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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
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VOL. 45 | NO. 18 | Friday, April 30, 2021

From local farms to many tables

Nashville Food Project volunteers work to feed a vulnerable city

Eric Wooldridge, a manager at Bells Bend Farms in the Scottsboro/Bells Bend community, plants spinach throughout the fall and winter season. Several varieties – arrowhead leaf and savoy – do particularly well and remain tender and sweet during the cold months.


East Nashville home goes for $175K more than list

As the melee continues in the Nashville real estate market, the battles for homes have spread far beyond areas that might normally fetch prices in the tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than asking price.


US average mortgage rates rise slightly; 30-year at 2.98%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates rose slightly this week after three weeks of declines as new economic data underscores the recovering economy's strength. The benchmark 30-year home loan, however, remains below 3%.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Partly Cloudy
Wind: South at 5.8 mph
Humidity: 48%


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More Americans sign contracts to buy homes in March

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March after two months of declines, pointing to a healthy housing market as summer approaches and the economy continues what is shaping up to be a rapid recovery.

Listing your home in 2021? Here’s what to know

It’s a good time to be a home seller – homes are selling fast and for a premium – but that doesn’t mean you can jump into the market ill-prepared. Knowing what to expect can position you to make the most of this seller’s market.


Sell my house? Nice of you to ask, but no thanks

Pretty much from the time we moved into our house, people have been trying to get us to move out.


Baker Donelson elects 2 Nashville shareholders

Baker Donelson has elected 11 new shareholders across the firm, including Evan L. Clark and Michaela D. Poizner in the Nashville office.


TDEC honors 10 parks for ‘Go Green’ projects

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has recognized 10 of the 56 Tennessee State Parks with platinum level status for their performance in environmental sustainability in the state’s Go Green With Us program.


5 smart ways to use your tax return on a car

Tax season will be coming to a close later than usual this year due to the May 17 extended deadline. Until that time, you might hear advertisements from car dealerships urging you to bring in your refund or pandemic stimulus check to buy a new car. Given that the average tax refund issued in 2020 was $2,741, the IRS reports, it is a solid amount that people often use to make major purchases.


‘Breadwinner’ pushes women to write own happy ending

This is nothing like you wanted. Your personal timeline had you in your own home by now. You wanted marriage, kids, definitely a job that allowed for nice things, absolutely a job you enjoyed. That’s what you wanted. That’s not what you have.


Shopping small makes a big impact on our community

I get it. It’s easy to shop on Amazon. Running low on toilet paper? Need lightbulbs? Want a bath caddy on a whim? With two clicks and even less thought, the item you need/want/desire is at your doorstep, often in 48 hours or less.


Finding your tribe during time of workplace isolation

Loneliness is at an all-time high. And it makes sense since the pandemic has been raging for more than a full year. Many people have been working from home, including single employees who now have little social interaction outside of work.


GOP lawmaker: Three-Fifths Compromise was to end slavery

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee Republican falsely declared Tuesday that an 18th century policy designating a slave as three-fifths of a person was adopted for "the purpose of ending slavery," commenting amid a debate over whether educators should be restricted while teaching about systematic racism in America.


Controversial mining operation ignoring orders to halt

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee gravel and sand mining operator has been ignoring a cease and desist letter for months, and opponents say its continued construction on the banks of North America's most biodiverse river may already be harming wildlife.

Memphis council approves city's first female police chief

MEMPHIS (AP) — City councilors in Memphis, Tennessee, have approved the hiring of C.J. Davis, the first woman to lead the city's police department.


Meharry gets $750K for work linking wealth, health

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Meharry Medical College has received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand innovation and entrepreneurship in underserved communities.


Judge orders Justice Dept. to release Trump obstruction memo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the release of a legal memorandum the Trump-era Justice Department prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr before he announced his conclusion that President Donald Trump had not obstructed justice during the Russia investigation.

Former Tennessee prison officer sentenced for beating inmate

MEMPHIS (AP) — A former Tennessee corrections officer has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking part in the beating of an inmate along with other officers, prosecutors said.

