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VOL. 41 | NO. 29 | Friday, July 21, 2017

Harrington’s profile rises with her dough

Nashville mega-baker among top female business owners in US

Women-owned companies are just like those owned by men, which is to say some are big, some are small, some are well-known and some aren’t.

Women business owners ‘still have work to do’

Ask Jacqueline Hayes about what it’s like to be a female business owner, much less a minority female business owner, and she doesn’t mince words.

Pathway helps women find road to success

Sisters may be doing it for themselves, but a little help along the way never hurt anybody.

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Legislature’s end game on guns: No rules at all?

If you think the state Legislature is full of gun nuts, Rep. Micah Van Huss begs to differ. “No, not at all,” Van Huss says when asked if the General Assembly is too pro-gun. “I don’t think they’re pro-gun enough. In fact, … I think our laws in Tennessee infringe on our constitutional rights. There are now 16 states – we’ve added two or three this year – that allow constitutional carry. So, we’re falling behind.”

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Sumner County Transit Summit. The nMotion Strategic Plan was approved in September and will be the guide to creating better regional mobility for Middle Tennesseans. RTA, along with Cumberland Region Tomorrow and the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, are returning to update you and other residents on what the next steps could mean for Sumner County. Mark your calendar and make plans to attend this important Sumner County event. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Wood Dining Hall, Volunteer State Community College, 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin. Doors open at 5 p.m. Program 5:30-6 p.m. Information: Carol Hudler, 986-2698

more events »

TIM GHIANNI: STREET LEVEL

Dirty work sometimes requires an even dirtier mentor

By inchworm standards, this future moth is a monster. And it is “attacking” the truly gentle man who taught 14-year-old cellist Kate Roller how to repair the engine on a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Unusual request, perhaps, but Kate couldn’t have turned to a better guy than Andy Kimbro.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

The same, only different: Nashville has seen a market like this

Greater Nashville Realtors President Scott Troxel drew some double takes when, after giving a summary of June real estate closings, he pronounced: “I suspect that we will come close to the record of 40,000 annual closings” that occurred in 2006.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for June 2017

Top residential real estate sales, June 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Top Middle Tennessee commercial transactions for June 2017

Top commercial real estate sales, June 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 3.96 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week after two straight weeks of increases. The benchmark 30-year rate slipped back below the significant 4 percent level.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

SEC hot seat index: From Saban to Sumlin

When it comes to Southeastern Conference football coaches, there are three kinds of seats – hot, hotter and hottest.

NEWSMAKERS

Modak-Truran elected president of IP lawyers

Butler Snow’s Anita Modak-Truran has been elected president of the Tennessee Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. The organization is composed of patent, trademark and copyright attorneys who volunteer to educate others on emerging trends and best practices within the industry.

BRIEFS

$12.9M renovation of Eskind Library to begin

The Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University will be renovated beginning Aug. 1, a year-long process.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

The No. 1 business killer is complacency

While the actual activities take on different forms, I’ve ultimately come to the realization that I’m a change agent for companies dissatisfied with their current sales and marketing outcomes.

CAREER CORNER

After-school job vs. resume building: What's better for teens

A reader recently wrote me seeking advice on how his teenage daughter might find an after-school job for her high school years.

MIDSTATE

Financial personality Ramsey eyes new Tennessee headquarters

FRANKLIN (AP) — Financial personality Dave Ramsey is breaking ground on a new corporate headquarters in Tennessee.

STATEWIDE

University of Memphis lands its largest research contract

MEMPHIS (AP) — The University of Memphis has landed the largest research contract in the school's history.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Demand overseas keeps Mustang on top despite lower US sales

DETROIT (AP) — On any given day this summer, you might find 97-year-old Lennart Ribring driving his 2016 Ford Mustang GT on a winding road near his home in Sweden. Or you might see Chris Fitzpatrick polishing his 1967 Mustang convertible in Auckland, New Zealand. Guo Xin might be working on a Mustang in his car repair shop in Beijing, while in England, a happy bride and groom drive off in a Mustang GT California Special.

Nissan sales up but profit dips on costs, China slowdown

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. says that despite strong overall sales its quarterly profit dipped in the last quarter, squeezed by rising costs and slowing growth in China.

Volkswagen earnings rise in stronger European economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's profit more than doubled in the second quarter as the German carmaker benefited from a growing European economy and moved past one-time costs for its diesel emissions scandal in the U.S.

