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VOL. 44 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 4, 2020

Santa’s got a brand new bag

Holiday shopping transforms for unique 2020

David Levy’s family’s clothing business goes back generations, so he has plenty of history from which to draw and family experience to guide him.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

A one-house illustration of Nashville’s real estate boom

There is no end in sight for the Nashville residential real estate boom. The soothsayers and prognosticators all predict more feast than famine. “Everything will remain the same for at least two years” is the bold forecast from most.

REAL ESTATE

Davidson County real estate trends for November 2020

November 2020 real estate trends for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
60.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 70%

EVENTS

YP Nashville: Cocktails and Politics. Virtually join YP Nashville for Drinks and Dialogue, Cocktails and Politics. Lou Na at Grand Hyatt Nashville will lead a cocktail class for “The Homestead” to include a brief history of George Dickle. Jennifer Carlat, chief policy officer, at the Nashville Chamber will discuss policy. Your ticket includes admission and appetizer at the Grand Hyatt for a future visit. Register to attend this webinar. Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Login information will be sent day before event. Information

more events »

US long-term mortgage rates edge lower; 30-year at 2.71%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, reaching record lows for the 14th time this year against the backdrop of the pandemic-ravaged economy.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Vrabel goes to whip for stretch run

Analogy has Titans champing at the bit

Two weeks ago, a day or so after the Tennessee Titans had lost for the third time in four games, they watched film.

Run-game fans will love matchup with Browns

There was a time when a Titans-Browns matchup would have been a battle of NFL dregs. But times have changed, and now both are solidly in contention for playoffs berths.

NEWSMAKERS

‘Golden Goose’ Award goes to VUMC’s Crowe

James E. Crowe Jr., M.D., a physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who has pioneered development of human monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for viral diseases, has won a 2020 “Golden Goose” Award.

Sandfort is Lipscomb CEO-in-residence

Lipscomb University’s College of Business has named longtime Tractor Supply Company executive Greg Sandfort a CEO-in-residence beginning in January.

BRIEFS

TN picked for vaccine delivery pilot program

Tennessee is one of four states selected to participate in a pilot program for delivery of the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine now under development.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Early winter car deals might not be as bountiful

Once a novel concept in dealership marketing, Black Friday car deals have become as common as the TV deals at your local big-box store. While the savings on new cars aren’t that dramatic – no 70% off fire sales here – they do generally make mid to late November a good time to buy a car.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Putting financial survivor’s guilt to good use

Financial therapist Lindsay Bryan-Podvin of Ann Arbor, Michigan, specializes in helping people deal with their anxieties about money. But since the pandemic started, Bryan-Podvin has been hearing more about guilt than fear.

CAREER CORNER

There is no right time to shift your career to neutral

A reader recently asked at what point in a career should one have reached ideal potential. In other words, when should one stop moving up and seeking more money and a better title?

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Be effective with your generosity

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to donate money this year, plenty of causes need your attention.

SPORTS

Jackson loses team, Nashville back with Brewers as minors shrink

NEW YORK (AP) — Jackson lost its Double-A baseball team for next season, one of 40 cities dropped as professional affiliates as Major League Baseball went through with its plan to cut to 120 farm teams.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans' top draft pick on reserve list to deal with issues

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans placed first-round pick Isaiah Wilson on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list Wednesday days after suspending the offensive lineman for a game.

Titans insist they can clean up some of their defensive woes

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vic Beasley Jr. is long gone, and Jadeveon Clowney is on injured reserve with an injured knee that limited him to eight games this season. Not a sack between them despite about $21 million combined in salary.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee Highway Patrol leader retiring after 33 years

NASHVILLE (AP) — The leader of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is retiring next week after 33 years with the agency.

ENVIRONMENT

EU looking to reinforce climate credentials during summit

BRUSSELS (AP) — Five years after the Paris agreement, the European Union's climate credentials will be put to the test as the bloc's leaders meet Thursday to try and seal an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Fears and tension mount for commuters still heading to work

NEW YORK (AP) — One by one, the fears creep in as Aura Morales rides the bus to her job at CVS in Los Angeles. A passenger boards without a mask but she doesn't dare confront him. More riders board and it's impossible to stay six feet apart. Driving to work isn't an option; Morales can't afford a car, especially after her work hours were cut.

US experts convene to decide whether to OK Pfizer vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government advisory panel convened on Thursday to decide whether to endorse mass use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to help conquer the outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

Hahn: FDA meeting 'important day for America'

WASHINGTON — Commissioner Stephen Hahn says Thursday's meeting of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory panel is "an important day for all of America."

Can I stop wearing a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Can I stop wearing a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? No. For a couple reasons, masks and social distancing will still be recommended for some time after people are vaccinated.

