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VOL. 41 | NO. 41 | Friday, October 13, 2017

Hartnell comes home in search of Stanley Cup

Former Preds’ first-round pick ‘desperate’ for title

Scott Hartnell ran into unexpected difficulty back in 2000 on one of his very first road trips with the Nashville Predators.

Hamilton puts unique spin on cancer fight

Almost four decades have passed since Olympic champion Scott Hamilton won four consecutive U.S. and World figure skating championships before topping off his amateur career with the 1984 Olympic gold.

Provision brings proton cancer therapy to Franklin

Knoxville-based Provision Healthcare, LLC took a significant step toward completion of its newest proton cancer therapy center recently when it took delivery of a key component of the ProNova SC360, the latest advancement in proton therapy.

Benefit for Scott Hamilton CARES

Nashville’s second annual An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends, a two-events-in-one benefit for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, is set for Nov. 19 with GRAMMY Award winner Sheryl Crow returning to headline the musical portion of the show.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Cheatham County After-Hours Social. A casual Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce networking event held for business professionals of the county. There will be refreshments, light appetizers and door prizes. Thursday, 5:30-7 p.m., Frontier Basement Systems, 5150 Highway 41A, Joelton. Information: www.cheathamchamber.org/

more events »

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Trump’s bluster cascades through state politics

The chaos emanating from President Donald Trump’s administration is changing the landscape of Tennessee politics, setting the stage for upheaval within the dominant Republican Party.

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

‘The only one left’ recalls deadly B-17 missions

Public can get flights, tours of WWII bomber this weekend

When I tap on the thin, aluminum skin of the B-17 Flying Fortress, I think about how, just a few miles away Jacob “Mac” McClenny has just celebrated his 97th birthday, despite the fact that some 70 years earlier Nazi anti-aircraft artillery had done its best to knock him and his crew out of the sky.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Burton Hills good example of local real estate realities

“To burst or not to burst?” That is the question. Most feel it is not an if, but a when. Some of those new to town have only witnessed the recent wildness, but there has been wildness in the Nashville wilderness before. In general, however, there has always been steady health growth in the Nashville real estate market.

REAL ESTATE

US long-term mortgage rates rise for 2nd week, to 3.91 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates rose for a second straight week as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 3.91 percent, from 3.85 percent a week ago.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

A win vs. Indy? Finally? Depends on Mariota

If the Titans are serious about winning the AFC South division and securing the playoff berth that goes with it, it’s time to draw a line in the standings.

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

AFC South membership only thing saving Titans

Right now, the best thing that can be said about the Tennessee Titans is they play in the AFC South, where someone’s mediocrity will be rewarded with a playoff berth come Dec. 31.

Colts at Titans: What to watch

Adoree’ Jackson vs. T.Y. Hilton. The Colts’ wide receiver has been a back-breaker for the Titans on many occasions over the years. He isn’t big, but he has the speed and shiftiness to make big plays. Jackson, a first-round pick this year, has had his ups and downs learning how to play cornerback in the NFL, but the steady improvement is there. The Titans at least need him to keep Hilton in check and not allow the Colts receiver to make explosive plays down the field.

NEWSMAKERS

Executive director departing Legal Aid

Gary Housepian is stepping down as executive director of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest non-profit law firm.

BRIEFS

Antiques, Garden Show books Earl of Spencer

The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville announces Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, brother of Diana, Princess of Wales and godson of Her Majesty the Queen, will headline the 2018 event.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Mazda CX-5, Chevy Equinox safe bets for small SUVs

Compact SUVs are some of the most popular vehicles on the road today thanks to their combination of performance, practicality and fuel efficiency. The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and 2017 Mazda CX-5, two of the top entrants in the segment, recently underwent full redesigns to make them even more competitive. But which one is the best match for you? Here’s how they stack up.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

Here’s how to ease pain of sales proposals

You put so much time and energy into getting a prospect to agree to a meeting, preparing for that meeting, pitching your services and gaining agreement from the prospect to consider buying. So why, all too often, is so little time spent on the sales proposal itself? It’s like running the ball to the 10-yard line and then sitting down on the field, which inconsequentially, is essentially what my team did this past Sunday.