HEALTH CARE

GOP eyes narrow bill to advance goal on "Obamacare" repeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — They couldn't pass a repeal of "Obamacare," or find the votes for a White House-backed replacement. So now Senate Republicans are lowering their sights and trying to unite behind a so-called "skinny repeal" that would merely undo just a few of the most unpopular elements of Barack Obama's law.

AP Analysis: GOP disunity painfully clear in Senate debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate debate over health care has made it painfully clear: behind their self-confident "repeal and replace" slogan, Republicans were never united around an alternative to "Obamacare."

TECHNOLOGY

Why you still can't ditch your cable box

NEW YORK (AP) — Not that long ago, the clunky cable box looked like it was on its way out. The federal government was pressuring cable companies to open up their near-monopoly on boxes to more competition, and industry leader Comcast promised apps that could render some boxes obsolete.

Why Twitter won't ban President Donald Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has made it clear that it won't ban Donald Trump from its service, whether the president follows its rules against harassment or not.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks notch further records on strong earnings reports

NEW YORK (AP) — Big gains for Facebook, Verizon Communications and other companies reporting healthier-than-expected results nudged U.S. stock indexes a bit further into record territory on Thursday. Oil's recent rally slowed, Treasury yields inched higher and stock markets round the world were mixed.

US durable goods orders climb 6.5 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods posted the biggest gain in nearly three years last month, pulled up by a surge in demand for civilian aircraft.

US weekly requests for jobless aid up 10K, to 244,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for jobless aid last week, though the number of people seeking benefits remains near historic lows pointing to a healthy job market.

Amazon reaches for millions in Southeast Asia's cyberspace

SINGAPORE (AP) — Amazon is introducing express delivery to Singapore in its first direct effort to tap into surging online shopping in fast-growing Southeast Asia.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Ex-Army chief says Trump turned back on troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Army secretary says he's angry and shocked that President Donald Trump would — in his words — "turn his back on thousands of transgender Americans serving today."

Trump's transgender troops ban divides veterans in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender service in the armed forces drove a wedge through military veterans in Congress, with one camp standing squarely behind the commander in chief and the other decrying his order as an ugly attack on dedicated troops.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 26
STATEWIDE

Amazon hiring spree includes Chattanooga

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon plans to make thousands of job offers in just one day as it holds a giant job fair next week at nearly a dozen warehouses across the U.S., including Chattanooga.

Bible verse to be removed from a Tennessee police department HQ

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A biblical passage that has long been displayed at a Tennessee city's police headquarters will be removed following a complaint.

Tennessee governor taps homebuilder Brown as housing chair

MEMPHIS (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Memphis-area homebuilder Kim Grant Brown as the first woman to head the Tennessee Housing Development Agency's board of directors.

Congressman diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — U.S. Rep. Phil Roe's office says he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and will undergo treatment next month in Tennessee.

HEALTH CARE

GOP senators blink on a big chance to repeal 'Obamacare'

WASHINGTON (AP) — After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated Wednesday they don't have the stomach to repeal "Obamacare" when it really counts, as the Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation undoing major portions of Barack Obama's law without replacing it.

Doctors, insurer criticize GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors and a major health insurer group are criticizing the latest GOP health care proposal in the Senate.

Senate GOP consider a "skinny" version of health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators were looking to go skinny Wednesday as they struggled to repeal key parts of former President Barack Obama's health law.

Vote shows GOP's problems in replacing Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Where the Senate Republican effort to demolish the Obama health care law ends up is anyone's guess, but early indications are the GOP will have a hard time replacing that statute with any sweeping changes.

Insurer Anthem tops 2Q expectations, raises 2017 forecast

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Anthem trumped Wall Street's second-quarter earnings expectations as its profit grew nearly 10 percent, and the nation's second-largest health insurer raised its forecast for 2017.

REAL ESTATE

New-home sales improved modestly in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes perked up slightly in June, a sign that more would-be buyers are seeking newly built properties.

AUTO INDUSTRY

VW directors mull cartel claims, no comment on details

BERLIN (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen says its management has informed its supervisory board about "the current situation regarding possible cartel law issues" following a report that Germany's biggest car makers colluded for years over diesel technology and other issues.

Britain to ban sale of new diesel and gasoline cars by 2040

LONDON (AP) — Britain's government says it will ban the sale of new cars and vans using diesel and gasoline starting in 2040 as authorities move to tackle air pollution.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks edge higher; bond yields fall following Fed

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes inched further into record territory Wednesday after AT&T, Boeing and others joined the parade of big companies reporting stronger profits than analysts expected. Stocks that pay big dividends were particularly strong after the Federal Reserve took a pause in its slow-moving campaign to lift interest rates, as Treasury yields sank lower.

