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VOL. 45 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 18, 2021

‘This is why you come to Vanderbilt'

Commodores ‘back to normal’ with delayed CWS title defense

Omaha bound! Those inch-high words – inscribed on front of the black-and-white baseball caps that Vanderbilt players donned minutes after winning the NCAA Super Regional – tell only part of the story of the Commodores’ odyssey-like quest to reach the June 19-30 College World Series in Nebraska.

‘That dude’ Vitello has Vols believing they can win CWS

Tennessee baseball players were always a little envious whenever they traveled to SEC stadiums with fervent fan bases. They wanted to create the same environment in Knoxville and earn some respect from opponents.

Analysis: Breaking down the College World Series teams

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A look at the eight teams competing in the College World Series, which starts Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park. (Capsules in order of CWS opening games. Coaches' records through super regionals):

CWS teams on homer binge will be challenged at Omaha stadium

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Home runs — lots and lots of them — have defined the NCAA baseball tournament so far.

Local Weather
Nashville, TN
Wind: Northeast at 8.1 mph
Humidity: 71%


Downtown Connect: Rebuilding Second Avenue. Hear from Second Avenue Recovery Project managers Ron Gobbell and Michelle Scopel with GHP about the progress in recovering from the Christmas Day explosion. An overview of community engagement and Urban Land Institute’s ambitious and comprehensive recommendation for the future of Second Avenue and the district. These recommendations consider real estate dynamics, urban design, equitable redevelopment principles, historic preservation and more while identifying opportunities to build back from the disaster. Fee: Free but pre-registration is required. Members only event. Instructions to join virtual event will be sent in advance. Thursday, 10-11 a.m. Information

more events »


Tell me, clickbait, which counties are tops in Tennessee?

Clickbait internet teases are generally best avoided, being frequently of the “15 foods you should never eat naked” variety. But they can be tempting. And I couldn’t resist one I came across recently: “Best counties to raise a family in Tennessee,” for various reasons.


Runaway market slows, still ahead of record 2020 pace

Middle Tennessee real estate unit sales increased 24% in May compared to May 2020, Greater Nashville Realtors figures show. With inventory as low as it is, there are those who might wonder how these sales could occur.


Top Davidson County commercial sales for May 2021

Top commercial real estate sales, May 2021, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

US average mortgage rates mostly lower; 30-year at 2.93%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week as the economy continued to show signs of recovery from the pandemic recession and recent bursts of inflation were deemed temporary by federal policymakers.


SVP-Singer purchased by Platinum Equity

SVP-Singer Holdings, Inc., with corporate headquarters in La Vergne, has reached a definitive agreement for Platinum Equity to acquire a controlling stake in the company along with its wholly owned subsidiaries.


Consider leasing with new car prices soaring

New and used car prices remain high as a global semiconductor chip shortage and increased consumer demand have caused a shortage of vehicles on dealer lots. The situation is expected to last many months, making it hard on people who are in need of a car today.


Don’t forget to live while plotting early retirement

Gwen Merz was fresh out of college in 2014, working an information technology job she hated, when she decided early retirement was the answer. She socked away every dollar she could, saving as much as 70% of her income so that she could quit when she was 35.


Asking the right questions when looking for new job

Sometimes, the devil really is in the details. This is especially true when it comes to the questions you ask when you’re looking for a job.


Untethered employees are looking for better benefits

Vaccination rates are climbing, and employers are rolling out back-to-office, back-to-normal plans. But some employees might want a new normal – one that includes flexible scheduling and benefits that align with their needs and values.


Texas knocks Volunteers out of CWS with 8-4 win

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Freshman nerves? Apparently there's no such thing to Texas relief pitcher Tanner Witt.


Tennessee State adding Academic eSports Center this fall

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State University is adding an Academic eSports Center that's expected to open on the school's main campus this fall.


Prosecutor: Bank CEO sought 'power' with $16M Manafort loans

NEW YORK (AP) — A Chicago bank owner traded $16 million in loans to ex-President Donald Trump's ex-campaign manager in a bid for a prestigious position in Trump's administration, a prosecutor told jurors in an opening statement Wednesday before a defense attorney assured them that the banker committed no crimes.

Supreme Court: Mortgage overseer structure unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the structure of the agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac violates separation of powers principles in the Constitution.

