June 18, 2019: Rep. Schiff On Iran; Effects Of Vaping On Cardiovascular Health


This message comes from here and now sponsor indeed. If you're hiring with indeed, you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions, then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard. Get started at indeed dot com slash NPR podcast from NPR and WB are Boston. I'm Robin young broadcasting today from W CPN idea stream in Cleveland Ohio, as we visit stations across the country. I'm Jeremy Hobson, it's here and now we're getting reaction today to the president's order to send an additional one thousand troops to the Middle East. The announcement came yesterday after Iran said it could breach the twenty fifteen nuclear deal at the end of the month. That's if it doesn't get relief from sanctions imposed after President Trump pulled out of that deal last year. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is blaming Iran for attacks onto oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. Something Iran denies joining us now is congressman Adam Schiff democrat of California, and check. Chairman of the house intelligence committee. Congressman welcome back. Thank you, great to live you, and first of all, what is your reaction to the idea of the US sending more troops thousand troops to the Middle East? Well, I'm desperately concerned that we avoid any action that could escalate matters, or precipitate of war with Iran. I think the evidence that Iran attack the ships is very strong. And we ought to be working on a concerted response with our allies. But if we're going to loan of it gives me great pause and it means I think that we have affiliated a lot of our friends in Europe and elsewhere, by reneging on their new meant and by taking actions that our allies feel have promoted this instability and helped bring about this crisis. So avert concerned that we not take actions that could escalate matters for the what actions are you talking about the, you think that the United States has taken to promote instability? Well, I think you probably the most serious action was reneging on the around in nuclear deal went on wasn't fact, complying. And then we took steps more recently to prevent other countries from importing uranium from Iran, which I think is celery, the timetable of for Iran to reach the point of where it's inviolate of the nuclear agreement around self is taking provocative steps like increasing the pace of enrichment. But when we leave the agreement, we can't be all that surprised to find ourselves in the circumstances. Certainly doesn't justify Iran attack ships or restarting its nuclear program, but it does mean that this was eminently predictable. And I think that's what our allies react you to. Let's go back to what you said about the fact that you believe that there's strong evidence that Iran attacked these ships last Thursday. One of the ships was Japanese operated in the Japanese say they're not convinced that Iran was behind the attacks. You know, I think that part of the reluctance, I think we. Allies has less to do with whether they're persuaded that Iran is responsible for their tack on these ships. There aren't a whole lot of other candidates for this action. I think intelligence is very strong, but rather a reluctance to take steps with the United States that they could lead us to warfare. So from my point of view, this is less about intelligence. It's more a, a reaction to the United States going alone reneging on national agreements that were working and putting us in a position where we're not unified in responding to Iran, some eleventh behavior. Do you think the Trump administration is preparing for war with Iran? Well, I think there's a division of opinion within the ministration apparently between the president and Bolton and Pompeo, apparently the president sought to have the Japanese Prime minister while visiting around the make an overture on the US have to return to the negotiating table. But at the same time you have Bolton announcing on the eve of that, that we were imposing new sanctions on the Ron now with that was deliberately intended to scuttle this initiative of by the president or it was just a lack of coordination. I don't know. But the result is, I think very into here in policy. We spoke yesterday with the BBC's Mark Lowen in the region who said, quote, nobody wants conflict in this region. But the fear is that an unintentional conflict could break out. And that, of course, it'd be devastating. And of course, the ghosts of the Iraq war. Still stock this region and no side wants to really come to blows. What about that? How worried are you that the US could again end up in a conflict? With a country in the Middle East based on false intelligence. Well, I am very concerned about the United States and around a bundling of their way into war. You know, again, I think the intelligence here in terms of the attack on these ships is pretty clear by also intelligence on Iraq. I have to say that wasn't was strong, although I wasn't on the intelligence committee at the time, it didn't have the same both access and understanding of the intelligence that I do now but I, I really think this is less an issue of intelligence and more initially what we do that, until since what do you think should happen? Now. Is there any chance of preventing Iran from breaching its agreement, and enriching more uranium than it should under the terms of the deal that the US, of course, pulled out of? You know, I think there is a chance of getting your Ron to remain in the