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VOL. 45 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 26, 2021

Need knows no calendar

It’s great to volunteer during the holidays, but what about rest of year?

The French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in 1831 to study the American penal system. But he also noticed something that while not unique to this nation certainly runs through the fabric of it more than in most other countries.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

No need for horse, buggy to take a drive back in time

With COVID concerns and restrictions putting a crimp in the foreign travel to which we aspire, we recently decided instead to take a trip back in time.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Santa’s bag holds no pools, major appliances this year

Prices are ascending as the holidays descend upon the city, and developers and builders are frustrated as they are unable to keep pace with demand. Individuals desiring renovations, additions and swimming pools are incensed that no one will work for them.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
48.0°F
Overcast
Wind: from the Northwest at 15.0 gusting to 25.3 mph
Humidity: 77%

EVENTS

Members Connect Leads Exchange. Expand your network and build new business relationships at this Williamson Chamber event. Each attendee will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and their business to the group. Bring business cards, brochures and product samples to share with other participants. Party Room at Chuy’s Fine Tex-Mex, 100 East Park Lane, Brentwood. Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration required. Information

more events »

TENNESSEE TITANS

Teammates confident in Tannehill bounceback

It was a performance Ryan Tannehill will certainly want to distance himself from as soon as possible.

Byard: ‘We’ll find out what type of team we are’

The Titans’ six-game winning streak crashed with a thud with Sunday’s loss to Houston, extending a curious trend of playing well against the league’s better teams and stumbling against the bottom-feeders like the Texans and the New York Jets.

Titans at Patriots: What to watch

After stubbing their toe against Houston, the Titans now head to New England to face one of the hottest teams in the league in the Patriots.

Titans place backup QB on COVID-19 list before visiting Pats

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have placed backup quarterback Logan Woodside on the reserve/COVID-19 list, their second player put on that list in three days.

Titans waive 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson after 3 games

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have waived 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson after three games in a flurry of roster moves Tuesday.

UT SPORTS

In the chips: UT’s Taylor, fans benefit from cookie deal

As soon as the ball nestled into Alontae Taylor’s arms, Robin and Mike Maddux jumped from their seats inside Neyland Stadium and headed for the exits.

NEWSMAKERS

Bass, Berry & Sims bolsters health care practice

Bass, Berry & Sims has added seven experienced health care attorneys to its national health care practice, including Travis Lloyd as a member in Nashville. The other six will be based in the firm’s Washington D.C. office.

BRIEFS

French IT firm to invest $20 million in Nashville

Capgemini officials have announced the global IT consulting firm will invest $20.1 million to establish operations in Nashville.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Kia Carnival swings, misses versus Honda Odyssey

If ever there is a vehicle segment ready for a shake-up, it’s the minivans. For three years running, Edmunds’ experts have considered the Honda Odyssey one of the top-rated in the class. The Odyssey set the minivan bar high with supreme versatility, car-like driving and thoughtful features.

PERSONAL FINANCE

3 times you need money advice from a human

You can now manage most aspects of your money without ever consulting another human being. You can budget, borrow, save, invest, buy insurance, prepare your tax return and create a will – among many other tasks – by using apps, websites and software.

CAREER CORNER

Giving Thanks – mostly that we’ve moved past 2020

Thanksgiving of 2020 was a special kind of torture. We’d all been isolated for months, and it didn’t feel safe to be around loved ones yet. The gloom accentuated the early sundowns and the cold nights.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Learning to deal with difficult people at work

The seating chart for the next team-building went up last week, and your jaw’s already clenched.

NASHVILLE SC

Zimmerman wins 2nd straight MLS Defender of the Year honor

Nashville's Walker Zimmerman has won Major League Soccer's Defender of the Year award for the second straight season.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans add rookie linebacker Monty Rice to IR list now at 18

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have added rookie linebacker Monty Rice to an injured reserve list now at 18 with the team at its bye.

