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VOL. 45 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 10, 2021

Thinking bigger

TN’s small retailers work all angles in holiday struggle vs. big players, supply chain woes

Predicting U.S. retail spending and consumer confidence trends right now is a headache-inducing exercise.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

It’s the time of the season for procrastination

The season of Advent is upon us by the liturgical calendar, a time for anticipation, prayerful reflection and spiritual preparation as Christmas approaches.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

‘As is?’ As if! Buyers, sellers have different definitions

The term “as is” has been around as long as there have been real estate transactions. But its interpretation can be confusing for both sellers and buyers.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
20.0°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: North at 11.5 mph
Humidity: 65%

EVENTS

Multi-Employer Job Fair. Employers attending include Addus Homecare, At Home Healthcare, JC Ford, Marelli, Maury Regional Medical Center, McMilan Construction, Physicians Mutual, Randstad, Ryder, Tennessee Personal Assistance and Wood Personnel Service. American Job Center, 119 Nashville Hwy, Columbia. Thursday, Noon-2 p.m. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Davidson County real estate trends for November 2021

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

Top Davidson County residential sales for November 2021

Top residential real estate sales, November 2021, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US long-term mortgage rates hold firm another week

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The average interest rate on a long-term mortgage in the U.S. held firm again this week.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Can Vrabel hold Titans together for 5 games?

One of the reasons Jon Robinson fired Mike Mularkey after a playoff win in 2018 and replaced him with Mike Vrabel was Robinson’s judgment that Vrabel was more likely to take the Titans to the next level.

Titans have to help struggling Tannehill

With no Derrick Henry, and losing his top three receivers to injuries, the road for Ryan Tannehill has been rough in recent weeks.

Jaguars at Titans: What to watch

The Titans came out of their bye week in good shape standings-wise. As far as who will be healthy enough to play Sunday against Jacksonville is another question that will have to be monitored throughout the week. Here are keys for the Titans as they return to action, hosting the 2-10 Jaguars.

UT SPORTS

MBA’s Lampley, Vols grateful for Music City Bowl invite

Tennessee fans won’t have to travel very far to watch the Vols play in a bowl game.

NEWSMAKERS

Wagon Wheel Title adds 2 attorneys

Wagon Wheel Title & Escrow has added two commercial attorneys to its team, Jatin A. Shah and Quinton Horner.

BRIEFS

Second Avenue tops ‘Nashville Nine’ list

The 2021 Nashville Nine, a list of the city’s historic properties endangered by demolition, neglect or development, is topped by 170, 172, 174 and 176 Second Avenue North, all damaged by the Christmas Day 2020 bombling.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Is the new Ford Bronco better than Jeep Wrangler?

The Ford Bronco is back after a 25-year hiatus. This new 2021 Bronco SUV pays homage to its predecessors via boxy proportions, round headlights and short overhangs while introducing the latest in convenience and technology features.

PERSONAL FINANCE

8 rules for saving, spending, borrowing money

The best personal finance advice is tailored to your individual situation. That said, a few rules of thumb can cut through the confusion that often surrounds money decisions and help you build a solid financial foundation.

CAREER CORNER

4 ways to embrace the quickly changing job market

The new year is almost here. And, like last year, the world has changed. Our personal lives and our work lives will continue to look much different from how they looked in 2019. We’ve found a new normal.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Brick-and-morters finding revelevance in online age

`Buy, buy, buy. That’s the one thing you want when your customers come to your store. For what other reason would they have to come to you?

MILLENNIAL MONEY

How to effectively shop for holidays at the last minute

Supply chain snags. Sold-out merchandise. Empty shelves. Hefty shipping fees. Inflation. There are plenty of complications working against you this holiday shopping season.

PREDATORS

Nashville, Calgary, Boston latest NHL teams hit by virus woes

The NHL's coronavirus situation worsened Wednesday as players and staff from three more teams were added to the league's COVID-19 protocol list, including seven players, three coaches and seven support staff with the Calgary Flames.

