Local & State
BlueCross BlueShield of S.C.’s A+ rating affirmed
A.M. Best Co. recently affirmed for the 11th year in a row the A+ financial strength rating of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s group of companies with a stable outlook, the insurer said in a release. That is the highest it has assigned to any health insurer and only one other health insurer in the country holds it besides BlueCross, according to A.M. Best. The rating company cited BlueCross’s diversity of companies as one of its strengths. The Columbia-based insurer is made up of more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. Department of Defense health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation.
Nation & World
Japanese wrap up on-site inspection of battery maker
TOKYO Japanese investigators studying the potentially flammable batteries that have grounded Boeing’s 787 fleet wrapped up an on-site inspection at the batteries’ manufacturer Monday and said they would continue their inquiry at a maker of a device that monitors the batteries. Japan’s Ministry of Transport said that for now, investigators had found no quality control problems during an eight-day inquiry at GS Yuasa, the maker of the lithium-ion batteries at the center of the inquiry. But officials stressed that the cause of recent battery malfunctions was still unknown, and that GS Yuasa remained under investigation.
BlackBerry maker promises al lot in makeover
TORONTO The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company. Thorsten Heins, chief executive of Research In Motion Ltd., will reveal the first phone with the new BlackBerry 10 system in New York on Wednesday. Repeated delays have left the once-pioneering BlackBerry an afterthought in the shadow of Apple’s trend-setting iPhone and Google’s Android-driven devices.
Taco Bell pulls TV ad that critics said discouraged people from eating vegetables
NEW YORK Taco Bell is pulling a TV ad after receiving complaints that it discouraged people from eating vegetables. The ad by the fast-food chain was touting its variety 12-pack of tacos, with a voiceover saying that bringing a vegetable tray to a party is “like punting on fourth and one.” It said that people secretly hate guests who bring vegetables to parties. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group, this weekend urged people to tweet their complaints about the ad and the chain quickly made the decision to pull it.
The Associated Press and New York Times contributed.