agreement but to the degree that, you know, we continued to take steps to force runs. Hand of by you know as I was mentioning the State Department announcing in may that it would use sanctions against countries of that facilitated the export of uranium from Iran with Iran can't export its uranium than it's more likely to have a stockpile. That's in excessive of allowable limits now around could just stopped enriching. But again, this is the situation when you have both countries Iran, and the United States taking action that seems to be leading us into the dead end of conflict, and that only increases the chance that this ever really bad outcome. Congressman Adam Schiff, the chair of the house intelligence committee, congressman, thanks, thank you very much. Well now to have the trade war with. China has crushed the packaging products industry over the last several months here in the US, there seems to be no relief in sight for American business owners and to western cities, like Phoenix, which have been wholly dependent on the US China relationship to fully process recycled paper. It's about more than just trade as Heather van, block Lind, from member station. K J Z reports. It's about how US and Chinese business owners must work together to keep one industry alive. Brian Boland is the paper guy. He started in paper in nineteen ninety five and he seemed things change dramatically people huge that you've got foreign investments coming into the US. But one thing to remember is that the growth and to see investment in these facilities that have been here literally since the late eighteen hundreds. It's really, really cool. It's really powerful stuff. Owen started in paper and Michigan just out of school. He's moved a few times in change. Companies a few times, mostly through by ups in buyouts bowlen's worked for me paper and catalyst paper and now n ND paper, the Chinese company that's bought four US paper mills over the last year with plans to buy more ND paper is the US operation of nine dragons paper holdings, the largest paper company in China. And one of the largest in the world bolan is based at ND's Ohio office, with no end in sight to the trade war with China these by ups and buyouts are making industry insiders nervous, but business operators like peak Keller vice president of recycling in sustainability Republic services, the second largest waste company in the US say the industry needs to be saved by its operators. When I say the, the business models broken in the US, it's broken eighteen months ago cardboard was trading around one hundred and fifty dollars a tonne mixed paper and other paper products were trading for route one hundred dollars a tonne. And cardboard today is trading for about fifty dollars a tonne and those other paper grades trading around zero seventy five percent of Republic services business is dependent on paper Keller says the law has changed in the last year. You know, I would say this relative to recycling if the material that's being recovered aggregated, and ultimately marketed isn't going back into a manufacturing process isn't getting reintroduced as some other product than it's not recycling prices in the US for recycled cardboard at a decade low since China stopped buying the US product and January of two thousand eighteen China established its national sword, policy and effort to clean up its own environment and reduce pollution that includes drastically changing its import policy on recycled paper in addition to tariffs on paper products, the global recycling business went into a tailspin hitting recycled paper, particularly hard Joji. Ladies is assistant public works director for the city of Phoenix. Those products are not selling nearly at the prices that they used to in some cases, people are paying to move their paper. It's affecting a lot of municipalities a lot of operations in terms of the revenues that they're accustomed to receiving from selling recycling or not there anymore. And so those shortfalls, for example, in Phoenix, though. Shortfalls in budget are things we have to make up China consumes approximately one quarter of all, global paper products about a quarter of its consumption has to be imported since China, does not have the natural resources to keep up with its population demand in two thousand seventeen China imported twenty six million metric tons of scrap paper in two thousand eighteen that dropped to fifteen million twenty nine thousand nine is on pace to drop even more Judy says the solution to their trade problem is not trade negotiations, but with US mills, which need to produce cleaner products across the US, the US base mills bought by Chinese. Owned and de paper already do since they produce paper pulp a finished product that's contaminant free and can be exported to China, as is even with an added terrif-. So essentially, they're making their new cardboard boxes or products here in the United States, and then shipping them back to China to put the, the, the toys and other products that their manufacturing that are going to then get back in the box and come back over to the United States or wherever else, people are buying them from. So it's a very unique international trade situation going on there for here. And now I'm Heather van block land in Phoenix. Support for here now and the following message come from amber waves the revolutionary new personal thermostat ever wish feeling too hot or too cold or optional as summer heats up outside just press for a thermal wave designed to provide cooling relief over air