【roulette robot online】Brent Hayden fastest; Australia dominates

2022-07-02 14:38:52

Dutch locals vow to pummel Bezos' yacht with eggs if famed bridge is dismantled : NPR******

The Dutch vow to egg Jeff Bezos' yacht if a bridge is dismantled to let his boat pass

Rachel Treisman

Twitter Enlarge this image

Rotterdam residents appear to be up in arms over a plan to temporarily dismantle the Koningshaven lift bridge, popularly called "De Hef." Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Rotterdam residents appear to be up in arms over a plan to temporarily dismantle the Koningshaven lift bridge, popularly called "De Hef."

Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

It's not exactly smooth sailing these days in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, where locals are voicing their objection to a plan that would temporarily dismantle a historic bridge to enable the passage of a record-breaking yacht reportedly owned by former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

In fact, some are already making plans — albeit in jest — for what they will do if the project comes to fruition: throw eggs at the yacht as it traverses the water under the Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as "De Hef."

Some 13,000 people are "interested" and nearly 4,000 have said they will attend a Facebook event titled "Throwing eggs at superyacht Jeff Bezos," which has been shared more than 1,000 times in the week since its creation.

Tens Of Thousands Sign Petition To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning To Earth

Space

Tens Of Thousands Sign Petition To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning To Earth

"Calling all Rotterdammers, take a box of rotten eggs with you and let's throw them en masse at Jeff's superyacht when it sails throroulette robot onlineugh the Hef in Rotterdam," wrote organizer Pablo Strörmann.

He told the NL Times that the protest started as a joke among friends and has quickly gotten "way out of hand." (The English-language news site also notes that this isn't Strörmann's first campaign to go viral.)

The news of De Hef's potential disassembly, however brief, has clearly struck a chord with both locals and international observers.

It all started last week when Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond reported that the city appeared willing to grant a request to dismantle the decades-old steel bridge so that Bezos' yacht could pass through.

De Hef was built in 1927 as a railway bridge, with a midsection that can be lifted to allow ship traffic to pass underneath, according to The Washington Post. It was replaced by a tunnel and decommissioned in 1994, but was saved from demolition by public protests and later declared a national monument.

The ship's three masts are apparently too high for the bridge's roughly 130-foot clearance.

After backlash, Jeff Bezos suggests naming library auditorium for Toni Morrison

The sailing yacht in question was reportedly commissioned by the billionaire Amazon founder and is currently being built at the Oceanco shipyard in the Netherlands, according to Boat International. It will consist of three masts with aluminum and steel construction and will measure more than 415 feet in length.

"Once delivered, not only will she become the world's largest sailing yacht but she will also hold the title for the largest superyacht ever built in the Netherlands," it added.

The waterway where the bridge sits is the only way the ship can get from the shipyard in Alblasserdam to the open seas, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. So Oceanco asked Rotterdam officials to temporarily remove the middle section of the bridge.

City spokesperson Netty Kros told the CBC that "the applicant" would cover the costs of the project but did not clarify whether that refers to the yacht's owner, the shipbuilder or both. Bloomberg reports that Oceanco will foot the bill. NPR has reached out to Amazon and Oceanco to confirm these details.

The city appeared to agree to the arrangement last week, with municipal project leader Marcel Walravens telling Rijnmond that the project would proceed for logistical and economic reasons. He said an exact plan was being developed but estimated it would take about a week to prepare and another week to "put everything back in place."

Liftoff! Jeff Bezos And 3 Crewmates Travel To Space And Back In Under 15 Minutes

Space

Liftoff! Jeff Bezos And 3 Crewmates Travel To Space And Back In Under 15 Minutes

"At the Koningenne Bridge, we can press a button, and it opens. That's not possible here because De Hef has a maximum height," Walravens said, according to a translation from the NL Times. "The only alternative is to take out the middle part."

That prompted an immediate backlash from locals, lawmakers and social media users, with the Rotterdam Historical Society pointing out that city officials had promised never to dismantle the bridge again after completing a major restoration in 2017.

Officials then walked back the reports, with Rotterdam's mayor telling a Dutch newspaper on Thursday that "no decision has yet been taken, not even an application for a permit," according to The Guardian.

He said the municipality would consider an application and assess the potential impacts, like whether the dismantling can be done without damaging the bridge and who would cover the costs.

World

Postcard from Rotterdam

Postcard from Rotterdam

Listen
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16034291/16034237" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Proponents of the plan say the project will bring more economic opportunities to the region, while critics say there's a double standard at play.

"Normally it's the other way around: If your ship doesn't fit under a bridge, you make it smaller," Strörmann told the NL Times. "But when you happen to be the richest person on Earth, you just ask a municipality to dismantle a monument. That's ridiculous."

With a net worth of more than $188 billion, Bezos is the third-richest person in the world behind Tesla founder Elon Musk and French businessman Bernard Arnault, according to Forbes' real-time list.

Hypothetically, if the project does come to pass, and locals do show up with eggs, just how hard of a moving target would the yacht be? The website Curbed set out to find out.

After examining several studies and making a few calculations, reporter Clio Chang says an egg would have to travel about 238 feet to hit the hull — "a difficult, but not impossible, feat."


This story originally appeared on the Morning Editionlive blog.

  • yacht
  • shipbuilding
  • Netherlands
  • Jeff Bezos

News Corp. is target of a cyberattack suspected of coming from China : NPR******

Hackers tied to China are suspected of spying on News Corp. journalists

Jenna McLaughlin headshot

Jenna McLaughlin

Twitter Enlarge this image

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

News Corp. — which owns the publishers of The Wall Street Journaland the New York Post — announced the discovery of a "persistent cyberattack" targeting a limited number of employees. An official with a cybersecurity firm working with the mass media conglomerate said the attack has links to China.

The company, the publishing arm originally founded as part of the Murdoch family's media empire, disclosed the breach Friday in a financial filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as through an internal email to employees.

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company, Mandiant, for assistance.

FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before

National Security

FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before

The investigation is ongoing, but perhaps most concerning is News Corp.'s assertion that the culprits have ties to a foreign government.

While Mandiant did not explicitly link the cyberattack to the Chinese government, David Wong, the vice president for incident response at Mandiant, said in a statement that the cybersecurity firm's analysts have concluded that "those behind this activity have a China nexus." They were spying or "involved in espionage activities" to gather information "to benefit China's interests," he added.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, did not comment on the reported News Corp. hack but said in an email that China "firmly opposes and combats cyber attacks and cyber theft in all forms. This position is consistent and clear. China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity, and has long been a main victim of cyber thefts and attacks."

Liu added: "We hope that there can be a professional, responsible and evidence-based approach to identifying cyber-related incidents, rather than making allegations based on speculations."

The Chinese government has a documented track record of launching persistent, sophisticated cyberattacks on businesses, academia, research institutions and government agencies, often with the intention of stealing information that would benefit Chinese interests.

Hackers disrupt payroll for thousands of employers — including hospitals

Technology

Hackers disrupt payroll for thousands of employers — including hospitals

During the Trump administration, the Justice Department launched a "China initiative" aimed at cracking down on what it described as a growing tide of Chinese espionage and intellectual property theft costing businesses around the world hefty sums.

Just this week, FBI Director Chris Wray told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum that the bureau launches a counterintelligence investigation linked to the Chinese government "about every 12 hours or so." Currently, the FBI has over 2,000 investigations focusing on "the Chinese government trying to steal our information and technology," he said.

In addition to any business assets News Corp. owns that might be of interest to China, journalists with sensitive information and contacts with knowledgeable sources make for attractive targets for espionage. Chinese hackers have gone to great lengths in the past to track, in particular, Chinese dissidents, including through attacks pretending to be hosting popular websites, including theNew York Timeshomepage. Security officials within China have plans to deploy an extensive surveillance system to track journalists, international students and other people of interest.

James Murdoch Quits Family Media Empire News Corp After 'Disagreements'

Media

James Murdoch Quits Family Media Empire News Corp After 'Disagreements'

News Corp. has dispatched security experts to work with individual journalists they believe may have been affected and "a limited number of business email accounts and documents from News Corp headquarters, News Technology Services, Dow Jones, News UK, and New York Post," according to the internal email sent to employees. News Corp. concluded that some data was stolen but did not comment further on which information or how much.

Neither News Corp. nor Mandiant shared further information about how the hackers got in, though in the SEC filing, News Corp. referred to both "network and information systems" as well as "third-party providers for certain technology and 'cloud-based' systems and services," one of which was the target of the attack. If a third-party cloud provider was the target, the activity could be linked to a broader supply chain-based attack, which could mean other clients using that technology could be vulnerable as well.

The White House Blamed China For Hacking Microsoft. China Is Pointing Fingers Back

National Security

The White House Blamed China For Hacking Microsoft. China Is Pointing Fingers Back

"We believe it is important that other media organizations be made aware of this threat in order to take appropriate precautions, and we are providing technical details of the attack to the Media Information Sharing and Analysis Organization," News Corp. Chief Technology Officer David Kline and Chief Information Security Officer Billy O'Brien wrote in the internal email to staff.

Currently, News Corp. says it believes the "threat activity" has been "contained," though Kline and O'Brien did not share information about why they believed that to be the case, nor details on how long the hackers may have been inside the network.

"We will not tolerate attacks on our journalism, nor will we be deterred from our reporting, which provides readers everywhere with the news that matters," they concluded.

  • cyberattacks
  • News Corp.
online roulette welcome bonusThe House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China : NPR******

The House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China

Heard on Morning Edition Deirdre Walsh, 2018

Deirdre Walsh

Instagram Twitter

Caitlyn Kim

Twitter

The House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China

Listen · 3:34
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078226282/1078777361" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the America COMPETES Act meets the challenges of the 21st century. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the America COMPETES Act meets the challenges of the 21st century.

Evan Vucci/AP

The House passed a bill Friday that Democrats say will increase U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and boost American competitiveness with China.

The America Competes Act passed 222-210, largely along party lines.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill "will ensure that America is preeminent in manufacturing, innovation and economic strength and can outcompete any nation."

The bill has a number of provisions, including $52 billion to make chips, $45 billion to improve supply chains for critical items and $160 billion for scientific research and innovation.

Business

Biden champions Intel's plan for new semiconductor plants to help supply chain issues

Biden champions Intel's plan for new semiconductor plants to help supply chain issues

Listen online roulette wheel creator · 3:42
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1075049574/1075049575" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

House Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, told NPR that a major federal infusion in research is badly overdue — especially to help the U.S. go toe-to-toe with China.

"We've just got to compete. And we've got to hopefully feel like we're a little step ahead. And that's really a big goal," Johnson told NPR. "Because as you know, our society is very different in the kind of freedom versus communism type of behaviors."

Johnson said the legislation was also aimed at developing talent in the U.S. and fostering innovations in government labs that private companies could tap into for future products. Much of the research pieces in the bill, which has been in the works for years, included input from a range of private industry, academic experts and scientists who argue the U.S. needs a long-term commitment to seeding future breakthroughs that will prevent more jobs and manufacturing from moving overseas.

Florida Republican Congressman Daniel Webster told NPR he backed the research agenda, but felt the House bill concentrated to much of the effort at the federal level.

"We're trying to get something that is less government and more open private sector. What they're doing is basically trying to get a government-funded program to decide all the things that are happening. Just not going to go for that," he said.

Many House Republicans defended their vote against the bill by saying it did not do enough to counter China, is loaded up with other priorities, such as clean energy, and would worsen inflation.

The bill is the House's reply to $250 billion bipartisan competition bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the Senate passed last June.

The two chambers will spend the next weeks hammering out the differences between the two bills and eventually send it to President Biden's desk.

While the Senate bill also has more than $50 billion for chip manufacturing, it takes a different approach in how the $250 billion it has earmarked for scientific research should be used.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who helped broker the bipartisan deal in the Senate, which garnered the support of 19 Republicans, downplayed the differences between the two bills.

"The framework they set up and the framework we set up are not that far apart," he said. "I believe all the gaps are very bridgeable."

Schumer said investments in American manufacturing are long overdue. Proponents of the bill, however, admitted that it will still take some time to see the impact of the federal investments.

【roulette robot online】Brent Hayden fastest; Australia dominates

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce? : NPR******

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce?

Heard on TED Radio Hour Photo by Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Manoush Zomorodi

Diba Mohtasham

Sanaz Meshkinpour

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce?

Listen · 17:49
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078056285/1078189761" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Work, Play, Rest - Part 1.

Tech reporter Kevin Roose doesn't want you to be scared of your job becoming automated. He says that rather than competing with machines, we should work to develop our fundamentally human skills.

About Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose is a technology columnist for The New York Times. His column, "The Shift," examines the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

Roose is also the author of three books: Young Money, The Unlikely Disciple, and his latest, Futureproof, a guide to surviving the technological future. He also hosts "Rabbit Hole," a New York Times podcast about the many ways the internet influences our beliefs and behavior. Before joining The New York Times, Roose was a writer at New York Magazine and co-hosted the TV documentary series, Real Future.

Roose is a graduate of Brown University.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Diba Mohtasham and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Web Resources

Related TED Bio: Kevin Roose Related TED Talk: The human skills we need in an unpredictable world Related TED Playlist: What happens when the robots take our jobs?

Related NPR Links

The Age Of Automation Is Now: Here's How To 'Futureproof' Yourself Exclusive First Read: 'Young Money' By Kevin Roose Planet Money: Runaway Recommendation Engine
Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today? : NPR******

Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today?

Heard on TED Radio Hour Photo by Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Manoush Zomorodi

Katie Monteleone

Sanaz Meshkinpour

Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today?

Listen · 12:29
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078044162/1078188211" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Work, Play, Rest - Part 1.

From unionizing to striking to quitting, employees are taking power into their own hands. Labor organizer Jess Kutch explores the effectiveness of collective bargaining to affect change.

About Jess Kutch

Jess Kutch is a labor organizer and the co-founder of Coworker.org, a nonprofit organization fighting to protect worker rights through virtual campaigns. Coworker.org has helped win paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, labor reform at Starbucks, and higher wages for many grocery and retail store workers.

Prior to Coworker.org, Kutch worked for Change.org, the Service Employees International Union, and other organizations at the intersection of technology and labor reform. Kutch is a TED Fellow, an Echoing Green Global Fellow, a J.M.K. Innovation Prize winner and an Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow. She's a graduate of Bennington College.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Web Resources

Related TED Bio: Jess Kutch Related TED Talk: When workers own companies, the economy is more resilient Related TED Playlist: How to love work again

Related NPR Links

Power Of The Petition: Nonprofit Helps Front-Line Workers Fight For Their Rights Unionized Starbucks workers walk out in Buffalo, citing safety worries over COVID Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag
Employers added 467,000 jobs in January even as omicron spread : NPR******

In a big surprise, the job market surged in January even as omicron cases spiked

Heard on All Things Considered Scott Horsley 2010

Scott Horsley

Twitter

In a big surprise, the job market surged in January even as omicron cases spiked

Listen · 3:28
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077642688/1078359170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

A man wearing a face mask walks past a "Now Hiring" sign in front of a store on Jan. 13, in Arlington, Va. The labor market is showing resilience despite a recent spike in omicron-related coronavirus infections. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A man wearing a face mask walks past a "Now Hiring" sign in front of a store on Jan. 13, in Arlington, Va. The labor market is showing resilience despite a recent spike in omicron-related coronavirus infections.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. job market came through January in much better shape than expected despite a winter wave of coronavirus infections.

Employers added 467,000 jobs last month, according to a new tally from the Labor Department, far outpacing even the most optimistic forecasts. The gains came despite a surge in COVID-19 cases tied to the omicron variant.

"Omicron, Schmomicron," economist Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a research note. "This is a much stronger report than expected."

Revised figures also show job gains in November and December were significantly larger than initially reported. That suggests the economy had more momentum coming into the new year and weathered the latest pandemic punch with far less pain than expected.

The positive jobs report was welcome news for the Biden administration, which had been bracing for less favorable numbers.

"America is back to work," President Biden told reporters at the White House Friday. "Our country is taking everything that COVID has to throw at us and we've come back stronger."

The unemployment rate inched up to 4% in January from 3.9% the month before, but only because nearly 1.4 million people entered the job market.

The share of people working or looking for work increased, spelling possible relief on the horizon for employers who have struggled at times to fill job vacancies.

"As it becomes safer and fewer people are sick, they can participate more fully in the labor market and we will see that return," said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

The monthly job count was conducted around the second week of January, just as omicron cases were nearing their peak. Daily infections at the time were nearly seven times as high as they were when jobs were tallied in December.

Stronger job gains expected

The omicron wave likely did discourage some employers from hiring last month, and kept some workers on the sidelines. But the fallout was much less than expected.

"We have an economy that is learning to continue to function even in the face of a wave such as omicron," said White House economic adviser Cecelia Rouse.

The 467,000 jobs added in January represents only a modest slowdown from December, when employers added more than half a million jobs. And the spike in omicron infections, while severe, has already begun to recede.

Daily infections dropped below 500,000 this week after peaking above 800,000 two weeks earlier.

Employers are keen to hire even more workers. The Labor Department counted nearly 11 million open jobs at the end of December. Surveys by the payroll processing company ADP show a large share of employers plan to add workers over the next six months.

"All of this data suggests that the recovery from omicron could be swift as the spread is contained," said Nela Richardson, ADP's chief economist.

But the labor market's outlook will still depend on the progress of the pandemic.

Changes in the public health outlook can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses such restaurants that rely heavily on in-person contact with customers. Restaurants and bars added 108,000 jobs last month.

Enlarge this image

A worker rings up an order at Frankie's Pizza on Jan. 12 in Miami, Fl. The labor market is getting healthier, but much will depend on the progress of the pandemic, which can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses that rely on in-person contact with customers. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A worker rings up an order at Frankie's Pizza on Jan. 12 in Miami, Fl. The labor market is getting healthier, but much will depend on the progress of the pandemic, which can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses that rely on in-person contact with customers.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tight job market leads to higher wages and prices

The economic recovery has been hobbled at times by a shortage of available workers. When the coronavirus first hit the U.S. almost two years ago, millions of people stopped working or looking for work. As the pandemic has dragged on, some would-be workers have been slow to return.

"There is a pool of people out there who could come back into the labor force, but it's not happening very quickly," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters last week.

Employers have been offering higher wages and better benefits as they compete for scare workers. Private sector wages in January were up 5.7% from a year ago, while employees in some sectors saw wage gains as high as 13%.

Millions of workers have also been quitting their jobs, often in search of better opportunities elsewhere. Labor shortages and increased turnover have contributed to rising wages and higher prices.

That's one reason the Fed is now planning to raise interest rates in an effort to regain control over inflation. Consumer prices in December were up 7% from a year ago — the sharpest increase in nearly 40 years.

  • coronavirus pandemic
  • Wages
  • U.S. economy
  • Jobs
  • Unemployment
Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort : NPR******

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort

Heard on Morning Edition Alina Selyukh 2016

Alina Selyukh

Twitter

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort

Listen · 3:36
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077089349/1078156954" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

A retail union representative holds a sign by the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., during the first union election in March 2021. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

A retail union representative holds a sign by the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., during the first union election in March 2021.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are set to vote for a second time on whether to unionize. A yes vote would be groundbreaking, creating the company's first unionized warehouse in the United States.

Ballots will go out on Friday to more than 6,100 workers at the warehouse in Bessemer, outside Birmingham. They will vote by mail due to the pandemic, and the count is scheduled to start March 28.

The re-vote is a dramatic new chapter in one of the biggest union efforts at Amazon, which has grown into the country's second-largest private employer. It is the second attempt by Bessemer workers, who last spring decisively rejected unionization. They now get to try again after a federal ruling found Amazon unfairly influenced the first election.

Business

Amazon workers in Alabama begin second union vote. Here's how it happened

Amazon workers in Alabama begin second union vote. Here's how it happened

Listen · 4:59
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078358112/1078358113" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"That loss is making us motivated to win even more," Bessemer worker Kristina Bell told reporters on a call organized by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which vies to represent Amazon workers.

A few things have changed since last year's election.

Nationwide, the Great Resignation wave swept the economy, punctuated by high-profile strikes and labor campaigns. Among them,Starbucks workersunionized at two locations in New York, prompting union petitions from over 50 other stores across 19 states.

At Amazon, workers at two more warehouses in New York are petitioning for a union. Organizers at one of them have already gathered enough signatures to get a union vote. The push is led by a fledgling labor group of current and former employees, unaffiliated with any professional union.

Amazon faces another union vote, this time at a Staten Island warehouse

Business

Amazon faces another union vote, this time at a Staten Island warehouse

At the Bessemer warehouse, high turnover means nearly half of the workers will be voting on unionization for the first time. Pro-union workers hope this means a new outcome after last year's landslide loss, in which 71% of voters opposed unionization.Hundreds of employees did not vote in the original election.

Union supporters at the Bessemer warehouse say they now have a much bigger organizing effort, wearing union T-shirts at work, knocking on doors, speaking out more at Amazon's mandatory "information sessions" about unions and staging counter-sessions.

Amazon has fought the union, arguing it isn't necessary.

The company now employs 1.1 million people in the U.S.,most of them sorting, picking and packing in the company's vast warehouses. Amazon's minimum wage remains $15 an hour, but during last year's big hiring push, Amazon said its average starting wage topped $18 an hour. The company touts its health and education benefits.

Enlarge this image

An aerial image shows Amazon's Bessemer warehouse, where more than 6,100 workers are deciding whether to unionize. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

An aerial image shows Amazon's Bessemer warehouse, where more than 6,100 workers are deciding whether to unionize.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and our focus remains on working directly with our team to make Amazon a great place to work," Amazon spokesperson Barbara Agrait said in a statement.

Under mounting scrutiny for its worker policies, Amazon in December reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board aimed at making it easier for employees to organize. The deal required Amazon to notify hundreds of thousands of workers about their labor rights.

The company faces several charges of unfair labor practices, which the company rejects. Most recently, a pro-union worker in Bessemer has accused Amazon of surveilling him and giving him a warning over his organizing work. At the Staten Island warehouse, the NLRB itself has accused Amazon of illegally threatening, interrogating and surveilling workers.

The Bessemer union push has garnered nationwide attention.

At first, the labor organizing appeared to take Amazon by surprise. Historically, unions are a tough sell in Southern states such as Alabama.

Only months after Amazon's warehouse opened in Bessemer, some workers quietly reached out to the retail union. The pandemic was fast spreading and shoppers increasingly turned to Amazon. Workers described grueling productivity quotas and wanted more say in how employees at the company work, get disciplined or get fired.

Why a mailbox continues to loom over Amazon union vote at Alabama warehouse

Business

Why a mailbox continues to loom over Amazon union vote at Alabama warehouse

The Bessemer union vote became Amazon's first since 2014, when a small group of Delaware workers voted against unionizing. At a time when the U.S. union membership is at historic lows, the high-profile campaign at a booming major employer drew big-name supporters: President Biden, Sen. Marco Rubio, actor Danny Glover and other politicians and celebrities.

But a unionization effort targeting thousands of workers in a workplace with rapid turnover run by one of the world's most valuable and staunchly anti-union corporations could take years and multiple elections, labor experts said.

"To win an NLRB election is kind of like a marathon in a minefield for union supporters," said John Logan, director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University. "It takes an incredible length of time."

One unexpected controversy has been about a mailbox.

When the NLRB ordered a re-do of the Bessemer union election, the officials ruled that Amazon's anti-union campaign tainted the results. One key reason had to do with a mailbox that the U.S. Postal Service installed in the warehouse parking lot at Amazon's request.

Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag

Economy

Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag

By doing that, Amazon "essentially highjacked" the election, the NLRB's order said. Though the company argued its intent was to make voting convenient, workers testified that a mailbox inside an Amazon tent next to their highly surveilled workplace made them feel that their employer was monitoring the vote.

The NLRB directed the USPS to move the mailbox to "a neutral location" on Amazon's property, and it got placed farther from the building in a different parking area. Last week, the union asked the NLRB to remove the mailbox altogether, arguing no Amazon property could be neutral.

Editor's note: Amazon is among NPR's financial supporters.

  • amazon warehouse
  • Union election
  • voting to unionize
  • Bessemer
  • warehouse workers
  • RWDSU
  • Alabama
  • Amazon
Satellites have detected massive gas leaks : NPR******

A satellite finds massive methane leaks from gas pipelines

Heard on Morning Edition

Dan Charles

A satellite finds massive methane leaks from gas pipelines

Listen · 2:28
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077392791/1078156960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Flared natural gas is burned off at a natural gas plant. Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, can leak from natural gas plants and pipelines. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Flared natural gas is burned off at a natural gas plant. Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, can leak from natural gas plants and pipelines.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There's new evidence, collected from orbiting satellites, that oil and gas companies are routinely venting huge amounts of methane into the air.

Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, the fuel. It's also a powerful greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its warming impact. And Thomas Lauvaux, a researcher with the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in France, says there's been a persistent discrepancy between official estimates of methane emissions and field observations.

"For years, every time we had data [on methane emissions] — we were flying over an area, we were driving around — we always found more emissions than we were supposed to see," he says.

Researchers turned to satellites in an effort to get more clarity. The European Space Agency launched an instrument three years ago called the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) that can measure the methane in any 12-square-mile block of the atmosphere, day by day.

Lauvaux says that TROPOMI detected methane releases that the official estimates did not foresee. "No one expects that pipelines are sometimes wide open, pouring gas into the atmosphere," he says.

Yet they were. Over the course of two years, during 2019 and 2020, the researchers counted more than 1,800 large bursts of methane, often releasing several tons of methane per hour. Lauvaux and his colleagues published their findings this week in the journal Science.

The researchers consulted with gas companies, trying to understand the source of these "ultra-emitting events." They found that some releases resulted from accidents. More often, though, they were deliberate. Gas companies simply vented gas from pipelines or other equipment before carrying out repairs or maintenance operations.

Lauvaux says these releases could be avoided. There's equipment that allows gas to be removed and captured before repairs. "It can totally be done," he says. "It takes time, for sure, resources and staff. But it's doable. Absolutely."

The countries where bursts of methane happened most frequently included the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, Russia, the United States, Iran, Kazakhstan and Algeria. Lauvaux says they found relatively few such releases in some other countries with big gas industries, such as Saudi Arabia.

According to the researchers, the large releases of methane that they detected accounted for 8-12% of global methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure during that time.

Steven Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, which has focused on the problem of methane emissions, says these massive releases are dramatic. But it's also important to remember the "ordinary" leaks that make up the other 90% of emissions from oil and gas facilities. "They really matter," he says.

EDF is planning to launch its own methane-detecting satellite in about a year, which will take much sharper pictures, showing smaller leaks. Other organizations are developing their own methane detectors.

