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VOL. 44 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 1, 2020

The elusive face of re-employment

Keeping ready, willing employees on hold for uncertain future is a tricky proposition

When the effects of COVID-19 and the accompanying social distancing began to be felt in the state, unemployment was at near-historic lows.


‘Tyranny’ doesn’t mean what they think it means

It’s not a flattering image for Tennessee: A widely published photo of a woman at the Capitol, part of a protest seeking to “liberate” the state from coronavirus restrictions, holding a sign saying this:


Shutdown? Restrictions barely dent area home sales

Homes continue to sell during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 302 moving into the “under contract” category, Realtracs reports. That’s an increase of almost 20% compared to the 253 that went under contract the week before.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Light Rain Fog/Mist
Wind: South at 11.5 mph
Humidity: 93%


Roadmap For Reopening Nashville Webinar. Mayor John Cooper and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp present a webinar for businesses in the hospitality industry featuring Butch Spyridon, CEO Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp;Nuts and Bolts of Operating in the Age of Coronavirus: Alex Jahangir, M.D., Chair, Metro Coronavirus Task Force; Making your Workplace Safe: Hugh Atkins, Metro Public Health Department; Keeping your Employees Safe: Martha Boyd, J.D., Baker Donelson; Peer-to-Peer: Dee Patel, managing director of the Hermitage Hotel; Rick Schwartz, CEO, Nashville Zoo; Q&A Session for webinar attendees. Friday, 1-2:30 p.m. Attendees can attend the webinar using this link and the case-sensitive password: Metro2020.

more events »


Top Davidson County residential sales for March 2020

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

Top Davidson County commercial sales for March 2020

Top commercial real estate sales, March 2020, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

US mortgage rates at all-time lows; 30-year loan at 3.23%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates tumbled to all-time lows this week as the economy and housing market continued to reel from the business and social shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.


Webb DX to market serology test

Nashville-based Webb Diagnostic Technologies will begin marketing a point-of-care serology test in the U.S. that can instantly detect antibodies in whole blood, serum and plasma for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the company has announced.


2020 Hyundai Sonata offers challenge to Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has been Edmunds’ top-rated midsize sedan since this latest generation launched for the 2018 model year. But a new challenger has arrived on the scene: the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata.


How to ask your bank or lender for help with crisis

Many banks, credit card issuers and other lenders have promised to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They’re offering to defer or reduce payments and waive interest charges and rebate fees for those who have lost jobs, had their hours reduced or otherwise lost income to the COVID-19 crisis.


Steel town girl proves her mettle in rust-belt memoir

Strong as an ox. That’s you: a regular superhero, able to perform tall tasks in a single bound, powerful in both mind and body. Like a rock. Concrete. Granite. You’re like an I-beam holding up a 20-story building, unbending in the wind.


How COVID-19 is impacting employee sentiment

We can all agree the last month or so has been stressful. Life as we knew it changed in just a few days.


Parts of Smoky Mountains to reopen starting this weekend

GATLINBURG (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has been closed since late March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, is starting to reopen parts of the park, beginning with many roads and trails this weekend.


In reversal, Lee says state no longer implementing vouchers

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee's office announced Wednesday the state has hit pause on a new school voucher program, reversing course just a day after the Republican encouraged parents to apply despite a recent court declaring the program unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Tennessee parks holding virtual 5K race to benefit honeybees

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Parks is organizing a virtual 5K race this month that will coincide with World Bee Day and benefit the Tennessee State Park Honey Project., according to a news release from the parks.


SEC schools expect campuses to be open in the fall

All but one of the 14 schools in the Southeastern Conference have indicated they plan to reopen their campuses for the fall semester, a step widely believed to be needed to resume football and other sports.


Unanimous Supreme Court throws out 'Bridgegate' convictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out the convictions of two political insiders involved in New Jersey's "Bridgegate" scandal, saying that "not every corrupt act by state or local officials is a federal crime."

Supreme Court says Justice Ginsburg out of hospital

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is glad to be home after being discharged Wednesday from a Baltimore hospital, the court said.


AP Exclusive: US shelves detailed guide to reopening country

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A document created by the nation's top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging outbreak has been shelved by the Trump administration.


Neiman Marcus files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (AP) — Neiman Marcus, the 112-year-old storied luxury department store chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the first department store chain to be toppled by the coronavirus pandemic.