conditioned inside lead that sweater in the car and rely on ember wave instead. Learn Lord ember wave dot com and use code NPR to say fifty dollars at checkout, ember weight control your comfort. Fifty years ago this week the profoundly polluted cuyahoga river burst into flames. Now there's lots of myths about that fire, but it's legacy is clear it fueled, the country's young environmental movement later, the creation of the EPA, and the clean water act. For many the river is frozen inflames from a photograph from that time but the fires long gone. And as we found out at the river's banks that fire also changed the lives of Clevelanders like kayaker kitchen Eiter, I grew up in Cleveland. I know Cleveland really well, but when I'm on the river, I have no idea where I am because I've grown up in a city where we've turned our backs to our lakes and rivers. And so we don't really know what it's like I'm walking around. I'm like, oh, that's a coffee. Shop I used to go to all the time. But I'm paddling pass it. And I have no frame of reference of my geography. Rising. Real. Cleveland too. Yes, they're kayaking on the cuyahoga. It's more than the songs, written about it, like Randy Newman's burn on and to some natives, like Jane Goodman, executive director of the cuyahoga river restoration that songs part of the problem. Can we start with the myths about this? We've been listening to Randy Newman's. You're making a face. Burn river bird wish he would write a new song or at least a new verse the how it's not burning any more people who live here, think it's still burning believe me. There are people who say to me. Oh, you mean the river that catches on fire. Real. No. So let's set the record straight. So the actual fire in nineteen sixty nine was a few miles up river from we are sparked from a train going over trestle lit some of the garbage on the river on fire, but it only lasted. Twenty minutes, give or take. There are no pictures of it. That's right. Not only because it was over so fast. But because it was such a common occurrence when it was mentioned the next day in the paper was like an inner page, it wasn't even front page news. And then time magazine picks up the idea of the river catching on fire does a piece, and they use a picture from nineteen fifty two which was much more photogenic. This picture is the thing that sparks literally, you know, excuse the pun the budding environmental movement, eventually EPA, explained the context, nineteen sixty-nine, what was going on that this became such a big story. It was a perfect storm Louis Stokes being. A congressman Carl Stokes, his brother, having been elected as the first African American mayor of a major American city, Carl Stokes recognized that this wasn't just a water quality issue. It was a social Justice issue. He got the city to pass a hundred million dollar bond to start cleaning up the river et the same time. The time magazine article came out there was this terrific photo of the nineteen fifty two fire and people bought it because it was a follow up to the moon landing and on the cover was teddy Kennedy and the neck brace. It was the Chappaquiddick issue. So the reason so many people found out about it was because they read that issue of time magazine print goodness. Because change began there, but Jenkin you describe we've seen pictures we'll have some adhere now dot org. I can't believe the pictures of the cars that were lining the banks like abandoned cars knows I to what keep the riverbank back, when you don't respect a waterway as a river. You just see it as an open sewer dumpsite. You don't know how to stabilize banks, you put whatever you can there, this was considered the price of industrialization, you have sewage. You had oil and gas and tar building materials chemicals. Everything you didn't want in your neighborhood. You put by the river and how often had it caught on fire. I'm nineteen sixty-nine was the thirteenth fire that we know of it looked to us in a picture. We saw they were literally sucking things out like giant vacuum sucking things out of the river. How did he get cleaned up? So Frank sim. So who started the Chandler e that served the maritime businesses just decided to outfit? Ah boat called the puts Frau cleaning lady in German, that made it possible for the rest of the major cleanup efforts to happen. Well, we made our way over to Sam sell supply. The massive marine supply and servicing company right on the river where we met, Frank Sam cells now grown children. Kathy Patrick and Mike. Sam cell next to meet you. Hey, hi, Robyn and Mike Sam sell your dead, Frank. We outfitted this boat with, with what to clean up the river did design the boat to use a factor, which would pick up the oil off the surface of the water. And in the after end of the boat. There was a crane, they would pick up all the debris and we put those in eighteen year. Dumpsters those have be removed with a truck, and then we pump the oil out of the boat out with him. Oh, yeah. How bad was it pretty nasty? But it's gotten better. I mean look at it now but did you dad? I mean did he get paid to do this? Well, Modesto an entrepreneur, so he saw that they were picking up oil pretty inefficiently straw, different items like that he thought, I you know, I can do better job and I can make some money at it. So you had to do two things. He had been invent the equipment and then do it competitively so that he got the jobs Catherine to stand this coming weekend. There's going to be at torch that will come down the river, sort of symbolic of the