KRWG

Business

Please note: Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs. We also publish national/world news on our home page from AP, BBC, and others.

For decades, global trade has been transforming the world's economy, bringing Japanese and Korean cars to North American highways, U.S. software to European computers and German machine tools to Asian factories.

But the days of explosive trade growth may be at an end.

The dollar value of world merchandise (or non-services) exports fell from $19 trillion in 2014 to $16.6 trillion last year, a decline of 13.3 percent, according to the World Bank.

From pretty much the very start of this election season, Donald Trump grabbed the media by the press pass. He didn't even wait. As Trump, a former reality show host, once said in a slightly different context, "When you're a star, they let you do it."

As voters go to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will be revisiting the 2008 collapse of the housing market, and the resulting drop in property values and property tax revenue. At issue are two cases testing whether Miami can sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America under the Fair Housing Act for alleged racial discrimination in mortgage terms and foreclosures.

Specifically, the city of Miami alleges that the banks discriminated against black and Latino homeowners in terms and fees.

For decades, one company has pretty much had the monopoly on TV ratings: Nielsen. But, the way people watch TV is changing. A lot of fans are streaming shows from the Internet — not watching on cable TV.

Old-fashioned Nielsen ratings wouldn't show the habits of a family like Kevin Seal's.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Here to talk more about the struggle over ratings is NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. Hey there, Eric.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Hi.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake shook central Oklahoma on Sunday evening, damaging several buildings. Multiple aftershocks also hit the area, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

The quake epicenter was about a mile west of the town of Cushing, the largest commercial crude oil storage center in North America and the southern terminus of the Keystone pipeline.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In Greensboro, N.C., Eyeisha Holt spends her days as a full-time child care worker at Head Start. But after a decade's work in early education she still earns only $11.50 an hour — barely enough, she says, to cover the basics as a single mom of two. So every weekday evening she heads to her second job, as a babysitter.

"Are you ready to go to bed?" she asks, as she oversees bath time for her 3-year-old daughter and another of her charges. For 25 hours a week, Holt cares for toddler twins, in addition to her daughter and teenage son.

The public prosecutor's office looking into Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal in Germany has widened the investigation to include Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch, who was VW's chief financial officer when its cars were built to fool emissions tests.

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

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I think most people hate to think of themselves as middle class.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: You have what you need but maybe not everything you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We have a car, but we live in an apartment. That's middle class.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

David Strickroth does steady business at High Impact Tactical Firearms in Upland, Calif. It's a small shop, as gun shops go, with several dozen firearms hanging on the olive green walls and sitting in a glass display case below. He typically sells one or two guns a day.

Recently, though, things have picked up: "Now I'm selling six or seven a day," Strickroth says.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2016 KJZZ-FM. To see more, visit KJZZ-FM.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Episode 733: A Trunk Full of Truffles

Nov 4, 2016

Truffles are one of the most expensive, sought-after foods on earth. Frankly, we don't get it. They're a fungus that smells like dirty socks.

We wanted to understand what all the fuss is about. Enter Ian Purkayastha, a baby-faced connoisseur known as Truffle Boy. He's has been completely obsessed with truffles since he was 15. Growing up, he foraged for mushrooms in the forests of Arkansas. Now he sells truffles to the fanciest restaurants in New York City.

Are the many hog and poultry farms of eastern North Carolina creating "fields of filth," as two groups of environmental activists put it last summer? And if they are, what happens when a hurricane comes along and dumps a foot and a half of water on them?

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The government has released its last jobs report before Election Day. It shows the U.S. economy improved in October. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, it was strong wage growth that grabbed the spotlight.

Elizabeth Warren and two other U.S. senators are demanding answers from Wells Fargo about reports of retribution by bank managers against would-be whistleblowers. This marks the latest development in the ongoing consumer banking scandal engulfing the banking giant.

In a letter to Wells Fargo's new CEO, Timothy Sloan, Warren, D-Mass., and Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., say the bank may have "misled regulators about the scope of the fraud."

Americans' trust of the federal government is the lowest it's been in 40 years. This presidential election has made that clearer than ever.

In Detroit, some residents so distrust their elected officials they're trying to take some power back with a ballot measure next week.

Emma Lockridge lives next-door to an 8-lane highway and one of the largest industrial operations in Michigan, the Marathon Oil Refinery in Detroit.

Samsung is offering repairs, refunds and replacements for about 2.8 million top-load washers after receiving hundreds of reports of machines vibrating excessively — in some cases, so much that the lids became detached.

The consumer electronics company, still reeling from a total recall and halt of its Galaxy Note 7 phone, is recalling 34 models of its top-load washing machines, manufactured as far back as March 2011. (Front-load washers are not affected by the recall.)

The Justice Department is investigating the pricing practices of several generic drug manufacturers because the list prices of many older medications have risen in lockstep in recent years.

That investigation could lead to an antitrust lawsuit alleging price-fixing by the end of this year, according to a report by Bloomberg News. Bloomberg cited anonymous sources familiar with the probe.

A federal jury has found that Rolling Stone, a reporter and the magazine's publisher are liable in a defamation lawsuit over a retracted article about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia.

The trial centered on a November 2014 piece by reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely that told the story of a student, identified as "Jackie," who said she was brutally gang raped at a fraternity party in 2012.

A few years ago, the Urban Institute undertook a massive experiment to measure discrimination in home rentals and sales. The researchers sent hundreds of people in dozens of cities across the country to act as applicants trying to rent or buy apartments and houses. The "testers" were given similar credit histories and financial qualifications.

Go ahead — ask the boss for a raise.

The jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department suggests the time finally may be right to demand a fatter paycheck.

The October report showed employers added 161,000 jobs — and paid workers more. Average hourly earnings rose by 10 cents to $25.92 last month — and that gain followed September's increase of 8 cents an hour.

One of China's wealthiest men has been on a buying spree in Hollywood, snapping up cinemas and movie production companies. Now Wang Jianlin, the chairman of the Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group has acquired another piece of Americana: Dick Clark Productions.

The U.S. added 161,000 new jobs in October, with workers seeing strong growth in wages, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hourly earnings rose 10 cents over last month, a higher increase than anticipated. In total, wages — now averaging $25.92 an hour — are up 2.8 percent year over year.

San Francisco Bay Area companies say Sutter Health is strong-arming them into a contract that would help the hospital system secure its power over prices and potentially raise the cost of medical care for their employees in the future.

Pages