Noel King

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This is part two of a two part series. Listen to part one here.

This is part one of a two part series. Listen to part two here.

There's a running joke in Maringouin, Louisiana, a town of 1,100, that everyone is related. It's funny because, as people in Maringouin will tell you, it's true. Everyone calls each other 'cuz' or 'cousin,' and they mean it. People run into each other on the street, recognize a last name, start talking about people they know in common, then discover they're related.

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On today's show: stories about what happens when you actually read the fine print.

The fine print sends a Midwestern family on a two-thousand-mile road trip to open dozens of bank accounts.

It leads to a multi-million-dollar fight over the essence of the Snuggie. (Blanket? Or robe?)

And the fine print starts a fight over printer toner that goes all the way to the Supreme Court.

Also: cold beer. Via a loophole.

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After Steve Flatow's daughter was killed in a terrorist attack, he wanted justice. He embarked on a legal quest to get the right to sue a country: Iran. His case opened the doors to a new technique for deterring funding of terrorists, but it also interfered with the U.S. government's diplomatic efforts.

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One of Donald Trump's flashiest campaign promises was to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Well, Noel King from our Planet Money podcast found that some construction and concrete firms have already been thinking about what that would entail.

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Some cities like Baltimore have lost residents, so they're trying to shrink, mostly by tearing down abandoned houses. Noel King from our Planet Money podcast spent time on a block in Baltimore that everyone wants torn down.

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It is hard to hire purely on merit. Executives may be influenced by an applicant's age or race or just where they attended school.

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