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VOL. 46 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 14, 2022

It’ll be your best vacation ever!

This is the year we make up for 2 years of lost travel. Unless, well, COVID

The two words that sum up travel in 2022 are “cautiously optimistic.’’ To be sure, travel is one of the top priorities for many of the pandemic weary. An Expedia report on 2022 travel trends found that more than 68% of American travelers are planning a big trip for their first foray out, whether it be travel to a foreign country or upgrading to luxury accommodations in the United States.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Hurdles ahead for city’s political convention hopes

Having made it a couple of weeks into 2022 without any major new attacks on democracy (fingers crossed), let us briefly turn our attention to 2024 politics: How does the prospect of tens of thousands of ardent Republicans or Democrats swarming through Nashville strike you?

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

In the Heights: Another neighborhood takes off

Sylvan Heights is a neighborhood that played bridesmaid to Sylvan Park for years. Located off Charlotte Pike, as opposed to Sylvan Park’s boundary off Murphy Road, the area was filed with smaller residences, most constructed with asbestos shingle siding that clad the 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot homes.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
87.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: from the Southwest at 12.7 gusting to 25.3 mph
Humidity: 45%

EVENTS

Chamber West: Understanding the New Multigenerational Workforce. For the first time in history, there are four generations in the workplace. With such a wide range of ages reflected in the workforce, managers must master the art of communication. Join guest speaker Janna Landry for a conversation on understanding the new multigenerational workforce. Hilton Nashville Green Hills, 3801 Cleghorn Ave., Nashville. Wednesday, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Free, but registration suggested. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Davidson County real estate trends for 2021

2021 real estate trends for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Davidson County real estate trends for December 2021

December 2021 real estate trends for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Tannehill saves best for regular-season finale

When the Tennessee Titans lost at home six weeks ago to the Houston Texans, there was growing concern that Ryan Tannehill might not have what it takes to lead a team to a title.

Titans will use bye week to ‘get healthy,’ prep for Henry return

The Tennessee Titans have the top seed in the AFC, so now what? For a team that used a record number of players this season – the number reached 91 during Sunday’s win in Houston, with three new Titans making their debuts – a little rest and relaxation are in order.

Wild Card Weekend predictions

The NFL playoffs begin this weekend. Here's a look at the matchups and predictions for outcomes.

UT SPORTS

Dump the junk: Change of diet fuels Vol Vescovi’s rise

Santiago Vescovi doesn’t really care how anyone pronounces his name. He’s more concerned about the quality of his game.

NEWSMAKERS

Hotchkiss among 4 new McGlinchey members

McGlinchey Stafford has named three new members, including Lynette Hotchkiss in its Nashville office.

BRIEFS

Applicants sought for Artist Entrepreneur class

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville is seeking applicants for the 2022 class of Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, an annual business development intensive that empowers working artists to see their creative practice through an entrepreneurial lens.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

New cars and missing features: What to do

Most people are aware that automakers have felt the brunt of the worldwide microchip shortage, resulting in understocked dealerships at a time when consumer demand is high. But there’s another less well-known trend that can further complicate the process of buying a new vehicle.

CAREER CORNER

Safer bet, you or the person in next cubicle?

I recently heard a famous comedian talking about her career and how she got where she is today. When it comes to her work, she said, she’s always tried to bet on herself, and that other people should bet on themselves, too. What a novel idea.

PERSONAL FINANCE

This year, resolve to leave no more gift cards unused

Years ago, a friend who needed cash sold me a $100 Nordstrom gift card. I wish I knew where the heck I put it.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

How to have wedding you want for less money

This one goes out to all you lovebirds who got engaged over the holidays and are now left planning a wedding with zero event-planning experience.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Henry: Foot feels fine in preparation for Titans' playoff return

NASHVILLE (AP) — Derrick Henry, the man who literally ran the Tennessee Titans to the AFC championship game two years ago, is ready to play again.

Titans lean on Tannehill's experience vs young Joe Burrow

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ryan Tannehill disputes the idea he ever lost his mojo as the Tennessee Titans quarterback.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

No. 24 Tennessee scores final 8, beating Vanderbilt 68-60

NASHVILLE (AP) — Uros Plavsic's short jumper with 55 seconds left broke a tie at 60, and 24th-ranked Tennessee scored the final eight points holding off in-state rival Vanderbilt 68-60 Tuesday night for the Vols' ninth straight win in this series.

