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VOL. 45 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 1, 2021

Tennesseans go all-in for online sports betting

State’s bettors set first-month U.S. record at $131.4M

The COVID-19 pandemic that impacted every facet of life in Tennessee this year also slowed the debut of online sports gambling across the state – but not the enthusiasm of bettors.

Report: TN economy to grow, uncertainty remains in 2021

Expect positive economic growth in Tennessee in 2021 but it may be rocky and somewhat sporadic as the state digs out of the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Supply suddenly chasing demand as 2021 arrives

The market showed no signs of slowing as houses continued to close right up until Christmas Day and then the cycle began again on the 28th. One of the more surprising developments was the number of homes that were listed last week and the exorbitant listing volume that hit the Multiple Listing service this week.

Local Weather
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TENNESSEE TITANS

Snow joke: It’s down to finale again for Titans

Must win at Texas to guarantee playoff berth

Titans safety Kevin Byard isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to describing the defense’s poor play this season.

Surely Titans can clinch AFC South vs. lowly Texans, right?

For all the talk about locking up a playoff berth early and not having to fight and scramble just to get to the postseason, here are the Tennessee Titans once again having to win in Week 17 to nail down a playoff berth.

NEWSMAKERS

Bradley hires Krause as senior adviser for 2 groups

Mike Krause is joining Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP’s Nashville office as a senior adviser in Bradley’s Government Affairs and Economic Development practice groups.

BRIEFS

Bridgestone, Predators reach helmet logo deal

Bridgestone Americas and the Nashville Predators have agreed to a deal establishing Bridgestone as the team’s first-ever helmet entitlement partner. The deal will place Bridgestone’s iconic “B Mark” logo on the team’s home and away helmets for the entire 2020-21 season.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Ford F-150 vs. Ram 1500: Picking pickup for 2021

The Ford F-150 has long been the pickup truck to beat, not to mention the top-selling vehicle of any kind in the country. But Fiat Chrysler Automobiles took many by surprise when it introduced the tech-savvy Ram 1500 pickup truck in 2018 for the 2019 model year.

PERSONAL FINANCE

How young drivers can steer clear of costly car insurance

Insurance costs for drivers in their early 20s can be staggering. After teenagers, young adults have some of the highest car insurance rates in the country.

CAREER CORNER

2020 worksite changes might not fade away

The New Year is finally here. We’ve been waiting for 2021 since Friday, March 13, 2020. That was the day that it became apparent that a pandemic was going to be a big part of 2020.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Right, wrong ways to discuss family finances in crisis

With 10.7 million Americans out of work as of November 2020 – and 3.9 million of those workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more – many have been forced into having tough money conversations as a result of the pandemic.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Kentucky wins 2nd straight, holds off Vanderbilt 77-74

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Olivier Sarr scored 24 points, Davion Mintz made the game-winning 3-pointer with 47 seconds left and Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 77-74 on Tuesday night for its ninth-straight win against the Commodores.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Neil Young becomes latest artist to sell stake in his songs

NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Young has become the latest musician to strike gold with his song catalogue, selling a 50 percent stake in his music to a British investment company in a deal announced on Wednesday.

NASHVILLE AREA

Amazon pledges $2B for affordable housing in Nashville, 2 other cities

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon has announced $2 billion in loans and grants to secure affordable housing in three U.S. cities where it has major operations, including a Seattle suburb where the online retail giant employs at least 5,000 workers.

NASHVILLE BOMBING

More than a week later, FBI avoids terror label for Nashville bombing

NASHVILLE (AP) — The FBI investigation into whether the Nashville bombing was a terrorist act has sparked criticism about a possible racial double standard and drawn questions from downtown business owners whose insurance coverage could be affected by the bureau's assessment.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee announces COVID-19 vaccine eligibility tool

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials have set up an online tool that helps people figure out when they will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

HEALTH CARE

UnitedHealth paying nearly $8B for Nashville's technology company Change

UnitedHealth Group will spend nearly $8 billion in cash to add a health care technology company to its growing Optum business.

Walgreens to sell drug wholesale business for $6.5B

Walgreens Boots Alliance will sell its pharmaceutical wholesale business to AmerisourceBergen in $6.5 billion cash and stock deal.

ENVIRONMENT

Judge allows oil, gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic refuge

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt an oil and gas lease sale for Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that was pushed by the Trump administration in its final days.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US gas mileage down, emissions up for first time in 5 years

DETROIT (AP) — A new government report says gas mileage for new vehicles dropped and pollution increased in model year 2019 for the first time in five years.

