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VOL. 44 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 15, 2020

Working toward a new normal in senior living

Facilities try to rebuild confidence among residents, their families

With COVID-19 rampaging through nursing homes and assisted living facilities the past two months, tens of thousands of Americans are reconsidering everything they knew about elder care and extended-family living arrangements.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Shame on the shamers: Masks shouldn’t be political statement

LaReeca Rucker was in a small park in Oxford, Mississippi, the other day, enjoying the fine, sunny afternoon, like many other people. Unlike the other people, though, she was wearing a mask.

Poll: Nashvillians show broad approval for mayor, precautions

Nashvillians have given high marks to the city’s institutions and elected officials for their response to the COVID-19 crisis, but residents’ economic anxiety levels are high as the city faces hard times and tough financial decisions, the latest Vanderbilt poll finds.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
65.0°F
Fair
Wind: South at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 87%

EVENTS

The Nashville Chamber’s International Business Council. The event, in partnership with Baker Donelson, will be a global update featuring British Consul General Andrew Staunton. CG Staunton will offer updates on the UK response to COVID-19, Brexit, and the U.S.-UK Trade Agreement negotiations. Registration required. Wednesday, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Information

more events »

NASHVILLE AREA

EO Nashville survey: Only 12% expect lower May, June revenues

A survey of Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Nashville members show 65% of respondents reported a negative effect on revenue during March and April, with more than 30% seeing revenue decline by at least half compared to the same time period in 2019. However, only 12% expect worse revenues in May and June than the previous two months.

STATEWIDE

Jobless claims in Tennessee rise above a half-million

NASHVILLE (AP) — More than 29,000 people filed new unemployment claims in Tennessee last week, bringing the number of jobless residents who have sought benefits to more than a half-million stemming from the shutdown of businesses during the response to the new coronavirus outbreak.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Fewer homes selling for higher prices in Midstate

Unit sales sagged 17% in April, Greater Nashville Realtors statistics show, while prices rose from a median of $306,975 in April 2019 to $330,000 for April 2020.

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County residential sales for April 2020

Top residential real estate sales, April 2020, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

NONPROFITS

Big Payback fundraiser sets record

The Big Payback’s seventh annual 24-hour online giving event raised more than $4.3 million for participating area nonprofits, a record for the event.

BRIEFS

Nashville State providing free online classes

The Office of Workforce and Community Development at Nashville State Community College is offering 10 free online courses in professional development available through June 30.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Never, ever give an inch? You’re missing by a mile

The answer is always YES. YES, you want more from your job or your clients. YES, you’re sure there’s more they can give. YES, you need additional compensation, whether monetarily or in perks. Your heels are dug in and you’re not giving up until you get the answer you want.

BEHIND THE WHEEL
PERSONAL FINANCE

Reached the end of your lease? You have options during pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the way we live and conduct business in this country. Take, for instance, the act of terminating a vehicle lease.

Should you give your offspring an equal inheritance?

Your estate plan might be your last words to those you leave behind. If you’re a parent, you should think carefully about the message you’ll be sending.

CAREER CORNER

Working remotely working for you? Why not continue?

One of the hot topics around the virtual water cooler is when we’re going back to work. Some states are beginning to open, while others continue to be locked down for what might be months.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Business credit card has benefits for gig workers

Entrepreneurial types who freelance and side hustle their way through the week likely have access to a tool that could help them thrive: A business credit card.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee puts $5.7M from VW settlement into bus projects

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are using $5.7 million from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal settlement for transit bus replacements in three cities.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford temporarily halts work at 2 plants; Rolls cuts jobs

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Wednesday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

REAL ESTATE

US existing home sales plunge 17.8% in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing home plunged 17.8% in April with the real estate market still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.

COURTS

Tennessee's Rinova settles Medicare fraud claims for $100K

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee-based Rinova The Wellness Group has agreed to pay more than $100,000 to settle claims that it defrauded Medicare, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nashville.

Supreme Court blocks House from Mueller grand jury material

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US health officials quietly release more reopening guidance

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials have quietly released more reopening guidance that was created more than a month ago but initially shelved.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Nearly 39 million have sought US jobless aid since virus hit

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns two months ago and sent the economy into a deep recession.

Retailers reopening more stores, tourism expanding

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Pandemic could push Macy's to losses exceeding $1 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's is warning that it could lose more than a $1 billion during its first fiscal quarter after the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed retail operations nationwide.

