Economy & Business

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Meet Q, The Gender-Neutral Voice Assistant

1 hour ago

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Boeing's bestselling jetliner, the 737 Max, has crashed twice in six months — the Lion Air disaster in October and the Ethiopian Airlines crash this month. Nearly 350 people have been killed, and the model of plane has been grounded indefinitely as investigations are underway.

Boeing has maintained the planes are safe. But trust — from the public, from airlines, from pilots and regulators — has been shaken.

So far, experts say, Boeing has mishandled this crisis but has the opportunity to win back confidence in the future.

Nine days before Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union, European Council President Donald Tusk said Wednesday that an extension for withdrawal is possible – but only if U.K. parliament members approve Prime Minister Theresa May's terms.

The condition stands to push British parliamentarians to vote a third time on May's deal or prepare for a historic divorce without any deal at all.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

There's a story about China that's taken hold during this trade war, and it goes something like this. China is garbage at protecting American intellectual property. But the story I'm about to tell is a little different.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

It's no secret that nearly all of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising. But did you know Facebook is accused of allowing advertisers to discriminate against minorities, women and other protected groups? In some cases, civil rights groups say, Facebook made it possible for housing, job and credit advertisements to post to the feeds of white people or men exclusively — a violation of decades-old equal opportunity laws.

How femtech uses data to help women and advertisers

15 hours ago

In our economy, the devices we use are constantly asking us to share — or sometimes just taking — our data. And when it comes to that data, not much of it is more personal and private than our health. Yet personal health devices and apps are a growing industry, a subset of which is targeted specifically at women. It's called femtech, and it includes devices like FitBit, the Ava fertility bracelet, and the Eve by Glow period tracker. Yet sharing your data also means that data can be used to target ads in ultra-precise ways, as Molly McHugh at The Ringer reports.

Why Are Venezuelans Starving?

15 hours ago

People are starving in Venezuela. There isn't enough food. What little food that is available is becoming increasingly expensive due to hyperinflation. The result is a humanitarian crisis.

But it wasn't always that way. In the past two decades, Venezuela's leaders have turned a country that was one rich in agriculture into an economy focused almost entirely on the production of oil. And when the price of oil tanked, so did Venezuelans' ability to access food.

Today on The Indicator, how this came to be.

Political fundraising's new math

16 hours ago

Fundraising is a huge part of running for president, but in this primary season, where candidates receive their money may be as important as how much they make. Plus: Fallout from Facebook's job discrimination settlement and the "femtech" apps that help women control their health — while collecting a lot of personal data.

Your employer's podcast wants your attention

16 hours ago

The podcasts are filled with conversations with executives, vice presidents and inspiring stories about business. Nope, we're not talking about Marketplace ... but about podcasts being produced by corporate America.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve is signaling that it may be done hiking interest rates this year, amid signs of economic slowing.

The European Commission is hitting Google with a fine of 1.49 billion euros (some $1.7 billion) for "abusive practices" in online advertising, saying the search and advertising giant broke the EU's antitrust rules and abused its market dominance by preventing or limiting its rivals from working with companies that had deals with Google. The case revolves around search boxes that are embedded on websites and that display ads brokered by Google.

In 2010, shortly after Arizona had passed the controversial immigration law known as Senate Bill 1070, Jessica Gonzalez was riding a bus through downtown Phoenix when it passed a crowds of protesters and counter-protesters.

Gonzalez remembers being the only person with brown skin on the bus. When the protesters spotted her through the window, she said they began shaking the bus. As she recalled it, they yelled: “Alien! Go back to your country! Stop stealing jobs from people!’”

How to value a life, statistically speaking

22 hours ago

When we talk about the value of a human life, we normally say it’s priceless. Because it is. But at the same time, economists do put a dollar sign on life in a way.  And so does the government. In fact, that’s how many regulations are evaluated – weighing the cost to businesses with the benefit in lives. This is how the U.S. government came to do so. 

After years of legal battles, a Miami-based company won the right to carry out exploratory oil drilling in the Florida Everglades. A Florida appeals court ordered the state to issue a permit for one deep hole test. This exploratory well would go more than 11,000 feet below the surface, drilling through the porous limestone of the Biscayne Aquifer, which local officials say could put the water supply for millions in southeast Florida at risk. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection refused to issue the permit and requested a new hearing.

Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled a new gaming platform called “Stadia." Instead of focusing on a local console, the platform will be cloud-based and offer instant access to play from sites like YouTube, meeting both casual gamers and aficionados where they are. The company plans to launch Stadia in North America and Europe later this year.

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