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VOL. 45 | NO. 9 | Friday, February 26, 2021

Parents scramble for fewer camp slots

Programs reopening with smaller numbers; some remain virtual

The need to register children for summer camp before sessions fill up creeps up on busy parents every year as moms and dads struggle through the last few months of school, racing from one extracurricular to another, barely able to leave the office in time to do it all.

2021 Middle Tennessee Summer camp list

Camps provide an opportunity to connect with nature, participate in team-based activities and develop relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic will still have an impact on summer camps this summer as most programs and activities will have limited capacity to provide for social distancing, and may have to pivot or modify based on recommendations from local health authorities and the Center for Disease Control. Every camp has a different refund policy based on COVID as well, so please contact each one to review.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Legislature keeps ‘vital’ bills on track

Like many others – including our mail carrier, newspaper deliverer, trash collector and Gigamunch meal provider – lawmakers recently took a snow break from duties.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
57.0°F
Fair
Wind: Southwest at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 51%

EVENTS

First Friday: Your Small Business Resource. A conversation on national and local trends in the market. Williamson, Inc. / Power Conference Room, 4031 Aspen Grove Drive, Franklin. Friday, 8-9 a.m. Free. Information

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Zero, 1 day on market new norm in hot winter market

Over a closing table this week, Brandon Miller, a founding member of Wagon Wheel Title, waxed brilliantly on his observations as a residential real estate closing attorney. During its 15-year of existence, Wagon Wheel has blossomed into one of the leading title companies in Nashville with Miller witnessing numerous closings for properties located in all geographical areas of Greater Nashville.

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County residential sales for January 2021

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

US long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year average at 2.97%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week but remain near historic lows as the pandemic-hobbled economy strains toward recovery with more Americans getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

NEWSMAKERS

Wealth Strategies’ Allen makes Forbes state list

Wealth Strategies Partners’ Paul Allen, CFP®, MS, has been named to Forbes’ 2021 list of America’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors. This marks the second time that he has received this prestigious recognition.

BRIEFS

Eco-friendly hotel opens at oneCity

Noble Investment Group has announced the opening of its new LEED-certified Element Nashville Vanderbilt West End.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Three smart methods for getting out of your car lease

Lacie Romano, a Los Angeles resident, is stuck paying for a vehicle she no longer needs. Like many Americans, her situation has been upended by the pandemic.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Owners seek the next gig after losing their company

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

CAREER CORNER

Working remotely exacerbates disconnect with co-workers

We’ve now been living in a pandemic for almost one year. And just when it seemed things couldn’t get any stranger, the last two weeks happened.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

5 tips to negotiate pay in a tough economy

The pandemic-related recession has altered many job descriptions. For Haley Jones, a 24-year-old resident of Michigan, the coronavirus changed the needs of her company, and as she adapted to meet them her responsibilities were no longer confined to her marketing specialist role.

PREDATORS

Aho scores 2 goals to lead Hurricanes over Predators 4-2

NASHVILLE (AP) — Sebastian Aho scored twice to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Preds place Ellis, Kunin on IR, Johansen on COVID list

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators have placed defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Luke Kunin on injured reserve with center Ryan Johansen placed on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Cameron leads trio of triple-doubles as LSU swarms Vandy

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Cameron Thomas had 23 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season, and LSU overwhelmed short-handed Vanderbilt 83-68 on Tuesday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Lawmakers can't cite local examples of trans girls in sports

Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls' sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems.

NASHVILLE AREA

Tennessee State Museum to commemorate 225 years of statehood

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Museum will showcase 100 artifacts online and in person to commemorate Tennessee's 225 years of statehood.

TOURISM

Smokies sees more than 12M visitors despite virus closure

GATLINBURG (AP) — Despite closing for more than a month because of COVID-19, Great Smoky Mountains National Park experienced its second busiest year on record last year.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee to expand vaccine eligibility next week

NASHVILLE (AP) — More than 1 million Tennesseans will soon become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine after the Department of Health announced Tuesday it was expecting a large supply of the immunizations.