Deliberative Senate declines to debate more coronavirus aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Americans confront a crisis unlike any in modern times, the world's greatest deliberative body is doing almost anything but deliberate the coronavirus.

Trump gives oil, gas companies royalty relief

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration has started giving energy companies temporary breaks on royalties and rent they pay to extract oil and gas from leases on public lands because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Recession-hit Japan's exports, imports fall due to pandemic

TOKYO (AP) — Recession-hit Japan's exports plunged nearly 22% in April, marking their worst drop in more than a decade, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed global demand for autos, machinery and chemicals.

Regional Fed chief: A slow rebound would boost loan program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of a regional Federal Reserve bank that will oversee a groundbreaking business lending program said Wednesday that he thinks a slower-than-expected recovery from the economic downturn would lead companies to seek critical support from the program.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump announces plans to exit Open Skies Treaty

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration notified international partners on Thursday that it is pulling out of a treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct unarmed, observation flights over each other's territory — overflights set up decades ago to promote trust and avert conflict.

Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to hold up federal funds for two election battleground states that are trying to make it easier and safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. He backed away from that threat but stuck with his unsupported claim that widespread voting by mail promotes "a lot of illegality."

Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to vote Thursday on the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence, potentially confirming him sooner than expected, as senators are eager to quickly fill the post.

Trump tests whether incumbent leader can tap outsider anger

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is running against himself.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 20
NASHVILLE AREA

TSU president 'thrilled' by Oprah Winfrey gift

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover said she was "thrilled" to receive a call from Oprah Winfrey asking what she could do to help Nashville residents suffering from the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus.

Oprah gives grants to 'home' cities during pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey is giving grants to the cities she's called home through her $12 million coronavirus relief fund.

HEALTH CARE

Grant will help Tennessee recruit hospital psychiatrists

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has received $200,000 to recruit physicians to the state's regional mental health hospitals, according to a news release from the agency.

AUTO INDUSTRY

2 accused of smuggling ex-Nissan boss out of Japan in a box

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Green Beret and his son were arrested Wednesday in Massachusetts on charges they smuggled Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of Japan in a box while he awaited trial there on financial misconduct charges.

VW pulls car ad after outcry, apologizes for racist overtone

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Volkswagen has pulled a social media ad for a new car and apologized after an outcry over its racist overtones.

Securities case ended against VW CEO, board chairman

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said charges of securities-law violations against its CEO and board chairman are to be dropped in return for a 9 million-euro ($10 million) payment, removing a potential distraction for the company's management team as it copes with the virus crisis and oversees the rollout of a new generation of electric cars.

TRANSPORTATION

Lawmakers: FAA certification of new planes needs an overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration outlined steps to change how it approves new passenger planes, but lawmakers said they will push ahead with legislation to change the current system that lets aircraft makers including Boeing play a key role in the certification process.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce cuts 9,000 jobs as aviation reels

LONDON (AP) — Engine maker Rolls-Royce said Wednesday it plans to cut some 9,000 jobs globally as it grapples with the collapse in air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ENVIRONMENT

Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration's moves to roll back environmental regulations during the coronavirus crisis, with one senator saying a "pandemic of pollution'' has been released.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple, Google release technology for pandemic apps

Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

AT&T to drop misleading '5G' marketing for non-5G networks

AT&T says it will stop advertising its wireless network as "5G Evolution" after a division of the Better Business Bureau determined that its language was misleading. The network AT&T branded this way is not, in fact, 5G — a new technology for fast wireless data.

COURTS

Supreme Court blocks House from Mueller grand jury material

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Safety a big concern as workers return to their jobs

NEW YORK (AP) — With more businesses across the country easing back to life, the new challenge will be how to keep workers safe during the pandemic.

Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before COVID-19 killed thousands of nursing home residents, about 4 in 10 homes inspected were cited for infection control problems, according to a government watchdog report Wednesday that finds a "persistent" pattern of lapses.

Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to hold up federal funds for two election battleground states that are trying to make it easier and safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump allies lining up doctors to prescribe rapid reopening

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican political operatives are recruiting "extremely pro-Trump" doctors to go on television to prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible, without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Analysis: Trump flouts the experts, even in own government

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the nation's top infectious disease doctor warned it could be risky for schools to open this fall, President Donald Trump said that was unacceptable.