Trump choice for Fed could prove to be key friend for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice of a key player in his drive to scale back financial rules would likely push to relax regulations on community banks, ease restrictions on some speculative trading and soften annual tests of big banks' health.

Fed keeps key interest rates unchanged amid low inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a time of low inflation, which remains persistently below the Fed's target level.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Trump bars transgender individuals from US armed forces

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is barring transgender people from serving in the military "in any capacity," citing "tremendous medical costs and disruption."

Rick Perry duped by Russian duo impersonating Ukraine leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been fooled by a pair of Russian pranksters impersonating the prime minister of Ukraine.

House punishes Russia, blocks Trump from waiving penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election, the House has overwhelmingly backed a new package of sanctions against Moscow that prohibits President Donald Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from Congress.

Senate Judiciary Committee withdraws subpoena for Manafort

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman will not be testifying Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as originally scheduled, after the committee rescinded its subpoena.


TUESDAY, JULY 25
STATEWIDE

4 ex-employees accused in Pilot rebate scam reach plea deal

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Four former employees accused in a diesel fuel rebate scam at the nation's largest truck stop chain have struck a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities.

E-commerce distributor hiring 3,000 temp workers in Memphis

MEMPHIS (AP) — E-commerce distributor Radial plans to add 3,000 seasonal workers at a Memphis warehouse this fall.

COURTS

Appeals court blocks strict DC concealed carry permit law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has blocked a District of Columbia law that makes it difficult for gun owners to get concealed carry permits.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices reach record high for 6th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices reached a new high in May for the sixth straight month, raising fears of another housing bubble roughly a decade after a previous one burst.

HEALTH CARE

By a hair, Senate votes to debate GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie, the Senate voted by a hair Tuesday to start debating Republican legislation to tear down much of the Obama health care law. The vote gives President Donald Trump and GOP leaders a crucial initial victory but launches a weeklong debate promising an uncertain final outcome.

McCain's return sets stage for big Senate health bill vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for Tuesday's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. A cliff-hanger roll call was likely, with added drama from Sen. John McCain's return to the Capitol for his first vote since being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Key ACA insurer urges gov't to keep customer subsidies

One of the biggest insurers in the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces is warning the federal government that it must preserve cost-sharing payments for low-income customers to avoid hurting millions of people.

GOP sets Senate health care vote buoyed by McCain return

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders are steering the Senate toward a crucial vote on their bill eviscerating much of President Barack Obama's health care law, buoyed by the near theatrical return to the Capitol of the ailing Sen. John McCain.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Former contract workers key in Mississippi Nissan union vote

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — A bid by workers at Mississippi's Nissan Motor Co. plant for United Auto Workers representation could turn on a key voting bloc — 1,500 workers who are Nissan employees today, but were initially hired through contract labor agencies.

Jailed Volkswagen exec to plead guilty in US diesel scandal

DETROIT (AP) — A German Volkswagen executive who has been in a Michigan jail for months plans to plead guilty in the company's U.S. emissions scandal, a court spokesman said Tuesday.

GM 2Q net earnings fall on loss from sale of European unit

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' second-quarter net profit fell more than 40 percent largely due to a loss from the sale of its European unit.

TECHNOLOGY

Nielsen to count viewers for Hulu, YouTube live TV services

NEW YORK (AP) — Nielsen will begin to tabulate how many people get their live TV from Hulu and YouTube, giving media companies and advertisers a better idea of how many people now stream broadcast networks rather than watching them on traditional TV.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks back to records as corporate profits keep rising

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes returned to records Tuesday as corporate profits continue to come in better than analysts expected.

US consumer confidence at 16-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers gained confidence this month, with more Americans pleased by current conditions and more hopeful about the future.

NATIONAL POLITICS

California governor to extend climate change bill 10 years

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is set to sign legislation Tuesday keeping alive California's signature initiative to fight global warming, which puts a cap and a price on climate-changing emissions.

Trump weighs re-nominating Yellen or choosing Cohn instead

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's considering either re-nominating Janet Yellen for a second term as Fed chair or replacing her with someone else, possibly Gary Cohn, who leads his National Economic Council.

Republicans moving to repeal financial rule opposed by banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Continuing its focus on curbing government regulations, a Republican-led House is seeking to overturn a rule that would let consumers band together to sue their banks or credit card companies rather than use an arbitrator to resolve a dispute.

Cheers, whoops for McCain's return, then impassioned speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — In high drama at the Capitol, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law, a win for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders, and then leveled a broadside at how the GOP got there.

