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VOL. 45 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 19, 2021

Over the Cumberland, around the world

August Grand Prix part of plan to tweak city’s brand, lure more international tourists

Josef Newgarden has a very simple explanation for why Nashville seemingly has become the center of the motor sports universe.

Is racing over water, well, safe?

The Music City Grand Prix will be unique in that the course will feature a 600-yard straightaway across the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge and roughly 80 feet above the Cumberland River. That’s never been done in a grand prix race.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Greater Nashville Realtors celebrate year like no other

Last weekend, the Greater Nashville Realtors showcased the cream of the real estate crop when they produced “Broadway: The Show Must Go On.” The theme was inspired by the work performed by the Realtor members during 2020, a year fraught with challenges for the community and the world.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
52.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: South at 10.4 mph
Humidity: 35%

EVENTS

Downtown Connect: Safely Returning to Work. In partnership with the Nashville Downtown Partnership, the Nashville Area Chamber is pleased to present a conversation with Downtown Connect on downtown businesses plans to return to work safely. The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way downtown businesses worked. Keeping employees engaged, managing their level of comfortability while navigating a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis has been challenging. Hear from downtown business leaders on returning to the workplace, safely gathering and what the rest of 2021 will look like for downtown businesses. Panelists: Brandy Ashley and Sarah Ashley, co-founders of TN Event Designs; Rodney Chester, PE, CEO, Gresham Smith; Rod Essig, co-head of Nashville office, Creative Artists Agency; Leigh McCorkle, Chief People Officer, Mechanical Licensing Collective. Free, but registration is required. This is a members-only event. Thursday, 10-11 a.m. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Davidson County real estate trends for February 2021

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

Top Davidson County residential sales for February 2021

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

US long-term mortgage rates edge higher; 30-year at 3.09%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to edge higher this week as the benchmark 30-year loan stayed above the 3% mark. Rates remain near historic lows, however.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

What? No official state instrument? It has to be banjo

Tennessee lawmakers, for all their zeal to create official state whatevers, have somehow neglected an obvious category: A state musical instrument.

NEWSMAKERS

Pinnacle adds Frazee as financial adviser

Nashville commercial real estate lender Michael Frazee has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a financial adviser, based at the firm’s Symphony Place headquarters office. Frazee is part of commercial real estate manager Tyler Muesch’s Nashville team.

UT SPORTS

NCAA offers one more run for VFL Fulkerson

John Fulkerson sat alone on the scorer’s table, right hand covering his reddened eyes, left hand gripping a Gatorade towel and a basketball tucked under his forearm.

BRIEFS

Saint Thomas opens hospital in MetroCenter

Ascension Saint Thomas Behavioral Health Hospital is now offering inpatient care for adults age 18 and older at 300 Great Circle Road.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

How to sell a car safely during a pandemic

Selling a car privately has long been a way for people to potentially get more money for their vehicle compared to trading it in to a dealership. But it’s always been a laborious process.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Start early to get your house retirement-ready

Many people want to remain in their homes after they retire rather than move to a senior living facility or community. Unfortunately, most homes aren’t set up to help us age safely and affordably.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

3 good books to help get back into office mode

For the last year in particular, you’ve been doing your best. You’ve been holding things together, taking care of customers and clients as much as possible, cheering on your team, keeping the bills paid and waiting for things to improve.

CAREER CORNER

Survey: Vaccinations should be required for coworkers

Many of us are champing at the bit for the COVID vaccine. It feels like a ticket to freedom.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Save money by conquering your fear of phone calls

Sean McAuliffe’s business, International Key Supply, suffered financially when the pandemic began. So he set out to cut operating costs for the New York-based distribution company. He canceled a few services, and for more important ones, he contacted the providers to request deferred or lowered bills.

PREDATORS

NHL ref's career over after hot-mic call on Preds penalty

The NHL announced Wednesday that Tim Peel's career as a league referee is over after he was picked up by a TV microphone saying he wanted to give the Nashville Predators a penalty, an incident that put the notion of "make-up" calls squarely in the spotlight.

Saros makes 31 saves for 1st shutout, Predators defeat Detroit

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville built some momentum on its long road trip. The Predators were certainly happy to be back home.

SPORTS

Belmont hoops program founder virtually cheering Bruins' run

Betty Wiseman couldn't be with the Belmont Bruins to celebrate the first-ever win in the women's NCAA Tournament by the program she founded.

