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It's been a decade since the financial crisis drove up the unemployment rate in the U.S. and forced people in the prime of their careers to give up looking for work.

Even today, as employers add jobs at a furious pace, the workforce participation rate still hasn't recovered. And now researchers think they know one reason why: the opioid crisis.

Eula Scott Bynoe Jeannie Yandel
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Yes, your workplace is sexist.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Flickr Photo/Heisenberg Media/https://flic.kr/p/iedLj7

In a company blog post dated January 24, 2018 — just two weeks after immigration officials raided 7-Elevens across the country to find and arrest undocumented workers  — Microsoft general manager Tom Keane touted the company's relationship with the agency that conducted the crackdown: ICE.

Rita Adele Steyn's mother had a double mastectomy in her 40s because she had so many lumps in her breasts. Her first cousin died of breast cancer. And Steyn's sister is going through chemotherapy for the disease now. Steyn worries she might be next.

"Sometimes you feel like you beat the odds. And sometimes you feel like the odds are against you," said Steyn, 42, who lives in Tampa, Fla. "And right now I feel like the odds are against me."

McDonald's says it will start using paper straws instead of plastic at all its locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland. And it plans to test sustainable alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe later this year.

The Seattle City Council brought the short-lived "head tax" into the world last month — and last Tuesday, the council proved that it could take it out too.

What do China, India, South Sudan and the United States have in common?

They are among the 92 countries where there is no national policy that allow dads to take paid time off work to care for their newborns.

According to a data analysis released on Thursday by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, almost two-thirds of the world's children under age 1 — nearly 90 million — live in countries where dads are not entitled by law to take paid paternity leave. In these countries, this policy is typically decided by employers.

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks with the media after testifying before the Senate Law and Justice Committee about Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Kim Malcolm talks with U.S. Rep Dave Reichert about why he's opposed to President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum. The tariffs affect imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Head tax opponents and supporters crowd Seattle City Hall on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to two businesses that opposed the head tax about what solutions they're hoping to see, now that the head tax has been repealed. What do Seattle businesses need to do now? What's their responsibility?

A container ship at the Port of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Bari Bookout (CC-BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6kUVcr

The world's biggest cargo ships, some a quarter-mile long, could be docking regularly near downtown Seattle before long.

After four years' study, the Army Corps of Engineers has given the okay to digging deeper shipping channels around Harbor Island at the mouth of the Duwamish River.

Tesla Lays Off 9 Percent Of Workforce

Jun 12, 2018

Tesla will lay off about 3,500 workers in an effort to boost profitability, CEO Elon Musk wrote in a company email.

"What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable," Musk wrote.

Clara Berg, Dana Landon, and Andrew Hoge.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Here we are in balmy June-uary, still clad in waterproof — and arguably unstylish — garb. With our tendency to dress like a "hiking emergency" could break out at any moment (as one listener put it): Is Seattle a fashionable city?

Wellll... it depends on how you define fashionable, said our panel. But Seattle does have something special that's all its own. 

Caitlin Lee raises a Tax Amazon sign in front of Seattle City Council members on Monday, May 14, 2018, during a head tax vote at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The city of Seattle appears to be doing an about-face on the new employee head tax on businesses. The City Council approved the tax unanimously a month ago to generate money for affordable housing and homeless services.

Investors Eager For Economic Opening Of North Korea

Jun 12, 2018

If North Korean leader Kim Jong Un manages detente in his summit with President Trump, it could be a prelude to opening one of the most closed economies in the world.

During his trip to Singapore, Kim has hinted he might be in favor of beginning that process. North Korea's state media reported on Tuesday that Kim was impressed with the city-state's economic development, and hopes he can learn from the country.

The Obama-era federal regulations known as net neutrality are done – at least for now. Though whether anything will change depends on where you live, and what internet service providers choose to do with their newfound freedom.

IHOP — the International House of Pancakes — is changing its name to IHOb and will now feature burgers, the company said in a tweet that was not posted on April Fool's Day. It remains to be seen whether the change will be permanent or merely a flash in the pan (cake) to promote hamburgers.

