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VOL. 44 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 24, 2020

Nashville is poised for its greatest sports decade ever

– if we can afford it

The Twenties could be the greatest decade in Nashville sports history. Recently named 2019’s Sports City of the Year by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, Nashville is on a hot streak that includes the Titans going to the AFC Championship game and hosting an NFL Draft that brought a record 600,000 fans to Lower Broadway.

Sports success in any market is balancing act

Have we reached a tipping point, an oversaturation of professional sports entering the Nashville market?

Nashville sports a ‘10- or 11-year overnight success’

Nashville is the 2019 Sports City of the Year, as chosen by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Let that sink in for a minute. Not New York. Not Los Angeles. Not Boston, St. Louis or Miami. Nor Chicago, Dallas or Washington.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Time to end farce of Evergreen Place preservation

They look out of place because they are, in both setting and time, two forlorn mid-19th century structures inharmoniously situated behind a Region’s Bank and within sight of the Home Depot that created the problem. They’re orphans, log and wood-shingle outbuildings locked behind a chain link fence that’s both protector and prison.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
40.0°F
A Few Clouds
Wind: Northeast at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 83%

EVENTS

Transportation Plan Listening Session. Metro's Office of Transportation is holding 11 public listening sessions in January and February for the public to voice ideas, priorities and concerns regarding transit and transportation in Nashville. Mayor John Cooper’s Sr. Advisor, Faye DiMassimo, will lead all transportation listening sessions. This session will be held at First Baptist Church Joelton, 7106 Whites Creek Pike, Thursday, 6-8 p.m.

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

Burger-selling Iranians celebrate general’s death

Sitting on a needing-paint picnic bench behind his iconic South Nashville giant-hamburger-to-go joint, the native Iranian almost cheers when I bring up the topic of the general whose execution-by-drone has stirred the pot in his native land.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Record market obliterating affordable housing in area

The Greater Nashville Realtors made it official last week in announcing that 2019 set the record for the most overall sales in real estate history in the Greater Nashville area. With 42,356 total sales, the area topped last year’s sales of 39,514, even with inventory disappearing in David Copperfield fashion.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for December 2019

Top residential real estate sales, December 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Middle Tennessee residential sales for 2019

Top residential real estate sales, 2019, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Long-term US mortgage rates slump to 3-month lows

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level in three months, deepening the incentive for prospective homebuyers although they face eroded affordability as prices continue to climb.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Playoffs’ lesson: ‘Now guys know they can win’

The Tennessee Titans’ season came to an abrupt and conclusive end with Sunday’s 35-24 AFC Championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Such is the harsh reality of January football. But in their quest of going from “good to great,” – their words not mine – this group of Titans players and coaches say the 2019 season was not so much an end to a magical run but perhaps the beginning of bigger things and better expectations for a franchise that wandered 17 years in the wilderness between title game appearances.

Mariota: ‘It’s been a pleasure to be with these guys’

Marcus Mariota walked quietly into the sunset off the same field where his most memorable and lasting moment as a Tennessee Titan took place. At Arrowhead Stadium, where just two years ago Mariota completed a batted pass to himself for a touchdown in a Titans playoff upset, the former No. 2 overall pick ended his five-year run with the Titans on Sunday, not with a bang but with a whimper.

UT SPORTS

Busy Vol Davis relishes delivering Super Bowl to world

Charles Davis was in the middle of the broadcast when his cellphone began buzzing.

MEDIA

Newspapers continue to play a vital role in public notice

When I talk with citizen groups in Tennessee about open government, people tell me they want more information about what their government is doing, not less.

