• In Alaska, KTUU reports that the state's two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, have written to ther Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to suggest that the $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons by Kroger "goes against the best interests of Alaskans." According to the story, the lawmakers "expressed concern it would result in fewer grocery stores with higher prices by eliminating a large competitor from the market."
The companies have proposed divesting 14 stores in Alaska to meet FTC concerns about competition.
“There are simply too many unanswered questions and unforeseen consequences over the horizon should this merger be approved. When reviewing this proposed merger, we ask that you and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set a very high approval bar and consider the following issues that are essential to Alaskans’ well-being,” the letter said.
The letter follows a similar one written by Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) to the FTC expressing similar sentiments.
• The Seattle Times reports that "Starbucks announced Tuesday it has developed six new climate-change-resistant tree varietals, all of which produce Arabica — a type of bean that is threatened by climate change. The new tree seeds, developed by agronomists at Starbucks’ Costa Rica farm Hacienda Alsacia, are resistant to coffee leaf rust, a disease exacerbated by climate change … The new tree breeds are part of a Starbucks initiative that began five years ago to distribute climate-resistant tree seeds to suppliers and farms. The company declined to state the cost of the initiative or of the development of the new breeds but said it has distributed more than 3 million seeds to date."