Trump virus coordinator Birx seeks role in Biden government

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Dr. Deborah Birx was brought into President Donald Trump's orbit to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, she had a sterling reputation as a former U.S. Army physician, a globally recognized AIDS researcher and a rare Obama administration holdover.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US jobless claims jump to 853,000 amid resurgence of virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment aid jumped last week to 853,000, the most since September, evidence that companies are cutting more jobs as new virus cases spiral higher.

November consumer prices up 0.2% as energy costs rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices edged up 0.2% in November as a rise in the cost of energy and a number of other goods offset a drop in food costs.

Google, Amazon fined $163 million by French privacy watchdog

PARIS (AP) — France's data privacy watchdog said Thursday it has fined Google 100 millions euros ($121 million) and Amazon 35 million euros ($42 million) for breaching the country's rules on advertising cookies.

Europe gets new blast of stimulus to counter virus surge

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank unleashed another half-trillion euro ($600 billion) wave of stimulus as a winter surge in COVID-19 infections shuts down large parts of the economy and wipes out pre-Christmas sales revenue ahead of the region's most important holiday.

Blockbuster IPO market still calls for cautious approach

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wall Street has rolled out the welcome mat for companies going public this year, boosting proceeds from initial public offerings to the highest level in six years.

US antitrust siege of tech widens with lawsuits vs Facebook

WASHINGTON (AP) — The giant tech companies whose services are woven into the fabric of social life are now the targets of a widening assault by government competition enforcers. Regulators filed landmark antitrust lawsuits Wednesday against Facebook, the second major government offensive this year against once seemingly untouchable tech behemoths.

EU inches toward landmark budget, virus recovery fund deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday that the European Union is on the brink of sealing an agreement on a massive budget and a coronavirus recovery package, signaling that it has almost overcome objections from his country and Poland about tying EU funds to upholding the rule of law.

S&P DJ removing Chinese companies from index after US order

BEIJING (AP) — S&P DJ Indices is removing 21 Chinese companies from its indexes, or groups of stocks and bonds used to track financial market movements, after Americans were barred from investing in them as part of a feud with Beijing over technology and security.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden taps Rice as domestic policy adviser, McDonough for VA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is naming Susan Rice as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, giving her broad sway over his administration's approach to immigration, health care and racial inequality and elevating the prominence of the position in the West Wing.

Despite Trump's venting and threats, Biden's win is sealed

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's plenty of noise but no cause for confusion as President Donald Trump vents about how the election turned out and vows to subvert it even still.

Lawmakers act to avert shutdown, buying time for virus talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Still spinning their wheels on COVID-19 relief, lawmakers have grabbed a one-week government funding extension that buys time for more talks — though there is considerable disagreement over who is supposed to be taking the lead from there.

Biden to pick Katherine Tai as top trade envoy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Katherine Tai to be the top U.S. trade envoy, according to two people familiar with his plans.

Biden to campaign in Georgia for Senate runoffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is heading to Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates in the state's two critical U.S. Senate runoffs.

Hunter Biden tax probe examining Chinese business dealings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating the finances of President-elect Joe Biden's son, including scrutinizing some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9
SPORTS

Smith lifts Belmont past Tennessee State 79-64

NASHVILLE (AP) — Luke Smith scored 23 points and Nick Muszynski added 22 points as Belmont defeated Tennessee State 79-64 on Tuesday night.

No. 12 Tennessee gets past Colorado in long-delayed opener

KNOXVILLE (AP) — After five pandemic-related postponements, No. 12 Tennessee made the most of its opener Tuesday night, struggling to a 56-47 victory over Colorado.

Vanderbilt women staying inside locker room during anthem

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt's women's basketball team has decided to stay inside its locker room during the national anthem this season to both mourn and commemorate racial injustice in the United States.

AUTO RACING

Nashville Superspeedway rebrands ahead of Cup race in June

GLADEVILLE (AP) — Nashville Superspeedway has undergone a rebranding campaign ahead of a NASCAR tripleheader in June that includes the track's inaugural Cup Series race.

TOURISM

Camping in Tennessee's state parks increase during pandemic

NASHVILLE (AP) — Camping at Tennessee's state parks is reaching historic highs during the coronavirus pandemic.

COURTS

US govt, states sue Facebook for 'predatory' conduct

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday sued to force a breakup of Facebook as 48 states and districts accused the company in a separate lawsuit of abusing its market power in social networking to crush smaller competitors.

High court takes on Fannie, Freddie presidential power case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with a case that could make it easier for the president to fire the head of the agency that oversees government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

AUTO INDUSTRY

GM's Cruise to deploy fully driverless cars in San Francisco

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — General Motors' self-driving car company is sending vehicles without anybody behind the wheel in San Francisco as it navigates its way toward launching a robotic taxi service that would compete against Uber and Lyft in the hometown of the leading ride-hailing services.

