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Pretty extraordinary few days in the relationship between the United States and China, all, of course, amid the uncertainty of a presidential transition here in the United States. Last week, China seized a U.S. drone in international waters.

The story of a new law starts with some online Christmas shopping gone wrong.

In the winter of 2008, John Palmer of Layton, Utah, decided to buy his wife, Jen, a couple of holiday tchotchkes. Things like desk toys and keychains.

The order, from the online retailer KlearGear, never arrived.

After a testy back and forth with the company's customer service, Jen Palmer did what many thousands of consumers do every month: She posted about her negative experience on an online business review site.

"I posted the review and then we forgot about it," she says.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Facing protests and looting over Venezuela's plan to pull its largest banknote from circulation amid soaring inflation, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has delayed the move until January. The move comes one week after the surprise announcement of a plan to withdraw the 100-bolivar notes brought new chaos and uncertainty over Venezuela's economy.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Crowdfunding is a now a popular way to raise money for everything from birthday bashes to political protests. But on some of the big online fund raising sites, you'll find public pleas for something far more personal — infertility treatments.

Greg and Julia Fry of Ithaca, N.Y., were in their early 30s when they got married three years ago and set out to start a family. But a year passed and they didn't get pregnant. Six more months went by and, still, no baby.

In five weeks, President Donald Trump's inauguration parade will roll past his new luxury hotel near the White House. But just over two weeks from now, Trump has to sit down with several lawyers and give a sworn deposition in a lawsuit involving the hotel.

What's the lawsuit about?

President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to the Cabinet-level post of director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney, 49, has been in Congress since 2011; in that time, he has frequently pushed for tighter budget controls.

The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar

Dec 17, 2016

Fermin Domingo, 61, climbs up the side of a sugar cane hauler for the last time. The haul truck driver has worked at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) company for the past 40 years, harvesting and hauling sugar cane to the mill. This is the last of Hawaii's sugar mills, and it too, is closing. Domingo and hundreds of other co-workers have gathered to wrap up the final harvest and say goodbye to a crop that shaped the islands.

Episode 742: Making Bank

Dec 16, 2016

During the Middle Ages, Christian pilgrims en route to Jerusalem had a problem. They needed to pay for food, transport and accommodation during their journey across Europe, which could take months. They also didn't want to carry large amounts of precious coinage because they'd become a target for robbers. This became an obstacle to worship.

The pharmaceutical company Mylan says a generic version of its EpiPen anti-allergy device will be in pharmacies starting next week.

The company is introducing the generic at a price of $300 for a two-pack, half the cost of its brand-name cousin.

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Providing new details about how it's trying to counter the spread of fake news on its services, Facebook says it's working with fact-checking groups to identify bogus stories — and to warn users if a story they're trying to share has been reported as fake.

Facebook also says it will let users report a possible hoax by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post and choosing one of four reasons they want to flag it — from "It's spam" to "It's a fake news story."

Fans of curling, synchronized diving, discus and other Olympic sports may soon be able to watch year-round, as NBC and its partners get ready to launch a TV network dedicated to Olympic sports programming.

The Olympic Channel, which began as a digital outlet after the Summer Games in Rio, is a collaboration between NBC, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee. It's expected to launch in the second half of 2017.

Uber has started offering rides in self-driving cars in San Francisco without a permit for autonomous vehicles — defying state regulators, who say the permit is mandatory.

Uber's self-driving Volvos, which are operated with a "safety driver" behind the wheel, have already been deployed in Pittsburgh. They hit the roads in San Francisco on Wednesday.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Only the oldest residents of Villanueva del Carrizo, a town on the fertile banks of the Órbigo River in northern Spain, remember that day just after World War II, when all the area farmers were called to a meeting in the center of town.

Spain's tiny beer industry was in a bind: It could no longer import hops – a key ingredient in beer – from war-devastated Germany. But brewers had spotted wild hops along the Órbigo River, and they had a hunch it could grow on farms too.

It's been a few weeks since President-elect Donald Trump celebrated the Carrier company's decision to keep some factory jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico. The deal hinged on $7 million in state tax credits — some of which came from a rarely used fund for job retention. And now it has manufacturers wondering what the deal might mean for them.

Indiana doles out tens of millions of dollars in tax incentives to companies like Carrier every year — but usually those are for creating new jobs, not retaining existing ones.

President-elect Donald Trump met Wednesday afternoon with a who's-who of the tech industry. They came from Silicon Valley and elsewhere to Trump Tower in Manhattan, where they talked about jobs and innovation.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Trump Tower, the building that President-elect Donald Trump calls home, bills itself as "one of the world's elite luxury residences, catering to public figures, athletes, celebrities and other affluent sophisticates."

These days, some other people have taken up residence there as well: Secret Service agents.

Trump has said that his family won't move into the White House right away and will remain, for a few months at least, in the world-famous steel-and-glass office and residential building where they occupy three floors.

This week, just days before he says goodbye to his job, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack landed one last punch in a brawl that's gone on at his department since he got there eight long years ago.

Billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. is one of the wealthiest members of what's being called Donald Trump's "gilded cabinet." The parade of Wall Street and corporate elites is drawing sharp criticism from many on the left. But actually, Ross, who Trump has chosen as his secretary of commerce, is respected by organized labor. Those close to him say he is not a right-wing ideologue, and some who've known him over the years say he's the best possible pick that Democrats could hope for.

Episode 592: Bell Wars

Dec 14, 2016

When you've got two companies down the road from each other making the same thing, you can almost guess the history. Originally there was just one company, but something happened. Maybe someone got angry, somebody left, and they started a second business, a competitor.

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Federal Reserve policymakers hiked their benchmark interest rate today for only the second time since the Great Recession. But officials signaled there would be more rate hikes in the coming year. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In New York, President-elect Donald Trump met with a group of tech executives today. Leaders from Google, Apple, Facebook and several others joined the meeting at Trump Tower. Here's some of what Trump had to say at the start.

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