CAREER CORNER

Talent Insights: LinkedIn’s helpful hiring platform

The hiring landscape is continuously being reshaped by the internet and the increasing data available to employers.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country stars honor shooting victims at CMT Artists show

NASHVILLE (AP) — Singer Jason Aldean and other stars honored victims of a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas instead of accepting awards at the CMT Artists of the Year show Wednesday night.

STATEWIDE

UT-Chattanooga outsourcing bid would cost more

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bid to outsource facilities management at Tennessee colleges and universities would cost the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga a quarter-million dollars more than its current expenses in-house.

REAL ESTATE

US long-term mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 3.88 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. rates slipped this week, reversing two straight weekly increases.

HEALTH CARE

Trump's health subsidy shutdown could lead to free insurance

WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Donald Trump prevails in shutting down a major "Obamacare" health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Australian car making to end soon with GM plant closing

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian auto manufacturing era is about to end after more than 90 years when General Motors Co.'s last Holden sedan rolls off the production line in the industrial city of Adelaide on Friday.

COURTS

Trump cries foul on judges, but he's ahead of Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Democrats are holding up his judicial nominees, but almost nine months into his presidency, he has had more judges confirmed than President Barack Obama did in the same time period, and his numbers aren't far off those of other recent presidents.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Technology companies lead early slide in US stocks; oil down

Technology companies led a slide in U.S. stocks early Thursday as the market pulled back from its latest record highs. Cruise lines, fast-food restaurants and other consumer-focused companies also declined. Phone company stocks notched gains. Investors were poring over a batch of company earnings. Crude oil prices fell.

JetBlue to stop selling tickets on a dozen travel websites

NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue will stop selling tickets on a dozen discount travel websites in hopes of driving customers to the airline's site and reducing the company's costs.

US unemployment claims fall to 222,000, lowest in 44 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since Richard Nixon was president.

Have we seen this story before? Black Monday 30 years later

NEW YORK (AP) — How long can this nirvana last for investors? The stock market keeps ticking methodically higher into record territory, and the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 23,000 for the first time on Wednesday. It's been nearly 16 months since S&P 500 index funds had a pullback of even 5 percent over the course of days or weeks, the longest such streak in two decades.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump backs GOP budget as step toward massive tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to endorse a Senate Republican budget plan as the "first step toward massive tax cuts" but suggested he's not 100 percent confident of the measure's passage.

Trump weighs in on 'fake' dossier on his alleged Russia ties

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is questioning what he says is a "fake" dossier of allegations about his connections to Russia.

Senate Republicans cruise toward passage of budget plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are on track to pass a $4 trillion budget plan that shelves GOP deficit concerns in favor of the party's drive to cut taxes.

US unemployment claims fall to 222,000, lowest in 44 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in 44 years, another sign that most workers enjoy job security.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan to perform at CMAs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Music fans who tune in to the Country Music Association awards next month will get to hear performances by the reigning Entertainer of the Year and the singer coming in with the most nominations.

MIDSTATE

Police officer pleads guilty in unwanted sexual contact

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee police officer has pleaded guilty to charges related to unwanted sexual contact with a female driver he had pulled over.

HEALTH CARE

Alexander says he'll push health deal, Trump keeps distance

WASHINGTON (AP) — The authors of a bipartisan plan to calm health insurance markets said Wednesday they'll push the proposal forward, even as President Donald Trump's stance ricocheted from supportive to disdainful to arm's-length and the plan's fate teetered.

Anthem will turn to CVS after troubled Express Scripts deal

Anthem has found a new partner to help run prescription drug coverage after the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer's rocky relationship with Express Scripts ends.

REAL ESTATE

US home construction tumbled 4.7 percent in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes fell 4.7 percent in September, the biggest decline in six months, reflecting weakness in both single-family activity and apartment building.

TECHNOLOGY

Twitter vows new crackdown on hateful, abusive tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter is vowing to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweetstorm that the company is not doing enough to protect its users.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Shell opens its first electric vehicle charging points

LONDON (AP) — Shell opened its first electric vehicle recharging points at three gas stations in Britain on Wednesday, part of the oil giant's efforts to respond to a global push toward zero-emission vehicles.