That new monitoring network will transform the conversation about methane emissions, Hamburg says. Historically, no one could tell where methane was coming from, "and that's part of the reason we haven't taken, globally, the action that we should. It was just out of sight, out of mind," Hamburg says. "Well, it no longer will be. It will be totally visible."

He thinks that will translate into more pressure on oil and gas companies to fix those leaks.

Furniture tip******

Furniture tip-overs are declining but still injure thousands in the U.S. each year

Joe Hernandez

Twitter Enlarge this image

Elliot Kaye (left), then chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in 2016. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

Elliot Kaye (left), then chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in 2016.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

An estimated 18,000 Americans — nearly half of whom were children — went to emergency rooms across the U.S. in 2020 for injuries sustained when furniture, a TV or another appliance tipped over and hurt them.

A report released Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission also found that there have been 581 tip-over fatalities in the U.S. since 2000. Four in five of the deaths were kids.

Although the data shows an overall decline in "product instability" injuries and deaths recently, each year thousands of people are still treated for injuries and some die from what authorities say are preventable accidents.

TVs Pose A Danger To Kids, But Not The Way You Might Think

Shots - Health News

TVs Pose A Danger To Kids, But Not The Way You Might Think

"We're pleased to see the decrease in tip-over injuries over time. However, annually, thousands of children are still injured, and far too many die due to this hazard," Commission Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. "People either don't know about the risks, or they think it can't happen when an adult is nearby."

Unsecured furniture and other household items have long been known to pose a danger to users if they tip over. According to the commission, furniture with an unstable design or furniture that's located on an unstable surface like carpet or a sloping floor are at risk of toppling. Children are especially vulnerable to tip-over incidents.

Last year the Swedish furniture giant Ikea paid $46 million to the California family of a 2-year-old boy who died after one of the company's dressers fell on top of him.

'Consumer Reports' Finds Dangerous Dressers In All Sizes And Shapes

The Two-Way

'Consumer Reports' Finds Dangerous Dressers In All Sizes And Shapes

Federal legislation dubbed the STURDY Act would direct the commission to develop a mandatory national stability standard for clothing storage units. It passed the House of Representatives in June and has also been introduced in the Senate.

According to Hoehn-Saric, most anti-tip-over kits that let you secure furniture and other items to a wall cost less than $20 and can be installed in less than 20 minutes.

The commission launched its Anchor It! campaign in 2015 to communicate the importance of anchoring furniture and other items to the wall and explaining how to do it.

Adult portable bed rails have been recalled after 2 people died

Business

Adult portable bed rails have been recalled after 2 people died

  • tip-over deaths
  • consumer product safety commission
Former Washington Football Team employees share stories of harassment and abuse : NPR******

Ex-Washington football employee brings new harassment claim against owner Dan Snyder

Heard on All Things Considered Andrea Hsu, photographed for NPR, 11 March 2020, in Washington DC.

Andrea Hsu

Twitter

Ex-Washington football employee brings new harassment claim against owner Dan Snyder

Listen · 3:47
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077636343/1078030938" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Tiffani A. Johnston, former marketing manager and cheerleader for the Washington Football Team, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee roundtable on sexual harassment in the workplace on Capitol Hill on February 3, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Graeme Jennings/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Graeme Jennings/Getty Images

Tiffani A. Johnston, former marketing manager and cheerleader for the Washington Football Team, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee roundtable on sexual harassment in the workplace on Capitol Hill on February 3, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Graeme Jennings/Getty Images

Just a day after the Washington Football Team rebranded itself the Washington Commanders, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team brought a new allegation of sexual harassment against longtime team owner Dan Snyder.

At a roundtable on Capitol Hill focused on toxic workplace culture, Tiffani Johnston, who worked for the team for 8 years until 2008, described a work dinner at which Dan Snyder placed his hand on her thigh under the table and later, with his hand on Johnston's lower back, pushed her aggressively toward his limo and asked her to ride with him.

"I learned that the only reason Dan Snyder removed his hand from my back and stopped pushing me towards his limo is because his attorney intervened and said, 'Dan, Dan, this is a bad idea,'" Johnston told lawmakers. The next day, Johnston, who was 24 at the time, said she was told by a senior coworker not to report the incident to anybody.

Five other former employees of the Washington Football Team also participated in the roundtable, hosted by the House Oversight Committee. All described a workplace where sexual harassment and verbal abuse was rampant, with senior executives among those taking part and no human resources department to report to.

"I can't recall a time that I didn't experience or fear sexual harassment," said former director of marketing and client relations Rachel Engleson, who began her career with the team as an intern. "It was just a pervasive part of the culture and an unavoidable rite of passage being a woman who worked there."

Another former employee, Melanie Coburn, who worked both as a cheerleader and in marketing, described a work trip to Aspen, Colorado, where a colleague was "hazed to drink despite being a recovering addict" and afterwards, prostitutes were invited to Snyder's house.

"The culture and environment in those offices was deplorable, like a frat party run by a billionaire who knew no boundaries," she said.

In a statement sent to NPR, Dan Snyder apologized for misconduct that took place "at the Team" and pointed to the work the team has done to revamp its policies, procedures and personnel, citing "vast improvement in Team culture over the past 18 months."

But he called the allegations leveled against him personally today "outright lies."

"I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any person," he said in the statement.

Allegations of rampant sexual harassment surfaced in 2020

It was not the first time some of the former employees had shared their accounts publicly. In July 2020, the Washington Post published the first of two exposes, with 15 women alleging sexual harassment while working for the team. The women described being subjected to inappropriate comments about their bodies and clothing, unwanted advances and improper touching by senior executives. The second story focused on a lewd video produced internally that pieced together outtakes from a cheerleader photo shoot.

Tips And 'Service With A Smile' Rules Fuel Sex Harassment In Restaurants, Study Says

Research News

Tips And 'Service With A Smile' Rules Fuel Sex Harassment In Restaurants, Study Says

According to the Washington Post, the team had just one full-time human resources staffer prior to 2019, and there was no process for reporting harassment.

Later in 2020 came another explosive story. The Washington Post reported that in 2009, the Washington Football Team had settled a sexual harassment claim brought by a former employee against Snyder for $1.6 million. Snyder admitted no wrongdoing.

Enlarge this image

Owner Dan Snyder speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Rob Carr/Getty Images

Owner Dan Snyder speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

An NFL investigation resulted in a $10 million fine

The Washington Football Team launched an investigation into its toxic work culture shortly after the Washington Post's first story published in July 2020. At the end of August, the NFL took over the investigation, and on July 1, 2021, the league released a brief summary of its findings, citing bullying, intimidation and a general lack of respect in a "highly unprofessional" workplace. Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention, the investigation found. The team, estimated by Forbes to be worth $4.2 billion, was fined $10 million.

The Washington Football Team Has Been Fined $10 Million For Workplace Misconduct

Sports

The Washington Football Team Has Been Fined $10 Million For Workplace Misconduct

The investigation produced no written report. Pressed to explain why the NFL would not release detailed findings that could shed light on the magnitude of the problems, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last October that the league wanted to protect the privacy and anonymity of those who came forward.

At the roundtable on Capitol Hill, the former employees accused the NFL of a coverup and pressed for a full report.

"Let's be very clear. The people that I know that participated in this investigation wanted and expected a report," said former marketing director Engleson. "There must be transparency, and only then can we have accountability."

Emily Applegate, who worked in marketing, premium client services and ticket sales, called for Goodell to resign.

"Beginning with new leadership from the top of the NFL will create change within throughout all 32 teams," Applegate said.

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

House Democrats have called for transparency from the NFL

Ahead of today's roundtable, the House Oversight Committee had called on the NFL to release all individuals involved in the allegations from nondisclosure agreements. It also asked for documents and communications obtained in the investigation as well as its underlying findings.

"The WFT and the NFL, among the most prominent platforms in America, should be setting a higher standard for others, not avoiding accountability and not covering up sexual harassment," said Illinois Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi at the roundtable today.

"This is the beginning, not the end, of holding the rich and powerful accountable, and protecting women across America from workplace sexual harassment," he said.

  • Commanders
  • Washington Football Team
  • workplace harassment
  • NFL
Why Beijing Olympics sponsors are keeping a low profile : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR******

Doing business quietly in Beijing

    The Indicator from Planet Money

    The Indicator NPR hide caption

    toggle caption NPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • Amazon Alexa
    • RSS link

Sally Herships

Adrian Ma

Doing business quietly in Beijing

Listen · 9:43
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1079268461/1079358371" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) David Ramos/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Ramos/Getty Images

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos/Getty Images

The Olympics is one of the most anticipated sporting events for advertisers around the world. Companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars just to become official sponsors of the games and have those iconic Olympic rings seen side by side with their brands. This year sponsors include Coca-Cola, Visa, Panasonic and other major global corporations

However, the ad campaigns around the 2022 Winter Games seem more muted this time around. Much of that has to do with the location — Beijing and China's recent human rights controversies and its position as a global business powerhouse. Today, we learn how companies navigate the Olympic games when China is playing host.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCastsand NPR One.

  • See The Indicator from Planet Money sponsors and promo codes

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, England's reputed oldest pub, could close due to COVID : NPR******

A pub that claims to be England's oldest could close its doors because of COVID

Rachel Treisman

Twitter Enlarge this image

The landlord of the centuries-old Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub, pictured last July, said last week that it would close, though there is hope it will reopen under new management. Paul Childs/Reuters hide caption

toggle caption Paul Childs/Reuters

The landlord of the centuries-old Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub, pictured last July, said last week that it would close, though there is hope it will reopen under new management.

Paul Childs/Reuters

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St. Albans, England, claims to be the oldest pub in Britain, with a storied past featuring medieval pigeons, Oliver Cromwell and a series of tunnels once traversed by monks.

But its future is now uncertain after the property's landlord announced it will be closing because of economic difficulties wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pair Your Pints With A Trip Through History On This British Pub Crawl Across London

Wish You Were Here

Pair Your Pints With A Trip Through History On This British Pub Crawl Across London

Christo Tofalli, who bought the pub in 2012, said in his Friday Facebook post that "a sustained period of extremely challenging trading conditions" was to blame. Escalating business rates and taxations were tough even before the pandemic hit, he explained, and with tight profit margins and no safety net, the pub was unable to meet its financial obligations.

"Along with my team, I have tried everything to keep the pub going," he wrote. "However, the past two years have been unprecedented for the hospitality industry, and have defeated all of us who have been trying our hardest to ensure this multi-award-winning pub could continue trading into the future."

Tofalli thanked pub staff, regulars and visitors, saying he was heartbroken for the Fighting Cocks family and honored to have played "even a small part in its history."

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dates back to the 8th century, according to its website. The octagonal, free-standing structure was built in the 11th century and moved to its current location in 1539.

It's been used over the years as a pigeon house, an inn and the site of numerous cockfights before the sport was banned in 1849. Oliver Cromwell reportedly spent a single night at the inn during the Civil War of 1642-1651, before he was designated lord protector.

The building itself has "quite low ceilings as well as intriguing nooks and crannies," the website says. There are tunnels stretching from the beer cellar to nearby St. Albans Cathedral, which were reportedly frequented by monks.

It bills itself as Britain's oldest pub. A spokesperson for Guinness World Records told NPR over email that Ye Olde Fighting Cocks used to hold that record, but the title has been inactive for some time.

"This record was rested in 2000 when it became clear that it was not possible to verify it in full," the spokesperson wrote. "Even when we did publish information in this regard in the past, we were never able to state definitively which was the oldest pub in the country, since the age and historical usage of buildings is in many cases uncertain."

So you want to be the landlord-king of a remote English island

World

So you want to be the landlord-king of a remote English island

While the pub may be of special historic status, it's far from the only one that has been forced to shut its doors during the pandemic.

Nearly 10,000 licensed premises (including pubs, clubs and restaurants) permanently closed in 2020, SkyNews reported. That represents a 175% rise in net closures compared with the previous year.

Tofalli told TheWashington Postthat this past Christmas was his "last chance" to save the pub. Although public health measures didn't prevent pubs from operating, the omicron surge kept enough people home to prevent it from making up its shortfall.

There appears to be hope on the horizon, however.

Tofalli said he was working with brewery owners Mitchells & Butlers "to lessen the impact" of the pub's closure. And a spokesperson for the company told CNN that it is working to reopen it.

"We can confirm that sadly our tenants at Ye Old Fighting Cocks have appointed administrators but can reassure locals that this is not the end for the pub," they said in a statement. "We are currently exploring all opportunities for the site's future and hope to reopen the pub under new management as soon as possible."

Dozens of strangers were snowed in at a U.K. pub. Cue the Oasis singalongs

Europe

Dozens of strangers were snowed in at a U.K. pub. Cue the Oasis singalongs

There have been other efforts to keep the pub in business, like a GoFundMe page that raised nearly $4,500 before it stopped accepting donations.

Tofalli wrote on Facebook that he couldn't take the money, saying staying open would cost too much to make sense.

"To save my dream we need a fairy godmother with a few quid doing nothing who simply wants the pub to survive for future generations," he said. "I haven't found one with a spare £3m in 10 years so it's unlikely."

But he said he was humbled by the idea and the messages of "joy and pain" he had received after his initial announcement.

Tofalli told the BBC that within hours of his Facebook post going live, he was inundated with messages of support from locals as well as international onlookers.

"To be reading about the impact we've had on people is mind-boggling and extremely humbling. We became an important part of the community ... the family we created was huge," he said. "The time has come for me but we will make sure the handover is seamless and the synergy keeps going."


This story originally appeared on the Morning Editionlive blog.

  • coronavirus pandemic
  • hospitality
  • England
  • pub
New York couple tied to crypto hack arrested, $3.6 bln in bitcoin seized : NPR******

DOJ arrests New York couple and seizes $3.6 billion in bitcoin related to 2016 hack

Heard on All Things Considered Ryan Lucas in 2018

Ryan Lucas

Twitter

DOJ arrests New York couple and seizes $3.6 billion in bitcoin related to 2016 hack

Listen · 2:00
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1079220600/1079300291" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

The Bitcoin logo is displayed on the screen of a Bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles. The Justice Department said a New York couple has been charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars' worth of stolen bitcoin. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Bitcoin logo is displayed on the screen of a Bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles. The Justice Department said a New York couple has been charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars' worth of stolen bitcoin.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Justice Department has seized around $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency tied to the 2016 hack of a virtual currency exchange, and arrested a New York couple charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars' worth of the stolen bitcoin.

The seizure — the largest ever for the department — and arrests stem from the 2016 breach of the Bitfinex exchange. At the time of the hack, the stolen funds were worth around $71 million, but the value has since soared to around $4.5 billion, officials said.

On Tuesday morning, federal agents in New York arrested Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, in Manhattan. The couple faces charges of money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

"Today's arrests, and the department's largest financial seizure ever, show that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.

The case revolves around the 2016 cyber breach of Bitfinex, during which the hacker stole some 120,000 bitcoin and transferred them to a digital wallet —akin to a virtual account — outside the exchange.

Prosecutors say that digital wallet was under Lichtenstein's control. Court papers say he and Morgan then conspired to launder those funds, conducting a series of small, complex transactions across digital platforms to try to hide the money.

But, court papers say, investigators managed to trace the stolen funds through thousands of transactions to over a dozen accounts held in the name of Lichtenstein, Morgan or their businesses. Prosecutors say the couple also set up accounts with fake names to use in their laundering operation.

Court papers say the couple cashed out the stolen bitcoin into U.S. dollars through bitcoin ATMs and the purchase of gold and non-fungible tokens as well as Walmart gift cards.

The Justice Department has recently boosted its efforts to crack down on crypto crimes and created a national cryptocurrency enforcement team last fall to focus on sophisticated cryptocurrency crimes.

  • crypto
  • bitcoin
Semiconductor giant Arm won't be sold to Nvidia after all : NPR******

That big deal for Nvidia to buy computer chip giant Arm has come crashing down

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

The logo of SoftBank Corp. is seen at a shop in Tokyo on Monday. Profit at the Japanese technology investor has tumbled as the value of its sprawling investments declined and its planned sale of British company Arm collapsed. Koji Sasahara/AP hide caption

toggle caption Koji Sasahara/AP

The logo of SoftBank Corp. is seen at a shop in Tokyo on Monday. Profit at the Japanese technology investor has tumbled as the value of its sprawling investments declined and its planned sale of British company Arm collapsed.

Koji Sasahara/AP

TOKYO — SoftBank's planned sale of the British semiconductor and software design company Arm to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia has fallen through, but the Japanese technology investor immediately turned bullish on taking it public.

SoftBank Group Corp. said Tuesday it plans an initial public offering of Arm after the intended sale to Nvidia failed due to regulatory problems. It said the IPO would come sometime in the fiscal year ending in March 2023.

FTC sues to block big semiconductor chip industry merger between Nvidia and Arm

Technology

FTC sues to block big semiconductor chip industry merger between Nvidia and Arm

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son acknowledged he was disappointed but wasted no time in shifting to an aggressive sales pitch for Arm in its preparing to go public in the U.S., likely on the Nasdaq exchange.

"Arm is back. Rather just being back, it's really going to grow explosively," Son told reporters.

He said "a golden time" was coming because of Arm's "architecture," or technology for semiconductors, already widely used in cell phones and adapted by net giants like Amazon. Son said even bigger growth will come as the world shifts to electric vehicles because Arm products are energy efficient.

Earlier faltering results at Arm were merely because of a hefty investment in hiring engineers needed to keep such innovations going, Son said.

Son said he was tapping new leadership to give Arm a fresh start, with Rene Haas, a semiconductor industry veteran, as chief executive, replacing Simon Segars.

Facebook just had its worst day ever on Wall Street

Technology

Facebook just had its worst day ever on Wall Street

"With the uncertainty of the past several months behind us, we are emboldened by a renewed energy to move into a growth strategy and change lives around the world again," Haas said.

Arm's semiconductor design is widely used in smartphones, tablets and TVs

Arm, which SoftBank acquired in 2016, is a leader in artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud, the metaverse and autonomous driving, with sales and profit growing in recent years. Its semiconductor design is widely licensed and used in virtually all smartphones, the majority of tablets and digital TVs.

The company's business centers on designing chips and licensing the intellectual property to customers, rather than chip manufacturing, for which it relies on partners.

Nvidia also confirmed the merger was no longer on, although it still had its 20-year licensing agreement with Arm.

"Arm is at the center of the important dynamics in computing. Though we won't be one company, we will partner closely with Arm," said Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia.

The FTC sued to block the $40 billion Nvidia deal to buy Arm

In December, the Federal Trade Commission sued to block Nvidia's $40 billion acquisition of Arm, saying the deal would give one of the largest chip companies control over the computing technology and designs that rival firms rely on to develop their own competing chips.

Judge allows Federal Trade Commission's latest suit against Facebook to move forward

Technology

Judge allows Federal Trade Commission's latest suit against Facebook to move forward

The FTC said the combined firm could stifle innovative next-generation technologies, including those used to run datacenters and driver-assistance systems in cars.

The British government Competition and Markets Authority, which had been investigating whether the deal might hurt competition, said it was abandoning the probe. European Union regulators also had been investigating.

Geoff Blaber, chief executive at CCS Insight, said the opposition to the sale was not a surprise because many people wanted Arm to stay independent.

"It has also been disruptive to Arm and its ecosystem. An IPO is a far better option for the Arm ecosystem but is unlikely to provide Softbank a comparable return," he said.

Besides Arm, SoftBank owns stakes in various technology companies including the SoftBank mobile carrier, Yahoo web services provider, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and vehicle-for-hire company Didi. SoftBank also takes part in funds that include other global investors called Vision Funds, which focuses on artificial intelligence companies.

Intel is building a $20 billion computer chip facility in Ohio amid a global shortage

Business

Intel is building a $20 billion computer chip facility in Ohio amid a global shortage

As a result, its financial results tend to be complex and varied. SoftBank has bought and then sold stakes in office-sharing venture WeWork, robotics company Boston Dynamics, mobility service provider Uber and mobile carrier Sprint, all American businesses.

SoftBank's profit tumbled 98% in the quarter through December, as the value of its sprawling investments declined.

Net profit for the fiscal third quarter totaled 29 billion yen ($252 million), down from 1.17 trillion yen the previous year, the company said. Quarterly sales edged up to 1.6 trillion yen ($13.9 billion) from 1.5 trillion yen.

Son, who founded SoftBank, is one of the most famous rags-to-riches successes in Japan's business world. He has repeatedly stressed that his decisions have proved sound in the long run. A graduate of the University of California Berkeley, he latched on to the potential of the internet decades ago.

  • Nvidia
Peloton CEO John Foley out, company to cut nearly 3,000 jobs : NPR******

Peloton co-founder steps down, as the company announces layoffs

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

Peloton CEO John Foley celebrates at the Nasdaq MarketSite before the opening bell and his company's IPO, on Sept. 26, 2019 in New York. Foley is stepping down now, after a rough period for the company. Mark Lennihan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Mark Lennihan/AP

Peloton CEO John Foley celebrates at the Nasdaq MarketSite before the opening bell and his company's IPO, on Sept. 26, 2019 in New York. Foley is stepping down now, after a rough period for the company.

Mark Lennihan/AP

The co-founder of Peloton is stepping down as chief executive after an extended streak of tumult at the exercise and treadmill company, which is also cutting almost 3,000 jobs.

John Foley first pitched the idea of an interactive exercise bike in 2011, hoping to disrupt the industry. He will give up the CEO position and become executive chair at Peloton Interactive Inc.

Barry McCarthy, who served as CFO at Spotify as well as at Netflix, will take over the CEO position.

The ins and out of Peloton culture

Pop Culture Happy Hour

The ins and out of Peloton culture

Peloton had been the subject in media reports this week of a potential takeover target by either Amazon and Nike. The developments Tuesday deflated hopes for such a deep-pocketed buyer and shares of Peloton slipped before the opening bell.

The company's shares have been on a roller-coaster ride since the pandemic began. They surged more than 400% in 2020 as COVID-19 forced lockdowns and shifted the workout trend from the gym to the home.

Nearly all of those gains were wiped out in 2021 as the distribution of vaccines sent many people out of their homes and back into gyms. The stock fell further this year amid reports the company would cut back production as sales tumbled.

After sprinting through the pandemic, Peloton's stock hits the wall

Business

After sprinting through the pandemic, Peloton's stock hits the wall

There was also a demand late last month from activist investor Blackwells Capital that Peloton remove Foley as CEO and that it consider selling the company amid waning consumer demand.

In addition to the leadership shakeup, Peloton announced Tuesday that it was cutting 2,800 jobs, including approximately 20% of corporate jobs at the New York City company. The instructors who lead interactive classes for Peloton will not be included in cuts, nor will the content that the company relies on to lure users.

Peloton said its winding down the development of its Peloton Output Park in Ohio. It will also reduce its owned and operated warehousing and delivery locations and will instead ramp up its third-party relationships.

Peloton is looking to reduce its planned capital expenditures for this year by about $150 million. The restructuring program is expected to result in approximately $130 million in cash charges related to severance and other exit and restructuring activities and $80 million in non-cash charges. The majority of the charges will be recorded in fiscal 2022.

"Peloton is at an important juncture, and we are taking decisive steps. Our focus is on building on the already amazing Peloton member experience, while optimizing our organization to deliver profitable growth," Foley said in a prepared statement.

The company anticipates at least $800 million in annual cost savings once its actions are fully implemented.

Wall Street took the shakeup Tuesday as a pivotal moment for Peloton.

"We believe Foley leaving makes it more likely that Peloton ultimately sells the company and the board clearly has major decisions to make in the days/weeks/months ahead," wrote Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and John Katsingris.

  • Peloton

Paying bills or buying a mask — the mounting costs of COVID hit some homes hard : NPR******

Paying bills or buying masks: Simple living with COVID is hitting some Americans hard

Mallory Yu

Twitter

Amy Isackson

Paying bills or buying masks: Simple living with COVID is hitting some Americans hard

Listen · 7:53
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078933570/1078953821" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Enlarge this image

Masks have become vital in the pandemic, but they can come at a cost. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Masks have become vital in the pandemic, but they can come at a cost.

Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

As the human toll of the coronavirus continues to mount, so does the cost that comes with living during a pandemic.

Cloth and disposable surgical masks have become staples of pandemic life as many stores, restaurants and businesses require staff and customers to wear them. And many school districts around the country still have mask mandates in place.

At-home rapid tests have also become familiar as the surge of coronavirus cases over the new year caused a frenzy as millions of Americans rushed to get their hands on one. Some school districts also require negative tests before students return to campus.

For the most part, people have had to cover these expenses up front.

And while it might be a small price to pay for some, others are burning through their savings or choosing between paying bills or buying masks just to stay safe.

Counting the costs of disposable masks

Jerri Dodge, 63, retired early in the pandemic after working as a business consultant and retail worker in Ypsilanti, MI.

"I have two risk factors and fairly severe health issues," Dodge said. "I needed to protect myself."

Part of that protection for Dodge includes masks — she doesn't leave her house without them.

"I am wearing double KN95s, I couldn't afford the N95s," she said.

According to the CDC, the "highest level of protection" comes from respirators that are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, such as N95 respirators. A box of 20 N95s on Amazon costs about $35, or roughly $2 a mask. KN95 masks are cheaper, ranging around $1 each.

It all adds up, said Dodge. Nowadays, she is cutting back on laundry costs by sticking to sweatpants, and spends more time searching for affordable food. She is still struggling to make ends meet.

"I put off my electric bill, which is outrageous this time, to purchase the KN95s," she said. "I'm waiting for a shut-off notice before I get in touch with them and ask them to put me in a year-round budget."

Free N95 masks are arriving at pharmacies and grocery stores. Here's how to get yours

Health

Free N95 masks are arriving at pharmacies and grocery stores. Here's how to get yours

With omicron, you need a mask that means business

Shots - Health News

With omicron, you need a mask that means business

The U.S. job market showed gains through the end of 2021 and into January, despite the winter wave of coronavirus infections, but employment is still down 2.9 million jobs since the beginning of pandemic. Even as more people return to work or begin job hunting again, there are still many like Dodge.

"A lot of people came into the pandemic with really slim margins of savings and very little or maybe even negative wealth," said Wendy Edelberg, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies household spending and savings decisions.

"For those folks, putting even a little bit of pressure on their financial situation by adding some extra tax [like regularly purchasing masks] that they have to pay to make it through living in the midst of a pandemic is going to make their lives hard."

The 'time tax' isn't equal

It isn't just a financial tax, either. Edelberg says there's a time tax too: the time it takes to look for masks or wait in line for a free test.

Kisha Moore, 40, knows this time tax all too well. She runs a wholesale business from home, and is a single mother to six children.

"I have three kids that are going to school physically right now," she said. "And then the two younger ones are virtual and homeschool."

Despite all being vaccinated and boosted, COVID "spread like wildfire" through Moore's house once her children went back to school in their North Carolina district.

