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BBC: Michigan Central Station: The story of its rise, fall and...

25 February 2015

For several decades, millions passed through Motor City's majestic rail station which served as a portal to America's heartland. But as the auto-industry slumped and the local economy collapsed, the station saw less and less traffic. Since the last train left in 1988, the once-regal station has come to symbolise Detroit's economic woes and has become a favourite canvas for graffiti artists. But mysterious plans are now in the works to renovate the building, starting with the replacement of over 1,000 blown-out windows.

More on the BBC's website...


BBC: Could the US start sending its oil overseas?

1 October 2014

Americans enjoy some of the cheapest petrol prices in the world, due in large part to relatively low federal taxes on fuel and a four-decade-old ban on the export of crude petroleum.

But a US oil drilling boom has some people calling for the ban to be lifted so that US oil can flow onto the world market.

First time visitors to the United States are often shocked to see just how cheap petrol is in the US. While prices vary by region and state-by-state, the cost for a litre of petrol in Washington, DC, is about $0.93 (£0.57 ). Compare that to $2.07 in London, $2.11 in Paris, $2.15 in Hong Kong, $1.53 in Tokyo and $1.39 in Rio de Janeiro, according to the research and consulting firm AIRINC.

More on the BBC's website...

Also: BBC World Service Radio piece on the same topic...


BBC: California Drought Threatens Environmental Laws

18 February 2014

When President Barack Obama travelled to Fresno, California on Friday, he waded into a decades-long water fight that is pitting farmers against fish. More than that, however, he is confronting a wider public policy debate that goes back at least a century - over the environment, industry, and the role of government.

While the East Coast is buried in snow and the UK is battling record flooding, California is in the midst of a historic drought. Last year it rained less than it had in any previous year since the state's founding in 1850. Rivers are flowing at record low levels, reservoirs are drier than ever, and the mountain snowpack - snow that melts over the coming months and provides water throughout the year - is only 20% of expected levels.

More on the BBC's website...