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VOL. 45 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 19, 2021

Ready or not, sports is back in a big way

From SEC hoops to college football, spring flood ahead

In less than three weeks, the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament will be in full swing at Bridgestone Arena. Probably. Maybe.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Zillow now more embedded in local real estate offices

Over the past 15 to 20 years, most real estate firms have transitioned to call centers to help schedule appointments for the firms’ listings. Many companies relied on either “Showing Time Appointment Center” or “Centralized Showing Service,” my personal favorite, as the telephone connections were better and the service provided by those answering the phone was more professional.

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County commercial sales for January 2021

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

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
56.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 57%

EVENTS

TSBDC Virtual Workshop. Selling online/e-commerce. This 90-minute workshop will teach you how to create an online store utilizing a website platform like Shopify. It will cover drop shipping techniques, payment processing and promotion for a small business. Taylor Parker, who has been involved in e-commerce for five years, will teach the class. Zoom meeting. Tuesday, 2-3:30 p.m. Free. Information

more events »

US long-term mortgage rates rise slightly; 30-year at 2.81%

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates ticked up this week but remain at historic lows as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the economy even as more Americans get vaccinated.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Do we need a new Nashville flag we could all salute?

Councilman Colby Sledge is exploring whether Nashville should consider changing its city flag.

NEWSMAKERS

Pietsch returns, named partner at tpmbLAW

Taylor, Pigue, Marchetti and Blair, PLLC has named Matt Pietsch a partner of the firm.

BRIEFS

Openings begin March 4 at Fifth + Broadway

Brookfield Properties’ mixed-use project Fifth + Broadway in downtown Nashville will begin its first tenant openings March 4.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Battle of the bigs: Chevrolet Tahoe vs. Ford Expedition

The Chevrolet Tahoe and the Ford Expedition are by far the most popular large SUVs in terms of sales. They offer big-time capability and utility, even if it comes at the expense of fuel efficiency and comfort compared to more carlike crossover SUVs.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Why you don’t want to be named an estate executor

Being asked to be an executor is an honor you might want to pass up.

CAREER CORNER

Wishin’ and hopin’ won’t deliver better work conditions

I hear from job seekers every day who are unhappy at work. They wish things were different and would like to stay if there were improvements:

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Where was this last year when we really needed it?

Zooooom. Since you started working at home, that’s how fast your day goes. You get up, walk to wherever you’ll work for the day and that’s where you stay until, zoom, your day is over. You love the extra freedom it gives you but things could be better, maybe tweaked a little, and in “Work-from-Home Hacks” by Aja Frost, you could find some ideas.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Help! I bought too much! How to turn your quarantine clutter into cash

I placed more online orders than I can count in 2020. And I justified all of them.

PREDATORS

Rinne makes 24 saves as Predators beat Red Wings 2-0

DETROIT (AP) — Pekka Rinne made 24 saves in his first shutout of the season, leading the Nashville Predators to a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

$200M broadband push ahead, Tennessee mulls new coverage map

NASHVILLE (AP) — As Gov. Bill Lee pushes for another $200 million to expand broadband access in Tennessee, an expert group said the state should first map out just where hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans without access to high-speed Internet live, so officials don't have to rely on federal maps that overstate coverage in some communities.

New Tennessee State Library and Archives to open in April

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee official says the new State Library and Archives building is set to open in April.

COURTS

High court inclined to expand warrantless entry into homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed inclined to expand when officers can enter a suspect's home without a warrant.

Tennessee man charged in connection with Capitol breach

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A Tennessee man has been arrested in connection with the U.S. Capital riot on Jan. 6, authorities said.

Federal grand jury hearing evidence in death of George Floyd

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several witnesses have been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury considering charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is already facing state murder charges in the death of George Floyd, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Deaf Costco worker with mumbling manager won't get $775K award

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A deaf former employee of a South Florida Costco store won't be collecting $775,000 a federal jury awarded her in a discrimination and wrongful termination case.

REAL ESTATE

Red-hot US housing market: January new home sales jump 4.3%

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Demand for new homes in the U.S. surged 4.3% in January with the housing market still one of the strongest segments of the economy.