33 million have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades.

Study: Global luxury goods sales to slide up to 35%

SOAVE, Italy (AP) — The global luxury goods sector is heading for a stunning collapse of up to 35% this year due to coronavirus lockdowns, according to a new study by the Bain consultancy published Thursday.

US productivity drops sharp 2.5% in Q1 as labor costs rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. productivity fell a sharp 2.5% in the first three months of this year, the biggest decline since 2015, with labor costs jumping 4.8%.

Frontier Airlines will drop open-seat fee that drew attacks

Frontier Airlines is dropping plans to charge passengers extra to sit next to an empty middle seat after congressional Democrats accused the airline of trying to profit from fear over the new coronavirus.

Nintendo marks profit jump as people stay home amid pandemic

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. scored a 33% jump in annual profit, as people stuck at home turn to playing games.

UK economy forecast to shrink by most since 1706

LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England warned Thursday that the British economy could suffer its deepest annual contraction in more than three centuries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, before roaring back next year.

German industrial production down 9.2% in March on virus

BERLIN (AP) — Industrial production in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, dropped 9.2% in March compared with the previous month as shutdowns around the continent and elsewhere started to bite, official data showed Thursday.


Democrats make case for role of government in virus response

WASHINGTON (AP) — When he stood before Congress in 1996 and declared "the era of big government is over," President Bill Clinton gave voice to a doctrine that permeated Democratic politics for more than two decades. Government, while necessary, shouldn't be celebrated if the party wanted to win elections.

Some senators may be rethinking virus testing for lawmakers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some senators now say they'd like lawmakers to be tested for the coronavirus, just days after congressional leaders declined an offer of 1,000 tests from the Trump White House.

Trump vetoes measure to restrain his actions against Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that said he must get a nod from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Trump called it "insulting" to the presidency.


Titans agree to terms with veteran CB Johnathan Joseph

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph as they continue to revamp their secondary.


Vanderbilt University gets $20M grant for drug research

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University announced it received a $20 million gift to support the school's research into treatments for brain disorders.


University of Tennessee eyes fall semester back on campuses

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee system plans to end its hiatus on in-person classes amid the coronavirus pandemic and bring students back to campuses for the fall semester.

Tennessee seeks permission to continue voucher program

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee is seeking permission to continue implementing a new school voucher program just days after a judge deemed the law unconstitutional and unenforceable.


Lawsuit on behalf of Missouri meat plant workers dismissed

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of employees at a rural Missouri meatpacking facility, ruling that oversight of how the plant adheres to guidance aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus falls to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, not the courts.

Judicial nominee pledges open mind on health law he blasted

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge nominated to the nation's second-most powerful court said Wednesday that he was writing as an academic and commentator when he criticized as "indefensible" a Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Justices wary of 'Obamacare' birth control coverage changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed concerned Wednesday about the sweep of Trump administration rules that would allow more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Ginsburg, from hospital, joins in on 'Obamacare' arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a dispute involving Trump administration rules that would allow more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women.

Louisiana man embezzled $760K from Nashville-based Omnis

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Louisiana man pleaded guilty this week to embezzling more than $760,000 from Nashville-based Omnis Health Inc., where he formerly served as president, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.


Trump: COVID-19 task force not dismantling, just refocusing

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed course on plans to wind down his COVID-19 task force, attempting to balance his enthusiasm for "reopening" the country with rising infection rates in parts of the nation.

`If this thing boomerangs': Second wave of infections feared

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Europe and the U.S. loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force governments to clamp back down.

Senior scientist says administration ignored virus warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration failed to prepare for the onslaught of the coronavirus, then sought a quick fix by trying to rush an unproven drug to patients, a senior government scientist alleged in a whistleblower complaint.

'It's gone haywire': When COVID-19 arrived in rural America

DAWSON, Ga. (AP) — The reverend approached the makeshift pulpit and asked the Lord to help him make some sense of the scene before him: two caskets, side by side, in a small-town cemetery busier now than ever before.

UK scientist who warned over virus quits for lockdown breach

LONDON (AP) — Britain's health secretary said Wednesday that national lockdown rules were "for everyone," after one of the government's key scientific advisers quit for receiving secret visits from his girlfriend amid the coronavirus pandemic.


