Economy & Business

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What happens when you download your Facebook data

Apr 16, 2018

During his congressional testimony last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked by Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal whether he thinks Facebook users should be able to get their hands on all the information the company and advertiser have on them. Zuckerberg told him that Facebook already has a “download your information” tool that “allows people to see and to take out all of the information that Facebook — that they've put into Facebook or that Facebook knows about them.”

Beyoncé left a "big pair of beautiful silvery boots" to fill at Coachella

Apr 16, 2018

Beyoncé made her Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival debut this weekend. She’s the first black woman to headline at Coachella. Some reviewers described her two-hour set at the highest-grossing music festival in the country as a tribute to black culture. Danielle Young is a writer and producer at The Root. She talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about Beyoncé’s performance. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

In China, policies can be incredibly effective, if the government wants them to be. Public anger mounted in 2013 after a particularly bad bout of smog hung across parts of northeastern China forcing highways and airports to close. China’s premier Li Keqiang declared a “war on pollution” the following year.

The European Union is preparing to implement sweeping privacy rules next month, but these new protections of individuals' information may set a new standard around the world — including in the U.S.

Beginning May 25, under the new General Data Protection Regulation, companies that collect or mine personal data must ask users for consent. No longer will firms be able to bury disclosures about pervasive tracking in hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

There's encouraging news for cancer treatments that stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells. A widely used immunotherapy drug appears to be useful in a greater number of patients with lung cancer.

The drug called Keytruda, or pembrolizumab, is already prescribed to a group of patients who have a type of malignancy called non-small cell lung cancer. It's the principal form of lung cancer and found most commonly in people who have smoked.

Activists Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms have noticed that as the world changes, the idea of power is shifting. They argue that the forces behind this shift are either “wildly romanticized or dangerously underestimated.”

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

Where might you find a city that uses only renewable energy?

Try Georgetown, Texas — a red town in a red state that’s going green.

Georgetown’s power company is owned by the city. And that allowed Mayor Dale Ross, who is described as “something of a libertarian at heart,” to make the move away from fossil fuels.

As Smithsonian Magazine reports:

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A fun thing to do when you have few minutes is watch college acceptance videos on YouTube.  In one classic example, Rylee Hickman, a high school senior in St. Petersburg, Florida, sits at her laptop, flanked by her mom and dad, awaiting a message from Cornell University. It’s December 2017, and the living room is decked out for Christmas. Hickman is a wreck.

“On no, oh no,” she says, holding her hand over her mouth.

And then, she screams. And screams. Her mom waves a red Cornell tee-shirt for the camera.

The Loan Ranger

Apr 16, 2018

It's widely accepted that you cannot get rid of student loans in bankruptcy. They follow you around forever, like the Terminator. But it turns out they can be beat. Some of them, anyway.

Austin Smith is a bankruptcy litigator who discovered, while he was in law school, that the bankruptcy code has been misinterpreted for decades.

He says as much as 50 billion dollars of outstanding student loans could be discharged in bankruptcy after all.

It's a bit of a musical episode today, from Beyoncé's mammoth Coachella performance to... the new Fed appointments? We'll explain. None of our trading partners were hit with a currency manipulator label in the latest report from the Treasury department last week, but decisions by the president's own government often don't dissuade him from tweeting what he believes, like "Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game." We'll talk about it. Plus: We're just past the point of maximum pressure for a lot of high school seniors.

Last week, John Boehner, the retired congressman from Ohio and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced on Twitter that he was getting into the weed game:

"I'm joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved," Boehner wrote. "I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities."

Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo has reversed its ban on publishing homosexual content, days after announcing the policy. The service, which has nearly 400 million users, drew outrage for lumping gay-themed content in with violent and pornographic material.

"There followed a storm of online criticism of the site," NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai.

Report: U.S. falling behind in 5G

Apr 16, 2018

A new report from a trade group representing the U.S. wireless industry shows the U.S. is lagging China and South Korea when it comes to 5G. CTIA says companies in those countries are getting help that U.S. firms aren’t.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) 2017: spectacular year for global economic growth. 2018: not so much. We'll talk to economist Julia Coronado from MacroPolicy Perspectives about whether our lackluster first quarter is just hitting a few bumps in the road, or whether the global economy has plateaued. Afterwards, we'll chat with travel aficionado Mark Orlowski about the best ways to turn your credit card reward points into airline tickets. 

 

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