PREDATORS

Demko makes 31 saves as Canucks beat skidding Predators 3-1

NASHVILLE (AP) — Thatcher Demko made 31 saves to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the skidding Nashville Predators 3-1 on Tuesday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Push to stop House map carving Nashville has legal obstacles

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democrats and voting rights organizations have blasted Tennessee Republicans for what they say is a brazen effort to dilute the state's Black vote by carving up booming Nashville into three likely GOP-controlled congressional districts. But their legal path for getting the new Republican-authored U.S. House map altered faces significant obstacles.

COURTS

What comes next in New York's investigation of Donald Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — After investigating former President Donald Trump for several years, New York Attorney General Letitia James used a court filing Tuesday to outline much of the evidence her investigators have gathered so far. The legal memo claimed the Republican's company used "fraudulent or misleading" valuations of its assets while seeking loans and tax breaks.

Justices seem sympathetic to Cruz in campaign finance case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Supreme Court's conservative majority on Wednesday seemed sympathetic to Sen. Ted Cruz in a challenge the Texas Republican brought to a provision of campaign finance law limiting the repayment of federal candidates' loans to their campaigns.

Sotomayor, Gorsuch deny report they were at odds over masks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Supreme Court justices say a media report that they were at odds over the wearing of masks in court during the recent surge in coronavirus cases is false.

REAL ESTATE

December marks 3rd consecutive month of growth for US builders

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Construction of new homes in the U.S. rose for the third consecutive month in December and data released Wednesday suggests that the frantic pace of building will continue this year.

AUTO INDUSTRY

NTSB chief to fed agency: Stop using misleading statistics

WASHINGTON (AP) — With traffic fatalities spiking higher, the nation's top safety investigator says a widely cited government statistic that 94% of serious crashes are solely due to driver error is misleading and that the Transportation Department should stop using it.

ENVIRONMENT

Construction to begin soon on new US offshore wind farm

Construction will soon begin on the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to gain approval in the United States, the developers said.

BANKING

Bank of America profits rise 28%, wage expenses also increase

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America said its profits rose 28% last quarter from a year earlier, but the bank faced the same wage inflation as its Wall Street counterparts.

Morgan Stanley profits climb 9% on asset management business

NEW YORK (AP) — Investment bank Morgan Stanley said its fourth-quarter profits rose 9% from a year ago, helped by a big jump in fee revenue from its growing asset and wealth management business. The investment banking division also boosted results, as deal-making on Wall Street continued at a frenzied pace.

MEDIA

Donors to launch Houston newsroom with $20M in seed funding

Five philanthropies plan to spend more than $20 million to bolster news coverage in Houston and create what they say will be one of the largest local nonprofit news organizations in the country.

EXPLAINER: Microsoft's Activision buy could shake up gaming

Microsoft stunned the gaming industry when it announced this week it would buy game publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game company than Nintendo.

HEALTH CARE

Unilever won't top $68B bid for GSK consumer healthcare unit

LONDON (AP) — Unilever, the maker of Vaseline skin care products and Dove soap, says it won't increase a 50 billion-pound ($68.2 billion) offer for GlaxoSmithKline's consumer healthcare unit that was rejected last week.

Optum again a big revenue driver for UnitedHealth in 2021

UnitedHealth Group's fourth-quarter profit soared as the nation's largest health insurance provider branched deeper into offering care as well as covering the bills.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US begins offering 1B free COVID tests, but many more needed

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, people across the U.S. can log on to a government website and order free, at-home COVID-19 tests. But the White House push may do little to ease the omicron surge, and experts say Washington will have to do a lot more to fix the country's long-troubled testing system.

Starbucks nixes vaccine mandate after Supreme Court ruling

Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a policy it announced earlier this month.

UK lifts COVID restrictions, says omicron wave 'has peaked'

LONDON (AP) — Face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and COVID-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in most parts of the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

US government to give away 400M N95 masks starting next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings.

Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

NEW YORK (AP) — Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

Report: German police see surge in fake vaccine certificates

BERLIN (AP) — Police in Germany are investigating thousands of cases of suspected forgery of coronavirus vaccine certificates, the dpa news agency reported Wednesday.

Beijing residents disappointed Olympics will be closed event

BEIJING (AP) — With just over two weeks before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, residents of the Chinese capital say they're disappointed at not being able to attend events because of coronavirus restrictions that have seen parts of the city placed under lockdown.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks extend 2022 losses as investors brace for rate hikes

Stocks continued to fall on Wall Street Wednesday as investors review the latest corporate earnings and prepare for higher interest rates.

Yellen: Biden pandemic relief 'like a vaccine' for economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told a gathering of America's mayors on Wednesday that the Biden administration's coronavirus relief bill was like a vaccine preventing catastrophic economic damage that could have returned the nation to the financial woes seen at the beginning of the pandemic.

UK consumer prices rise at fastest pace in almost 30 years

LONDON (AP) — Consumer prices in the United Kingdom have risen at the fastest pace in almost 30 years as higher costs for energy, transportation, food and furniture squeezed household incomes.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Raw Senate debate on voting bill unlikely to end filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators faced off in emotional, raw debate Wednesday on voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy but that's almost certain to be defeated  without a filibuster rules change.

In news conference, Biden calls on Fed to fight inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — At a Wednesday news conference marking his first year in office, President Joe Biden called on the Federal Reserve to do more to fight inflation by pulling back on its monetary boosting of the U.S. economy.

Tracking Biden's 1st-year progress delivering on promises

WASHINGTON (AP) — During his first year in office, President Joe Biden took action on a number of his key campaign promises, from rebuilding U.S. alliances globally to distributing vaccines across America and the world.

Biden names major Democratic donors as UK, Denmark envoys

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his intention to nominate prominent Democratic fundraiser Jane Hartley to serve as ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and major donor Alan Leventhal to serve as his envoy to Denmark.

Rudy Giuliani among Trump allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection issued subpoenas to Rudy Giuliani and other members of Donald Trump's legal team who filed bogus legal challenges to the 2020 election that fueled the lie that race had been stolen from the former president.

US, allies pledge unity on Russia; to do what isn't as clear

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden largely has rallied European allies to pledge as one that they will take tough measures against Russia if it rolls troops into Ukraine. But when it comes to what exactly the United States and Europe are willing to do, the allies haven't looked as united.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 18
PREDATORS

Schenn, Barbashev score twice in Blues' 5-3 win over Preds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev each had two goals and two assists as the St. Louis Blues came from behind to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Monday night.

COURTS

Justices suggest Boston should have flown 'Christian flag'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices seemed to have little doubt Tuesday that Boston was wrong to refuse to fly a banner described as a Christian flag outside City Hall.

TECHNOLOGY

FBI, US agencies look beyond indictments in cybercrime fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI and other federal agencies are increasingly looking to counter cyber threats through tools other than criminal indictments, the bureau's top cyber official said in an interview with The Associated Press.

MEDIA

Microsoft buys game maker Activision Blizzard for about $70B

Microsoft is paying nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, as it seeks an edge in the fiercely competitive businesses of mobile gaming and virtual-reality technology.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford, ADT form venture to make vehicle security products

DETROIT (AP) — Ford and security company ADT have formed a joint venture that will help businesses protect vehicles and expensive equipment they carry from theft.

Felony charges are 1st in a fatal crash involving Autopilot

DETROIT (AP) — California prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on Autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in 2019.

TRANSPORTATION

AT&T says it will delay some 5G after airlines raise alarms

AT&T will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation's largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.

Airlines again warn of potential disruption from 5G rollout

The airline industry is raising the stakes in a showdown with AT&T and Verizon over plans to launch new 5G wireless service this week, warning that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports.

ENVIRONMENT

Official: Japan hopes to lead Asian zero-emissions push

TOKYO (AP) — Japan will gradually phase out coal plants over the next two decades while developing new technologies to reduce, capture and utilize carbon, Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi said Tuesday.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

White House soft-launches COVID-19 test request website

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially go online.

