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VOL. 45 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 19, 2021

Another COVID toll: $2 billion for funeral costs

Tennesseans wary of vaccinations, open to FEMA burial assistance

Pulverized homes, splintered trees and decimated buildings over a mile-long debris trail. Scorched earth or waist-high floodwaters. Those images of natural disasters come to mind when the Federal Emergency Management Agency rushes in the help Americans in times of need.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Thanksgiving has good claim for top US holiday

As the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving approaches, I suggest that maybe the annual celebration should be recognized as America’s top holiday. Ahead even of Christmas, the perennial No. 1.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

How can sales decline 7% in red-hot housing market?

The late George Carlin was a comedian who enjoyed wordplay and dissecting the English language. In particular, he often examined phrases used in everyday language that, if taken literally, would have a completely different meaning.

Local Weather
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Wind: from the Northwest at 15.0 gusting to 25.3 mph
Humidity: 77%

EVENTS

Williamson County Real Estate Summit. Speakers: Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Williamson County Residential Real Estate panel and conversation, moderated by Bo Patten, CEO of the Williamson County Association of Realtors. Retail trends and the future of the Factory at Franklin, Elam Freeman, founder and principal, Ojas Partners. State of Commercial Real Estate, moderated by Elizabeth McCreary, Williamson, Inc. chief economic development officer. Virginia Springs II, 5501 Virginia Way, Brentwood. Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $55 members, $65 non-members, $750 Company table of 10. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County commercial sales for October 2021

Top commercial real estate sales, October 2021, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Simmons is the big one Titans didn’t let get away

Titans general manager Jon Robinson did not hesitate to draft Jeffery Simmons in the 2019 NFL draft, even after he had fallen down the draft boards.

‘Super confident’ Titan defense getting job done

Sometimes the Titans defense looks great – as it did against the Chiefs and the Rams.

Texans at Titans: What to watch

The Titans have been finding ways to win while losing players – some of them marquee names like Derrick Henry and Julio Jones. Tennessee now owns the NFL’s longest active win streak at six games and will have to make sure they don’t put things on cruise control at home Sunday against the lowly Houston Texans.

Titans rule out Dupree, Davis among 7 out against Texans

NASHVILLE (AP) — Linebacker Bud Dupree is among seven Titans ruled out for Sunday's game with the Houston Texans.

NEWSMAKERS

Connell named fellow for two attorney groups

Virginia (Ginger) J. Connell has been accepted as a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the Nashville Bar Foundation.

BRIEFS

LifePoint Health launches 25m Health incubator

LifePoint Health has announced a joint venture with New York-based venture studio 25madison and Apollo Global Management that will be seeded initially with $20 million to launch 25m Health, a first-of-its-kind health tech startup incubator in Nashville.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Tesla has competition with Volkswagen ID.4

Introduced for 2021, the Volkswagen ID.4 is the German automaker’s first all-electric SUV and part of a new wave of electric vehicles for American consumers. It boasts a spacious interior and styling that’s futuristic but not too futuristic.

PERSONAL FINANCE

How to talk money with your parents this holiday

Holiday gatherings may present an opportunity to talk to your parents about important money issues, including estate planning or long-term care. The need to discuss this stuff might feel particularly acute if you don’t see your folks often or these are the first holidays you’ll be together since the pandemic started.

CAREER CORNER

Workers are own CEOs during ‘Great Resignation’

Until recently, we never would have guessed that there would be anything called the Great Resignation. But here we are. It feels like everyone is looking for a new job – in every industry – all at the same time.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Four reasons to shop Small Business Saturday

When you think about holiday shopping, your mind probably goes to big-box retailers before your neighborhood bookstore or antique shop. But in a time marked by widespread supply chain disruptions and inflation, underdog small businesses deserve our attention.

PREDATORS

Trenin snaps tie in 3rd period, Predators top Ducks 3-2

NASHVILLE (AP) — Yakov Trenin scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and had an assist, Ryan Johansen added a goal and an assist, and the Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Monday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Gov. Lee to chair Tennessee 'right to work' amendment push

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee will serve as the chairman of a campaign to put Tennessee's law prohibiting a company and a union from requiring workers to pay union dues or fees into the state Constitution.

Gov. Lee backs signing bill aide said violates US law

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's governor on Monday stood by his decision to sign sprawling limits on COVID-19 restrictions into law, even though his own office warned the bill would violate federal disability law and put the state at risk of losing federal funds.

