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VOL. 42 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 26, 2018

Self-driving cars: A shift in how we work, where we live

Fully autonomous vehicles are coming to Tennessee’s roads, bringing many more changes than the absence of a steering wheel. Just as America’s interstate highways changed the way we lived, worked, traveled and made decisions in the 1950s and 60s, the age of self-driving cars should deliver significant societal benefits, including reduced accidents, injuries and fatalities, as well as improved traffic management since cars and trucks will be connected, both to each other and traffic signals.

Degrees of autonomy

When talking about self-driving technology systems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has adopted the levels established by the Society of Automotive Engineers, ranging from complete driver control at Level 0 to full autonomy, including extreme environments and conditions, like dirt roads and heavy storms, at Level 5.

Nashville, state at forefront of autonomous car development

Nashville is one of 10 cities worldwide chosen for an autonomous vehicles initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York and the Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

State voters have more to fear than Russian meddling

About 30 years ago, my wife and I were hanging out with another couple and decided to make a big night of it. We’d go out for Mexican food and then rent a movie.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
77.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: South at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 66%

EVENTS

2018 Governor’s Address. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes Governor Bill Haslam for the 2018 Governor’s Address, in which he will share insights about the state’s economy and business environment. An opportunity for Chamber members to share their thoughts about what state government can do to help grow jobs. Omni Nashville Hotel, 250 5th Ave. South. Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Fee: $50 Nashville Area, Bellevue Harpeth, Maury County, Rutherford County Chamber members. $600 reserved table for 10, $65 future Chamber members. Registration deadline is Jan. 25. Information: http://web.nashvillechamber.com/events/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=2094

more events »

Tennessee Democrats take aim at net neutrality on state level

Legislation designed to reverse a federal decision repealing net neutrality regulations is surfacing in the General Assembly, an effort to maintain Tennesseans’ open access to the internet.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Decreasing rental demand could ease housing inventory

Once the city thawed, out-of-town buyers from all directions awakened and descended upon Nashville’s scant inventory.

REAL ESTATE

Middle Tennessee's $1M-plus residential transactions for 2017

There were 690 commercial real estate transactions worth $1 million or more in Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties in 2017, according to Chandler Reports.

US new home sales tumbled 9.3 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back their purchases of new homes in December as harsh winter weather dampened demand.

US mortgage rates rise for 3rd consecutive week

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a third week in a row, lifted by investors' expectations for faster economic growth, which has pushed up borrowing costs.

TERRY McCORMICK: TENNESSEE TITANS

Vrabel leans on relatability, GM relationship

Mike Vrabel admits he has much to learn about the ins and outs of being a head coach in the National Football League.

Mike Vrabel’s offensive, defensive philosophies

What Titans fans can expect from Mike Vrabel, in his words:

PREDATORS

Predators players praise Laviolette as master motivator

Asked to recall a particularly memorable Peter Laviolette motivational moment, Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis travels back in time to the very first game of the 2014-15 season.

NEWSMAKERS

Waller selects 8 partners in Nashville

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, has elected eight partners from the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate, Labor & Employment, Intellectual Property, Healthcare Compliance & Operations, and Finance & Restructuring practices. They are:

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Before buying used car, consider luxury alternative

Most car shoppers know that a used car can be a fantastic value. In the long run, a used car will usually cost less than a new one and will virtually always be cheaper than leasing a car every three years.

STATEWIDE

Bredesen raises $518K in short US Senate fundraising kickoff

NASHVILLE (AP) — Phil Bredesen's campaign says he raised $518,000 during the first 24 days of his Democratic bid to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring.

Boyd buys $300k in TV ad time in Tennessee governor's race

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Randy Boyd will hit TV airwaves this week with an ad buy worth about $300,000.

COURTS

Prosecution rests in Pilot Flying J trial in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Prosecutors have rested their case against four former Pilot Flying J employees accused in a scheme to shortchange trucking customers on fuel rebates.

Paris court hears Facebook 'censorship' case over nude art

PARIS (AP) — A French teacher is suing Facebook for alleged censorship because his account got suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting.

AUTO INDUSTRY

January US auto sales expected to rise only a little

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales in January are expected to grow slightly as rebates and other deals wane after a December buying spree.

Ferrari 2017 profits soar as sales near 8,400 vehicles

MILAN (AP) — Italian sports car maker Ferrari says profits last year rose 34 percent, driven by a surge in V12 sales and vehicle personalization.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes waver between small gains and losses

U.S. stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses in morning trading Thursday after several big companies reported disappointing quarterly results or outlooks. Losses in food and beverage stocks and other consumer-goods companies outweighed gains in energy and other sectors. Bond prices fell, sending yields higher.