McAfee antivirus software creator dead in Spanish prison

MADRID (AP) — John McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, has been found dead in his cell in a jail near Barcelona, a government official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

High court backs businesses challenging California labor law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with California agriculture businesses in their challenge to a state regulation that gives unions access to farm property in order to organize workers. As a result of the ruling, California will have to modify or abandon the regulation put in place in 1975 after the efforts of labor leader Cesar Chavez.

High court limits when police can enter home without warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday put limits on when police officers pursuing a fleeing suspect can enter a home without a warrant.

Justices rule for student in 'cursing cheerleader' case

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the case of the cursing cheerleader, the Supreme Court notched a victory for the free speech rights of students Wednesday, siding with a high school student whose vulgar social media post got her kicked off the junior varsity squad.


Surprise 5.9% drop in new home sales; prices hit record high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes fell unexpectedly in May and the 5.9% retreat was the second consecutive monthly decline even as the median price hit an all-time high.


Battery material company to add 290 jobs in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A company that develops materials for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and other uses is planning another $160 million investment expected to create 290 more jobs in Tennessee.


Rights group: Facebook amplified Myanmar military propaganda

Facebook's recommendation algorithm amplifies military propaganda and other material that breaches the company's own policies in Myanmar following a military takeover in February, a new report by the rights group Global Witness says.


Longtime Southwest CEO will step down next year

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that longtime CEO Gary Kelly will step down in February and be succeeded by another veteran at the nation's fourth-largest airline.

FAA says US airports will get $8 billion in pandemic relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Airports around the country will share $8 billion in federal grants to help them recover from the pandemic, which caused a steep drop in air travel and a loss of revenue that airports expect from airlines and passengers.


Big US banks to employees: Return to the office vaccinated

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street's big investment banks are sending a message to their employees this summer: Get back into the office and bring your vaccination card.


Tokyo shapes up to be No-Fun Olympics with many rules, tests

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics, already delayed by the pandemic, are not looking like much fun: Not for athletes. Not for fans. And not for the Japanese public. They are caught between concerns about the coronavirus at a time when few are vaccinated on one side and politicians who hope to save face by holding the games and the International Olympic Committee with billions of dollars on the line on the other.


Stocks end listless day on Wall Street mixed as calm returns

NEW YORK (AP) — A listless day on Wall Street ended with indexes mixed on Wednesday, as nervousness continues to wash out of the market following last week's jolt by the Federal Reserve.

Amazon announces plans to build solar farm in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Amazon has announced plans to build a solar farm in Mississippi and in at least 10 other states, including Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

Teamsters aims to step up efforts to unionize Amazon workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that represents 1.4 million delivery workers, is setting its sights on Amazon.

Inflation poses new challenge for pandemic-weary businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses that endured shutdowns and lower revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak now must contend with another crisis: spiking prices for goods and services that squeeze profits and force many owners to pass the increases along to customers.

Buffett resigns from Gates Foundation

NEW YORK (AP) — Warren Buffett resigned Wednesday as trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which says it will announce plans in July to answer questions raised about its leadership structure as it deals with the divorce of its two founders.

Help wanted: Labor crisis plagues US restaurant industry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sherry Villanueva's family of Santa Barbara restaurants employed 350 people before the pandemic took hold and darkened dining rooms across California. Now, with the state's economy officially reopened, about 250 workers are back on the job.

House panel pushes legislation targeting Big Tech's power

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel pushed ahead Wednesday with ambitious legislation that could curb the market power of tech giants Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple and force them to sever their dominant platforms from their other lines of business.


In break with Trump, House GOP forms group on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Utah Rep. John Curtis says he's tired of hearing that Republicans — his party colleagues — don't care about climate change or slowing global warming.

Biden faces growing pressure from the left over voting bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — When New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones was at the White House for the signing of the proclamation making Juneteenth a national holiday last week, he told President Joe Biden their party needed him more involved in passing voting legislation on the Hill.

Poll: Many Democrats want more US support for Palestinians

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll on American attitudes toward a core conflict in the Middle East finds about half of Democrats want the U.S. to do more to support the Palestinians, showing that a growing rift among Democratic lawmakers is also reflected in the party's base.

Biden anti-crime effort takes on law-breaking gun dealers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is announcing new efforts Wednesday to stem a rising national tide of violent crime but questions persist about how effective the federal efforts will be in calming what could be a turbulent summer.

