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VOL. 45 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 12, 2021

No vaccine, no job? Not yet

Employers can only encourage shots for now. That could change

A steady stream of people line up quietly on a weekday morning to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “We’ve been waiting for this for months,” one man says as he reaches the head of the line.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

The early bird gets nothing without an above-list offer

The Nashville-area real estate market is hotter than hot, as anyone involved can attest. And heading south on I-65, a reasonable solution in markets past, offers no relief.

REAL ESTATE

US long-term mortgage rates rise again; 30-year at 3.05%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates again rose modestly this week against the backdrop of an improving economy and further distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Rates remain near historic lows, however.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
59.0°F
Fair
Wind: Southwest at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 46%

EVENTS

Networking Power Lunch. Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce networking event. Buffalo Wild Wings, 1109 Nashville Pike. Tuesday, March 23, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. This event is for Gallatin Area Chamber members, but guests are welcome to attend. Fee: Individual’s cost of meal. Information

more events »

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Want to read the 6 doomed Seusses? Go to the library

The news that six books by Dr. Seuss are being pulled from publication brought predictably negative responses in my social media feed:

GUEST COLUMNIST

Is Tennessee ready for the slippery slope of legislating by phone?

During the pandemic, members of local and state governing bodies have been allowed to conduct meetings electronically per executive order by Gov. Bill Lee.

NEWSMAKERS

Bradley adds 4 partners from Baker Donelson

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has added four partners – Elizabeth C. Sauer, Mary O’Kelley, Kacie McRee and John P. McGehee – along with counsel Kyra F. Howell and associate Taylor P. Scott in a major expansion of its national real estate and finance practice.

BRIEFS

Baker Donelson named ABA pro bono leader

Baker Donelson has been honored by the American Bar Association as a recipient of the ABA Free Legal Answers 2020 Pro Bono Leader Award in recognition of the outstanding contribution of service by the firm’s attorneys to the virtual legal advice clinic.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

How the 2021 Tesla Model S compares to Porsche Taycan

The Tesla Model S debuted nearly a decade ago and instantly portended the future of electric vehicles. Here was a sleek EV with intriguing new technology features and unmatched performance and range.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Common tools can save you time, money on taxes

Receipts, like memories, tend to fade with time. That’s just one reason to digitize and track tax-related information. The right apps and habits can save space, time, money and hassle – but only if you use them.

CAREER CORNER

Safe in-person return to work might be problem for employers

Business owners and managers are beginning to worry. And, it’s not what you’d think.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

5 things agents wish people knew about insurance

Insurance is notoriously complicated, and few people have the time or desire to pore over their policies. But some basic knowledge can go a long way – and that’s where an insurance agent can help, by clearing up some of the most common misconceptions they encounter.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans releasing 2 starters in Jackson, Kelly

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are busy remaking their secondary, releasing Adoree Jackson and agreeing to terms on a deal with cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

COURTS

State election office aided push to oust Judge Lyle over voting ruling

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's elections coordinator helped Republican lawmakers as they crafted an effort to get rid of a judge who ruled last year to expand absentee voting, raising ethical concerns about separation of powers.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville OKs $2.25M settlement in fatal shooting by officer

NASHVILLE (AP) — Officials in Tennessee have agreed to pay $2.25 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer from behind during a 2018 foot chase.

MIDSTATE

Pet food manufacturer to expand Wilson County facility

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new company expansion in Wilson County will result in more than 90 jobs due to an $200 million investment, state and company officials announced Tuesday.

REGION

Millions across Southeast bracing for potential tornadoes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of schools, COVID-19 vaccination clinics, businesses and more shut down across the Deep South on Wednesday as forecasters warned of waves of severe weather including massive tornadoes, downpours and hail the size of tennis balls.

EDUCATION

Amazon, Haslams pledge $1.5M to UT professorship

NASHVILLE (AP) — Amazon and the Haslam family have committed to donate a combined $1.5 million to support an endowed professorship at the University of Tennessee's business school in Knoxville.