With factories dark, GM profit slumps 88%; 2Q likely worse

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' first-quarter net income fell 88%, but it still managed to make $247 million despite the arrival of the global coronavirus pandemic.

BMW: Outbreak will slow auto industry 'for quite some time'

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker BMW saw net profit fall slightly in the first quarter from a year earlier, when the company had a large one-time expense. The company said it expected earnings to deteriorate during the first half of this year due to the coronavirus lockdowns and predicted the entire auto industry would be held back by the outbreak "for quite some time to come."


NYT says it can 'ride out' virus as subscriber numbers boom

The New York Times Co. added new digital subscribers at a record rate as the coronavirus spread in the first quarter, helping offset shrinking ad revenues.


April jobs data to show epic losses, soaring unemployment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economic catastrophe caused by the viral outbreak likely sent the U.S. unemployment rate in April to its highest level since the Great Depression and caused a record-shattering loss of jobs.

Wall Street dips to week's first loss despite tech's efforts

Stocks fell on Wall Street Wednesday, sending the market to its first loss in three days, after more depressing data rolled in on the devastation sweeping the global economy.

US firms return virus loans as Treasury threatens penalties

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 40 public companies are pledging to return money to the government's small business coronavirus fund now that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is threatening criminal prosecutions for violating the rules of the program.

Small businesses cut jobs while waiting for government loans

NEW YORK (AP) — While thousands of small businesses waited for coronavirus relief money to arrive, they were shutting down and laying off workers.

Uber to lay off 3,700 workers and CEO to waive salary

NEW YORK (AP) — Uber is cutting 3,700 full-time workers and its CEO will give up his base salary with the nation largely still in lockdown.

ADP: More than 20 million jobs vanished in April

BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. businesses cut an unprecedented 20.2 million jobs in April, an epic collapse with coronavirus outbreak closing the offices, factories, schools, construction sites and stores that propel the U.S. economy.

A 20-year Treasury bond; part of $2.99 trillion borrowing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is detailing how it plans to borrow a record-breaking $2.99 trillion in debt this quarter which will include issuing for the first time since 1986 a 20-year bond.

Emerging virus aid bill aims to help cities, Postal Service

WASHINGTON (AP) — Although timing for the House's return isn't set, the outlines are emerging for a Democratic-driven bill to aid states and local governments, the Postal Service, and boost contact tracing to track the coronavirus.

EU, Balkans leaders to reaffirm ties amid virus crisis

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union and Balkans leaders are set to hold talks Wednesday aimed at reassuring six countries in the volatile region that the EU remains their most important partner, particularly as the coronavirus ravages world economies.


Kingfish Ingram wins 5 Blues Music Awards in online show

MEMPHIS (AP) — Guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram took home five Blues Music Awards in an online ceremony that featured appearances by Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray and other musicians.


Detroit automakers push for restart of plants within 2 weeks

DETROIT (AP) — Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories within two weeks, potentially putting thousands of workers back on the assembly line as part of a gradual return to normality.

Fiat Chrysler swings to loss as virus hits output, demand

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net loss of 1.7 billion euros ($1.84 billion) due to a steep decline in car sales during the coronavirus pandemic.


Judge rules Tennessee's voucher law is unconstitutional

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge on Monday ruled that the state's much-debated school voucher program is illegal and cannot be implemented despite education officials receiving thousands of applications from parents hoping to use public tax dollars on private school tuition.

Money for worldwide AIDS fight at issue in Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's second day of arguments by phone is devoted to a new version of a case it decided seven years ago involving federal money to fight AIDS around the world.

Another Tennessee inmate seeks execution delay amid virus

NASHVILLE (AP) — Another death row inmate in Tennessee is seeking a delay in his execution date this year due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.


Tennessee reports 1st death of state inmate in outbreak

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials have reported the first death of a state inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus — a man who was among the nearly 1,300 inmates who tested positive from one prison.


Whistleblower: Trump team ignored warnings on drug, virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government scientist was ousted after the Trump administration ignored his dire warnings about COVID-19 and a malaria drug President Donald Trump was pushing for the coronavirus despite scant evidence it helped, according to a whistleblower complaint Tuesday.

Production shutdowns shrink meat supplies at stores

U.S. meat supplies are dwindling due to coronavirus-related production shutdowns. As a result, some stores like Costco and restaurants like Wendy's are limiting sales.

