Nation/World

Passengers on a morning train on the Tokyo region's Tsukuba Express line might not have noticed anything was amiss Tuesday. But when their train left Minami-Nagareyama station, it did so 20 seconds ahead of schedule — and when the company noticed, it issued an apology to customers.

The train was traveling northbound on the line that connects Tokyo's Akihabara station with Tsukuba to the northeast — a trip that takes less than an hour. After passengers had boarded, the crew didn't check the time, resulting in the slightly early departure "around" 9:44 a.m., the company said.

(U.S. Edition) With the House GOP set to vote today on its plan for American taxes, we'll chat with someone who's been through a big tax overhaul before: Gene Steuerle, who heads the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. He joined us to talk about the basic principles most people can agree with when it comes to tax reform. Afterwards, we'll talk to Marketplace regular Allan Sloan about how Congress' tax plans might affect none other than President Donald Trump.

 

In the east-Bohemian city of Havlíčkův Brod, two hours by train from Prague, the Potato Research Institute is caught in the crosshairs of time.

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This week, another big name in tech was toppled by accusations of sexual harassment — venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, an investor in Tesla and SpaceX who left his prominent Silicon Valley company.

The big-money world of Silicon Valley remains dominated by men and remains a hard place for women to speak out if they want to join the ranks of its richest. And some women think the best way to fight harassment is to tread carefully and get to the top.

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President Trump is going to take the short trip down Pennsylvania Avenue today. He's going over to the Capitol, and I'm pretty sure he's hoping to do a victory lap of sorts when he gets there.

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(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... There are some fresh warnings today about serious risks facing China's economy. A senior government official told a conference in Beijing the country's financial sector needs quick reform to avoid crisis. Afterwards, a new study says many of the effects of climate change are inevitable, even if the world radically cuts carbon dioxide emissions now. Then, we hear from a French winemaker about the hype and history of Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

The Troublesome Universe Of 'Valiant Dust'

Nov 16, 2017

They say that all science fiction stories are tales of today, dolled up with ray guns and spaceships to make them more palatable. That they're all muddled messes of our modern politics and current fears, our hopes for distant sweet endings cut with the arsenic cynicism of actually living in the present moment.

Toronto is building a billion-dollar mini smart city

Nov 16, 2017

Not all tech is in Silicon Valley. Many cities around the world are trying to grow their own industries. Recently, the city of Toronto partnered with Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, to build a billion-dollar mini smart city on its waterfront. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Mayor John Tory while he was in New York looking to increase tech investments. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Molly Wood: How local is the local tech economy doing?

The World Anti-Doping Agency says that Russia's official sports drug-testing lab, which was suspended in 2015 following evidence of state-sponsored doping, remains "non-compliant."

Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET

French President Emmanuel Macron's office says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who abruptly resigned earlier this month while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, has accepted an invitation to come to France. Macron's office notes that the president spoke with Hariri and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before extending the invitation.

The news did not improve this week for Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat who is facing sexual assault allegations. While new accusers came forward, several of Moore's previous, prominent supporters took a step back.

Nonetheless, Moore's prospects of a Senate career remain remarkably good. And the realization is setting in on official Washington that senators may have no good options for keeping Moore out if he wins at the ballot box next month.

11/16/2017: Smart cities are collecting your data

Nov 16, 2017

Smart-city technology is becoming more common, from Singapore to San Jose. The latest city to incorporate this technology into its infrastructure is Toronto. It recently partnered with Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs to redevelop a section of city waterfront. Lots of sensors will collect data on traffic, noise and temperature. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talked with Toronto Mayor John Tory about the city’s tech investments and how data collection will be regulated.

It's time for another Ask Code Switch. This week, we're getting into the gray area between yellow and brown.

Amy Tran, from Minneapolis, asks:

Without CEO Panels, Is Trump Administration Missing Their Views?

Nov 16, 2017

When campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump touted his business experience, saying he would be able to relate to other executives and negotiate with them.

But then three months ago, he abruptly disbanded his business advisory councils — via Twitter — after several CEOs resigned in the aftermath of his comments on race-related violence in Charlottesville, Va.

So as Trump considers big changes in trade and tax policy now, how is he getting input from CEOs?

The administration told NPR it gets guidance on an informal "issue by issue basis" from CEOs.

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It is hard to overstate Robert Mugabe's hold on Zimbabwe.

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Thirty-seven years ago - 37 years - the schoolteacher turned revolutionary took over a newly independent state.

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Now here's a story of saving lives. It was part of Tuesday's mass shooting in northern California. Teachers, a janitor and others at a school kept it from being worse. Here's NPR's Eric Westervelt.

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Governments are wrapping up a meeting in Bonn, Germany, to figure out how to implement a global climate agreement.

The conference has focused on the pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which nations made two years ago in Paris. But even as negotiators debate the details, scientists are warning that carbon dioxide levels are again on the rise, and the efforts in Paris may not be enough.

Tucked into a small side street in the Changping District just north of Beijing, a school stands out in bright, childlike colors — orange and green. Cheerful music plays between classes as students stream into the courtyard to play.

Chris Scott spent 13 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

Before his time in jail, he led a quiet, domestic life with his two sons and his girlfriend.

Then his life became a nightmare. Scott constantly worried for his safety. He learned to cope in prison, but he knew he had to stay out of trouble, because if his innocence was proved, he wanted to be able to walk free.

Aussie electro-pop gurus Cut Copy brought their kaleidoscopic disco sound into our studio for a live set. "Black Rainbows" showcases the best of their new album, Haiku from Zero.

SET LIST

  • "Black Rainbows"

Photo: Davis Bell/KCRW.

Watch Cut Copy's full Morning Becomes Eclectic performance at KCRW.com.

Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET

A bipartisan measure aimed at improving background checks for gun sales has been introduced in the Senate, following a mass shooting in Texas that officials say might have been prevented if the gunman's conviction on assault charges had been flagged in a national database.

A portrait of Christ by Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci has shattered all previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately, fetching a whopping $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie's in New York.

Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) is one of only a score of Leonardo's works still in existence and the only one held privately.

For years the Food and Drug Administration has been trying to get doctors to quit prescribing codeine, an opioid painkiller, to children after getting their tonsils or adenoids out.

But it can be hard to get clinicians to change their prescribing habits, even when children have died and other less risky medications are available.

Updated at 11:05 p.m. ET

At a glitzy gala in New York City on Wednesday night, four writers emerged with one of the world's most illustrious literary prizes, the National Book Award: Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing, won for fiction; Masha Gessen's The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, for nonfiction; Frank Bidart's Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, for poetry; and Robin Benway's Far from the Tree, for young people's literature.

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