Autonomous cars head for the Big Apple

DETROIT (AP) — Autonomous vehicles are already navigating the verdant hills of Pittsburgh and the pitched avenues of San Francisco. They may soon be tested by the chaos of Manhattan, where pedestrians, taxis, buses and bikes embark daily on an eternal quest to avoid impact.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Record highs for major US stock indexes; Dow passes 23,000

A day of modest gains on Wall Street resulted in more milestones for U.S. stocks Wednesday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 23,000 points for the first time.

30 years after Black Monday, what could slow this bull run?

NEW YORK (AP) — How long can this nirvana last for investors?

US allies air concerns about Trump's 'Buy American' order

GENEVA (AP) — Israel, Hong Kong and Taiwan joined a number of U.S. allies at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday to express concerns over a Trump administration executive order that calls on U.S. authorities to "maximize" use of American-made goods, products and materials in government procurement.

Women who own businesses find bank loans harder to get

NEW YORK (AP) — Getting a bank loan is still a struggle for many women who own businesses.

Big question for US cities: Is Amazon's HQ2 worth the price?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of cities are working frantically to land Amazon's second headquarters, raising a weighty question with no easy answer:

Survey: Small businesses' appetite for financing weakens

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses' appetite for financing has weakened in the second half of the year, along with their revenue outlook.

Nielsen says it will report on who's watching streamed shows

NEW YORK (AP) — The Nielsen company, which has long measured viewership of television programs, now says it has a way to collect and widely spread details about how many people watch programming produced by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Corporations to keep tax break lost by millions of Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans would lose a prized tax break under President Donald Trump's sweeping revamp of the tax code, but corporations would get to keep it.

Judge: Newest travel ban 'same maladies' as previous version

HONOLULU (AP) — Just hours before President Donald Trump's latest travel ban was to take full effect, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the revised order, saying the policy has the same problems as a previous version.

GOP budget that's key to taxes moving ahead in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving ahead on a Republican budget plan, a critical step in President Donald Trump and the party's politically imperative drive to cut taxes and simplify the IRS code.

CIA watchdog nominee scolded for lack of preparation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to be the CIA's independent watchdog has told Congress that he's never read the Senate's so-called torture report, an exhaustive, classified report of the agency's treatment of terror suspects after 9/11.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17
NASHVILLE AREA

Rail, downtown tunnel part of Nashville's $5.2B transit plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — A $5.2 billion proposal to build an extensive transit system in the Tennessee capital would introduce light rail and carve out an underground tunnel downtown.

$12M parking, shopping renovations for Grand Ole Opry House

NASHVILLE (AP) — The iconic Grand Ole Opry House in Tennessee's capital city will undergo a $12 million expansion to add parking, larger retail space and an enhanced area for backstage tours.

SPORTS

Woodyard's stop helps Titans end 11-game skid against Colts

NASHVILLE (AP) — Wesley Woodyard squatted and folded his arms as his Tennessee teammates bowed in front of the veteran linebacker near midfield in celebration, deserving every bit of the attention.

Titans kicker extends record to 51 straight kicks inside 50

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee kicker Ryan Succop set a record with his first field goal Monday night, and then he kept on kicking.

STATEWIDE

Blackburn cites 'unintended consequences' of opioid law

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, on Monday called for immediately addressing any "unintended consequences" of a federal law she co-sponsored that dialed back federal power to stop companies from distributing opioids.

Pilot Flying J agreed to pay legal costs of former staffers

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The truck stop chain controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has publicly distanced itself from former employees charged with defrauding customers. But court records show the board of Pilot Flying J has agreed to pay the ex-staffers legal bills.

MIDSTATE

Haslam to attend grand opening of Hankook plant

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — Fresh off a trade mission to drum up more business from Asia, Gov. Bill Haslam is attending the grand opening South Korean tiremaker Hankook's new plant in Tennessee.