REGION

Tornado killed 7 children on single Kentucky street

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — The little red wagon was strewn upside down on a heap of rubble — a pile of boards and bricks, a mangled blue bicycle, a baby doll.

Biden visiting Kentucky to console tornado victims, give aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the fifth time since taking office less than a year ago, President Joe Biden is taking on the grim task Wednesday of visiting an area ravaged by natural disaster to offer comfort and condolences.

Worker says she risked discipline if she left job amid storm

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — An employee of the Kentucky candle factory where eight workers were killed by a tornado said Tuesday that a supervisor threatened her with written disciplinary action if she went home early because storms were approaching.

HEALTH CARE

Deadline time for HealthCare.gov coverage that starts Jan. 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers seeking government-subsidized health insurance for next year have through Wednesday to sign up if they want their new plan to start Jan. 1.

TECHNOLOGY

Norway fines dating app Grindr $7.16M for privacy breach

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's data privacy watchdog on Wednesday fined gay dating app Grindr 65 million kroner ($7.16 million) for sending sensitive personal data to hundreds of potential advertising partners without users' consent — a breach of strict European Union privacy rules.

ENVIRONMENT

NYC weighs cutting off natural gas hookups for new buildings

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City lawmakers are poised to decide Wednesday whether to prohibit most new buildings from using natural gas, a move that would make the nation's most populous city a showcase for a climate-change-fighting policy that has been both embraced and blocked around the country.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Health worker vaccine mandate blocked in half the states

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday lifted a nationwide ban against President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for health care workers, instead blocking the requirement in only certain states and creating the potential for patchwork enforcement across the country.

COVID-expanded child tax credit benefit nears lapse

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's one of the most far-reaching of all the federal aid programs launched during the COVID-19 pandemic — up to $300 per child going directly into the bank accounts of families on the 15th of every month.

How a Kennedy built an anti-vaccine juggernaut amid COVID-19

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. strode onto the stage at a Southern California church, radiating Kennedy confidence and surveying the standing ovation crowd with his piercing blue Bobby Kennedy eyes. Then, he launched into an anti-vaccine rant. Democrats "drank the Kool-Aid," he told people assembled for a far right conference, branded as standing for "health and freedom."

Colleges go back to drawing board – again – to fight virus

Facing rising infections and a new COVID-19 variant, colleges across the U.S. have once again been thwarted in seeking a move to normalcy and are starting to require booster shots, extend mask mandates, limit social gatherings and, in some cases, revert to online classes.

A retro feel to Biden's plan for covering OTC virus testing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration's plan for health insurers to reimburse consumers for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests echoes a bygone era when the companies processed large volumes of claims from individuals — with paper receipts.

US COVID death toll hits 800,000, a year into vaccine drive

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 800,000 on Tuesday, a once-unimaginable figure seen as doubly tragic, given that more than 200,000 of those lives were lost after the vaccine became available practically for the asking last spring.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end higher after Fed accelerates stimulus pullback

Stocks rose steadily on Wall Street Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would accelerate its pullback of economic stimulus and would likely raise interest rates three times next year to tackle rising inflation.

Fed will tighten credit faster and sees 3 rate hikes in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve will quicken the pace at which it's pulling back its support for the economy as inflation surges, and it expects to raise interest rates three times next year.

Text of the Federal Reserve's statement after its meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended:

Modest 0.3% rise in retail sales, but optimism still buoyed

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans slowed their spending from October to November but still continued to shop ahead of the critical holiday season, brushing off rising prices and shortages.

UK inflation hits decade high, pressuring Bank of England

LONDON (AP) — Consumer prices in the United Kingdom are rising at their highest rate in over a decade as a result of soaring energy costs and blockages in the supply chain, official figures showed Wednesday, a day before a highly anticipated interest rate decision from the Bank of England.

