BC-APFN-Business News Digest

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Here are AP Business News' latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT.


GOP 2016-TRUMP-MADE IN AMERICA — Donald Trump is going further than many politicians have dared in railing about what's wrong with corporate America, vowing to rewrite trade deals, tax imports, punish U.S. companies, and naming specific companies. But the issues that Trump has raised about trade and taxes are complicated, experts say, and not easily fixed, or at least not without big consequences. By Bernard Condon and Michael Liedtke. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 2 p.m.


DETROIT — As Google cars encounter more and more of the obstacles and conditions that befuddle human drivers, the autonomous vehicles are likely to cause more accidents like the recent low-speed collision with a bus. Are regulators and people willing to accept less than perfect if overall the cars make roads safer? By Tom Krisher and Justin Pritchard. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


—CARS-AUTOMATIC BRAKING — In a voluntary agreement that avoids lengthy rule-making, the federal government and automakers announce that automatic braking will become standard in nearly all cars by 2022. SENT: 460 words.

ENCRYPTION-WIDER BATTLE — The Apple-FBI fight may just be the opening act in a broader war over encryption. WhatsApp, the hugely popular messaging system owned by Facebook, has already run into similar trouble in Brazil after it said it couldn't turn over a user's encrypted messages; now U.S. authorities are reportedly unhappy they can't use a wiretap order against WhatsApp here. By Brandon Bailey. UPCOMING: 800 words, photo by 2 p.m.

SEAWORLD-KILLER WHALE BREEDING — SeaWorld says it will immediately stop breeding killer whales, essentially phasing out the iconic orcas from its theme parks following years of controversy over keeping them in captivity. By Freida Frisaro. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.


ONLY ON AP: SUNSHINE WEEK-COLLEGE ENDOWMENTS — Colleges and universities are under growing pressure from Congress and campus activists to reveal financial investments made through their endowments, but most institutions are standing firm against the idea. By Collin Binkley. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

WITH: SUNSHINE WEEK-COLLEGE ENDOWMENTS-INVESTMENTS — Some of the nation's top universities have drawn criticism for making investments in certain industries that activists say run counter to the schools' mission. A look at some of the investments that have stirred debate. SENT: 750 words, photos.


FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks are higher in midday trading, helped by materials and energy companies which are rising with the price of gold, silver and oil. By Marley Jay. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS — More Americans apply for unemployment benefits last week, but their numbers remain at low levels consistent with a healthy job market. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 270 words, photo.

JOB OPENINGS — U.S. employers advertised more open positions in January, yet hiring fell, painting a mixed picture of the job market. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 360 words.

MORTGAGE RATES — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the third straight week. Long-term rates have reversed the upward trend that took hold at the start of the year amid economic anxiety and market turbulence. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 440 words, photos.

CURRENT ACCOUNT — The deficit in the broadest measure of U.S. trade declines slightly in the final three months of 2015, but for the entire year the deficit jumped to the highest level in seven years. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 360 words, photo.


OF MUTUAL INTEREST-FALLING FUND COSTS — Investors haven't paid this little to invest in mutual funds for decades, possibly forever. A big reason is the surging popularity of index funds, which generally carry low price tags, but investors are also overwhelmingly opting for only the cheapest actively managed funds. By Stan Choe. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m.

ON THE MONEY-BARIATRIC SURGERY — Finances and fear still deter many patients who are morbidly obese from having bariatric surgery. There are pros and cons to each form of bariatric surgery, so patients have to pick the procedure this is right for them. By Linda Johnson. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m., photos.


DRUG PRICE HIKES-CONGRESS — The former top lawyer for Turing Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that he and other executives warned Martin Shkreli against the drastic price hike that triggered a national backlash against the company and its 32-year-old CEO. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 580 words, photos.

BRITAIN-GSK — The head of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty, announces his retirement after a decade as CEO. SENT: 150 words.

SHELL-SAUDI ARAMCO — Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will split up the assets of their joint U.S. venture, which will see the kingdom's state-owned producer take full ownership of America's biggest oil refinery. SENT: 270 words.

CATERPILLAR-OUTLOOK — Caterpillar expects its first-quarter results to come in well below Wall Street's view as it continues to deal with weak product demand. SENT: 250 words.

SWEDEN-IKEA RECALL — Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is recalling three models of table and floor lamps because they could cause electric shocks to users. SENT: 110 words.