Actor indicted in $227M Ponzi scheme involving film rights

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An aspiring actor was indicted Tuesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of running a massive Ponzi scheme that solicited hundreds of millions of dollars from investors for phony Hollywood film licensing deals, federal prosecutors said.


Facebook board upholds Trump ban, just not indefinitely

Former President Donald Trump won't return to Facebook — at least not yet. Four months after Facebook suspended Trump's accounts, having concluded that he incited violence leading to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the company's quasi-independent oversight board upheld the bans.


GM expects big 2021 profit, says it's managing chip shortage

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' first-quarter net income surged to $2.98 billion as strong U.S. consumer demand and higher prices offset production cuts brought on by a global shortage of computer chips.

Ford is betting that solid-state batteries will cut EV costs

DETROIT (AP) — Ford has raised its stake in a manufacturer of solid-state batteries — a move that its chief product and operations officer, Hau Thai-Tang, says will strengthen the company's effort to increase the range and reduce the costs of its next generation of electric vehicles.


60 years since 1st American in space: Tourists lining up

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, everyday people are on the verge of following in his cosmic footsteps.


Germany aims for net zero emissions by 2045, 5 years early

BERLIN (AP) — Officials in Germany proposed Wednesday accelerating the plans to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by setting a new goal of reaching "net-zero" by 2045.


WTO mulling intellectual property waivers for vaccines

GENEVA (AP) — Ambassadors from World Trade Organization countries on Wednesday resumed discussions on trade rules protecting the technological know-how behind COVID-19 vaccines amid growing pressure on rich nations to relax them — as a way to help poorer countries fight the pandemic.


Federal judge strikes down CDC eviction moratorium

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its authority when it imposed a federal eviction moratorium.

Uber demand jumps as delivery grows, ride-hailing recovers

Uber saw record demand in the first quarter as its food delivery business grew while lockdowns ended and more customers hailed rides

US stock indexes mixed as tech rebound fades; Peloton drops

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mixed Wednesday after an early technology company rebound faded, tempering the market's recovery from a sell-off a day earlier.

Small business COVID-19 relief program runs out of money

NEW YORK (AP) — The government's key COVID-19 relief program for small businesses has run out of money.

Biden touts $28.6B restaurant relief program, orders tacos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting foot in a restaurant for his first time as president, Joe Biden made a Cinco de Mayo taco and enchilada run to highlight his administration's $28.6 billion program to help eateries that lost business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Peloton recalls treadmills after a child dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Peloton is recalling its treadmills after one child died and 29 other children suffered from cuts, broken bones and other injuries from being pulled under the rear of the treadmill.

US services sector slows slightly in April after record high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Activity in the U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, slowed slightly in April after hitting an all-time high in March.

Treasury warns of need to deal with national debt limit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says it will employ extraordinary measures to avoid an unprecedented default on the national debt this summer, but officials say those measures could be exhausted "much more quickly" than normal given the unusual circumstances of the global pandemic.

Stellantis CFO: Chip shortage impact remains 'controlled'

MILAN (AP) — The Stellantis automotive company created out of the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot reported Wednesday a 14% increase in first-quarter revenues, despite a drop in production due to the semiconductor shortage.

EU plans tightening foreign investment with eye on China

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is planning to tighten the foreign investment rules in the bloc to make sure that local producers and industries are no longer undercut by non-EU investors that have faced slacker rules up to now.


Despite business warnings, GOP moves ahead with voting bills

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican lawmakers around the country are pressing ahead with efforts to tighten voting laws, despite growing warnings from business leaders that the measures could harm democracy and the economic climate.

Cheney's GOP post in peril as Trump endorses replacement

WASHINGTON (AP) — No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney was clinging to her post Wednesday as party leaders lined up behind an heir apparent, signaling that fallout over her clashes with former President Donald Trump were becoming too much for her to overcome.

Blinken takes anti-graft message, old Russia foe to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Ukraine this week he'll be carrying a tough anti-graft message and strong U.S. backing for the country's response to Russian aggression. He'll also be taking along a familiar face in the Washington-Moscow tug-of-war over the former Soviet republic: Victoria Nuland.


