Economy & Business

Business news

Mexico's energy reform and Pemex both face challenges

Feb 23, 2017
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Lorne Matalon

President Donald Trump says he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. That has a lot of businesses that do cross-border trade concerned, including some U.S. energy executives, even though energy was excluded from NAFTA.

For nearly a century, people have reported mysterious epidemics of permanent paralysis in rural regions of Africa. In 1990, Hans Rosling a Swedish epidemiologist and pop-star statistician, who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this month, linked the malady to cyanide in the staple crop, cassava.

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Lorne Matalon

Just because foreign companies can now invest in Mexico’s state-owned energy agency Pemex, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will. Seventy-five years of monopoly bred messy finances, debt, nepotism and corruption. But it’s too big an opportunity for some to pass up, and we’ll likely see U.S. companies involved with Pemex’s modernization. Next, our sustainability desk visits tech startups that are figuring out better places to put carbon dioxide than into the air — and some of their solutions make pretty useful products. Plus, the coal conversation continues with an update from Wyoming.

Trump administration hopes to pass tax reform by August

Feb 23, 2017

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is hoping to pass major tax reform legislation before Congress leaves for its August recess. President Donald Trump has set ambitious goals of economic growth of 3 percent or higher, rates not seen in over a decade. Mnuchin said the administration will achieve this through a combination of tax cuts and regulatory reform to spur economic growth.

02/23/17: The possibility of a century-long bond

Feb 23, 2017

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may be taking on an unusual financial plan: ultra-long bonds. Diane Swonk from DS Economics explains the rationale behind the proposal. Afterwards, we'll look at how educators are trying to fight against the stigma of vocational training and find a new generation of skilled workers. 

Changing carbon from waste into gold

Feb 23, 2017
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JaeRan Kim

For the most part, fighting against climate change means keeping as much carbon out of the air as possible, whether that means generating energy from solar and wind sources or capturing the carbon that comes out of less-clean sources. Strategies for captured carbon include liquefying it and storing it underground. Some companies, though, are turning that waste carbon into a revenue source.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Amy Scott

In the computerized machining lab at Berks Career and Technology Center, just outside Reading, Pa., Tim DeAcosta shows off a state-of-the-art computer numerical control, or CNC, machine. He sets a blank metal plate inside, types some codes into a control panel, and closes the double doors to watch as a tool carves a pattern into the plate.

Can Netflix hook viewers on reality TV?

Feb 23, 2017

Netflix will launch its first reality show on Feb. 24. The physical competition show, “Ultimate Beastmaster,” is kind of like a global version of “American Ninja Warrior.” Netflix is making six localized versions of the show: six different languages, six different sets of hosts and the same set of competitors. It’s part of the streaming service’s promised 1,000  hours of original programming this year, shows that will keep its 94 million-member worldwide audience happily subscribing.

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Can the U.S.-Mexico relationship be saved?

Feb 23, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are in Mexico for talks. They will be covering a variety of topics from security to trade, but most of all, they’ll be trying to smooth over what are now very fraught relations between the two countries. There’s a whole lot at stake. 

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Coal country mourns job losses, town heroes

Feb 22, 2017
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Scott Tong

Bringing back coal mining jobs is at the top of President Donald Trump's energy agenda. But it's unclear whether Washington has the power to upend a complex set of trends that have to do with regulations, markets and technology.

In the coal fields of southern Illinois, it's getting harder to find lumps of coal dancing across conveyor belts on the way to market. Last year, some 6,000 miners lost their jobs, bringing the total employment count below 50,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

02/23/17: A state of crisis

Feb 22, 2017
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Marketplace

Members of Trump's cabinet are in Mexico for talks, but can they smooth over a tense relationship between the country and the U.S.? We'll look at what's at stake during the visit. Afterwards, we'll dive into how Brexit will affect banking and then explore the job losses that southern Illinois coal towns are experiencing.

02/23/17: Funding in outer space

Feb 22, 2017
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Marketplace

We're look at how public-private partnerships, like the collaboration between NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX, are changing how America's space program works. Afterward, we'll talk to analyst Tasha Keeney about how fully autonomous cars may start pulling up into our lives earlier than expected. 

Episode 654: When The Boats Arrive

Feb 22, 2017

This episode originally ran in 2015.

In 1980, Fidel Castro had a problem. The Cuban economy was in shambles. And there was open dissent in his tightly controlled country. People wanted to leave.

Castro said they didn't 'have revolutionary blood.' So he decided, you know what? If you don't like it here, you can leave. Get on any boat you can find at the port of Mariel, near Havana.

The Dakota Access Pipeline's route takes it over four states and nearly 1,200 miles, from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and down to a terminal in Illinois.

But one Missouri River crossing just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota has become the focal point of a fight over how the pipeline's route was analyzed and approved by the federal government.

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