Mar 27, 2017

French energy company investing in U.S. Gulf Coast energy sites

Secl via Wikimedia Commons

Total SA, a French energy company, is partnering with Nova and Borealis in building two units on the U.S. Gulf Coast as part of a multi-billion dollar petrochemical venture. One unit will convert natural gas into chemicals used in plastic, and the other will be a polyethylene plant, both in Texas.

Why it matters: The move is betting on the Trump Administration's ability to maintain a "business-friendly environment," but might have even longer-term effects: CEO Patrick Pouyanne said this was part of an effort to boost Total's long-range presence in the U.S.

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MLB's Rob Manfred is latest villain in Astros' cheating scandal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to grant Astros players immunity in exchange for confessions about their sign-stealing scheme has undermined his reputation — and he only made himself look worse on Sunday.

The interview: In a 45-minute conversation with ESPN, Manfred asserted that public shame was punishment enough for the Astros. He also called the World Series trophy "just a piece of metal" and said that taking a title away from Houston "seems like a futile act."

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Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Worries are growing that the economic impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak will be worse than expected and that markets are being too complacent in factoring it in as a risk.

What's happening: The number of confirmed cases has already far outpaced expectations and even those reports are being viewed through a lens of suspicion that the Chinese government is underreporting the figures.

National newspapers thrive while local outlets struggle to survive

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While big national newspapers grow stronger, local newspaper chains that have for decades kept the vast majority of the country informed are combusting.

Why it matters: The inequity between giants like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and their local counterparts represents a growing problem in America as local communities no longer have the power to set the agenda for the news that most affects them.