Predators improve playoff position, beat Blue Jackets in OT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Roman Josi scored 3:24 into overtime and the Nashville Predators tightened their hold on a playoff spot with a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.


Tommy West, co-producer of Jim Croce albums, dead at 78

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — Tommy West, a music producer, singer and songwriter who played a role in the short-lived career of musician Jim Croce, died of complications associated with Parkinson's disease, his family said. He was 78.


Tennessee spikes bill to protect drivers who hit protestors

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee proposal to provide legal immunity to drivers who hit protesters and increase penalties for demonstrators who obstruct major roads has stalled for the year.


Supreme Court skeptical of low-level crack offender's case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Crack cocaine trafficking kingpins convicted more than a decade ago can ask courts to reduce their prison terms under a 2018 federal law. The Supreme Court on Tuesday sounded skeptical that people convicted of older low-level crack crimes can do the same.

US appeals court considers Idaho transgender athletes ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. appeals court on Monday gave little indication of how it might rule on the constitutionality of the first law in the nation banning transgender women and girls from playing on women's sports teams.


Tesla told to provide documents involving Musk compensation

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge on Monday ordered lawyers representing Tesla Inc. directors to turn over certain communications that CEO Elon Musk may have shared with the company's top in-house attorneys before the board approved a compensation plan in 2018 that could net Musk more than $50 billion.


Republicans ask why White House removed climate scientist

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two House Republicans are asking the White House for documents to explain why a scientist appointed by the Trump administration was removed from her post overseeing a government-wide report on climate change.

Researchers: Climate pledges see world closing on Paris goal

BERLIN (AP) — Recent pledges by the United States and other nations could help cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, but only if efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to "net zero" by 2050 succeed, scientists said Tuesday.


Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth as he tackles the vexing problem of winning over the "doubters" and those unmotivated to get inoculated.

FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 12 to 15 by next week, according to a federal official and a person familiar with the process, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year.

'Horrible' weeks ahead as India's virus catastrophe worsens

NEW DELHI (AP) — COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis and a top expert warning that the coming weeks in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people will be "horrible."


Technology shares sink broader market although Dow has gain

Technology companies dragged indexes lower on Wall Street Tuesday, pulling the market further from its recent all-time highs.

US trade deficit hits record $74.4 billion in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record $74.4 billion in March as an improving U.S. economy drove purchases of imported foreign goods.

Food of the future? EU nations put mealworms on the menu

BRUSSELS (AP) — Dried yellow mealworms could soon be hitting supermarket shelves and restaurants across Europe.

How companies rip off poor employees — and get away with it

Already battered by long shifts and high infection rates, essential workers struggling through the pandemic face another hazard of hard times: employers who steal their wages.

Wage theft: His paycheck bounced. It got worse from there.

On a Tuesday afternoon last June, Humberto was yanking old wires from the walls of a middle school in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, when his cellphone rang.

Treasury announces plans to borrow $463 billion this quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says it expects to borrow $463 billion in the current April-June quarter and $2.28 trillion for the full budget year, as the government finances continued pandemic relief measures.


EXPLAINER: Will Trump return to Facebook?

Former President Donald Trump will find out whether he gets to return to Facebook on Wednesday, when the social network's quasi-independent Oversight Board plans to announce its ruling in the high-profile case.

G7 foreign ministers meet face-to-face after pandemic pause

LONDON (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy industrialized nations gathered Tuesday in London for their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years, to grapple with how to respond to the military coup in Myanmar and whether to challenge or coax a surging China.

Flurry of diplomatic contacts fuel Iran deal speculation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A flurry of diplomatic contacts and reports of major progress suggest that indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran may be nearing an agreement. That's despite efforts by U.S. officials to play down chances of an imminent deal that would bring Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Biden quadruples Trump refugee cap after delay backlash

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden formally raised the nation's cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling set by former President Donald Trump.

Whose 'Big Lie'? Trump's proclamation a new GOP litmus test

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and his supporters are intensifying efforts to shame — and potentially remove — members of their party who are seen as disloyal to the former president and his false claims that last year's election was stolen from him.


