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

Blue Apron's stock went down 15 percent after its first earnings report, a disappointment to some who saw the company as a promising investment. Not every IPO does well, but there were some key things that Blue Apron should have disclosed, argues Marketplace regular Erik Gordon. He joined us to discuss some of the financial figures that the company failed to reveal before going public. Plus: Economist Diane Swonk is here to talk about data that indicates the opioid addiction has gotten to the point where it's squeezing America's labor supply — especially in rural areas. 

Earnings for Nordstrom are expected later today. The retailer announced back in June that it was considering becoming a private company again. Buying out shareholders takes a lot of financing, and the company appears to be having a tough time getting formal talks going with potential investors. But that may not be such a bad thing for the retailer. 

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Relations between the U.S. and North Korea have seldom been more strained. President Trump has threatened to bring, “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. with military action. Pyongyang responded by saying it’s considering an attack on the U.S. territory of Guam. If it came to military conflict, the biggest cost would be in terms of human lives, but the global economy would take a hit too.

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It might be a good time to ask for a raise

Aug 10, 2017

At last, the outlook for the long-suffering American worker is starting to improve. The economy added more than 200,000 jobs in both June and July, the unemployment rate is just 4.3 percent, and wages are slowly ticking up, increasing about 2.5 percent from a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s not as fast as many of us would like, but there may be something we can do about it, according to Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

In Detroit, a battle over the right to literacy

Aug 10, 2017

"I feel like I've been cheated."

This 17-year-old hacked the Air Force

Aug 10, 2017

It seems like we're hearing about hacking problems more and more now, from government hacks to the recent HBO hack. And since the internet isn't going anywhere soon, all we can do is find ways to patch the security holes that allow predators to get in.

That's the goal of bug bounty programs. They're projects that companies and organizations start to get people to find and report website vulnerabilities. Think of these hackers as the good guys — hackers in white hats. Plenty of big companies run bug bounty programs, including Facebook, Google and Uber.

Facebook and Instagram have replicated many of Snap's features, from face filters to disappearing messages, and that hasn't been great for business on Snap's end. Does it still have some creative power going for it right now? Business Insider senior reporter Alex Heath takes a look at the company's future with us. Afterwards, we'll talk to 17-year-old Jack Cable about that time he hacked the Air Force.

08/10/2017: Get ready to negotiate that raise

Aug 10, 2017

Deep into this slow economic recovery, American workers might finally be gaining the leverage to ask for more money (or they'll find work elsewhere.) On today's show, we'll discuss why their prospects are looking good. Afterwards, we'll discuss how military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea would affect the global economy, and then look at Nordstrom's (unsuccessful) attempts at going private.

<a href="https://story.californiasunday.com/mario-woods-after-shooting">Erica Deeman/California Sunday</a>

Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Walter Scott — these names have entered the public lexicon as attention and outrage continue to mount over officer-involved shootings. But there’s another name on that list you may not be so familiar with: Mario Woods.

In December 2015, Woods died after he was shot 21 times by San Francisco Police officers. He was 26.

Right before heading out for its August recess, the U.S. Senate confirmed two Trump administration nominees for open seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

For the first time in nearly six months, the commission has enough members to vote on permitting major energy infrastructure projects.

"South Africa's economy is in dire straits" with no short-term fix

Aug 9, 2017

In South Africa, there’s political disquiet this week along with economic discontent. The South African parliament tried and failed to oust President Jacob Zuma in a secret-ballot vote of no confidence. While the failure wasn’t a shock, the final vote was closer than it’s ever been, which has made Zuma’s critics more confident. Zuma is accused of corruption on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars and of mismanagement of the economy. The country’s unemployment rate is above 27 percent, and the sovereign debt is officially junk.

People are "begging" for plus-size fashion

Aug 9, 2017

Retail's woes are well documented, but there's one corner of the market that's doing well: plus-size fashion. According to the NDP Group, a market analyst, the plus-size market grew by 6 percent in 2016, twice that of clothing retail overall. The folks at the front of plus-size fashion aren't the design houses you're used to hearing about, but smaller startups like Premme, founded by designers and social media icons Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason.

You may have heard about Disney's announcement that it's going to launch its own streaming service. The company is ending a deal with Netflix and says it wants more control over its destiny. And as for cable, that service that "cord cutters" and "cord nevers" spurn, is another streaming service a problem for them? Maybe not, since cable companies no longer just sell cable TV service. Their real growth is in selling households broadband internet.

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What the bond markets are saying about North Korea

Aug 9, 2017

The headlines today have been a lot about fire and fury and escalation and threats from North Korea. One way to cut through the fear is to look at what financial markets are thinking — bond markets, in particular. They act as sort of a fact check on the news and the economy. And bond markets are telling all of us to take it easy.

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Sonia Narang

Since World War II, the US has operated a large military base in the central part of Okinawa — a now-crowded island city in Japan's southernmost prefecture. More than half of about 50,000 US service members in Japan are stationed on Okinawa.

