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A utility in California is cutting a small fraction of its information technology jobs and shipping them off to India. By doing so, Pacific Gas and Electric is stepping into a complex debate in Washington right now about immigration, jobs and the H-1B, a visa designed for high-skilled labor.

The logic behind sending IT jobs to India is straightforward: Workers there are cheaper.

Brian Hertzog, a spokesperson for PG&E, says the utility is offshoring 70 jobs, which he describes as routine IT work the company plans to eventually phase out.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is now hitting the market, could be the first of a new wave of game-changing electric vehicles.

Its longer range and lower price could attract new buyers to the electric car market, but there's uncertainty over whether federal tax incentives will continue and whether California will be allowed to keep tougher emissions rules under President Trump.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, joining us now is Ann Cun, who's an immigration lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area who helps tech companies bring over foreign employees on the H-1B visa program. Welcome to the program.

ANN CUN: Thanks for having me.

President Trump says he is looking at "tweaking" portions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that deal with trade between the U.S. and Canada.

Trump spoke at a brief news conference after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on Monday. Trump said U.S.-Canada trade is "a much less severe situation" than trade with Mexico.

Trudeau pointed out that Canada is the largest trading partner of 35 states in the U.S., and that trade between the two countries is responsible "for millions of good paying jobs on both sides of the border."

You can't drive anywhere in Charleston without being reminded of the upcoming vote at Boeing.

On Wednesday, about 3,000 workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant will decide whether they want to join the International Association of Machinists, or IAM. The state has the lowest union membership rate in the country.

Around Charleston, Boeing has billboards, T-shirts and ads criticizing the IAM. And the union is countering with its own rallies and ads.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

The other day, in Puerto Rico, I stumbled across one small piece of an agricultural revolution. It didn't look all that revolutionary — just an abandoned sugar plantation where workers are clearing away a mass of grass, bushes and trees in order to create better pasture for cattle.

President Trump has gotten off to a rocky start with one NAFTA partner — Mexico. On Monday, he turns to the other partner, Canada, when he hosts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House.

Hundreds of billions of dollars of trade pass between Canada and the U.S. each year, $540 billion in 2015 alone. Yet Trump has called NAFTA the worst trade deal ever and is threatening to rip up or at least renegotiate it.

President Trump and his companies have been trying to navigate potential conflicts and the emoluments clause of the Constitution since before he was sworn in. The list of questions about those conflicts continues to grow, including how Trump is adhering to constitutional rules around compensation from foreign leaders and states.

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Everyone loves a cheap eats list. A treasure map to $1 tacos! $4 banh mi! $6 pad Thai! More often than not, the Xs that mark the cheap spots are in the city's immigrant enclaves. Indeed, food media is never so diverse as when it runs these lists, its pages fill with names of restaurateurs and chefs of color.

These lists infuriate me.

Before I became a restaurant owner, I spent my childhood in my relatives' pho restaurants. Because of that, I have deep compassion for and understanding of the pressures facing immigrant restaurateurs.

The country's largest African-American beauty show turns 70 this weekend. The hair product company Bronner Bros. holds the show at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga.

The event's formal name, the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show, might sound masculine. But behind it is a league of black women. They overcame Jim Crow laws to lay the groundwork for the industry.

On Thursday, President Trump told airline executives visiting the White House that tax relief for corporate America is on the way.

"We're going to be announcing something, I would say over the next two or three weeks," said Trump, adding that it would be "phenomenal."

But there's at least one big issue that stands in the way. It's called the border adjustment tax. House Republican leaders want it, but the president and some other Republicans are skeptical.

A Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City debuted a new dish last week that's getting a lot of buzz. It's a burger made entirely from plants.

This isn't just another veggie knock off. The rap is that this burger looks, cooks and even bleeds like the real thing.

The Impossible Burger, as it's known, is the culmination of a dream for Pat Brown. For 25 years, Brown was a professor at Stanford University. He was one of the stars in his field, studying a range of biomedical topics.

"Genetics and genomics ... cancer research — nothing to do with food," says Brown.

Patients in Alexandria, La., were the friendliest people Dr. Muhammad Tauseef ever worked with. They'd drive long distances to see him, and often bring gifts.

"It's a small town, so they will sometimes bring you chickens, bring you eggs, bring you homemade cakes," he says.

One woman even brought him a puppy.

"That was really nice," he says.

Tauseef was born and raised in Pakistan. After going to medical school there, he applied to come to the U.S. to train as a pediatrician.

Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars Pizza and a former minor-league baseball player who went on to own the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, has died, reports WDET's Pat Batcheller.

Ilitch, born in Detroit to Macedonian immigrants, opened his first pizza store with his wife, Marian, in the Detroit suburb of Garden City in 1959, Pat reports; today Little Caesars' parent company says it's the world's largest carryout pizza chain.

Episode 753: Blockchain Gang

Feb 10, 2017

Charlie Shrem had a prison epiphany. Instead of using packets of mackerel to buy and sell things, inmates should use something more like the digital currency Bitcoin. He even came up with a way it could work in prison, never mind that it was Bitcoin that got him arrested in the first place.

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Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opened an inquiry into potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act that may have contributed to high prices on commonly used drugs.

In a statement, Grassley said the inquiry is "based on reporting from Kaiser Health News" and strong consumer concern about high drug prices.

"My staff is meeting with interested groups and other Senate staff to get their views on the extent of the problem and how we might fix it," Grassley wrote.

Migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean are sending more money to their families back home than ever before.

Back in 2014, federal officials settled on what they thought would be a straightforward fix to curb abusive pill pushing: Require doctors and other health providers to register with Medicare in order to prescribe medications for beneficiaries.

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Things got testy last night when Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz held a town hall meeting. The Utah lawmaker runs the House committee responsible for investigations.

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The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

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Kristen Hotopp stands in the front yard of her well-worn East Austin home, where she has lived for the past 17 years. She points across the street at an attractive, nearly new, two-story home — by far the nicest on the block.

"There are two units on this lot," Hotopp says. "There's a house in the back that's smaller and a house upfront. We're getting investors descending upon the area and buying up a lot of these properties."

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