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VOL. 46 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 7, 2022

Cautious optimism for tourism in 2022

Nashville needs return of conventions, international travelers for full recovery

Two years ago, Tennessee’s tourism economy was roaring. State and local officials touted record-breaking numbers, and 2019’s many successes were well positioned to carry into 2020 and beyond.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Could legislators solve some real problems? Nah

My wife has unofficially resolved to adopt a positive attitude toward 2022, an aspiration I would like to be able to join. But the goal is complicated for me by the fact that legislators are about to come back to town.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Greater Nashville Realtors rings in new leadership

The Greater Nashville Realtors announced its slate of officers last month, and the community should be aware of who these leaders are as, historically, this group has had a profound impact on all things real estate in the city, with last year being no exception.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
82.0°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: Southwest at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 51%

EVENTS

Minority Business Academy Program. The Minority Business Academy is a five-session educational series beginning Wednesday hosted by Williamson, Inc. for all small-business owners in Williamson County. Each session will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration will be capped at 25. There is no cost to participate, and lunch will be provided. Williamson, Inc. Power Room, 4031 Aspen Grove Dr., Suite 630. Parking: 4000 Rush Street. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County commercial sales for 2021

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

US average long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 3.22%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose in the past week to start the new year. They reached their highest level since May 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, yet remained historically low.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Foreman gets off couch, into playoffs

If Derrick Henry is the face and the heart of the Titans franchise, then D’Onta Foreman might be its soul.

Titans fans anxiously await Henry’s return to field

With the Titans now in a position to clinch the AFC ‘s top seed and home-field advantage throughout their playoff tun, the focus turns to whether Derrick Henry can come back and be effective for the postseason.

Titans at Texans: What to watch

The Titans, thanks in part to the Cincinnati Bengals, have the AFC’s top seed within their grasp. Not only would that bring home-field advantage to Nashville, it would give the Titans and their many wounded players another week to rest and get healthy for the postseason.

UT SPORTS

Bowl loss aside, Heupel has Vols on winning trajectory

It was of little consolation to Tennessee that the Vols played in one of the most entertaining bowl games of the season. They wanted to win. But even with the setback, the first season under Josh Heupel can be judged as nothing but a success.

NEWSMAKERS

Presnell sworn in as Trial Advocates president

Todd Presnell, a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, has been sworn in as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

BRIEFS

Belle Meade property going on auction block

Luxury real estate auction house Platinum Luxury Auctions will begin the new year with an auction of a Belle Meade home that listed earlier for $9.5 million.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Understanding trim levels, options for new cars

A key part of the car-buying process is familiarizing yourself with some of the key terms you’ll encounter on automaker websites and dealership lots. You want to ensure you’re getting the right features in your new vehicle. But if you’re new to buying cars or aren’t familiar with auto industry lingo, a conversation with the salesperson can go right over your head.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Find happiness for yourself, your employees in 2022

Your New Years’ resolution was to find a new job. And, well, that ain’t gonna happen. Everybody’s hiring, but they’re not hiring you. And it’s looking like you may have to stay right where you are, work-wise. Yippee, you’ll have to learn to cope for the next several months.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Set aside funds for what makes you feel good

You probably know to plan and save for the big and boring expenses, aka financial needs. But what about the fun stuff? Expenses that don’t put a roof over your head but do provide joy, rejuvenation and other hard-to-quantify benefits are worth saving for, too.

PREDATORS

Duchene scores 2nd goal in OT, Predators top Avalanche 5-4

NASHVILLE (AP) — Matt Duchene scored two goals, including the game-winner on a power play 3:01 into overtime, and the streaking Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Tuesday night.

MIDSTATE

REI building distribution center in Lebanon

National specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op today announced it is building a distribution center in Lebanon to support its continued growth on the East Coast and in the Midwest and South. Expected to open in fall 2023, the building and its operations will proactively address the employee experience, community engagement and environmental impact.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee GOP release new US House map; Dems promise to sue

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Republicans on Wednesday released their plan to split fast-growing Nashville into multiple congressional seats, sparking alarm among Democratic leaders who warned that the new map unfairly affects Black voters and will face legal challenges.

Governor's ex-top deputy to join Baker Donelson

NASHVILLE (AP) — The former top deputy and chief legal counsel to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is rejoining a law firm where he once worked.

COURTS

Tennessee high court pick goes to state AG's office attorney

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday picked a high-level lawyer in the attorney general's office for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, signaling a likely shift further right for the court.

