BC-Business News Preview

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

DRIVERLESS CARS-HOW SAFE? — 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, such as a 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. UPCOMING: 950 words by 11 a.m., photos.

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 1 p.m.

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: 600 words by noon, photo.

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: 740 words, photo.

With: — SEAWORLD-KILLER WHALE BREEDING-TIMELINE — SENT: 500 words.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks move little in early trading as investors weigh a report on unemployment benefits and corporate news. 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 — The Labor Department reports on job openings and labor turnover for January. In December, U.S. companies advertised more available jobs and more Americans quit, trends that could lift wages in the coming months. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 350 words by 11:15 a.m.

MORTGAGE RATES — Freddie Mac reports on this week's average U.S. mortgage rates. Last week, the nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage edged up to 3.68 percent from 3.64 percent the previous week. By Marcy Gordon. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 300 words by 10:45 a.m.

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.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

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.

INDUSTRY:

BRITAIN-GSK — The head of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty, announces his retirement after a decade as CEO. SENT: 140 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.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

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.

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.

INTERNATIONAL:

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.