Where's my check? Answers to common relief payment questions

The US government has distributed about 130 million economic impact payments to taxpayers in less than 30 days. The IRS anticipates sending more than 150 million payments as part of a massive coronavirus rescue package.

With camps shut, families face summer in the great indoors

Welcome to summer in the great indoors. Parents around the country are learning their children's summer camps will be canceled, delayed or moved online as the fallout from the coronavirus seeps into another facet of American life.

Here come COVID-19 tracing apps - and privacy trade-offs

As governments around the world consider how to monitor new coronavirus outbreaks while reopening their societies, many are starting to bet on smartphone apps to help stanch the pandemic.

Workers want virus protections before casinos reopen

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Casino workers across the country want their employers to provide them with protective equipment and adopt tough new cleaning and social distancing policies before the gambling halls reopen during the coronavirus outbreak.

Virus-afflicted 2020 looks like 1918 despite science's march

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a century's progress in science, 2020 is looking a lot like 1918.

Humana picks up the tab for Medicare Advantage doctor visits

The health insurer Humana will cover the whole bill for millions of customers when they are ready to ease COVID-19 social distancing and return to the doctor's office.

As Trump resumes travel, staff takes risks to prepare trip

WASHINGTON (AP) — For much of the last two months, President Donald Trump has rarely left the grounds of the White House as he's dealt with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and sought to minimize his own exposure to the disease.

White House limits task force appearances on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House memo to congressional committees says no member of the administration's coronavirus task force can agree to testify on Capitol Hill unless the invitation is expressly approved by the president's chief of staff. Democrats bristled at the rule as a crimp on their ability to gather detailed information about the nation's response to the pandemic.


Stocks end higher on Wall Street even after late-day stumble

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as more countries relaxed restrictions on businesses, raising hopes for a recovery from the historic plunge that is sweeping the global economy.

Aibnb laying off 1,900 employees due to travel decline

Airbnb is laying off 25% of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus.

Pelosi pushes new virus package as McConnell hits "pause"

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressed ahead Tuesday with the next coronavirus  aid, a sweeping package that is expected to be unveiled soon even as the House stays closed while the Senate reopens in the pandemic.

As US piles up debt to aid economy, even usual critics cheer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government has opened the spigots and let loose nearly $3 trillion to try to rescue the economy from the coronavirus outbreak — a river of debt that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago.

California sues Uber, Lyft over alleged labor law violations

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is suing ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, alleging they misclassified their drivers as independent contractors under the state's new labor law.

UK, US kick off post-Brexit free trade talks amid outbreak

LONDON (AP) — After a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, British and American negotiators have opened negotiations on a trade agreement that the U.K. government hopes will bring a post-Brexit economic and diplomatic boost.

US services sector falls into contraction, first in a decade

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. service sector plunged into contraction territory for the first time in a decade last month as the pandemic forced shutdowns and layoffs nationwide.

US trade gap rises to $44.4 billlion as virus slams commerce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose in March as the coronavirus outbreak battered America's trade with the world.

German court asks ECB to justify key stimulus program

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany's highest court has cast doubt on eurozone stimulus efforts by ruling that the European Central Bank has three months to show that a key bond-buying program is needed and appropriate.


Trump pick to oversee rescue spending pledges impartiality

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice to oversee a significant chunk of the $2 trillion economic rescue law is pledging to conduct audits and investigations "with fairness and impartiality.''

Trump's anti-China rhetoric aimed at boosting US leverage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is making ever louder pronouncements casting blame on China for the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to sidestep domestic criticism of the president's own response, tarnish China's global reputation and give the U.S. leverage on trade and other aspects of U.S.-China competition.

Senate to vet new intelligence chief amid shakeup, pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel is considering Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe's nomination for director of national intelligence, holding the in-person hearing amid President Donald Trump's shakeup of the intelligence community and under drastic new distancing rules to protect Capitol Hill from the coronavirus.


Storms knock out power, blamed for 1 death in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Storms with high winds swept through Tennessee knocking down trees and power lines, causing one death and leaving more than 100,000 customers without power, officials said.


