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Federal health officials are urging all Americans to get their flu shots as soon as possible, and are especially concerned that too few elderly people are getting vaccinated.

"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a joint briefing Thursday with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "Flu often does not get enough respect."

Natalie Moore

Jordan Buckner grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is creator of Tea Squares, puffed millet-filled bites with raw almonds or pumpkin seeds infused with organic tea powder.

“For me it was important that we actually eat a lot healthier than eating the normal chips and candy that we often eat to kind of get through our day,” Buckner said.

Buckner is one of 35 small South Side businesses featured in a new Whole Foods Englewood store that opened this week.

Did Trump break the Cuba embargo?

13 hours ago
Donna Tam

Donald Trump’s company broke the U.S.-Cuba embargo in 1998 by sending consultants to the island to research a business venture, Newsweek reported today.

Viacom and CBS — a media re-merger?

14 hours ago
Mitchell Hartman

National Amusements, the media conglomerate controlled by the Redstone family, has publicly asked the boards of CBS and Viacom to consider a merger. Both companies are owned by National Amusements; they have separate boards, managements and stocks.

The suggestion comes as Shari Redstone, the daughter of Sumner Redstone, consolidates control over the media empire created by her now-ailing father, who is 93. 

FCC delays voting on set top boxes

14 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal

American cable television watchers have to wait a bit longer to unload the burden of their set top boxes.

The Federal Communications Commission was supposed to vote today on a proposal allowing cable subscribers to access TV through a free app, much like other media content. Minutes before the meeting, however, they removed the vote from the agenda. 

Americans want to stay in control of their cars, a new study finds.

According to a study by Kelley Blue Book, 80 percent of Americans say people should always have the option to drive themselves.

This study comes just a week after the Department of Transportation released regulatory guidelines for self-driving vehicles.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Alex King

After two years of some of the worst fires and smoke the Northwest has ever seen, this year Washington state’s Methow Valley got a break. But even without fires this summer, dozens of businesses didn’t make it through. And the fires still throw a long shadow.  

Sprinklers click, click on green pastures at Chuck Kisner's cattle ranch outside of Twisp.

Kisner says he spent years building up this operation. Then, in 2014, came the Carlton Complex fire.

Winter clothes, blankets, food and medical supplies. In an act of humanity, a U.N. aid convoy was carrying these precious necessities to a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, cut off by war. The convoy never made it.

I have a friend in London who's at war with her car's GPS. Although she nearly always puts it on, she's driven mad by its voice, which is female, and refuses to follow its directions. She spends whole trips arguing with, barking at, and sometimes cursing this imaginary woman. She'd never be this rude to an actual human being. But, of course, a GPS doesn't have feelings.

But what if it did? That's one of the many timely questions raised by Westworld, the darkly exciting new series that's HBO's biggest gamble since Game of Thrones.

What rats can remember may help people who forget.

Researchers are reporting evidence that rats possess "episodic memories," the kind of memories that allow us to go back in time and recall specific events. These memories are among the first to disappear in people who develop Alzheimer's disease.

The finding, which appears Thursday in Current Biology, suggests that rats could offer a better way to test potential drugs for Alzheimer's. Right now, most of these drugs are tested in mice.

Turkey's national security council is recommending a three-month extension of the state of emergency imposed following a failed coup attempt in July.

The council is chaired by the Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has presided over tens of thousands of dismissals and arrests of opposition leaders, journalists and others since the initial state of emergency went into effect on July 20, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

The Ryder Cup tees off this weekend, and I'm going (yay!)

15 hours ago
Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

I'm not a big fan of golf, but I couldn't be more excited to go to the Ryder Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with my dad this weekend.

Golf played a big part of my childhood. On Sundays, we'd often go over to my grandparents' house for dinner. After our meal was done, I'd lay on the floor while my dad and my grandpa watched golf on TV. All kinds of golf. Hours of golf.

