Top Headlines: Toyota looks to be less boring, Jack Daniel’s releasing special whiskey

Successful Toyota now ponders how to be less boring
Toyota might be the biggest automaker nobody notices. The company was a relative latecomer to the automotive business, but it leapfrogged many American and European rivals to become one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world. It sells the vast majority of its vehicles under just two brands — Toyota and Lexus — in contrast to highly diversified competitors such as Volkswagen. But while it is the biggest, its conservative cars have not traditionally captured the attention lavished on more daring competitors. – CNBC

New law removes gag from pharmacists regarding drug costs
For years, pharmacists were not allowed to tell customers about cheaper drug prices. Now, a new law in Alabama has reversed that policy, allowing the pharmacists to let their customers know about cheaper medications that are available. This law will also make pharmacy benefit managers register with the Alabama Department of Insurance, outlaw gag clauses for pharmacists and forbid clawback fees. Essentially, the law will end the contract that pharmacists are under with pharmacy benefit managers when it comes to consumer costs. – CBS

Jack Daniel’s releasing special whiskey for Alabama Bicentennial
Jack Daniel’s is releasing a special edition bottle of Single Barrel Select whiskey to celebrate Alabama’s 200th year of statehood. Starting Friday, 750ml bottles will be sold in 27 Alabama ABC store locations. The limited-edition bottle will feature a bicentennial medallion with the state seal and logo. Barrels used at the Tennessee distillery are made at a cooperage in Trinity, Alabama. – CBS 

Foodies in Selma enjoy state’s Restaurant Week
It’s Restaurant Week all around the state of Alabama this week. But in the city of Selma — when it comes to restaurants — many residents say there simply aren’t enough. Restaurant Week is a 10-day culinary event that promotes restaurants — and the food — fun and fellowship — that go along with them. – ANN

Texas ransomware attacks deliver wake-up call to cities
A recent spree of ransomware attacks in Texas have highlighted the increasing threat they pose to city governments, with experts warning the “lucrative” attacks won’t go away. The Texas Department of Information Resources has confirmed that 22 Texas entities, mostly local governments, have been hit by the ransomware attack that took place late last week. DIR pointed to a “single threat actor” as being responsible for the attack, which did not impact any statewide systems. – The Hill

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Business writer identifies parallel economic universes
There are two universes. There’s the booming economy and there’s the faltering economy, and one’s fantasy and the other may be reality — although occasionally they bleed into each other. That’s how I feel after examining this spate of incredibly positive earnings news from gigantic retailers like Walmart last week, Home Depot, Target and Lowe’s this week, vs. the dreary set of facts that drove the market off a cliff just one week ago. The question is, which one is right? – The Street

Trump criticizes automakers for ignoring him
U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up a series of attacks on automakers on Wednesday for not backing his administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency rules, singling out Ford Motor Co. in particular for backing a deal with California for stricter fuel economy standards. – Reuters

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