HEALTH CARE

Pre-embryos made in lab could spur research, ethics debates

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, scientists have used human cells to make structures that mimic the earliest stages of development, which they say will pave the way for more research without running afoul of restrictions on using real embryos.

Amazon jumps into health care with telemedicine initiative

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Amazon is making its first foray into providing health care services, announcing Wednesday that it will be offering its Amazon Care telemedicine program to employers nationwide.

REAL ESTATE

US housing construction tumbled 10.3% in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Severe winter weather in much of the country pushed home construction down a sharp 10.3% in February while applications for new construction fell by 10.8%.

AUTO INDUSTRY

BMW ramping up move into electric cars

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker BMW said Wednesday it intends to speed its rollout of new electric cars, vowing to bring battery-powered models to 50% of global sales by 2030. The company underlined the point by unveiling a new all-electric model three months ahead of plan.

TRANSPORTATION

FAA: Airlines have reported more than 500 unruly passengers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Airlines have reported more than 500 cases involving unruly passengers since late December, and most started with passengers who refused to wear a face mask, federal officials said Wednesday.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Crowded bars: March Madness or just plain madness?

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA Tournament and bars were made for each other, with fans of powerhouse teams like Gonzaga and longshots like Colgate pouring in to cheer their teams. Until last year, that is, when COVID-19 blew up everybody's brackets.

Education Department convening summit to help schools reopen

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is convening a summit next week to help get children back into the classroom safely in the middle of a pandemic.

Faith leaders get COVID-19 shot to curb vaccine reluctance

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two dozen clergy members from the capital region rolled up their sleeves inside the Washington National Cathedral and got vaccinated against the coronavirus Tuesday in a camera-friendly event designed to encourage others to get their own COVID-19 shots.

Trump assures supporters that COVID-19 vaccination is safe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump again urged people to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, saying he would recommend vaccination to "a lot of people that don't want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me."

EU sets out virus pass plan to allow free travel by summer

BRUSSELS (AP) — With summer looming and tourism-reliant countries anxiously waiting for the return of a steady influx of tourism income amid the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union's executive body presented a proposal Wednesday that would allow European citizens and residents — vaccinated or not — to travel freely across the 27-nation region by the summer.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

IRS will delay tax filing due date until May 17

The Internal Revenue Service is delaying the traditional tax filing deadline from April 15 until May 17, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Report: World demand for gasoline may never recover

NEW YORK (AP) — The world's once-insatiable demand for gasoline is unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to a report Wednesday from the International Energy Agency.

Wall Street closes higher after Fed says will keep rates low

Stock indexes are closing higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it expects its key interest rate to remain near zero through 2023.

Fed expects to keep its key rate near zero through 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve foresees the economy accelerating quickly this year yet still expects to keep its benchmark interest rate pinned near zero through 2023, despite concerns in financial markets about potentially higher inflation.

Text of the Federal Reserve's statement after its meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended:

Treasury: $242 billion in new relief payments already sent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says it has sent out 90 million economic impact payments totaling $242 billion since President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan last week.

Corporations become unlikely financiers of racial equity

In the months since the police killing of George Floyd sparked a racial reckoning in the United States, American corpo-rations have emerged as an unexpected leading source of funding for social justice.

Will work from home outlast virus? Ford's move suggests yes

DETROIT (AP) — It's a question occupying the minds of millions of employees who have worked from home the past year: Will they still be allowed to work remotely — at least some days — once the pandemic has faded?

Uber to give UK drivers minimum wage, pension, holiday pay

LONDON (AP) — Uber is giving its U.K. drivers the minimum wage, pensions and holiday pay, following a recent court ruling that said they should be classified as workers and entitled to such benefits.

German economist panel cuts 2021 growth outlook to 3.1%

BERLIN (AP) — The German economy — Europe's biggest — will grow by 3.1% this year, the government's panel of independent economic advisers forecast on Wednesday, cutting its previous prediction somewhat.

US sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong officials ahead of talks

HONG KONG (AP) — The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing's ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, just ahead of the Biden administration's first face-to-face talks with China.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US: Putin approved operations to help Trump against Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in last November's presidential election, according to a declassified intelligence assessment that found broad efforts by the Kremlin and Iran to shape the outcome of the race but ultimately no evidence that any foreign actor changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process.

Senate confirms Katherine Tai as Biden's top trade envoy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed Katherine Tai as the top U.S. trade envoy in an overwhelming bipartisan vote on Wednesday . She will be the first Asian American and first woman of color to hold the position.

McConnell vows 'scorched earth' if Senate ends filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warned ominously of a "scorched earth" landscape if Democrats use their new majority to bring an end to the Senate filibuster in hopes of muscling legislation supporting President Joe Biden's agenda past GOP opposition.

White supremacist propaganda surged in 2020, report states

NEW YORK (AP) — White supremacist propaganda reached alarming levels across the U.S. in 2020, according to a new report that the Anti-Defamation League provided to The Associated Press.

Biden calls Afghanistan withdrawal deadline of May 1 'tough'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says that it will be "tough" for the U.S. to meet a May 1 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan but that the complete drawdown won't take much longer.

Child border crossings are surging, straining US facilities

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of migrants on the Southwest border has the Biden administration on the defensive, with the head of Homeland Security acknowledging the depth of the problem but insisting it's under control and saying he won't revive a Trump-era practice of immediately expelling teens and children.


TUESDAY, MARCH 16
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans agree to terms with Dupree, Autry, Lamm

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans looked to improve their anemic pass rush with their first two free agent deals, agreeing to terms with linebacker Bud Dupree and defensive lineman Denico Autry, according to a person familiar with the situation.

UT SPORTS

Lady Vols' NCAA run continues with opener vs. MTSU

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Tennessee's perfect NCAA Tournament run is intact.

PREDATORS

Calle Jarnkrok powers Predators past Lightning 4-1

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — It was a very nice Monday for Calle Jarnkrok, Pekka Rinne and the rest of the Nashville Predators.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee introduces online document uploads for DMV visits

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are now allowing people to upload some identifying documents for pre-vetting before going to get their drivers licenses and other similar services.

COURTS

US judiciary seeks to boost judges' security at home, work

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal judiciary says it needs to boost security for judges at home and work following a deadly shooting at a judge's home last summer, protests that damaged more than 50 courthouses around the country last year and the Jan 6. assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Traditions on hold, justices near a year of phone arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers arguing in jeans and hoodies. A justice who has been silent for years regularly talking. A sound like a toilet flushing during the discussion of a case.

OxyContin maker Purdue proposes $10B plan to exit bankruptcy

Purdue Pharma, which helped revolutionize the prescription painkiller business with its drug OxyContin, is proposing a $10 billion plan to emerge from bankruptcy that calls for it to be transformed into a different kind of company funneling profits into the fight against the nation's intractable opioid crisis.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Ford partners with U-M on robotics research, new building

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Digit marches on two legs across the floor of the University of Michigan's Ford Motor Co. Robotics Building, while Mini-Cheetah — staccato-like — does the same on four and the yellow-legged Cassie steps deliberately side-to-side.

Foxconn mulls making electric vehicles at Wisconsin plant

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest electronics manufacturer, is considering making electric vehicles at its highly anticipated Wisconsin plant that has been scaled back since its announcement in 2017, the company's chairman said Tuesday.

US sends team to Detroit to investigate Tesla-semi crash

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's highway safety agency is sending a team to Detroit to investigate a crash involving a Tesla that drove beneath a semitrailer.

TECHNOLOGY

China state TV raps Kohler, BMW for using facial recognition

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state TV has criticized bathroom fixtures brand Kohler and automaker BMW for the use of facial recognition technology on visitors to their outlets in possible violation of privacy rules that took effect this year.