US construction spending up 0.7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction spending rose 0.7 percent in December to a record high. It was the fifth consecutive monthly gain with all major sectors showing modest increases.

US productivity falls at 0.1 percent rate in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity edged down at a 0.1 percent rate in the fourth quarter. It was the weakest showing in nearly two years and further evidence of the struggles the country is having boosting worker efficiency.

5 Things: How Yellen's Fed tenure will be remembered

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Janet Yellen leaves the Federal Reserve this weekend after four years as chair, her legacy will include having shattered a social barrier: She is the first woman to have led the world's most powerful central bank, a position that carries enormous sway over the global economy.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Cuba protests US internet task force

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba is protesting the creation of a U.S. task force on increasing internet access on the island — a measure that's part of President Donald Trump's hardening of U.S. policy on Cuba.

Top Democrat questions US meeting with Russian spy chiefs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats want to know why the Trump administration allowed two Russian spy chiefs under U.S. and European sanctions to meet last week in Washington with American intelligence officials.

Trump falsely claims most-watched State of Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the ratings for his first State of the Union address this week are "the highest number in history," but that is not true.

Reaction to Trump's immigration offer casts doubt on a deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's State of the Union offer of a "down-the-middle compromise" on immigration did nothing to move Republicans and Democrats closer to a deal, as Democrats accused the president of lacing his speech with racially charged remarks and Republicans dug in on their demands.


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31
NASHVILLE AREA

Mayor Barry admits affair with ex-security detail chief

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said she plans to continue serving in office after revealing that she had an extramarital affair with the former head of her security detail.

Nashville Mayor's statement on extra-marital affair

Mayor Megan Barry has released the following statement regarding an extramarital affair:

STATE GOVERNMENT

Anti-abortion ‘heartbeat’ bill now focuses on ultrasound

By necessity, Rep. Micah Van Huss turned his “heartbeat bill” into an ultrasound reporting bill after failing to find the support to pass his proposal in a subcommittee.

Bill seeks to ban TennCare payments to abortion providers

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee Republican lawmaker has proposed a ban on TennCare reimbursements to abortion providers for non-abortion services.

REGION

Study: TVA shifts costs from commercial to residential customers

NASHVILLE (AP) — The nation's largest public utility has given large businesses breaks on electric rates over six years while residential customers' rates increased, according to a study released this week.

STATEWIDE

Moment of silence set to honor Memphis sanitation workers

MEMPHIS (AP) — Rain was falling in Memphis when two sanitation workers picking up trash sought shelter in the back of a city garbage truck on Feb. 1, 1968.

SPORTS

Center Mike Fisher coming out of retirement, will join Preds

NASHVILLE (AP) — Center Mike Fisher is coming out of retirement and will rejoin the Nashville Predators for his 18th NHL season as they try to win the Stanley Cup.

Titans add 5 new coaches, keep 2 assistants

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have hired five new assistant coaches with coach Mike Vrabel keeping a couple assistants.

Forsberg, Hinostroza lead Blackhawks past Predators 2-1

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks turned away a big charge by the Nashville Predators down the stretch.

COURTS

Pharmacist in meningitis outbreak gets 8 years in prison

BOSTON (AP) — The pharmacist convicted in connection with a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday after he tearfully apologized to the victims for the pain and suffering they endured.

REAL ESTATE

US pending home sales rose 0.5 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose for a third straight month in December, raising an index of pending home sales by 0.5 percent.

HEALTH CARE

Can 3 business titans cure the US health care system?

NEW YORK (AP) — Can a legendary investor, the king of on-line retail and a Wall Street financier find a cure for what ails America's health care system?

AUTO INDUSTRY

Germany probes Bosch workers in US over diesel emissions

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Prosecutors in the German city of Stuttgart are investigating two employees of auto components and technology firm Robert Bosch LLC in the U.S. on suspicion of being accessories to fraud in connection with manipulated diesel emissions in Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Daimler fires manager connected to monkey testing

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Daimler says it has fired an executive who represented it at an industry-backed organization that commissioned diesel exhaust tests involving monkeys.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple to respond to US probes into slowdown of old iPhones

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is cooperating with U.S. government inquiries into its secret slowdown of older iPhones, further complicating its efforts to move past an issue that irked customers whose devices bogged down.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stock indexes waver between gains and losses on Wall Street

U.S. stock indexes are wavering between gains and losses on Wall Street. The market was higher for most of the day but dipped briefly after the Federal Reserve released its latest statement on interest rate policy and the economy. The Fed, as expected, held off on raising interest rates. Losses in health care stocks were offset by gains in technology companies and other sectors. Oil prices reversed an early slide.

