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

Weekly Wrap: Amazon buys Whole Foods. Now what?

Jun 16, 2017
Molly Wood

Linette Lopez of Business Insider and Leigh Gallagher of Fortune join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Amazon announced today it’s buying the high-end food chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. We look into the ramifications of the acquisition and what other industries Amazon may look into next. At what point do antitrust factors come into play? 

Amazon shocks with news of Whole Foods bid

Jun 16, 2017

Amazon has agreed to buy Whole Foods in a roughly $13.5 billion deal. It would be Amazon's biggest acquisition to date, and it's generating headlines such as "earth shaking." Whole Foods has been underperforming a little lately. Its growth has slowed and activist investors have been after the chain to sell itself. But what's a digital retailer like Amazon want with all those old-school brick-and-mortar stores? And can it turn things around at Whole Foods? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Paulina Velasco

Grilling is synonymous with Father's Day (though we're not sure why), and every Father's Day sale includes some reference to grilling or grilling paraphernalia. We're going to buy in to the mysterious relationship between father figures and barbecue by talking tips and techniques with Stuart Meyer, CEO of the National Barbecue & Grilling Association. He shared some choice pieces of wisdom with us.

1. How to tell if your meat is ready.

Crispr inventor worries about the unintended consequences of gene editing

Jun 16, 2017
Molly Wood and Paulina Velasco

In 2012, Jennifer Doudna, along with a small group of scientists, invented a ground-breaking technology to edit DNA known as Crispr. Scientists are still experimenting with it.

When Mt. Everest's base camp is enough

Jun 16, 2017

Climbing Mt. Everest may seem like something you'd never do — and you probably won't. But what about getting to Everest base camp? That seems more accessible, and just as exciting and Instagram-worthy. All you have to do is hike along narrow paths and up steep inclines, withstand freezing temperatures and acclimate to high altitudes to reach Base Camp, which is just shy of 17,600 feet above sea level (that's at least 6,000 feet above the tree line).

Trump restores some Cuba restrictions

Jun 16, 2017
Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Friday he was restoring some travel and economic restrictions on Cuba that were lifted as part of the Obama administration’s historic easing. He challenged the communist government of Raul Castro to negotiate a better deal for Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

How to save money on a theme park vacation

Jun 16, 2017
Eliza Mills

A family vacation to a theme park can be quite the ordeal. Wrangling kids for a big trip and spending long, hot days standing in line for rides or food is a test in and of itself. Add money into the mix, and a theme park vacation can seem like running the gauntlet. 

Ticket prices hover around $100 per person, per day for big parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. Then there's food and drinks, hotel, transportation. A family of four could easily spend thousands of dollars, depending on the details. 

Marketplace

Time magazine's latest cover shows a familiar view, at least for the 40 million or so people who use Uber regularly: It's a bunch of tiny animated cars roving around a map on your phone, but they're all careening toward Uber's headquarters and ending in a fiery wreck.

The supermarket industry is about to undergo some big changes. Amazon has just announced it's purchasing Whole Foods in a deal worth $13.7 billion. On today's show, FTN Financial analyst Chris Low stopped by to discuss what a store from the two companies could look like and whether Amazon can improve Whole Foods' declining sales. Afterwards, we'll chat with the Financial Times' Rochelle Toplensky about a possible $1 billion penalty for Google from the European Union over its search engine. And finally, we'll look at the state of paternity leave in the U.S. 

Mrs. Richmond

The city of Cleveland, which sits on Lake Erie, has embarked on a sprawling waterfront development project. But Cleveland faces obstacles that are common in any town or city built along water: How do you retrofit an old industrial city?

Today’s version of Cleveland’s waterfront, with a new restaurant, museums and a park, has been a work in progress for a while. The land was first developed for industry — there’s a port where barges drop ore for the trip to the steel mill upriver and a municipal airport built on top of a landfill.

What an Amazon-Whole Foods store may look like

Jun 16, 2017
David Brancaccio

This story was last updated at 12:31 CT.

In a move that will reshape the supermarket business, the online retailer Amazon has announced it’s buying the high-end food chain Whole Foods in a deal worth $13.7 billion. That comes out to about $42 a share.

JaeRan Kim

It could be a candy shopping spree for someone. 

We're about to know a lot more about podcasting behavior

Jun 16, 2017
David Brancaccio

Podcast creators (ahem) are soon going to know a lot more about their audiences.

Apple announced it will finally start supplying detailed audience data about the medium. Right now, we know about subscriptions and downloads, but not much else. The new feature — part of Apple’s upgrade in the fall for the iOS 11 operating system on its iPhones and iPads — will include information on when you listen to an episode and when you decide to tune out.

Marketplace

The White House and Silicon Valley are meeting up to try to make the federal government run better — whether or not each really wants to work together. On Monday, the newly created American Technology Council will gather for the first time to try to change up how the government uses digital services. Tony Romm, a senior editor at Recode, joined us to talk about the major tech CEOs who might show up, along with key tech issues the White House has its eye on.

Marketplace

U.S.-Cuba relations may get a little chillier. While President Obama worked to thaw them, President Trump is expected to re-freeze some of America's policies toward its Caribbean neighbor. We'll discuss what some of those could be, which may include new travel restrictions. Afterwards, we'll look at news that Takata — the company accused of covering up potentially deadly airbags — may file for bankruptcy.