NEWSMAKERS

Waller elects 10 partners from Nashville office

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP has elected 14 new partners, including 10 in Nashville. New Nashville partners are:

BRIEFS

FirstBank merging with Franklin Synergy

FB Financial Corporation, parent company of FirstBank, and Franklin Financial Network, Inc., parent company of Franklin Synergy Bank, have jointly announced their entry into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Franklin will be merged with and into FB Financial.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Five noteworthy electric vehicles to consider in 2020

Your options for a new electric vehicle in 2020 are more diverse than ever with an EV for nearly every vehicle type. But increased choice also makes it harder to choose. Edmunds has selected five top EVs that you’ll want to consider.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

How to know who you can trust when the worst happens

It could go either way. Your client could say “yes” to the campaign you’ve developed and, if he does, well, your year is set practically as soon as it’s begun. Or, he could wrinkle his nose and send you back to the drawing board with your head hung.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Considering a Roth conversion? Get expert advice

If you’ve saved a lot for retirement, or your parents have, you could be affected by recent changes in the rules about retirement distributions.

CAREER CORNER

OK, boomer, how do you want to communicate?

There are many ways to communicate. There’s old-fashioned in-person talking, talking on a landline at home or work and talking on a cellphone. Then, there’s email and texting.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Mom? Dad? Mastering the awkward financial talk

Money’s a gas. Unless you need to borrow some from your parents. Then it’s a conversation many adults will avoid at all costs, even if it means paying for groceries with couch nickels.

MIDSTATE

Clarksville defends itself in sewage overflow lawsuit

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee city is defending itself against a lawsuit over sewer discharges into the Cumberland River.

REGION

USDA invests $55M for broadband in Tennessee, Kentucky

COLUMBIA, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested $55.3 million in four high-speed broadband projects that will benefit rural residents of Kentucky and Tennessee.

PREDATORS

Predators make up for mistakes, come back to beat Caps 5-4

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juuse Saros handed the puck to Alex Ovechkin for an easy goal. Nick Bonino then shot the puck off Saros and into his own net.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Kentucky hands Vanderbilt record 25th straight SEC loss

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Just as Vanderbilt was poised to take control for good, No. 13 Kentucky seized momentum and the game by getting stops and turning them into baskets.

SPORTS

Bickering escalates over MLB plan to cut 42 teams in minors

NEW YORK (AP) — Bickering over Major League Baseball's proposal to cut 42 farm teams — including six in Tennessee — escalated Wednesday with the exchange of acrimonious letters by the commissioner's office and the governing body of the minor leagues.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Hummer is making a comeback, but this time it's electric

DETROIT (AP) — The Hummer, once a gas-guzzling target for environmentalists, is making a comeback. But this time around it won't burn fuel or spew greenhouse gases.

Toyota's 2019 global vehicle sales trail Volkswagen's

TOKYO (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen has kept its lead as the world's largest automaker after Japanese rival Toyota announced it sold fewer vehicles last year.

UK automakers report drop in investment, production

LONDON (AP) — British auto production dropped for a third straight year in 2019, as carmakers continued to hold off on investment amid uncertainty over the country's departure from the European Union.

HEALTH CARE

Thorny trade-offs in Trump administration's Medicaid deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has a Medicaid deal for states: more control over health care spending on certain low-income residents if they agree to a limit on how much the feds kick in.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US economy grew at moderate 2.1% rate in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate in the final three months of 2019, capping a year when growth slowed significantly due to a weaker global economy and trade war uncertainties.

Post-Brexit trade deal, Huawei top Pompeo agenda in Britain

LONDON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in London on the cusp of Britain's departure from the European Union for talks focused on a post-Brexit free trade deal and the U.K.'s decision to allow the Chinese tech company Huawei to play a role in the country's high-speed wireless network.

Eurozone unemployment falls to lowest level since May 2008

BRUSSELS (AP) — Unemployment across the 19 countries that share the euro currency has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 12 years, official figures showed Thursday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump's defense shifts to not 'impeachable' even if true

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a striking shift from President Donald Trump's claim of "perfect" dealings with Ukraine, his defense asserted at his Senate trial that a trade of U.S. military aid for political favors — even if proven — could not be grounds for his impeachment.

