business news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that "doughnuts have gone utterly wild for the summer of 2013, with three familiar brands - Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' and IHOP - having their names linked with outside-the-box doughnut-ish concoctions.

"A celebrity chef - not the Krispy Kreme brand itself - has devised a Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe (dare we add, with cheese) sold over the weekend at the San Diego County Fair. Last week, Dunkin' rolled out a new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich — sliced open and served with egg and bacon. And IHOP has just introduced, for the extra-sweet-toothed pancake-lover, Jelly Donut Pancakes."

I know that the goal here is to gin up consumer interest. But all they;re doing is making me sick to my stomach. reports that the US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by Kroger-owned Ralphs Grocery Co. of a California Supreme Court ruling that permitted "union members to protest on private property outside the chain's Sacramento, Calif., store, a decision that Ralphs claimed unconstitutionally afforded greater protection to labor-related speech than other forms of expression."

The Christian Science Monitor notes critics said that the California ruling violated "the First Amendment rights of the property owner and the Equal Protection Clause by establishing a content-based preference that affords a higher level of protection to the speech of union officials during a labor dispute than to other would-be speakers." But the US Supreme Court disagreed.

• The Kroger Co. said that employees in its Central Division working at 61 Kroger stores in the Indianapolis area have ratified a new labor agreement that "provides wage increases, affordable health care and a stable pension fund to support their retirement."
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