For more: Why does the government subsidize crop insurance in the first place? We try to answer that question in our latest podcast.
The federal government spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance for U.S. farmers. Policies are sold by private companies, but the government sets the rates, so the companies can't compete on price.
A barista processes a customer's payment using Square, a device that turns a mobile device into a card swiper. More businesses are using the devices to simplify credit card payments. Others are embracing technology that allows consumers to pay with their cellphones.
The "know your farmer" concept may soon apply to the folks growing your coffee, too.
Increasingly, specialty roasters are working directly with coffee growers around the world to produce coffees as varied in taste as wines. And how are roasters teaching their clientele to appreciate the subtle characteristics of brews? By bringing an age-old tasting ritual once limited to coffee insiders to the coffee-sipping masses.
Here's the latest flashpoint in the between the state of Arizona and the federal government over immigration policy. Yesterday, the U.S. government began accepting applications for Deferred Action, a temporary reprieve from deportation for young, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Just hours later, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order denying state benefits to those who qualify. That includes obtaining a driver's license.
A database of mentally ill people barred from buying guns lacks all the records required.
Credit Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images
Mourners hold candles at a vigil at Virginia Tech to honor victims in a campus shooting in 2007. The shooter's name should have been in a national database, preventing him from legally buying guns, but it wasn't.
A federal database with the names of mentally ill people barred from buying guns still lacks millions of records it needs to be effective. A new report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns points to gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The problem is that 14 years after NICS was put in place, states still aren't submitting all the required mental health records.
If you plot out a chart of 2012's average gasoline prices, you get what looks like a roller coaster. There's a steady increase from January to April, the spring peak around $4 per gallon, and then a steady decline in May and June.
By the beginning of July, the national average was hovering around $3.42.
But since then, that roller coaster chart has been heading into its second big climb. Prices have been going up since July 1, and are now approaching $3.80.
So, many drivers are now wondering if we should soon expect to pay even more — or if we're near the peak.
Vice President Joe Biden has taken a lot of heat from the Romney campaign for telling a predominantly black audience that Romney would unchain Wall Street and put them back in chains. He made the remarks in Danville, Va., Tuesday. Here's a longer part of that speech that's gotten less airplay.
Gumar Ganiyev opens the gates of the compound where members of the Islamic sect he belongs to have lived in seclusion since the early 2000s outside Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, earlier this month.
Credit Nikolay Alexandrov / AP
Self-proclaimed "messenger of God" Faizrakhman Satarov approaches the Kazan house earlier this month. The sect's founder says he had a revelation from God that true Muslims must separate themselves from society.
Credit Nikolay Alexandrov / AP
For nearly two decades, sect members quietly built houses and dug living quarters inside their compound in Kazan. Authorities say that 20 children of sect members have not been allowed to leave the premises, attend school or be examined by doctors.
The recent headlines in the Russian press were sensational: Members of a reclusive Islamic sect were said to be living in an isolated compound with underground burrows, some as deep as eight stories underground, without electricity or heat.
Reporters have descended on the compound, on the outskirts of the city of Kazan, but have had only limited access and have not been able to confirm all the allegations by Russian officials.