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"China, China, China," rants Donald Trump, the presidential hopeful who loses no opportunity to blame America's economic woes on China and its "unfair" trade policies. But how did the fortunes of the Free World and the Middle Kingdom become so inextricably intertwined? What started it all?

The roots of U.S.-China trade can be boiled down to one fragrant little word: tea. The history of the tea trade is a fascinating story of wealth, adventure, and cultural exchange, but also a tragic one of human suffering and cruelty.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

America's retirement statistics are grim: about 40 percent of Baby Boomers have nothing saved for retirement, about a third of Americans who are currently retired rely on Social Security for almost all of their income, and the outlook for current workers isn't much better. About half of private sector employees have no retirement plan on the job.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

We want to cut through the spin with a new feature we're calling "Break It Down."

Break It Down is going to be a regular part of our campaign coverage. We're going to try some new things. It might read a little differently from time to time. But our goal is to zoom in on what the candidates are saying, and give you the factual breakdown you need to make a sound judgment.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls paid a swift visit to corporate offices of beleaguered airliner Air France on Tuesday, a day after two of the company's executives were mobbed by protesters and had their shirts and suit jackets ripped from their bodies.

The executives had been taking part in meetings Monday about how the company would cut 2,900 jobs when hundreds of workers stormed the Air France offices. Human resources manager Xavier Broseta and Pierre Plissonnier, head of long-haul flights, scaled a metal fence and escaped under police escort.

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $1.9 million fine against an aerial photography company the agency says took 65 unauthorized flights using drones.

"Flying unmanned aircraft in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations is illegal and can be dangerous," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in statement. "We have the safest airspace in the world, and everyone who uses it must understand and observe our comprehensive set of rules and regulations."

Even though President Obama has not yet released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced Monday, supporters and opponents are making their voices heard — at full volume.

Business leaders and interest groups hope their impassioned pleas will sway Congress, which must vote on the proposed deal next year.

This is what the cheers sounded like:

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After years of negotiating, 12 nations yesterday reached a final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would be the largest free-trade deal in the world - but one Pacific nation notably absent, China. Here's NPR's Jackie Northam.

Ellen Kullman, the CEO of the chemical company DuPont, said Monday that she will retire on Oct. 16. The announcement follows falling stock prices as the company struggles in the global economy.

Edward Breen, a DuPont board member, will serve as Kullman's interim replacement.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports on the leadership change.

American Apparel, the trendy clothing company perhaps best known for its racy, sexually charged ads, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

The made-in-the-U.S.A. clothing chain announced it had reached an agreement with 95 percent of its secured lenders to put in place what it is calling "a comprehensive transformation strategy to revitalize the business and brand." The company says it will keep production and operations in the U.S.

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Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

Extinguishing hope that the cargo ship that went missing near the Bahamas could have survived a Thursday encounter with Hurricane Joaquin, the Coast Guard announced Monday that the ship, El Faro, sank, according to the Associated Press. The Coast Guard also found an unidentified body of one crew member.

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"We, the trade ministers ... are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation," U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Monday morning, to a loud round of applause.

Federal and state claims against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been resolved, the Justice Department says, with the oil and gas company agreeing to pay more than $20 billion in penalties.

Our friends over at Planet Money built this interactive graphic that illuminates yet another aspect of the Education Department's new College Scorecard. It shows the average annual price that families actually pay at 1,550 four-year colleges, by income.

When Virginia farmer Charles Martin first got into the pumpkin game a decade ago, he started small, with a half-acre plot of traditional round, orange jack-o-lanterns. Today he grows 55 varieties of gourds, squash and pumpkins, and he's always looking for something new.

If your company hasn't launched a wellness program, this might be the year.

As benefits enrollment for 2016 approaches, more employers than ever are expected to nudge workers toward plans that screen them for risks, monitor their activity and encourage them to take the right pills, food and exercise.

Amy and Dave Freeman are willing to risk brutal winters, thin ice and hordes of hungry mosquitoes to raise awareness about impending mining operations on the border of public lands in northern Minnesota.

A year without a shower takes a tremendous amount of dedication and passion. Why do the Freemans believe the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is worth the sacrifice?

"The Boundary Waters belong to all of us. It's a national forest, it's federal lands. It's like a Yellowstone or a Yosemite," Dave says. "There's no other place like it on Earth."

Following last week's announcement that FIFA President Sepp Blatter is facing criminal proceedings in Switzerland for alleged corruption, Coca-Cola and McDonald's, two major FIFA World Cup Sponsors, called for his immediate resignation.

The company released a statement, saying:

"Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach."

Women have historically been told their place is in the kitchen — but not as chefs: According to statistics from the U.S. Labor Department, to this day, only about 20 percent of chefs are women.

It all harks back to the fact that being a chef was not as glamorous as it is today, says Deborah Harris, a sociology professor at Texas State University whose new book, Taking The Heat, explores the issue.

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If you were betting that the Federal Reserve would soon raise interest rates, you may have lost your money Friday when the Labor Department released its September employment report.

The hiring and wage data came in well below economists' expectations. Only 142,000 jobs were created, falling far short of consensus forecasts of about 200,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent, but the number of people in the labor force slid by 350,000 and hourly earnings dipped by a penny, to $25.09.

On Thursday, Josh Tyrangiel announced his resignation from Bloomberg News, where he was editor of the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and oversaw strategic thinking for the rest of its news operations as chief content officer.

The Coast Guard was searching for a 735-foot cargo ship with 33 crew aboard after an emergency satellite message was received from the vessel saying it was caught in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

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