And let's stay in the land of milk and honey, because our last word in business takes us to a barnyard venture that is solving to very old problems at once. The first is keeping unwanted plants out of a productive vegetable garden. The second, more existential problem is finding a suitable romantic partner. And the last word is weed dating.
Imagine going into bankruptcy with billions of dollars in cash still in your bank account. That's what American Airlines did last November. The thinking was that management would gut the company's pensions and union contracts and emerge from bankruptcy ready to compete.
But then US Airways said it could take over American and be profitable, and it wouldn't have to hurt American's employees nearly as bad in the process. American's pilots, mechanics and flight attendants loved that idea.
No country has enjoyed more spectacular growth in recent decades than China. But the economy that will one day replace America's as the world's largest also faces a lot of challenges. Guest host David Greene talks to NPR's Frank Langfitt, who was a reporter in China in the '90s and returned to Shanghai for NPR last year.
Forty years ago, the founders of Seattle's Intiman Theater envisioned a company devoted to Western classics: Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen and the like. But over the decades, Intiman also earned national recognition as an incubator of new work.
In 1991, it premiered The Kentucky Cycle, which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. A decade later, it produced the first workshops of the Tony Award-winning musical TheLight in the Piazza.
Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
There's more gloomy news from the eurozone this week. Italy saw its sovereign debt rating lowered by one agency, at just a couple of notches above junk status. In Spain, civil servants, coalminers, and others took to the streets once again to protest more spending cuts and tax hikes. And Germany's highest court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of two measures considered central to efforts to try to contain the euro crisis.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Louisiana for the week ending July 7 increased from the previous week's total.
State labor department figures released Friday show initial claims rose to 3,960 from the previous week's total of 3,456. The figure was lower than it was for the comparable week a year earlier, when there were 4,053 initial claims.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,714 from the previous week's total of 3,792.