Longtime fan King Abdullah II is putting up $1.5 billion for the Star Trek-themed park, beckoning fellow Trekkies to a place where few have gone before: a town on the Red Sea. It's a new frontier for a king who's actually been on board the starship USS Voyager — during a cameo on the show in the '90s.
The rise of fracking as a method for extracting natural gas from shale rock has triggered demand for a key ingredient in the process: silica sand. In parts of the upper Midwest, there's been a rush to mine this increasingly valuable product.
With the fight over the U.S. debt ceiling finally over, investors are free again to focus on all the economic challenges that lie ahead, but they are finding little reason to celebrate. Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Tuesday, skipping the "relief rally" that customarily follows the resolution of a crisis.
In the United States, signs of a serious economic slowdown had been building up, though with attention focused on the debt-ceiling debate, the news had apparently not yet sunk in.
For several GOP lawmakers, the decision on whether to vote for the debt deal hinged on how the prescribed cuts will affect defense spending. In the end, enough Republicans in the House put their concerns about cutting the deficit over their concerns about cutting defense spending.
But no one really knows how much the Pentagon will have to cut as a result of the deal or when.
"We are in uncharted territory here," said David Berteau, an expert on budgetary issues with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.