunshine noir

Jun 14, 2018

For such a funny writer, Carl Hiaasen seems awfully angry. “A lot of the funniest writers I know, the funniest people I know, have a deep vein of anger,” Hiaasen says. “It’s a sense of ironic outrage at things. They’re not happy-go-lucky people. They’re writing for a reason.”

Unexpected gains in Gainesville

Jun 14, 2018

Lauren Groff has spent more of her adult life living in Florida than anywhere else. She has written all of her books and short story collections from her home in Gainesville. Her husband is from there and her sons were born there.

And yet, she’s still surprised this is how her life turned out. “Becoming a Floridian was a really difficult transition for me,” she says. “I still, even now, 12 years later, wake up thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is my life. I live in Florida.’”

In the 10 years that real estate agent and part-time basketball coach Laura Krier has lived in Concordia, Kansas, she has seen the small rural city of 5,000 residents get progressively smaller. Without some kind of economic development, she fears things will only get worse.

“I just want to see it grow,” Krier said. “I want my kids to want to come back home.”

That’s why, when a deal to build a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant in Tonganoxie, Kansas, collapsed, she fully supported her city’s efforts to lure the plant to Concordia.

New York attorney general sues Trump Foundation

Jun 14, 2018

President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation served as a personal piggy bank for his businesses, legal bills and presidential campaign, New York’s attorney general said Wednesday as she sued the charity, Trump and three of his children.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation “was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality,” Democratic Attorney General Barbara Underwood said as she sued to dissolve the foundation and seek $2.8 million in restitution.

The Centro Mercado Latino in Phoenix is a giant warehouse filled with vendors peddling everything from cell phone accessories to quinceñera dresses to parakeets. On Sundays, there are lucha libre wrestling matches in the corner.  

But there’s something unexpected tucked next to a kiosk selling alarm systems: a campaign booth promoting a presidential candidate — for Mexico.

The Centro Mercado Latino in Phoenix is a giant warehouse filled with vendors peddling everything from cell phone accessories to quinceñera dresses to parakeets. On Sundays, there are lucha libre wrestling matches in the corner.  

But there’s something unexpected tucked next to a kiosk selling alarm systems: a campaign booth promoting a presidential candidate — for Mexico.

The Fed is getting interest rates closer to "just right"

Jun 14, 2018

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates and set the stage for two more increases in the cost of borrowing this year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the economy is getting close to what he considers a "normal level," where the Fed won't have to do as much fussing and tinkering. Marketplace senior reporter Nancy Marshall-Genzer was at the Fed briefing yesterday and spoke about it with David Brancaccio. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

What's the "perfect" U.S. economy?

Jun 14, 2018

(Markets Edition) The perfect U.S. and EU economies are growing in tandem, but America is a bit further along. The European central bank is backing off its stimulus program, while Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell says the American economy nearing a Goldilocks-esque "just right" level where the bank can stop tinkering. But what's that actually look like? Surely, wages would have to come up, right? Then: A new study says you'd need to make $17.90 an hour to afford a modest one bedroom rental in the U.S. Trouble is, the minimum wage in most of the country is much lower.

This year, the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament is taking place in Russia and more than 3 billion people are expected to watch. Those numbers mean a lot for a pair of brands that have come to dominate marketing in the World Cup: Nike and Adidas. 

With the World Cup, most folks just root for their favorite team, but if you work for either of these sports apparel juggernauts, you’re probably hoping one of the soccer teams your company sponsors makes the final. Denise Lee Yohn, author of "What Great Brands Do," said there's an irony here.

Taking America's temperature on unions

Jun 14, 2018

(U.S. edition) We might hear from the Supreme Court this morning on Janus v. AFSCME, the largest public employee union in the country. At issue: whether workers covered under a union contract should have to pay some dues, even if they're not in the union. While we wait for the decision we'll talk with Craig Helmstetter from APM Research Lab, which just released a surveyed Americans' opinions on the case.

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