EDUCATION

Tennessee fraternity gets 5-year suspension for hazing, alcohol

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The oldest fraternity chapter at the University of Tennessee has been suspended for five years over repeated hazing and alcohol violations, the university says.

Meharry gives students Thanksgiving $10K

NASHVILLE (AP) — A historically Black medical college in Tennessee is giving students an early Thanksgiving gift — $10,000 in cash.

COURTS

Jury holds pharmacies responsible for role in opioid crisis

CLEVELAND (AP) — CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies recklessly distributed massive amounts of pain pills in two Ohio counties, a federal jury said Tuesday in a verdict that could set the tone for U.S. city and county governments that want to hold pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis.

Tennessee panel considering 11 Supreme Court applicants

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments will meet next month to select nominees for the Tennessee Supreme Court.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple says it is suing Israeli hacker-for-hire company

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tech giant Apple announced Tuesday it is suing Israel's NSO Group, seeking to block the world's most infamous hacker-for-hire company from breaking into Apple's products, like the iPhone.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

The Santa experience this year is a mix of laps, distancing

NEW YORK (AP) — Santa is back this year, but he pleads caution as he continues to tiptoe through the pandemic.

WHO Europe warns of possible surge in COVID deaths ahead

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization's Europe office says projections show its 53-country region could face another 700,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic by next spring, topping 2 million in total.

Is travel safe during the pandemic this holiday season?

Is travel safe during the pandemic this holiday season?

How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cadell Walker rushed to get her 9-year-old daughter Solome vaccinated against COVID-19 — not just to protect her but to help stop the coronavirus from spreading and spawning even more dangerous variants.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end mixed, oil prices rise despite release of crude

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Tuesday after a day of wobbly trading.

Fighting gas prices, US to release 50 million barrels of oil

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from America's strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming nations, including India, the United Kingdom and China.

Publix, Winn-Dixie limit some Thanksgiving items

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Two Florida-based grocery chains are limiting the number of items sold to customers ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday.

US sues to halt sugar merger, says it would harm competition

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block a major U.S. sugar manufacturer from acquiring its rival, arguing that allowing the deal would harm competition and consumers.

Best Buy shares tumble on theft, supply constraints

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co.'s shares tumbled Tuesday after the nation's largest consumer electronics chain posted a decline in gross profit margin for the fiscal third quarter, citing organized theft and increased promotions compared to a year ago.

Fed's Powell will aim to win a high-stakes bet in 2nd term

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gambled last year that his ultra-low rate policies would help revive an economy that had sunk deep into a pandemic-induced recession. So far, his bet has mostly paid off.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Alex Jones, Roger Stone subpoenaed by House Jan. 6 committee

WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to five more individuals, including former President Donald Trump's ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as lawmakers deepened their probe of the rallies that preceded the deadly attack.

Florida man spotted with Nancy Pelosi lectern pleads guilty

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida man photographed carrying a lectern belonging to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection pleaded guilty Monday for his part in the riot.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans have lots to clean up after ugly end to win streak

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans' six-game winning streak is over. The resilience, determination and fight shown through that stretch keeps them a contender even after a sloppy loss.

Too many Titans' mistakes end winning streak at 6 straight

NASHVILLE (AP) — The end of the Tennessee Titans' six-game winning streak comes down to a simple number: Five.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Two added to board overseeing Ford plant site

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has selected two people for a new government panel that oversees the site where Ford plans to establish a massive electric vehicle and battery complex.

COURTS

Tennessee wins Supreme Court water fight with Mississippi

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court on Monday rejected a claim that the Memphis, Tennessee, area has been taking water that belongs to Mississippi from an underground aquifer that sits beneath parts of both states.

REAL ESTATE

October existing home sales hit fastest pace since January

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes ticked higher in October, marking their strongest annual pace since January even as competition for relatively few properties on the market pushed prices higher.

HEALTH CARE

Harris announces $1.5B investment in health care workforce

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday that the Biden administration is investing $1.5 billion from the coronavirus aid package to address the health care worker shortage in underserved communities.

ENVIRONMENT

Amazon to cut down plastic packaging in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Amazon says it plans to cut the use of plastic packaging in Germany following complaints that the online retailer is contributing to growing mountains of waste.

