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VOL. 46 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 11, 2022

Sportsbooks pick a winner in Tennessee

We’ve bet $3B-plus in 14 months with Super Bowl boost looming

With Super Bowl LVI fast approaching, you might be surprised by the number of friends and co-workers who are talking about bets they’ve placed via one of Tennessee’s nine legal online sportsbooks.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Joker’s bravery paves way for K9 protection bill

Writer’s note: The following column contains positive comments relating to a dog and a Tennessee lawmaker, from a cat fancier and legislative cynic. (Will wonders never cease?)

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

2021 another record year, especially in $1M-plus sales

The Greater Nashville area set a record with 47,285 residential sales in 2021, Greater Nashville Realtors records show, eclipsing the old record of 44,824 sales set in 2020. This is a surprising number since the area has experienced agonizingly low inventory for more than two years.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
93.0°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: Northeast at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 47%

EVENTS

Nashville Chamber West: Speed Networking. Expand your network, build new relationships and grow your business with this in-person networking opportunity. Bring plenty of business cards for the connections you will make at this event. Capacity is limited. Registration required. Hampton Inn & Suites- Green Hills, 2324 Crestmoor Road. Wednesday, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Information

more events »

REAL ESTATE

Long-term US mortgage rates hit 3.69%, highest in 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped last week to their highest level in more than two years, potentially bumping some homebuyers out of the market with Americans getting squeezed by higher costs for just about everything.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Replacing Tannehill won’t be easy

And, no, Aaron Rodgers isn’t the answer

The offseason has already begun for the Tennessee Titans, and with it comes plenty of questions that must be answered in the coming months.

Bengals seem to be a team destined to win Super Bowl LVL

No one expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be in the Super Bowl this year. Heck, very few expected them to even make the playoffs. Vegas had them open at 200:1 to reach Super Bowl LVI.

Ex-Titans, locals in Super Bowl

There are a few players with Tennessee ties who will suit up in Super Bowl LVI for the Bengals and Rams.

NEWSMAKERS

Waller adds to real estate, government relations practices

Doug Sloan, Jon Cooper and Quan Poole have joined Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP’s Nashville office. The three attorneys join Waller with nearly 45 years of combined experience in legal and leadership roles in the government of Nashville and Davidson County.

BRIEFS

Nashville to host National Black Caucus

The Summer Summit of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials will be held July 21-25 in Nashville, with hundreds of local elected officials from around the country in attendance.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Ford F-150 leaves Tundra out in the cold

Ford’s F-150 has been the bestselling truck in America for more than four decades and it will likely continue that trend in 2022. But there’s another full-size truck that’s also garnering a lot of attention, the 2022 Toyota Tundra.

CAREER CORNER

Office expenses shifting to those who work from home

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of being both a full-time salaried employee and a self-employed business owner. There are pros and cons that come with each.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Watch for debt collectors, scams on social media

Social media is where you watch cooking videos, gaze at photos of dreamy travel destinations and doomscroll through endless news headlines. Now, sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter could also be where debt collectors slide into your DMs.

PREDATORS

Ovechkin scores twice in Capitals' 4-1 win over Predators

NASHVILLE (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals, including his 30th of the season, to lead the Washington Capitals in their 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

COURTS

For high court nominees 'When's your birthday?' matters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Help wanted: Well-respected liberal jurist. Black. Female. Seniors need not apply.

BANKING

Ex-Goldman banker testifies 1MDB scheme a 'house of cards'

NEW YORK (AP) — A former top banker at Goldman Sachs testified Wednesday that he and other corrupt executives at the firm built a "house of cards" that was doomed to fall to try to conceal an audacious scheme to ransack a Malaysian state investment fund.

ENVIRONMENT

Saved pollution credits may hinder California climate goals

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Oil refineries, utilities and other companies that must pay to emit greenhouse gases in California have saved up so many credits allowing them to pollute that it may jeopardize the state's ability to reach its ambitious climate goals, according to a report by a panel that advises state officials.

