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VOL. 44 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 11, 2020

At the ‘breaking point’

Pandemic-induced evictions loom with moratorium ending

The end of 2020 can’t come soon enough for most people, but some aren’t quite ready to say goodbye. For them, a federal eviction moratorium that expires Dec. 31 is all that’s keeping them in their apartments. The moratorium, which doesn’t cover all renters and doesn’t stop all evictions, doesn’t erase back rent and fees, but it means there are roofs over people’s heads, at least till Dec. 31.


What offer through yonder inbox breaks?

To sell or not to sell? That is the question. Although the verbiage does not meet the qualifications of a question, come to think of it. What is the subject, and what is the verb? Perhaps it is a gerund.


Top Davidson County residential sales for November 2020

Top residential real estate sales, November 2020, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: East at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 90%


2020 Chamber Education Report for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Topic: Challenges and Opportunities Presented by Covid-19. Thursday, 9-10 a.m. This is a member only event and you must pre-register. Information

more events »

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

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates were unchanged this week, remaining at record low levels against the backdrop of an economy punished by the pandemic.


Titans GM’s 2020 puts the ‘off’ in offseason

High-profile draft, free agent fails after stellar 2019

By almost any measure, it was not a good week for the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans wouldn’t lose to the 1-11 Jaguars, would they? Well, would they?

First down: Don’t sleep on the Jaguars. They’re not winning games, but they have been giving their opponents fits in recent contests.


Waller adds employment, bankruptcy, IP depth

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP has hired Flynne Dowdy, Gaby Smith and Saba Daneshvar. Each of the attorneys joins Waller with more than five years of experience in labor and employment, bankruptcy and restructuring, and patent law, respectively.


Hermitage Hotel picked among safest by Forbes

The Hermitage Hotel has been listed among the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security Verified with Forbes Travel Guide.


Some of the best new cars cost less than $399 per month

The COVID-19 pandemic initially slowed car sales, but now many new-car buyers are making more expensive purchases than ever before, sales data from Edmunds reveals.


Crackdown urged white-collar privilege lets crimes go unpunished

Hand sanitizer... check. Soap and water, yup. Some of that dry soap they sell for camping, yeah, you’ve got that, too.


Life, money lessons derived from the COVID-19 pandemic

I’m a “be-prepared” kind of person. I like having money in the bank and a good stock of emergency supplies.


Workplace trends to anticipate as calendar flips to 2021

Have you had enough of 2020? Let’s look to what you can expect in your 2021 workplace.


10 money insights distilled over 25 years of experience

The importance of money has less to do with affording the newest iPhone or measuring career success and far more to do with the core of being human: Freedom, ego, stress and relationships.


Tennessee Higher Education Commission leader to leave post

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Higher Education Commission's leader plans to leave his post for a job with a law firm.


Volkswagen loses top court case in EU in diesel scandal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's top court ruled on Thursday that Volkswagen breached the law by installing on its cars a so-called defeat device to cheat on emission tests and cannot argue it was merely protecting car engines.


Building permits rise 6.2% in November, despite pandemic

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The number of newly issued permits to build fresh housing rose 6.2% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis.


EU clears Google takeover of Fitbit, with conditions

LONDON (AP) — The European Union on Thursday approved Google's plan to buy fitness gadget maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion after it promised to restrict user data and ensure Android phones work with other wearable devices for at least 10 years.


2nd COVID-19 vaccine gets public review ahead of US decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — A second COVID-19 vaccine moved closer to joining the U.S. fight against the pandemic Thursday as government advisers convened for a public review of its safety and effectiveness.

Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?

Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines? Not until there's enough data from studies in different age groups, which will stretch well into next year.

US angling to secure more of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say they're actively negotiating for additional purchases of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine after passing up a chance to lock in a contract this summer since it was still unclear how well the shots would work.

French President Macron tests positive for COVID-19

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday, following a week when he has met with numerous European leaders. The French and Spanish prime ministers are among those self-isolating because they had recent contact with him.

