Some of America's biggest beer producers are amping up their corporate social responsibility programs, with a focus on promoting water conservation and more sustainable agricultural technologies. "Hopefully it will be an example for other companies to replicate. What helps with barley can also help with wheat, can help with potatoes, can help with soy," says John Rogers, global director of agricultural development at Anheuser-Busch InBev.
July 31 marks the deadline for Congress to pass legislation to replenish the U.S. Highway Trust Fund. The House seems to favor a short-term fix, while the Senate has put forth a six-year bill but no funding mechanism for it. The Senate is likely to attach an amendment to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank's charter to any highway funding bill, which will be a sticking point in the House.
Wal-Mart will start offering online shoppers in the Ottawa area of Canada the option of picking up grocery orders of $50 or more at one of 11 brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer has 400 stores in Canada and already offers a separate click-and-collect service for non-perishable goods at 55 stores.
Ford Motor Co. is planning a summer debut for its new wireless-based Sync 3 in-car software with BlackBerry's QNX operating system, which replaces Microsoft's platform. Research showed most drivers found the original interface, MyFord Touch, too confusing.
German carmaker Volkswagen is looking into "super battery" technology, which could represent a "quantum leap for the electric car," Volkswagen Chairman Martin Winterkorn said. The new technology could boost electric car batteries by up to 100 miles over current batteries offered by the company.
Mike Huether, the mayor of Sioux Falls, S.D., is set to tout the city's participation in the U.S. Department of Transportation's challenge for safer people and safer streets.
Washington state lawmakers granted approval for Seattle's Sound Transit to impose new taxes for a $15 billion light-rail expansion as well as a bus rapid transit plan if voters agree to it next June. If voters say yes, the state's sales tax could increase up to 40 cents per $100 purchase and property taxes could rise to $25 per $100,000 home value.
Minnesota-based North American High Speed Rail Group's plan for high-speed passenger rail between St. Paul and Rochester continues to run into staunch opposition. A $2.3 million feasibility study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation has yet to be completed, but Sen. Matt Schmit, D-Red Wing, told the Goodhue County Board of Commissioners that he believes the project is unlikely to be approved.
Capital controls in Greece have been made it hard to do business for some importers in that country. There are protections in place to facilitate the movement of food, drugs and fuel, but the situation is more difficult for those who deal in nonessential goods. Greece rejected austerity measures in a referendum held over the weekend.
The National Center for Food Protection and Defense at the University of Minnesota and industry giants such as Cargill are working to track how food moves through global supply chains. Both organizations provided financial support for the Global Food Traceability Center, which opened in 2013. Food traceability can be a complex issue, as it often involves dealing with multiple countries that may have their own regulations and languages.