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As secret recordings go, the Portland couple's conversation was pretty mundane: They were talking about hardwood floors.

But their Amazon Echo was listening and recording their discussion. The device then sent the recording to someone in their contacts — without the couple's knowledge.

Patients sitting in emergency rooms, at chiropractors' offices and at pain clinics in the Philadelphia area may start noticing on their phones the kind of messages typically seen along highway billboards and public transit: personal injury law firms looking for business by casting mobile online ads at patients.

The potentially creepy part? They're only getting fed the ad because somebody knows they are in an emergency room.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Attention Please.

About Tristan Harris's TED Talk

Designer Tristan Harris says attention is at the core of human experience. He argues that our addiction to technology has the power to threaten our very capacity to think, reason and problem solve.

About Tristan Harris

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Attention Please.

About Zeynep Tufekci's TED Talk

Why is it so easy to burn through an hour on YouTube or Facebook? Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci explains how advertising algorithms have turned our attention into a valuable commodity.

About Zeynep Tufekci

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

Harvey Weinstein surrendered Friday to authorities at a police station in New York City, where the former Hollywood megaproducer has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct.

Weinstein arrived early in the morning at the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan, ushered into the station by law enforcement officers as members of the media crowded behind metal barriers. He kept his gaze lowered amid a barrage of shouted questions.

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Interstates and airports are going to be packed with Memorial Day weekend travelers over the next couple days. This weekend kicks off the summer vacation season and NPR's David Schaper is about to tell us it's going to be especially busy this year.

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Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.

His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He had iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He had pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions.

The last thing he needed was a botched bill.

His December 2015 surgery to replace the ball in his left hip joint at NYU Langone Health in New York City had been routine. One night in the hospital and no complications.

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Johanna Humphrey has a crayon problem.

The Philadelphia resident ordered 24 boxes of crayons to hand out at her son's third birthday party. But retailer Amazon accidentally sent her twice that many and doesn't want the extras back.

"Parents don't need this many crayons in their house," jokes Humphrey as she takes photos of the boxes with her smart phone to list them on her local "Buy Nothing Project" Facebook group. Humphrey wants to give the extra crayons to a local teacher.

The financial activities of Michael Cohen — Donald Trump's personal lawyer — caught the eye of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Agency, FinCEN. Then, it was reported that some of the files on Cohen had disappeared. Today on the show, we look at FinCEN, what it does, how it does it, and what the Cohen news could mean for financial regulation going forward.

NECCOmaniacs, take heart!

The bankrupt New England Confectionery Co., primarily known for its chalky sugar wafers and Valentine's Day candy conversation hearts, received an $18.83 million winning bid from Ohio-based Spangler Candy Company, maker of Dum Dum lollipops and Circus Peanuts, at a federal bankruptcy auction in Boston on Wednesday.

And while the future of NECCO candy is still uncertain, the deal may keep the company's products — which also include Mary Janes, the Sky Bar and Candy Buttons — on the shelves a little while longer.

Actor Morgan Freeman is being accused of sexually harassing and behaving inappropriately toward a number of women he has worked with, from production assistants on movies in which he has starred to employees of his production company to journalists covering the release of his films.

Eight people told CNN that they directly experienced harassment or inappropriate behavior by Freeman, and eight others said they had witnessed such conduct by the Oscar-winning actor. NPR has not independently confirmed the allegations.

There are more than 13,000 Dollar General stores in the United States.

Thirteen thousand.

That’s about the same number as Starbucks. It’s almost double the number of Walmarts.

And Dollar General plans to open 900 more stores this year, largely in rural areas.

The U.S. takes credit for creating the Internet, and the European Union seems determined to govern it. On Friday, a sweeping new directive goes into effect called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Taken together, its 99 articles represent the biggest ever change to data privacy laws. The new rules have implications for U.S. Internet users too.

Here are answers to three questions you might have about the new law and its potential impacts.

What is GDPR?

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President Trump is weighing new protections for domestic automakers, saying American auto workers have "waited long enough."

Trump met Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and instructed him to consider an investigation into possible tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts.

A similar investigation launched last year resulted in a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, although in many cases those tariffs have been suspended while the U.S. negotiates with exporting countries.

One out of five Americans say they personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new report about the economic well-being of U.S. households.

The Federal Reserve report, based on a national survey, also found that exposure to opioid addiction was twice as likely among whites, regardless of education level, as among African-Americans.

The mortgage interest deduction is popular, even among people who don't claim it. It is widely believed to encourage and subsidize homeownership by allowing people to deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. But economists tell a different story. They've been pointing out the problems with it for years, seemingly to no avail.

It took more than 280 characters, but a federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that President Trump and his aides cannot block critics from seeing his Twitter account simply because they had posted caustic replies to his tweets in the past.

Tourism helps keep the wheel of Las Vegas' economy spinning, but a hitch could slow the spokes as tens of thousands of hospitality workers are preparing to strike as early as next month.

A Taiwanese historical drama about a nurse who runs away to serve the army of occupying Japan during World War II has been forced off the air amid concerns of censorship pressure from mainland China.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen On ZTE Sanctions

May 23, 2018

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The lion's share of people who work in finance are men. That has been changing a little in recent years, but not in the bond market. In fact, the number of women managing bond portfolios has been falling over the last few years. But the women who do choose the bond market do very well — even better than their male colleagues. Today we talk to Marilyn Cohen, owner of Envision Capital Management, and 30 year veteran of the bond market. She talks about what the bond market is like, what it takes to succeed and why she thinks women aren't picking it.

Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

The House voted Tuesday to ease rules for midsize and regional banks in what is considered the largest undoing to date of banking rules put in place in the wake of the financial crisis. The vote was 258-159.

The Senate has already approved the bill that would allow banks with up to $250 billion in assets to escape some of the toughest rules put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010 to shore up the banking system. President Trump could sign the bill as early as this week.

Sony announced late Monday that it plans to acquire most of EMI Music Publishing, a deal that would give what is already the world's largest music publishing company control of more than 2.3 million compositions.

For the first time in its 226-year history, the New York Stock Exchange has named a woman to lead the organization. Stacey Cunningham will succeed Thomas Farley to become the NYSE's 67th president on Friday, according to Intercontinental Exchange Inc.

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