Economy & Business

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The pot lobby hits Capitol Hill

May 24, 2018

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. But when it comes to federal law, marijuana is illegal. This legal-illegal thing makes it complicated and expensive to operate a pot business. That's why a couple hundred business owners and members of the National Cannabis Industry Association hit Capitol Hill this week to press lawmakers to legalize marijuana, or at least ease certain banking and tax laws. 

(Markets Edition) The Trump team is looking into penalties on imported cars and trucks, which may be an attempt to target Mexico since they're one of our largest exporters. We'll explore why this might hurt hurt the auto industry, particularly in areas like the Midwest, and how the U.S. is pushing Mexico to create alliances with the European Union.

The U.S. takes credit for creating the Internet, and the European Union seems determined to govern it. On Friday, a sweeping new directive goes into effect called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Taken together, its 99 articles represent the biggest ever change to data privacy laws. The new rules have implications for U.S. Internet users too.

Here are answers to three questions you might have about the new law and its potential impacts.

What is GDPR?

Inventory shortage driving existing home sales market

May 24, 2018

There’s a shortage of existing homes for sale in some parts of the country and prices are going up steadily. Part of the problem is that people aren’t moving and there aren’t enough new homes being built.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Plastic straws could be banned in New York City if a new bill introduced in the city council this week goes through. Similar restrictions are being considered for California. Several cities there have already banned the plastic straw. And both the U.K. and Taiwan have announced plans to eliminate them. Today McDonald’s shareholders are scheduled to meet and consider a proposal to get rid of the company’s red and yellow striped plastic straws. What would it take for McDonald’s to change?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) The Trump administration is looking into applying import tariffs on foreign cars and trucks, which may go as high as 25 percent for vehicles from Toyota or Honda. But could this actually help the American auto industry? We'll look at the unintended consequences of a decision like this. Afterwards, we'll talk to the CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. John Noseworthy, about his goal of reducing the amount of wasteful visits you have to take to the doctor's. (05/24/2018)

When Michigan State University announced a $500 million settlement last week with victims of convicted sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar, officials didn’t say how they would pay for it. Interim President John Engler told Michigan Radio that insurance will cover some of the cost. The university may have to borrow some money or dip into reserves.

Can Colombia turn peace into economic prosperity?

May 24, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Shares in European and Asian car companies have stalled after the U.S. raised the prospect of applying import tariffs on national security grounds. We ask economist David Bailey what's next. Then, Deutsche Bank is cutting 7,000 jobs as the bank's new chief executive vows to go back to basics. And, after half a century of civil war, Colombians are still struggling with the country's slow economic recovery. We explore the region's issues ahead of this weekend's election.

The Mayo Clinic wants you to see the doctor less

May 24, 2018

You probably know the Mayo Clinic for its doctors and from a few of the Google searches you've done when your lower back was hurting. But how about the next big thing in medicine, which could be artificial intelligence or a merger with Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway?

Well, no promises yet, but Dr. John Noseworthy, the president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic, has entrepreneurial plans for the hospital that opened in 1889. 

The problem of governments using facial recognition software

May 24, 2018

This week, Amazon is facing backlash for selling facial recognition tools to police. The American Civil Liberties Union says the company was powering a government surveillance infrastructure. Amazon says its services can be used for anything from finding lost children to spotting celebrities at the royal wedding to tracking down criminals. Facial recognition is an increasingly powerful tool that’s raising a lot of privacy concerns. And not every company thinks these tools should be sold to every buyer.

This week, Amazon is facing backlash for selling facial recognition tools to police. The American Civil Liberties Union says the company was powering a government surveillance infrastructure. Amazon says its services can be used for anything from finding lost children to spotting celebrities at the royal wedding to tracking down criminals. Facial recognition is an increasingly powerful tool that’s raising a lot of privacy concerns. And not every company thinks these tools should be sold to every buyer.

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President Trump is weighing new protections for domestic automakers, saying American auto workers have "waited long enough."

Trump met Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and instructed him to consider an investigation into possible tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts.

A similar investigation launched last year resulted in a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, although in many cases those tariffs have been suspended while the U.S. negotiates with exporting countries.

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