COURTS

Appeals court tosses $72 million award in talcum powder case

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court has thrown out a $72 million award to a woman who claimed talcum powder made by Johnson & Johnson contributed to her ovarian cancer.

REAL ESTATE

US homebuilder sentiment rises in October

U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have in months, looking past a recent slowdown in new home sales and the risk of rising labor and materials costs following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Self-driving cars could ease traffic, increase sprawl

BOSTON (AP) — A new study inspired by Boston's early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl.

Volvo's electric car brand Polestar unveils first model

BEIJING (AP) — Volvo Cars' performance electric car brand, Polestar, unveiled a four-seat coupe in lightweight carbon fiber as its first model Tuesday, adding to competition in a market dominated until now by Tesla.

HEALTH CARE

Alexander, Murray reach deal on resuming payments to health insurers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key senators reached a breakthrough deal Tuesday on resuming federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. Insurers had warned that unless the money is quickly restored, premiums will go up.

UnitedHealth beats 3Q forecasts, helped by Optum growth

UnitedHealth Group's third-quarter earnings soared 26 percent to beat Wall Street expectations as the nation's largest health insurer sold more coverage to retirees and continued to grow its business outside insurance.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes close mostly higher; new highs for Dow, S&P

Gains by health care companies led U.S. stock indexes mostly higher Tuesday, pushing the market further into record territory.

White House says Fed search down to 5 finalists

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says President Donald Trump has narrowed his search for the next Federal Reserve chairman to five final candidates. A decision is expected before the president begins a trip to Asia on Nov. 3.

US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

LONDON (AP) — Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life.

US industrial production rose solid 0.3 percent in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production rose a solid 0.3 percent in September, but the increase was limited due to the lingering damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump's wealth, ranking fall in latest Forbes 400 list

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump's ranking in the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans has dropped, as the magazine said the value of some of his Manhattan real estate holdings has declined recently.

Trump to call families of slain soldiers, questions Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday will call the families of four soldiers killed this month in Niger, the White House says, as Trump again casts doubt on whether his predecessor appropriately consoled the families of military personnel who died in war.

Trump, McConnell make a show of unity, despite tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have reaffirmed their alliance of necessity in a raucous Rose Garden news conference that also underscored their sharp differences. The garrulous president claimed they were longtime friends, now closer than ever; the reserved Senate Republican leader allowed that they share goals and speak often.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 16
STATEWIDE

Democrat Bredesen confirms interest in Tennessee Senate race

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the last Democrat to win a statewide race in Tennessee, is considering a bid to succeed retiring Republican Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.

Ruby Tuesday chain to be taken private in $146 million deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Ruby Tuesday is being acquired for about $146 million in a deal that will take the struggling chain private.

TECHNOLOGY

Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device.

COURTS

Supreme Court to consider American Express fee dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up an appeal by 11 states that argue American Express violated antitrust laws by barring merchants from asking customers to use other credit cards that charge lower fees.

Justices to hear government's email dispute with Microsoft

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is intervening in a digital-age privacy dispute between the Trump administration and Microsoft over emails stored abroad.

HEALTH CARE

Collins: Trump should back effort to resume health subsidy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key moderate Republican is urging President Donald Trump to support a bipartisan Senate effort to reinstate insurer payments, calling his move to halt the subsidies an immediate threat to millions of Americans who could now face rising premiums and lost health care coverage.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes post slight gains, extending winning streak

U.S. stocks posted modest gains Monday, extending a record-setting run into a sixth straight week.

Source: Trump to meet with Yellen to discuss Fed job

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to discuss the possibility of a second term as head of the central bank, according to a source familiar with the administration's Fed search.

Nordstrom puts the hunt for a buyer on hold.

NEW YORK (AP) — Nordstrom is halting, at least temporarily, the hunt for a buyer, sending shares down sharply at the opening bell Monday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

EU backs Iran deal, urges US Congress to protect it

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign ministers on Monday backed the Iran nuclear agreement, saying the accord is working and is a key part of non-proliferation efforts despite U.S. President Donald Trump withdrawing his support for it.

