Economy
Weekend Edition Saturday

Puerto Rico Headed For Default As Congress Tackles Relief Plan

The U.S. territory is expected to default May 1 on a debt payment of nearly half a billion dollars. Scott Simon examines the impact of a default with Wall Street Journal correspondent Nick Timiraos.

All Things Considered

Apple's Lousy Week Could Signal Times Of Trouble For Tech Giant

Apple got hit with a lot of bad news this week. First, the company posted its first quarterly revenue drop since 2003. And then billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he has dumped all of his shares in Apple. NPR explores whether the company is really in trouble or if is this all just a bump in the road.

All Things Considered

Cracker Jack's Prize In The Box Will Now Be Digitized

Frito-Lay is upending its tradition of including a physical prize with the peanut-and-popcorn treat. Now you'll get a QR code to scan for "mobile digital experiences." Cracker Jack fans aren't amused.

Code Switch And Hidden Brain Teamed Up For An #AirbnbWhileBlack Twitter Chat

On Friday, Code Switch's Gene Demby and Hidden Brain's Shankar Vedantam led a Twitter chat to discuss what it's like to be a person of color participating in the sharing economy.

With New Deals, Apple And SoundCloud Remix The Dance Music Marketplace

Apple's agreement with Dubset could ease legal posting of DJ sets that contain copyrighted material. SoundCloud is unveiling a paid service. It's hard to say for sure who is going to benefit.

U.S. Steel Says China Is Using Cyber Stealth To Steal Its Secrets

The steelmaker is asking a U.S. agency to investigate its claims that the Chinese government not only dumps steel at unfair prices, but also uses computer hackers to steal intellectual property.

Germany's Beer Purity Law Is 500 Years Old. Is It Past Its Sell-By Date?

For centuries, German law has stipulated that beer can only be made from four ingredients. But as Germany embraces craft beer, some believe the law impedes good brewing.

Morning Edition

Les Waas, Creator Of Iconic Mister Softee Jingle, Dies At 94

Les Waas, a beloved prankster, wrote the memorable song that drew children to the Mister Softee ice cream truck, among other well-known tunes. He passed away earlier this month, at 94 years old.

Morning Edition

When A Resume Of Failures Becomes A Recipe For Success

When a friend suffered what he called "a professional setback," Johannes Haushofer put together his "CV of failures." Haushofer says failure is an essential part of what is means to be a scientist.

Morning Edition

Comcast Buys DreamWorks Animation For $3.8 Billion In Race Against Disney

Cable industry analyst Craig Moffett says this move puts Comcast in closer competition with Disney — not necessarily on the big screen, but on television and among other comcast-owned franchises.

Puerto Rico Faces Debt Deadline

April 29, 2016
The Puerto Rican Capitol building is seen as the island's residents deal with the government's $72 billion debt on July 1, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Most economists believe the island doesn’t have the money to make the May 1st payment deadline in full.

Europe Shows Signs Of Growth, But Just Barely

April 29, 2016
Protesters hold a banner depicting a mock Euro banknote during a protest in Athens marking the 24-hours civil servants' strike on April 7, 2016. Greece's largest public sector union ADEDY called for the strike to protest against the government's planned pension reforms. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

The 19 countries that use the Euro showed modest growth in the first quarter, according to new data out Friday.

Mass. Economic Growth Ticked Back Up In 1st Quarter

April 28, 2016

Massachusetts’ economic growth outpaced the nation’s over the first three months of the year, and rebounded somewhat from a slowdown over the last half of 2015, according to new estimates.

U.S. Economy Grows At Slowest Pace In Two Years

April 28, 2016

The GDP expanded by just 0.5 percent, as consumers cut back on spending and businesses made fewer investments.

What Effect Did The Big Dig Have On Seaport Traffic?

April 27, 2016
Seventeen million square feet of development in underway or planned for the South Boston "Innovation District" over the next two decades. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

With convention and hospitality space set to double over the next two decades, what strategies should the city use to mitigate road congestion?

What Poor Results Mean For Apple, Chipotle And Exxon Mobil

April 27, 2016
A sign is seen hanging outside of an Apple computer store on April 26, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. Investors reacted negatively to the news that Apple Inc. reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.90 a share, below the $2 a share expected by analysts. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Apple saw its first quarterly drop in earnings in 13 years, Exxon Mobil saw its credit rating drop and Chipotle reported a sales drop.

Economist: NAFTA Benefits Economy Despite Job Losses

April 27, 2016
Back row, left to right: Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, at the initialing of the draft North American Free Trade Agreement in October 1992. In front are Mexican Secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development Jaime Serra Puche, United States Trade Representative Carla Hills, and Canadian Minister of International Trade Michael Wilson. (Wikimedia Commons)

Gordon Hanson explains his research on the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement and why he still supports it.

Why You Can’t Catch The ‘Green Wave’ In Boston

April 26, 2016
Mid-day traffic moving through Dudley Sq in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Better traffic light programming has the potential to cut through gridlock, so why aren’t we using it?

WBUR’s BostonomiX: Covering The Intersection Between Brains And Business

April 25, 2016

Welcome to BostonomiX, a new editorial initiative from the WBUR newsroom.

With Economic Blueprint, Saudi Arabia Looks Beyond Oil

April 25, 2016
Saudi Defence Minister Mohamed bin Salman (L) talks with Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef during the 136th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on December 9, 2015. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia isn’t the first Gulf country to create such a plan, and many countries have struggled to follow through.

When Americans Used To Save Money, And Why That Changed

April 25, 2016
Money jar (pictures-of-money/Flickr)

During the Reagan administration, the poorest 90 percent of American households saved 10 percent of their income.

Week In Review: Remembering Prince, Politics, Uber’s Settlement

April 22, 2016
FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Prince presents the award for favorite album - soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday, April 21, 2016, in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

It was big week in presidential politics in New York, and the week ahead puts the focus on the mid-Atlantic and back to New England, with primaries in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Harriet Tubman, The New Face Of The $20

April 21, 2016
Image provided by the Library of Congress shows Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875. (H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress/AP)

In 2020, the U.S. government will unveil a new $20 bill. Move over Andrew Jackson — the seventh president of the United States will no longer grace the front of the bill. Instead, it will feature the famous abolitionist and humanitarian, who was born a slave, Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman, And The Price Of American Sexism

April 21, 2016
This image shows Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875. A Treasury official said on April 20, 2016, that Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years. (H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

A woman lands on the $20 bill just as paper money becomes obsolete. That sounds about right.

America’s Misunderstood Working Class

April 19, 2016
A Donald Trump supporter is hoisted up holding an American flag as the group faced off with Trump protesters, near the site of a campaign appearance by the Republican presidential candidate in Bethpage, N.Y., Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Neither conservatives nor liberals get it. The former demonize struggling workers; the latter romanticize them.

The Uproar Over ‘Anti-LGBT’ Laws Is Well-Warranted — And Mostly For Show

April 15, 2016
Bruce Springsteen, pictured on Feb. 12, 2016, canceled a recent concert in North Carolina, citing the state's new law blocking anti-discrimination rules covering the LGBT community. (Owen Sweeney/AP)

One wonders whether the backlash is more an effort to garner good PR than it is genuine, deep-seated offense at egregious public policy.

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