Trump attacks study, defends using malaria drug for COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump emphatically defended himself against criticism from medical experts that his announced use of a malaria drug against the coronavirus could spark wide misuse by Americans of the unproven treatment with potentially fatal side effects.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close higher as investors regain some more confidence

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, clawing back all of its losses from a day earlier and extending its strong gains for the week.

Fed officials worried in April about toll of deep recession

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month worried about the coronavirus pandemic's toll on the U.S. economy, especially its impact on the most vulnerable, expressing fears that a large number of small businesses may not be able to survive the shock.

Is mortgage forbearance an option? Here's what to know

Suddenly out of work or making due with reduced paychecks, an estimated 4.1 million Americans have sought forbearance on their mortgage, according to data released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. That's a staggering number, and experts anticipate more homeowners will seek this protection as the economic impact of the coronavirus wears on.

Job cuts continue as financial aid lends support

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Wednesday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Deutsche Bank CEO: Remote work could help company cut costs

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany's Deutsche Bank says it is in good financial shape and will push ahead with cost cuts to bolster profitability - and its CEO says working from home could play a role in that.

EU says virus fund access to be linked to its budget advice

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union signaled Wednesday that it will not punish member countries for breaking the bloc's deficit rules to tackle the coronavirus but that it could condition their access to sorely-needed recovery funds on them following its advice on how to manage their budgets.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Senate panel approves subpoena in Hunter Biden probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has voted to issue a subpoena as part of its investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son, a move that met immediate opposition from Democrats who said the panel should be focused on overseeing the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pompeo denies retaliation but won't explain watchdog ouster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday adamantly denied that he recommended firing the State Department's independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as America's top diplomat. But Pompeo again declined to provide specific reasons for Steve Linick's dismissal as inspector general.

Biden warns of 'abuse of power' in measured Trump critique

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden warned Wednesday that those "tasked with enforcing the law are abusing their powers," offering a measured critique of the Trump administration a day after he declined to respond to President Donald Trump's attacks directly.

Quest for 'super-duper missile' pits US against key rivals

WASHINGTON (AP) — They fly at speeds of a mile a second or faster and maneuver in ways that make them extra difficult to detect and destroy in flight.

US extends heightened border enforcement during coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Trump administration policy of quickly expelling most migrants stopped along the border because of the COVID-19 pandemic was indefinitely extended Tuesday, with a top U.S. health official arguing that what had been a short-term order was still needed to protect the country from the virus.


TUESDAY, MAY 19
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville to have televised fireworks on July 4th

Music City will honor health care heroes, first responders and front-line workers with a televised fireworks show from downtown Nashville on July 4, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Socially distant concerts signal a reopening for live music

NASHVILLE (AP) — The last time bassist Jon Jones played a concert with his country group Eli Young Band was March 8. He hopes to hit the stage again in June to launch a new drive-in concert series in his first return to live music with fans since the devastating coronavirus.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

SEC gives Vanderbilt $100,000 grant for tornado relief

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has given a $100,000 grant to Vanderbilt to help students, staff and faculty affected by the tornado that hit Tennessee in March.

STATEWIDE

COVID-19 data sharing with law enforcement sparks concern

NASHVILLE (AP) — Public health officials in at least two-thirds of U.S. states are sharing the addresses of people who have the coronavirus with first responders. Supporters say the measure is designed to protect those on the front line, but it's sparked concerns of profiling in minority communities already mistrustful of law enforcement.

Tennessee to pause Memorial Day construction lane closures

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are pausing most construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes for Memorial Day weekend.

REAL ESTATE

US home construction drops 30.2% in April as virus rages

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home building plunged in April to the lowest level in five years, taken down by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

AUTO INDUSTRY

April European car sales see worst drop since records began

MILAN (AP) — European car sales bottomed out last month as the automotive industry faces its worst crisis in decades.

ENVIRONMENT

Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak

KENSINGTON, Maryland (AP) — The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Pandemic will alter Communion rituals for many US Christians

NEW YORK (AP) — Holy Communion will have a different look when in-person worship services resume at the end of May in the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee: The wafers signifying the body of Christ will be placed in the hands of parishioners by priests and deacons wearing face masks and safety glasses.

My 'decision to make': Trump defends claimed use of drug

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump emphatically defended himself Tuesday against criticism from medical experts that his announced use of a malaria drug against the coronavirus could spark wide misuse by Americans of the unproven treatment with potentially fatal side effects.

