Business & Education

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Updated: 10:26 a.m. ET

Two plaintiffs involved in the hotel and restaurant industry have joined a lawsuit alleging President Trump is violating the Constitution, potentially bolstering the effort. The lawsuit centers on whether Trump is breaching the Emoluments Clause — a provision in the Constitution that prevents government officials from accepting gifts, benefits and the like from foreign leaders.

Facebook's CEO gave a public address on Tuesday in Silicon Valley, laying out the company's grand plan for the next year. Mark Zuckerberg provided dazzling details about how Facebook will use cameras, like the ones on our phones, to draw us deeper into digital life — and zero details about how Facebook will address growing safety concerns online.

He was speaking at F8. In tech land, that stands for the Facebook Developer Conference, which brings together thousands of people who make apps for Facebook and build other tools for the platform.

Episode 765: The Holiday Industrial Complex

Apr 18, 2017

Today, we want to wish you a happy Pet Owners Independence Day! And, a static-free International Amateur Radio Day! Also, a calming National Stress Awareness Day. Today is all of that and more. There are too many holidays to count.

It seems like there are legions of people inventing holidays to get people to buy more things. But even more of them are just... weird. So we figured if we could follow the events that got one of these questionable holidays on TV, then maybe there was a way to find out who is running the holiday machine.

This Tax Day, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched a new tool designed to make government spending and revenue more accessible to the average citizen.

The website — USAFacts.org — has been slow and buggy for users on Tuesday, apparently due to the level of traffic. It offers interactive graphics showing data on revenue, spending, demographics and program missions.

President Trump is preparing to overhaul the nation's tax code, and at least some of the coming changes could benefit his own bottom line. Critics say voters should be able to see just how much help the president might get from a revised tax code, so they are stepping up efforts to force him to share his tax returns.

Seeing the returns would reveal some key facts about the president's finances, says Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Vice President Pence, visiting Japan on his 10-day tour of Asia, said the U.S. has launched bilateral talks with Tokyo in the hopes of reaching a new trade agreement.

It was Pence's second stop on the trip, which will later take him to Australia and Indonesia. He previously visited South Korea, where he emphasized the Trump administration's "resolve" on the North Korean nuclear threat, a theme he revisited in Japan as well.

Trade was also a major topic of conversation.

A century ago, it was one of the biggest names in retail. Now, even Sears officials say its future could be in doubt — though they say they have plans to make sure the retail icon survives.

Nancy Koehn with the Harvard Business School says that in its early days, Sears Roebuck and Co. was like Amazon is today — a retailer of great disruption.

For Sears, it meant a path-breaking strategy of offering all sorts of merchandise in catalogs and building department stores in remote places with ample parking.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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And we have a guide to this day's news. David, where do we start?

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A nonprofit organization that has orchestrated a wide-reaching campaign against foreign drug imports has deep ties to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, the powerful lobbying group that includes Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bayer.

The nonprofit, called the Partnership for Safe Medicines, has recently emerged as a leading voice against Senate bills that would allow drugs to be imported from Canada.

President Trump is trying to put more muscle into his campaign slogan of "Buy American and Hire American" and is preparing to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening existing government policies to support domestic products and workers.

Trump is expected to sign the order during a visit to the Snap-on tool company in Kenosha, Wis.

It's easy enough for people who live in cities to hail a ride, either from a taxi or a service like Uber or Lyft. There's plenty of demand, and plenty of drivers. A startup is trying to bring a similar service to rural America, but it has required some creative thinking.

The town of Van Wert sits on the western edge of Ohio. It's a stretch of flat farm country punctuated with grain silos and a stone castle that's listed as the nation's first county public library.

Some people call Jeremy Fox the "vegetable whisperer," the California chef who can coax remarkable flavors out of every part of his produce, even the flowers and leaves that most chefs throw away. One of his famous first-course dishes combines twice-shucked spring peas with macadamia nuts and white chocolate. He has reinvented cooking with vegetables, and in the process, reinvented himself, too.

Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal.

Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions.

A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were removed from a United Airlines flight in Houston on Saturday.

