Pickup trucks lined a stretch of gravel road where 150 farmers mingled between 7-foot tall cornstalks and shimmering soybeans to see which of their wealthy brethren would bid on a swath of Iowa’s richest cropland. This was a farm -- table-flat and 314 acres -- so coveted that it drew three times the usual land-sale crowd.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. accused a federal workplace inspector of leaking confidential information to one of the producers of a film critical of the company’s handling of killer whales at its theme parks.
On a sunny, wind-swept December morning, Virgin America kicked off a day of festivities along the otherwise unfestive runways of Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Four longhorn cattle lolled in a pen while dignitaries such as Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert lunched on pulled pork and ribs, and lasso artists twirled rope. The main attraction was the host, 60-year-old Sir Richard Branson, billionaire bon vivant and founder of the Virgin Group. While he was at the center of the celebration, he was also making an incursion into enemy territory.
At the 2011 Hempcon medical marijuana convention in Denver in October, business lectures and panel discussions shared the program with more provocative events, like a Miss Hempcon pageant, in which scantily clad women, many of them dressed as nurses, danced for the audience.