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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
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VOL. 46 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 21, 2022

MTSU’s $100M athletics gamble

Boosters ante up to keep program relevant with big changes looming over college athletics

Quiz time: Which catchphrase best describes Middle Tennessee State University’s recently announced $100 million project to upgrade its athletics facilities?


Redistricting has never been about fairness, equality

Fact: What goes around, comes around. Shortly after his first inauguration in 2009, while meeting with Republican congressional leaders, President Barack Obama suggested their proposals for changing his economic proposals wouldn’t carry much weight.


Top Davidson County residential sales for December 2021

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

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: South at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 48%


Tennessee Local Food Summit. The 11th annual Tennessee Local Food Summit, held in partnership with The Nashville Food Project and other local food advocates, celebrates through Saturday the history and heritage of food in Middle Tennessee. This year’s conference features conversations about food production in the coming years in Tennessee. Experts are invited to talk about the state’s agricultural history and food traditions carried on from its melting pot of ancestors. Virtual events Monday-Thursday via @tnlocalfood’s; Friday: virtual and in person at Harding House Brewing Co., 904 51st Ave. N. Nashville; Saturday: Community Farm at Mill Ridge, 5904 California Ave. Free. Information

more events »

Long-term mortgage rates continue rise; 30-year breaks 3.5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates continued to rise this week. The rate on the benchmark 30-year loan breached 3.5%.


Titans run against grain in playoffs

Old-school attack vs. talented young quarterbacks

The Tennessee Titans are a different breed – an outlier, if you will.

Bengals at Titans: What to watch

The Titans are in the playoffs with the No. 1 seed, meaning they won’t have to leave Nissan Stadium until the Super Bowl if they take care of business.

Playoff predictions

The NFL is done with Wild Card Weekend and on to the final eight teams vying for spots in this year's Super Bowl:


Titans defenders feeling healthy, ready to peak in playoffs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee linebacker Bud Dupree feels as good as he's been all season and possibly is as healthy as he's been in well over a year.

Lady Vols season has familiar ring

Team, coach reminding many in the sport of prior Summits

As Rae Burrell limped off the court in the Tennessee women’s basketball season opener, many expected the team’s chances of a strong start to also be sidelined. But not only did the Lady Vols still win games, they reclaimed an identity and vaulted back into the national consciousness while climbing the rankings.

American dream: A Doll to reflect her unique story

Tennessee girl shares limb difference with new friend

The gift came in the mail at just the right time.


Neal & Harwell elects 3 new partners

William “Jay” J. Harbison II, Erik C. Lybeck and Mozianio “Trey” S. Reliford III have been elected partners at Neal & Harwell, PLC.


Architect group honors Lodge at Fall Creek Falls

The Lodge at Fall Creek Falls was recently recognized with a Citation Award for exceptional work in architecture by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Middle Tennessee chapter.


Shopping for a car this year will not be the same

2021 was an unusual year for the automotive industry. While customer demand for new cars rebounded from the economic uncertainty of 2020, automakers found themselves unable to meet that demand because of semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain problems.


How to get more joy out of giving to good causes

We might think spending money on ourselves will make us happier than spending it on someone else. That belief can make it hard to carve money out of our budgets to give to good causes.


Now is the time to have that conversation about pay

One of the hot topics in the news right now is pay. It’s about time, right? There are many people who have been making the same pay for years. Employers believe we’re lucky to have a job at all. We’re told we should be happy to receive 2% each year.


Surviving your employees’ shift to remote working

At least the commute is better. That’s what you tell yourself every morning: 15 steps from bed to office is better than 15 miles. You’ve been working from home now for nearly two years and you’re waffling. Will it be like this forever and, if so, is that good?


Titans' Landry replacing Bosa at Pro Bowl

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Harold Landry is replacing Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers at the Pro Bowl because of an injury.


Predators beat Kraken 4-2 for 3rd straight win

SEATTLE (AP) — Mattias Ekholm scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Nashville Predators beat the Seattle Kraken 4-2 on Tuesday night.


4th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols lose Keyen Green to torn ACL

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The fourth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols will be without center Keyen Green for the rest of the season after she tore an ACL in a win over Georgia.