GM sales down 11.9%, Nissan 33.2% for 2020

DETROIT (AP) — Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. fell 14.6% last year, but a second-half rebound from a coronavirus-related plunge in the spring kindled optimism for a recovery later this year.

TECHNOLOGY

Justice Department, federal court system hit by Russian hack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department and the federal court system disclosed on Wednesday that they were among the dozens of U.S. government agencies and private businesses compromised by a massive cyberespionage campaign  that U.S. officials have linked to elite Russia hackers.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

CVS, Walgreens to deliver vaccines by Jan 25

The drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens both said Wednesday that they expect to finish delivering the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses at nursing homes on schedule by January 25.

Governors scramble to speed vaccine effort after slow start

New York's governor is threatening to fine hospitals that don't use their allotment of COVID-19 vaccine fast enough. His South Carolina counterpart says health care workers have until Jan. 15 to get a shot or move to the back of the line. California's governor wants to use dentists to vaccinate people.

Fauci: US could soon give 1 million vaccinations a day

The U.S. could soon be giving at least a million COVID-19 vaccinations a day despite the sluggish start, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday, even as he warned of a dangerous next few weeks as the coronavirus surges.

EU agency approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Union's medicines agency gave the green light Wednesday to Moderna Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that gives the 27-nation bloc a second vaccine to use in the desperate battle to tame the virus rampaging across the continent.

UK leader to use 'every second' to vaccinate the vulnerable

LONDON (AP) — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged that his government would use "every available second" to shield the elderly and the vulnerable from the virus rampaging across Britain as he told Parliament on Wednesday why the country needed to return to a COVID-19 lockdown.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks rally despite protests on hopes for Senate turnover

Wall Street rallied Wednesday on expectations of more stimulus for the economy, although the enthusiasm was dampened by chaotic scenes in Washington as pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Fed supported advance notice before changing bond purchases

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month supported providing advance notice before the central bank makes changes to its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases.

China criticizes US order against dealing with Chinese apps

BEIJING (AP) — China's government on Wednesday accused Washington of misusing national security as an excuse to hurt commercial competitors after President Donald Trump signed an order banning transactions with payment services Alipay and WeChat Pay and six other apps.

Germany: Big companies must put women on management boards

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Cabinet on Wednesday approved legislation that will require large companies to put at least one woman on their management boards.

ELECTION 2020

Warnock, Ossoff win in Georgia, handing Dems Senate control

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrats won both Georgia Senate seats — and with them, the U.S. Senate majority — as final votes were counted Wednesday, serving President Donald Trump a stunning defeat in his last days in office while dramatically improving the fate of President-elect Joe Biden's progressive agenda.

EXPLAINER: How Democrats won Georgia's 2 Senate runoffs

The Associated Press on Wednesday declared Democrat Jon Ossoff the winner of his U.S. Senate runoff election, the second such seat captured by the party in twin contests that were held in Georgia on Tuesday.

Warnock makes history with Senate win as Dems near majority

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia's two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state's history and putting the Senate majority within the party's reach.

'Only in America': Warnock's rise from poverty to US senator

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Raphael Warnock's roots showed little promise of a future that led to the U.S. Senate.

AP VoteCast: Warnock relied on Black and young voters to win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgia's Senate runoff elections were a clash of two closely matched coalitions, with Democrat Raphael Warnock edging out his rival in the one-time Republican stronghold.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump supporters storm US Capitol, lawmakers evacuated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Trump doesn't ask backers to disperse after storming Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump encouraged supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday in protest of his reelection defeat to "remain peaceful," but he did not call for them to disperse.

Biden to name judge Merrick Garland attorney general

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has selected Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge who in 2016 was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court, as his attorney general, two people familiar with the selection process said Wednesday.

Pence defies Trump, says he can't reject electoral votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that he does not have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20.

Republicans raise first objection in Congress to Biden win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers mounted their first official challenge to Joe Biden's presidential election win Wednesday, objecting to state results from Arizona as they took up Donald Trump's relentless effort to overturn the election results in an extraordinary joint session of Congress.

EXPLAINER: How Congress will count Electoral College votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wednesday's congressional joint session to count electoral votes could drag late into the night as some Republicans plan to challenge Democrat Joe Biden's victory in at least six states.

GOP's Biden vote revolt is atypical challenge for McConnell

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks it's dangerous for his party to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's election triumph. But some Republicans are charging ahead anyway, and this time McConnell is facing dynamics he can't fully control.