fire that was here before I think your dad's gonna be honored. I mean, what's, what's your sense of that? Well, I think it's wonderful that we've come so far, and that they are giving dad's credit for some of the work that he's done in everything. We're so proud for Cleveland. I mean, they cleaned up the river so fast that within twenty years, the boat was out of service. It's taken the last thirty years to really just clean the rest of was it like to look out on the river now. Oh, it's amazing to see the votes come up and to see recreation, and in the street are working together because there was no recreation down here whatsoever. The river itself, or, or this, this section here has become a more of a neighborhood and people are working together and, and playing together, you know, you must be proud over proud to dead. And, and really just like the provice city, pro the people, the city Clinton to, to come together and fix us up. Back on the river. Jane Goodman, again, of the cuyahoga river restoration agrees. It was the people of Cleveland businesses environmentalists, citizens who decided their river needed protection. So when you stop poisoning something, it can start healing, most of the recovery had to do with businesses being regulated, not being able to add to the problem and this wasn't just clean water act. It was clean Eric because a lot of what landed on the river came from smokestack industries understand that Koga means curving river and you still will have these huge vessels coming down here and it gets kind of crowded at times. How are you managing the new recreational use with the ongoing industrial these very carefully? When people started using it recreationally the operators of those huge vessels were terrified, and they. They still are they don't wanna kill anybody that they cannot see a stand up paddle board, we'll post a video at here. Now dot org of some of these huge vessels still making their way down this curvy river. It's frightening it, yes. And remember those ships are seven hundred feet long and there are one hundred feet wide this river at its widest is one hundred and thirty six feet understand. There are students that go around and hand out flyers. They, they, they go around and little boats. And handout, flyers warning people. They could be big ships coming through here. Oh, yeah. But just wouldn't happen for the city because it got cleaned up and people using it some of the people who never would have invested now. See it as a prime place to invest people who would not have lived on the river. Now, see it as a wonderful place to live people, who would ever have thought to bring their kayak past the natural river. Now bring it into the ship. Channel the warehouses that the river brought cargo to are now, lofts and apartments and condos and they're sold out. Amazing things can happen when you don't give up. The cuyahoga river still has a ways to go some sections, for instance, remain on the list of impaired waters monitored by the clean, water act and remember kayak instructor. Kate Schneider will. She says she still sees garbage out on the river and her parents, don't want her to fall in, but I mean, it's just kind of beautiful the types of birds. I've seen have seen tons of blue herons. There are like these sort of surprises. I see all the time. I think it's special, and I think it's a really interesting route because like I paddle all over North America, and this is one of the few places where it can be paddling and then see a large container ship cargo ship, right? Beside me. And then a bunch of people rowing. So I think that's kind of interesting and beautiful about urban. It's very urban. All right. Let's get going get you on the water. Smoking. Much to do this weekend on this, the fiftieth anniversary of the cuyahoga river fire rowing events. Blazing paddles the paddle test tomorrow, the native American water blessing. Real. No. There are still questions about those attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. And how a conflict with Iran might threaten oil supplies. A review Iran is under sanctions. So allies of the US aren't buying its oil for fear of penalties the same as to Venezuela. So with so much supply either threatened or offline oil prices should be high instead at about sixty dollars. A barrel. Oil is down nearly twenty percent from where it was just last April two months ago. Let's bring in allege. She MSNBC anchor in economics correspondent, hi alley. So after these oil-tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman last week oil prices jumped we know that about a third of all see warn crude flows through that part of the world was some concern about what could get through now prices have fallen, again, why. Well, they're few things going on. One is that, you know, the president has said something different than his advisors have about those attacks. At one point the US has. Released evidence that they believe Iran hit, these Japanese tankers than the president has come out and called the attacks very minor, America's now sending more troops to the Middle East on one hand that feels like an escalation. But if you're an oil producing country, you're thinking, oh, wow, great. They're gonna be more troops here. So our ships can get through keeping mind that Arabian Gulf, the Persian Gulf, the straight of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Amman. It's a very narrow straight and mall that oil that goes from much of the oil goes to the Middle East goes out that way. So this always happens when there