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VOL. 45 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 3, 2021

Public health v. freedom of choice

How the courts might view state’s new COVID laws

When the sun came up on the last Saturday in October, the Tennessee legislature had voted overwhelmingly along party lines to say that the state – not the federal government – will call the shots in dealing with COVID-19.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Saints, sinners share space on Music City streets

On a small plot of land at the intersection of Ewing and Sixth Avenues and Lafayette Street in Nashville sits the Church of the Holy Trinity, where it has ministered to an Episcopal flock since 1853.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Come together: Beatles, Realtors eventually succeed

With the exception of politics – and COVID now falls into that realm, apparently – nothing has received as much press ballyhoo as the release of Peter Jackson’s film “Get Back.” For those who might have missed it, the film is an eight-hour documentary on the Beatles making of the album and movie that was originally called Let it Be.

Local Weather
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Fog/Mist
Wind: South at 4.6 mph
Humidity: 84%

EVENTS

Williamson Inc. Policy Talks. Williamson, Inc. Policy Talks is a monthly community forum featuring elected officials centered on the issues being discussed in the Tennessee Legislature and in Williamson County. Representatives are given a platform to discuss the issues in greater depth with their constituents. Columbia State Community College, Community Room – Building A, 1228 Liberty Pike, Franklin. Friday, 7:30-8:30 a.m. No charge for Williamson Inc. Business Partners and Guests. Information

more events »

GUEST COLUMNIST

Government regulations controlling speech are dangerous

I was recently on a panel that discussed where free speech ends and dangerous speech begins.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Turnovers rising for sinking Titans

The Tennessee Titans limp into their much-needed bye week on a two-game losing streak.

Right place, wrong time for former Titan Reynolds

Timing is everything. Just ask Josh Reynolds.

What Titans must fix in bye week

As the Titans finally reach their bye week, they do so having played a record number of players through 12 games this season. Four new players suited up for the first time against New England, bringing the players-used total for the year to 86 with five games remaining.

UT SPORTS

Last 1-year UT coach sent program on 11-year slide

The vibe around UT football was different from the moment Josh Heupel arrived and remained so through the end of his first regular season.

NEWSMAKERS

Meyerriecks joins Bradley real estate practice

Kelley Meyerriecks has joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as a senior attorney and will practice as part of the firm’s real estate team.

BRIEFS

Belmont entrepreneur program ranked No. 30

Belmont University’s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program has been ranked No. 30 overall on the 16th annual “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship” list.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Low inventory means fewer seasonal deals

This has been a tough year to buy a new or used car in America. With COVID-19 factory shutdowns, semiconductor chip shortages, rising prices and supply chain issues, it’s been nothing but bad news for car shoppers.

PERSONAL FINANCE

How to maximize your ‘health span’ during longer life

We’re living longer on average, but the number of years we’re healthy hasn’t kept up. This lagging “health span” translates into more time living with serious illness and disabilities at the end of our lives.

CAREER CORNER

Since when do we have such an aversion to introversion?

Have you tried lately asking someone if they are an introvert or an extrovert? It’s a reasonably straightforward question that typically comes with a simple answer – until now.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Here’s how to sustain generosity beyond the holidays

2020 asked a lot of us. We faced new challenges and reckoned with old ones, and often the world’s problems collided with our own individual needs. Help – whether in donations or even just attention – might’ve been hard to give when you required some yourself.

SPORTS

Power, influence growing for SEC Commissioner Sankey

DALLAS (AP) — Greg Sankey recalls a toast former Southeastern Conference Commissioner Roy Kramer gave at a gathering in 2015 to commemorate the tenure of Mike Slive, who was retiring after deftly leading the SEC for 13 years.

PREDATORS

Swayman's 42 saves leads Bruins over Predators 2-0

NASHVILLE (AP) — Jeremy Swayman made 42 saves, Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo scored, and the Boston Bruins beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 Thursday night.

SPORTS

Wood, Sheppard carry Belmont past Lipscomb 94-65

NASHVILLE (AP) — JaCobi Wood had 17 points as Belmont easily defeated Lipscomb 94-65 on Thursday night.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville Christmas concert to benefit homeless returns

NASHVILLE (AP) — The annual Nashville Unlimited Christmas concert to benefit homeless services provider Room in the Inn will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 7. This is the 22nd year for the concert at the downtown Christ Church Cathedral.