Trial highlights: Senators' questions launch pointed debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Finally playing an active role at President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, senators posed written inquiries that led to pointed, back-and-forth debate Wednesday as Trump's legal team and House Democratic prosecutors pressed their respective cases.

3 Senate Dems from red states waver on impeachment votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Senate impeachment trial grinds toward a climax, it remains unclear how three Democrats will vote on whether to toss President Donald Trump from office.


WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29
REGION

TVA announces cut of 120 IT jobs

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority announced it will eliminate up to 120 jobs in its information technology office in an effort to cut cost s and improve performance.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee lawmakers debate Confederate bust removal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers appear divided over a proposal supporting the removal of a bust honoring a former Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader from the state's Capitol.

COURTS

Teen wins $15M judgment against Fort Campbell hospital

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge in Tennessee has awarded a $15 million judgment to a 15-year-old boy who suffered a brain injury at a hospital on the Fort Campbell Army post.

Filing: Emails raise questions of execution drugs access

NASHVILLE (AP) — Heavily redacted email records from the state Department of Correction raise questions about access to certain execution drugs, according to a federal court filing Tuesday by an attorney for death row inmates.

Court: Walmart doesn't owe 3rd party's online sales taxes

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Walmart isn't responsible for paying sales taxes for items sold through its online "marketplace" for third-party sellers under Louisiana law, the state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

UT SPORTS

Mitchell scores 23, Texas A&M holds off Tennessee 63-58

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams knows his team isn't one to light it up on the offensive end of the court.

REAL ESTATE

US pending home sales tumbled 4.9% in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans pulled back substantially on signing contracts to buy homes in December, a possible sign of mounting affordability challenges as prices are rising faster than incomes.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Record sales push Tesla to 2nd straight quarterly profit

DETROIT (AP) — Record electric vehicle sales in the fourth quarter helped to push Tesla Inc. to its second-straight quarterly profit, giving bullish investors optimism that sustained black ink lies ahead.

Buyers move to used vehicles as new autos hit record prices

DETROIT (AP) — The average sale price of a new vehicle hit a record of just over $39,000 late last year, a figure that chased many buyers out of the market and into used vehicles, which could set a sales record.

Nissan to offer severance packages to older US workers

FRANKLIN (AP) — Slumping Nissan Motor Co. is offering voluntary separation packages to many of its U.S. workers as it tries to resize itself to match lower sales.

HEALTH CARE

More airlines drop flights to China as deadly virus spreads

BANGKOK (AP) — British Airways halted all flights to China and American Airlines suspended Los Angeles flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing as efforts to contain a new and deadly virus intensifies.

MEDIA

Warren Buffett gets out of the newspaper business

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving up on the newspaper business.

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft plows ahead in cloud business growth

Microsoft on Wednesday reported another solid quarterly report card to Wall Street, as it plows ahead in selling its cloud computing services to big businesses and the government.

EU stops short of recommending ban on China's Huawei

LONDON (AP) — The European Union unveiled security guidelines for next generation high-speed wireless networks that stop short of calling for a ban on Huawei, in the latest setback for the U.S. campaign against the Chinese tech company.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks give up early gains and end mixed on Wall Street

Major U.S. stock indexes ended mixed Wednesday after an early rally powered by strong gains in technology companies faded in the final minutes of trading.

Fed leaves key rate alone but sees virus among global risks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate unchanged at a low level Wednesday amid an economy that looks solid but faces potential global threats, including from China's viral outbreak.

Brexit deal cleared by EU Parliament; UK set to leave Friday

BRUSSELS (AP) — Britain's departure from the European Union was backed by European lawmakers Wednesday, after a debate that mixed warm words of love with hard-headed warnings to the country not to seek too many concessions during upcoming trade talks on a future relationship.

Trump celebrates major rewrite of North American trade rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law a major rewrite of the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico, celebrating the fulfillment of one of his top campaign promises while declining to share the moment with Democratic lawmakers whose support was essential to getting it over the finish line.