Democratic Rep. Cooper retiring after GOP redraws district

NASHVILLE (AP) — Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee said Tuesday that he will retire after more than 30 years in elected office, declaring there was "no way" for him to retain his seat under a new congressional map drawn up by state Republicans.


Tennessee lawmakers cast final vote on redistricting maps

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Tennessee passed their state House map on Wednesday, finishing the final task in their once-a-decade state legislative and congressional redistricting work.

Tennessee launches '22 election poll worker recruitment push

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are launching their push to recruit poll workers for this year's elections.

Black lawmakers say Tennessee GOP ignores racism concerns

NASHVILLE (AP) — The first month back at the state Capitol has felt frustratingly familiar for Black lawmakers in Tennessee's majority-white Legislature.


Tractor Supply distribution center planned for Maumelle

MAUMELLE, Ark. (AP) — Brentwood-based Tractor Supply Co. has announced plans for a new distribution center in central Arkansas that is expected to create 450 jobs by the end of next year.


Justice Breyer to retire, giving Biden first court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court.

Democrats eye swift confirmation of Biden high court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats who have played defense for the last three Supreme Court vacancies plan to move swiftly to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, using the rapid 2020 confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a new standard.

Biden has long been preparing for a Supreme Court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has already narrowed the field for his first Supreme Court pick.

Biden nominating 6 lawyers for federal prosecutor posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating six lawyers to run U.S. attorney's offices across the country, a diverse group of candidates in the latest picks for the top law enforcement positions.

EU court annuls Intel's 2009 billion euro antitrust fine

LONDON (AP) — Chipmaker Intel scored a decisive legal victory Wednesday in a long-running battle against European Union competition watchdogs after a court reversed itself and threw out a billion euro antitrust fine issued more than a decade ago.


Medicare posts key nursing home staffing info for consumers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shining a light on key markers for nursing home quality, Medicare said Wednesday it is now posting details on staff turnover and weekend nurse coverage on its "Care Compare" website, where families can research a facility.


US new home sales jump in December as prices fall

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Sales of new single family homes in December rose to their highest level in 10 months as buyers snapped up cheaper homes in anticipation of higher interest rates.


Americans' trust in science now deeply polarized, poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows.

Traded cryptocurrency in 2021? Here's how to approach taxes

Professionals have a major piece of advice for those who traded cryptocurrency for the first time last year: Take your tax prep seriously.

So long, Saturdays: More couples embrace weekday weddings

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic forced 30-year-old Stephanie Harnen to twice postpone her wedding. When she finally did get married, in June last year, she settled for a Thursday because her venue was fully booked on weekends.


EPA acts on environmental justice in 3 Gulf Coast states

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is taking a series of enforcement actions to address air pollution, unsafe drinking water and other problems afflicting minority communities in three Gulf Coast states, following a "Journey to Justice" tour by Administrator Michael Regan last fall.


General Motors to add 8,000 technical workers this year

DETROIT (AP) — There are more than 8,000 new technical job openings at General Motors, and the automaker plans to fill them during a hiring spree this year.

Nissan recalls 793K Smyrna-made Rogues for fire risk

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling more than 793,000 small SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because water can get into wiring which, in rare cases, could start a fire.

UK's Bentley pouring billions into electric car overhaul

LONDON (AP) — Luxury automaker Bentley said Wednesday it is pouring billions into upgrading manufacturing to accelerate its electric vehicle development plan, joining other auto brands shifting away from gasoline engines.


Boeing posts $4 billion loss tied to problems with 787 jet

Boeing reported a $4.16 billion loss for the fourth quarter as the financial fallout of production flaws in one of its best-selling planes, the 787 Dreamliner, grew much worse.


Navy discharges 1st active duty sailors for vaccine refusal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy said Tuesday that it has discharged 23 active duty sailors for refusing the coronavirus vaccine, marking the first time it has thrown currently serving sailors out of the military over the mandatory shots. It comes as the number of service members being discharged across the services due to the vaccine begins to climb.

