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President Obama is now working to try to convince Democrats in Congress to go along with fast track authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Supporters of the free trade agreement say it’s a necessary deal in order to open markets for a variety of products, from agricultural to automotive. But opponents say the deal stands to be another blow to American labor, which they say is already in a weakened state, thanks to previous trade agreements such as NAFTA.

B. North

North Korea has a reputation for strict guidelines in all aspects, most especially tourist travel. But a Milwaukee man was invited to the county recently for an athletic event.

Chris Sturdevant competed in the Pyongyang Marathon's 10K race and won a second place medal. Organizers of the race describe it as “the most unprecedented athletic event of the year.”

Sturdevant ran pass some of North Korea's most notable tourist attractions. He stopped by the Lake Effect studio to share his experience.

Backbone Campaign / Flickr

As negotiations over the TPP are continuing, it’s generating some unusual political alliances.  Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank surprised himself a little when he considered the trade deal’s merits:

Omar Havana/Getty Images

The devastating earthquake in Nepal has shaken the local Nepali community.

Tilak KC says he and other natives of Nepal, who now call the Milwaukee area home, learned of the weekend earthquake in the middle of the night here. Information was scarce at first, but eventually trickled in. He finally heard on Monday that his brother was alive.

Parashu Giri says the community continues to pay close attention to the news. He’s concerned the number of lives lost will rise, as rescue efforts spread to rural areas.

Emily Forman

By day, Khary Penebaker works in the roofing business. On nights and weekends, he meets with gun violence survivors.

Penebaker volunteers with Everytown for Gun Safety and Mom’s Demand Action, groups that advocate for laws intended to prevent gun violence.

His story starts in September of 1978; he was 17 months old. That's the year his mother committed suicide. 

If you have a story you would like to share, please visit preciouslivesproject.org.

B. North

Internationally acclaimed violinist Itzhak Perlman has won fifteen Grammy Awards, performed for Presidents and royalty, and for hundreds of thousands of normal people as well.

Tonight, he’ll perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Francesco Lecce-Chong at Uhlein Hall.  We had the honor of sitting down with Itzhak Perlman ahead of that performance:

benjamin sTone / Flickr

Downsizing – no matter what the circumstances – is never an easy thing.

That’s especially true when it comes to helping loved ones who may be moving from their longtime family home into senior living or other arrangements. It’s something we have all either done, will do, or are doing right now – for our families or ourselves. 

Helping with that transition is the business of Wauwatosa native Anne Neafie. Golden Transitions specializes in estate sales – both to help downsize or to liquidate an estate.

yahadinunum.org

The atrocities committed by the Nazis in World War II are well-known today, or many of them are, anyway.  Seventy years ago, the war was ending and the horrific murders of millions in the concentration camps of Europe were coming to light.

Firehouse Bats / facebook.com

Back in 2013, Buddy Herberg was wrapping up his college baseball career as a catcher with the Cardinal Stritch Wolves, and thinking about life after school.

Two years later, Herberg is playing semipro baseball and occupying the rest of his time with what used to be a hobby – making wooden baseball bats.

What first started in the basement of his dad's firehouse in 2009 has turned into a growing business that brings in orders of up to twenty-five bats a day.

Gianofer Fields

We've all had those days when we misplace our keys, lose our glasses or can't remember our passwords. However, there are those for whom these minor memory slips don't get better.

When Jenny Marquess’ father started showing signs of memory loss, she promised him that she would keep him in his home for as long as she could keep him safe. Nine years ago she moved in with him and watched him slowly lose his sense of place and time. 

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