Coal-fired power plants to close after new wastewater rule

Climate change isn't what's driving some U.S. coal-fired power plants to shut down. It's the expense of stricter pollution controls on their wastewater.

TRANSPORTATION

FAA proposes fines for alcohol-related incidents on planes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials said Monday they are seeking more than $160,000 in fines from eight airline passengers over incidents involving alcohol.

American, JetBlue ask court to toss US lawsuit against deal

BOSTON (AP) — American Airlines and JetBlue Airways asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss a government lawsuit aimed at blocking a deal that lets the two airlines cooperate on service in the Northeast.

MEDIA

WhatsApp pushes privacy update to comply with Irish ruling

LONDON (AP) — WhatsApp is adding more details to its privacy policy and flagging that information for European users, after Irish regulators slapped the chat service with a record fine for breaching strict EU data privacy rules.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Is travel safe during the pandemic this holiday season?

Is travel safe during the pandemic this holiday season?

EU considers booster doses of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Medicines Agency says it is evaluating whether to authorize booster doses of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

Official: More than 90% of fed workers got shots by deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 90% of federal workers received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday's deadline set by President Joe Biden.

GOP embraces natural immunity as substitute for vaccines

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republicans fighting President Joe Biden's coronavirus vaccine mandates are wielding a new weapon against the White House rules: natural immunity.

New hurdle for COVID-19 home testing -- the holiday season

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more home tests for COVID-19 are hitting store shelves, but will there be enough for Americans hoping to screen themselves before holiday gatherings?

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

A late afternoon slump leaves major US indexes mostly lower

A late drop robbed the S&P 500 of another record high on Wall Street Monday and left major indexes mostly lower after being up for much of the day.

Bezos makes gifts to Obama foundation, NYU medical center

Former President Barack Obama's foundation announced Monday that it has received a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which it says is the largest individual contribution it has received to date.

Biden to keep Powell as Fed chair, Brainard gets vice chair

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday he is nominating Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing his stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed's ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market.

Yes, there are turkeys for Thanksgiving – for a price

Turkeys may not be able to fly very far. But their prices can soar — along with the costs of other holiday staples like cranberry sauce and pie filling.

Target to keep stores closed on Thanksgiving going forward

NEW YORK (AP) — Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Dems confident on methane fee as budget bill moves to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic plan to impose a fee on methane emissions from oil and gas wells has cleared a key hurdle, but it faces strong opposition from the oil and gas industry and criticism by centrist Sen. Joe Manchin.


FRIDAY, NOVEMER 19
STATE GOVERNMENT

Gov. Lee's aide warned legislators new COVID law is illegal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's office warned lawmakers that their sprawling bill limiting COVID-19 restrictions would violate federal law that protects people with disabilities and put the state at risk of losing federal funds, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

COURTS

California man gets prison for Bitcoin money laundering

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for operating an unlicensed business that exchanged at least $13 million in Bitcoin and cash, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Texas abortion ban stays in force as justices mull outcome

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two weeks have passed since the Supreme Court's extraordinarily rushed arguments over Texas' unique abortion law without any word from the justices.

Death sentence removed over inmate's mental disability claim

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee inmate will no longer face execution over the slayings of a mother and daughter more than 30 years ago because of claims that he is intellectually disabled, a prosecutor announced Thursday.

MEDIA

State attorneys general probing Instagram's effects on kids

A group of state attorneys general are investigating the photo-sharing platform Instagram and its effects on children and young adults, saying its parent company Facebook — now called Meta Platforms — ignored internal research about the physical and mental health dangers it posed to young people.

ENVIRONMENT

Work starting on 1st commercial-scale US offshore wind farm

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday to mark the groundbreaking of the Vineyard Wind 1 project, the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.

Biden administration acts to restore clean-water safeguards

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration took action Thursday to restore federal protections for hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, undoing a Trump-era rule that was considered one of that administration's hallmark environmental rollbacks.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US advisers support expanding COVID boosters to all adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays.

FDA official explains decision on 'simplified' booster shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's booster campaign got a lot simpler Friday after Food and Drug Administration officials authorized extra shots of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all adults.

