President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Tuesday hailed a pending trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would span 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region including Canada and Mexico.

American culture has long held a soft spot for Volkswagen. There was Herbie in the 1968 comedy The Love Bug. And, more recently, the chronically honking, classic VW bus featured in Little Miss Sunshine.

Even though President Obama has not yet released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced Monday, supporters and opponents are making their voices heard — at full volume.

Business leaders and interest groups hope their impassioned pleas will sway Congress, which must vote on the proposed deal next year.

This is what the cheers sounded like:

David Schmader wrote The Stranger's "Last Days" column for 15 years.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

For David Schmader the state of U.S. media is summed up by what happened after New York magazine published a cover story about Bill Cosby’s accusers.

Schmader, who recently left The Stranger after 16 years, told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel that he had been chafing under the changes wrought by the Internet over the past decade. And then came that story and cover.

People who struggle with English will have an easier time getting help if they’re injured on the job in Washington state.

That’s because of a federal agreement to settle a complaint targeting Washington’s system for workers’ compensation.

Gras Cannabis in Portland, Oregon.
Flickr Photo/Alan (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

David Hyde talks with Portland Mercury reporter Dirk VanderHart about how legal marijuana in Oregon could affect pot businesses in Vancouver, Washington.

Amazon To Uber Drivers: Work Here Instead!

Sep 30, 2015

Kim Malcom talks to Wall Street Journal reporter Greg Bensinger about Amazon Flex, the e-commerce giant's new on-demand delivery system, and what it means for rideshare companies like Uber.

Starting Thursday, adults 21 and over can buy marijuana for recreational use in Oregon. And they'll have plenty of places to buy it from.

Harvest is revving up at Washington’s apple orchards. But this year the fruit they’re picking is smaller -- and there is less of it.

For the black magnetic stripes on the backs of your credit and debit cards, Thursday will mark the beginning of the end — a shift that could be costly for retailers.

Since the beginning of credit cards, merchants were never liable if a thief used a stolen or counterfeit credit card to shop; the bank issuing the card usually made both the customer and the store whole.

A Washington state lawmaker who has been trying to make paid family leave available to all workers said a new federal grant will be a big help. 

Machinery spraying pesticide on rows of Christmas trees at tree farm near Wautoma, Wis., in 2011.
Flickr photo/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Stronger rules for pesticides sprayed on farms and in forests, greenhouses and nurseries can cut health risks for workers, the federal government said in rolling out new safety standards this week. 

That news doesn’t come too soon for farmworkers like Martin Rios.

Reporter Ashley Ahearn dug into the Northwest history of the B-17 bomber with her father, Joe Ahearn, Jr.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

There’s an old photograph in my father’s office that I’ve always wondered about. In it my grandfather and nine other young airmen stand in front of their B-17 plane, shoulders squared, staring proudly at the camera. They were probably in England at the time, getting ready to fly bombing raids over Germany in 1943.

The state employment departments in Oregon and Washington are organizing 'rapid response' teams to help nearly 1,000 grocery workers facing mass layoff.

Oregon voters could see competing minimum-wage initiatives on their 2016 ballot. A group that favors a hike to $13.50 per hour kicked off their signature gathering campaign Monday.