BC-US--Business Features Digest, US
The business news enterprise package planned through Sept. 15. For comments or questions, call 212-621-1680. For questions about photos, call ext. 1900. For questions about graphics, call ext. 7636. Repeats of stories are available from http://apexchange.com or the Service Desk, 1-800-838-4616.
Eds: SILICON VALLEY-HEALTH REGULATION sent Thursday
SILICON VALLEY-HEALTH REGULATION
WASHINGTON — Contact lenses that measure diabetics' blood sugar, smartphone devices that detect irregular heartbeats — Silicon Valley is pouring billions into gadgets and apps designed to transform health care. But the giants of the tech world who have famously disrupted so many industries are now facing their own unexpected disruption: regulation. Before tech companies can turn America's smartphones into portable medical suites, they must meet the rigorous standards of the Food and Drug Administration, which has long served as gatekeeper to the health market for drug and medical device makers. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: Thursday, 930 words, photos.
REGIONAL AIRLINES-BROKEN SYSTEM
DALLAS — The major airlines for years have contracted out shorter flights from small cities to regional airlines. Once a mutually beneficial arrangement, it no longer works for the smaller carriers, whose profits are shrinking. Consumers should be concerned. Aviation experts predict some regional airlines may fail while others merge, potentially leading to higher fares and reduced service for smaller airports around the country. An airline industry group says 86 communities — from former hubs such as Cleveland and Memphis to small cities like Dickinson, North Dakota, and Hollis, Alaska — have lost at least 10 percent of their flights since last year, and experts say the trend will continue. By David Koenig. SENT: Wednesday, 900 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Apple is a party crasher. The technology company was a late entrant in many of its most prominent categories: the iPod wasn't the first digital music player and the iPad wasn't the first tablet. But in most cases, the innovation the company infused into the category ignited previously dormant markets — and Apple products became the "must have" device. Smartwatches have been around for a few years, but makers such as Samsung and Sony have failed to make them a runaway hit. Can Apple work its magic with the Apple Watch, as it has in the past — or will this time be different? By Mae Anderson. SENT: Wednesday, 970 words.
AUTOS-5 SMART THINGS
DETROIT — Cellphones that warn drivers when people are crossing the street in front of them. Bicycles and cars that communicate with traffic lights. Sensors in cars that quickly warn other drivers of black ice, potholes or other hazards. A low-priced camera system that brings high-tech automatic braking to the masses. Cameras that catch HOV lane cheaters. All of these technologies could be saving time, or lives, in just a few years. By Tom Krisher. SENT: Wednesday, 740 words, photo.
NEW YORK — Small business owners are reporting better earnings and are reinvesting in their businesses and that's translating into a rebound in loan demand, says Keri Gohman, the head of small business banking at Capital One. But there's still caution out there. When it comes to reinvesting, many small business owners are taking advantage of cash that they set aside. And Capital One is being careful about who it lends to. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: Wednesday, 770 words, photo, bio box.
BOURBON'S ELDER STATESMAN
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Jimmy Russell strolled into a roomful of tourists, and soon the patriarch of Kentucky bourbon was surrounded by fans, posing for pictures and autographing bottles. The man behind Wild Turkey even took a turn as barkeeper, pouring samples of amber whiskey at the distillery's visitors' center. In a business where age is valued, Russell is seen as a special vintage. Known among his peers as the "Buddha of Bourbon," Russell is the longest-tenured master distiller in the tradition-filled industry. By Bruce Schreiner. SENT: Wednesday, 800 words, photos.
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple unveils two new smartphones, an electronic payment system and a smartwatch — marking its first major entry in a new product category since the iPad's debut in 2010. The new iPhones have bigger screens, and will allow developers to design apps that can be viewed differently when the phone is held horizontally. By Michael Liedtke and Anick Jesdanun. SENT: Tuesday, 1,090 words, photo.