COVID-19 health emergency could be over this year, WHO says

GENEVA (AP) — The worst of the coronavirus pandemic — deaths, hospitalizations and lockdowns — could be over this year if huge inequities in vaccinations and medicines are addressed quickly, the head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

Russia shortens COVID-19 isolation to 7 days as cases surge

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities are shortening the required isolation period for people infected with COVID-19 from 14 to seven days as the country faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, this time driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Hong Kong to kill 2,000 animals after hamsters get COVID-19

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities said Tuesday that they will kill about 2,000 small animals, including hamsters, after several tested positive for the coronavirus at a pet store where an employee was also infected.

Australia has record COVID-19 deaths, hospitals under stress

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia reported a record high of COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, and its second-largest state declared an emergency in hospitals to cope with surging patient admissions and a staffing shortage due to the coronavirus.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Falling technology, banks lead Wall St to new low for 2022

Stocks fell to a new low for the year on Wall Street Tuesday and bond yields surged amid renewed jitters the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates to tackle rising inflation.

US regulators aiming at illegal, anticompetitive mergers

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. competition regulators have mounted an effort to tighten enforcement against illegal mergers, in line with President Joe Biden's mandate for greater scrutiny to big business combinations.

Goldman Sachs Q4 profits fall as compensation costs soar

NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs said its fourth-quarter profits fell by 13% from a year earlier, largely due to the bank preparing to pay out hefty pay packages to its well-compensated employees.

JD, Shopify to help US merchants sell in China

BEIJING (AP) — JD.com Inc., China's biggest online retailer, and Canadian e-commerce service Shopify announced a strategic cooperation Tuesday to give independent U.S. merchants access to JD.com's 550 million customers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Big voting bill faces defeat as 2 Dems won't stop filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy appeared headed for defeat as the Senate opened debate Tuesday, a devastating setback enabled by President Joe Biden's own party as two holdout senators refuse to support rule changes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Harris still struggling to define herself one year in VP job

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden put the full weight of his presidency behind voting rights action last week, heading to Capitol Hill in an effort to push Democrats to change Senate rules to pass legislation.

Sinema, Manchin slammed as Senate begins voting bill debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing stark criticism from civil rights leaders, senators return to Capitol Hill under intense pressure to change their rules and break a Republican filibuster that has hopelessly stalled voting legislation.

Blinken to meet with senior Russian as Ukraine tensions soar

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with his Russian counterpart in Switzerland this week as tensions between the U.S. and Russia escalate over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the State Department said Tuesday.

North Korean missile tests signal return to brinkmanship

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Grappling with pandemic difficulties and U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear ambitions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could be reviving his 2017 playbook of nuclear and missile brinkmanship to wrest concessions from Washington and his neighbors.


MONDAY, JANUARY 17
TENNESSEE TITANS

Rested Titans prepping to host Bengals in divisional game

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are rested and healthier than they've been in weeks, maybe months. They also know their next opponent.

Vikings interview Titans' Ossenfort for GM

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings interviewed Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for head coach and Tennessee director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort for general manager on Sunday.

REGION

Snow, ice blast through South with powerful winter storm

ATLANTA (AP) — A dangerous winter storm combining high winds and ice swept through parts of the U.S. Southeast on Sunday, knocking out power, felling trees and fences and coating roads with a treacherous, frigid glaze.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Joint Chiefs chairman and Marine Corps chief have COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing very minor symptoms, a spokesperson said Monday. The Marine Corps said its commandant, Gen. David Berger, also has COVID-19.

Daily virus cases in Russia double as omicron spreads

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities on Monday reported a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases, apparently driven by the rapid spread of the omicron variant health officials warned about last week.

Tennis star's deportation exposes Australian border debate

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Weary after two years of some of the harshest COVID-19 border restrictions in the world, many Australians wanted tennis star Novak Djokovic kicked out of their country for traveling to a tennis tournament without being vaccinated.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Eurogroup seeks path between high inflation, slower growth

BRUSSELS (AP) — Euro finance chiefs on Monday ventured into a high-wire political balancing act prompted by conflicting economic forces: a weaker growth outlook and stronger inflation.

