Here and Now

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

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.

Here and Now

Sandusky Case Goes Straight to Trial, Economic Historian Says Spending Will Save the Economy, EPA Will Unveil Stricter Rules For Power Plants: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary court hearing, which means his case goes straight to trial. We’ll get an update on those developments.

1:12pm: An economic historian says businesses and governments don’t drive growth and never have—consumer spending does. James Livingston has written about his controversial theory in Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul. He joins us this hour.

Politicians and economic development officials like to promote so-called “magic bullets.” Build this attraction, lure this industry, and our state will prosper. Do those big projects ever pay off? We’ll continue a four part series today looking at the booming industry to produce advanced lithium batteries.

The Environmental Protection Agency has regulated toxic air pollution for most industries, but not the biggest polluters: coal and oil-burning power plants. That changes later this week, and we’ll consider the impact.

Here and Now

Mitt Romney’s $10,000 Bet, New Testimony in UK Phone Hacking Investigation, Avoiding Holiday Scams: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Mitt Romney is trying to downplay the $10,000 bet he offered to Rick Perry in Saturday night’s GOP presidential candidates debate to try to disprove Perry’s claim that he deleted parts of his book that supported a health care mandate. Romney laughed off suggestions that his pricey bet sent the wrong message. We’ll find out how it’s playing with voters.

1:12pm: There’s been more dramatic testimony in the UK phone hacking inquiry. More reporters for News of the World have come forward to talk about their methods of reporting, and to defend phone hacking. The question on many minds remains, what did James Murdoch know, when did he know it? We’ll talk about it and what the answer could mean for the Murdoch empire.

1:35pm: Politicians and economic development officials like to speak in terms of “magic bullets.” Build this attraction, lure this industry, and our state will prosper. Do those big projects ever pay off? We’ll begin a four part series today.

1:40pm: From QR codes infected with malware to gift cards whose balances mysteriously disappear—the scam artists are out in full force for the holidays. We’ll have some advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.