Titans draftee Rashad Weaver facing simple assault charge

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tennessee Titans fourth-round draft pick Rashad Weaver has been charged with simple assault following an incident in Pittsburgh last month.


Nashville's Willis thwarts Miami early in scoreless match

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis posted two big saves in the early minutes and Nashville and Inter Miami played to a scoreless match on Sunday.


Tennesseans can request personalized license plates with app

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee residents can now apply to get a personalized licensed plate online with the MyTN mobile app.


Over Thomas dissent, high court rejects West Point case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a woman who says she was raped as a West Point cadet, with Justice Clarence Thomas alone arguing that the court should have heard her case.

Supreme Court won't take Maryland bump stock ban case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is declining to take up a challenge to Maryland's ban on bump stocks and other devices that make guns fire faster.


Public transit hopes to win back riders after crushing year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking the Los Angeles Metro for his first trip in months, Brad Hudson felt a moment of normalcy when the train rolled into the station in South Pasadena, California, harkening back to his daily commute into LA before the coronavirus pandemic.


EPA rule to phase out gases used in refrigerators, coolants

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the first Biden administration rule aimed at combating climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to phase down production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.


Piedmont to buy 4 Georgia hospitals from HCA in $950M deal

ATLANTA (AP) — One of Georgia's largest hospital systems is seeking to get bigger, buying two hospitals in Macon, one in Cartersville and one in Snellville for $950 million.

Poll: Government should help Americans age at home

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans agree that government should help people fulfill a widely held aspiration to age in their own homes, not institutional settings, a new poll finds.

Democrats must find narrow path to curb high medicine prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's call for authorizing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices has energized Democrats on a politically popular idea they've been pushing for nearly 20 years only to encounter frustration.


Attention travelers! EU proposes reopening external borders

BRUSSELS (AP) — In an announcement sure to be welcomed by travelers worldwide, EU officials on Monday proposed easing restrictions on visiting the 27-nation bloc as vaccination campaigns across the continent gather speed.

Tokyo Games need 500 nurses; nurses say needs are elsewhere

TOKYO (AP) — Some nurses in Japan are incensed at a request from Tokyo Olympic organizers to have 500 of them dispatched to help out with the games. They say they're already near the breaking point dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

UN program inks Moderna deal on 500M doses, starting in Q4

GENEVA (AP) — U.S. biotech company Moderna will provide up to 500 million doses for the U.N.-backed program to ship coronavirus vaccines to needy people in low- and middle-income countries, but shipments won't begin until the fourth quarter, the company and program leaders said Monday.

Russia, facing lags, turns to China to produce Sputnik shots

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Russia is turning to multiple Chinese firms to manufacture the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in an effort to speed up production as demand soars for its shot.


Wall Street logs gains Monday on strong earnings

Health care and energy companies helped push stocks higher Monday, as Wall Street kicked off the first trading day in May with more gains after a four-month winning streak.

Powell sees need to help most vulnerable in uneven recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the economic outlook has "clearly brightened" in the United States but the recovery remains too uneven with lower income groups lagging behind.

Growth in US manufacturing slowed in April from March high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in U.S. manufacturing slowed slightly in April partly due to a snarled global supply chain after hitting a 37-year high in March.

US construction spending up in March less than expected

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. construction spending bounced back in March following a February beset by frigid cold and winter storms across large swaths of the country.

When Buffett is gone, Abel will take over at Berkshire

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vice Chairman Greg Abel will succeed billionaire Warren Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway CEO, according to a report.

Verizon selling Yahoo, AOL unit to Apollo in $5B deal

AOL and Yahoo are being sold again, this time to a private equity firm.

Yellen: Biden's phased-in spending plan won't fuel inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's massive proposed spending on infrastructure, families and education will not fuel inflation because the plans would be phased in gradually over 10 years, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday.

Despite virus, Atlantic City casinos reinvesting millions

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — With COVID-19 restrictions limiting how many people can gamble inside, and revenue and profits plunging, this might not sound like the best time for Atlantic City's casinos to be spending big on renovations.


