By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - For decades, Chuck Souder relied on corn and soybeans to keep his 400-acre Iowa farm running, but with corn selling for half its price two years ago and soybeans slumping, Souder has shifted to what he hopes will be a more profitable crop: Pigs. “The question is, will [consumers] switch back from chicken to pork?” CONSTRUCTION CRAZE The hog barn boom in rural America began as meat packers like Tyson Foods Inc , Seaboard Foods, JBS USA [JBS.UL] and Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] pushed farmers to rebuild quickly after the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus killed an estimated 8.5 million piglets in 27 states.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' views of President Barack Obama have improved slightly in the past two months, and opinions are more positive about the direction of the country and the health of the economy, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds.
Retired surgeon Ben Carson on Sunday said he could form a committee to explore a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination this month and make a formal announcement in May. "That's a reasonable time frame," Carson told "Fox News Sunday" when asked by host Chris Wallace about the timing of an exploratory committee and formal announcement. "We're putting all that together." Carson, a former Fox News contributor who is popular with Tea Party conservatives, ranked fourth among possible Republican candidates in a recent Fox News poll of potential voters in Iowa, coming in behind former Florida Governor Job Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending for the Department of Homeland Security hangs in the balance as Congress fights over immigration matters in the agency's annual funding bill. Without action by Feb. 27, the department's budget will shut off.
Potential candidates are scrambling to sort through the rosters of campaign veterans in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire and elsewhere in a talent search that reflects the fact that the Republican field for 2016 is the largest in recent memory. "There is a known universe of operatives with many of them headquartered in early primary states," said Republican strategist Kevin Madden, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney in his 2012 presidential campaign. Every ideological slice of the Republican spectrum is represented, from mainstream former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the small government Tea Party movement, to libertarian Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a Fox News personality. Others exploring presidential runs include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An AirAsia X flight heading from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia turned back shortly after takeoff Sunday due to a technical problem, circling for hours before landing safely back in Kuala Lumpur, the long-haul budget carrier said.