In the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company, the Shuanghui Group said it would buy the nation’s largest pork producer for $4.7 billion. But not so fast, says Congress. Josh Rogin reports.
The congressman whose district hosts America’s largest pork producer on Tuesday called for an investigation into a Chinese company’s bid to take it over.Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes represents the district where Smithfield Foods is headquartered and has its largest base of operations. Last week China’s Shuanghui Group announced it was planning to acquire Smithfield for $4.7 billion, which would make the deal the largest ever Chinese acquisition of an American company.
Frosted Mini-Wheats don’t help kids concentrate.
It turns out Frosted Mini-Wheats aren't so good for you, and now Kellogg's will pay $4 million to settle a class-action suit accusing them of falsely implying that the cereal could help kids concentrate. In 2008 and 2009, the company aired commercials that claimed the sugary cereal could improve cognitive function and was “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by 11 percent” even though there wasn’t scientific evidence to back it up. People who bought Frosted Mini-Wheats will be able to submit a claim to be compensated up to $15 for three boxes of cereal.
Those that pose risk to U.S. financial system.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council voted on Monday to place non-bank companies that are risks to the financial system under supervisions similar to those of banks. The entities in question, hedge funds and private-equity firms, will be placed under the purview of the Federal Reserve and other authorities. The move comes three years after the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation, which called for defining which non-bank companies threatened the financial system. While no companies have been named, AIG, GE Capital, and Prudential have said they were among those singled out.
To stem abuse in system.
President Obama is set to take on patent-holding firms, also known as “patent trolls.” The firms, according to the White House, burden tech and financial companies with expensive litigation and build their profits not by creating new products but rather by using the legal system to leverage licensing fees. Two major steps the administration would like to implement are requiring patent holders to disclose the owner, preventing lawsuits by shell companies, as well as creating sanctions against overly litigious firms deemed abusive.
It’s increasingly clear that the president has steered the country back from the brink—and, in the process, exposed (yet again) the central lie of conservative economics.
This Friday morning will bring the new jobs numbers. If recent months and indicators are any sign, the news will be at least pretty good, and maybe really good— remember, the last several months have all been revised upward by significant amounts after the initial estimates. Yes, there is still a ways to go. But everything is moving in the right direction. The president and his people jumped the gun pretty badly in 2010 with their talk of “Recovery Summer.
A QR sticker encourages visitors to the country.
Don’t be so quick to discard that sticker on your banana. Ecuador’s new tourism-boosting plan, called the “Banana Ambassador,” revolves around those easy-to-ignore stickers. Utilizing Ecuador’s status as the world’s largest producer of bananas—exporting 24 billion tons annually—the tourism ministry has swapped out the old labels on the fruit for a QR code and country logo. Scan it with your phone and the code takes you to a promotional video encouraging you to visit to the official tourism site. “Now, every time someone eats a banana, he or she will be closer to visiting Ecuador,” the ministry’s video says.
Will close several offices.
About 520 employees at Zynga, the social-gaming company that owns FarmVille and other properties, can expect a pink slip by August. Zynga will also close its offices in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Dallas. By laying off 18 percent of its workforce and shuttering offices, Zynga expects to save roughly $80 million. The company has struggled to make the shift to mobile platforms and away from web-based games, where it initially flourished.
Compared to middle-class friendly changes like increasing the child tax credit and reducing payroll taxes, the top income tax rate should be at the bottom of Republican priorities. (It's not, but this is an argument that shouldn't be abandoned). Reihan writes at National Review:Recently, I’ve been suggesting that Republicans ought to counter the president’s call for eliminating various tax expenditures to increase tax revenues beyond the levels reached under ATRA, AKA the fiscal cliff deal, by suggesting that we apply the revenue from the elimination of tax expenditures to an expanded child credit that could be used to offset payroll taxes, a la the Stein plan.
In Iraq and Syria.
Al Qaeda, more and more like The Office every day. The terrorist network apparently set up complaints departments (not staffed by Kelly Kapoor; what a shame) in Iraq and Syria, where civilians can put in their complaints about their newly merged Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a.k.a. Lebanon and Syria. (Was Sterling Cooper and Partners not available?) “We promise we will ensure accountability for anyone committing violations, and they will be sent to the Sharia court of Iraq and al-Sham,” read the notice to the public advertising the new headquarters. This comes just a week after news that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb chastised a jihadist for failing to submit expense reports, attend meetings, and complete any spectacular missions.
What we read into racist messages isn't necessarily what others saw when they were created
Last week, professional golfer Sergio Garcia joked about having Tiger Woods for dinner and serving him fried chicken. Oh, ho, ho! Black people sure do love that fried chicken, don't they? Garcia has since apologized, but the uneasiness remains. How can a professional in this day and age think it's okay to make racist jokes in public? We'll never know what he was thinking, except that whatever it was, it was pretty stupid. So NPR turns to a question that we possibly can answer: where did this stereotype come from, anyway?After all, it's a fairly weird stereotype.
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Or maybe like the lovechild of Darth Vader and a can of soup. One of the biggest moments at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference Monday was the unveiling of the redesigned Mac Pro. Of course, Twitter had something to say about it.
What do we do with people whose livelihoods are destroyed?