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California's state treasurer has announced he is suspending major parts of the state's business relationship with Wells Fargo because of a scandal involving unauthorized customer accounts.

In a letter to Wells Fargo, John Chiang asked, "how can I continue to entrust the public's money to an organization which has shown such little regard for the legions of Californians who have placed their well-being in its care?"

Artificial intelligence is one of those tech terms that seems to inevitably conjure up images (and jokes) of computer overlords running sci-fi dystopias — or, more recently, robots taking over human jobs.

But AI is already here: It's powering your voice-activated digital personal assistants and Web searches, guiding automated features on your car and translating foreign texts, detecting your friends in photos you post on social media and filtering your spam.

It's once again time for the annual ritual of fear and loathing, also known as the performance review — at least for the companies that still do them.

Many have abandoned the old way of evaluating their employees in recent years. Last year, even General Electric — whose former CEO, Jack Welch, championed the system often known as "rank and yank" — did away with its annual review.

What's taking the old system's place? A hodgepodge of experiments, essentially.

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

Cubans are bracing for a tough end of the year, after what has already been a rough summer. The island's economy is in trouble. Venezuela, Cuba's main patron and supplier of cheap oil, has slashed its generous subsidies, while Cuba's other top cash commodities are facing worldwide price plunges.

Since the U.S. and Cuba improved relations and President Obama made his historic trip to the island in March, expectations had been running high among Cubans that better economic times were coming.

The U.S. trails Switzerland and Singapore in economic competitiveness in a new global index that finds America's infrastructure, health system and primary education are all lagging. The World Economic Forum's index also notes three U.S. strengths: Its large market, financial sophistication and labor efficiency.

There are less than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

Let's face it: this election cycle has been a bit disheartening for many voters. The candidates are the two most unpopular major party presidential candidates on record and a massive number of people won't commit to either one.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Commercial trade of pangolins, the aardvark-like mammal that is the world's most-trafficked animal, has been officially banned by the international body responsible for regulating the international trade of endangered species.

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Kai Ryssdal

The sixth biggest economy in the world came after Wells Fargo today.

Who failed at overseeing Wells Fargo?

13 hours ago
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Sabri Ben-Achour

“Two million phony accounts. Break them up!” demanded California Democrat Brad Sherman in reference to Wells Fargo’s deceptive banking practices. He was putting the demand to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at a House Financial Services Committee hearing today.

Her response: “We will hold the largest [financial] organizations to exceptionally high standards of risk management, internal controls and consumer protection.”

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Andy Uhler

The merger of the world’s largest and world’s second largest brewers was agreed upon by shareholders today.

AB InBev won approval to acquire SAB Miller for more than $100 billion. The deal means that about one in every four beers sold around the world will be a product of this mega-brewer.

Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers association, said the new company is going to look to emerging markets.  

“This wasn’t about the U.S. market as much as it was about developing markets where SAB Miller was strong and where AB InBev was weak,” he said.

For all the changes wrought by the sexual harassment scandal that brought down former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, the Murdoch family that controls the network has held one goal paramount: to maintain continuity.

More than a quarter of the Food and Drug Administration employees who approved cancer and hematology drugs from 2001 through 2010 left the agency and now work or consult for pharmaceutical companies, according to research published by a prominent medical journal Tuesday.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University, sought to understand the so-called "revolving door" between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry, which he said is often discussed but hadn't been quantified.

Marketplace for Wednesday, September 28, 2016

18 hours ago
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Scott Tong

Today on the show, we look at efforts to reduce airplane emissions and solve airplane crashes. Plus: Part two of our look at manufacturing in Rochester, New York and a massive beer merger.

How to solve a plane crash

18 hours ago
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Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that crashed in July 2014 was shot down by a Russian-made missile, according a Dutch-led team of international investigators.

Christine Negroni was not one of those investigators, but she has been a part of others. She also wrote the new book, "The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Air Disasters."

On starting an investigation:

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

Even though Marca Engman read countless books, watched YouTube videos and took a beekeeping class before installing her first hive in 2012, she knew she'd need help in the field.

"The whole idea of beekeeping was overwhelming," she recalls. "Every year is different and every hive is different."

Rather than working a backyard beehive solo, Engman installed her first hive in the community apiary at Hudson Gardens, a nonprofit garden near Littleton, Colo.

No government rescue for Germany's Deutsche Bank

19 hours ago

On today's show, we'll talk about a decline in the price of U.S. groceries; Whole Foods' opening of a store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood — a region with a 21 percent unemployment rate; a $41 million clawback from Wells Fargo's CEO; and Deutsche Bank's financial woes.

Tech Intervention: driverless chairs

19 hours ago
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Molly Wood

It's time for another ... Tech Intervention. 

Nissan this week unveiled some new self-driving tech that, we believe, does not need to exist.  It's a fleet of self-driving chairs.  The chairs are meant to move people along in a line. Each one senses the chair in front of it, and then scoots you along so you don't have to stand while you're queued up for your cronut.  

The chairs are only going to be released in certain restaurants in Japan in December of this year. But I think we can all agree that this is a microchip too far. 

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

Copyright 2016 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit WSHU Public Radio Group.

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Scott Tong

Airlines around the world would be required to stop adding to their carbon footprints, under a U.N.-sponsored proposal being negotiated in Montreal. The aviation sector was not covered under the international climate agreement agreed to in Paris last year.

Here's how the proposal would work: if emissions at, say, Delta or United go up, the carriers would have to react. One option: innovate and, burn less petroleum, and reduce carbon pollution emissions.

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Lane Wallace

Wells Fargo’s board of directors is asking for its money back following the false account scandal at the bank.

Food prices are insanely cheap right now

22 hours ago
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Adam Allington

You may have noticed you're spending a lot less on eggs, milk and meat these days.

Across the country, grocery prices are falling, and are on track for the longest stretch of falling food prices in more than 50 years.

The bargains may be great for shoppers, but are causing increasing pain for producers further upstream.

Whole Foods opens a store in Chicago 'food desert'

23 hours ago
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Natalie Moore

Whole Foods employees are putting the finishing touches on the new South Side Englewood store in Chicago. Shelves are going in. The marquee sign is getting a touch up. This low-income black neighborhood grapples with numerous issues – foreclosures, unemployment and violence.

It’s also a food desert, an area where there’s more fast food than healthy food. More junk food corner stores than grocers. In short, not exactly Whole Foods’ sweet spot demographic.

Racial bias in preschool

Sep 28, 2016
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D Gorenstein

The effects of racial bias likely start from the moment a kid gets to preschool, according to new data released by the Yale Child Study Center.

Researchers tracked the eye movements of classroom teachers to see which students they watched most closely. They used that data and more to reach the conclusion that there is a lot of implicit bias in preschool teaching.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sep 28, 2016
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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about Elon Musk's plans to move us to Mars; disapproval from German regulators' over Facebook's decision to harvest data on WhatsApp users; and Nissan's new fleet of self-driving...chairs. 

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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about plans from Wells Fargo's CEO to forfeit $41 million worth of shares; implicit bias against black children in preschool classrooms; and misconceptions about the state of manufacturing in the U.S. 

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