UNITED STATES CUBA — The Obama administration is making it easier for U.S. cruise ships, cargo vessels and even ferries to travel back and forth between the United States and Cuba with much less hassle. By Josh Lederman. SENT: 670 words.

WALSER ASIA PACIFIC-RECALL — Walser Asia Pacific, a Hong Kong-based car accessories maker, is recalling a heated car seat cushion that could overheat. SENT: 140 words.

FOOD AND FARM-ELVER SEASON — Maine's annual rush to catch valuable baby eels prized by expensive restaurants and Asian markets will likely be more successful this year because of warmer weather, fishermen say. SENT: 370 words.

MONDELEZ-STOCK — Shares of snack maker Mondelez declined after Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital dumped 20 million shares. SENT: 200 words.

APPALACHIA-JOBS AFTER COAL — Appalachian coal communities hit hard by layoffs will get $65.8 million in federal funding to help them diversify their economies, create new jobs and retrain workers. SENT: 140 words.

TRIBES-OIL DRILLING — The Obama administration on Thursday canceled a disputed oil and gas lease just outside Glacier National Park that is on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada. SENT: 320 words.

PET SPENDING-THINGS TO KNOW — Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets last year, a record fueled by a big jump in what owners shelled out for services like grooming, boarding and training. SENT: By Sue Manning. 450 words.


UBER INSTANT PAY — Uber is launching a pilot program intended to help the ride-hailing service's drivers draw their pay faster, an effort that may also fend off emerging payday lenders who are targeting drivers. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 460 words.

FITBIT-AMAZON VOICE COMMANDS — Starting Thursday, Amazon's voice assistant will tell you how well you slept and how much more exercise you need — at least if you have a Fitbit fitness tracker and an Alexa-compatible device, such as Amazon's Echo speaker and Fire TV streaming devices. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 390 words.

JAPAN-VIRTUAL REALITY — San Francisco-based startup Fove has developed eye-tracking for virtual reality — that kernel of technology many feel is key for the illusion of becoming immersed in a setting. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 970 words, photos.

JAPAN-TOSHIBA — Scandal-plagued Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. sells its medical unit to Japanese camera maker Canon Inc. for 665.5 billion yen ($5.9 billion). By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 350 words, photo.

GAMES-NINTENDO APP — For its inaugural lunge into the mobile gaming business, Nintendo isn't relying on bouncy plumber Mario or sword-wielding hero Link. Instead, the Japanese gaming giant is looking to its legions of cutesy avatars. By Derrik J. Lang. SENT: 630 words, photos.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER-AUCTION — — Tribune Publishing said Thursday it placed the winning bid at an auction of the Southern California suburban newspapers owned by bankrupt Freedom Communications. SENT: 380 words, photos.

T-MOBILE-YOUTUBE — T-Mobile and YouTube have come to terms after a public spat over the phone company's "Binge On" video streaming service. SENT: 330 words.

CUBA-GOOGLE — A legendary computer scientist known as Google's "chief Internet evangelist" has delivered an unusual talk to Cuban officials in a sign of warming relations between the U.S. technology giant and the Cuban government days before President Barack Obama visits the island. SENT: 130 words.


NKOREA-SKIING PAST SANCTIONS — There is probably nowhere in North Korea more galling to advocates of tougher sanctions on Pyongyang than Masik Pass. But it isn't a secret military facility. It's a ski resort. To its critics, it's a shining example of how Kim's regime has been able to pour resources into prestige projects and flaunt restrictions on its access to imported luxury items. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 900 words, photos.

EUROPE-ECONOMY — Underlying inflation pressures in the 19-country eurozone were not as subdued in February as initially thought, official figures showed Thursday, in a development that's helped the euro climb to five-month highs against the dollar. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 530 words, photo.

With: — BRITAIN-ECONOMY — The Bank of England opts to keep interest rates at a record low 0.5 percent amid fears about global growth and uncertainty over a popular vote on whether Britain should leave the European Union. SENT: 200 words.

NORWAY-RATE CUT — Norway's central bank reduced its key rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a record low of 0.50 percent and indicated Thursday that it could cut it further, even into negative territory. SENT: 340 words.

HONG KONG- LI KA-SHING — Hong Kong billionaire tycoon Li Ka-shing warned Thursday that if Britain votes to leave the European Union, his company will scale back investment in the country, where its businesses span ports to mobile phones. SENT: 290 words.

INDONESIA-CENTRAL BANK — Indonesia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 6.75 percent Thursday to enhance domestic demand and bolster economic growth, an official said. SENT: 170 words.



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