Pay for U.S. workers rises at slowest rate in 33 years

Wages and benefits paid by U.S. employers this spring rose at the slowest pace since the second quarter of 1982, the Labor Department said. The employment cost index, which tracks salaries, wages and benefits, climbed 0.2% in Q2, compared with a 0.7% gain in Q1.

N.C. student's push for vegetarian options draws global support

Elly Kirk, a North Carolina eighth-grader, has launched a campaign urging the staff at her middle school to include vegetarian lunch options. Kirk said she wants items such as beans, veggie burgers and baked potatoes added to the menu for students who prefer meatless meals. Her online petition has attracted international attention, with more than 28,000 signatures and praise from the school principal for activism.

Mortgage rates dip below 4%

Mortgage rates fell this week as global economic news pushed bond yields lower. The 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.98% -- the first time it dipped below 4% in eight weeks, according to Freddie Mac.

Fresh & Easy to shutter 14 stores

Fresh & Easy has begun the process of closing 14 underperforming stores in markets including San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona, a company spokesman said Friday, which will leave leave the retailer with less than 100 stores. "While recent initiatives have helped drive additional sales across the Fresh & Easy business, in the case of these locations the progress was not enough to bring their performance in line with the rest of the business," a spokesman said.

CVS Health connects EHRs with 2 health care groups

CVS Health has agreed to partner with Lehigh Valley Health Network and Lawrence Memorial Hospital to link its EHRs with those of the health care organizations. The deal will enable providers to easily view patients' visit and prescription data and give patients instant access to CVS' and MinuteClinic's medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring, clinical support and wellness initiatives.

Amazon secures Woody Allen, Spike Lee projects for Prime video

Spike Lee's film "Chi-Raq" and Woody Allen's first-ever TV series are among the prominent pieces of entertainment content that Amazon has secured for its Prime subscription service, which offers access to exclusive online video content in addition to free shipping. Also, Amazon's comedy "Transparent," about transgender family dynamics, has won Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. "We're not trying to have a formula for shows, except insofar as you want the voices of their time who really are distinctive and people care about," Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price said.

Penney's new CEO takes over after 10 months in training

Marvin Ellison officially took over as J.C. Penney's CEO on Saturday, after working side-by-side with outgoing chief Myron Ullman for 10 months, a system designed to ensure a smooth transition. To meet aggressive sales and earnings goals, Ellison's first challenge will be "to maintain the current momentum, and then step it up," Deutsche Bank Analyst Paul Trussell said.

SoftBank's "Pepper" robot eyes the enterprise
Business Insider

SoftBank has debuted a robot in Japan that the company claims can read and react to human emotions tracked through a set of cameras and sensors. The consumer version of the "Pepper" robot retails for $1,650, and SoftBank plans to have an enterprise version rollout in October.

Bayer gets FDA nod to market papulopustular rosacea treatment

Bayer Healthcare's Finacea, or topical azelaic acid 15% foam, has obtained FDA approval for use in treating inflammatory papules and pustules in patients with mild to moderate rosacea. The decision was based on two clinical trials that showed the drug effectively decreased inflammatory lesion count after a 12-week treatment period, compared with a vehicle control.

DIRECTV in hand, AT&T readies first nationwide TV, wireless bundle

AT&T is promoting a $200 monthly cellphone and TV Everywhere bundle that it plans to offer throughout the U.S. -- marking the first fruits of its merger with DIRECTV. Starting Aug. 10, the carrier will provide four phone lines with unlimited voice and texting, along with 10 gigabytes of sharable data. On the video side, AT&T will hook up four TVs with HD and DVR features and the ability to watch on any mobile device.

Photos: Books explore 100 modern concrete structures

Lighter, sturdier concrete made possible by technological advances has encouraged architects to use it more in their designs. Author Philip Jodidio explores concrete's use in his two-volume set "100 Contemporary Concrete Buildings."

Opinion: Mich. renewables industry to benefit from CPP

The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan will help Michigan slash its carbon emissions 31% in the next 15 years, writes Dean Berden, owner of DB Solar. The wind and solar industries could support over 840,000 jobs nationwide by 2030, according to the Department of Energy. "Transitioning to low-cost clean energy will benefit Michigan in a variety of ways: more stable or lower power bills, new jobs and a stronger economy that is well-positioned for the future," Berden writes.

UPS boosts holiday delivery ability with Coyote Logistics acquisition
USA Today

UPS is looking to improve its handling of holiday deliveries by acquiring Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. "UPS is enthusiastic about this acquisition on many levels because there are opportunities for growth, synergistic efficiencies and transfer of best practices and systems across all of our operating segments," UPS CEO David Abney said.

Luxury hotels become urban beekeepers

New York's Waldorf Astoria, Paris' Mandarin Oriental and Taiwan's W are among the luxury properties worldwide that keep honeybees.