PREDATORS

Forsberg scores 4, leading Predators past Blue Jackets 6-0

NASHVILLE (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored four goals and Juuse Saros made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season, leading the Nashville Predators to a 6-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee halts exemptions to COVID law after court rulings

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee on Wednesday halted dozens of exemptions that allowed businesses and public entities to require people to take COVID-19 preventive measures in spite of a state law severely limiting them, citing court rulings that blocked some of President Joe Biden's vaccine mandates.

Tennessee, school districts seek delay in funding lawsuit

NASHVILLE (AP) — A 6-year-old lawsuit challenging how Tennessee funds public schools might be paused until after the upcoming legislative session.

Vaccine mandate for federal contractors blocked in TN, 2 other states

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's attorney general won a preliminary court order Tuesday to block President Joe Biden's coronavirus vaccination mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors.

REGION

Regulators to review Tennessee test nuclear reactor plan

OAK RIDGE (AP) — Federal regulators will review an application to build a low-power test nuclear reactor in Tennessee.

COURTS

Justices signal they'll OK new abortion limits, may toss Roe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's conservative majority on Wednesday signaled it would uphold Mississippi's 15-week ban on abortion and may go much further to overturn the nationwide right to abortion that has existed for nearly 50 years.

Outside Supreme Court, crowd amplifies abortion arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of abortion debate partisans crowded the plaza in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, trading chants as justices heard the highly anticipated arguments inside.

California judge weighs legality of women board member law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When then-California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation's first law requiring women on boards of publicly traded companies, he suggested it might not survive legal challenges.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM cites improved chip supply in raising financial guidance

DETROIT (AP) — Citing an improved supply of automotive computer chips, General Motors raised its financial guidance on Wednesday and said it expects to return to a normal production rate by the end of next year.

GM venture to build North American battery chemical plant

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is forming a joint venture with Posco Chemical of South Korea to build a North American battery materials plant as it brings more steps in the electric vehicle supply chain under its umbrella.

ENVIRONMENT

Science report: US should make less plastic to save oceans

America needs to rethink and reduce the way it generates plastics because so much of the material is littering the oceans and other waters, the National Academy of Sciences says in a new report.

Oil demand, climate change clash in California pipeline plan

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A proposal to replace an oil pipeline that was shut down in 2015 after causing California's worst coastal spill in 25 years is inching though a government review, even as the state moves toward banning gas-powered vehicles and oil drilling.

MEDIA

Facebook: Fake scientist used to spread anti-US propaganda

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — A disinformation network with ties to China used hundreds of fake social media accounts — including one belonging to a fictitious Swiss biologist — to spread an unfounded claim that the U.S. pressured scientists to blame China for the coronavirus, Facebook said Wednesday.

Haugen urges lawmakers to avert impasse on social media laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen implored lawmakers Wednesday to avert the usual congressional stalemates as they weigh proposals to curb abuses on social media platforms by limiting the companies' free-speech protections against legal liability.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

1st US case of COVID omicron variant confirmed in California

WASHINGTON (AP) — A person in California who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 became the first in the U.S. to have an identified case of the omicron variant, the White House announced Wednesday as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new virus strain.

WHO nations launch steps toward deal to fight pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization hailing a key step by its member states on Wednesday to launch work toward an international agreement to help prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics in the wake of COVID-19.

Omicron unravels travel industry's plans for a comeback

Tourism businesses that were just finding their footing after nearly two years of devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic are being rattled again as countries throw up new barriers to travel in an effort to contain the omicron variant.

US moving to toughen testing requirement for travelers

Washington (AP) — The Biden administration is moving to toughen testing requirements for international travelers to the U.S., including both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, amid the spread of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Japan suspends new flight reservations as omicron spreads

TOKYO (AP) — Japan continued its aggressive stance against a new coronavirus variant on Wednesday, asking international airlines to stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in the country until the end of December in a further tightening of already strict border controls.