China economy slows as virus outbreaks disrupt recovery

BEIJING (AP) — China reported Wednesday that its economy slowed in November, buffeted by coronavirus outbreaks, weak demand and supply chain disruptions.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

AP source: Biden, Manchin sharply divided over $2T Dem bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin are sharply divided over Democrats' huge social and environment bill, with the holdout senator pushing to erase the measure's improved child tax credit, a person familiar with the talks said Wednesday as leaders' hopes of passing the legislation before Christmas appear increasingly bleak.

Senate sends Biden big defense bill, plans new war memorial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Joe Biden a $768.2 billion defense bill on Wednesday that makes landmark changes to the way the military handles sexual assaults, keeps women out of the draft and lays the groundwork for a new war memorial on the National Mall.

Texts show top Trump defenders' private alarm on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a mob overran the U.S. Capitol last January, some of Donald Trump's highest-profile defenders in the media — and even his own son — sent urgent text messages to the White House chief of staff urging him to get the then-president to do more to stop the violence.

House votes to hold Meadows in contempt in Jan. 6 probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to hold former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress after he ceased to cooperate with the Jan. 6 Committee  investigating the Capitol insurrection  — making it the first time the chamber has voted to hold a former member in contempt since the 1830s.

Congress sends Biden $2.5T debt limit hike, avoiding default

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress averted a catastrophic debt default early Wednesday morning after Democratic majorities in both chambers voted to send a $2.5 trillion increase in the nation's borrowing authority to President Joe Biden over lockstep Republican opposition.

Trump loses bid to block his tax returns from Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that was brought by former President Donald Trump in his attempt to block congressional lawmakers from obtaining his tax returns.

House responds to GOP's Boebert with Islamophobia bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert cracked a racist, Islamophobic joke about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, it wasn't the first time she mocked the Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14
REGION

Biden grants Tennessee emergency declaration post-tornadoes

NASHVILLE (AP) — President Joe Biden has granted an emergency declaration in Tennessee that will make federal assistance available to nine counties damaged by this weekend's tornadoes, Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday.

Kentucky safety agency to review tornado deaths at factory

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's workplace safety agency will look into the deaths of eight people who were killed at a candle factory during the violent weather that spawned tornadoes in five states, the governor said Tuesday.

EAST TENNESSEE

Aircraft maintenance company to expand in Chattanooga

NASHVILLE (AP) — Aircraft maintenance company West Star Aviation plans to invest $17 million to expand its operations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, officials said.

COURTS

Washington, DC, sues Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia has filed a civil lawsuit seeking harsh financial penalties against far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Justices asked to let Arizona enforce ban on some abortions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arizona asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to allow enforcement of a ban on abortions performed solely because of Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities.

New sentencing hearing for former Tennessee death row inmate

MEMPHIS (AP) — Family members of a slain woman and her daughter sat through a gruesome crime scene video that played in a Tennessee courtroom Monday — images of two blood-soaked bodies lying stabbed to death in awkward positions on the floor of their apartment, a knife resting next to the little girl's foot.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Japan's Toyota promises more electric models, investment

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Toyota is beefing up its electric vehicle lineup, offering 30 new fully electric models by 2030, its president, Akio Toyoda, said Tuesday.

BANKING

Banks slowly reconsider overdraft fees, amid public pressure

NEW YORK (AP) — The banking industry appears to have overdone it on overdraft fees.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Dutch extend COVID lockdown; school holidays to start early

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government on Tuesday ordered elementary schools to close a week early for Christmas holidays as authorities battle to rein in coronavirus infections amid concerns about the swift spread of the new omicron variant.

Virus and migrant worries spur EU to toughen border rules

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Tuesday launched a major revamp of the rules governing the movement of people and goods into and around Europe as coronavirus restrictions and fears over a "hybrid attack" from Belarus using migrants are placing increasing strains on its passport-free travel area.

Kroger ending some COVID-19 benefits for unvaccinated staff

Kroger, the country's biggest traditional grocery chain, is ending some benefits for unvaccinated workers as big employers attempt to compel more of their workforce to become vaccinated with cases of COVID-19 again rising.