Policing the streets with military hardware

15 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal

After Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri in 2014, police officers and law enforcement patrolled the streets, but often looking more like soldiers than cops. They are wearing military gear, driving military vehicles, and sometimes using military-grade weapons. The idea of the increasing militarization of American police departments is the subject of a new documentary called “Do Not Resist.” Its Director, Craig Atkinson, talked to host Kai Ryssdal about his film.

On the inspiration for this film:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Days after he agreed to forfeit outstanding stock awards worth about $41 million over his bank's creation of millions of unauthorized customer accounts, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf is facing more questions on Capitol Hill.

"We should have done more sooner," Stumpf told members of the House Financial Services Committee, adding that he and Wells Fargo will keep working on the problem.

A commuter train in New Jersey crashed into Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey on Thursday morning, resulting in multiple injuries and visible structural damage.

One person was killed and at least 65 people were injured, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. New Jersey transit officials said at least 100 people were hurt, Stephen Nessen of WNYC reports.

Joseph Scott, the CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, said the hospital had admitted some victims in critical or serious condition.

On Friday, the Rosetta spacecraft will smack into the icy surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and go silent. Scientists with the historic mission are wondering how they'll feel as the orbiter makes its death-dive toward the comet that has been its traveling companion for more than two years.

Asked to name his favorite foreign leader, or any foreign leader he admires, Libertarian nominee for president Gary Johnson was unable to come up with an answer.

The exchange occurred on an MSNBC town hall hosted by Chris Matthews Wednesday night.

When Johnson hesitated at the initial question, Matthews said, "Go ahead, you gotta do this. Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect."

It continued:

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of El Cajon, Calif., on Wednesday night, protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black man on Tuesday.

A 911 caller had reported that her brother was acting erratically and walking into traffic. She told police that he was mentally ill and unarmed, Andrew Bowen of member station KPBS reports.

It took nearly an hour for police to arrive on the scene. About a minute after they arrived, one of them shot Alfred Olango, The Associated Press reports.

Wells Fargo CEO grilled by angry House committee

18 hours ago
Lane Wallace

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf faced hours of scathing questions from members of the House Financial Services Committee Thursday in a hearing about the bank’s use of sales quotas and history of opening unauthorized accounts. In an attempt to keep up with rigorous sales goals set by senior management, thousands of Wells Fargo employees opened as many as two million bank accounts or lines of credit without customers’ permission, over many years.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Why Spotify buying SoundCloud makes music sense

19 hours ago
Gigi Douban

Spotify is negotiating a deal to acquire SoundCloud. With Apple, Google, and Amazon each getting a foothold into the music streaming space, it’s getting really crowded, and Spotify, which has about 40 million paid subscribers, is looking to SoundCloud to grow its customer base.

Marketplace for Thursday, September 29, 2016

19 hours ago
Gigi Douban

On today's show, we examine the possible merger between Soundcloud and Spotify, and a possible re-merger between CBS and Viacom. Then: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf goes to Washington again.

Aleppo bombings continue, as aid grows scarce

20 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal

Aleppo was once Syria's largest city and the country's commercial and industrial hub. As of 2012, Aleppo has been divided into two sides – with President Bashar al-Assad's forces controlling the west and rebel factions in the east.

James Longman is in Beirut, covering the war for the BBC and spoke to Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about recent bombings.

Every book can't be War and Peace. Readers may approach a doorstop novel of some 700-plus pages with a mixture of hope and dread: hope that the tome will offer a tale to relish, dread from being betrayed one too many times. By Gaslight, the second novel by award-winning Canadian poet Steven Price, proves engrossing enough to warrant its forest-depleting bulk. I found myself returning to passages not only because I occasionally lost the thread of this historical mystery's manifold plots, sub-plots and asides, but because I wanted to revisit the somber music of the telling.

2020 Summer Olympic games could cost up to $30 billion

20 hours ago

On today's show, we'll talk about the state of our country's economic growth; the possibility that cable boxes may become obsolete; how the insurance industry can use drones to assess damage in an area after a disaster; and the high cost of the next Summer Olympics. 

Audio update: The FCC has indefinitely postponed its plans to vote on a proposal that would allow cable subscribers to access programming outside of cable boxes.