FDNY reportedly relaxes zero tolerance drug policy

New York City firefighters are no longer automatically terminated for testing positive for drugs, despite a zero tolerance policy, department insiders say. The Fire Department reportedly has given people a second chance and has offered rehabilitation after several firefighters who had isolated incidents of drug use challenged the policy.

DeVos to pitch vouchers for military families

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to meet with the Department of Defense to seek support for a plan to provide education savings accounts to military families, which could be used to pay for private-school tuition. Some military groups have questioned DeVos' plans to use Impact Aid funding for the program.

Global debt at record-high $164T, IMF says

Public and private debt worldwide has reached a record high of $164 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund. If this trend continues, nations might have trouble paying off debt and handling a recession should financing conditions worsen, the IMF says.

Restaurants feed a growing craving for new breakfast options

US restaurants saw breakfast and morning snack traffic rise 1% in the 12-month period ending Feb. 18, while traffic was flat or down the rest of the day, according to NPD Group. Eateries are innovating to win breakfast fans, with new options including craft pancakes at Denny's, King's Hawaiian French Toast at IHOP and Breakfast Green Bowls at Rouge Tomate Cafe in New York City.

Hacking/malware, accidental disclosure driving health care breaches

Cybersecurity insurance company Beazley analyzed data breach incidents within the health care sector during the first quarter of this year and found that hacking or malware and accidental disclosure each accounted for 29% of the total incidents, followed by insider causes at 15%. The report also showed 6% of the incidents were attributed to physical loss and 5% to portable devices.

Study: How to give consumers the voice experience they want

Just over a fifth of American households own a smart speaker, per eMarketer, and a new study from Publicis Media explains that consumers want a more sophisticated experience and offers advice on what marketers can do to give it to them. "Voice-proof your Brand Q&A content by increasing frictionless and conversational qualities," the report states; it also includes tips on using music and streaming services and making car journeys more fun through voice experiences.

Primark aims to make a bigger mark in US retail

UK-based fast-fashion retailer Primark is set to open its ninth US store in Brooklyn, N.Y., in May, and its plans also call for a Florida store next year, the first US location that will be outside the Northeast. The chain, known for its low-priced fashions, is expected to find favorable lease deals as US retail landlords look to fill space.

Experts offer advice on building in security during development

Tech experts open up with 15 tips for building in cybersecurity during the development process. Tips include incorporating threat modeling, knowing where to devote time and resources, and fostering a culture of cybersecurity throughout the company.

Cancer drugs' benefits fail to keep pace with rising prices, study finds

A study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found no link between the monthly or incremental costs of new cancer drugs and their clinical benefits. The authors looked at 42 clinical trials for medications approved from 2006 to 2015, finding that average monthly costs of new oncology drugs rose to $15,535 in 2015 from $7,103 in 2006, while the difference in cost between new drugs and those they were intended to replace climbed to $161,141 from $30,447.

Execs: AT&T, Time Warner need merger in order to stay competitive

Executives from AT&T and Time Warner testified recently that the companies need to merge to keep up with tech giants such as Facebook and Google. AT&T's data capabilities would help Time Warner better serve consumers, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said.

$107M toll lane project moves forward in San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area may add another 125 miles of tolled express lanes to reduce congestion that has resulted in a 17% longer commute time over the past 10 years. A groundbreaking is scheduled today for a northbound toll lane on a $107 million Interstate 680 project.

Oil prices reach 3-year highs

West Texas Intermediate crude settled 2.9% higher at $68.47 on Wednesday, the highest level since Dec. 1, 2014, while Brent crude ended the session up 2.7% at $73.48 per barrel, its strongest close since Nov. 26, 2014. The rally was supported by a better-than-expected US crude inventory report as well as sustained geopolitical tensions.

United Airlines debuts office in Costa Rican capital

United Airlines has opened a sales office in San Jose, Costa Rica. Travelers can use the office to purchase tickets, make reservations and check into flights.

Hyatt contemplates changing group commission policy

Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt, announced at the recent World Travel & Tourism Global Summit that the company is considering lowering its rate on group commissions because of several factors. Marriott lowered its group commission rate from 10% to 7% for North America bookings last month, and Hilton will follow suit in October.