National Partners

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

Here’s why bond yields are rising

Jan 9, 2018

When you buy 10-year Treasury bonds, you are essentially making a 10-year loan to the government. The returns on those loans are rising every day. There are a couple of reasons for that — and there are a couple of economic messages there as well. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

More than 58,000 Haitians who stayed in the United States with a special protected status since a catastrophic 2010 earthquake will be allowed to stay another six months, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday.

Mexico City residents are forced to cope with bad air

Jan 9, 2018

Mexico City is in the grips of a pollution crisis.

Authorities have issued the first smog alerts for the city in more than a decade and recently implemented restrictions on when cars can be on the road. On Wednesday, for example, two-in-five cars were ordered off the road, because the pollution reached such high levels.

In the next few months, you may see a new phrase on the labels of some foods at the grocery story: “produced with genetic engineering.”

These disclaimers have been mandated in dozens of countries for years, but until now they’ve been voluntary in the US.

Now, a state law in tiny Vermont is causing many large food companies to label GMO-containing products nationwide.

Local law pushed through by grassroots support

The Vermont GMO labeling law was pushed through thanks, in large part, to grassroots activism by people like Will Allen.

French gastronomy may evoke thoughts of butter, cream, duck fat, hollandaise and fancy pastries — in other words, rich, fatty food that will fill your belly.

But French cuisine has had a makeover over the past years and that is due in no small part to the Earth’s changing climate.

In fact, many restaurants now have on their menu dishes that have been deemed “Good for the climate.”

François Pasteau has run his small gourmet restaurant l’Épi Dupin in Paris for 20 years. I met him in his kitchen as he was stirring a fragrant soup.

How the creator of "The Good Place" found hell in Los Angeles

Jan 9, 2018

For those of us who keep an eye on the good old broadcast television calendar in this age of streaming and on demand, some favorite shows have started coming back from their winter hiatuses. On that list is NBC’s "The Good Place," back to continue its second season.

The sitcom was created by Mike Schur, who you might know from his other work, like "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

We talk about the yield of the 10-year T-note a lot on our show. Maybe you're not quite sure what that means. Maybe your eyes glaze over a little bit. Well, it's time to pay attention. We'll tell you everything you need to know to read the tea leaves with us. Then: Residents of New York City pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and in turn they have some of the most expensive public services in in the country. The top 1 percent of the city's economic pyramid pays nearly half of New York's income taxes. So what happens to them under the new federal tax law? We'll talk about it.

Meet British fashion designer Tom Cridland.

“I’m really someone who had no fashion or business background. I’m a 25-year-old designer now, but I really got into the fashion world because I’ve always been entrepreneurial.”

Here’s his latest entrepreneurial idea: T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets that are guaranteed to last for 30 years. 

Mosul Dam could be scarier than ISIS

Jan 9, 2018

Amina Mohammed has lived in the village of Wana on the banks of the Tigris River her whole life. She was here during the years of Saddam Hussein and the US war. She’s even lived under ISIS.

“They surprised us one afternoon,” she says, recalling the day ISIS swept into Wana in 2014. “They just entered the village.”

Early last year, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters pushed ISIS out of Wana with the help of US airstrikes.

But a potentially bigger threat looms just six miles upstream — the deteriorating Mosul Dam, which is holding back billions of cubic meters of water.

As Cuba-US relations thaw, environmentalists on both sides of the Florida Straits are worried about how an influx of American tourists may impact ecosystems that have been relatively protected up until now.

The island has been called an “accidental Eden” in the Caribbean, and boasts pockets of great biodiversity on land and at sea.

In 2006, the World Wildlife Fund named Cuba the only country in the world to achieve "successful sustainable development," in large part, Greg Watson says, because of the island nation's approach to agriculture. 

But this sustainability wasn't part of some large government plan.

“It was out of necessity,” says Watson, the founder and director of the new Cuba-US Agroecology Network and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.

Fukushima radiation still seeping into the Pacific

Jan 9, 2018

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the radiation in the ocean off the coast of Japan is thousands of times lower than it was the month after the disaster, but water contaminated by the power plant is still slowly seeping into the ocean. 

Radioactive isotopes from Fukushima have been detected off America's West Coast, but in levels so low they don’t pose a health risk.

Five years ago, a massive tsunami hit the coast of Japan, killing nearly 16,000 people and leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people are still displaced from homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and workers are using shovels and rakes to remove radioactive topsoil from towns that may never rebound from the devastation.  

Crews at the nuclear facility are building tanks to hold the tons of water that needs to be piped into the damaged reactors every day to keep nuclear material cool.

Humans for the very first time have an idea of what the deep sea sounds like, far away from the world of people and machines.

And it’s not at all what scientists expected.

