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VOL. 44 | NO. 26 | Friday, June 26, 2020

Fragile food supply chain bounces back

Beef plentiful again in time for July 4th

With a little luck – and weather permitting – many local families will fire up their backyard grills next week for a traditional July 4 cookout. Along with burgers and hot dogs, home chefs might be cooking up the kinds of meats they used to order in restaurants, thanks in part to market disruptions from the coronavirus.

Ready to give up beef? Is replacement ‘Impossible?’

For decades, those who were a vegetarian or vegan and craved meat had a few choices like tofu, tempeh, seitan and textured vegetable protein. Anyone for a Tofurky hot dog? Anyone?

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Gerrymandering makes TN look redder than it is

Campaign signs popping up in neighborhood yards were a clear reminder: There’s an election coming.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
74.0°F
Partly Cloudy
Wind: West at 9.2 mph
Humidity: 52%

EVENTS

Gallatin Fireworks. Gallatin Fireworks will be held Saturday at 9 p.m. This year’s show won’t be accompanied by a festival or any vendors. Triple Creek Park, Highway 31 E. will be open for parking and viewing. Social distancing is encouraged but will be the attendees’ responsibility. Information

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Midstate’s June real estate rally hasn’t materialized

There have been 719 real estate closings in Davidson County through June 22 compared to 1,010 for the same period last year.

REAL ESTATE

Davidson County real estate trends for May 2020

May 2020 real estate trends for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

US mortgage rates stall; 30-year remains at all-time low

NEW YORK (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage were unchanged this week as the benchmark 30-year home loan remains at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years.

BRIEFS

Nissan funds $28K in Lipscomb scholarships

After the COVID-19 pandemic and required social distancing forced the cancellation of the popular Nissan/Lipscomb BisonBots Robotics Camps this summer, Nissan North America has shifted a portion of its 2020 donation of $60,000 in a way that still nurtures future engineers.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Nissan banks on new Rogue small SUV to begin its US comeback

There’s a lot riding on the Nissan Rogue, the struggling Japanese automaker’s top-selling vehicle in the hottest part of its second-biggest market, the United States.

PERSONAL FINANCE

How ‘maximizers’ can cut decision-making angst

No one wants to waste money, but some of us go overboard trying to get the best possible deal.

BUSINESS BOOK REVIEW

Author’s vegetarian success born in Tennessee

Everyone said the meal looked great. And it did: picture-perfect, worthy of a magazine. Golden-brown turkey, chunky stuffing, creamy gravy, and Mom even made oysters. And you? Well, you had a mountain of naked mashed potatoes because animal-based products aren’t your thing, so dinner could’ve been better.

CAREER CORNER

Better be ready for better times ahead

A friend said something to me this weekend that took me by surprise: “Better times are ahead of us.” What took me by surprise was less the statement than my own reaction to it.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

How to plan and budget for DIY goals now

Did you find yourself cooped up during the pandemic-induced, stay-at-home orders, blankly staring at the walls of your house, longing for more?

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville July 4th fireworks canceled

The recent upswing in COVID-19 cases in Nashville and Tennessee have prompted the cancellation of Nashville's Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th fireworks.

STATEWIDE

Lee: Tennessee sees drop in distressed counties

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee says Tennessee has the fewest economically distressed counties since 2007, arguing that development signals improved economic conditions for those county residents.

COURTS

Justices: Congress can't see Mueller Russia investigation material

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is denying Congress access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation through the November election.

Supreme Court declines to hear Equal Pay Act case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that employers can't use past salary history to justify a pay disparity between male and female employees.

Court could end claims Nestle, Cargill abetted child labor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider ending a lawsuit that claims Nestle and Cargill facilitated the use of child slave labor on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast, a case that could further limit access to U.S. courts by victims of human rights abuses abroad.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Tesla 2Q deliveries rise over 1Q despite factory shutdown

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla says it delivered more electric vehicles worldwide in the second quarter than it did in the first. The increase came even though coronavirus restrictions forced it to shut down its only U.S. factory for much of the period.