German lawmakers to debate possible COVID vaccine mandate

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's parliament is set to hold its first debate Wednesday on a possible wide-ranging coronavirus vaccine mandate, with three options emerging: obligatory vaccinations for all adults or for everyone above 50, or no mandate at all.


Biden gets CEO support for economic agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday secured the blessing of several business leaders on his economic agenda that has stalled in the Senate, part of an effort to restart some momentum for the nearly $2 trillion in spending and tax increases that he's proposed.

Stocks fall, yields rise after Fed signals rate hike 'soon'

An early market rally gave way to a broad slide for stocks and a surge in bond yields Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it plans to begin raising interest rates "soon" to fight a spike in inflation that the central bank says is probably getting worse.

Fed plans to raise rates as soon as March to cool inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will "soon" be time to start raising interest rates, a key step in reversing pandemic-era policies that have fueled hiring and growth but also high inflation.

How Fed hikes could affect mortgages, car loans, card rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Will mortgage rates go up? How about car loans? Credit cards?

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:

German government cuts 2022 economic growth forecast to 3.6%

BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Wednesday cut its growth forecast for this year, but said that Europe's biggest economy remains "robust" and will return to its pre-pandemic size in 2022.


US offers no concessions in response to Russia on Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration and NATO told Russia on Wednesday there will be no U.S. or NATO concessions on Moscow's main demands to resolve the crisis over Ukraine.

Biden's big test: Proving he can rally allies against Putin

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's effort to rally support, both at home and abroad, ahead of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine is just the latest big test of his ability to bridge ideological gaps and balance competing interests to build effective coalitions.

US approves major arms sale to Egypt despite rights concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Tuesday approved a massive $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt despite ongoing concerns over human rights.


Titans challenge: Winning in playoffs after blowing top seed

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have taken big steps in four seasons with coach Mike Vrabel reaching an AFC championship game and earning back-to-back AFC South titles along with a No. 1 seed.


Lawmakers send US House map splitting Nashville to Gov. Lee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Tennessee on Monday completed their rapid passage of a new U.S. House map that splits booming, Democratic-tilted Nashville and its Black voters three ways, leaving it up to the governor to sign off on the new congressional lines.


Number of guns found at Tennessee airports spikes in 2021

MEMPHIS (AP) — Security officers at Tennessee's major airports found more than 280 guns in passengers' carry-on luggage in 2021, a significant increase from prior years, officials said.

Tornado unemployment aid available in 12 Tennessee counties

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say people in 12 counties whose jobs were impacted by tornadoes last month can now apply for disaster unemployment assistance.


Supreme Court takes up race in college admissions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to review a challenge to the consideration of race in college admission decisions, often known as affirmative action. With three new conservative justices on the court since its last review, the practice may be facing its greatest threat yet.


GM to spend nearly $7B on EV, battery plants in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors is making the largest investment in company history in its home state of Michigan, announcing plans to spend nearly $7 billion to convert a factory to make electric pickup trucks and to build a new battery cell plant.


US sues to block Lockheed's purchase of supplier Aerojet

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is suing to block Lockheed Martin Corp.'s $4.4 billion bid for Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, saying it would limit competition and drive up prices for components used in missiles that Lockheed and other defense contractors build for the Pentagon.

MSC Group, Lufthansa partner in bid for Italy's ITA Airways

MILAN (AP) — The parent group of MSC Cruises is partnering with Lufthansa in a bid for a majority stake in Italy's ITA Airways, the company created from the ashes of former Italian flagship airline Alitalia.


J&J tops 4Q earnings forecasts but misses on revenue

Johnson & Johnson edged past Wall Street's fourth quarter earnings expectations, helped by growing pharmaceutical sales, but revenue fell short.


Rihanna's foundation donates $15 million to climate justice

Rihanna is backing her belief that climate change is a social-justice issue by pledging $15 million to the movement through her Clara Lionel Foundation.


Biden administration officially withdraws vaccine rule

The Biden administration has officially withdrawn a rule that would have required workers at big companies to get vaccinated or face regular COVID testing requirements.

COVID-19 booster drive is faltering in the US

NEW YORK (AP) — The COVID-19 booster drive in the U.S. is losing steam, worrying health experts who have pleaded with Americans to get an extra shot to shore up their protection against the highly contagious omicron variant.