“I expected it to be very, very quiet,” said Robert Dziak, a research oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last July, Dziak led a NOAA team that sunk a hydrophone into the deepest place in the ocean: the bottom of the Mariana Trench, near Guam, seven miles down in the Pacific.

Homesteading in the digital age

Jan 9, 2018

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

In Oakland, California, Stephanie Goode, who has no yard, runs a small homestead on her roof. While it's not a money-making operation, her farm provides about a tenth of her monthly groceries. 

There’s some good news for monarch butterflies this winter.

The iconic black and orange-yellow migratory butterflies have been dying off over the past several years due to habitat loss.

But this winter, the number of monarchs hibernating in southern Mexico has rebounded, according to a December survey. Winter colonies covered about 10 acres of forest this winter, up from around three last winter.  

The Namibian desert, with its stark, lunar landscape, makes an ideal dramatic backdrop for a post-apocalyptic movie.

"Max Max: Fury Road," which on Sunday won six Oscars, was filmed in this desert's dusty dunes. The production relocated to Namibia from Australia after unusually heavy rains Down Under turned a normally dry landscape green.

Want to install solar panels but can't? No problem.

Jan 9, 2018

Coming up with a climate agreement in Paris last month, getting nearly 200 countries to commit to lowering their greenhouse gases, well, that was the easy part. Now nations have to actually achieve their targets to transition to a lower-carbon future, which includes investments in more renewable energy.

Follow all of our coverage of the Paris talks and the global climate crisis

Deadly wildfires ravage Portugal and Spain

Jan 9, 2018

On Sunday night, Rafael Kotcherha Campora posted a series of alarming status updates on Facebook:

 

Kotcherha Campora was staying at his partner's farm in Galicia, Spain, when he spotted a fire on the horizon. Soon, the winds began to whip up, "and the smoke started tunneling down in all directions," he recalls. "The smoke was so dense that we literally couldn't breathe anymore."

49: Gerrymandering, hard-wired brains and the baby under the desk

Jan 9, 2018

Could big data make elections more fair? One of our listeners is looking for answers about gerrymandering, and we got some help this week from Justin Levitt, professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He has something to say about elected officials listening to their constituents.

The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is well-versed in the art of sarcasm and dark humor, to the point of upsetting many with controversial covers.

In their first issue this year, the weekly opens up about the trials of maintaining a publication that has been the target of deadly attacks and wonders how long they will be able to keep the lights on.

(Markets Edition) The yield on the 1-year U.S. treasury note moved above 2.5 percent this morning. What are the global implications of this milestone, and what does it means for the U.S. government? Then, fashion brand H&M is under fire for "cultural incompetency" over an advertising misstep. And, how Airbnb may keep French châteaux from becoming ruins.

 

 

 

After the first formal talks between North and South Korea in just over two years, the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games have become the catalyst for some easing of tensions. South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters today that the North Korean delegation said it would send an Olympic delegation, including officials, athletes, and cheerleaders, according to the Associated Press.

(U.S. Edition) After the first formal talks between North and South Korea in just over two years, the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games have become the catalyst for some easing of tensions. We speak with BBC's Hyung Kim about what that means for economic sanctions. Plus, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood gives us the rundown on what to expect from this year's CES.

The next year in oil could be hard to predict

Jan 9, 2018

As the Energy Information Administration forecast looks to 2019, experts see lots of wildcards that could impact the carefully played hands of oil and gas producers.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

France may be home to thousands of castles but many French châteaux and other historic buildings are in such a poor state of repair they risk becoming ruins.

Companies have less leeway in missteps on race

Jan 9, 2018

An H&M ad with a black boy in a hoodie that said “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” has been called out as racially insensitive and has led to calls of a boycott. It’s just the latest in a series of similar missteps from companies like Dove, Pepsi and Nivea that consumers are less willing to tolerate.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Driverless cars have a hard time in snow, too

Jan 9, 2018

Lots of driverless cars are growing up in California, a place known for its sunny weather. It's still hard for cars to see in snow and rain, and as they grow up, autonomous cars will need to function in all kinds of weather on the road. 

In just the last two years or so, automakers have started expanding the range of places where they're testing their vehicles, from sunny California to more snowy climates. 

It’s hard for humans to drive in bad weather, and it’s hard for self-driving cars to drive in it, too.  Many of the cars started their lives in sunny California and haven't experienced much of the world. So automakers are sending them out into more snowy climes. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks about it with Chris Gerdes, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford.  

(Global edition) From the BBC World Service… Talks between North and South Korea for the first time in two years — could it usher in a new era in trade for the two countries? Then, Singapore is one of the world’s biggest oil-refining hubs and police there say they’ve arrested 17 men after a major fuel theft at Royal Dutch Shell’s biggest crude refinery. We’ll explain. Afterward, could President Trump’s State of the Union usher in an aggressive crackdown on trade? We explore why January is decision time for the U.S. in the global-trade picture. 

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