Michigan women reach Sweet 16 for first time, beat Tennessee

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — It's been a season of firsts for Michigan, and now the Wolverines can add a trip to the Sweet 16 to that list.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Board of Regents set to discuss leadership of 2 colleges

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Board of Regents will consider candidates for the next president of two technology colleges at its upcoming board meeting.

RELIGION

Growing number of Southern Baptist women question roles

Emily Snook is the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor. She met her husband, also a pastor, while they attended a Southern Baptist university

Pope, citing pandemic effect, cuts pay for cardinals, others

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Trying to save jobs as the pandemic pummels Vatican revenues, Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other clerics, including priests and nuns, who work at the Holy See.

COURTS

High court mulls police power to enter homes without warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday weighed when police can enter homes without a warrant, with the justices making up scenarios involving elderly neighbors, a cat in a tree, a mask-less social gathering and even a Van Gogh painting to help them resolve the case.

Tennessee to get $4.9M in national surgical mesh settlement

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general says the state will receive $4.9 million from a $188.6 million multistate settlement over deceptive marketing claims against a maker of surgical mesh products.

German firm plea, $50M payment settles US drug purity probe

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An international pharmaceutical company pleaded guilty as planned Tuesday in a U.S. court after agreeing to pay $50 million for destroying manufacturing records during a federal Food and Drug Administration inspection in India.

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 law sparks dialogue on nursing home alternatives

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the memory of the pandemic's toll in nursing homes still raw, the COVID-19 relief law is offering states a generous funding boost for home- and community-based care as an alternative to institutionalizing disabled people.

Newly confirmed surgeon general to focus on COVID, opioids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed a soft-spoken physician as President Joe Biden's surgeon general Tuesday. While Dr. Vivek Murthy says ending the coronavirus pandemic is his top priority, he's also raised concerns over a relapsing opioid overdose crisis.

EDUCATION

Homeschooling doubled from pandemic's start to last fall

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The rate of households homeschooling their children doubled from the start of the pandemic last spring to the start of the new school year last September, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released this week.

ENVIRONMENT

US report: Bald eagle populations soar in lower 48 states

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009, with more than 300,000 birds soaring over the lower 48 states, government scientists said in a report Wednesday.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Japan's Toyota, Isuzu, Hino join in truck technology tie up

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automakers Toyota, Isuzu and Hino said Wednesday they are setting up a partnership in commercial vehicles to work together in electric, hydrogen, connected and autonomous driving technologies.

TRANSPORTATION

NTSB calls for more safety oversight of air tour operators

Federal safety officials are making another push for stricter oversight of air tour operators and hot-air balloon rides after several deadly crashes in recent years.

MEDIA

Parler network founder claims GOP donor, others defamed him

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The developer of the conservative social network Parler is alleging he was defamed and improperly ousted by a prominent Republican Party benefactor, two men who replaced him at the company and a political commentator known for his support for former President Donald Trump.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Brighter outlook for US as vaccinations rise and deaths fall

More than three months into the U.S. vaccination drive, many of the numbers paint an increasingly encouraging picture, with 70% of Americans 65 and older receiving at least one dose of the vaccine and COVID-19 deaths dipping below 1,000 a day on average for the first time since November.

EU moves toward stricter export controls for COVID-19 shots

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union moved Wednesday toward stricter export controls for coronavirus vaccines, seeking to make sure its 27 nations have more COVID-19 shots to boost the bloc's flagging vaccine campaign amid a surge in new infections.

Ex-US vaccine chief fired over sexual harassment allegations

The former chief science adviser for the U.S. effort to rapidly develop COVID-19 vaccines has been fired from the board of directors of a medical research company over sexual harassment allegations, drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Wednesday.

Gov't data show race, region disparities in school reopening

Nearly half of the nation's elementary schools were open for full-time classroom learning as of last month, but the share of students learning in-person has varied greatly by region and by race, with most nonwhite students learning entirely online, according to results from a national survey conducted by the Biden administration.

Hawaii gets tourism surge as coronavirus rules loosen up

HONOLULU (AP) — Tourists are traveling to Hawaii in larger numbers than officials anticipated, and many are wandering around Waikiki without masks, despite a statewide mandate to wear them in public.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

A late slide, led by Big Tech, leaves US stock indexes lower

A late-afternoon burst of selling on Wall Street erased an early gain for stocks Wednesday, pulling the market further below the all-time high it reached just a week ago.