NEW YORK — In the world of currencies, the dollar is starting to look like a safe home in a tough neighborhood. A strengthening U.S. economy, combined with a gloomy outlook for growth elsewhere in the world, is pushing the U.S. currency sharply higher. The dollar is up 6.4 percent against a group of major currencies since the start of May and has risen in three of the past four months. The U.S. currency climbs to its highest level in six years against the Japanese yen, and it's trading at its highest level in 14 months against the euro. A continued run-up could mean lower prices for imported cars and crude oil. On the other hand, it could also crimp profits for U.S. companies as their goods become pricier overseas. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: Tuesday, 890 words, photos.
DETROIT — With a thumb swipe on a smart phone, your car soon will be able to drive into a parking deck, find an open spot and back into a space — all by itself. The fully-automated system is still about a decade away, so valet jobs are safe for now. But the benefits are plenty. Drivers will save time searching through vast decks for open spaces, and parking lots can squeeze more vehicles into limited space, raising more revenue. By Tom Krisher. SENT: Tuesday, 620 words, photos, video.
DETROIT — In July, two scary notices arrived in Amaris McGee's mailbox. They came from General Motors, and told her the gray 2005 Chevy Malibu she drives to work every day is being recalled for safety problems. Neither problem can be fixed yet because the parts aren't ready. Like millions of others caught in GM's massive recall crisis, McGee faces a tough question: keep driving and hope the safety problems don't affect her, or rent a car until the dealer gets parts, which can take months or even a year? Tips on how to handle an auto recall when parts aren't ready. By Tom Krisher. SENT: Tuesday, 820 words, photos, glance.
BERWICK-UPON-TWEED, England — All Gavin Jones has to do is scan the shelves of his impossibly quaint shop on England's border with Scotland to know he'll have a big problem if the Scots declare independence next week. There are teddy bears in Campbell clan tartans and shelves of shortbread from Scotland — just above the red jams made in England. After independence, the Scottish goods would be subject to import duties, and customers would likely pay in two different currencies. Business in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England's northernmost town, could soon be crushed by bank transaction costs. "If Scotland chooses independence, it changes our concept of local," he said. "There are then barriers put in place." By Martin Benedyk and Danica Kirka. SENT: Tuesday, 1,030 words, photos.
PAY-ECONOMY'S WEAK LINK
WASHINGTON — The U.S. job market has steadily improved by pretty much every gauge except the one Americans probably care about most: Pay. The unemployment rate has sunk to a nearly normal 6.1 percent. Employers have added a robust 2.5 million jobs the past 12 months. Layoffs have tumbled. Yet most people are still waiting for a decent raise. Friday's August jobs report confirmed that average hourly pay has crept up only about 2 percent a year since the recession ended five years ago — barely above inflation and far below the gains in most recoveries. Just why pay has been so weak and when it might strengthen are key issues for the Federal Reserve in deciding when to raise interest rates. The trend has mystified analysts. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 1,060 words by 3 p.m.
GENERAL ELECTRIC-LEAVING HOME
General Electric, a household name for more than a century in part for making households easier to run, is leaving the home. The company is selling the division that invented the toaster in 1905 and now sells refrigerators, stoves and laundry machines. The move is part of GE's focus on building industrial machines such as aircraft engines, locomotives, gas-fired turbines and medical imaging equipment. The hope is that GE, once revered for its outsized financial performance, can get back on investors' good side after a decade of lackluster returns. By Jonathan Fahey. SENT: 860 words, photos.
THE NEXT $9 BILLION
In the not-too-distant future, a football fan might be able to take a seat at the stadium, punch up any game on a seatback monitor, keep tabs on the real-time stats of a fantasy team, order up a hot dog and beer and even have a brand-new jacket brought to the seat if the wind kicks up. This is the future of the NFL — the $9 billion league that kicked off the 2014 season this week and has plans on going bigger over the next decade. By Eddie Pells. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
DIGITAL LIFE-A CLOSER LOOK-DOUBLE-LAYER PASSWORDS
NEW YORK — Recent hackings have increased calls for adding a second layer of security to Google, Apple and other accounts. Here's a look at what those services offer and how to turn the security features on. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.