increased threats with Iran, the price goes up, and then when the threats decrease a little bit like they have in the last twenty four hours or so you see the price coming back down. See this, Greg. How much of it is because of the falling demand. And how much is it because of increased supply because of news sources like shale. This is interesting oil prices there, two kinds of prices for oil. There's the US price, and there's the global price. Let's talk about the global. Because that's we're talking about being about sixty bucks a barrel. It has been as low as about fifty nine and as high as about seventy two in the last month. Now, when you think about what it costs to frac in the United States, oil has to be at the sixty or higher point if it's lower than that American producers pull back on their production drilling oil in the ground hole in the ground and getting oil in Texas is much cheaper. But most of oil is now fracking, so the Saudis and OPEC want oil to be high enough that they can make a lot of money, but not so high that the US starts producing too much oil. So this price of oil, sixty two sixty three bucks to sixty five almost seventy dollars that tends to be a pretty good amount. And there is a bit of an oversupply. So this, the OPEC countries are now thinking about pulling that back a little bit just didn't let us know them because Saudi Arabia announced this week, it's going to cut its oil supply to try to boost prices. So it's calling on the OPEC countries. Do the same thing. So where does that get into trouble area? If. We wanna keep the prices at around where they are. So always hard to tell, but seventy dollars even eighty dollars doesn't tend to be a trouble area for oil once you get past hundred which by the way, these countries that make most of their money from oil would really enjoy people start to change their, their driving habits people start to buy cars that, are, you know, lower fuel so at the moment, we're not in trouble area, the Saudis and OPEC would like oil to be a little higher than it is. So with the Americans probably the next ten bucks or so a barrel. It's not gonna undermine anything. They don't want people not buying it. Correct. She MSNBC anchor economics correspondent, as always, thank you. There's been a huge surge of heist floors using e cigarettes, or fading, these cigarettes. Hi cigarettes vaping continues to rise million high school, students this year using e cigarettes up more than seventy five this week, forty state attorneys general called on the US food and Drug administration to regulate e cigs just like it regulates tobacco. We're here today, the use of eight pens, electric cigarettes, and other electric nicotine delivery systems has exploded over the last decade or so, especially among teenagers, according to the food and Drug administration. More than three point six million middle and high school students used e cigarettes last year that's an increase of nearly eighty percent among high schoolers and nearly fifty percent among middle schoolers over the year before the thing is compared with traditional cigarettes. There's very little research on the effects and the industry is booming. It'll be worth more than forty billion dollars by twenty twenty-five. The FDA is the part of the government that would regulate e cigarettes, and that agency has funded research at the university of Louisville. In kentucky. Pinch valve make the click and that'll start the puff. We stopped by the lab and Dongtai Beck jumpsuits limit contamination. We were in the lab of Dr Daniel conklin, he and his team of researchers are studying the effects of vaping using a device that inhales from e cigarettes and analyzes the vapor to study the effects on lab. Mice. What we have set up here number of different parts of our contraption here to smoke cigarettes or Vate e cigarettes, and then pump that aerosol or smoke, as we call it into a chamber that we will house, our, our animals, and is actually a little bait pen inside there. So it's acting like a person would be in vaping. Exactly. So we can control the volume of the path. So it's consistent with kind of the pup volume that people would take and the Daration. So the combination of those things kind of replicate what's in the real world. But I have to tell you the real world's very diverse when it comes to electric cigarettes, some people just do very light drags on their, their each other's take bigger puffs in order to make vape clouds and do. Cloud tricks. And so on. What are you trying to figure out? We're trying to figure out whether or not electron cigarettes, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or heart disease at pier and simple. We use models that are short-term such as looking for biomarkers of, of a youth who uses an e cigarette just a few times, and we also do chronic exposures long-term to look for changes in the vascular wall of the blood vessels, that looked like changes that would occur in a chronic smoker, what they found is that e cigarettes are far from harmless, especially for the cardiovascular system. Conklin is looking for a linked to diseases like atherosclerosis when plaque clogs your arteries, the more long term studies where we've looked at atherosclerosis in outcome, we've done several of those studies. And as this is a really important. Endpoint kind of gold standard amongst cardiovascular researchers. So we've actually done those studies twice to validate that the findings. We have our, our consistent, and we see increased atherosclerosis. We have not published