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.


ONLY ON AP: AIRPORT SECURITY-LONG WAITS — Fliers can expect massive security lines at airports across the country this summer. The problem: Too few travelers have signed up for the government's expedited screening program called PreCheck. The Associated Press has exclusive PreCheck usage airport by airport. By Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz. SENT: 1,145 words, photos, video and localized data for 348 airports across the country. Eds.: This story moved in advance on Thursday, March 24.


TSA PRECHECK-HOW IT WORKS — Questions and answers about the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck expedited screening program. SENT: 290 words.

APPLE-ENCRYPTION BATTLE — The FBI's victory hacking into an iPhone without Apple's help resolves none of the important legal questions the landmark case presented, postponing them until the next major criminal or terrorism investigation is stymied by digital locks the government can't break. Next time, the government's target will almost certainly be a smaller technology company without the legal resources that Apple brought to bear in court and on Capitol Hill. By Brandon Bailey. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos.

HEALTH CARE-CYBER ATTACKS — Cyberattacks against MedStar hopsital system and the health insurer Anthem are serving as cautionary tales about the vulnerabilities that exist in systems that handle sensitive patient information. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

ON THE MONEY-COFFEE REWARDS — If you need a coffee fix, you're in luck: Chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts offer loyalty programs, but they differ greatly. By Candice Choi. SENT: 700 words, photos.


ADP EMPLOYMENT — U.S. companies added 200,000 jobs in March, buoyed by strong gains in construction, retail and shipping, according to a private survey. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 350 words, photos.

WORLD ECONOMY-OECD — The chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says sluggish global growth threatens to keep governments around the world from being able to pay pensions and bondholders. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 260 words.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks rise as banks and technology stocks trade higher. Cruise line companies are rising after Carnival posted strong first-quarter results. The market is building on a rally that started the day before and has reached a high mark for the year. By Marley Jay. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

EUROPE-ECONOMY — Even before a potential knock to economic sentiment from the Brussels attacks, confidence across the 19-country eurozone was already on the wane. A survey from the European Union's executive arm showed that economic confidence across the bloc fell in March for a third month running to a 13-month low, the latest in a run of figures to indicate that the recovery is losing pace. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 370 words, photos.

OBAMA-TRADE — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on almost nothing. Except for their dislike of a sweeping agreement that would erase most tariffs and other trade barriers among the United States and 11 other nations. By Kevin Freking. SENT: 800 words, photos.


CAR HEADLIGHTS-SAFETY — There may be a reason why people have trouble seeing while driving at night, and it's not their eyesight. A new rating of the headlights of more than 30 midsized car models gave only one model a grade of "good." Of the rest, about a third were rated "acceptable," a third "marginal" and a third "poor." The difference between the top- and bottom-rated models for a driver's ability to see down a dark road was substantial, according to the study released Wednesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry-funded organization that evaluates automotive safety. By Joan Lowy. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.

With: CAR HEADLIGHTS-SAFETY GLANCE — Headlight effectiveness ratings for selected model year 2016 midsize cars, as tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. SENT: 100 words.

STRUGGLING SMALL COLLEGES — Despite a bucolic waterfront campus on property once owned by the Vanderbilts, things have not been pretty at Dowling College for quite some time. There's been a revolving door of seven presidents in a decade, a precipitous enrollment decline and questions about its ability to retain accreditation. But Dowling, 60 miles outside New York City, is hardly alone among small liberal arts colleges. Moody's says closures of four-year nonprofit colleges averaged five a year from 2004 to 2014, while mergers averaged two to three. It predicts the closure rate will triple in the next few years and mergers will more than double. By Frank Eltman and Collin Binkley. UPCOMING: 800 words by noon, photos.

VALEANT-ACCOUNTING — Troubled Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that it wants to delay the release of its financial statements by several weeks to avoid a default of its loans. SENT: 200 words.

ACA-NEW CUSTOMERS — Health insurers gained a sicker, more expensive patient population after the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage in 2014, according to an early look at medical claims from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents the most common brand of insurance. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 600 words, photos.

BLOOD TEST-ZIKA VIRUS — Federal health officials are granting use of an experimental blood test to screen blood for Zika virus, an emergency step that will help protect local blood supplies from the mosquito-borne virus. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 400 words, photos.

GERMANY-METRO — European retail and wholesale group Metro AG says it aims to split in two, separating its food and wholesale activities from its consumer electronics business. SENT: 130 words.

BRITAIN-TATA STEEL — U.K. authorities say they will look at "all viable options" to shore up British steel making after Tata Steel said it may sell its U.K. operations. SENT: 430 words.

GENERAL ELECTRICE-STATE STREET-ASSET SALE — General Electric's sell-off of its financial and lending operations continues, the latest a $485 million deal for its GE Asset Management. SENT: 130 words.

LULULEMON-RESULTS — Lululemon's fiscal fourth-quarter performance beat Wall Street's view, bolstered by strong holiday sales. SENT: 270 words.