Trump insists, falsely, that Pence can decertify results

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday tightened the screws on his most loyal soldier, pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to use powers he does not have to overturn the will of voters in a desperate, futile bid to undo President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

Thousands cheer Trump at rally protesting election results

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several thousand protesters cheered President Donald Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress' vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's false claims, fuel on a day of chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pressed his hopeless case for overturning the election to a crowd of supporters Wednesday, fueling the grievances of a mob that then stormed the Capitol and disrupted the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden's victory.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 5
UT SPORTS

Tennessee cornerback Bryce Thompson declares for NFL draft

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Bryce Thompson has declared early for the NFL draft, saying he feels ready for the challenge as he tries to fulfill his lifelong dream.

PREDATORS

Predators say it's time for more results, less conversation

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators insist they understand it's time to stop talking about producing on the ice and just get it done.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee virus deaths top 7,000 with surge predicted

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee topped 7,000 deaths from COVID-19 over the weekend as experts warned that a new surge could follow the Christmas holidays.

MIDSTATE

Doctor, chiropractors to pay $1.72M to settle fraud claims

NASHVILLE (AP) — A doctor and two chiropractors have agreed to pay $1.72 million for submitting false claims to Medicare and TennCare, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

EDUCATION

New literacy initiative launches in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Education hopes a new literacy initiative will help teachers and school districts reach struggling readers.

COURTS

After top staff exodus, Texas AG seeks $43M for Google suit

DALLAS (AP) — The mass exodus of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's top staff over accusations of bribery against their former boss has left the Republican seeking $43 million in public funds to replace some of them with outside lawyers to lead a high-profile antitrust lawsuit against Google.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ghosn asks why Japanese don't question him in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) — Former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said in an interview aired Monday that French investigators are coming to question him in Lebanon over some legal challenges in France, asking why don't the Japanese do the same thing.

TRANSPORTATION

American Airlines is grounding emotional-support animals

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines is banning emotional-support animals in a move that will force most owners to pay extra if they want their pets to travel with them.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

WHO 'disappointed' at Chinese delays letting experts in

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday that he is "disappointed" that Chinese officials haven't finalized permissions for the arrival of team of experts into China to examine origins of COVID-19.

Pandemic haunts new year as virus growth outpaces vaccines

LONDON (AP) — Despite growing vaccine access, January is looking grim around the globe as the coronavirus resurges and reshapes itself from Britain to Japan to California, filling hospitals and threatening livelihoods anew as governments lock down businesses and race to find solutions.

If I've already had the coronavirus, can I get it again?

If I've already had the coronavirus, can I get it again? It's possible, but such cases seem to be rare. Evidence is growing that people whose bodies mounted a strong defense to the virus are unlikely to test positive again for at least several months and maybe longer.

Just 1% of Californians immunized amid slow vaccine rollout

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Distribution hiccups and logistical challenges have slowed the initial coronavirus vaccine rollout in California, setting a pace that's "not good enough," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

It's lockdown No. 3 for England, at least six weeks at home

LONDON (AP) — England is entering a third national lockdown that will last at least six weeks, as authorities struggle to stem a surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals around the U.K.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks recoup some losses after sharp slide to start 2021

U.S. stocks are closing higher Tuesday, regaining their footing a day after suffering their worst loss in months amid the worsening pandemic and potentially market-moving Senate elections.

World Bank sees subdued recovery in 2021, plenty of risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economy will experience a subdued recovery this year from the devastating pandemic, the World Bank predicted Tuesday, but it warned that the near-term outlook is highly uncertain and growth could be imperiled if coronavirus infections and delays in the rollout of vaccines continue.

Some taxpayers find relief payments sent to wrong account

A number of taxpayers who use tax preparation services, such as H&R Block and TurboTax, say their second relief payments were sent to the incorrect bank account, forcing them to wait longer for their money.

US factories grew in December at fastest pace since mid-2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories grew in December at the fastest pace in more than two years as manufacturing continued to weather the pandemic better than the battered services sector.

Amazon's Bezos tops list of richest charitable gifts in 2020

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The world's richest person made the single-largest charitable contribution in 2020, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual list of top donations, a $10 billion gift that is intended to help fight climate change.

NYSE withdraws plans to delist 3 Chinese phone carriers

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Stock Exchange says it is withdrawing plans to remove shares of three Chinese state-owned phone carriers under an order by President Donald Trump.