What Trump's new North American trade deal actually does

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Donald Trump signed a revamped trade agreement with Mexico and Canada into law Wednesday, he kept a campaign pledge to improve upon a deal that he had long condemned.

Advocates: Crucial bank law softened under Trump proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing changes to a decades-old law designed to keep banks from discriminating against the poor and disadvantaged, but critics argue the changes could make it easier for banks to potentially ignore the under-served, particularly communities of color.

Boeing posts first annual loss since 1997 as Max costs rise

Boeing posted its first annual loss in more than two decades as the financial fallout from two deadly crashes of its marquee aircraft has mushroomed to more than $18 billion.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Question time: What's next in Trump's impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — With opening arguments wrapped up in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, senators will now get a chance to ask questions. But the normally loquacious politicians will still have to keep silent, as their questions can only be submitted in writing.

Trump trial gets more pointed with Bolton book at the center

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shifted swiftly to pointed, back-and-forth questioning Wednesday as Republicans strained to contain the fallout over John Bolton's forthcoming book, which threatens their hopes of ending the trial with a quick acquittal.

Fight over Bolton gives Romney a chance for Senate clout

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's Mitt Romney's big moment, again.


TUESDAY, JAN. 28
NASHVILLE AREA

Belmont, Watkins College of Art to merge

Belmont University and Watkins College of Art announced today their intent to merge, with Watkins College of Art beginning a transition to Belmont’s campus following the completion of this academic year.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Trump taps Harwell for TVA board

NASHVILLE (AP) — President Donald Trump has nominated a former Tennessee House speaker to serve on the board of directors of the nation's largest public utility.

Tennessee House GOP elect new majority whip

NASHVILLE (AP) — House Republicans on Monday elected state Rep. Johnny Garrett to serve as majority whip for the 2020 legislative session.

Tennessee voucher participants could still face taxes

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's top education officials conceded Monday that a small number of parents who participate in the state's latest school voucher initiative might be taxed for participating in the program.

SPORTS

House resolution proposed against minor league contraction

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution Wednesday urging Major League Baseball not to follow through with its proposal to eliminate 42 current minor league teams.

TOURISM

Smoky Mountains park sets record with 12.5M visitors in 2019

Smoky Mountains park sets record with 12.5M visitors in 2019

PREDATORS

Nylander scores in fourth straight, Leafs beat Predators 5-2

NASHVILLE (AP) — William Nylander, Zach Hyman and Rasmus Sandin each scored and had an assist to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Nashville Predators 5-2 Monday night.

HEALTH CARE

US beefs up screening of travelers for new virus from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials offered a reality check Tuesday about the scary new virus from China: They're expanding screenings of international travelers and taking other precautions but for now, they insist the risk to Americans is very low.

COURTS

NY, feds sue 'Pharma Bro' for 'scheme' to keep drug price up

NEW YORK (AP) — State and federal authorities sued imprisoned entrepreneur Martin Shkreli on Monday over tactics that shielded a profitable drug from competition after a price hike made the so-called "Pharma Bro" infamous.

REAL ESTATE

US home price gains accelerate amid smaller supply of homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in November than the previous month as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values.

TECHNOLOGY

In snub to US, Britain will allow Huawei in 5G networks

LONDON (AP) — Britain has decided to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to supply new high-speed network equipment, dealing a setback to the U.S. government and its global campaign to press allies into banning the company.

Alexa, read me a story: Audio content for kids on the rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Melanie Musson in Belgrade, Montana, does a lot of driving with her four girls. Juggling a broad age range, 1 to 9, she's forever searching for ways to keep them all entertained without relying entirely on video.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Budget deficit to break $1 trillion despite strong economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — An annual congressional report says the U.S. budget deficit is likely to burst through the symbolic $1 trillion barrier this year despite a healthy economy.

