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PODCAST: Animal waste as energy, and advice for grads, ‘you’re not special’

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The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $50.1 billion in April as a big fall in imports offset an export dip.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke didn’t give any hints of quick action to boost the economy when he testified on Capitol Hill yesterday. Of course, the main thing the Fed can do is reduce the already low cost of borrowing. It can’t force companies to go out and spend.

It could be a busy weekend in Spain. Reports say the country could ask Europe to bail out its banks. There’s apparently a push to get any aid package finalized before Greece holds elections next weekend.

Imagine if the U.S. government had this ability: Chinese officials decide the price of gasoline and diesel, and today they ordered the price lowered in China as a way to boost the economy. Like flipping a switch, the price of gas will drop tomorrow. Thursday, China cut its main interest rate a quarter percent.

To Massachusetts — where graduating seniors at Wellesley High School got some tough advice from their English teacher David McCullough Junior. “You’re not special,” he said. “Contrary to what your under 9 soccer trophy suggests,” he continued. “Your glowing seventh grade report card, and your batty Aunt Sylvia, you’re nothing special. Even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.” He then urged the students to work hard and do what they love.

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