EU decides against emergency summit on omicron for now

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has decided against holding a special remote summit of the bloc's leaders on the omicron coronavirus variant for the time being, an official said Wednesday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Markets turn cautious, reversing an early gain to end lower

Markets turned cautious again, erasing and early gain and ending lower as investors try to handicap how much the new coronavirus variant will impact the economy.

Fed survey finds supply-chain shortages boosting inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many parts of the country were hit by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages in November, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

Powell: Fed 'not at all sure' inflation will fade next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a fresh sign of his growing concerns about inflation, Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the Federal Reserve can't be sure that price increases will slow in the second half of next year as many economists expect.

Gates, French Gates offer post-divorce philanthropic plans

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates say they will still work with the Giving Pledge, the campaign they co-founded with Warren Buffett in 2010 to encourage billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth through philanthropy.

Visa CEO: COVID caused permanent shift to digital payments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Al Kelly believes there has been a permanent shift in how consumers worldwide pay for goods and services. His 91-year-old parents are a prime example.

US manufacturing activity continues growth in November

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in November with producers trying to keep up with demand amid ongoing supply shortages and delays.

'Buy now, pay later' catches on just in time for holidays

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As Americans shop for the holidays, they will likely see a swarm of offers to get their gifts now but pay for them later in fixed monthly installments.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection will vote on pursuing contempt charges against a former Justice Department official Wednesday as the committee aggressively seeks to gain answers about the violent attack by former President Donald Trump's supporters.

Putin demands NATO guarantees not to expand eastward

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees that would preclude any further NATO expansion and deployment of its weapons near Russia's borders.

NATO debates the lessons of mission creep in Afghanistan

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Barely 3 months after the chaotic U.S.-run troop evacuation from Afghanistan, NATO foreign ministers met Wednesday to debate a rapidly compiled report on the lessons to be learned from the military organization's 18-year security presence in the conflict-ravaged country.

Official: Blinken, Russian FM to meet amid Ukraine tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet separately with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Thursday on the margins of a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, at a time of tension over Russian military deployments on Ukraine's borders.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville to name school for civil rights icon James Lawson

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville will name its newest high school after civil rights leader the Rev. James Lawson.

EAST TENNESSEE

Oral history of deadly Gatlinburg fire going online

GATLINBURG (AP) — An oral history of a deadly wildfire that began in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and devastated Gatlinburg in 2016 will be easily accessible to the public beginning on Tuesday.

HEALTH CARE

Erlanger lawsuit: TennCare continues to underpay hospitals

NASHVILLE (AP) — Chattanooga-based Erlanger Health System is once again suing Tennessee's Medicaid program, known as TennCare, arguing that the state continues to underpay some hospitals that treat the neediest patients.

COURTS

Walmart said she shoplifted; jury awards her $2.1 million

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who says she was falsely arrested for shoplifting at a Walmart and then threatened by the company after her case was dismissed has been awarded $2.1 million in damages.

Appeals court orders release of some Mueller report passages

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday directed the Justice Department to disclose certain redacted passages from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report that relate to individuals who were investigated by prosecutors but not ultimately charged.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices register 19.1% annual gain in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose briskly in September, another sign that the housing market is booming in the aftermath of last year's coronavirus recession.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Mercedes, Stellantis to work with US firm on new batteries

BERLIN (AP) — Automakers Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis announced agreements with U.S. company Factorial Energy on Tuesday to help develop solid-state battery technology that they hope could make electric cars more attractive to a mass market.

MEDIA

New Twitter CEO steps from behind the scenes to high profile

Newly named Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has emerged from behind the scenes to take over one of Silicon Valley's highest-profile and politically volatile jobs.

UK competition watchdog orders Facebook to sell off Giphy

LONDON (AP) — The United Kingdom's antitrust watchdog has blocked Facebook's acquisition of Giphy and ordered the social network to sell off the GIF-sharing platform, saying the deal hurts social media users and advertisers by stifling competition for animated images.