Russia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout draws wary, mixed response

MOSCOW (AP) — While excitement and enthusiasm greeted the Western-developed coronavirus vaccine when it was rolled out, the Russian-made version has received a mixed response, with reports of empty Moscow clinics that offered the shot to health care workers and teachers — the first members of the public designated to receive it.


States grapple with next steps on evictions as crisis grows

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Ryan Bowser looked somber as he sat in his cramped Oregon apartment, worried whether he, his pregnant girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter would have a roof over their heads in the new year. It may well depend on state lawmakers.

US jobless claims rise to 885,000 amid resurgence of virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000, the highest weekly total since September, as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy's recovery from its springtime collapse.

Close but not yet: Deal near on COVID-19 economic aid bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional negotiators are closing in on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that would deliver additional help to businesses, $300-per-week jobless checks and $600 stimulus payments to most Americans. But there was no deal quite yet.

EU Parliament issues 3-day ultimatum for post-Brexit deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Parliament has issued a three-day ultimatum to Brexit negotiators to strike a trade deal, warning that MEPs won't have time to ratify an agreement this year unless it is ready by Sunday night.

Bank of England holds fire as it awaits Brexit developments

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England opted against injecting another dose of stimulus into the British economy as it waits to hear whether a post-Brexit trade deal between the U.K. and the European Union is agreed in time for the new year.


Stay away: Thumbs down on inauguration crowds for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stay away. That's the message from the congressional committee organizing inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Biden picks deal-makers, fighters for climate, energy team

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden is picking deal-makers and fighters to lead a climate team he'll ask to remake and clean up the nation's transportation and power-plant systems, and as fast as politically possible.

Family behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma offers 'sadness'

Two of the owners of the company that makes OxyContin acknowledged to a congressional committee on Thursday that the powerful prescription painkiller has played a role in the national opioid crisis but stopped short of apologizing or admitting wrongdoing as they made a rare appearance in a public forum.


Tennessee comptroller won't run again; endorses his deputy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson won't run for reelection and he is endorsing his deputy to replace him, the six-term Republican announced Wednesday.


Tennessee hovers near highest rate in US of new COVID-19 cases

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee hospitals that are being inundated with COVID-19 patients are struggling to find facilities where they can transfer sick people even in neighboring states, according to frontline doctors from the state that has surged into the top two nationally for most new coronavirus cases per capita.

Tennessee Health Department offering COVID self-test kits

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 testing sites will begin offering self-testing kits to adults beginning December 21.


MTSU intends classes to be primarily in person by fall 2021

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State University is planning a return to primarily in-person classes by next fall.


High court agrees to hear NCAA athlete compensation case

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in more than three decades, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving the NCAA and what it means to be a college athlete.

Report: Federal execution numbers top states' for 1st time

CHICAGO (AP) — For the first time in history, the U.S. government has carried out more executions in a year than all states that still conduct executions, according to an annual report on the death penalty released Wednesday.


Hack brings unwanted attention to obscure but vital IT firm

Before this week, few people were aware of SolarWinds, a Texas-based software company providing vital computer network monitoring services to corporations and government agencies around the world.


Honda recalls 1.4M US vehicles for software, other problems

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is recalling over 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to repair drive shafts that can break, window switches that can overheat and a software flaw.


US angling to secure more of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say they're actively negotiating for additional purchases of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine after passing up a chance to lock in a contract this summer since it was still unclear how well the shots would work.

A pandemic atlas: USA by the numbers, telling and horrifying

Month after dismal month, Americans have been inundated by an ever-rising tide of devastating numbers. Hundreds of thousands of deaths. Tens of million unemployed.

Germany enters harder lockdown as virus deaths hit new high

BERLIN (AP) — Germany reported a record level of coronavirus deaths as it entered a harder lockdown Wednesday, closing shops and schools to try to bring down stubbornly high new daily infections.