Sears lays off 220 workers at headquarters

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. says it's laying off 220 workers primarily at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois as it struggles to turn around its ailing business.

Fed leaves key rate unchanged at Yellen's final meeting

The Federal Reserve has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged but signaled that it expects to resume raising rates gradually to reflect a healthy job market and economy.

Survey: US companies added healthy 234,000 jobs in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses continued to hire at a healthy pace in January, a sign the economy is off to a solid start for the year.

Wages rise at 2.6 percent in 2017 despite Q4 slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers' wages and benefits grew 2.6 percent last year, the fastest 12-month pace since the spring of 2015.

Japan's Fujifilm to take over partner Xerox to slash costs

TOKYO (AP) — Fujifilm Holdings and copier company Xerox Corp. said Wednesday the Japanese company will take over Xerox in a restructuring intended to slash costs.

On a better savings course: US retirement score rises

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans' retirement savings are in the best shape they've been in more than a decade.

NATIONAL POLITICS

US appeals court gives victory to consumer finance agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has handed a victory to the government's beleaguered consumer finance watchdog agency, ruling that its director's power isn't excessive and the president shouldn't have freer rein to fire that person.

Trump calls for optimism in spite of warnings of danger

WASHINGTON (AP) — Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a "new American moment" of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America's way of life.

In response to Trump, Democrats argue for middle class

WASHINGTON (AP) — Soaring stock prices under President Donald Trump have boosted investor portfolios and corporate profits but have not eased the economic anxieties of middle-class families, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III said Tuesday night in the Democratic response to Trump's first State of the Union address.

Analysis: Trump speech puts emotion ahead of problem-solving

WASHINGTON (AP) — In vivid detail, President Donald Trump told stories of American heroism, heartbreak and tragedy in his emotionally charged first State of the Union. What he didn't detail were solutions to the crises ahead.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump inflates impact of some initiatives

WASHINGTON (AP) — Boastful even within the traditional confines of a State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump inflated the impact of his tax cuts Tuesday night, declared an end to a "war" on energy that did not exist when he took office and displayed a faulty grasp of immigration policy.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 30
COURTS

Judge: Memphis nonprofit must preserve Confederate statues

NASHVILLE (AP) — A judge says a Tennessee nonprofit must preserve and cannot sell statues of three Confederate-era leaders removed from Memphis parks in December.

NASHVILLE AREA

7 Tennessee State professors awarded more than $2M in grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Seven Tennessee State University professors in the College of Agriculture will receive more than $2 million in U.S. Agriculture Department grants.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Report: 538 public records exemptions in Tennessee law

NASHVILLE (AP) — A report has found that there are now 538 exemptions to Tennessee's public records law, about six times as many as there were three decades ago.

In address, Haslam challenges Tennessee to 'be the best'

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam used his eighth and final annual address Monday to tout the state's achievements and challenge Tennessee to "be the best" in the nation in jobs, education and government efficiency.

SPORTS

Titans hire Matt LaFleur, Dean Pees as coordinators

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have hired Dean Pees as defensive coordinator and Matt LaFleur as offensive coordinator. LaFleur had interviewed for the Titans' head coaching job.

Tennessee athletics has $10.8 million surplus in 2016-17

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's athletic department has reported a $10.8 million budget surplus for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

HEALTH CARE

Amazon, Buffett and JPMorgan join forces on health care

Three of corporate America's heaviest hitters — Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase — sent a shudder through the health industry Tuesday when they announced plans to jointly create a company to provide their employees with high-quality, affordable care.

Business titans face complex system in US health care push

The leaders of Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan announced the ambitious goal of improving health care coverage all of their employees. They say they are forming a new company that will be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints" and hint its results might be applied on a broader scale. But the campaign is in its early planning stages.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices post 6.2 percent increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose a sharply in November, lifted by a shortage of homes on the market.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi claims top world car sales

PARIS (AP) — The alliance of carmakers Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi says it's the world's top automaker after selling 10.6 million cars last year, thanks to growing demand for SUVs and electric vehicles.