TRANSPORTATION

A gun in your carry-on? Some are calling for stiffer fines

With a surge in guns being discovered at airport checkpoints, some security experts are suggesting higher fines and even putting violators on a no-fly list to prevent firearms from getting on planes.

Regulators won't let Boeing certify new 787 jets for flight

Federal safety regulators say they will retain power to approve Boeing 787 airliners for flight rather than return that authority to the aircraft maker, which hasn't been able to deliver any new Dreamliner planes since last May because of production flaws.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Companies revert to more normal operations as COVID wanes

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in two years for many people, the American workplace is transforming into something that resembles pre-pandemic days.

Germany eyes end to most COVID restrictions on March 20

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's leaders on Wednesday announced plans to end most of the country's coronavirus restrictions by March 20, a decision that coincided with moves by neighboring Austria and Switzerland to drop many of their curbs sooner.

AP sources: White House seeks another $30B for COVID battle

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is telling Congress that it needs an additional $30 billion to press ahead with the fight against COVID-19, officials said.

S. Korea to give out rapid tests as omicron shatters record

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will distribute free coronavirus rapid test kits at schools and senior care facilities starting next week as it weathers an unprecedented wave of infections driven by the fast-moving omicron variant.

Xi urges Hong Kong to get control as COVID-19 cases surge

HONG KONG (AP) — Hospitals in Hong Kong were struggling Wednesday to keep up with an influx of new coronavirus patients amid record numbers of new infections as the city doggedly adheres to its "zero-COVID" strategy, and China's leader Xi Jinping said the local government's "overriding task" was to control the situation.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed: Faster rate hikes are likely if inflation stays high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers concluded last month that they would accelerate their tightening of credit if inflation failed to slow in the coming months.

Stocks end mixed as traders parse next rate move by the Fed

Stocks shook off an early slump and ended mixed on Wall Street Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed policymakers still leaning toward moving decisively to fight inflation.

January retail sales surge 3.8% as consumers defy inflation

NEW YORK (AP) — Fueled by pay gains, solid hiring and enhanced savings, Americans sharply ramped up their spending at retail stores last month in a sign that many consumers remain unfazed by rising inflation.

European companies' Russian ties could make sanctions tough

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe is contemplating sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine — and the work is far from simple.

Airbnb posts $55 million 4Q profit, better than 2019

Airbnb reported a $55 million profit for the fourth quarter, reversing a huge loss a year earlier, as its revenue soared above pre-pandemic levels.

UK inflation rises at fastest rate in almost 30 years

LONDON (AP) — Inflation in the United Kingdom has risen at the fastest rate in almost 30 years as increased costs for energy, housing and transportation squeezed household budgets.

US accuses China of backing away from free-trade commitments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has accused China of failing to meet its commitments to the World Trade Organization and says it is exploring new ways to combat aggressive Chinese trade practices.

Altria says judge has dismissed lawsuit over Juul investment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tobacco giant Altria said Tuesday that an administrative law judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit alleging the company's partnership with e-cigarette maker Juul Labs amounted to an anticompetitive agreement that hurt consumers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden tapping 2 to step in for ousted science adviser

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is replacing a top science adviser who resigned under a cloud with two individuals who will split his duties on an interim basis.

Biden orders release of Trump White House logs to Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is ordering the release of Trump White House visitor logs to the House committee investigating the riot of Jan. 6, 2021, once more rejecting former President Donald Trump's claims of executive privilege.

Risk of a Ukraine war spreading in Europe rests on unknowns

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian invasion of Ukraine would be devastating, and a wider European war even worse. Whether a larger war happens would depend partly on President Vladimir Putin's ambitions, partly on the West's military response, and partly on plain luck.

