National Partners

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

01/13/2017: Business conflicts? Trump has a few

Jan 13, 2017

We're going long and short on private prisons and President Barack Obama's legacy as a job creator with Marketplace's Lewis Wallace and The Atlantic's Gillian White. Then, UCLA law professor Jon Michaels talks us through President-elect Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interest and Russia expert Matt Rojansky explains the economic and political relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Plus, "A Prairie Home Companion" host Chris Thile takes the Marketplace Quiz.

Globalization backlash looms over Davos forum

Jan 13, 2017
Sam Beard

The presidential inauguration may cast a pall over the World Economic Forum at Davos in the Swiss Alps next week. The vote for Donald Trump represented a stunning rejection of  some of the core beliefs propagated at Davos: a belief in the benefits of  globalization,free trade and mass immigration. Both Trump’s victory and the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom  have been widely seen as a slap in the face for the global political and business  elite, the very people  who will gather in the Swiss ski resort. Will they feel abashed and deflated by these two electoral setbacks?  

Leigh Gallagher of Fortune and Felix Salmon of Fusion join Kai Ryssdal to discuss the week's business and economic news. This week, they debate whether the new administration will work towards heavily slowing down Congress, if President-elect Trump really is a "tweet risk" and what might be the best thing to ask Steven Mnuchin at his congressional hearing.

Kim Adams

The city of St. Louis is trying a new strategy to fight urban blight. A massive project to raze an entire neighborhood and turn it into a new campus for a government intelligence agency.

The $1.75 billion project will keep thousands of jobs in the city, but comes at the expense of a historically black community that remains skeptical of how much of the development will benefit them.

Advocates for the unbanked worry about the Trump era

Jan 13, 2017
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Nineteen year-old Roxana Mercado Rojo needed $700. She was brought to the U.S. from Bolivia as a toddler.  She’s undocumented, and decided to apply for an Obama administration program that lets people like her get temporary protection from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.  There’s a fee.  Where to get the money?

“You know, I couldn’t kinda borrow from my parents and, you know, there wasn’t anyone of trust that I can borrow from,” she said.

01/13/17: Big banks, big money

Jan 13, 2017

After the election, some of the biggest banks were able to pull in a lot of money. We'll dive into the latest market trends. Next, we'll explore complaints from the EPA that some of Fiat Chrysler's vehicles are responsible for illegal pollution. Finally, we'll talk with some political outsiders who are vying for a position in the Trump administration.

Water Wars

Jan 13, 2017

Next to the air we breathe, it’s the planet’s most precious resource: fresh water. And it’s disappearing. The world’s largest food company describes the lack of water as a looming catastrophe that is expected to play out in the coming decades. In this episode of Reveal, we look at what’s happening in places that already are running out of water.

Outsiders hope for jobs in Trump administration

Jan 13, 2017
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

David Vincent Gagne is a chief technology officer for a web development company. He's from Ormond Beach, Florida. Sergio Loya is a management consultant in Ashburn, Virginia. Gagne voted for Hillary Clinton. Loya voted for Donald Trump. But they describe themselves as political outsiders.

They both applied for jobs in the new administration. I first talked to them the week after the election.

“I think with Trump there’s a much greater chance for people that have not been in the political 'industry' to make a change in the world,” said Gagne then.

With a few banks reporting earnings Friday  — JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America — we'll take a look at banking’s prospects. The new Trump administration and a GOP-controlled Congress have said they plan to dial back Dodd-Frank and other financial regulations. For the most part, bank stocks – and the market overall — have done well in the months since the election. Rising interest rates are a help to banks, of course. But in the long run, how will things play out if the new administration removes banking and finance regulations?   


The Justice Department announced that it would phase out the use of private prisons. But the Georgia town of McRae-Helena has staked its future on these facilities. We've visited the region to see how residents feel about their presence. And in Trump-related news, we'll look at some of the cabinet picks who have yet to be scheduled for confirmation hearings, and discuss what the future might look like for big banks during his tenure. 

01/13/17: Using Fitbit to detect health issues

Jan 13, 2017

With the expectation of big domestic growth, Amazon plans to create 100,000 full-time positions in the U.S. over the next year and a half. We'll look at where the retailer expects to see growth and where its thousands of new employees are likely to be working. Next, we'll talk about a new study that says fitness trackers can be used for the early detection of health problems, and then cap off the show with our weekly numbers game, "Silicon Tally." This week's opponent: Alex Davies, the transportation editor at 

As we all know, the maker of EpiPen, Mylan, has engaged in price gouging. But this week, the larger health care industry sent a strong message that they are not going to stand for it. On Wednesday, Cigna announced it would only cover the generic version of EpiPen. On Thursday, CVS announced a deal with an EpiPen competitor that could hurt Mylan’s generic sales. It’s a strange and unusual kind of pushback. The kind we rarely see in the health care industry.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

A small Georgia town where prisons play a big role

Jan 13, 2017
Lane Wallace

McRae-Helena, Georgia, with a population of about 8,700, is what you could call a prison town, times two. There’s a state prison at one end, and McRae Correctional — a private federal prison — at the other. Together, the two facilities house some 3,000 people. 

Lon Hamilton owns the Southern Star Grill, a family-style restaurant not far from the federal prison. 

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters 

Rex Tillerson told the Senate panel considering his nomination for secretary of state that he supported the United States remaining in the Paris climate agreement and that he has made his views known to Donald Trump.