STATEWIDE

Thousands of Tennessee families to get extra $950 in aid

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say thousands of low-income families will be receiving a one-time payment of $950 through federal pandemic aid.

COURTS

US appeals court to rehear Tennessee abortion ban argument

NASHVILLE (AP) — Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded historic arguments over abortion, a federal appeals court signaled it might be willing to allow yet another restrictive ban to go into effect.

Roe 'settled' law? Justices' earlier assurances now in doubt

WASHINGTON (AP) — During his confirmation to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh convinced Sen. Susan Collins that he thought a woman's right to an abortion was "settled law," calling the court cases affirming it "precedent on precedent" that could not be casually overturned.

Few want Roe overturned, but abortion opinions vary widely

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arguments before the Supreme Court this week signaled that the conservative-leaning bench may dramatically limit abortion rights in the United States.

Roe v. Wade nearly fell 30 years ago. Can it survive again?

WASHINGTON (AP) — We've been here before, with the fate of abortion rights throughout the United States in doubt and awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court.

HEALTH CARE

Sanders to Biden: Cut back looming Medicare premium hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders is asking the White House to cut back a big Medicare premium hike set to take effect in weeks and tied to a pricey Alzheimer's drug whose benefits have been widely questioned.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Honda recalls SUVs and pickups because hoods can fly open

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is recalling nearly 725,000 SUVs and pickup trucks because the hoods can open while the vehicles are moving.

TECHNOLOGY

AP Source: NSO Group spyware used to hack State employees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The phones of 11 U.S. State Department employees were hacked using technology from Israel's NSO Group, the world's most infamous hacker-for-hire company, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks slump after murky jobs report as markets swing

Wall Street closed out a bumpy week with more losses on Friday following a mixed reading on U.S. jobs markets that investors said was tough to parse.

Growth in US service sector reaches new heights in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in November, overtaking a record that was set the previous month.

US jobless rate sinks to 4.2% as many more people find jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's unemployment rate tumbled last month to its lowest point since the pandemic struck, even as employers appeared to slow their hiring — a mixed picture that pointed to a resilient economy that's putting more people to work.

EXPLAINER: 5 key takeaways from the November jobs report

WASHINGTON (AP) — At first glance, the November jobs report was a sour one.

Starbucks fights expanding unionization effort at its stores

Starbucks is fighting an expanded effort to unionize its stores, even as a union vote proceeds at three of the coffee-chain's locations in Buffalo, New York.

US government sues to block $40 billion Nvidia-Arm chip deal

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block graphics chip maker Nvidia's $40 billion purchase of chip designer Arm, saying the deal would create a powerful company that could hurt the growth of new technologies.

US steps up disclosure pressure on Chinese companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese companies will have to disclose more information about audits and whether they are controlled by a government or else leave U.S. stock markets under a rule approved by securities regulators.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden warns Russia's Vladimir Putin against Ukraine invasion

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday vowed to make it "very, very difficult" for Russian President Vladimir Putin to take military action in Ukraine, saying his administration is putting together a comprehensive set of initiatives to curb Russian aggression.

Biden, allies increasingly pushing back at GOP's virus barbs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden looked out over an audience of government scientists and framed his latest plan for fighting COVID-19 as an opportunity to at last put an end to divisiveness over the virus, calling the politicization of the issue a "sad, sad commentary."

Senate passes stopgap funding bill, avoiding shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has passed a stopgap spending bill that avoids a short-term shutdown and funds the federal government through Feb. 18 after leaders defused a partisan standoff over federal vaccine mandates. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

Capitol riot committee has interviewed 250 people so far

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has interviewed about 250 people so far, its chairman said Thursday, a staggering pace over just five months as lawmakers work to compile the most comprehensive account yet of the violent attack and plan to hold public hearings next year.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2
UT SPORTS

Feds: Ex-UT track coach tricked women into sending him nude photos

BOSTON (AP) — A former college track and field coach accused of setting up sham social media and email accounts in an attempt to trick women into sending him nude or semi-nude photos of themselves has been indicted on 15 counts, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

NASHVILLE AREA

Dollar General opening more $5 or less Popshelf stores

Getting more bang for your buck used to be the mantra of dollar store shoppers everywhere, but times are changing - and prices are rising.

ENVIRONMENT

EPA outlines $7.4B for water infrastructure headed to states

WASHINGTON (AP) — States, Native American tribes and U.S. territories will receive $7.4 billion in 2022 to improve water quality and access, the first installment from the infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law last month, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.

