Business Briefs – May 23, 2018

Congress OKs Trump Bid to Widen Private Care at Besieged VA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress delivered a victory to President Donald Trump by expanding private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system. The sweeping measure would allow veterans to see private doctors when they do not receive the treatment they expected, with the approval of a VA health provider. Veterans could access private care after they endured lengthy wait times. The bill also would avert a disastrous shutdown of the Choice private-sector program.

Uber Ends Self-Driving Program In Arizona After Fatal Crash

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber is pulling its self-driving cars out of Arizona, a reversal triggered by the recent death of woman who was run over by one of the ride-hailing service’s robotic vehicles while crossing a darkened street in a Phoenix suburb. The decision announced Wednesday means Uber won’t be bringing back its self-driving cars to the streets to Arizona, eliminating the jobs of about 300 people who served as backup drivers and performed other jobs connected to robotic vehicles.

Trump Eager to Sign Bill Rolling Back Dodd-Frank Regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is eager to sign a bill that will dismantle a chunk of the landmark Dodd-Frank act that grew out of the 2008 financial collapse. A day after the House voted to approve the bill, Trump tweeted Wednesday: “Big legislation will be signed by me shortly.” He cited “big changes to DODD FRANK.” The bill raises the threshold at which banks are deemed so big and so strongly plugged into the financial grid that if one were to fail, it would cause major havoc.

Vegas Workers’ Vote to Authorize Strike Pressures Casinos

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two casino companies facing the threat of a strike from housekeepers, bartenders, servers and other key employees saw their shares slide. About 25,000 members of the Culinary Union have voted to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1. MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. say they expect to resolve pay and other issues. A walkout could hobble the city’s world-famous resorts.

Maker of Candy Hearts and Necco Wafers Sold at Auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt maker of beloved American candies has a new owner. The Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. had the winning $18.83 million bid for the New England Confectionery Co. at a federal bankruptcy auction in Boston. Spangler Candy Co. makes Dum Dums lollipops. Interest in Necco has focused on its “sugar line” of chalky wafers and candy hearts. The fate of its chocolate Sky Bar and Clark bar remains unclear.

France’s Macron Takes On Facebook’s Zuckerberg in Tech Push

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is taking on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other internet giants at a Paris meeting to discuss personal data protection and taxes as France pushes for tougher European regulations. The conference comes as Facebook, Google and other online giants are increasingly seen by the public as predators that abuse personal data and avoid taxes. Macron, who also met privately with Zuckerberg, said beforehand that he ask the Facebook co-founder to make “commitments.”