Stocks indexes gain on Wall Street a day after a big drop

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, reversing a big slice of the market's losses from a sharp sell-off the day before.

In grinding manufacturing slump, 3M cuts another 1,500 jobs

A profound slump in manufacturing and a trade war that has slowed economic growth in China has led to a second round of layoffs at 3M, the Minnesota company that, in addition to Post-it notes, makes industrial coatings and ceramics.

US consumer confidence shows solid gain in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence showed a strong gain in January, bolstered by continued strength in the job market.

Orders for US durable goods advance 2.4% in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose in December as a big jump in demand for military aircraft offset a sharp decline in commercial aircraft that reflected Boeing's continued problems with its 737 Max. A key category that tracks business investment fell by the largest amount in eight months.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump team concludes defense, argues against calling Bolton

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's legal team argued forcefully against the relevance of testimony from Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday as they concluded their defense and the Senate braced for debate on whether to summon Bolton and other witnesses into the impeachment trial.

AP source: McConnell says he can't yet block new witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators privately Tuesday he does not yet have the votes to block new witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump defense wrong about FBI investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's defense team falsely claimed the Justice Department was already investigating him even before the 2016 election and distorted the facts on how the FBI probe into Russian election interference got started.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump wrong on Bolton; more claims from trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump stated falsely Monday that House Democrats never called his former national security adviser to testify in their impeachment inquiry. Actually they did.

Trump peace plan delights Israelis, enrages Palestinians

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East plan Tuesday, winning immediate praise from a beaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but a swift rejection from the Palestinians, who called it "nonsense."

State Department bars NPR reporter from flying with Pompeo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has denied a National Public Radio reporter a seat aboard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's plane for an upcoming trip to Europe and Central Asia, the decision coming a few days after Pompeo lashed out at another NPR reporter.


MONDAY, JAN. 27
TOURISM

Nashville announces 2 new tourism records

Nashville’s tourism industry broke another record with 16.1 million visitors in 2019, an increase of 6% compared to 2018’s 15.2 million visitors, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.

STATE GOVERNMENT

IRS notifies Tennessee legislator of $19K in unpaid taxes

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien against a Tennessee state legislator notifying the lawmaker that he failed to pay just over $19,000 in in federal income taxes over two years.

STATEWIDE

Officials: Amazon center to create 1,000 jobs in Memphis

MEMPHIS (AP) — A new $200 million Amazon distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee, will employ 1,000 workers and should be up and running in time for this year's holiday season, officials said Monday.

Tennessee seeks groups to help in youth summer food program

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are seeking out organizations to sponsor a program that serves free meals to children over the summer.

COURTS

Justices allow enforcement of new green card rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents.

ENVIRONMENT

Northeast governors slow to embrace regional climate pact

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Supporters of a regional pact that would tackle transportation emissions are struggling to win over several New England governors concerned that the climate change initiative will increase gas prices.

REAL ESTATE

US new-home sales slipped 0.4% in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of newly built homes fell 0.4% in December, cooling slightly after low mortgage rates fueled gains for much of 2019.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM to invest $2.2B in Detroit to build electric vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is spending $2.2 billion to refurbish an underused Detroit factory so it can build a series of electric and self-driving vehicles, eventually employing 2,200 people.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks tumble as virus fears spark sell-off; Dow falls 453

U.S. stocks fell sharply Monday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by more than 450 points, as investors grappled with fresh worries about the spread of a new virus in China that threatens global economic growth.

Fed seems content with low rates but confronts challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in years, Federal Reserve officials will hold their latest policy meeting this week feeling broadly satisfied with where interest rates are and with seemingly no inclination to change them anytime soon.

China virus outbreak rams global tourism, costing billions

With tens of millions of Chinese ordered to stay put and many others avoiding travel as a new virus spreads, tourism around the globe is taking a heavy hit during one of the biggest travel seasons in Asia, the Lunar New Year.

