Iraq War Declared Over, Bad Practices Behind “Fair Trade” Labels, Small Businesses and Job Creation, Amazon Angers Brick & Mortars: Today on Here and Now

by Laura Ellis on December 15, 2011

1:06pm: In Baghdad today, the U.S. military officially declared an end to the war in Iraq, a war that cost more than 4,000 U.S. lives, and the lives countless Iraqis. But as the war ends, and all the troops come home by the end of the year, a story in today’s New York Times probes one of the darkest days of the war, the massacre by U.S. Marines of two dozen Iraqis in Haditha in 2005. Reporter Michael Schmidt discovered pages of interrogations of the Marines in a Baghdad junkyard.

1:12pm: When we buy products with a “fair trade” label, we assume the products come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated and treated ethically. But a Bloomberg News investigation found that in some cases, the fair trade label might be masking some of the worst labor practices. Bloomberg found children working in slave-like conditions in the West African country of Burkina Faso, growing and picking the cotton that is used in millions of pieces of clothing sold by Victoria’s Secret.

1:35pm: Can small businesses really grow enough to help the overall economy? Our Changing Gears team has been looking at magic bullets – the big ideas that can solve our economic crisis. Today, in the final installment of our series, we take a look at small businesses and the impact of the jobs they create.

1:40pm: Last Saturday, Amazon made a special offer to customers with mobile phones: Go to a brick and mortar shop, use Amazon’s price check app to scan the bar code for the price on something you want. If you then buy the item online from Amazon, the company will give you an extra 5% off three purchases. The offer angered Main Street businesses, who say it turned their businesses into show rooms for Amazon. Amazon defended the promotion saying it was just helping consumers save money. We’ll talk about it this hour.

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