Yellen sees room for US to borrow, opens door to tax hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes the U.S. government has more room to borrow, but said higher taxes would likely be required in the long run to finance future spending increases.

GameStop weighing stock offering to fund transformation

GameStop is considering selling some of its shares, a move that would enable the video-game retailer to capitalize on the massive surge in its stock price this year.

Orders for manufactured goods tumbled 1.1% in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods slumped 1.1% in February with demand in a key sector that tracks business investment also dropping.

Stock trading app company Robinhood files plan to go public

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Stock trading app company Robinhood said Tuesday that it has submitted a confidential plan to go public later this year.

Oakland launches guaranteed pay plan for low-income people

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The mayor of Oakland, California, on Tuesday announced a privately funded program that will give low-income families of color $500 per month with no rules on how they can spend it.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden taps VP Harris to lead response to border challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the migration challenge at the U.S. southern border.

Watchdog: Ex-Navy auditor sexually harassed female workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Navy civilian auditor sexually harassed at least a dozen female employees for more than two decades as part of a pervasive pattern of misconduct and retaliation, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.

Senators back off vow to withhold support of Biden nominees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Democratic senators who said they would not support President Joe Biden's nominations to fill administration posts until the White House better promoted diversity reversed their stances Tuesday after the White House said it would add an Asian American Pacific Islander liaison to its staff.

Biden readies for 1st news conference, White House tradition

WASHINGTON (AP) — He'd led allied armies in the defeat of Nazi Germany only to find himself, a decade later, a tad intimidated before the cameras in an echoey room of the Old Executive Office Building, ready to make history again.

Democrats vow vote on gun bills; Biden says 'we have to act'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats said they are pushing toward a vote on expanded gun control measures as the nation reels from its second mass shooting in a week. President Joe Biden said "we have to act," but prospects for any major changes were dim, for now, in the closely divided Congress.


TUESDAY, MARCH 23
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans agree to 1-year deal with receiver Josh Reynolds

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with wide receiver Josh Reynolds.

SPORTS

Pat Summitt pupils making an impact in NCAA Tournament

Kyra Elzy and Kellie Harper won a lot of NCAA Tournament games together while teammates at Tennessee

Wells 25 points for Belmont women in 1st NCAA win over Zags

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) — There were some agonizing moments in January when Belmont wasn't even sure it would be able to finish any more of its promising season.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Sportsbook operator sues over its suspension in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee sports betting company has sued state officials to try to overturn their suspension of the firm's sportsbook, a move taken last week due to suspected fraud and money laundering in accounts on the betting platform.

Gov. Lee announces faith-based foster care, adoption push

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new initiative in Tennessee aims to partner the faith-based community and the state to help find foster care and adoptive parents for children.

Tennessee bill to ban transgender athletes heads to governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Republican-led Statehouse gave final legislative approval Monday to a measure to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls' sports, a measure many critics warn would likely result in costly legal challenges and be harmful to transgender youth.

COURTS

Biden to nominate 3 federal prosecutors for New York offices

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden intends to nominate three prosecutors to run the U.S. attorney's offices in New York, including the first Black man to run the Southern District of New York.

REAL ESTATE

Sales of new homes plunged 18.2% in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes plunged 18.2% in February as severe winter weather in many parts of the country and a lack of supply took a toll on the housing industry.

HEALTH CARE

Biden to talk up health insurance cost cuts in visit to Ohio

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will showcase health insurance cost cuts in a speech in Ohio on Tuesday during what may be the best time for Democrats to talk up the Affordable Care Act since it became law.

MEDIA

For television, NFL deal is likely a matter of survival

NEW YORK (AP) — The $113 billion deal to telecast NFL games through 2033 is head-swimmingly large — until you consider that the very survival of broadcast networks as we know them may depend upon it.

EDUCATION

AP-NORC poll: Learning setbacks a top concern for parents

BOSTON (AP) — Parents across the U.S. are conflicted about reopening schools. Most are at least somewhat worried that a return to the classroom will lead to more coronavirus cases, but there's an even deeper fear that their children are falling behind in school while at home.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Regal Cinemas, 2nd largest chain in US, to reopen in April

NEW YORK (AP) — Regal Cinemas, the second largest movie theater chain in the U.S., will reopen beginning April 2, its parent company, Cineworld Group, announced Tuesday.

