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03/17/17: Economic espionage

Mar 17, 2017
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Marketplace

Four people — including two Russian intelligence officers — have been charged over their alleged involvement in a massive Yahoo data breach. Chester Wisniewski of the cybersecurity firm Sophos explains the hacking methods involved in the case. Afterwards, we'll play this week's "Silicon Tally" with Sam Thielman from the Guardian.

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Marketplace

Later today, President Donald Trump will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel — two leaders who have sharp differences on important issues involve business. We'll look at the messages Merkel will try to send during her visit, and how business/political leaders in Germany perceive Trump. Afterwards, we'll explore new report from the International Energy Agency that says global CO2 emissions have stayed flat for the third year in a row. And finally, we'll look at the connection between a movie's presale numbers and its box office success. 

Environmentalists love "cover crops." These are plants that tolerate cool weather and grow on farm fields after the crops are harvested. They hold the soil in place and are probably the most effective way to keep nutrients in fields, rather than polluting nearby streams.

President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, collected more than $50,000 from Russian companies, including a Kremlin-backed television network, according to documents released in a congressional inquiry.

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President Trump's proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media.

Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be cut to zero under the proposal, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, the first time any president has proposed such a measure.

Rising drug prices are one of the biggest challenges in health care in the United States. More people are using prescription drugs on a regular basis, and the costs of specialty drugs are rising faster than inflation.

President Donald Trump has promised over and over again to drive down drug prices.

Surely, Oakhurst Dairy would have done well to heed the immortal words of the '80s hair band Cinderella: "Don't know what you got (till it's gone)."

The milk and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did Monday, when the lack of that little curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.

Bill Ackman's billion-dollar bet against Herbalife

Mar 16, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Investor Bill Ackman and his company Pershing Square Capital Management lost $4 billion on Monday by selling its stake in Valeant, the controversial pharmaceutical company. But this isn’t the first time that Ackman has taken a big stake in a company that didn’t turn out well. Before Valeant, Bill Ackman made a billion-dollar bet against the nutrition and weight-management company Herbalife. He accused Herbalife of operating a pyramid scheme and attempted to short Herbalife’s stock.

When Policing And Race Cross Paths In Silicon Valley

Mar 16, 2017

Silicon Valley, a region that attracts a diverse population from across the country and world due to its thriving tech sector, faces an existential question with real-world consequences: how might its mix of cultures change local policing?

Some recent history has created fertile ground for such a question.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

A post on McDonald's corporate Twitter account caused a stir Thursday morning, denigrating President Trump and calling for Barack Obama's return. The tweet was up for about 20 minutes only — but in that time, it was liked and retweeted more than 1,000 times.

"You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back," said the tweet, which was briefly pinned to the top of the McDonald's page. It concluded, "also you have tiny hands."

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Amy Scott

At the North Campus of Miami Dade College in Florida, more than half of the nearly 50,000 students live below the poverty line. About three years ago, the community college started a food pantry for students and their families. A counselor helps connect the students with other services, like tutoring and child care.

For decades, the college prided itself on providing academic supports to students, said Malou Harrison, president of the campus.

Let’s do the numbers: the U.S. relationship with Germany

Mar 16, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

Angela Merkel has been doing her homework. In anticipation of her meeting with Donald Trump this week, the German chancellor has been watching his speeches and interviews and spent time poring over a Playboy interview published in 1990, German officials told Reuters.

When robots get creative

Mar 16, 2017
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Tony Wagner

Around here, we talk a lot about automation. Which jobs are being taken by robots? Does adding more automation to the workplace actually create more jobs? Which jobs are safe?

We got an email from Julian in Australia about that very issue. Here's part:

President Trump has released a budget blueprint outlining increased military spending and cuts across other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Congress will still have to draft a formal budget, but the plan released Thursday by the White House indicates the president's priorities. Read the full document below.

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