Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.
It looks like a bright new car wash, but it's a battery swapping station for electric cars in Israel. When a vehicle pulls up, it is slowly pulled through a conveyor. The spent battery is taken out and replaced with one that is fully charged. The entire process takes less than five minutes.
Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.
The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.
And let's talk about one more bright spot in the American economy - anything that is wrapped in bacon.
Today's last word in business is the double bacon corn dog.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Yeah. Vendors at the Iowa State Fair delighted - or disgusted - consumers when deep-fried butter made its debut last year. Well, this year, Campbell's Concessions took a hotdog, wrapped it in bacon, dipped it in corn batter, which is infused with even more bacon, and they dropped it, where else, into a deep fryer.
For the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was a story of a local man becoming the biggest news in the country. But for the librarians of Janesville, it meant something else entirely, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out last week.
India's government has persuaded companies to shut down more than 150 websites. Authorities blame those sites for circulating claims that led to panic. The claims fueled fears of violence during the Muslim festival of Eid. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.