Unimpressed by online classes, college students seek refunds

They wanted the campus experience, but their colleges sent them home to learn online during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, students at more than 25 U.S. universities are filing lawsuits against their schools demanding partial refunds on tuition and campus fees, saying they're not getting the caliber of education they were promised.


AP Courtside: Supreme Court wraps up its 1st phone arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has forced the tradition-bound Supreme Court into some big changes. Starting Monday, the justices are hearing arguments by telephone for the first time.


Tennessee confirmed virus cases jump 36% in one week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has seen a 36% jump in new coronavirus cases in the past week.


Vanderbilt finding ways to reuse masks, repurpose valets

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt University Medical Center had to scramble for personal protective equipment even before the coronavirus hit. That's because the deadly March 3 tornado that tore through Tennessee took out its distribution center.


World leaders pledge billions for virus vaccine research

BRUSSELS (AP) — World leaders on Monday pledged billions of euros for research to find a vaccine against the new coronavirus, but warned that it is just the start of an effort that must be sustained over time to beat the disease.

US to rein in flood of virus blood tests after lax oversight

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators Monday pulled back a decision that allowed scores of coronavirus blood tests to hit the market without first providing proof that they worked.

COVID-19 vaccine hunt heats up globally, still no guarantee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of people are rolling up their sleeves in countries across the world to be injected with experimental vaccines that might stop COVID-19, spurring hope — maybe unrealistic — that an end to the pandemic may arrive sooner than anticipated.

DHS report: China hid virus' severity to hoard supplies

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak — and how contagious the disease is — to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.

European virus tracing apps highlight battle for privacy

LONDON (AP) — Goodbye lockdown, hello smartphone.

'We don't know how it will end': Hunger stalks amid virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — When all this started — when the coronavirus began stalking humanity like an animal hunting prey, when she and her husband lost their restaurant jobs overnight as the world shut down to hide, when she feared not being able to feed her family — Janeth went outside with a red kitchen towel.


Treasury says April-June borrowing will be a record $2.99T

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Monday it will need to borrow a record $2.99 trillion during the current April-June quarter to cover the cost of the government's various pandemic rescue efforts.

Stocks shake off an early loss and end higher, led by tech

Stocks shook off an early stumble and scratched out small gains on Wall Street Monday, as the market's momentum slows following its best month in decades.

Fed enters a risky new world with 'Main Street' loan program

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the U.S. economy sinking into a severe recession, the Federal Reserve is set to launch a high-risk program through which it will lend money to small and medium-sized companies outside the banking industry for the first time since the Great Depression.

Carnival Cruise Lines plans to sail again starting in August

Carnival Cruise Line said Monday that it plans to gradually resume cruising in North America in August, nearly five months after it halted operations due to the new coronavirus.

What's shopping in a pandemic like? Drive to your local mall

NEW YORK (AP) — Many Americans are getting their first taste of what pandemic shopping looks like at their local mall.

Meatpackers cautiously reopen plants amid coronavirus fears

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota pork processing plant took its first steps toward reopening Monday after being shuttered for over two weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak that infected more than 800 employees.

It keeps getting worse for imperiled airlines

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Monday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Trump pushes economy reopening, says virus could kill 100K

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing to reopen the economy, President Donald Trump insists that states can gradually lift lockdowns and still protect people from the coronavirus pandemic, even as he's also suggesting U.S. deaths could reach 100,000.

J.Crew files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of J.Crew is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, two months after the first person in New York tested positive for COVID-19.

NRA cutting staff and salaries amid coronavirus pandemic

The National Rifle Association has laid off dozens of employees, canceled its national convention and scuttled fundraising, membership and shooting events that normally would be key to rallying its base in an election year.


US awards 29 Purple Hearts for brain injuries in Iran attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six Army soldiers who were injured in a ballistic missile attack in Iraq in January have been awarded Purple Hearts, and 23 others have been approved for the award and will get them later this week, U.S. Central Command said Monday.

US: Russia could try to covertly advise candidates in 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security and FBI warned states earlier this year that Russia could look to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections by covertly advising political candidates and campaigns, according to a law enforcement memo obtained by The Associated Press.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on Biden 'apology,' virus test myths

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is mischaracterizing Joe Biden's position on the U.S. pandemic response, stretching the facts on his own policies in the crisis and playing down the risk to meatpacking employees who are being called to work as infections run high.