Pandemic hasn't slowed China's love for US lobster

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — China is showing no signs of slowing its demand for American lobster this year despite disruption to the supply chain and international trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit Suisse chairman resigns in wake of internal probe

GENEVA (AP) — Credit Suisse says its chairman has resigned following an internal probe that reportedly turned up that he had violated quarantine rules intended to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Russia denies looking for pretext to invade Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's top diplomat on Monday angrily rejected the U.S. allegations that it was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine as Russian troops have remained concentrated near the border.

Group: Tax rich to fund vaccines for poor hit by pandemic

LONDON (AP) — Anti-poverty organization Oxfam called Monday for governments to impose a one-time 99% tax on the world's billionaires and use the money to fund expanded production of vaccines for the poor — part of an effort to combat global inequality widened by the coronavirus pandemic.

After Biden's first year, the virus and disunity rage on

WASHINGTON (AP) — From the inaugural platform, President Joe Biden saw American sickness on two fronts — a disease of the national spirit and the one from the rampaging coronavirus — and he saw hope, because leaders always must see that.

China's Xi rejects 'Cold War mentality,' pushes cooperation

GENEVA (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping called Monday for greater world cooperation against COVID-19 and pledged to send an additional 1 billion doses of vaccine to other countries, while urging other powers to discard a "Cold-War mentality" at a time of rising geopolitical tensions — a veiled swipe at the United States.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 14
PREDATORS

Skinner scores twice as Sabres beat Predators 4-1

NASHVILLE (AP) — Jeff Skinner scored twice and Aaron Dell made 29 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

NASHVILLE AREA

Garbage, recyclables pile up as omicron takes its toll

NASHVILLE (AP) — The omicron variant is sickening so many sanitation workers around the U.S. that some cities have had to delay or suspend garbage or recycling pickup, angering residents shocked that governments can't perform this most basic of functions.

REGION

South prepares for weekend threat of debilitating snow, ice

ATLANTA (AP) — Weather forecasters' predictions of debilitating snow and ice as far south as Georgia sent parts of the region into a tizzy Friday with shoppers scouring store shelves for storm supplies and road crews trying to prevent a repeat of past wintertime debacles.

COURTS

Giles County ends for-profit probation, waives debts

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Middle Tennessee county can no longer require misdemeanor probationers to pay the cost of their supervision under a consent decree signed by a federal judge on Thursday.

Lawsuit: Google, Facebook CEOs colluded in online ad sales

Newly unredacted documents from a state-led antitrust lawsuit against Google accuse the search giant of colluding with rival Facebook to manipulate online advertising sales. The CEOs of both companies were aware of the deal and signed off on it, the lawsuit alleges.

Prosecutors recommend dropping charges against MIT professor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are recommending dropping charges against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who was accused last year of hiding work he did for the Chinese government while also collecting U.S. dollars for his nanotechnology research, a person familiar with the decision said Friday.

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped a major push by the Biden administration to boost the nation's COVID-19 vaccination rate, a requirement that employees at large businesses get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job.

HEALTH CARE

Insurers, employers start helping more with chronic disease

Vanessa Akinniyi was stuck in denial about diabetes until a care manager from her health insurer coaxed her out.

MEDIA

Netflix upping US, Canada prices with competition growing

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix is raising prices for its video streaming customers in the U.S. and Canada, less than a year and a half since its last price increase, as competition from other streaming services increases.

TECHNOLOGY

GoFundMe acquires nonprofit fundraising platform Classy

The crowdfunding platform GoFundMe announced Thursday that it has signed a deal to acquire the nonprofit fundraising company Classy, a move that will help the largest crowdfunding site further increase its influence in the philanthropic sector.

Microsoft opens harassment investigation sought by investors

Microsoft said Thursday it is opening an inquiry into how it responds to workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination, including its handling of allegations about co-founder Bill Gates.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Federal testing website launches next week, 4 tests per home

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal website where Americans can request free COVID-19 tests will begin accepting orders on Wednesday as the White House looks to address nationwide shortages, but supplies will be limited to just four free tests per home.

Website for free virus tests is coming. How will it work?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under criticism after weeks of shortages, President Joe Biden's administration is working to make COVID-19 rapid test kits more available and accessible to Americans by boosting supply and lowering costs. A new federal website to request free test kits launches Wednesday, with the first shipments going out to Americans by the end of the month. In addition, most Americans will be able to get reimbursed for tests that they purchase starting Saturday.