Encrypted messaging app Signal blocked in China

HONG KONG (AP) — Encrypted messaging app Signal appears to have been blocked in mainland China, the latest foreign social media service to cease working in a country where the government tightly controls the flow of information.

Nokia to cut up to 10,000 jobs to ramp up R&D in 5G race

HELSINKI (AP) — Wireless network maker Nokia says it is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs, or over 10% of its staff, to reduce costs as it invests in research and development and tries to cement its role as a key supplier of 5G technology.

MEDIA

Russia threatens to block Twitter in a month

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities said Tuesday they would block Twitter in a month if it doesn't take steps to remove banned content, a move that escalates the Russian government's drawn-out standoff with social media platforms that have played a major role in amplifying dissent in Russia.

News Corp strikes Facebook pay deal for Australian news

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — News Corp and Facebook have reached pay deals for news in Australia three weeks after the government passed laws that would make digital giants help cover the costs of journalism.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

EU regulator 'convinced' AstraZeneca benefit outweighs risk

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's drug regulator insisted Tuesday that there is "no indication" the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots as governments around the world faced the grimmest of dilemmas: push on with a vaccine known to save lives or suspend its use over reports of clotting in some recipients.

Schools weighing whether to seat students closer together

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. guidelines that say students should be kept 6 feet apart in schools are receiving new scrutiny from federal health experts, state governments and education officials working to return as many children as possible to the classroom.

'I don't need the vaccine': GOP worries threaten virus fight

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia (AP) — In this rural swath of Virginia's Shenandoah valley, former President Donald Trump remains deeply admired, with lawn signs and campaign flags still dotting the landscape. The vaccines aimed at taming the coronavirus, however, aren't so popular.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks step back from all-time highs in choppy trading

Stock indexes are closing mostly lower Tuesday, shedding some of their recent gains after coming within striking distance of matching Wall Street's longest winning streak of the year.

Battling bigness: Congress eyes action against monopolies

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

Texas company behind huge electricity bills seeks bankruptcy

The company that drew attention after sending huge electricity bills to customers after last month's blackout-causing winter storm in Texas has filed for bankruptcy protection.

In Pennsylvania, Biden to highlight aid to small businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — After opening his presidency by playing down expectations for combating the pandemic, President Joe Biden and his top messengers are touring the country to raise hopes over his $1.9 trillion relief package.

Johnson looks east to Asia as focus of post-Brexit strategy

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday the U.K. will prioritize diplomatic engagement with Asian countries in the coming decade, as he unveiled a major shift in the country's foreign policy and defense priorities after Brexit.

February retail sales fall 3% after soaring in January

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans spent less last month, partly due to bad weather in parts of the country that kept shoppers away from stores.

New wave of bars creates buzz without the booze

There's something missing from a new wave of bars opening around the world: Alcohol.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Advocates seek Biden push on gun bills, but prospects iffy

WASHINGTON (AP) — After President Joe Biden's giant COVID-19 relief bill passed Congress, he made a prime-time address to the nation and presided over a Rose Garden ceremony.

Leading Senate Dem says outlook bleak on immigration bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — A leader of Senate Democrats' drive to help millions of immigrants become citizens cast severe doubt on its prospects Monday, as one of President Joe Biden's early priorities seemed in danger of running aground in a Congress his own party controls.

Haaland OK'd at Interior, 1st Native American Cabinet head

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Monday confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, making her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department and the first to lead the federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation's tribes for nearly two centuries.

Security officials to scale back fencing around US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid strong bipartisan pushback, security officials say they will soon scale back fencing that has circled the U.S. Capitol and cut off the entire area to pedestrian and vehicular traffic since a mob attacked the building on Jan. 6.


