By The Numbers

All about world economies

Janet Nguyen Apr 6, 2016

It’s already the middle of the week, and anti-tax measures are in full swing.  Here are some need-to-know numbers for Wednesday.

China has imposed sanctions on North Korea after its neighbor performed a fourth nuclear test and launched a long-range rocket at the beginning of this year. The ban on various mineral imports from the country are significant symbolically because China is North Korea’s most important ally. But will the sanctions actually help curb the development of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program? Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz reports that there are exceptions to the sanctions that might “water down any meaningful impact.” For one, China hasn’t stopped buying North Korean coal. It spends billions on the substance, which is why China may be worried about putting a halt to the import — it doesn’t want to risk the collapse of North Korea’s economy.

One possible worry for India’s economy: Apple. The tech company wants to start selling second-hand iPhones in the world’s second-largest smartphone market. But manufacturers aren’t fond of Apple’s plans, saying they would “hurt local manufacturers and contribute to electronic waste,” writes Marketplace’s Amy Scott. India’s market is filled with opportunity for these used devices because Apple’s products aren’t affordable for most of the population at their normal going rate, one analyst says.

Particularly taxing to the U.S. economy are retirement advisers who aren’t keeping consumers’ best interests in mind. They’re costing consumers $17 billion a year. Advisers can be paid higher commissions for investing your money in certain funds, even if doing so isn’t particularly advantageous to you, reports Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams. That’s why the Department of Labor has created a new set of rules aimed at curbing these conflicts of interest.

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