Scott Haase, a farmer in Blue Earth, Minn., looks out at a field where he planted cover crops between rows of corn on July 5, 2017. Miles from the farmers markets, craft breweries and farm-to-table restaurants of the Twin Cities, more traditional farmers are thriving in the Midwest. Corn and soybean farmers face heightened expectations for environmental stewardship and want to build healthy soils that can withstand heat, drought and heavy rain.
Primarily, House Republican leadership has pushed to allow up to 40,000 slot machine-style video gambling terminals in bars and truck stops across the state. They tout it as a big money maker for the state, flushing hundreds of millions of dollars into the bank accounts of establishment owners and the state and local governments. Critics -- including Wolf's Department of Revenue -- counter that it is unlikely to raise money within a year and, when it does, it will cannibalize revenue from the casinos and lottery games that already feed cash to state programs.
Abe swept to power in late 2012, pledging to pull Japan's economy, the world's third largest, out of nearly two decades of deflation and stagnation. The economy is recovering gradually but sluggish wage growth keeps consumer spending and inflation from accelerating, while corporations face labor shortages due to a low birth rate and fast-ageing population.