Tax revenue coming from shale, oil, and gas development has many states very happy, but the boom is also putting a strain on regulators. There are not enough of them to inspect all the drilling sites. Colorado, for example, has 17 inspectors for more the 47,000 active oil and gas wells. Kirk Siegler reports from member station KUNC.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Each day, Jim Precobb(ph) of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission logs about 400 miles in his state-owned truck.
Vice President Joe Biden said he is "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples who marry getting the same civil rights and liberties as heterosexual couples. President Obama does not publicly support gay marriage.
Comics used to be seen as cheap throwaway entertainment for children and teenagers. But over the last few decades, comics have grown up; they're even released in longer formats, on nice paper with hard covers, as graphic novels.
Daniel Clowes is one of the artists cited for turning the form into serious art — in fact, the art has gotten so serious that his work is now in a museum. Clowes is one of the best-known comic artists working today, with two of his books made into Hollywood films: the Academy Award-nominated Ghost World and Art School Confidential.
GREENE: The world's largest social networking site is going public later this month. And yesterday it set a price range for its stock. It plans to sell share shares for between $28 and $35 each, using the ticker symbol FB. The share sale is expected to raise as much as $12 billion, making it one of the largest initial public offerings ever.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
Video game fans hear this often. EA Sports, it's in the game. Well, now America's largest game publisher is trying to stay in the game. EA, Electronic Arts, built a gaming empire with a strategy straight out of Hollywood - big names and big budgets. But the market is changing. For one thing, more players now prefer games you can play online. And so the Silicon Valley company has been forced to change as well. KQED's Aarti Shahani reports.
As school budgets continue to get squeezed, administrators, parents and students are having to do more fundraising. And now the fight to raise funds has come head-to-head with the fight against childhood obesity. Stephanie Armour, of Bloomberg Businessweek, talks to David Greene about the move to ban bake sales.
Well, for kids and parents listening to our show today, let's leave you with a little good food for thought. Our last word in business is: Hello Kitty. That's what some lucky travelers in Asia might be saying if they board an airplane decorated, inside and out, with the famous Japanese character.
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Our own Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan at a moment when its relationship with the United States is turning a corner. And for the next couple of weeks, Renee is going to be bringing us a range of voices and also opinions about what lies ahead. Renee joins us now from Kabul.
Steve Inskeep talks to Steve Coll about his new book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power. In it, Coll delves into the business model of one of the country's largest and most profitable corporations. He explores how the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 shaped the culture at the company for years to come.
A member of the Golden Dawn far-right political organization takes part in a demonstration in Peraia, a suburb outside Thessaloniki, on April 26. Some polls indicate that in the national elections May 6, Golden Dawn may surpass the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.
Credit Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP/Getty Images
A Nazi-style poster with a Celtic cross replacing the swastika is displayed on the wall as Golden Dawn candidate Giorgos Germanis (right) and an unidentified man are seen at a party office in the suburban town of Artemis, east of Athens.
Credit Petros Giannakouris / AP
Reeling from a vicious financial crisis that has cost them pensions and jobs, Greeks have been turning away in droves from the mainstream politicians they feel have let them down. Here, a member of the far-right Golden Dawn party hands out election pamphlets in Artemis on April 26.
Greeks go to the polls Sunday in a climate of intense voter anger at the politicians they blame for turning their country into an international economic pariah. Protest votes could fill Parliament with an array of new parties, and most surprising is the growing popularity of the xenophobic Golden Dawn, which espouses a neo-Nazi ideology.
NPR's business news starts with control of the energy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: In South America, a shift towards political populism has led to the nationalism of an oil company in Argentina and an electricity provider in Bolivia. Both of the companies seized are Spanish. The nationalizations are hitting Spain during a time of deep economic crisis. And as we'll hear in a few minutes from reporter Lauren Frayer, they sparked a lot of anger in Spain.
Bolivia and Argentina's nationalization of Spanish companies hasn't gone over well in Madrid. Spanish officials say Bolivia and Argentina will pay the price in the long run, as investors become weary of doing business if their assets could ultimately get seized.
Last night at the Sotheby's auction house in New York, there was something to scream about. Our last word in business is: "The Scream."
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As we reported yesterday, the Expressionist masterpiece by Edvard Munch went up for sale. There are four versions of this composition, but just one had been privately held by an heir of one of Munch's patrons.
As the presidential campaigns refocus on November, they're zeroing in on digital domains. In fact, the Obama campaign has spent six times as much money advertising online as it has on TV so far, though that's certain to change.
And Republicans are fighting back with a new Facebook app called the "Social Victory Center." (You have to be a Facebook user to access the site.)
The African-American experience is reflected, right now, on the walls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Exuberant dancing in Chicago. Laundry on a line in the nation's capital. A girl smiling out from her father's warm jacket — all captured in photographs, paintings and sculptures from the 1920s through the 1990s.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Nearly three years ago, Congress passed a federal hate crime law. It makes it illegal to target victims because of their race, religion or sexual orientation. The law drew protests from some Republican lawmakers and religious groups, who said it threatened their free speech rights. And the law has been used sparingly.