TOURISM

Kentucky Kingdom sold to company that operates Dollywood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky amusement park that once operated as a Six Flags has been sold to a company that operates family-oriented venues around the country including Dollywood in Tennessee and Silver Dollar City in Missouri.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan ex-CEO tells Japanese court Ghosn's pay was too low

TOKYO (AP) — Former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a Japanese court Wednesday he believed the compensation for his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was too low "by international standards," and so he supported Ghosn's retirement packages to prevent him from leaving.

Lawsuits filed against auto insurers over rates in pandemic

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Class action lawsuits were filed in Nevada against 10 major auto insurance companies on Tuesday, contending that the companies charged excessive insurance premiums during the pandemic by failing to account for a drop in driving and crashes.

TRANSPORTATION

FAA grounds certain planes after engine failure over Denver

DENVER (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday ordered airlines in the United States to ground planes with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this past weekend until they can be inspected for stress cracks.

TECHNOLOGY

Federal judge says California can enforce net neutrality law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that California can for the first time enforce its tough net neutrality law, clearing the way for the state to ban internet providers from slowing down or blocking access to websites and applications that don't pay for premium service.

Tech firms say there's little doubt Russia behind major hack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Leading technology companies said Tuesday that a monthslong breach of corporate and government networks was so sophisticated, focused and labor-intensive that a nation had to be behind it, with all the evidence pointing to Russia.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

States pass their own virus aid, not waiting on Washington

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Not waiting for more federal help, states have been approving their own coronavirus aid packages, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help residents and business owners devastated by the the pandemic's economic fallout.

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in 'equity' push

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to distribute millions of face masks to Americans in communities hard-hit by the coronavirus beginning next month as part of his efforts to ensure "equity" in the government's response to the pandemic.

FDA says single-dose shot from J&J prevents severe COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Gains for bank stocks help lead major US indexes higher

Stocks shook off a weak start and closed broadly higher Wednesday, nudging the Dow Jones Industrial Average to another all-time high.

Chairman Powell: Fed is in no hurry to raise interest rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that the central bank will not start raising interest rates until it believes its goals on maximum employment and inflation have been reached.

Biden to order a review of US supply chains for vital goods

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is preparing to sign an executive order to review U.S. supply chains for large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors that power cars, phones, military equipment and other goods.

Number of women on UK corporate boards rises 50% in 5 years

LONDON (AP) — Women now hold more than a third of the seats on the boards of Britain's biggest companies, meeting a government target set five years ago.

German economy grew 0.3% in 4th quarter, better than thought

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy grew 0.3% in last year's fourth quarter compared with the previous three-month period, official data showed Wednesday — a better performance than first thought.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Republicans push back on Pelosi proposal for riot commission

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders in the House and Senate say a proposed plan for an independent commission to study the Capitol insurrection is overly tilted toward Democrats, arguing that the panel should have an even party split like the one formed to study the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Chief: Capitol police were unsure about using force Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection did not properly lock down the building and were unsure of the rules for using deadly force against the rioters, according to the acting chief of the Capitol Police.

CIA nominee pledges to provide 'unvarnished' intelligence

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's nominee to run the CIA told lawmakers Wednesday that he would keep politics out of the job and deliver "unvarnished" intelligence to politicians and policymakers even if they don't want to hear it.

Tanden facing new hurdles after Senate panels delay meetings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is standing by President Joe Biden's choice of Neera Tanden to lead the White House budget office, even as she faced new hurdles Wednesday after two Senate committees postponed consideration of her nomination.

Capitol defenders cite missed intelligence for deadly breach

WASHINGTON (AP) — Missed intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in charge of security that day said in their first public testimony on the insurrection.

More policy, less pomp as Biden and Trudeau meet virtually

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's first bilateral meeting with Canada's Justin Trudeau since taking office was high on policy, low on pomp and featured a very large swipe at Biden's predecessor as the coronavirus forced the two leaders to convene virtually Tuesday rather than gathering with customary Oval Office fanfare.

Judge bans enforcement of Biden's 100-day deportation pause

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden's administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23
STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee: 28 of 95 counties now have paper trail for voting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say 28 of 95 counties now have voting machines that leave a paper trail, and more are planning to buy them.

Governor could require in-person learning under new GOP bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Senate on Monday advanced legislation that would allow the governor to issue an executive order requiring schools to offer in-person learning.