Pelosi signals new panel to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is signaling that she is poised to create a new committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, pushing closer to a partisan investigation of the attack after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent probe.

Biden pushes effort to combat rising tide of violent crime

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to lay out new steps to stem a rising national tide of violent crime, with a particular focus on gun violence, as administration officials brace for what they fear could be an especially turbulent summer.


Tatum HR bests Leiter's 15 Ks in NC St.'s 1-0 win over Vandy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — North Carolina State's postseason just keeps getting better.


First lady to visit Nashville, encourage vaccinations

NASHVILLE (AP) — First lady Jill Biden will travel to Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday as part of a national effort to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.


Board approves tuition hikes for Tennessee colleges

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Board of Regents said it has approved a tuition increase for the state's community colleges and technology colleges.


Lee, 14 other GOP governors urge release of Census redistricting data

Fifteen Republican governors sent a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging that the U.S. Census Bureau release redistricting data as soon as possible, saying further delays would hurt efforts to redraw congressional and legislative districts.


Court restores Tennessee 1st time voter limit on mail voting

NASHVILLE (AP) — A panel of federal appellate judges on Tuesday reinstated a Tennessee law requiring first-time voters in the state to appear in person to vote, reasoning in part that the COVID-19 pandemic is "unlikely to pose a serious threat during the next election cycle."

Judge tosses most claims over clearing protesters in DC park

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge dismissed most claims filed by activists and civil liberties groups who accused the Trump administration of violating the civil rights of protesters who were forcefully removed by police before then-President Donald Trump walked to a church near the White House for a photo op.


US existing home sales fall again as prices continue to soar

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously-occupied homes fell for the fourth straight month in May as soaring prices and a limited number of available properties discouraged many would-be buyers.


As passengers return to air travel, bad behavior skyrockets

Air travel can be difficult in the best of times, with cramped planes, screaming babies, flight delays and short tempers.


Some used vehicles now cost more than original sticker price

DETROIT (AP) — When it was new, the window sticker price on a typical 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR double cab pickup was just under $29,000. Two years later, dealers are paying almost $1,000 more than that to buy the same vehicle, even though it's used.

Nissan CEO promises turnaround for disgruntled shareholders

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida pleaded for patience from disgruntled shareholders Tuesday and promised a turnaround at the Japanese automaker, which is projecting a third year of losses as it struggles to distance itself from a scandal over its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.


How Big Tech created a data 'treasure trove' for police

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — When U.S. law enforcement officials need to cast a wide net for information, they're increasingly turning to the vast digital ponds of personal data created by Big Tech companies via the devices and online services that have hooked billions of people around the world.


Watchdog: Nursing home deaths up 32% in 2020 amid pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deaths among Medicare patients in nursing homes soared by 32% last year, with two devastating spikes eight months apart, a government watchdog reported Tuesday in the most comprehensive look yet at the ravages of COVID-19 among its most vulnerable victims.


Almost 900 Secret Service employees were infected with COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly 900 U.S. Secret Service employees tested positive for the coronavirus, according to government records obtained by a government watchdog group.

Biden pushes shots for young adults as variant concern grows

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as concerns grow about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead.

US hits encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms hit another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.


Wall Street rises, pushing S&P 500 back near record high

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks finished higher on Wall Street Tuesday, nudging the S&P 500 closer to the record high it reached last week. The benchmark index added 0.5%.

Fed's Powell says high inflation temporary, will 'wane'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday responded to concerns from Republican lawmakers about spiking inflation by reiterating his view that current price increases will likely prove temporary.

Background checks blocked a record-high 300K gun sales in 2020

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The number of people stopped from buying guns through the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Hottest seller at GameStop is its own stock, $1B raised

GameStop raised more than $1 billion in its latest stock sale, capitalizing on a newly arrived and fervent army of online investors.

UK pushes Pacific trade talks amid broader new focus on Asia

BANGKOK (AP) — The U.K. launched negotiations Tuesday to join a trans-Pacific trade bloc as it looks to explore new opportunities following its departure from the European Union and strengthen its strategic interests in Asia.


DC statehood facing long odds in the Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C., vowed Tuesday to keep pushing even though the prospects were dim as the bill began working its way through the Senate.

GOP ready to block elections bill in Senate showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats' expansive elections and voting bill headed  for all but certain rejection late Tuesday in a key Senate test vote, providing a dramatic example of Republicans' use of the filibuster  to block legislation and forcing hard questions for Democrats over next steps.