Volkswagen suspends executive over monkey trials

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability in response to controversy over experiments in which monkeys were exposed to diesel exhaust.

TECHNOLOGY

Child experts: Just say 'no' to Facebook's kids app

BOSTON (AP) — Child development experts and advocates are urging Facebook to pull the plug on its new messaging app aimed at kids.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks drop for a second day in a row, led by health care

U.S. stocks fell sharply in late-afternoon trading Tuesday, placing the market on course for its worst day since August and its first two-day losing streak in more than a month. Health care and technology stocks accounted for much of the decline. Banks, industrial companies and energy stocks also racked up hefty losses. Bond prices fell, sending yields to their highest level since April 2014.

Report: Airbnb reduces housing availability, drives up rents

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A report from critics of Airbnb says the vacation rental website is driving up home rental prices and reducing housing availability in New York City.

US consumer confidence rises in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans continued to feel confident about the economy this month, a good sign for consumer spending and economic growth.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Putin: Russia list is a hostile move driven by Trump foes

MOSCOW (AP) — Mixing irony with scorn, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday described a new list including Russian officials and tycoons under a U.S. sanctions law as a hostile and "stupid" move spearheaded by President Donald Trump's political foes, but he said the Kremlin will refrain from retaliation for now.

Trump to herald economic progress in State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will herald a robust economy and push for bipartisan congressional action on immigration in Tuesday's State of the Union address, as he seeks to rally a deeply divided nation and boost his own sagging standing with Americans.

What to watch tonight: Trump's adjectives, Melania, boycotts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The state of the union is ...

Mark Ruffalo leads counter-event to Trump State of the Union

NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrities and activists have taken part in an evening of speeches and music in Manhattan billed as "The People's State of the Union."

Republicans vote to release classified memo on Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brushing aside opposition from the Justice Department, Republicans on the House intelligence committee voted to release a classified memo that purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia investigation.

Yet another House chairman giving up a coveted post

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers spend their careers eying coveted committee chairmanships, angling for the chance at the perks and power that came with the top spot.


MONDAY, JANUARY 29
STATE GOVERNMENT

Haslam: Budget to boost education, job growth, opioid fight

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing additional money to boost education, fuel economic development, fight the opioid abuse epidemic and pad state reserves.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Sharp drop in ratings for Grammy Awards this year

NEW YORK (AP) — The television audience for Bruno Mars' dominating night at the Grammy Awards was a sparser one than music's big night has seen for nearly a decade, and a steep decline of 24 percent from the program a year earlier.

Copyright board boosts songwriters' music streaming fees

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 percent to narrow the financial divide separating them from recording labels.

NASHVILLE AREA

PAC raises $1.3m to support Nashville transit plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — A political action committee has raised $1.3 million to support the transit plan by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry that is up for a vote this spring.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen chairman condemns exhaust experiments on monkeys

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Public criticism of the German auto industry has escalated after a report that an industry-sponsored entity commissioned a study of the effects of diesel exhaust using monkeys, while another study exposed humans to low levels of one type of air pollutant.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple's stock sinks as high hope for iPhone X sales fade

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's stock is backtracking from its recent highs amid mounting concerns that iPhone X sales will fall short of the high hopes for a device that brought facial recognition technology and a $1,000 price tag to the company's flagship product line.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Technology companies lead modest pullback in US stocks

A broad sell-off handed the U.S. stock market its biggest loss in more than four months Monday, pulling the major indexes below their recent record highs.

US Treasury says government borrowing will hit 8-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the government's budget deficit rising, the Treasury Department says it expects to borrow $441 billion in the current January-March quarter, the largest amount in eight years.

Fed is likely to hold rates steady at Yellen's final meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen's final Federal Reserve policy meeting will likely bring an uneventful end this week to her four-year tenure as Fed chair but perhaps offer hints of the central bank's approach to interest rates in the months to follow.

US consumer spending up in December, while saving rate fell

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending 0.4 percent in December, a solid pace but slower than the big spending burst seen in November, while their saving rate fell to a more-than decade low.

More caffeine, please: Keurig is buying Dr Pepper Snapple

NEW YORK (AP) — Keurig is buying Dr Pepper Snapple Group, bringing together the make-at-home coffee brand with the company behind Dr Pepper soda, Mott's apple juice and Snapple iced teas.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Can Trump stick to a script beyond the State of the Union?

WASHINGTON (AP) — No natural orator, President Donald Trump has nonetheless shown at times that he can deliver a powerful speech that effectively outlines his vision, strikes an emotional chord and moves commentators to declare that he, at last, looks presidential. And then the teleprompter gets turned off.