US: AstraZeneca results may have included outdated info

WASHINGTON (AP) — AstraZeneca may have included "outdated information" in touting the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in a U.S. study, federal health officials said Tuesday in an unusual public rift that could further erode confidence in the shot.

Tourism groups push US to eliminate travel restrictions

Airlines and other tourism-related businesses are pushing the White House to draw up a plan in the next five weeks to boost international travel and eliminate restrictions that were imposed early in the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close broadly lower on Wall Street as banks stumble

Stocks are closing broadly lower, giving up their gains from a day earlier.

Yellen, Powell say more needed to promote recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell say more must be done to limit the damage from the coronavirus pandemic and to promote a full economic recovery.

UK jobs market shows further resilience during lockdown

LONDON (AP) — Britain's jobs market showed further resilience in February even though the country has been in one of the world's most stringent lockdowns, according to official figures published Tuesday.

Airbnb asked to drop Olympic ties over China rights issues

Airbnb Inc. is being asked to drop its sponsorship connections to next year's Beijing's Winter Olympics by a coalition of 150 human-rights campaigners.

China-Europe sanctions fight shatters image of amicable ties

BEIJING (AP) — China looked to Europe as an amicable partner as the continent's leaders resisted being drawn into President Donald Trump's conflicts with Beijing over trade, technology and human rights.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden says 'we have to act' after Colorado mass shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats say they are pushing toward a vote on expanded gun control measures as the nation reels from it its second mass shooting in a week. President Joe Biden said "we have to act," but prospects for any major changes were dim, for now, in the closely divided Congress.

Biden eyes $3T package for infrastructure, schools, families

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, President Joe Biden is assembling the next big White House priority, a sweeping $3 trillion package of investments on infrastructure and domestic needs.

DC's long-simmering statehood push begins in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington, D.C.'s bid for statehood finally got a congressional hearing Monday, but Mayor Muriel Bowser's clashes with Republicans on the panel made clear that the issue is far from settled.

Biden Cabinet near complete but hundreds of jobs still open

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's Cabinet is nearly complete with the confirmation of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. But the work of building his administration is just beginning, as Biden has hundreds of key presidential appointments to make to fill out the federal government.


MONDAY, MARCH 22
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans bring back Sambrailo, add CB Kevin Johnson

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have added a pair of new defenders and brought back an offensive tackle.

PREDATORS

Preds finish long trip with another 4-3 SO win against Stars

DALLAS (AP) — Calle Jarnkrok scored in the fifth round of the shootout and the Nashville Predators finished a franchise-record eight-game road trip the same way they started it, with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee to expand vaccine eligibility to younger residents

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee will soon allow all residents 16 and older to receive the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday.

EDUCATION

Tennessee State forensics team wins top national honors

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University's forensics team has been named overall national champions and top historically Black colleges and universities speech and debate team for a second straight year.

REGION

Whiskey makers face worsening hangover from trade dispute

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A hangover from Trump-era tariff disputes could become even more painful for American whiskey distillers unless their entanglement in a trans-Atlantic trade fight is resolved soon.

REAL ESTATE

Existing US home sales fell, prices rose in February

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes slowed last month as rising prices and a dearth of homes for sale kept some would-be buyers on the sidelines.

MEDIA

Bill to aid US publishers vs. Google, Facebook rises again

A congressional effort to bolster U.S. news organizations in negotiations with Big Tech has supporters hoping that third time's the charm.

TECHNOLOGY

Tool created to aid cleanup from Microsoft hack in broad use

WASHINGTON (AP) — A tool designed to help businesses protect themselves from further compromises after a global hack of Microsoft email server software has been downloaded more than 25,000 times since it was released last week, the White House's National Security Council said Monday.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Japan charges Americans with helping Nissan's Ghosn flee

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors charged two Americans, Michael Taylor and his son Peter, Monday in the escape of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn to Lebanon, while he was out on bail.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

AstraZeneca: US data shows vaccine effective for all adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — AstraZeneca reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among adults of all ages in a long-anticipated U.S. study, a finding that could help rebuild public confidence in the shot around the world and move it a step closer to clearance in the U.S.

Police chief says Miami partying "couldn't go on any longer"

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Pointing to over 1,000 arrests in one of the nation's top party spots, Miami Beach officials warned Sunday that the unruly spring break crowd gathering by the thousands, fighting in the streets, destroying restaurant property and refusing to wear masks has become a serious threat to public safety.