"We were trying to test them out of quarantine and isolation, [but] I couldn't find enough tests," Moore said.

She checked pharmacies, searched shelves at Walmart and Target, looking everywhere until she was able to find rapid tests. She bought 10 tests for almost $300 out of pocket.

Enlarge this image

Rapid at-home Covid-19 tests were a hot commodity in many parts of America in January. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Rapid at-home Covid-19 tests were a hot commodity in many parts of America in January.

Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

With six mouths to feed, and needing to buy cleaning supplies and disposable surgical masks in bulk, it hit her budget hard.

"So it's just like, when I don't have [the money], it goes on my [credit] card," Moore said.

People with more money can avoid this time tax. Edelberg points to mobile COVID testing services that come to homes and businesses – for a hefty fee.

"There are people who maybe prefer to be spending their time doing something else, but at least have the time to be able to comb through the neighborhood list servs to figure out which store just got masks," Edelberg said.

"Then there are the people who have neither time nor money, and that's who we should worry about the most."

'What will it look like in 6 months?'

The Biden Administration is distributing 400 million free N95 masks as part of its effort to combat COVID-19. They are now available for pick up in certain pharmacies and health centers around the country; each person is allowed three masks, as supplies last. Four free at-home COVID tests can be ordered through a form on the U.S. Postal Service website.

Enlarge this image

Joe Biden holds a mask as he gives remarks on his administration's response to the surge in COVID-19 cases across on January 13, 2022. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Joe Biden holds a mask as he gives remarks on his administration's response to the surge in COVID-19 cases across on January 13, 2022.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

"It is certainly a step in the right direction," Edelberg said. But she worries whether the limited supply is too little, too late.

"Getting a couple of masks, that's a good thing, but that doesn't meet them where their lives are," she said.

Those three N95s per person won't last long in Moore's house.

"We could go through a box of masks in four to five school days," she said, especially since her children are going to in-person school. Moore is also keenly aware of other parents in her community who are struggling more than she is and can't afford masks at all, so she also sends her kids to school with extra masks in sandwich bags.

Moore has tightened her budget as much as she can, by eliminating extra entertainment, planning her groceries "down to the dollar" and buying cheap masks in bulk. Her bills are only getting higher, and Moore worries about the future.

"What is it going to look like in six to eight months?" she said. "I'm just trying to prepare as best as I can. I'm hoping it is going to lighten up and we can really start to recover."

Edelberg said the aggregate economy is doing pretty well. Americans, as a whole, were able to save more during the pandemic. But those savings were concentrated among wealthier households. Lower income households did save more during the pandemic too, but those savings didn't translate to a larger cash buffer.

"It's not that I'm worried about the economy in aggregate," Edelberg said. "I'm worried about who the fiscal support didn't reach, and I'm worried about who the labor market recovery is not reaching."

Why buying a car is still such a miserable experience right now : NPR******

Why buying a car is still such a miserable experience right now

Camila Domonoske square 2017

Camila Domonoske

Twitter

Why buying a car is still such a miserable experience right now

Listen · 3:57
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078333943/1078930699" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Enlarge this image

Used cars for sale sit on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., last week. Finding a car is still tough, especially for more affordable options. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

toggle caption Matt Rourke/AP

Used cars for sale sit on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., last week. Finding a car is still tough, especially for more affordable options.

Matt Rourke/AP

Thinking of buying a car? Kimberly Walker, a mother of two in Columbia, S.C., can tell you exactly what that's like these days.

She recently found herself having to shop for two vehicles on opposite ends of the market. For herself, she wanted a late-model electric Audi, and after looking around, she was able to find a used 2021 e-tron at a local dealership.

The price? An eye-popping $68,000 with no room to negotiate.

"We went back and forth. We were there for four hours," she says. "They did not budge on that price."

For her teenage daughter, Walker was looking to spend just a few thousand bucks on an old car. The experience wasn't any better. For four months they tried private sellers and kept losing bidding war after bidding war. CarMax didn't have a single option under $15,000.

They eventually found a car. There was just one catch.

"We ended up purchasing a 2009 Toyota Camry that actually was not running at the time," Walker says. "But the mechanic agreed to put a new engine in it and gave it to us for $3,500."

So, You Are Shopping For A Car At A Terrible Time. Here's What To Keep In Mind

Business

So, You Are Shopping For A Car At A Terrible Time. Here's What To Keep In Mind

A Pandemic Sticker Shock: Used-Car Prices Are Through The Roof

The Coronavirus Crisis

A Pandemic Sticker Shock: Used-Car Prices Are Through The Roof

Buying a car has been a frustrating experience over the past year as automakers continue to struggle to find computer chips and other essential materials because of snarled supply chains.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gotten any better.

The University of Michigan has been polling consumers for more than 50 years and asking whether they feel like it's a good or bad time to buy a car. Today, more people say it's a bad time than ever before in the survey's history.

And for people on a tight budget, it's becoming a real crisis. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average used car now sells for 42% more than before the pandemic.

"The people who are looking for need-based transportation as opposed to want-base transportation — the folks who are looking for the traditional $10,000 or $12,000 car that has, you know, 95,000 or 105,000 miles — those folks are having a very difficult time in this market right now," says Matt Jones, head of communications at TrueCar.

"This is troubling," he adds.

The Manheim Index is based on millions of used vehicle transactions per year and measures value "independent of underlying shifts in the characteristics of vehicles being sold." It expresses value relative to January 1995 (when the index was set at 100). Manheim Consulting/Cox Automotive/Camila Domonoske hide caption

toggle caption Manheim Consulting/Cox Automotive/Camila Domonoske

It's still the supply chains

The auto market is still reeling after the pandemic completely upended the balance of supply and demand.

Carmakers have had to cut their output as they struggle to find critical materials such as chips, creating a shortage of vehicles that has caused ripple effects through new and used markets.

And it's not just how many vehicles they're producing, but what kinds. Automakers have responded to the shortages by focusing on their most profitable cars, meaning the priciest ones.

Luxury vehicles make up a growing proportion of new vehicle sales, and affordable sedans a shrinking fraction. That has pushed average new vehicle prices to record highs.Kelley Blue Book average transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.Kelley Blue Book/Cox Automotive/Camila Domonoske hide caption

toggle caption Kelley Blue Book/Cox Automotive/Camila Domonoske

Compared to a few years ago, companies are manufacturing fewer entry-level sedans and crossovers — and more luxury vehicles, SUVs and pickups, all packed with fancy features. This trend predates the pandemic, but the chip shortage accelerated it dramatically.

"Companies have made a defined decision that says, 'If I only have so many chips, I'm going to put those chips in my most expensive models,'" Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh told NPR in January.

It has pushed average new vehicle prices up significantly, and because people priced out of new cars turned to used cars, every car shopper has felt the impact.

But it's a good time to be an automaker

That focus on more expensive cars has been good for automakers' bottom lines.

Both Tesla and General Motors had record earnings last year, and executives largely credited a focus on higher-margin vehicles like the Model Y for Tesla and full-size pickup trucks for GM.

Ford had its best year since 2016, citing "strong mix," which is business jargon for a higher ratio of more-profitable vehicles.

It's been good for unionized auto workers, too: They will be getting hefty profit-sharing checks — up to $10,250 for GM workers.

Dealerships have also benefited. Scarcity has vehicles flying off the lot, and they, too, profit off the shift to up-market.

"It's very easy to operate as a car dealer in this environment," says Arnaldo Bomnin, the CEO of Bomnin Automotive Group, a dealership group based in Miami. His company just raked in $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever.

Enlarge this image

A car dealership stands empty in Laurel, Md., on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running low on new vehicles because of a computer chip shortage. It's months later, and automakers are still struggling to meet demand. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

A car dealership stands empty in Laurel, Md., on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running low on new vehicles because of a computer chip shortage. It's months later, and automakers are still struggling to meet demand.

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

How long can the auto market stay like this?

The upended car market has been so good for automakers' margins that it's raising questions about whether some shifts will become permanent, even when chip supply chains go back to normal. (As for when that will happen, optimists think the crunch will ease in a matter of months, while pessimists are projecting shortages well into next year.)

Auto executives have told investors that these very profitable months have made them realize they may have been making too many cars before. At some points in 2019, there were 4 million cars waiting to be sold; the current stockpile is around a million vehicles.

But many analysts believe that once chips become available, companies will likely fall back into fighting over market share by offering higher volumes, lower prices and more options.

There's certainly demand for cheaper vehicles; Ford's new lower-priced pickup offering, the Maverick, swiftly sold out.

"You put something out there that's nice and attractive and you put a 20-grand price point — the whole world is going to be crying for it," said Jones at TrueCar.

Besides, trying to squeeze margins with fewer, fancier vehicles may be boosting auto companies now, but it could easily come back to bite them.

"It's a tremendous inconvenience for the customer," says Bomnin, the Miami dealer owner. "If I have to choose, I prefer to have 1,700 cars in the lot."

Kimberly Walker, in South Carolina, is an example of what the industry stands to lose. She says if market conditions stay like this, she'll be changing her behavior.

"I will not be buying a new car every few years," she says. "I will probably drive this e-tron until the wheels fall off and then hand it to my 6-year-old when he starts driving."

  • car chips
  • supply chains
  • vehicles
  • Cars

【roulette robot online】Brent Hayden fastest; Australia dominates

Your ex's student loans could still be yours after a divorce : NPR******

Even divorce might not free you from your ex's student loan debt

Heard on All Things Considered

Sequoia Carrillo

Twitter

Even divorce might not free you from your ex's student loan debt

Listen · 4:56
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1063655620/1080684346" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Angela Powell, a business analyst in Texas, has been trying to untangle a joint consolidation loan from her ex-husband since their divorce in 2014. Powell's ex-husband stopped regularly paying on the loan years ago. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Angela Powell, a business analyst in Texas, has been trying to untangle a joint consolidation loan from her ex-husband since their divorce in 2014. Powell's ex-husband stopped regularly paying on the loan years ago.

Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Angela Powell met her "prince" during her freshman year of college. She had dreams of a happy marriage, a successful career and a couple of great kids. After graduation, she got married and started on the other two, attending business school while her husband got his law degree, before the two settled down to start a family in Arizona.

Around that time, they decided to consolidate their loans under a new Department of Education program for married couples. The perks were high — a lower interest rate for their debt and only one payment to worry about per month.

"I didn't think it was a big deal because we're going to pay all this off. We're going to be married forever, right?" Powell said. "Fast-forward to the housing market crisis in 2009/2010. Not a happy marriage anymore. Everybody loses their jobs."

After the divorce, Powell's relationship with her ex soured. Documents reviewed by NPR show he has not made regular payments to the loan since 2016. That's despite the fact he'd originally taken out almost double her debt. Through consolidation, they are now on the hook together for nearly $200,000 — more than five times the amount of Powell's initial loan.

"I'm stuck with having this thing on my back," says Powell, "and knowing that at the end of the day, if he chooses not to pay, guess what? My monthly payment is $1,942.50."

More than 14,000 borrowers participated in the short-lived program, which Congress shuttered in 2006. It seemed like a simple concept: Joint consolidation loans allowed for couples to have one single monthly payment with a lower interest rate. The problem came when trying to separate loans in the case of divorce or domestic violence. The program has no way to disentangle the debts.

"It seems pretty straightforward. If you can put something together, you can take it apart," says Patrick Stebly. He has been in this situation since his divorce in 2013 and has spent the last five years trying to change it for everyone else.

Six Feet Of Separation: Stories Of Parenting And Divorce During COVID-19

Stebly's advocacy has inspired legislation to remedy this problem. Introduced by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. David E. Price, D-N.C., the bill would allow, in cases of divorce or domestic violence, for joint loans to be split proportionately based on the original loan amounts. Nearly half a dozen families in this situation told NPR this is the fix they need.

Enlarge this image

Holly Rodriguez found herself responsible for both her and her ex-husband's student loans. Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR

Holly Rodriguez found herself responsible for both her and her ex-husband's student loans.

Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR

Warner first introduced the bill in 2017 after a constituent reached out about paying her abusive ex-husband's student loans. She had moved from Florida to Virginia to get away from him.

"While she physically got away, she couldn't get away from this mutual debt ... from an abusive husband. That's just wrong," said Warner.

Heavy Student Loan Debt Forces Many Millennials To Delay Buying Homes

Your Money

Heavy Student Loan Debt Forces Many Millennials To Delay Buying Homes

Once the bill was introduced, people from across the U.S. contacted the senator's office asking for relief from the consolidation program.

There is no data on how many of the initial borrowers have since separated, but national and state domestic violence relief organizations say economic sabotage— like tanking a spouse's credit — is one of the top tactics used in abusive relationships.

Education

One borrower's student debt is erased with loan forgiveness program overhaul

1 borrower's student debt is erased with loan forgiveness program overhaul

Listen · 2:57
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1064558149/1065727576" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"It's so powerful that many survivors cite their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children as one of the top reasons that they stay in an abusive relationship," says Monica McLaughlin of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

NPR spoke to borrowers who had experienced physical and mental abuse from former partners who now refuse to pay their student loans; they say Warner's legislation would set them free.

"There are so many barriers that survivors face," said McLaughlin. "Let's knock this one down and look to the next one."

Stebly and his ex-wife count themselves among the lucky ones. They have an amicable relationship, so after they separated, they put together a court agreement to repay their loans: His ex-wife pays her portion of the loan to him, and then he pays the loan provider. It's a workaround, but it has some drawbacks. His ex-wife should be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, but she cannot claim it to erase her debt because their loans are consolidated.

Officials have told Stebly over and over again: It would only take less than 1,000 words to fix this problem and separate their loans — but those words have to be approved by Congress.

"I've been banging out a thousand-word emails trying to talk about this thing, you know, daily for a while, trying to get somebody excited about this," Stebly said. "To me, it seems very straightforward."

Enlarge this image

Holly Rodriguez hugs her youngest son, Iommi, at her home in Richmond, Va. Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR

Holly Rodriguez hugs her youngest son, Iommi, at her home in Richmond, Va.

Parker Michels-Boyce for NPR

Holly Rodriguez agrees. She's a single mother of two in Richmond, Va., and is reckoning with her decisions from two decades ago. She's getting a divorce, she's in default on her student loans — and the two issues are more related than it may seem.

Rodriguez's loan now amounts to almost $72,000. The jump comes from consolidating with her husband's loan, interest and about 10 years of tenuous finances.

"We did pay initially," Rodriguez said. "And then my husband, soon after my daughter was born, lost his job. That put our finances in a very hard place."

Rodriguez works in fundraising and communications for nonprofits; her ex-husband works in the restaurant industry as a line cook and a dishwasher. Both went through periods of unemployment and faced medical setbacks over the course of their marriage.

Finances were "a very contentious element of our marriage when we were together," she says, and their separation wasn't amicable. In 2018, she filed for, and was granted, a protective order for her and her children. It was later dismissed.

Portraits In Single Parenting: Doing One Of Life's Hardest Jobs, On Your Own

Science

Portraits In Single Parenting: Doing One Of Life's Hardest Jobs, On Your Own

Given all that, getting her ex to pay up on student loans wasn't a top priority — but the collection agency kept calling. So Rodriguez contacted her loan servicer to let it know about her situation. She provided her husband's contact information and proved he was employed, but it did not matter.

The loan was in her name, and the loan servicer said if she wanted him to pay, she would have to work it out with him.

Rodriguez says her husband stopped regular payments on their student loans years ago. After repeated requests from NPR, he did not respond for comment.

"I was told, 'Yes, he co-signed with you, but you signed the paperwork first, so we pursued you first,' " Rodriguez said.

Afraid any missed payments would directly impact Rodriguez's credit score, she took on the entirety of the debt.

"The thing is, I don't mind paying my student loans back, but I do have a problem with having to pay for my loans and his loans," Rodriguez said. "I've been paying debt that isn't mine, and that's not OK. There's nothing that makes sense about that."

For two years, joint consolidation borrowers could benefit from the pause on federal student loan payments, but that will change in just a few months: Payments start back up on May 1. President Biden has made his aversion to widespread debt forgiveness clear.

Advocates and lawmakers acknowledge that a legislative fix shouldbe an easy fix to make. "Even when things are totally logical and rational, stuff takes longer than it should in Congress," Warner says.

Getting the legislation through the gears of Congress — the same Congress that failed to pass Biden's social spending package and recent voting rights legislation — may prove challenging.

CNN anchors grill CEO over ouster of ex******

CNN anchors grill CEO over ouster of ex-news chief Jeff Zucker as sale looms

David Folkenflik 2018 square

David Folkenflik

Twitter Enlarge this image

CNN's Erin Burnett and Alisyn Camerota (at left and right) are among the stars who have raised sharp questions about the ouster of former network chief Jeff Zucker (center). Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

CNN's Erin Burnett and Alisyn Camerota (at left and right) are among the stars who have raised sharp questions about the ouster of former network chief Jeff Zucker (center).

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

For the past six days, CNN anchors have waged a campaign to defend the reputation of their ousted boss, Jeff Zucker, and to demand answers from the head of their parent company over why Zucker was forced to leave the network after acknowledging his consensual relationship with a top executive.

"We're grieving," OutFront host Erin Burnett told WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar at a meeting on Monday held with staffers in New York City, according to several participants. Burnett compared Zucker's departure to a death in the family and said staffers could not move past such a loss without answers to key questions. Among them: who their new boss will be.

At another meeting on Monday held remotely with international staffers based in London, including Christiane Amanpour and Clarissa Ward, questions were equally pointed, with a focus on the plans for CNN's international channel. This account is based on interviews with five people with direct knowledge of recent events at the network. NPR is not naming them due to the sensitivity of the matter.

On the air, some of CNN's most familiar faces, including CNN Newsroom host Alisyn Camerota and GPShost Fareed Zakaria, have aired tributes to Zucker as a charismatic and supportive leader.

"This is an incredible loss," Camerota told viewers. "He has this uncanny ability to make, I think, every one of us feel special and valuable in our own way, even though he is managing an international news organization of thousands of people."

"These are two consenting adults who are both executives," Camerota said, adding that if what has been reported proves true, "that they can't have a private relationship feels wrong."

Chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward posted a tribute on Instagram that started: "Jeff Zucker is the best boss I have ever had. By a country mile."

CNN stars question reasons given for Zucker's departure

The facts of the matter seem simple: Zucker acknowledged last week in a memo to CNN staff that he had not disclosed his romantic involvement with a senior colleague at its outset, as required by corporate policy. The couple say it started during the coronavirus pandemic, though tabloid publications have suggested it began far earlier.

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns over relationship with network executive

Media

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns over relationship with network executive

Yet the ouster occurred against the backdrop of a lawsuit threatened by Chris Cuomo, the former CNN star fired by Zucker in December, and a $43 billion deal awaiting regulatory approval in which telecommunications giant AT&T will transfer WarnerMedia to the control of Discovery Inc.

In a series of meetings Kilar has held with CNN staffers, including those in Atlanta, Washington and London, journalists have asked him whether there was more damning behavior by Zucker that has not yet been disclosed. They asked whether the company intends to strike a financial settlement with Cuomo. And they asked whether Kilar's apparent decision to force Zucker out was prompted by professional animus between the two, as has been widely reported.

Kilar heard out the journalists but offered few direct answers, according to participants who later spoke to NPR. He instead invoked the company's values several times.

Several Zucker associates tell NPR that he has said the decision to leave was not his own. Other news outlets have reported much the same. In her own public statement, Allison Gollust, the network's chief marketing officer and its communications chief, confirmed she was involved with Zucker. Neither is married. In one of her roles, however, she reported to Zucker, a violation of corporate policy.

Not all CNN employees appear to be overwrought over Zucker's departure. Zucker created a star system and liked swarming coverage and a lot of talking heads, often to the exclusion of other stories. Many of those speaking out were championed by Zucker and became highly paid stars. Others have noted that the network's ratings have tumbled since the departure from office of former President Donald Trump, who was the focus of much of the network's relentless coverage.

Questions about Zucker and Gollust's relationship arose during an investigation of Cuomo, conducted by a law firm, over the extent to which he had advised his older brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, regarding allegations of sexual harassment. Zucker had defended Chris Cuomo's actions despite revelations of his involvement in the governor's efforts to strategize how to contain the scandal. Late last year, as more details surfaced, Zucker fired Chris Cuomo, saying he had lied to the network about his actions.

At a meeting held by Kilar last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., The Lead anchor Jake Tapper argued it appeared that the CNN executive's departure was Cuomo's revenge, inflicted by threats from his high-powered attorney. "How do we get past that perception that this is the bad guy winning?" Tapper asked, in remarks first reported by TheNew York Times.

Confusion reigns at CNN in Zucker's absence

Kilar deflected the question.

Kilar has publicly said he expects to lose his job when the Discovery deal is wrapped up; Zucker, who had been expected to leave prior to the announcement of the sale, is a close friend of Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and many analysts believed he could land a position as a senior executive in the new entertainment conglomerate.

CNN's own leadership is in some disarray, with a spokesman referring calls to its corporate parent. Gollust is not directing the network's PR strategy and is said not to be in the office. The network is currently being led by a trio of senior corporate deputies to Zucker, who have described themselves as equally taken aback at his abrupt departure last week.

At one of the meetings, Ken Jautz, one of those senior executives, called Zucker CNN's most consequential leader since CNN founder Ted Turner — a characterization that could cut in more than one direction.

Gollust has been associated with Zucker professionally for more than a generation. They worked together closely at NBC, where Zucker worked his way up to the top before arriving at CNN. Gollust worked for then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo before rejoining Zucker at CNN. A report in Rolling Stone by Tatiana Siegel, a veteran entertainment reporter who has frequently relied upon the law firm that Chris Cuomo has hired as a source, says that Zucker's and Cuomo's own advice to the former governor was also coming under scrutiny.

"The article is false," Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Zucker, said in a written statement. "Jeff resigned due to an undisclosed personal relationship. WarnerMedia confirmed that it considers the matter of his resignation closed."

A spokeswoman for WarnerMedia did not comment on the Rolling Stone article and told NPR the company had no additional comment on Zucker and his departure. Chris Cuomo and his attorney, Bryan Freedman, have not responded to NPR's requests for comment.

  • Jason Kilar
  • Warnermedia
  • Jeff Zucker
  • CNN
Corporate climate pledges are weaker than they seem, a new study finds : NPR******

Corporate climate pledges are weaker than they seem, a new study reports

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

Trees grown on forest land adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park near Ashford, Wash., is part of a project of 520 acres on private timberland that allows a private nonprofit to sell "carbon credits" to individuals and companies who are hoping to offset their carbon footprints. Ted S. Warren/AP file photo hide caption

toggle caption Ted S. Warren/AP file photo

Trees grown on forest land adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park near Ashford, Wash., is part of a project of 520 acres on private timberland that allows a private nonprofit to sell "carbon credits" to individuals and companies who are hoping to offset their carbon footprints.

Ted S. Warren/AP file photo

NEW YORK — Many of the world's largest companies are failing to take significant enough steps to meet their pledges to vastly reduce the impact of their greenhouse gas emissions in the decades ahead.

That's the conclusion of a new report by the NewClimate Institute, an environmental organization that works to combat global warming. Its researchers, who examined the actions of 25 companies, concluded that many of them are misleading consumers by using accounting practices that make their environmental goals relatively meaningless or are excluding key parts of their businesses in their calculations.

The companies have pledged to make their emissions reductions or to offset their emissions through such techniques as planting carbon-capturing forests over self-imposed periods ranging from 2030 to 2050.

Lawsuit alleging oil companies misled public about climate change moves forward

Climate

Lawsuit alleging oil companies misled public about climate change moves forward

The authors chose to study corporate giants, including Amazon and Walmart, which made bold climate pledges and who, because of their size, are seen as especially influential. In recent years, large corporations have increasingly adopted pledges to significantly reduce their carbon footprints — a priority of growing importance to many of their customers, employees and investors.

NewClimate Institute concluded that even though many companies have pledged to reach net-zero emissions, the 25 companies they studied have collectively committed to reduce emissions by about 40% — not the 100% that people might be led to believe from the companies' net-zero or carbon-neutral pledges.

"We were frankly surprised and disappointed at the overall integrity of the companies' claims" said Thomas Day of NewClimate Institute, one of the study's lead authors. "Their ambitious-sounding headline claims all-too-often lack real substance, which can mislead both consumers and the regulators that are core to guiding their strategic direction. Even companies that are doing relatively well exaggerate their actions."

Among the 25 companies the researchers studied, 24 relied too heavily on carbon offsets, which are rife with problems, the report said. That's because carbon offsets often rely on carbon removal ventures such as reforestation projects. These projects suck up carbon but are not ideal solutions because forests can be razed or destroyed by wildfires, re-releasing carbon into the air.

Climate

When consumers want to reduce their carbon footprint, food choices matter

Most of the companies, the report said, presented vague information on the scale and potential impact of their emissions-reduction measures or might have exaggerated their use of renewable energy.

The report called Amazon's goal of net-zero carbon by 2040 unsubstantiated. It said it was unclear whether Amazon's goal referred solely to carbon dioxide emissions or to all greenhouse gases. The report also said it was not clear to what degree Amazon planned to reduce its own emissions, as opposed to buying carbon offset credits which rely on nature-based solutions.

In response, Amazon said it has been transparent about its investments in nature-based solutions, and disputed that its net-zero goals are based on offsets. The company said it's on a path toward powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target of 2030. It also highlighted other initiatives including deploying 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.

As an example of a misleading goal, the report said CVS Health could potentially achieve its 2030 emissions target with little effort because it compared that target with a base year that included extraordinarily high emissions.

Carbon trading gets a green light from the U.N., and Brazil hopes to earn billions

Climate

Carbon trading gets a green light from the U.N., and Brazil hopes to earn billions

A CVS spokeswoman responded that after the company's merger with Aetna in late 2018, 2019 was the first full year of data the company could use as a baseline for the new combined entity.

"By 2030, we plan to reduce our environmental impact by more than 50%, including a reduction in our energy consumption and use of paper and plastic," the company said.

The NewClimate report said that Nestle, among the companies with the lowest marks, had emissions-reduction plans that covered only portions of its business and that its net-zero targets relied upon carbon offsets. The company also provided little detail on the renewable electricity sources it was pursuing, it said.

Nestle responded that its emissions reduction targets do cover all its activities, that it's reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 and that its factories and offices are switching to renewable electricity.

Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the school for environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, who had no role in the NewClimate report, said: "Far too many companies are coming up short when it comes to meaningful decarbonization. Corporate decarbonization goals and plans for meeting them are generally far less compelling than needed for success in halting climate change."

Some other outside experts suggested that the NewClimate report was too critical of carbon offsets.

"Forest-based offsets are challenging, but they can be real and important," said Christopher Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. "A too-strong emphasis on decarbonization paths that don't include offsets will slow overall progress and raise costs."