ENVIRONMENT

Biden to hold wind power auction off NY, New Jersey coast

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Biden administration said Wednesday it will hold its first offshore wind auction next month, offering nearly 500,000 acres off the coast of New York and New Jersey for wind energy projects that could produce enough electricity to power nearly 2 million homes.

HEALTH CARE

Biogen tumbles after Medicare lays out Aduhelm coverage plan

Shares of Biogen slid Wednesday, a day after federal regulators slapped coverage limitations on the drugmaker's new Alzheimer's disease treatment.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden redoubling focus on testing amid shortages, confusion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is redoubling its efforts to expand supply and accessibility of COVID-19 testing as it faces mounting criticism over long lines and supply shortages for testing nationwide and confusion about when to get tested amid the omicron surge.

Omicron might be headed for a rapid drop in Britain, US

Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19's alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically.

Biden sending more COVID tests to schools to keep them open

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron surge.

Omicron wave prompts media to rethink which data to report

NEW YORK (AP) — For two years, coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations have been widely used barometers of the pandemic's march across the world.

UK court: Government VIP lane for COVID contracts unlawful

LONDON (AP) — Britain's High Court ruled Wednesday that the government acted unlawfully when it used a so-called "VIP lane" to award millions of pounds' worth of contracts to suppliers of personal protective equipment during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Putin: Russia on the verge of a new virus surge

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is facing a new surge of coronavirus infections because of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Djokovic: Not isolating after COVID infection was 'error'

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic knew he'd tested positive for COVID-19 when he attended a newspaper interview and photo shoot in Serbia last month, saying Wednesday he made an "error of judgment" and should have immediately gone into isolation.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks rise as inflation report keeps rate hikes on track

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday after the latest report of surging prices appeared to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates later this year.

Fed survey finds economy growing modestly despite COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy was growing at a modest pace at the end of 2021 but was still being held back by ongoing supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages.

Inflation at 40-year high pressures consumers, Fed and Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month, a 7% spike from a year earlier that is increasing household expenses, eating into wage gains and heaping pressure on President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve to address what has become the biggest threat to the U.S. economy.

EXPLAINER: Why US inflation is so high, and when it may ease

WASHINGTON (AP) — At first, it didn't even register as a threat. Then it seemed like a temporary annoyance.

US shoppers find some groceries scarce due to virus, weather

Benjamin Whitely headed to a Safeway supermarket in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to grab some items for dinner. But he was disappointed to find the vegetable bins barren and a sparse selection of turkey, chicken and milk.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US posted smallest monthly deficit in 2 years in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. last month posted its smallest monthly budget deficit in two years thanks to a rebounding economy that helped boost tax receipts, coupled with slower spending as some COVID relief programs ended.

Biden to huddle with Senate Democrats on voting bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to meet with Senate Democrats at the Capitol on Thursday, a visit intended to deliver a jolt to the party's long-stalled push for voting and elections legislation.

US hits NKorean officials with sanctions after missile test

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday slapped sanctions on five North Korean officials in its first response to Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile test.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump aide, 2 GOP strategists

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection is demanding records and testimony from a former White House aide they say helped draft former President Donald Trump's Jan. 6 speech, along with two others it says were in communication with people close to Trump.

Biden pays silent tribute as Reid lies in state at Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — The late Sen. Harry Reid was remembered Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol as a "legendary leader," a hardscrabble Democrat who rose from poverty in a dusty Nevada mining town to deliver landmark legislation from the chamber's most powerful position.

UK's Johnson apologizes for attending lockdown party

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized Wednesday for attending a garden party during Britain's coronavirus lockdown in 2020, but brushed aside opposition demands that he resign for breaching the rules his own government had imposed.


TUESDAY, JANUARY 11
STATE GOVERNMENT

Redistricting, schools cash formula anchor Tennessee session

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers kicked off their annual session Tuesday in Nashville with a focus on addressing how the state funds public schools, redrawing state legislative and congressional maps, and finalizing a new spending plan for the upcoming year.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Grand Ole Opry under fire for Morgan Wallen performance

NASHVILLE (AP) — Morgan Wallen stepped on country music's most historic and storied stage over the weekend, a sign that many interpreted as the Grand Ole Opry giving the troubled star its blessing and a path to reconciliation after he used a racial slur on camera.

Tool, J. Cole, Stevie Nicks to headline Bonnaroo music fest

NASHVILLE (AP) — J. Cole, Tool and Stevie Nicks will headline this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which is set to return after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic and weather.

