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  • The Bush administration will seek to increase the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food-safety budget to $797 million for the 2004 fiscal year, an increase of $42 million over what it requested for 2003, according to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman. The heightened funding will allow the department to hire and train new food safety inspectors, expand public education efforts and strengthen agricultural protection systems related to bio-security and animal diseases.

  • Some high-level Circle K officials reportedly are developing an investment of present and former company executives that would purchase some 2,000 Circle K units from ConocoPhillips, which recently announced that it would divest 2,000 of its 2,500 c-stores.

  • The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that top Procter & Gamble executives are moving into new offices that abandon the old dark-wood-paneling-and distinguished-portraits look, and instead feature open offices, glass-enclosed conference rooms and plasma television screens.

    The redesigned space "is about collaboration, openness and access," said Dick Antoine, global human resources officer and one of the executives occupying the new offices.

KC's View:
Wow. Those new P&G offices sound a lot like MorningNewsBeat World Headquarters…