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The Terminator's killer robots may seem like a thing of science fiction. But leading scientists and tech innovators have signaled that such autonomous killers could materialize in the real world in frighteningly real ways.

During the annual International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Stockholm on Wednesday, some of the world's top scientific minds came together to sign a pledge that calls for "laws against lethal autonomous weapons."

The United States and China have started their trade war, and it's not clear how long it will last or how it will end.

Economists largely agree that the tariffs used to fight trade wars are destructive, and that the destruction is amplified by the retaliations and escalations of each side.

What if there had been a way to avoid this trade war well before it started, a strategy that would have addressed the conditions that led to the trade war before they became problematic.

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In every country in every part of the world, there are some universally understood concepts; for example, a journalist on deadline.

(CROSSTALK)

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In every country in every part of the world, there are some universally understood concepts; for example, a journalist on deadline.

(CROSSTALK)

The future of how you interact with computers depends on a technology that's more than 3,000 years old. It's a technology you already use every day, on your smartphone, your TV, in your home, your car and most likely at work. It's even in the wires that bring you Internet service at near-light speed.

It's glass.

Updated at 3:05 p.m. ET

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has apologized for his part in a spat with a British diver involved in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. Musk had tweeted a personal attack on Vern Unsworth, calling him a pedophile after the diver dismissed Musk's offer of help with a vulgar comment.

The days of plastic straws are drawing shorter.

Marriott International on Wednesday became the latest big company to announce it will stop using plastic straws, saying it would remove them from its more than 6,500 properties by next July. The giant hotel chain said it will stop offering plastic stirrers, too.

EU Fines Google $5 Billion

18 hours ago

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Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET

The European Commission has fined Google $5 billion for violating the European Union's antitrust rules — specifically, by forcing manufacturers of Android phones to install the Google search app and the Chrome Web browser.

"Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits."

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Eight months pregnant, the drug sales representative wore a wire for the FBI around her bulging belly as she recorded conversations with colleagues at a conference in Chicago. Her code name? Pampers.

French butchers say they're under threat from militant vegans. And they've asked the French government for protection. What's at stake, say butchers, is not just the right to eat meat — but a way of life.

Didier and Sandrine Tass run their butcher shop on a busy street in Paris' 15th arrondissement. They've been here for 19 years. They know all their customers and discuss growing children and family vacations as they serve them. The Tasses say it's a great livelihood. But these days, the butcher and his wife are nervous about threats from militant vegans.

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The news overload we all feel can extend to the world of science. Our friend from the world of astrophysics, Adam Frank, has offered to provide some tools to help make us all savvier consumers of science news. Adam Frank, welcome back. It's good to talk to you.

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A trade war with China, the European Union and other trading partners is casting some doubts about the U.S. economic future, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

And the longer it goes, the more potential harm it could cause, Powell told the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing about the Fed's monetary policy and the economy.

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Japan and the European Union have signed a massive trade deal that creates an open-trade zone for more than 600 million people. The EU and Japan account for about one-third of GDP worldwide.

To an outsider, the fancy booths at a June health insurance industry gathering in San Diego, Calif., aren't very compelling: a handful of companies pitching "lifestyle" data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like "social determinants of health."

But dig deeper and the implications of what they're selling might give many patients pause: a future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.

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Okay haters, the makeup industry isn’t frivolous.

It’s worthy of our time. For one thing, Forbes values the makeup industry at $445 billion.

And not only that, it can be a coping mechanism.

Here’s what Jia Tolentino wrote in The New Yorker:

Japan's Ninja Shortage

Jul 16, 2018

Iga, a small Japanese city and the birthplace of the ninja, is facing a serious problem — there aren't enough people training to be ninjas, not even for $85k a year. Today on the show, Sally Herships goes to Iga to discuss the city's plan to use ninjas to fight depopulation.

Music: "Master Chi"

Sinclair Broadcast Group's push to buy Tribune Media hit a new snag on Monday, as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he has "serious concerns" about the $3.9 billion deal. Pai said a plan to divest some stations might not satisfy federal laws because it wouldn't go far enough.

"The evidence we've received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," Pai said in a statement.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

When it comes to immigration policy, American opinions often break down along party lines, with most Republicans supporting President Trump's views and Democrats vigorously opposed.

But according to a new NPR-Ipsos poll, there is an even better predictor of how you feel about immigration: where you get your TV news.

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