Business & Education

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A group of teenage girls in school uniforms giggle as they share crepes topped with candy and chocolate sauce and oozing hazelnut Nutella. It's a Saturday afternoon and the girls are at the new Nutella shop in Jerusalem's Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp.

The scene is rare in this densely populated and impoverished urban camp. The potholed street outside the café is tense and crowded, as a group of little Palestinian schoolboys fight alongside zigzagging traffic.

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Tesla has begun equipping all its new cars with self-driving hardware. Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, tweeted Wednesday night that the new Tesla drives itself with no human input, using eight cameras, 12 ultrasonars, and radar. All this hardware is mounted so the technology is not visible to drivers.

Another pharmaceutical company is coming under fire for boosting the price of one of its drugs. Two lawmakers are demanding to know the justification for a more than $80,000 price hike for a year's supply of a drug that treats leukemia patients.

As NPR's Alison Kodjak reports:

"The drug is called Iclusig and it was approved in 2012 to treat a subset of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have seen ads urging you to vote "no" on a grocery tax. "Don't Tax Our Groceries" is the tagline of the $9.5 million campaign, which is funded by the American Beverage Association.

In one ad, the camera pans to images of tomatoes and beans, as a local business owner says, "The grocery tax is going to hurt my customers."

But here's the thing. There's no grocery tax on the ballot.

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shook hands with moderator Chris Wallace and greeted their families after the end of Wednesday night's presidential debate, the broadcast hosts delivered their verdict.

"All six of the 15-minute segments — total home runs for him," said Cliff Sims. "I think this was really the performance that Donald Trump needed to grab that momentum going toward the election."

His co-host, Boris Epshteyn, agreed: "He prosecuted the case against Hillary Clinton perfectly."

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Episode 730: Self Checkout

Oct 19, 2016

Howard Schneider was a doctor treating psychiatric patients in the ER when he decided to transform the grocery store experience. He set out to invent the self checkout machine.

Some parts of the design were pretty straightforward, like reading barcodes and taking payments. Other things, it turned out, were not so easy. Like figuring out when people are stealing. Schneider solves these problems. Or at least makes a machine that's good enough to use. In 1992, he eventually convinces a grocery store to install the machines. The result? Angry shoppers.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched an investigation into allegations that Wells Fargo & Co. engaged in criminal identity theft when the bank created millions of accounts without customer consent, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Generic drugs generally cost 80 percent less than brand-name drugs, so hopes were high when a law enacted in 2010 paved the way for competition among the highest-priced drugs of all, known as biologics.

But, as these competing drugs start to appear on the market, consumers aren't reaping a windfall.

Saudi Arabia has raised more than $17 billion in its first foray into the global bond markets, according to news reports, as the kingdom struggles to close a budget deficit caused by declining oil prices.

The sale is the largest-ever bond offering by an emerging-market country, topping Argentina's $16.5 billion offering in August.

"Saudi's multi-part debt offering drew heavy investor demand as the world's top oil exporter sought to borrow at historic low yields," Reuters reported.

Many travelers have resigned themselves to paying $25 or more to check a bag when flying. But that fee becomes especially onerous when the bag doesn't show up on the carousel at baggage claim.

The White House is proposing a new rule that would require airlines to refund the checked baggage fee if luggage is "substantially delayed," though it does not define "substantially."

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The unemployment rate for transgender people is double that of the general population. Now, California has set up the nation's first ever large-scale program to help transgender people find jobs.

And it's all because of Michaela Mendelsohn, a trans woman who's employed trans people at her restaurants for years.

'I'm A Trans Owner Supporting Trans People'

The U.S Advisory Council on Human Trafficking issued its first-ever report on Tuesday. This group was founded last year when President Obama appointed 11 people, all of whom are survivors of human trafficking themselves, to run the council.

Like most farmers, Mark Nelson, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Louisburg, Kan., is getting squeezed. He's paying three times more for seed than he used to, while his corn sells for less than half what it brought four years ago.

"It's a – that's a challenge," Nelson says. "You're not going to be in the black, let's put it that way."

Low commodity prices are rippling up and down the farm-economy food chain — from the farm to the boardroom — and it has many of the huge companies that control farm inputs looking to a new future.

Now that Samsung's Galaxy Note 7s have caught fire even after the phone-maker said it had changed battery suppliers, and the real cause of overheating remains a mystery, the Korean tech giant is facing new questions about its transparency throughout the recall debacle.

If presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were consumer products, they wouldn't exactly be flying off the shelves, according to a firm that studies brand loyalty.

The Reputation Institute, which gauges how consumers view companies, politicians and even countries, gives Republican nominee Trump what it calls an overall "pulse score" of 31.7. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton rates a bit better, at 38.7.

Any score less than 40 qualifies as having a "poor reputation," the firm says.

It's the most pressing problem, but fire-prone phones aren't the only challenge facing the world's leading seller of mobile phones. In Samsung's home country of South Korea, the conglomerate was already feeling the heat from investors, who want to streamline its complicated corporate structure, and from critics, who say it's not changing from its previously top-down, "militaristic" ways.

If you feel like Internet ads are more pervasive and invasive than ever before, you're not alone. Author Tim Wu tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Web has gotten worse over the years, not better — and unrelenting ads are to blame.

"I think you spend 50 percent of your mental energy trying to defeat ad systems," Wu says. "It's amazing that we've got this great scientific invention, the Web and the Internet, and then it has come to the point where using it reminds me of swatting mosquitoes."

Some displaced ITT Technical Institutes students will start hitting the books again this week.

Many students of the now-defunct school have enrolled at local universities and community colleges in Alabama. Lawson State Community College is one of several schools offering help to students affected by ITT’s closure. They have invited many former ITT students to enroll in their second fall mini-term.

Students may face challenges in transferring credits. Regionally accredited institutions only accept credits that meet certain standards.

Yana Shapiro is a partner at a Philadelphia law firm with an exhausting travel schedule and two boys, ages 9 and 4. When she feels run-down from juggling everything and feels a cold coming on, she books an appointment for an intravenous infusion of water, vitamins and minerals.

"Anything to avoid antibiotics or being out of commission," the 37-year-old says.

Sex with someone new has always made me nervous. Now, TV is making it even worse.

I keep seeing scary ads featuring young people asking their parents why they didn't get the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus — HPV. If you're unfamiliar with HPV, it's a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to various cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

I didn't get vaccinated. So lately I've been wondering: Now that I'm 29, is it too late for me to get the vaccine?

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Sotheby's is auctioning the Nobel Prize in economics awarded to John Nash, the mathematician known both for his work on game theory and for his life story as portrayed in the movie A Beautiful Mind.

Both the gold medal and the handwritten certificate that came with it are up for sale, and Sotheby's estimates the award will bring in between $2.5 million and $4 million.

Law enforcement is increasingly worried about losing access to powerful tools for searching social media because of changing attitudes at the social media companies that allow the searches.