The report did note some things it said the companies are doing well. Shipping company Maersk received the best ratings despite the challenges its industry faces in reducing emissions. The authors noted that Maersk is pursuing alternative fuels and has partnered with a renewable energy company to establish a factory for e-methanol. Maersk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Most of the companies studied, 15 of them, have outlined plans to reduce their "Scope 1" and "Scope 2" emissions, which are emissions released directly by the company or by its using electricity, the report said. But those companies didn't address their "Scope 3" emissions; these include emissions released by suppliers or customers that use their products. Scope 3 emissions account for, on average, 87% of all emissions for the 25 companies studied, the group said.

The report commended Walmart, which pledged to be net-zero by 2040, for following good practice by committing to reduce its operational emissions to zero without the use of offsets and setting near-term goals for those reductions which include using 100% renewable energy by 2035. But Walmart was faulted for not including Scope 3 emissions. Walmart does have a voluntary program that guides its product suppliers to reduce emissions, and nearly a quarter of its suppliers have joined, the report said.

Walmart responded that it does have a goal to reduce or avoid one billion metric tons of Scope 3 emissions and that it reports its progress openly.

The report stressed that companies should take more responsibility to reduce Scope 3 emissions. Yet it can be challenging to track those emissions across supply chains, especially when working with smaller companies, said Maggie Peloso, a lawyer involved in climate change risk management and environmental litigation.

"It's not always as easy as calling someone up and saying, 'Hey, I want to know what your emissions were from the factory when you produced that 100 boxes of stuff that you sent to my stores and I sold them,' " Peloso said.

Among the suggestions for improvement that the NewClimate Institute offered were that companies focus on shorter-term emissions reduction targets for the next five to 10 years. It also suggested that companies set specific emissions-reduction targets with transparent accounting, instead of ambiguous net-zero goals.

If national governments created policies and regulations to meet the targets they have set, it would be far more effective, suggested John Reilly, who served as co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT. "On the hopeful side, perhaps there is ongoing effort within companies to create rules, procedures, and strategies to achieve their ambitious targets," he said.

  • carbon offsets
  • emissions reduction
  • climate change
Australia to reopen for vaccinated international tourists after nearly 2 years : NPR******

Australia will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers in 2 weeks

Rachel Treisman

Twitter Enlarge this image

A plane sits at Melbourne Airport in December, ahead of the Australian Open. The country will reopen its international borders to visa holders and fully vaccinated travelers on Feb. 21. Kelly Defina/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Kelly Defina/Getty Images

A plane sits at Melbourne Airport in December, ahead of the Australian Open. The country will reopen its international borders to visa holders and fully vaccinated travelers on Feb. 21.

Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Australia will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers beginning Feb. 21, officials announced Monday.

The move comes nearly two years after it first closed its international borders to slow the spread of COVID-19, and several months after beginning a gradual reopening that allowed certain tourists and foreign workers to enter the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted at a news conference that Australia has progressively opened its borders through programs with New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, and also began welcoming international students and economic migrants late last year. That welcome will soon be extended to visa holders and international tourists, on one condition.

Photos: Loved ones reunite as U.S. reopens to international travelers

The Picture Show

Photos: Loved ones reunite as U.S. reopens to international travelers

"The condition is, you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia," Morrison said. "That's the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it."

He added that quarantine requirements and cap arrangements on arrivals will continue, and are up to state governments to alter as they see fit.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a travel exemption to enter and will be subject to relevant state and territory quarantine requirements upon arrival. They also will need to provide proof that there is a medical reason they can't be vaccinated, she added.

Officials acknowledged that they are seeking to balance public health with the country's economic recovery. The return of international travel will be a boon to Australia's struggling tourism industry, which has been largely reliant on domestic travelers.

"Australians have stepped up and traveled when they can, but international tourists will be welcome relief," Andrews said.

The Business Council of Australia praised the decision in a statement as "the light at the end of the tunnel" for small businesses, tourism operators and the events industry. But it wasn't entirely celebratory, noting that the move doesn't apply to the entire country.

World

How Western Australia has managed to avoid large Covid-19 outbreaks

How Western Australia has managed to avoid large Covid-19 outbreaks

Listen · 3:54
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1071064023/1071064024" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Western Australia is still inaccessible to travelers from the rest of the country and the world after delaying its domestic border reopening late last month, as Bloomberg notes. The reopening plan was delayed indefinitely because of omicron, the BBC reports.

"In two weeks' time, it will be easier for a Londoner to visit the Great Barrier Reef than it will be for a Melburnian to travel to Perth," the council said. "This is a blight on our international reputation and devastating to WA's ability to attract both investment and talent."

Western Australia is the last state with a COVID-zero approach to the pandemic, as NPR has reported, with strict rules and border closings keeping cases relatively low.

Australia as a whole has seen a drop in COVID-19 cases since they hit their peak in early January. About 80% of its population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Novak Djokovic has left Australia after losing his final appeal to avoid deportation

Sports

Novak Djokovic has left Australia after losing his final appeal to avoid deportation

The announcement also comes less than a month after the country's dramatic legal battle with Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who was ultimately deported after he attempted to play in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated.

Morrison appeared to reference the high-profile saga in his remarks on Monday, when he stressed the importance of proof of double vaccination for international travelers.

"I think events earlier in the year should have sent a very clear message, I think, to every[one] around the world that that is the requirement to enter into Australia," he said.


This story originally appeared in the Morning Editionlive blog.

  • reopening
  • international travel
  • tourism
  • Australia

IRS backs away from facial recognition : NPR******

IRS has second thoughts about selfie requirement

Heard on Morning Edition

Brian Naylor

IRS has second thoughts about selfie requirement

Listen · 3:45
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078024597/1079112872" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

The IRS considered using selfies to verify the identities of people seeking to set up an account with the IRS to see their past returns or get information about child tax credit payments. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The IRS considered using selfies to verify the identities of people seeking to set up an account with the IRS to see their past returns or get information about child tax credit payments.

Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is backing away from a proposed requirement that people submit selfies to access their information on the agency's website.

First of all, to be clear:The IRS was not requiring that every taxpayer filing a return submit a selfie. It was only to verify the identities of people seeking to set up an account with the IRS to see their past returns or get information about child tax credit payments.

Still, it's an overreach, says Emily Tucker, director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law.

The IRS faces backlogs from last year as a new tax filing season begins

Politics

The IRS faces backlogs from last year as a new tax filing season begins

"The consequences of not agreeing to give up a photo of yourself, which is then stored in a corporate database, which is protected only by that corporation's own easily changeable privacy policies, is that you may not be able to comply with federal tax law under some circumstances," she told NPR.

The IRS says because of a lack of resources, it contracted out the identity verification to a Virginia-based company called ID.me. That is where taxpayers would have submitted their photos to, and that is where the photos would have been kept.

Jeramie Scott, senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says one of the problems with outsourcing this information is whether it's kept safe. "What it does is create another kind of target for criminals. Obviously, data breaches are a big issue. And, you know, the more areas that sensitive information is, the more likely it [will] be the target of a data breach."

Facebook to delete users' facial-recognition data after privacy complaints

Technology

Facebook to delete users' facial-recognition data after privacy complaints

18 federal agencies use some sort of facial recognition technology

ID.me says it does not sell the personal information of its users. "We do not sell data. Period. We will never sell data," ID.me co-founder and CEO Blake Hall told NPR. "Our mission as a company, the reason we exist, the reason I founded this company, is to put people in charge of their own information and to get it out of the hands of data brokers and credit bureaus, many of which are owned by foreign corporations."

And the IRS is not alone in using the company; 10 other federal agencies do, as well as many states, according to the company's website. A Government Accountability Office report last summer found that overall, 18 federal agencies use some sort of facial recognition technology, including law enforcement to spot criminals and Customs and Border Protection to check the identities of people entering the United States.

And its widespread use is part of the problem for privacy advocates like Scott. "You no longer have control over identity," Scott says. "And when that infrastructure is in place, it just takes, you know, a few bad actors to really kind of muck things up."

Scott also notes that research has shown that "to varying degrees, some of these algorithms have a racial bias and do not work as well on people of color."

But Hall says that while early algorithms were biased, that's no longer the case.

"The question now is not whether they're accurate — they're unbelievably accurate. The question is how they're used," he says.

Not everyone thinks facial recognition technology is a bad idea. Ashley Johnson, a senior policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which is partially funded by the tech industry, says as long as safeguards are in place, it can be a useful tool.

Massachusetts Pioneers Rules For Police Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

Technology

Massachusetts Pioneers Rules For Police Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

"I would say that it can definitely have a lot of great benefits for users and for the organizations that are using them," she says.

But she cautions that the government needs to step up its cybersecurity protections. "There have been many high-profile data breaches of various different government agencies in the past that have involved government employees' employment information being stolen, citizens' information being stolen," Johnson says. "And this is the real privacy concern, in my opinion, just based on the history that we've seen of this happening in the past."

In a statement on its website, ID.me says its face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. But the company admits it also uses a form of verification called "1:many" in which it compares the submitted picture with an array of other photos. It says it does this for government programs targeted by organized crime.

Some in Congress are pushing back on the IRS' use of facial recognition software

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tweeted that he is "very disturbed" by the IRS plan and that "no one should be forced to submit to facial recognition as a condition of accessing essential government services." In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Wyden wrote that "it is simply unacceptable to force Americans to submit to scans using facial recognition technology as a condition of interacting with the government online, including to access essential government programs."

And one lawmaker, Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., has proposed legislation forbidding the IRS from using facial recognition software, calling it "a huge mistake" by the agency and raising questions about its constitutionality.

ID.me's Hall says, "You can't hate everything. You know, if you hate government benefits [fraud] and identity theft fraud, then you can't be against the selfie. If you hate wait times and long processing things and bad customer service, then you can't hate the gains brought by automation."

Still, the IRS says it will be "transitioning away" from using ID.me to verify its accounts in the coming weeks.

Joe Rogan isn't going anywhere, says Spotify CEO Daniel Ek : NPR******

Spotify says Joe Rogan isn't going anywhere

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

UFC announcer and podcaster Joe Rogan speaks at the weigh in before a UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle, on Dec. 7, 2012. Gregory Payan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Gregory Payan/AP

UFC announcer and podcaster Joe Rogan speaks at the weigh in before a UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle, on Dec. 7, 2012.

Gregory Payan/AP

Joe Rogan's mouth has put Spotify in a tough spot, but the streaming giant is apparently not ready to part ways with the popular podcast host despite intense criticism over his anti-coronavirus vaccine comments and racial slurs.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a message to employees released Sunday that the company would not part ways with Rogan.

"While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more," Ek said in the note. "And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer."

The letter is the clearest indication yet of where Spotify stands on Rogan's fate with the company. It reportedly paid $100 million to exclusively host the podcast, so dropping Rogan threatens the bottom line but is also a key part of the company's strategy to be a one-stop shop for audio.

"We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it's critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress," Ek wrote. He said he was "deeply sorry" for the impact the controversy was having on Spotify's workforce.

Media

The Joe Rogan controversy spotlights how some podcasts spread disinformation

The Joe Rogan controversy spotlights how some podcasts spread disinformation

Listen · 7:30
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078689576/1078689577" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Joe Rogan has responded to the protests against Spotify over his podcast

Business

Joe Rogan has responded to the protests against Spotify over his podcast

Whether Spotify continues to keep Rogan or cuts ties, the decision likely won't sit well with one side or the other in an increasingly polarized country.

On race, the choice is between keeping Rogan and sending a message that society has become too "woke" or showing that Spotify is more attuned to a multiracial society, said Adia Harvey Wingfield, a sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

"If Spotify says 'We can't drop him. He has the right to say what he wants,' that continues on the line where there is this implicit support to say racist things on these platforms," she said in an interview before Ek's letter.

The streaming site also has to decide whether offensive words are allowable elsewhere on its app, where songs with racist, homophobic and anti-immigrant messages are available, said John Wihbey, a Northeastern University professor and specialist in emerging technologies.

"There's some real self-examination to be doing beyond Joe," Wihbey said. "This is a big moment of reckoning for entertainment and streaming platforms to see where the window is, what's over the line."

The bottom-line question should be pretty simple for Spotify, said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business and law professor. The conservative Rogan stands in contrast to the much more liberal musicians who generate the bulk of Spotify's profits, he said.

"They can't blow off the artists. The artists make Spotify," Gordon said. "They need to settle up with Rogan, let him go to a home that will be consistent with who he is. And everybody will be better off."

Having Rogan on Spotify is like having a political party with Donald Trump as the presidential candidate and liberal Elizabeth Warren as vice president. "It isn't going to work," Gordon said.

Spotify reports having 406 million active monthly users, up nearly 20% from last year, and advertising has grown largely because of podcasting. The company had 31% of the 524 million music streaming subscriptions worldwide in the second quarter of 2021, more than double that of second-place Apple Music, according to Midia Research.

Rogan's public troubles started on Jan. 24 when musician Neil Young asked to have his music removed because of concerns that Rogan was promoting skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines. Other artists followed suit, including Joni Mitchell and Roxane Gay.

The scrutiny only intensified when a video compilation emerged last week showing Rogan repeatedly using racial slurs. Grammy-winning artist India.Arie posted it on her Instagram, using the hashtag #DeleteSpotify.

Spotify said previously that it would soon add a warning to all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, directing listeners to factual, up-to-date information from scientists and public health experts.

"They take this money that's built from streaming, and they pay this guy $100 million, but they pay us like .003% of a penny," Arie wrote. "I don't want to generate money that pays that."

Rogan apologized Saturday, saying that the slurs were the "most regretful and shameful thing" he has ever had to address and that he hasn't used the N-word in years.

Ek told The Wall Street Journal last week that he took responsibility for being "too slow to respond" to the criticism over vaccine misinformation. It took the company five days to respond publicly to Young.

"It's become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time," Ek continued in a statement.

Rogan is an odd mix of shock-jock and host who leads discussions of public policy, arts and culture, Wihbey said, describing his brand as conservative "bro America."

His comments were clearly racist, Wihbey said, but he hopes that Rogan will see this as a chance to substantively discuss race and vaccine issues in future episodes. His audience may not hear the discussions otherwise, Wihbey said.

"I do think that assembling this kind of audience is important," he said. "He can say things that I think can move the needle."

Wingfield said the controversy could be positive if it starts a shift to discussions of racial stereotypes.

"I think that if Joe Rogan kind of learns from this experience and becomes a driving voice for that conversation, that could be really valuable," she said. "But I want to stress again that that's a pretty big if, and I don't know if it will come to that."

Spotify Technology's share price fell 0.5% early Monday in after hours trading. It jumped 9.2% on Friday.

The best business and finance tips for creatives : Life Kit : NPR******

Financial advice for artists who think they're 'bad with money'

    Life KitNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link
Ruth Tam headshot

Ruth Tam

Twitter

Sylvie Douglis

Financial advice for artists who think they're 'bad with money'

Listen · 21:45
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077923841/1078061885" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Illustration showing a hand drawn pyramid, broken up into blocks internally. Each block is filled with different financial tips including weekly time spent on finances, automatic saving, and investing, that can help people reach "financial awesomeness."Enlarge this image Paco de Leon Illustration showing a hand drawn pyramid, broken up into blocks internally. Each block is filled with different financial tips including weekly time spent on finances, automatic saving, and investing, that can help people reach "financial awesomeness."Paco de Leon

Not every hobby needs to be a side hustle. But, if you set out to make money off of yours – congratulations, you're running a business! Now you have to pay attention to finances.

It can be uncomfortable taking something you do for fun and turning it into a product with a dollar value, especially if you're a creative person. Add on the trope that being financially savvy is antithetical with being a true artist, and it's no wonder many creatives feel "bad with money."

But when you ignore your finances, you're not only missing out on peace of mind, you're also losing the ability to make sound business decisions that come from a place of clarity rather than an emotional "I'll take what I can get" energy.

Writer, illustrator and musician Paco de Leon runs a financial education firm and bookkeeping agency. Her book, Finance for the People, is a beginner-friendly guide to navigating your financial life. De Leon joined Life Kit to offer her best money management tips for creatives.

Paco de Leon is a musician, author, illustrator, founder of The Hell Yeah Group and author of Finance for the People.Left: Penguin Life; Right: Photograph by Jean Pablo hide caption

toggle caption Left: Penguin Life; Right: Photograph by Jean Pablo

Set up weekly finance time

Whether you're following up on invoices, logging expenses, paying bills or researching accountants, many financial chores are forgotten if we don't take time to prioritize them. To avoid this, set up a weekly finance meeting with yourself and treat it as sacred. Spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to check things off your list, instead of only doing them when you remember.

"Don't allow people to book meetings or bother you during that time," says de Leon. "Having that space to focus will allow that part of your life to expand."

tkPaco de Leon

Separate your personal and professional finances

It's easy to neglect your finances if all your money is kept in the same account and your transactions aren't marked as personal or professional.

So, bank with your business in mind. Monitor your money and how it's being used by creating separate checking and savings accounts for your personal and professional finances. Budgeting for your business becomes a lot easier when you have a clear idea of what you're actually spending and earning.

At first, it might feel a little scary if there's no money flowing in. But, de Leon says, it can also feel good to look at your stagnant accounts and ask, "How am I going to water this? How is this going to get fed?"

6 tips for making a career change, from someone who has done it

Life Kit

6 tips for making a career change, from someone who has done it

Procrastination is more than putting things off. Here's how to kick the habit

Life Kit

Procrastination is more than putting things off. Here's how to kick the habit

Don't forget taxes

Another reason for separating your professional and personal finances is it makes it easier for you to report your earnings to the IRS, which you're required to do, regardless of the amount you make.

And, if you make more than $400 a year, you'll likely have to pay both income tax and self-employment tax. To prepare for this, de Leon says to save anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the money you earn and put it in your business savings account to prepare for tax season.

If preparing for taxes is scary or stressful, consider hiring an accountant! The U.S. tax code is thousands of pages long and it changes often. Hiring someone to help you navigate it can provide "a huge return on your investment in terms of how much it costs," says de Leon.

Side gigs are demanding. Here's how to make one work for you

Life Kit

Side Gigs Are Demanding. Here's How To Make One Work

Know your market

Here's a hard truth: Just because you enjoy making photographs and your friends like them on Instagram doesn't mean your next step should be buying a domain name, producing hundreds of prints and setting up an online shop.

To better understand if there's demand for what you offer, de Leon recommends asking yourself, "Whose problem am I solving?" Who is looking for what I do or make, and why?

From an artistic perspective, it might feel strange to frame your work as a solution to a problem, says de Leon. But if you've decided to put your work in a commercial space, that question helps you consider who you are trying to reach, who is willing to buy your work and what they are willing to spend.

How To Say No, For The People Pleaser Who Always Says Yes

Life Kit

How To Say No, For The People Pleaser Who Always Says Yes

To demystify pricing, consider concrete and abstract costs

Pricing your products or setting your rates is like a "cactus bush," says de Leon. "It's prickly and hard to navigate."

Pricing requires you to consider concrete factors, like the cost of your materials and workspace, and abstract ones, like the value of your time, your level of experience, who you want to reach and what you offer that no one else can.

If examining all of that sounds overwhelming, remember that pricing falls within a range. There's a low and high end for every service and product on the market. Ask your peers or research online to get a sense of what those limits are and afterward, reflect on where you want to be in that range and why.

It can feel simpler for beginners to add up all of the above and decide on an hourly rate. But, depending on what you're offering and the more experience you gain, setting a price based on overall value – the need you're filling or solution you're providing for someone – is ultimately better for creators, says de Leon.

How to talk about money, privilege with friends — before it's time to split the bill

Life Kit

How to talk about money, privilege with friends — before it's time to split the bill

Know when to ask for help or raise your prices

If you are earning revenue from a skill or product, you might be doing a bunch of other things, too: sourcing, marketing, shipping, bookkeeping.

Pay attention to the tasks that feel difficult. What slows you down, burns you out, or takes up time that you'd rather spend doing something else? It may be helpful to outsource this task.

And, if your time becomes more valuable...well, it just might be time to raise your prices and see what happens.


The podcast portion of this story was produced by Sylvie Douglis.

We'd love to hear from you. If you have a good life hack, leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823or email us at LifeKit@npr.org. Your tip could appear in an upcoming episode.

If you love Life Kit and want more, subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Life Kit: Life Skills
  • Life Kit: Money
  • See Life Kit sponsors and promo codes
Delta calls for a national unruly passenger no******

Experts say Delta's call for an unruly passenger no-fly list invites legal turbulence

Joe Hernandez

Twitter Enlarge this image

A Delta Air Lines jet seen parking at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in March 2020, in Victorville, Calif. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David McNew/Getty Images

A Delta Air Lines jet seen parking at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in March 2020, in Victorville, Calif.

David McNew/Getty Images

The number of disorderly passengers on commercial airplanes has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Now, one airline executive is renewing his call for a national unruly passenger no-fly list.

Edward Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last week asking for the federal government's help in setting up a nationwide no-fly list for people who misbehave — sometimes violently --on planes.

"In addition to the welcome increase in enforcement and prosecutions, we are requesting you support our efforts with respect to the much-needed step of putting any person convicted of an on-board disruption on a national, comprehensive, unruly passenger "no-fly" list that would bar that person from traveling on any commercial air carrier," Bastian said in the letter shared with NPR.

The news, which was first reported by Reuters, rekindled the debate over creating a new national no-fly list, with critics warning that it could face some of the same pitfalls of previously established government no-fly lists, such as the one the Transportation Safety Administration maintains for suspected terrorists.

"Generally, we think it's a bad idea," Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union, told NPR. "Our experience with government watch lists and ban lists has not been a good one."

Another no-fly list raises civil liberties concerns

The ACLU has sued the U.S. government on behalf of people who were put on the TSA's terrorist no-fly list without being told why they were included or how to be removed.

Stanley said the government has "fought tooth and nail against basic fairness and due process protections" in such litigation, which makes him skeptical of another proposed no-fly list.

Also, he said he worries about the disparate effects the same punishment — being prohibited from flying — could have on a slew of different alleged offenders.

"If somebody is a casual flier who only flies once or twice a year for a family vacation, then this punishment of not being able to fly would not amount to much," he said. "On the other hand, if you're in sales or some other position where your job depends on being able to fly every week, it could be an enormously significant punishment."

The FAA Has Seen A 'Significantly Higher' Number Of Unruly Passenger Reports In 2021

National

The FAA Has Seen A 'Significantly Higher' Number Of Unruly Passenger Reports In 2021

Still, airlines do have some legal authority to create their own no-fly lists that are separate from the databases the federal government maintains for suspected terrorists and others, according to Charles Stotler, co-director of the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

"As long as the airline's not acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner, and they're taking actions in order to curb activities that might be inimicable to safety, then the airline no-fly list is legitimate," Stotler told NPR.

"There has to be some link with safety. Obviously unruly passengers fall into that," he said.

Delta said it has already put 1,900 people on its own no-fly list for refusing to comply with masking requirements.

Unruly passenger incidents have increased during the pandemic

The U.S. has seen a spike in unruly passenger incidents since 2020, largely attributed to the stresses brought on by COVID-19 and new masking rules in airports and on planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration fielded 5,981 reports of unruly passengers last year, 4,290 of which were related to masking.

"This also predated coronavirus. We were already seeing an increase in the number of unruly passengers," Clint Henderson, senior news editor at the travel news website The Points Guy, told NPR.

Henderson said the increase before spring 2020 could have been caused by planes and airports being more crowded and the fact that people have become less willing to put up with bad behavior, including unwanted sexual advances. Then, the pandemic added a whole new set of difficulties that caused the number of unruly passenger incidents to spike.

"COVID has poured gasoline on the fire, as it were," Henderson said.

Fines For Disruptive Plane Passengers, Often Over Masks, Have Reached $1 Million

National

Fines For Disruptive Plane Passengers, Often Over Masks, Have Reached $1 Million

Delta previously called for a national unruly passenger no-fly list in the fall but it was never adopted.

Still, the federal government has vowed to crack down on in-flight misconduct. The TSA has threatened to revoke PreCheck privileges for people who act out on planes and doubled its fines for those who refuse to wear masks on board. The Justice Department also said in November that it would prioritize prosecuting federal crimes on airplanes that put the safety of those on board at risk.

But the ACLU's Jay Stanley worries that if the surge in unruly passenger incidents is largely driven by COVID and eventually comes down, then a no-fly list could continue to cause negative consequences for people long after the pandemic has subsided.

"[Unruly passenger incidents] may go back to normal levels when this is over," he said. "And yet we'll have this infrastructure for creating this punishment that will long outlast the current circumstances and that has the potential to create real unfairnesses for people if it's not done just right."

The U.S. is debating whether to adopt a digital dollar : NPR******

The U.S. is considering a radical rethinking of the dollar for today's digital world

David Gura headshot

David Gura

Twitter Instagram

The U.S. is considering a radical rethinking of the dollar for today's digital world

Listen · 3:31
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1072406109/1078334866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Enlarge this image

A shopper pays with cash back in 2000 in Austin, Texas. Such transactions are less and less common and are likely to become more so if the Federal Reserve adopts a digital version of the dollar. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A shopper pays with cash back in 2000 in Austin, Texas. Such transactions are less and less common and are likely to become more so if the Federal Reserve adopts a digital version of the dollar.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Since its establishment as the country's national currency, the dollar has undergone many updates and changes, but nothing compares to the proposal being debated today.

The U.S. is gingerly considering whether to adopt a digital version of its currency, one better suited for today's increasingly cashless world, ushering in what could be one of the dollar's most fundamental transformations.

In that scenario, the U.S. would not only mint the coins and print paper bills but also issue digital cash, or a central bank digital currency (CBDC), that would be stored in apps or "digital wallets" on our smartphones.

We could then use them to pay for things, just like we do with Venmo or Apple Pay, and no physical money would change hands.

China To Test Digital Currency. Could It End Up Challenging The Dollar Globally?

Business

China To Test Digital Currency. Could It End Up Challenging The Dollar Globally?

It's a vision of a cashless future that other countries are already embracing. China, for example, has unveiled the digital yuan on a trial basis. India this week said it would create a digital rupee.

Now the U.S. is weighing whether it wants to get into the game.

Last month, the Federal Reserve released a much-anticipated paper, laying out the advantages and disadvantages of a digital currency.

The Fed says it's a first step, meant to kick-start an important conversation among policymakers and to gather feedback from average people to some of the country's largest financial institutions.

Here's what to know about the digital dollar.

Enlarge this image

Digital payment systems like Apple Pay, shown here, and Venmo are becoming increasingly popular. Jenny Kane/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jenny Kane/AP

Digital payment systems like Apple Pay, shown here, and Venmo are becoming increasingly popular.

Jenny Kane/AP

So, how would it actually work?