REAL ESTATE

US long-term mortgage rates hit all-time low again

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week with the benchmark 30-year home loan hitting its lowest level ever.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

U.S., South Africa report new record coronavirus rises

BERLIN (AP) — The United States and South Africa have both reported record new daily coronavirus infections, with U.S. figures surpassing 50,000 cases a day for the first time, underlining the challenges still ahead as nations press to reopen their virus-devastated economies.

Tennessee officials offer stern warning as virus cases climb

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued a stern warning to the public Wednesday as Tennessee registered its highest daily increase in positive COVID-19 tests for the third time in a week and a half.

Closing bars to stop coronavirus spread is backed by science

Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks.

Trump plans huge July 4 fireworks show despite DC's concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's July Fourth celebration on the National Mall will feature one of the largest fireworks displays ever and as many as 300,000 face masks will be given away to those who want them — but despite health concerns from D.C.'s mayor, no one apparently will be required to wear them.

MEDIA

A pinch where it hurts: Can Facebook weather the ad boycott?

On Wednesday, more than 500 companies officially kicked off an advertising boycott intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with its organizers early next week.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

U.S. trade deficit rises 9.7% to $54.6B in May; exports and imports fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose for the third straight month in May. Both exports and imports fell as the coronavirus outbreak continued to take a toll on world commerce.

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1% in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs, the government reported Thursday. But the job-market recovery may already be faltering because of a new round of closings and layoffs triggered by a resurgence of the coronavirus.

American and 4 other airlines reach loan agreements with US

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines and four smaller carriers have reached agreement with the government for billions more in federal loans, a sign of the industry's desperate fight to survive a downturn in air travel caused by the virus pandemic.

A predicted surge in US job growth for June might not last

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers likely rehired several million more workers in June, thereby reducing a Depression-level unemployment rate, but the most up-to-date data suggests that a resurgent coronavirus will limit further gains.

European jobless rise contained by government help

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The unemployment rate in the 19 countries that use the euro currency inched higher to 7.4 % in May from 7.3% in April as governments used active labor market support programs to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on workers.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Congress extends relief program for COVID-slammed businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday easily passed a temporary extension of a subsidy program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus, speeding the measure to President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers to get classified briefing on Russia bounty intel

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials will provide a classified briefing for congressional leaders Thursday about intelligence assessment that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Wide shift in opinion on police, race rare in US polling

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's rare for public opinion on social issues to change sharply and swiftly. And yet in the wake of George Floyd's death, Americans' opinions about police brutality and racial injustice have moved dramatically.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely asserts Biden was fed questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has fabricated a complaint that Democratic rival Joe Biden was fed questions at a news conference and read his answers from a teleprompter. This didn't happen.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville will no longer prosecute minor marijuana charges

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk announced on Wednesday that his office will no longer prosecute individuals for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Lee: Capitol Commission to take up Confederate bust removal

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday that a state panel that has the authority to help remove the bust of a former Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan from Tennessee's state Capitol will take up the issue next week.

MIDSTATE

Roadside assistance firm to add 900 jobs in Clarksville

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — A company that provides roadside assistance plans to add 900 jobs over five years in an expansion in Tennessee.

STATEWIDE

FedEx reports a loss, but revenue tops Street expectations

FedEx Corp. flipped to a $334 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter, but its revenue and adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations as the virus pandemic continues to fuel a boom in online shopping.

Grants available to help childcare agencies through pandemic

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nearly 800 Tennessee childcare agencies have received grants to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release from ChildcareTennessee.

High school football, girls soccer won't start on time

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association said Tuesday that football and girls' soccer will not start on schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic.

ELECTION 2020

Some first-time Tennessee voters can't cast absentee ballot

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say they plan to enforce a requirement that first-time voters who register by mail cast their ballots in person, despite a judge's ruling that allows all eligible voters to cast absentee ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

REAL ESTATE

US construction spending fell 2.1% in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending fell 2.1% in May with both home building and nonresidential activity declining.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Report: Volkswagen drops plans for new plant in Turkey

BERLIN (AP) — German automaker Volkswagen is dropping its plans for a new factory in Turkey in response to a drop in demand for new cars during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media report Wednesday.

Volvo recalls nearly 2.1 million cars worldwide

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Volvo Cars said Wednesday that it is recalling nearly 2.1 million vehicles worldwide as a preventive measure after the company discovered that a steel wire connected to the front seat belts can be weakened.

