Economy

Financial and business news

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What's At Stake For Apple In China

Aug 1, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

"I'll be your mirror," intoned Nico in 1966, singing one of the many tunes given her by a lover. In retrospect, the line neatly captures the model-actress-singer's '60s persona: a thin, icily beautiful, dyed-blonde blankness, to be defined by Federico Fellini and Andy Warhol, Lou Reed (who wrote "I'll Be Your Mirror") and Bob Dylan.

More Americans will be writing a check to the IRS in April because their employers are not withholding enough from their paychecks following the new tax law, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.

The Trump administration is considering another big tax cut.

The administration is studying a proposal to cut capital gains taxes, a move that would primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans.

"There's been a great deal of interest in this provision for a long time," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One Tuesday.

The pace of wage growth is one of the best indicators of economic health. But wage growth can be measured using a number of different methods. Each method has strengths and weaknesses, and each method tells a slightly different story about how the economy, and the labor market, is doing.

We speak with economist Ernie Tedeschi, who suggests three different measures of wage growth that we should all be tracking. In chart form, they are:

1. Average Hourly Earnings for all private sector workers:

Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program, nearly six months after it settled a lawsuit from Waymo, the Google spinoff that accused Uber of using its proprietary designs. Uber says it will keep working on self-driving vehicles, but it will now focus solely on cars.

"We've decided to stop development on our self-driving truck program and move forward exclusively with cars," said Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber's advanced technologies unit.

The 1A Movie Club Sees 'Blindspotting.'

Jul 31, 2018

‘Blindspotting’ resists genre. It’s not quite a comedy, and it’s not quite a tragedy. It’s the story of an Oakland, California, man, Collin (Daveed Diggs), who is spending his last couple of days on probation with a good friend, Miles (Rafael Casal), who can’t seem to get it together. And then he sees a white police officer shoot an unarmed black man.

Critics and the public alike have raved about the film. It has an enviable 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A hint of optimism creeps into Darius Kasprzak's voice as he pilots his boat, the Marona, out of Kodiak harbor on a recent calm day.

"We're in the morning, we're at the start of the flood tide," he says. "This is where you want to be."

He is fishing a bay on the northwestern edge of the Gulf of Alaska, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The chilly waters here are some of the most productive fish habitat on Earth. In a good year, Kasprzak could catch more than 100,000 pounds of cod.

Most of us remember the broad outlines of the story: 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was followed, shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., on the night of Feb. 26, 2012.

More than six weeks later, Zimmerman was arrested and, eventually, tried for second-degree murder in a case that would be as racially polarizing as the O.J. Simpson trial had been nearly 20 years earlier.

San Francisco may become the next U.S. city to ban plastic straws. The city's board of supervisors approved the ban on a preliminary basis last week and the final decision is on its agenda Tuesday. That has shops that sell boba, or bubble tea – a drink that has to be sucked through a straw – concerned.

Bubble tea is typically served in a big plastic cup over ice. It has balls of tapioca at the bottom the size of small marbles. You use a wide straw to suck up the tapioca — or boba — from the bottom of the cup.

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No question, Russia is a formidable force in the global political arena. But its economy is smaller than the economy of Texas. Russia's economy was growing like crazy between 1999 and 2008. But it's about the same size now as it was at the end of the Great Recession. Today on the show, we look at what's been holding back Russia's economy.

Getting Deep With GDP

Jul 30, 2018

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that American gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of the year. And that’s good. It means the economy is doing well.

Gross domestic product is “the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy.” It’s one of the ways in which we can judge the health of the economy.

Travis is a teenager living in a small town in the Northeast. He enjoys hunting and shooting, and keeps a rifle at home. But with several younger siblings around the house, he wanted to make sure his gun was safe. So he ordered a trigger lock on Amazon, to prevent the gun from firing.

"The reviews were great, five-star reviews," says Travis, who asked that NPR use only his first name to avoid scrutiny and possible legal attention. "[They] said it worked great, locked perfectly, the combination system worked great."

It didn't.

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