Hope seen once the omicron wave increases global immunity

World health officials are offering hope that the ebbing of the omicron wave could give way to a new, more manageable phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as they warn of difficult weeks ahead and the possibility of another, more dangerous variant arising.

Pfizer begins testing omicron-matched COVID shots in adults

Pfizer is enrolling healthy adults to test a reformulated COVID-19 vaccine that matches the hugely contagious omicron variant, to see how it compares with the original shots.

FDA halts use of antibody drugs that don't work vs. omicron

WASHINGTON (AP) — COVID-19 antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because they don't work against the omicron variant that now accounts for nearly all U.S. infections, U.S. health regulators said Monday.

Abrupt lockdowns loom over Beijing life ahead of Olympics

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing residents are coping with abrupt local lockdowns and sweeping COVID-19 testing requirements as the Chinese capital seeks to prevent a coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Winter Olympics that opens in less than two weeks.


Stocks end lower on Wall Street after another volatile day

Stocks are closing lower on Wall Street Tuesday after another volatile day of trading.

US warns that chip shortage could shut down factories

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. supply of computer chips has fallen to alarmingly low levels, raising the prospect of factory shutdowns, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

US consumer confidence remains high after January downturn

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence declined this month as persistent inflation and the highly-contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus dinged the optimism of Americans.

Amid omicron and inflation, IMF cuts world growth forecasts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its forecast for the world economy this year, citing the spread of COVID-19's omicron variant, higher energy prices, an uptick in inflation and a deteriorating outlook for the world's two biggest economies — the United States and China.

Report: Anti-corruption fight is stalled, COVID not helping

BERLIN (AP) — Most countries have made little to no progress in bringing down corruption levels over the past decade, and authorities' response to the COVID-19 pandemic in many places has weighed on accountability, a closely watched study by an anti-graft organization found Tuesday.

German business confidence perks up after 6-month decline

BERLIN (AP) — Business confidence in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has picked up unexpectedly after a six-month slide, a closely watched survey showed Tuesday.


Ethics office says Reps. Newman, Lamborn may have broken law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional ethics watchdog has concluded that U.S. Reps. Marie Newman of Illinois and Doug Lamborn of Colorado may have violated federal law, prompting reviews from the House Ethics Committee.

Biden answers inflation query by calling Fox reporter SOB

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden responded to a question about inflation on Monday by calling a Fox News reporter a vulgarity.

EXPLAINER: What are US options for sanctions against Putin?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The financial options being considered to punish President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine range from the sweeping to the acutely personal — from cutting Russia off from U.S. dollars and international banking to slapping sanctions on a former Olympic gymnast reported to be Putin's girlfriend.


Titans waste top seed again with Henry's return not enough

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans had the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage along with Derrick Henry making a return just in time for the postseason.


TSU using grant for intellectual disabilities program

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University plans to use a $284,000 grant to prepare students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for jobs.


Tennessee launches pothole plan after winter storms

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee transportation officials are launching a plan to use all available staff to patch potholes carved out by back-to-back winter storms.


High court won't hear pandemic proxy voting dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to the proxy voting system that Democrats put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


Biden revives 'clean energy' program with $1B loan guarantee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has issued its first clean energy loan guarantee, reviving an Obama-era program that helped launch the country's first utility-scale wind and solar farms a decade ago but has largely gone dormant in recent years.


DC, 3 states sue Google saying it invades users' privacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google for allegedly deceiving consumers and invading their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to stop their location from being tracked.

In global 5G race, European Union is told to step up pace

BRUSSELS (AP) — As the United States grapples with the 5G rollout affecting airlines, a European Union watchdog warned on Monday the EU faces much bigger economic and security threats unless member countries step up cooperation.


CBS retools streaming service to better resemble TV network

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS News says it is retooling its streaming service to better incorporate programs and personalities from the television network.


New conservative target: Race as factor in COVID treatment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk factor when allocating scarce COVID-19 treatments, saying the protocols discriminate against white people.

France bars unvaccinated from restaurants, sports venues

People who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer allowed in France's restaurants, bars, tourist sites and sports venues unless they recently recovered from the virus.