EDUCATION

Vanderbilt to begin $55M business school building expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University says it will soon begin a $55 million expansion of its business school building.

COURTS

What NY prosecutors could learn from Trump's tax records

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.

U.S. Attorney in Nashville leaving post at end of month

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said on Monday he is leaving his post in Nashville at the end of the month at the request of the White House and the Department of Justice.

Biden asks high court to drop 2 Trump-era Medicaid cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court not to hear arguments in two cases on its March calendar about the Trump administration's plan to remake Medicaid by requiring recipients to work.

Suit blames Saudi Arabia for attack at Florida military base

WASHINGTON (AP) — Victims of a 2019 shooting at a Florida military base and their families are suing Saudi Arabia, claiming the kingdom knew the gunman had been radicalized and that it could have prevented the killings.

AUTO INDUSTRY

New or used? Price hikes squeeze US auto buyers either way

FENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The viral pandemic has triggered a cascade of price hikes throughout America's auto industry — a surge that has made both new and used vehicles unaffordable for many.

REAL ESTATE

U.S. home prices rise 10.1% in December, fastest since 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices surged at the fastest pace in nearly seven years in December, fueled by low mortgage rates and Americans moving from crowded urban areas to houses in the suburbs.

Hawaii affordable housing guidelines could include $1M homes

HONOLULU (AP) — Affordable housing guidelines set by a Hawaii state agency could rate two-bedroom homes costing $1 million as affordable for some households eligible for government-subsidized housing.

TECHNOLOGY

Huawei unveils flagship foldable smartphone for China market

BEIJING (AP) — Struggling under U.S. sanctions, Huawei unveiled a folding smartphone with an 8-inch (20-centimeter) -wide screen Monday to show off its tech prowess but said it will be sold only in China.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

White House promises vaccine help as states rush to catch up

DALLAS (AP) — A giant vaccination center is opening in Houston to administer 126,000 coronavirus doses in the next three weeks. Nevada health officials are working overtime to distribute delayed shots. And Rhode Island is rescheduling appointments after a vaccine shipment failed to arrive as scheduled earlier in the week.

Drug executives: Big jump in vaccine supply is coming soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month, and the companies insist they will be able to provide enough for most Americans to get inoculated by summer.

Biden mourns 500,000 dead, balancing nation's grief and hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — With sunset remarks and a national moment of silence, President Joe Biden on Monday confronted head-on the country's once-unimaginable loss — half a million Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic — as he tried to strike a balance between mourning and hope.

Not to be sniffed at: Agony of post-COVID-19 loss of smell

NICE, France (AP) — The doctor slid a miniature camera into the patient's right nostril, making her whole nose glow red with its bright miniature light.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Late gains reverse most of an early slide on stock market

A late-afternoon burst of buying on Wall Street helped reverse most of a stock market sell-off Tuesday, nudging the S&P 500 to its first gain after a five-day losing streak.

Consumer confidence rises for second consecutive month

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence rose again in February as an accelerating COVID-19 vaccine push provides hope for Americans who have lived through a year of unprecedented restrictions.

Fed's Powell: Recovery incomplete, higher inflation unlikely

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell underscored the U.S. economy's ongoing weakness Tuesday in remarks that suggested that the Fed sees no need to alter its ultra-low interest rate policies anytime soon.

Macy's closes out a horrendous year with hope for 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's is looking ahead to a year of recovery and rebuilding from the pandemic as the iconic department store chain offered annual forecasts that beat Wall Street forecasts.

In year of pandemic, Home Depot became supplier to millions

The housing market was among the very few bright spots for the U.S. economy in the year of the lockdown and Home Depot became its supplier, racking up an unprecedented $132 billion in sales for 2020.

Kohl's pushes back on investor group's takeover efforts

NEW YORK (AP) — Kohl's is fighting back against an investor group's efforts to take control of the department store chain's board, arguing that it would derail its progress and momentum.

Puerto Rico rejects key deal with creditors to reduce debt

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor announced Tuesday that a federal control board reached a key deal that would reduce the U.S. territory's overall debt by nearly 80%, but that his administration is rejecting it because it would require cuts to the island's crumbling public pension system.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Capitol defenders blame bad intelligence for deadly breach

WASHINGTON (AP) — Faulty intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in charge of security declared Tuesday in their first public testimony on the insurrection.