Honda halts UK production amid COVID-19 shipping delays

LONDON (AP) — Car maker Honda said Wednesday it has temporarily halted production at its plant in England after shipping delays linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for Brexit left it with a shortage of parts.

MEDIA

Competitive CNN shows post-election surge in viewership

NEW YORK (AP) — Since the presidential election, CNN has been on one of its best competitive rolls in almost two decades, enough that it is taking out newspaper ads touting its success.

Google and FB risk big fines under draft Australian news law

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Google and Facebook would risk multimillion-dollar fines if they failed to comply with proposed legislation introduced into the Australian Parliament on Wednesday that would make the tech giants pay for journalism they display.

China orders removal of 105 apps, including TripAdvisor

HONG KONG (AP) — Companies including the Chinese arm of TripAdvisor Inc. have been ordered by regulators to overhaul their mobile phone apps in what the Chinese government said is a crackdown on pornography and other improper content.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Pentagon set to begin COVID-19 vaccinations on small scale

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon's initial allotment of coronavirus vaccine will be administered at 16 defense sites in the United States and abroad, with health care workers, emergency service personnel and residents of military retirement homes getting top priority, officials said Wednesday.

AP-NORC poll: Only half in US want shots as vaccine nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — As states frantically prepare to begin months of vaccinations that could end the pandemic, a new poll finds only about half of Americans are ready to roll up their sleeves when their turn comes.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Weakness in tech companies leads stocks lower on Wall Street

Stocks are closing broadly lower on Wall Street led by weakness in technology companies.

DoorDash shares soar 78% in stock market debut

DoorDash shares soared 78% as the meal delivery service made its debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares opened at $182 after the San Francisco-based company priced them at $102 each late Tuesday. The opening price valued the company, which is trading under the symbol DASH, at around $58 billion. Virus-induced lockdown orders and the closure of indoor dining have made meal delivery services indispensable for many restaurants and diners this year. That's led to explosive growth for companies like DoorDash. The company hopes to keep the momentum going even if demand for food delivery eases in a post-pandemic world.

Like everything else 2020, taxes will be like no other year

It's the time of year to start thinking about taxes — but the upcoming filing season is going to be a bit trickier for many Americans due to rampant unemployment, working from home and general upheaval due to COVID-19.

US job openings blip up to 6.7 million in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised slightly more job openings in October but hiring slipped as a resurgence of COVID-19 threatens an economic recovery.

New White House offer adds $600 checks to COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is back in the middle of Capitol Hill's confusing COVID-19 negotiations, offering a $916 billion package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would send a $600 direct payment to most Americans but eliminate a $300-per-week unemployment benefit favored by a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators.

DoorDash sets share price at $102 ahead of Wednesday IPO

DoorDash has priced its shares at $102 apiece heading into its stock market debut Wednesday, valuing the 7-year-old food delivery company at nearly $39 billion.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump tries to revive stalled election-eve drug discounts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is trying to revive the president's stalled election-eve plan to send millions of Medicare recipients a $200 prescription discount card.

Trump looks past Supreme Court loss to new election lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his campaign will join an improbable case before the Supreme Court challenging election results in Pennsylvania and other states that he lost as he tries to look past the justices' rejection of a last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania's certification of Democrat Joe Biden's victory

Biden picks Fudge for housing, Vilsack for USDA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden made two key domestic policy picks, selecting Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his housing and urban development secretary and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration, according to five people familiar with the decisions.

Former teachers union chief vying for education secretary

The former president of the nation's largest teachers union has received endorsements from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and dozens of national Hispanic organizations as she pursues the top job at the U.S. Education Department in the Biden administration.

Biden's attorney general search is focused on Jones, Garland

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland are emerging as the leading contenders to be nominated as President-elect Joe Biden's attorney general, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Biden hails historic Pentagon pick, but some Dems in a bind

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday introduced his choice for secretary of defense, calling retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin the right man for a potentially volatile moment in global security while hailing the prospect of the first African American to lead the Pentagon.

House approves defense policy bill with a veto-proof margin

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House easily approved a wide-ranging defense policy bill, defying a veto threat from President Donald Trump and setting up a possible showdown with the Republican president in the waning days of his administration.

President-elect? GOP might wait for January to say Biden won

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans waiting for Republicans in Congress to acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect may have to keep waiting until January as GOP leaders stick with President Donald Trump's litany of legal challenges and unproven claims of fraud.

