Business Briefs – March 30, 2016

Resolution in FBI-Apple Case Prolongs Larger Legal Battle

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The FBI’s victory in breaking into a killer’s iPhone merely prolongs a battle over how far the government can go to examine private messages, photos and other files.

The Justice Department said it no longer needs a court order to force Apple to access the phone. In turn, that means there won’t be ruling on whether a centuries-old law, known as the All Writs Act, provided legal authority for compelling Apple’s assistance.

Some in the tech industry worry authorities will now try to pursue a smaller company to win a favorable legal precedent.

Weak Global Economy Is Said to Threaten Government Finances

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sluggish global growth threatens to keep governments around the world from being able to pay pensions and bondholders, the chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday.

The OECD, representing mostly advanced economies, has lowered its forecast for worldwide economic growth to 3 percent this year from the 3.3 percent it estimated in November. When growth is weak, governments collect less revenue and struggle to pay pensioners and meet all their debt payments.

Valeant Tries to Delay Release Of Financial Statements

NEW YORK (AP) – Troubled Valeant Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that it is asking its lenders to extend the deadline to file its annual report to May 31 from April 29. It also wants to extend the deadline for its first-quarter report to July 31 from June 14.

The Canadian company needs an extension because if the annual report is not filed by April 29, it would put Valeant in default with its lenders.

Eurozone Economic Confidence Falls to 13-Month Low

LONDON (AP) – 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.

In its monthly assessment, the European Commission said its economic sentiment indicator fell 0.9 points to 103.0 in March.

The Commission said the deterioration in sentiment was due to lower confidence among consumers as well as managers in the services and construction sectors. The Commission noted that the survey was conducted before the March 22 attacks on the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people.

FDA Grants Use of Experimental Blood Test for Zika Screening

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal health officials are granting use of an experimental test to screen blood donations for Zika virus, an emergency step meant to protect local blood supplies from the mosquito-borne virus.

The FDA said Wednesday that use of the test could be expanded if the virus spreads beyond U.S. territories to other areas of the U.S. Currently no states have reported local, mosquito-transmitted Zika cases.

A Long Wait: Fliers Brace for Big Security Lines at Airports

NEW YORK (AP) – An expedited screening program called PreCheck was supposed to be the answer to maddeningly long security lines at the airport. But four years after its launch, the Transportation Security Administration is far short of enrolling enough travelers to make a difference.

Fliers can expect massive security lines across the country, with airlines already warning passengers to arrive early or risk missing their flight.

The TSA cut its airport screener staff, anticipating PreCheck would speed up the process. When not enough fliers enrolled, the agency tried to make up for that shortfall by randomly placing passengers into the express lanes. But it recently scaled back that effort for safety concerns.