EDUCATION

Sewanee leader to resign, says he would take ambassador job

SEWANEE (AP) — The University of the South's vice chancellor and president has announced that he will resign later this month and would accept a position as U.S. ambassador to South Africa if offered it.

COURTS

With Roe in question, justices dig into private debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Historic Supreme Court arguments over abortion behind them, the justices soon will begin the work of crafting a decision that could dramatically limit abortion rights in the United States.

Justices' abortion remarks: Is it time to overturn Roe?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court heard arguments in which it was asked to overturn a nationwide right to abortion that has existed for nearly 50 years.

Comptroller: Memphis charter school leaders stole thousands

NASHVILLE (AP) — Former top officials at a Memphis charter school stole hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years, according to the Tennessee comptroller's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Mexico threatens legal action on US electric vehicle subsidy

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government threatened legal action Thursday over provisions of U.S. President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act that would give subsidies of up to $12,500 for purchases of union-made, American-made electric vehicles.

UAW votes for direct election of leaders in wake of scandal

DETROIT (AP) — Members of the United Auto Workers union have overwhelmingly approved picking their leaders by direct ballot elections, rejecting a system that many blamed for a bribery and embezzlement scandal in the union's top ranks.

TRANSPORTATION

China clears Boeing 737 Max to fly again

BEIJING (AP) — China's aviation regulator cleared the Boeing 737 Max on Thursday to return to flying with technical upgrades more than two years after the plane was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes.

TECHNOLOGY

From Square to Block: Another tech company changes its name

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There's a new Silicon Valley corporate name change on the block.

NONPROFITS

GivingTuesday: Record $2.7B raised during day of generosity

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have seen slight declines this year, but GivingTuesday generated a new record for giving.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Germany locks unvaccinated out of public life; mandate looms

BERLIN (AP) — Unvaccinated people across Germany will soon be excluded from nonessential stores, restaurants and sports and cultural venues, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Thursday, and parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate as part of efforts to curb coronavirus infections.

Biden launching winter COVID-19 booster, testing campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to kick off a more urgent campaign for Americans to get COVID-19 booster shots Thursday as he unveils his winter plans for combating the coronavirus and its omicron variant with enhanced availability of shots and vaccines but without major new restrictions.

Omicron and delta spell return of unpopular restrictions

PARIS (AP) — Greeks who are over age 60 and refuse coronavirus vaccinations could be hit with monthly fines of more than one-quarter of their pensions — a get-tough policy that the country's politicians say will cost votes but save lives.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US jobless claims rise by 28,000 to still-low 222,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week even though the U.S. job market has been rebounding from last year's coronavirus recession.

OPEC+ sticks to modest boost in oil output despite omicron

NEW YORK (AP) — OPEC and allied oil-producing countries decided Thursday to maintain the amount of oil they pump to the world even as the new omicron variant casts a shadow of uncertainty over the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Starbucks fights expanding unionization effort at its stores

Starbucks is fighting an expanded effort to unionize its stores, even as a union vote proceeds at three of the coffee-chain's locations in Buffalo, New York.

Grab goes public on Nasdaq in $40 bln SPAC deal

HONG KONG (AP) — Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing company Grab made its market debut Thursday, following a $40 billion merger in a special purpose acquisition company deal.

Christmas tree buyers face reduced supplies, higher prices

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Even Christmas trees aren't immune to the pandemic-induced shortages and inflation plaguing the economy.

EU fines 4 banks $390M in foreign exchange trading cartel

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday that it has fined four major banks a combined $390 million for colluding in a foreign exchange spot trading cartel that allowed them to beat inherent risks in currency deals.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden doesn't think weekend federal shutdown will happen

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached agreement Thursday on a spending bill that would keep the government running through mid-February, though a temporary federal shutdown was still possible this weekend as some Republican senators threatened to slow-walk passage because of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

GOP risks government shutdown to fight Biden vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government could be heading for a temporary shutdown, with Republicans poised to stall a must-pass funding bill in their effort to force a debate in Congress on rolling back the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandates for some workers.

US warns Russia as Kremlin talks about war threat in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin voiced concern Thursday about a possible escalation of fighting in a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine as the U.S. issued a strong warning to Russia to stay away from Ukraine.

Jan. 6 panel votes to hold former DOJ official in contempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has voted to pursue contempt charges against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who refused to answer the committee's questions — but the panel agreed to let him come back for another try.

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