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Just seven months ago, Puerto Rican chef Jose Sanchez opened the restaurant of his dreams: a place where you could feel like you were in Italy one day, and like you were in France the next.

He served up fusion cuisine and called it Pera Maraya. There was deconstructed ratatouille, caprese salad with octopus. The restaurant in Carolina, east of San Juan, was getting rave reviews: five stars on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook. He spent nearly a decade saving up to open this restaurant, and was overjoyed at how quickly it found success.

10/20/2017: Macroeconomics' big mystery

Oct 20, 2017

Seeking answers on why inflation won't do what everyone expects it to, Kai Ryssdal interviews a former Fed governor. In the world of health care, we investigate why rates of uninsured Americans are up for the first time since 2014 and what type of emergency President Donald Trump will declare the opioid epidemic. Plus, we'll run through this week's steps forward (and backward) in NAFTA renegotiations, tax reform and Trump's impending appointment of the next Fed chair.

Wait times for Social Security benefit appeals leave people in limbo

Oct 20, 2017

Americans seeking Social Security disability benefits face massive administrative backlogs and long wait times. Over 1 million people are currently waiting on a decision for a disability hearing request. The average processing time for an appeal is 602 days, almost two years.

Joyce Otteng filed for disability benefits in 2014. Her lawyers cited severe osteoarthritis, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression as reasons she couldn't work and deserved benefits.

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Dove isn't the only skin-care company caught up in a controversy about its ads.

Nivea, a German company with global reach, has been called out on social media for ads in West Africa that many described as racist, colorist and tone-deaf.

The ads promote Natural Fairness Body Lotion, a cream that promises, according to the tagline, "visibly fairer skin." The social media storm erupted after the Ghanaian musician Fuse ODG posted the ad on Instagram this week.

How a Salvadoran theater is giving women a second chance at life

Oct 20, 2017

It’s a Thursday evening at a theater in El Salvador's capital, San Salvador. As the performers of La Cachada Teatro prepare to take the stage, the audience is told to keep an open mind — and an open heart. 

"Welcome to Applebee's."

That's the first thing I hear. The words ring out, even before the large glass door closes behind me. A young hostess in a black shirt, with an earpiece on, eagerly flashes me a smile.

I approach.

And, as I would soon learn, that small, initial interaction is what this Applebee's hopes will keep it alive.

10/20/2017: Money, mouths and method acting

Oct 20, 2017

Do you put your money where your mouth is? That's the question we're digging into this week. As businesses embrace activism and causes, does it actually help? Or is promoting a cause just a way for a company to boost its reputation? Plus, a look at the money around actual mouths — and how Netflix could partially be to blame for the decline of suburban restaurant chains like TGI Fridays and Applebee's. Also, we speak with a former Social Security Administration commissioner about the Americans stuck on waiting lists for hearings to receive disability benefits.

Ana Swanson of the New York Times and Sudeep Reddy of Politico join us to discuss the week’s business and economic news. The Senate approved a budget deal on Thursday that is said to pave the way for tax reform. We break down what it means and what the next step is. Plus, the Trump administration has plenty of political hurdles to jump to get what it wants, so what’s the latest on NAFTA negotiations? Lastly, we discuss what’s at stake if President Donald Trump decides to replace Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.  

It's no secret why we're talking about sexual harassment and workplace relationships. Things people once whispered to each other are now in the public eye. In Hollywood, sure, but also across industries and offices. So if you do file a report about harassment, what are your rights?

We talked to Alison Green from Ask a Manager to discuss the various boundaries in work relationships. Below is a summary of her answers.  

Gallup is out with a new survey today. It shows a steady increase in the number of uninsured adults in the U.S. That’s in spite of a fairly healthy economy, and falling unemployment rate. So what’s going on?  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Next week, President Donald Trump has said he plans to officially declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. States were given nearly $500 million in additional funding for opioid addiction treatment earlier this year – so what would this new emergency declaration do?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Fed might not have inflation all figured out

Oct 20, 2017

The macro-economic number of the past decade or so has been "two," as in 2 percent, the Federal Reserves inflation target. The thing is actual inflation, as in the economy, hasn't been playing along with the Fed. It has been running steadily below 2 percent as it pleases, thank you very much. Exactly why inflation's still so low, despite an unemployment rate that should be helping to drive prices up, is a mystery to the Fed, and a subject of interest to former Fed governor Daniel Tarullo. He wonders if maybe we're doing it wrong.

A month after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's power grid, island officials report more than 80 percent of the island still doesn't have electricity. People are relying on diesel generators, if they can get them, and waiting hours in line to buy fuel for them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has tasked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with getting the lights back on. Its mission ranges from providing generators for critical public facilities to repairing power lines across the island.

When social causes meet product sales, you get the cause market

Oct 20, 2017

You may not be familiar with the term "cause marketing," but you've probably seen it. At the Paseo Mall in Pasadena, California, a pink-colored LED light display provides a nighttime backdrop. It's part of the mall's "Paseo Goes Pink" campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October. Customers are encouraged to take photos of themselves under the lights, which enters them into a raffle. 

"The campaign is all month long," said Sarah Neuman, the spokesperson for the mall. "So from Oct. 1 until the 31st."