'I did it': Portugal hacker says he exposed African tycoon

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A Portuguese hacker is claiming responsibility for leaking confidential documents implicating the billionaire daughter of a former prominent African leader in alleged murky international business deals.

Watchdog: China is 2nd largest arms producer behind the US

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — China is the second-largest arms producer in the world behind the United States but ahead of Russia, a Swedish arms watchdog said Monday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

News of Bolton book sends jolt through impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — A single paper copy in a nondescript envelope arrived at the White House on Dec. 30. Four weeks later, news of John Bolton's book manuscript about his time as President Donald Trump's national security adviser has exploded into public view, sending a jolt through the president's impeachment trial.

GOP defends Trump as Bolton book adds pressure for witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressure increased Monday on senators to call John Bolton to testify at President Donald Trump's impeachment trial even as defense lawyers brushed past extraordinary new allegations from Trump's former national security adviser and made legal and historical arguments for acquittal.

Why it Matters: Bolton revelations complicate Trump defense

WASHINGTON (AP) — Revelations from former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming book are adding some drama to the ongoing Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Some reasons they could be important:

Romney: 'important to hear' from Bolton amid book details

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mitt Romney says it is "increasingly likely" that other Republicans will join a call to compel former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial after reports that a draft of his book undercuts a key defense argument.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump misstates the record on John Bolton

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump stated falsely Monday that House Democrats never called his former national security adviser to testify in their impeachment inquiry. Actually they did.

Defense resumes in key impeachment week; Dems seek witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's impeachment trial enters a pivotal week as his defense team resumes its case and senators face a critical vote on whether to hear witnesses or proceed directly to a vote that is widely expected to end in his acquittal. The articles of impeachment charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.


FRIDAY, JAN. 24
STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee governor signs anti-LGBT adoption bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has become the latest state to assure continued taxpayer funding of faith-based foster care and adoption agencies even if those organizations exclude LGBT families and others based on religious beliefs.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Taylor Swift shakes Sundance with revealing documentary

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The normally private Taylor Swift premiered an intimate documentary Thursday at the Sundance Film Festival in which the pop star discloses a past eating disorder, chronicles her inner battle over speaking forthrightly about politics and says her victorious 2017 sexual assault court case was a dramatic turning point in her life.

COURTS

Murfreesboro attorney offers free divorce for Valentine's Day

MURFREESBORO (AP) — A Tennessee attorney is giving away free divorce representation to one client for Valentine's Day.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee ends 2019 with record low unemployment rate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say unemployment rates continue to sear near record low levels.

HEALTH CARE

California threatened with funds loss over abortion coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saying that California violated a federal law, the Trump administration Friday threatened the state with a potential loss of federal health care funds over its requirement that insurance plans cover abortions.

TECHNOLOGY

Nonprofits worry sale of dot-org universe will raise costs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The company that controls the dot-org online universe is putting the registry of domain names up for sale, and the nonprofits that often use the suffix in their websites are raising concerns about the move.

London police to use face scan tech, stoking privacy fears

LONDON (AP) — London police say they will start using live facial recognition cameras in operational deployments, in a major advance for the controversial technology.

ENVIRONMENT

Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chief

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday brushed off criticism and mockery from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, saying that his comments have "of course no effect" on her and fellow campaigners.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Trump ups mileage proposal slightly over Obama standard

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is making a concession on its proposed minimum fuel economy requirement for new vehicles, but environmental groups and a key Democratic senator complain it does not go far enough, and still falls well below the requirements set under the Obama administration.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Walmart tests higher hourly starting wages in 500 stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart says it's testing higher wages for new hourly positions at 500 of its U.S. stores as part of an overall strategy to better empower its staff.

Trump to sign U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal Wednesday

MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump will hold a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement on Wednesday, according to the White House.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Dems say oust Trump or he'll do it again; 'he is who he is'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic House prosecutors launched their final arguments Friday at Donald Trump's impeachment trial arguing the president will persist in abusing the power of his office ahead of the 2020 election unless Congress intervenes to remove him from office.

