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It takes a lot of courage to speak up in support of women and women’s rights in a male-dominated country like Afghanistan.

But that’s exactly what Sahar Fetrat did.

At an opening for a new bookstore in Kabul, the 22-year-old documentary filmmaker and women’s rights activist describes how she first got into filmmaking.

California emerges as a leader at climate summit

Sep 14, 2018

When President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate change agreement last summer, cities, states and business leaders quickly tried to jump into the leadership void.  

Chief among them was California Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced just weeks later he would gather leaders from around the world for a high-level climate summit in San Francisco.

Have you ever watched the crime show "CSI"? The forensic scientist, flashlight in hand, combs every inch of the murder scene for clues.

Forensic accountants do the same kind of work — but in the financial world. They investigate crimes like money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.  

“We’re like the accounting pathologists,” said Dawn Brolin, CEO of Powerful Accounting. “We come in and we will tell the story of how the crime happened.” The incriminating evidence comes from bank statements and ledgers. “Because numbers tell a story,” Brolin said. “Transactions tell a story.”

Holiday jobs outlook full of good cheer

Sep 14, 2018

We're now exactly 10 weeks from Black Friday, and while many American consumers are probably only just starting to think about their holiday shopping, the companies that sell us our holiday presents have been thinking about it for a while. And what they're thinking is that it’s going to be a strong retail season, and that they’re getting ready to hire a lot of workers.

When it comes to managing debt, it seems the last financial crisis wasn’t enough of a lesson.

Global debt is on track to hit new highs this year, according to Vitor Gasper, director of fiscal affairs at the International Monetary Fund.

In 2016, global debt hit a record 225 percent of world wealth, according to the IMF’s Global Debt Database, which tracks 190 countries from 1950 to the present day. That figure measures debt taken on by companies, governments, you and me.

Twenty-five-year-old Zahra is convinced she is not pretty.

First, it’s her eyes.

“I want to get rid of this extra skin,” she says, pinching the skin above her eyes. “It pains me to even look at it,” she adds, pulling at it with her fingers.

Then, there’s that nose. That “small, flat, unattractive nose,” as Zahra describes it. She wants a bigger one.

Dear diary: The fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008

Sep 14, 2018

(Markets Edition) Hurricane Florence has arrived at the coast of North Carolina, brining with it 90-mile-per-hour winds and the potential to unload 20 to 40 inches of rain in some parts. We talks to a coastal economics specialist for more. Also, we talk to economist Diane Swonk, who shares some diary memories from the weekend Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, igniting the financial crisis.

Lessons learned from an economist's diary during the Lehman collapse

Sep 14, 2018

It's been 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a financial crisis that rolled over the country. Many people dealt with it in different ways. Diane Swonk, an economist with Grant Thornton, kept a running diary. It's not just a diary of all the things she wrote during that period, she said, but she also "went back and filled in the blanks on it, because it was just such an extraordinary period in time." She spoke with Sabri Ben-Achour for Marketplace Morning Report.

Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

(U.S. Edition) There are only 14 weeks to go until Christmas. Perhaps it's a little too early to think about holiday shopping, unless you're a retailer. With a mere few months to go before holiday shopping season, companies are gearing up to hire a lot of workers. Also, 10 years ago, Lehman Brothers was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. It eventually became the largest bankruptcy in history.

A view from the center of the Lehman Brothers collapse

Sep 14, 2018

Lehman Brothers was around for over 150 years before it filed for bankruptcy in 2008, marking the beginning of the global financial crisis. Unlike firms like AIG who had federal bailouts to back them up, Lehman was on its own. Tom Russo, former general counsel of Lehman Brothers and later, AIG, talked to host Sabri Ben-Achour about what would have hypothetically happened if Lehman Brothers had received relief from the Fed and why under certain circumstances "bailout" doesn't need to be a bad word.

Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has reportedly warned about a chaotic economic scenario under a no-deal Brexit scenario. We break down what the bank is forecasting and what impact it could have on households. Then, before Apple and its iPhone dethroned it, Blackberry was once a king in the smartphone space. Now, it focuses on cybersecurity. We’ll hear from CEO John Chen about what he thinks of the security of self-driving cars and company systems.

New digital copyright laws pushed forward by the European Parliament this week would make platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube share more of their profits with creators, news organizations, musicians and artists. The laws would make them be more aggressive about filtering copyrighted material. But critics, including YouTubers, say the law is so broad that it could lead to widespread censorship and even kill off internet memes. Host Molly Wood talks through the issues with Joanna Plucinska, a tech reporter for Politico Europe. (09/14/18)

New digital copyright laws pushed forward by the European Parliament this week would make platforms like Google, Facebook and YouTube share more of their profits with creators, news organizations, musicians and artists. The laws would make them take more aggressive steps to filter copyrighted material. But critics, including YouTubers, say the law is so broad that it could lead to widespread censorship and even kill off internet memes.

Hurricane Florence, currently tearing along the Southeast coast of the U.S. could bring wind gusts of 80 mph. The governor of North Carolina said that "tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded." The post-storm costs could be high as communities buy up the drywall, lumber, and steel to rebuild. The price of some of those imported materials is being driven up by tariffs.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Help! I’ve fallen and I need a smart watch!

Sep 13, 2018

Among the updates during Wednesday’s Apple keynote were some changes to the Apple Watch. Series 4 of the smartwatch will come with price tag starting at $399, and will include a bigger screen, thinner body, and new health tracking capabilities including a better heart rate monitor. But one feature that hasn’t received as much attention is the watch’s new “fall detection capabilities.”