HEALTH CARE

Biden encouraged by consumer interest in 'Obamacare' offer

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a solid start, more than 200,000 people signed up for coverage the first two weeks after President Joe Biden reopened HealthCare.gov as part of his coronavirus response, the government said Wednesday.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Stellantis CEO says 4th largest carmaker to be disruptive

MILAN (AP) — Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares on Wednesday said the new car company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot would be a "disruptive" force in the industry, and that both sides would provide technologies to achieve the promised 5 billion euros ($6 billion) in cost savings each year.

TRANSPORTATION

US infrastructure gets C- from engineers as roads stagnate

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — America's infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government, the American Society of Civil Engineers reports. Its overall grade: a mediocre C-.

MEDIA

Facebook lifts ban on US political, social issue ads

Facebook says it is lifting its ban on political and social-issue ads put in place after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Google ends sale of ads using individual web tracking data

LONDON (AP) — Google says it won't develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it phases out existing ad-tracking technology from its Chrome browser, a change that could shake up the online advertising industry.

ENVIRONMENT

Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but he will need to navigate a host of challenges — including the coronavirus pandemic and restoring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs — to get it done.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

Buoyed by a surge in vaccine shipments, states and cities are rapidly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 shots to teachers, 55-and-over Americans and other groups as the U.S. races to beat back the virus and reopen businesses and schools.

Biden stands by May timeline for vaccines for all US adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine for all adults by the end of May — two months earlier than anticipated — and he pushed states to get at least one shot into the arms of teachers by the end of March to hasten school reopenings.

Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn't just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic — he also has to manage people's expectations for how soon the country will come out of it.

Tactical shift: Europe seeks vaccine 'overdrive' to catch up

BERLIN (AP) — Slow off the blocks in the race to immunize its citizens against COVID-19, Germany faces an unfamiliar problem: a glut of vaccines and not enough arms to inject them into.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Technology stocks lead indexes lower as yields resume climb

Technology companies led stocks lower on Wall Street as another rise in bond yields rattled investors.

'Meme stocks' go mainstream: There's now a fund for that

NEW YORK (AP) — Interested in trading some of the stocks that have rocked Wall Street recently fueled by social media buzz? Has the craziness of the comments talking up the so-called meme stocks on Reddit and other sites kept you away? Well, the financial industry has something for you.

Fed survey finds modest gains in the US economy in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey of business conditions across the United States has found that economic activity was expanding at a modest pace in February.

Dems tighten relief benefits, firm up support for virus bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Democrats agreed to tighten eligibility limits for stimulus checks Wednesday, bowing to party moderates as leaders prepared to move their $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill through the Senate.

US service sector growth slows sharply in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the services sector, where most Americans works, slowed sharply in February with hurdles related to the pandemic hindering growth.

UK Treasury boss to extend job support, tax breaks in budget

LONDON (AP) — Britain's treasury chief is expected to extend job support programs and temporary tax cuts to help workers and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic when he delivers his budget to Parliament on Wednesday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Police uncover 'possible plot' by militia to breach Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitol Police say they have uncovered intelligence of a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's victory.

General: Pentagon hesitated on sending Guard to Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Department leaders placed unusual restrictions on the National Guard for the day of the Capitol riot and delayed sending help for hours despite an urgent plea from police for reinforcement, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response.

Collins to back Haaland for Interior, sealing her approval

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maine Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she will support New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be Interior secretary, the first Republican senator to publicly back a nominee set to become the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

House prepares to pass landmark voting rights, ethics bill

Washington (AP) — House Democrats are poised to pass a sweeping elections and ethics bill, offering it up as a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country.

Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America's relations with the rest of the world, but one major nation has yet to see any U.S. effort to improve ties: China.

Biden health pick taking heat for support of abortion rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. They want to define him — and the new administration — as out of the mainstream.

Biden's Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's Cabinet is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history, with just over a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure.

Budget nominee Tanden withdraws nomination amid opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's pick to head the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, has withdrawn her nomination after she faced opposition from key Democratic and Republican senators for her controversial tweets.


TUESDAY, MARCH 2
MUSIC INDUSTRY

CMA Fest canceled for 2nd year in a row due to COVID-19

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country music festival CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, will be canceled for a second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nashville music club owners recall night the music died

NASHVILLE (AP) — When frantic messages started trickling in that a tornado had hit a beloved music venue in Nashville, Mike Grimes told himself it couldn't possibly be that bad.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee Senate OKs anti-trans athlete bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's GOP-dominant Senate advanced legislation Monday that would ban transgender athletes from participating in girls' sports.

