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Monday, August 2, 2010

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National Public Radio Stories

  • BP Keeps Look Out For Vanishing Gulf Oil
    BP soon could begin to pump mud into its damaged well, as a step toward shutting it down forever. As for the oil that's already escaped, BP's chief operating officer says it is rapidly vanishing from the surface of the Gulf. Oil under the surface is a big concern but there isn't an estimate on how much might be down there.
  • Senate Aims To Pass Energy Bill Before Recess
    The House of Representatives has adjourned for a six-week summer recess, and the Senate is set to do the same later this week. But before that happens, Democrats have an ambitious to-do list -- including taking up an energy bill that was unveiled last week. The scaled-back proposal doesn't contain any provisions on climate change.
  • As Drug War Turns Into Quagmire, Fear Rules Mexico
    More than 3 1/2 years after Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, violence in Mexico continues to escalate, with 2010 on track to be the deadliest year so far. And there is no end in sight to the attacks that reach all levels of Mexican society.
  • Paris' Popular Bike Rentals Spark Electric Car Plans
    Paris plans to launch the world's largest electric car access scheme in September of next year. The city is hoping to emulate the popularity of its easy rental system for bicycles with a plan that will allow Parisians to rent an electric vehicle whenever they need to.
  • Is Emotional Pain Necessary?
    Traditionally, the American Psychiatric Association's manual of mental disorders has warned doctors away from diagnosing major depression in people who have just lost a loved one. The idea was that feelings of intense pain were normal, so they shouldn't be labeled as a mental disorder. Now, the group is changing those guidelines.
  • UAE To Block BlackBerry Over Security Concerns
    The United Arab Emirates says it will block key features on BlackBerry smart phones for national security reasons. The decision could prevent hundreds of thousands of users in the Mideast country from accessing e-mail and the Web on the handsets starting in October.
  • Checking A Tech Bellwether: Buck's Restaurant
    One way to judge the health of the tech sector is to scan the dining room at Buck's Restaurant in Silicon Valley, down the road from a nest of venture capital firms. Some big deals have been cut at Buck's -- and business at the restaurant is picking up again.
  • Social Gaming Giant Zynga Gets Cash Infusion
    Tens of millions of people play the game Farmville which lets you cultivate a virtual farm, along with your friends, on Facebook. Zynga also makes the game Mafia Wars. Forrester Research says these games are becoming big business. Last week, Zynga received a $150 million investment from a Japanese technology company. There's also talk of a partnership with Google.
  • Shadow Housing Inventory Stalls Economic Recovery
    The housing sector that dragged the economy into recession three years ago, is still in bad shape. Home sales are eroding despite low mortgage rates. There are just too many homes on the market and not enough people to buy them. Plus, there's a huge shadow inventory: Millions of other homes are waiting to come on the market.
  • Innovation Helps Starbucks To Turn Around Sales
    Launched in the 1980s, Starbucks became a household name and its long time CEO Howard Schultz became a billionaire. When he stepped down from that post in 2000, the company was on a caffeine-fueled high. But eight years later, amid a global financial crisis, Starbucks was faltering. Schultz returned as CEO, and after more than two years things are looking a lot better.

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