Policymakers stress these are early days yet, and there is a lot that needs to be hammered out. All in all, the transactions conducted with digital dollars probably wouldn't seem too different from existing private alternatives that allow us to pay for things by bringing our smartphones next to digital readers.

China, for example, allows digital yuan payments in the cities in which the country is piloting its digital currency, allowing citizens to make payments via an app set up by the government.

Sculpting The Digital Dollar

Technology

Sculpting The Digital Dollar

Why pursue a digital currency?

Reducing or eliminating fees is one clear benefit.

When you make a contactless payment today, it may seem immediate, but according to Chris Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a lot happens behind the scenes.

"My mobile device tells his mobile device to inform a whole series of banks, to confirm who I am, how much money is in my bank, that there is enough money to move from my bank to his bank," he says.

And at each step of the way, there are transaction fees. In 2020, they added up to more than $110 billion, which was generally shouldered by businesses.

With a digital dollar, you could in theory eliminate those middlemen. If you wanted to buy a sandwich, for instance, you could transfer money from a digital wallet directly to a cashier.

It wouldn't necessarily entirely eliminate nongovernment players. In China, for example, users who want to use the digital yuan can go to banks to add money to their digital wallets.

But just having digital dollars in circulation could put pressure on credit card companies and payment processors to lower fees to be competitive. That is, if enough people start using the Fed-run version.

In China, adoption of the e-renminbi has been slow given that private providers such as WeChat or Alipay are already pretty popular and entrenched.

Another argument for creating a digital dollar is to open up digital transactions to Americans who don't have bank accounts. According to the Fed, more than 5% of U.S. households are "unbanked."

Providing them with a digital wallet would allow people to participate in our increasingly cashless financialsystem.

It would also make it easier for the federal government to distribute benefits.. For example, having a digital dollar in place during the pandemic could have allowed the government to transfer relief payments directly into digital wallets.

The U.S. currency has undergone it share of changes over the centuries. This $8 Continental Currency paper note was issued by the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War. After gaining independence, the U.S. adopted the dollar as its national currency. Public Domain / University of Notre Dame/U.S Currency Education Program/www.uscurrency.gov hide caption

toggle caption Public Domain / University of Notre Dame/U.S Currency Education Program/www.uscurrency.gov

What are the challenges?

Without question, one of the biggest issues is privacy. Because the Fed would implement and oversee the project, the central bank could accrue a vast amount of data, potentially giving it a lot more visibility into everyone'sfinancial life.

That could be useful to regulators who want to combat money laundering, for example, but it would also raise serious privacy concerns.

That makes it critical to sort out how much information the Fed would have, according to Raghuram Rajan, a professor of finance at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

"There will be legitimate questions about how much the government knows about each individual, and also, how much it can act to restrain activities by individuals," he says.

Cybersecurity is another critical issue, especially given the uptick in hacks and heists at cryptocurrency exchanges.

To implement a digital dollar, the U.S. government would need to modernize the country's financial infrastructure to stave off attacks.

Enlarge this image

A digital version of the Chinese yuan is displayed during a trade fair in Beijing in September. China is among a handful of countries that are experimenting with national digital currencies. Ng Han Guan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Ng Han Guan/AP

A digital version of the Chinese yuan is displayed during a trade fair in Beijing in September. China is among a handful of countries that are experimenting with national digital currencies.

Ng Han Guan/AP

So what's next?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues are moving ahead cautiously and methodically.

The Fed is in the process of soliciting feedback from the public after releasing its paper last month. And last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released preliminary results of its ongoing research into the technological challenges associated with implementing a digital currency in the U.S.

It would take five to 10 years to introduce a digital currency in the U.S., several experts say, but they argue policymakers can't sit idly by.

There is concern that by moving slowly, the U.S. is letting other countries shape standards for national digital currencies, and the popularity of the dollar could be diminished.

After all, for decades, it has been the world's primary reserve currency, meaning many countries hold their reserves in U.S. dollars.

But Powell has made it clear he's in no hurry. Last year, a reporter asked the central banker whether he was worried the U.S. was falling behind countries like China.

"I think it's more important to do this right than to do it fast," he replied.

  • digital dollar
  • Fed Chair
  • digital currency
  • venmo
  • apple pay
  • Federal Reserve
  • Fed
Joe Rogan apology: The Spotify podcaster says he regrets his use of racial slurs : NPR******

Joe Rogan apologizes for using racial slurs after a video compilation emerges

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

Joe Rogan has apologized after a video compilation surfaced that showed him using racial slurs in clips of episodes over a 12-year span. Gregory Payan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Gregory Payan/AP

Joe Rogan has apologized after a video compilation surfaced that showed him using racial slurs in clips of episodes over a 12-year span.

Gregory Payan/AP

NEW YORK — Spotify's popular U.S. podcaster Joe Rogan apologized Saturday after a video compilation surfaced that showed him using racial slurs in clips of episodes over a 12-year span.

In a video posted on his Instagram account, Rogan, who hosts a podcast called "The Joe Rogan Experience," said his use of the slurs was the "most regretful and shameful thing that I've ever had to talk about publicly." But he said the clips were "taken out of context."

"It's not my word to use. I am well aware of that now, but for years I used it in that manner," he said during the six-minute video on his Instagram account. "I never used it to be racist because I'm not racist."

Spotify will add a COVID advisory to podcasts after the Joe Rogan controversy

Technology

Spotify will add a COVID advisory to podcasts after the Joe Rogan controversy

Rogan's mea culpa follows Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie's announcement on Thursday that she was removing her music from the Spotify streaming service because of racial slurs that Rogan had made during his podcasts. She posted the video montage of Rogan's clips on her Instagram account.

In her video, Arie said even if some of Rogan's conversations were taken out of context, "he shouldn't be uttering the word."

"Don't even say it under any context," she added.

Rogan's message Saturday addressed a video a clip from his podcast 11 years ago in which he talked about going to a movie theater in a Black neighborhood to see "Planet of the Apes".

"I was trying to make the story entertaining, and I said we got out and it was like we were in Africa. It's like we were in 'Planet of the Apes.'," Rogan said. He said he wasn't trying to be racist but realized it was "an idiotic thing" to say. He said he deleted the podcast but that someone must have saved the clip.

Rogan's podcast has been at the center of a boycott

Rogan's apology comes as Spotify is promising to combat the spread of COVID-19 misinformation as part of a damage-control campaign sparked by musician Neil Young, who called out the streaming service's top podcaster for magnifying vaccine skepticism.

Last Sunday, Spotify said it will soon add a warning before all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, directing listeners to factual, up-to-date information from scientists and public health experts. The company also aims to bolster transparency about its publishing decisions by laying out the rules it uses to protect users' safety.

David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills ask to pull their content from Spotify

Music News

David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills ask to pull their content from Spotify

Spotify garnered 31% of the 524 million worldwide music stream subscriptions in the second quarter of 2021, more than double that of second-place Apple Music, according to Midia Research. Spotify isn't always popular with musicians, many of whom complain that it doesn't pay them enough for their work.

Arie said on her video that Spotify is built on the back of the music streaming business and that it uses that money to reward Rogan in a lucrative deal. She said she doesn't want to generate money that pays for the podcaster.

"Just take me off," she said.

Spotify didn't respond immediately for request for comment.

【roulette robot online】Brent Hayden fastest; Australia dominates

Opinion: Remember reading the paper? : NPR******

Opinion: Remember reading the paper?

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday SSimon

Scott Simon

Twitter

Opinion: Remember reading the paper?

Listen · 2:33
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078377406/1078478674" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

A worker at a San Francisco Chronicleprinting plant arranges stacks of freshly printed newspapers in 2007. Its digital version, like that of so many newspapers', is behind a paywall. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A worker at a San Francisco Chronicleprinting plant arranges stacks of freshly printed newspapers in 2007. Its digital version, like that of so many newspapers', is behind a paywall.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The road to free information and opinions seems to run into a lot of paywalls.

Want to finish reading an article? You can, but only if you subscribe for just $1 for 3 months, which becomes $11.99 a month thereafter, and into perpetuity, until your credit card expires. Even if it's after you do.

I have a strong, even personal interest in paying journalists fairly. But the cost most people have to pay these days if they want to try to stay informed and enrich their minds with a range of opinions is pretty steep.

From Cleveland To Boston, Newsrooms Revisit Old Stories To Offer A 'Fresh Start'

Media

From Cleveland To Boston, Newsrooms Revisit Old Stories To Offer A 'Fresh Start'

It's become harder to read more than an article or two in most publications, which may no longer be the word. News sites, from The New York Timesand The Washington Postto The Des Moines Register, insist you subscribe. So do Ebony, The New Yorker, The Economist, Rolling Stoneand opinion journals, including The Nationand National Review, and sports-reporting sites. And of course, there are proliferating newsletters and extra-access-plus plans, as news broadcasters begin their own subscription services. They don't crave an audience, so much as what they call a "customer base."

"You can't do much web grazing of quality content these days without a paywall clanging shut on you," Jack Shafer wrote last year in Politico. "What delights publishers about subscriptions is what everybody from Amazon to Spotify to the Dollar Shave Club to Netflix love — the annuity-like reliability of steady revenue."

But the cost of inducing people to subscribe is to make news, information and a range of opinions available to only those who have the means to afford and receive them online. This skews the audience toward what Nikki Usher, a University of Illinois College of Media associate professor, calls the "rich, white, and blue," as in left-leaning.

Stop The Presses! Newspapers Affect Us, Often In Ways We Don't Realize

The Coronavirus Crisis

Stop The Presses! Newspapers Affect Us, Often In Ways We Don't Realize

The political and social divides, which so many decry, may begin between those who can and those who can't afford access to a wide range of fact-checked, accurate information.

Disinformation, of course, is utterly free.

Newspapers and magazines often got ink on your fingers. But they were cheap. Anyone with pocket change, rich, poor, students or job-seekers, could buy a copy of a magazine with Princess Diana or Oprah Winfrey on the cover or a newspaper when the headline said MAN WALKS ON MOON, or, yes, HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR.

The internet has made news and views of all kinds, from all over the world, available on screens we can keep in our pockets. But so many paywalls have pulled costly shades over those screens.

  • Paywal
  • Vox
  • Newspapers
Consumer groups want the FDIC to ban rent******

Consumer groups want the FDIC to ban rent-a-bank loans with rates that can top 100%

Chris Arnold 2016 square

Chris Arnold

Twitter

Consumer groups want the FDIC to ban rent-a-bank loans with rates that can top 100%

Listen · 4:20
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078011132/1078349510" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Enlarge this image

With the Trump-era head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stepping down, consumer protection groups see an opportunity to put an end to "rent-a-bank" loans with sky-high interest rates. Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters hide caption

toggle caption Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters

With the Trump-era head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stepping down, consumer protection groups see an opportunity to put an end to "rent-a-bank" loans with sky-high interest rates.

Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters

In 2019,Sarah Ahmed needed about $2,000. She had just moved from Iowa to Tampa, Florida. And she was renting a new apartment and getting her young son set up in an after-school program.

"So I was just kind of running a little close to the red," Ahmed says, "between moving, finishing furnishing my place and getting it ready for my son."

Ahmed says she tried getting a loan from a regular bank, but with her student loan debt, she couldn't qualify. So she started looking around online. She found a lender called Personify Financial willing to give her a two-year, $2,300 loan. She says she sent in her pay stubs and financial information. Then the company told her what the annual interest rate would be.

"It was like 98%," she says.

Sarah Ahmed and her 9-year-old son, Alex, at their apartment in Tampa, Florida. Ahmed got stuck paying more than $2,000 in interest on a $2,300 loan from an online lender. Consumer groups want the FDIC to stop these "rent-a-bank" loans. Courtesy of Sarah Ahmed hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Sarah Ahmed

Ahmed says she was nervous about accepting such a high rate. But she was feeling kind of desperate.

Typically, interest rates that high are illegal in most states, including Florida, where Ahmed lives.

"Florida limits interest rates to about 31% on a $2,000 loan," says Lauren Saunders, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.

Saunders says, though, that some online lenders have figured out a way to evade those state laws. And they're charging people like Ahmed 100% or even 200% interest.

"We call this a rent-a-bank scheme," says Saunders.

It's called that because online lenders like Personify Financial are not banks. And normally, they'd be bound by state interest rate caps. But Saunders says the companies get around those caps by partnering with small banks most people have never heard of.

"Banks are exempt from most state interest rate laws," Saunders says. "So predatory lenders have found that they can find a rogue bank, launder their loan through the bank, call it a 'bank loan' and claim that it's not subject to the state interest rate limit."

The vast majority of banks do not gouge people with sky-high interest rates on loans. But Saunders' nonprofit has identified a handful that are in these rent-a-bank schemes with more than a dozen online lenders. Her rough estimate is together they've loaned more than $1 billion in recent years.

Saunders' organization and more than a dozen consumer protection groups are calling onthe government to step in and ban these rent-a-bank schemes. She's hopeful because a change of regime is underway at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., an agency that she says, among other things, "has the authority to stop risky practices that impact the safety and soundness of the bank."

On Friday, Jelena McWilliams, a Trump appointee, stepped down as chairman of the FDIC. Her successor will be nominated by President Biden. "With the change of leadership at the FDIC," Saunders says, "it's time for the FDIC to stop its banks from fronting for predatory lenders."

In Ahmed's case, her loan, with its 97.1% interest rate, didn't actually come from Personify Financial, the lender she found online. It was issued by a bank based in Utah called First Electronic Bank.

Biden Taps Veteran Financial Regulators To Lead SEC, CFPB

Biden Transition Updates

Biden Taps Veteran Financial Regulators To Lead SEC, CFPB

"Very little was going towards the principal balance," Ahmed says. "Most of it was going towards the interest. ... I was working my butt off, and it was like I wasn't making any progress."

A year after borrowing $2,300, her loan documents show she'd paid $1,930 just in interest and still owed $1,548 on the principal.

Saunders says First Electronic Bank has just one physical bank branch, but it makes these high-interest loans across much of the U.S. through this rent-a-bank scheme.

"It does normal things out of the branch, but it also has this side business of laundering loans for predatory lenders," Saunders says.

First Electronic Bank declined an interview. It said in a statement that it complies with the law and that it gives people access to loans "whether they have great credit or are excluded from the banking system due to a lack of credit history or past credit challenges."

Financial Watchdog Expected To Get Its Teeth Back Under Biden

Business

Financial Watchdog Expected To Get Its Teeth Back Under Biden

Personify Financial also declined an interview but said in a statement that it helps smaller banks make more credit available to borrowers.

For her part, Ahmed worried that she was going to have to keep paying thousands of dollars more in interest on that loan.

"It was like I asked for help to dig out of this hole and just created a deeper hole for me to inhabit," she says. "I felt stuck."

But eventually she got unstuck. Ahmed paid the loan back with help from a nonprofit called Capital Good Fund that gave her an affordable loan with a much lower interest rate. So now, she can spend more of her paycheck on her son. She recently enrolled him in soccer and bought him cleats and a uniform.

  • Personify Financial
  • rent-a-bank
  • rent a bank
  • predatory lending

What the January jobs report reveals about labor power : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR******

Jobs Friday: Return of the airhorn?

    The Indicator from Planet Money

    The Indicator NPR hide caption

    toggle caption NPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • Amazon Alexa
    • RSS link

Stacey Vanek Smith

Darian Woods headshot

Darian Woods

Twitter

Jobs Friday: Return of the airhorn?

Listen · 9:23
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078378111/1078418148" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Enlarge this image Joe Raedle/Getty Images (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States added roughly 467,000 jobs in the month of January. This, despite worries about how the Omicron surge would impact the country's economic outlook.

Today, we dive deep into the numbers and learn why this economy is one of the strongest for workers looking to change jobs.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCastsand NPR One.

  • See The Indicator from Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
During WWII, the job of fighting inflation fell to the American public. : Planet Money : NPR******

Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight inflation

    Planet MoneyNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link

Wailin Wong

Amanda

Amanda Aronczyk

Twitter

Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight inflation

Listen · 23:24
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078374263/1078397321" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

War ration book, 1943. United States Office of Price Administration/Duke University Libraries hide caption

toggle caption United States Office of Price Administration/Duke University Libraries

War ration book, 1943.

United States Office of Price Administration/Duke University Libraries

Today inflation is at a 40-year high, and it's up to the Federal Reserve to get it under control. But there was a time when our national response to inflation was far more individual, and far more personal. A time when the responsibility to contain prices fell to each and every citizen. And it worked!

How war bonds, controlled prices, and a national network of nosy neighbors helped beat inflation. And why we'll never tackle it that way again.

Music: "Empire Jubilee March" "Call To Work" and "Sophisticats."

Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram/ TikTok

Subscribe to our show onApple Podcasts, Spotify; and NPR One.

Want economics stories from the comfort of home? Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter.

  • inflation
  • See Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
News Corp. is target of a cyberattack suspected of coming from China : NPR******

Hackers tied to China are suspected of spying on News Corp. journalists

Jenna McLaughlin headshot

Jenna McLaughlin

Twitter Enlarge this image

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

News Corp. — which owns the publishers of The Wall Street Journaland the New York Post — announced the discovery of a "persistent cyberattack" targeting a limited number of employees. An official with a cybersecurity firm working with the mass media conglomerate said the attack has links to China.

The company, the publishing arm originally founded as part of the Murdoch family's media empire, disclosed the breach Friday in a financial filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as through an internal email to employees.

According to News Corp., the digital attack was discovered in January, at which point executives contacted law enforcement and a private cybersecurity company, Mandiant, for assistance.

FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before

National Security

FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before

The investigation is ongoing, but perhaps most concerning is News Corp.'s assertion that the culprits have ties to a foreign government.

While Mandiant did not explicitly link the cyberattack to the Chinese government, David Wong, the vice president for incident response at Mandiant, said in a statement that the cybersecurity firm's analysts have concluded that "those behind this activity have a China nexus." They were spying or "involved in espionage activities" to gather information "to benefit China's interests," he added.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, did not comment on the reported News Corp. hack but said in an email that China "firmly opposes and combats cyber attacks and cyber theft in all forms. This position is consistent and clear. China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity, and has long been a main victim of cyber thefts and attacks."

Liu added: "We hope that there can be a professional, responsible and evidence-based approach to identifying cyber-related incidents, rather than making allegations based on speculations."

The Chinese government has a documented track record of launching persistent, sophisticated cyberattacks on businesses, academia, research institutions and government agencies, often with the intention of stealing information that would benefit Chinese interests.

Hackers disrupt payroll for thousands of employers — including hospitals

Technology

Hackers disrupt payroll for thousands of employers — including hospitals

During the Trump administration, the Justice Department launched a "China initiative" aimed at cracking down on what it described as a growing tide of Chinese espionage and intellectual property theft costing businesses around the world hefty sums.

Just this week, FBI Director Chris Wray told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum that the bureau launches a counterintelligence investigation linked to the Chinese government "about every 12 hours or so." Currently, the FBI has over 2,000 investigations focusing on "the Chinese government trying to steal our information and technology," he said.

In addition to any business assets News Corp. owns that might be of interest to China, journalists with sensitive information and contacts with knowledgeable sources make for attractive targets for espionage. Chinese hackers have gone to great lengths in the past to track, in particular, Chinese dissidents, including through attacks pretending to be hosting popular websites, including theNew York Timeshomepage. Security officials within China have plans to deploy an extensive surveillance system to track journalists, international students and other people of interest.

James Murdoch Quits Family Media Empire News Corp After 'Disagreements'

Media

James Murdoch Quits Family Media Empire News Corp After 'Disagreements'

News Corp. has dispatched security experts to work with individual journalists they believe may have been affected and "a limited number of business email accounts and documents from News Corp headquarters, News Technology Services, Dow Jones, News UK, and New York Post," according to the internal email sent to employees. News Corp. concluded that some data was stolen but did not comment further on which information or how much.

Neither News Corp. nor Mandiant shared further information about how the hackers got in, though in the SEC filing, News Corp. referred to both "network and information systems" as well as "third-party providers for certain technology and 'cloud-based' systems and services," one of which was the target of the attack. If a third-party cloud provider was the target, the activity could be linked to a broader supply chain-based attack, which could mean other clients using that technology could be vulnerable as well.

The White House Blamed China For Hacking Microsoft. China Is Pointing Fingers Back

National Security

The White House Blamed China For Hacking Microsoft. China Is Pointing Fingers Back

"We believe it is important that other media organizations be made aware of this threat in order to take appropriate precautions, and we are providing technical details of the attack to the Media Information Sharing and Analysis Organization," News Corp. Chief Technology Officer David Kline and Chief Information Security Officer Billy O'Brien wrote in the internal email to staff.

Currently, News Corp. says it believes the "threat activity" has been "contained," though Kline and O'Brien did not share information about why they believed that to be the case, nor details on how long the hackers may have been inside the network.

"We will not tolerate attacks on our journalism, nor will we be deterred from our reporting, which provides readers everywhere with the news that matters," they concluded.

  • cyberattacks
  • News Corp.
The House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China : NPR******

The House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China

Heard on Morning Edition Deirdre Walsh, 2018

Deirdre Walsh

Instagram Twitter

Caitlyn Kim

Twitter

The House passed a bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness with China

Listen · 3:34
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078226282/1078777361" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the America COMPETES Act meets the challenges of the 21st century. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the America COMPETES Act meets the challenges of the 21st century.

Evan Vucci/AP

The House passed a bill Friday that Democrats say will increase U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and boost American competitiveness with China.

The America Competes Act passed 222-210, largely along party lines.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bill "will ensure that America is preeminent in manufacturing, innovation and economic strength and can outcompete any nation."

The bill has a number of provisions, including $52 billion to make chips, $45 billion to improve supply chains for critical items and $160 billion for scientific research and innovation.

Business

Biden champions Intel's plan for new semiconductor plants to help supply chain issues

Biden champions Intel's plan for new semiconductor plants to help supply chain issues

Listen · 3:42
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1075049574/1075049575" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

House Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, told NPR that a major federal infusion in research is badly overdue — especially to help the U.S. go toe-to-toe with China.

"We've just got to compete. And we've got to hopefully feel like we're a little step ahead. And that's really a big goal," Johnson told NPR. "Because as you know, our society is very different in the kind of freedom versus communism type of behaviors."

Johnson said the legislation was also aimed at developing talent in the U.S. and fostering innovations in government labs that private companies could tap into for future products. Much of the research pieces in the bill, which has been in the works for years, included input from a range of private industry, academic experts and scientists who argue the U.S. needs a long-term commitment to seeding future breakthroughs that will prevent more jobs and manufacturing from moving overseas.

Florida Republican Congressman Daniel Webster told NPR he backed the research agenda, but felt the House bill concentrated to much of the effort at the federal level.

"We're trying to get something that is less government and more open private sector. What they're doing is basically trying to get a government-funded program to decide all the things that are happening. Just not going to go for that," he said.

Many House Republicans defended their vote against the bill by saying it did not do enough to counter China, is loaded up with other priorities, such as clean energy, and would worsen inflation.

The bill is the House's reply to $250 billion bipartisan competition bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the Senate passed last June.

The two chambers will spend the next weeks hammering out the differences between the two bills and eventually send it to President Biden's desk.

While the Senate bill also has more than $50 billion for chip manufacturing, it takes a different approach in how the $250 billion it has earmarked for scientific research should be used.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who helped broker the bipartisan deal in the Senate, which garnered the support of 19 Republicans, downplayed the differences between the two bills.

"The framework they set up and the framework we set up are not that far apart," he said. "I believe all the gaps are very bridgeable."

Schumer said investments in American manufacturing are long overdue. Proponents of the bill, however, admitted that it will still take some time to see the impact of the federal investments.

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce? : NPR******

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce?

Heard on TED Radio Hour Photo by Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Manoush Zomorodi

Diba Mohtasham

Sanaz Meshkinpour

Kevin Roose: How can we stay relevant in an increasingly automated workforce?

Listen · 17:49
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078056285/1078189761" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Work, Play, Rest - Part 1.

Tech reporter Kevin Roose doesn't want you to be scared of your job becoming automated. He says that rather than competing with machines, we should work to develop our fundamentally human skills.

About Kevin Roose

Kevin Roose is a technology columnist for The New York Times. His column, "The Shift," examines the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

Roose is also the author of three books: Young Money, The Unlikely Disciple, and his latest, Futureproof, a guide to surviving the technological future. He also hosts "Rabbit Hole," a New York Times podcast about the many ways the internet influences our beliefs and behavior. Before joining The New York Times, Roose was a writer at New York Magazine and co-hosted the TV documentary series, Real Future.

Roose is a graduate of Brown University.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Diba Mohtasham and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Web Resources

Related TED Bio: Kevin Roose Related TED Talk: The human skills we need in an unpredictable world Related TED Playlist: What happens when the robots take our jobs?

Related NPR Links

The Age Of Automation Is Now: Here's How To 'Futureproof' Yourself Exclusive First Read: 'Young Money' By Kevin Roose Planet Money: Runaway Recommendation Engine
Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today? : NPR******

Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today?

Heard on TED Radio Hour Photo by Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Manoush Zomorodi

Katie Monteleone

Sanaz Meshkinpour

Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today?

Listen · 12:29
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078044162/1078188211" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Work, Play, Rest - Part 1.

From unionizing to striking to quitting, employees are taking power into their own hands. Labor organizer Jess Kutch explores the effectiveness of collective bargaining to affect change.

About Jess Kutch

Jess Kutch is a labor organizer and the co-founder of Coworker.org, a nonprofit organization fighting to protect worker rights through virtual campaigns. Coworker.org has helped win paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, labor reform at Starbucks, and higher wages for many grocery and retail store workers.

Prior to Coworker.org, Kutch worked for Change.org, the Service Employees International Union, and other organizations at the intersection of technology and labor reform. Kutch is a TED Fellow, an Echoing Green Global Fellow, a J.M.K. Innovation Prize winner and an Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow. She's a graduate of Bennington College.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Web Resources

Related TED Bio: Jess Kutch Related TED Talk: When workers own companies, the economy is more resilient Related TED Playlist: How to love work again

Related NPR Links

Power Of The Petition: Nonprofit Helps Front-Line Workers Fight For Their Rights Unionized Starbucks workers walk out in Buffalo, citing safety worries over COVID Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag

Employers added 467,000 jobs in January even as omicron spread : NPR******

In a big surprise, the job market surged in January even as omicron cases spiked

Heard on All Things Considered Scott Horsley 2010

Scott Horsley

Twitter

In a big surprise, the job market surged in January even as omicron cases spiked

Listen · 3:28
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077642688/1078359170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

A man wearing a face mask walks past a "Now Hiring" sign in front of a store on Jan. 13, in Arlington, Va. The labor market is showing resilience despite a recent spike in omicron-related coronavirus infections. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A man wearing a face mask walks past a "Now Hiring" sign in front of a store on Jan. 13, in Arlington, Va. The labor market is showing resilience despite a recent spike in omicron-related coronavirus infections.

Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. job market came through January in much better shape than expected despite a winter wave of coronavirus infections.

Employers added 467,000 jobs last month, according to a new tally from the Labor Department, far outpacing even the most optimistic forecasts. The gains came despite a surge in COVID-19 cases tied to the omicron variant.

"Omicron, Schmomicron," economist Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a research note. "This is a much stronger report than expected."

Revised figures also show job gains in November and December were significantly larger than initially reported. That suggests the economy had more momentum coming into the new year and weathered the latest pandemic punch with far less pain than expected.

The positive jobs report was welcome news for the Biden administration, which had been bracing for less favorable numbers.

"America is back to work," President Biden told reporters at the White House Friday. "Our country is taking everything that COVID has to throw at us and we've come back stronger."

The unemployment rate inched up to 4% in January from 3.9% the month before, but only because nearly 1.4 million people entered the job market.

The share of people working or looking for work increased, spelling possible relief on the horizon for employers who have struggled at times to fill job vacancies.

"As it becomes safer and fewer people are sick, they can participate more fully in the labor market and we will see that return," said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

The monthly job count was conducted around the second week of January, just as omicron cases were nearing their peak. Daily infections at the time were nearly seven times as high as they were when jobs were tallied in December.

Stronger job gains expected

The omicron wave likely did discourage some employers from hiring last month, and kept some workers on the sidelines. But the fallout was much less than expected.

"We have an economy that is learning to continue to function even in the face of a wave such as omicron," said White House economic adviser Cecelia Rouse.

The 467,000 jobs added in January represents only a modest slowdown from December, when employers added more than half a million jobs. And the spike in omicron infections, while severe, has already begun to recede.

Daily infections dropped below 500,000 this week after peaking above 800,000 two weeks earlier.

Employers are keen to hire even more workers. The Labor Department counted nearly 11 million open jobs at the end of December. Surveys by the payroll processing company ADP show a large share of employers plan to add workers over the next six months.

"All of this data suggests that the recovery from omicron could be swift as the spread is contained," said Nela Richardson, ADP's chief economist.

But the labor market's outlook will still depend on the progress of the pandemic.

Changes in the public health outlook can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses such restaurants that rely heavily on in-person contact with customers. Restaurants and bars added 108,000 jobs last month.

Enlarge this image

A worker rings up an order at Frankie's Pizza on Jan. 12 in Miami, Fl. The labor market is getting healthier, but much will depend on the progress of the pandemic, which can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses that rely on in-person contact with customers. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A worker rings up an order at Frankie's Pizza on Jan. 12 in Miami, Fl. The labor market is getting healthier, but much will depend on the progress of the pandemic, which can easily sway demand for workers — especially at businesses that rely on in-person contact with customers.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tight job market leads to higher wages and prices

The economic recovery has been hobbled at times by a shortage of available workers. When the coronavirus first hit the U.S. almost two years ago, millions of people stopped working or looking for work. As the pandemic has dragged on, some would-be workers have been slow to return.

"There is a pool of people out there who could come back into the labor force, but it's not happening very quickly," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters last week.

Employers have been offering higher wages and better benefits as they compete for scare workers. Private sector wages in January were up 5.7% from a year ago, while employees in some sectors saw wage gains as high as 13%.

Millions of workers have also been quitting their jobs, often in search of better opportunities elsewhere. Labor shortages and increased turnover have contributed to rising wages and higher prices.

That's one reason the Fed is now planning to raise interest rates in an effort to regain control over inflation. Consumer prices in December were up 7% from a year ago — the sharpest increase in nearly 40 years.

  • coronavirus pandemic
  • Wages
  • U.S. economy
  • Jobs
  • Unemployment
Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort : NPR******

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort

Heard on Morning Edition Alina Selyukh 2016

Alina Selyukh

Twitter

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama vote for second time in union effort

Listen · 3:36
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077089349/1078156954" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

A retail union representative holds a sign by the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., during the first union election in March 2021. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

A retail union representative holds a sign by the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., during the first union election in March 2021.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are set to vote for a second time on whether to unionize. A yes vote would be groundbreaking, creating the company's first unionized warehouse in the United States.

Ballots will go out on Friday to more than 6,100 workers at the warehouse in Bessemer, outside Birmingham. They will vote by mail due to the pandemic, and the count is scheduled to start March 28.

The re-vote is a dramatic new chapter in one of the biggest union efforts at Amazon, which has grown into the country's second-largest private employer. It is the second attempt by Bessemer workers, who last spring decisively rejected unionization. They now get to try again after a federal ruling found Amazon unfairly influenced the first election.

Business

Amazon workers in Alabama begin second union vote. Here's how it happened

Amazon workers in Alabama begin second union vote. Here's how it happened

Listen · 4:59
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1078358112/1078358113" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

"That loss is making us motivated to win even more," Bessemer worker Kristina Bell told reporters on a call organized by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which vies to represent Amazon workers.

A few things have changed since last year's election.

Nationwide, the Great Resignation wave swept the economy, punctuated by high-profile strikes and labor campaigns. Among them,Starbucks workersunionized at two locations in New York, prompting union petitions from over 50 other stores across 19 states.

At Amazon, workers at two more warehouses in New York are petitioning for a union. Organizers at one of them have already gathered enough signatures to get a union vote. The push is led by a fledgling labor group of current and former employees, unaffiliated with any professional union.

Amazon faces another union vote, this time at a Staten Island warehouse

Business

Amazon faces another union vote, this time at a Staten Island warehouse

At the Bessemer warehouse, high turnover means nearly half of the workers will be voting on unionization for the first time. Pro-union workers hope this means a new outcome after last year's landslide loss, in which 71% of voters opposed unionization.Hundreds of employees did not vote in the original election.

Union supporters at the Bessemer warehouse say they now have a much bigger organizing effort, wearing union T-shirts at work, knocking on doors, speaking out more at Amazon's mandatory "information sessions" about unions and staging counter-sessions.

Amazon has fought the union, arguing it isn't necessary.

The company now employs 1.1 million people in the U.S.,most of them sorting, picking and packing in the company's vast warehouses. Amazon's minimum wage remains $15 an hour, but during last year's big hiring push, Amazon said its average starting wage topped $18 an hour. The company touts its health and education benefits.

Enlarge this image

An aerial image shows Amazon's Bessemer warehouse, where more than 6,100 workers are deciding whether to unionize. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

An aerial image shows Amazon's Bessemer warehouse, where more than 6,100 workers are deciding whether to unionize.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and our focus remains on working directly with our team to make Amazon a great place to work," Amazon spokesperson Barbara Agrait said in a statement.

Under mounting scrutiny for its worker policies, Amazon in December reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board aimed at making it easier for employees to organize. The deal required Amazon to notify hundreds of thousands of workers about their labor rights.

The company faces several charges of unfair labor practices, which the company rejects. Most recently, a pro-union worker in Bessemer has accused Amazon of surveilling him and giving him a warning over his organizing work. At the Staten Island warehouse, the NLRB itself has accused Amazon of illegally threatening, interrogating and surveilling workers.

The Bessemer union push has garnered nationwide attention.

At first, the labor organizing appeared to take Amazon by surprise. Historically, unions are a tough sell in Southern states such as Alabama.

Only months after Amazon's warehouse opened in Bessemer, some workers quietly reached out to the retail union. The pandemic was fast spreading and shoppers increasingly turned to Amazon. Workers described grueling productivity quotas and wanted more say in how employees at the company work, get disciplined or get fired.

Why a mailbox continues to loom over Amazon union vote at Alabama warehouse

Business

Why a mailbox continues to loom over Amazon union vote at Alabama warehouse

The Bessemer union vote became Amazon's first since 2014, when a small group of Delaware workers voted against unionizing. At a time when the U.S. union membership is at historic lows, the high-profile campaign at a booming major employer drew big-name supporters: President Biden, Sen. Marco Rubio, actor Danny Glover and other politicians and celebrities.

But a unionization effort targeting thousands of workers in a workplace with rapid turnover run by one of the world's most valuable and staunchly anti-union corporations could take years and multiple elections, labor experts said.

"To win an NLRB election is kind of like a marathon in a minefield for union supporters," said John Logan, director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University. "It takes an incredible length of time."

One unexpected controversy has been about a mailbox.

When the NLRB ordered a re-do of the Bessemer union election, the officials ruled that Amazon's anti-union campaign tainted the results. One key reason had to do with a mailbox that the U.S. Postal Service installed in the warehouse parking lot at Amazon's request.

Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag

Economy

Unions have enthusiasm, media spotlight. But membership numbers lag

By doing that, Amazon "essentially highjacked" the election, the NLRB's order said. Though the company argued its intent was to make voting convenient, workers testified that a mailbox inside an Amazon tent next to their highly surveilled workplace made them feel that their employer was monitoring the vote.

The NLRB directed the USPS to move the mailbox to "a neutral location" on Amazon's property, and it got placed farther from the building in a different parking area. Last week, the union asked the NLRB to remove the mailbox altogether, arguing no Amazon property could be neutral.

Editor's note: Amazon is among NPR's financial supporters.

  • amazon warehouse
  • Union election
  • voting to unionize
  • Bessemer
  • warehouse workers
  • RWDSU
  • Alabama
  • Amazon

Satellites have detected massive gas leaks : NPR******

A satellite finds massive methane leaks from gas pipelines

Heard on Morning Edition

Dan Charles

A satellite finds massive methane leaks from gas pipelines

Listen · 2:28
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077392791/1078156960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Flared natural gas is burned off at a natural gas plant. Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, can leak from natural gas plants and pipelines. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Flared natural gas is burned off at a natural gas plant. Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, can leak from natural gas plants and pipelines.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There's new evidence, collected from orbiting satellites, that oil and gas companies are routinely venting huge amounts of methane into the air.

Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, the fuel. It's also a powerful greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its warming impact. And Thomas Lauvaux, a researcher with the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in France, says there's been a persistent discrepancy between official estimates of methane emissions and field observations.

"For years, every time we had data [on methane emissions] — we were flying over an area, we were driving around — we always found more emissions than we were supposed to see," he says.

Researchers turned to satellites in an effort to get more clarity. The European Space Agency launched an instrument three years ago called the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) that can measure the methane in any 12-square-mile block of the atmosphere, day by day.

Lauvaux says that TROPOMI detected methane releases that the official estimates did not foresee. "No one expects that pipelines are sometimes wide open, pouring gas into the atmosphere," he says.

Yet they were. Over the course of two years, during 2019 and 2020, the researchers counted more than 1,800 large bursts of methane, often releasing several tons of methane per hour. Lauvaux and his colleagues published their findings this week in the journal Science.

The researchers consulted with gas companies, trying to understand the source of these "ultra-emitting events." They found that some releases resulted from accidents. More often, though, they were deliberate. Gas companies simply vented gas from pipelines or other equipment before carrying out repairs or maintenance operations.

Lauvaux says these releases could be avoided. There's equipment that allows gas to be removed and captured before repairs. "It can totally be done," he says. "It takes time, for sure, resources and staff. But it's doable. Absolutely."

The countries where bursts of methane happened most frequently included the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, Russia, the United States, Iran, Kazakhstan and Algeria. Lauvaux says they found relatively few such releases in some other countries with big gas industries, such as Saudi Arabia.

According to the researchers, the large releases of methane that they detected accounted for 8-12% of global methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure during that time.

Steven Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, which has focused on the problem of methane emissions, says these massive releases are dramatic. But it's also important to remember the "ordinary" leaks that make up the other 90% of emissions from oil and gas facilities. "They really matter," he says.

EDF is planning to launch its own methane-detecting satellite in about a year, which will take much sharper pictures, showing smaller leaks. Other organizations are developing their own methane detectors.

That new monitoring network will transform the conversation about methane emissions, Hamburg says. Historically, no one could tell where methane was coming from, "and that's part of the reason we haven't taken, globally, the action that we should. It was just out of sight, out of mind," Hamburg says. "Well, it no longer will be. It will be totally visible."

He thinks that will translate into more pressure on oil and gas companies to fix those leaks.

Furniture tip******

Furniture tip-overs are declining but still injure thousands in the U.S. each year

Joe Hernandez

Twitter Enlarge this image

Elliot Kaye (left), then chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in 2016. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

Elliot Kaye (left), then chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in 2016.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

An estimated 18,000 Americans — nearly half of whom were children — went to emergency rooms across the U.S. in 2020 for injuries sustained when furniture, a TV or another appliance tipped over and hurt them.

A report released Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission also found that there have been 581 tip-over fatalities in the U.S. since 2000. Four in five of the deaths were kids.

Although the data shows an overall decline in "product instability" injuries and deaths recently, each year thousands of people are still treated for injuries and some die from what authorities say are preventable accidents.

TVs Pose A Danger To Kids, But Not The Way You Might Think

Shots - Health News

TVs Pose A Danger To Kids, But Not The Way You Might Think

"We're pleased to see the decrease in tip-over injuries over time. However, annually, thousands of children are still injured, and far too many die due to this hazard," Commission Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. "People either don't know about the risks, or they think it can't happen when an adult is nearby."

Unsecured furniture and other household items have long been known to pose a danger to users if they tip over. According to the commission, furniture with an unstable design or furniture that's located on an unstable surface like carpet or a sloping floor are at risk of toppling. Children are especially vulnerable to tip-over incidents.

Last year the Swedish furniture giant Ikea paid $46 million to the California family of a 2-year-old boy who died after one of the company's dressers fell on top of him.

'Consumer Reports' Finds Dangerous Dressers In All Sizes And Shapes

The Two-Way

'Consumer Reports' Finds Dangerous Dressers In All Sizes And Shapes

Federal legislation dubbed the STURDY Act would direct the commission to develop a mandatory national stability standard for clothing storage units. It passed the House of Representatives in June and has also been introduced in the Senate.

According to Hoehn-Saric, most anti-tip-over kits that let you secure furniture and other items to a wall cost less than $20 and can be installed in less than 20 minutes.

The commission launched its Anchor It! campaign in 2015 to communicate the importance of anchoring furniture and other items to the wall and explaining how to do it.

Adult portable bed rails have been recalled after 2 people died

Business

Adult portable bed rails have been recalled after 2 people died

  • tip-over deaths
  • consumer product safety commission

Former Washington Football Team employees share stories of harassment and abuse : NPR******

Ex-Washington football employee brings new harassment claim against owner Dan Snyder

Heard on All Things Considered Andrea Hsu, photographed for NPR, 11 March 2020, in Washington DC.

Andrea Hsu

Twitter

Ex-Washington football employee brings new harassment claim against owner Dan Snyder

Listen · 3:47
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077636343/1078030938" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Tiffani A. Johnston, former marketing manager and cheerleader for the Washington Football Team, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee roundtable on sexual harassment in the workplace on Capitol Hill on February 3, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Graeme Jennings/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Graeme Jennings/Getty Images

Tiffani A. Johnston, former marketing manager and cheerleader for the Washington Football Team, speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee roundtable on sexual harassment in the workplace on Capitol Hill on February 3, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Graeme Jennings/Getty Images

Just a day after the Washington Football Team rebranded itself the Washington Commanders, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team brought a new allegation of sexual harassment against longtime team owner Dan Snyder.

At a roundtable on Capitol Hill focused on toxic workplace culture, Tiffani Johnston, who worked for the team for 8 years until 2008, described a work dinner at which Dan Snyder placed his hand on her thigh under the table and later, with his hand on Johnston's lower back, pushed her aggressively toward his limo and asked her to ride with him.

"I learned that the only reason Dan Snyder removed his hand from my back and stopped pushing me towards his limo is because his attorney intervened and said, 'Dan, Dan, this is a bad idea,'" Johnston told lawmakers. The next day, Johnston, who was 24 at the time, said she was told by a senior coworker not to report the incident to anybody.

Five other former employees of the Washington Football Team also participated in the roundtable, hosted by the House Oversight Committee. All described a workplace where sexual harassment and verbal abuse was rampant, with senior executives among those taking part and no human resources department to report to.

"I can't recall a time that I didn't experience or fear sexual harassment," said former director of marketing and client relations Rachel Engleson, who began her career with the team as an intern. "It was just a pervasive part of the culture and an unavoidable rite of passage being a woman who worked there."

Another former employee, Melanie Coburn, who worked both as a cheerleader and in marketing, described a work trip to Aspen, Colorado, where a colleague was "hazed to drink despite being a recovering addict" and afterwards, prostitutes were invited to Snyder's house.

"The culture and environment in those offices was deplorable, like a frat party run by a billionaire who knew no boundaries," she said.

In a statement sent to NPR, Dan Snyder apologized for misconduct that took place "at the Team" and pointed to the work the team has done to revamp its policies, procedures and personnel, citing "vast improvement in Team culture over the past 18 months."

But he called the allegations leveled against him personally today "outright lies."

"I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any person," he said in the statement.

Allegations of rampant sexual harassment surfaced in 2020

It was not the first time some of the former employees had shared their accounts publicly. In July 2020, the Washington Post published the first of two exposes, with 15 women alleging sexual harassment while working for the team. The women described being subjected to inappropriate comments about their bodies and clothing, unwanted advances and improper touching by senior executives. The second story focused on a lewd video produced internally that pieced together outtakes from a cheerleader photo shoot.

Tips And 'Service With A Smile' Rules Fuel Sex Harassment In Restaurants, Study Says

Research News

Tips And 'Service With A Smile' Rules Fuel Sex Harassment In Restaurants, Study Says

According to the Washington Post, the team had just one full-time human resources staffer prior to 2019, and there was no process for reporting harassment.

Later in 2020 came another explosive story. The Washington Post reported that in 2009, the Washington Football Team had settled a sexual harassment claim brought by a former employee against Snyder for $1.6 million. Snyder admitted no wrongdoing.

Enlarge this image

Owner Dan Snyder speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Rob Carr/Getty Images

Owner Dan Snyder speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

An NFL investigation resulted in a $10 million fine

The Washington Football Team launched an investigation into its toxic work culture shortly after the Washington Post's first story published in July 2020. At the end of August, the NFL took over the investigation, and on July 1, 2021, the league released a brief summary of its findings, citing bullying, intimidation and a general lack of respect in a "highly unprofessional" workplace. Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention, the investigation found. The team, estimated by Forbes to be worth $4.2 billion, was fined $10 million.

The Washington Football Team Has Been Fined $10 Million For Workplace Misconduct

Sports

The Washington Football Team Has Been Fined $10 Million For Workplace Misconduct

The investigation produced no written report. Pressed to explain why the NFL would not release detailed findings that could shed light on the magnitude of the problems, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last October that the league wanted to protect the privacy and anonymity of those who came forward.

At the roundtable on Capitol Hill, the former employees accused the NFL of a coverup and pressed for a full report.

"Let's be very clear. The people that I know that participated in this investigation wanted and expected a report," said former marketing director Engleson. "There must be transparency, and only then can we have accountability."

Emily Applegate, who worked in marketing, premium client services and ticket sales, called for Goodell to resign.

"Beginning with new leadership from the top of the NFL will create change within throughout all 32 teams," Applegate said.

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

House Democrats have called for transparency from the NFL

Ahead of today's roundtable, the House Oversight Committee had called on the NFL to release all individuals involved in the allegations from nondisclosure agreements. It also asked for documents and communications obtained in the investigation as well as its underlying findings.

"The WFT and the NFL, among the most prominent platforms in America, should be setting a higher standard for others, not avoiding accountability and not covering up sexual harassment," said Illinois Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi at the roundtable today.

"This is the beginning, not the end, of holding the rich and powerful accountable, and protecting women across America from workplace sexual harassment," he said.

  • Commanders
  • Washington Football Team
  • workplace harassment
  • NFL
Check fraud is on the rise. Here's what you need to know and how to avoid it : NPR******

Check fraud is on the rise. Here's what you need to know and how to avoid it

Wynne Davis

Instagram Twitter Tamara Keith 2016 square

Tamara Keith

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Instagram Enlarge this image

Keys for U.S. Postal Service collection boxes like the one seen here are sometimes stolen from mail delivery people. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Keys for U.S. Postal Service collection boxes like the one seen here are sometimes stolen from mail delivery people.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Check fraud has spiked in the U.S. as thieves use age-old tricks to swindle Americans out of their money and sell bogus checks on the darknet, a monitoring group has found.

Mail-related check fraud has been rising since August, according to the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group at Georgia State University, which has been tracking the trend.

And it warns that criminals have a pretty easy time when it comes to getting their hands on your checks.

"Some of them simply go to your home mailbox and take the mail you left for the post office to pick up," said David Maimon, an associate professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia State University and director of the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group.

"Others simply go to the blue boxes with the keys that they were able to steal from some of the mailmen out there, empty the boxes and get the checks that some of us send to our utility companies or our loved ones when we want to send a gift. That's how easy it is."

The cybersecurity group found an average of 1,325 stolen checks up for sale every week during October. This was more than double what it saw in September, when the average was 634 a week, and triple the 409 average in August.

Writing in The Conversation, Maimon said that these numbers were only a snapshot into the 60 markets his group monitored and that thousands of darknet markets are in operation. He estimates the face value of the checks his group found in October, as written, was $11.6 million — but again, this was only a small portion of the total amount.

How thieves use the checks

Once they have the checks in hand, the criminals do a bit of old-school editing before selling them, Maimon said.

"They take the check. They take a screenshot just in case. And then they use nail polish remover to remove the payee, as well as the amount that the victim essentially wrote on a check," Maimon said. "Once they have that, they take another picture and then they upload the picture with the clean check on several darknets, as well as encrypted communication platforms that facilitate the online fraud underground markets."

Enlarge this image

If you're worried about sending your checks in the mail and don't want to use an online bill-pay service or the likes of Venmo or PayPal, Maimon says it's best to drop your mail off at the post office directly. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

If you're worried about sending your checks in the mail and don't want to use an online bill-pay service or the likes of Venmo or PayPal, Maimon says it's best to drop your mail off at the post office directly.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Banks are usually good about replacing the stolen money when this happens, but stolen identities can also be part of the con and are often harder to fix.

Checks include the name and address information that criminals use as part of identity theft. They can open bank accounts and apply for loans on behalf of the victim, Maimon said.

"They are printing and manufacturing fake IDs, using the victim's information and simply embedding different pictures to go along with the fake driver license or passport or whatever," he said.

The modern twist to check fraud

Check fraud itself isn't new, but it's the sale of these checks on the dark web that gives this tale a more modern turn. Maimon said the monitoring that his group does of darknet markets is what allowed them to see this trend.

As for why this is happening now, Maimon has a few hypotheses.

"After we started talking about what we are seeing on several platforms, we got contacted by a few folks who work with the USPS inspectors who told us that USPS withdrew funding to the inspectors," Maimon said.

He said that this may have led to fewer inspectors monitoring the ubiquitous blue collection boxes, making them more vulnerable to targeting. He said he hadn't taken his findings to the U.S. Postal Service directly.

In a statement, the U.S. Postal Service told NPR that mail theft like this falls under the jurisdiction of postal inspectors.

"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service takes seriously its role to safeguard America and will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators that use the U.S. mail system to further their illegal activity," the agency said.

"Every day, the U.S. Postal Service safely and efficiently delivers millions of checks, money orders, credit cards and merchandise. Unfortunately, such items are also attractive to thieves and that is why Postal Inspectors across the country are at work to protect your mail."

If you are worried about sending your checks in the mail and don't want to use an online bill-pay service or the likes of Venmo or PayPal, Maimon has a tip.

"I think that what folks want to do if they want to prevent this crime from happening and prevent themselves from falling victim to this crime is simply go to the nearest post office store and simply give their mail to the vendor over there," he said.

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns over relationship with network executive : NPR******

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns over relationship with network executive

Heard on All Things Considered David Folkenflik 2018 square

David Folkenflik

Twitter

CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns over relationship with network executive

Listen · 3:35
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077609394/1077738545" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Jeff Zucker resigned Wednesday as chairman of WarnerMedia and president of CNN, telling staff he had failed to disclose a romantic relationship with a colleague when it began. Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia hide caption

toggle caption Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Jeff Zucker resigned Wednesday as chairman of WarnerMedia and president of CNN, telling staff he had failed to disclose a romantic relationship with a colleague when it began.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

After a memorable nine years leading CNN through triumph, controversy and scandal, Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned as president of the network Wednesday morning, saying he had failed to acknowledge a romantic relationship with another senior executive at its outset.

"I was wrong," Zucker wrote in a note to CNN's staff. He said he disclosed the nature of his relationship with the network's chief marketing officer when asked as part of the network's investigation into former star host Chris Cuomo.

Several CNN staffers said they were shocked by Zucker's announcement. Few were surprised by the identity of the executive, however. In a statement, marketing chief Allison Gollust said their relationship, which she described as a close professional and personal rapport built over more than two decades, had deepened into a romantic tie during the pandemic. Gollust wrote that she would be staying at the network.

Both Zucker and Gollust are divorced. Their relationship had inspired tabloid coverage; Gollust had previously worked closely with Zucker during his tenure at NBC. Former Today Showhost Katie Couric, who had been a close friend of Zucker as he rose through the ranks at NBC, wrote in her recent memoir that she suspected a relationship between Zucker and Gollust years earlier.

Katie Couric goes behind the scenes in the cutthroat world of morning TV news

Author Interviews

Katie Couric goes behind the scenes in the cutthroat world of morning TV news

Zucker had been at CNN since 2013 and had been expected to leave later this year. But, he said he would stay through AT&T's sale of parent Warner Media to Discovery. It is projected to happen this spring following a review by federal regulators.

"I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently," he wrote to CNN employees. "But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute."

Gollust had been mentioned as a strong internal candidate to succeed him.

Zucker the latest domino to fall in Cuomo scandals

Zucker's fall is best understood as the latest shoe to drop in the sexual harassment scandals that took down former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo's elder brother. Zucker defended the CNN anchor as it emerged that he had helped the governor strategize how to contain the damage of accusations of sexual assault, even though it was national news. Zucker fired Chris Cuomo when it turned out the star had not disclosed the extent of his involvement. A former colleague also alleged that Chris Cuomo had sexually harassed her when he worked at ABC News years earlier.

New York ethics panel wants former Gov. Cuomo to turn in the cash from his book deal

Books

New York ethics panel wants former Gov. Cuomo to turn in the cash from his book deal

Zucker had previously come in for criticism for allowing Chris Cuomo to invite his brother on his primetime show during the first wave of Covid that hit New York particularly hard. The Cuomos' camraderie served as a comedic interlude, even as Chris held up his elder brother as an exemplar of capable leadership during the pandemic.

Subsequently, lawmakers condemned Andrew Cuomo for a policy that forced nursing homes to take in residents returning from hospitals even if they had not tested negative for Covid-19. An investigation by the state attorney found that his administration had undercounted nursing home deaths from Covid.

