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Oil and gas shortages: Is there a refinery shortage?

Mar 29, 2005
Oil prices fell slightly Monday - stopping at just over $54 a barrel. But don't get too excited. Demand is expected to keep the price of oil high in the coming months. There's also a scarcity problem. Not of the fuel itself, but as Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports, there's a shortage of refineries to turn oil into usable gasoline. Meanwhile, not everyone buys into the theory that high oil prices are here to stay. Commentator Vijay Vaitheeswaran says don't bet on it.
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New Delhi's poor use rural skills to better their lives

Mar 28, 2005
Police on an island off the Sumatran coast fear there may be scores dead after today's earthquake. Across Southeast Asia, countries issued tsunami warnings. But there were no reports of killer waves. The people of India often feel at the mercy of mother nature. Each year they hold their breath to see if the monsoons will bless the farm economy. Its not uncommon for farm folk to give up and head to the cities in search of a better life. But with only rural skills, many find themselves in the slums. That doesn't mean there can't be opportunities. In South Delhi, there's a local program called Project Return. As Judith Ritter reports, the idea is to try to make rural skills pay off in the big city.
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Exploring the United Nations and that Oil-for-Food program

Mar 25, 2005
There's a new report on the UN's oil-for-food program with Iraq. It's been prepared by a UN panel investigating charges of corruption and kickbacks. That panel is headed up by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker. The new findings have not yet been made public. That won't happen until Tuesday. But some who have seen the new report are already talking. They've been talking to reporter Yochi Dreazen of the Wall Street Journal...
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Meet the diaper king of the West Bank!

Mar 25, 2005
It might be the toughest line the new Secretary of State has taken toward Israel so far. In an interview published today, Condoleeza Rice was asked about Israel's plans to expand a west bank settlement. She told the LA Times it's at odds with American policy and should come to a full stop. The so-called road map to Middle East peace includes reciprocal steps leading up to a Palestinian state. But as a practical matter, for a new nation to take root, it'll need a sustainable economy. In coming months, we plan to track how such an economy might come together. We'll be looking at specific businesses, the people behind them, and how they're adapting to change. Correspondent Nancy Updike begins her special series today in Nablus. That's where she met a enterprising man who knows how to handle ... messy situations.
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Germany's beer industry in trouble

Mar 25, 2005
Mention Germany, and you're likely to think of beer. While Germany is still a beer-loving country, the industry there is facing tough times. Breweries are shutting their doors and selling off vats because more Germans, especially younger ones, are turning away from the national drink. Kyle James reports from Berlin.
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George Soros loses in court ...

Mar 24, 2005
He's a billionaire investor, a philanthropist, an outspoken opponent of George W. Bush... And a self-styled champion of government openness. He's also still guilty of insider trading. Today George Soros lost a French court appeal. In 2002, Soros was convicted and fined 2.2 million euros.What does that mean for a multi-billionaire like Soros? Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports.
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Syrian civilians paying the price in Lebanon

Mar 24, 2005
Today, Washington repeated its demand for Syria to complete a withdrawal from Lebanon. Yes, there's a large Syrian military presence. But there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians working there. And it's not a happy place to be. But as Kate Seelye reports from Beirut, the option of going home isn't much happier.
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Chile and United States - are smaller trade deals the ticket?

Mar 23, 2005
The presidents of the U.S., Mexico and Canada met today in Texas. They'll tighten up border security. They'll ease up trade barriers to better compete with Asia. And they also agreed to disagree on a few things. Like the U.S. ban on Canadian beef. And U.S. competition with Mexican sugar farmers. These trade disputes persist - even though the three are linked by the massive North American Free Trade Agreement. When it comes to trade deals, might smaller be better? From the Americas Desk at WLRN in Miami, Dan Gretch reports on what you might think of as a case study. Call it the Chilean connection.
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India's digital divide may be shrinking

Mar 22, 2005
Dell computer says it'll hire another 1300 customer service reps for a call center in India. India's recent advancement in I-T seems a little out of sync with the fact that only 14 of every thousand people own a computer.As Miranda Kennedy reports from New Delhi, bridging the digital divide is a top priority. Also, commentator Tom Standage says the Digital Solidarity Fund is another top-down strategy that likely won't work.
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Greenspan has plenty of critics in Europe

Mar 22, 2005
The Fed's Open Market Committee meets today to make a decision about interest rates. Given the global dominance of the U.S. dollar, the world will be watching. But not everyone will be cheering Alan Greenspan for his stewardship of the American currency. Although he is widely admired, there is a small but growing band of foreign skeptics who are deeply critical of the Fed Chairman, as Stephen Beard reports from London.
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