COURTS

Convicted Nashville ex-officer waives parole hearing under plea deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — A white former Nashville police officer on Monday waived the right to a parole hearing under a plea deal for fatally shooting a Black man from behind who was fleeing on foot while holding a gun.

ENVIRONMENT

EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is taking its first major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-burning power plants, ordering utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined storage ponds and speed up plans to close leaking or otherwise dangerous coal ash sites.

HEALTH CARE

Medicare limits coverage of $28,000-a-year Alzheimer's drug

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare said Tuesday it will limit coverage of a $28,000-a-year Alzheimer's drug whose benefits have been widely questioned, a major development in the nation's tug-of-war over the fair value of new medicines that offer tantalizing possibilities but come with prohibitive prices.

California lawmakers to debate universal healthcare proposal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Tuesday will start debating whether to create the nation's first universal health care system in a key measure of whether the proposal will muster the support it needs to pass this year — and be sent to voters who would decide whether to approve he payment method.

ENVIRONMENT

Germany faces 'gigantic' task meeting energy, climate goals

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's new climate minister said Tuesday that the country faces a "gigantic" task if it wants to achieve its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring sufficient energy for its energy-hungry industry.

MEDIA

Indigenous news outlets, nonprofits drive deeper coverage

PHOENIX (AP) — Kiowa tribal member Tristan Ahtone remembers just getting started in journalism over a decade ago and pitching ideas on Indigenous topics. His bosses would say things like: "We ran a Native story earlier this year. Do we need another one?"

BANKING

Bank of America slashes fees for account overdrafts

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America slashed the amount it charges customers when they spend more than they have in their accounts and plans to eliminate entirely its fees for bounced checks.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Senate hearing on pandemic gets testy: 'What a moron'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infectious disease expert, angrily accused a senator Tuesday of making false accusations that are leading to threats against him -- all to raise political cash.

Djokovic back into swing in Australia, visa questions linger

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic held a practice session on Tuesday, a day after he left immigration detention, focusing on defending his Australian Open title even while he still faces the prospect of deportation because he's not vaccinated against COVID-19.

China locks down 3rd city, raising affected to 20 million

BEIJING (AP) — A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks shake off an early loss, end higher as tech rebounds

Stocks shook off an early slide and closed higher Tuesday as Wall Street welcomed more modest moves in the bond market after a recent surge in Treasury yields weighed on the market.

2nd election for Amazon workers in Alabama will be by mail

A federal labor board said that Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, will vote by mail next month in a re-run election to decide whether or not to unionize.

Outbreaks, bottlenecks expected to slow global growth in '22

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy, blaming continuing outbreaks of COVID-19, a reduction in government economic support and ongoing bottlenecks in global supply chains.

Fed's Powell: High inflation poses a threat to job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning that high inflation could make it harder to restore the job market to full health, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the Fed will raise interest rates faster than it now plans if needed to stem surging prices.

Fed vice chair is latest official to quit in trading scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said Monday that he will step down on Friday, the third Fed official to resign after a trading scandal at the central bank that involved potential conflicts of interest.

Second Starbucks store near Buffalo votes to unionize

A second Starbucks store near Buffalo, New York, has voted to unionize, one of a growing number of the coffee chain's stores seeking to organize workers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Justice Dept. creating unit focused on domestic terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is establishing a specialized unit focused on domestic terrorism, the department's top national security official told lawmakers Tuesday as he described an "elevated" threat from violent extremists in the United States.

Biden to back filibuster changes to push voting rights bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use a speech in Georgia to endorse changing Senate filibuster rules that have stalled voting rights legislation, saying it's time to choose "democracy over autocracy." But some civil rights groups won't be there, in protest of what they say is administration inaction.

Trump attorneys cite immunity, want Jan. 6 lawsuits tossed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump and his associates argued Monday that incendiary statements by Trump and others last Jan. 6 prior to the Capitol riot were protected speech and in line with their official duties.

US announces $308 million in aid for Afghans as crisis grows

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has announced $308 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, offering new aid to the country as it edges toward a humanitarian crisis since the Taliban takeover nearly five months ago.


MONDAY, JANUARY 10
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans hope franchise's 3rd time as AFC's top seed is charm

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have a chance to see if the third time is the charm.