UK still plans to ease restrictions on holiday gatherings

LONDON (AP) — Britain's easing of restrictions for family gatherings over Christmas looks like it's still on despite a sharp spike in new coronavirus infections that's raised fears of another wave of cases and deaths in the new year.


Wall Street ends wobbly day near records after Fed meeting

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended a wobbly day with mixed results Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economy makes substantial progress from its virus-wracked state. The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.2%, even though most stocks in the index fell. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at another all-time high, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell slightly. The Fed is keeping the accelerator floored on its support for the economy, but investors are more interested in what's happening across Washington. They want to see Congress reach a deal to deliver another dose of financial support for the economy.

Bitcoin surges past $20,000, erasing 3 years of deep losses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The price of bitcoin rose above $20,000 for the first time Wednesday, as the speculative digital currency topped its previous peak reached shortly after it became tradable on Wall Street three years ago this month.

Fed keeps rate near zero but sees brighter economy in 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep buying government bonds until the economy makes "substantial" progress, a step intended to reassure financial markets and keep long-term borrowing rates low.

From restaurants to retailers, virus transformed economies

NEW YORK (AP) — It would be just a temporary precaution.

Retail sales fell 1.1% in November, biggest drop in 7 months

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans held back on spending during the start of the holiday shopping season, a troubling sign for retailers and the state of the U.S. economy.

US brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list in an annual report designed to halt countries from manipulating their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

Negotiators near agreement on long-delayed COVID-19 aid bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional negotiators closed in Wednesday on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that would deliver additional "paycheck protection" subsidies to businesses, $300 per week jobless checks, and $600 or so stimulus payments to most Americans.

How to spot fake shopping sites and avoid being scammed

NEW YORK (AP) — Ben Black bought what he thought was a well-priced drone online. But the drone never showed up, the site stopped responding to his emails and he never got his $100 back.


Senate hearing elevates baseless claims of election fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators on Wednesday further perpetuated President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, two days after Democrat Joe Biden's victory was sealed by the Electoral College.

Biggest vets groups step up pressure on Trump to fire Wilkie

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure, the nation's six largest veterans groups on Wednesday called on President Donald Trump to immediately fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie over the mishandling of a congressional aide's allegation of a sexual assault at a VA hospital.

Biden calls transportation nominee Buttigieg 'a new voice'

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden introduced onetime Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday as his nominee for transportation secretary, saying the 38-year-old can be "a new voice" in the fight against economic inequality, institutional racism and climate change.

'With reservations': Trump voters grapple with Biden's win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Reed says he will always believe the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump. The retired police officer-turned-construction worker believes fraud marred the vote, no matter how many courts rejected that claim. Still, a day after the Electoral College made Joe Biden's win official, the ardent Trump supporter from the suburbs of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was ready to move on.

Secretary of State Pompeo quarantines after virus exposure

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had come into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantining.

Turning the page? Republicans acknowledge Biden's victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a month after the election, top Republicans finally acknowledged Joe Biden as the next U.S. president, a collapse in GOP resistance to the millions of voters who decisively chose the Democrat. Foreign leaders joined the parade, too, including Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.

Biden taps Buttigieg for transportation, Granholm for energy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden nominated his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation on Tuesday and intends to choose former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his energy secretary.

McConnell warns GOP off Electoral College brawl in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fending off a messy fight that could damage Republicans ahead of Georgia Senate runoffs, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned fellow GOP senators not to join President Donald Trump's extended assault on the Electoral College results.

Trump asking about special prosecutor for Hunter Biden case

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is considering pushing to have a special counsel appointed to advance a federal tax investigation into the son of President-elect Joe Biden, setting up a potential showdown with incoming acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen.


Notre Dame DC Clark Lea hired as Vanderbilt head coach

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt has hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea as its new football coach, bringing back a Nashville native and former Commodores fullback to revive the program.


New Meharry collaboration seeks to create more Black doctors

MEMPHIS (AP) — A new collaboration aims to create more Black doctors in Tennessee.