One year of vaccines: Many lives saved, many needlessly lost

One year ago, the biggest vaccination drive in American history began with a flush of excitement in an otherwise gloomy December. Trucks loaded with freezer-packed vials of a COVID-19 vaccine that had proved wildly successful in clinical trials fanned out across the land, bringing shots that many hoped would spell the end of the crisis.

Pfizer jabs protect 70% against hospitalization from omicron

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination provides just 33% protection against infection by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, but 70% protection against hospitalization, according to a large-scale analysis in South Africa released Tuesday.

Pfizer confirms COVID pill's results, potency versus omicron

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer said Tuesday that its experimental pill to treat COVID-19 appears effective against the omicron variant.

Air Force discharges 27 for refusal to get COVID vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Wall Street closes lower following latest inflation report

Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Tuesday as traders took in the latest sign that inflation is still running high ahead of the Federal Reserve's last meeting of the year.

Fed to accelerate withdrawal of economic aid as prices surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under Chair Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve is poised this week to execute a sharp turn toward tighter interest-rate policies with inflation accelerating and unemployment falling faster than expected.

EU plan for sweeping update of Big Tech rules gains momentum

LONDON (AP) — The European Union's ambitious plan to update its pioneering internet rules gained momentum Tuesday after a key committee passed measures requiring technology companies to better police content and lawmakers prepared to vote on regulations to rein in Big Tech.

Wholesale inflation jumps record 9.6% over past 12 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices at the wholesale level surged by a record 9.6% in November from a year earlier, an indication of on-going inflation pressures

Resale is making gains in December holiday gift shopping

NEW YORK (AP) — Second hand. Like new. Thrift. Buy Nothing. Gently used. There are lots of ways to describe consumption in the booming resale market.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Far too little vote fraud to tip election to Trump, AP finds

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by former President Donald Trump has found fewer than 475 — a number that would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election.

Biden: Nation owes school shooting victims more than prayers

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a video released Tuesday, President Joe Biden spoke directly to the families of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School nine years ago, saying the nation owed families of mass shootings "more than our prayers. We owe them action."

Senate poised to raise debt limit by $2.5T, avoiding default

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate was poised Tuesday to lift the nation's debt limit by $2.5 trillion under a deal struck between party leaders, defusing a volatile issue until after next year's midterm elections while saddling majority Democrats with a tough vote.

Treasury awards $8.7B for lending in minority communities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday the release of $8.7 billion to help increase lending to small and minority-owned businesses and people living in poorer communities with limited access to banking.

Manchin hits Dems' $2T bill as too costly, talks to Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has signaled anew that he's still not ready to back his party's $2 trillion social and environment legislation, then talked to President Joe Biden as party leaders scrambled for a pathway to advance the long-stalled package — preferably by Christmas.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 13
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans' about-face results in shutout win, brighter outlook

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans returned from their much-needed bye week and got their first home shutout since 2000.

Titans dominate Jags 20-0, get 1st home shutout since 2000

NASHVILLE (AP) — It took the Tennessee Titans a month to find themselves. This version looks pretty comfortable atop the AFC South.

PREDATORS

NHL postpones Flames at Predators, 2 other games due to COVID

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has postponed the Calgary Flames' next three games after six players and a staff member entered the league's COVID-19 protocol over a 24-hour period.

Saros, Tomasino lead Predators to 1-0 win over Rangers

NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie forward Philip Tomasino scored early in the second period and Juuse Saros made 32 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Nashville Predators beat the New York Rangers 1-0 on Sunday night.

NASHVILLE SC

Bunbury traded from New England to Nashville

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — American forward Teal Bunbury was traded from Major League Soccer's New England Revolution to Nashville on Sunday for $75,000 in general allocation money plus an additional $75,000 contingent on performance.

REGION

Thousands without heat, water after tornadoes kill dozens

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Residents of Kentucky counties where tornadoes killed dozens of people could be without heat, water or electricity in frigid temperatures for weeks or longer, state officials warned Monday, as the toll of damage and deaths came into clearer focus in five states slammed by the swarm of twisters.