Qatar ruler lands in Saudi Arabia for summit to end blockade

AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Qatar's ruling emir arrived in Saudi Arabia and was greeted with an embrace by its crown prince on Tuesday, following an announcement that the kingdom would end its yearslong embargo on the tiny Gulf Arab state.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US: Hack of federal agencies 'likely Russian in origin'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top national security agencies in a rare joint statement Tuesday confirmed that Russia was likely responsible for a massive hack of U.S. government departments and corporations, rejecting President Donald Trump's claim that China might be to blame.

Trump to speak at DC rally as Congress meets on election

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will personally address a gathering of his supporters in Washington Wednesday as he seeks to rally populist support for his last-ditch efforts to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

Georgia deciding US Senate control in election's final day

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians cast high-stakes final votes Tuesday in elections to determine the balance of power in the new Congress, deciding Senate runoff elections sure to shape President-elect Joe Biden's ability to enact what could be the most progressive governing agenda in generations.

Biden, Trump warn of high stakes of Georgia Senate runoffs

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday told Georgia Democrats they had the power to "chart the course" for a generation as President Donald Trump urged Republican voters to "swamp" the polls ahead of runoff elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Trump allies scrambling for strategy to overturn Biden win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers who are orchestrating an unprecedented attempt to overturn Joe Biden's  election win over President Donald Trump have not settled on a full strategy ahead of Wednesday's joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College  vote.

Loyal soldier Pence torn between Trump, Constitution

WASHINGTON (AP) — He has been President Donald Trump's most loyal soldier, dutifully backing the unpredictable leader through one chaotic situation after another.

EU says it will redouble efforts to save Iran nuclear deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Tuesday it would redouble its efforts to save the Iran nuclear agreement despite what it calls Tehran's "important breach" of commitments made in the 2015 deal by starting to enrich uranium to new levels.

EXPLAINER: Biden's Iran problem is getting worse by the day

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden has an Iran problem. And, it's getting more complicated by the day.


MONDAY, JANUARY 4
SPORTS

NCAA to play all 67 March Madness men's games in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA announced Monday that all 67 men's basketball tournament games including the Final Four will be played entirely in Indiana in a bid to keep the marquee event from being called off for a second consecutive year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

TENNESSEE TITANS

High-scoring Titans earned 1st home playoff game in 12 years

The Tennessee Titans are bringing their high-scoring ways and flair for last-second dramatics to the postseason.

ESPN using MegaCast for Titans-Ravens playoff game

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN's broadcast of Sunday's NFL playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans will receive the MegaCast treatment for the first time.

Henry passes 2K, Titans beat Texans 41-38 on late field goal

HOUSTON (AP) — Derrick Henry ran into the NFL record books with the best game of his career on Sunday.

Derrick Henry becomes 8th player with 2,000 yards rushing

HOUSTON (AP) — King Henry added another jewel to his crown.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Statehouses could prove to be hothouses for virus infection

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — As lawmakers around the U.S. convene this winter to deal with the crisis created by the pandemic, statehouses themselves could prove to be hothouses for infection.

COURTS

US appeals court upholds tossing of 3 Pilot convictions

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by prosecutors to restore the tossed convictions for the former president of Pilot Flying J and two of his former employees related to a rebate scheme to cheat trucking companies out of millions of dollars.

HEALTH CARE

Bid to address health costs by 3 corporate giants is over

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A health care venture conceived by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to attack soaring costs is dissolving.

REAL ESTATE

US construction spending increases solid 0.9% in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects increased 0.9% in November as strength in home building offset weakness in other parts of the construction industry.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot shareholders approve merger

MILAN (AP) — Shareholders of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot voted Monday to merge and create the world's fourth-largest auto company which, its architects hope, can more readily take on an enormous technological shift in the industry.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

UK prime minister orders new virus lockdown for England

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday a new national lockdown for England until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus, even as Britain ramped up its vaccination program by becoming the first nation to start using the shot developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca.

Vaccination campaign picks up speed around the world

The campaign to vanquish the coronavirus is picking up speed in places, with Britain beginning to dispense the second vaccine in its arsenal Monday. But authorities in France and elsewhere in Europe are coming under fire for slow rollouts and delays.

Fauci: Vaccinations are increasing in a 'glimmer of hope'

The U.S. ramped up COVID-19 vaccinations in the past few days after a slower-than-expected start, bringing the number of shots dispensed to about 4 million, government health officials said Sunday.

EU rejects criticism for slow vaccine rollout across bloc

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission defended its coronavirus vaccination strategy Monday amid growing criticism in member states about the slow rollout of COVID-19 shots across the region of 450 million inhabitants.