Germany looks set to extend virus lockdown measures again

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities are expected to extend lockdown measures again on Monday and possibly tighten some restrictions as they face a steady rise in new coronavirus infections.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Technology companies lead stocks higher on Wall Street

Gains in big technology companies led stocks broadly higher on Wall Street as traders welcomed some easing in long-term bond yields.

Overstimulated? Stocks soar 75% in historic 12-month run

NEW YORK (AP) — It was one year ago that the terrifying free fall for the stock market suddenly ended, ushering in one of its greatest runs.

Fed's Powell: Public should understand risks of Bitcoin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Monday that the U.S. public needs to understand the risks behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, even as the central bank itself is studying the potential costs and benefits of a digital dollar.

Fed pays US Treasury $86.9 billion, largest sum in 4 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve reported Monday that it earned $88.6 billion in 2020 and paid back to the federal government $86.9 billion, the largest Fed payment to the government in four years.

Survey: Business economists favor increased federal spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of business economists think the recovering economy will benefit from much more government spending despite concerns in financial markets that the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief measure Congress recently enacted could ignite inflation.

New SBA head plans changes at agency; focus now is COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — The new head of the Small Business Administration says she expects to make changes at the agency that she says will enable it to further help small companies devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi oil giant Aramco reports 30% drop in payments to state

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's state-backed oil giant Aramco paid the Saudi government 30% less in taxes in 2020, the company reported Monday, as the region's largest economy grapples with the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

UK unveils plan for smaller, more high-tech armed forces

LONDON (AP) — Britain plans to cut the size of its army and boost spending on drones, robots and a new "cyber force" under defense plans announced by the government on Monday.

Biden aims to prevent border crossings from swamping agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is scrambling to manage a growing humanitarian and political challenge at the U.S.-Mexico border that threatens to overshadow its ambitious legislative agenda.


FRIDAY, MARCH 19
PREDATORS

Jarnkrok scores twice, Predators edge Panthers 2-1

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Calle Jarnkrok scored twice, leading the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

STATEWIDE

FedEx's profit nearly triples as online shopping grows

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx said Thursday that its profit nearly tripled in its most recent quarter, despite winter weather that hobbled some of its facilities.

COURTS

Now vaccinated, justices gather privately at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is returning to a little bit of normal following a year disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

NY prosecutors interview Cohen an 8th time in Trump inquiry

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was interviewed on Friday for an eighth time by New York prosecutors investigating the former president's finances.

Report: DOJ investigating Visa over debit card business

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Visa is under investigation by the Department of Justice's antitrust division over whether the company pushes merchants into more expensive forms of debit card payments, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

US charges Swiss 'hacktivist' for data theft, leaks

The Justice Department has charged a Swiss hacker with computer intrusion and identity theft, just over a week after the hacker took credit for helping to break into the online systems of a U.S. security-camera startup.

Founders of California fecal matter-testing company indicted

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who founded a biotech company that tested fecal matter are accused of bilking their investors and health insurance providers, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

TRANSPORTATION

Buttigieg: Biden plan will usher in a new transportation era

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday that an infrastructure plan expected soon from President Joe Biden will offer a "once in a century" opportunity to remake transportation in the United States, where cars and highways are no longer king.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Chip shortage hits Ford, Nissan

DETROIT (AP) — A global semiconductor shortage and a February winter storm have combined to force Ford to build F-150 pickup trucks without some computers.

ENVIRONMENT

Biden meets with UN Security Council members to talk climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden told the permanent representatives of the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the United States will join the international body's Group of Friends on Climate and Society.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

CDC changes school guidance, allowing desks to be closer

NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its social distancing guidelines for schools Friday, saying students can now sit 3 feet apart in classrooms.

Scientist behind coronavirus shot says next target is cancer

BERLIN (AP) — The scientist who won the race to deliver the first widely used coronavirus vaccine says people can rest assured the shots are safe, and the technology behind it will soon be used to fight another global scourge — cancer.

Biden eyes new goal after US clears 100M shots since Jan. 20

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Friday cleared President Joe Biden's goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus shots, more than a month before his target date of his 100th day in office, as the president prepared to set his sights higher in the nationwide vaccination effort.