Pentagon says 34 troops suffered brain injury in Iran strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon disclosed on Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran's missile strike this month on an Iraqi air base, and although half have returned to work, the casualty total belies President Donald Trump's initial claim that no Americans were harmed. He later characterized the injuries as "not very serious."

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's false assurance about troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — At first, President Donald Trump stated inaccurately that no U.S. troops were injured in the Iranian missile attack against them in Iraq. Then he prematurely minimized those injuries as doctors tried to determine how severe they were.

Schiff sets tone of impeachment case, says 'right matters'

WASHINGTON (AP) — For a few gripping minutes, Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment prosecutor against President Donald Trump, had made the restless Senate snap to attention.

Face of impeachment: Schiff sets tone with appeals to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the otherwise scripted impeachment trial, it was a rare spontaneous moment: Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump's chief defenders, stopped Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead prosecutor, to shake his hand and compliment him on his arguments for Trump's removal.

Trial highlights: Conspiracy theories and fidget spinners

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats argued that President Donald Trump sought a phony investigation of a political rival and pursued a discredited conspiracy theory about Ukraine, while restless senators played with a new toy Thursday during Trump's impeachment trial.


THURSDAY, JAN. 23
STATE GOVERNMENT

Lee to pitch sweeping anti-abortion bans in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he wants to enact some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, which would include banning women from undergoing the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

MEDIA

ABC News to bolster streaming service with live programming

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News is moving aggressively to boost its streaming service with the belief that these products will change the news business over the next decade the way cable channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC did a generation ago.

ENVIRONMENT

Trump aims to remove waterway protections, aiding developers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration lifted federal protections Thursday for some of the nation's millions of miles of streams, arroyos and wetlands, completing one of its most far-reaching environmental rollbacks.

Merkel says climate may become survival matter

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that climate protection may become a matter of survival for Europe and the entire planet.

TRANSPORTATION

Grounded Boeing jet holds back profits, growth at airlines

DALLAS (AP) — The three big U.S. airlines that own Boeing 737 Max jets don't expect the grounded plane back in their fleets until after the peak summer travel season, and that promises to lead to thousands more canceled flights and higher costs well into another year.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

U.S. stocks close mostly higher, led by tech, industrials

Stocks are closing mostly higher Thursday as gains in technology and industrial companies offset declines elsewhere in the market.

High hopes: US, EU and UK all aim for trade deals this year

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The United States, the European Union and what will soon be post-Brexit Britain have all raised the prospect of concluding trade deals between themselves by the end of this year, setting up an intense few months of negotiations.

European Central Bank holds rates, launches policy review

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank has decided to launch a top-to-bottom review of how it steers the economy for 342 million people in the 19 countries that use the euro currency.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Democrats focus Day 2 of trial on Trump's 'dangerous' abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressing through a second day of impeachment arguments, House Democrats scoffed at President Donald Trump's claims that he had good reasons for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political foes.

Poll: Public doubts Senate trial will be revealing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are sharply divided along party lines about whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office, and they doubt the Senate impeachment trial will do anything to change their minds, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

US imposes visa rules for pregnant women on 'birth tourism'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new visa rules aimed at restricting "birth tourism," in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have U.S. citizenship.

Dems' impeachment challenge: Making a case with no new facts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats pressed into the second day of arguments in President Donald Trump's impeachment case focused intently on the charge of abuse of power, which top prosecutor Adam Schiff said would leave senators with no choice but a finding of "guilt and conviction."

Trial highlights: Democrats roll out case as senators fidget

WASHINGTON (AP) — House prosecutors faced fidgeting senators as they rolled out their case against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the trial's previous session having lasted a fatigue-inducing 13 hours. Trump was busy himself, returning from an international business conference but finding time to send 120-plus tweets that included trial commentary and criticism.

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