Senate OKs Trump pick for FCC, adding hurdle to Biden plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has narrowly approved President Donald Trump's lame-duck nominee to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission, setting up the agency for a stretch of partisan gridlock likely to stymie President-elect Joe Biden's policies.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans place receiver Adam Humphries on injured reserve

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans put wide receiver Adam Humphries on injured reserve Tuesday, two days after he played his first game after a month in the concussion protocol.

NFL suspends Tart, Williams for stepping on opponents

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL on Monday suspended Titans defensive end Teair Tart and Bengals strong safety Shawn Williams for unnecessarily stepping on opponents last weekend.

Margin for error gone as Titans chase AFC South title

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have lost their margin for error chasing the franchise's first AFC South title since 2008.

SPORTS

'Full warning' - older hoops coaches at work in a pandemic

Rick Barnes thought he was in the clear early in his bout with COVID-19.

NASHVILLE AREA

National Museum of African American Music to open next month

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new museum in Tennessee that focuses on African American music will open next month, officials said.

Rev. Al Sharpton to lecture at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton will be a distinguished guest lecturer at Tennessee State University next semester, the school announced Monday.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee House Democrats elect leadership team

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's House Democratic members on Monday unanimously voted to reelect Rep. Karen Camper as minority leader.

COURTS

High court rejects GOP bid to halt Biden's Pennsylvania win

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Republicans' last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania's certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the electoral battleground.

Election security official fired by Trump sues over threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. election and cybersecurity official who was fired last month by President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday over threatening remarks by a lawyer for the president that prompted a wave of death threats against him.

Judge dismisses Flynn case following pardon from Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn but pointedly noted that a pardon Flynn received from the president last month does not mean that he is innocent.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple unveils headphones that cost twice as much as AirPods

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple has one more thing for the holiday shopping season: over-the-ear, wireless headphones that will test how much people are willing to splurge on for high-quality sound.

Apple to tighten app privacy, remove apps that don't comply

LONDON (AP) — Apple is stepping up privacy for app users, forcing developers to be more transparent about data collection and warning they could be removed if they don't comply with a new anti-tracking measure, a company executive and regulators said Tuesday.

Another judge blocks Trump's TikTok ban; app still in limbo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump's attempts to ban TikTok, the latest legal defeat for the administration as it tries to wrest the popular app from its Chinese owners.

Research: Millions of smart devices vulnerable to hacking

BOSTON (AP) — Researchers at a cybersecurity firm say they have identified vulnerabilities in software widely used by millions of connected devices — flaws that could be exploited by hackers to penetrate business and home computer networks and disrupt them.

MEDIA

Christopher Nolan calls Warner's streaming plan 'a mess'

Christopher Nolan, one of Warner Bros.' most important filmmakers, has come out strongly against the company's decision to debut its films on HBO Max and in theaters in 2021. The "Tenet" filmmaker told The Associated Press Monday that it's not a good business decision and criticized how the company handled it.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tesla seeks to raise another $5B in stock offering

Tesla is looking to raise up to $5 billion in capital through a stock offering as the electrical vehicle and solar panel maker seeks to take advantage of strong demand for its products.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden calls for action on virus as he introduces health team

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday called for urgent action on the coronavirus pandemic as he introduced a health care team that will be tested at every turn while striving to restore normalcy to the nation.

German states tighten virus rules as pandemic battle falters

BERLIN (AP) — Several German states moved closer to a "hard lockdown" Tuesday as officials warned that continued high coronavirus infections could overwhelm hospitals and that too many people were ignoring existing pandemic restrictions.

Biden vows 100 million shots in first 100 days

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is promising to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to 100 million people during the first three months of his incoming administration, pledging "100 million shots in the first 100 days."

Pfizer vaccine moves closer to getting the OK in the US

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators Tuesday released their first scientific evaluation of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and confirmed it offers strong protection, setting the stage for the government to green light the biggest vaccination effort in the nation's history.

Studies suggest AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safe, effective

New results on a possible COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca suggest it is safe and about 70% effective, but questions remain about how well it may help protect those over 55 — a key concern for a vaccine that health officials hope to rely on around the world because of its low cost, availability and ease of use.

'Quite frankly shocking': US virus deaths hit record levels

Deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have soared to more than 2,200 a day on average, matching the frightening peak reached last April, and cases per day have eclipsed 200,000 on average for the first time on record, with the crisis all but certain to get worse because of the fallout from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

Feds passed up chance to lock in more Pfizer vaccine doses

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration is facing new scrutiny Tuesday after failing to lock in a chance to buy millions of additional doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, which has shown to be highly effective against COVID-19.

Biden's health team offers glimpse of his COVID-19 strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden's choices for his health care team point to a stronger federal role in the nation's COVID-19 strategy, restoration of a guiding stress on science and an emphasis on equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments.