The incident happened nearly a week after a video showing a passenger being dragged off a Chicago-to-Louisville flight went viral.

Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell are scheduled to get married on Thursday.

Millions of taxpayers are rushing to complete their federal and state filings before the April 18 deadline. Among them are several million people in this country illegally, and there are signs that fewer such immigrants are filing than in years past.

Not everyone who reaches so-called retirement age is ready to retire. But they may be ready for a change. That's one of the reasons that the tech giant Intel pays longtime employees a stipend while they try out new careers at nonprofit organizations.

Back in 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign suffered a blow when a tape was leaked of him grousing that 47 percent of Americans don't pay federal income tax. It was one of the biggest gaffes of the presidential campaign, but a new poll conducted by Ipsos for NPR suggests that many Americans forgot it.

During his first day on the job, Alex Perry learned one of the pitfalls of cat grooming when he was bitten by a Maine Coon.

"This one decided to bite me right in the gut. I made the mistake of pulling away. And I got a big tear right in my belly," Perry recalls of that day back in 2012.

If you're a cat lover, chances are you know what a Maine Coon is. Commonly referred to as "the gentle giant," the Maine Coon is one of the largest and most social domesticated cats.

Activists took to the streets in Washington, D.C., and several other cities Saturday — the traditional Tax Day (which officially falls on April 18 this year) — to try to pressure the president to release his tax returns. Liberal protests are fast becoming a fixture of Donald Trump's presidency.

When Forbes first listed the 400 richest Americans in 1982, there were 13 billionaires on that list.

Today, every single person on the Forbes 400 list is a billionaire.

Many have become philanthropists, and they are reshaping public policy, and society, as they see fit. And because of their numbers, they have far more influence than the philanthropists of the past, argues David Callahan, author of a new book on philanthropy, The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What will our dinners look like when temperatures and sea levels rise and water floods our coastal towns and cities?

Allie Wist, 29, an associate art director at Saveur magazine, attempts to answer that question in her latest art project, "Flooded." It's a fictional photo essay (based on real scientific data) about a dinner party menu at a time when climate change has significantly altered our diets.

Your federal income taxes are due April 18 this year, and — for perhaps several million people — a fine for failing to get health insurance is due that day, too.

Despite a lengthy debate, Congress has not yet acted on a bill to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act. That means the law and almost all of its regulations remain in force, at least for now.

United Airlines crew members will no longer be able to bump a passenger who is already seated in one of the airline's planes.

The policy change was first reported by TMZ. A spokesperson for the airline confirms that United has updated its policy "to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure. This ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again."

The politics of respectability, that elusive set of guidelines that dictate how racialized Americans ought to conduct themselves in public, were complicated this week when a 69-year-old Asian-American doctor was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight.

The video of Dr. David Dao's body being hauled off the plane provoked international outrage, especially from Asian-Americans, but some argued that race had nothing to do with the incident — that the same level of outrage would have followed regardless of the passenger's race.

Two questions immediately come to my mind.

It was a warm January day in Vadodara, in western India, when my aunt, Apeksha Kaki, announced that we were going to a soda shop. This was my first time visiting extended family in India, and I was eager to try local foods and drinks. So, I was a bit disappointed at the mention of soda.

"What kind of soda, Kaki?" I asked my aunt. "Like, Coca Cola?"

"Nai, Leena," she replied. "It's called ... soda, but it's not what you are used to."

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau present the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

County-level data going back to 2010, when the law was signed, show a patchwork of people living without health insurance that ticked down slowly for the first three years under the ACA. But once the online insurance exchanges opened at the end of 2013 and Medicaid expanded, the population living without coverage dropped noticeably.

It's been lean times for some of YouTube's most popular video producers. In the last two weeks ad rates have gone down as much as 75 percent. The producers are caught up in a struggle between advertisers and YouTube over ad placement.

In recent weeks, reports showed ads from major brands placed with extremist and anti-Semitic videos. Companies such as General Motors, Audi and McDonald's pulled out of YouTube. That means there's less money for everyone.

Now YouTube is trying to convince these companies to come back. And that's meant adjusting the algorithm that places ads.

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