There's been a lot of criticism on social media about money being diverted a few weeks ago from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The amount? About $10 million.

The World fact-checked this and located the congressional document to prove it.

On a muggy August morning, Angel Luis Bonilla and some friends were kibbitzing in a waiting room at 201 Varick Street in downtown Manhattan. The federal office building is where immigrants in detention in or around New York are normally taken for court hearings.

Bonilla and his buddies had come to support their friend Enrique, a 35-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was arrested in June.

"I’ve known him about five to six years. He's a hard-working man," said Bonilla, a retired worker for the city’s transit system.

Here's the problem with low, low unemployment

Sep 13, 2018

Unemployment in the United States currently stands at the low, low 3.9 percent. What's not to like? A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston argues that, historically, a low unemployment rate can signal trouble for the economy. It seems there is some danger in too much employment.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

A year ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Houston and other cities in Texas. Thousands of families spent their days salvaging what they could from their homes.

Among them was Silvia and her family, who lost their apartment to the flooding. We met as Silvia spent a hot afternoon trying to save what the waters spared.

“We’re just here taking out, saving what we can,” she said.

It wasn’t much, apart from some shoes and a few chairs.

Scientists say 25 years left to fight climate change

Sep 13, 2018

You can think of global warming kind of like popping a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

Anthropogenic, or human-caused, warming has been stoked by increasing amounts of heat-trapping pollution since the start of the industrial age more than 200 years ago. But that first hundred years or so was kind of like the first minute for that popcorn — no real sign of much happening.

Louise Stevens works two jobs to pay the mortgage and put her daughter Elouise, a DACA recipient, through college in Minneapolis. She didn’t expect that her own immigration status is what would cause the most doubt for their future.

FOMO in China is a $7 billion industry

Sep 13, 2018

Chen Jun, 34, rents a small apartment in Shanghai. He, his wife and his kid share one bedroom, his brother’s family shares another and his parents sleep on a bed in the corner of the living room next to the entrance.

The living arrangement is a bit of a squeeze, but according to official statistics, Chen’s living situation is common for migrant workers, like his family, who come from the countryside.

Shanghai is much more expensive than his native Hubei Province in central China.

Resty was desperate. She had fled Uganda and was in Pittsburgh when her toddler, Maria, got sick. They didn’t have insurance, and Resty felt hopeless. Then, while watching the news, she realized there was another option.

“I was seeing it on the news and internet,” says Resty. “And then I was like, ‘If those people can make it to Canada, I can too.’”

PRI is withholding Resty’s last name so she can speak without fear of affecting her chances at asylum.

(Markets Edition) Household incomes grew last year for the third year in a row, according to data from the U.S. Census. But a closer look reveals that men are seeing a larger earnings boost while the numbers for women barely moved. Speaking of growth, Consumer Price Index numbers indicate that prices rose year over year just under 3 percent.

(U.S. Edition) With Hurricane Florence at a Category 2 and still threatening, we look at what actually declaring a state of emergency entails when it comes to unlocking funds. Then, Apple's new iPhones come equipped with faster processors and superior water resistance. However, Apple appears to be overhauling more than the phones. Also, we head back to the tariff saga between the U.S. and China. Have the tariffs actually brought the Trump administration closer to its goals in that country?

How states unlock money to meet hurricane expenses

Sep 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, but it could still cause extreme flooding inland. Several states along the Eastern Seaboard and the District of Columbia have declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall later this week.

States need authorization before they can spend more money on an emergency than is officially budgeted.

"Government can only do the things that it's explicitly been given the legal ability to do," said Joseph Trainor, a director at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. 

We are still at least 15 years away from the first human mission to Mars — that’s at the earliest. But that hasn't stopped Hollywood from skipping ahead to the future. Hulu, the online streaming service, is out with a new series tomorrow called "The First." It's set in the 2030s and, as the name implies, it imagines the first human mission to the Red Planet. Now, in addition to getting the astrophysics right, the show producers had to get the future right. And, for that they called a futurist. Amy Webb is founder of the Future Today Institute. She usually helps businesses with strategy.

A sliver of light for China, U.S. trade relations?

Sep 13, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … China on Thursday said an escalation in trade conflict with the United States is not in the interest of either side. So, is a deal between the dueling trade partners likely to come before an announcement of more tariffs on Chinese imports to America? Then, economists expect Turkey’s central bank to raise rates to 20 percent on Thursday, but the country’s president just hours before called for a rate cut. We’ll explore what’s at stake. Afterwards, all this week we've been looking at the impact of the financial crisis a decade later.

The Food and Drug Administration announced today it's cracking down on flavored e-cigarettes. The FDA said it's ordered five big e-cigarette makers to draw up plans to stop underage use of their products within 60 days, or have their products pulled off the shelves. Such a move would be a huge blow to an industry that brings in $2.5 billion a year.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Young, white, affluent — and learning about race

Sep 12, 2018

When we talk about race and racism in this economy, the experiences we most often hear about are the experiences of the people who've been marginalized. Less common is studying the people with the power, money and privilege. Margaret Hagerman teaches sociology at Mississippi State University and spent two years observing and hanging out with affluent white kids and their parents. Those parents all own homes, have advanced degrees and live in predominantly white neighborhoods in a Midwestern suburb.