Now, the US and Japanese governments are planning to move the Marine base to a more pristine place — the rural fishing village of Henoko. There's already a small base there, but locals are waging a major fight against the expansion.

Federal health officials say a controversial program that allows hospitals to purchase drugs at deep discounts needs some fixing.

The headlines about fire and fury and escalation and threats and all that has happened the past 24 hours are alarming. No doubt about it. Without discounting the reality of what's going on, allow us to cut through the fear a little bit. Nothing in this economy reacts as viscerally to the news as the markets to. The bond market, in particular, is a refuge in times of uncertainty. And it's telling us to take a deep breath. We'll explain. Then: For the first time in 60 years, the U.S. is set to become a net exporter of natural gas. Now we need to get the infrastructure up to speed.

08/09/2017: Disney's movie catalog is leaving Netflix

Aug 9, 2017

With threats flying between the U.S. and North Korea, the Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer joins us to examine diplomatic ties between the two countries. One of his takeaways? We might actually be able to make progress thanks to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Next, we'll look at Walt Disney's decision to part ways with Netflix, and then talk about payment processor Vantiv's $10 billion merger with Worldpay.

This weekend, the U.N. Security Council sanctioned North Korea in a move backed by China. Then came a report that North Korea had made a major step forward in its nuclear ambitions by miniaturizing a nuclear weapon meant to fit inside a missile.

South Africa’s  president, Jacob Zuma, is thanking supporters after surviving a no-confidence vote in the nation’s parliament yesterday. The secret vote was more narrowly in his favor than expected, with some 40 lawmakers from his own African National Congress party supporting the motion. Zuma has been the focus of a series of corruption allegations stretching back more than a decade. How’s this bitter political fighting affecting the nation’s economy?

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Murcy Jones always wanted to be a teacher. She grew up and attended public school in Detroit, always at the top of her class. She graduated as a member of the National Honors Society and was accepted into Michigan State University. 

"I just went out into the world thinking that I had all the tools I needed in order to succeed," Jones said. "When I got to Michigan State I was in for a rude awakening. I found out that I was behind the curveball. I promptly flunked out, and it kind of scarred me. So I didn't go back to school for another 20 years after that."

Stop someone on the street and ask him or her: When would you mark the start of the financial crisis? Some might say when the investment bank Bear Stearns collapsed in March 2008. But probably not too many people would say August 9, 2007 — 10 years ago today.

That’s when French bank BNP Paribas froze three of its U.S. funds, the first in a chain of events which would lead to the biggest recession since the Great Depression. 

Why was that act so significant?

Nuclear threats from North Korea have rattled global markets. Amid the escalating rhetoric, we'll talk about how certain stock indices have been reacting, and investors' move toward bonds. Afterwards, we'll step back in time to examine where and when exactly the financial crisis began, and then talk about the problems Detroit's public school system is facing through the eyes of one of the city's teachers.

A Google engineer named James Damore recently penned a memo blaming tech's gender gap on biological differences between men and women, which then led to his firing. Nicole Sanchez, CEO and founder of Vaya Consulting, joined us to talk about what Google needs to do to address its diversity issues and how female staffers are feeling about the company. Plus: A look at secretive Amazon brands.

That sexist memo could cost Google employees

Aug 9, 2017

You'd have to be on a desert island with no internet to have missed the efficiency memo — or misogynist manifesto — penned by James Damore, a senior engineer at Google. In the memo, which was first circulated within Google and was later published in full by Gizmodo, Damore complained that the company was focusing too much on diversity and that women weren’t cut out to be engineers.

'Act of terrorism' at Minnesota mosque rattles Muslims

Aug 8, 2017
Courtesy of Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center Facebook page

A violent message was delivered to Minnesota’s Muslim population early Saturday morning. At 5:05 a.m. local time, an improvised explosive device went off inside an imam’s office at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.

About a dozen worshipers were gathered nearby in the mosque for morning prayers, but no one was injured in the explosion. Congregants called the attack a hate crime, a sentiment echoed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

The White House has until next week to finish reviewing a federal climate report, but someone leaked a draft to the New York Times, possibly out of fear the Trump administration would sit on it. The report states definitively that climate change is happening, that humans are causing it and that there will be dire consequences for the U.S.

President Trump this afternoon acknowledged the epidemic of opioid abuse in the U.S., but took no action on a report by a commission he created to study the crisis. That report urged the president to declare a national emergency to combat the health crisis. In a briefing with his top officials, Trump said there is no choice but to defeat the opioid epidemic, but offered no new policies to address the problem. 

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has a study out today highlighting problems startups have getting financing. And the reason this matters? The report says startups account for “nearly all net new job creation” in the U.S. economy. For these companies to continue growing, they need to be able to access financing  and some are having trouble finding it. 

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The decline in laundromats shows how US cities are changing

Aug 8, 2017

Economic indicators come in all shapes, sizes and appliances. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of laundromats has dropped 20 percent since 2005, especially in densely populated urban areas like Chicago and Los Angeles. Our urban landscape is changing, and according to Oakland-based writer Marc Vartabedian, laudromats tell the story of that change.

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