SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on Republican Mitt Romney’s plans to run for a Senate seat in Utah (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Republican Mitt Romney says he’s postponing an announcement planned for Thursday about Utah’s Senate race because of the deadly school shooting in Florida.

People familiar with Romney’s plans tell The Associated Press that he is preparing a bid to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. Romney was expected to release a campaign video Thursday.

But Romney tweeted Wednesday night that, out of respect for the shooting victims and their families in Parkland, Florida, he will not make an announcement Thursday.


5 p.m.

Republican Mitt Romney is preparing to announce his bid for Utah’s Senate seat held by retiring Orrin Hatch.

People familiar with Romney’s plans say the 2012 GOP presidential nominee will release an announcement video on Thursday. They discussed his plans on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly.

While some hope Romney would use the position to continue his biting criticism of President Donald Trump, those close to Romney say he will focus instead on Utah. They say Romney will suggest that Washington has much to learn from the state the former Massachusetts governor now calls home.

Romney’s small team of longtime advisers plans to maintain a low profile. Romney is carefully designing his campaign launch to avoid media questions about Trump.


US inflation pressures raising expectations for rate hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation pressures appear to be building in the U.S. economy, a prospect that is heightening anxiety about potentially higher borrowing rates that could slow economic growth. The latest source of concern was a report that showed a key measure of inflation rising in January by the sharpest rate in a year. Some economists cautioned, though, that some of those price increases are tied to temporary factors and might not signify sustained inflation.


Critics wary as Google’s Chrome begins an ad crackdown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Starting Thursday, Google will start using its Chrome browser to reshape the web in its image. It will flag sites that use annoying ad formats, such as auto-playing video ads with sound, and will shut off all ads to the offending sites if they don’t reform themselves. While the move could clean up an increasingly cluttered web, critics say it leaves untouched similar ad formats that Google profits from and is a sign of its overwhelming power over the internet.


Trump shows willingness to raise fuel taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is signaling his openness to a 25-cent fuel tax increase to help pay for his infrastructure proposal in a meeting with members of Congress. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware says in a statement that Trump said he’d be willing to provide leadership on a 25-cent increase in the federal gas and diesel tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993. Trump made the comments in a meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss his infrastructure plan.


Uber’s net loss widens to $4.5 billion for tumultuous 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ride-hailing giant Uber’s full-year net loss widened to $4.5 billion in 2017 as the company endured a tumultuous year that included multiple scandals and the replacement of its CEO. The results also showed that Uber cut its fourth-quarter net loss by 25 percent from the third quarter as its new CEO moves to make the company profitable before a planned public stock sale sometime next year.


China appeals to Trump to avoid disrupting trade

BEIJING (AP) — China has appealed to President Donald Trump to settle trade disputes over steel and aluminum through negotiation after Trump said he would soon decide whether to impose tariffs or quotas. The Chinese foreign ministry asked Trump to avoid possible disruption to trade and the global economic recovery.


Sam’s Club to offer free shipping for premium members

NEW YORK (AP) — Sam’s Club is offering free shipping for premium members and simplifying its membership tiers. The Walmart-owned warehouse club will give free shipping on online orders for Plus members on 95 percent of the items it sells. Free shipping and faster delivery have been key areas as retailers try to adapt to shoppers’ shift online. The company is also converting its three membership plans into two types.


Producer Ryan Murphy signs exclusive Netflix deal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — TV and movie producer Ryan Murphy is expanding his empire to Netflix. The streaming service says Murphy signed a deal to produce new series and films exclusively for it starting in July. Details of the multiyear deal were not disclosed.


Phillips 66 repurchases $3.3B in stock from Buffett’s firm

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company is selling 35 million shares of its Phillips 66 stock back to the oil refiner for $3.3 billion. Berkshire Hathaway and Phillips 66 said this repurchase will let Buffett’s company to reduce its investment below the 10 percent level that triggers additional regulations. The transaction is expected to close Wednesday.


Fannie Mae loses $6.5 billion in 4Q on tax change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sweeping changes to U.S. tax law led to a $6.5 billion loss at Fannie Mae last quarter, putting the government-controlled mortgage company in the position of seeking cash assistance from taxpayers for the first time since it emerged from the housing crisis six years ago. Fannie Mae says its net worth sank to a negative $3.7 billion after it had to “remeasure” its deferred tax assets to the tune of $9.9 billion as required by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 35.69 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,698.63. The Dow Jones industrial average added 253.04 points, or 1 percent, to 24,893.49. The Nasdaq composite climbed 130.10 points, or 1.9 percent, to 7,143.62. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 27.15 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,522.10.

