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Mark Zuckerberg is a dad! And he's marking the birth of his first child (and #GivingTuesday) with a promise to give away 99 percent of his shares in Facebook to make a brighter future.

In an open letter to Max, their newborn daughter, Zuckerberg, 31, and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, 30, pledged to give 99 percent of their shares in Facebook — worth about $45 billion today — over the course of their lifetime.

The business community is well-represented at the United Nations climate summit underway in Paris — and it will be much more engaged in finding positive solutions than ever before.

It's a far cry from the first large-scale U.N. conference to address climate change, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

In the past, in fact, business often was an obstacle to action on climate change and seen more as an enemy than a partner.

How much does $1 billion buy these days? The city of Buffalo is about to find out.

New York state is funneling $1 billion in cash and tax incentives into the region. Fully half of the "Buffalo Billion," as it's known, is going to one place: a massive solar panel factory, rising on the site of a demolished steel factory in South Buffalo. With an additional $250 million from other state sources, the solar project is getting a total of $750 million from New York.

Amid the fallout from Volkswagen's emissions-testing cheating scandal, the company's November sales in the United States fell nearly 25 percent from November a year ago.

Volkswagen sold just under 24,000 vehicles last month. In November of 2014, it sold almost 32,000, the Associated Press reports.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that while Volkswagen sales tanked, U.S. sales for car companies such as General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota rose.

President Obama struck an optimistic tone Tuesday on the second day of the Paris climate talks. But he also touched on the domestic political difficulty in a country still heavily reliant on coal — and when it comes to dealing with Republicans on the issue.

Puerto Rico has managed to make a payment due today on its bond debt, but officials are warning that the commonwealth's fiscal position remains tenuous.

As a result, the government will have to pay for essential government services by using money budgeted for upcoming debt payments, said Melba Acosta Febo, president of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, in a statement. She added:

A new sodium warning requirement goes into effect in New York City restaurants Tuesday: Diners who eat at chain restaurants will now see warnings on menus next to items that contain high levels of salt.

From now on, the New York City Health Department says chain restaurants with 15 or more locations must display a salt shaker icon next to menu items or combo meals that contain 2,300 milligrams of sodium or more.

Marketplace for Tuesday, December 1, 2015

9 hours ago

As the U.N. climate summit continues, questions arise about which countries should provide funding for change; a look into the life of a young woman seeking asylum in the United States; and how a merger is waking up the mattress industry. 

A merger meant to shake up the sleepy mattress biz

10 hours ago
Mark Garrison

Retailer Mattress Firm is paying $780 million to scoop up rival Sleepy’s. If approved, the combined company will have some 3,500 retail stores nationwide, plus various online sites and distribution centers. Like most every merger, a big driver of the deal is the quest for greater scale, which could give the combined company a shot at cutting cost and raising prices by using its greater size to drive harder bargains.

More drama in prescription drug pricing

10 hours ago
D Gorenstein

The price of prescription drugs has become something of a flashpoint in recent weeks, due in no small part to something that the company Turing Pharmaceuticals did, when it hiked the price of Daraprim, a pill often used by HIV patients and pregnant women, from $13.50 to $750 a dose.

Cascara 'Tea': A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste

12 hours ago

Coffee lovers may have noticed a new offering in their local cafés. Cascara is a tea-like drink with a fine, fruity flavor and plenty of caffeine, and it's popping up everywhere. For this new addition to chalkboards nationwide, credit Aida Batlle.

"I actually think we're going to solve this thing."

That's what President Obama said in a news conference just before he left a United Nations summit on climate change.

"Climate change is a massive problem," Obama said. "It is a generational problem. It's a problem that by definition is just about the hardest thing for a political system to absorb, because the effects are gradual, they're diffused. And yet despite all that ... I'm optimistic. I think we're going to solve it."

Scott Tong

On the second day of the climate summit in Paris, negotiators sent heads of state home and got down to the real business. To many countries, it boils down to one question: who pays?

Today, the world's poorest countries pushed the developed economies to fulfill a promise to provide $100 billion to developing countries. This case has been made consistently by one of the most important delegations in Paris: India.

Molly Wood

Dr. Priscilla Chan had her baby daughter today — her name is Max. She and her husband — Mark Zuckerberg — announced the birth on Facebook, obviously.

Not just your average baby announcement, though. In the note to baby Max on Facebook, the couple also pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares in their lifetime to "advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation." Those shares, by the way, are currently worth about $45 billion.

