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John Jenkins

Inside a giant glass cube in the Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Station, two world-ranked squash players are running, swatting, lunging and turning on a dime as fans and travelers look on. Behind the scenes in the VIP room, sponsors are sharing drinks and talking business.

Ziad Al-Turki is the chairman of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and a self-described Squash Junkie.

“We all laugh that we’re not squash players we’re squash users,” Al-Turki said.

01/19/17: The history of Mars

Jan 18, 2017
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Marketplace

Thousands are heading to Washington for Trump's inauguration — many of them to protest the event. Rally, a tech platform that connects riders with transportation to big events, is getting a lot of business right now thanks to anti-Trump activists. Co-founder Siheun Song explains how the service works. Next, we'll step outside of the planet to look at evidence from Mars rover Curiosity about possible mud cracks on the planet, which could tell us something about the possible history of life there. 

Episode 748: Undoing Obama

Jan 18, 2017

There is this race going on right now in Washington D.C. The finish line is Friday at noon--inauguration day. The desperate runners are all the people who work for Barack Obama. They're rushing to do everything they can to cement the legacy of this president before the next one takes office.

The way they are doing this: Rules. Congress may pass the laws, but the president and the agency heads he appoints write the rules. And it is the rules that dictate how laws play out in our daily lives--how strong a regulation will be, and even who gets funding.

It took years of heated debate, but the federal government has finally decided just how much living space an organic chicken should have.

It's part of a new set of rules that cover many aspects of animal welfare in the organic food industry. But the biggest impact of the rule will be felt in the organic egg industry.

When Donald Trump won the presidential election, he made a pledge to every citizen: that he would be president for all Americans. In the weeks before Trump's inauguration, we're going to hear about some of the communities that make up this nation, from the people who know them best, in our series Finding America.

Holdenville, Okla., is home to about 5,800 people. It has a small downtown with banks, restaurants and a few shops, though some are closed down.

It took about two weeks, nearly 7,500 miles, nine countries and two continents. But before this freight train could roll to a well-deserved stop, it had to break through one final barrier, a banner proclaiming its historic achievement:

"First freight train from China to UK — Yiwu to London."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Unlike many other Trump nominees Wilbur Ross makes some Republicans nervous, and has common ground with some Democrats.

In fact, the Commerce Secretary nominee was once a Democrat himself. He's won the the support of labor unions, and saved tens of thousands jobs buying and basically rescuing bankrupt steel companies.

Democrats largely offered Ross a warm reception Wednesday at his confirmation hearing. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he was impressed by Ross' decision to sell off a huge portion of his assets to avoid conflicts of interest.

In one of its last acts, the Obama administration has contributed $500 million to a United Nations fund that will help developing countries deal with climate change. That brings the total contributed by the U.S. to $1 billion — which sounds like a lot. Is it?

The Obama administration last week launched a new allegation with the World Trade Organization against Chinese aluminum subsidies.  It accused Beijing of using cheap state-directed loans and subsidized energy to artificially expand its global market share.

No matter how this complaint turns out, it provides the president-elect another ready sledgehammer with which to batter China.

President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services is taking heat for his controversial stock holdings in companies affected by laws he has worked on and voted for. But federal records show several senators who will take part in confirmation hearings for Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, have substantial health-related holdings as well.

Chances are you or somebody you know has recently become the owner of an Instant Pot, the multifunction electric pressure cooker that can produce fork-tender pot roasts in less than an hour, as well as brown meat, cook beans without soaking, and even do the job of a rice cooker or crockpot.

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Molly Wood

If you've ever traveled to Japan, you've probably been amazed by the fancy toilet seats. They are hyper-efficient and hyper-futuristic.

Toto is the best-known brand. But when tourists were surveyed in 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal, a quarter of foreign users said that they didn't understand the various buttons nor their respective functions on a typical Toto toilet.

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D Gorenstein

Congressman Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head up the Department of Health and Human Services, faced his first Senate confirmation hearing today.

While he was light on the specifics of what the incoming Trump administration wants to replace Obamacare with, he did say, "I think health savings accounts and high-deductible catastrophic coverage are things that make a whole lot of sense  for many individuals, and we ought not force anybody to do anything. It ought to be a voluntary choice, but they ought to have the choice to be able to select them."

Companies try to avoid the Trump Twitter treatment

Jan 18, 2017

It's not even Inauguration Day yet, but we're getting a pretty clear sense of President-elect Donald Trump's negotiating style with corporate America. His tweets have chastised manufacturers like Carrier, GM and Ford for outsourcing jobs, prompting those companies to promise to add or retain jobs domestically. And now several others are promising expansions and investments before the Trump Tweet hammer falls.

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