Energy
3:51 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Gulf Refinery Expansion May Not Cut Gas Prices

Expanding the refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, took five years and $10 billion. The facility can now process 600,000 barrels a day.
Motiva Enterprises

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.

The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Read more
The Salt
3:48 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Antibiotic-Free Meat Business Is Booming, Thanks To Chipotle

The antibiotic-free pigs roam freely on Niman Ranch in Iowa.
Sarah Willis courtesy Niman Ranch

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 5:12 pm

It's no longer just foodies at farm markets or Whole Foods buying antibiotic-free, pasture-raised meats.

Read more
Shots - Health Blog
3:11 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

More Americans Are Checking Prices Before Getting Health Care

How much will that cost, doc?
iStockphoto.com

Do you shop around for the best price on a visit to the doctor, a CT scan or surgery at a hospital? If so, it looks like you've got a little more company.

Read more
Mitt Romney
2:54 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Foreign Policy Views Comfort, Unsettle GOP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.

Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.

Read more
Music Interviews
2:38 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Brandi Carlile: Bending Notes Until They Break

Brandi Carlile performs live in NPR's Studio 4A.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:17 am

What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.

Read more
NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:50 am

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.

Read more
Law
2:13 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:04 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Week: Upstaged Time And Again

Former President George W. Bush winks in the East Room of the White House on Thursday during a ceremony to unveil his portrait.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:31 pm

What a week it was to have been for Mitt Romney.

But what a week it wasn't.

Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.

Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.

Read more
Music Reviews
2:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Melody Gardot Aims For The Space Between Notes

Melody Gardot takes an understated approach to Brazilian music on her new album, The Absence.
Fabrizio Ferri

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:39 am

The other day, I had a conversation with Melody Gardot about space. Not outer space, but the space between notes in her music. These days, there's lots of it.

Read more
Europe
2:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Battered Spanish Economy Nears Tipping Point

A student in Pamplona, holding a sign in the Basque language, protests cuts Thursday in education and other public services by the government. Spain's financial position is weakening and there are fears the country will need a bailout.
Alvaro Barrientos AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 8:58 pm

Spain's borrowing costs hit record highs this week and European stock markets have slumped over fears Madrid can't afford the price tag required to prop up its ailing banks. It's looking ever more likely the country will need some kind of bailout.

After watching Greece from afar for years, many Spaniards now believe Spain's number is up.

A tourist in Madrid might wonder where the crisis is. Traffic is heavy and the tapas bars are packed.

But listen in on some of the conversations, and it's clear that Spaniards are scared.

Read more

Pages