Senate votes to block Labor Department rule

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-led Senate is blocking an Obama-era rule that critics said would have led to excessive citations for workplace safety record-keeping violations. Senators have voted 50-48 to block the Labor Department rule. The House had voted to do so previously.

Starbucks CEO stands by pledge to hire refugees

NEW YORK (AP) -- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz presided over his last annual shareholder meeting as head of the company Wednesday by standing by its pledge to hire refugees and expanding on previously announced goals to hire veterans and at-risk youth. The moves underscored the progressive image Schultz has helped cultivate for Starbucks as he prepares to cede the CEO job next month to Starbucks President Kevin Johnson.

Melting business: Warmer US winter hurts small companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- The big snowstorm in the U.S. Midwest and East last week was a respite for some small business owners, after a generally mild winter that has nipped into the revenue of many companies and forced them to rethink their cold-weather strategies. Retailers who sell winter clothing or snow shovels have had fewer customers this season.

Court sides with workers in bankruptcy case over lost wages

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with hundreds of former workers at a New Jersey trucking company who said they were unfairly denied a claim for lost wages after the company filed for bankruptcy protection. The justices ruled 6-2 that a bankruptcy court should not have approved a plan allowing Jevic Transportation Inc. to settle other legal claims first, leaving nothing for the workers.

Uber vows to change direction, become more humane company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Uber is vowing to head down a new road and become a more humane company following a wave of ugly developments, including allegations of rampant sexual harassment and a video of a profanity-laced confrontation between the ride-hailing company's CEO and a disgruntled driver.

Carl's Jr. parent company names CEO to replace Andy Puzder

NEW YORK (AP) -- The parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's has named a new CEO to replace Andy Puzder, who last month withdrew his nomination to be Labor Secretary under President Donald Trump. CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. says Puzder will be replaced in April by Jason Marker, who most recently was president of Yum Brands Inc.'s Kentucky Fried Chicken in the U.S.

French minister resigns over probe into daughters' jobs

PARIS (AP) -- French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux resigned Tuesday a few hours after prosecutors opened an investigation into a report that he hired his two daughters for a series of temporary parliamentary jobs, starting when they were 15 and 16 years old. President Francois Hollande said he had accepted Le Roux's resignation after a meeting with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at the Elysee Palace.

Airlines expect 4 percent rise in passengers this spring

DALLAS (AP) -- Coming off another highly profitable year in 2016, U.S. airlines expect traffic this spring to increase 4 percent over last year, and they are adding seats to handle the crush. The trade group Airlines for America forecast Monday that a record 145 million U.S. passengers will fly between March 1 and April 30.

Morning Coverage Outlook

COVERAGE OUTLOOK Planning for 3/20/2017: -------------------------------------------------------------------- HIGHLIGHTS -------------------------------------------------------------------- DC, TRUMP-RUSSIA - FBI Director James Comey says the FBI and Justice Department have no information to substantiate President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him before the election. Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on allegations of Russian hacking and whether there were any connections between Moscow and Trump's campaign. See National.

Home health aides: Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage

WEST CHAZY, N.Y. (AP) -- Only 17 snowy miles from the Canadian border, Katie Bushey's most basic needs are met by traveling health aides who come into her home to change her diapers, track her seizures, spoon-feed her fettuccine Alfredo and load her wheelchair into the shower. But that's only if someone shows up.

President of embattled Uber leaves after 6 months on job

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jeff Jones, president of the embattled ride-hailing company Uber, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company confirmed Sunday. In a brief statement, Uber didn't say why Jones left. "We want to thank Jeff for his six months at the company and wish him all the best," it said. Jones told the tech blog Recode, which first reported his resignation, that his values didn't align with Uber's.

Chelsea Clinton joins Expedia board of directors

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chelsea Clinton is joining the board of directors of online travel booking site Expedia. Documents filed with securities regulators say the daughter of defeated U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has joined its 14-member board. The company is controlled by Barry Diller. Chelsea Clinton is also a director of another company that Diller controls, IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Horry County looks to stem emergency vehicle insurance costs

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Horry County officials are seeking ways to reduce the high costs of insurance and worker's compensation related to crashes by emergency vehicles. The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports ( ) that there have been nearly 50 vehicle accidents reported since 2015 from county police, fire, sheriff and emergency medical vehicles.

AP FACT CHECK: A Washington week of bluster

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's first spending plan for the government and a report by the Congressional Budget Office on Republican health care kicked up quite a fuss in Washington over the past week. Bold claims flew on those developments and more.

Women players dispute USA Hockey numbers on wages

Women players are calling USA Hockey's characterization of their wage demands "patently false" after the organization stated it would exceed $8 million in an Olympic year and $5.7 million in a non-Olympic year. USA Hockey posted compensation estimates on its website Friday and said it would contact players' lawyers in an effort to resolve the ongoing labor dispute.

Trump administration wants freer hand to fire head of agency

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is backing a court case that would make it easier for the president to fire the head of the government's consumer finance watchdog agency. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken enforcement actions against many financial companies, angering the industry and Republican lawmakers, who accuse it of overreaching its authority.

In Appalachia, Trump's proposed budget has people worried

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Crystal Snyder was trying to figure out life as a single mom when she lost her job at a West Virginia T-shirt factory. The 37-year-old had no college degree, mostly because she married at 16, divorced at 19 and had two children. Unsure what to do, Snyder heard about a program through the Coalfield Development Corp. that would hire her and pay for her to get an associate degree.