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Americans are having fewer babies, and it might have to do with the economy

8 hours ago

Whether it is economic insecurity, changing values, or a young adult population that prioritizes their education over having children, the fact remains that Americans are having fewer babies. Since 2007, when the Great Recession hit, the United States has seen a continued decline in fertility. A recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention broke down the numbers by state, showing that North Dakota, for example, had a relatively high fertility rate while the District of Columbia had the lowest.

Every year, the World Health Organization releases a list of what they believe are the top 10 threats to global health. This year, the list included a few new additions like "weak primary health care" and what WHO calls "vaccine hesitancy" or the "reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines."

WHO outlines work to eliminate cervical cancer through HPV vaccines as a goal for the year. 

Air pollution and climate change were also identified as global health threats. 

Sometimes let your conscience be your guide

11 hours ago

The IMF's downgrade of global market growth spooks markets Tuesday. France fines Google $57 million over privacy. Plus, we look at the growing popularity of sustainable, responsible and impact investment.

Today's show is sponsored by SignNow, the Alliance for Lifetime Income, the United States Postal Service and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

Trillion-dollar babies

14 hours ago

A recent dip in mortgage rates could cause an uptick in home sales. How will food stamp recipients fare if the shutdown continues? Plus, the fertility rate in the U.S. is declining. What does the drop mean for the greater economy?

Today's show is sponsored by SignNow, the Alliance for Lifetime Income, the United States Postal Service and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

From the BBC World Service… Zimbabwe’s president has returned home after cancelling his appearance at Davos. We'll take you to Harare for the latest. Afterwards, with a backdrop of rising nationalism, slowing growth and less influence, the leaders of France and Germany sign a pledge for closer cooperation in a post-Brexit E.U. But is it more about symbolism than hard commitments? Then, after many world leaders have ditched Davos to focus on problems at home – Brazil's newly-installed president Jair Bolsonaro will take the stage today.

In 2019, media giants Disney and Warner both plan to enter the streaming service fray, as if there weren't a whole lot of on-demand content options already out there. Streaming has definitely disrupted the way we watch TV. But it doesn't always lead to more savings for our wallets. And some of the predictions about cord cutting — people abandoning cable to just watch on streaming services — may be overblown. Marketplace’s Jed Kim talks with Brian Wieser, who focuses on media and advertising as a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

In 2019, media giants Disney and Warner both plan to enter the streaming service fray, as if there weren't a whole lot of on-demand content options already out there. Streaming has definitely disrupted the way we watch TV. What about the way we pay for it? With predictions of widespread cord cutting and the demise of cable television, are we actually seeing that?

AT& T to resume advertising on YouTube

Jan 21, 2019

AT&T has announced it's putting ads back on YouTube. A couple of years ago, the telecom giant pulled their ads off the platform because of concerns that its messages were running alongside videos containing hate speech or touting terrorism. AT&T says it's satisfied that the Google-owned platform has improved screening of video content. So what’s changed, and are other advertisers are likely to follow suit?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

With financial distress, come fraudsters

Jan 21, 2019

As the partial federal shutdown continues with no visible end in sight, banks and creditors have offered the up-to-800,000 affected workers loans and payment deferments so they can keep up with their finances. At the same time, fraudulent agencies may be targeting these workers.

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IMF lowers global outlook again

Jan 21, 2019

Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund, cautions that global growth is slowing down more than expected earlier.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Day 1 at Davos

Jan 21, 2019

Things weren't looking exactly glass half-full today at the World Economic Forum, the annual meeting of economists, bankers and world leaders. During a news conference, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the global economy was growing “more slowly than expected.” We break down what that means in a larger context. Today also marks the 31st day of the partial government shutdown and no end appears to be in sight. Some furloughed workers, in trying to keep up with finances, are becoming the targets of scams.

How to be a park ranger

Jan 21, 2019

Everyone has a dream job growing up: doctor, vet, ice cream taste tester. But how do you actually get the gig? Marketplace is looking into how with the occasional series How to Be a ...

My name is Andrew LaValle, and I'm a visual information specialist at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawai'i. Previously, I was at Katmai National Park in Alaska.

In Australia, government researchers say climate change has definitely hit the country, hard.

In its State of the Climate 2014 report, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology cites a nearly two degree Fahrenheit rise in the country’s average temperature since 1910, with seven of the ten hottest years on record having occurred since 1998. Across much of Australia, there’s been more “extreme fire weather” — days with wind, high temperature, low humidity and drought.

Australia has suffered devastating weather in recent years — droughts, floods, tropical storms and heat waves that many scientists say are a taste of what climate change will bring many parts of the world in the near future.

Natural disasters like these can leave people emotionally shaken long afterwards. Consider what happened after the worst wildfires in Australia’s history — the 2009 “Black Saturday” fires.

Today, companies are using technology to make skiing down a cold mountain faster, more fun and more comfortable. That’s changing what used to be a pretty basic sport. There are now carbon fiber skis, USB-rechargeable heated jackets, and wearable apps that tell a person how well they are skiing. But is something lost with all this new tech?

