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President Trump invoked the needs of American businesses and energy users when he announced Thursday that he was pulling the country out of the Paris climate accords.


This year, 25 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that would bar employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary. Last year, two states — California and Massachusetts — adopted similar policies, aimed at trying to narrow the pay gap for women and minorities.

The AmazonFresh Pickup site in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Amazon Prime members can now pick up their groceries without getting out of their cars. This is part of a new service they’re trying out called AmazonFresh Pickup.

But what does that mean for traditional grocery stores?

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A proposal for a federal $15 minimum wage was rolled out in Congress Thursday. Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the bill.

Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, among other jurisdictions, have all decided on a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Protesters outside Amazon's annual shareholder's meeting hold up a RoboBezos sign
KUOW photo/Kate Walters

As shareholders heard about revenue gains at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, protesters gathered outside the building.

The company’s revenue grew to $136 billion in 2016, up from $107 billion the year before. Amazon also grew its employee base to more than 340,000 people worldwide in 2016.

The online retail giant shows no sign of slowing. And as the company continues to grow, Amazon is facing pressure on social and political issues.

Consumers who thought they were doing the right thing by buying rooftop solar systems made by a Pacific Northwest company called Silicon Energy are in a pickle. Many of those solar panels have now been labeled defective and a fire risk.

File photo of Paine Field from August 2009.
Wikipedia Photo/Jelson25 (Public Domain)

Seattle area travelers will have two airport options starting next year. Alaska Airlines says it's bringing commercial flights to Paine Field, bordering Everett and Mukilteo, by fall of 2018. It's the first airline to do so.

The wettest spring on record in eastern Washington state not only rendered state highways and other roads impassable, it has also kept loggers from harvesting timber and shuttered one sawmill for at least two weeks.

When the National Security Agency lost control of the software behind the WannaCry cyberattack, it was like "the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen," Microsoft President Brad Smith says, in a message about the malicious software that has created havoc on computer networks in more than 150 countries since Friday.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

The Trump administration has given a new lease on life to a massive Alaskan gold and copper mine that the Obama administration rejected in 2014.

Blue Origin employees Devin Vezetinski (C) and Dan Cody (R) chat up Edward Matyasi (L), who just interviewed with the company. Blue Origin likes this brewery & taproom so much, it sent a postcard from Airways Brewing Company up in one of its rockets.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Lots of industrial jobs are coming to the Kent Valley, south of Seattle, businesses that make everything from ice sculptures to airplane parts. But workers today don’t want to carry a metal lunch pail to work everyday. They want to go out.

Restaurants and pubs are trying to capitalize on those hungry workers with money in their pockets. But it’s tricky in Kent, because the modern city was laid out to keep industry and restaurants far away from each other.


Can a state environmental-protection regulation be considered a “tax”?

That’s a central question in a lawsuit by business interests against Washington’s regulatory cap on carbon-pollution emissions that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The answer could determine whether Gov. Jay Inslee can make progress on reducing global warming emissions in the state, long one of his top priorities.

Apple growers in Washington state, who dominate American apple production, are starting to plant a new kind of apple. It's the fastest launch of a new variety in history.

Rockie Ward  may have a job for you to work at Omax. They make machines that cut metal using water.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

People call it the “silver tsunami,” for those currently in senior positions in Kent's industrial valley. A massive wave of older, experienced workers is considering retirement at around the same time.


Luke Muñoz overcame the obstacles keeping him from leveling up his skills thanks in part to the generosity of an uncle who gave him a quiet room to study away from his noisy siblings.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Pat Pritchard stood before a group of students at Green River College in Kent. He told his students that he doesn’t train them to be grunts, because what we need from workers is changing. 


Workers watch the ceremonial first planting in The Spheres at Amazon campus on Thursday.
Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Amazon

You've seen the big, glass orbs in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, right?

The Amazon spheres.

Two weeks ago, a hashtag began going viral in India: #LahuKaLagaan. It literally means the tax on blood.

That would be India's tax on sanitary napkins — 12 to 15 percent on top of the 40 to 80 rupees (.60 cents to $1.25) for a package of eight. (Typically sold in an unmarked black plastic bag because India is not big on talking about menstrual topics.)

Joseph Roth in the Puget Sound region's new IKEA. The store now contains model homes to showcase compact living. The smallest is 860 square feet.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

IKEA has been in the Seattle area since the 1990s, but until recently its store here has been an anomaly.

Get ready for a new kind of apple. It's called Cosmic Crisp, and farmers in Washington state, who grow 70 percent of the country's apples, are planting these trees by the millions. The apples themselves, dark red in color with tiny yellow freckles, will start showing up in stores in the fall of 2019.

Scott McDougall is one of the farmers who's making a big bet on Cosmic Crisp.

"It goes back to believing in the apple," he says.

"You believe?" I ask.

"I believe!" he says, and chuckles.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been hearing stories about people adapting to a changing economy for our series Brave New Workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Do I still see myself as a cowboy? Yeah, I do, and I hope I always do.

It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.

Public utility commissioners in Chelan County, Washington, take a high stakes vote Monday that could influence whether the aluminum industry and its well-paid, blue collar jobs make a comeback in the Pacific Northwest.

Unionized pilots at Alaska Airlines and recently acquired Virgin America pulled off a virtual barrel roll Wednesday to get management's attention. The union complains that talks to combine both pilot groups under what they hope will be a more generous joint contract aren't moving fast enough.

Nordstrom's flagship store in Downtown Seattle
flickr photo/ Prayitno (CC BY 2.0)/ https://flic.kr/p/93yEzy

Bill Radke talks to Cal McAllister, co-founder and executive creative director of The Wexley School For Girls, about Nordstrom's expensive, faux mud-caked jeans. 

The Trump administration announced this week it would levy up to 24 percent tariffs on Canadian softwood. It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute between the two countries.

President Trump may not talk much about electric vehicles, but there's another American — with better name recognition in China — who does.

The voice of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, popular in China for his role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, graces the showroom of Auto Shanghai, the city's biennial automotive expo, accompanied by images beamed on a circular wall showing Beijing covered in smog and children wearing pollution masks.

Bill Radke talks to Emily Parkhurst, editor in chief of the Puget Sound Business Journal about how the Seattle business community feels about the candidates who are running for mayor of Seattle. 

KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Last week President Trump signed an executive order that could bring significant changes to the H-1B visa program, which lets companies temporarily hire a limited number of foreign workers. Created in 1990, the program is popular among local tech companies, especially Microsoft.


Should Uber drivers unionize in Seattle?

Apr 17, 2017
After years of requests from drivers, Uber has added a tipping function on its app
Flickr photo/Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kAYh8Z

Bill Radke speaks with Fusion's senior editor Felix Salmon about the effort to unionize Uber drivers in Seattle. Radke also speaks with anti-union driver Debra Jeffs-Grad and pro-union driver Takele Gobena. 

Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal.

Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions.

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