TRANSPORTATION

EasyJet: Omicron variant already affecting flight bookings

LONDON (AP) — British airline easyJet said Tuesday that it is already seeing some impact on demand from the new omicron variant of the coronavirus in the days since it was first identified.

EDUCATION

Former Temple U business dean convicted in rankings scandal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jury convicted the former dean of Temple University's business school on charges related to a scheme to falsely boost the school's rankings.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Pentagon chief says Guard who refuse vaccine cannot train

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has decided that National Guard members who refuse COVID-19 vaccination will be barred from federally funded drills and training required to maintain their Guard status.

UK launches booster vaccination blitz as new variant spreads

LONDON (AP) — New measures to combat the new omicron variant of coronavirus took effect in England on Tuesday, with face coverings again compulsory in shops and on public transportation, as the government said it would offer all adults a booster dose of vaccine within two months to bolster the nation's immunity.

Germany to tighten COVID measures, decisions on Thursday

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's national and state leaders will decide Thursday on new measures to tackle a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, officials said after the country's outgoing and incoming chancellors conferred with governors.

Panel weighs safety, effectiveness of Merck's COVID-19 pill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government health advisers on Tuesday weighed the benefits and risks of a closely watched drug from Merck that could soon become the first U.S.-authorized pill for patients to take at home to treat COVID-19.

LA begins enforcing strict mandate requiring proof of vax

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Enforcement began Monday in Los Angeles for one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country, a sweeping measure that requires proof of shots for everyone entering a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to theaters and gyms to nail and hair salons.

Omicron brings COVID-19 vaccine inequity 'home to roost'

LONDON (AP) — The emergence of the new omicron variant and the world's desperate and likely futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months: The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines.

Top German court upholds disputed national COVID measures

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's highest court on Tuesday rejected complaints against curfews and other restrictions imposed by federal legislation earlier this year in areas where the coronavirus was spreading quickly — a decision that could help the country's leaders as they struggle to tackle a sharp rise in infections.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks sink as omicron, rate worries rattle Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Already unnerved by the newest coronavirus variant, Wall Street's losses deepened on Tuesday after the head of the Federal Reserve said it will consider shutting off its support for financial markets sooner than expected.

November delivers another hit to sinking consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in November, clipped by rising prices and concern about the coronavirus.

Inflation in 19 nations using euro hits record high of 4.9%

LONDON (AP) — Consumer prices across the 19 countries that use the euro currency are rising at a record rate as a result of a huge spike in energy costs this year, official figures showed Tuesday.

Powell's warning: Fed to tighten credit faster than expected

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell took a sharp and unexpected turn Tuesday toward tightening credit for consumers and businesses in the face of mounting concerns about high inflation.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden puts focus on infrastructure amid new virus concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden visits a Minnesota community college Tuesday to highlight how his $1 trillion infrastructure law will create jobs and help train workers.

MI6 spy chief says China, Russia, Iran top UK threat list

LONDON (AP) — China, which is increasingly flexing its muscles around the world, is one of the biggest threats to Britain and its allies, and a "miscalculation" by Beijing could lead to war, the head of the U.K.'s foreign intelligence agency said Tuesday.

Boebert in call refuses to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after firebrand conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado was harshly criticized for making anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat whom she likened to a bomb-carrying terrorist, the two spoke by phone.

Inside the 'big wave' of misinformation targeted at Latinos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before last year's presidential election, Facebook ads targeting Latino voters described Joe Biden as a communist. During his inauguration, another conspiracy theory spread online and on Spanish-language radio warning that a brooch worn by Lady Gaga signaled Biden was working with shadowy, leftist figures abroad.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans finally reach bye week with chance to rest, heal

NASHVILLE (AP) — No NFL team needs its bye week as much as the Tennessee Titans.

Titans lose 36-13 to Patriots, fumble away AFC's No. 1 seed

Two kicks that clanged off the same upright. A missed tackle that turned a short pass into a 41-yard touchdown. Three fumbles in New England territory, and an interception in the end zone.