Tennessee State, Apple partnership adds HBCU coding centers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Almost two dozen historically Black colleges and universities are becoming community coding centers through a partnership with Tennessee State University and Apple.


Federal judge again rules against Tennessee in abortion case

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge who earlier this year struck down Tennessee's 48-hour waiting period for abortions as unconstitutional has ruled against the state again. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman refused on Monday to put his earlier order on hold while the state appeals to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Agency homing in on social media companies' data collection

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are ordering Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok's parent and five other social media companies to provide detailed information on how they collect and use consumers' personal data and how their practices affect children and teens.

UK plans big fines for online companies over harmful content

LONDON (AP) — Social media and other internet companies face big fines in Britain if they don't remove and limit the spread of harmful material such as child sexual abuse or terrorist content and protect users on their platforms, officials said Tuesday.


Interest is lively at deadline for 'Obamacare' sign-ups

WASHINGTON (AP) — A crush of sign-ups expected Tuesday on the last day of open enrollment for HealthCare.gov could help solidify the standing of "Obamacare" as an improbable survivor in the Donald Trump years.


Over-the-counter home test for COVID-19 gets US green light

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first home test for COVID-19 that doesn't require a prescription will soon be on U.S. store shelves.

Fauci says vaccinate Biden, Harris as soon as possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

US vaccinations ramp up as 2nd COVID-19 shot nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds more hospitals around the country began dispensing COVID-19 shots to their workers in a rapid expansion of the U.S. vaccination drive Tuesday, while a second vaccine moved to the cusp of government authorization.

Which winter sports are safest to play during COVID-19?

Which winter sports are safest to play during the pandemic? The best physical activities for limiting the risk of coronavirus infections are the ones you do alone or with members of your household, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21

BERLIN (AP) — Facing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc's medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens.

Poor countries face long wait for vaccines despite promises

NEW DELHI (AP) — With Americans, Britons and Canadians rolling up their sleeves to receive coronavirus vaccines, the route out of the pandemic now seems clear to many in the West, even if the rollout will take many months. But for poorer countries, the road will be far longer and rougher.


Stocks climb on Wall Street, breaking a 4-day losing streak

Stocks notched broad gains on Wall Street Tuesday as renewed optimism that Washington will deliver more aid to the struggling economy put investors in a buying mood.

EU, Britain to toughen rules, fines for tech giants

LONDON (AP) — Big tech companies face hefty fines in the European Union and Britain if they treat rivals unfairly or fail to protect users on their platforms, in proposed regulations unveiled Tuesday by officials in Brussels and London.

US industrial production up 0.4% in November with auto boost

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production increased 0.4% in November with manufacturing receiving a boost from a rebound in output at auto plants after three months of declines.

Democrats resigned to dropping local aid in COVID-19 bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — As top Washington negotiators reach for a long-delayed agreement on COVID-19 relief, rank-and-file Democrats appear increasingly resigned to having to drop, for now, a scaled-back demand for fiscal relief for states and local governments whose budgets have been thrown out of balance by the pandemic.

California subpoenas Amazon over worker safety in pandemic

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday asked a judge to order Amazon to comply with subpoenas his office issued nearly four months ago as part of an investigation into how the company protects workers from the coronavirus.

Virus resurgence hits H&M sales, cuts promising recovery

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish fashion retailer H&M says its sales fell 10% in the fourth quarter as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic stalled consumer spending, cutting short a promising recovery seen in the third quarter.

UK sees record number of job losses during 3-month period

LONDON (AP) — The number of people in the U.K. who lost their jobs hit a record high in the three months through October during the run-up to the planned ending of a government salary support scheme, official figures showed Tuesday.


Biden to pick Buttigieg as transportation chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the Transportation Department, according to three people familiar with the plans.

Biden to take oath outside Capitol amid virus restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office outside the U.S. Capitol building as inauguration planners seek to craft an event that captures the traditional grandeur of the historic ceremony while complying with COVID-19 protocols.