Gov. Cuomo has apologized for his conduct but denied sexual harassment and the claims of wrongdoings on Covid-19 policies; Chris Cuomo has denied sexually harassing the former colleague at ABC News. The younger Cuomo has reportedly threatened to sue CNN if it does not fulfill the $18 million left on his severed contract. Matt Belloni of Puck News reported Wednesday that Cuomo's attorneys have told CNN to preserve all communications between Zucker, Gollust, and Andrew Cuomo.

Following #MeToo, media company standards are 'set very, very high'

After her stint at NBC, Gollust worked for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and subsequently joined CNN. Since 2020, Gollust has no longer directly reported to Zucker, but to communications executives at Warner Media.

"These are important inflection points, crucibles, for corporations," Jonathan Klein, president of CNN-US from 2004 to 2010, tells NPR. "Companies seize these moments to define themselves in these ways."

Klein points to the series of sexual harassment and misconduct scandals that have played out in larger American corporate life, but especially in the U.S. media industry over the past six years.

"This is the world we are living in today with standards set very, very high," Klein says. "These issues have been in the culture long enough every executive understands what the ground rules are."

"Everything is taking place out in public, and every constituency has a voice they can raise," he says. "It's tough for a corporation to have to weather these things. These stories don't die."

AT&T had wanted largely to get out of the entertainment business and to divest its relatively new acquisition of Warner Media; Warner Media CEO Jason Kilar was blindsided by its sale to Discovery. Zucker, a friend of Discovery CEO David Zaslav, was said to be likely to take on a greater role at the company, assuming the sale went through.

AT&T Deal For Time Warner Casts Renewed Attention On CNN

Media

AT&T Deal For Time Warner Casts Renewed Attention On CNN

CNN faced intense challenges under Zucker's tenure. He led it from wall-to-wall coverage of disasters, including cruise-liners with backed-up toilets and missing airplanes, to the maiden presidential campaign of Donald Trump. As head of NBC's entertainment division years earlier, Zucker had been integral to establishing Trump as a national household name by building the Apprentice reality show franchise around the bombastic real estate developer.

CNN sought to beef up its enterprise reporting during the surge of scandals and outcry during the Trump years; the network also came in for sustained critiques over the latitude it gave its hosts, including Chris Cuomo, in voicing their personal opinions and hot takes.

"He loves news because people talk about the news," Klein says of Zucker. "Jeff has his ear attuned to what people are talking about - and he loves to be at the middle of this conversation."

Kilar named a trio of senior execs to lead CNN until a permanent successor is named. They are Michael Bass, who oversees programming; Amy Entelis, who handles talent and content development; and Ken Jautz, currently over business affairs and the HLN channel.

  • Allison Gollust
  • Jeff Zucker
  • CNN
A trade secret reveals why two packs of M&M's weigh different amounts : Planet Money : NPR******

The M&M anomaly (Classic)

    Planet MoneyNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link

David Kestenbaum

The M&M anomaly (Classic)

Listen · 13:17
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077646249/1077646464" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Standard MEnlarge this image Quoctrung Bui/NPR Standard MQuoctrung Bui/NPR

Note: This episode originally ran in 2014.

A few years ago, we noticed something strange: a pack of milk chocolate M&M's weighs 1.69 ounces, but a pack of peanut butter M&M's weigh a tiny tiny bit less, 1.63 ounces. The two packs are the same price, but you get slightly less of the peanut butter M&M's! 0.06 ounces less! It turns out there is a whole weird world living down there at the third decimal place. When you pull on that little thread, lots of things start to unravel.

Music: "Come and Love Me"and "Complete Me."

Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram/ TikTok

Subscribe to our show onApple Podcasts, Spotify; and NPR One.

Want economics stories from the comfort of home? Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter.

  • See Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
Why music icons are selling their songwriting catalogs : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR******

Multimillion dollar music catalogs

    The Indicator from Planet Money

    The Indicator NPR hide caption

    toggle caption NPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • Amazon Alexa
    • RSS link
Anastasia Tsioulcas

Anastasia Tsioulcas

Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr

Stacey Vanek Smith

Multimillion dollar music catalogs

Listen · 9:51
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077385249/1077429611" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH) Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH hide caption

toggle caption Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH)

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SUFH

Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks. All music icons that have sold their extensive songwriting catalogs away for eye-popping amounts of money. It's becoming a growing trend in an industry that's seen several shifts since the advent of streaming.

NPR culture correspondent Anastasia Tsioulcas joins the show today to help us figure out what's behind all these blockbuster sales. And why at least one investor says these catalogs could be the new gold.

  • Stevie Nicks
  • Bob Dylan
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • See The Indicator from Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
Native American tribes in tentative opioid settlement with J&J, distributors : NPR******

Native American tribes reach a tentative opioid settlement with J&J and distributors

James Doubek

Twitter

Johnson & Johnson and the opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health reached a settlement with Native American tribes over their role in the opioid crisis. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

The drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health will pay Native American tribes $590 million under the terms of a proposed settlement filed Tuesday.

The number of deaths from opioid overdoses has been rising across the country, but the problem has been growing disproportionately among Native Americans and Alaska Natives in recent years.

The Cherokee Nation Has Agreed To A $75 Million Settlement With Opioid Distributors

National

The Cherokee Nation Has Agreed To A $75 Million Settlement With Opioid Distributors

The plaintiffs in the case are more than 400 tribes who say the opioid makers and distributors were responsible for the opioid crisis in their communities and say they've faced increased costs in health care, social services, child care and more as a result.

"This is an historic settlement that goes a small but important distance toward addressing a killing epidemic that devastated tribal communities," said Lloyd Miller, one of the lead tribal attorneys on the case who represents 120 tribes. "It is historic because at long last Tribes and States are standing shoulder to shoulder in addressing mass disasters."

The opioid business plan

The Indicator from Planet Money

The opioid business plan

The proposed agreement between the tribes and Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen, is for $150 million to be paid over two years.

The three distributors: AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health, agreed to pay roughly $440 million over seven years.

All 574 federally recognized tribes are eligible to receive part of the settlement, even if they did not participate in the litigation, the tribes' lawyers say.

Johnson & Johnson said the proposed settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing and that its marketing and promotion of opioids was "appropriate and responsible." The company says it no longer sells prescription opioids in the U.S.

AmerisourceBergen said the agreement "will both expedite the flow of resources to communities impacted by the crisis while enabling AmerisourceBergen to focus on ensuring the pharmaceutical supply chain is meeting the needs of health care providers and patients."

McKesson and Cardinal Health did not immediately return a request for comment.

About 15% of the settlement will go toward lawyers' fees and the remaining 85% will be spent on "drug treatment and related abatement programs," the tribes' lawyers say.

A jury holds Teva Pharmaceuticals liable in the opioid crisis

Business

A jury holds Teva Pharmaceuticals liable in the opioid crisis

The settlement requires 95% of litigating tribes and 14 of 17 non-litigating Tribes with populations exceeding 5,000 tribal members to agree to it before taking effect.

The same three drug distributors reached a separate $75 million settlement with the Cherokee Nation in September.

Last summer, state attorneys general announced they had reached a $26 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and the three distributors. Johnson & Johnson said its $150 million settlement with the tribes will be taken out of its portion of the settlement with states.

  • opioid crisis
  • Native Americans

Government workers in Belgium no longer have to answer calls, emails after hours : NPR******

In Belgium, government workers no longer have to answer the boss's emails after hours

Rachel Treisman

Twitter Enlarge this image

A commuter wearing a protective face mask looks at her mobile phone in a train arriving at the Central Train Station in Brussels in May 2020. Belgium's new rule addresses the ever-blurry line between work and personal life in the pandemic. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

A commuter wearing a protective face mask looks at her mobile phone in a train arriving at the Central Train Station in Brussels in May 2020. Belgium's new rule addresses the ever-blurry line between work and personal life in the pandemic.

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

As of Tuesday, thousands of federal civil servants in Belgium no longer have to answer calls or emails from their bosses outside of working hours.

That's thanks to a new law granting some 65,000 government workers "the right to disconnect" and, in the process, adding Belgium to the growing list of European countries taking steps toward greater work-life balance.

Petra De Sutter, the Belgian minister for public administration, said in a letter that the right to disconnect will be codified into law as a means to combat "excessive work stress and burn-out" among federal civil servants, according to The Brussels Times.

It's OK to not be passionate about your job

Life Kit

It's OK to not be passionate about your job

Under the new rule, federal civil servants cannot be contacted outside typical working hours unless there are "exceptional and unforeseen circumstances requiring action that cannot wait until the next working period."

Trade unions and managers can make clear agreements to define these circumstances, The Timesadds, but De Sutter has emphasized that workers' family, rest and holidays must be respected.

The rule also stipulates that workers "should not be disadvantaged by not answering the phone or reading work-related messages outside normal working hours."

It aims to address the increasingly blurry line between work and personal life, especially with so many people working from home during the pandemic and possibly going forward.

Burnout Isn't Just Exhaustion. Here's How To Deal With It

Life Kit

Burnout Isn't Just Exhaustion. Here's How To Deal With It

In a recent remote work survey by BDO Belgium, 84% of respondents — 40% of whom held managerial positions — said they wanted to work from home for two or more days a week after the pandemic, citing the lack of commute and increase in productivity. But De Sutter is among those who also see a downside.

"The computer stays on, you keep reading the emails you receive on your smartphone," De Sutter said. "To better protect people against this, we now give them the legal right to disconnect."

She said the measure seeks to protect workers' basic rights but shouldn't be an obstacle to flexible working if that's what they want, the BBC reports.

Will similar rules eventually extend to workers outside the government?

Laurens Teerlinck, spokesperson for Belgium's federal labor minister, told The Times that a similar arrangement is in the pipeline for the private sector with more information to become available over the course of the month.

For French Law On Right To 'Disconnect,' Much Support — And A Few Doubts

Parallels

For French Law On Right To 'Disconnect,' Much Support — And A Few Doubts

Belgium's federal government is also considering a proposal to move to a four-day week of 38 to 40 hours for full-time staff, the Guardian notes. That would mean shorter workweeks and longer workdays.

Other European countries have taken steps toward reducing burnout and restoring work-life balance in recent years, it adds.

Volkswagen banned its German employees from accessing emails after work hours a decade ago, and France enacted a law in 2017 requiring companies with more than 50 employees to designate hours during which workers are not to send or receive emails.

Last year, Portugal passed a law banning bosses from texting employees after they sign off. As NPR reported at the time, employers who violate the law could face financial penalties, like having to pay for the workers' gas or electricity bills.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Editionlive blog.

  • right to disconnect
  • work-life balance
  • Belgium
  • federal workers
Tesla will disable software that allows autos roll through stop signs : NPR******

Tesla recalls autos over software that allows them to roll through stop signs

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

A 2021 Model 3 sedan sits in a lot at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo., on June 27, 2021. Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles because their "Full Self-Driving" software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption

toggle caption David Zalubowski/AP

A 2021 Model 3 sedan sits in a lot at a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo., on June 27, 2021. Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles because their "Full Self-Driving" software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt.

David Zalubowski/AP

DETROIT — Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 cars and SUVs because their "Full Self-Driving" software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt.

Recall documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators say that Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update. The "rolling stop" feature allows vehicles to go through intersections with all-way stop signs at up to 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) per hour.

Cars are getting better at driving themselves, but you still can't sit back and nap

Business

Cars are getting better at driving themselves, but you still can't sit back and nap

The recall shows that Tesla programmed its vehicles to violate the law in most states, where police will ticket drivers for disregarding stop signs. The Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices, said it is not aware of any states that allow rolling stops.

Tesla agreed to the recall after two meetings with officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to documents. Tesla said in documents that it knows of no crashes or injuries caused by feature.

The recall covers Model S sedans and X SUVs from 2016 through 2022, as well as 2017 to 2022 Model 3 sedans and 2020 through 2022 Model Y SUVs.

Selected Tesla drivers are "beta testing" the "Full Self-Driving" software on public roads. The company says the cars cannot drive themselves and drivers must be ready to take action at all times.

A firmware release to disable the rolling stops is expected to be sent out in early February.

Messages were left early Tuesday seeking comment from Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations department.

NHTSA said in documents that failing to stop for a sign can increase the risk of a crash. "The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including intentional design choices that are unsafe," the agency said in a statement. "If the information shows that a safety risk may exist, NHTSA will act immediately."

Tesla introduced the rolling stop feature in vehicles testing "Full Self-Driving" software

Tesla introduced the "rolling stop" feature in a software update that was sent out to the testing owners on Oct. 20, 2020. NHTSA met with Tesla on Jan. 10 and 19 this year to discuss how the software operates, the documents said. On Jan. 20, the company agreed to disable the rolling stops with the software update.

A Tesla driver is charged in a crash involving Autopilot that killed 2 people

National

A Tesla driver is charged in a crash involving Autopilot that killed 2 people

The "rolling stop" feature let the Teslas go through all-way stop signs as long as the owner enabled the function. The vehicles have to be traveling below 5.6 mph while approaching the intersection, and no "relevant" moving cars, pedestrians or bicyclists can be detected nearby. All roads leading to the intersection had to have speed limits of 30 mph or less, the documents said. The Teslas would then be allowed to go through the intersection at 0.1 mph to 5.6 mph without coming to a complete stop.

Philip Koopman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said 4-way stop signs are commonly placed to protect intersections for children when no crossing guard is present. He said Tesla's "machine learning" system can mistakenly identify objects. "What happens when FSD decides a child crossing the street is not 'relevant' and fails to stop?" he asked. "This is an unsafe behavior and should never have been put in vehicles."

Koopman said traveling through a stop sign at 5.6 mph is akin to treating it as a yield sign.

The U.S. Is Formally Investigating Tesla Over Its Autopilot System

Business

The U.S. Is Formally Investigating Tesla Over Its Autopilot System

Governors safety group says Tesla keeps "pushing the bounds of safety"

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the governors safety association, said he's not surprised that Tesla programmed vehicles to violate state laws. "They keep pushing the bounds of safety to see what they can get away with, and they've really been pushing a lot," he said. "Each time it's just a little bit more egregious. It's good to see NHTSA is pushing back."

The automaker should make safety a priority "not taking advantage of some of our worst behaviors on the road," Adkins said.

In November, NHTSA said it was looking into a complaint from a California Tesla driver that the "Full Self-Driving" software caused a crash. The driver complained to the agency that a Model Y went into the wrong lane and was hit by another vehicle. The SUV gave the driver an alert halfway through the turn, and the driver tried to turn the wheel to avoid other traffic, according to the complaint. But the car took control and "forced itself into the incorrect lane," the driver reported. No one was hurt in the Nov. 3 crash.

Tesla disables video games on center touch screens in moving cars

Business

Tesla disables video games on center touch screens in moving cars

In December, Tesla agreed to update its software to prevent video games from being played on center touch screens while its vehicles are moving.

NHTSA also is investigating why Teslas using the company's less-sophisticated "Autopilot" driver-assist system have repeatedly crashed into emergency vehicles parked on roadways.

Last week Tesla said in its earnings release that "Full Self-Driving" software is now being tested by owners in nearly 60,000 vehicles in the U.S. It was only about 2,000 in the third quarter. The software, which costs $12,000, will accelerate Tesla's profitability, the company said.

CEO Elon Musk said he'd be shocked if the software can't drive more safely than humans this year. In 2019, Musk predicted a fleet of autonomous Tesla robotaxis on the roads by the end of 2020.

  • auto recalls
  • Tesla

Why being passionate about your job shouldn't be the expectation : Life Kit : NPR******

It's OK to not be passionate about your job

    Life KitNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link
Ruth Tam headshot

Ruth Tam

Twitter

Sylvie Douglis

It's OK to not be passionate about your job

Listen · 19:03
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1076978534/1077164629" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Illustration of a woman, pictured from behind, working at a desk. Her desk setup is in black and white, desaturated from color. Beyond her desk is a large window that she looks out of over her laptop. The world outside is in Technicolor, alive with animals and activity. The image represents the idea that you can find passion and purpose outside your job.Enlarge this image Sol Cotti for NPR Illustration of a woman, pictured from behind, working at a desk. Her desk setup is in black and white, desaturated from color. Beyond her desk is a large window that she looks out of over her laptop. The world outside is in Technicolor, alive with animals and activity. The image represents the idea that you can find passion and purpose outside your job.Sol Cotti for NPR

This story comes from Life Kit, NPR's podcast to help make life better — covering everything from exercise to raising kids to making friends. For more, sign up for our newsletter.

The world has some career advice for you: Find a job you're passionate about.

Whether you're graduating from college or changing fields, this is the commonly shared "secret" to sidestepping a dull career or prevailing in a difficult industry. But is it really that easy?

In her book, The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality, sociologist Erin A. Cech says maybe not. She shares new research on what she calls the "passion principle" — the idea that you should pursue passion in your career, before fair compensation or job security.

Erin A. Cech is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and the author of The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality. Left: University of California Press; Right: Photograph by Moni Valentini hide caption

toggle caption Left: University of California Press; Right: Photograph by Moni Valentini

There's nothing wrong with finding fulfillment at work. But passion goes further than that. It's loaded with the expectation that you'll do whatever it takes for your career, which Cech says can lead to exploitation and inequality in the workplace.

We talked to Cech about why passion is valued so highly in the workforce and how pursuing it is more complicated than simply "loving what you do."

Passion hasn't always been a priority

Prioritizing passion is a relatively new concept when it comes to job searching. In the 1940s and '50s, career advice centered around stability, and workers were encouraged to land positions that would support them and their families. But during the 1970s, '80s and '90s, self-expression overtook stability as the main motivator.

At the same time, Cech says, work also became "more precarious." Industries known for long-term, stable employment outsourced their labor abroad. Now, workers don't stay at one company for decades anymore. Careers are out; gigs are in. In response to the instability of the job market, college-educated workers began circling around the idea that passion should fuel workers, not job security.

What 'likeability' really means in the workplace

Life Kit

What 'likeability' really means in the workplace

When we praise passion, we reward privilege

In 2005, Steve Jobs, then Apple's CEO, underscored the role of passion in work when he gave a commencement speech at Stanford University. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do," he said. "If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."

Jobs, as well as many of his peers, famously followed their passions by dropping out of college and pursuing business ideas that changed their industries and made them wildly wealthy. Their stories make pursuing passion feel not just romantic, but destined.

But finding success after following your passion is hardly guaranteed.

Workplace Diversity Goes Far Past Hiring. How Leaders Can Support Employees Of Color

Life Kit

Workplace Diversity Goes Far Past Hiring. How Leaders Can Support Employees Of Color

'Exposure' doesn't pay the bills. Here's how to get paid what you're worth

Life Kit

'Exposure' doesn't pay the bills. Here's how to get paid what you're worth

"The stories of the Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobs have cultural relevance because they are success stories," Cech says. We don't hear the stories of the people who followed their passions and weren't successful.

Low-income or first-generation college students are much less likely to have the financial safety nets or the springboards from their social networks to translate the things that they love into employment that both aligns with their passion and draws a decent salary, says Cech.

Based on her research, people from wealthier families are more likely to be employed in jobs that speak to their passions and are stable, compared with people from less wealthy backgrounds.

The 40-hour workweek isn't working. Reducing it could help with productivity

Life Kit

The 40-hour workweek isn't working. Reducing it could help with productivity

Employers can take advantage of workers who work for passion

"People motivated by passion first are more likely to work harder than people who aren't personally invested in their work. But they aren't necessarily paid any more," says Cech.

Sometimes, this lack of compensation is by design. The reason why many employers want to hire people who are passionate about their work is not only because they think they'll be hard workers, Cech says, but because "they expect that people who are passionate about their work will put in more work without demanding an increase in pay."

Pushing passion doesn't actually guarantee better work

People who work in education, health care, social work, journalism, nonprofits and other fields that prioritize passion are known for their long hours and their devotion to a shared mission.

But conflating passion with working overtime can lead to outcomes that erode that very mission: burnout, resentment, resignation.

Burnout Isn't Just Exhaustion. Here's How To Deal With It

Life Kit

Burnout Isn't Just Exhaustion. Here's How To Deal With It

If you're a teacher, "it's one thing to be kind, considerate, helpful and attentive to a child. And it's another thing to perform that work as though that's the soul or core piece of one's identity," says Cech.

Untangling your sense of dedication from the number of extra hours you put into the job can actually be good for you, your boss and your team in the long run.

"When we give workers more rest, more control over their schedule, more vacation time, they're actually more productive, they're more resilient, they're more creative," says Cech.

"It's actually not to an organization's benefit to demand this culture of overwork all the time, even though there seems to be a logical connection between expectations of passion and productivity."

You aren't lazy. You just need to slow down

Life Kit

You aren't lazy. You just need to slow down

You don't have to nurture your passions through work

Reminder: Passion wasn't always a priority for workers. If you don't feel personally fulfilled by your job, it doesn't mean you're incapable of performing it well. And it doesn't mean you can't live a happy life, full of fulfillment beyond your career.

Cech calls this "diversifying your meaning-making portfolio."

Instead of drawing all your passion from one place, ask yourself: What are the things that excite me outside of paid employment? How can I invest time, energy and attention in cultivating passion in that space?


The podcast portion of this story was produced by Sylvie Douglis.

We'd love to hear from you. If you have a good life hack, leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823or email us at LifeKit@npr.org. Your tip could appear in an upcoming episode.

If you love Life Kit and want more, subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Life Kit: Life Skills
  • See Life Kit sponsors and promo codes
FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before : NPR******

FBI director says the threat from China is 'more brazen' than ever before

The Associated Press

Enlarge this image

FBI Director Christopher Wray, seen here speaking at a news conference in November, accused Beijing of stealing American ideas and innovation and launching massive hacking operations. Andrew Harnik/AP file photo hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Harnik/AP file photo

FBI Director Christopher Wray, seen here speaking at a news conference in November, accused Beijing of stealing American ideas and innovation and launching massive hacking operations.

Andrew Harnik/AP file photo

WASHINGTON — The threat to the West from the Chinese government is "more brazen" and damaging than ever before, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Monday night in accusing Beijing of stealing American ideas and innovation and launching massive hacking operations.

The speech at the Reagan Presidential Library amounted to a stinging rebuke of the Chinese government just days before Beijing is set to occupy the global stage by hosting the Winter Olympics. It made clear that even as American foreign policy remains consumed by Russia-Ukraine tensions, the U.S. continues to regard China as its biggest threat to long-term economic security.

"When we tally up what we see in our investigations, over 2,000 of which are focused on the Chinese government trying to steal our information or technology, there's just no country that presents a broader threat to our ideas, innovation, and economic security than China," Wray said, according to a copy of the speech provided by the FBI.

China's ambassador to the U.S. warns of 'military conflict' over Taiwan

Asia

China's ambassador to the U.S. warns of 'military conflict' over Taiwan

The bureau is opening new cases to counter Chinese intelligence operations every 12 hours or so, Wray said, with Chinese government hackers pilfering more personal and corporate data than all other countries combined.

"The harm from the Chinese government's economic espionage isn't just that its companies pull ahead based on illegally gotten technology. While they pull ahead, they push our companies and workers behind," Wray said. "That harm — company failures, job losses — has been building for a decade to the crush we feel today. It's harm felt across the country, by workers in a whole range of industries."

Chinese government officials have repeatedly rejected accusations from the U.S. government, with the spokesman for the embassy in Washington saying last July that Americans have "made groundless attacks" and malicious smears about Chinese cyberattacks. The statement described China as a "staunch defender of cybersecurity."

The threat from China is hardly new, but it has also not abated over the last decade.

World

How the Ukraine crisis could reset the global balance of power

"I've spoken a lot about this threat since I became director" in 2017, Wray said. "But I want to focus on it here tonight because it's reached a new level — more brazen, more damaging, than ever bfore, and it's vital — vital — that all of us focus on that threat together.

The Justice Department in 2014 indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking into major American corporations. One year later, the U.S. and China announced a deal at the White House to not steal each other's intellectual property or trade secrets for commercial gain.

In the years since, though, the U.S. has continued to level accusations against China related to hacking and espionage. It's charged Chinese hackers with targeting firms developing vaccines for the coronavirus and with launching a massive digital attack of Microsoft Exchange email server software, and also blacklisted a broad array of Chinese companies.

In his speech, Wray recounted the case of a Chinese intelligence officer who was convicted of economic espionage for targeting an advanced engine by GE that China was working to copy.

Asia

Tensions between China and Taiwan are the highest they've been in decades

But there have also been some setbacks. Though the FBI director mentioned Monday night that the bureau was working to protect academic research and innovation at American colleges and universities, he did not discuss the much-criticized China Initiative.

That Justice Department effort was created in 2018 to counter economic espionage and to protect against research theft, but critics have accused investigators of scrutinizing researchers and professors on the basis of ethnicity and of chilling academic collaboration. Earlier this month, prosecutors dropped a fraud case against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, saying they could no longer meet their burden of proof.

The department is in the process of reviewing the fate of the China Initiative, and expects to announce the results soon.

___

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

  • christopher wray
  • U.S.
  • China
  • Justice Department
  • FBI

Why one policy reporter changed her mind on rent control : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR******

Is it time to control rent?

    The Indicator from Planet Money

    The Indicator NPR hide caption

    toggle caption NPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • Amazon Alexa
    • RSS link

Stacey Vanek Smith

Is it time to control rent?

Listen · 9:14
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1077086398/1077088942" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
(Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Enlarge this image JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

What do you do when the price of rent keeps rising and rising? One simple policy is to cap the rent. Some cities and states are considering rent control policies right now, even though the majority of economists view this policy as counterproductive. In fact, those economists say rent control actually makes housing unaffordability worse.

Jerusalem Demsas is a policy reporter at Vox and a former critic of rent control. But struggles to build more housing in high-cost cities have caused her to change her mind. Today, she joins the show to explain why.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCastsand NPR One.

  • See The Indicator from Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
The NYT has purchased Wordle for a low******

'The New York Times' buys Wordle

Rina Torchinsky

Enlarge this image

The New York Timeshas purchased the online word game Wordle that took off last fall, with people posting their daily scores. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The New York Timeshas purchased the online word game Wordle that took off last fall, with people posting their daily scores.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The New York Timeshas acquired Wordle, a simple word guessing game, for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures, the newspaper announced Monday.

The game, created by Josh Wardle, will initially continue to be free to play.

Wordle, which was released in October 2021, is a daily word puzzle that has soared in popularity, amassing millions of daily players within months.

To play the game, players have six tries to guess a five-letter word. Many users choose to share their results — a grid of green, yellow and black boxes — on social media.

Wardle, who named the game after his last name, released Wordle to the public in October 2021. He initially created the game for his partner, who he'd known was a fan of word games.

On Nov. 1, the game had 90 players. Nearly two months later, the figure ballooned to 300,000, according to the release from The New York Times.

