Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, March 30, 2012

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Episode Description 
The company that makes Apple products in China, Foxconn, is pledging to improve working conditions at its factories, saying it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules. Here in this country, many jobs are being replaced by machines, and Economy 4.0's David Brancaccio is currently driving 3,200 miles across the country without interacting with humans. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is trying to address this issue at the federal level. And the Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It's tradition that CEOs of major tournaments sponsors are invited to join the all-male club.
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Down on the farm, the economy is up

But Illinois farmers give little credit to the political party in power.
Posted In: Illinois, farming
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Robots lose out in hospitality

If there's one industry where robots have tried and failed so far, it's hospitality -- seems humans prefer humans for hotel customer service.
Posted In: robots, Robots Ate My Job, hotels
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Golf's 'grass ceiling' on women

The Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It's tradition that CEOs of major tournaments sponsors are invited to join the all-male club. Thing is, the CEO of a major sponsor IBM is a woman.
Posted In: Golf, IBM, women CEOs
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Senator Dick Durbin on student loans and student debt

The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion. And if you scan the headlines this week, you'll find school after school raising tuition, which will almost certainly send that $1 trillion number up even further.
Posted In: student loan debt, Dick Durbin, Washington D.C., loans
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Foxconn, Apple agree to improve worker conditions

Foxconn says it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules.
Posted In: China, Foxconn, apple
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How much of a financial bazooka does Europe need?

European finance ministers are meeting in Denmark today. They're reportedly adding $670 billion to their bailout fund. Ministers have been trying to figure out how big of a financial bazooka they need to defend Europe from speculators.
Posted In: Europe debt crisis, bailout
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Consumer spending up 0.8% in February

Consumer spending was the big surprise of the morning. The government said Americans spent 0.8 percent more in February.
Posted In: consumer confidence, consumer spending, durable goods
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Community college raises prices on popular classes

Now to a community college here in Southern California that has been losing funding from the state. And to make up for that, Santa Monica College is jacking up tuition for its most popular classes by 500 percent.
Posted In: community colleges, college tuition
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Canada scraps the penny coin

We speak to one Canadian member of parliament about why he is such an anti-penny crusader, and whether the penny could ever be dropped here in the U.S.
Posted In: Canada, coins
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PODCAST: Foxconn workers get a raise, Quaker Oats gets a makeover

The company that makes Apple products in China, Foxconn, is pledging to improve working conditions at its factories, saying it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules. Here in this country, many jobs are being replaced by machines, and Economy 4.0's David Brancaccio is currently driving 3,200 miles across the country without interacting with humans. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is trying to address this issue at the federal level. And the Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
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Bee population decline linked to common pesticide

Bee populations in the U.S. -- and even other parts of the world -- have been on the decline, which has many worried. Well, two new studies out might have figured out a reason why.
Posted In: bees, farming, USDA

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