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Nicotine will now be at the center of the Food and Drug Administration's effort to regulate tobacco, the agency said, announcing that it will aim to lower the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to a level that will help curb addiction.

It would be the first time in the agency's history that it has sought to regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

Craft Beer, Brought To You By Big Beer

Jul 28, 2017

You may not be aware that Ballast Point Brewing Company, famed for its Sculpin IPA and fruity renditions of the same beer, was bought in 2015 for $1 billion by Constellation Brands, the company that owns Corona. Or that Lagunitas Brewing Company is now owned fully by Heineken or that Goose Island has since 2011 been a brand of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the global brewing giant that owns Budweiser.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent between April and June.

It was nice comeback from the tepid 1.2 percent annual growth rate of the first quarter and more in line with the turbo-charged growth of 3 percent that has been promised by the Trump administration.

The latest growth was partially driven by an increase in consumer spending. It's a positive sign that Americans are opening up their wallets, especially since consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy.

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More Money, More Problems For Amazon

Jul 28, 2017

This week Amazon became the fourth company in the U.S. worth half a trillion dollars. The online retail giant is in the exclusive club with Apple, Microsoft and Google's parent company, Alphabet. Americans clearly love Amazon: one of every two dollars spent online goes to the e-retailing giant. But customers and lawmakers are also spending more time picking on Amazon these days. As the online shopping company branches out, it's rubbing some people the wrong way.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking on Fox & Friends Thursday, said the Trump administration's hiring efforts are being hindered by the "hoops you have to jump through" to comply with Office of Government Ethics rules.

"There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely disinclined to do so based on the paperwork we have to put forward, divesting assets," Conway said.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became an even richer man on Thursday morning, when a sudden surge in Amazon stock made him $1.5 billion overnight. His fortune grew to over $90 billion.

For several hours, Bezos was the richest person on earth — surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The top billionaire title has previously been claimed by Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, Spanish fast-fashion giant Amancio Ortega and investor Warren Buffett — though most of the time, it's firmly in Gates' possession.

What You Need To Know About Foxconn

Jul 27, 2017

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To learn more about Foxconn and the company's factories in China, I talked to Brian Merchant. He's a tech reporter for Vice and he recently wrote a book on the history of the iPhone.

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In a vast, dimly lit barn near Frankford, Delaware, surrounded by tens of thousands of young chickens, about a dozen people in ghostly white coveralls are considering future options for the poultry industry.

The Trump administration's promise to turbocharge economic growth has yet to be fulfilled, even though forecasters are predicting that the economy has rebounded from a weak 1.4 percent annual growth rate in the first three months to a rate closer to 2.8 percent. That is the number many economists are expecting to see when the government issues its report on second-quarter growth on Friday.

Mon Dieu! Burgundy Snails Aren't French Anymore

Jul 27, 2017

In a large, sparsely furnished room at a food processing plant in the town of Migennes, in France's Burgundy region, three employees prepare large snails for packaging. They take the snails' flesh, which is cooked separately, and put them into shells of the right size. They reconstitute about a thousand snails an hour, says Romain Chapron, the director of Croque Bourgogne, the company that owns this plant and sells a couple million snails each year.

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Senate Republicans are a little like the dog that finally caught the car. Now that they know their health care votes could actually become law, it's hard to know what to do.

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In the seven years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, CEOs of U.S. health care companies have made a lot of money.

Their compensation far outstrips the wage growth of nearly all Americans, according to reporter Bob Herman, who published an analysis this week of "the sky-high pay of health care CEOs" for the online news site, Axios.

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After a two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve policymakers say they'll keep their benchmark rate in a range between 1 percent and 1.25 percent for the time being.

Fed officials said "job gains have been solid" and the U.S. "labor market continues to strengthen" in the statement after a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.

The officials described economic activity as "rising moderately." They noted that unemployment rate has declined since the beginning of the year. The Fed is close to meeting its mandate to maximize employment.

In the neonatal intensive care unit of Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, a father is rocking a baby attached to a heart monitor. While doctors roam the halls trying to prevent infections, Chief Information Officer Theresa Meadows is worried about another kind of virus.

"The last thing anybody wants to happen in their organization is have all their heart monitors disabled or all of their IV pumps that provide medication to a patient disabled," Meadows says.

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The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday considered looking into President Trump's financial ties, particularly those linking him to a bank that had been involved with laundering Russian money.

But Republican members voted "nyet" on a straight party-line vote of 34-26.

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Attorney Sergei Magnitsky uncovered widespread corruption in Russia. Then he was arrested.

Magnitsky died under mysterious circumstances in a Russian jail. His employer, Bill Browder, who was previously expelled from Russia, says Magnitsky was beaten to death.

A View From A Russian-American In Moscow

Jul 25, 2017

For many who support President Trump, the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign is little more than a politically motivated witch hunt.

“Obviously, it’s a witch hunt,” says Edward Lozansky, the pro-Putin, pro-Trump president of American University in Moscow.

GUESTS

Edward Lozansky, President, American University in Moscow; professor, National Research Nuclear University and Moscow State University

Updated at 3:26 p.m. ET

Uber's leadership already has a lot on its plate, starting with finding a new CEO after former chief Travis Kalanick resigned abruptly last month. But that's not all the tech giant has to do. For the business to survive, Uber also has to repair its relationship with drivers, which leaders at the company say is "broken."

Luxury fashion brand Michael Kors says it has reached a nearly $1.2 billion deal to acquire footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Michael Kors is "trying to shore up declining demand for expensive handbags," NPR's Yuki Noguchi tells our Newscast unit. Here is more from Yuki:

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