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They may not look like R2D2 or BB8, but in 2018, robots are an important part of our world.

This hour we talk about ​automation—new advances in “smart” technology during a period of time that’s been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico is officially declaring itself open for tourism -- nearly three months after Hurricane Maria. But on an island where so many people still lack electricity, what does open for tourism mean?

A little-remarked-upon provision changing the way inflation is calculated is among the big changes contained in the tax overhaul signed by President Trump last week.

The new method, using the so-called "chained" consumer price index to determine when to adjust tax brackets and eligibility for deductions, is expected to push more Americans into higher tax brackets more quickly. In the past, the tax code used the traditional CPI measure issued by the Labor Department each month.

Ten years ago this month, you may not have noticed the cracking and crumbling under you.

At the time, you may have had a job, a home and rising retirement savings. Sure, the housing market was hurting a lot, but stock prices were still holding up and Federal Reserve policymakers were offering reasons for calm, saying they expected strong consumer spending.

James Childs / flickr

Radiation is everywhere. It's emitted by our sun, by cat litter, by bananas and occasionally by nuclear bombs. It's even emitted by you, and by me, and by every living (and dead) person in the world. So why are we so scared of something so prevalent in our everyday lives?

President Trump on Thursday named Jerome Powell to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, the first time in decades that a president hasn't reappointed a chief of the central bank for a second term.

If confirmed by the Senate, Powell, 64, will succeed Janet Yellen — the first woman to head the Fed — whose term expires in February. Powell, a current member of the Fed's board of governors, is expected to pursue policies largely in line with the gradual interest rate hikes of the Yellen-led Fed.

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

Connecticut officials have unveiled their pitch to bring Amazon's new $5 billion headquarters to the Nutmeg State.

On a wall in Greg LeRoy's office is a frame with a custom-engraved wrench and a photo of workers in front of the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe factory in Duluth, Minn. It's from his days helping unions fight plant closings — when he first started digging into the convoluted financial relationship of corporations and local governments.

These days, LeRoy is the guy to call if you want to know about corporate subsidies. Lately, his phone has been ringing about one company in particular: Amazon.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET.

The Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday briefly topped 23,000 for the first time, crossing another milestone amid better-than-expected earnings reports and concerns that stocks are approaching another bubble.

But the 30-stock index ended the day at 22,997.44, up 40.48 points.

The Dow finished above 22,000 for the first time on Aug. 2.

Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The state’s largest health insurer, Anthem is still in dispute with Hartford HealthCare over reimbursement for health services, but another insurer has reached a contract with the hospital system. 

Reyner Media / Creative Commons

We spend over three trillion dollars on health care every year and we have worse outcomes than any other developed country - all of which spend on average about half of what America spends per person. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Alexion Pharmaceuticals plans to move its headquarters out of the city of New Haven where it began as a startup. The giant company will relocate its corporate office to Boston, the third major company to announce a move from the state in the last two years, following General Electric and Aetna.

Waiting for the Word / Creative Commons

John Nichols, author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to The Most Dangerous People in America believes Donald Trump has put together the most dangerous cabinet in history. He says Trump has filled it with partisan ideologues or people with no government experience and/or unqualified to do the job of their department. 

UTC

United Technologies’s aerospace units are about to get a lot bigger. The Farmington-based conglomerate has announced it will buy Rockwell Collins in a $30 billion dollar deal -- its biggest ever. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Health insurer Aetna has admitted it inadvertently revealed the HIV status of some of its customers in a paper mailing last month. 

Photo Courtesy Martin Podskoch / Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

In the midst of the Great Depression more than 80 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps — giving jobs to young men to support their families, while conserving the country’s wild lands and upgrading our state parks.

This hour, we revisit our show on the CCC’s impact in Connecticut and we hear from one “CCC boy” who is now 102 years old.

Medium

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has taken to the roadways of Connecticut for his second "Walk Across Connecticut," a chance to hear face to face from constituents about their concerns. Along the way he is holding daily town hall forums and eating at local restaurants.

Jon Callas / Creative Commons

Hartford has long been known as the insurance capital of the world, but will that change now that insurance giant, Aetna, is moving its headquarters out of the state?

This hour, we examine the past and future of insurance in Connecticut — and beyond.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The U.S Senate recently rejected a number of Republican plans to repeal, replace, or just overhaul the Affordable Care Act. But the health care debate is far from settled.

Americans have been waiting for a solid pay raise for years. Maybe there's good news awaiting them as the country employs more people.

The U.S. economic recovery has gone on for eight long years, and the unemployment rate is at a low 4.4 percent. But wage gains have barely budged.

That's got economists scratching their heads.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Creative Commons

Justice for all? Or justice for the privileged?

This hour, we hear how one Connecticut-based incubator is helping vulnerable residents gain access to counsel. We also examine more wide-ranging efforts to narrow the country’s “justice gap.” 

The Affordable Care Act is not "exploding" or "imploding," as President Trump likes to claim. But Trump does hold several keys to sabotaging the insurance marketplaces, should he so choose — one of which his administration is reportedly weighing using.

Photo Courtesy Martin Podskoch / Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

In the midst of the Great Depression more than 80 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps — giving jobs to young men to support their families, while conserving the country’s wild lands and upgrading our state parks.

This hour, we learn about the CCC’s impact in Connecticut and we hear from one “CCC boy” who is now 102 years old.

The heat of summer is felt by prospective homeowners in the housing market.

The average price of a single family home in the state has reached $410,000 — up $30,000 from the same time last year.

For many would-be homebuyers, it’s probably a little too hot.

“It’s a little scary the way things fly off the market,” says 34-year-old Katie McGee, a first grade teacher who lives in a small Somerville condo with her 2-year-old daughter and her fiancé, Charlie Linehan, a landscaper in Cambridge.

Jackie Filson / WNPR

French pharma giant Sanofi is to acquire Meriden-based Protein Sciences, the company that makes the Flublok vaccine. The deal, announced Tuesday, is worth up to $750 million. 

Juhan Sonin/flickr creative commons

The failure of lawmakers to pass a state budget is having a direct impact on summer jobs for Connecticut’s youth.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel has been at the helm of the MetroHartford Alliance — since 2001 — promoting economic development in the Greater Hartford region.

This hour, we sit down with Griebel — after his announcement he’ll step down from his role as President and CEO at the end of this year. We talk about the region, the state, and his hopes for the future.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is mired in a financial crisis. Facing a projected $1.7 billion deficit over the next two years, the General Assembly has yet to agree on a new budget to cover that gap while maintaining crucial services. Earlier this week, an article published in The Atlantic asked the question, "What on Earth is Wrong with Connecticut?"

An estimated 222,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in June, according to the monthly employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

"The job gains were better than expected — most economists had predicted a gain of 180,000 jobs," NPR's Chris Arnold reports for our Newscast unit.

The unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent — a 16-year low that was hit in May.

Carmen Baskauf, WNPR

Last year’s election was exhausting, for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which was the endless stream of narratives trying to explain the motivation of voters who, to be frank, seemed pretty pissed off. 

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