MONDAY, MARCH 15
TENNESSEE TITANS

Pats add Titan Jonnu Smith in 1st big upgrade since Gronk's exit

BOSTON (AP) — The Patriots have agreed to sign free agent tight end Jonnu Smith in their biggest move to date to fill the void created by the departure of Rob Gronkowski.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Ladies night: Beyoncé, Swift make history as others win big

NEW YORK (AP) — Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

SPORTS

TSU's Zita kicks 62-yarder plus winner as time runs out

NASHVILLE (AP) — Antonio Zita made 62- and 51-yard field goals and hit a 35-yarder as time expired to give Tennessee State a 21-20 victory over Eastern Illinois on Sunday.

Ellis throws for school-record 6 TDs in Austin Peay's win

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Draylen Ellis threw for 262 yards and a school-record six touchdowns, Baniko Harley also set a program mark with four receiving scores, and Austin Peay beat Southeast Missouri State 49-42 in double overtime on Sunday.

No. 6 Alabama adds another SEC title, edges LSU at tourney

NASHVILLE (AP) — Skip calling Alabama simply a football school anymore. The Crimson Tide have courted a new moniker they think fits so much better.

NASHVILLE AREA

Global IT firm to open center in Nashville, create 350 jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) — A global IT services firm plans to invest $9.9 million in a new facility in Nashville that is expected to create 350 jobs.

FBI: Nashville bomber driven by conspiracies, paranoia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who blew himself up inside his recreational vehicle in a Christmas Day bombing in Nashville was grappling with paranoia and eccentric conspiracy theories, but there are no indications he was motivated by social or political ideology, the FBI said Monday in closing out the investigation into the blast.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee revenues continue to top projections amid COVID-19

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee revenues continued to exceed projections and grew year-over-year again last month, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

COURTS

2 charged in assault of Capitol officer who died after riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 riot, but they do not know yet whether it caused the officer's death.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Automakers embrace electric vehicles. But what about buyers?

DETROIT (AP) — The world's major automakers have made something abundantly clear: They believe electric vehicles will dominate their industry in the years ahead.

Volkswagen plans six battery factories to ramp up electrics

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen plans six large battery factories in Europe by 2030 to power sales of more electric cars while driving down battery prices and making electric vehicles more affordable for entry-level buyers.

Korean battery firm offers Georgia plant as dispute lingers

ATLANTA (AP) — With a giant battery factory in northeast Georgia hanging in the balance of a trade dispute, South Korean company LG Energy Solution is now telling some Georgia officials that it could build its own factory in the state if rival SK Innovation can't proceed.

TRANSPORTATION

US air travel rises to highest levels yet since pandemic hit

Across the United States, air travel is recovering more quickly from the depths of the pandemic, and it is showing up in longer airport security lines and busier traffic on airline websites.

TECHNOLOGY

Swiss police raid over hack on U.S. security-camera company

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss authorities on Monday confirmed a police raid at the home of a Swiss hacker who took credit for helping to break into a U.S. security-camera company's online networks, part of what the hacker cited as an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of mass surveillance.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Extent of COVID-19 vaccine waste remains largely unknown

NASHVILLE (AP) — As millions continue to wait their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, small but steady amounts of the precious doses have gone to waste across the country.

Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

BERLIN (AP) — A cascading number of European countries — including Germany, France, Italy and Spain — suspended use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine Monday over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

EXPLAINER: Why countries are halting the AstraZeneca shot

LONDON (AP) — Nearly a dozen countries including Germany, France and Italy have all temporarily suspended their use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine after reports last week that some people in Denmark and Norway who got a dose developed blood clots, even though there's no evidence that the shot was responsible.

Survivors struggle as scientists race to solve COVID mystery

There was no reason to celebrate on Rachel Van Lear's anniversary. The same day a global pandemic was declared, she developed symptoms of COVID-19. A year later, she's still waiting for them to disappear. And for experts to come up with some answers.

