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Our Global Economy


Stories that provide depth and context to interrelated economic issues, including the best from PRI’s The World, The Takeaway, Living on Earth, and other popular programs.


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Stories that provide depth and context to interrelated economic issues, including the best from PRI’s The World, The Takeaway, Living on Earth, and other popular programs.






How much will a 25% tariff hurt sales of Scotch?

Distillers — and consumers — are worried about the impact of a 25% tariff on exports of Scottish whisky to the US.


How immigrant workers are preparing for automation in agriculture

Immigrants, who comprise the majority of agriculture industry workers in the US, are turning to training and education to make sure they’re not left behind by automation.


Exxon and oil sands go on trial in New York climate fraud case

The New York attorney general says Exxon used two sets of books and misled investors by downplaying the potential costs of carbon emissions


You’re not being fleeced: This carbon-negative sweater comes with sheep included

Does your winter wear come with an animal who helped make it? If you're shopping at Sheep Inc., the answer is yes. But for co-founder Edzard van der Wyck it's not a gimmick — it's a reminder about how clothes are made, and what the fashion industry costs the environment.


Will Iowa farmers benefit from Trump's newest deals with China and Japan?

The United States and Japan have signed a tentative trade deal that would open up Japan to more American-grown wheat, pork and beef.


In a culture of selfies and social media, how do you check your ego?

Greek tragedy’s favorite fatal flaw is making a comeback, says the author of "Ego is the Enemy."


Finland's answer to food waste: 'Best-before' is actually good later — with a discount

S-market in Helsinki has started holding "happy hours" at their stores. But instead of getting a cheap beer, shoppers get a discount on, say, a pound of shrimp or a pork tenderloin nearing its expiration date.


China dominates the electric bus market, but the US is getting on board

Electric buses produce fewer emissions, are quieter and need less maintenance than diesel buses.


Why are so many Korean karaoke joints going silent?

Noraebang have been a staple of entertainment in South Korea since 1991 when karaoke machines arrived from Japan. But now, the popularity of this cherished institution appears to be quieting down.


Forever 21 closing stores in bankruptcy filing shows limits to fast fashion, author says

After Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, some younger consumers are questioning the future of fast fashion as they look for more sustainable alternatives.


In Québec, teachers return to school under new religious symbols ban

Québec's new religious symbols ban is now in effect as teachers return to school under the new regulations. For many, they're unsure how to navigate the law that says they may keep wearing headscarves and other religious headwear — but only if they don't change jobs.


In Germany, the politics of climate change are shifting beneath Merkel’s feet

Advocates say the politics of global warming are changing rapidly with more public support for aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — and that Merkel’s government isn’t keeping up.


Young climate activists want a seat at the table 'before it's too late'

Xiye Bastida is one of many young poster children who’s come to represent the moral imperative to act on climate change. And now that she’s helped start a global conversation, she wants to do more than talk.


The real cost of expensive housing

Picking up and moving to new opportunities has always been a part of the American dream. But that narrative has shifted in modern America. As well-paying jobs are increasingly concentrated in cities with high living costs, some Americans find themselves unable to pursue the careers that could most help them and their families.


A small town in Italy offers houses for sale for less than an espresso

San Piero Patti, a picturesque, Sicilian town of less than 3,000 people, is taking extreme measures to try and bring new life to the region — including selling some of its abandoned houses for less than a shot of espresso. But will it work?


What do attacks on Saudi oil facilities mean for US-Saudi relations?

Saudi Arabia was, for decades, the world's largest oil producer. This disruption is the biggest supply shock in absolute terms in the last five decades and has important repercussions for US-Saudi relations.


Hong Kong leader says she would quit if she could

Hong Kong leader says she would quit if she could and fears her ability to resolve the crisis is now "very limited."


The Mississippi: Pushed to the brink

Up and down the Mississippi River, new pressures are being put on America’s inland hydro highway, which helps deliver US goods and commodities to the rest of the world and allows trade flows to return. The strain on the river system is only becoming more acute with the impacts of climate change.


How Japan keeps its cool when temps are high

At a recent uchimizu event at the Higo-Hosokawa Garden, participants in lightweight kimonos used wooden ladles to spray water in long arcs that caught the late-afternoon light.


They were CIA-backed Chinese rebels. Now you’re invited to their once-secret hideaway.

Former CIA-backed guerrillas — rivals of Chairman Mao Zedong — are now embracing the tourism industry, years after setting up the arteries and networks that sustain the Golden Triangle drug trade to this day.