If a shopper clicks "buy" for a product that costs $1,000 or more, it's twice as likely to be a man than a woman. That's one of the results revealed in a new NPR/Marist poll about online shopping.

On a cold December night last year, a meeting was called in the lobby of my apartment building. Concerned residents gathered to discuss a matter of great import: what to do about the swarms of packages jamming the lobby closet and overflowing into the entryway.

Unclaimed boxes were an eyesore and a nuisance. Finding the right package was starting to require gymnastic ability. And the boxes kept coming, by the dozens, maybe hundreds. Most of them were from Amazon: brown, with a smile on the side.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a narrowly focused ruling Monday that favored Masterpiece Cakes, a Colorado bakery, which refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

New biometric technology will match your face with your passport photo at airport customs. Is this a cause for celebration or concern?
Flickr Photo/Kat (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/6gTcVm

Assumptions about which passport line you belong in, the president's so-called Muslim ban, "random" screening that seems to target certain populations - airports are increasingly a frontier of ethnic and religious bias. Could we bypass some of those problems by taking the human element out of screening?

In the wake of outrage over the April arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store, Starbucks has closed 8,000 US stores for racial bias training.
Flickr Photo/Iain Farrell (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/dVJijp

If you went in search of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, you may have come up empty-handed. Across the nation, Starbucks stores closed for a 4 hour training session on racial bias. 


A simultaneous training session for 175,000 employees, across more than 8,000 stores — that's what Starbucks is doing Tuesday, urging its workers and managers to discuss racial bias and respect following the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store last month.

For the sessions, many Starbucks stores will shut down in the afternoon and stay closed for several hours. A sign at one location in Chicago, for instance, says the store will be locking its doors at 2:30 p.m. and reopening on Wednesday. Other stores have posted similar notices.

Since the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April, several more instances have been documented of mostly white people calling the police on people of color for various reasons, none involving breaking the law — like sleeping in a dorm's common room, shopping, leaving an Airbnb or golfing too slowly.

Facial recognition software has the potential to transform our surveillance ability: for better or for worse.
Flickr Photo/Sam Cox (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/S7S39Y

So you're walking down the street - probably not making eye contact with anyone, if you're from Seattle. But with Amazon's help, even if you're not looking at anyone, law enforcement might be looking at you.


For the first time in its 226-year history, the New York Stock Exchange has named a woman to lead the organization. Stacey Cunningham will succeed Thomas Farley to become the NYSE's 67th president on Friday, according to Intercontinental Exchange Inc.

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Flickr Photo/Kjetil-Ree (CC BY-NC-ND)/flic.kr/p/Hzv1u

The Notorious RBG was likely wearing her dissent collar this morning, as she issued a scathing rebuttal to the majority decision in today's case. At issue? A 5-4 ruling that upheld the ability of employers to force employees into individual arbitration. 


Seattle’s new head tax for homelessness services was bitterly opposed by many business owners. Now some say they will ask voters to repeal it in a ballot referendum.


Americans are rediscovering the coldest aisle in the supermarket.

According to a new report, sales of frozen foods, including vegetables and prepared foods, are now on the rise following a multi-year slump.

The uptick is new — and modest. But growth "is accelerating as consumers begin to see freezing as a way to preserve food with fewer negatives," concludes a report from RBC Capital Markets.

At least 11 Nike executives have left the company this year over complaints of an uncomfortable workplace that discriminates against women.

The first to go was Nike's president, Trevor Edwards. The announcement came in mid-March that the company's No. 2 is retiring in August after more than 25 years. Edwards had been considered a favorite to succeed CEO Mark Parker.

The next day, it was announced that Jayme Martin, a vice president and general manager of global categories for Nike, was no longer with the company.

Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services has approved a new three year contract with Wells Fargo.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/okhmqR

Breaking up is hard — especially if you're a city trying to break up with a bank.

Especially if the other banks aren't all that interested in dating you.


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