BC-Business News Digest

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


YELLEN — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says that the Fed still envisions a gradual pace of interest rate increases in light of global pressures that could weigh on the U.S. economy. In prepared remarks to the Economic Club of New York, the Fed chair said the central bank is monitoring the effects of a global economic slump, lower oil prices and stock market turbulence. By Martin Crutsinger and Charles Sheehan. SENT: 840 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through ongoing speech.

APPLE ENCRYPTION — The FBI's announcement that it hacked into an iPhone is a public relations setback for Apple as consumers discovered overnight their most personal information might be at risk. Apple pledges to restore the security of its flagship product. By Tami Abdollah. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos.

CHINA-BARBIE HACK — Sophisticated cyber-thieves tricked Mattel Inc., the Los-Angeles based maker of Barbie dolls, into sending over $3 million to a Chinese bank account they controlled. Mattel executives realized within hours they'd been swindled. They frantically called their U.S. bank, the police and the FBI. They were out of luck. Mattel's millions were swept up into a tide of black money that passes through China, which Western police are only beginning to understand. The scam the company fell victim to -- variously called the fake CEO scam, the business email compromise scam, and the fake president scam -- cost companies from 80 countries over $800 million between October 2013 and August 2015, according to FBI data. Most of that money, like Mattel's, ended up at banks in China or Hong Kong, according to the FBI. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.


MONEY LAUNDERING-OLD HAVENS — One reason for China's rise as a money-laundering hub is that years of grinding enforcement have made traditional havens for hiding money less appealing. SENT: 210 words.

BRIDGE JOBS — In the old days, the transition from employment to retirement was marked by a date on a calendar, along with some sheet cake, and a maybe a gold watch. Those days are long gone for most workers in the United States. For workers today, the journey toward complete withdrawal from the labor-force can go on for many years after "retiring." It's a phase economists refer to as "bridge employment," basically a period of working after leaving a career job, but before full retirement. By Adam Allington. SENT: 900 words, photos.

SUMMER TRAVEL-5 TIPS — While lawmakers in Washington debate "transparency" in airline ticket prices, consumers are starting to book summer travel. We surveyed experts for some tips on getting the best price, fees included. By David Koenig. SENT: 870 words, photos.



NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rise in afternoon trading as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank still expects interest rates in the U.S. to rise gradually. Big names including Apple and Microsoft are leading tech stocks higher, while energy companies are falling along with the price of oil. By Marley Jay. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

HOME PRICES — U.S. home prices climbed at more than double the rate of incomes in January, a trend that could ultimately create affordability challenges for buyers. By Josh Boak. SENT: 370 words.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE — U.S. consumers are feeling more confident in March, with a rebounding stock market brightening their outlook. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 340 words, photos.


MEDIVATION -DRUG PRICES — Lawmakers again are targeting the pharmaceutical industry over sky-high prescription drug prices, a hot issue this year in Washington and on the campaign trail that's been dragging down stock prices of many drugmakers, including prostate cancer drug maker Medivation. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 500 words, photos.

CHINA-PROBLEM VACCINES — China must exert stronger oversight over vaccines sold on the private market in the wake of a developing scandal involving expired or improperly stored vaccines, the World Health Organization says. By Louise Watt. SENT: 320 words, photos.

CLECO-SALE — Louisiana utility regulators have approved the sale of energy company Cleco Corp. SENT: 350 words.

POLICE CAR RECALL — General Motors is recalling nearly 6,300 police cars in the U.S. because the electric power-assisted steering can fail. SENT: 130 words, photos.

MINIMUM WAGE-CALIFORNIA — A political deal to raise California's minimum wage to a nation-leading $15 an hour could help some workers cope with the state's crushing cost of living but also deprive other low-wage earners of jobs altogether, economists said as Gov. Jerry Brown and other leaders touted what would be a landmark agreement. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

MINE EXPLOSION-BLANKENSHIP — Prosecutors want a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for convicted ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who ran a West Virginia coal mine that was the site of a deadly explosion. By Jonathan Mattise. SENT: 500 words.

SUPREME COURT-UNION FEES — In the clearest sign yet of the impact of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, conservative opponents of labor unions on Tuesday lost a high-profile Supreme Court dispute they once seemed likely to win. By Sam Hananel. SENT: 620 words, photos.

VOLKSWAGEN-EMISSIONS — A federal consumer watchdog has sued Volkswagen, charging the company made false claims in commercials promoting its "Clean Diesel" vehicles as environmentally friendly. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 600 words, photos.

AMAYA-CEO-LEAVE OF ABSENCE — Amaya Inc. Chairman and CEO David Baazov is taking a leave of absence from the online poker company that operates sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt as he faces insider trading charges from Quebec regulators. SENT: 230 words.


SOUNDCLOUD-PAID STREAMING — Soundcloud is entering paid music streaming, hoping to turn its huge community of cover singers, dubstep remixers and wannabe stars into a bigger source of revenue. By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 530 words, photos.

ASIA-JOURNALISTS UNDER PRESSURE— In many countries across Asia, governments are growing less tolerant of critical reporting, arresting journalists and closing media outlets in some cases. A look at which countries are clamping down on press freedoms. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

NBC-OLYMPIC AD SALES — NBC says that it has surpassed $1 billion in advertising sales for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is on pace to set a record for the most national advertising sold for any single event. SENT: 130 words.

SPAIN-TELEFONICA — Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica says its longtime chief executive will step down after 16 years on the job but plans to remain on the company's board. SENT: 130 words, photos.

ROMANIA-PREPAID TELEPHONE CARDS — Romania's prime minister, who is backing legislation to require buyers of prepaid phone cards to show identity documents, said Tuesday that cards from his nation have been used in extremist attacks. SENT: 350 words.

PELE-SAMSUNG LAWSUIT — Brazilian soccer legend Pele is suing Samsung in Chicago federal court, claiming the electronics company improperly used his identity in The New York Times. SENT: 270 words, photos.


BRITAIN-FALKLANDS-OIL — Shares in a U.K. oil company with interests in the Falklands have slumped after a U.N. decision that Argentina claims will expand its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean to include the islands. SENT: 140 words.

EMIRATES-SKYSCRAPER-FIRE — Firefighters extinguished a blaze Tuesday that burned up the side of several towers in the United Arab Emirates city of Ajman, the latest in a series of skyscraper infernos in this Gulf nation home to the world's tallest building. SENT: 350 words, photos.

TURKEY-TOURISM — The number of tourists visiting Turkey dropped by 10 percent in February compared to last year, in a worrying sign for the country whose economy relies on tourism revenues. SENT: 439 words, photos.

JAPAN-TAX HIKE — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he has no plans to nix a consumption tax hike planned for next year, denying speculation that it will be postponed amid suggestions that Japan's economy won't be able to handle it. SENT: 260 words, photos.

KUWAIT-SAUDI ARABIA — Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are set to resume oil production at a joint offshore field. SENT: 130 words.



Pandora remixed

Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews has left the company without explanation and has been replaced by company co-founder Tim Westergren.


Medicare's rising drug bill

Rising prescription drug prices are worrying consumers at the local pharmacy and policymakers in Washington, but no one faces a bigger drug bill than Medicare: it supplies drugs to 55 million seniors and disabled Americans.


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