GOP leader McConnell finally acknowledges Biden won election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect on Tuesday, saying the Electoral College "has spoken."

Putin, Duda congratulate Biden on election win

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two foreign leaders who had not congratulated President-elect Joe Biden have now done so. Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Polish President Andrzej Duda congratulated Biden on Tuesday, a day after the Electoral College affirmed Biden's win over President Donald Trump.

'Democracy prevailed': Biden aims to unify divided nation

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden pointedly criticized President Donald Trump for threatening core principles of democracy even as he told Americans that their form of self-government ultimately "prevailed."

Biden returns to Georgia as validator for Ossoff, Warnock

ATLANTA (AP) — Republicans eager to cement GOP control of the U.S. Senate have branded Georgia's Democratic candidates as puppets who would ensure a leftist takeover of the federal government if Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler aren't reelected.

Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden as the nation's next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump's refusal to concede he had lost.

Church vandalism exposes divisions over faith and politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vandalism at four downtown Washington churches after rallies in support of President Donald Trump are exposing rifts among people of faith as the nation confronts bitter post-election political divisions.

Trump says Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr, one of President Donald Trump's staunchest allies, is departing amid lingering tension over the president's baseless claims of election fraud and the investigation into President-elect Joe Biden's son.


AP sources: Vandy negotiating to hire Notre Dame's Lea

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt is negotiating a deal with Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea to make the former Commodores player its new head coach.


Henry runs wild, Titans hand Jags 12th consecutive loss, 31-10

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Derrick Henry never asked to stay in the game. His Tennessee teammates made sure coach Mike Vrabel knew just how close the league's leading rusher was to another 200-yard day.


Tennessee's 11 electors cast ballot for Trump, Pence

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's 11 representatives to the Electoral College on Monday cast their vote for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.


US, states crack down on scams bilking desperate Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal and state authorities say they are cracking down on a wave of illegal schemes that have proliferated during the pandemic and prey upon the desperation of people who have lost jobs in the outbreak's economic upheaval.

Supreme Court won't revive Kansas voter registration ID law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Kansas that sought to revive a law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote. A federal appeals court had declared the law unconstitutional.


Volkswagen board issues vote of confidence in CEO Diess

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The board of automaker Volkswagen has given CEO Herbert Diess a public show of support for his push into digital and electric cars after media reports Diess had clashed with the company's powerful labor representatives over issues including top personnel decisions.

UAW, US Attorney reach deal to reform union after scandal

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers and the U.S. attorney's office in Detroit say they have reached a settlement with the goal of reforming the union in the wake of a wide-ranging bribery and embezzlement scandal.


Apple's app stores open new privacy window for customers

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple will begin spelling out what kinds of personal information is being collected by the digital services displayed in its app stores for iPhones and other products made by the trendsetting company.

US agencies, companies secure networks after huge hack

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. government agencies and private companies rushed Monday to secure their computer networks following the disclosure of a sophisticated and long-running cyber-espionage intrusion that experts said almost certainly was carried out by a foreign state.

Explainer: How bad is the hack that targeted US agencies?

Governments and major corporations worldwide are scrambling to see if they, too, were victims of a global cyberespionage campaign that penetrated multiple U.S. government agencies and involved a common software product used by thousands of organizations.


Tennessee secures 1st vaccine shipment, puts it in reserves

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee on Monday received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine to be used as an emergency backup supply, according to the Department of Health.

Top US officials expected to get COVID-19 vaccine this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. officials will begin receiving coronavirus vaccines this week as part of updated federal continuity of government plans that now include terrorism and pandemics as threats to the nation, and its leaders.

'Relieved': US health workers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

The biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history kicked off Monday as health workers rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation's death toll closed in on 300,000.

EXPLAINER: Allergic reactions to vaccines rare, short-lived

Vaccines can sometimes cause allergic reactions, but they are usually rare and short-lived.

