Business Briefs

What’s fresh at McDonald’s? The beef in some burgers

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s is offering fresh beef rather than frozen patties in some burgers at thousands of restaurants, a switch that the company first announced about a year ago as it works to appeal to customers who want fresher foods. The fast-food giant, which has relied on frozen beef patties since the 1970s, said it’s launching Quarter Pounders made with fresh beef in about 3,500 restaurants starting Tuesday. It’ll be available in eight cities, including Atlanta, Miami and Salt Lake City, then roll out to most U.S. McDonald’s by May. McDonald’s says workers will cook up the fresh beef on a grill when the Quarter Pounder and “Signature Crafted” burgers are ordered. The change is the latest by the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company to improve its image as more people shun processed foods.

Target raises starting pay for 2nd time in less than a year

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is raising its minimum starting pay for workers for the second time in less than a year after seeing a bigger and better pool of candidates. Target, which hiked starting pay to $11 an hour last fall, said all workers this spring will receive a minimum of $12 per hour. CEO Brian Cornell said Tuesday that Target will offer workers $15 an hour by 2020. He says Target Corp. recorded a significant spike in applicants when it boosted pay, and a better quality of worker, too.

Danny Glover shouted down at Airbnb rally by labor activists

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Protesters associated with a hotel workers’ union have shouted down actor Danny Glover at a rally of Airbnb hosts calling for new regulations for home rental listings in New York state. Glover had just begun speaking at Tuesday’s gathering in the New York Capitol when protesters started yelling over him. The 71-year-old star of the “Lethal Weapon” series attempted to continue but then left the rally as the shouting continued. The protesters accused the longtime liberal activist of betraying minorities by working as a paid adviser to Airbnb. Opponents say it drives up housing prices and hurts traditional hotels. One protester said she was working on behalf of the Hotel Trades Council. The union is a leading Airbnb opponent. Tuesday’s event was held to support legislation easing regulations on Airbnb listings.

Some driverless car damage appears to be from angry people

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One problem with self-driving cars is people. The Los Angeles Times reports that of six crash reports filed in California so far this year, two involved a person attacking a robot car. Both incidents happened in San Francisco, according to Department of Motor Vehicles records. On Jan. 2, a vehicle operated by General Motors’ Cruise driverless car division was waiting at a green light for pedestrians to cross when a shouting man ran across the street against the do-not-walk signal and struck its bumper and hatch, damaging a taillight. The car was in autonomous mode but a driver was behind the wheel. And then on Jan. 28, another GM autonomous vehicle with a human driving had stopped behind a taxi when the taxi driver got out and slapped the front passenger-side window.

SpaceX racks up 50th launch of Falcon 9 rocket

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX is marking the 50th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket, its satellite-delivery workhorse. The latest Falcon took flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Tuesday, successfully hoisting a massive communications satellite for Spain’s Hispasat corporation. The orbiting satellite is almost as big as a city bus. No attempt was made to recover the first-stage booster. Waves offshore were too rough for a barge landing. SpaceX has been flying the Falcon 9 since mid-2010. Fifty launches in less than eight years is a pretty good clip, by rocket standards. SpaceX founder Elon Musk says via Twitter that he can’t believe it’s already been 50 launches and that just 10 years ago, the company couldn’t even reach orbit with the little, original Falcon 1.