Paid in full? Biden, GOP struggle over infrastructure costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional negotiators and the White House appear open to striking a roughly $1 trillion deal on infrastructure. But they are struggling with the hard part — how to pay for it.

Powell says economy growing rapidly, inflation up 'notably'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is growing at a healthy clip, and that has accelerated inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says in written testimony to be delivered Tuesday at a congressional oversight hearing.

Iran's election unsettles Biden's hope for a nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Biden administration officials are insisting that the election of a hard-liner as Iran's president won't affect prospects for reviving the faltering 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. But there are already signs that their goal of locking in a deal just got tougher.


VU faces NC State tonight following 7-6 12-inning win in CWS opener

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Vanderbilt made it to Omaha with a young team, one almost entirely different from the one that won the national championship here in 2019.


Michaels, Abbott lead Virginia past Vols 6-0 in CWS opener

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Logan Michaels gave his dad one of the greatest Father's Day gifts imaginable Sunday.


Metro hits $5 billion in building permits for year

Metro Nashville has for the first time surpassed $5 billion in the value of its issued construction permits, Metro Department of Codes officials say.


High court: Congress erred in patent dispute board setup

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Congress erred when it set up a board to oversee patent disputes by failing to make the judges properly accountable to the president.

High court sides with ex-athletes in NCAA compensation case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that the NCAA can't enforce rules limiting education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges offer to student-athletes, a ruling that could help push changes in how the student-athletes are compensated.

When it comes to heated divorce, pets aren't people too

NEW YORK (AP) — In the eyes of the law, pets are property when it comes to divorce, but new ways of working out custody of the dog, cat or parrot have sprung up with special mediators and "petnups" to avoid courtroom disputes.

Tennessee providing electronic updates on inmate status

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Correction announced it is participating in a service that provides the public with criminal case information and custody status of inmates.


Biden outlines vaccine plan, set to miss global-sharing goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to shipping 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June because of regulatory and other hurdles, officials said as they announced new plans Monday for sharing the shots globally.

Tokyo Olympics to allow local fans — but with strict limits

TOKYO (AP) — A limited number of local fans will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics, organizers announced Monday as they tried to save some of the spirit of the Games where even cheering has been banned.

Vaccine hesitancy puts India's gains against virus at risk

JAMSOTI, India (AP) — In Jamsoti, a village tucked deep inside India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the common refrain among the villagers is that the coronavirus spreads only in cities. The deadly infection, they believe, does not exist in villages.


Wall Street snaps back following worst week since February

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rebounded on Wall Street Monday and clawed back most of their sharp loss from last week. The S&P 500 snapped 1.4% higher as the initial jolt passed from the Federal Reserve's reminder that it will eventually offer less help for markets. Oil producers, banks and other companies that were hit particularly hard last week made the biggest gains. High-growth tech stocks lagged. Shorter-term yields fell, and longer-term yields rose in another reversal from last week's initial reaction to the Fed's saying it may raise rates twice by late 2023.

Inflation ahead? Even a top economist says it's complicated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two months of sharply rising prices have raised concerns that record-high government financial aid and the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rate policies — when the economy is already surging — have elevated the risk of accelerating inflation.

Agency: Tennessee zinc miner fired for voicing safety worry

NASHVILLE (AP) — Federal regulators have brought a complaint against a zinc mining company, claiming that an employee in Tennessee was illegally fired for making safety complaints about the mine.


Biden White House launches public push for child tax credit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House sought Monday to raise awareness of the federal government's new expanded child tax credit, which will start paying out monthly in July to families with children who are 17 years old and younger.

EU, US, UK, Canada join forces to slap sanctions on Belarus

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada joined forces Monday to impose sanctions on several senior officials in Belarus over the forced diversion to Minsk of a passenger plane travelling between two EU countries last month.

Biden, Congress face a summer grind to create legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Until recently, the act of governing seemed to happen at the speed of presidential tweets. But now President Joe Biden is settling in for what appears will be a long, summer slog of legislating.

New leaders, new era: US-Israel relations reach crossroads

WASHINGTON (AP) — Their countries at crossroads, the new leaders of the United States and Israel have inherited a relationship that is at once imperiled by increasingly partisan domestic political considerations and deeply bound in history and an engrained recognition that they need each other.


