Jul 6, 2017

07/06/2017: The U.S. v. 450 Ancient Cuneiform Tablets

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The G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and the street protests happening alongside it are the big global political story. But it's really an economic story, about the winners and losers in global trade. With that in mind, we're starting with the Commerce Department today and the news that the trade deficit fell last month. It's President Trump's favorite, if misguided, economic metrics, but this drop was more about the dollar than anything else. Then: Hobby Lobby is paying a $3 million fine and handing over a bunch of smuggled antiquities today as part of a bizarre story that broke yesterday. We'll get you caught up on everything. Plus: A merging of two home shopping giants that could create a giant in retail, period.

Segments From this episode

Soda pop gives a family-owned grocery store a new life

Jul 6, 2017
John Nese of Galco's Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles shares the history of his store and the soda it sells.
Galco's owner John Nese.
Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

Hobby Lobby is paying a $3 million fine for dealing in now-forfeited smuggled antiquities

Jul 6, 2017
The ancient clay cuneiform tablets from Iraq have a "muddy" provenance.
The craft supplies chain Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a fine and forfeit thousands of antiquities to the federal government.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Two things Trump likes: a narrower trade gap and a weak dollar

Jul 6, 2017
At the G20 meeting of world leaders this week, President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are sure to talk about trade. Trump has been outspoken — on Twitter, at least — about the U.S. needing to shrink the “massive” trade deficit it has with Germany. The Commerce Department says the U.S. trade deficit did […]

Whatever happened to the U.S. trade deal with Europe?

Jul 6, 2017
We take a look at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, the U.S. trade agreement with the European Union.

It’s not just TV anymore: QVC merges with rival HSN to create mega online presence

Jul 6, 2017
QVC is buying its longtime rival HSN — Home Shopping Network — in a $2.1 billion deal. It already owns about 40 percent of the company. The two have made a name for themselves with their channels, but they sell things online, too. And the thinking is that this merger will help them get even closer […]

A retail story: How LA's Robertson Boulevard went from paparazzi heaven to vacant stores

Jul 6, 2017
Once a hip indie enclave, the street went upmarket when high-end chains moved in. Then they left.
Several empty storefronts along the once-happening Robertson Boulevard shopping district in Los Angeles.
Aaron Schrank/Marketplace

The G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and the street protests happening alongside it are the big global political story. But it’s really an economic story, about the winners and losers in global trade. With that in mind, we’re starting with the Commerce Department today and the news that the trade deficit fell last month. It’s President Trump’s favorite, if misguided, economic metrics, but this drop was more about the dollar than anything else. Then: Hobby Lobby is paying a $3 million fine and handing over a bunch of smuggled antiquities today as part of a bizarre story that broke yesterday. We’ll get you caught up on everything. Plus: A merging of two home shopping giants that could create a giant in retail, period.