Morocco to kick off mass vaccination plan with Chinese drug

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco is gearing up for an ambitious COVID-19 vaccination program, aiming to vaccinate 80% of its adults in an operation starting this month that's relying initially on a Chinese vaccine that has not yet completed advanced trials to prove it is safe and effective.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Steady gains for stocks deliver more records on Wall Street

Technology and health care companies helped drive stocks to more gains Tuesday, leading to more milestones on Wall Street.

US productivity increased at 4.6% rate in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity increased at a solid 4.6% pace in the July-September quarter, slightly below the initial estimate, while labor costs fell at a slower pace.

Virus talks drag on liability as Congress preps stopgap aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are giving themselves more time to sort through their end-of-session business on government spending and COVID-19 relief, preparing a one-week stopgap spending bill that would prevent a shutdown this weekend.

As infections rise, European Central Bank prepares stimulus

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is expected to unleash another blast of stimulus on Thursday to help businesses bridge the gap until the economy recovers from the pandemic - and to support governments that are ramping up spending to cushion the blow as the winter wave of the virus worsens.

Chinese online platform JD Health rises 50% in stock debut

BEIJING (AP) — Shares in China's biggest online health care platform rose 50% in their Hong Kong stock market debut Tuesday, reflecting investor enthusiasm for the fledgling industry as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden's Pentagon pick raises questions on military influence

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden's pick of Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense is stirring unease in Congress, reflecting fears that putting a recently retired general in charge could further undermine the centuries-old principle of civilian control of the military.

Safe harbor law locks Congress into accepting Biden's win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Happy Safe Harbor Day, America. Other than Wisconsin, every state appears to have met a deadline in federal law that essentially means Congress has to accept the electoral votes that will be cast next week and sent to the Capitol for counting on Jan. 6. Those votes will elect Joe Biden as the country's next president.

Trump thought courts were key to winning. Judges disagreed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his allies say their lawsuits aimed at subverting the 2020 election and reversing his loss to Joe Biden would be substantiated, if only judges were allowed to hear the cases.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 7
MUSIC INDUSTRY

The Dylan catalog, a 60-year rock 'n' roll odyssey, is sold

NEW YORK (AP) — To many music lovers, Bob Dylan's songbook is priceless. Well, now he's put a price on it.

UT SPORTS

Tennessee senior kicker opts out of remainder of season

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee kicker Brent Cimaglia has opted out of the Volunteers' final two games of the season, citing injuries and a need to focus on his mental well-being.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans can't overcome slow, sloppy start in loss to Browns

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans proved they don't quit no matter how far behind they are.

STATE GOVERNMENT

3rd commissioner resigns from Lee's administration

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee's office announced Monday that the head of Tennessee's Department of Veterans Services has resigned, as well as the agency's top deputy.

Tennessee lawmaker hospitalized with COVID-19

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker has been hospitalized with COVID-19 after attending a House Republican caucus meeting nearly two weeks ago.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville Symphony will give stipend to furloughed musicians

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Symphony has reached an agreement with its musicians' union to provide them with a stipend while live performances are suspended.

COURTS

Supreme Court rejects appeal to limit transgender students

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up an appeal from parents in Oregon who want to prevent transgender students from using locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, rather than their sex assigned at birth.

TECHNOLOGY

EU tells online platforms to better explain search rankings

LONDON (AP) — Internet companies such as Google and Amazon should be more transparent in explaining how the search rankings work on their platforms, the European Commission said in guidelines released Monday.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

California unveils smartphone tool to trace virus cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is rolling out a voluntary smartphone tool to alert people if they spent time near someone who tests positive for the coronavirus as cases and hospitalizations soar throughout the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday.

As virus spreads, Kansas hospital runs out of staff

The radiology technician slept in an RV in the parking lot of his rural Kansas hospital for more than a week because his co-workers were out sick with COVID-19 and no one else was available to take X-rays.

UK readies for 'V-Day,' its 1st shots in war on coronavirus

LONDON (AP) — It's been dubbed "V-Day" in Britain -- recalling the D-Day landings in France that marked the start of the final push in World War II to defeat Nazi Germany.

Years of research laid groundwork for speedy COVID-19 shots

How could scientists race out COVID-19 vaccines so fast without cutting corners? A head start helped -- over a decade of behind-the-scenes research that had new vaccine technology poised for a challenge just as the coronavirus erupted.

As virus slams rural California, many still pan restrictions

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Brenda Luntey is openly violating California's order to close her restaurant to indoor dining. But she wants her customers and critics to know she isn't typically a rule-breaker. It's a matter of survival.

Will the US ever have a national COVID-19 testing strategy?