UAW, prosecutor consider a monitor for avoiding corruption

DETROIT (AP) — A federal prosecutor and the United Auto Workers president are looking at using an independent monitor to make sure that a wide-ranging union corruption scandal never happens again.

MEDIA

Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

NEW YORK (AP) — An extraordinary stretch of news with the coronavirus pandemic and racial reckoning triggered by George Floyd's death has led CNN to its biggest audience for any three-month period in the network's 40-year history.

UK regulator urges new rules to rein in Google, Facebook

LONDON (AP) — British regulators want new rules to foster competition in digital advertising markets and rein in the industry's dominant players, Google and Facebook.

Erdogan vows social media controls after insults to family

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president vowed Wednesday to tighten government control over social media following alleged insults directed at his daughter and son-in-law when they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Pfizer reports encouraging, very early vaccine test results

The first of four experimental COVID-19 vaccines being tested by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech showed encouraging results in very early testing of 45 people, the companies said Wednesday.

Republicans, with exception of Trump, now push mask-wearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — In Republican circles — with the notable exception of the man who leads the party — the debate about masks is over: It's time to put one on.

Dems: 'Deadly delay' hampered nursing home virus response

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration was slow to comprehend the scale of COVID-19's impact on nursing homes and a disjointed federal response has only compounded the devastating toll, according to a report from Senate Democrats.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Background checks, a metric for gun sales, hit all-time high

Historic numbers of background checks to purchase or possess a firearm were done in June, a trend in a year marked by uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, a subsequent economic recession, protests over racial injustice and calls to reduce police funding.

S&P 500 index notches another gain on a mixed day for stocks

Stocks are winding up with a mixed finish on Wall Street, even as gains for technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq to another record close.

Fed minutes show concerns about severity of downturn

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month expressed concerns about the severity of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, saying the drop in economic activity in the spring would likely be the steepest in the post-World War II period.

US manufacturing bounces back in June on reopenings

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. manufacturing rebounded in June as major parts of the country opened back up, ending three months of contraction in the sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Survey: Companies added 2.4 million jobs in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added nearly 2.4 million jobs in June, according to a private survey, a large gain that still leaves total employment far below its pre-pandemic levels.

UK firms slash jobs to cope with outbreak's long-term impact

LONDON (AP) — Companies linked to hospitality and travel in Britain have announced thousands of more job cuts as the longer term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic take hold, choosing to slim down for survival rather than await potential government handouts.

China reopens but businesses struggle to lure back consumers

BEIJING (AP) — The Daronghe restaurant in Chengdu in China's west has reopened but, with business down by half, its staff of 150 come to work on alternate days.

China: US 'oppressing Chinese companies' in new Huawei move

BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday demanded Washington stop "oppressing Chinese companies" after U.S. regulators declared telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE to be national security threats.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Department of Homeland Security to safeguard US monuments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal agency that was created to improve the nation's response to terrorism announced Wednesday that it will be adding the protection of statues and monuments to its mission.

Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump's new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress. They expressed concern that the independent agency may become politicized.

Trump officials defend response to Russia bounty threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Criticized for inaction, President Donald Trump and top officials on Wednesday stepped up their defense of the administration's response to intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump's national security adviser said he had prepared a list of retaliatory options if the intelligence proved true.

Trump: I'll veto defense bill to keep Confederate base names

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is vowing to veto a massive defense bill to keep military bases such as Fort Bragg named after Confederate officers, swimming against sentiment in his own party and imperiling a 3% pay raise for the troops.

Analysis: What Trump leaves unspoken carries consequences

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump seems to rarely leave a thought unspoken.


TUESDAY, JUNE 30
STATE GOVERNMENT

Director of Tennessee's new sports betting program leaves

NASHVILLE (AP) — The director of Tennessee's new online-only sports betting program has left the post before the state's first bets were placed.

STATEWIDE

8 Tennessee communities getting economic development grants

NASHVILLE (AP) — Eight Tennessee communities are receiving a total of $2.3 million in grants under a program that helps develop industrial sites for business investment, state officials said.

