BC-APFN-Business News Digest

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

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

TOP STORIES:

HIGH DRUG PRICES — When U.S. regulators approved a powerful new pair of cholesterol-lowering drugs last summer, medical excitement quickly turned to financial panic because of the medicines' incredibly high prices. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

JAPAN-MITSUBISHI MOTORS-FALSE DATA — Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the Japanese automaker tarnished by a massive recall-cover-up 15 years ago, owns up to another scandal, saying employees intentionally falsified fuel mileage test data for several vehicle models. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 820 words, photos.

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK-FIVE THINGS — The message European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will likely deliver Thursday is that Europe's big dose of economic stimulus medicine is working — and if somehow it isn't, there's more available. By David McHugh. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CHINA-ELECTRIC CAR DREAMS — The Chinese automaker that sold more electric cars last year than Tesla, Nissan or GM, BYD Co. has quietly built a U.S. business supplying rechargeable buses to environmentally-minded transit agencies. Its factory north of Los Angeles, opened in 2013, is on track to deliver 300 this year. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-DRONES — That drone flying around a suburban house might not belong to a wannabe pilot : Many small companies have either built their business around drones or use them to do tasks they previously accomplished by regular planes and helicopters. By Joyce Rosenberg. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

CURRENCY REDESIGN — Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist who was born a slave, will stand with Washington, Lincoln and Franklin as among the iconic faces of U.S. currency. The Treasury Department is expected later Wednesday to announce this and other changes to the $20, $10 and $5 bills. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

MILLENNIAL HOMEBUYERS — Short of savings and burdened by debt, America's millennials are struggling to afford their first homes in the face of sharply higher prices in many of the most desirable cities.By Josh Boak. SENT: 610 words, photo.

And: — HOME SALES — U.S. homebuyers crowded back into the market in March, kicking off a solid start to the spring buying season after sales had slumped in February. By Josh Boak. SENT: 540 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stock indexes edge higher in afternoon trading as investors sized up the latest company earnings and deal news. Financial and technology stocks moved higher, while consumer staples companies slipped. SENT: 500 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

With: — FINANCIAL MARKETS-MARKETS RIGHT NOW — Running updates on global financial markets. SENT: 670 words, photos.

KUWAIT-OIL STRIKE — Oil unions in Kuwait end a three-day strike over government cutbacks, though it remains unclear what concessions may have been granted to the workers amid low global crude prices. By Hussain Al-Qatari. SENT: 330 words, photo.

PENSION FUND-DIVERSITY — Rhode Island's treasurer says the state's $7.5 billion pension fund will vote "no" any time a company in which it invests nominates a slate of corporate board nominees that would cause fewer than 30 percent of directors to be women or racial minorities. SENT: 130 words.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-COCA-COLA — Coca-Cola's profit slips in the first quarter as the world's biggest beverage maker is squeezed by a strong dollar and charges related to the transformation of its North American operations. SENT: 620 words, photos.

EARNS-AMERICAN EXPRESS — American Express Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, then updated.

EARNS-YUM BRANDS — Yum Brands Inc. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, then updated.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

ON THE MONEY-ADVANCE CARE PLANNING — There are many questions to consider when having discussions with doctors about care decisions that must be made if a person becomes seriously ill or incapacitated. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 740 words.

INDUSTRY:

INDONESIA-FORESTS — A landmark commitment by one of the world's largest producers of tissue and paper to stop cutting down Indonesia's prized tropical forests is under renewed scrutiny as the company prepares to open a giant pulp mill in South Sumatra. By Stephen Wright. SENT: 860 words, photos.

UNITED CONTINENTAL-BOARD FIGHT — United Continental names two new directors to its board putting behind it, at least for now, a contentious fight with two big shareholders. By David Koenig. SENT: 470 words, photos.

With: UNITED CONTINENTAL-EARNS — United Continental reports quarterly financial results after the market closes. UPCOMING: 130 words after release, then updated.

MARIJUANA BANKING — Banking remains a hurdle for the legal marijuana industry, but new data suggest that's beginning to change. By Kristena Hansen and Gene Johnson. SENT: 880 words, photos.

With: — THINGS TO KNOW-MARIJUANA BANKING — How Oregon pot dealers pay taxes. SENT: 660 words.

MADOFF FRAUD-TRIAL — A New York court has upheld the convictions of former employees of imprisoned Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff. SENT: 140 words.

CONGRESS-ENERGY — The Senate approved a wide-ranging energy bill Wednesday that would promote a variety of energy sources and speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia. SENT: 570 words.

CANADIAN PACIFIC-RAILROAD MERGERS — The CEO of Canadian Pacific still thinks railroad mergers are needed if the industry is to handle more freight, even after the company's bid for Norfolk Southern crumbled under stiff resistance. SENT: 140 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

EUROPE-GOOGLE — The European Union is broadening its battle with Google, alleging that the technology giant rigs the global market for mobile apps by making sure its Android operating system gives preferential treatment to its own products. Raf Casert. SENT: 470 words.

With: EUROPE-GOOGLE-TIMELINE — As the European Union charges Google with rigging the global market for mobile apps, here is a look at the key dates in its legal tussle with the technology company. SENT: 270 words.

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE-HUNTSMAN PURCHASE — A son of wealthy industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. has agreed to buy The Salt Lake Tribune, ending uncertainty about the future of Utah's largest independent newspaper. SENT: 140 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

NETHERLANDS-YUKOS — A Dutch court quashes a $50 billion award Russia had been ordered to pay the former majority shareholders of Yukos, a major victory for Moscow in the high-stakes dispute over the dismantling of what was once Russia's largest oil producer. By Mike Corder. SENT: 660 words.

CHINA-COOKING UP GROWTH — The Chinese government's latest plan to perk up its slowing economy is based on the humble rice cooker and luxury toilet seats. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 380 words, photo.

With: — CHINA-AUSTERITY — Amid an ongoing austerity drive, China's once-lavish government spending on overseas travel, vehicles and entertainment was down almost 15 percent than budgeted last year. SENT: 300 words.

JAPAN-BLUEFIN-TUNA — The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers' favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97 percent from its historic levels. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 600 words, photos.

JAPAN-TRADE — Japan's exports fell for a sixth straight month in March, sapped by weak shipments of machinery and chemicals, though a sharper decline in imports helped push the trade surplus to its highest level in more than five years. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 350 words.

UKRAINE-STATE COMPANIES — The Ukrainian government has appointed two Western-educated executives to lead the country's two key state-owned companies. SENT: 140 words.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

On the grill: McDonald's says it will test out bigger and smaller Big Macs as it continues to tweak its menu.

CENTERPIECE

Winter doldrums

Weak first-quarter GDP growth followed by a pickup in the second quarter has become a hallmark of the latest economic recovery. Analysts don't see that changing when the latest numbers are reported later this month.

HOW TO REACH US:

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) Expanded AP content: http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP's Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Stan Choe (800-845-8450, ext. 1807.