National Partners

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

Airbnb closes accounts linked to white supremacy rally

Aug 11, 2017

Airbnb has canceled accounts of users who planned to attend a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Gizmodo first reported the story and confirmed it with Airbnb.

Tech companies have had to grapple with some big moral issues as of late. Recently, Airbnb reportedly deactivated the accounts of users planning to attend a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Virginia. On today's show, we'll chat with University of Maryland professor Dana Fisher about whether the company is allowed to do something like this, and whether it's good for a business' bottom line to make a big political stand. Afterwards, we'll play this week's Silicon Tally with Saron Yitbarek, founder of the Code Newbie podcast.

With tensions rising between the U.S. and North Korea, we'll talk with Leon Sigal — director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project — about whether sanctions actually work, and then look at growing support in Congress for greater missile defense spending. Afterwards, we'll discuss the U.S. Postal Service's push to gain more freedom to raise the price of stamps.

The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe

Aug 10, 2017

Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases. This story from last year is just one of thousands from the crisis of America’s unidentified dead.

A young Japanese voice breaks the silence of autism

Aug 10, 2017
Jun Murozono

Japanese author Naoki Higashida might not seem immediately approachable if you were to run into him on the sidewalk. 

"If you see him walking down the street toward you, he has all the classic autistic ticks, and you think 'Whoa, I'd better stand off the sidewalk and let this guy go by because he obviously needs the space more than I do,'" says author David Mitchell. "And yet when you read him and sit down opposite the table from him, he will spell out these sentences letter by letter and he's articulate, he's eloquent."

US Air Force/Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Defense Department handout

If there was any doubt that President Donald Trump was talking about nuclear weapons when he talked about "fire and fury" descending on North Korea, that doubt was dispelled Wednesday with a statement from the secretary of defense, James Mattis.

Mattis, long considered a moderate in the Cabinet, said North Korea should "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

Mattis also called directly for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapon ambitions.

It's been a little over a year since Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel died.

He was celebrated around the globe as an activist and a writer, and for his lifelong efforts to keep the world from forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust.

But for his only child, Elisha Wiesel, coming to terms with who his father was and what he represented was a difficult road.

Marcus Teply

Poets are a big deal in Iran, and Forugh Farrokhzad was one of the biggest. In the 1960s, her modern, highly personal work won wide acclaim and brought her the poetry equivalent of rock stardom — she cut records, made films, and even today is known popularly by her first name.

When Farrokhzad was killed in a car crash in 1967, thousands of fans thronged to her funeral. But after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, her work vanished, banned for a decade, and since then heavily censored by the government.

What it means in South Africa when you are #blessed

Aug 10, 2017

What does it mean to blessed?

A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He's an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship.

The term “blesser" first emerged on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

In 2015, South African girls and women started posting photos of expensive shoes, clothes and stacks of cash while tagging the pictures #blessed. What they meant was that a man had given them the luxury items.

And those men became known as "blessers."

Do bride prices drive terrorism?

Aug 10, 2017
Ali Jarekji/Reuters 

Terrorism experts have long known that poverty is a factor in tempting young men to join radical terrorist groups, but what about bride prices?

A new article in MIT Press Journal argues that many young, male recruits who are driven to terrorist organizations for financial reasons are actually aspiring to use the money to help themselves and their brothers get married.  

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

On Rio de Janeiro’s one-year Olympic anniversary, thousands of federal troops patrolled the streets. And they’re going to be there for a while.

Brazil’s defense ministry announced the troops will stay until the end of 2018. Their deployment is in response to criticism last month from house speaker Rodrigo Maia, among other local lawmakers, that “we have completely lost control of public security in Rio.” In June alone, over 106 people died in gunfire in the city. Many were killed in shootouts between drug traffickers and police.

Can the US rely on its North Korean intelligence?

Aug 10, 2017
Bobby Yip/Reuters

US President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea Thursday, saying his threat to rain "fire and fury" on the nation maybe "wasn't tough enough."

Earlier this week, Trump said North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States with its missile and nuclear programs.

That prompted a defiant Pyongyang to threaten a missile attack on Guam, a tiny US territory in the Pacific that is home to major US air and naval facilities.

Don’t put Shamir in a box

Aug 10, 2017

Just a couple of years ago, Shamir Bailey was a teenager making music in his North Las Vegas bedroom. Since then, he’s been the toast of SXSW, seen his face on a Times Square Billboard, and heard one of his songs in an ad for Google’s smartwatch.