U.S. crude rose $1.41, or 2.4 percent, to $60.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.64, or 2.6 percent, to $64.36 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.71 a gallon. Heating oil rose 5 cents to $1.88 a gallon. Natural gas lost 1 cent to $2.59 per 1,000 cubic feet.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Wednesday:

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., up $38.58 to $289.91

The Mexican food chain named the CEO of Taco Bell as its next CEO.

Netflix Inc., up $7.73 to $266

The streaming video company signed a deal with writer and producer Ryan Murphy to produce new series and films.

Fossil Group Inc., up $7.38 to $16.97

After years of declines, the watchmaker had a stronger fourth quarter than analysts expected.

Acco Brands Inc., up $1.80 to $12.95

The office supply company had a solid fourth quarter and said it will start paying a quarterly dividend of 6 cents.

Infinity Property and Casualty Corp., up $19 to $115.05

The auto insurer agreed to be bought by Kemper for $1.41 billion, or $129 a share.

Groupon Inc., down 49 cents to $4.71

Investors were disappointed with the online deals service’s forecasts for 2018.

Baidu Inc., up $10.29 to $235.89

The Chinese e-commerce company posted a bigger profit and more revenue than analysts expected.

Ventas Inc., down $1.10 to $49.62

Bond yields spiked Wednesday, and investors sold high-dividend stocks including real estate investment trusts.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Supporting one daughter playing women’s hockey in the Olympics isn’t exactly easy. Especially when the other daughter, a fellow Olympian, wants no yelling.

So Greg and Robin Brandt sat as quietly as possible Wednesday watching Marissa play for Korea with Hannah, a forward for the United States, sitting beside them.

Hannah’s schedule was a bit tight, so she could only watch the first period before leaving. That freed her parents to join the boisterous crowd at the Kwandong Hockey Centre cheering for the first combined Korean team ever to play in an Olympics.

“She says, ‘You don’t yell at my games like that do you?” Robin Brandt said of Hannah. “I’m like, ‘No. I’m worse.’ I don’t know. It’s more exciting here. I really don’t yell at the U.S. games because it’s not as appropriate. But here … everyone’s yelling. You have to yell.”

The sisters Brandt have given their family more than enough reason to cheer, sing or simply beam with pride.

Marissa, who was born in South Korea, is one of six North Americans imported for the country’s first women’s hockey team in the Olympics. With the surprise addition of 12 North Koreans less than three weeks ago, the team has drawn intense scrutiny and dignitaries attended their opening game (and North Korea’s famous cheerleader group has been at all three). Hannah, meanwhile, is trying to help the United States end a 20-year drought without a gold medal in women’s hockey.

Together, the sisters have brought the Brandts and Marissa’s husband, Brett Ylonen , all the way from Minnesota to this coastal town in South Korea for an Olympic experience with double the teams — and games. They sit in the stands wearing Korea blue jerseys and switch things up when the Americans play. They stay busy with a daughter playing every other day.

“This is for women and girls and anyone dreaming this is where you want to be,” Greg Brandt said. “And to have both Marissa and Hannah to be able to do this, it’s an absolute dream come true for us.”

Robin added: “And for them.”

“And for our family, it’s incredible,” Greg Brandt said.

Marissa thought hockey was over after finishing up Division III hockey at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, Minnesota. Then came a call to help a country she hadn’t seen since being adopted as a baby build a hockey team for the Olympics. Married to Ylonen, who works in medical sales in Minnesota, she started to add trips to South Korea amid lots of texting and FaceTime calls to stay in touch.

“For me personally, it goes bigger than hockey,” Marissa Brandt said. “I hope to be a role model for young girls and expand the sport here in Korea. Hockey isn’t very popular here, so I hope to just show girls that it’s fun to play and something they should do if they want to. So it goes bigger than hockey for me.”

Hannah starred at the University of Minnesota and just missed the U.S. roster in 2014 at Sochi. She scored her first Olympic goal Tuesday night in a 5-0 win over the Olympic athletes from Russia and just missed a second goal waved off as a hand pass.

