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June 24, 2019

As part of an audit, the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General will investigate the delayed release of a redesigned $20 bill featuring abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked the Treasury's internal watchdog to look into the matter and examine whether there was "any involvement by the White House." In a statement released Monday, Schumer said there are "no women, there are no people of color on our paper currency today, even though they make up a significant majority of our population. ... The $20 note was a long overdue way to recognize that disparity, and rectify it."

During the Obama administration, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced the redesign, scheduled for release in 2020. In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Tubman $20 was being pushed aside, as the $10 and $50 bills needed to be redesigned first due to counterfeit concerns. The audit, which should take about 10 months to complete, will also look at security measures in place for currency. Catherine Garcia

April 5, 2017

In good news for parents whose children enjoy making in-app purchases without asking permission, Amazon will soon set up a program that could distribute up to $70 million in refunds.

On Tuesday, Amazon and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to end appeals related to a decision made last year in federal court that found Amazon liable for in-app purchases made by children. The court ruled that Amazon did not have enough safeguards in place to keep kids from making these pricey buys without authorization from an adult. Many apps have the option of purchasing — with real money — boosts that can make a game easier or more enjoyable to play. The new program will cover purchases made from November 2011 to May 2016.

"This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers' consent before you charge them," Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "Consumers affected by Amazon's practices can now be compensated for charges they didn't expect or authorize." Amazon is expected to release details on the refund program soon. Catherine Garcia

August 10, 2015

If you're an investor up for a risk, North Korea is looking to raise $150 million in outside money for 100 different projects in the eastern part of the country.

The government wants to open a $39 million brewery (with the goal of producing 50 million liters of beer annually), gas stations, restaurants, and a bus terminal and refurbish an old hotel in the Wonsan-Kumgang Development Zone. Michael Spavor, an independent consultant working with a committee to bring in funding, told Reuters that North Korea is "looking at this as a new East Asian business and tourism hub. It's a nice area, it's on the coast."

Despite having 20 special economic and development zones, the secretive and isolated country isn't home to many foreign entities. An Egyptian company runs North Korea's only mobile phone network, and even with 2.5 million subscribers, has been unable to withdraw its profits. "Most foreign investments in North Korea have ended badly, but most of those people had very superficial understanding of the place and did not have insider connections," Andrei Lankov, professor at Kookmin University in Seoul, told Reuters. "Those who did, make very good money, but tend to remain very silent about their success because they don't want to attract attention — from any side." Catherine Garcia

June 29, 2015

The Obama administration could announce as early as Tuesday that it plans to expand overtime eligibility for millions of Americans by 2016.

The 1938 law that established the federal 40-hour workweek exempts professional, administrative, and executive employees from overtime pay requirements. Under the draft rules, a person classified as a manager or professional who earns $970 a week or less and works more than 40 hours would have to earn overtime pay, an administration official told Bloomberg. Retail workers and restaurant employees are the most likely to be affected. "You would be hard pressed to find a rule change or an executive order that would reach more middle class workers than this one," says Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Catherine Garcia

May 20, 2015

Demonstrators asking for a $15 minimum wage and a union marched near the McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, on Wednesday, one day before the annual shareholders meeting will take place.

An estimated 2,000 protesters from across the United States took part in the event, and more are expected to arrive in time for another rally on Thursday. Last year, 1,500 protesters gathered outside of headquarters during the shareholders meeting, and more than 100 were arrested for crossing police barricades. Protester Kwanza Brooks with Fight for 15, the national group organizing the rallies, told USA Today that the demonstrators were there "to tell McDonald's and its shareholders to invest in the company and its workers instead of wealthy hedge fund managers and executives."

Earlier this year, McDonald's said it would bump up its starting pay for workers to $1 above local minimum wage, but organizers say that isn't enough to lift a person out of poverty, and that only applies to company-owned stores, which account for just 10 percent of all McDonald’s restaurants. Catherine Garcia

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