Economy & Business

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In recent years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been playing out on a battleground that's barely a couple square inches in size. It's the labels of consumer goods produced in areas under Israeli occupation.

Last year the European Union, for example, instructed member countries to not allow imports of products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be labeled as, "Made in Israel." The European Union, like the U.S. considers the settlements illegal.

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Milk prices are in the tank. You may not have noticed this, since prices in the supermarket have fallen only slightly. But on the farm, it's dramatic. Dairy farmers are getting about 20 percent less for their milk than they did last year; 40 percent less than when milk prices hit an all-time peak two years ago.

"We're losing money," says Dave Drennan, executive director of the Missouri Dairyman's Association. In Europe and Australia, dairy farmers have taken to the streets to protest their plight.

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Donald Trump has released the names of his economic advisers, a list heavy with Wall Street and real estate industry figures, but short of actual economists.

The names include several people from the world of hedge fund and private equity firms, including Steven Feinberg, chief executive and co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management; Thomas J. Barrack, chief executive of Colony Capital Management; and John Paulson, president of a hedge fund company bearing his name.

The surprising story behind the rise of flip-flops

Aug 5, 2016
Reema Khrais

Last year, Americans spent $2.6 billion on arguably the most popular shoe of summertime – the flip-flop.

“They are probably the oldest form of footwear,” said Tamera Lyndsay, founder of The Shoe College in Arizona.

Flip-flops date back to ancient Egypt, around 4000 B.C, Lyndsay said. But multiple cultures have put their own twist on the sandals. For example, instead of placing the strap after the first big toe, “the Romans used the second toe, the Mesopotamians the third toe,” she said.

The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are kicking off today, and the massive protests aren’t the only problem facing the city. There’s also the question of  how much hosting the games is actually going to cost.

One estimate puts the tab at around $20 billion, but there was a time when the Olympics actually made money.

Thanks to existing infrastructure and sports facilities, plus sponsorship and broadcast deals, Los Angeles was able to net a profit by hosting the 1984 Summer Games.

Rio's water problems go far beyond the Olympics

Aug 5, 2016
Molly Wood and Eliza Mills

It's not just Zika, and the economy, and politics causing concern at the Olympics this year.

As teams from across the world prepare to take to the sea for swimming, sailing, rowing and canoeing events, they're worrying about water. Water quality in Rio is a major concern for athletes who could get sick touching or swallowing just a bit of it, but it's also a huge issue for Brazilians, day in, day out — the games are just shining a light on the topic.

The U.S. added 255,000 jobs in July, according to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; economists had been expecting about 180,000 new jobs. It's the second month in a row showing job growth significantly stronger than anticipated.

The unemployment rate is holding steady at 4.9 percent, and the labor force participation rate ticked up slightly, from 62.7 to 62.8 percent.

Average hourly earnings are up 0.3 percent.

Donna Tam

There’s been plenty of speculation over whether or not Rio can actually pull off the Olympics, despite all the money that the metropolis has spent trying to fix everything.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Twice a day, Angela and Nate Turner of Greenwood, Ind., put tiny strips that look like tinted tape under their tongues.

"They taste disgusting," Angela says.

But the taste is worth it to her. The dissolvable strips are actually a drug called Suboxone, which helps control an opioid user's cravings for the drug. The married couple both got addicted to prescription painkillers following injuries several years ago, and they decided to go into recovery this year. With Suboxone, they don't have to worry about how they'll get drugs, or how sick they'll feel if they don't.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, August 5, 2016

Aug 5, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the second annual drone racing championships in New York; look at the the DEF CON hacking conference taking place in Las Vegas; and play this week's Silicon Tally with Ini Augustine, the president of the Iowa Black Business Coalition.