COURTS

Supreme Court likely to uphold Arizona voting restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year's elections.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Japan to try US men accused of helping Nissan's Ghosn flee

TOKYO (AP) — Two Americans suspected of helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn skip bail and escape to Lebanon in December 2019 have been extradited to Japan.

Goodbye gas: Volvo to make only electric vehicles by 2030

Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. But if you want one, you'll have to buy it online.

Hertz eyes bankruptcy exit through $4.2 billion stake sale

In a deal to jettison itself from under bankruptcy protection, Hertz said Tuesday that it may sell a controlling stake in the company to two investment firms for $4.2 billion.

ENVIRONMENT

Energy-related emissions up in December despite pandemic

BERLIN (AP) — Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose slightly in December compared with the same month of 2019, indicating the sharp drop seen due to the pandemic was short-lived.

RELIGION

United Methodist conservatives detail plans for a breakaway

Conservative leaders within the United Methodist Church unveiled plans Monday to form a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccines for all adult Americans by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated, as his administration announced that drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson's newly approved shot.

Texas and other states ease COVID-19 rules despite warnings

Texas on Tuesday became the biggest state to lift its mask rule, joining a rapidly growing movement by governors and other leaders across the U.S. to loosen COVID-19 restrictions despite pleas from health officials not to let down their guard yet.

Russian Sputnik V vaccine splits Slovakia ruling coalition

PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia was thrown into a political crisis Tuesday over a secret deal to acquire Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine orchestrated by the country's prime minister despite disagreement among his coalition partners.

White House: Merck to help produce rival J&J's vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson's newly approved coronavirus vaccine in an effort to expand supply more quickly, the White House said Tuesday.

Twitter cracks down on COVID vaccine misinformation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter says it has begun labeling tweets that include misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and using a "strike system" to eventually remove accounts that repeatedly violate its rules.

Israeli attorney general slams Netanyahu's vaccine diplomacy

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's attorney general has warned Benjamin Netanyahu that he cannot single-handedly share the country's surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and that such an important decision cannot be made by the prime minister alone.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks drift lower on Wall Street; yields continue to ease

Stocks closed broadly lower on Wall Street Tuesday, giving back some of their big gains from a day earlier.

Biden's pick for SEC flags trading app gimmicks for scrutiny

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission told Congress on Tuesday that the agency should address how to protect investors who use online stock-trading platforms with flashy tech gimmicks that entice them to trade more.

Pandemic loan program at high-risk for fraud, auditor finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emergency loans made to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic have been added to a list of government programs considered at high risk of waste, fraud or mismanagement.

Target powers through pandemic; sales growth explodes in 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Target will plow $4 billion into its business each year for the next several years to redo its stores and add new ones as well as speed up its delivery network, as the discounter aims to keep up with increasingly demanding shoppers shaped by the pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Senate confirms Raimondo as Biden commerce secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve as President Joe Biden's commerce secretary and help guide the economy's recovery during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

75 ex-top prosecutors endorse Biden's pick for associate AG

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 75 former U.S. attorneys are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden's nominee for associate attorney general and urging congressional leaders to quickly confirm her to the post.

FBI chief calls Jan. 6 'domestic terrorism,' defends intel

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray condemned the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as "domestic terrorism" Tuesday as he defended the bureau's handling of intelligence indicating the prospect for violence. He told lawmakers the information was properly shared with other law enforcement agencies even though it was raw and unverified.

Calls for Cuomo's resignation mount as 3rd accuser emerges

NEW YORK (AP) — Calls for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation intensified late Monday after a third woman accused him of offensive behavior, saying he'd touched her face and back and asked to kiss her moments after they met at a wedding reception.

Romney knocked unconscious in fall, but 'doing better'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday that he was knocked unconscious in a fall over the weekend, but he was "doing better."


MONDAY, MARCH 1
PREDATORS

Saros stops 28, Predators defeat Blue Jackets 3-1

NASHVILLE (AP) — After a slow start to the season, the Nashville Predators are now starting to get on a roll.

