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California's building codes are not keeping up with the severe, wind-driven wildfires that are becoming the norm.

Ten years ago, the state passed strict new standards for homes built in high fire-risk areas.

Japanese lawmakers have passed controversial legislation expanding the number of semi-skilled foreign workers who can live and work in the notably insular nation for up to five years.

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It's jobs day! The U.S. economy created 155,000 jobs in November. That's less than the roughly 200,000 jobs a month that the economy has been creating for the past year. But with solid wage growth and an unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7 percent, the jobs report overall looks pretty good.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY BATHROOM IS A PRIVATE KIND OF PLACE")

Ignoring pressure from President Trump to keep the oil flowing, OPEC, Russia and other producers have agreed to cut production. They pledged to pare output by 1.2 million barrels a day, hoping to stem a sharp drop in oil prices.

The price of crude jumped nearly 4.5 percent Friday morning, to $53.75 per barrel, on word of the agreement, which called for a bigger reduction than analysts had expected.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Circular.

About Kate Raworth's TED Talk

We're often told that economic growth is good, but Kate Raworth says our addiction to growth is destroying the planet. To thrive in the 21st century, she says we need a new circular economic system.

About Kate Raworth

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Circular.

About Tristram Stuart's TED Talk

Our industrial food system is doing serious damage to our planet and food waste is a rampant problem. Tristram Stuart offers one strategy to combat food waste: cook scraps and feed them to livestock.

About Tristram Stuart

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Circular.

About Jessi Arrington's TED Talk

Fast fashion is wreaking havoc on the environment. That's why Jessi Arrington makes a point of (almost) never buying anything new. She explains how she builds a sustainable wardrobe that looks great.

About Jessi Arrington

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Circular.

About David Katz's TED Talk

Millions of tons of plastic flow into the ocean each year. David Katz's Plastic Bank helps turn off the tap — and gives the poor an income source — creating a circular economy around plastic waste.

About David Katz

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When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes office next month, representing New York's 14th District, she will be a part of the "blue wave" of new Democrats in the House. But the 29-year-old may end up being a part of a different kind of wave, too: a bipartisan effort for members of Congress to pay the interns they employ.

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Twenty-four workers at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were taken to area hospitals after being exposed to bear repellent on Wednesday morning, when a robot punctured a can of the aerosol spray.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, national security adviser John Bolton talks about the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, scion of a Chinese telecommunications giant, natural security threats posed by China and a second summit with North Korea.

Steve Inskeep: We'll just dive right in. But I want to start with the arrest that we learned about last night and that I presume you've known about for some time. What is the message that is sent by the arrest of Meng Wanzhou?

The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.

The arrest and possible extradition of a Chinese business executive highlights ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China that national security adviser John Bolton says will be a major focus of negotiations over the next three months.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET Friday

The jobless rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.7 percent in November as employers added 155,000 jobs, fewer than in October and less than expected by private analysts.

Meanwhile, wages grew 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same rate as in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Average earnings climbed to $27.35 an hour.

The Fed's Mistake?

Dec 6, 2018

For years after the Great Recession the Federal Reserve kept short term interest rates near zero percent. That meant money was cheap, making it easier for people and companies to borrow, which helped keep the U.S. economy growing.

But then in late 2015 — with unemployment near five percent — the Fed became increasingly worried about the economy overheating, and it started gradually raising rates. Adam Ozimek, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics, thinks that was a big mistake. Today on the show, he tells us why.

Prosecutors have unsealed the first U.S. criminal charges filed since the Panama Papers, a trove of secret documents revealing details of offshore shell-companies, were leaked to reporters and published in 2016.

In a 67-page indictment, the Southern District of New York named four individuals: Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, Richard Gaffey and Harald Joachim Von Der Goltz. They are charged on 11 counts, including conspiracy and lying to investigators.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET

Kathy Kraninger, a White House official, has been confirmed as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new director over objections by critics who highlighted her lack of experience in consumer protection.

The Senate voted 50-49 Thursday to back Kraninger as head of the consumer protection watchdog agency. She has worked for the Office of Management and Budget since March 2017.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

U.S. stock markets recovered most of their losses after plunging on reports that a Chinese technology executive was arrested in Canada. The arrest escalated U.S.-China tensions at a time when the two sides vowed to work to ease their trade war.

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Authorities in Vancouver, Canada, have arrested a top executive at one of China's biggest tech companies.

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