America's biggest food production companies face a growing threat of water scarcity, according to a new report from Ceres, an environmental sustainability group.
Producing food, after all, requires more water than almost any other business on Earth. And the outlook isn't pretty: One-third of food is grown in areas of high or extremely high water stress, while pollution and climate change are further limiting supplies of clean water around the world.
As with tropical trees around the world, the koa forests of Hawaii have been decimated — cut down to make way for sugar plantations and cattle ranches. One company is using an innovative business model to bring back koa forests. The secret is a digital tag that helps track individual trees.
At upscale Hawaiian shopping malls like Kings' Shops, wood from the native koa tree is in high demand. Its color ranges from light to dark brown. Koa's curving lines make it popular for furniture, or ukuleles.
And inside the agriculture industry, farmers are quietly debating how best to respond to the drought. Given uncertainty around pending state regulations, some say there may be an incentive to not invest in water-saving technologies right now.
A North Carolina jury has rejected a $750,000 civil lawsuit filed by Lt. Matthew Kohr of the Raleigh Police Department, who said a Starbucks store had given him a large cup of hot coffee with an unsecured lid.
Last week, Kohr's attorney said the free cup of coffee spilled onto the officer's lap because it didn't have a properly attached lid or an insulating cardboard sleeve. Evidence submitted in court included photos showing red burn marks.
Upfronts week is when the broadcast networks, in this order and in general, (1) make final decisions about canceling or keeping existing shows, (2) unveil their schedules for the fall and spring seasons, and (3) present their new shows to advertisers to kick off their ad sales. In other words, "Look at this beautiful show! Wouldn't you like to put your beautiful commercial right between the first and second acts?"
In the rough and tumble world of restaurants, Jeremy Hardy considers himself something of a survivor.
Hardy's restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, has been a fixture of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood for 20 years. Notoriously low-margin businesses, restaurants have a high failure rate. Hardy says even in good times, running one is like juggling with clubs.
"With the labor pressures that are coming from this $15 eventual minimum-wage increase, we are juggling with razor-sharp daggers," Hardy says. "And if you don't get it right, it's really going to hurt."
The price of iron ore has crashed recently — from more than $190 a ton in 2011, to about $60 today. Iron ore is the key ingredient in steel, and global demand for it, especially in China, is way down. That's being felt far away in northern Minnesota.
Miners have clawed iron ore out of northern Minnesota for more than a century. The Iron Range, as it's known, is pockmarked with deep abandoned pits carved out of the red earth.
Look at the oil business and you'll notice it's mostly men. That's a problem for an industry that needs legions of new workers to replace retirees in coming years.
The industry hasn't always treated women fairly, but now it needs them.
The oil business just 30 years ago was a lonely place for the few women who chose to work in it. Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, says attending industry conferences made that clear.
The Labor Department's latest report shows employers created 223,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate went down another notch to 5.4 percent.
But study the wage figures in Friday's report — and your "yay" turns to "meh."
Workers got raises of just 0.1 percent in April. Over the past year, wages advanced only 2.2 percent, a pace that amounts to treading water for most families. The average workweek has stalled at 34.5 hours, unchanged from the previous month — and from a year ago.