Trump's political speech to Scouts inspires parental outrage

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former scouts.

Trump asks about firing Sessions, calls his position 'weak'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, officials say, and launched a fresh Twitter tirade Tuesday against the man who was the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy.


MONDAY, JULY 24
PREDATORS

Predators sign Austin Watson to 3-year, $3.3 million deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators have signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year $3.3 million deal keeping him under contract through 2019-20.

Predators re-sign Arvidsson to $29.75 million, 7-year deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators are making sure they keep Viktor Arvidsson around, re-signing the forward who made the second-biggest scoring jump in the NHL with a seven-year deal worth $29.75 million.

STATEWIDE

Activists say federal agents arrested Tennessee immigrants

MEMPHIS (AP) — Local activists say federal immigration agents have arrested a large number of people in Tennessee.

Tennessee school bus drivers charged under new law

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Four former Tennessee school bus drivers charged with using electronic devices while behind the wheel could face 30-day jail terms if convicted under a new law.

HEALTH CARE

Senate GOP gets new pressure from Trump on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pressured Republicans Monday to approve the Senate's wheezing health care bill, saying a showdown vote planned for this week is their "last chance to do the right thing" and erase the Obama law.

GOP health bill still a mystery before planned vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican health bill but it's not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace President Barack Obama's health care law or simply repeal it.

More reason for rejecting GOP health bill than reviving it

WASHINGTON (AP) — There are many reasons why the Senate will probably reject Republicans' crowning bill razing much of former President Barack Obama's health care law. There are fewer why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might revive it and avert a GOP humiliation.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales fell in June; would-be buyers can't find homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homebuyers faced surging prices and a shrinking number of properties for sale in June — causing the pace of purchases of existing homes to fall.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes mixed ahead of busy earnings week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks mostly fell on Monday, and broad-market indexes inched modestly backward at the start of a busy week of corporate earnings reports and a meeting of the Federal Reserve. Technology stocks, though, added to their big gains for the year and helped push the Nasdaq composite to another record.

Google parent books $2.7B fine as European fight looms

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google parent Alphabet is taking a $2.7 billion write-down to cover a large fine EU antitrust enforcers assessed in June . While the search giant can shrug off the cost, uncertainty lingers over its ability to operate freely on the continent going forward.

2nd person tested positive for norovirus tied to Chipotle

NEW YORK (AP) — A Virginia health official says a second person has tested positive for norovirus after eating at a Chipotle before it was temporarily closed last week following reports of illnesses.

Fed will likely focus on low inflation but leave rates alone

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has already achieved one of its two mandates: With the unemployment rate at just 4.4 percent, the Fed has essentially maximized employment.

Average US gas prices rise a penny, reversing 11-week trend

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline rose about a penny nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.32.

KKR's Internet Brands buying WebMD in $2.8B deal

NEW YORK (AP) — KKR is buying health information website WebMD in a deal valued at about $2.8 billion.

Russia calls for tighter compliance with oil output cuts

MOSCOW (AP) — Major oil producers need to show greater discipline in sticking to output cuts aimed at raising the price of crude, Russia's energy minister said Monday.

NATIONAL POLITICS

4 meetings with Russians disclosed by Jared Kushner

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, disclosed in a statement to members of Congress four distinct interactions with Russians during the presidential campaign and transition period. The 11-page statement provides his first detailed account of meetings over the last year with the Russian ambassador to the United States, a Russian lawyer and a Russian banker.

House moves to fill VA's budget gap despite vets' objections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House is moving to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift $2 billion from other programs to cover a sudden budget shortfall in its Choice program of private-sector care. But the plan was meeting resistance from many Democrats following stiff protests from veterans' groups.

GOP favors dropping tax beneficial to blue states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans aren't usually big on raising taxes, but they're really eager to eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

No apology from Fox in its battle with The New York Times

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel on Monday clarified, but didn't apologize for, a weekend segment that The New York Times said falsely accused the newspaper of revealing intelligence information that enabled Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to elude capture by U.S. forces two years ago.


FRIDAY, JULY 21
REGION

Heat advisory in effect for Mid-South region

MEMPHIS (AP) — Weather officials have issued a heat advisory for parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas as heat indexes rise above 100 degrees.

STATEWIDE

Governor hopeful Boyd to run 537 miles in 100 days

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Republican candidate for governor Randy Boyd says he'll run more than 537 miles (864 kilometers) across the state in about 100 days to meet voters.

Tennessee notches record in federal college aid applications

NASHVILLE (AP) — State officials say Tennessee has set a record for federal college aid applications.