Trump points to good news as restaurant owners tell of fears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Restaurant owners gave President Donald Trump a sobering accounting of the widespread damage the coronavirus pandemic has dealt their industry and asked him to adjust a loan program for small businesses to address their concerns.

UK lawmakers say testing lapses increased nursing home toll

LONDON (AP) — An influential group of British lawmakers on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government of failing to conduct enough tests for the new coronavirus, saying the lapse helped COVID-19 cut a deadly swath through U.K. nursing homes.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

A late slump leaves stock market lower after a choppy day

Stocks ended broadly lower on Wall Street Tuesday as trading turned wobbly a day after the market notched its biggest jump in more than five weeks.

Kroger says isn't pulling back bonuses; airlines see uptick

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Tuesday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Mnuchin, Powell push differing priorities to aid economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing the gravest U.S. economic crisis in decades, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered Congress contrasting views Tuesday of what the government's most urgent priority should be.

As Walmart becomes a lifeline, online sales surged 74%

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart became a lifeline to millions of people as the coronavirus spread and its profit and sales surged during the first quarter, topping almost all expectations.

Cost of spreading virus weighed on Home Depot in early 2020

ATLANTA (AP) — The cost of the spreading coronavirus pandemic dragged on profits early in the year at Home Depot.

MEDIA

Video app TikTok names top Disney streaming exec as new CEO

TikTok, the popular short-video app that has also drawn national-security and privacy concerns, has a new high-profile CEO from Disney, Kevin Mayer.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Flynn's lawyers ask appeals court to force dismissal of case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Michael Flynn are asking a federal appeals court to order the dismissal of the criminal case against the former Trump administration national security adviser.

Trump tells Senate GOP to 'be tough' on Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump implored Senate Republicans to "be tough" on Democrats heading into the fall election, touting his own poll numbers against rival Joe Biden during a free-wheeling private lunch on Capitol Hill.

Committee approves Ratcliffe for DNI, sends to full Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be director of national intelligence, sending the nomination to the Senate floor for his likely confirmation.

Biden hires Chávez granddaughter to help on Latino outreach

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden's presidential campaign is bringing on the granddaughter of civil rights leader César Chávez as a senior adviser to help with Latino outreach and building out its operation in the states.

Sen. Graham plans vote to subpoena Russia probe officials

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is scheduling a vote that would allow him to subpoena more than 50 current and former officials who were involved in the Justice Department's investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, as President Donald Trump and his allies have launched a broad, election-year attack on the investigation as a "deep state" conspiracy.


MONDAY, MAY 18
MIDSTATE

Fort Campbell soldiers to deploy to South Korea this summer

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — An aviation unit from Fort Campbell will deploy to South Korea this summer.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee wildlife agency names new executive director

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has a new executive director.

TECHNOLOGY

U.S. restriction on chipmakers deals critical blow to Huawei

HONG KONG (AP) — The latest U.S. sanctions on tech giant Huawei threaten to devastate the company and escalate a feud with China that could disrupt technology industries worldwide.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

WHO bows to calls from countries for independent virus probe

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent evaluation of how it managed the international response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy.

Moderna: Early coronavirus vaccine results are encouraging

An experimental vaccine against the coronavirus showed encouraging results in very early testing, triggering hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers, its maker announced Monday.

Tech-assisted COVID-19 tracking is having some issues

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Harnessing today's technology to the task of fighting the coronavirus pandemic is turning out to be more complicated than it first appeared.

Hospitals, health care sector reel from COVID-19 damage

The global coronavirus pandemic has created a huge need for health care in the U.S., but it also is delivering a devastating financial blow to that sector.

China announces $2 billion in virus help at WHO assembly

GENEVA (AP) — China will provide $2 billion over two years to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout from it, President Xi Jinping said Monday, rallying around the World Health Organization even as the United States has slashed funding for the U.N. health agency and sought to undermine its credibility.

Thousands defer plans to leave the military during crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Sgt. Antonio Gozikowski was planning to leave the military next month and head to college.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks rally on hopes for vaccine and economic recovery

The stock market bounced back from its worst week in nearly two months Monday as optimism about a potential vaccine for the coronavirus and hopes for a U.S. economic recovery in the second half of the year put investors in a buying mood.

Who got what? Details scant on small-business relief effort

WASHINGTON (AP) — A small, overlooked federal agency is shouldering a massive relief effort for the nation's small businesses and their workers left reeling by the pandemic.

Report: Treasury fund to ease virus crisis off to slow start

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have lent hardly any money under a $500 billion fund created by the economic rescue law passed in response to the coronavirus crisis, a congressional oversight panel says in a new report.