these data yet because we're also interested in a second question. And, and this is really important, what in e cigarette aerosol 's than are responsible for increasing this heart disease risk because the FDA is interested in regulating e cigarettes, but they want to regulate particular constituents that are harmful. And so we're trying to figure out what components of the aerosol of e sex is contributing to the injury to the heart. Our idea is actually that nicotine itself is actually not benign under these conditions, and we have a number of other parallels studies where we've exposed animals to nicotine alone and seeing increases in these markers of heart disease. So that's kind of troubling thing for anybody who says e cigarettes are a safe product if they contain nicotine, there not only addictive their problematic for her disease. Is it difficult to research something that's so new? I mean five years ago, nobody was smoking these things or at least you didn't see them out on the street the way that you do. Now, people are keeping all the time. This is very challenging to study individual products. You know five years ago. Blue was the, the king of the e six now. Now it's jewel. You're, you're exactly right. And the products have changed in size and shape. Voltage some of the constituent flavors have kind of varied some you can't even figure out what flavor are present in their gummy bear, for instance, tell me what flavors are in there. And jewel has raised the roof on the level of nicotine, personally. I think anybody who sees the up take of e cigarettes, amongst, you should be concerned about long-term consequences for these people because we just don't know what the health risks are because there's so much focus with smoking on lung cancer. You're saying is causes a lot of. Other problems as well. There's no question that epidemiology says, in half a million people die premature doubts due to smoking, and that's just cardiovascular disease, so in that's more than any other single cause of disease and that could be just as bad in an e cigarette as in a traditional cigarette. Or or at least it could be bad enough that it's a problem. I think there's some warning signs for heart disease with electron. Ick cigarettes. These are not just from our animals studies. I'm I'm representing number of, of studies done around the world. That show that acute exposure to e cigarettes, including in non-smoking, adults produces eight temporary injury to the blood vessel. That's the Cleveland to that same nonsmoker using a conventional tobacco cigarette. So that's worrisome. There are also some people that point two e cigs. Let's say this is a way for people who smoke traditional cigarettes to stop smoking. They can turn to this instead, when you hear that somebody who's researching the effects of the cigarettes. What do you say? Well, I don't actually study cessation. So this is a little bit difficult to say my research applies to to this question. It's a really important one because for those people who are trying to quit smoking. That would be the best thing for them. But it's very challenging it takes at least six attempts on average, for chronic smoker to be able to quit if e cigarettes, outside of traditional pathways can add to that improvement in that number. I say great in the US from my knowledge of this area is that cessation has not been improved by inclusion of e cigarettes and there, there could be. Risked switching completely from cigarettes to e cigarettes because we don't know the risks of e cigarettes presumably for cancer. We think that might be a reduction because the cancer causing compounds in conventional combustible cigarettes, are not found in east cigarettes, so that would be great except more smokers die of heart disease, every year than they do have cancer and lung diseases combined. So we don't want to say reducing the risk for cancer necessarily reduces risk for all other diseases. Daniel conklin, own father died of colon cancer at age forty six and was a longtime smoker that experience spurred him to spend his life, researching the effects of smoking, and now vaping, the leading e cigarette company jewel is also doing research. Is it prepares to apply for FDA approval in twenty twenty two but the company remains under legal pressure, not just from the FDA, which has been conducting? An investigation into marketing practices by cigarette companies, but from congress, as well as state, and local governments, some even going so far as to try to ban sales of e cigarettes today. San Francisco's city supervisors will consider a ban until the FDA completes its review, that ban would be the first of its kind in the US on a relatively new product that we know relatively little about tomorrow. We'll talk with a high school principal in Connecticut who's noticed an increase in e cigarette use among students and says the best way to curb it is to treat it as an addiction. After revolutionizing the way we interact on mine. Facebook has now set it sights on your money today. The company announced plans for new, digital cryptocurrency think bitcoin only Facebook's will be called libra. It's in collaboration with MasterCard an Uber. Facebook has reportedly been secretly working on it for more than a year. So do you trust Facebook with your money? Let's go now to in a free chief technology correspondent for axios, hyena, Robin. So what does libra? How would it work? So libra is one of a variety of coins. We hear a lot about bitcoin, but there's a ton of crypto currencies out there. What