Facebook to label vaccine posts to combat COVID-19 misinfo

LONDON (AP) — Facebook is adding informational labels to posts about vaccines as it expands efforts to counter COVID-19-related misinformation flourishing on its platforms.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks extend gains for fifth day, led by technology shares

Stocks shook off an early stumble and closed broadly higher Monday, nudging some of the major U.S. indexes to more all-time highs as the market added to its recent string of gains.

New challenge for the Powell Fed: A strengthening economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the past year, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has expressed a wish for more rescue spending from Congress, better control of the viral pandemic and clear evidence of an improving economy.

Biden to name Sperling to oversee COVID-19 relief package

Gene Sperling, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, will lead the oversight for distributing funds from President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, a White House official said Monday.

Push to prevent next meat shortage hits big obstacle

MAXWELL, Iowa (AP) — Sudden meat shortages last year because of the coronavirus led to millions of dollars in federal grants to help small meat processors expand so the nation could lessen its reliance on giant slaughterhouses to supply grocery stores and restaurants.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

In early foreign policy tests, Biden takes on world as it is

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden in his early days in office has vowed a dramatic reordering of U.S. foreign policy from his predecessor. Yet on some of the most difficult issues, he's shown a preference for using the scalpel over the sledgehammer as he implements his own agenda and tries to move away from Trumpism.

Pelosi pledges swift work on major infrastructure package

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday pledged swift work by Congress on a job and infrastructure package that will be "fiscally sound," but said she isn't sure whether the next major item on President Joe Biden's agenda will attract Republican backing.

VP Harris, Jill Biden hit the road to promote relief plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden kicked off the White House's effort to highlight the benefits of his huge COVID relief plan Monday, declaring that "hope is here in real and tangible ways" as his administration began fanning out across the country to promote the new spending.

Biden declines to call for Cuomo to resign, awaits probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Sunday passed up an opportunity to join other Democrats calling for the resignation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is under investigation after multiple allegations of sexual harassment.


FRIDAY, MARCH 12
PREDATORS

Geekie scores twice as Hurricanes pound Predators 5-1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Morgan Geekie scored his first two goals of the season and the Carolina Hurricanes used a rapid-fire scoring spree in the first period to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Thursday night.

EDUCATION

UT to return to 'fully in-person' campus starting in fall

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee on Thursday announced that it will return to a "fully in-person campus experience" in Knoxville starting in the fall.

TECHNOLOGY

Tape that: Dutch inventor of audio cassette dies at age 94

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, the medium of choice for millions of bedroom mix tapes, has died, said Philips, the company where he also helped develop the compact disc.

MEDIA

Netflix tests possible password-sharing crackdown

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix is testing a way to crack down on password sharing.

Journalists' group: 65 media workers killed in 2020

BRUSSELS (AP) — A total of 65 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2020 while doing their jobs, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Union seeks vote of 87 workers at Nissan Tennessee plant

NASHVILLE (AP) — A union wants to hold a vote for representation of fewer than 100 workers out of thousands at the Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Tennessee, a move the company opposes because the effort doesn't stretch more broadly across the facility's workforce.

Honda of America plans to sell 2 fully electric SUVs in 2024

DETROIT (AP) — Honda has plans to sell two all-electric SUVs in the U.S. for the 2024 model year, and it soon will offer hybrid gas-electric versions of its top-selling models.

COURTS

Maskless, boozing JetBlue passenger faces $14,500 FAA fine

WASHINGTON (AP) — An airline passenger could wind up paying $14,500 for refusing to wear a face mask and drinking alcohol that he had brought on board.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Conflict growing between US, allies over vaccine supply

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is stockpiling tens of millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine whose approval in the U.S. remains uncertain, frustrating U.S. allies who say those doses should be used now to save lives overseas.

Biden aims for quicker shots, 'independence from this virus'

WASHINGTON (AP) — One year after the nation was brought to a near-standstill by the coronavirus, President Joe Biden pledged in his first prime-time address to make all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1 and raised the possibility of beginning to "mark our independence from this virus" by the Fourth of July. He offered Americans fresh hope and appealed anew for their help.

