3:22am

Fri April 20, 2012
Around the Nation

As Workers Age, Oil Industry Braces For Skills Gap

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 9:11 am

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The rig's crew were new to their positions just before the explosion. Such staffing reorganizations are increasingly common as the industry grapples with a staffing shortage.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 men and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry says it has learned valuable lessons from the disaster that are making drilling safer today.

But there's still a pressing issue looming for the oil industry: Oil field workers are retiring in huge numbers, leaving a workforce that's younger and — more importantly — less experienced.

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3:19am

Fri April 20, 2012
StoryCorps

After Marriage Ends, Exes Become 'Best Friends'

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 6:53 am

Lisa Combest and James Hanson-Brown spoke about their marriage — and their divorce — at StoryCorps in Houston. "Our relationship really has helped me define unconditional love," Lisa says.
StoryCorps

After the marriage between James Hanson-Brown and Lisa Combest ended, something unusual happened: Their relationship deepened.

"We got married Jan. 11, 1986, and the minister who married us told me, 'You guys are the best-matched couple I've ever talked to,' " Lisa recalls. "But I guess we were in our marriage for about a year when I started thinking that something was wrong. Emotionally I was supported, but it was the physical side of things."

At the same time, James was trying to figure out what was going wrong, as well.

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7:05pm

Thu April 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Congress' Approval Rating Recovers Slightly

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 7:14 pm

U.S. Capitol dome.
Charles Dharapak AP

Americans seem happier with Congress these days. That's what Gallup's two latest polls show: Congress, with an approval rating of 17 percent, has gained a whole seven points since February.

Still, they shouldn't get too cocky on the Hill, because this just means that 79 percent of Americans disapprove of the institution. That's down from a record high 86 percent in December of 2011. We suppose that's like saying in December almost everyone disapproved of Congress and now mostly everyone disapproves.

Here's Gallup's historical chart of Congress' approval rating:

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6:34pm

Thu April 19, 2012
Sports

A Century Of Joy And Heartbreak At Fenway Park

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:09 pm

The flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16 at Fenway Park in Boston.
Elsa Getty Images

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Fenway Park. A century after it was built, fans still gush about this "lyric little bandbox," as John Updike called it. To guys like Ed Carpenter, Fenway is history and home, magic and mystique.

"I love this place," he says, tearing up. "I mean, it's not mortar and bricks and seats."

Carpenter first started coming to Fenway with his dad in 1949, when he was 6.

"We walked up this ramp right behind this home plate," he recalls. "I can still see everything was green, emerald green. It was love at first sight."

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6:25pm

Thu April 19, 2012
It's All Politics

In A Closed Ohio Factory, Romney Reminds Voters, 'It's Still Empty'

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 7:31 pm

A campaign worker hangs a sign at a campaign stop for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Lorain, Ohio, on Thursday.
Jae C. Hong AP

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney is matching President Obama's recent appearance in the key swing state of Ohio while intensifying his rhetoric, attacking the president's record on the economy.

For the second day in a row, Romney used his location on the campaign trail to send a message.

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6:06pm

Thu April 19, 2012
The Two-Way

Sister Simone Campbell: Vatican Reprimand 'Like A Sock In The Stomach'

Simone Campbell.
Network Lobby

"Quite frankly, it's very visceral. It's like a sock in the stomach."

That's what Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, said when NPR's Melissa Block asked her what her reaction was to a Vatican reprimand issued yesterday.

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5:13pm

Thu April 19, 2012
Latin America

Ignoring Critics, Argentina To Nationalize Oil Firm

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:39 am

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez holds a petroleum sample as she announces plans for her government to nationalize a giant oil company that is largely owned by a private Spanish company, Repsol. Behind her is an image of the country's former first lady, Eva Peron.
Daniel Garcia AFP/Getty Images

It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy.

Yet it's happening right now. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez said this week that her country plans to take over a giant Spanish oil company at a time when the economies in both countries are facing challenges.

Spanish officials are threatening to retaliate against Argentina for seizing a majority of shares in the biggest oil company in Argentina, YPF.

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5:06pm

Thu April 19, 2012
Sports

Bahrain Prepares Grand Prix Despite Expected Protests

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 7:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another country hoping to revive one of its marquee sporting events is Bahrain. Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix was called off last year during the Arab Spring demonstrations. The international racing event brings in half a billion dollars to Bahrain and draws more than 100 million TV viewers around the world. This year's race is set for Sunday despite plans by anti-government protesters to target the event. For more, I'm joined by Ryan McGee. He's a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Hey there, Ryan.

RYAN MCGEE: Hi. How are you?

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5:06pm

Thu April 19, 2012
Education

Alabama School Strife Strikes Outside Of Class

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:34 pm

Alabama is near the bottom of the country's academic rankings. The state has problems with test scores, school improvement ratings and dropouts. But the district in Birmingham has a different kind of issue. The state recently took over the school board because of infighting on the board. The move has triggered cries of racism.

5:06pm

Thu April 19, 2012
Sports

Fenway Park Celebrates 100 Years Of Baseball

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 3:30 pm

The nation's oldest ball park is turning 100. Boston's Fenway Park has been home to the Red Sox through some of baseball's greatest highs and most heartbreaking lows. The park also narrowly escaped the fate of similar old stadiums that were torn down.

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