Report: Conspiracy theorists fuel bump in extremist killings

Newer strains of far-right movements fueled by conspiracy theories, misogyny and anti-vaccine proponents contributed to a modest rise in killings by domestic extremists in the United States last year, according to a report released Tuesday by a Jewish civil rights group.

EXPLAINER: How the latest Trump-Russia filing generated buzz

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest filing from special counsel John Durham in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe has been seized on by the conservative media and Donald Trump himself as vindication of the former president's oft-repeated claims that he was "spied" on.

EU summit aims to counter China, Russia influence in Africa

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders want to re-engage with African nations and counter the growing influence from China and Russia across the continent during a two-day summit in Brussels.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 6 more in fake GOP electors scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection subpoenaed six more people Tuesday, including former Trump campaign members and state lawmakers, as it further expands its review into efforts to falsely declare Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election in several swing states.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
STATE GOVERNMENT

GOP positions to grab left-leaning Nashville in US House map

NASHVILLE (AP) — Black college students once marched downtown from the north Nashville neighborhood where Aaron Marble preaches, sitting at whites-only lunch counters to fight for civil rights. Soon, his historically Black community will fold into a mostly rural, white 14-county territory, and he'll likely have a Republican congressman.

Tennessee lawmakers pass ban on instant runoff voting

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers passed a ban Monday against instant runoff voting in elections, a move that seeks to end a long-running legal dispute between state election officials and the city of Memphis.

REGION

US bird flu case puts chicken, turkey farms on high alert

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farms that raise turkeys and chickens for meat and eggs are on high alert and taking steps to increase biosecurity, fearing a repeat of a widespread bird flu outbreak in 2015 that killed 50 million birds across 15 states and cost the federal government nearly $1 billion.

Avian influeza detected in Kentucky near Tennessee border

HICKMAN, Ky. (AP) — A case of avian influenza has been detected in a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Kentucky near the Tennessee border, according to a joint news release from the states' agriculture departments.

COURTS

Jury rejects Sarah Palin's lawsuit against New York Times

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin lost her libel lawsuit against The New York Times on Tuesday when a jury rejected her claim that the newspaper maliciously damaged her reputation by erroneously linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting.

Facebook parent Meta settles decade-old data-privacy lawsuit

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. has settled a decade-old class action lawsuit over the company's use of "cookies" in 2010 and 2011 that tracked people online even after they logged off the Facebook platform.

Judge backs Lee Enterprises rejection of hedge fund nominees

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Lee Enterprises effort to repel a hostile takeover got a boost this week when a judge ruled the newspaper publisher could ignore two board nominations from the hedge fund Alden Global Capital .

Sandy Hook families settle for $73M with gun maker Remington

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting  announced Tuesday they have agreed to a $73 million settlement of a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators in 2012.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Please hold: Pricey way to jump IRS phone line at tax time

WASHINGTON (AP) — If there's one thing that pains everyone trying to reach the IRS at tax time, it's being stuck on endless hold.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US approves new headlights that won't blind oncoming drivers

DETROIT (AP) — Anyone who has ever been temporarily blinded by high-beam headlights from an oncoming car will be happy to hear this.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden takes half-steps on electric vehicles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to show benefits from his policies, President Joe Biden is overstating the number of electric vehicle charging stations that would be built with his infrastructure law and claiming a speedy shift to electric in the federal fleet that isn't so.

Elon Musk gives about $5.7 billion in Tesla stock to charity

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk donated about 5 million shares of company stock worth roughly $5.7 billion to an unidentified charity in November, according to a regulatory filing.

ENVIRONMENT

Climate grant illustrates growth in philanthropy-funded news

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press said Tuesday that it is assigning more than two dozen journalists across the world to cover climate issues, in the news organization's largest single expansion paid for through philanthropic grants.

TECHNOLOGY

EXPLAINER: Will burglar alarms still work after 3G shutdown?

NEW YORK (AP) — As telecom companies rev up the newest generation of mobile service, called 5G, they're shutting down old networks — a costly, years-in-the-works process that's now prompting calls for a delay because many products out there still rely on the old standard, 3G.