Tennessee lawmakers seek answers on shelter for migrant kids

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers are calling for more scrutiny of a Chattanooga shelter for immigrant children after state officials confirmed that an unaccompanied migrant child reported being abused there.


Man admits threatening Tennessee, Missouri congressmen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri man has admitted that he threatened U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and Steve Cohen of Tennessee because he was upset by comments they made.


Tennessee launches ads aimed at filling hospitality jobs

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee tourism officials have launched a $150,000 ad campaign in and outside the state to help fill leisure and hospitality jobs amid a bounce-back from the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the industry.


EPA chief reinstates science advisory board he dismantled

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he has fully reinstated one of two key advisory boards he dismantled earlier this year in a push for "scientific integrity" at the agency.


Biden to announce 300M COVID-19 shots given in 150 days

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is marking another milestone in his quest to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and help Americans return to a more normal way of life.

AP-NORC poll: Many Americans resuming pre-virus activities

MEMPHIS (AP) — Many Americans are relaxing precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and resuming everyday activities, even as some worry that coronavirus-related restrictions were hastily lifted, a new poll shows.


US stocks slump; S&P 500 has its worst week since February

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank again on Wall Street Friday, knocking the S&P 500 to its worst weekly loss since February, as more steam comes out of banks and other stocks that soared earlier this year with expectations for the economy and inflation.

Cruise giant Carnival says customers affected by breach

Carnival Corp. said Thursday that a data breach in March might have exposed personal information about customers and employees on Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.


Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gas prices have whizzed past $3 per gallon in much of the nation. The cost of used cars and new furniture, airline tickets, department store blouses, ground beef and a Chipotle burrito are on the rise, too.

Voting bill showdown looms as GOP rejects Manchin plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set for a key vote Tuesday on a sweeping rewrite of voting and election law, setting up a dramatic test of Democratic unity on a top priority that Republicans are vowing to block.

GOP needs new health care target as 'Obamacare' survives again

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's latest rejection of a Republican effort to dismantle "Obamacare" signals anew that the GOP must look beyond repealing the law if it wants to hone the nation's health care problems into a winning political issue.

Back home: Biden has daunting to-do list after European tour

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is facing a formidable to-do list now that he's back from his summit-filled trip to Europe, with pressing legislative challenges, foreign policy follow-up and a need to steer the country's reopening as the coronavirus threat recedes.

Black Americans laud Juneteenth holiday, say more work ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black Americans rejoiced after President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, but some said that, while they appreciated the recognition at a time of racial reckoning in America, more is needed to change policies that disadvantage too many of their brethren.

Senator: Military justice changes must go beyond sex cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is on the brink of success in her yearslong campaign to get sexual assault cases removed from the military chain of command. But getting over the finish line may depend on whether she can overcome wariness about broader changes she's seeking to the military justice system.


Work comes first to make sure Jones boosts Titans' offense

NASHVILLE (AP) — The phrase "Pick your poison" has been used a lot to describe the Tennessee offense since the Titans traded for Julio Jones.


Former Tennessee doctor gets 3 years for illegal opioid distribution

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee doctor who pleaded guilty to unlawfully distributing opioids has been sentenced to three years in prison, the Justice Department said.

High court backs Nestle, Cargill in child slave labor suit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with food giants Nestle and Cargill in a lawsuit that claimed they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor.

'Obamacare' survives: Supreme Court dismisses big challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court, though increasingly conservative in makeup, rejected the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as "Obamacare" on Thursday, preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

Another victory at the Supreme Court for religious groups

WASHINGTON (AP) — In another victory for religious groups at the Supreme Court, the justices on Thursday unanimously sided with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples. The court said the city of Philadelphia wrongly limited its relationship with the group as a result of the agency's policy.

Commission selects three candidates to fill judicial vacancy

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's Trial Court Vacancy Commission on Wednesday selected three possible candidates to fill a vacancy in the 19th Judicial Circuit.

Prosecutors seek 'very substantial' prison time for Avenatti

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors urged a judge Wednesday to impose a "very substantial" prison sentence on Michael Avenatti for trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

Mistrial declared in case of University of Tennessee professor

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A federal judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a former University of Tennessee researcher charged with hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving research grants from the federal government.


