5:51pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Energy

Gulf Refinery Expansion May Not Cut Gas Prices

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

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

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.

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5:48pm

Thu May 31, 2012
The Salt

Antibiotic-Free Meat Business Is Booming, Thanks To Chipotle

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:12 pm

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

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

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5:11pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

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.

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4:54pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Mitt Romney

Romney's Foreign Policy Views Comfort, Unsettle GOP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

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

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.

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4:31pm

Thu May 31, 2012
It's All Politics

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

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.

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4:30pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Music Interviews

Brandi Carlile: Bending Notes Until They Break

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:17 am

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

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.

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4:23pm

Thu May 31, 2012
NPR's Backseat Book Club

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:50 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.

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4:13pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Law

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

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

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.

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4:00pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Europe

Battered Spanish Economy Nears Tipping Point

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

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

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.

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3:50pm

Thu May 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Bloomberg Becomes Nanny-State Epitome For Some, Giving Obama A Breather

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 4:29 pm

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks was so hard to swallow it caused some to call him a fascist, a word more often hurled at President Obama.
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP/Getty Images

If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.

His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.

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