Takeaways from Congress' first hearing on Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Security officials testifying at Congress' first hearing on the deadly siege of the Capitol cast blame and pointed fingers on Tuesday but also acknowledged they were woefully unprepared for the violence.

Senate approves Vilsack for Agriculture Department again

Washington (AP) — The Senate voted 92-7 Tuesday to confirm Tom Vilsack as Agriculture secretary, his second run at the Cabinet post.

Pandemic first job for HHS pick but health agenda is broader

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health secretary nominee Xavier Becerra told senators Tuesday that confronting the coronavirus pandemic will be his first priority if confirmed, but he also pledged to expand health insurance, rein in prescription drug costs and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in medical care.

Biden attempt to resurrect Iran nuke deal off to bumpy start

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration's early efforts to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are getting a chilly early response from Tehran. Though few expected a breakthrough in the first month of the new administration, Iran's tough line suggests a difficult road ahead.

Senate confirms Biden's choice for UN ambassador

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's choice to lead U.S. diplomacy at the United Nations on Tuesday. The vote for Linda Thomas-Greenfield reflected a divide between the Biden administration's determination to re-engage with the world body and former President Donald Trump's diplomacy that often left the U.S. isolated internationally.

Interior nominee Haaland questioned on drilling, pipelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Interior Department  faced sharp questions from Republicans Tuesday over what several called her "radical" ideas that include opposition to fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Deb Haaland hearing is Indian Country's Obama moment

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances have been molded by her upbringing.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22
STATEWIDE

Public comment sought on Big South Fork park fee increases

ONEIDA (AP) — Public comment is being taken on a proposal to increase some fees at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee and Kentucky, the National Park Service said.

EDUCATION

Colleges to house new center that trains Black entrepreneurs

CHICAGO (AP) — A new center for training Black entrepreneurs will be opening in Atlanta as part of a collaboration announced Monday between Spelman College, Morehouse College and an advocacy organization made up of business leaders.

COURTS

Second high court hearing for Florida-Georgia water war

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court tried Monday to inject some mystery into its second consideration of a long-running dispute between Georgia and Florida over water that flows from the Atlanta suburbs to the Gulf of Mexico.

High court formally rejects Trump election challenge cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday formally rejected a handful of cases related to the 2020 election, including disputes from Pennsylvania that had divided the justices just before the election.

Supreme Court won't halt turnover of Trump's tax records

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor.

EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump's administration.

Court to take up Trump immigration, abortion referral rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will take up challenges to controversial Trump administration policies affecting family-planning clinics and immigrants, even though the Biden administration has announced it is reviewing them.

Dominion Voting Systems sues 'MyPillow Guy' for $1.3 billion

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Monday against the founder and CEO of Minnesota-based MyPillow, saying that Mike Lindell falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.

Court won't revive porn star's defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from porn star Stormy Daniels, who sought to revive a defamation lawsuit she filed against former President Donald Trump.

TECHNOLOGY

Kroger: Some pharmacy customer data impacted in vendor hack

BOSTON (AP) — Kroger Co. says personal data, including Social Security numbers of some of its pharmacy and clinic customers, may have been stolen in the hack of a third-party vendor's file-transfer service.

MEDIA

Microsoft, EU publishers seek Australia-style news payments

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news, raising the stakes in the brewing battle led by Australia to get Google and Facebook to pay for journalism.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden to mourn 500,000 dead while balancing grief and hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — With sunset remarks and a national moment of silence, President Joe Biden is planning a head-on acknowledgement of the country's once-unimaginable loss — half a million Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic —. in striking contrast to the approach of his predecessor.

New York City movie theaters to reopen in early March

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York City movie theaters can open their doors again at limited capacity starting March 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Sanofi to help second rival produce COVID-19 vaccines

PARIS (AP) — French drug maker Sanofi, battling development delays with its own vaccine candidates against COVID-19, is turning over more of its vaccine production facilities to industrial competitors, teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to produce millions of doses of its rival coronavirus vaccine.

