Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer. Rich-Joseph Facun/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Rich-Joseph Facun/Reuters/Landov

President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

A recent trip to Costco cost NPR's Uri Berliner $303.53. The haul included razor blades, cans of soup and tuna fish, laundry detergent, heartburn relief medicine and dog treats. As an investment, it will pay off if he uses what he bought — and if the price tag for the same items is higher if he returns in a year. Mary-Elizabeth Berliner hide caption

itoggle caption Mary-Elizabeth Berliner

By leasing land for drilling, city leaders in Youngstown, Ohio, hope to generate funds to demolish vacant buildings. M.L. Schultze for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption M.L. Schultze for NPR

Smithfield Foods, makers of ham products under a variety of brand names, is being purchased by Chinese food maker Shuanghui International, for $4.72 billion in cash. LM Otero/AP hide caption

itoggle caption LM Otero/AP

Dawn Heisey-Grove of Alexandria, Va., hands off son Zane to father Jonathan Heisey-Grove after a midday feeding. The couple were both working full time when Jonathan lost his job as a graphic designer two years ago. She's a public health analyst. He's now a stay-at-home dad. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria/NPR