In today's news: Big Oil rakes in big profits, unemployment drops in big cities, Starbucks is now bigger than ever, electric cars are also safe cars, and space vacations may not be far off.
This should come as a shock to no one: “Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips are expected to report this week a combined $18.2 billion in first-quarter earnings,” the Associated Press reports. “That’s a 40-percent increase from a year ago and just short of the $20.2 billion they earned in the first three months of 2008.”
While overall unemployment has dropped, the decline is even more significant in large urban areas. “Unemployment rates fell in 317 of 372 metro areas last month compared to March 2010,” USA Today reports, “the most to report a yearly decline since the recession ended in June 2009.”
McDonald’s, Subway, and…Starbucks? “Starbucks has moved ahead of Burger King and Wendy’s to become the third-largest U.S. chain restaurant by domestic sales,” MSNBC reports.
They not only save money, they can save lives. “The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf plug-in cars both earned top scores in crash tests,” CNN reports. One possible reason: “The Leaf and the Volt each weigh almost 700 pounds more than comparable gasoline-powered cars by Nissan and General Motors.”
Ten years ago today, businessman Dennis Tito became the first private person to pay to fly in space. Now there are companies advertising the trip. “A ticket to ride doesn’t come cheap, costing at least $95,000, but space entrepreneurs believe that they can facilitate travel to near space more affordably than NASA,” USA Today reports.