Stocks recover as investors jump in after big sell-off

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks recovered from big early losses Monday as investors jumped in before the closing bell.

EXPLAINER: Why are oil prices high, and any relief in sight?

NEW YORK (AP) — Anyone who's bought food, paid rent or looked for a used car recently has come up against the billowing inflation that has engulfed the U.S. economy.

Fed to signal rate hike as it launches risky inflation fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — With inflation punishing consumers and threatening the economy, the Federal Reserve this week will likely signal its intent to begin raising interest rates in March for the first time in three years. The Fed's challenges will get only harder from there.


US puts 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid Russia tension

WASHINGTON (AP) — At President Joe Biden's direction, the Pentagon is putting about 8,500 U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for potential deployment to Europe to reassure allies amid rising fears of a possible Russian military move on Ukraine.

Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Count 30-year-old Ethan Miller among that subset of Americans who are actually eager to file their taxes once income tax filing season opens on Monday.

EXPLAINER: Why effort to help Afghanistan is falling short

WASHINGTON (AP) — As winter deepens, a grim situation in Afghanistan is getting worse. Freezing temperatures are compounding misery from the downward spiral that has come with the fall of the U.S.-backed government and the Taliban takeover.


Henry's back! Titans activate their top back for playoffs

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will have Derrick Henry on the field for their AFC divisional game with Cincinnati after moving the NFL's 2019 and 2020 rushing leader from injured reserve to the active roster.


Johansen, Granlund lead Predators over Jets 5-2 to stop skid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ryan Johansen and Mikael Granlund each scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Nashville Predators over the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Thursday night.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw 14.1M visits in '21

GATLINBURG (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw 14.1 million visits in 2021, topping the record from 2019 by 1.5 million.


Anti-abortion protesters optimistic at March for Life in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of anti-abortion protesters were in a celebratory mood Friday as they rallied in the nation's capital and marched to the Supreme Court with a growing sense of optimism that their goal was finally in reach: a sweeping rollback of abortion rights.

High court could limit 2020 Indian land decision in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider limiting a recent decision about Indian land in Oklahoma that the state says has produced chaos in its courts.

Lawsuit: Tennessee adoption agency turned away Jewish couple

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Knoxville couple is suing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, saying a state-sponsored Christian adoption agency refused to help them because they are Jewish.

In kids' book, Sotomayor asks: Whom have you helped today?

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Whom have I helped today?" That's the question Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells kids she asks herself every night before she goes to sleep.

Supreme Court won't speed challenge to Texas abortion limits

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the latest setback for abortion rights in Texas, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to speed up the ongoing court case over the state's ban on most abortions.


Think your home value is soaring? Talk to a farmer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer Jeff Frank doesn't feel rich, but simply based on the skyrocketing value of his land in northwest Iowa, it's an apt way to describe him, even if he laughs at the idea.


GM to spend $6.5B, add 4,000 jobs at Michigan EV factories

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors is poised to announce next week major electric-vehicle investments in Michigan, with plans to spend $6.5 billion and create up to 4,000 new jobs at two plants.

Toyota production in Japan hit by parts crunch from COVID-19

TOKYO (AP) — The shortage of parts caused by the coronavirus pandemic is further denting production at Toyota, Japan's top automaker.

New vehicles to be rated on how they make drivers stay alert

DETROIT (AP) — Two organizations that influence many Americans' automobile buying decisions will begin rating vehicles on how well they track behavior of motorists who use partially automated driver-assist systems.


US blocks flights by Chinese airlines in escalating dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States moved Friday to block 44 flights to the U.S. by Chinese airlines in retaliation for China forcing the cancellation of flights by U.S. airlines.

NTSB: Require small planes to have carbon monoxide detectors

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. crash investigators are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to require private planes to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, citing deadly crashes that were attributed to poisoning by the odorless gas.


Intel building $20B Ohio chip facility amid global shortage

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Chip maker Intel said it will invest $20 billion to build a new factory in Ohio, an attempt to help alleviate a global shortage of chips powering everything from phones to cars to home appliances while also signaling the giant company's commitment to manufacturing crucial technology products in the U.S.