STATEWIDE

IT company to locate new delivery center in Knoxville

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says business consulting company CGI will locate its latest IT delivery center in Knoxville, investing $27 million in the operation and create 300 jobs.

COURTS

Supreme Court skeptical about patent judge appointments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday seemed likely to find that the judges who oversee patent disputes are not properly appointed, a case important to patent holders and inventors including major technology companies.

Supreme Court to weigh Puerto Rico access to US aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether it is unconstitutional to exclude people living in Puerto Rico from Supplemental Social Security Income.

Supreme Court could put new limits on voting rights lawsuits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US probing engine fires in nearly 1.9M Toyota RAV4 SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is investigating complaints of engine compartment fires in nearly 1.9 million Toyota RAV4 small SUVs.

TRANSPORTATION

China not ready to allow the Boeing 737 Max back in the air

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing isn't ready to follow the United States in allowing Boeing's 737 Max back into the air after a pair of fatal crashes two years ago.

REAL ESTATE

US spending on construction projects rises 1.7% in January

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 1.7% in January as new home building continues to lift the sector.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Tensions over vaccine equity pit rural against urban America

NASHVILLE (AP) — Rita Fentress was worried she might get lost as she traveled down the unfamiliar forested, one-lane road in rural Tennessee in search of a coronavirus vaccine. Then the trees cleared and the Hickman County Agricultural Pavilion appeared.

WHO: 'Premature,' 'unrealistic' to think COVID-19 will end soon

GENEVA (AP) — A senior World Health Organization official said Monday it was "premature" and "unrealistic" to think the pandemic might be stopped by the end of the year, but that the recent arrival of effective vaccines could at least help dramatically reduce hospitalizations and death.

States easing virus restrictions despite experts' warnings

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — With the U.S. vaccination drive picking up speed and a third formula on the way, states eager to reopen for business are easing coronavirus restrictions despite warnings from health experts that the outbreak is far from over and that moving too quickly could prolong the misery.

Things to Know: States ease restrictions despite warnings

Here's what's happening Monday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

UK: Poorer nations should get 'gold-standard' COVAX vaccines

LONDON (AP) — British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Monday that he understood the "conundrum" faced by developing countries as they wait for vital supplies of coronavirus vaccine.

Swiss bask in reopened shops as COVID-19 cases drop

GENEVA (AP) — The timing couldn't have been better for Michele Pesson for Swiss authorities to order a reopening of stores across Switzerland amid a recent drop in coronavirus cases and deaths: Her son's birthday is coming up, and she wanted to get her hands on something special for him to read.

Countries call on drug companies to share vaccine know-how

PARIS (AP) — In an industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangladesh's largest city lies a factory with gleaming new equipment imported from Germany, its immaculate hallways lined with hermetically sealed rooms. It is operating at just a quarter of its capacity.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks rally on Wall Street, S&P 500 has best day since June

Wall Street kicked off March with a broad rally Monday that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 600 points higher and gave the S&P 500 its best day in nine months.

Biden says workers in Alabama have a right to vote on union

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden said workers in Alabama and across the country have the right to join a union without intimidation from their companies. His comments come as Amazon workers in the state are voting on whether they should unionize.

Churchill painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M

LONDON (AP) — A Moroccan landscape painted by Winston Churchill and owned by Angelina Jolie sold at auction on Monday for more than $11.5 million, smashing the previous record for a work by Britain's World War II leader.

Minimum wage hike all but dead in Senate virus relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats' efforts to include a minimum wage increase in their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill seemed all but dead Monday as Senate leaders prepared to begin debate on their own version of the House-passed aid package.

Texas power company seeks bankruptcy protection after storm

The largest and oldest power cooperative in Texas is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing last month's winter storm that left millions without power.

US manufacturing activity jumps to 3-year high in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace three years with the arrival of a surge in new orders.

In 1st day on job, new WTO chief pushes for fisheries deal

GENEVA (AP) — The new head of the World Trade Organization threw her support behind long-fruitless efforts among member countries to agree on fisheries subsidies that could reduce overfishing, calling the efforts a top priority as she took office on Monday.

Europeans get 'right to repair' for some electrical goods

BERLIN (AP) — Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent.