Dutch leader announces tough new nationwide virus lockdown

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte imposed a tough new nationwide lockdown Monday, saying schools, nonessential shops, museums and gyms will close down at midnight until Jan. 19.

Toughest coronavirus restrictions to be imposed on London

LONDON (AP) — London and surrounding areas will be placed under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday as infections rise rapidly in the capital, Britain's health secretary said Monday.

AP-NORC poll: America's virus concerns stable as cases spike

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic are spiking across the country, yet a new poll finds little increase in alarm among Americans about COVID-19 infections and no significant change in opinion about how the government should act to slow the spread.

Trump says he's nixing plan for early vaccine at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he was reversing an administration directive to vaccinate top government officials against COVID-19, while public distribution of the shot is limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Germany's health minister urges EU to approve vaccine faster

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's health minister demanded that the European Union's regulatory agency work faster to approve a coronavirus vaccine and bring an end to the suffering on the continent, while other officials suggested Monday that residents should forgo Christmas shopping as a new lockdown loomed that will close schools and most stores.


U.S. stocks end mostly lower after an early rally evaporates

Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Monday after an early rally evaporated.

Fed to weigh further options for aiding US economy in peril

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve's policymakers face an unusual conundrum as they meet this week: A short-term economic outlook that is worsening even while the longer-term picture is brightening thanks to the emergence of coronavirus vaccines.

EU chief negotiator still sees hope to clinch EU-UK deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Monday he still has the firm belief that a Brexit trade agreement is possible, and whittled the outstanding disputes to be settled ahead of the New Year to just two.

China's Alibaba, Tencent unit fined under anti-monopoly law

HONG KONG (AP) — China's market regulator on Monday said it fined Alibaba Group and a Tencent Holdings-backed company for failing to seek approval before proceeding with some acquisitions.


Battleground states vote as electors formally choose Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential electors in key battleground states cast the votes Monday that will affirm Joe Biden as the nation's next president,  a formality that took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump's refusal to concede he lost his race for reelection.

Biden aides hope Electoral College vote is GOP turning point

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden and his top aides have a message for President Donald Trump and his supporters: It's long past time to move on.

Biden's challenge: Building Cabinet that meets all his goals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shortly after President-elect Joe Biden's victory last month, Cabinet hopeful Marcia Fudge pointedly noted that Black people are often typecast into positions such as housing secretary.

Vandals hit Black churches during weekend pro-Trump rallies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vandals tore down a Black Lives Matter banner and sign from two historic Black churches in downtown Washington and set the banner ablaze as nighttime clashes Saturday between pro-Donald Trump supporters and counterdemonstrators erupted into violence and arrests.

Trump appoints flurry of allies as presidency winds down

WASHINGTON (AP) — His time in the White House rapidly ending, President Donald Trump is rewarding some supporters and like-minded allies with the perks and prestige that come with serving on federal advisory boards and commissions.


Titans without 2 cornerbacks, Tart's suspension upheld

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will be without starting cornerbacks Breon Borders and Adoree Jackson against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.


Pollstar: Live events industry lost $30B due to pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, concert trade publication Pollstar puts the total lost revenue for the live events industry in 2020 at more than $30 billion.


HCA Healthcare doubles collections on opioid take-back day

NASHVILLE (AP) — HCA Healthcare said Thursday that it more than doubled the amount of prescription drug medications it collected this year over last year at its "Crush the Crisis" opioid take-back day.


Biden, Harris named Time magazine's 'Person of the Year'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time magazine has named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris its "Person of the Year."

Disney unveils plans to stream a galaxy of new series, films

NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co.'s streaming plans shifted into hyper speed Thursday, as the studio unveiled a galaxy's worth of new streaming offerings including plans for 10 "Star Wars" series spinoffs and 10 Marvel series that will debut on Disney+.

Visa, Mastercard won't allow charges for services on Pornhub

NEW YORK (AP) — Mastercard and Visa said Thursday they would block their customers from using the credit cards to make purchases on Pornhub following accusations the pornographic website showed videos of rape and underage sex.