ELECTION 2020

Biden to hammer Trump for handling of COVID-19 pandemic

WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans Tuesday to blister President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as he tries to demonstrate to voters how he'd handle the public health and economic crisis if he were in the White House. "It's not about you, Mr. President — it's about the health and well-being of the American public," Biden will say, according to prepared remarks released by the campaign.

Counties told to use new mail voting info, per court order

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee election officials on Monday distributed guidance required by a judge for counties to update their absentee voting information to reflect a court-ordered voting-by-mail option for all eligible voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

REAL ESTATE

US home prices increase 4% in April

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices gains accelerated in April even as sales have stumbled, a sign the coronavirus outbreak has had little impact on real estate values.

TECHNOLOGY

India bans TikTok, other Chinese apps amid border standoff

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian TikTok users awoke Tuesday to a notice from the popular short-video app saying their data would be transferred to an Irish subsidiary, a response to India's ban on dozens of Chinese apps amid a military standoff between the two countries.

ENVIRONMENT

Dem climate plan would end greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a plan to address climate change that would set a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while pushing renewable energy such as wind and solar power and addressing environmental injustice that harms low-income and minority communities.

COURTS

Supreme Court lifts ban on state aid to religious schooling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for religious schools to obtain public funds, upholding a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling.

Supreme Court: Booking.com can trademark its name

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says travel website Booking.com can trademark its name, a ruling that also impacts other companies whose name is a generic word followed by ".com."

Roberts a pivotal vote in the Supreme Court's big opinions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The biggest cases of the Supreme Court term so far have a surprising common thread.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Fauci: US 'going in wrong direction' in coronavirus outbreak

The U.S. is "going in the wrong direction" with the coronavirus surging badly enough that Dr. Anthony Fauci told senators Tuesday some regions are putting the entire country at risk — just as schools and colleges are wrestling with how to safely reopen.

Sunbelt states rush to line up hospital beds, not barstools

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida and other states across the Sunbelt are thinning out the deck chairs, turning over the barstools and rushing to line up more hospital beds as they head into the height of the summer season amid a startling surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

'Pooled testing' for COVID-19 holds promise, pitfalls

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top health officials are banking on a new approach to dramatically boost U.S. screening for the coronavirus: combining test samples in batches instead of running them one by one.

Europe restricts visitors from the US amid virus resurgence

The European Continent on Tuesday decided to reopen to visitors from 14 countries but not the U.S., where some of the states that pushed hardest and earliest to reopen their economies are now in retreat because of an alarming surge in confirmed coronavirus infections.

How risky is flying during the coronavirus pandemic?

How risky is flying during the coronavirus pandemic?

AP FACT CHECK: Actually, 20% of US lives in a virus hot spot

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been a frequent Trump administration talking point on the recent spike in COVID-19 infections: Don't worry, only a small sliver of U.S. counties is at greater risk.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks close out best quarter since 1998 with more gains

Wall Street capped its best quarter since 1998 Tuesday with more gains, a fitting end to a stunning three months for investors as the market screamed back toward its record heights after a torrid plunge.

Mnuchin says hardest-hit businesses should be next aid focus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress on Tuesday that the administration wants the next round of economic aid to focus supporting businesses like restaurants that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.

As virus roars back, so do signs of a new round of layoffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The reopening of Tucson's historic Hotel Congress lasted less than a month.

Airbus shedding 15,000 jobs, mostly in Europe

PARIS (AP) — Battered by the coronavirus pandemic, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said Tuesday that it must eliminate 15,000 jobs, mostly in Europe, to safeguard its future and warned of more thin years ahead.

US consumer confidence rises in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence rose in June, reflecting the partial re-opening of the country but the concern is that rising coronavirus cases in many states could jeopardize future gains.

Companies prodded to rely less on China, but few respond

BEIJING (AP) — The United States, Japan and France are prodding their companies to rely less on China to make the world's smartphones, drugs and other products. But even after the coronavirus derailed trade, few want to leave China's skilled workforce and efficient suppliers of raw materials to move to other countries.

Fed's program for loaning to Main Street off to slow start

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Haith, owner and CEO of a Denver-based restaurant chain called Teriyaki Madness, is in an unusual position for people like him: He's making money through food delivery and pickup and wants to borrow funds so he can expand.

