Business Highlights

By: The Associated Press, Associated Press
March 16, 2017 Updated: March 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm
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Trump's budget boosts military but cuts GOP, Dem favorites

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's new $1.15 trillion budget would reshape America's government with the broad, conservative strokes he promised as a candidate, ordering generous increases for the military, slashing domestic programs and riling both fellow Republicans and Democrats by going after favored programs. The president's initial budget proposal, submitted to Congress on Thursday, would boost defense spending by $54 billion, the largest increase since Ronald Reagan's military buildup of the 1980s.

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Trump calls for privatizing air traffic control operations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is calling for privatizing the nation's air traffic control operations in his budget proposal, a top priority of the airline industry. The proposal says spinning off air traffic operations from the Federal Aviation Administration and placing them under an "independent, non-governmental organization" would make the system "more efficient and innovative while maintaining safety."

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Trump budget would force tough choices in disease research

WASHINGTON (AP) —Health groups say President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funds for the National Institutes of Health would be devastating for patients with all kinds of diseases — and for jobs. Trump has called for a cut of $5.8 billion from the agency that is the nation's engine of biomedical research. The cut amounts to 18 percent of NIH's budget and would have a trickle-down effect on universities and other research institutions that use most of the money.

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US to confront trade partners at global finance meeting

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough on trade partners like China, Mexico and Germany. Now his Treasury chief, Steven Mnuchin, will get his first opportunity to confront them all in one room. The meeting of the 20 most powerful economies' finance ministers in Germany this week is likely to be dominated by talk about whether to commit to free trade.

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How to elude Russian hackers with decent password security

NEW YORK (AP) — Among other things, the federal indictment of Russian hackers on Wednesday revealed that many people still aren't safeguarding their email accounts — and hackers are exploiting that. The Russian hackers didn't have to work very hard to break into people's Yahoo accounts. But there are a few simple ways you can make life more difficult for any other attackers out there.

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GOP health plan: Tax cuts for rich; hits older people hard

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House GOP tax plan provides big tax cuts for wealthy families but it hits many older Americans hard with higher insurance premiums and smaller tax credits. In all, the bill provides $883 billion in tax relief by repealing almost all of the taxes enacted under President Barack Obama's health law.

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2nd child dies in fire linked to exploding hoverboard

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a second child has died from a fire in Pennsylvania that fire officials blamed on an exploding hoverboard. The deaths — if definitively linked to the two-wheeled, battery-powered scooter — would be the first in the U.S. caused by a hoverboard fire.

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Dallas scrambles to fix 911 delays in wake of 2 deaths

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas officials are working with T-Mobile engineers to determine what's prompting a flood of ghost calls that's forced hundreds of 911 calls to be placed on hold and may have slowed the emergency response to two people who died. The problem began in October and officials thought it had been resolved in January, but at one point last week the city had 360 calls on hold.

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Google hopes to improve search quality with 'offensive' flag

NEW YORK (AP) — Google is now letting its human "quality raters" flag content that is "upsetting" or "offensive' in search results. While flagging something doesn't directly affect the search results themselves, it's used to tweak the company's software so that better content ranks higher.

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White House picks Boeing executive as Pentagon's No. 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump intends to nominate a Boeing executive to serve as deputy secretary of defense. The Trump administration has struggled to fill top Pentagon positions, with two of its four previous selections having withdrawn. On Thursday it announced selections for six senior positions.

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U.S. stock indexes hold steady as Fed-fueled rally fades

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks held steady on Wall Street Thursday, and bond prices gave back some of their big gains from the prior day as a rally fueled by the Federal Reserve's announcement on interest rates Wednesday faded. Stock markets overseas rallied.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 3.88 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,381.38. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15.55 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,934.55. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, rose 0.71 points, or 0.01 percent, to 5,900.76.

Benchmark U.S. crude resumed its slide and slipped 11 cents to settle at $48.75 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 7 cents to $51.74 a barrel.

Natural gas fell 8 cents to settle at $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil dropped close to a penny to $1.50 per gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.59 per gallon.

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