G-7 ministers to hold first in-person talks in 2 years

LONDON (AP) — Foreign and development ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations will be meeting in London this week in their first face-to-face discussions in two years, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holding talks with British host Dominic Raab later Monday.


Titans opt for cornerback Caleb Farley at No. 22 overall

NASHVILLE (AP) — Cornerback Caleb Farley couldn't be happier to finally stop answering questions about his surgically repaired back.

NFL draft: No suspense as 3 QBs dominate early picks

The themes for the 2021 NFL draft were many, starting with the quarterbacks.


Tennessee to move ahead with new broadband coverage map

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials are moving forward with a plan to map out just where hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans without access to high-speed Internet live, following the lead of other states that no longer rely on federal maps that overstate coverage in some communities.


Tennessee to see more trauma-informed schools

The Tennessee Department of Education on Thursday announced that 176 schools have been selected to become trauma-informed schools.


Giuliani probe includes look at move to oust ambassador

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities investigating Rudy Giuliani are seeking information related to a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted from her job two years ago on orders of then-President Donald Trump, a lawyer for Giuliani said Friday.

Appeals court tells EPA to ban pesticide or decide it's safe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to quickly determine whether a pesticide linked to brain damage in children should be banned, saying the agency had delayed acting on the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos for nearly 14 years.


Senator urges tough US rules barring gas-powered cars sales by 2035

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Senate Democrat is urging U.S. anti-pollution standards that would follow a deal brokered by California with five automakers and then set targets to end sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, a goal that reaches farther than President Joe Biden's climate plan.


All aboard! Biden to help Amtrak mark 50 years on the rails

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden, once a regular Amtrak rider, is set on Friday to help the nation's passenger rail system celebrate 50 years of service.


US to restrict travel from India over COVID starting Tuesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will restrict travel from India starting on May 4, the White House said Friday, citing a devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.

Pfizer, BioNTech seek EU's OK to use COVID vaccine on kids

LONDON (AP) — Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech have submitted a request to the European drug regulator for the approval of their coronavirus vaccine to be extended to include children 12 to 15 years old, in a move that could offer younger and less at-risk populations in Europe access to the shot for the first time.

Virus surge, vaccine shortages spread beyond India's borders

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — India has tried to fight skyrocketing coronavirus infections by increasing its production of vaccines and banning their export, cutting off supplies to neighbors such as Bangladesh and Nepal as they struggle with infection surges of their own.

Disneyland opening highlights California's COVID turnaround

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Four months ago, America's most populous state was struggling to combat a surge in coronavirus hospitalizations that packed patients into outdoor tents and killed hundreds of people each day.

AstraZeneca delays filing for US authorization of COVID shot

LONDON (AP) — AstraZeneca said Friday that it intends to seek U.S. authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the "coming weeks," acknowledging a delay in the much-anticipated filing that had been expected by mid-April.

India cases up as scientists appeal to Modi to release data

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian scientists appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to publicly release virus data that would allow them to save lives as coronavirus cases climbed again Friday, prompting the army to open its hospitals in a desperate bid to control a massive humanitarian crisis.


Big Tech stocks flex muscles again after a rough winter

NEW YORK (AP) — Big Tech stocks are flexing their enormous strength again, after getting knocked around a bit earlier this year.

Stocks pull below record but still end best month this year

Stocks pulled back on Wall Street, easing the S&P 500 below the record high it set a day earlier, but still closed out their best month this year.

Biden's corporate tax plan takes aim at income inequality

WASHINGTON (AP) — From John Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, American presidents have taken aim at corporate America's tax-avoidance schemes before — and mostly missed.

A look at how US corporations manage the tax system

WASHINGTON (AP) — As American corporations have generated an ever-smaller share of federal tax revenue, the burden has fallen more heavily on individuals, through the income tax and the levies that pay for Social Security and Medicare.

US wages and benefits jump as economy reopens

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wages and benefits grew quickly for U.S. workers in the first three months of the year, a sign that businesses are starting to offer higher pay to fill newly-opened jobs.