NASHVILLE SC

Philadelphia Union tops Nashville in a shootout

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Andre Blake made two spectacular saves, Nashville missed on two penalty kicks and the Philadelphia Union won a shootout Sunday to advance to Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference final for the first time in franchise history.

PREDATORS

Rantanen's hat trick lifts Avalanche past Predators 6-2

DENVER (AP) — Mikko Rantanen changed positions, but not his game. He's still piling up the goals and assists.

COURTS

Court denies Massachusetts hospital workers' vaccine appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away an emergency appeal from employees at the largest hospital system in Massachusetts who object to the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds.

Supreme Court set to take up all-or-nothing abortion fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there's no middle ground in Wednesday's showdown over abortion. The justices can either reaffirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe it away altogether.

Justices' views on abortion in their own words and votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday over whether Mississippi can ban abortions after 15 weeks, the justices will be focused on an issue that has dominated the term. Not only is there Mississippi's call to overrule Roe v. Wade, but justices are already considering a Texas law banning abortion at roughly six weeks and written to make it difficult to mount legal challenges against it.

Passenger accused of airplane tirade arrested in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — A passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville allegedly punched a flight attendant and pulled another attendant's hair before being subdued, police said.

Former Pentagon chief sues to publish material in memoir

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims in a lawsuit against the Defense Department that material is being improperly withheld from his use as he seeks to publish an "unvarnished and candid memoir" of his time in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

MEDIA

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who was the social platform's first CEO in 2007 until he was forced out the following year, then returned to the role in 2015, is once again out of the job — this time, he says, by choice.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan investing in electric vehicles, battery development

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan said Monday it is investing 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) over the next five years and developing a cheaper, more powerful battery to boost its electric vehicle lineup.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

WHO warns that new virus variant poses 'very high' risk

BRUSSELS (AP) — The World Health Organization says the global risk from the omicron variant of the coronavirus is "very high" based on early evidence, and it could lead to surges with "severe consequences."

New variant cause for concern, not panic, Biden tells US

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden called the new coronavirus variant omicron a cause for concern but "not a cause for panic" Monday and said he was not considering any widespread U.S. lockdown. He urged Americans anew to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots, and return to face masks indoors in public settings to slow any spread.

COVID's 'not done with us': Nations rush to contain omicron

BRUSSELS (AP) — Taking an act-now-ask-questions-later approach, countries around the world slammed their doors shut again to try to keep the new omicron variant at bay Monday as more cases of the mutant coronavirus emerged and scientists raced to figure out just how dangerous it might be.

Fauci fires back at Cruz over COVID claims about Chinese lab

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious diseases expert, blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19 and said the criticism by the Texas Republican was an attack on science.

WHO chief: Omicron shows need for global accord on pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization on Monday is pushing for an international accord to help prevent and fight future pandemics amid the emergence of a worrying new omicron COVID-19 variant.

UK set to expand COVID vaccine boosters amid omicron fears

LONDON (AP) — The independent body advising the British government on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines will likely decide Monday whether to expand the booster program to younger age groups following the discovery of the new omicron variant.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks rise as Wall Street steadies following omicron slide

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market steadied itself Monday following a slide last week brought on by the newest coronavirus variant.

Amazon workers in Alabama get a do-over in union election

NEW YORK (AP) — A new union election for Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama will be held based on objections to the first vote that took place in April.

Shoppers are back in store, online, but virus impact lingers

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are spending freely and going back to store shopping, knocking out some of the momentum in online sales from last year when Americans were making many of their purchases exclusively via the internet.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Jan. 6 panel sets contempt vote for former DOJ official

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will vote Wednesday to pursue contempt charges against a former Justice Department official, seeking criminal charges against a defiant witness for a second time after holding former White House aide Steve Bannon in contempt last month.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
NASHVILLE SC

Nashville advances past Orlando, faces Philadelphia Sunday

NASHVILLE (AP) — Hany Mukhtar scored his second goal of the game in the 74th minute and Nashville defeated Orlando 3-1 on Tuesday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Christmas events planned for Tennessee Residence, Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — The annual Christmas celebration at the Tennessee Capitol will take place next Monday and tours of the governor's mansion begin Dec. 10, according to an announcement from Gov. Bill Lee and first lady Maria Lee.