METHANE-EMISSIONS — The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with 41 energy companies that have agreed to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations to help combat climate change. SENT: 340 words.

GM-IGNITION SWITCH-TRIAL — A New York City jury has found that a flawed General Motors ignition switch was not to blame in a 2014 accident on an icy New Orleans bridge. By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 530 words.

FAST FOOD-PROTESTS — McDonald's customers stopping in for a Big Mac on the eve of Tax Day may be greeted by demonstrators calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union. By Candice Choi. SENT: 600 words.

ABORTION DRUG-LABELING — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new label for a common abortion-inducing drug that could undo restrictions on medication abortions passed by several states. SENT: 130

COOKIE CLASH — A clash over chocolate-filled cookies has culminated in Trader Joe's settling a lawsuit filed by Pepperidge Farm. SENT: 140 words.



As though paying taxes isn't annoying enough, prices and plans for tax software keep changing. Companies will try to hook you in with free options, then get you to upgrade along the way. Here are some tips. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 700 words, photos.

MICROSOFT — Microsoft touts new features for Windows 10 and new tools for software developers as the company pushes to get people to use its software on PCs, handheld gadgets, video game consoles and even its augmented reality headset, HoloLens. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

TAIWAN-FOXCONN-SHARP — The Taiwanese company that assembles Apple's iPhones agreed Wednesday to buy control of financially struggling Sharp Corp. for $3.5 billion in the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics producer. By Johnson Lai. SENT: 480 words.

INDIA-TAXI RIVALS — Battling for control of India's booming $9 billion taxi industry, Uber is planning to plow in another $500 million while also challenging its main competitor, Ola, in court. By Nirmala George. SENT: 940 words, photos.

CHINA-INTERNET RULES — China is consolidating its ability to censor the Internet by drafting new rules requiring businesses that serve domestic Internet users to register their Web addresses inside the country, a move seen as targeting Chinese companies but that has raised concerns among foreign businesses. By Gerry Shih. SENT: 540 words, photos.

SPAIN-UBER — Uber has launched a new ride service in Spain's capitol matching riders with licensed professional drivers after its traditional service was shut down when a judge in 2014 ruled it didn't comply with Spanish law. SENT: 130 words.

ATLANTA-UBER — Atlanta's city council is expected to consider a plan for Uber and other ride-booking services to operate at the airport under certain conditions. SENT: 140 words, photos.

MLB-APPLE — After allowing iPad Air 2s with restrictions in dugouts during the final two weeks of last season and the postseason under a pilot program, Major League Baseball reached a deal with Apple that gives iPad Pros to all teams this year along with a new scouting, analytics and video app called MLB Dugout. SENT; 100 words.

FULLSCREEN DIGITAL CHANNEL — The Fullscreen media company is expanding its role beyond cultivating young video stars by launching a subscription video-on-demand service whose programming will draw on homegrown talent as well as content from a range of outside producers. By Frazier Moore. SENT: 730 words.


ASIA-ECONOMY — Softer growth prospects for China and a weak recovery in major industrial economies are expected to push down economic growth in developing Asia to 5.7 percent this year and next, below projections, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday. By Teresa Cerojano. SENT: 400 words.

CHINA-FILM DEAL — A private film company in eastern China has agreed to invest at least $500 million in the studio of former Walt Disney boss Dick Cook to make movies to be distributed worldwide, the companies announced. SENT: 250 words, photos.

DUBAI AIRPORT-FEE — Dubai's crown prince has approved a new airport fee for all passengers leaving this long-haul air travel hub to pay for improvements and expansions. SENT: 300 words.

MONGOLIA-MINING PROTEST — A rare public protest in Mongolia's capital on Wednesday drew thousands of demonstrators who criticized foreign mining concessions and demanded action to prop up the tottering economy. By Ganbat Namjilsangarav. SENT: 430 words.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR-ICE WALL — Japanese regulators approved the launch of an unprecedented refrigeration structure resembling giant popsicles that would form a huge underground frozen barrier around the wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactor buildings in a desperate bid to contain contaminated water. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 570 words, photos.

INDIA-BUSINESSMAN'S DEBTS — Flamboyant Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, who is accused of fleeing to London this month owing more than a billion dollars to Indian banks, told India's top court on Wednesday that he would repay over 40 percent of his debts by September, one of his lawyers said. By Ashok Sharma. SENT: 400 words.

GREECE-BAILOUT — Lawyers' associations in Greece have extended a campaign of court abstentions to protest bailout measures that would see them pay higher monthly pension contributions. SENT: 130 words.



Lululemon finds right fit in 4Q

Lululemon Athletica shares jumped after the athletic clothing retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by strong holiday sales.


Crude question: Is oil high or low?

The price of U.S. crude oil has jumped more than 40 percent since hitting its lowest level in 13 years last month, yet at around $40 a barrel it is half of where it has been for much of the decade.


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