This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. There's a new generation of boom towns across the American West sparked by the explosive growth of oil and natural gas. When these industries move in, small towns near the fields change almost overnight. Once-sleepy main streets suddenly boast improved schools, libraries and community centers. Quiet rural airports expand to take corporate jets. Restaurants and motels and hardware stores all thrive.
More than 3,000 cruise ship passengers who thought they'd be heading home today have instead been told they'll remain in the Gulf of Mexico until Wednesday, stranded by an engine fire that set their ship, the Triumph, adrift. Onboard power and sewer system outages have been reported. The ship, which was 150 miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula when the fire struck early Sunday, has a crew of more than 1,000.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 3:27 pm
To be clear, the trip I took a couple of weeks ago to Puerto Rico with an NPR team was not about food. We headed down to the island to report on the economic and crime troubles that are driving people off the island and to Florida in record numbers. And though we did tons of advance research about census figures and crime statistics, none of us really looked up good places to eat.
In a tropical, Latin land, we assumed we'd be practically stumbling over savory local meals and exotic fruits.
Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.
SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.
INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.
LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.
The lure of the China market is legendary. The dream: Sell something to 1.3 billion people, and you're set.
The reality is totally different.
Ask the MBAs from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who tried to launch Auntie Anne's pretzels in China. The result is a funny, instructive and occasionally harrowing journey that is now the subject of a new book, The China Twist.
A number of luxury retailers are rolling out tactics this year to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year. For Bloomingdale's in New York City, though, reaching out to Asian shoppers during the cultural celebration is a decades-long tradition.
The upscale department store's marketing strategy traces back to 1971, the year President Nixon lifted the U.S. trade embargo with the People's Republic of China. Immediately, Marvin Traub, then-president of Bloomingdale's, decided he wanted to sell Chinese goods in his flagship store on the Upper East Side.
In rural Vermont, the U.S. Postal Service decision to discontinue Saturday letter delivery is yet another blow to an institution that's long been a fixture of village life.
Last year, the U.S. Postal Service abandoned plans to close thousands of small post offices, opting instead to cut hours. But there are fears the cuts will continue until the rural post office is no more.