Kochs warm to Trump policies, not behavior

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — For the Koch brothers and their powerful donor network, the trouble with President Donald Trump isn't what he's doing. It's how he's doing it.

GOP senators call on Trump to show restraint in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Republican senators said Sunday that President Donald Trump would be wise to keep a public silence on an independent investigation into his 2016 campaign's contacts with Russia in the wake of news reports that he sought to fire the special counsel.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 26
NASHVILLE AREA

Distillers struggle to comply with water quality regulations

NASHVILLE (AP) — As the whiskey industry continues to grow, Tennessee's two largest distilleries struggled to comply with water quality regulations last year.

Brooks & Dunn artist eyes preservation near Civil War fort

NASHVILLE (AP) — Kix Brooks of the musical duo Brooks & Dunn is heading a group hoping to preserve historic land near a Civil War-era fort.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Parton stepping aside as parade grand marshal after 32 years

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (AP) — Dolly Parton says her Tennessee amusement park "has hogged the spotlight long enough" and she's stepping aside as grand marshal of the Pigeon Forge spring parade after 32 years.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Reeves wins GOP special election primary in Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Small business owner Shane Reeves has topped former state Rep. Joe Carr in the Republican primary of a Tennessee Senate special election.

STATEWIDE

11m visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a new record

GATLINBURG (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed more than 11.3 million visitors last year, setting a new record for the second year in a row.

HEALTH CARE

Several Tennessee health clinics close; nonprofit to step in

MEMPHIS (AP) — A Tennessee nonprofit is stepping in after several low-income health care clinics closed suddenly late last year.

Flu widespread across US for third straight week

NEW YORK (AP) — Sick with the flu? You've got a lot of company.

REGION

Kentucky governor says shootings are a "cultural problem"

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — This was supposed to be Spirit Week at Marshall County High School.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US government forecasts tourism growth despite recent slump

The U.S. Department of Commerce is forecasting an 18.5 percent growth in inbound international tourism to the U.S. through 2022 despite a slump in international visitation in the last two years.

Durable goods orders rise 2.9 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department says that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.9 percent in December, the fastest pace since June and another sign of strength for American industry.

Trump: US "open for business," and economists mostly agree

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump highlighted his tax cuts and deregulatory efforts with a salesman's pitch to an elite economic forum in Switzerland on Friday: The United States, he said, is now a far more inviting place for foreign companies to spend, invest and build.

Health care, tech and trade hopes lead another stock surge

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks powered to their biggest gain in almost nine months Friday as drugmakers and technology companies surged. Investors were cheered that President Donald Trump appeared to take a more positive tone on international trade.

FedEx to give wage increases, bonuses to workers

MEMPHIS (AP) — FedEx says it'll be giving wage increases, bonuses and make a voluntary $1.5 billion contribution to the company's pension plan, citing recent tax reform legislation.

US economy grew at solid 2.6 percent rate in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a solid rate of 2.6 percent in the final three months of last year, helped by the fastest consumer spending since the spring of 2016 and a big rebound in home construction.

US trade court rules against Boeing in dispute with Canada

WASHINGTON (AP) — Delivering a big defeat to Boeing, a U.S. trade panel ruled Friday that the U.S. aircraft giant was not harmed by competition from Canada's Bombardier.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump denies Times report that he ordered Mueller fired

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump demanded the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June but backed down after White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to resign, according to a New York Times report that Trump quickly dismissed Friday as "fake news."

Trump immigration plan draws criticism from top Senate Dem

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat dismissed President Donald Trump's immigration proposal as a "wish list" for hard-liners on Friday as the plan drew harsh reviews from Democrats and some conservatives.

Wynn shaken by sexual misconduct allegations against founder

NEW YORK (AP) — Wynn Resorts is denying multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault by founder Steve Wynn, detailed in a Wall Street Journal report that sent shares of the casino company tumbling 9 percent Friday.

NASHVILLE AREA

VP Pence to address religious broadcasters in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at a convention of religious broadcasters next month in Tennessee.

Nashville area sees record 14.5 million visitors in 2017

NASHVILLE – The Nashville area saw a record 14.5 million visitors in 2017, a 4.6 percent increase from 2016’s record 13.9 million visitors, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today. The growth is attributed to an uptick in leisure travelers and a stronger than expected second half of the year, which included the solar eclipse in August, seven Garth Brooks concerts in December and a fall calendar filled with weekend events, festivals and football games.