MEDIA

US accuses financial website of spreading Russian propaganda

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday accused a conservative financial news website with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda and alleged five media outlets targeting Ukrainians have taken direction from Russian spies.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Unvaccinated medical workers turn to religious exemptions

When nurse Julia Buffo was told by her Montana hospital that she had to be vaccinated against COVID-19, she responded by filling out paperwork declaring that the shots run afoul of her religious beliefs.

Unvaccinated Djokovic could skip French Open, Wimbledon

LONDON (AP) — If forced to choose, Novak Djokovic said he would skip the French Open and Wimbledon, foregoing the chance to overtake Rafael Nadal's record haul of 21 Grand Slams titles, rather than get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Canada's Trudeau invokes emergency powers to quell protests

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers Monday to quell the paralyzing protests by truckers and others angry over Canada's COVID-19 restrictions, outlining plans not only to tow away their rigs but to strike at their bank accounts and their livelihoods.

S. Korean COVID deaths rise, hope rests on high booster rate

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea reported its highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a month Tuesday as U.S. health authorities advised Americans to avoid traveling to the country grappling with a fast-developing omicron surge.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks gain ground, oil prices fall as Ukraine tensions ease

Stocks ended broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as investors welcomed signs that tensions might ease in Ukraine.

January wholesale inflation surged 9.7% from a year ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale inflation in the United States surged again last month, rising 9.7% from a year earlier in a sign that price pressures remain high at all levels of the economy.

Pentagon: Contractor mergers hurt national security, economy

The Defense Department on Tuesday released a report that says mergers and consolidation among its contractors pose risks to the U.S. economy and national security.

Japan economy grew last quarter on better spending, exports

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy grew at an annual pace of 5.4% in October-December, boosted by improved consumer spending and exports, the government said Tuesday.

Buffett's firm scores big with stake in Activision Blizzard

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett's company placed a rare bet on a technology company late last year and it has already paid off in a big way.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Senate GOP delays votes on Raskin and 4 other Fed nominees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a vote Tuesday on President Joe Biden's five nominees to the Federal Reserve, delaying indefinitely the confirmation of Chair Jerome Powell to a second four-year term.

Senate confirms Biden's FDA pick despite political divisions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate narrowly confirmed President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday pushing past a thicket of political controversies that threatened to derail what was initially expected to be an easy confirmation.

Trump's stash of documents shows 'fragile' historical record

WASHINGTON (AP) — As president, Donald Trump never liked to leave a paper trail. He avoided email, admonished aides to stop taking notes during meetings and ripped up documents when he was finished with them.

Senators eye resolution backing Ukraine amid Russia tension

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stopping short of legislation to impose sanctions on Russia, the U.S. Senate is considering a resolution in support of Ukraine as senators are eager to respond to Russian President Vladimir Vladimir Putin's aggression but deferential to the White House's strategy to avert a crisis in Europe.

Pressure mounts on Congress to curb lawmaker stock trading

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a steady drip of damaging headlines, pressure is building for Congress to pass legislation that would curtail lawmakers' ability to speculate on the stock market.

Blackburn threatens anti-shutdown measure over fake crack pipe story

WASHINGTON (AP) — No, the word "Senate" is not Latin for "It's never easy." But sometimes it seems that way.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14
STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee tax revenues continued growth in January

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has posted another round of positive state tax revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COURTS

Judge dismisses Palin libel lawsuit against NY Times

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge said Monday he'll dismiss a libel lawsuit that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin filed against The New York Times, claiming the newspaper damaged her reputation with an editorial falsely linking her campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting.

Luján plans return to Senate in weeks for Supreme Court vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Luján, who is recovering from a stroke in January, says he plans to be back at work in "just a few short weeks" to vote on President Joe Biden's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee.

