People, one holding an image of Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, wait in line at a bus stop in Havana last month.
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Cuba's President Raul Castro and Vietnamese Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong review an honor guard during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Hanoi in July. The Cuban leader flew in from China for the second leg of his Asian tour to Cuba's two Asian communist allies.
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Cubans pass by a billboard celebrating the 86th birthday of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, on Aug. 13 in Havana. Castro celebrated his birthday quietly and out of the public eye, while political allies and Cuban citizens paid tribute from afar.
Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.
Better Place is building a network of electric car battery changing stations throughout Israel. The idea is to make changing a spent electric battery as easy as pulling into the gas station for gasoline. Here, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi is shown in front of a cutaway model of an electric car at the company's showroom in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
It looks like a bright new car wash, but it's a battery swapping station for electric cars in Israel. When a vehicle pulls up, it is slowly pulled through a conveyor. The spent battery is taken out and replaced with one that is fully charged. The entire process takes less than five minutes.
Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.
The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.
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Next week, Mitt Romney's campaign seeks to introduce Paul Ryan again. Even before the selection of the Republican vice presidential choice, President Obama's campaign had been working to define Ryan as extreme on issues from Medicare to abortion. What happens next week is that Romney and Ryan take the stage at the Republican National Convention, one of several things that will happen there.
American is currently seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection so the flight attendants' union pushed hard for this vote — warning that rejecting the contract could mean even deeper cuts or furloughs. The company's trying to cut about a billion dollars in labor costs. Mechanics and other union workers had previously accepted new contracts but pilots rejected American's latest offer earlier this month.
Let's go next to China, where the wife of a fallen Communist Party leader has received a sentence - a suspended death sentence for murdering a British businessman. Her accomplice, a family employee, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Gu Kailai came under suspicion after a scandal involving her husband, who was one of the rising stars of the Communist Party before he lost his job amid suspicions about his behavior. NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following this case from Shanghai.