White House: $4,000 more for families with business tax cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — By slashing corporate tax rates, the Trump administration said Monday, the average U.S. household will get an estimated $4,000 more a year.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's tax plan is far from the biggest ever

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump presented a distorted picture of his tax plan this past week and claimed he was trying to keep the Obama health law's insurance markets afloat even as he took steps that could well sink them.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
SPORTS

Girard gets first NHL goal, Predators beat Stars 4-1

NASHVILLE (AP) — Samuel Girard is making a big first impression. Girard scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country star Jason Aldean resumes tour after Vegas shooting

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Country star Jason Aldean brought the party back Thursday in his return to the stage following the deadly mass shooting that broke out while he was performing in Las Vegas, but the fun was tempered by the sting of the tragedy.

Fans in low places: Sound woes mar Garth Brooks stadium show

ATLANTA (AP) — Fans at the first big concert at Atlanta's gleaming new sports arena say a screeching sound made it impossible to hear country music star Garth Brooks' lyrics — even though they knew all the words to his songs.

CMT changes award show format after Vegas shooting

NASHVILLE (AP) — CMT is forgoing formal award presentations during this year's Artists of the Year show and devoting the entire live show to "a night of hope and healing through the power of music" following a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM to shut Detroit factory for 5 weeks to control inventory

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors plans to shutter a Detroit car factory for five weeks, laying off 1,500 workers as it tries to keep inventory under control.

STATEWIDE

School board in Tennessee votes to keep LGBT protections

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee county's school board has voted to keep protections for LGBT students and employees in place.

HEALTH CARE

Many states, consumers alarmed by Trump's health care order

President Donald Trump's decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that lowered out-of-pocket medical costs brought swift reaction Friday from the states, as health officials and consumers said they feared the action could chase millions of Americans away from coverage.

Trump to issue stop-payment order on health care subsidies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a move likely to roil America's insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to persuade Congress to unravel for months.

Calling it a beginning, Trump signs health care order

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump directed his administration Thursday to rewrite federal rules so consumers can have wider access to health insurance plans featuring lower premiums. He called his new executive order a "beginning" and promised more actions to come.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Gains for tech help US stocks higher, but insurers skid

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Friday to wrap up a subdued week, and technology companies did most of the heavy lifting. Investors were also pleased to see that shoppers spent more money in September.

US businesses boosted stockpiles 0.7 percent in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in August by the most in nine months, a sign of solid confidence in future demand.

Storms surge and US retail sales surge; most in 2.5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending at retailers last month by the most in two and a half years, driven by strong auto sales as residents of hurricane-ravaged areas replaced destroyed cars.

Energy surge sends US consumer prices up 0.5 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to spike around the country.

Here comes earnings season: Brace for a slowdown in growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Earnings reporting season is getting underway, and Wall Street is getting ready to be underwhelmed.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump to nominate climate doubter as environmental adviser

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will nominate a climate change skeptic with ties to the fossil fuel industry to serve as a top environmental adviser.

Officials: Trump will scorn but not bolt from Iran nuke deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will say Friday the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in U.S. national security interests, but he won't withdraw from the landmark 2015 accord or immediately re-impose sanctions against Tehran, according to U.S. officials and outside advisers to the administration.

Social Security benefits to rise by 2 percent in 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Social Security recipients and other retirees will get a 2 percent increase in benefits next year. It's the largest increase since 2012 but comes to only $25 a month for the average beneficiary.

Ryan blames high-tax states as GOP lawmakers balk on plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday lambasted high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey, arguing the rest of the country is "propping up profligate, big-government states" even as they pay billions more in taxes than they receive in return from the federal government.

Calling it a beginning, Trump signs health care order

WASHINGTON (AP) — Frustrated by health care failures in Congress, President Donald Trump directed his administration Thursday to rewrite some federal insurance rules as a beginning of renewed efforts to undermine "Obamacare," the program he's promised to kill.

Facebook's Sandberg favors release of Russia-linked ads

NEW YORK (AP) — A top Facebook executive says ads linked to Russia trying to influence the U.S. presidential election should "absolutely" be released to the public, along with information on whom the ads were targeting.