Shell writes down oil and gas assets by $22 billion

LONDON (AP) — Energy producer Royal Dutch Shell warned Tuesday it will slash the value of its assets by $22 billion to account for lower oil and gas prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Trump faces pressure on Russian bounties to kill US troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday came under growing pressure to respond to allegations that Russia offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan, with Democrats demanding answers and accusing Trump of bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the risk of U.S. soldiers' lives.

Trump's two Russias confound coherent US policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to Russia, the Trump administration just can't seem to make up its mind.

Democrats call WH briefing on Russian bounties inadequate

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats returning from a briefing at the White House Tuesday said they still have many questions about explosive allegations that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan and questioned why President Donald Trump won't condemn Vladimir Putin over the issue.

GOP lawmakers urge action after Russia-Afghanistan briefing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight Republican lawmakers attended a White House briefing about explosive allegations that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan — intelligence the White House insisted the president himself had not been fully read in on.

Distancing from Trump? Some Republicans step up critiques

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than three years, President Donald Trump instilled such fear in the Republican Party's leaders that most kept criticism of his turbulent leadership or inconsistent politics to themselves.


MONDAY, JUNE 29
NASHVILLE AREA

NASCAR cancels December awards in Nashville due to virus

NASCAR officials announced Monday that the 2020 Cup Series Awards and Champion’s Week festivities will not occur as scheduled in Nashville in early December because of COVID-19 concerns.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Haslam tapped for think tank post

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Former Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has been recommended to join a nonpartisan think tank at the Smithsonian Institution, the White House announced.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Critics slam country artists for playing for unmasked crowds

NASHVILLE (AP) — Fellow musicians and fans alike are criticizing country artists who performed at outdoor concerts this weekend where social media pictures showed large, tight crowds without masks, even as COVID-19 cases resurge in the United States.

TOURISM

Smokies US park hires emergency manager from Yellowstone

GATLINBURG (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park has hired a new emergency manager who worked at Yellowstone National Park.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Nissan officials face angry shareholders on red ink, scandal

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida told shareholders Monday he is giving up half his pay after the Japanese automaker sank into the red amid plunging sales and plant closures in Spain and Indonesia.

TRANSPORTATION

Flight testing for Boeing's 737 Max could begin Monday

Flight-certification testing for Boeing's 737 Max, which has been grounded since March 2019 because of two deadly crashes, could begin as early as Monday, according to an Federal Aviation Administration email sent Sunday to congressional oversight committees.

HEALTH CARE

Dems push campaign-season health care bill toward House OK

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic package expanding "Obamacare" coverage approached House passage Monday, a measure doomed to advance no further that spotlights how the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump's efforts to obliterate the law have fortified health care's potency as a 2020 campaign issue.

COURTS

Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion clinic law

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era.

Court says president can fire Consumer board head 'at will'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for the president to fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Supreme Court refuses to block upcoming federal executions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August.

Supreme Court declines to hear border wall challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that rejected environmental groups' challenge to sections of wall the Trump administration is building along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Justices reject appeal from imprisoned Chinese billionaire

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a Chinese billionaire who was convicted of bribing United Nations officials to buy their support for a proposed U.N. center in Macau that was never built.

Supreme Court upholds prostitution pledge for AIDS funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld a provision of federal law that requires foreign affiliates of U.S.-based health organizations to denounce prostitution as a condition of receiving taxpayer money to fight AIDS around the world.

REAL ESTATE

US pending home sales bounce back huge in May

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rebounded a record 44.3% in May after a record-breaking decline the previous month, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sidelined both buyers and sellers.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Tennessee again extends COVID-19 state of emergency

NASHVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee on Monday extended the state of emergency for another two months as Tennessee continues to see large jumps in people testing positive for COVID-19.

WHO: Countries complaining about contact tracing are 'lame'

LONDON (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization on Monday dismissed complaints from countries complaining that contact tracing is too difficult to implement as a control strategy for the coronavirus pandemic as "lame."