March US incomes surge as relief rolls out, spending jumps

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in nine months while incomes soared by a record amount in March, reflecting billions of dollars in government support payments aimed at putting the country firmly on the road to recovery.

Exxon posts $2.7B quarterly profit after unprecedented year

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil reported profits of $2.73 billion in the first quarter, after a tumultuous year led to major spending reductions.

Amazon's profit more than triples as pandemic boom continues

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's pandemic boom isn't showing signs of slowing down. The company said Thursday that its first-quarter profit more than tripled from a year ago, fueled by the growth of online shopping. It also posted revenue of more than $100 billion, the second quarter in a row that the company has passed that milestone.

Europe's economy shrinks in first quarter as US rolls ahead

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe's economy shrank 0.6% in the first three months of the year as slow vaccine rollouts and extended lockdowns delayed a hoped-for recovery - and underlined how the region is lagging other major economies in rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic.


Biden's agenda: What can pass and what faces steep odds

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden laid out a long list of policy priorities in his speech to Congress — and some are more politically plausible than others.

Water bill may open spigot for Biden infrastructure plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rarely has a routine water resources bill generated so much political buzz, but as senators hoisted the measure to passage Thursday the bipartisan infrastructure legislation served as a potential template for building consensus around President Joe Biden's ambitious American Jobs Plan.

Key piece of Biden's $1.8T families plan expires after 2025

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden couldn't get everything he wanted into his own $1.8 trillion families plan.

Gayle Manchin, wife of senator, to co-chair commission

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Senate confirmed Gayle Manchin, an educator and former West Virginia official married to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, to be the co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Senate confirms former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson to lead NASA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who once flew on the space shuttle, to be the next NASA administrator.


Fired CEO: Remarks were over male teen's behavior, not dress

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee man who was fired from his position as CEO of a telemedicine company for remarks he made to a male student in a prom dress said he approached the teen due to his behavior, not his attire.


Grants available for urban tree planting in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Agriculture Department is accepting applications for urban forestry tree planting projects.


'Right to Work' amendment heads to Tennessee voters

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee voters will have the choice next year to enshrine its "right to work" law in the state's Constitution.

Tennessee could mandate bathroom signs about transgender use

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill that requires businesses or government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms associated with their gender identity.

Tennessee lawmakers OK to-go alcoholic drinks for 2 years

NASHVILLE (AP) — Bars and restaurants in Tennessee could keep up the coronavirus-era offering of to-go beers and other alcoholic drinks for two years under a bill now awaiting action from Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

Tennessee lawmakers scale back gov's sales tax holiday plan

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are trimming in half Gov. Bill Lee's spending wish list items on restaurant and grocery store sales tax holidays, broadband expansion and local government grants. Instead, they want to funnel the money into the state's pension plan.


US appeals court listens to Tennessee abortion ban arguments

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday quizzed the defense presented by Tennessee's attorneys of the state's sweeping abortion ban, focusing particular attention on how prohibiting the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy would not be a considered an unfair burden.

An unusual coalition as Supreme Court rules for immigrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — An unusual coalition of Supreme Court justices joined Thursday to rule in favor of an immigrant fighting deportation in a case that the court said turned on the meaning of the shortest word, "a."

Biden announces 2nd round of diverse federal judiciary picks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced on Thursday another diverse group of candidates for his second round of judicial nominations, a day after some in his first slate of picks went before a Senate committee.


Ford posts profit, says chip shortage may cut production 50%

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. posted a surprising $3.26 billion first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, but the company said a worsening global computer chip shortage could cut its production in half during the current quarter.


TVA CEO: US needs tech advances to reach carbon goals

NASHVILLE (AP) — The head of America's largest public utility said they are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2035, short of President Joe Biden's goal of a carbon pollution free power sector by that date.

Top court: Germany must set clear post-2030 climate goals

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top court ruled Thursday that the government has to set clear goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2030, arguing that current legislation doesn't go far enough in ensuring climate change is limited to acceptable levels.