Double-fault: Visa revoked again, Djokovic faces deportation

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time, the latest twist in the ongoing saga over whether the No. 1-ranked tennis player will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic ruling fits with Australia's tough immigration line

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — To people watching from afar, the treatment of tennis star Novak Djokovic by Australian immigration officials might have seemed harsh.

Mask rules get tighter in Europe in winter's COVID-19 wave

ROME (AP) — To mask or not to mask is a question Italy settled early in the COVID-19 outbreak with a vigorous "yes." Now the onetime epicenter of the pandemic in Europe hopes even stricter mask rules will help it beat the latest infection surge.

BANKING

Bank profits soared in 2021, but inflation is front of mind

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the nation's biggest banks reported blowout profits for 2021 on Friday, helped by the improving economy and consumers and businesses willing to spend and take on loans.

Wells Fargo's $5.8 billion profit easily tops expectations

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Wells Fargo easily beat Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter with interest rates beginning to take off, likely another boost for the nation's largest mortgage lender going forward.

JPMorgan 4Q earnings fall 14%, but 2021 profit sets record

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase says fourth-quarter profits fell 14% from a year earlier, due to a weaker performance from its trading desk and higher compensation expenses for employees.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Indexes end mostly higher, but still log another losing week

A late-afternoon recovery in technology stocks helped erase most of the market's losses Friday, though it wasn't enough to keep major indexes from posting their second straight losing week.

Mexico seizes 380,000 boxes of Kellogg's cereal

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has seized 380,000 boxes of Corn Flakes, Special K and other Kellogg's cereals, claiming the boxes had cartoon drawings on them in violation of recently enacted laws aimed at improving children's diets.

Industrial output falls 0.1% unexpectedly amid supply issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production fell 0.1% in December, the first decline since September, with manufacturers still struggling with snarled supply chains.

December retail sales slide 1.9% amid shortages, omicron

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans, beset by product shortages, rising prices and the arrival of omicron, sharply cut their spending in December after a burst of early spending in the fall that helped bolster the holiday season.

Biden nominates 3 for Fed board, including first Black woman

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday announced the nominations of three people for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, including Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, for the top regulatory slot and Lisa Cook, who would be the first Black woman to serve on the Fed's board.

Businesses react to ruling against Biden vaccine mandate

For companies that were waiting to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court before deciding whether to require vaccinations or regular coronavirus testing for workers, the next move is up to them.

Omicron leaves Germany on brink of recession as growth dips

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The risk of recession is looming for Germany after Europe's biggest economy shrank at the end of 2021 and as it faces a bumpy start to this year, with the rapid spread of COVID-19's omicron variant deterring people from shopping and travel and supply bottlenecks holding back manufacturers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

White House: Russia prepping pretext for Ukraine invasion

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials have determined a Russian effort is underway to create a pretext for its troops to further invade Ukraine, and Moscow has already prepositioned operatives to conduct "a false-flag operation" in eastern Ukraine, according to the White House.

Biden administration launches program to fix 15,000 bridges

The Transportation Department is launching a $27 billion program to repair and upgrade roughly 15,000 highway bridges as part of the infrastructure law approved in November. The effort is being announced Friday as President Joe Biden tries to showcase how his policies are delivering for the public.

Twitter, Meta among tech giants subpoenaed by Jan. 6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Months after requesting documents from more than a dozen social platforms, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas targeting Twitter, Meta, Reddit and YouTube after lawmakers said the companies' initial responses were inadequate.

Oath Keepers leader jailed on Capitol attack charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — The founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group remained in jail after his first court appearance on Friday, a day after his arrest  on charges he plotted with others to attack the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory.

Analysis: Biden overshoots on what's possible in divided DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — He was supposed to break through the congressional logjam. End the pandemic. Get the economy back on track.

