If you don't think a third party candidate can play a role in a presidential election, just ask George HW Bush about Ross Perot or ask Al Gore about Ralph Nader.
This fall, the Libertarian Party will have a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson probably won't be invited to the debates and pollsters don't usually even bother asking about him. But he could influence the outcome of a close election, as NPR Joel Rose reports.
And let's go next to West Africa, where logging rights to more than 60 percent of Liberia's virgin rainforests have been granted to forestry companies since President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power six years ago. A British advocacy group says the majority of those contracts are unregulated and warns of fraud and mismanagement. The government of Liberia says it is commissioning a full-scale investigation.
NPR's business news business with some bad news for automakers.
Ford is cutting jobs in Europe. Sales in the European Union are down 12 percent this year; that's what a financial crisis will do for you. Bloomberg reports a few hundred workers, mostly in Germany and the United Kingdom, will be getting the axe. And the pioneering electric car maker Tesla Motors has announced that it is selling five million shares to raise much needed cash.
China has just joined an exclusive, global club. They have launched their first aircraft carrier. The Liaoning is a Soviet ship that the Russian navy never actually put into service. To talk with us about the significance of this ship, we're joined from London by naval historian and defense analyst, Paul Beaver.