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Getting serious - about work

| Feb 25, 2005
This week, French President Chirac seemed to be serious about mending fences with President Bush. What's next: an American-style workweek? Maybe... Next week, the French Senate is expected to confirm a measure that could doom the 35 hour workweek. The Government in Paris says 'in a global economy, France must get more competitive'. From our European Desk, Steven Beard reports.

Attention (Chinese) shoppers!

| Feb 25, 2005
One of the coming of age symbols for a consumer society is the mall. So it's little surprise that the country that aims to be the king of consumers is on a mall-building binge. There are now more than 400 malls and large shopping centers in China, a four-fold increase from a couple of years ago. Marketplace's Jocelyn Ford takes us to the biggest mall of all.

Baseball, Bats, and Bucks

| Feb 25, 2005
The Yankees are starting spring training with the highest-paid team ever in baseball. How long will Major League Baseball allow the Yankees to outspend everyone else? Host Kay Ryssdal talks to Marketplace's business of sports commentator Michael Knisley about some of the changes we may see in the league this season.

The Oscar game

| Feb 25, 2005
What's an Oscar worth to a film studio? Enough to spend big bucks campaigning for one. Host Matthew Algeo talks to Variety's Stu Levine about promoting movies for the Academy Awards.

Big Brother?

| Feb 24, 2005
By now you've heard about the ChoicePoint affair. ChoicePoint buys and sells personal information. Names, social security numbers, addresses, credit records, you get the idea. Criminals tapped into ChoicePoint's databank and accessed the personal files of almost 150,000 Americans.Or, so says the company. Some officials suspect the records of as many as half a million Americans may have been compromised. In Washington today, a House Committee promised to look into how the the databank was breached. Commentator Amelia Warren Tyagi wants Congress to promise much more.

Culture wars

| Feb 24, 2005
Next Monday in Portland Oregon: a suicide prevention conference. Not exactly subject matter for a program about money like Marketplace. Or so we thought. Until our own reporter, Scott Tong, told us that federal money is involved. And so are questions about the meeting's real agenda.

Where is Russia headed?

| Feb 24, 2005
President Bush met his Russian counterpart in Slovakia today. The U.S. has been critical of Russia's recent roll-back of several democratic reforms. At a joint news conference, Vladimir Putin said his country has made its choice in favor of democracy... 'there is no way back'. But free markets? A few months ago, Russia effectively re-nationalised its biggest oil company, Yukos. Neil Buckley, Financial Times Correspondent in Moscow, says that was just the start of what now appears a pattern.

Award shows and power trips

| Feb 24, 2005
Ready for the big awards show? Tonight from Miami, its the Latin music awards on Univision. Ok, so it's not the Oscars... but there is plenty of drama.When tonight's show gets underway, 23 scheduled celebrities will be missing. We're talking about some of the biggest celebrities in Spanish language TV. Soap stars. They've been told by Mexico's Televisa TV network to stay away. Televisa owns a minority stake in Univision. And it is hungry for more control. Univision's board is not going for it. From WLRN in Miami, Marketplace Americas correspondent Dan Grech reports.

Improving on perfection?

| Feb 24, 2005
Today we learned fourth quarter profit grew 19 percent at Staples. The nation's largest retailer of office products is named after... those famous little metal things. Those little wire machines that fasten paper. Not much about the staple or the stapler has changed since the 1700's. Well... there was the electric stapler in 1956, but since then it's been a little quiet on the stapler front. And that's been a problem for a company whose name you probably grew up with. From Chicago, Sandy Hausman reports on how the company plans to come back swinging.

The bond curve

| Feb 24, 2005
Short-term interest rates are rising. But long-term rates are holding steady. What's happening? Host Kai Ryssdal gets an explanation from Marketplace's money guru, Chris Farrell.

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