White House threatens Hahn's job over vaccine approval

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day or face possible firing, two administration officials said.

Viral spread: Americans paying the price for Thanksgiving

With some Americans now paying the price for what they did over Thanksgiving and falling sick with COVID-19, health officials are warning people — begging them, even — not to make the same mistake during the Christmas and New Year's season.

Demoralized health workers struggle as virus numbers surge

Doctors and nurses around the U.S. are becoming exhausted and demoralized as they struggle to cope with a record-breaking surge of COVID-19 patients that is overwhelming hospitals and prompting governors to clamp back down to contain the virus.

Gov. Cuomo bans NYC indoor restaurant dining as cases climb

NEW YORK — Indoor dining restrictions will be reinstated in New York City on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Only takeout orders and outdoor dining will be allowed.

FDA head expects vaccine emergency use soon

WASHINGTON — The head of the Food and Drug Administration says his agency has told Pfizer that it "will rapidly work" to grant emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine following a positive recommendation by government advisers.

US panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government advisory panel endorsed widespread use of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine Thursday, putting the country just one step away from launching an epic vaccination campaign against the outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

One-day US deaths top 3,000, more than D-Day or 9/11

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Just when the U.S. appears on the verge of rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine, the numbers have become gloomier than ever: Over 3,000 American deaths in a single day, more than on D-Day or 9/11. One million new cases in the span of five days. More than 106,000 people in the hospital.

California's health order falling on many deaf ears

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) — In the Southern California oceanside city of Manhattan Beach, one arm of government is urging residents to stay home except for essential needs while another is encouraging them to get out and shop and even providing places where they can sit down to relax, eat takeout and watch the sun set on the Pacific.

Calls grow for wider lockdown as German virus cases rise

BERLIN (AP) — Calls grew Friday for tougher lockdown measures soon in Germany as the country's disease control center reported record daily increases in both coronavirus cases and deaths.


Stocks extend losses as virus aid languishes in Congress

Stocks ended lower on Wall Street as prospects for another aid package from Washington faded even as a surge in virus cases threatens to inflict more damage on an already battered economy.

Congress averts shutdown, buys time for more COVID-19 talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent a temporary government-wide funding bill to President Donald Trump on Friday that would avert a federal shutdown at midnight and buy time for on-again, off-again talks on COVID-19 aid.

Inflation still a no-show, US wholesale prices up just 0.1%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices edged up just 0.1% in November with the economic disruption from the pandemic continuing to suppress demand and keeping inflation at extremely low levels.

Congress stuck, McConnell resists state aid in COVID-19 deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — An emerging $900 billion COVID-19 aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers has all but collapsed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican senators won't support $160 billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal.

Retailers urge shoppers to buy early amid shipping crunch

NEW YORK (AP) — A number of retailers, including J.C. Penney, Lowe's and Kohl's, are telling shoppers they need to place their online orders soon or else pay expedited shipping fees if they want to get their packages delivered in time for the holidays.

In Wall Street years, 2020 felt like a decade for markets

NEW YORK (AP) — While lockdown life has kept time standing still for nearly everyone through 2020, Wall Street has been locked in at super fast-forward.

Businesses plead for Brexit deal as trade talks remain stuck

LONDON (AP) — British businesses and some European Union leaders on Friday urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to strike a last-minute trade deal with the EU, as the two sides told their citizens to brace for New Year upheaval in the U.K.-EU trading relationship.


EXPLAINER: Baseless claims fill Trump-backed election case

A lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to subvert the will of the voters who elected Joe Biden president over Donald Trump makes a barrage of claims that don't hold up under basic scrutiny, no matter how relentlessly Trump and his allies promote the case and push state lawmakers to support it.

Senate sends Trump defense bill he has vowed to veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Friday approved a wide-ranging defense policy bill, sending it to President Donald Trump, despite his threat to veto the bill because it does not clamp down on big tech companies he claims were biased during the election.