makes it most interesting isn't necessarily the technical underpinnings, but who's behind it as you mentioned. It's not just Facebook but it's payment giants like MasterCard. It's big commerce companies like Uber. So what's got everyone talking who's backing this, right? Well more about that. But first, what's the motivation? There's speculation that. Facebook in promising more privacy to users may lose some of that Adra venue, that they get through sharing users data, and that this may be a new way for Facebook to make up for that to make more money through this. Crypto currency thoughts. Definitely think that's a piece of it. If not a large part of it in that, as you point out like if they're going to move to more private and things they need to monetize them differently, and what better way to monetize things than with money. There's a lot of money to be made in payments. If you look at we chat in China as a model I think, a lot happens on, we chat, and a lot of it is payments, and micro payments. And I think Facebook looks at that model and says that could be us. How can we do that? And in the US and in western Europe, I think it's more difficult to just offer traditional payments. I think they were looking a little bit further ahead. So crypto currency and having a role could unlock if you will allot of new types of businesses, if they're successful, but they're also. Concerns about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. So let's take one up their volatile. You know, the value changes dramatically so how will libra value be determined what backs it? So the assets backing it our traditional currencies. So some of the investors are dollars other other currencies. But, you know, there is this move towards what I believe are called stable coins that, that are designed to be tied to something else in an effort to avoid some of those fluctuations. So I think the goal is, how can you take some of the benefits of crypto currency without the volatility? I think that's what everyone would like to create soak if you back by the US dollar or boy by euros or something like this. Sure a basket of, of, of currencies, if well in crypto currencies are also used because they are sort of these free floating. Things are often used for illegal transactions like buying drugs online. So how will libra be? You know, protected, I guess would be the word from that. I think that's one of the concerns in, in large part about Facebook going more private is that, yes, avoid some of the problems in terms of, you know, our information being taken blah, blah, blah. But what are you opening the door to in terms of hate groups moving behind secret? You know, as you mentioned, illegal currency based things, whether it's drug trafficking money, laundering, although sorts of things I think there's a lot of concerns. I think it's unrealistic to think that the regulators of today aren't going to move into this digital world. I think that was some sense in the beginning of bitcoin that could be the wild wild west and no one will ever know while it turns out every time you wanna take bitcoin off the virtual world and into the real world. The regulators are right there. And I think that would be true of libra or any other crypto currency as well. But certainly to the you can spend it more easily. You don't necessarily have to take it into the real world. World in the same way that you have to exchange bitcoin for dollars. If you wanna use it for anything. So I think there are some risks there in general. I think regulators will find a way to police the crypto world as well. Even if it is a little more tricky, because it's much less state tied, and much more boundary less. Some of the things that Facebook is dealing with the privacy concerns, concerns about fake news, hate speech on its platform, a co-founder joined the voices, calling for Facebook to be broken up. You know, it's too big and, you know, so many people really wondering, why would they suddenly announce this thing that so many questions while we're hearing they've been working on it, you know, for well over year in secret. And so, you know, it was probably being worked on before a lot of these questions. Sure. But also some are wondering, well, maybe it's just trying to shift the focus look over there at that. Would you think it's that or do you think is something, you know, Neil really real going on here with Facebook? I think it's definitely real. I think the question is, do we want to trust Facebook with our wallets? There's good reason not to I think if you look at the history of Facebook, they're always moving into new things and indeed at their developer conference last year. And I wrote about this in today's logging newsletter. They were signaling look, we're going to try and make things safer, but we're also going to keep building new things. And I think that is the stage. Facebook is in. They want to take their responsibilities more seriously. If you believe them, but they also don't wanna stop innovating, and they don't want to in the last year they've moved into dating into crypto currency and into a smart camera that lives in your house, so they're clearly not shying away from the concerns move to into congressional hearing. So we'll see how this goes in a free chief technology correspond for axios. Thank you. Thanks, Robin and here now is production of NPR in WBU aren't associated with the BBC World Service. I'm Robin young broadcasting from W, C, P, N, idea, stream in Cleveland Ohio, and I'm Jeremy Hobson. This is.

Coming up next