Spain: Shipload of cattle to be killed after 2 months at sea

MADRID (AP) — Nearly 900 cattle that have been on a ship traveling the Mediterranean Sea for two months will be sacrificed after veterinarians deemed them no longer fit for export, Spanish authorities said.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Senate panel votes to advance Garland's nomination to be AG

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's nominee for attorney general.

Biden to meet with Mexican president amid migration issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans a virtual meeting Monday with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador — a chance for the pair to talk more fully about migration, confronting the coronavirus and cooperating on economic and national security issues.

Democratic voting bill would make biggest changes in decades

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress begins debate this week on sweeping voting and ethics legislation, Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: If signed into law, it would usher in the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections law in at least a generation.

US still open to Iran nuclear talks after Iran's rejection

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Sunday it remains open to talks with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal despite Tehran's rejection of an EU invitation to join a meeting with the U.S. and the other original participants in the agreement.

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump called for GOP unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions by attacking fellow Republicans and promoting lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump clings to his core election falsehoods

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump clung to his core election falsehoods in his first post-presidential speech, wrongly blamed wind power for the catastrophic power failures in Texas and revived a variety of the baseless claims that saturated his time in office, on immigration, the economy and more.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26
MIDSTATE

Fort Campbell soldiers head to Florida in vaccination effort

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Some soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are heading to Florida to help with the vaccination effort there.

EDUCATION

University of Tennessee to name dorms for Black trailblazers

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is naming residence halls after two Black trailblazers.

COURTS

TikTok owner ByteDance to pay $92M in US privacy settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance has agreed to pay $92 million in a settlement to U.S. users who are part of a class-action lawsuit alleging that the video-sharing app failed to get their consent to collect data in violation of a strict Illinois privacy law.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Volkswagen weathers pandemic with $10.7 billion profit

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen said Friday it made better than expected profit of 8.8 billion euros ($10.7 billion) after tax in 2020 despite the pandemic. The world's No. 2 automaker said the rapid recovery of China, its largest single market, and resilient sales of luxury vehicles helped the bottom line.

MEDIA

Facebook signs pay deals with 3 Australian news publishers

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Facebook announced on Friday preliminary agreements with three Australian publishers, a day after the Parliament passed a law that would make the digital giants pay for news.

TRANSPORTATION

FAA seeks $27,500 from passenger it says hit air attendant

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are seeking a $27,500 civil penalty against an airline passenger who allegedly struck a flight attendant who asked the passenger and a companion to leave the plane after a dispute over wearing a face mask.

United will pay $49 million to settle air mail fraud case

United Airlines will pay more than $49 million to avoid criminal prosecution and settle civil charges of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service in the delivery of international mail.

BA parent company books huge loss, pushes for digital passes

LONDON (AP) — The parent company of British Airways and Iberia on Friday said it lost 6.9 billion euros ($8.3 billion) last year as the pandemic caused a near-total collapse in international air traffic, and called for digital passes to help revive travel.

Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow: Reports

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian media report that a Boeing 777 plane made an emergency landing in Moscow in the early hours of Friday after the pilot reported a problem with the engine.

Boeing will pay $6.6 million to settle FAA allegations

Federal regulators have imposed $5.4 million in civil penalties against Boeing for violating terms of a $12 million settlement in 2015, and the aircraft maker has agreed to pay another $1.21 million to settle two current enforcement cases.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

CDC chief: Variants mean keep guard up on virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm that recent gains against the coronavirus may be stalling.

Third US vaccine could raise question: Which shots are best?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation is poised to get a third vaccine against COVID-19, but because at first glance the Johnson & Johnson shot may not be seen as equal to other options, health officials are girding for the question: Which one is best?

It's a smash hit! Chinese return big-time to movie theaters

BEIJING (AP) — The thrills and chills of the big screen are back big-time in the world's largest film market.

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced, erupted in gentle applause. For the first time since the pandemic began, Israeli musician Aviv Geffen stepped to his electric piano and began to play for an audience seated right in front of him.

Queen says COVID vaccine is quick, painless, helps others

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is encouraging people to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the shot is quick, harmless and will help protect others against the disease.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

A bumpy day leaves stocks mostly lower; bond yields ease

A choppy day on Wall Street ended with stocks mostly lower Friday, helping push the S&P 500 to its second straight weekly loss.