Southern Baptists vote to probe leaders' sex abuse response

NASHVILLE (AP) — Delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to create a task force to oversee an independent investigation into the denomination's handling of sexual abuse.


Southwest still struggling with flight delays, cancellations

DALLAS (AP) — Passengers on Southwest Airlines had to deal with canceled flights and delays for a third day on Wednesday, as the airline tried to recover from technology problems that started earlier this week.


Auto show back in Detroit next year with focus on outdoors

DETROIT (AP) — The head of Detroit's big international auto show says it will return to the Motor City next year, but with smaller indoor displays, and more emphasis on experiencing vehicles and technology outside.

Ford says outlook for 2nd quarter is improving

Ford's outlook for the second quarter is improving, as the automaker is seeing strong customer reservations for four of its new vehicles.


Official: US to spend $3B for antiviral pills for COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is devoting more than $3 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19, according to an official briefed on the matter.

US locks down embassy in Afghanistan amid COVID-19 surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan ordered a near-complete lockdown Thursday because of a massive spike in coronavirus cases among employees.

Japan announces easing of virus emergency ahead of Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Thursday announced the easing of a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas from next week, with new daily cases falling just as the country begins final preparations for the Olympics starting in just over a month.

Why are Olympics going on despite public, medical warnings?

TOKYO (AP) — Public sentiment in Japan has been generally opposed to holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, partly based on fears the coronavirus will spike as almost 100,000 people — athletes and others — enter for both events.

In poorest countries, surges worsen shortages of vaccines

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Hati Maronjei once swore he would never get a COVID-19 shot, after a pastor warned that vaccines aren't safe.


Most stocks fall, tech holds up as markets digest Fed moves

NEW YORK (AP) — Most stocks ended lower on Wall Street Thursday as investors continued to interpret new guidance from the Federal Reserve, which is now looking at potentially raising interest rates as soon as 2023.

US jobless claims tick up to 412,000 from a pandemic low

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession.

Scotch whisky makers welcome suspension of costly US tariffs

LONDON (AP) — Scotch single malt whisky makers breathed a sigh of relief Thursday after the United States agreed to suspend tariffs on one of Scotland's main exports following the resolution of a long-standing trade row between the U.S. and the EU over subsidies to aircraft companies Boeing and Airbus.

DOJ sues to block AON's $30B acquisition of Willis Towers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has sued to block the merger of two of the world's largest insurance brokers, asserting the deal could eliminate competition, raise prices and hamper innovation for U.S. businesses, employers and unions that use the companies' services.


Dems eye $6T plan on infrastructure, Medicare, immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are eyeing a $6 trillion infrastructure investment plan that goes far beyond roads and bridges to include core party priorities, from lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 and adding vision and hearing benefits to incorporating a long-running effort to provide legal status for certain immigrants, including "Dreamers."

General 'shocked' by AP report on AWOL guns, considers fix

Shocked by an Associated Press investigation into the loss and theft of military guns, the Pentagon's top general signaled Thursday that he will consider a "systematic fix" to how the armed services keep account of their firearms.

Biden abroad: Pitching America to welcoming, wary allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden spent his first trip overseas highlighting a sharp break from his disruptive predecessor, selling that the United States was once more a reliable ally with a steady hand at the wheel. European allies welcomed the pitch — and even a longtime foe acknowledged it.

Biden trip takeaways: Respect, optimism, some skepticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's first overseas trip put his diplomatic and negotiating philosophy on display, as he rallied traditional U.S. democratic allies to confront new and old challenges and offered an often rosy take on the possibilities of cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a one-on-one summit.

Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, saying he believes it will go down as one of the greatest honors he has as president.

Bipartisan infrastructure group swells to 21 senators

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan senators' group working on a $1 trillion infrastructure compromise more than doubled in size to 21 members Wednesday, a key threshold that gives momentum to their effort as President Joe Biden returns from overseas at a pivotal time for his big legislative priority.

House poised to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, is expected to approve legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq, a step supporters say is necessary to constrain presidential war powers even though it is unlikely to affect U.S. military operations around the world.

Senators press Interior Secretary Haaland on oil lease pause

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both Republican and Democratic senators pressed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for answers Wednesday after a federal court blocked the Biden administration's suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

Justice Dept.: Missouri governor can't void federal gun laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is warning Missouri officials that the state can't ignore federal law, after the governor signed a bill last week that bans police from enforcing federal gun rules.

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