Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday, May 16, 2013

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Episode Description 
Today, hundreds of protesters shut down traffic in the Chinese city of Kunming to dramatize their opposition to a proposed petrochemical plant. It's the latest in a series of 'not in my backyard' or NIMBY protests in recent weeks throughout that country. And, we heard yesterday that military families have some extra protections when it comes to consumer credit -- the Military Lending Act caps interest rates and bans certain short-term loans. But creative lenders are still finding ways to prey on military families. Today, we look at how military brass, consumer advocates and lawmakers are trying to close loopholes in the legislation.

PODCAST: Weather to blame for low Walmart sales; Angelina Jolie surgery boosts film about breast cancer

Walmart sales are down and so are housing starts, but the weather could be to blame. Plus, a small film about breast cancer research gets an unexpected boost from Angelina Jolie's preventive mastectomy.
Posted In: Economy, weather, Cannes, Mexico

Blame the weather on lower sales and housing starts?

Temperatures were down across much of the United States, causing consumers to huddle at home instead of going out.
Posted In: retail sales, Walmart, housing starts

BP waves the white flag, asks for help from the Prime Minister

BP said they were just trying to make it for easier for claimants, but now they're in over their heads.
Posted In: bp oil spill, BP

House Republicans attempt to repeal Obamacare ... for the 37th time

Republicans in the House are expected to hold a vote today to repeal President Obama's health care initiative. It will be their 37th vote on the issue.
Posted In: health care, President Obama, Republicans, Congress

Mexican citizens stem corruption with social media

In Mexico, social media outlets such as Twitter have sprung up as tools used by the public to battle public corruption.
Posted In: Mexico, corruption, univision

Chinese protesters oppose petrochemical plant in Kunming

In the latest series of 'not in my backyard' or NIMBY protests in China, hundreds took to the streets in Kunming to oppose a petrochemical plant.
Posted In: China's Environment, China, protests

New app lets strangers crowd-source video to get a better view

Ever been at a concert or game and wondered what the view looks like from the front row? There's now an app for that. Krowds helps strangers at public events share unlimited video.
Posted In: app, crowdsourcing, video

What's ahead for the IRS?

To say the Internal Revenue Service is having a bad week is an understatement. And to top it all off, IRS Commissioner Steven Miller was just forced to resign. So how will that effect the rest of the agency responsible for collecting taxes to keep the U.S. government running?
Posted In: IRS, Steven Miller

Your Brain = Lake Michigan

Here's a calculation that might take some time to process. If you were to measure the computing power of the human brain and convert it to fluid ounces, you'd get the volume of of Lake Michigan.
Posted In: blog, human brain, processing power
AILA, or Artificial Intelligence Lightweight Android, shown during a 2013 demonstration at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

Why we could all be replaced by robots in the near future

In a recent story for Mother Jones, writer Kevin Drum says by the year 2025 robots will take all of our jobs.
Posted In: undefined

Protecting troops from a different kind of harm — predatory loans

Military brass, consumer advocates and lawmakers are trying to close loopholes in the Military Lending Act.
Posted In: installment loans, military

Angelina Jolie's boon to a small film headed to Cannes

Until days ago, 'Decoding Annie Parker' -- a film about a genetic researcher and a cancer patient -- was a low-key production with modest ambitions. Then Angelina Jolie revealed she had the very genetic mutation that stars in the film.
Posted In: documentary, Angelina Jolie

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