Guilty Pleasure: The Eagles, 'Already Gone'

Aug 10, 2017

People love to hate The Eagles. “They’re not a cool band to like,” admits composer and indie musician Kelly Pratt. The serious musicians Pratt hangs out can’t understand it, but Pratt genuinely loves their song “Already Gone.”

Pratt rediscovered the song in a grocery store in Portland, Oregon.

“At first listen, this song is pretty straightforward, standard Eagles. It’s a guitar driven rocker, standard breakup lyrics, a lot of patented Eagle-isms.” But Pratt points out that there’s a lot more going on.

The music of 'Twin Peaks'

Aug 10, 2017

It’s impossible to imagine “Twin Peaks” without the music of Angelo Badalamenti — but why do those languid synth ballads and cool-jazz numbers capture the essence of the show so well?

“Breaking Badcomposer Dave Porter and “X-Files composer Mark Snow break down Badalamenti’s iconic score, and explain what makes the music so haunting. 

In the mid-1990s, Seattle was the center of the music world. And at the center of one of its biggest bands — alongside Nirvana and Pearl Jam — was Carrie Brownstein, a founding member of the all-female rock trio Sleater-Kinney.

It’s a stark assessment of the realities of the climate crisis, and it seems to have the Trump administration’s rhetoric and policies on climate change directly in its crosshairs.

“The world has warmed ... by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) over the last 150 years ... [and this] has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate.”

“The last few years have ... seen record-breaking, climate-related, weather extremes, as well as the warmest years on record for the globe.”

Brenna Daldorph/PRI

The student journalists of Habari Kibra are gathered in a mobile classroom in the middle of their hometown, Kibera, a huge slum on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Their teacher, Thomas Bwire, is having them go over some recent articles about their community. He asks one student, Salma, to read the opening lines of a story from the BBC.

Last month President Trump announced a deal with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn to bring as many as 13,000 jobs to southeastern Wisconsin in exchange for $3 billion in tax breaks. Now legislative analysts are projecting the state won't break even on that investment for more than 25 years. These sorts of mega-incentives to lure employers have been on the rise in many states since the recession. But do these deals really pay off for local economies?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Koch brothers are silent investors in "Wonder Woman"

Aug 10, 2017

One hears a lot that in its politics, Hollywood tends toward the liberal. The Kansas-based Koch brothers (whose company is an on-again, off-again underwriter of this program) tend toward conservative politics. And one would imagine that the twain would never meet. But movies are expensive to make, so producers need money. And movies can be profitable, and people with money like profit, which is where the Koch brothers come in.

Why your next landlord might be based on Wall Street

Aug 10, 2017

Two of the country’s largest institutional landlords are joining forces. Starwood Waypoint Homes and Blackstone’s Invitation Homes are merging, becoming a mega landlord with 82,000 homes in metropolitan areas across the country. The merger tells us a lot about the housing and single-family home rental markets.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Uber, amidst its many troubles, will be winding down one chunk of its business. The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber will end it’s car leasing program by the end of the year. You may remember from 2015 that Uber started an auto leasing division as a way to attract new drivers. The idea being, if you wanted to drive for Uber but maybe didn’t qualify for your own car loan, Uber would give you one! Well those borrowers were what we call subprime and the subprime auto market gets a lot of attention these days. 

The Trump-Russia investigation: A timeline

Aug 10, 2017
Carlos Barria/Reuters 

Possible ties between the Kremlin and President Donald Trump have dominated headlines for months. Here's everything you need to know about the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Kremlin's alleged collusion with the Trump campaign.

A little-known aspect of deportations: foreclosures

Aug 10, 2017

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to ramp up immigration enforcement.

From February through June, an average of 13,085 undocumented immigrants were arrested each month, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That compares to an average of 9,134 arrests per month during the last three months of 2016.

The economic ripple effects of arrests – and eventual deportations – are wide-ranging. But one little noticed consequence is their effect on the housing market.

The meal-kit delivery service, Blue Apron, filed its first quarterly results Thursday morning, revealing greater than expected losses and sending their stock price plummeting by 15 percent. 

08/10/2017: Markets go down. Go figure.

Aug 10, 2017

All three major stock indices fell today, and not a little bit either. And guess what: That's what's supposed to happen. We'll talk about it when we do the numbers. Then: The White House touted a huge deal between Wisconsin an Foxconn: 13,000 jobs in exchange for $3 billion in tax breaks. The state won't break even for more than 25 years, but these deals are becoming more and more common. Plus: Most undocumented immigrants who are deported are Latino men with jobs. That has a ripple effect on housing.

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. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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.