Titans hang on in Texas, get AFC's No. 1 seed

The AFC playoffs will be running through Music City, and the Tennessee Titans should have Derrick Henry back for their first game this postseason.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Speaker: Nashville US House seat to split in redistricting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee House Republicans plan to carve fast-growing Nashville into multiple congressional seats, making it potentially easier for the state's Republican-dominated congressional delegation to flip a previously Democratic-controlled district, House Speaker Cameron Sexton confirmed Monday.

HEALTH CARE

Medicare told to reassess premium hike for Alzheimer's drug

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health secretary Xavier Becerra on Monday ordered Medicare to reassess a big premium increase facing millions of enrollees this year, attributed in large part to a pricey new Alzheimer's drug with questionable benefits.

MEDIA

Grand Theft Auto maker buys FarmVille company in $12.7B deal

Take-Two Interactive, maker of "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption," is buying Zynga, maker of "FarmVille" and "Words With Friends," in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $12.7 billion.

TRANSPORTATION

Incoming CEO at Southwest Air faces numerous challenges

DALLAS (AP) — Robert Jordan will inherit a long list of challenges when he becomes the sixth CEO of Southwest Airlines, which is struggling to recover from a pandemic that battered its finances and left it a much smaller company.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Home COVID tests to be covered by insurers starting Saturday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations.

Australian judge says Djokovic can stay but saga not over

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic returned to the tennis court Monday for training, having won a legal battle to stay in Australia and play in the Australian Open after his exemption from strict coronavirus vaccine rules was questioned. But the government is still threatening to cancel his visa and deport him.

Pope on COVID vaccines says health care a 'moral obligation'

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis suggested Monday that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus was a "moral obligation" and denounced how people had been swayed by "baseless information" to refuse one of the most effective measures to save lives.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Question for Fed: Has it waited too long to fight inflation?

WASHINGTON (AP) — With inflation surging, unemployment falling and wages rising, some economists are warning that the Federal Reserve may have waited too long to reverse its ultra-low-rate policies — a delay that could put the economy at heightened risk.

Stocks end modestly lower after recouping most of early loss

Stocks ended slightly lower on Wall Street Monday after recouping much of an early slide.

Tax season begins two weeks early due to virus, IRS funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — This year's tax filing season will begin on Jan. 24, 17 days earlier than last year, the Internal Revenue Service announced Monday.

Hurricane Ida, Europe floods made 2021 costly for disasters

BERLIN (AP) — Damage wrought by Hurricane Ida in the U.S. state of Louisiana and the flash floods that hit Europe last summer helped make 2021 one of the most expensive years for natural disasters, reinsurance company Munich Re said Monday.

Average US gas price drops 2 pennies over 3 weeks to $3.39

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline dropped 2 cents over the past three weeks to $3.39 per gallon.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Invoking Jan. 6, Dems pivot to fight for voting legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are mounting an impassioned bid to overhaul Senate rules that stand in the way of their sweeping voting legislation, arguing dark forces unleashed by Donald Trump's falsehoods about the 2020 election demand an extraordinary response.

Inflation up, virus down as priorities in US: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heading into a critical midterm election year, the top political concerns of Americans are shifting in ways that suggest Democrats face considerable challenges to maintaining their control of Congress.

Ohio Rep. Jordan rejects Jan. 6 panel request for interview

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of former President Donald Trump's closest allies in Congress, on Sunday rejected a request for an interview by the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

NY Rep. Ocasio-Cortez recovering after positive COVID test

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tested positive for COVID-19 and "is experiencing symptoms and recovering at home," her office said in a statement Sunday evening.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 7
PREDATORS

Forsberg, Predators stay hot with 4-2 victory over Kings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The streaking Nashville Predators have vaulted to the top of the Central Division thanks to timely special teams and steady performances from left wing Filip Forsberg and goaltender Juuse Saros.

SPORTS

Murray State leaving OVC for Missouri Valley on July 1

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Murray State will become the 11th member of the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1.

STATEWIDE

Newly designed license plates to be released

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Department of Revenue says drivers will receive newly designed license plates once they complete their annual motor vehicle registration renewals.

Tennessee State Parks holding fundraiser through January

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State Parks says it is holding a fundraiser in January that allows people to vote for their favorite park with each dollar they donate.

Investigators: Fire at Planned Parenthood intentionally set

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A fire that destroyed a Tennessee Planned Parenthood clinic was intentionally set, fire officials said Thursday.