In Washington, a day of snapshots of divisions and futility

WASHINGTON (AP) — There was a closed-door huddle by an embattled President Joe Biden with his own party's senators, apparently for naught. An eyebrow-raising speech on the Senate floor by a recalcitrant Democrat. And a defiant news conference by the top House Republican.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 13
STATE GOVERNMENT

US House map splitting Nashville advances in state Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposed U.S. House map that carves up fast-growing, Democratic-leaning Nashville into three different congressional districts advanced another step Thursday over strenuous objections from Democrats that it unfairly dilutes Black representation in Tennessee.

COURTS

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.

Seditious conspiracy: 11 Oath Keepers charged in Jan. 6 riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, and 10 other members or associates have been charged with seditious conspiracy in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, authorities said Thursday.

Thousands of federal inmates to be released under 2018 law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin transferring thousands of inmates out of federal prisons this week as part of a sweeping criminal justice overhaul signed by President Donald Trump more than three years ago.

Governor Lee picks Campbell as criminal appeals judge

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has picked a Shelby County judge for an opening on the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

New year, same feud: UK-EU resume talks on Brexit trade spat

LONDON (AP) — U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called for Britain and the European Union to rebuild their relationship, as she and bloc's top Brexit official met Thursday for talks on a thorny dispute over Northern Ireland trade.

Biden all but concedes defeat on voting, election bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — All but conceding defeat, President Joe Biden said Thursday he's now unsure the Democrats' major elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year. He spoke at the Capitol after a key fellow Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, dramatically announced her refusal to go along with changing Senate rules to muscle the bill past a Republican filibuster.

TRANSPORTATION

After wave of cancellations, Delta sees recovery in 2022

Delta Air Lines lost $408 million in the final quarter of 2021, dragged down by a COVID-19 surge that rocked the airline in December, and the carrier predicted Thursday that it will suffer one more quarterly loss before travel perks up in spring and summer.

Delta extends life of expiring travel vouchers from pandemic

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it will extend through 2023 the window for customers to rebook credits earned when they purchased but then canceled flights during the pandemic.

MEDIA

Fact checkers say YouTube lets its platform be 'weaponized'

More than 80 fact checking organizations are calling on YouTube to address what they say is rampant misinformation on the platform.

HEALTH CARE

As omicron surges, HealthCare.gov sign-up deadline arrives

People looking for health insurance in the grip of the omicron surge have through Saturday to sign up for taxpayer-subsidized private coverage under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

COVID-19 pill rollout stymied by shortages as omicron rages

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two brand-new COVID-19 pills that were supposed to be an important weapon against the pandemic in the U.S. are in short supply and have played little role in the fight against the omicron wave of infections.

Biden says he will double free COVID tests, add N95s, to fight omicron

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the government will double to 1 billion the rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed free to Americans, along with the most protective N95 masks, as he highlighted his efforts to "surge" resources to help the country weather the spike in coronavirus cases.

China faces omicron test weeks ahead of Beijing Olympics

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Most access to a major city adjacent to Beijing was suspended Thursday as the government tried to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus's easily transmitted omicron variant ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Tech stocks lead Wall Street lower again, Nasdaq falls 2.5%

Technology stocks led another decline on Wall Street Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq composite down 2.5%.

Wholesale prices jumped a record 9.7% in 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices at the wholesale level surged by a record 9.7% for all of 2021, setting an annual record and providing further evidence that inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy.

U.S. jobless claims rise by 23,000 to 230,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since mid-November.

Fed nominee Brainard: Fighting inflation is top priority

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lael Brainard, President Joe Biden's nominee for the Federal Reserve's No. 2 spot, said Thursday that combating high inflation is the central bank's top priority and said she believed the Fed could reduce it without sacrificing economic growth.

Taiwan chipmaker TSMC says quarterly profit $6 billion

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the biggest contract manufacturer of processor chips, reported Thursday its quarterly profit rose 16.4% over a year earlier to $6 billion amid surging demand for chips for smartphones and other electronics.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

RNC threatens to stop candidate participation in debates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee said Thursday it is planning a rules change that would force presidential candidates seeking the party's nomination to sign a pledge saying they will not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

GOP leader McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 1/6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is refusing a request by the House panel investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection to submit to an interview and turn over records pertaining to the deadly riot.

Abortion grows as priority issue for Democrats: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Roe v. Wade facing its strongest threat in decades, a new poll finds Democrats increasingly view protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government.

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