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

 

A recent survey points out that one in 10 millennials thinks they will die in debt.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Oxfam says tax cuts have benefited the rich

Jan 21, 2019

Oxfam, the international anti-poverty organization, released a report Friday on how the world’s billionaires and poor people are doing economically. And the short answer is: the former are up while the latter are down. Oxfam crunched the income and wealth numbers based on data from Forbes’ annual billionaires list and Credit Suisse’s "Wealth Databook." The release comes as the world’s economic elite movers and shakers kick off their annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The blockchain is coming to Wall Street

Jan 21, 2019

In 2018, ICOs, or initial coin offerings, were the hot new thing in startup fundraising. A company could raise money by selling you a little bit of value or equity in the form of a digital coin, similar to bitcoin but specific to that company. ICOs raised about $22 billion, or so we think. It's hard to know because the practice has been unregulated. A lot of ICOs turned out to be scams. The Securities and Exchange Commission started fining celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled over sketchy paid promotions for ICOs. It got weird, and now it's regulation time.

The blockchain is coming to Wall Street

Jan 21, 2019

In 2018, ICOs, or initial coin offerings, were the hot new thing in startup fundraising. A company could raise money by selling you a little bit of value or equity in the form of a digital coin, similar to bitcoin but specific to that company. ICOs raised about $22 billion, or so we think. It's hard to know because the practice has been unregulated. A lot of them turned out to be scams. The Securities and Exchange Commission started fining celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled over sketchy paid promotions for ICOs. It got weird, and now it's regulation time.

China’s growth continues to slow

Jan 21, 2019

Millennials are already in a lot of debt. In fact, 10 percent of Americans ages 18-24 expect to die with debt. And, we look at how tech innovations are changing the ski industry, for better and worse. But first, last year China experienced the slowest pace of economic growth since 1990. That growth is expected to continue to slow this year. However, it’s not all bad news.

Forget Meatless Mondays, it’s all about Veganuary

Jan 21, 2019

The fortunes of the world’s billionaires grew in 2018, while the wealth of the poorest half of the globe’s population declined, according to a new report. Plus, GDP numbers out this morning show that the global economy is slowing. And, Veganuary (or Vegan January) is a new trend persuading resolution-makers to forgo meat for the first month of the year. It has big brands hopping on the vegan bandwagon.

From the BBC World Service…Fresh figures show China’s economy registered its slowest growth pace since 1990 last year. So, what does three-straight quarters of sluggish growth in the world’s second biggest economy mean for the rest of the world? Then, Zimbabwe’s president is the latest world leader to scrap plans to attend Davos and instead focus on issues closer to home. We’ll take you to Zimbabwe where a fuel-price rise has sparked unrest. Afterwards, Veganuary is the latest hashtag to flood your Instagram but is the cost to adapt to new food trends worth it for big brands?

The IRS has released its final rules on a key tax break for businesses — the so-called “pass-through deduction.”

The background:

The new tax law cut taxes for corporations from 35 percent to 21 percent.

But that didn’t apply to certain kinds of businesses, like LLCs and S corporations. They’re called pass-throughs, and they pay taxes based on their owner’s personal income, not the corporate tax rate.

You've probably heard of H-1B visas. Those are the ones lots of tech firms use to bring in highly skilled workers from countries like India. Lesser-known but still vital to the economy are visas like the H-2A. Those are temporary, seasonal visas handed out to the people who help grow and harvest our food. Then there are H-2Bs, also temporary and seasonal, but not farm-related. They're for the workers who staff tourist hotels, ski resorts or who do landscaping and other jobs.

Maritime rule change could push up costs

Jan 18, 2019

An obscure ruling by the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency that regulates shipping, could rock the global economy next year. The ruling — known as IMO 2020 — could send the cost of marine diesel spiraling upward, disrupt the shipping industry and even stoke global inflation.

And yet the purpose of IMO 2020 is entirely benign: It’s designed to clean up the environment, protect human health and save lives.

The regulation is aimed at forcing shipowners to stop using dirty fuel oil to power their ships.

Tesla wants to make its cars cheaper by cutting costs

Jan 18, 2019

But how will the innovative, and controversial, company deal with a backlog on deliveries while at the same time shrinking its workforce?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Five days into the partial government shutdown, just after Christmas, Albert Romero filed a claim for unemployment insurance with the state of Colorado. He does administrative work for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Boulder, and had been furloughed along with thousands of federal workers in the state.  

“I just wanted to get my name in the queue to ensure that I could meet my obligations,” Romero, 50, said. “Whatever little income that I could get through unemployment would help definitely pay for the mortgage and car payment.”

Some financial institutions are offering interest-free loans and waiving late fees on mortgages and credit card payments for government workers who aren't getting paid during the shutdown. That's smart business because many of those workers will get their paychecks as soon as the government gets back to business.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

A new chapter of global trade is here

Jan 18, 2019

One of the aftereffects of globalization and global trade was companies moving their production — and therefore jobs — to countries where the labor is cheapest. But that dynamic is changing, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report. Exploiting low-cost labor accounts for just 20 percent of global trade, and the share is shrinking every year. The whole global trading system is evolving.

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