Pope sets 40-euro Vatican gift cap in corruption crackdown

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis set a 40-euro ($48) gift cap for all Vatican employees Thursday and issued a new law requiring Vatican cardinals and managers to periodically report on their compliance with clean financial practices in one of his biggest efforts yet to crack down on corruption in the Holy See.


Congress passes extension of opioid enforcement tool

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has voted to temporarily extend a sweeping tool that has helped federal agents crack down on drugs chemically similar to fentanyl.

FDA revives federal effort to ban menthol cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators pledged again Thursday to try to ban menthol cigarettes, this time under pressure from African American groups to remove the mint flavor popular among Black smokers.


Is it safe to go to big sporting events during the pandemic?

Is it safe to go to big sporting events during the pandemic? Not yet, but there are ways to make it safer if you go.

Free rides, beer and savings bonds: Vaccinators get creative

Free beer, pot and doughnuts. Savings bonds. A chance to win an all-terrain vehicle. Places around the U.S. are offering incentives to try to energize the nation's slowing vaccination drive and get Americans to roll up their sleeves.

Indians turn to black market, unproven drugs as virus surges

NEW DELHI (AP) — Ashish Poddar kept an ice pack on hand as he waited outside a New Delhi hospital for a black market dealer to deliver two drugs for his father, who was gasping for breath inside with COVID-19.


Stocks end higher, pushing S&P 500 to another record high

Stocks overcame a midday stumble and ended broadly higher on Wall Street, pushing the S&P 500 to another record high.

US recovery from pandemic recession is showing momentum

WASHINGTON (AP) — Powered by consumers and fueled by government aid, the U.S. economy is achieving a remarkably fast recovery from the recession that ripped through the nation last year on the heels of the coronavirus and cost tens of millions of Americans their jobs and businesses.

Jobless claims drop 13,000 to 553,000 as economy heals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 13,000 last week to 553,000, the lowest level since the pandemic hit last March and another sign the economy is recovering from the coronavirus recession.

Apple profit soars in latest quarter on higher iPhone sales

Demand for the iPhone and other Apple products drove profits to more than double in the January-March period as the tech giant continued to capitalize on smartphone addiction.

McDonald's comes roaring back as restrictions ease

The bounce back for McDonald's as restrictions were lifted across the U.S. was so strong in the first quarter that the company surpassed sales during the same period even in 2019, long before the pandemic broadsided the country.

Caterpillar 1Q sales rise as dealers boost inventory levels

Caterpillar's sales rose in the first quarter as market conditions for the machinery company begin to improve and dealers increase their inventory levels.


Biden turns to Georgia to begin pitch for huge spending plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the closing days of his presidential campaign, Joe Biden swung through the Georgia town where Franklin Delano Roosevelt coped with polio, making the case that government can be a force for good. Now, 100 days after taking office, Biden is returning to the state trying to sell voters on his ambitious vision.

Biden's declaration: America's democracy 'is rising anew'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden declared that "America is rising anew" as he called for an expansion of federal programs to drive the economy past the coronavirus pandemic and broadly extend the social safety net on a scale not seen in decades.

Biden speech takeaways: Government is good, and so are jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden returned to the U.S. Capitol, his home for more than three decades, and used his first address to Congress to make the case that the era of big government is back.

Analysis: Biden pitches big government as antidote to crises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty years ago, a newly elected American president declared government the source of many of the nation's problems, reshaping the parameters of U.S. politics for decades to come. On Wednesday night, President Joe Biden unabashedly embraced government as the solution.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden skews record on migrants; GOP on virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking a swipe at his predecessor, President Joe Biden gave a distorted account of the historical forces driving migrants to the U.S. border, glossing over the multitudes who were desperate to escape poverty in their homelands when he was vice president.

GOP's Sen. Scott suggests Dems use race as political weapon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Tim Scott accused Democrats on Wednesday of dividing the country and suggested they're wielding race as "a political weapon," using the official Republican response to President Joe Biden's maiden speech to Congress to credit the GOP for leading the country out of its pandemic struggles and toward a hopeful future.

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