National / International News

The Gray Market: An invisible $2 trillion economy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-20 07:37

When jobs are tough to find and salaries remain stagnant, sometimes people turn to something else to make ends meet. Maybe they start playing poker, or stripping or even selling Tupperware under the table to pay their bills — not necessarily illegal, but not necessarily mainstream.

According to Edgar Feige, economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, unreported income totals $2 trillion in the U.S. That includes illegal activities like drug dealing, but it also includes side jobs like nannies and eBay sellers.

We want to hear stories of the little and big things you did for money in this gray area. Email us or leave a comment.

Dan Szematowicz, Senior Producer of Marketplace Weekend, shares his story of how he pulled through leaner times early in his career:

A group of friends and I went to the local casino for an evening of shenanigans and tomfoolery. Next thing I know, I’m sitting at a poker table playing VERY low stakes Texas hold’em.

Over the next few hours, the stack of chips in front of me grew. Beginner’s luck, right?

I enjoyed the game, so I went back the next weekend. Same result. I studied the game, constantly practiced and steadily moved up in stakes. After a few months, I was making significantly more money from playing poker than I was from my more respectable job. That extra money allowed me to bridge the gap between what I was pulling down from my entry-level radio job, and the bills that needed to be paid. In turn, that gave me the feeling of security that I needed to concentrate on growing my radio career.

Stephanie Kwolek, Chemist Who Created Kevlar, Dies At 90

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-20 07:30

Kwolek, a DuPont scientist, invented the remarkable fibers — lightweight, flexible and five times stronger than steel — that are used around the world in bulletproof body armor.

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Polish secret tapes raid 'was wrong'

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 07:08
Poland's justice ministry criticises prosecutors over a raid on a magazine's offices to find leaked tapes that embarrassed the government.

Unlikely hit app Yo is 'hacked'

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 07:00
Messaging app Yo, which in the past week has rocketed to the top of the app download charts, is hit by a hack.

Scot who cheered Uruguay goal named

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 07:00
A mystery Scot who caused a social media storm after celebrating Uruguay's winning goal against England is named as a Glasgow man.

U.N.: Number Of Displaced People Hits Mark Not Seen Since World War II

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:59

At least 51.2 million people are now living under forced displacement, a U.N. agency says. If all of them were put into one country, it would be the 26th largest in the world.

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Welfare cap 'could be breached'

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:56
The government is at risk of breaching its self-imposed limit on welfare spending due to the rising costs of the main sickness benefit, leaked documents say.

Bulgaria ravaged by deadly floods

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:52
At least 12 people have been killed and several are missing after torrential rain and heavy floods hit the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna.

Yo Is The Buzzy App Of The Moment, Whether Yo Like It Or Not

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:40

Yo is an app that does nothing but let you send a voice message to your contacts saying "Yo." Is it worth the $1 million investors seem to think it is?

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Wife wins right to bury soldier

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:24
The wife of Black Watch soldier Pte Mark Connelly has won the right to bury him after a three-year legal battle with his mother.

The rock super-group of collections

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:19
The newly refurbished Mauritshuis in The Hague opens

VIDEO: Xbox One and PS4 big games launches

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:15
The E3 video games expo saw a series of big game launches for Microsoft and Sony consoles.

VIDEO: 'Devastating impact of PIP benefit'

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 06:09
A report by MPs has branded the implementation of the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) benefit a "fiasco", an opinion shared and welcomed by the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.

Lego fuses real and virtual worlds

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:52
Lego offers bricks that can be built in real world and then transferred into the digital world.

Palestinian killed as hunt continues

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:47
A Palestinian youth has been killed during clashes with Israeli troops searching for three Israeli teenagers believed abducted in the West Bank.

Mine death families' payout bid

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:47
The families of four miners who died when 650,000 gallons of water flooded a pit are seeking compensation from the colliery's owners.

Wrong! Deconstructing 5 Famous History Stories

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:46

You don't question them. You don't doubt them. You hear them so often, you wouldn't know they are lies. Here are five historical "facts" that aren't true. Never were. And now you'll know.

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Hamilton dominates Austria practice

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:45
Lewis Hamilton was significantly quicker than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in second practice at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Kenya: 'Watch football at home'

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:40
Kenya's government urges fans to watch World Cup matches at home instead of in crowded areas after deadly attacks along the coast earlier this week.

Coalition bust-up over IT overhaul

BBC - Fri, 2014-06-20 05:31
A row erupts after Lib Dem ministers Vince Cable and Ed Davey blame Francis Maude's flagship IT policy for slow emails and lost data at their departments.
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