Philadelphia's soda tax brings in $6.4M in February

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages is exceeding expectations. Figures released Thursday by the city's Department of Revenue show the tax brought in $6.4 million in February. The city had projected the tax would generate $5.9 million for the month. The 1.5-cent-per-ouce tax on sweetened and diet beverages funds pre-K and community schools. It also will help pay to renovate recreation centers, libraries and parks. The tax generated $5.

Stocks mixed ahead of US vote seen as Trump bellwether

TOKYO (AP) -- Global stocks were mixed Thursday, as investors awaited a vote in the U.S. Congress on health care legislation that is seen as a bellwether for President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX was up 0.4 percent at 11,949 and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.2 percent to 5,003. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,325. U.S.

A winner in GOP plans to repeal Obamacare: tanning salons

As Republicans try to shore up support for their health care overhaul, one group can't wait for the replacement: owners of tanning salons. President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act imposed a 10 percent tax on tanning as a way to help fund provisions of the law that expanded coverage for some 20 million Americans. The so-called tan tax took a heavy toll on the industry. Nearly 10,000 salons closed in the U.S.

GOP health bill on the brink hours from House showdown vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

Republican health bill would widen America's big wealth gap

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans' health care bill provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing taxes for many lower income families, adding to America's big income gap between the rich and everyone else. Over the past quarter century, only one group of people has seen significant increases in income -- those at the very top.

UN atomic chief: Iran inspections at risk without more money

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The inspections regime put in place to closely monitor Iran's nuclear activity is in jeopardy unless the U.S. and other nations contribute more money, the head of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday. Yukiya Amano, the agency's director general, said he used his visit to Washington to make the case for an increase to the Trump administration and to U.S. lawmakers who control the federal budget.

APNewsBreak: Illinois governor seeks prison tower cameras

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to replace guards in watchtowers with closed-circuit cameras at nearly two dozen lower-security Illinois prisons, an effort to cut expenses for a cash-strapped state that has gone two years without a budget. The administration is projecting $4 million in annual savings through reduced overtime pay and "more efficient management strategies," Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis told The Associated Press.

Retirement dreams fizzle for some with 'Obamacare' repeal

CHICAGO (AP) -- Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans. The uncertainty over the cost of coverage in the individual market has caused some in their 50s and early 60s to put plans on hold.

Asian shares up as Wall Street steadies, with eye on US vote

TOKYO (AP) -- Shares were modestly higher Thursday in Asia after Wall Street steadied overnight. Investors are awaiting a vote in the U.S. Congress on health care legislation that is seen as a bellwether for the capacity of the administration of President Donald Trump to deliver on campaign promises for tax and regulatory reform. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 percent higher to 19,057.26. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3 percent to 24,399.

Ryan's legacy as speaker on line with health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vote on the Republican health care bill is a defining moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan that could boost his aggressive agenda to overhaul the tax code and remake the federal government. Or send it off the rails. If he fails? "It will be very hard to manage this," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters ahead of Thursday's likely vote.

Leaders need votes for health bill on eve of House showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Republican legislative priority in peril, President Donald Trump dangled possible changes to the health care bill Wednesday aimed at placating conservatives threatening to torpedo the legislation. The White House seemed to make progress with the hardliners while House leaders struggled with moderates ahead of a showdown vote.

Pepsi pulls 12-packs, 2-liters from shelves over soda tax

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Pepsi is pulling 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of its products from Philadelphia grocery store shelves over the city's new tax on sweetened drinks. The company says it wants to offer products and package sizes working families can better afford. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages is imposed at the distributor level. If fully passed on to the consumer it amounts to $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.

Republicans shift NY Medicaid tab; Dems call 'Buffalo Bribe'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Desperate to lock down votes for their health care overhaul, House Republican leaders are seeking to shift more than $2 billion in Medicaid costs from upstate New York counties to the state government -- a proposal Democrats quickly labeled the "Buffalo Bribe" and the "Knickerbocker kickback.

Changes to GOP health proposal affect older adults, Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders hope that the latest changes to their health care bill win enough votes to drive the legislation through the House later this week. It's looking tight. A major goal of the revisions, unveiled late Monday night, is to create more options for older adults dealing with high medical bills, whose costs in many cases would have gone up markedly under the previous GOP bill.

New Trump hotels face political fights, ethics questions

NEW YORK (AP) -- You might have expected the Trump Organization to tap the brakes on expansion plans given all the criticism over potential conflicts of interest while its owner sits in the Oval Office. It's hitting the accelerator instead. The company owned by President Donald Trump is launching a chain of new hotels with plans to open in cities large and small across the country.

Trump signs NASA bill, ponders sending Congress to space

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday adding human exploration of Mars to NASA's mission. Could sending Congress into space be next? Flanked at an Oval Office bill-signing ceremony by astronauts and lawmakers, Trump observed that being an astronaut is a "pretty tough job." He said he wasn't sure he'd want it and, among lawmakers he put the question to, Sen. Ted Cruz said he wouldn't want to be a space traveler, either.