2 Royal Caribbean lines to resume Caribbean cruises in June

MIAMI (AP) — Two Royal Caribbean cruises will resume in June, ending a yearlong hiatus, but passengers 18 and older must test negative for COVID-19 before getting on a ship.

AstraZeneca vaccinations resume in Europe after clot scare

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Countries across Europe resumed vaccinations with the AstraZeneca shot on Friday, as leaders sought to reassure their populations it is safe following brief suspensions that cast doubt on a vaccine that is critical to ending the coronavirus pandemic.

Prepare the popcorn: AMC opening more movie theaters

It's showtime! AMC Theatres says it will have 98% of its U.S. movie theaters open on Friday as a bunch of theaters reopen in California. Even more theaters are expected to open by March 26.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Wall Street closing lower; bank stocks fall

Wall Street closed out a choppy week of trading Friday with major stock indexes mostly lower and all finishing in the red for the week.

Battling bigness: Congress eyes action against monopolies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The battle against bigness is building. Whether it's beer, banks or book publishing, lawmakers are targeting major industries they say have become so concentrated that they're hurting competition, consumers and the economy.

Powell: US economy gaining, but recovery 'far from complete'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his belief Friday that while the U.S. economy has been steadily rebounding from the devastation caused by the pandemic recession, the recovery is far from complete and needs continued support from the Fed.

Fed to end relaxed capital requirements for large banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says it will restore capital requirements for large banks that were relaxed as part of the Fed's efforts to shore up the financial system during the early days of the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US moves to reengage Europe in person after Trump snubs

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's top diplomat is heading to Europe next week as the Biden administration moves to restore closer U.S. ties with European and NATO allies after four years of snubs and tension under former President Donald Trump.

Kremlin: Putin's offer of a call with Biden was to save ties

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin said Friday that President Vladimir Putin's offer to speak by phone with U.S. President Joe Biden was intended to prevent bilateral ties from completely falling apart over the American's remark that the Russian leader was a killer.

US, China spar in 1st face-to-face meeting under Biden

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Top U.S. and Chinese officials offered sharply different views of each other and the world as the two sides met face-to-face for the first time since President Joe Biden took office.

House OKs Dems' immigration bills for Dreamers, farm workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to unlatch a gateway to citizenship for young Dreamers, migrant farm workers and immigrants who've fled war or natural disasters, giving Democrats wins in the year's first votes on an issue that faces an uphill climb in the Senate.

House scuttles GOP attempt to boot Swalwell from intel panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has dismissed a Republican attempt to remove California Rep. Eric Swalwell from the House intelligence panel over his contact more than six years ago with a suspected Chinese spy who targeted politicians in the United States.


THURSDAY, MARCH 18
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans announce deal with All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a one-year deal with All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox bringing him back to his home state.

Titans sign tight ends Firkser, Swaim to 1-year deals

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are keeping a pair of tight ends, agreeing to terms with Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim on one-year deals each.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Medicaid incentive so far not enough to sway holdout states

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democrats' nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package includes a big financial incentive for the states that have opted against expanding Medicaid to provide health coverage for more low-income Americans. It's proving to be a tough sell.

Tennessee Senate advances 'permitless carry'

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Senate on Thursday advanced legislation that would allow most adults 21 and older to carry firearms — concealed or openly — without a license that now requires a background check and training.

EDUCATION

Tennessee teacher job hub links 2,000 with school districts

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's central hub for teaching jobs has linked more than 2,000 educators with school districts across the state since it was set up in May.

COURTS

Breyer mum as some liberals urge him to quit Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forgive progressives who aren't looking forward to the sequel of their personal "Nightmare on First Street," a Supreme Court succession story.

Trump's taxes in hand, Manhattan DA's probe heats up

NEW YORK (AP) — With former President Donald Trump's tax returns finally in hand, a team of New York prosecutors led by a newly hired former mob-buster is sending out fresh subpoenas and meeting face-to-face with key witnesses, scrutinizing Trump's business practices in granular detail.

States sue Biden in bid to revive Keystone XL pipeline

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys general from 21 states on Wednesday sued to overturn President Joe Biden's cancellation of the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

TECHNOLOGY

China summons technology firms over voice software security

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese authorities summoned 11 companies including Alibaba and Tencent for talks regarding the security of voice software, as Beijing steps up scrutiny over the internet sector.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden plans to send COVID shots to Mexico, Canada

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is planning to send a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada in its first export of shots, the White House said Thursday.