NEW YORK (AP) — As the coronavirus epidemic worsens, U.S. health experts hope Joe Biden's administration will put in place something Donald Trump's has not — a comprehensive national testing strategy.

EXPLAINER: How phones can alert you to COVID-19 exposure

More than 8.1 million people in the U.S. have turned their iPhones and Android devices into pandemic contact-tracing tools, but it hasn't been of much use when their neighbors, classmates and coworkers aren't on the same system.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close mostly lower, pushing pause on recent rally

Stocks are closing mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, taking a pause from their recent rally.

As virus talks drag, Congress prepares temporary funding fix

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are giving themselves more time to sort through their end-of-session business on government spending and COVID-19 relief, preparing a one-week stopgap spending bill that would prevent a shutdown this weekend.

Millions of hungry Americans turn to food banks for 1st time

The deadly pandemic that tore through the nation's heartland struck just as Aaron Crawford was in a moment of crisis. He was looking for work, his wife needed surgery, then the virus began eating away at her work hours and her paycheck.

Nationstar Mortgage to refund $73M to borrowers under order

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nationstar Mortgage, which operates under the brand Mr. Cooper, was ordered to repay $73 million to roughly 40,000 homeowners for repeatedly failing to provide even the most basic operations as a mortgage servicing company over four years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday.

Survey: Business economists see full recovery by end of 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. economy's growth is likely slowing as 2020 comes to a close, but a growing number of economists expect it to claw back to its pre-pandemic strength by the second half of next year as vaccines for the coronavirus become widely distributed.

Senator says Trump, McConnell likely to back COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — A proposed COVID-19 relief bill is expected to get backing from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell but it won't include $1,200 in direct payments to most Americans, a Republican senator involved in the bipartisan talks says.

Americans can pay their credit card bills, but for how long?

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped Americans from keeping up with their credit card payments, thanks in large part to government relief programs passed by Congress earlier this year.

China trade surplus hits record $75B as Nov exports soar

BEIJING (AP) — China's politically sensitive trade surplus soared to a record $75.4 billion in November as exports surged 21.1% over a year earlier, propelled by American consumer demand.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump adviser broke law with Biden criticism, watchdog says

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog agency on Monday reported that one of President Donald Trump's economic advisers repeatedly violated the law during the campaign season with his criticisms of Joe Biden, now the president-elect.

Biden picks Xavier Becerra to lead HHS, coronavirus response

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration's coronavirus response.

Biden's pick to head OMB brings experience, Twitter enemies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Neera Tanden has delighted in labeling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as "Moscow Mitch"; in the wake of the acrimonious vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, she cuttingly dismissed Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins as "the worst."


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4
TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans receiver Adam Humphries clears concussion protocol

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee wide receiver Adam Humphries has been cleared from concussion protocol after missing four games and should be available Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Runner-up: Chubb focused on Titans, not lost title to Henry

CLEVELAND (AP) — Nick Chubb's runner-up finish to Tennessee's Derrick Henry for the NFL rushing title last season still irks the Browns.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

VU-Georgia reset for Dec. 19, Vandy-UT for Dec. 12

The Southeastern Conference has announced a revamped schedule for Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, including Vanderbilt's game at No. 11 Georgia that could not be played as scheduled on Saturday because of coronavirus concerns.

MIDSTATE

Gutter guard company to add 85 jobs in La Vergne expansion

NASHVILLE (AP) — A California company that makes gutter guards plans to invest $5.4 million into a Tennessee expansion that is expected to create 85 new jobs.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Lee says he will get virus vaccination when 'time is right'

MEMPHIS (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee said Thursday that he intends to get a coronavirus vaccination when "the time is right," expressing confidence in the vaccine's ability to safely combat the virus that has killed more than 4,700 Tennessee residents.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan pulls out of Trump emissions fight with California

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan said Friday that it will no longer support the Trump administration in its legal fight to end California's ability to set its own auto-pollution and gas-mileage standards.

COURTS

Pardon probe centered on clemency effort for psychologist

WASHINGTON (AP) — A California psychologist convicted of tax evasion was at the center of a mysterious, recently disclosed Justice Department investigation into whether White House officials were illegally lobbied to obtain a presidential pardon.

High court will hear appeal over Medicaid work requirements

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the midst of a pandemic, the Supreme Court said Friday it will take up the Trump administration's stalled plan to allow states to require low-income people to work to receive health care under Medicaid.

ENVIRONMENT

Japan PM pledges $19B to promote ecological businesses

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged a 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) fund on Friday to promote ecological businesses and innovation to achieve his goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

As hospitals cope with a COVID-19 surge, cyber threats loom

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — By late morning on Oct. 28, staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center noticed the hospital's phone system wasn't working.