The position, repeated several times during a day-long hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, puts him at odds with the president-elect's campaign vow to "cancel" the landmark global accord.

What it's like to cover Trump for a German audience

Jan 12, 2017
Mario Anzuoni

Germans are closely following President-elect Donald Trump's path to the White House.

Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

This is a detective story that started off as a love story. It’s about romance scams.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime. It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

Erika Beras

Across Europe, countries are grappling with how to best accommodate the surge of migrants. That includes Switzerland, population 8.5 million. The country grants asylum to a few thousand refugees each year and tries to resettle them evenly across the country. But not every community welcomes those refugees.

In Oberwil-Lieli, a small, wealthy town, the immigration battle recently came to a head.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In Wednesday's press conference with reporters, President-elect Donald Trump was again asked whether he would release his tax returns.

It’s been a burning question throughout the campaign and since his election — and one that Trump has dodged repeatedly. His answer Wednesday was no different: “Only reporters care about my tax returns. The American people don’t care. I won the election,” he quipped.

So, we decided to ask you, our listeners and readers, whether you cared if Trump released his taxes. You responded. Boy, did you respond.

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Standing outside her tiny mud house in this remote village, Mary Anyango lamented President Barack Obama’s departure from the White House next week.

“Life is going to be very difficult in this village without Obama’s presidency,” said Anyango, 48, a single mother of six. “We have many non-governmental organizations here, which are helping our children pay fees. They are putting up houses for us. This is all happening because of Obama.”

Kai Ryssdal

If you were watching the web feed of C-SPAN today, you might've noticed something odd.

Just as California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was making a speech about SEC regulations, the feed abruptly switched over to Russia Today, the television network funded by the Kremlin. There was a flurry of cheerful pop music, followed by a slideshow of promotional tweets encouraging tourism in a fictional country called San Escobar.

Indonesia’s rapidly disappearing forests, in four charts

Jan 12, 2017
Kuang Keng Kuek Ser / PRI

Indonesia has lost almost a quarter of its forest area in the past 25 years.

That’s significantly more than has been lost in the other countries with the most forest area. Russia, the United States, China and the European Union have in fact all added forest cover in the past 25 years.

Carolyn Beeler

A main road through the district of Sedahan Jaya in western Borneo is just a ribbon of brown dirt. But that’s better than the muddy mess it used to turn into after heavy rains.

"The road was so bad when kids went to school, they came back with their legs covered in mud,” says a resident named Hamisah. “This was really sad to me.”

Hamisah, 43, has two sons and lives in one of the small houses nestled along that dirt road. From her yard, you can see some of the hills of the roughly 400-square-mile Gunung Palung national park rising in the distance.

Carolyn Beeler

In a village on the western edge of Borneo, there's a small hospital where people come from miles around to get treatment for everything from a broken arm to a heart attack.

Good health care in a remote town like Sukadana, in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, is hard to come by.

But there’s another thing that sets this one-story, metal-roofed clinic apart: how patients pay for their health care.

Titis Setianingtyas/PRI

When Edward Tang was a boy, he used to hunt durian fruit in the jungle near his house in western Borneo.

On expeditions into the forest, he’d often see orangutans swinging from branch to branch above his head.

Tang is 40 now, and as a conservation educator, he still spends a lot of time in the forest. But he almost never sees orangutans anymore.

“The impact of forest destruction in Indonesia has been immense,” Tang says.

The sprawling archipelago nation of Indonesia has lost about a quarter of its forests in the past 25 years. 

Cheryl Ravelo/Reuters

In the modern world, plastic products are so common that hardly anyone keeps track of how much they use and discard.

Courtesy of Joe Andrew

Fifty-three years ago, the United States came closer to nuclear war than ever before, or since.

For 13 days in October 1962 — during the Cuban Missile Crisis — America's nuclear arsenal was kept on high alert. There were nuclear missiles just 90 miles from US soil, in Fidel Castro's Cuba. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev could have launched a nuclear strike within minutes.

Why leaving women out of Trump’s cabinet isn’t just wrong — it’s dangerous

Jan 12, 2017
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

When Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister of Canada and appointed a precedent-shattering 50-50 ratio of men and women to his cabinet, his pithy comment was, “It’s 2015.”  

Under Donald Trump's administration, the US is looking more like the 1970s. Fewer women are being considered by Trump for leadership positions than in any other administration since President Gerald Ford.

What the heck is reconciliation?

Jan 12, 2017

GOP lawmakers are using “the R word” again: reconciliation. In the last couple of years, it’s become Congressional leaders’ favorite tool to ratchet down federal spending. Now Republicans plan to use the budget maneuver to start their repeal of parts of Obamacare. But what is reconciliation anyway? And is it a good idea for Congress to use it this way?

The civil rights divide over charter schools

Jan 12, 2017
Amy Scott

Inside a small brick row house in northwest Baltimore, Md., Tiela Smith pulls on a parka, pink hat and gloves and a huge backpack. Then she heads out the door to walk one block to Langston Hughes elementary school.

But instead of going inside, she walks around the side of the building to a parking lot, where a yellow school bus is waiting. Langston Hughes closed last year, so Tiela, 8, now rides the bus a mile away to Arlington elementary. 

Tiela doesn’t mind, she said, because “when you don’t walk your legs don’t feel tired.”

A look at intelligence units, made just for airports

Jan 12, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Crystal Castle

Intelligence operations have been in the news of late. But there are all kinds of analysis and information gathering going on at airports and other areas of this country's infrastructure.