SBA leaves businesses still hoping for more leeway on loans

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses hoping for more leeway in using coronavirus loan money were disappointed as the government released instructions for seeking forgiveness for the loans.

Germany, France propose virus recovery fund for EU economy

BERLIN (AP) — The leaders of Germany and France agreed Monday on a one-off 500 billion-euro ($543 billion) fund to help the European Union recover from the coronavirus pandemic, a proposal that would add further cash to an arsenal of financial measures the bloc is readying to cope with the outbreak's economic fallout.

Uber cuts 3,000 jobs as pandemic slashes demand for rides

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber has cut 3,000 jobs from its workforce, its second major wave of layoffs in two weeks as the coronavirus slashed demand for rides.

Powell: Recovery may begin by summer, will likely be slow

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed optimism Sunday that the U.S. economy can begin to recover from a devastating recession in the second half of the year, assuming the coronavirus doesn't erupt in a second wave. But he suggested that a full recovery won't likely be possible before the arrival of a vaccine.

Europe reopens widely; China gives $2 billion to virus fight

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Europe reopened more widely on Monday, allowing people into the Acropolis in Athens, shops in Italy, museums in Belgium, golf courses in Ireland and beer gardens in Bavaria. China announced it will give $2 billion to the fight against the coronavirus.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Democrats: Fired watchdog was looking into Saudi arms sale

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats say the State Department watchdog fired by President Donald Trump last week was investigating possible impropriety in a massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, adding new questions to the watchdog's abrupt dismissal.

Barr says he doesn't envision investigations of Biden, Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he did not expect an investigation into the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation to lead to criminal probes of either President Donald Trump's Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, or former President Barack Obama.

Source: Trump admin. to name new DEA head, US attorney in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. attorney who oversaw the reversal of a sentencing recommendation for Trump ally Roger Stone and the motion to dismiss charges against ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn will become the nation's top drug enforcement official, according to an administration official.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump, GOP falsehoods on Flynn, Biden, virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are misrepresenting the facts behind the legal case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn as they seek to allege improper behavior during the Obama administration in the presidential campaign season.

Biden's VP search puts spotlight on how long he would serve

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden has longed to win the White House for more than three decades. If he finally makes it there after November's election, he's already talking about leaving.

Immigration agency asks for emergency funds, will raise fees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government agency that processes citizenship applications and work visas is running out of money because of the COVID-19 pandemic and says it needs to raise its fees and receive emergency funding from Congress to stay afloat.


FRIDAY, MAY 15
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Songwriters go online to craft the next hit song remotely

NASHVILLE (AP) — During a recent songwriting session, singer-songwriters Sarah Loethen and Christoffer Wadensten pieced together the lyrics and melody of a song they were writing about the global pandemic.

SPORTS

Colorful player, coach Pepper Rodgers dies at age 88

ATLANTA (AP) — Pepper Rodgers, a colorful personality who helped Georgia Tech to an unbeaten season as a player in 1952 and went on to coach the Yellow Jackets as well as Kansas, UCLA and Memphis teams in both the USFL and CFL, died Thursday. He was 88.

MEDIA

Reporter sues Memphis over exclusion from media list

MEMPHIS (AP) — A journalism advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a reporter in Memphis, Tennessee, who alleges she has been excluded from a media advisory list in retaliation for her coverage of the city.

REGION

Mississippi casinos to reopen before Memorial Day weekend

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Gaming Commission said Thursday that casinos in the state can start reopening May 21 — more than two months after the commission closed them because of the coronavirus pandemic.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM to buy enough solar to power Spring Hill plant by late 2022

SPRING HILL (AP) — General Motors plans to buy enough solar energy to power its Tennessee assembly plant by late 2022.

Auto workers' tenuous return a ray of hope in jobs crisis

DETROIT (AP) — Defying a wave of layoffs that has sent the U.S. job market into its worst catastrophe on record, at least one major industry is making a comeback: Tens of thousands of auto workers are returning to factories that have been shuttered since mid-March due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee prisons report 4th inmate death in virus outbreak

NASHVILLE (AP) — A fourth Tennessee prison inmate has died after contracting the coronavirus, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

VA says it won't stop use of unproven drug on vets for now

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing growing criticism, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday that it will not halt use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with COVID-19 but that fewer of its patients are now taking it.

