Once-counterculture 420 marijuana holiday goes mainstream
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Businesses inside and outside the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry are embracing the once-counterculture four-twenty holiday. Potheads have for decades celebrated their love of cannabis on April 20. But the annual celebration that was all about getting stoned is now so mainstream that Corporate America is starting to embrace it. Lyft and Carls Jr. are among the businesses using April 20 to roll out marketing and social media messaging aimed at cannabis consumers.
US home construction slips 0.3 in March
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction slipped 0.3 in March, as housing starts are running below last years pace in a sign that inventory could be a challenge for would-be buyers. The Commerce Department says that housing starts last month were a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million.
Ancestry pulls slavery-era ad after backlash
NEW YORK (AP) — Ancestry.com is apologizing for its ad that showed a white man and black woman discussing running off together to the North during the Civil War era. The ad drew widespread criticism online for whitewashing slavery. The DNA testing company removed the ad from TV and online in response to the backlash.
Toyota, SoftBank fund, Denso invest 1 billion in Uber
TOKYO (AP) — Japans top automaker Toyota, auto parts maker Denso and internet company SoftBanks investment fund are investing 1 billion in car-sharing Ubers technology unit. The companies say Toyota Motor Corp. and Denso Corp. will together invest 667 million and SoftBank Corp.s Vision Fund will contribute 333 million in Uber ATG, which will try to develop and commercialize automated ridesharing services. Toyota has been stepping up such efforts.
How many cherries in frozen pie? FDA may soon drop rules
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump may soon be able to claim a sweet victory for his deregulation push: Officials are preparing to get rid of decades-old rules for labeling frozen cherry pies. The regulations say the products must be at least 25 cherries by weight. The obscure rule is seen as an easy target because there are no rules for other pies. Getting rid of the cherry pie rules is likely to be far less controversial than the debate over what can be called milk.
Global stocks modestly higher in quiet holiday trading
TOKYO (AP) — Global stock indexes are mostly moderately higher in quiet holiday trading on Good Friday as some markets are closed. Japans benchmark Nikkei 225, South Koreas Kospi and the Shanghai Composite are higher. Trading was closed in France, Germany and the U.K. Other markets also remain closed for the holiday, including in the U.S., Hong Kong and Australia.
Celebration of Japans new era big opportunity for business
TOKYO (AP) — Japan is getting ready for its biggest celebration in years with the advent of the Reiwa era of soon-to-be emperor Naruhito. That means big opportunities for businesses hoping consumers will splash out on long holidays and memorabilia. Many Japanese will get their longest ever Golden Week holidays, 10 days, and some are taking advantage of deep discounts. The expected downsides: monster traffic jams and struggles to keep store shelves stocked with so many people getting time off.
Report: FTC considering oversight of Facebooks Zuckerberg
WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Post says discussions between Facebook and Federal Trade Commission officials about the companys data-handing lapses have touched on instituting some sort of oversight for company CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook founder also controls a majority of Facebooks voting stock.
Panel to review approval of Boeing 737 Max flight controls
DETROIT (AP) — A global team of experts next week will begin reviewing how the Boeing 737 Maxs flight control system was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA says experts from nine international civil aviation authorities have confirmed participation in a technical review promised by the agency. The Boeing jetliner has been grounded around the world since mid-March after two crashes killed 346 people.
China downplays political impact of global development push
BEIJING (AP) — China is downplaying the political implications of its global development campaign known as the Belt and Road initiative, saying that it aims to boost multilateralism amid protectionist trends in the U.S. and elsewhere. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said a meeting to promote the initiative next week in Beijing would draw leaders from 37 countries, underscoring heavy demand for Chinese investment.
Alibaba heads remarks spark debate over China working hours
BEIJING (AP) — Remarks by the head of Chinese online business giant Alibaba that young people should work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week if they want financial success have prompted a debate over work-life balance. Jack Ma is one of Chinas richest men and his comments brought both condemnation and support as Chinas economic growth has slowed. Grueling hours are credited with fueling Chinas economic rise but also a deteriorating quality of life.
Fiat Chrysler recalls over 300K cars due to rollaway risk
DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 300,000 vehicles in North America because a transmission problem could cause them to roll away unexpectedly. The recall covers Dodge Dart compact cars from the 2013 through 2016 with six-speed automatic transmissions. The company says a bushing can fail, causing the shifter cable to come loose from the transmission. That means when a driver shifts to park or another gear, the gear may not change and the car could roll away.