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Ten years ago this month, huge banks teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. Some failed, and markets worldwide plunged into chaos.

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The Price Of Rice In Japan

Sep 13, 2018

The Japanese are eating less rice. Blame TV, the internet, burgers, Italian food, a growing economy. Blame the lunch ladies! Rice consumption in Japan is about half what it was in the 1960s.

But guess what? Demand for Japanese rice may be way down, but prices are going up. In fact, prices are now so high that Japanese people are buying imported rice, rather than the home-grown stuff.

Starting next year, Medicare Advantage plans will be able to add restrictions on expensive, injectable drugs administered by doctors to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and other serious diseases.

NPR announced on Thursday that Chief Operating Officer Loren Mayor will become its President of Operations. It's a new role at the company, and the change is effective immediately.

Few high-ranking officials in Turkey dare to defy President Recep Tayyip Erdogan these days. But on Thursday, the Turkish Central Bank did just that.

In a bid to stabilize Turkey's faltering currency, the bank boosted interest rates by more than 6 percentage points, to 24 percent, even though Erdogan has vowed keep them steady — or even lower them.

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Chris Johnson knows all too well how a promising crop can suddenly be ruined — by poor weather, an economic downturn or bad luck.

This year, he and other soybean farmers in North Dakota are contending with something less common but potentially just as destructive: a trade war between the United States and China that has already driven down the price of soybeans sharply.

"Oh, it's a devastating loss. Soybeans are my largest acreage crop," says Johnson, who farms 3,300 acres in Great Bend, in the southern part of the state.

The largest insurer in Tennessee has announced it will no longer cover prescriptions for what was once a blockbuster pain reliever. It's the latest insurance company to turn against OxyContin, whose maker, Purdue Pharma, faces dozens of lawsuits related to its high-pressure sales tactics around the country and contribution to the opioid crisis.

States serve as "laboratories of democracy," as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said. And states are also labs for health policy, launching all kinds of experiments lately to temper spending on pharmaceuticals.

No wonder. Drugs are one of the fastest rising health care costs for many consumers and are a key reason health care spending dominates many state budgets — crowding out roads, schools and other priorities.

Advertisers love Facebook. In fact, they pour money into it. The company's financial results say it all: Facebook raked in over $13 billion from ads just in the last quarter.

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A new Apple Watch and software with advanced heart-monitoring capabilities could boost the detection of abnormal heartbeats in millions of people, but it could also raise the chance of false positives, a cardiologist and researcher says.

Apple unveiled three new iPhones, including two with bigger displays, but perhaps the more dramatic announcement from Cupertino, Calif., on Wednesday was its new Apple Watch, with the new health-related tools.

Chances are, you’ve seen a Ford truck lately. Probably several today.

New York University's School of Medicine recently announced that every one of its students will receive their education for free. They will graduate with no debt. As the school's benefactor, Ken Langone put it,

"The day they get their diploma, they owe nobody nothing."

NYU says medicine isn't diverse enough, in part because the high price of medical school dissuades people from low income backgrounds, who are often people of color. NYU also said the high cost of med school skews graduates to higher-paying specialties and away from primary care.

CBS News says that 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager is out of a job.

His departure is effective immediately, the company said in a tweet. The announcement comes just days after news that CEO Leslie Moonves was leaving amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

When you're blind, it can be hard to do things on your own that sighted people take for granted. This includes picking your seat on an airplane, matching your socks, or finding a specific brand of cereal on a grocery store shelf stocked with dozens of selections.

Automation Comes To McDonald's

Sep 12, 2018

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Before Apple was a trillion-dollar company, before its phones and laptops came to dominate the tech industry, it was just a California startup working out of a garage. Now, one of the first products the company ever made — the Apple-1 computer — is about to be the star of a live auction on Sept. 25 in Boston.

The U.S. economy is chugging along. Employers added 201,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate held steady at a low 3.9 percent. Average wages in August were nearly 3 percent higher than they were a year ago.

Who should get the credit for that strong performance?

At a campaign rally in North Dakota last week, President Trump boasted that he's responsible for the economy taking off like a "rocket ship."

But Trump's predecessor wants to remind everyone that the countdown began on his watch.

The Department of Defense says it has not been consulted on a recent Trump administration proposal, which would scale back the enforcement of a law meant to protect service members and their family members from predatory lenders.

In a letter to Sen. Claire McCaskill and several other senators, obtained by NPR, the department noted that it "has not received any official notification" from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about plans to change its approach to the Military Lending Act.

Newsflash! People lie when they're dating online. It's the downside of the anonymity offered by the Internet. In today's show, we cut through the web of falsehoods, to determine what kind of fibs people tell, and how often they tell them.

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

California's top lawyer is calling on the Department of Justice to invite Democratic as well as Republican attorneys general to an upcoming meeting on alleged bias against conservative views on social media.

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How Facebook Has Shaped Democracy

Sep 10, 2018

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And I'm Audie Cornish with All Tech Considered.

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Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

California has established an ambitious goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for its electricity by the year 2045.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating the electricity target on Monday. He also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality — meaning California "removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits" — by the same year.

Until recently, it was a misdemeanor in Alabama for a certified professional midwife to deliver a baby. That changed last year, and there are now 12 certified professional midwives in the state. Pregnant women now have more options when it comes to birth, and because vaginal births cost less than surgical options like a Caesarean section, that change could lead to some serious cost savings.

Ford does not intend to start producing the small crossover Focus Active in the United States — no matter what the president has tweeted on the topic.

Ford Motor Company announced more than a week ago that it is canceling plans to produce the car in China and sell it in the U.S., citing the financial toll of the Trump administration's tariffs on vehicles imported from China.

On Sunday, President Trump welcomed the news as a positive sign. "This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!" he tweeted.

Alibaba Group says Jack Ma will quit as the retail giant's chairman in one year, when he'll be replaced by current CEO Daniel Zhang. Ma, 54, co-founded the company in 1999. Last year, it reported $39.9 billion in revenue.

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