Trump still confident in virus test despite false negatives

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump expressed no concerns Friday about a rapid coronavirus test that the White House has been relying on to ensure his safety, despite new data suggesting the test may return an inordinate share of false negatives.

Most states still fall short of recommended testing levels

WASHINGTON (AP) — As businesses reopened Friday in more of the U.S., an overwhelming majority of states still fall short of the COVID-19 testing levels that public health experts say are necessary to safely ease lockdowns and avoid another deadly wave of outbreaks, according to an Associated Press analysis.

US begins 'warp speed' vaccine push as studies ramp up

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump vowed to use "every plane, truck and soldier" to distribute COVID-19 vaccines he hopes will be ready by year's end — even as the country's top scientists gear up for a master experiment to rapidly tell if any really work.

FDA giving White House new guidance on rapid COVID-19 test

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Food and Drug Administration said Friday his agency has provided new guidance to the White House after data suggested that a rapid COVID-19 test used by President Donald Trump and others every day may provide inaccuracies and false negatives.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed says financial system came under severe strain in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Friday that parts of the U.S. financial system came under severe strain in March as a global pandemic was shutting down much of the economy.

Economy in crisis: more virus aid or wait and see?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The unparalleled speed of the collapse of the U.S. economy, forcing more than 36 million Americans out of work, has left an all-too-common political divide, with many Republicans seeing reasons to believe the worst is over while Democrats call for more aid to stave off a possible depression.

Stocks manage modest gains but still end lower for the week

Stocks managed to close modestly higher on Wall Street Friday after a day of wobbling between gains and losses.

Retailers face reckoning as April's sales drop sets a record

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

US retail sales plunged a record 16% in April as virus hit

BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened the viability of stores across the country and further weighed down a sinking economy.

U.S. layoffs surged to record high of 11.4 million in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. layoffs soared in March to a record 11.4 million after state and local governments closed restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other nonessential businesses in response to the intensifying viral outbreak.

Dems push $3T coronavirus relief bill toward House OK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pushed Congress' biggest coronavirus relief bill yet toward expected House passage Friday, a $3 trillion behemoth they said a  beleaguered country badly needs but Republicans called a bloated election-year wish list.

Industrial production plunges unprecedented 11.2% in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — American industry suffered the most severe plunge on record last month with factories, mines and utilities battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

China uses trade as weapon to silence virus criticism

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Trying to silence criticism over the coronavirus pandemic, China is deploying a well-used weapon — trade sanctions.

US adds new sanction on Chinese tech giant Huawei

BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. government imposed new restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei on Friday, limiting its ability to use American technology to design and manufacture semiconductors produced for it abroad.

UK-EU deadlocked in Brexit talks as clock ticks down

BRUSSELS (AP) — Talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom on their post-Brexit relationship ground to a near-standstill Friday, with each side accusing the other of blocking progress on a trade deal just weeks before a crucial summit.

Pelosi, GOP exchange barbs over new economic relief package

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out Thursday at Trump administration officials and congressional Republicans seeking to slow work on a fresh round of coronavirus relief. The White House responded minutes later with a threat that President Donald Trump would veto the $3 trillion economic package Democrats have proposed.

Germany in recession as economy shrinks 2.2% in 1st quarter

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy shrank by 2.2% in the first quarter compared with the previous three-month period as shutdowns in the country and beyond started to bite, official data showed Friday. That means Europe's biggest economy went into recession following a small dip at the end of last year.

China economy better but vital consumer demand still feeble

BEIJING (AP) — Factory output rose in April as China's virus-battered economy reopened but job losses depressed consumer spending, a key driver of growth, challenging the ruling Communist Party's push to revive normal activity.

Carnival to lay off hundreds in Florida, other states

MIAMI (AP) — Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise company, announced on Thursday it will be laying off hundreds of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Space Force unveils flag; Trump touts 'super-duper missile'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Space Force — the newest branch of the armed services — now has its own flag.

Truckers honk over shipping rates, not 'in favor of' Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the sound of truck horns honking just south of the White House is a "sign of love" for him from truckers. But the truckers are actually protesting over low shipping rates.

Work from home Congress? House set to OK proxy votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Neither Civil War nor Great Depression or any other national crisis has convinced the House to allow lawmakers to vote by proxy — without being "present" as the Constitution requires. That's about to change during the coronavirus pandemic.