Fauci apologizes for suggesting UK rushed vaccine decision

LONDON (AP) — America's top infectious disease expert has apologized for suggesting U.K. authorities rushed their authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying he has "great faith" in the country's regulators.

States plan for vaccines as daily US virus deaths top 3,100

States drafted plans Thursday for who will go to the front of the line when the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available later this month, as U.S. deaths from the outbreak eclipsed 3,100 in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring.

Data shows Americans couldn't resist Thanksgiving travel

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Americans couldn't resist the urge to gather for Thanksgiving, driving only slightly less than a year ago and largely ignoring the pleas of public health experts, who begged them to forgo holiday travel to help contain the coronavirus pandemic, data from roadways and airports shows.

Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden said Thursday that he will ask Americans to commit to 100 days of wearing masks as one of his first acts as president, stopping just short of the nationwide mandate he's pushed before to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

More record highs for stocks as hopes grow for economic aid

Wall Street closed out a solid week for stocks Friday with more record highs as traders took a discouraging jobs report as a sign that Congress will finally move to deliver more aid for the pandemic-stricken economy.

Biden predicts 'bleak future' if Congress doesn't act on aid

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is predicting a "bleak future" if Congress doesn't take speedy action on a coronavirus aid bill, amid a nationwide spike in the virus that's hampering the nation's recovery.

COVID-19 relief: What's on the table as Congress seeks deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — After numerous fits and starts and months of inaction, optimism is finally building in Washington for a COVID-19 aid bill that would offer relief for businesses, the unemployed, schools, and health care providers, among others struggling as caseloads are spiking.

5 key takeaways from the November jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Evidence was abundant in the November jobs report that the U.S. economy's tentative recovery is sputtering as coronavirus cases accelerate and federal aid runs out.

Pelosi optimistic, says momentum growing for COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave an optimistic assessment of the prospects for a mid-sized COVID-19 relief bill and a separate $1.4 trillion governmentwide spending bill on Friday, teeing up expectations for a successful burst of legislative action to reverse months of frustration on pandemic relief.

U.S. trade deficit rises 1.7% to $63.1 billion in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened 1.7% in October to $63.1 billion. The politically sensitive gap in the trade of goods with China and Mexico grew.

Gripped by surging pandemic, US employers cut back on hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the viral pandemic accelerating across the country, America's employers sharply scaled back their hiring last month, adding 245,000 jobs, the fewest since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown.

Southwest warns nearly 7,000 workers of possible furloughs

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines warned nearly 7,000 workers on Thursday that they could lose their jobs unless labor unions accept concessions to help the airline cope with a sharp drop in travel caused by the pandemic.

US adds Chinese chipmaker, oil giant to security blacklist

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. government has stepped up a feud with Beijing over security by adding China's biggest maker of processor chips and a state-owned oil giant to a blacklist that limits access to American technology and investment.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal level

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House on Friday approved a bill to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level, reversing what supporters call a failed policy of criminalizing pot use and taking steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws.

Biden adjusting agenda to reflect narrow divide in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is adjusting the scope of his agenda to meet the challenges of governing with a narrowly divided Congress and the complications of legislating during a raging pandemic.

White House accuses Facebook of discriminating against US workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is accusing Facebook in a lawsuit of discriminating against U.S. workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill more than 2,600 high-paying jobs.

ELECTION 2020

Ratcliffe: Foreign adversaries amplify vote fraud claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe says foreign adversaries are using social media and other platforms to amplify allegations of voter fraud. But he won't say which countries are using the issue to try to undermine public confidence in the U.S. democratic process.

Trump loves to win but keeps losing election lawsuits

For a man obsessed with winning, President Donald Trump is losing a lot. He's managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden at the ballot box but over and over again in courts across the country in a futile attempt to stay in power. The Republican president and his allies continue to mount new cases, recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump's own attorney general declared the Justice Department had uncovered no widespread fraud.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3
COURTS

Suit: Tennessee makes it too hard to restore voting rights

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's path for those convicted of a felony to restore their right to vote has not only silenced Black voters but also contains constitutional and federal law violations, a newly filed federal lawsuit alleges.

Tennessee inmate's execution put on hold due to COVID-19

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the execution of death row inmate Byron Black.

Justices order review of California virus rules for churches

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a lower federal court to reexamine California restrictions on indoor religious services in areas hard hit by the coronavirus in light of the justices' recent ruling in favor of churches and synagogues in New York.

ENVIRONMENT

US plans oil, gas lease sale in Alaska's Arctic refuge

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to hold an oil and gas lease sale for Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge next month, weeks before President-elect Joe Biden, who has opposed drilling in the region, is set to take office.