Ride companies sued after girls fall from Ferris wheel

GREENVILLE (AP) — A family whose daughters were injured when they fell from a Ferris wheel at a Tennessee county fair has filed lawsuits against the ride's owners and manufacturer.

COURTS

Judge OKs $11.2M settlement for hacked Ashley Madison users

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge on Friday approved an $11.2 million settlement between the marital infidelity website Ashley Madison and users who sued after hackers released personal information, including financial data and details of their sexual proclivities.

Tennessee inmates get reduced sentences for birth control

SPARTA (AP) — A program in a Tennessee county reduces inmates' jail time if they voluntarily undergo birth control procedures, in a move that has drawn criticism from the local district attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union.

HEALTH CARE

GOP leaders plan Tuesday health vote, it's an uphill climb

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders pushed toward a Senate vote next Tuesday on resurrecting their nearly flat-lined health care bill. Their uphill drive was further complicated by the ailing GOP Sen. John McCain's potential absence and a dreary report envisioning that the number of uninsured Americans would soar.

AP-NORC Poll: Shift to political left seen on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans were never too thrilled with "Obamacare" and they definitely disapprove of Republican alternatives in Congress, so what does the public want to do on health care?

CBO: GOP health bill adds 22 million uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — A revised Republican health care bill would drive up the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday in a report unlikely to help GOP leaders persuade their party's senators to back the reeling legislation in an upcoming showdown vote.

AUTO INDUSTRY

UAW, Nissan pressing high-stakes campaign for worker votes

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — The United Auto Workers faces a strong anti-union campaign from Nissan Motor Co. as it tries to gain a foothold in the union-averse South by organizing workers at the Japanese automaker's Mississippi plant.

Lyft forms own autonomous vehicle unit, will open network

DETROIT (AP) — Lyft said Friday that it is setting up its own unit to develop autonomous vehicle technology, but its approach will be different from other companies and partnerships working on self-driving cars..

VW's settlement in emissions scandal reaches $1.3 billion

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California says Volkswagen will pay the state another $154 million in penalties and costs over the automaker's emissions scandal.

Audi to update 850,000 cars as diesel recalls widen

BERLIN (AP) — German automaker Audi says it will fit up to 850,000 diesel cars with new software to improve their emissions performance, following a similar move by rival Daimler as the auto industry tries to get ahead of public controversy over the technology.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks dip with energy prices; European stocks sink

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks finished barely lower Friday as energy companies fell with oil prices and a 10-day rally for technology companies came to an end. But Wall Street mostly avoided the sharp losses that hit European stocks.

US says ban on laptops in airplane cabins has been lifted

DALLAS (AP) — The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the U.S. is over, as federal officials say that large airports in the region have taken other steps in increase security.

Honorably discharged veterans can shop online tax-free

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — Hey veterans, you can soon shop tax free. Starting later this year, all honorably discharged veterans, no matter their branch of service, will be eligible to shop tax-free online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service with the same discounts they enjoyed on base while in the military.

Exxon fined $2M for Tillerson-era breach of Russia sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay a $2 million fine for showing "reckless disregard" for U.S. sanctions on Russia while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil giant's CEO, the Treasury Department said Thursday. Exxon sued the U.S. government to stop the fine.

Alexa, turn up my Kenmore AC; Sears cuts a deal with Amazon

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears will begin selling its appliances on Amazon.com, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa.

NATIONAL POLITICS

Spicer resigns as White House press secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's embattled spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, is resigning his position, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Analysis: Congressional GOP coming to grips with failure

WASHINGTON (AP) — A brutal reality is settling over Capitol Hill: The Republican effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," which has consumed the first six months of the Trump administration, may never yield results.

Trump legal team looking to investigate Mueller aides

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The revelation comes as Mueller's probe into Russia's election meddling appears likely to include some of the Trump family's business ties.

Cancer, working from bed all part of long McCain chronicles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain is telling his best friend in the Senate to keep it together as he grapples with brain cancer.

Publicly skewered by his boss, Sessions says he's staying

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for stepping aside from the Russia-Trump investigations, declared Thursday he still loves his job and plans to stay on. Yet Donald Trump's airing of his long-simmering frustrations with Sessions raised significant new questions about the future of the nation's top prosecutor.

Republicans target arbitration rule for consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are targeting a rule that would let consumers band together to sue their banks or credit card companies rather than use a mediator to resolve a dispute.

McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis.

By embracing Russia, Trump bumps up against top advisers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.

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