Gilead prices coronavirus drug at $2,340 for rich countries

The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Powell says US economy facing heightened uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the outlook for the U.S. economy is "extraordinarily uncertain" and the success of the recovery effort will depend in large part on the country's ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Wall Street stocks claw back a chunk of last week's losses

Stocks shrugged off a wobbly start to finish solidly higher on Wall Street Monday, as the market clawed back half its losses from last week.

Billions of dollars in aid for small businesses go unclaimed

NEW YORK (AP) — Billions of dollars offered by Congress as a lifeline to small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic are about to be left on the table when a key government program stops accepting applications for loans.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Reddit, Twitch clamp down Trumpist forums for hate speech

Reddit, an online comment forum that is one of the internet's most popular websites, on Monday banned a forum that supported President-Donald Trump as part of a crackdown on hate speech.

Trump denies briefing about reported bounties on US troops

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Monday that President Donald Trump wasn't briefed on U.S. intelligence assessments earlier this year that Russia secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan because the information had not been "verified."

Beyond 'love,' Trump has little to show from N Korea talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours after an astonishing summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump boldly declared a breakthrough. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea," he tweeted.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump hypes bid to stem monument vandalism

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's persistent see-no-evil posture on coronavirus testing — if you don't look for the virus, the cases go away — defies both science and street sense. Yet he took it a step further with a comment suggesting that testing be restrained so the pandemic doesn't look so bad.


FRIDAY, JUNE 26
STATEWIDE

New rule requires Tennessee students to get flu vaccines

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee students will have to get their flu shot this fall and also be immunized for COVID-19 if a vaccine becomes available under an emergency rule unanimously approved Friday by the university's Board of Trustees.

UT SPORTS

Tennessee planning on fans in stands with Vols' budget cuts

Tennessee's athletic budget for 2020-21 is based on the Volunteers having fans in the stands for the upcoming football season but still includes a $10.1 million cut in overall revenues.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country music reckons with racial stereotypes and its future

NASHVILLE (AP) — When country singer Rissi Palmer was working on her debut album, she wanted a song like Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman," a song that would introduce her and tell her story to fans.

MEDIA

Facebook to label all rule-breaking posts — even Trump's

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook says it will flag all "newsworthy" posts from politicians that break its rules, including those from President Donald Trump.

New advertising campaign promotes the First Amendment

NASHVILLE (AP) — A third of Americans cannot name even one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, according to Ken Paulson.

COURTS

Tennessee high court panel pursues racial justice initiative

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee commission established by the state Supreme Court is starting a new initiative focused on eliminating barriers to racial and ethnic justice.

EDUCATION

Trump wants federal hiring to focus on skills over degrees

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is preparing to direct the federal government to overhaul its hiring to prioritize a job applicant's skills over a college degree, administration and industry officials say.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Amazon looks to self-driving future by acquiring Zoox

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Friday that it is buying self-driving technology company Zoox, which is developing an autonomous vehicle for a ride-hailing service that people would request on their phones.

California approves 1st-in-US electric truck sales rule

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators approved new rules on Thursday that would force automakers to sell more electric work trucks and delivery vans, a first-of-its-kind rule aimed at helping the nation's most populous state clean up its worst-in-the-nation air quality.

TRANSPORTATION

American Airlines will book flights to full capacity

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity next week, ending any effort to promote social distancing on its planes while the United States sets records for new reported cases of the coronavirus.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

As virus grows, governors rely on misleading hospital data

Governors in places seeing huge spikes in coronavirus infections often cite statewide data to assure the public they have plenty of hospital capacity to survive the onslaught, even as the states routinely miss the critical benchmarks to guide their pandemic response.

States retreat as confirmed virus cases hit all-time high

Texas and Florida reversed course and clamped down on bars again Friday in the nation's biggest retreat yet as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Trump administration seeks to scrap ACA as pandemic surges

WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases rise in more than half of the states, the Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Governors who quickly reopened backpedal as virus surges

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When Texas began lifting coronavirus restrictions, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott didn't wear a mask. He wouldn't let mayors enact extra precautions during one of America's swiftest efforts to reopen. He pointed out that the White House backed his plan and gave assurances there were safe ways to go out again.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks sink as virus cases jump, forcing states to backtrack

Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply Friday as confirmed new coronavirus infections in the U.S. hit an all-time high, prompting Texas and Florida to reverse course on the reopening of businesses.

