Business Briefs – March 20, 2018

U.S. Regulators Renew Scrutiny Of Menthol, Tobacco Flavors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials are taking a closer look at flavors in tobacco products that appeal to young people, particularly menthol-flavored cigarettes. Menthol is the only flavor allowed in cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration issued a call Tuesday for more information on the topic. The agency has the authority to ban the flavor but past efforts have been stalled by legal challenges from industry.

Federal Official Calls Air Bag Replacement Rates ‘Uneven’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say they’re exploring new ways to reach out to car owners to get more people to participate in the Takata air bag recall. Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says millions of potentially lethal air bags remain in use and repair rates are “not where we want them to be.”

U.K. Is Infused With Russian Money, Making a Crackdown Hard

LONDON (AP) — As Prime Minister Theresa May rose in the House of Commons to announce sanctions against Russia for the nerve-agent attack on a former spy, investors across town in the City of London were piling into a 750 million euro bond sale by Gazprom. The sale is just one example of how wealthy Russians have become entwined in the British economy.

What’s Likely as Fed Meeting Ends And Powell Takes Questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week for the first time under their new chairman, Jerome Powell, whose news conference to follow is stirring high anticipation. Investors expect the Fed to announce its first interest rate increase of the year, a testament to the continued strength of the economy and of the job market in particular.

China’s Premier Appeals to U.S. To ‘Act Rationally’ Over Trade

BEIJING (AP) — China’s premier has appealed to Washington to ‘act rationally’ and avoid disrupting trade over steel, technology and other disputes. Li Keqiang, the country’s No. 2 leader, said Tuesday that “No one will emerge a winner from a trade war.” He promised that China will ‘open even wider’ to imports and investment.

First Lady Vows to Fight Cyberbullying Despite Skeptics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Melania Trump says she is committed to doing whatever she can to help reduce cyberbullying despite the criticism she has received for taking on the issue while President Donald Trump uses Twitter to berate his foes. The first lady convened executives from major online and social media companies at the White House, Tuesday, to discuss cyberbullying and internet safety. She says she has “one goal: helping children and our next generation.”