Economy & Business

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The massive container ships that ply the high seas bring us pineapples and mangoes in winter, and computers and cheap t-shirts all year round. But the shipping industry is a volatile, cyclical and ferociously competitive business. There are good years and bad years.

And then there's this year.

For Gawker Media's websites to live, Gawker.com, the actual namesake website, has to die. It will be shut down next week by its new owner, a victim of its own poisoned legacy.

Any obituary should start by acknowledging the good the subject rendered to the world. There's no reason not to do that here, other than the extent to which that impulse might appall some of Gawker's own writers were it a piece about the demise of another publication.

Scandal? Juda Engelmayer's seen his share of corporate scandals: "Failures, lawsuits, arrest, financial breakdowns, tainted food."

All things he's handled as head of crisis communications for 5W Public Relations. It's no fun, he says, dethroning a titan over a big mistake.

"Trying to counsel a client who's done something wrong and trying to convince them that, A. they've done something wrong, and B. to come out and say it to the public that's loved them and adored them for a long time — not easy to do," he says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Weekly Wrap: Jobs, oil and markets

Aug 19, 2016

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal and Linette Lopez from Business Insider. This week, they discuss a hopeful report on middle-income jobs from the Fed the upcoming OPEC meeting.

On a blisteringly hot day at the state fairgrounds in Skowhegan, Maine, Kathy Savoie takes some local blueberries and simmers them in a pot.

She adds onions, ginger, vinegar, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black pepper and salt. And, later, she drops in some calcium water, pectin and sugar for consistency.

Clearly, what she calls "savory blueberry ginger conserve" is not your grandma's blueberry jam.

What visual albums say about today's music industry

Aug 19, 2016
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Sabri Ben-Achour

If you haven't been waiting for Frank Ocean's first new album in four years, you probably know someone who has. Or maybe you found out about the whole thing when your Twitter blew itself up last night over Ocean’s new 45-minute-long "video album." It's called "Endless" and is available, at least now, only on Apple Music.

Ocean's taking a page from Beyonce, who did the same thing with "Lemonade," which debuted on HBO and then was released exclusively on the streaming service Tidal. That's the one co-owned by her husband, Jay Z. 

Team Trump unleashes its first TV ad

Aug 19, 2016
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Gigi Douban

Make no mistake: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has gotten a lot of air time, especially for a candidate who's spent zero on TV ads. Well, zero until now. Trump's first ad of the 2016 election hits swing-state TVs today. 

Oakland, California, might be the center of gentrification

Aug 19, 2016
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Molly Wood and Hayley Hershman

Oakland, California, is a textbook example of the effects of gentrification.

Tech Intervention: Slow it down a little, Volvo

Aug 19, 2016
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Molly Wood

You probably heard the news that Uber plans to start testing autonomous cars in Pittsburgh as soon as the end of the month, using a fleet of semi-autonomous Volvo XC90 vehicles. 

The high cost of constructing affordable housing

Aug 19, 2016
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Molly Wood

Bloomberg reporter Patrick Clark said in a recent article that despite high demand, developers aren’t racing to build affordable housing because it’s very difficult to make money on these projects. Clark explores potential solutions to the housing shortage, but also asks what it might mean for cities and working-class folks if there isn’t enough affordable housing to go around.

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Molly Wood

What comes after self-driving cars? Self-driving trucks. The impact these autonomous vehicles could have on our economy is pretty significant.

In a recent Vox article, David Roberts explains how self-driving trucks could result in 1.8 million truck drivers losing their jobs. Roberts explains to Molly Wood that these trucking jobs are one of the last, solidly middle-class jobs that do not require a college degree. 

The online campaign for votes in the 2016 election

Aug 19, 2016
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Molly Wood and Eliza Mills

The 2016 election marches on, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton battling for voters in televised addresses, in swing states and online.

Social media was a fairly novel element in the 2008 election and more noticible in 2012. This year, it is fully incorporated into the election, with campaign staffers tweeting speeches and polls, candidates hosting conversations on Facebook and everyone documenting the election on Instagram.

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

Artisanal Food Waste: Can You Turn Scraps Into Premium Products?

Aug 19, 2016

Many efforts to address the food waste crisis hinge on getting consumers to buy fruits and vegetables that are adorably ugly — the bumpy tomato, the bulbous carrot, the dinged apple. Taste and nutritional value aren't compromised by their irregular appearance.

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