Senate reopens despite risks as House preps more virus aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate reopened Monday in a Capitol largely shuttered by the coronavirus, but prospects for quick action on a new aid package are uncertain with a deepening debate over how best to confront the deadly pandemic and its economic devastation.


UT campuses proposing no tuition increases next year

KNOXVILLE (AP) — The University of Tennessee campuses are proposing no tuition increases for the upcoming academic year.


US construction spending increases 0.9% in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending edged up 0.9% in March as building activity escaped the early impacts of the coronavirus shutdowns.


Black robes or bathrobes? Virus alters high court traditions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is forcing big changes at the tradition-bound Supreme Court. The justices will hear arguments this month by telephone for the first time since Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention in 1876.


1,299 inmates test positive for virus at Tennessee prison

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee will begin testing all of its state prison inmates and staff after 1,299 of 2,444 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus at a privately run prison, state and prison officials said Friday.

FDA allows emergency use of drug for coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday allowed emergency use of an experimental drug that appears to help some coronavirus patients recover faster.

Front-line work during pandemic falls on women, minorities

NEW YORK (AP) — As America tentatively emerges from weeks of lockdowns, the pandemic has taken its toll on workers who have been on the front lines all along.

Conservative author says email mix up led to COVID-19 probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerome Corsi, a conservative author and conspiracy theorist who was a target in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, says the Justice Department is now scrutinizing his communications with a doctor who has touted an anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the new coronavirus.

Bangladesh factories resume work, risking new virus cases

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh has reopened hundreds of its garment factories this week after nearly one month of closures to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a move critics say risks igniting a sharp increase in infections among workers.


Stocks slide as Amazon, other companies detail virus fallout

Stocks ended lower on Wall Street Friday, giving up their gains for the week, after Amazon and other big companies laid out how the coronavirus pandemic is hitting their bottom lines.

US manufacturing falls in April as virus ravages economy

WASHiNGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing retreated again in April, a victim of economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon profit falls as pandemic-related costs rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's sales soared in the first three months of the year, as more home-bound people shopped online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Work safety strike, virus lockdown protest set for May Day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Essential workers will strike nationwide on May Day to demand safer conditions during the coronavirus outbreak, while other groups plan rallies against tight stay-at-home orders they say are crippling the U.S. economy.

Exxon profits drop as most of world stays home, forgoes fuel

NEW YORK (AP) — Profits fell at Exxon Mobil during the first quarter as the global pandemic began to erode oil demand.

Airline nosedive: American, United post huge pandemic losses

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and United Airlines lost a combined $4 billion in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic triggered a sharp drop in air travel, and the airlines are busy borrowing enough money to survive until passengers return in large numbers.

Apple pinched by pandemic; profit, iPhone sales decline

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple's profit dipped slightly while revenues rose in the January-March quarter, reflecting early fallout from a coronavirus pandemic that shut down its factories and then forced hundreds of Apple retail stores to close.

NASA goes private for 1st astronaut lunar landers in decades

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is turning to private industry for the first lunar landers for astronauts in a half-century, with three competing, quite contrasting versions.


Senate to convene with risks due to no quick virus testing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set to convene Monday but the health risks from the coronavirus are being laid bare as the Capitol physician says there is no way to quickly test the 100 senators and staff.

House panel wants Bezos to testify in antitrust probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers investigating the market dominance of Big Tech are asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify to address possible misleading statements by the company on its competition practices.

Biden declares sexual assault 'never, never happened'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday emphatically denied all egations from a former Senate staffer that he sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s, declaring flatly "this never happened."

Joe Biden gets backing of key Latina activist Dolores Huerta

WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta on Friday endorsed Joe Biden for president, giving him the backing of one of the nation's most prominent Latino leaders.

'Everyone's watching': Biden's VP audition process begins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wore a T-shirt on television emblazoned with the words "that woman from Michigan," a cheeky reference to President Donald Trump's dismissal of her. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined her onetime nemesis, Pete Buttigieg, for a friendly virtual chat on a late-night show. And Stacey Abrams speaks of her political ambition to almost anyone who will listen.


Tennessee unemployment claims still high due to coronavirus

NASHVILLE (AP) — The number of Tennessee residents who filed new unemployment claims last week topped 43,700, bringing the total number of requests for benefits to more than 435,000 since businesses began closing in response to the new coronavirus outbreak.


