Business Briefs – May 13, 2018

Few Teeth: Trump Unveils Plan To Reduce Drug Prices

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says his long-awaited plan for lowering drug prices is the most sweeping in the nation’s history. But it will mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of “getting away with murder.” Instead he is advancing a raft of smaller measures designed to increase competition and transparency. That could avoid a clash with drugmakers but may underwhelm Americans seeking relief from rising pharmacy costs.

AT&T Chief Lobbyist Out After Hiring of Trump Attorney Cohen

NEW YORK (AP) – The chief lobbyist for AT&T is leaving the company after overseeing a $50,000-per-month contract for President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen to serve as a political consultant. In a memo to employees, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said that the company made a “big mistake” in hiring Cohen as a political consultant. While everything the company did was legal, Stephenson said that the association with Cohen was “a serious misjudgment.”

U.S., Emirates Strike Deal Resolving Airline Spat

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and the United Arab Emirates have signed a deal resolving a years-old spat over alleged Emirati government subsidies to its airlines and accusations of unfair competition in the U.S. The deal was signed Friday in private at the State Department after months of negotiations. The Associated Press obtained the text of the agreement.

Trump Tells World’s Top Automakers To Build More Cars in US

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is telling leaders of the world’s top automakers that he wants to see more cars built in the United States as his administration weighs plans to reduce gas mileage standards and pollution requirements from the Obama era. Trump says they will discuss the manufacturing of “millions of more cars” in the United States. It comes as his administration is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is closely watched by the industry.

Starbucks Tells Employees: Let Anyone Use the Restroom

NEW YORK (AP) – Starbucks has told employees to let anyone use the restroom, even if they haven’t bought anything, as it reviews its policies and tries to restore its reputation after the arrest of two black men at a coffee shop in Philadelphia. The coffee chain said it wants all customers coming in “to feel welcome” and it’s conducting a three-month review of its guidelines. That follows comments from Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said he didn’t want people to feel “less than” if they were refused access.

European Central Bank Chief: Reform to Make Euro Resilient

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The head of the European Central Bank is urging political leaders to repair gaps in the way the euro is set up to prevent another crisis — including by finding money to help governments hit by deep recessions. Mario Draghi said Friday in a speech in Florence, Italy, that sharing some government funds could provide “an extra layer of stabilization” for countries facing economic and market turmoil that can’t be calmed through national budget and economic policies.

Tesla With Autopilot Slams Into Truck Stopped at Red Light

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (AP) – A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature has rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 mph (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, but police say it’s unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged.

The cause of the Friday evening crash, involving a Tesla Model S and a fire department mechanic truck stopped at a red light, was under investigation, said police in South Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

The crash, in which the Tesla driver was injured, comes as federal safety agencies investigate the performance of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system.

The Tesla’s air bags were activated in the crash, South Jordan police Sgt. Samuel Winkler said over the weekend.