A look at new steps Biden team launching to fight virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden is taking a series of new steps to combat the coronavirus, hoping to get the country closer to normal by July 4. The administration will:

AP-NORC poll: People of color bear COVID-19's economic brunt

NEW YORK (AP) — A year ago, Elvia Banuelos' life was looking up. The 39-year-old mother of two young children said she felt confident about a new management-level job with the U.S. Census Bureau — she would earn money to supplement the child support she receives to keep her children healthy, happy and in day care.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Labor movement targets Amazon as a foothold in the South

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — The South has never been hospitable to organized labor. But that may be changing, with an important test in Alabama, where thousands of workers at an Amazon campus are deciding whether to form a union.

Black Lives Matter backs Amazon union push in Alabama

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers trying to form the first union at an Amazon warehouse are getting support from another big name: Black Lives Matter.

Stocks mostly shake off a weak start, edge to more records

A late-afternoon burst of buying helped nudge several U.S. stock indexes to all-time highs Friday, despite a pullback in Big Tech companies as bond yields headed higher.

Spiking energy leads wholesale prices up 0.5% in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy prices continued to rocket higher in February, though overall wholesale prices moderated after a record jump in January.

UK trade with EU plunges after Brexit, hurting economy

LONDON (AP) — U.K. trade with the European Union plunged in January as Britain's departure from the bloc and widespread coronavirus restrictions dealt a double blow to the nation's struggling economy.

China regulator fines 12 firms over anti-monopoly law

HONG KONG (AP) — China's market regulator said Friday that it fined a dozen companies, including games company Tencent Holdings and Chinese search engine firm Baidu Inc., for not disclosing past deals as authorities step up anti-monopoly scrutiny in the internet sector.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden's $1.9T rescue signed, and now things get tougher

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tough as it was for Democrats, passing President Joe Biden's sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package into law was the easy part.

COVID relief bill could permanently alter social safety net

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is being hailed by Democrats and progressive policy advocates as a generational expansion of the social safety net, providing food and housing assistance, greater access to health care and direct aid to families in what amounts to a broad-based attack on the cycle of poverty.


THURSDAY, MARCH 11
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Mickey Guyton, Keith Urban to host ACM Awards

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country stars Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban are taking over as hosts for the Academy of Country Music Awards in April.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt beat Texas A&M 79-68 in SEC tourney

NASHVILLE (AP) — Scotty Pippen Jr. went 15 for 15 from the free-throw line and finished with 22 points, D.J. Harvey scored 17 and Vanderbilt beat Texas A&M 79-68 on Wednesday night for the Commodores first Southeastern Conference tournament win in four years.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans cut pair of defensive starters in Vaccaro, Butler

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have cut two starters from their secondary with safety Kenny Vaccaro joining cornerback Malcolm Butler as salary-cap casualties.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Senate advances Tennessee student discipline bill

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Senate on Thursday advanced a proposal that would allow teachers to remove students from the classroom permanently despite concerns that the bill could unfairly punish some vulnerable students.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee seeks applicants for agricultural business grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are seeking applicants for grants to help agricultural, food and forestry businesses in distressed counties.

EDUCATION

University of Memphis president stepping down next year

MEMPHIS (AP) — University of Memphis President M. David Rudd will be leaving his position next year to return to the faculty, the school said.

AUTO INDUSTRY

BMW remained profitable in 2020 with strong second half

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German luxury automaker BMW says net profit fell 23% last year to 3.86 billion euros ($4.62 billion) as the pandemic shuttered factories in the first part of the year. The maker of the X5 sport utility and 3-Series sedan said a strong second half meant it started 2021 with "a favorable tailwind."

COURTS

Justices call off arguments over Medicaid work requirements

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Thursday it has called off upcoming arguments over a Trump administration plan to remake Medicaid by requiring recipients to work, agreeing to a request from the Biden administration.

