Business & Education

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Amazon said today it's buying the supermarket Whole Foods in a deal valued at nearly $14 billion. This is by far the largest acquisition Amazon has ever made. It also means big changes are ahead for the grocery business. NPR's Alina Selyukh reports.

At Yale University's commencement ceremony last month, hundreds of graduating students and their supporters staged a labor protest. The dispute pits graduate student teachers who voted to form a union in February against a Yale administration that refuses to bargain and disputes the election's validity.

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Amazon is adding to its retail empire by buying the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.7 billion. NPR's Yuki Noguchi joins us now via Skype to discuss this deal. Hi, Yuki.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET on June 19

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, in a merger that values Whole Foods stock at $42 a share — a premium over the price of around $33 at the close of trading on Thursday. The Internet retailer says it's buying the brick-and-mortar fixture in a deal that is valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, back in 1980, now has 465 stores in North America and the U.K.

Gerry Newman buys vanilla by the gallon. He's co-owner of Albemarle Baking Co., in Charlottesville, Va., and vanilla goes into everything from his cookies to pastry cream.

A few years ago, each 1-gallon bottle of organic, fair-trade vanilla set him back $64. Today, it's $245, more than Newman can comfortably stomach.

It's a global phenomenon, hitting pastry chefs and ice cream makers alike. Some have changed their recipes to use less vanilla. Newman has switched suppliers to find a cheaper product.

In most American cities these days, it seems like there's a Chinese restaurant on every other street corner.

But in the late 1800s, that ubiquity was exactly what certain white establishment figures feared, according to a new study co-written by Gabriel "Jack" Chin, a law professor at the University of California, Davis.

Japanese toilets have come a long way from the early 20th century, when many people in Japan still used "squatters," which were built into the floor.

Western toilets became popular after World War II. And today, signature Japanese toilets offer the world's most futuristic and automated technology when nature calls.

Uber is a mess — the "bad boy" ethos shattered, a nervous breakdown in its place. This week, the CEO announced he is taking a sudden leave of absence. A former U.S. attorney general released a brutal audit of the startup's culture. It's a terrifying moment for many investors who want that $70 billion unicorn to make them rich or richer — not implode.

The real estate company run by the family of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, has dropped its quest for a major tax break for a skyscraper project in New Jersey.

The Kushner Companies had been seeking a 30-year tax abatement for One Journal Square, a proposed $821 million luxury residential development in Jersey City, N.J.

Last week, the project's developer informed Mayor Steve Fulop that it will no longer seek that tax abatement, a spokeswoman for Jersey City confirmed Thursday.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project.

It's a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists, who protested for months against the pipeline. Oil started flowing through it earlier this month. The tribe fears that the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River just upstream of its reservation, could contaminate its drinking water and sacred lands.

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In 1974, McDonald's set its sights on opening a new franchise in Manhattan's Upper East Side at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 66th Street. This location wouldn't be anything like the ketchup and mustard colored buildings in the suburbs. It would be tasteful and blend in with the townhouses surrounding it. Regardless of aesthetics, Upper East Siders were having none of it.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he wants flexibility as he tries to improve ties with Russia. U.S. lawmakers, however, are going in another direction.

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia and to make sure the Trump administration doesn't change course without congressional buy-in.

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How To Sell Things And Influence People

Jun 14, 2017

Social media has changed the way we interact with a lot of things: television, dating and, of course, advertising.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve policymakers have raised their target for the benchmark federal funds interest rate by a quarter-point, to a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

When it comes to seafood, we're awash in labels. There are labels to identify sustainable wild, farmed or Fair Trade fish.

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More than 190 Democrats in Congress joined together to sue President Trump on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

They say Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by profiting from business deals involving foreign governments — and doing so without congressional consent. And they want the court to make it stop.

Trump has "repeatedly and flagrantly violated" the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told reporters on a conference call.

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By the time Stephenie Hashmi was in her mid-20s, she had achieved a lifelong dream — she was the charge nurse of one of Kansas City's largest intensive care units. But even as she cared for patients, she realized that something was off with her own health.

"I remember just feeling tired and feeling sick and hurting, and not knowing why my joints and body was hurting," she says.

How do you start a dairy industry overnight in a wealthy desert nation with its transport links closed? You buy 4,000 cows from Australia and the U.S. and put them on airplanes.

That is what Qatari businessman Moutaz Al Khayyat told Bloomberg he is doing. The airlift will require as many as 60 flights on Qatar Airways, but Al Khayyat said, "This is the time to work for Qatar."

Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET

The first sentence of Yahoo's Wikipedia page now reads, "Yahoo! Inc. was an American multinational technology company."

Yahoo's Internet properties officially became Verizon's properties Tuesday, as the telecom giant finalized its $4.5 billion acquisition.

Uber made two big announcements Tuesday, adopting new policies to improve its workplace environment and saying CEO Travis Kalanick is going on a leave of absence for personal reasons. Kalanick said he needs time to grieve the recent death of his mother.

"The ultimate responsibility, for where we've gotten and how we've gotten here rests on my shoulders," Kalanick said. "There is of course much to be proud of but there is much to improve."

Kalanick said he would be working on a team that could lead "Uber 2.0."

When I started my career at The Washington Post in the late 1990s, the newsroom wore a dusty, outdated look as if it were paying homage to its legendary past. The Post of today occupies an updated building on D.C.'s renowned K Street, in modern, glass-walled offices with a Silicon Valley aesthetic.

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