National nonprofit introduces Tennessee online news outlet

NASHVILLE (AP) — An online news outlet will begin covering Tennessee state government and policy starting May 6.


Judge weighs Tennessee voucher program arguments

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge on Wednesday weighed a wide range of arguments surrounding the legal battle over the state's much-debated school voucher program, noting that she plans on making a decision soon to ensure parents have enough time to plan ahead for the 2020-21 school year.


Workers must risk infection or losing unemployment payments

ATLANTA (AP) — Some of the millions of American workers laid off because of the coronavirus are beginning to face a tough choice — return to work and risk infection, or stay home and risk losing unemployment payments.

US intel: Coronavirus not manmade, still studying lab theory

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence agencies are debunking a conspiracy theory, saying they have concluded that the new coronavirus was "not manmade or genetically modified" but say they are still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at a Chinese lab.

Fauci warns states against 'tempting' a coronavirus rebound

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top infectious disease expert said Thursday that new cases of the coronavirus are a certainty as states begin to roll back restrictions. States need to proceed carefully as they take steps to reopen businesses and allow greater freedom of movement, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

Army defends decision to have West Point graduation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army's top leaders on Thursday defended their decision to bring 1,000 cadets back to the Military Academy at West Point for graduation, where President Donald Trump is slated to speak, saying that despite the coronovirus risk students would have had to return anyway to prepare for their next duty assignment.

This time, Pence wears mask as he tours Indiana plant

WASHINGTON (AP) — This time, he wore a mask. Vice President Mike Pence donned a face covering Thursday as he toured a General Motors/Ventec ventilator production facility in Indiana after coming under fire for failing to wear one earlier this week in violation of Mayo Clinic policy.


Wall Street's best month in 33 years closes with whimper

A crush of dismal data about the economy helped send markets lower Thursday, a meek ending to a historic, juggernaut month for stocks.

Trump predicts 'spectacular' rebound as economy plunges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trying to dispel economic gloom, President Donald Trump said Thursday that he's anticipating a major rebound in the coming months and a "spectacular" 2021.

Pork producer says it needs flexibility on virus guidelines

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The world's largest pork producer told a judge in Missouri on Thursday that it was working as quickly as it can to comply with federal guidelines that seek to slow the spread of the coronavirus but that it needs some flexibility in an industry where people typically work side by side.

Pelosi: States, cities seek $1T to avert layoffs from virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday state and local governments are seeking up to $1 trillion for coronavirus  costs, a stunning benchmark for the next aid package that's certain to run into opposition from Senate Republicans.

Fed expands Main Street Lending Program for businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it was expanding a major lending program to provide support for businesses struggling to cope with the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

30.3M have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the U.S. economy slid further into a crisis that is becoming the most devastating since the 1930s.

Virus outbreak pressures company profits, sales

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.

Commodities ripe for a rebound

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The near shutdown of the economy in response to COVID-19 has reduced demand for commodities like oil, lumber and copper and triggered sharp drops in their prices, but some analysts predict the stage is set for a rebound.

Report: Mexico's economy plunges deeper into recession

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's economic activity dropped 1.6% in the first quarter compared to the final three months of 2019, plunging the country deeper into a recession that predated the pandemic, according to a report released Thursday by the government statistical agency.

American Airlines posts $2.2 billion loss during pandemic

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines reported a staggering loss of $2.24 billion for the first quarter, when the coronavirus pandemic triggered a sharp drop in air travel.

US consumer spending plunges record 7.5%, reflecting virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending plunged 7.5% in March, reflecting the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic as Americans complied with stay-at-home orders.


Trump praise of 'tormented' Flynn raises pardon speculation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday voiced strong support for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, raising speculation that a pardon may be coming after Flynn's lawyers disclosed internal FBI documents they claim show the FBI was trying to entrap him.

Biden reaches deal to let Sanders keep hundreds of delegates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has agreed to let former primary rival Bernie Sanders keep hundreds of delegates he would otherwise forfeit by dropping out of the presidential race in a deal designed to avoid the bitter feelings that marred the party in 2016 and helped lead to Hillary Clinton's defeat.

Trump ally Roger Stone appeals sentence in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, is appealing his three-year prison sentence following his conviction as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

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