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Marketplace for Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Apr 26, 2016
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Marketplace

Kai interviews Nike co-founder Phil Knight about about the iconic brand's humble beginnings; Congress debates a debt relief bill while Puerto Rico faces a daunting debt crisis; and how tech companies are trying to make mobile communication more safe for motorists.

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Andy Uhler

Puerto Rico has racked up some pretty serious debt. At last check, it's more than $70 billion. The territory says it can't make payments on it. And lots of people are talking about what to do about it. Congress is considering a debt relief bill. The "Hamilton" creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, even put together a performance about it on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Sunday.

When movie stars are your teachers

Apr 26, 2016
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Janet Nguyen

A lot is going on in the educational space. Here are some need-to-know numbers about the learning realm.

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Gigi Douban

Safe drinking water is an issue that’s been playing out not just in Flint, Michigan, but in cities from Parksburg, West Virginia, to Hoosick Falls, New York. And it’s a question many courts are taking on. Among the most recent dispute is in North Alabama, where residents and a water authority are suing 3M, maker of products from Scotchgard to Post-It Notes, in connection with chemical pollutants in the water supply.

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Kai Ryssdal

Listen to our full interview with Phil Knight by clicking here or subscribing to the podcast. Just want the highlights? Check 'em out here.

Phil Knight has held many jobs in his life. He was in the Army Reserves, he was a professor of accounting and a CPA.

Hey! Wake up! Need another cup of coffee?

Join the club. Apparently about a third of Americans are sleep-deprived. And their employers are probably paying for it, in the form of mistakes, productivity loss, accidents and increased health insurance costs.

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The new owners unveiled ambitious plans Monday for the 300,000 square foot Grand Avenue Mall in downtown Milwaukee, including a trendy mix of office space, shops, restaurants and even a grocery store.

The planners say they're confident their vision will help bring back the crowds.

Shoppers have dwindled since the Grand Avenue Mall first opened in the early 1980s. Today, a few stores still lure people, so does the food court – especially during the work week. But some spaces seem to draw virtually no one’s attention.

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Amy Scott

This week marks a year since the city of Baltimore erupted in violence and looting following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody. The uprising brought national attention to stark inequality in the city. More than half the adults in the mostly black neighborhood where Gray grew up are unemployed. For a lot of people in impoverished neighborhoods, a history with the justice system can be a barrier to finding work. One program is trying to turn that around.

Now you can take celebrity online courses

Apr 26, 2016
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Ashley Milne-Tyte

An online learning startup called MasterClass raised a big round of funding — $15 million. It uses not academic celebrities, but the real US Weekly kind to teach its courses: from best-selling author James Patterson on writing, to Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey on acting.

Learning singing from Christina Aguilera or acting from Spacey is pretty tempting. You pay $90 for a five-hour course. Richard Garrett, chief research officer at Eduventures, said a company like MasterClass isn't a rival to online higher education, but they share some challenges.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for the biggest ever IPO

Apr 26, 2016
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JaeRan Kim

Saudi Arabia has begun releasing information on its ambitious plans to reform its economy away from oil dependence. Part of the plan includes offering up shares of state-owned oil company Aramco in what could be the largest-ever initial public offering. 

Though less than 5 percent of the company would be sold, such an offering would be expected to bring at least $100 billion. 

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Apr 26, 2016
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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about online campaign fundraising with BuzzFeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro; America's industrial technology landscape; and Twitter earnings. 

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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about why Saudi Arabia plans to weaken its dependence on oil, and the fall of Mitsubishi's stock amid an emissions scandal.

Quirtina Crittenden was struggling to get a room on Airbnb. She would send a request to a host. Wait. And then get declined.

"The hosts would always come up with excuses like, 'oh, someone actually just booked it' or 'oh, some of my regulars are coming in town, and they're going to stay there,'" Crittenden said. "But I got suspicious when I would check back like days later and see that those dates were still available."

Charter Communications has bid more than $88 billion to buy its larger rival, Time Warner Cable, and a smaller competitor called Bright House Networks — and it's closing in on the required regulatory approval from federal authorities.

The deal would be yet another major shakeup in the telecom industry: It would form the second-largest Internet provider, behind Comcast, and the third-largest video provider, behind Comcast and the newly merged AT&T/DirecTV.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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