National / International News

Gazprom goes to China, Russia's economy rejoices

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-21 13:03

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been visiting China. The result? The two countries are reported to have struck a $400 billion deal in which the Russian gas company Gazprom will supply energy-hungry China.

Gazprom is a company. It has a CEO, Alexei Miller, and you can buy its stock. But ownership is a combination of private and public, and Keith Crane, director of the Rand Corporation’s environment, energy and economic development program, says a little over half the shares are owned by the state and the state calls the shots.

“Gazprom’s key asset is the fact that if you’re a gas producer in Russia, there’s only one company you can sell your gas to, and that’s Gazprom.”

The company, says Crane, has something of a reputation. "It’s highly corrupt, and a lot of money leaks out of the country into the hands of various officials and individuals so I would not invest in it,” he says.

That's one reason why, he notes, this deal with China is so important.

Then, there's the European problem. With the tension between Russia and Ukraine,  through which most Russian gas moves, European countries are looking for alternative sources. Andy Kuchins, director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Center for Strategeic and International Studies, says the European market for Russian gas is growing a lot more slowly.

“China is the largest growth engine, it’s the fastest growing consumer, and importer of hydrocarbons, oil and gas,” he says.

And, Kuchin notes, while oil makes up a large part of Russia's revenue, keeping natural gas prices low, for production and heating costs, is critical for the country’s domestic economy.

"A good way to think about it is that for the Russians, they’ll say, 'That’s oil, that’s dengi, that’s money. But for gas, 'That’s khleb, that’s our bread,'" he says.

Kuchins says Gazprom probably has rights to over 15 percent of the gas reserves in the world. And since it shares a border with China, this deal for gas should be a win for both countries.

71 Arrested For Internet Child Porn In New York

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:42

Described as the largest-ever such operation in the city, it yielded some 600 computers, tablets and smartphones containing what officials say are "shocking" images.

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Hamilton Academical 0-2 Hibernian

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:38
Jason Cummings' double puts Hibernian on course to avoid relegation as Hamilton's promotion hopes are dented.

Democrats join Benghazi select panel

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:28
Democrats in the US Congress have named five representatives to a special panel on the Benghazi attacks despite saying it is motivated by Republican politics.

Three-year jail sentence for Mubarak

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:17
A court in Egypt sentences ousted President Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison after finding him and his two sons guilty of embezzlement.

No sign of missing yacht says US

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:07
Four British men remain missing after search teams report no sightings of a life-raft from the yacht at the centre of an international hunt.

England win European U17 Championship

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:04
England win the European Under-17 Championship by beating the Netherlands 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Malta.

VIDEO: Inside the European Parliament

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:03
The BBC's Brussels correspondent, Matthew Price, has been on a tour of the European Parliament with students from the UK.

BP in appeal to US Supreme Court

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 12:00
Oil giant BP appeals to the US Supreme Court over a ruling regarding how businesses must be compensated in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Tight race as parties make last push

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:57
The party leaders make a final push for votes in Thursday's local and Euro elections, as a new poll has Labour sharing the lead with UKIP.

VIDEO: French rail network admits train blunder

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:49
The French train operator SNCF has discovered that 2,000 new trains it ordered at a cost of 15bn euros ($20.5bn; £12.1bn) are too wide for many regional platforms.

Deadly attacks on Nigeria villages

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:49
Suspected Boko Haram fighters are accused of killing at least 27 people in two northern Nigeria villages, a day after deadly bombings in the city of Jos.

VIDEO: Iran 'releases' Happy video dancers

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:43
A group of Iranians who were arrested for filming a video tribute to Pharrell Williams' song Happy have been released on bail, reports from Tehran suggest.

Obama: U.S. Military In Chad To Aid Search For Missing Schoolgirls

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:39

The president tells Congress that 80 U.S. armed forces personnel have been deployed to the central African nation to help locate the nearly 300 girls kidnapped last month in Nigeria.

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The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:17

Potatoes and tomatoes are nutritious and delicious. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that Americans tend to consume way too many of them in unhealthy ways, like french fries and pizza.

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Which cities will profit off the Star Wars museum?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:15
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 07:38 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Darth Vader and George Lucas (R) onstage during Spike TV's 'SCREAM 2011' awards held at Universal Studios in 2011 in Universal City, California. San Francisco and Chicago are currently bidding for a chance to host George Lucas' Lucas Curltural Arts Museum in their city.

Chicago wants to lure director George Lucas to build his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in the Windy City instead of San Francisco.

“We expect that the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum would generate between $2 and $2.5 billion in direct economic impact over ten years,” says Gillian Darlow, who co-chaired a task force to find a site for the museum in Chicago.

Attracting visitors is a pretty safe bet. Star Wars fans are devoted and they spend money. (A full storm-trooper costume can cost upwards of $1,200.)

But some conservationists and football fans aren’t crazy about the proposed site for the museum -- currently, it’s the Chicago Bears’ parking lot.

Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday May 22,2014by Jeff TylerPodcast Title Which cities will profit off the Star Wars museum?Story Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

It May Not Be A Tea Party Year, But Outsiders Are Still Thriving

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:12

It's clear this year that this will not be another 2010 or 2012, when upstarts embarrassed the GOP's conventional favorites in primary after primary.

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Pit manager offered to help rescuers

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:04
A mine manager who escaped an inrush of water which killed four of his colleagues offered to go back down the pit to help rescue them, a court is told.

Matadors gored at Madrid festival

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 10:59
A major event in Madrid's bullfighting season is cancelled after all three matadors partaking in the spectacle were gored by bulls.

Harris 'was known as the octopus'

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-21 10:53
Entertainer Rolf Harris was branded "the octopus" after repeatedly groping a TV make-up artist, a court hears.
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