Biden to tour tornado damage in Kentucky on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday that he will travel to Kentucky on Wednesday to view damage from last week's devastating tornadoes that killed at least 64 people and displaced thousands more.

EXPLAINER: Was tornado outbreak related to climate change?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The calendar said December but the warm moist air screamed of springtime. Add an eastbound storm front guided by a La Nina weather pattern into that mismatch and it spawned tornadoes that killed dozens over five U.S. states.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee IDs chronic wasting disease in deer in 13th county

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say a 13th county has a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease in deer.

COURTS

Justices won't block vaccine mandate for NY health workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court refused Monday to halt a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious reasons.

Judge refuses to toss key charge in Capitol riot case

A federal judge has refused to throw out a key charge against two men accused of storming the U.S. Capitol to obstruct the Electoral College vote certification proceedings, upholding prosecutors' use of a criminal statute that many other riot defendants are charged with violating.

High court won't hear Mississippi lawsuit over talcum powder

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a request by Johnson & Johnson to halt a Mississippi lawsuit over its talcum power products.

Supreme Court rejects appeal over press access in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a conservative think tank over Gov. Tony Evers' decision to exclude the group's writers from press briefings.

HEALTH CARE

Medicare urged to flex its power and slash back premium hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of a Senate panel that oversees Medicare says the Biden administration should use its legal authority to cut back a hefty premium increase soon hitting millions of enrollees, as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers call for action amid worries over rising inflation.

TECHNOLOGY

UK antitrust watchdog investigates Microsoft's Nuance deal

LONDON (AP) — British antitrust regulators are opening an investigation into Microsoft's $16 billion acquisition of speech recognition company Nuance in the latest sign they're tightening scrutiny of big technology deals.

ENVIRONMENT

Germany approves billions for climate, modernization fund

BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Monday approved 60 billion euros ($68 billion) in funding to be used for combating climate change and modernizing the country, a move that the new finance minister described as a "booster" for Europe's biggest economy.

Top US diplomat says China needs more ambitious climate goal

BEIJING (AP) — China and U.S. had a "very good year" for collaboration on dealing with climate change, but Washington is still pushing Beijing to adopt more ambitious carbon reduction goals, the top U.S. diplomat in China said.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Harris unveils plan for electric vehicle charging network

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration released an ambitious federal strategy Monday to build 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles across the country and bring down the cost of electric cars with the goal of transforming the U.S. auto industry.

Harley takes its electric motorcycle company public via SPAC

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson will take its electric motorcycle division public through a blank-check company, valuing the enterprise that has been part of the Harley for 10 years at $1.77 billion.

New German government to revamp incentives for electric cars

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's new government said Monday it is extending the country's current system of incentive payments for buyers of electric and hybrid cars for a year but then plans to impose tougher requirements for vehicles to qualify for the support.

MEDIA

AP seeks answers from US gov't on tracking of journalists

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press sought answers Monday from the Department of Homeland Security on its use of sensitive government databases for tracking international terrorists to investigate as many as 20 American journalists, including an acclaimed AP reporter.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Poll: Omicron raises COVID worry but not precautions

CHICAGO (AP) — As the omicron variant sparks worldwide fears of renewed COVID-19 outbreaks, Americans' worries about infection are again on the rise, but fewer say they are regularly wearing masks or isolating compared with the beginning of the year.

Long queues form as UK starts booster blitz against omicron

LONDON (AP) — Long lines formed at vaccination centers in Britain as people heeded the government's call for all adults to get booster shots to protect against the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which the prime minister said Monday has caused at least one death.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks pull back from records, weighed down by tech, energy

Stocks pulled back below their recent record levels on Wall Street Monday as the market's momentum slows down following its best week since February.

NatWest fined 264.8 million pounds in money-laundering case

LONDON (AP) — British bank NatWest was fined 264.8 million pounds ($354.30 million) on Monday for failing to comply with money laundering rules in a case that marked the first time U.K. financial regulators pursued criminal charges for such violations.

