The new sanctions that the U.S. and the EU imposed on Russia this week have done little to quell the violence in eastern Ukraine, but they have shaken Western oil and gas companies that have ongoing projects in Russia. The sanctions didn't specifically target Russia's energy sector, but as NPR's Jackie Northam reports, they're coming close to a largely state-owned oil giant.
People of the small Canadian town of Trout River, Newfoundland, have a big problem that just might blow up in their faces: what to do with a giant blue whale carcass that washed up on the beach and that some say threatens to spontaneously combust.
The 80-foot-long whale appeared on the beach in the town of about 600 people a week ago. Since then, the mass of rotting blubber has become bloated with combustible methane gas and, to put it delicately, is "emitting a powerful stench."
Motivating children to stop playing and help out with chores isn't exactly an easy sell, as most parents and teachers will attest. But how you ask can make all the difference, psychologists say.
If you say something like, "Please help me," the kids are more likely to keep playing with their Legos. But ask them, "Please be a helper," and they'll be more responsive, researchers report Wednesday in the journal Child Development.
And the U.S. may soon be a big exporter of natural gas. Some say that would boost America's economy and its strength on the world stage. But there are also worries that environmental risks presented by this new industry are not being taken seriously enough. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports.
ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Right now the U.S. doesn't export natural gas overseas but companies are eager to convert existing import terminals to export instead in places like Lusby, Maryland, where Sue and Dale Allison live.
There was a time when cell phones were used to make calls and many of the calls were defined by this.
(SOUNDBITE OF NOKIA RINGTONE)
SIEGEL: The Nokia ringtone, it was introduced in 1994. Last Friday, Nokia - once the world's cell phone leader - sold its dwindling phone business to Microsoft for a lot of money, seven and a half billion dollars.
Until today, no one had said what becomes of that ringtone, a tune Nokia says is played about 20,000 times a second worldwide.