Plans to rehabilitate a pre-war Jewish cemetery in the Czech town of Prostejov have run into fierce local opposition. The foundation behind the plan says it has been torpedoed by deliberate misinformation and anti-Semitism.

Tomas Jelinek stands over a broken headstone and scrapes at patches of cement obscuring the name. Sweating heavily in spite of the chilly afternoon, he brushes away the last patches and squints at the inscription.

"Herlitzka," he decides. "Bernhard Herlitzka. Died… April 1879. I can't make out the date."

Fibonacci Blue

One of the largest religious groups in America just formally denounced racism and white supremacy, and it mentioned the so-called "alt-right" by name.

It took a couple of attempts, but members of the Southern Baptist Convention voted almost unanimously to condemn “white nationalism” in a resolution adopted late Wednesday.

“We know from our Southern Baptist history the effects of the horrific sins of racism and hatred,” the church resolution reads.

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing three senior intelligence officials to determine whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of the fire that consumed a 24-story tower block in West London. British Prime Minister Theresa May is promising a full public inquiry into the tragedy.

Marko Djurica/Reuters

Hazm Aboush welcomes visitors with a string of apologies.

He's sorry for the bareness of his home. He's sorry that he's not in better spirits, and that he cannot offer more food. He asks for forgiveness and talks about how things used to be.

“You cannot understand, they took everything,” he says, sitting in the sparse front room of his home in Qaraqosh, northern Iraq. “They took the tiles, the air conditioners. Someone even took the front door.”

Counting up American coal jobs: What's the real total?

Jun 15, 2017
Molly Wood and Scott Tong

Coal keeps coming up as the new administration talks about creating more jobs. Back in March when President Trump signed an executive order to rollback climate change efforts, he gestured to the group of coal industry workers surrounding him and said, "You know what this says? You're going back to work." And just a few days after, Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt defended that decision by trumpeting the number of coal jobs created recently.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday discussed the Fed’s plans for its balance sheet. That’s the list of all the assets it owns, and it is huge: $4.5 trillion worth. The plan is to slowly shrink that down by a few billion dollars a month, starting soon. Here’s how the Fed came to own so much, and what owning less might mean for the economy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

There have been a lot of challenges lately on the playing field for the world's leading athletic brands. The sporting goods industry, like others in the retail sector, hasn’t been robust. Nike kept growing, though, with strong sales overseas and powerful branding in performance sneakers. But lately, upstart competitor Under Armour has come on fast. And rival Adidas has had success with eye-catching colorful styles. Nike's response? A 2 percent cut in its global workforce, announced Thursday, and a decision to winnow down its styles by 25 percent.

For-profit colleges may be getting a bit of a reprieve from the Trump administration. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to roll back two Obama-era regulations that made life tough for that beleaguered industry. The gainful employment rule held those colleges accountable for a students' earning potential after graduating. The other allowed students from colleges that went bust to potentially have their federal loans forgiven. Both critics and proponents anticipate what new rules will mean in the for-profit college landscape.

Molly Wood

In the world of tech, Apple is a must-own stock, and depending on the day, the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. And there's one device that played a big part in getting them there: the iPhone. Later this month will be the 10-year anniversary of Apple's famous phone, and a new book coming out next week chronicles some of its super secret origin story and the internal battle over its design.

You can stop saying 'iconic' now

Jun 15, 2017
Jonathan Allen and Bridget Bodnar

Sorry, but she's not sorry. Humorist and writer Jenny Allen muses on the words and phrases she wishes we'd all stop using. This commentary is adapted from an essay in Allen's new book, "Would Everybody Please Stop?: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas." 

Would everybody please stop using these words and phrases that are a novelty one minute and the next minute, in total overuse? 

De-plane

Jana Kasperkevic

President Donald Trump does not like remittances — the money immigrants send back to their countries. After all, money leaving the country does not align with his America first ideology. While his administration is trying to figure out whether taxing remittances might be a way to pay for the border wall, Mexicans in the U.S. keep sending money to their homeland.

In what’s been called a “historic” decision, 62 percent of Exxon Mobil shareholders have called on the world’s largest oil company to report the impacts of climate change and international climate policies on its business.

This is what authorities say happened: For three months, natural gas from an old but still active well ran through an uncapped pipeline. It seeped through the soil and into the basement of a home in the city of Firestone, 30 miles north of Denver. When the gas finally ignited in April, the home was leveled and two men inside were killed.

A couple of years earlier, the city of Firestone filmed a promotional video where the former mayor talks up the innovative schools and low tax rates in front of snow-capped mountains. 

The team is hot, but Yankee ticket sales are not

Jun 15, 2017
Ryan Kailath

It takes a certain, uniquely New York sort of hustle to sell cold water on a cold day.

But on a recent spring morning, gray and overcast, that's exactly what Clive Francis is doing outside of Yankee Stadium. It's the Bronx Bombers' first game against their rival Boston Red Sox this season, and the crowds are bigger than Francis has been used to lately. He's not missing the opportunity to turn a buck.

"Ice cold water guys, ice cold, ice cold, dollar water bottles, can't get 'em inside, ice cold, ice cold."

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