UN to rich nations: Don't undermine COVAX vaccine program

BERLIN (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization pleaded with rich countries on Monday to check before ordering additional COVID-19 vaccine shots for themselves whether that undermines efforts to get vaccine shots to poorer nations.

Pubs, haircuts, gyms must wait as UK lifts lockdown slowly

LONDON (AP) — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday was setting out a road map for lifting one of Europe's strictest national lockdowns — but the millions of Britons eager for a haircut or an evening out still face a long wait.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Weakness in Big Tech stocks leaves Wall Street mostly lower

Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, dragged down by losses in several Big Tech companies.

Biden boosts pandemic lending to smallest businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced changes Monday to target more federal pandemic assistance to the nation's smallest businesses and ventures owned by women and people of color.

A Biden edge in COVID-19 bill: Dems reluctant to wound him

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders have a potent dynamic on their side as Congress preps for its first votes on the party's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill: Would any Democrat dare cast the vote that scuttles new President Joe Biden's leadoff initiative?

After losing a company to COVID, owners seek the next gig

NEW YORK (AP) — As airlines slashed flights and furloughs appeared inevitable in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Mike Catania sensed there would be little need for a service that helped airline crews find short-term housing.

Why some Texans are getting sky-high energy bills

After unusual icy weather left millions of Texans without power, some are facing another crisis: Sky-high electricity bills.

Goodyear acquires Cooper in all-American stock deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Two of the biggest remaining American tire companies are joining forces.

M&T Bank buying People's United in $7.6B all-stock deal

M&T Bank Corp. is buying People's United Financial Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at about $7.6 billion.

Survey: German business optimism up despite pandemic burdens

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Optimism rose among German businesses in February, according to a closely watched survey - despite a worrisome flattening out in the decline of infections.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Centrist Democrats flex muscles, create headaches for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — A moderate Democratic senator from West Virginia is suddenly one of the most powerful people in Washington.

AG nominee Garland vows Capitol riot will be top priority

WASHINGTON (AP) — Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee, vowed Monday to prioritize combating extremist violence and said his first focus would be on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as he sought to assure lawmakers that the Justice Department would remain politically independent on his watch.

A look at Merrick Garland, the nominee for attorney general

WASHINGTON (AP) — Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's nominee for attorney general, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing on Monday. Here are some key facts to know about Biden's nominee to run the Justice Department:

Interior nominee Haaland vows 'balance' on energy, climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and natural gas will continue to play a major role in America for years to come, even as the Biden administration seeks to conserve public lands and address climate change, President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Interior Department pledges.

Key senators oppose Biden budget pick, confirmation at risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget was thrown further into doubt on Monday as moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah said they would vote against confirming her.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19
PREDATORS

Healthy Elvis shuts out Predators as Blue Jackets win 3-0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Elvis Merzlikins made 32 saves in his first start since coming off injured reserve, Cam Atkinson scored his team-leading seventh goal and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Thursday night.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans players, foundation give $130K to social justice orgs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans players and the team's foundation have donated more than $130,000 to nine organizations dedicated to social justice.

STATEWIDE

Memphis airport closes terminal due to water pressure issues

MEMPHIS (AP) — All incoming and outgoing passenger flights at Memphis International Airport were canceled Friday due to terminal closures caused by system-wide water pressure issues, the facility said.

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to reopen March 1

MEMPHIS (AP) — The National Civil Rights Museum is scheduled to reopen next month after it was closed late last year during a surge in coronavirus cases in Memphis, Tennessee.

COURTS

Judge says lawyer who killed her son also tracked Sotomayor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The lawyer who killed a federal judge's son and seriously wounded her husband at their New Jersey home last summer also had been tracking Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the judge said in a television interview.

REAL ESTATE

US existing home sales, and prices, rise again in January

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose again last month, a sign that the housing market's strong momentum from 2020 may be carrying over into this year.

MEDIA

Facebook makes a power move in Australia - and may regret it

For years, Facebook has been in a defensive crouch amid a slew of privacy scandals, antitrust lawsuits and charges that it was letting hate speech and extremism destroy democracy. Early Thursday, though, it abruptly pivoted to take the offensive in Australia, where it lowered the boom on publishers and the government with a sudden decision to block news on its platform across the entire country.