"The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined," Wardle wrote in a statement on Twitter. "I'd be lying if I said this hasn't been a little overwhelming. After all, I am just one person, and it is important to me that, as Wordle grows, it continues to provide a great experience to everyone."

Wardle said he was pleased to pass the reins to the Times, adding that the news outlet's own games influenced "the story of Wordle."

Wordle is a daily dose of delight, despair, and sometimes smugness

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Wordle is a daily dose of delight, despair, and sometimes smugness

Aside from the crossword, the Times introduced its own selection of games in 2014: the Mini crossword, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles and Vertex.

"We could not be more thrilled to become the new home and proud stewards of this magical game, and are honored to help bring Josh Wardle's cherished creation to more solvers in the months ahead," said Jonathan Knight, general manager for games at the Times.

Starbucks union push spreads to 54 stores in 19 states : NPR******

Starbucks union push spreads to 54 stores in 19 states

Alina Selyukh 2016

Alina Selyukh

Twitter A Starbucks company logo are seen in Palatine, Ill.Enlarge this image Nam Y. Huh/AP A Starbucks company logo are seen in Palatine, Ill.Nam Y. Huh/AP

Starbucks is facing a fast-growing union campaign just weeks after the first U.S. corporate store unionized in Buffalo, N.Y.

Employees at 54 stores in 19 states are pursuing union elections, according to organizers. Fifteen of those stores joined the union drive on Monday, petitioning the federal labor officials to set a vote. The filing coincides with the start of contract negotiations between Starbucks and unionized workers in Buffalo.

Last month, Starbucks workers at three New York stores held union elections. A majority voted in favor at two of the three locations, unionizing 64 workers. Now, some 30 Starbucks workers in Mesa, Ariz., are wrapping up their own union election by mail. Employees at three more Buffalo-area locations also begin voting this week.

Starbucks workers form their 1st union in the U.S. in a big win for labor

Business

Starbucks workers form their 1st union in the U.S. in a big win for labor

Altogether, the union-election push affects only a fraction of almost 9,000 U.S. stores run by Starbucks. But the quick and high-profile first union victory in Buffalo became a watershed moment for the company, especially as restaurant workers are among the country's least unionized.

As the union push spreads, labor experts say it will be harder for Starbucks to fight each one individually. They also say the high profile of Starbucks helps raise union awareness among regular Americans at a time when union membership has matched historic lows.

In the coming weeks, another potentially groundbreakingunion push will proceed at Amazon, where thousands of Alabama warehouse workers will re-vote on unionization and their colleagues on Staten Island may hold their own union election.

At Starbucks, the pro-union workers have advocated for better staffing, training and pay, seeking a direct line to company management. Buffalo workers have joined Workers United, affiliated with the massive Service Employees International Union.

Contract negotiations present the next challenges for the labor group, as collective bargaining agreements can take months to reach. In Canada, Starbucks workers reached a three-year contract with the company in June 2021 after voting to join the United Steelworkers in August 2020.

Unionized Starbucks workers walk out in Buffalo, citing safety worries over COVID

Coronavirus Updates

Unionized Starbucks workers walk out in Buffalo, citing safety worries over COVID

A Starbucks representative declined to comment on Monday's developments. In a December letter to staff, the company's North America president said "we do not want a union between us as partners" but added that the company would "bargain in good faith."

Hours before federal officials set the union vote for Buffalo stores, Starbucks announced it would raise its starting pay to $15 an hour and boost wages for staff employed longer than two years and five years, plus make changes to its training and scheduling.

In the past, the coffee chain has fought off organizing attempts in New York City and Philadelphia. In the 1980s, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union for a while represented some Starbucks staff. That union still represents workers at some locations run by grocery stores and not directly by Starbucks.

In the ongoing union vote in Arizona, Starbucks filed an appeal with federal labor officials to block the vote tally, arguing that all locations in the area should vote in the union election, rather than one individual store. The company lost similar appeals during union elections in New York.

  • Union election
  • voting to unionize
  • labor organizing
  • retail workers
  • labor unions
  • Starbucks
Joe Rogan responds to protests over his Spotify podcast : NPR******

Joe Rogan has responded to the protests against Spotify over his podcast

Anastasia Tsioulcas

Anastasia Tsioulcas

Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr Enlarge this image

Neil Young (left) in 2016 and podcaster Joe Rogan in 2012. Spotify said Sunday that it will add content advisories before podcasts discussing the coronavirus. The move follows protests of the music-streaming service that were kicked off by Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

Neil Young (left) in 2016 and podcaster Joe Rogan in 2012. Spotify said Sunday that it will add content advisories before podcasts discussing the coronavirus. The move follows protests of the music-streaming service that were kicked off by Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

AP

Spotify has become the latest battleground regarding misinformation about COVID-19. Sunday evening, the streaming service's most popular podcast host, Joe Rogan, addressed criticisms of his episodes that have discussed the coronavirus pandemic. He also addressed comments to Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, who have both asked the platform to remove their work in protest of Rogan's podcast.

Rogan's response came via a nearly 10-minute video published to Instagram. His comments took a few different turns. He argued that he was not spreading misinformation, that some people have a "distorted perception" of what it is he does and that what he does is merely sharing "opinions."

"I do not know if they're right," Rogan said. "I'm not a doctor. I'm not a scientist. I'm just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. I get things wrong. But I try to correct them. ... I'm interested in telling the truth. I'm interested in finding out what the truth is."

Spotify removes Neil Young's music after he objects to Joe Rogan's podcast

Music News

Spotify removes Neil Young's music after he objects to Joe Rogan's podcast

Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in protest against Spotify

Music News

Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in protest against Spotify

Rogan added that he supports Spotify's decision to put a label on what he says are "controversial" podcasts.

That's not what Spotify has said it intends to do, however. In a news release issued Sunday, Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, said that his company will introduce a content advisory to any podcast episode that discusses COVID-19, whether the podcast has interviews with internationally recognized public health experts or disseminates potential misinformation.

Ek said that the new advisory will direct Spotify listeners to a dedicated coronavirus hub with links to "trusted sources."

Ek has said repeatedly that he prioritizes making sure the creators who use the Spotify platform maintain creative freedom. In this new statement, though, Ek also said, "It's become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time."

In Rogan's Instagram video Sunday, the popular podcast host said that he views this as a time to present more experts — and maybe do a little more research about his guests and what they were saying.

"Maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions on right afterwards — I do think that's important," Rogan said. "And do my best to make sure I've researched these topics, the controversial ones in particular, and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them."

Rumors were flying around social media over the weekend that a number of notable older artists have followed the example of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and have asked to pull their music from Spotify, but that's not accurate as of now.

The other prominent musician who has asked for his music to be removed from Spotify is guitarist Nils Lofgren, a longtime member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and the Crazy Horse band with Neil Young. In a statement posted to Young's website on Saturday, Lofgren accused Spotify of "promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people."

  • joe rogan
  • spotify
Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in protest against Spotify : NPR******

Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in protest against Spotify

Hazel Cills

Hazel Cills

Twitter Enlarge this image

Singer Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she will pull her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Singer Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she will pull her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she will remove her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young, who announced earlier this week that he would do the same in protest against the streaming service.

"I've decided to remove all my music from Spotify," Mitchell wrote in a signed statement posted to her website. "Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue."

Last Monday, Young announced that he had asked his management and record label to remove his music from Spotify in protest of the streaming service's decision to host Joe Rogan's podcast. Rogan, whose podcast is distributed exclusively through Spotify, has been criticized by doctors and scientists for spreading misinformation regarding the coronavirus and vaccines.

What the Joe Rogan podcast controversy says about the online misinformation ecosystem

Untangling Disinformation

What the Joe Rogan podcast controversy says about the online misinformation ecosystem

Spotify removes Neil Young's music after he objects to Joe Rogan's podcast

Music News

Spotify removes Neil Young's music after he objects to Joe Rogan's podcast

"Most of the listeners hearing the unfactual, misleading and false COVID information of Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth," Young posted in a statement to his website. "These young people believe Spotify would never present grossly unfactual information. They unfortunately are wrong."

Joni Mitchell is the first high-profile musician to join Young's protest. As of Saturday morning, several classic Joni Mitchell albums, including her 1971 release Blue, were no longer available on the streaming service.

Her Kind Of Blue: Joni Mitchell's Masterpiece At 50

Music Features

Her Kind Of Blue: Joni Mitchell's Masterpiece At 50

In a separate post to her website, Joni Mitchell also republished the "Open Letter to Spotify" signed by over a thousand doctors and scientists speaking against Rogan's false statements regarding vaccine safety and coronavirus precautions.

Spotify previously told NPR that in response to complaints about misinformation the service had "removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic." Spotify's CEO has said the company doesn't dictate what Rogan can say on its platform and argues that Spotify is not editorially responsible.

  • Joni Mitchell
It was a wild week for stocks. Here are 4 things to keep in mind : NPR******

It was a wild week for stocks. Should you worry? Here are 4 things to keep in mind

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday David Gura headshot

David Gura

Twitter Instagram Scott Horsley 2010

Scott Horsley

Twitter

It was a wild week for stocks. Should you worry? Here are 4 things to keep in mind

Listen · 5:41
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1076526743/1076664031" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Trading on the New York Stock Exchange and elsewhere suffered an incredibly volatile week as the Federal Reserve gears up to raise interest rates. Allie Joseph/AP hide caption

toggle caption Allie Joseph/AP

Trading on the New York Stock Exchange and elsewhere suffered an incredibly volatile week as the Federal Reserve gears up to raise interest rates.

Allie Joseph/AP

It was a week that shook Wall Street as an era of easy money is coming to an end.

Markets went on such a roller-coaster ride that it even stumped the most veteran investors, ending, remarkably, with the biggest rally of the year for the main stock indices.

The reason for all the volatility? The Federal Reserve this week telegraphed at its first policy meeting of the year that it plans to start raising interest rates as early as March to tackle inflation, which has reached 40-year highs.

Markets are penciling in four to five rate hikes this year, with Bank of America on Friday predicting as many as seven increases in 2022.

Here's what to know about an incredible week in markets – and what it means for you.

Game time: The Fed unveils a tougher plan to fight stubbornly high inflation

Economy

Game time: The Fed unveils a tougher plan to fight stubbornly high inflation

Why are investors so fearful?

As it turns out, it's not just average Americans who are worried about the economy and inflation.

Professional investors are, too. A unique period in Wall Street's history is coming to an end. For most of the period since the 2008 global financial crisis, inflation has remained relatively low and the Fed, for the most part, has kept interest rates near rock-bottom levels.

That's made it very inexpensive for companies to borrow money, and it's fueled Wall Street's record-setting run.

That era seems to be over, or coming to an end.

Inflation fears are sparking a big drop in markets. Here are 3 things to know

Business

Inflation fears are sparking a big drop in markets. Here are 3 things to know

The central bank hopes to raise interest rates just enough to bring down inflation but not so much as to hurt the economy. Investors are deeply uncertain about the Fed's ability to strike that balance.

That has resulted in incredible swings in markets this week, often within the same day. On Monday, for example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 1,000 points only to end the day with a modest gain.

The Dow ended on Friday with a more than 500-point gain, the biggest of the year, while the Nasdaq surged more than 3% after companies such as Apple brought some comfort by reporting good earnings.

Even Wall Street veterans say they haven't seen this kind of sustained volatility since the dot-com bubble burst back in 2000 or during the 2008 financial crisis.

So what should we expect from the economy?

Analysts widely expect economic growth this year will slow down after posting its strongest growth since 1984 last year.

That growth, however, was uneven, which is why many Americans don't feel positive about the economy according to recent polls.

It's not just inflation. The biggest challenge remains the pandemic itself. Each time infections flare up, it makes people nervous about getting out and traveling, and it cuts into consumption.

The pandemic also keeps would-be workers on the sidelines, and that just prolongs the staffing shortages and supply chain problems that have dogged the economy.

Believe it or not, the economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 1984

Economy

Believe it or not, the economy grew last year at the fastest pace since 1984

Take Lindsay Mescher, who runs the Greenhouse Cafe restaurant in Lebanon, Ohio. Right now, she's struggling with not having enough customers because of omicron, but even when business picks up, she's worried about rising prices.

"Just yesterday, I got a text from my farmer. Our chicken went up a dollar a pound. And I understand that. Her costs went up, too. But I can't keep passing these costs on. I can't charge $12 for a chicken salad sandwich in this town. It's just not going to work," she says.

The International Monetary Fund this week cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy to 4%, down 1.2 percentage points from its previous estimate.

Loading...

What do these economic challenges mean for us?

Borrowing costs are going to be higher as the Fed raises interest rates. We've already seen mortgage rates rise to their highest level since the start of the pandemic.

Car loans and other forms of credit will also be going up as the Fed raises rates. However, it's also important to keep things in perspective: Rates are likely to still be low by historical standards.

The federal government is also going to be putting less money in people's pockets now that most of the pandemic relief programs have ended.

But on the plus side, we are seeing rising wages and better benefits as employers are having to compete for scarce workers, giving employees more bargaining power. Data on Friday showed employers' spending on wages and benefits rose 4% last year, the biggest increase in two decades.

Still, on average, wages still are not keeping pace with inflation.

And what's this going to mean for stocks?

Some veteran investors are sounding a warning that we are in a really dangerous time.

One of them is influential money manager Jeremy Grantham, who said this month we are in the midst of a "superbubble," with inflated prices in stocks, housing and commodities because the Fed has kept interest rates too low.

But that's not a widely held view.

Stocks are in the midst of a wild ride as the U.S. gets ready to fight inflation

Business

Stocks are in the midst of a wild ride as the U.S. gets ready to fight inflation

Other investors call this a natural recalibration after three years of strong growth in stock markets that have stretched valuations of some companies.

"I think what we're seeing right now is sort of justified based on valuations and what the Fed has been telling us, which is why we were relatively cautious heading into the year," said Savita Subramanian, the head of U.S. equity research at Bank of America.

Technology stocks, especially, have had an incredible rally, with the Nasdaq more than doubling over the past three years.

The tech-heavy index is now in correction territory after falling more than 10% this year, a decline that is spooking investors.

But at the end of the day, professional investors urge patience. Markets have consistently gained in the long run. We just happen to be in the midst of a volatile ride as stocks navigate the uncertain economy — and the end of an era of easy money.

  • stocks
  • S&P
  • inflation
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • Wall Street
  • Nasdaq

Why Sony Pictures is stuck rebooting Marvel's Spider******

The Spider-Man Problem

    Planet MoneyNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link
Kenny Malone square

Kenny Malone

Wailin Wong

The Spider-Man Problem

Listen · 25:41
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1076531156/1076610455" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 02: South Koreans wear Spider-Man cloths during the 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Seoul Premiere at Yeongdeunpo Times Square on July 2, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 02: South Koreans wear Spider-Man cloths during the 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Seoul Premiere at Yeongdeunpo Times Square on July 2, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Spider-Man: No Way Homehas become the highest grossing film in the Spider-Manfranchise so far. But the road to this latest Spider-Man movie has been a bumpy one for the film's makers, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

When Marvel licensed the Spider-Man film rights to Sony Pictures in the 1990s, the deal made sense — Marvel didn't make movies yet, and their business was mainly about making comic books and toys. Years later, though, the deal would come back to haunt Marvel, and it would start a long tug of war between Sony and Marvel over who had creative cinematic control for Marvel's most popular superhero. Today, we break down all of the off-screen drama that has become just as entertaining as the movies.

Music: "One For All" and "Little Superhero."

Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram/ TikTok

Subscribe to our show onApple Podcasts, Spotify; and NPR One.

Want economics stories from the comfort of home? Subscribe to Planet Money's weekly newsletter.

  • See Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
Revisiting indicators for Bitcoin, masks and GDP : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR******

Revisiting Indicators: Bitcoin, masks, GDP

    The Indicator from Planet Money

    The Indicator NPR hide caption

    toggle caption NPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • Amazon Alexa
    • RSS link
Adrian Ma photo

Adrian Ma

Twitter Darian Woods headshot

Darian Woods

Twitter

Stacey Vanek Smith

Revisiting Indicators: Bitcoin, masks, GDP

Listen · 9:49
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1076524775/1076609348" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
BitcoinEnlarge this image Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images BitcoinOzan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

A variety of economic numbers have been popping up recently and it has us feeling a serious case of déjà vu. Our hosts Adrian Ma, Darian Woods and Stacey Vanek Smith revisit indicators for Bitcoin, N95 masks and Gross Domestic Product, and tell us what in the world happened since we last featured them on the show.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCastsand NPR One.

  • See The Indicator from Planet Money sponsors and promo codes

'The Afterparty' plus the 'Laziness Does Not Exist' : It's Been a Minute : NPR******

Whodunit at 'The Afterparty' plus the lie of 'Laziness'

    It's Been a MinuteNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link

Sam Sanders

Jinae West

Anjuli Sastry

Anjuli Sastry Krbechek

Twitter Andrea Gutierrez

Andrea Gutierrez

Twitter Liam McBain headshot

Liam McBain

Aja Drain

Jordana Hochman

Whodunit at 'The Afterparty' plus the lie of 'Laziness'

Listen · 37:17
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1076168476/1076521021" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Yasper (Ben Schwartz) search for clues about their classmate's murder in The Afterpartyon Apple TV+. Apple TV+ hide caption

toggle caption Apple TV+

Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Yasper (Ben Schwartz) search for clues about their classmate's murder in The Afterpartyon Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ On 'The Afterparty,' a high school reunion really can kill you

Pop Culture Happy Hour

On 'The Afterparty,' a high school reunion really can kill you

Sam sits down to chat, sing, improv and of course play Who Said That with actors Ben Schwartz and Sam Richardson, stars of the new murder mystery The Afterpartyon Apple TV+.

Then, Sam revisits his 2021 conversation with Devon Price, author ofLaziness Does Not Exist,where they discuss the lie of laziness and what it means for productivity.

This episode of 'It's Been a Minute' was produced by Jinae West, Anjuli Sastry Krbechek, Andrea Gutierrez and Liam McBain. Our intern is Aja Drain. Our editor is Jordana Hochman. Engineering support came from Gilly Moon. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

  • See It's Been a Minute sponsors and promo codes
What Happens Next After The Omicron Surge? : Consider This from NPR : NPR******

The Omicron Wave Is Receding. What Happens Now?

    Consider This from NPRNPR
    • NPR One
    • Apple Podcasts
    • Spotify
    • Google Podcasts
    • RSS link

The Omicron Wave Is Receding. What Happens Now?

Listen · 10:06
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1075776824/1076526028" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Enlarge this image

Julio Francisco waits for people to show up wanting a COVID-19 test on January 13, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Julio Francisco waits for people to show up wanting a COVID-19 test on January 13, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cases rates are dropping, but the number of people dying each day is not. Many hospitals are still overwhelmed. NPR's Will Stone reports.

Deaths are a lagging indicator — meaning they, too, will soon fall as the omicron wave continues to recede. What does the next phase of the pandemic look like? NPR's Allison Aubrey explains why some public health experts think the coronavirus may not disappear — but become easier to live with.

In the meantime, workplaces are still reeling from the surge as employees call out sick or must quarantine. NPR's Andrea Hsu says it's even worse than last winter's pre-vaccine surge.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

  • See Consider This from NPR sponsors and promo codes

Cookbooks by Melissa Clark and Turkey and the Wolf have been lost at sea : NPR******

A shipment of cookbooks is lost at sea. Authors hope the fish enjoy the recipes

Mandalit del Barco (square - 2015)

Mandalit del Barco

Enlarge this image

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford; Dinner in One by Melissa Clark Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford; Dinner in One by Melissa Clark

Catie Dull/NPR

Two new cookbooks from Penguin Random House were lost at sea, according to their authors, and fans who were looking forward to the books will have to wait.

They were aboard a ship called the Madrid Bridge, according to Insider. The transportation publication Loadstar reports that a container ship with that name, headed to New York from Taiwan encountered a storm near the Azores on Jan. 15. Sixty containers fell overboard, and 80 more containers were damaged.

So instead of coming out Feb. 15, Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin, by Mason Hereford will come out June 21. And instead of publishing in March, Dinner in One, by Melissa Clark will now be available Sept. 6. The authors seemed to be in good humor about the unusual news.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TURKEY AND THE WOLF/mason h (@turkeyandthewolf)

"I'm sorry for the delay bummer, " Hereford wrote in an Instagram post. "The good news is that there were no critical injuries, as can happen in these situations. But the bad news is the books might be in a cargo container at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean."

Author and New York Timescolumnist Clark posted on Instagram that their books being "MIA on the wine-dark sea" is "in keeping with the zeitgeist of 2022." She suggests the fish may enjoy the recipes.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Clark (@clarkbar)

2022 tax return: How to factor in your child tax credit and COVID costs : NPR******

Claiming COVID costs, and 4 other questions about filing your taxes this year

Bill Chappell

Twitter Enlarge this image

Some of the changes to tax filing this year will result in smaller refunds. Constantine Johnny/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Constantine Johnny/Getty Images

Some of the changes to tax filing this year will result in smaller refunds.

Constantine Johnny/Getty Images

The 2022 tax season promises to be different from recent years.

"The big thing is that there are a ton of tax changes related to stimulus funds and other benefits people may have received in 2021" because of the pandemic, said Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, the financial expert also known as the Money Coach.

Some of those changes will translate into smaller refunds. Delays are also a concern: the IRS warns that it has a huge backlog of returns to process. But Khalfani-Cox says many people can avoid a long wait if they file electronically.

Can I write off COVID-19 costs?

The pandemic has been an expensive crisis for many families — and some of the most common costs can affect your taxes.

"You can write off COVID-19 expenses — like face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)," Khalfani-Cox said, "but only to the extent that those costs and your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income."

The IRS faces backlogs from last year as a new tax filing season begins

Politics

The IRS faces backlogs from last year as a new tax filing season begins

It's likely to be a frustrating tax season, deputy treasury secretary says

Business

It's likely to be a frustrating tax season, deputy treasury secretary says

As an example, a household with an adjusted gross income of $67,521 (the median income in 2020) would need to spend more than $5,064 before that tax relief kicks in. Another caveat: You can't claim COVID-19 costs if your insurance company has reimbursed you for them.

If your circumstances don't meet those guidelines, you have another option. The IRS says a slew of costs, from hand sanitizer to home COVID-19 tests, can be paid for or reimbursed through tax-free spending accounts such as flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.

How will changes to the child tax credit shake things up?

Financial advisers are warning taxpayers that they should expect to get smaller refunds than they did last year.

"Part of the reason is that people have to account for that child tax credit that they've already received in advance," Khalfani-Cox said.

The child tax credit was expanded under the American Rescue Plan, benefiting tens of millions of U.S. households.

The program sent monthly checks to eligible families in the latter half of 2021, with up to $300 per month for every child younger than 6 and $250 per month for older children. For tax purposes, that money isn't considered income — but because they're advance payments on a tax benefit, they do reduce the amount recipients might have otherwise received in their refund.

As NPR's Cory Turner reported, current estimates suggest "that by the end of tax season, families will have received an average of $4,380 from the 2021 version of the child tax credit, compared with the $2,310 they got under the previous version."

The expanded child tax credit briefly slashed child poverty. Here's what else it did

Family

The expanded child tax credit briefly slashed child poverty. Here's what else it did

The American Rescue Plan also boosted unemployment benefits — but the tax rules for that money are different from the previous year.

"People laid off from work were able to exclude up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits in the year 2020," Khalfani-Cox said. "That exclusion went away last year."

With that lapse, the full amount of unemployment payments in 2021 are again taxable at the federal level.

Could my refund be delayed this year?

Taxpayers who file early and electronically should be able to avoid massive delays, Khalfani-Cox said.

"However, delays will likely mostly be felt by people who do manual or paper tax submissions," she said.

Erin M. Collins, the IRS' national taxpayer advocate, says the agency has a backlog of some 35 million returns. The IRS is overworked and underfunded, and it's coping with those challenges while using antiquated computer systems.

"Hands down, the fastest way to get your refund check is to file electronically and have the funds direct deposited into your bank account," Khalfani-Cox said. "Most people already do this, but some people actually file paper returns."

The timing also depends on what's in your return. The IRS said that by law, it can't issue refunds to anyone claiming the earned income tax credit before mid-February. That benefit applies to low- and moderate-income households, making less than $57,414.

If all goes smoothly, the IRS said, taxpayers who claim either the EITC or the additional child tax credit should expect to get their refund by the first week of March.

Another benefit of filing online, Khalfani-Cox said, is that the IRS' mobile app and website offer status updates on your return — including a "Where's My Refund?" tab — within 24 hours of when it was filed.

If you wind up needing help from the tax agency, be prepared to wait: Callers to the IRS faced an average hold time of 23 minutes, according to the national taxpayer advocate, and only about a tenth of callers were able to get through to a representative. Those dismal figures reflect a record 282 million phone calls — nearly triple the previous year's total — because of the many questions about shifting tax rules.

"It is going to be, unfortunately, a frustrating tax season," Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told NPR this week. He urges people to file online and take extra care in preparing their returns to avoid snags.

So, when is the tax deadline?

The general deadline for filing your income tax returns is Monday, April 18. The date is later than the normal April 15 date because the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day holiday falls on the weekend — meaning it'll be observed that Friday.

People in Maine and Massachusetts have an extra day to file because the 18th is the Patriots' Day holiday in those states — pushing the tax deadline to April 19.

How can I avoid common mistakes?

"One huge error people commonly commit is waiting until the last minute to file," Khalfani-Cox said, "and then not having enough time to gather the necessary paperwork to claim all the deductions and tax credits to which they are entitled. Such procrastination can cost people money, especially since the IRS says the average tax refund check is about $3,000."

Another big mistake people make, she says, is to blow through their refund check rather than stashing at least some of the money in an emergency savings account.

"Instead of just spending that windfall, or letting the money slip through your fingers, be sure to save some of it. With inflation, the ongoing pandemic and so many people quitting their jobs, it's more important than ever to have a healthy chunk of emergency savings."

Khalfani-Cox recommends using online tools to track your savings and other bank accounts — and to add to your reserves when that tax refund does arrive.

update:2022-07-02 14:38:52

简介:DutchlocalsvowtopummelBezos'yachtwitheggsiffamedbridgeisdismantled:NPR******TheDutchvowtoeggJeffBezos'yachtifabridgeisdismantledtolethisboatpassFacebookTwitterFlipboardEmailFebruary9,202212:42PMETRachelTreismanTwitterEnlargethisimageRotterdamresidentsappeartobeupinarmsoveraplantotemporarilydismantletheKoningshavenliftbridge,popularlycalled"DeHef."RemkodeWaal/ANP/AFPviaGettyImageshidecaptiontogglecaptionRemkodeWaal/ANP/AFPviaGettyImagesRotterdamresidentsappeartobeupinarmsoveraplantotemporarilydis

返回顶部