With the busy schedules and each sister in separate groups, Hannah had to text her father for the password to watch Marissa’s Olympic debut last weekend in an 8-0 loss to Switzerland. A canceled practice allowed Hannah to join her family Wednesday and watch her sister in person in a 4-1 loss to Japan.

Hannah snapped a photo of the opening puck drop, then had her phone ready to shoot video every time the Koreans came into the offensive zone. Unfortunately, she had to leave before Marissa got the assist at 9:31 of the second period on the first Korean goal in Olympic history.

“It’s amazing to be able to watch her live (and) compete in the Olympics obviously and to just kind of witness history with this team,” Hannah said.

Marissa and the Koreans have one game left in these games. Hannah and the Americans are chasing their own history, trying to bring home the country’s first gold in women’s hockey since 1998.

“That would be really nice wouldn’t it?” their mother said.

Worth yelling about, too.


More AP Olympic coverage:


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FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A reporter has been found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct after police kept him away from Virginia Republican Ed Gillespie last year.

The Washington Post reports Judge Mark Simmons said Mike Stark sought the confrontation and changed from “a reporter to an actor.” Stark works for Shareblue, a media company that says it employs people who are “passionate about progressive causes.”

The judge also imposed a $500 fine on Tuesday and dismissed a charge of fleeing police.

Stark said he’s surprised at the verdict. He said police told him to stay away from the gubernatorial candidate’s van and accused him of blocking a roadway during a parade last October. Partial video shows them arguing before Stark is pushed and forced to the ground.

An internal police investigation continues.


Information from: The Washington Post,

LONDON (AP) — The Premier League’s inflationary bubble burst Tuesday when the $6 billion sale of British television rights produced a drop in the value of matches.

The past two domestic deals both produced 70 percent jumps in the value of rights, fueling spiraling wages and transfer fees and cementing the competition’s status as the world’s richest league. But the auction of 2019-2022 rights left two of the seven packages still up for sale as Sky emerged the big winner and rival broadcaster BT saw its position weakened.

The sale of 160 games has raised 4.464 billion pounds ($6.2 billion), compared with 5.14 billion pounds for 168 fixtures from 2016 to 2019. The league will be looking to the sale of overseas rights to provide an upsurge in revenue for its 20 teams, who split the foreign income equally.

While remaining the biggest broadcaster of most games in Britain with four packages, Sky boasted how it was now paying 16 percent less per fixture in its 3.579 billion pound, three-year deal to show 128 games per season. That equates to savings of almost 600 million pounds for the European pay TV giant while showing an additional two games a year from the league it helped to grow from its inception in 1992.

But while Sky’s price per game drops from 11 million pounds to 9.3 million pounds, BT had to agree to pay 9.2 million pounds — up from 7.6 million pounds — for one package of 32 games. The broadcaster, which was launched in 2013 by Britain’s former telephone monopoly, has lost 10 games and will only screen games now on Saturday lunchtimes. BT said it “remained financially disciplined” while bidding.

The Premier League increased the number of games available for live broadcasting in Britain to 200, with only overseas channels able to air all 380 fixtures a year live in a bid to maintain large attendances at stadiums.

The Premier League said “multiple bidders” remain interested in the two remaining packages that allow broadcasters to show every game in four rounds of matches. It is the first time an entire schedule of fixture can be aired live domestically, and there is intrigue over whether digital companies like Amazon, Netflix or Facebook will use them as a chance to gain a foothold in the Premier League.

“To have achieved this investment with two packages of live rights remaining to sell is an outcome that is testament to the excellent football competition delivered by the clubs,” Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said. “It provides them with certainty and will underpin their continued efforts to put on the most compelling football, invest sustainably in all areas, and use their popularity and reach to have a positive impact on the sport and beyond.”

The 2019-2022 Chinese rights have already been sold to online video streaming service PPTV for $700 million in the league’s biggest-ever global deal. In 2015, the American rights were sold through 2022 to NBC in a six-year deal worth $1 billion.

The auction comes amid uncertainty at Sky with regulators in Britain assessing the attempt by Rupert Murdochs’s 21st Century Fox to buy the 61 percent of the broadcaster it does not already own. The Walt Disney Co. has also bid $52.4 billion to take over the majority of Fox in a deal that Disney envisages leading to full ownership of Sky.


Rob Harris is at and