REAL ESTATE

US mortgage rates mixed: 30-year unchanged at 3.1%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. mortgage rates were mixed this week.

US new homes sales rise 0.4% in October as prices climb

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes edged up 0.4% last month, coming in below expectations as housing prices continued to climb.

TECHNOLOGY

NASA launches spacecraft to test asteroid defense concept

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NASA launched a spacecraft Tuesday night on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a speeding space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth.

ENVIRONMENT

Many environmentalists back Biden's move to tap oil reserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and climate activists generally supported President Joe Biden's decision to release a record 50 million barrels of oil from America's strategic reserve, even as the move appeared to contradict his long-term vision of combating climate change.

EXPLAINER: What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

NEW YORK (AP) — When President Joe Biden ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from America's strategic reserve to help reduce energy costs, he was taking aim at a growing burden for millions of Americans embarking on Thanksgiving travel.

TRANSPORTATION

On the road again: Travelers emerge in time for Thanksgiving

DALLAS (AP) — Determined to reclaim Thanksgiving traditions that were put on pause last year by the pandemic, millions of Americans will be loading up their cars or piling onto planes to gather again with friends and family.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

White House: 92% of fed workers under mandate are vaccinated

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration's vaccine mandate for millions of federal workers seems to be working, with no apparent disruption to law enforcement, intelligence-gathering or holiday travel.

Portugal sees jump in COVID-19 cases, eyes restrictions

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal on Wednesday reported its highest number of new daily COVID-19 infections since July amid a surge in cases across Europe, though hospitalizations are rising more slowly in the country where 86% of people are vaccinated.

Slovakia approves 2-week nationwide lockdown infection surge

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia's government on Wednesday approved a two-week national lockdown amid a record surge of coronavirus infections.

US to require vaccines for all border crossers in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks edge higher after another choppy day on Wall Street

Wall Street capped another wobbly day of trading Wednesday with an uneven finish for the major stock indexes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

US jobless claims hit 52-year low after seasonal adjustments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more than half a century, another sign that the U.S. job market is rebounding rapidly from last year's coronavirus recession.

Consumer spending rebounds despite rising October inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending rebounded by a solid 1.3% in October despite inflation that over the past year has accelerated faster than it has at any point in more than three decades.

US GDP slowed sharply in Q3, big rebound expected in Q4

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy slowed to a modest annual rate of 2.1% in the July-September quarter according to the government's second read of the data, slightly better than its first estimate. But economists are predicting a solid rebound in the current quarter as long as rising inflation and a recent uptick in COVID cases do not derail activity.

Samsung says it will build $17B chip factory in Texas

Samsung said it plans to build a $17 billion semiconductor factory outside of Austin, Texas, amid a global shortage of chips used in phones, cars and other electronic devices.

German business confidence drops for 5th consecutive month

BERLIN (AP) — German business confidence has dropped for the fifth consecutive month amid persistent supply-chain bottlenecks and a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe's biggest economy, a closely watched survey showed Wednesday.

LA luxury mall latest to be hit by smash-and-grab thieves

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A group of thieves smashed windows at a department store at a luxury mall in Los Angeles, triggering a police pursuit just days after high-end stores throughout the San Francisco Bay Area were targeted.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden names women of color to lead White House budget office

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is nominating Shalanda Young to lead the White House budget office and Nani Coloretti to serve as Young's deputy.

Beyond Manchin: Dems' $2T bill faces Senate gauntlet

WASHINGTON (AP) — It took half a year but Democrats have driven President Joe Biden's $2 trillion package of social and climate initiatives through the House. It gets no easier in the Senate, where painful Republican amendments, restrictive rules and Joe Manchin lurk.

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