Man pleads guilty to defrauding school internet program

MEMPHIS (AP) — A Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to a multi-million dollar fraud scheme targeting a federal program that gives money to rural schools for internet access, prosecutors in Tennessee said.

MEDIA

Texas AG sues Facebook parent Meta over facial recognition

The Texas Attorney General is suing Facebook parent Meta, saying the company has unlawfully collected biometric data on Texans for commercial purposes, without their informed consent.

Super Bowl ads go heavy on nostalgia, star power

NEW YORK (AP) — On the field, the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals played a nail biter during Super Bowl 56, with the Rams emerging victorious.

ENVIRONMENT

DNA analysis of elephant ivory reveals trafficking networks

WASHINGTON (AP) — As few as three major criminal groups are responsible for smuggling the vast majority of elephant ivory tusks out of Africa, according to a new study.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Sweden recommends fourth COVID vaccine dose to older people

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden is recommending a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to people over age 80 and those living in nursing homes or getting home care, authorities said Monday, adding it must be administered no earlier than four months after the previous shot.

Key US-Canada bridge reopens after police clear protesters

WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) — The busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing reopened late Sunday after protests against COVID-19 restrictions closed it for almost a week, while Canadian officials held back from a crackdown on a larger protest in the capital, Ottawa.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close lower as Wall Street watches Ukraine tensions

Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Monday as the U.S. moved to close its embassy in Ukraine amid heightened geopolitical tensions over the thousands of Russian troops that have been amassing on the border.

Fed officials agree on a March rate hike but little else

WASHINGTON (AP) — A worsening inflation picture has touched off a range of opinions from the Federal Reserve's policymakers about just how fast they should raise interest rates beginning at their next meeting in March.

Biden has long-term inflation plan, but voter patience short

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden came into office with a plan to fix inflation — just not the particular inflationary problem that the country now faces.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Police: Louisville mayoral candidate unharmed in shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A prominent Democratic mayoral candidate in Louisville was shot at in his campaign office Monday but he was not struck, though a bullet grazed a piece of his clothing, police said.

US: 130,000+ Russian troops now staged outside Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some airlines canceled flights to the Ukrainian capital and troops there unloaded fresh shipments of weapons from NATO members Sunday, as its president sought to project confidence in the face of U.S. warnings of possible invasion within days by a growing number of Russian forces.

War, peace, stalemate? Week ahead may decide Ukraine's fate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even if a Russian invasion of Ukraine doesn't happen in the next few days, the crisis is reaching a critical inflection point with European stability and the future of East-West relations hanging in the balance.

Gun control groups press Biden to do more to stop violence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four years after 17 people were gunned down at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, families and gun control advocates are pressing President Joe Biden to do more to address gun violence.

Trevor Noah to headline White House correspondents' dinner

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trevor Noah, the host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, will be the featured entertainer for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 30.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11
TENNESSEE TITANS

Vrabel win Coach of the Year, Rodgers 4th MVP award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A four-time MVP, three Super Bowl players and the beginning of a brother act.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Castro leads with 5 Blues Music Awards nominations

MEMPHIS (AP) — Tommy Castro, Chris Cain and Tom Hambridge have earned the most nominations for this year's Blues Music Awards in Memphis.

Every song he made: Sting sells music catalog to Universal

Sting is selling his music catalog, including hits he made with the Police and as a solo artist, joining a chorus of stars who are cashing in with investors who see value in licensing their songs.

EAST TENNESSEE

Tennessee parents, teachers push back against 'Maus' removal

ATHENS (AP) — Growing up in rural East Tennessee, James Cockrum hadn't given much thought to the possibility that one day he might find himself speaking about his Jewish heritage in front of a packed school board meeting.

Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway to see road closures

WALLAND (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using $31 million in Great American Outdoor Act funding to rehabilitate a portion of the Foothills Parkway, according to a news release from the park.