MEDIA

New York Times buys sports site The Athletic for $550M

The New York Times Co. is buying sports news site The Athletic for $550 million, the latest move in its strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers as the newspaper print ads business fades.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Supreme Court skeptical of Biden's workplace vaccine rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fully vaccinated and mostly masked, the Supreme Court's conservative majority appeared skeptical Friday of the Biden administration's authority to impose a vaccine-or-testing requirement on the nation's large employers. The court seemed more open to a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

FDA shortens timing of Moderna booster to 5 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday shortened the time that people who received Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have to wait for a booster — to five months rather than six.

How do I know if I have a cold, the flu or COVID-19?

How do I know if I have a cold, the flu or COVID-19? Experts say testing is the best way to determine what you have since symptoms of the illnesses can overlap.

"A hurricane:" Virus storm sends test-makers into overdrive

GUIPRY, France (AP) — As countless millions of people in Europe waste hours in lines for COVID-19 tests and scour their nasal passages with self-test kits at home, at the other end of the chain, workers are straining to meet the demand.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end lower after mixed jobs data as tech sinks again

Stocks ended lower on Wall Street Friday and Treasury yields rose as investors anticipated the Federal Reserve will stay on course to raise interest rates as soon as March.

Biden's economic challenge: Finding workers and goods

President Joe Biden enters the midterm election year of 2022 determined to address what economists call a "supply" problem — there aren't enough jobseekers or goods to meet the country's needs.

Treasury broadens COVID relief uses for states, localities

State and local governments will have greater flexibility to spend $350 billion of federal COVID-19 aid under new rules from President Joe Biden's administration.

EXPLAINER: 5 key takeaways from the December jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the fastest years of job creation in U.S. history stumbled at the finish line in December.

US jobless rate sinks to 3.9% as many more people find jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a modest 199,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell sharply, at a time when businesses are struggling to fill jobs with many Americans remaining reluctant to return to the workforce.

Nations using euro see record inflation. What does it mean?

LONDON (AP) — Inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro currency hit its highest level on record, led by surging food and energy costs, figures released Friday show.

Airbnb will change process to fight discrimination in Oregon

Airbnb hosts in Oregon will soon only see the initials of some prospective renters, not their full names, in a change designed to prevent discrimination against Black users of the online lodging marketplace.

Chinese anti-virus lockdowns add to concerns over economy

BEIJING (AP) — China's lockdowns of big cities to fight coronavirus outbreaks are prompting concern about more disruptions to global industries after two makers of processor chips said their factories were affected.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US, NATO rule out halt to expansion, reject Russian demands

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and NATO on Friday roundly rejected Russian demands that the alliance not admit new members amid growing concerns that Russia may invade Ukraine, which aspires to join the alliance.

Biden to deliver first State of the Union address on March 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address on March 1, the White House confirmed Friday, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the president a formal invitation to speak to Congress and the American public one year into his term.

White House highlights effort to cover winter heating bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is distributing an additional $4.5 billion in funds to help low-income Americans cover heating costs during a second pandemic winter, with cold-weather states receiving the largest share, according to a state-by-state breakdown released Friday.

Terror, shattered glass and thanks: Lawmakers recall Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — One year later, their voices still quavered and they gratefully credited the U.S. Capitol Police with saving their lives. And, perhaps, preserving American democracy as well.

Analysis: Taking on Trump is Biden's reluctant calling

WASHINGTON (AP) — It may not be the fight he sought, but taking on Donald Trump is President Joe Biden's calling.

Biden warns of US peril from Trump's 'dagger' at democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden forcefully blamed Donald Trump and his supporters Thursday for holding a "dagger at the throat of democracy" with election lies that sparked last year's deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, using the anniversary of the attack to warn that America's system of government remains under urgent threat.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 6
REGION

Winter storm blanketing parts of South with snow, ice

NASHVILLE (AP) — A winter storm blanketed parts of the South with snow, freezing rain and sleet Thursday, tying up roads in Tennessee and Kentucky as the system tracked a path through Appalachia toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Graceland commemorating 45th anniversary of Presley's death

MEMPHIS (AP) — Elvis Presley's Graceland will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the singer and actor's death with new museum exhibits, record giveaways, concerts and other special events at the tourist attraction centered around Presley's life and career in Memphis, Tennessee.

STATE GOVERNMENT

TN lawmaker Faison apologizes after apparent try to remove referee's pants

NASHVILLE (AP) — A top Tennessee House Republican lawmaker has apologized for losing his temper and being ejected from watching a high school basketball game after a confrontation with a referee. The dustup included what appeared to be either a feigned or failed attempt at pulling down the official's pants, according to video footage.