Harris announces private investments in Central America

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday announced $1.2 billion in commitments from international businesses to support the economies and social infrastructure of Central American nations, as she works to address what the White House terms the "root causes" of migration to the United States.

BofA CEO: Consumers spending at fastest pace he's seen

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the nation's second-largest bank said consumers are spending "at a faster rate" than he's ever seen but he remains concerned about how inflation and supply-chain issues will influence the economy going into the winter.

Biden admin reveals 60 finalists for $1B in economic grants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Monday announced 60 finalists for $1 billion in economic development grants tied to the Biden administration's coronavirus relief package and aimed at improving job training and regional industry partnerships.

Inflation is painfully high, but some relief may be coming

NEW YORK (AP) — Inflation is painfully high, but this hopefully is close to as bad as it gets.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Manchin: Democrats should prioritize, curb cost of $2T bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats should curb the cost of their $2 trillion social and environment bill by choosing their top priorities, Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday, as he and President Joe Biden prepared to discuss how to advance the long-stalled package.

WH aims to restore faith in government by improving services

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday aimed at rebuilding the public's trust in government by making it easier to do things like renew passports, apply for Social Security benefits and get aid after natural disasters.

Australia and South Korea sign defense deal as leaders meet

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia and South Korea signed a $720 million defense deal Monday as South Korean President Moon Jae-in became the first foreign leader to visit Australia since the pandemic began.

Jan. 6 panel set to vote on holding Meadows in contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is set to recommend contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday as lawmakers are releasing new details about thousands of emails and texts he has handed over to the committee.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10
PREDATORS

Preds' last-minute goal keeps Isles winless at home

NEW YORK (AP) — Eeli Tolvanen scored with 11.5 seconds left to cap the Nashville Predators' third-period rally for a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans' Vrabel halts interviews after Cunningham questions

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel walked out of his post-practice news conference Friday, becoming angry when questioned about newly acquired linebacker Zach Cunningham.

Titans claim linebacker Vandy's Cunningham off waivers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans claimed inside linebacker Zach Cunningham off waivers from the Houston Texans on Thursday, a move they hope will bolster their injury-riddled group.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee panel names 3 finalists for state high court seat

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee panel picked three finalists Thursday for a state Supreme Court opening: two intermediate appeals court judges and a high-level lawyer in the attorney general's office.

MIDSTATE

Legacy Sports to develop $350M sports, entertainment complex

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Murfreesboro officials on Thursday announced that Legacy Sports Tennessee will develop a $350 million multiuse sports and entertainment facility.

COURTS

AG won't appeal resentencing of Tennessee death row inmate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Friday he wouldn't appeal the resentencing of a Tennessee death row inmate to life in prison after initially resisting the move just two years prior.

Court won't stop Texas abortion ban, but lets clinics sue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday left in place Texas' ban on most abortions, though it ruled that clinics in the state can sue over the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.

Monsanto to plead guilty to illegal pesticide use in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — The Monsanto agrochemical company said Thursday in court documents that it has agreed to plead guilty to illegally using and storing pesticides in Hawaii and will pay $12 million in fines.

Court rejects Trump's efforts to keep records from 1/6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Thursday against an effort by former President Donald Trump to shield documents from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM venture picks Michigan for 3rd US-based EV battery plant

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and a joint venture partner plan to build an electric vehicle battery factory in Lansing, Michigan, which would be their third such factory in the U.S. The other two sites are Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Detroit-Hamtramck.

Gaming while driving: Tesla allows it, Mercedes does recall

DETROIT (AP) — A few days after reports surfaced that Tesla allows drivers to play video games on dashboard touch screens while vehicles are moving, Mercedes-Benz has issued a U.S. recall for a simliar issue.

GM CEO says making ventilators changed the company culture

DETROIT (AP) — The CEO of General Motors said Thursday that the automaker learned valuable lessons last year when it stepped in to boost emergency production of ventilators to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients.

TRANSPORTATION

Lawmakers say they will try again to regulate airline fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several congressional Democrats are reviving legislation to regulate fees that airlines charge for things such as checking a bag, changing a flight or picking a seat.