Virus surge worsens in Midwest as states expand boosters

A surge in cases in the Upper Midwest has some Michigan schools keeping students at home ahead of Thanksgiving and the military sending medical teams to Minnesota to relieve hospital staffs overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

Austria to enter lockdown, make COVID-19 jabs mandatory

VIENNA (AP) — Austria will go into a national lockdown to contain a fourth wave of coronavirus cases, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced Friday, as new COVID-19 infections hit a record high amid a pandemic surge across Europe.

Scientists mystified, wary, as Africa avoids COVID disaster

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — At a busy market in a poor township outside Harare this week, Nyasha Ndou kept his mask in his pocket, as hundreds of other people, mostly unmasked, jostled to buy and sell fruit and vegetables displayed on wooden tables and plastic sheets. As in much of Zimbabwe, here the coronavirus is quickly being relegated to the past, as political rallies, concerts and home gatherings have returned.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end mostly lower, but tech gains push Nasdaq higher

Wall Street closed out a week of choppy trading with stocks mostly lower Friday, though gains for several tech companies pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record high and its first close over 16,000 points.

Two Democratic senators oppose Powell as Fed chair

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Democratic senators said Friday that they oppose the nomination of Jerome Powell to a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve, saying Powell has been insufficiently committed to fighting climate change, an issue that the world's central banks are increasingly confronting.

Europe's central banker: Not adding to pinch with rate hike

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank warned that high oil and gas prices are hitting consumers in the 19 countries that use the euro harder than in other major economies and underlined that the bank won't add to the squeeze by raising interest rates anytime soon.

Japan Cabinet OKs record stimulus package to fix economy

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Cabinet approved on Friday a record 56 trillion yen ($490 billion) stimulus package, including cash handouts and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy out of the doldrums worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

House OKs $2T social, climate bill in Biden win; Senate next

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fractious House handed President Joe Biden a marquee victory Friday by approving a roughly $2 trillion social and environment bill, as Democrats cast aside disputes that for months had stalled the measure and hampered efforts to sell their priorities to voters.

What's inside Biden's $2T social and climate measure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's roughly $2 trillion plan to boost social and education programs as well as protect against global warming has passed the House, pushing it one step closer to law.

Goal in sight, Democrats confront need to sell agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — Polls show that a strong majority of Democrats — and a majority of the American public — support the broad priorities of the roughly $2 trillion social and environmental spending bill that the House approved Friday. Democratic lawmakers predict that President Joe Biden's bill, once enacted, will be "transformational" for the country.

Biden to nominate 2 for US Postal board, oust DeJoy allies

President Joe Biden announced plans Friday to nominate two new members to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, a potential first step in removing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

In hourslong rant, GOP's 'angry' McCarthy stalls Biden bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Part political performance, part stall tactic, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy unleashed a long, rambling and vitriolic speech overnight, seizing control of the House floor and preempting passage of President Joe Biden's big domestic policy bill.

Biden praises Canada, Mexico as leaders discuss strains

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reviving three-way North American summitry after a five-year break, President Joe Biden on Thursday joined with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to declare their nations can work together and prove "democracies can deliver" even as they sort out differences on key issues.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18
MUSIC INDUSTRY

ACM Awards get NFL stadium upgrade in 2022 on Amazon Prime

The Academy of Country Music awards show is getting a NFL-sized upgrade next year as it moves to a new home at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on March 7.

Rapper Young Dolph fatally shot at Memphis cookie shop

MEMPHIS (AP) — Rapper Young Dolph, widely admired in the hip-hop community for his authenticity and fierce independence, was shot and killed Wednesday inside a beloved local cookie shop in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, authorities said.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans receiver Brown shares battle with depression

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown seemed to have everything going his way in 2020, having his best season yet in the NFL on the way to earning his first Pro Bowl honor.

Winning only stat important to Titans QB Ryan Tannehill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ryan Tannehill fumbled and immediately dove toward the ground, trying to grab the ball back only to be beaten by his teammate, receiver A.J. Brown.

SPORTS

Tennessee Smokies to return to Knoxville after 2 decades

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team will return to Knoxville after a two-decade absence thanks to an agreement among local officials to help fund a new stadium, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee gov apeals to officers resisting vaccine mandates

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Republican governor has sought to capitalize on rising law enforcement tensions with city leaders surrounding COVID-19 vaccine mandates, offering to help pay unvaccinated out-of-state officers to relocate and join the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Tennessee lawmakers' 3-day COVID special session cost $136K

NASHVILLE (AP) — A three-day special session of the state legislature that placed limits on what governments and businesses can do to address the COVID-19 pandemic cost the state $136,643, The Tennessean reported.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee to halt most lane closures for Thanksgiving travel

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are halting nearly all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state highways for Thanksgiving holiday travelers.