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 bill gives states pathway to reduce maternal deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor and delivery are thought of as the riskiest times for new mothers, but many women die in the weeks and months after giving birth. Now a provision in the COVID-19 relief bill could help change that.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

EU regulator approves J&J's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Medicines Agency has authorized Johnson & Johnson's one-dose coronavirus vaccine, giving the European Union's 27 nations a fourth licensed vaccine to try to curb the pandemic amid a stalled vaccination drive in the bloc.

WHO still struggling to manage pandemic response

GENEVA (AP) — When the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic one year ago, it did so only after weeks of resisting the term and maintaining the highly infectious virus could still be stopped.

Former presidents, first ladies (except Trumps) urge Americans to get shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four former presidents are urging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as COVID-19 doses are available to them, as part of a campaign to overcome hesitancy about the shots.

AP-NORC poll: 1 in 5 in US lost someone close in pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 1 in 5 Americans say they lost a relative or close friend to the coronavirus, highlighting the division between heartache and hope as the country itches to get back to normal a year into the pandemic.

Will the coronavirus ever go away?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Will the coronavirus ever go away? No one knows for sure. Scientists think the virus that causes COVID-19 may be with us for decades or longer, but that doesn't mean it will keep posing the same threat.

ENVIRONMENT

As climate fight shifts to oil, Biden faces a formidable foe

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — President Joe Biden's bid to tackle climate change is running straight through the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry -- a much bigger, more influential foe than Democrats faced when they took on the coal industry during the Obama years.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Biden signs big virus aid bill before speech to nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Marking a year of loss and disruption, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package that he said will help the U.S. defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health. Some checks to Americans could begin arriving this weekend.

More records for stock indexes as stimulus bill becomes law

Broad gains in stocks pushed several major indexes to all-time highs on Wall Street.

From job cuts to online commerce, virus reshaped US economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — At first, it was expected to be brief. At least that was the hope.

Job openings rise, layoffs fall as pandemic economy mends

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies posted more open jobs in January while layoffs decreased as the economy heals slowly from the pandemic.

US jobless claims fall to 712,000 as pace of layoffs eases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 712,000, the lowest total since early November, evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs amid a decline in confirmed coronavirus cases and signs of an improving economy.

European Central Bank to step up pace of stimulus program

Frankfurt, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank said Thursday it will step up its bond-buying stimulus in the coming months, a step aimed at halting what is regarded as a premature rise in borrowing costs in the 19 countries that use the euro.

Warren Buffett's fortune tops $100B as his stock soars

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett's fortune surged above $100 billion Wednesday when shares of his company hit a record high at over $400,000 apiece.

Congress OKs $1.9T virus relief bill in win for Biden, Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Congress riven along party lines has approved the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, as President Joe Biden and Democrats claimed a major triumph on legislation marshaling the government's spending might against twin pandemic and economic crises that have upended a nation.

What's inside the $1.9T COVID-19 bill passed by Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — The sweeping pandemic relief package awaiting President Joe Biden's signature aims to help the U.S. defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health. Highlights of the legislation:

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Garland vows return to 'normal' Justice Dept. on 1st day

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking the reins at the Justice Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland sought Thursday to assure career staffers that he would prioritize restoring the department's reputation for political independence and ensuring equal justice after a tumultuous four years under former President Donald Trump.

Democrats muscle ahead with Biden's health secretary pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted on Thursday to advance President Joe Biden's nominee for health secretary as Democrats muscled past Republican opposition using a new procedure put in place to avoid gridlock in the evenly divided Senate.

House passes bill to expand background checks for gun sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emboldened by their majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats are making a new push to enact the first major new gun control laws in more than two decades -- starting with stricter background checks.

Police groups endorse Biden's pick for civil rights chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the largest law enforcement groups in the U.S. are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden's nominee to run the Justice Department's civil rights division.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden admin wrong on vaccine pace, elderly

WASHINGTON (AP) — For an administration that prides itself on talking straight about the pandemic, the self-congratulation Wednesday went too far.

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