The long wait for Section 8

14 hours ago
Noel King

Marylene Marrero is a 37-year-old hairstylist who lives in Yonkers, New York.  She has spent the past couple of years bouncing from apartment to apartment. In that time, there's something she has held onto very tightly: a letter from the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers, informing her that she is one of 11,000 people who applied for a Housing Choice or Section 8 voucher in a single week in January of 2012.

Marrero, like all applicants, has no idea where she sits on the list, but from what she has heard, her three and a half year wait isn't especially long.

In South Carolina, catastrophic rainfall is making this a grim year for one of the state's biggest industries: farming. Just when fall crops were ready to harvest, extensive flooding drowned fields and sidelined farm workers.

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Chances are, you've picked up some chatter about the new global talks on climate change. If you can't quite see how it matters to you, personally, you might want to take a peek inside your pantry. Or your candy jar. Because it might just affect your access to everything from cheese to chocolate.

"It's very clear now that a changing climate will have a profound effect on agriculture," says Molly Brown, a geographer at the University of Maryland.

Take one simple example, she says: Vermont.

Los Angeles is a region better known for Hollywood, but it actually has more manufacturing jobs than any other metro area in the U.S. Of the more than half-million manufacturing jobs in the region, about 50,000 of them are in the garment industry.

Fashion is a big part of LA's identity, and you feel it in the Fashion District downtown. It has changed a lot since the late 1980s, when plain beige towers called California Mart bustled with all things related to the garment industry.

Brian Weitman grew up around the garment industry and remembers Cal Mart's heyday.

Growing movement to make altruism more effective

20 hours ago
White Williams

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day marks a charitable season in America, and an emerging movement calls for people who give to consider not just how much of their donation gets eaten up by overhead, but also how to make the biggest difference possible in absolute terms.

It’s called effective altruism, with the goal of doing the most good with each dollar spent.

Airing on Tuesday, December 1, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about a global solar power deal; auto sales; and former ABC News Nightline anchor Ted Koppel about his book “Lights Out."

Can America weather a cyber attack on its power grid?

20 hours ago
David Brancaccio, Beidi Zhang and Shana Daloria

In his new book called "Lights Out," veteran journalist Ted Koppel looks at the potential for mayhem by exploring  what might happen to America's electric power grid after a strategically placed computer hack. We think of a blackout being a couple days, but what if it were weeks or months?  

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, December 1, 2015

20 hours ago

Airing on Tuesday, December 1, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about Silicon Valley’s investment in climate change and how it might impact innovation; shopping online via smart phones; and how to get people involved in charity.

Auto sales figures expected to cheer automakers

20 hours ago
Andy Uhler

Historically, December was the time to buy a new car. Nowadays, more and more automakers are getting into the Black Friday promotions game. They’re trying to get consumers to pull the trigger on that big purchase a little earlier. Tim Fleming, Kelley Blue Book analyst, said automakers are simply reacting to the market.

“You always talk about manufacturers producing to demand," he said. "But when sales are so hot right now, you’re seeing everyone start to spend a little more to try to get in while consumers are feeling good about the economy.”

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley

20 hours ago
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about what's shaping up to be an average holiday season; auto sales for November; effective altruism; and Wall Street hot shots heading for Silicon Valley.

I'm dreaming of a wi-fi Christmas

20 hours ago
Marketplace staff

$193 quintillion

That's the estimated cost of building the Death Star in the first Star Wars film, according to a new report by Washington University assistant professor Zach Feinstein. And when he crunched the numbers, Feinstein concluded that the second Death Star (also destroyed) probably cost double to build. Meaning the next Star Wars film may very well be about an intergalactic bailout.


Tony Wagner

It is a dark time for the galactic economy. The Rebel Alliance's victory in the Battle of Endor was decisive, but short-lived. With thousands of star systems on the brink of default, Jedi master Luke Skywalker must scrape together enough money to bail out the galaxy...

Providence is considered by many to be the finest restaurant in Los Angeles, a gourmet seafood eatery run by chef Michael Cimarusti. He's won several James Beard awards and two highly coveted Michelin stars. He is also a fisherman who is piloting a program to support local, small-scale fishermen.

The International Monetary Fund says it will add the Chinese renminbi to its basket of reserve currencies, a significant milestone in China's long campaign to be recognized as a global economic power.

The decision means that the renminbi, also known as the yuan, will join the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the Euro and the British pound as one of the currencies that the IMF uses to denominate its loans.

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