COURTS

Tennessee lawyer nominated to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

MEMPHIS (AP) — President Joe Biden has nominated a Tennessee lawyer to serve on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Couple's $86M award in Monsanto pesticide case stands

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's highest court rejected on Wednesday a challenge by Monsanto Co.'s to $86.2 million in damages to a couple who developed cancer after spraying the company's Roundup weed-killer in their yards for three decades.

EDUCATION

New laws steer some teachers away from race-related topics

NASHVILLE (AP) — New measures that restrict how race is addressed in classrooms have spread confusion and anxiety among many educators, who in some cases have begun pulling books and canceling lessons for fear of being penalized.

HEALTH CARE

US overdose deaths topped 100,000 in one year, officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in one year, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply.

MEDIA

Independent websites team to boost rural journalism

NEW YORK (AP) — Several independent websites are joining forces to create a network for news about rural America, hoping to fill a void created in areas hit hard by the shrinking media industry of the past two decades.

TECHNOLOGY

SpaceX's Musk: 1st Starship test flight to orbit in January

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Wednesday that his company will attempt to launch its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship to orbit in January, but he's not betting on success for that first test flight.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Pfizer, US ink $5.29B deal for possible COVID-19 treatment

The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Pfizer $5.29 billion for 10 million treatment courses of its potential COVID-19 treatment if regulators authorize it, the nation's largest purchase agreement yet for a coronavirus therapy.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks wobble to mixed close as investors review earnings

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Thursday as investors reviewed the latest earnings reports from retailers and an update on the employment market.

Pressure on Fed's Powell is rising as inflation worsens

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell surely expected to have some breathing room after taking the first step this month to dial back the Fed's emergency aid for the economy.

Biden aims to limit turnover among federal contract workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is signing an executive order Thursday aimed at limiting turnover for federal service contract workers by offering them right of first refusal when a contract changes hands.

GOP paints Biden's choice for bank regulator as radical

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's choice to become one of the top banking regulators endured a contentious nomination hearing Thursday, with Republican senators warning she would nationalize the U.S. banking system and Democrats saying she's eminently qualified and would be tough overseer of Wall Street.

CVS Health to close hundreds of drugstores over next 3 years

CVS Health will close hundreds of drugstores over the next three years, as the health care giant adjusts to changing customer needs and converts to new store formats.

U.S. jobless claims drop seventh straight week to 268,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh straight week to a pandemic low of 268,000.

Macy's, Kohl's post strong results heading into holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — Department store chains Macy's and Kohl's delivered strong results for the fiscal third quarter as shoppers go back to buying dresses and other goods that fell to the bottom of the shopping list when the pandemic struck.

Deere workers approve 3rd contract offer, will end strike

DETROIT (AP) — Deere & Co. workers approved a new contract Wednesday that will deliver 10% raises immediately and end a monthlong strike for more than 10,000 employees.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

White House offering more aid for winter heat, utility bills

The Biden administration is taking steps to help distribute several billion dollars in aid for winter heating and utility bills, an unprecedented sum that comes largely from its $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Divided House debates Dems' expansive social, climate bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided House finally launched debate Thursday on Democrats' expansive social and environment bill, with party leaders hoping that cost estimates expected from Congress' top fiscal analyst would nail down moderate lawmakers' votes and allow passage by week's end.

Biden, Trudeau to discuss electric vehicle dispute at summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden kicked off the North American Leaders Summit on Thursday with a one-on-one meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling their two countries' relationship one of the easiest in the early going of his presidency.

Justice Dept. grant awards $139M to hire 1,000 new officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is giving $139 million to police departments across the U.S. as part of a grant program that would bring on more than 1,000 new officers.

Review says Pentagon reacted appropriately to Jan. 6 riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — An independent review has concluded that the Defense Department and its top leaders acted appropriately before and during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, despite sharp criticism from some local and congressional leaders that the military did not respond quick enough as protesters breached the building.

House censures Rep. Gosar for violent video in rare rebuke

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for posting an animated video that depicted him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword, an extraordinary rebuke that highlighted the political strains testing Washington and the country.

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