Nestle to spend $3.6 billion on improving climate footprint

GENEVA (AP) — Nestle, the world's biggest food company, said Thursday that it will spend 3.2 billion Swiss francs ($3.6 billion) over five years to improve its climate footprint.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Automakers prep for stronger mileage standards under Biden

DETROIT (AP) — Now that it's clear Joe Biden soon will be president, the fight over automobile pollution and fuel efficiency standards is likely to peter out, and U.S. consumers should see a broader selection of electric and efficient vehicles.

MEDIA

Warner Bros. to release all 2021 films on HBO Max, theaters

NEW YORK (AP) — In the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio yet during the pandemic, Warner Bros. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new "Matrix" movie, "Godzilla vs. Kong" and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation "In the Heights" — will stream on HBO Max at the same time they play in theaters.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Ex-presidents would get vaccine publicly to boost confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three former presidents say they'd be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine publicly, once one becomes available, to encourage all Americans to get inoculated against a disease that has already killed more than 275,000 people nationwide.

Vaccine rollout barrels on with health disparity in backseat

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine to the right people could change the course of the pandemic in the United States. But who are the right people?

Facebook to remove COVID-19 vaccine-related misinformation

LONDON (AP) — Facebook said Thursday it will start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, in its latest move to counter a tide of coronavirus-related online misinformation.

US virus deaths top 3,100 in a single day for the first time

The U.S. recorded over 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring, while the number of Americans in the hospital with the virus has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time and new cases have begun topping 200,000 a day, according to figures released Thursday.

Phishing ploy targets COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort

BOSTON (AP) — IBM security researchers say they have detected a cyberespionage effort using targeted phishing emails to try to collect vital information on the World Health Organization's initiative for distributing COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries.

China testing blunders stemmed from secret deals with firms

WUHAN, China (AP) — In the early days in Wuhan, the first city struck by the virus, getting a COVID test was so difficult that residents compared it to winning the lottery.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Late stumble leaves S&P 500 just short of a record high

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Thursday after a late stumble pulled the S&P 500 just short of its third straight all-time high.

Optimism growing for COVID relief bill as pressure builds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimism about delivering long-sought COVID-19 relief is building on Capitol Hill after additional rank-and-file lawmakers voiced support for a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan taking shape in the Senate and as top congressional leaders connected on the topic for the first time in months.

Senate confirms Christopher Waller to serve on Fed's board

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed the nomination of Christopher Waller for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, placing another of President Donald Trump's picks on the Fed's influential board after a string of high-profile rejections.

As some pandemic aid ends, what's next for hurting Americans

Americans who struggled through 2020 could face more hardship in the year ahead as pandemic related payments and protections come to an end.

OPEC, Russia agree to nudge up oil production from Jan

VIENNA (AP) — OPEC and a group of allied countries including Russia agreed Thursday to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day from January and will meet monthly after that to decide whether to further adjust output.

Ryanair gives Boeing a boost by ordering 75 more Max jets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Irish budget airline Ryanair is ordering more Boeing 737 Max jets just weeks before the plane returns to flying after two crashes that killed 346 people.

US jobless claims remain high at 712,000 as virus escalates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell as the nation celebrated Thanksgiving last week to a still-high 712,000, the latest sign that the U.S. economy and job market remain under stress from the intensified viral outbreak.

US service sector growth slows for 2nd consecutive month

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, registered its sixth consecutive month of expansion in November.

US to block goods from Chinese company over rights abuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. said Wednesday it would block imports from a major Chinese producer of cotton goods because of its reliance on workers detained as part of a crackdown on ethnic minorities in China's northwest.

Brexit broken record: Trade deal close but big issues remain

LONDON (AP) — Much like a broken record, Brexit trade talks are rumored to be poised for success on the cusp of a deadline, only to face the same old fundamental differences on fishing rights, legal oversight and fair competition that have dogged the European Union and Britain for months.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden eyes defeated candidates for key administration roles

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — In politics, there can sometimes be an upside to losing.

Biden is facing high hopes, tough choices on border wall

LOS EBANOS, Texas (AP) — The U.S. government has been trying to take Pamela Rivas' land for a border wall since before Joe Biden was vice president.

VP-elect Harris picks Tina Flournoy to be her chief of staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has named Tina Flournoy, a veteran Democratic strategist and aide to the Clintons, as her chief of staff, the transition team announced Thursday.

Next for Biden: Naming a health care team as pandemic rages

WASHINGTON (AP) — Up soon for President-elect Joe Biden: naming his top health care officials as the coronavirus pandemic rages. It's hard to imagine more consequential picks.

Ex-coach Lou Holtz to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will award the nation's highest civilian honor on Thursday to former college football coach and political ally Lou Holtz.

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