EXPLAINER: Why rising rates are unsettling Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Yes, it's possible to have too much of a good thing, and that's exactly why stock markets around the world are getting so unsettled.

Highlights of the COVID-19 relief bill advancing in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is expected to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package late Friday that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses.

US consumers rebound to boost spending 2.4% as income jumps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bouncing back from months of retrenchment, America's consumers stepped up their spending by a solid 2.4% in January, the sharpest increase in seven months and a sign that the economy may be poised to sustain a recovery from the pandemic recession.

Dems near relief bill OK by House, ponder wage plan rescue

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.

Costco to raise starting hourly wage to $16, end hazard pay

NEW YORK (AP) — Costco will increase its starting wage to $16 an hour, surpassing most of its main competitors.

Airbnb reports huge loss in first time out as public company

Home-sharing site Airbnb posted a $3.9 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it suffered from the pandemic downturn in travel and recorded one-time costs for becoming a public company.

DoorDash's sales triple in Q4, but 2021 could see slowdown

Meal delivery company DoorDash said its revenue more than tripled last year thanks to pandemic-driven demand, but it still lost money because it spent more heavily on marketing and expanding its business.

Best Buy cut 5,000 jobs even as sales soared during pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy said Thursday that it laid off 5,000 full-time store workers earlier this month, even as the company's sales soared during the pandemic as homebound people bought laptops, TVs and other gadgets.

Germany's Birkenstock selling majority stake to investors

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Birkenstock, known for its upmarket sandals, said Friday it is selling a majority stake to private equity firm L Catteron and affiliates including Financière Agache, the family investment company of French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Congress split on US strikes in Syria on Iran-backed militia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration defended the U.S. military airstrikes in Syria as legal and appropriate Friday, saying they took out facilities that housed valuable "capabilities" used by Iranian-backed militia groups to attack American and allied forces in Iraq.

Democratic-led House makes conservation push with lands bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed legislation Friday that would create about 1.5 million acres of new wilderness and incorporate nearly 1,200 miles of waterways into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System as Democrats move to protect more public lands — with President Joe Biden's blessing.

Biden surveys Texas weather damage, thanks emergency workers

HOUSTON (AP) — President Joe Biden heard firsthand from Texans clobbered by this month's brutal winter weather on Friday as he made his first trip to a major disaster area since he took office.

McConnell says he'd support Trump if he wins 2024 nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than a month after excoriating Donald Trump in a blistering floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would "absolutely" support the former president again if he secured the Republican nomination in 2024.

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25
NASHVILLE AREA

Southwest adds nonstop BNA-Destin/Ft. Walton Beach flights

Southwest Airlines will begin nonstop service from Nashville International Airport to Destin/Ft. Walton Beach on May 6.

Metro to allow 20% attendance at SEC basketball tournament

Metro Public Health Department officials have reviewed and approved a plan for fans to attend the upcoming SEC men’s basketball tournament at Bridgestone Arena. The plan for the tournament, which begins March 10, includes 20 percent of seating capacity (3,400) which is consistent with what the attendance that will be allowed for Nashville Predators games in March.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Injury snaps start streak for Vandy guard Scotty Pippen Jr.

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr., the Southeastern Conference's second-leading scorer, snapped a 32-game start streak Wednesday night because of an unspecified injury.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Broncos release veteran defensive tackle Jurrell Casey

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Jurrell Casey's stint in Denver lasted just three games.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Gay GOP lawmaker urges defeat of anti-trans athlete bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — Legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls' sports would likely result in vulnerable students being marginalized while also harming Tennessee's ability to recruit athletes and businesses, the state's only openly gay Republican lawmaker recently warned his fellow GOP colleagues.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee lifts restrictions on nursing home visits

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Department of Health announced that it will soon lift its state-specific visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities.

EDUCATION

TSU joins IBM center for quantum education

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University has joined the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, the nation's first quantum education and research initiative for historically Black colleges and universities, the school said.

MEDIA

Twitter to let users charge followers to see premium posts

Twitter is branching out from advertising to find more ways to make money — both for itself and for its most prolific users, whether those are businesses, celebrities or regular people.

