Natural gas threatens future of nuclear energy

By Urvashi Verma Nuclear power, the glamorous, high-tech power of the future, may be losing the energy race to humble natural gas, as abundant U.S. shale gas production causes natural gas prices to hit record low levels. So far this year, natural gas has performed the worst among commodities, posting declines in both January and […]

A prescient entrepreneur rides the solar-power wave

By Urvashi Verma The anticipated ending of the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for solar power installations caused a record-breaking boom in the solar industry last year. Now that the credit has been extended until 2021 sales are expected to surge again as both electric utilities and consumers take advantage of the federal incentive before […]

Retail Sales Hurt By Income Tax Refund Delays

By Urvashi Verma Sales at U.S. retail and food stores rose 0.1 percent in February, due in part to income tax refund delays that caused a slight consumer pullback, economists said. The seasonally adjusted sales of retail and food services increased 0.1 percent in February to $474 billion, compared with January’s upwardly revised gain of […]

Fukushima: Six Years Later Is It Safe to Go Back?

By Urvashi Verma Nearly six years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, environmental activists are raising alarms that radiation levels are still dangerously high, despite the Abe government’s reassurances that thousands of residents can return home. Last week the Japanese government lifted the evacuation orders in the Fukushima prefecture citing radiation measurement levels under 100 mSv […]

Existentialism in traditional Japanese tea ceremony

By Urvashi Verma The Japanese tea ceremony, called “Chanoyu” “Sado” or “Ocha,” is a traditional ritual that dates to 9th century Japan. For both the host and guests, it is less about drinking tea and more about having an existential experience, or preserving the sanctity of the moment.

Why Wall Street May Be Losing Patience for Energy Giant Exxon


By Urvashi Verma Exxon Mobil Corp.’s new CEO Darren Woods announced that the company will spend more on refining operations and acquired projects such as those in the Permian Basin. But the moves aren’t enough to change analysts’ pessimistic forecasts for the company, as higher oil prices hurt the bottom line. Exxon will increase its […]

U.S. relents, honors doctor’s visa

Chicago Based Attorney of Syrian national Dr. Amer al Homssi

By Urvashi Verma U.S. officials confirmed late Wednesday that Chicago-bound Syrian national Dr. Amer al Homssi, holder of a valid U.S. visa who was prevented from returning to the United States last Sunday, will be allowed to re-enter the country on Thursday. “They called us at 8:15 this morning and asked us if we wanted […]

Exxon Mobil’s Profit Plunges 40 Percent

By Urvashi Verma Exxon Mobil Corp.’s profit dropped nearly 40 percent in the fourth quarter as the company reported a $2 billion impairment in its natural gas assets and weaker profits from refining operations. Nevertheless, the stock decreased a modest 1.14 percent and closed at $83.89. Profit in the quarter declined to $1.68 billion or […]

U.S. Shale Oil Production Rises to Meet Global Demand

By Urvashi Verma After nearly two and a half years of barren fields, U.S. shale producers are restoring operations as oil prices have rebounded from increased demand from Asia and OPEC production cuts. The Brent and WTI crude oil prices have increased 13.0 and 9.4 percent respectively reaching above the $50 per barrel mark since […]