Spend Matters Friday Latte

McDonald's takes it back to the farm. Ee I ee I oh.
McDonald's intiative aims to plough innovation back into UK farming -- For many people, nearing the age of retirement is a time to slow down and enjoy the fruits of the past, rather than seeking to innovate for the future. That's the job of the younger generation. The agricultural sector is facing a sustainability crisis for this very reason. For while there are plenty of innovative practices being developed to improve resilience and productivity, the average age of farmers in the UK and Ireland is 60 and it is proving hard to encourage them to take advantage of improved technologies and farming practices.

Organ supply chain no more.
China to end organ donations from executed prisoners -- China has pledged to end the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners within the next five years, state media report. Officials say the country would instead rely on a new national donation system for organ transplants. Prisoners account for two-thirds of China's transplant organs, according to previous estimates from state media.

Energy independence?
U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence -- Americans are pumping significantly less gasoline. While that is partly a result of the recession and higher gasoline prices, people are also driving fewer miles and replacing older cars with more fuel-efficient vehicles at a greater clip, federal data show. Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources, a milestone that could reconfigure American foreign policy, the economy and more. In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it used, down from a record high of 60 percent in 2005.

T-Mobile Cuts Jobs, Closes Call Centers -- T-Mobile USA, reeling from an exodus of customers and the failure of its planned sale to AT&T Inc. last year, will cut 5% of its work force and close seven call centers as part of a broader restructuring that will stretch for the next three months.

- Sheena Moore

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