India introduces new rules to regulate online content

NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Thursday rolled out new regulations for social media companies and digital streaming websites to make them more accountable for the online content shared on their platforms, giving the government more power to police it.

COURTS

Manhattan prosecutor gets Trump tax records after long fight

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York prosecutor has obtained copies of Donald Trump's tax records after the Supreme Court this week rejected the former president's last-ditch effort to prevent them from being handed over.

Watchdog reviews complaint about FBI surveillance warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's internal watchdog is reviewing a former Boeing engineer's allegations that he was unfairly investigated by the FBI on suspicion that he was spying for China, according to correspondence and court filings reviewed by The Associated Press. It's the latest challenge related to secretive surveillance powers used in some terrorism and espionage cases.

TRANSPORTATION

Federal watchdog blasts FAA over certification of Boeing jet

Federal auditors say U.S. regulators didn't understand a flight-control system that played a role in two deadly crashes of a Boeing jet and must improve their process for certifying new planes.

Qantas expects to start international flights in October

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Qantas Airways does not expect to resume international travel apart from New Zealand until late October after the Australian population is vaccinated for COVID-19, the airline's chief executive said on Thursday.

REAL ESTATE

US contracts to buy homes decline, still a January record

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined again with the number of properties for sale not matching the surging demand in the U.S.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden marks 50M vaccine doses in first 5 weeks in office

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after marking a solemn milestone in the pandemic, President Joe Biden is celebrating the pace of his efforts to end it.

Fauci: Take whatever vaccine is available

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci says if a coronavirus vaccine is available, regardless of which one, take it.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US

NEW YORK (AP) — February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors' offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. But not this year.

EU leaders seek to inject energy into slow vaccine rollout

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders are gathering Thursday to try to inject new energy into the bloc's lagging coronavirus vaccination efforts as concern mounts that new variants might spread faster than authorities can adapt.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Tech rout pulls Nasdaq down 3.5%, biggest loss since October

A rout in technology companies pulled the Nasdaq down 3.5% Thursday, the biggest loss for the tech-heavy index since last October.

Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach.

Orders for U.S. durable goods climb 3.4% in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft. A category that tracks business investment posted a more modest gain, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

US jobless claims at 730K, still high but fewest in 3 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week in a sign that layoffs may have eased, though applications for aid remain at a historically high level.

Anticipating 2021 boom, Q4 GDP revised up slightly to 4.1%

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy grew at a 4.1% pace in the final three months of 2020, slightly faster than first estimated, ending a year in which the overall economy, ravaged by a global pandemic, shrank more than in any year in the past seven decades.

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats' virus relief package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are closing ranks against Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, even as the White House seemed to rule out a procedural Senate power play to protect one provision most treasured by progressives: a minimum wage hike.

BLM launches Survival Fund amid federal COVID-19 relief wait

NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million financial relief fund that it quietly launched earlier this month, to help people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Buffett's right-hand man says US stock market is overvalued

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett's right-hand man says the U.S. stock market is overvalued, but he doesn't know when the bubble will burst.

Game on, again: GameStop surges and no one truly knows why

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street's GameStop saga can't stop. At the very least, it won't stop.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Former Michigan Gov. Granholm confirmed as energy secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm won Senate confirmation Thursday to be energy secretary and will be a key Cabinet member trying to fulfill President Joe Biden's commitment for a green economy as the United States fights to slow climate change.

Conservative gathering to feature Trump's false fraud claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gathering of conservatives this weekend in Florida will serve as an unabashed endorsement of former President Donald Trump's desire to remain the leader of the Republican Party — and as a forum to fan his false claim that he lost the November election only because of widespread voter fraud.

Chief: Capitol assault much bigger than intel suggested

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting U.S. Capitol Police chief was pressed to explain Thursday why the agency hadn't been prepared to fend off a violent mob of insurrectionists, including white supremacists, who were trying to halt the certification of the presidential election last month, even though officials had compelling advance intelligence.

House poised to vote on legal safeguards for LGBTQ people

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House is poised to pass a bill that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation's labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden on virus deaths, Kerry's climate crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and his team are getting the numbers wrong when they talk about the enormity of the mounting COVID-19 death toll and the looming climate change threat.

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