UK first in world to start using Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. on Monday became the first nation in the world to start using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca, ramping up a nationwide inoculation program as rising infection rates are putting an unprecedented strain on British hospitals.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks fall as trading starts for year of great expectations

U.S. stocks are closing lower Monday as big swings return to Wall Street to start a year when the dominant expectation is for a powerful economic rebound to sweep the world.

OPEC, allies adjourn meeting over oil production levels

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Members of the OPEC oil cartel and allied countries including Russia on Monday adjourned a meeting weighing whether to increase production further next month as the pandemic continues to sap demand for energy and create uncertainty about when recovery might come.

China's manufacturing recovery weakens in December

BEIJING (AP) — China's manufacturing activity improved in December but at its weakest rate in three months as the economy recovered from the coronavirus pandemic while its trading partners struggled with rising infections, according to two surveys.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Urging calm, DC mayor calls in National Guard for protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington, D.C.'s mayor urged calm Monday as some 340 National Guard troops were being activated while the city prepared for potentially violent protests surrounding Congress' expected vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

GA election officials reject Trump call to 'find' more votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to "find" enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state's presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud and raising the prospect of a "criminal offense" if officials did not change the vote count, according to a recording of the conversation.

Faith leaders urge Congress to honor election result

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 2,000 faith leaders and religious activists are calling on members of Congress to honor the result of November's election and avoid "a delayed and drawn out objection" this week when President-elect Joe Biden's win is set to be certified.

Trump rewarding allies Nunes, Jordan with Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to present one of the nation's highest civilian honors to two of his most outspoken congressional allies, California Rep. Devin Nunes and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, as he looks to reward loyalists with just over two weeks left in his term.

Trump, allies in desperate bid to undo Biden win at Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — With mounting desperation, President Donald Trump called on Republican lawmakers Monday to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when Congress convenes for a joint session this week to confirm the Electoral College  vote.

Trump's loyal fans pose challenges for Republicans, Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their candidate may have lost the election, but President Donald Trump's supporters have no intention of fading away. After spending weeks amplifying Trump's unfounded claims that the November election was rigged against him, many of his loyal fans are eagerly awaiting his next ventures, including a potential presidential run in 2024.

Extraordinary warning to Trump by 10 former Pentagon chiefs

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary rebuke of President Donald Trump, all 10 living former secretaries of defense are cautioning against any move to involve the military in pursuing claims of election fraud, arguing that it would take the country into "dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory."

Congress opens new session as virus, Biden's win dominate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress convened Sunday for the start of a new session, swearing in lawmakers during a tumultuous period as a growing number of Republicans work to overturn Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump and the coronavirus surges.

Pelosi narrowly reelected speaker, faces difficult two years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nancy Pelosi was narrowly reelected Sunday as speaker, giving her the reins of Democrats' slender House majority as she and President-elect Joe Biden set a challenging course of producing legislation to tackle the pandemic, revive the economy and address other party priorities.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans to honor Nashville 'resilience' following bombing

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have announced they will don helmet decals during their next Sunday game to honor Nashville's resilience following the Christmas Day bombing.

NASHVILLE BOMBING

Muted Nashville New Year's celebration nixes exploding 2020

NASHVILLE (AP) — In Nashville, the Christmas morning bombing of the downtown tourist district forced organizers of what was already slated to be a very muted New Year's celebration to dial it back even further.

Nashville bombing spotlights vulnerable voice, data networks

The Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville led to phone and data service outages and disruptions over hundreds of miles in the southern U.S., raising new concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. communications.

Police on report man was making bombs: 'Hindsight is 20/20'

NASHVILLE (AP) — More than a year before Anthony Warner detonated a Christmas Day bomb in downtown Nashville, officers visited his home after his girlfriend told police he was building bombs in a recreational vehicle at his residence, according to documents. But they did not make contact with him, or see inside his RV.

COURTS

Cities helping renters get right to lawyers in housing court

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic stretch into 2021, millions of U.S. renters are bracing for the possibility of having to show up in housing court to avoid getting evicted. But unlike their landlords, only a small fraction of them will do so flanked by an attorney.

MEDIA

Hedge fund Alden offers to buy Tribune, valuing it at $521M

Hedge fund Alden, Tribune's largest shareholder, has offered to buy the rest of the newspaper publisher at a price that values it at $520.6 million.