MEDIA

Lee Enterprises rejects takeover bid from Alden hedge fund

Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises has rejected a takeover offer from the Alden Global Capital hedge fund that is one of the largest newspaper owners in the country with a reputation for intense cost cuts and layoffs, but the fight over the company's future is likely far from over.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Companies rethink return-to-office plans amid omicron cases

NEW YORK (AP) — Companies of all sizes are rethinking their plans to send workers back to the office as the new omicron variant adds another layer of uncertainty.

South Korea reports its worst virus surge since pandemic

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — New coronavirus infections in South Korea exceeded 7,000 for the third consecutive day on Friday, as the worst surge since the start of the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals and depleted health care workforce.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end higher, closing out best week since February

A late wave of buying sent stocks to solid gains on Wall Street Friday, sending the S&P 500 to another record high.

EXPLAINER: Why US inflation is so high, and when it may ease

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation is starting to look like that unexpected — and unwanted — houseguest who just won't leave.

Surging inflation is forcing people and businesses to adapt

WASHINGTON (AP) — A warehouse worker in Tennessee is running up against price increases that far exceed her modest pay raise.

Shell walks 'tightrope' of demands amid climate pressures

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell investors are expected to change the company's name Friday and approve moving its headquarters from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom as the oil giant faces criticism it has been slow to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Interfaith coalition urges Louis Vuitton to shed fur items

BOSTON (AP) — A group of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders is urging luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton to stop using animal fur in its clothing and other products.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

U.S. government deficit declines 17% from same period a year ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. budget deficit totaled $356.4 billion in the first two months of the budget year, down 17% from the same period a year ago as a sharp jump in government revenues offset a smaller increase in spending.

New inflation number feeds angst about Democrats' $2T bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government reports on rising inflation and the potential costs of President Joe Biden's social and environment legislation raised fresh questions Friday about the bill's fate, with both sides hoping the new numbers would influence pivotal Sen. Joe Manchin.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas six who helped plan Trump rallies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is subpoenaing six more people who the panel says were involved in the organization and planning of rallies that aimed to overturn Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Biden to focus on elections, media as democracy summit wraps

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is looking to close his two-day virtual Summit for Democracy on Friday by shining a spotlight on the importance of election integrity, countering authoritarian regimes and bolstering independent media.

Biden assures Ukraine's leader of US support to deter Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden reached out to Ukraine's leader Thursday as the United States moved to take a more direct role in diplomacy between that country and Russia, part of a broader effort to dissuade Russia from a destabilizing invasion of its western neighbor.

Senate passes bill easing way for debt limit increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate moved ahead Thursday with legislation that would create a one-time, fast-track process for raising the debt limit, overcoming a Republican filibuster and likely averting another last-minute rush to avoid a devastating federal default.

Dole: 'Genuine hero' paid war's price, triumphed in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bob Dole was honored Friday at Washington National Cathedral and the World War II monument he helped create as top leaders from both parties saluted the longtime Kansas senator's ability to practice bare-knuckle politics without losing civility.

Services in Washington, Kansas will continue to honor Dole

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bob Dole was to be honored with a private service at Washington National Cathedral and a public one at the World War II Memorial a day after lying in state at the U.S. Capitol, where President Joe Biden and top leaders from both parties saluted a "giant in our history."


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9
STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee AG's aide joins governor's office, drops high court bid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery's top deputy has dropped out of contention for a state Supreme Court opening and instead is joining Gov. Bill Lee's office as his chief legal counsel.

COURTS

NY attorney general seeks Trump's testimony in civil probe

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's attorney general is seeking former President Donald Trump's testimony in an ongoing investigation into his business practices, a person familiar with the matter said.