WEST TENNESSEE

Billionaire's space trip brought $125M to St. Jude hospital

The charitable sector should hope that billionaire Jared Isaacman keeps seeking new adventures.

COURTS

3 defense contractors indicted for illegal contributions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three former executives of a Hawaii-based defense contractor have been indicted on charges of funneling more than $200,000 in illegal donations to aid the reelection campaign of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Biden doing 'deep dive' on 'about 4' high court candidates

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden appears to be narrowing his list of candidates for the Supreme Court, saying he's looking at "about four people" as Democrats who met with him Thursday say he wants a "persuasive" nominee in the mold of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

Tennessee lawmakers confirm judge to criminal appeals court

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have confirmed a Shelby County judge for an opening on the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Toyota expands electric car parts production in Jackson

BUFFALO, W.Va. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. announced Friday that it will further expand production of electric vehicle parts at plants in Jackson, Tennessee, and Buffalo, West Virginia, in a $90 million investment.

Study: Fewer crashes after Utah sets strictest DUI law in US

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Traffic deaths decreased in Utah after the state enacted the strictest drunken driving laws in the nation five years ago, new research published Friday by a U.S. government agency shows.

MEDIA

Super Bowl ads look toward the future — and the past

NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl advertisers this year want Americans to forget about pandemic woes and focus on the future: of electric vehicles, mind reading Alexas, robots and cryptocurrency -- and also to harken back to the nostalgic past of '90s movies like "Austin Powers" and "The Cable Guy."

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Delay ahead for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids younger than 5

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday put the brakes on their push to speed Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children under 5, creating major uncertainty about how soon the shots could become available.

Here's why mask mandates are falling across the US

As the omicron wave of the coronavirus subsides, several U.S. states including Nevada, New York and Illinois ended mask mandates this week for indoor settings, while others lifted requirements at schools. The White House says talks are underway about how and when to move the country out of the emergency phase of the pandemic, but in the meantime people are advised to keep following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending mask use in indoor settings in places with high transmission rates.

Top German court rejects injunction against vaccine mandate

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Constitutional Court has refused to temporarily block the implementation of a coronavirus vaccine mandate for care and health workers that is due to come into force in mid-March.

Highly vaccinated Denmark considers 'winding down' vaccines

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Health authorities in Denmark said Friday that they were considering "winding down" the country's coronavirus vaccination program in the spring and see no reason now to administer a booster dose to children or a fourth shot to anymore residents at risk of severe COVID-19.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks fall, this time on Ukraine worries, to cap rough week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks tumbled again Friday, and this time bond yields joined in the swoon as worries about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine piled onto Wall Street's already heavy list of concerns about inflation and interest rates.

How inflation and tangled supply lines are gripping economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the pandemic erupted two years ago, Forest Ramsey and his wife, Kelly, have held the line on prices at their gourmet chocolate shop in Louisville, Kentucky. Now, they're about to throw in the towel.

Why cage-free eggs becoming norm: It's what people want

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Without much fuss and even less public attention, the nation's egg producers are in the midst of a multibillion-dollar shift to cage-free eggs that is dramatically changing the lives of millions of hens in response to new laws and demands from restaurant chains.

Canadian judge orders an end to blockade at border bridge

WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border to end the 5-day-old blockade that has disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to roll back production.

US conservative figures cheer on Canadian trucker protest

NEW YORK (AP) — Several conservative media figures in the U.S. have taken up the cause of Canadian truckers who have occupied parts of Ottawa and blocked border crossings to protest COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US ramps up Ukraine warning, says Russia may invade in days

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday escalated its dire warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying it could take place within days, even as emergency diplomatic efforts continued. Adding to the sense of crisis, officials said Biden ordered another 3,000 U.S. troops to Poland.

EXPLAINER: Where could revelations about Trump records lead?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Revelations that Donald Trump took government records with him to Mar-a-Lago are creating a political headache for the former president — and a potential legal one, too.