Biden says U.S. to hit 100 million virus shots on Friday

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the U.S. closing in on President Joe Biden's goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus vaccinations weeks ahead of his target date, officials announced on Thursday the nation is now in position to help supply neighbors Canada and Mexico.

Biden plans to send COVID shots to Mexico, Canada

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is planning to send a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada in its first export of shots, the White House said Thursday.

Critics: Doctor's note for vaccine unfairly penalizing poor

FORT LAUDEDALE, Fla. (AP) — Claes Bell repeatedly called his doctor, leaving multiple messages and emails, desperate to get him to sign a state form to allow Bell to get a COVID-19 vaccine before traveling to be at his father's bedside after heart surgery.

EU agency: AstraZeneca vaccine safe, will add clot warning

LONDON (AP) — The European Union's drug regulatory agency said Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine doesn't increase the overall risk of blood clots and that the benefits of using it outweigh the risks, paving the way for European countries to resume dispensing the shots.

UK: Shortfall in vaccine deliveries will delay jabs

LONDON (AP) — British health authorities say COVID-19 vaccinations for people under age 50 may be delayed for up to a month amid a shortfall in supply, partly due to reduced deliveries from the Serum Institute of India.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Wall Street closes lower, pulled down by IT and energy

Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street Thursday, as rising bond yields once again pulled down shares of technology companies and the energy sector sold off on a sharp drop in oil prices.

Students who got partial loan relief to see full discharge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Students who were defrauded by their colleges and received only partial relief from their federal loans could now see them fully canceled, the Biden administration announced Thursday, reversing a Trump administration policy.

US jobless claims rise to 770,000 with layoffs still high

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 770,000, a sign that layoffs remain high even as much of the U.S. economy is steadily recovering from the coronavirus recession.

Bank of England: Cautious optimism over UK economic outlook

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England voiced cautious optimism Thursday about the U.K.'s economic outlook in the wake of a sharp fall in coronavirus infections and the rapid rollout of the nation's COVID-19 vaccination program.

China slams US plan to expel phone carriers in tech clash

BEIJING (AP) — China's government on Thursday called on Washington to drop efforts to expel three state-owned Chinese phone companies from the United States in a new clash over technology and security.

Japan raises tariffs on US beef after hitting import limit

TOKYO (AP) — Imported American beef in Japan has proved so popular it's topped the annual limits called "safeguards," and the U.S. Meat Export Federation on Thursday urged Tokyo to raise the threshold.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Becerra confirmed to head up Biden's ambitious health agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday confirmed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as President Joe Biden's health secretary, filling a key position in the administration's coronavirus response and its ambitious push to lower drug costs, expand insurance coverage, and eliminate racial disparities in medical care.

Putin cites ills in US society after Biden's killer remark

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin responded Thursday to U.S. President Joe Biden's description of the Russian leader as a killer by citing America's past and present troubles, from slavery and the slaughter of Native Americans to racial injustice.

Who deserves credit? Biden leans into pandemic politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — In President Joe Biden's war against the coronavirus, former President Donald Trump hardly exists.

Despite headwinds, House set to OK Dems' immigration bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats seem poised to claim victory in the House's first votes this year on immigration, but moving legislation on the divisive issue all the way through Congress to President Joe Biden is an uphill fight.

Jan. 6 commission stalls, for now, amid partisan dissension

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation creating an independent, bipartisan panel to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is stalled, for now, with Democrats and Republicans split over the scope and structure of a review that would revisit the deadly attack and assess former President Donald Trump's role.

Homeland Security head spars with Congress over border surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's head of Homeland Security sparred Wednesday with members of Congress over the surge of migrants at the Southwest border, refusing to concede the situation was a crisis or even much different from what the two previous administrations faced.

Block a bill? Biden wants old-school Senate filibusters

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants the Senate to engage in old-fashioned filibusters, forcing senators who try to block bills to have to stand and talk for hours, as happened in Hollywood movies and during the civil rights era, if they want to object to his legislative agenda.

Group of Seven slams Russia annexation of Crimea, 7 years on

BERLIN (AP) — The Group of Seven major industrialized countries on Thursday issued a strong condemnation of what it called Russia's ongoing "occupation" of the Crimean Peninsula, seven years after Moscow annexed it from Ukraine.

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