RESTAURANTS

Pandemic restaurant closures produce glut of used equipment

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (AP) — The pandemic's heavy toll on the restaurant industry can be seen in Jose Bonilla Jr.'s cavernous warehouse, which is packed with industrial ovens, grills, mixers, refrigerators, dining tables and chairs.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford loses track of dangerous air bags, forcing 2 recalls

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford has lost track of some older Takata air bags that can explode and hurl shrapnel, so it's recalling more than 154,000 vehicles in North America to check for them.

TECHNOLOGY

Suspected Russian hack fuels new US action on cybersecurity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jolted by a sweeping hack that may have revealed government and corporate secrets to Russia, U.S. officials are scrambling to reinforce the nation's cyber defenses and recognizing that an agency created two years ago to protect America's networks and infrastructure lacks the money, tools and authority to counter such sophisticated threats.

NASA rover lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA rover streaked through the orange Martian sky and landed on the planet Thursday, accomplishing the riskiest step yet in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on Mars.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden tours Pfizer vaccine plant as weather delays 6M shots

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant Friday as extreme winter weather across broad swaths of the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses.

Biden rolling out plan for $4 billion global vaccine effort

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden will use his first big presidential moment on the global stage at Friday's Group of Seven meeting of world leaders to announce that the U.S. will soon begin releasing $4 billion for an international effort to bolster the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccine to poor nations, White House officials said.

G-7 vows 'equitable' world vaccine access, but details scant

LONDON (AP) — Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers promised Friday to immunize the world's neediest people against the coronavirus by giving money, and precious vaccine doses, to a U.N.-backed vaccine distribution effort.

Africa reaches 100,000 known COVID-19 deaths as danger grows

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Africa has surpassed 100,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 as the continent praised for its early response to the pandemic now struggles with a dangerous resurgence and medical oxygen often runs desperately short.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end a wobbly day with mixed results; yields rise

U.S. stock indexes ended a choppy day of trading little changed Friday, though the S&P 500 finished with its first weekly loss in three weeks.

Federal Reserve sees modest pickup in hiring this month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says there's evidence that hiring has picked up in recent weeks, though the job market remains badly damaged by the pandemic.

Yellen warns against paring Biden's $1.9T relief package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that recent signs of improvement in the U.S. economy are no reason to scale back the administration's $1.9 trillion relief plan because the economy remains in a "deep hole" with many people still hurting.

Investing ABCs: Teaching your kids about money and markets

The recent stock market mania over the video game company GameStop, which this week was scrutinized by Congress, has provided a teachable moment for kids.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration says it's ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, in a sharp repudiation of former President Donald Trump's "maximum pressure campaign" that sought to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Biden declares 'America is back' in welcome words to allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden used his first address before a global audience Friday to declare that "America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back," after four years of a Trump administration that flaunted its foreign policy through an "America First" lens.

Democrats consider piecemeal approach to immigration reform

WASHINGTON (AP) — After decades of failed attempts to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden are signaling openness to a piece-by-piece approach.

'Obviously a mistake': Cruz returns from Cancun after uproar

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said his family vacation to Mexico was "obviously a mistake" as he returned stateside Thursday following an uproar over his disappearance during a deadly winter storm.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
STATE GOVERNMENT

Dolly Parton asks Tennessee not to put her statue at Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — Dolly Parton is asking Tennessee lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would erect a statue of her on the Capitol grounds in Nashville.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville marathon postponed again amid virus numbers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Organizers of Nashville's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon announced Wednesday that the music and running event will once again be postponed.

Army Corps delays some fee hikes at Nashville district lakes

NASHVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is holding off for now on fee hikes at some facilities at five lakes in its Nashville district.

COURTS

Judge keeps mother, son in Capitol riot jailed pending trial

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Washington, D.C., judge on Wednesday ordered that a Georgia woman and her Tennessee son remain jailed pending trial on charges for their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

REAL ESTATE

January home construction falls 6%; signs of rebound ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction fell 6% in January but applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, rose sharply.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Cost controls, luxury sales help Daimler weather pandemic

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Car and truck maker Daimler increased its profits by 48% to 4.0 billion euros ($4.8 billion euros) in 2020 thanks to extensive cost-cutting and a sales recovery in the second half for its highly profitable Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles.

