The countdown begins: Britain to start EU exit on March 29
LONDON (AP) -- Britain will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation. The letter that British Prime Minister Theresa May sends next week will plunge Britain into a period of intense uncertainty.
Where's the line? Theme parks aiming to eliminate them
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- At Universal Orlando Resort's new "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" ride, waiting in line has been replaced by lounging on couches and listening to a racy barber shop quartet sing until it's your turn to get on the ride. Universal is leading the theme-park charge into "virtual lines" that give visitors a host of options for exploring a park or watching live entertainment instead of the tedium of looking at someone's back as you inch forward step by step to the thrill ride.
China's trading partners alarmed by food import controls
BEIJING (AP) -- China's trading partners are bringing the top U.N. food standards official to Beijing in a last-ditch attempt to persuade regulators to scale back plans to require intensive inspections of food imports — including such low-risk items as wine and chocolate — that Washington and Europe say could disrupt billions of dollars in commerce. The rule could inflame tensions with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has promised to raise tariffs on imports from China, and the European Union.
Guardian of Rockefeller fortune, philanthropy dies at 101
NEW YORK (AP) -- David Rockefeller, the billionaire businessman and the last of his generation in a famous American family that taught its children that wealth brings great responsibility, has died at 101. Rockefeller's spokesman says he died in his sleep Monday at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York. He was the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller Jr.
YouTube investigating restrictions on gay-themed content
NEW YORK (AP) -- After several days of complaints, Google is hinting that it might have made a mistake in how it deems some gay-themed videos unsuitable for minors. The company says it's investigating. Several YouTube users, many of them have in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, have been complaining that their videos are categorized as "restricted" for no obvious reasons.
Target revamps stores for those in a rush, those who ramble
NEW YORK (AP) -- Target is embarking on an ambitious redesign of its stores. It's aimed at helping people who need to dash in for milk get out quickly while encouraging those who want to wander the aisles to linger. The remodeling, which will touch more than 600 of its 1,800 stores in the next three years, is part of the company's plan to rev up sales growth and turn around customer traffic declines.
Deep South freeze means fewer blueberries and peaches
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Last week's deep freeze in the Southeast appears to have nearly wiped out Georgia's blueberries and South Carolina's peaches. Georgia might be the Peach State, but blueberries have recently passed peaches in value. South Carolina is the second biggest peach producer in the United States, behind only California. Between the two states, crop losses from the freeze could approach $1 billion.
US stock indexes dip for a third day as banks stumble
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks turn lower in afternoon trading to finish with small losses for the third day in a row. Banks fell as bond yields declined. Utility and phone companies also slipped. European markets slid after the British government said it will formally begin the process of leaving the European Union next week.
Wells Fargo still feeling impact of sales practices scandal
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wells Fargo is still seeing fewer people at its bank branches as well as a decline in checking-account openings as the scandal over its sales practices takes its toll. But there is a silver lining for the bank: Its February numbers are up from December lows.
Kuwait censors pull Disney's Beauty and the Beast for edits
KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- Beauty and the Beast has been pulled from cinemas in Kuwait after censors raised concerns over the content of the new film, which includes what has been called the first "gay moment" for a Disney character. The film, which has grossed more than $180 million overseas, had been showing in the predominantly Muslim country of Kuwait since Thursday. Similar concerns over the film's brief scene prompted a drive-in theater in the U.S. state of Alabama to cancel showings. Censors in Malaysia required the scene be edited, but Disney pulled the film from release there.
Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill
CLAXTON, Ga. (AP) -- Rural hospitals and communities are watching the health care debate in Congress closely. Those hospitals face numerous challenges such as patients who are older, suffer from chronic illness, and are more likely to be on Medicaid or Medicare. One research program says at least 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. And many question whether rural hospitals will fare better under the recently unveiled Republican health care plan.
Most electronics being banned on certain US-bound flights
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government is temporarily barring passengers on certain nonstop U.S.-bound flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and some other electronics in carry-on luggage starting Tuesday. A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. The official did not name the airports or the countries.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 4.78 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,373.47. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 8.76 points to 20,905.86. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.53 points to 5,901.53.
Benchmark U.S. crude declined 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $48.22 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 14 cents to $51.62 a barrel in London.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon. Heating oil edged up 1 cent to $1.51 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 9 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.