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In Beirut - blues and celebrations

Feb 28, 2005
In Lebanon today, thousands of angry protestors demonstrated outside the parliament. They were demanding that the pro-Syrian prime minister and his cabinet resign. And then surprisingly - the government did just that. The shakeup comes two weeks after the assassination of a former Prime Minister. Rafiq Hariri was an opponent of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. But he was also a self-made billionaire. And he helped rebuild his country after a 15-year civil war. From Beirut, Kate Seeley reports on new fears of an economic meltdown.

With a little help from my friends ...

Feb 28, 2005
U.S. consumers spent as much in January as they did the month before. That according to the Commerce Department today. But the savings rate fell 3.6 percent. That translates to a penny saved for every dollar earned. Can Americans do better? Perhaps with a little help from some friends in Washington. That's what Commentator Zanny Minton Beddoes claims.

Money for Palestine

Feb 28, 2005
Tomorrow in London, what originally looked like a major summit. One of the first international conferences on Palestinian reform in the post-Arafat era. With the IMF and the World Bank planning to take part, there were hopes for big pledges of financial support. But neither the Israelis nor any major investors are planning to attend. A suicide bombing in Tel Aviv over the weekend did not help the summit's prospects. But as Stephen Beard reports from London, those prospects were already looking a little shaky.

University -- Incorporated!

Feb 28, 2005
Host David Brown talks to author Jennifer Washburn about concerns in academia over the growing influence of corporate dollars.

Immigration days

Feb 28, 2005
The United States is going through the biggest wave of immigration in its history. As in previous generations, most new arrivals eventually learn to speak English. But since many of the most recent newcomers are from Latin America, immigrants from other parts of the world have found it helps to not only learn English - but some Spanish as well. As Alisa Roth reports from New York, knowing that third language can give business people an edge.

Little big plant...

Feb 28, 2005
It's a little plant that's played a big hand in America's economic history: Cotton. Host Kai Ryssdal talks to Stephen Yafa, author of "Big Cotton" about cotton's influence and impact in our society.

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.

Medicaid meddling

Feb 25, 2005
The nation's governors are holding a conference in Washington over the next few days. Many of them are upset with one of their alums. A Former Texas Governor wants to cut federal funds for a program that's already a budget buster for the states. And now that he's president, he just might have the power to do it. Marketplace's Scott Tong reports on concerns about Medicaid.

Bankruptcy reform.

Feb 25, 2005
There's a credit card company that asks "what's in your wallet?" If you say "my wallet's empty", creditors start to panic. Last year, more than a million and a half Americans said bye-bye to their debts by filing for bankruptcy. For many years now, creditors have been begging Congress to make it harder for consumers to walk away. This may be the year they get what they've been asking for. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports that on Monday, the Senate takes up bankruptcy reform.

Location, location, location

Feb 25, 2005
Sales of existing homes ticked down a tenth of a percent in January. It's still the seventh highest pace on record. That from the National Association of Realtors. Plenty of factors go into picking a new place to live. And its obviously not just the price. Take Santa Clara County in Northern California. The median home price there is now $615,000. They're willing to pay that kind of money, in part, because of the schools. But shopping around for the right school has become more of a numbers game than you might imagine. Marketplace Work and Family correspondent Sarah Gardner reports.

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