BRIEFS

CapStack buys Nashville properties

CapStack Partners has acquired three Nashville properties with 475 units. The acquisition includes The Vistas, a 205-unit property, Fawnwood Apartments, a 158-unit property, and Archwood Meadows, a 112-unit property.

MIDSTATE

Former Judge Corlew launches GOP bid to replace Rep. Black

NASHVILLE(AP) — A former Tennessee judge who oversaw a controversial trial about Islam is vying to replace U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

STATEWIDE

Beef meatballs shipped to Tennessee, 8 other states recalled

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators say a New Jersey company has recalled more than 3,400 pounds of beef meatballs that may be tainted with a bacteria known to cause listeriosis.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Lynyrd Skynyrd announce farewell tour starting May 4

NASHVILLE (AP) — Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd will kick off their final tour May 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida, more than 40 years after the band's debut album was released.

REGION

Atlanta development proposal just happens to be Amazon-sized

ATLANTA (AP) — As Atlanta vies for Amazon's second headquarters, a developer just happens to be proposing a $5 billion downtown project with 9.3 million square feet (87 million square meters) of office space — more than three times the amount in the Empire State Building.

TECHNOLOGY

OK, now imagine net neutrality is a flame grilled Whopper

NEW YORK (AP) — Burger King is delivering its own hot take on a regulatory showdown that has enflamed the U.S., using a flame-grilled Whopper.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Losses for airlines, tech mostly offset other stock gains

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks spent a second day flipping between small gains and losses Thursday as investors again looked for hints about the Trump administration's stance on international trade and the dollar. Major indexes ended the day mixed as airlines plunged while biotech drugmakers climbed.

Walmart layoffs at home office to cost up to 499 their jobs

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is laying off workers at its Arkansas headquarters this week.

Socially responsible investing gets a Trump bump

NEW YORK (AP) — Decades after she began investing, Diana Casey for the first time put money in mutual funds that favor companies with women in corner offices and otherwise aim to invest in a socially responsible way. Her inspiration? President Donald Trump.

Can anything stop the stock market's relentless rise?

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 365 days since the Dow Jones industrial average first crossed 20,000, and it's already up another 30-plus percent as the stock market's relentless rise to records keeps going.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Oprah: 'I don't have the DNA' for a presidential bid

ATLANTA (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she's not interested in a presidential bid despite Democrats' continuing buzz about the billionaire media icon.

Teachers flock to run for office in Kentucky

FRAKNFORT, Ky. (AP) — At the beginning of 2017, Cathy Carter was a public school teacher with no plans to retire. A year later, she's wrapping up her career to do something she never thought she would: Run for elected office.

Trump: Palestinians must return to talks to receive aid

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to withhold aid money from the Palestinians until they return to peace talks with Israel as he sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of an economic summit in Switzerland.

With Trump meeting, May looks to keep UK on global map

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to reaffirm her country's central role in world affairs on Thursday, when she delivered a speech to the World Economic Forum and met with President Donald Trump to dispel any perceptions of tensions between them.

Trump in Davos: threatens Palestinians, reassures Brits

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump barreled into a global summit in the Swiss Alps on Thursday, threatening to stop U.S. aid to the Palestinians and dismissing as a "false rumor" the idea that there are tensions in the U.S. relationship with Britain.

Grassley may release Russia interviews of Trump Jr., others

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee is finishing its investigation into a June 2016 meeting between Russians and President Donald Trump's campaign, and the Republican chairman of that panel says he wants to release transcripts from closed-door interviews with Trump's son and others.

Trump 'looking forward' to being questioned under oath

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared he's "looking forward" to being questioned — under oath — in the special counsel's probe of Russian election interference and Trump's possible obstruction in the firing of the FBI director.

Potholes ahead for Trump's upcoming public works proposal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will soon release its long-anticipated public works plan, trying to fulfill a campaign pledge but set to fall short of some ambitious goals.

Judge hints at taking up Trump foreign payments case

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal judge in Maryland hinted Thursday that he may take up a case questioning whether President Donald Trump's business empire violates the "emoluments" clause of the Constitution.

Trump plan offers citizenship path to 1.8 million immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is proposing a plan that provides a path to citizenship for 1.8 million of the so-called "Dreamer" immigrants, tighter restrictions on legal immigration and $25 billion in border security, the White House said, putting forward an outline likely to find resistance from some of Trump's conservative allies.