The government forecasts food prices will go up as much as 3.5 percent this year; meat prices will rise as much as 4.5 percent. If the drought continues, prices may go up even more. "Until we get that first heavy rain, we're not going to know for sure" just where prices will end up, a USDA economist says.
Democrats and Republicans are going to the brink over tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in a showdown that threatens to send the U.S. over a year-end "fiscal cliff." So what's at the heart of the impasse?
New York City held its first and only public hearing on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on super-sized sodas Tuesday. One critic of the ban said a lazy lifestyle contributes to obesity just as much as soda; a supporter said he lost 50 pounds by cutting out sugary drinks. The health board will vote on the ban in September.
After years of being criticized for power outages caused by falling trees, utility companies are aggressively cutting down trees near electrical lines. Sounds sensible, but homeowners complain that the cutting often happens on private property, and even healthy trees are fair game.
Shares of Apple tumbled after the company's iPhone sales missed expectations. The disappointing quarter came as the global economy moved into slower gear. Sales of Macs were down, while in the one bright spot, iPads continued to be even more popular than expected.
The gross domestic product fell seven-tenths of a percent from the first quarter — much more than expected, and the most in three years. Output shrank in part because of unusually rainy weather and the extra public holiday because of the Queen's Jubilee.
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