US unveils changes to attract foreign science, tech students

The Biden administration on Friday announced policy changes to attract international students specializing in science, technology, engineering and math — part of the broader effort to make the U.S. economy more competitive.


Trump appointee blocks Biden federal worker vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Friday barring the federal government from enforcing President Joe Biden's requirement that federal workers without qualifying medical or religious exemptions be vaccinated for COVID-19.

China mandates 3-day Olympic torch relay amid virus concerns

BEIJING (AP) — China is limiting the torch relay for the Winter Olympics to only three days amid coronavirus worries, organizers said Friday.

Japan widens virus restrictions as omicron surges in cities

TOKYO (AP) — Restaurants and bars will close early in Tokyo and a dozen other areas across Japan beginning Friday as the country widens COVID-19 restrictions due to the omicron variant, which has caused cases to surge to new highs in metropolitan areas.


Stocks extend losses for third week; Netflix plunges

Stocks extended their losses on Wall Street Friday as major indexes finished with another weekly loss.

New step to curb tech giants' power advanced by Senate panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has taken a new step toward reining in the market dominance of Big Tech.

Climate, COVID, China: Takeaways from online Davos event

GENEVA (AP) — Government and business leaders have urged cooperation on the world's biggest issues — climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery — at the World Economic Forum's virtual gathering.

Netflix stock plunges as subscriber growth worries deepen

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Netflix delivered its latest quarter of disappointing subscriber growth during the final three months of last year, a trend that management foresees continuing into the new year as tougher competition is undercutting the video streaming leader.

Chevron, Total exit Myanmar over deteriorating human rights

PARIS (AP) — TotalEnergies and Chevron, two of the world's largest energy conglomerates, said Friday they were stopping all operations in Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the country's military overthrew the elected government.


Biden-Kishida 1st formal talks touch on China, nuke weapons

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday used their first formal meeting to discuss concerns about China's growing military assertiveness that's causing increasing disquiet in the Pacific.

Year 2: Biden plans more public outreach, less legislating

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden launched into his second year in office Thursday with a new focus on making fatigued Americans believe they're better off under his leadership as he embraces a pared-back agenda before the midterm elections.

Democrats eye new strategy after failure of voting bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats were picking up the pieces Thursday following the collapse of their top-priority voting rights legislation, with some shifting their focus to a narrower bipartisan effort to repair laws Donald Trump exploited in his bid to overturn the 2020 election.

Schumer: 'We made progress' on voting bill, filibuster rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview Thursday that Democrats "made progress" toward changing the Senate's filibuster rules to advance sweeping voting legislation, despite the dramatic collapse of the package that his party says is central to protecting democracy.

UN chief: World worse now due to COVID, climate, conflict

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As he starts his second term as U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said Thursday the world is worse in many ways than it was five years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and geopolitical tensions that have sparked conflicts everywhere — but unlike U.S. President Joe Biden he thinks Russia will not invade Ukraine.

China criticizes US missile sanctions as hypocrisy

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday criticized Washington for imposing sanctions on Chinese companies the U.S. says exported missile technology, and accused the United States of hypocrisy for selling nuclear-capable cruise missiles.


House map carving Nashville clears state Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A plan to split fast-growing Nashville into multiple congressional seats cleared a key hurdle Thursday after state Senate Republicans signed off on the proposal despite objections from Democrats who warn the new map unfairly affects Black voters.

Gov. Lee to give State of the State speech Jan. 31

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee plans to give his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 31.

Tennessee ethics panel advances ouster of convicted senator

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Republican-led Tennessee Senate's ethics committee on Thursday recommended removing a Democratic senator from office because of her recent wire fraud conviction, pressing ahead over her objections that she had short notice of the hearing and is still awaiting sentencing.


Rabbi sentenced to home confinement for joining Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former criminal defense attorney who founded a Messianic synagogue in Florida was sentenced Thursday to two months of home confinement for joining the mob that stormed the Capitol last year.

Court bolsters defendant's right to cross-examine witnesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday buttressed a criminal defendant's right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses, ruling in favor of a New York man who was convicted of killing a 2-year-old boy on Easter Sunday in 2006.