COURTS

Appeals court keeps vax mandate ban in place in TN, KY, Ohio

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court has declined to lift a ban in three states on President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers who contract with the federal government.

Tennessee judge vacates murder convictions after 30 years

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge on Thursday vacated rape and murder convictions of two people — one of whom died in prison — in the death of a 4-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

Interim top federal prosecutor appointed in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Francis M. "Trey" Hamilton III has been appointed to serve as the interim top federal prosecutor in Knoxville, the U.S. attorney's office said.

REAL ESTATE

Red-hot housing market to fuel record borrowing in '22

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fierce competition, low mortgage rates and soaring prices that helped raise mortgage borrowing to record heights last year is expected to drive lending even higher this year, experts say.

TECHNOLOGY

France fines Google, Facebook millions over tracking consent

LONDON (AP) — French regulators on Thursday fined Google and Facebook a total of more than 200 million euros ($226 million) for not making it as easy for people to opt out of online tracking as it is for them to accept it.

MEDIA

Hackers hit major Portuguese media group, take down websites

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — One of Portugal's leading media conglomerates said Thursday that a group calling itself "Lapsus$" hacked the company's online services, taking down some of its most popular websites and contacting subscribers.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Omicron surge vexes parents of children too young for shots

Afternoons with Grammy. Birthday parties. Meeting other toddlers at the park. Parents of children too young to be vaccinated are facing difficult choices as an omicron variant-fueled surge in COVID-19 cases makes every encounter seem risky.

A season of joy, caution kicks off in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Vaccinated, masked and ready-to-revel New Orleans residents will usher in Carnival season Thursday with a rolling party on the city's historic streetcar line, an annual march honoring Joan of Arc in the French Quarter and a collective, wary eye on coronavirus statistics.

Djokovic in limbo as he fights deportation from Australia

Novak Djokovic spent a day confined in an immigration detention hotel waiting for a court ruling and dealing with the prospect of deportation from Australia because of an issue with his visa application relating to COVID-19 vaccination regulations.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

More weakness in technology stocks leaves US indexes lower

More declines in big technology stocks pulled major indexes lower on Wall Street, driving the market further into the red on the first week of the year.

November trade deficit hits near record-high $80.2 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit surged to a near-record high of $80.2 billion in November as exports slowed at the same time that imports jumped sharply.

US service industry grows more slowly in December

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Growth in the U.S. service industry, where most Americans work, pulled back in December after expanding at a record pace the previous two months.

US jobless claims rise by 7,000, but still low at 207,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week but remained at historically low levels, suggesting that the job market remains strong.

Vaccinations, tests give Walgreens a boost in first quarter

COVID-19 vaccines and testing boosted Walgreens store sales growth to levels not seen in more than two decades, pushing the drugstore chain well above Wall Street expectations for the first quarter.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US, Japan hold strategic talks after new troop deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. and Japanese officials are holding strategic and security talks on Thursday just two weeks after negotiators ended a Trump-era row by agreeing in principal to a new formula for paying for the American military presence in Japan.

Biden decries Trump backers' 'dagger at throat' of democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden accused Donald Trump and his supporters of holding a "dagger at the throat of democracy" in a forceful speech Thursday marking the anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. He warned that though it didn't succeed, the insurrection remains a serious threat to America's system of government.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump sticks to election falsehoods on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Thursday clung to his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen as the nation marked the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Pelosi: 'Democracy won' on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a singular message for Americans and the world on the eve of the anniversary of the horrific attack on the Capitol:

Trump maintains grip on GOP despite violent insurrection

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a raging band of his supporters scaled walls, smashed windows, used flagpoles to beat police and breached the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn a free and fair election, Donald Trump's excommunication from the Republican Party seemed a near certainty, his name tarnished beyond repair.

A year after Jan. 6, Congress more deeply divided than ever

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deeply divided Congress is showing the world a very unsettled view from the U.S. Capitol: Rather than a national crisis that pulls the country together, the deadly riot on Jan. 6, 2021, only seems to have pushed lawmakers further apart.

'Hatred in the eyes': How racist rage animated Jan. 6 riots

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Cori Bush is no stranger to protests. She spent years marching the streets of St. Louis and Ferguson, Missouri, rising to public office on the strength of her activism.

'I trusted the President': Jan. 6 rioters in their own words

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing prison time, many Jan. 6 rioters admit they were wrong to enter the U.S. Capitol and disavow political violence, despite what former President Donald Trump claims in spreading lies about the attack.

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