What Elizabeth Holmes had to say at her trial: 5 takeaways

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Once-lionized entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes wrapped up seven days of testimony in her criminal fraud trial Wednesday, having largely used the time to defend her actions as CEO of the startup Theranos. The company she founded had soared on the promise of innovative blood-testing technology only to crash in a sordid display of failure and alleged deceit.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Drivers playing video games? US is looking into Tesla case

DETROIT (AP) — Last August, Vince Patton was watching a YouTube video of a Tesla owner who had made a startling observation: Tesla drivers could now play a video game on their car's touch-screen dashboard — while the vehicle is moving.

HEALTH CARE

CVS Health hikes dividend, eyes push into primary care

CVS Health is hiking its dividend and offering a better-than-expected 2022 revenue forecast as the health care giant prepares to dive deeper into providing more care.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

FDA expands Pfizer COVID booster, opens extra dose to age 16

The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters, ruling that 16- and 17-year-olds can get a third dose of Pfizer's vaccine.

WHO warns fears of omicron could spark new vaccine hoarding

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization expressed concerns Thursday that rich countries spooked by the emergence of the omicron variant could step up the hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines and strain global supplies again, complicating efforts to stamp out the pandemic.

COVID cases spike even as US hits 200M vaccine milestone

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reached 200 million Wednesday amid a dispiriting holiday-season spike in cases and hospitalizations that has hit even New England, one of the most highly inoculated corners of the country.

Vaccine makers racing to update COVID shots, just in case

Vaccine makers are racing to update their COVID-19 shots against the newest coronavirus threat even before it's clear a change is needed, just in case.

How will the world decide when the pandemic is over?

How will the world decide when the pandemic is over?

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Poll: Income is up but Americans focus on inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' overall income has accelerated since the pandemic, but so has inflation — and a new poll finds that far more people are noticing the higher prices than the pay gains.

US jobless claims drop 52-year low amid seasonal volatility

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in 52 years, more evidence that the U.S. job market is recovering from last year's coronavirus recession.

Senate rejects Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate narrowly approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Biden administration's requirement that businesses with 100 or more workers have their employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus or submit to weekly testing.

In a first, Starbucks workers agree to union in Buffalo, NY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize on Thursday, a first for the 50-year-old coffee retailer in the U.S. and the latest sign that the labor movement is stirring after decades of decline.

Crypto execs head to Capitol as Congress mulls regulations

NEW YORK (AP) — Cryptocurrency executives went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to say their fast-growing industry understands more regulation is likely coming, but they don't want it to squelch the next wave of the internet or send it offshore to other countries.

Italy fines Amazon $1.3B, alleging harm to outside sellers

MILAN (AP) — Italy's anti-trust authority on Thursday fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros ($1.3 billion), accusing the company of exploiting its dominant position against independent sellers on its website in violation of European Union competition rules.

EU plan to boost gig economy workers is latest blow to apps

LONDON (AP) — The European Union unveiled plans to improve conditions for the growing number of gig economy workers that could reclassify some as employees entitled to benefits, the latest setback for digital platforms that rely on independent contractors to deliver food and offer rides.

Chinese central banker says market can handle developer debt

BEIJING (AP) — Financial markets can cope with the impact of a Chinese real estate developer that is struggling to avoid defaulting on $310 billion in debt, the central bank governor said Thursday, in a new effort to assure the public the economy can be shielded from fallout.

China tightens control to restrain currency's rise

BEIJING (AP) — China's central bank is trying to restrain the rise of the yuan after the currency hit a 2 1/2-year high against the dollar.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden sounds alarm about global democracy at virtual summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden sounded an alarm about a global slide among democratic institutions Thursday as he convened the first White House Summit for Democracy.  He called for world leaders to "lock arms" to strengthen democracies and demonstrate their worth in a changing world.

US orders arms embargo on Cambodia, cites Chinese influence

BANGKOK (AP) — The U.S. has ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, corruption and human rights abuses by the government and armed forces in the Southeast Asian country.

NATO, Ukraine autonomy pose diplomatic challenges for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said this week the U.S. would take a more direct role in diplomacy to address Vladimir Putin's concerns over Ukraine and Europe, part of a broader effort to dissuade the Russian leader from a destabilizing invasion of Ukraine.

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