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Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rolled up with his motorcade over a massive red carpet to the opening of a social housing project, sparking outrage about apparent wastefulness in a country suffering from high levels of poverty.

According to local media reports, the red carpet was rolled out in 6th of October City, a suburb of Egypt's capital Cairo.

Out for dinner with a group of friends, Christina Dierkes, a science writer with Ohio Sea Grant in Columbus, was feeling adventurous. It took some steely courage to order the Caribbean Roll at Mr. Sushi's. Not so much for the tuna and avocado on the inside — that's a combination that's appealing to many of us. But the tuna sushi in this spectacularly Americanized roll is topped with a deep-fried banana, honey, mayonnaise and a generous dash of coconut crumbs. Yum?

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Kai Ryssdal

Celebrities...they're just like us.

President Obama did his regular Super Bowl interview last night in which he revealed, stop the presses, that the Wifi in the family quarters in the White House stinks.

Apparently it bugs his kids no end, Michelle Obama, too.

One does wonder, though, whether he couldn't just get a couple of White House Communications Agency people up there to fix it, right?

Jim Fallows and his wife Deb Fallows have been touring the United States by plane for the past three years. They have been stopping in small towns to learn how communities are coming together. It’s a collaboration between Marketplace and The Atlantic called American Futures.

Beyonce's singular business model

Feb 8, 2016
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Kim Adams

The figures are in for viewership on the Super Bowl, and Nielsen said the game and all the trappings reached an average of nearly 112 million pairs of eyeballs. Which is a lot, but down, ever so slightly, from the last two years.

Even more tuned in for the half time show, many watching for Beyoncé, who released a new song the day before the game. “Formation” was a surprise gift for fans, free exclusively on her husband’s Jay-Z streaming service, Tidal. The new song and game-day performance was topped off by an announcement of a new world tour.

Fighting poverty one house at a time

Feb 8, 2016
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Caitlin Esch

Driving through Allendale County, forests and cotton fields give way to a small town, also called Allendale. Abandoned motels and vacant storefronts line Route 301, reminiscent of better days.

Allendale is the poorest county in South Carolina — a third of all residents live in poverty, according to the Census. So the Obama Administration has named Allendale County a Promise Zone, along with five other counties in rural South Carolina.

That means the region will be prioritized for federal grants and loan packages aimed at reducing poverty.

Record floods in Missouri spur debate over levees

Feb 8, 2016
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James M. Rosenbaum

On a particularly chilly afternoon before New Year’s Day, residents of Pacific, Missouri got in their cars and drove to a hilltop park. What they saw was startling: Floodwaters from the Meramec River submerged a big chunk of the city’s residential neighborhoods and an even larger swath of the business district.

Hollywood takes a gamble during TV pilot season

Feb 8, 2016

It’s pilot season in Hollywood – the time of the year when broadcast networks place bets on shows for the fall season.

Host Kai Ryssdal talks to Marketplace correspondent Adriene Hill on how some scripts get turned to series and what pushes networks to hedge their bets on more pilot shows.

“They’ve got to come up with something that is going to please advertisers and appeal to a wide group of people,” Hill said. “But also something that we’re going to want to watch in this super competitive landscape.”

Listen to the full interview above. 

When campaigning, boots are cheaper than ads

Feb 8, 2016
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Sabri Ben-Achour

If you’re running for president and you’re looking at your war chest, you have to make constant decisions about how to divvy up your time and your money.  

“It’s called strategy,” said Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus.

 You can focus on rallies or expensive TV ads — $15 million dollars was spent at one local New Hampshire TV station in just the past 10 weeks. 

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