A report this morning from the International Energy Agency contains a striking headline: The IEA forecasts the U.S. -- not Saudi Arabia, not Russia -- will become the biggest oil producer in the world by around 2020. By 2030, the agency expects the U.S. will be a net exporter of oil.
Japan says its economy shrank 0.9 percent in the latest quarter. That suggests a mild recession underway in the world's third-largest economy. Late yesterday the Greek parliament overlooked the usual massive protests, and pushed through a painful package of spending cuts and tax hikes. Passing the austerity budget was seen as essential to unlock the next batch of European bailout money: $40 billion. Without it, Greece can't afford bond payments due on Friday.
U.S. bond markets are closed today, to mark Veterans Day. It's the right time to make note of a new social network exclusively for the military. Two retired officers are behind the effort -- think of it as sort of a modern day VFW Hall.
The launch of a new website from the city of Winnipeg has stumbled out of the gate. SureFoot.org was supposed to provide a pedestrian winter walking forecast -- the idea is to prevent slips and falls. But when Winnipeg's first big snowfall hit this weekend, SureFoot.org proclaimed it was 73 degrees out and sunny.
For the past couple months, Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer has brought us dispatches from Loudoun County, Virginia. Her mission: To take the temperature of one of the "swingier" counties in this important swing state. Turns out, it was a pretty accurate barometer: Virginia and Loudon County ended up going for Obama by about the same margin. Today Nancy heads back to Loudoun County to ask voters about the future.
And finally, after the big storm out east some people are still in shelters; a few are still waiting for power. For others, though, more mundane concerns are back on the front burner. Among other things, the media in New York have taken note of Sandy's apparent effect on people's weight. During the storm, fresh food was hard to come by. Cheetos and Oreos -- a little bit more accessible. And people had a good excuse for stress-eating. We're not talking an extreme amount of weight-gain; a Time magazine blogger has labeled the phenomenon the "Sandy 5." I like this quote from a woman in the New York Times: "It was kind of like the movies. What you eat in the dark doesn't count."
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