MEDIA

Facebook blocks Australians from accessing news on platform

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Facebook announced Thursday it has blocked Australians from viewing and sharing news on the platform because of proposed laws in the country to make digital giants pay for journalism.

EXPLAINER: What's up between Google, Facebook and Australia?

BEIJING (AP) — For two decades, global news outlets have complained internet companies are getting rich at their expense, selling advertising linked to their reports without sharing revenue.

ENVIRONMENT

US needs to brace itself for more deadly storms, experts say

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deadly weather will be hitting the U.S. more often, and America needs to get better at dealing with it, experts said as Texas and other states battled winter storms that blew past the worst-case planning of utilities, governments and millions of shivering residents.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Deal to get 1.1B vaccines to over 190 nations

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — Vaccine developer Novavax has agreed to provide 1.1 billion doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine for use in more than 190 low- and middle-income countries.

California conference in 'immunity bubble' spreads COVID-19

CULVER CITY, Calif. (AP) — XPrize founder Peter Diamandis thought he could hold a conference in an "immunity bubble" in the middle of California's COVID-19 surge last month but instead created a superspreader event that infected attendees, staff and himself.

US life expectancy drops a year in pandemic, most since WWII

Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials are reporting.

Muddled promises on schools pose political problem for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is in a political firestorm over how and when to get more schools open during the coronavirus pandemic, with Republicans seizing on confusion surrounding Biden's goal to reopen a majority of schools within his first 100 days to paint the president as beholden to teachers' unions at the expense of American families.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks fall as investors fret over jobless claims, inflation

Stocks posted modest losses on Thursday as investors had little reason to buy stocks with discouraging economic data and a steady rise in bond yields, which has start to raise concerns about inflation.

Robinhood CEO defends actions in GameStop saga at hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Key players in the GameStop saga faced questions Thursday from House lawmakers concerned that even as investing becomes more democratized the scales are still tilted in favor of the big Wall Street institutions.

US jobless claims jump to 861,000 as layoffs stay high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high despite a steady drop in the number of confirmed viral infections.

Walmart sales still surging, but a chill may be on the way

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is raising wages for 425,000 of its 1.5 million U.S. workers and is investing $14 billion this year to speed up its distribution network as the nation's largest retailer navigates vast industry changes that were accelerated by the pandemic.

British bank Barclays resumes dividends despite profit fall

LONDON (AP) — British banking firm Barclays is resuming dividend payouts despite reporting a big drop in profits last year after it set aside 4.8 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) to account for loan losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus lost $1.3 billion amid pandemic; expects better 2021

PARIS (AP) — European plane maker Airbus lost 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) last year amid an unprecedented global slump in air travel because of the pandemic, but expects to deliver hundreds of planes and make a profit in 2021 despite uncertainty about when people will resume flying en masse.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Path to citizenship in new Democratic immigration bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats proposed a major immigration overhaul Thursday that would offer an eight-year pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

US reverts to targeted immigration enforcement under Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigration enforcement in the U.S. would be more targeted under President Joe Biden than under his predecessor, with authorities directed to focus on people in the country illegally who pose a threat, according to guidelines released Thursday.

Pelosi says bipartisan panel should investigate Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that a proposed commission to study what went wrong in the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol must be "strongly bipartisan" and have the power to subpoena witnesses, similar to a commission that studied the 9/11 terrorist attacks and spurred major reforms in the intelligence community and beyond.

Cruz on vacation in Mexico as storm slams Texas

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz traveled to Mexico on Wednesday for a family vacation as his home state struggled with a powerful winter storm that left many residents without power or safe drinking water.

Ivanka Trump tells Rubio she won't run for his Senate seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump will not be running for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat in 2022 as she settles into life after Washington.

EXPLAINER: After acquittal, Trump 2024? Maybe not so fast

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump's acquittal by the Senate in his impeachment trial may not be the end of the line for efforts to keep him from seeking the presidency again.

Biden's Medicare pick would be 1st Black woman to hold post

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has picked a former Obama administration official to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency oversees government health insurance programs covering more than 1 out of 3 Americans and is a linchpin of the health care system.

Trump-McConnell feud threatens Republicans' path to power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is escalating a political war within his own party that could undermine the Republican push to fight President Joe Biden's agenda and ultimately return the party to power.

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