Netanyahu pulls ahead in Israeli election, Kraft issues recall of its signature comfort food and Aaron Schock spends himself out of office. Read about these and more of the day's top business news stories.
Israelis Want Their Bibi Back
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party defeated chief rival Isaac Herzog and the Zionist Union in Israel’s closely watched elections Tuesday. Complete voting totals showed the Likud ticket won 29 seats in the Knesset to 24 seats for the Zionist Union. Netanyahu emerges from the surprisingly close and hard-fought campaign in a better position to form Israel’s next government.
Kraft Issues Mac & Cheese Recall
Kraft Foods is recalling about 6.5 million 7.25 oz. boxes of original flavor Kraft Macaroni & Cheese because some of the boxes contain small pieces of metal. The boxes have "best when used by" dates ranging from Sept. 18, 2015 through Oct. 11, 2015 and are marked with the code "C2." They were sold individually and in packs of three, four and five throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and in some countries in the Caribbean and South America. The recall covers 242,000 cases of the product.
Schock Treatment: Congressman Announces Resignation
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., the first member of Congress born in the 1980s, and top GOP fundraiser, announced his resignation Tuesday after weeks of news reports about questionable spending on everything from his “Downton Abbey”-inspired office renovation to airplane flights. Social media may have been Schock’s downfall. The 33 year-old who was in his fourth term in the House of Representatives, documented a long list of luxury trips and events on his Instagram account. USA TODAY reported that Schock was one of the top travel spenders in the House, and repeatedly spent taxpayer and campaign funds to rent private aircraft in apparent violation of House rules and campaign finance law. Schock’s resignation will be effective March 31. With his resignation, Schock heads off any investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which does not have jurisdiction over former members of Congress. He could still be pursued for any violations of law.
Obama Names Pick for Presidential Library Site
President Barack Obama said he hopes his presidential library lands in sweet home Chicago, according to an editorial that appeared in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune. Obama made the comment in a brief conversation with a Tribune reporter at the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday. The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a controversial plan to transfer about 20 acres of public parkland on the South Side over to the city's control if the University of Chicago, long considered a front-runner in the presidential library sweepstakes, is awarded the library. Other contenders for the project are New York and Hawaii. The president and first lady are expected to announce the winning site after Chicago's April 7 runoff mayoral election.
Japan’s Trade Deficit Narrowed in February
A plunge in import costs due to lower crude oil prices helped to narrow Japan’s trade deficit in February. It was the 32nd straight month of deficits. Japan’s Finance Ministry said Wednesday that the trade deficit fell 47 percent from a year earlier to 424.6 billion yen ($3.5 billion) last month, compared with a gap of 1.18 trillion yen in January. The gap was smaller than expected. Japan's exports to the U.S. jumped 14 percent from a year earlier to 1.2 trillion yen (about $10 billion), but shipments to China fell more than 17 percent as the economy there slowed.
Secret Service Requests $8M White House Replica
After multiple embarrassing snafus, the Secret Service wants to train on a replica White House. Cost: $8 million. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy outlined his request during a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee. "Right now, we train on a parking lot, basically," Clancy said. "We put up a makeshift fence and walk off the distance between the fence at the White House and the actual house itself. We don't have the bushes, we don't have the fountains, we don't get a realistic look at the White House." The replica, Clancy noted in prepared remarks, would provide agents with a "more realistic environment, conducive to scenario-based training exercises" to train agents. Clancy's testimony comes as the Secret Service is facing renewed scrutiny over a recent incident in which two agents, who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol, interrupted an active suspicious package investigation on the White House grounds.