Calamity? Anomaly? 2020 was a box office year like no other

When the sun sets on the 2020 film box office, it'll be difficult to look at the numbers as anything but disastrous.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Daimler fines for slow recalls could reach $30 million

WASHINGTON (AP) — Failing to recall vehicles quickly enough could cost Daimler Trucks up to $30 million in fines and other costs.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Tennessee ends year with vaccine delays, high case counts

Tennessee is closing out a tumultuous year ranked first in the country for new COVID-19 cases per capita, record high hospitalizations and staggering death rates.

Race to vaccinate millions in US off to slow, messy start

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Terry Beth Hadler was so eager to get a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccination that the 69-year-old piano teacher stood in line overnight in a parking lot with hundreds of other senior citizens.

Biden inauguration to feature memorial for COVID victims

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is planning a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those killed by the coronavirus the day before he is sworn into office on Jan. 20.

2020 finally ending, but New Year's revelries muted by virus

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — This New Year's Eve is being celebrated like no other, with pandemic restrictions limiting crowds and many people bidding farewell to a year they'd prefer to forget.

China OKs 1st homegrown vaccine as COVID surges globally

BEIJING (AP) — China authorized its first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine for general use Thursday, adding another shot that could see wide use in poorer countries as the virus surges back around the globe.

Biden criticizes pace of vaccine rollout, vows to accelerate

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration Tuesday for the pace of distributing COVID-19 vaccines and predicted that "things will get worse before they get better" when it comes to the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P 500 closes at another record high as tumultuous 2020 ends

Wall Street closed out a tumultuous year for stocks with more record highs Thursday, a fitting coda to the market's stunning comeback from its historic plunge in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income, U.S. farmers are expected to end 2020 with higher profit than 2019 and the best net income in seven years, the Department of Agriculture said in its latest farm income forecast.

Jobless claims down 19,000, still 4 times pre-pandemic level

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 last week to still historically high 787,000 as a resurgent coronavirus grips the U.S. economy.

Trump push on $2K checks flops as GOP-led Senate won't vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but shut the door on President Donald Trump's push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, declaring Congress has provided enough pandemic aid as he blocked another attempt by Democrats to force a vote.

Xi hails China's economic growth despite pandemic setback

BEIJING (AP) — China has made major progress in developing its economy and eradicating rural poverty over the past year despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a New Year address Thursday.

Auld lang syne: New Year brings final UK-EU Brexit split

LONDON (AP) — Like a separated couple still living together, Britain and the European Union spent 2020 wrangling and wondering whether they can remain friends.

US bans second Malaysian palm oil giant over forced labor

The U.S. said it will ban all shipments of palm oil from one of the world's biggest producers after finding indicators of forced labor and other abuses on plantations that feed into the supply chains of some of America's most famous food and cosmetic companies.

Girl Scouts call on cookie bakers to address child labor

The Girl Scouts of the USA said Wednesday that child labor has no place in its iconic cookies and called on the two companies that bake them to act quickly to address any potential abuses linked to the palm oil in their supply chains.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Rare GOP rebuff of Trump in last days of chaotic Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is ending a chaotic session like few others, a two-year political firestorm that started with the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, was riven by impeachment and a pandemic, and now closes with a rare rebuff by Republicans of President Donald Trump.

Trump returns to White House early, offers year-end message

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump delivered a year-end video message Thursday after returning early from vacation, highlighting his administration's work to rapidly develop a vaccine against COVID-19 and rebuild the economy.

GOP senator rebukes 'dangerous ploy' to fight Biden victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska issued a pointed rebuke Thursday of GOP attempts to object Jan. 6 to the Electoral College tally of the presidential election, warning colleagues against a "dangerous ploy" that could damage the nation's civic traditions.

Immigrants get help from states, cheer inclusion in US bill

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lily Guido was having trouble hearing and she felt warm while talking to her co-worker at a California nursing home. She knew something was wrong.

Missouri senator to contest Biden's Electoral College win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he will raise objections next week when Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the election, forcing House and Senate votes that are likely to delay — but in no way alter — the final certification of Biden's win.

EXPLAINER: How Congress will count Electoral College votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressional joint session to count electoral votes is generally a routine, ceremonious affair. But President Donald Trump's repeated, baseless efforts to challenge Democrat Joe Biden's victory will bring more attention than usual to next Wednesday's joint session of the Senate and the House.

After a tumultuous 2020, Black leaders weigh next steps

DETROIT (AP) — As a barrier-breaking year draws to a close, there's one undeniable fact: the strength of Black political power.

Trump tells protestors "we love you," asks them to go home

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, in a video message, is urging supporters to "go home" but is also keeping up false attacks about the presidential election.

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