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Samantha Cannariato has been trying to return her Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for more than a week. All owners have been urged to exchange the device after reports of phones exploding or catching fire. After hours in calls and five trips to the store, Cannariato still can't get rid of the phone.

Sugar shocked.

That describes the reaction of many Americans this week following revelations that, 50 years ago, the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists for research that shifted the focus away from sugar's role in heart disease — and put the spotlight squarely on dietary fat.

What might surprise consumers is just how many present-day nutrition studies are still funded by the food industry.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Episode 724: Cat Scam

Sep 14, 2016

Fred and Natasha Ruckel invented a cat toy called the Ripple Rug. It's like a scrunched up doormat with holes in it, and for cats it's like Disneyland-level fun. When the Ruckels put it up for sale on Amazon, it started selling well. It was a solid business. Then one day, Fred noticed that the Ripple Rug was also on sale on eBay--for twenty dollars more.

President Obama has announced that the U.S. is ready to lift economic sanctions against Myanmar in light of political reforms in the Southeast Asian nation.

It's going to happen "soon," Obama said, but he did not indicate a specific timeline during a joint news conference Wednesday at the White House with Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Lifting sanctions "is the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of Burma see the rewards from a new way of doing business, and a new government," Obama said. (The country is also known as Burma.)

High deductible health plans are the new normal.

Just over half of employees this year have a health insurance policy with a deductible of at least $1,000, according to a survey of employers from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It's the continuation of a multiyear trend of companies passing more of the costs of employee health care back onto workers.

The German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer says it will buy U.S. seed seller Monsanto for $66 billion in an all-cash deal that will create the world's largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ever since home video games were introduced four decades ago, mastering them has typically involved late nights in front of a screen, fueled by junk food.

But now that colleges offer scholarships for gamers and pro teams compete for big prizes, some gamers are heading to the gym to train.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fourteen self-driving Ford Fusions idle in front of Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.

On each vehicle, dozens of stationary and spinning cameras collect 1.4 million distance measurements per second, guiding the car on its journey.

Beginning Wednesday, the cars will be deployed on Pittsburgh's streets in a striking experiment by Uber to introduce self-driving technology to its passengers.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson's $20 million settlement with Fox News was unusual in some ways; she received an apology from the network and her complaint resulted in the ouster of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

A federal agency used her Wells Fargo unit as a cautionary tale, imposing the largest fine it's ever levied. Her bank fired some 5,300 employees for acting "counter to our values." But questions are now circulating about Carrie Tolstedt, the unit's leader, who's set to depart her post with $124.6 million in stock and options, and whose compensation for the five years targeted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau included a yearly incentive bonus of $5.5 million in stock, to go along with her base pay and other bonuses.

Southern California Gas Co. has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a case in which it faced a criminal charge associated with its handling of a massive gas leak in Porter Ranch, an affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles, last year.

The utility pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor count for failing to immediately report the gas leak to state officials as required by law when it occurred on Oct. 23, 2015. Instead the company waited three days before alerting state emergency officials.

In the world of literary prizes Britain's Man Booker stands out as one of the most prestigious and lucrative. So every year writers and their publishers and agents are eager to learn who made the final cut. Today the six writers who made it to the short list were revealed. Two Americans, two Brits and two Canadians are now competing for the award which is given each year for a novel written in English which has been published in the U.K.

A national campaign to rewrite state laws and allow businesses to decide how to care for their injured workers suffered a significant setback Tuesday when the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma's version of the law is unconstitutional.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Would You Like Some Insurance With Your Insurance?

Sep 13, 2016

For the first time in her life, 26-year-old freelance designer Susannah Lohr had to shop for health insurance this year.

She called up a major insurer in the St. Louis area where she lives, and it offered her a plan with a hefty $6,000 deductible — that's the amount she'd have to cover herself before the insurance kicks in.

When she balked, the salesman on the phone suggested that she could buy a "gap plan," a separate policy for $50 a month to cover her deductible.

More Americans are making more money.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that, after a brutal economic recession and years of stagnation, real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. That's a 5.2 percent rise — the first statistically significant increase since 2007.

But, as NPR's Pam Fessler notes, "the median household income was still lower than it was in 2007."

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit WSHU Public Radio Group.

The British pub is as much a part of the fabric of the United Kingdom as fish and chips and the queen, but each year hundreds close their doors for good. The reasons include the high price of beer, more people drinking at home and rising land prices.

Now — in an apparent first — the London borough of Wandsworth has designated 120 pubs for protection, requiring owners who want to transform them into apartments or supermarkets to get local government approval first.

Why Gap Insurance Is Making A Comeback

Sep 13, 2016
Copyright 2016 KBIA-FM. To see more, visit KBIA-FM.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The NCAA announced Monday evening that it would relocate seven championship sporting events out of North Carolina during this school year, citing the state's HB2 law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT individuals, WUNC's Dave DeWitt reports.

The events moving out of state include first and second rounds of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship — part of the Road to the Final Four — originally slated to be in Greensboro, DeWitt reports.

The tables turned for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over the weekend. For much of the campaign, Clinton has been sitting back, staying quiet and allowing Trump's gaffes, offensive statements and flip-flops to take up the news cycle.

At 27, Sara Blakely was selling fax machines and desperate to reinvent her life. So she came up with Spanx — hosiery that eliminates panty lines — and set to work building her business.

During the seven years Blakely sold fax machines door-to-door, she faced a lot of rejection. Check out how she dealt with it and what kept her going:

Sure, he can chop open a coconut with a bare hand, carry a piglet through a cramped alleyway, dive into a well to retrieve a lost soccer ball — but has he won the lifetime achievement award, twice?

Does his blood smell like cologne? Is there a sandwich named after him on every continent

Does he bowl overhand?

Dos Equis has revealed the new face of its wildly popular "Most Interesting Man in the World" ad campaign.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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