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As China and the United States continue to lob threats over new import tariffs, farmers in the Midwest are already adjusting to the first shots in what could become a trade war.

China imposed new tariffs on pork this week, pressuring producers who already are barely making ends meet, and now the two countries have released lists for the next group of products each would hit if disputes over intellectual property and other issues aren't resolved.

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These tariffs and counter-tariffs from the U.S. and China hearken back to an earlier era of protectionism. Sally Helm from our Planet Money team has the tale of Smoot Hawley.

SALLY HELM, BYLINE: In the Venn diagram of iconic pop culture moments...

In response to the Trump administration's threats to place tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, China has threatened to sanction $50 billion in U.S. exports, including airplanes, cars and chemicals. These tariffs would also target some of America's most successful exporters — farmers.

As the sun was coming up Wednesday, farmers at Betty's Truck Stop near Sweet Springs, Mo., took their coffee with a serving of bad news.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided that organic food companies can keep using an emulsifier called carrageenan in foods like ice cream and high-protein drinks, despite a vote by an influential organic advisory committee to ban the ingredient.

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Episode 685: Larry vs. The IRS

Apr 4, 2018

Note: This episode originally aired in 2016.

A lot of people dream of not paying their taxes. Larry Williams did just that. He scoured the fine print of IRS code, talked to lawyers, settled on a plan, and then...stopped paying taxes.

Today on the show, we tell his story. It starts on a camping trip, winds through a jail cell in Australia and a courtroom in California, and it ends up in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Another top adviser to President Trump is leaving the White House. An administration official tells NPR that DJ Gribbin, architect of the president's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, "will be moving on to new opportunities."

This latest staff departure comes as the infrastructure plan hits a roadblock in Congress.

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President Trump has been insisting in recent days that the post office has been undercharging Amazon for delivering its packages to homes around the country. Here's the president yesterday at a White House meeting.

Martin Sorrell, the CEO of the advertising giant WPP, is under investigation by an independent law firm because of "an allegation of personal misconduct," the company says.

The company does not describe the nature of the misconduct, but says the allegations "do not involve amounts which are material to WPP." The company had revenues of $21.4 billion in 2017.

Musical collaborations between artists who normally do their own thing have been around for a long time. Back in the 80s collaborations were rare enough that when one did become a hit, it was a big deal.

The trend began gathering pace in the 1990s, and hasn't stopped. Today, about 35 percent of the Billboard Hot 100 songs are now collaborations, up from just 5 percent in 1990.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest might be the rising popularity of hip hop.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify on Capitol Hill on April 10 and 11 before the a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, followed by one before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to answer questions about how the company protects its users' data.

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Soon, we might not be able to believe our own ears.

New technologies for creating faked audio are evolving quickly in the era of active information campaigns and their use of "fake news."

This has serious repercussions for politics: Influence-mongers could create fake clips of politicians to undermine them — or politicians could deny they said things they were really recorded saying, calling it fake audio.

Dan Shefet is an unlikely tech revolutionary. He's not a young math geek who builds driverless cars, nor does he promise to make a tech product for the masses. His crusade is different. The 63-year-old year old Shefet has staged an astonishingly effective campaign in Europe to thwart the torrent of fake news and damaging personal attacks that course through the Internet by taking on the tech giants.

Updated at 6:35 a.m. ET on Wednesday

China responded on Wednesday to the Trump administration's published list of Chinese exports that could soon be subject to a steep 25 percent tariff.

The White House list covers some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in sectors such as aerospace, robotics, IT and machinery.

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor.

Back in 1907, America's financial system was pretty unsophisticated. There was no central bank, barely any kind of regulatory framework, and no backstop in case of a crash.

Meanwhile, the economy was growing fast, with people borrowing and investing at a dizzying rate. And when people lost confidence in a kind of unregulated lending institution called a trust, panic spread through the economy.

The world's most popular music streaming service, Spotify, went public today. Shares were expected to start trading around $130 each, but ranges for the opening price went as high as $169, and at the time of this writing its stocks were trading at $155, making the company worth about $27.4 billion. (You could safely expect these figures to fluctuate widely over the coming hours, days, weeks and months.)

It started with a warning email last summer, from a security researcher who told Panera Bread that its website was exposing sensitive customer data. But after the problem went unfixed for months, the researcher went public with proof of the flaw. Another analyst said Panera's response was "half-baked."

President Trump has argued in recent days that the U.S. Postal Service has lost a fortune delivering Amazon packages at a discount.

However, some of the agency's problems might lie with the president. The top planning and oversight board at the Postal Service has been unable to meet and consider matters such as the agency's long-term relationship with Amazon, because the president has failed to appoint any of the nine governors to the 11-member Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service.

Dozens of cameras meet visitors to the Beijing headquarters of SenseTime, China's largest artificial intelligence company. One of them determines whether the door will open for you; another tracks your movements.

The one that marketing assistant Katherine Xue is gazing into, in the company's showroom, broadcasts an image of my face with white lines emanating from my eyes, nose and corners of my mouth. It estimates I am a 37-year-old male (I'm 44) with an attractiveness score of 98.

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As the U.S. and China ratchet up a tit-for-tat tariff dispute, it has been said often in the last few weeks: "No one wins a trade war."

Nevertheless, staying out of a war is often the best way to win, or at least not to lose.

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