EXPLAINER: What’s in store when the Electoral College meets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voters cast their ballots for president more than a month ago, but the votes that officially matter will be cast Monday. That's when the Electoral College meets.

Biden unveils top picks with deep Obama administration ties

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Friday introduced five top picks for his new administration, drawing on leading names from the Obama White House while also tapping an Ohio congresswoman and a congressional committee veteran.

Biden's transition contends with probe into son's finances

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden's historically challenging transition to power is suddenly becoming even more complicated.

In Arizona, Trump's false claims have torn open a GOP rift

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey spent much of Donald Trump's presidency trying not to provoke confrontation with the president or his fervent defenders. He almost made it through.

After delay, Senate moves toward approval of defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Friday moved toward a vote on a wide-ranging defense policy bill that President Donald Trump has threatened to veto because it doesn't clamp down on big tech companies he claims were biased during the election.


Tennessee high school athletics to allow religious headwear

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's high school athletic association voted Thursday to allow religious headwear during sporting competitions, the group announced Thursday.

Tennessee, Vanderbilt see chance at much-needed win in other

NASHVILLE (AP) — Interim coach Todd Fitch expects Vanderbilt will have enough players for their final home game of the season.

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.


Lawmaker may need ventilator after contracting virus

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker hospitalized with COVID-19 warned Thursday that he might have to go on a ventilator due to his low oxygen levels as he battles the virus.


Nashville bail bond rule blocked as unconstitutional

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal judge has permanently blocked a Tennessee court rule that prevents criminal defendants from getting their bail money back, even if they show up to all court dates, until court costs like fines and restitution are paid.

Justices rule Muslim men can sue FBI agents over no-fly list

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Muslim men who were placed on the government's no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants can seek to hold federal agents financially liable.


Medical privacy changes would smooth info sharing in crises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Urged on by hospitals, doctors and patients, U.S. health officials are proposing changes to medical privacy rules that could ease information sharing in crisis situations.


'Tis the pandemic season: White House parties on amid virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's the season for holiday gatherings, both official and informal. But it's also still very much pandemic season, and COVID-19 infection numbers are setting records in the nation's capital.

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 large-scale use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to help conquer the outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

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.

No drama corona-Christmas has some secretly jumping for joy

NEW YORK (AP) — Corritta Lewis has a huge extended family. Her mom is one of 12 siblings. Usually, Christmas means that she, her wife and their 2-year-old son dig out their cold-weather gear for the schlep from home in sunny Southern California to Ohio and days of holiday chaos.

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.


US budget deficit up 25.1% in first 2 months of budget year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's deficit in the first two months of the budget year ran 25.1% higher than the same period a year ago as spending to deal with the COVID pandemic soared while tax revenues fell.

Stock indexes end mixed as damage to the economy piles up

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Thursday following more evidence that the pandemic is tightening its grip on the economy while Congress remains in a stalemate over how to do something about it.

McConnell signals no GOP support for emerging COVID-19 deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hitting the brakes on emerging COVID-19 aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, saying Republican senators won't support $160 billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal.

Across US and Europe, pandemic's grip on economies tightens

WASHINGTON (AP) — The worsening of the viral pandemic across the United States and Europe is threatening their economies and intensifying pressure on governments and central banks on both continents to intervene aggressively.

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.

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.

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.

German regulators launch new Facebook investigation over VR

BERLIN (AP) — German regulators launched an investigation Thursday into Facebook over the company's decision to link its Oculus virtual reality products to the social network, authorities said.

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.


Watchdog faults VA chief over handling of sex assault report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronted with a sexual assault allegation at a veterans hospital, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie repeatedly sought to discredit the congressional aide who made the complaint and his staff worked to spread negative information about her while ignoring known problems of harassment at the facility, according to an investigative report released Thursday.

In break with Trump, McConnell urges passage of defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a rare break with President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging passage of a wide-ranging defense policy bill that Trump has threatened to veto.

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.

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.

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