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There's some insult being added to the injury in Florida this week. On top of the flooding and the wind damage — and damage to property of other kinds — it's especially difficult right now for Floridians to get their insurance claims processed. The problem being that a lot of the insurance adjusters are in Houston, because Harvey got there first.

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The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement has become a major irritant in U.S.-Mexico relations, something President Trump acknowledged before the second round of NAFTA negotiations kicked off in Mexico last week.

On the first sunny day in Houston after about 50 inches of rain, residents in the east Houston community of Manchester emerged from their homes and gave thanks that their neighborhood had been spared in the floods. "Mama, yeah, I just feel blessed," said 73-year-old Maria Julia Rodriguez, standing in her driveway in late August and marveling at her luck. "God was looking out for us, I guess."

(Markets Edition) Another reason we all wish Harvey and Irma never happened: they arrived very late in America's economic cycle, which could slow rebuilding. On today's show, economist Diane Swonk breaks down what these natural disasters spell for the country's economy. Afterwards, we'll look at Trump's decision to block the $1.3 billion sale of an Oregon-based chipmaker to a Chinese-backed firm. Then, we'll talk with Marketplace regular Allan Sloan about this frustration with the Equifax data breach and the company's power over consumers.

Amazon's building a mega warehouse — in Mexico

Sep 14, 2017

Amazon is reportedly opening a million square-foot warehouse in Mexico. It’s been selling physical goods there for only two years, but it’s seen fast growth in that time and is now the third biggest online retailer there. So what is the potential for the growth that it's banking on in Mexico, and what are the challenges? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. government will stop using anti-virus software made by the Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. While Kaspersky has denied colluding with the Russian government, we'll look at how this software could be used to surveil consumers. Then, as Amazon prepares to build a mega-warehouse in Mexico, we'll talk about the country's growing reliance on online shopping. And finally, we'll discuss whether low inflation is a real problem for the U.S.

The federal government provides SNAP benefits, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps, to those that need financial help to buy groceries. It’s a program that’s has not traditionally been on the cutting edge of tech. In fact, eight states won't even let you apply for benefits online and only a few have apps that let you check your balance. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Jimmy Chen, CEO of Propel, which created the Fresh EBT app. It allows people to check their Electronic Benefits Transfer balance on their phone or computer.

Tech hasn't kept up with food stamp users' needs

Sep 14, 2017

When you think of food stamps, you may think of physical pieces of paper that people bring to the grocery store. But users actually access their money with a card that looks kind of like a credit card.

But tech hasn't exactly kept up with the needs of people who use food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. To check their balance, they have to call a government number and enter a 16-digit ID number.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... President Donald Trump has barred the sale of a U.S. chip manufacturer to a Chinese-backed firm. We’ll tell you what’s behind the move. Afterwards, we reflect on the 10-year anniversary of the first run on a British bank in 150 years, and explore whether the world’s financial institutions are better off now than they were a decade ago. Then, we take you to Berlin where Germans are preparing to head to the polls next week. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to win a fourth term, not everyone is happy.

Episode 647: Hard Work Is Irrelevant

Sep 13, 2017

Note: This episode originally ran in 2015.

Most companies reward hard work. This is why people get paid overtime, and why full-time workers make more than part-time ones.

But, if you think about it, hard work alone says nothing about how much value you create. You could be toiling day and night, and be mostly useless to your employer. To your employer's bottom line, what really matters isn't how much you put in, but what you deliver.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Last week, as Irma approached, Tesla increased the battery life of its electric cars to help drivers evacuate. As Julia DeWitt from our Planet Money podcast reports, this was a welcome surprise that also raised some questions in the minds of Tesla owners.

FDA Moves To Rein In Drugmakers' Abuse Of Orphan Drug Law

Sep 13, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration is changing the way it approves medicines known as "orphan drugs" after revelations that drugmakers may be abusing a law intended to help patients with rare diseases.

On a clear day, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich can see Mount Adams from the vineyard where she works in Hood River, Ore. But lately, she's had difficulty seeing to the end of her property line.

With the Eagle Creek Fire burning along the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River has been cloaked in heavy smoke for more than a week. The fire now covers roughly 36,000 acres and has been burning since Sept. 2. Fire crews don't expect to be able to contain it until the end of the month.