Senators: CIA has secret program that collects American data

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA has a secret, undisclosed data repository that includes information collected about Americans, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee said. While neither the agency nor lawmakers would disclose specifics about the data, the senators alleged the CIA had long hidden details about the program from the public and Congress.

House panel probes Trump presidential records found in Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee is investigating whether former President Donald Trump violated the Presidential Records Act, after boxes of presidential records were discovered at his Florida estate and a news report surfaced of him destroying documents while in office.

Biden frees frozen Afghan billions for relief, 9/11 victims

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed an order Friday to free $7 billion in Afghan assets frozen in the U.S., splitting the money between humanitarian relief for poverty-stricken Afghanistan and a fund for Sept. 11 victims still seeking relief from the terror attacks that shocked America and killed thousands.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10
PREDATORS

Robertson, Stars beat Predators 4-3 in return from break

DALLAS (AP) — Jason Robertson tipped in shots from John Klingberg twice on the power play, Luke Glendening scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Wednesday night.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Gov. Lee picks finance commissioner as his top deputy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has picked his finance commissioner to become his top deputy.

Gov. Lee asks FEMA to review damage after storm

MEMPHIS (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee asked federal emergency management officials on Wednesday to help assess whether counties affected by last week's icy winter storm can receive funds to assist with power restoration.

REGION

TVA launches new nuclear program

The largest public power company in the U.S. is launching a program to develop and fund new small modular nuclear reactors as part of its strategy to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Company offers free tuition to amusement park workers

PIGEON FORGE(AP) — Dollywood and Kentucky Kingdom are offering a new program that will pay for tuition, books and other fees for workers who want to further their education, officials said.

COURTS

Tennessee lawmakers confirm AG's office lawyer to high court

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday confirmed one of the top lawyers from the attorney general's office to the state Supreme Court, solidifying what will likely be a shift even further right for the court.

Biden seeking professional diversity in his judicial picks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden spent a recent flight aboard Air Force One reminiscing with lawmakers and aides about his start as a young lawyer in Delaware working as a public defender in the late 1960s.

3 million plaintiffs seek $1.2B from California health firm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit over high health care bills filed on behalf of more than 3 million employers and people seeks as much as $1.2 billion from a large Northern California health systems in an antitrust class-action trial getting underway Thursday.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tesla recalls more vehicles as US agency increases scrutiny

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla is recalling nearly 579,000 vehicles in the U.S. because a "Boombox" function can play sounds over an external speaker and obscure audible warnings for pedestrians.

States get go-ahead to build electric car charging stations

WASHINGTON (AP) — States are getting the go-ahead to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations that would place new or upgraded ones every 50 miles (80 kilometers) along interstate highways as part of the Biden administration's plan to spur widespread adoption of the zero-emission cars.

California accuses Tesla of racial discrimination in lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California sued Tesla Inc. on Wednesday over allegations of discrimination and harassment of Black employees at its San Francisco Bay area factory.

COVID-19 truck blockade in Canada shuts down Ford plant

TORONTO (AP) — A blockade of the bridge between Canada and Detroit by protesters demanding an end to Canada's COVID-19 restrictions forced the shutdown Wednesday of a Ford plant and began to have broader implications for the North American auto industry.

MEDIA

Twitter posts loss for 2021, but stock up on share buyback

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter's shares jumped in early trading Thursday after it posted strong revenue growth last year and announced a $4 billion share buyback program. That's despite losing money in 2021 and falling short of Wall Street's expectations for user growth in the final quarter of the year.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Chris Young leads Academy of Country Music nominations

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country star Chris Young combined his skills as an artist and a producer to earn seven nominations at the Academy of Country Music Awards, including album of the year and single of the year.

Snoop Dogg takes over Death Row Records brand as owner

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Snoop Dogg has taken over a popular record label that launched his stellar career.