Supreme Court allows Jan. 6 committee to get Trump documents

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court is allowing the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.


US home sales fall with available properties at a record low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously occupied homes fell in December for the first time in four months as many would-be buyers were frustrated by a lack of available houses, which fell to the lowest level in more than two decades.


American Airlines reports $931 million fourth-quarter loss

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines lost $931 million in the fourth quarter and the omicron variant of COVID-19 is delaying its recovery from nearly two years of pandemic.

Emirates to again fly Boeing 777 to US as 5G rollout slowed

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Long-haul carrier Emirates said Thursday it will resume its Boeing 777 flights to the U.S. after halting its use of the aircraft there over concerns new 5G services in America could interfere with airplane technology that measures altitude.


Europe considers new COVID-19 strategy — accepting the virus

MADRID (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic was first declared, Spaniards were ordered to stay home for more than three months. For weeks, they were not allowed outside even for exercise. Children were banned from playgrounds, and the economy virtually stopped.

Judges didn't consider 'wisdom' of deporting Novak Djokovic

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Three Australian Federal Court judges on Thursday revealed their reasons for backing a government order to deport tennis star Novak Djokovic, explaining they did not consider the "merits or wisdom of the decision."

EXPLAINER: What does it mean for COVID-19 to be endemic?

Some European countries such as Spain are making tentative plans for when they might start treating COVID-19 as an "endemic" disease, but the World Health Organization and other officials have warned that the world is nowhere close to declaring the pandemic over. A look at what endemic means and the implications for the future.

Germany expects COVID-19 cases to peak in mid-February

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's health minister expects the number of coronavirus infections in the country to keep rising for several weeks before peaking next month.

More than 2 dozen drugmakers to make Merck's COVID-19 pill

GENEVA (AP) — A U.N.-backed organization announced Thursday that it has signed agreements with more than two dozen generic drug makers to produce versions of Merck's COVID-19 pill to supply 105 developing countries.


Stock losses mount as investors eye earnings, inflation

Stocks ended sharply lower on Wall Street Thursday, and the benchmark S&P 500 closed at a three-month low as corporate earnings and inflation continued to hold investors' attention.

Fed study on digital currency leans toward role for banks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve on Thursday released a highly anticipated report on central bank digital currencies that suggested it is leaning toward having banks and other financial firms, rather than the Fed itself, manage digital accounts for customers.

Analysis: Biden finds inflation overshadows strong economy

President Joe Biden is paying a steep price for high inflation — a problem that festered during his first year in office instead of fading away as he suggested it would.

US jobless claims rise to 286,000, highest since October

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant continued to disrupt the job market.

Amazon plans a clothing store for a Southern California mall

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year, a first for the online behemoth and a fresh challenge for already struggling traditional retailers.


Jan. 6 committee requests interview with Ivanka Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection is asking Ivanka Trump, daughter of former President Donald Trump, to voluntarily cooperate with its probe.

Biden says nation weary from COVID but rising with him in WH

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden acknowledged that the pandemic has left Americans exhausted and demoralized but insisted at a news conference marking his first year in office that he has "outperformed" expectations in dealing with it.

Biden approval hits new low at one-year mark: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden ends his first year in the White House with a clear majority of Americans for the first time disapproving of his handling of the presidency in the face of an unrelenting pandemic and roaring inflation, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Biden blasts GOP as lacking a message heading into midterms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing the potential of losing control of Congress, President Joe Biden entered the midterm election year on Wednesday pledging to connect more frequently with voters and present a starker contrast with Republicans aiming to blunt his agenda.

Voting bill collapses, Democrats unable to change filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital to protecting democracy collapsed when two senators refused to join their own party in changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster after a raw, emotional debate.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden puffs up claims of virus, job gains

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a self-appraisal that didn't always fit with the facts, President Joe Biden on Wednesday made the dubious assertion that he's outperformed all expectations on the pandemic in his first year and inflated his contribution to COVID-era economic growth.

Russia accuses West of plotting 'provocations' in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia accused the West on Thursday of plotting "provocations" in Ukraine and disguising its alleged intentions by fomenting concerns about Moscow planning aggressive military action in the neighboring country.

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