THURSDAY, MAY 14
SPORTS

NASCAR plans to race its way through the South in June

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It will be a summer in the South for NASCAR: The stock car series announced Thursday it will stick to Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Alabama for June races — all of them without fans.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee gov promotes adviser to chief operating officer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has promoted a senior adviser to become the state's next chief operating officer.

COURTS

Supreme Court sides with Lucky brand in trademark dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with fashion brand Lucky in a dispute with a Miami-based apparel manufacturer that owns the "Get Lucky" trademark.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Whistleblower: US still lacks virus plan; Americans at risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite White House claims, the U.S. still lacks a comprehensive battle plan against the coronavirus in critical areas including masks, testing, treatments and vaccines, whistleblower Rick Bright warned Thursday in testimony before a House committee. "Our window of opportunity is closing," he declared.

Officials release edited coronavirus reopening guidance

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns.

EU: Possible virus drug approval 'before the summer'

LONDON (AP) — The European Medicines Agency predicted that there could be licensed drugs to treat the new coronavirus in the next few months and that a vaccine might even be approved in early 2021, in a "best-case scenario."

Emails: Trump nominee involved in shelving CDC virus guide

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former chemical industry executive nominated to be the nation's top consumer safety watchdog was involved in sidelining detailed guidelines to help communities reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, internal government emails show.

Trump's push for opening school clashes with Fauci's caution

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump called on governors across the nation to work to reopen schools that were closed because of the coronavirus, pointedly taking issue with Dr. Anthony Fauci's caution against moving too quickly in sending students back to class.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Another late reversal upends Wall Street, this time higher

Wall Street rallied back from a sharp morning drop on Thursday, led by a resurgence for some of the year's most beaten-down stocks.

Survey: Oil, manufacturing had best luck with pandemic loans

Almost 75% of small businesses in a survey applied for help from a federal loan program designed to keep workers employed during the coronavirus pandemic, but only 38% of small businesses received any money, according to survey results the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

McConnell hits Democrats' 'totally unserious' relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday branded House Democrats' $3 trillion economic relief bill a "totally unserious effort" to address the coronavirus pandemic, underscoring the deep election-year gulch over what Congress' next response to the crisis should be.

Trump administration ease rules limiting truck driver hours

The Trump administration eased rules Thursday that limit working hours for truck drivers, and the changes brought immediate protests from labor and safety groups.

Buying the plunge: Individual investors remain optimistic

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The lure of snapping up stocks at bargain prices has been too strong to pass up for many people, even as uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic clouds the market and global economic outlook.

April job losses fall hard on restaurants, retailers

NEW YORK (AP) — Who remembers their last meal at a sit-down restaurant? Better yet: who knows when their next one will be?

As coronavirus rolls on, Republicans hit 'pause' on new aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses are going belly up, tens of millions have been laid off and, by some measures, the U.S. seems headed for another Great Depression. But Republicans surveying the wreckage aren't ready for another round of coronavirus aid, instead urging a "pause."

3 million more US layoffs intensify fears of lasting damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak forced more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen.

Head of World Trade Organization to step down early

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Trade Organization said Thursday he will leave his post a year before his term expires, an unprecedented mid-term resignation at the WTO that he called a "personal decision."

Companies navigate a world that is vastly changed

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Pandemic crisis forecast to hit insurers for $200 billion

LONDON (AP) — The pandemic will cost the insurance industry over $200 billion, according to Lloyds of London, who estimated that its own payouts are now on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks or the combined impact of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017.

Consumers, lawmakers rip airlines for withholding refunds

When her Las Vegas hotel shut down and returned her money, and both Nevada and her home state of Ohio issued stay-home orders, Helen Moon canceled the flight that she and her husband had booked on Frontier Airlines and asked for a cash refund.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Graham to probe origins of Russia inquiry; won't call Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Thursday his committee is opening a wide-ranging investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, but rejected President Donald Trump's call to bring in former President Barack Obama to testify.

Burr steps aside as Senate intelligence chair amid FBI probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Richard Burr temporarily stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday after the FBI served a search warrant for his cellphone as part of an investigation into a well-timed sale of stocks tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump: Virus shows supply chains should be moved from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance of U.S. manufacturing and moving supply chains out of China, as he blamed that country anew for not doing enough to slow the pandemic.

Ahead of election, Trump attacks Russia probe and Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Republicans are launching a broad election-year attack on the foundation of the Russia investigation, including declassifying intelligence information to try to place senior Obama administration officials under scrutiny for routine actions.

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