ENVIRONMENT

France plans new nuclear reactors as part of climate goals

BELFORT, France (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to unveil France's plans to build new nuclear reactors as part of the country's strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

HEALTH CARE

CDC proposes softer guidance on opioid prescriptions

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's top public health agency on Thursday proposed changing — and in some instances, softening — guidelines for U.S. doctors prescribing oxycodone and other opioid painkillers.

Biden puts focus on drug prices as he tries to revive agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is trying to jump-start progress on his stalled domestic agenda by refocusing attention on one of his most popular proposals, limiting the cost of prescription drugs.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Novavax says protein vaccine works for kids as young as 12

Novavax announced Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine proved safe and effective in a study of 12- to 17-year-olds.

Under pressure to ease up, Biden weighs new virus response

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing growing pressure to ease up on pandemic restrictions, the White House insisted Wednesday it is making plans for a less-disruptive phase of the national virus response. But impatient states, including Democratic New York, made clear they aren't waiting for Washington as public frustration grows.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks slump, bond yields soar after a hot inflation reading

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slumped and bond yields moved sharply higher after a hot reading on inflation led to greater expectations that the Federal Reserve will have to move forcefully to cool down the economy by raising interest rates.

EXPLAINER: A scarcity of chips feeds frustration, inflation

Even coming off its fastest annual growth in 37 years, the U.S. economy is still bogged down by a persistent shortage of the computer chips essential to the technology that connects, transports and entertains us.

US inflation jumped 7.5% in the past year, a 40-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation soared over the past year at its highest rate in four decades, hammering America's consumers, wiping out pay raises and reinforcing the Federal Reserve's decision to begin raising borrowing rates across the economy.

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

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year, it was a nasty surprise. And it wasn't supposed to last. But now, inflation has become an ongoing financial strain for millions of Americans filling up at the gas station, lined up at a grocery checkout lane, shopping for clothes, bargaining for a car or paying monthly rent.

Jobless claims fall again for third consecutive week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits declined for the third straight week.

Disney's parks rebound aids profit; Disney+ subscribers grow

A theme-park comeback continued to boost Disney's results in the most recent quarter. The company also added more subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service than analysts expected.

AstraZeneca sees $4B in COVID vaccine sales as revenue soars

LONDON (AP) — AstraZeneca recorded a big jump in revenue on Thursday as it begins to take a profit from its coronavirus vaccine for the first time.

Venue re-openings push Coke sales up 10% in Q4

Coca-Cola's revenue rose 10% to $9.5 billion in the fourth quarter as coffee shops, movie theaters and other venues continued to reopen.

Staff shortages, supply backups batter EU economic growth

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is seeing its economic emergence from the unprecedented COVID-19 slowdown hampered by coronavirus-induced staff shortages, supply bottlenecks, runaway energy prices and subsequent inflation surges.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

US approves major $14 billion arms sale to Indonesia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday approved a nearly $14 billion arms sale to Indonesia, as the U.S. presses ahead with steps it believes will help counter China's increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

Records obtained by Jan. 6 panel don't list Trump's calls

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House call logs obtained so far by the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol do not list calls made by then-President Donald Trump as he watched the violence unfold on television, nor do they list calls made directly to the president, according to two people familiar with the probe.

Police records complicate Herschel Walker's recovery story

WASHINGTON (AP) — One warm fall evening in 2001, police in Irving, Texas, received an alarming call from Herschel Walker's therapist. The football legend and current Republican Senate candidate in Georgia was "volatile," armed and scaring his estranged wife at the suburban Dallas home they no longer shared.

Biden quest for judicial diversity goes beyond race, gender

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden spent a recent flight aboard Air Force One reminiscing with lawmakers and aides about his start as a young lawyer in Delaware working as a public defender in the late 1960s.

Senators strike bipartisan deal on domestic violence bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a proposal Wednesday to reauthorize the 1990s-era law that extends protections for victims of domestic and sexual violence after it lapsed in 2019 because of Republican opposition.

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