US consumer spending up 8.2%, partly erasing record plunge

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers increased their spending by a record 8.2% in May, partly erasing huge plunges the previous two months, against the backdrop of an economy that's likely shrinking by its steepest pace on record this quarter.

Lobbyist Abramoff charged in cryptocurrency fraud case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jack Abramoff, a once-powerful lobbyist who spent time in federal prison for fraud and corruption, has been charged in a San Francisco court in an investor fraud case involving cryptocurrency and lobbying disclosure, federal authorities announced Thursday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Democrats fail to override Trump veto on student loan policy

House Democrats on Friday failed to override President Donald Trump's veto of a measure that would have reversed the Education Department's tough policy on loan forgiveness for students misled by for-profit colleges.

House adopts bill to make DC 51st state; Senate GOP opposes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Friday to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, saying Congress has both the moral obligation and constitutional authority to ensure that the city's 700,000 residents are allowed full voting rights, no longer subject to "taxation without representation.''

Pelosi pushes Senate with House passage of George Floyd bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Passage of the House Democrats' far-reaching police overhaul bill returned attention to the Senate on Friday, as the divided Congress struggles to address the global outcry  over the killings of George Floyd  and other Black Americans.

ELECTION 2020

Trump zeroes in on base to overcome reelection obstacles

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is sharpening his focus on his most ardent base of supporters as concern grows inside his campaign that his standing in the battleground states that will decide the 2020 election is slipping.


THURSDAY, JUNE 25
MUSIC INDUSTRY

The Dixie Chicks officially change their name to The Chicks

NASHVILLE (AP) — Grammy-winning country group The Dixie Chicks have dropped the word Dixie from their name, now going by The Chicks.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Lee fills slots on panel mulling Confederate bust in Capitol

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee filled vacancies Thursday on a Tennessee panel considering whether the Capitol's bust of Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest should be moved or changed.

Tennessee unemployment payouts sent to 290K people last week

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee distributed unemployment benefits to more than 290,000 people last week as the number of jobless workers remains high due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Tennessee State Museum to reopen July 1, require masks

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Museum is set to reopen on July 1, with temperature checks and masks required for all employees and guests.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Titans lure Birch from NFL office, add 2 other executives

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have lured Adolpho Birch away from the NFL office to join their front office and hired two other new executives.

COURTS

NYC judge rejects Trump family effort to halt tell-all book

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York City judge on Thursday dismissed a claim by Donald Trump's brother that sought to halt the publication of a tell-all book by the president's niece, saying the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.

Justices boost Trump administration's power in asylum cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday strengthened the Trump administration's ability to deport people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.

BANKING

Federal banking agencies ease Volcker Rule restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve and four other regulatory agencies announced on Thursday that they have finalized a rule that will ease restrictions curtailing the ability of banks to make investments in such areas as hedge funds.

Sweden fines large bank for money laundering

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A big Scandinavian bank is suspected of having failed to stop money laundering, the latest in a series of banks from the region to get caught handling dirty money.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US virus cases continue to rise at near-record rate

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. stood near an all-time high Thursday at more than 34,000, hovering close to the peak reached in late April during some of the darkest and deadliest days of the crisis.

US health officials estimate 20M Americans have had virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible.

AP-NORC poll: Support for restrictions, virus worries wane

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of steady progress, new confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed to near record levels in the U.S. this week. Experts blame a nation that's become complacent, and a new poll finds evidence to back them up: Support for measures to slow the virus' spread has declined from the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Virus whistleblower alleges ongoing retaliation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government whistleblower ousted from a leading role in battling COVID-19 alleged Thursday that the Trump administration has intensified its campaign to punish him for revealing shortcomings in the U.S. response.

Virus testing, tracking still plagued by reporting delays

ATLANTA (AP) — As part of the plan to restart its season next month, the NBA is preparing to test hundreds of players, coaches and others for the coronavirus each night inside a "basketball bubble" — a space at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, with extra protection against the disease.

Masks, travel restrictions, testing as virus cases surge

BANGKOK (AP) — Coronavirus case numbers are rising to dire new levels in several U.S. states and around the world, potentially wiping out two months of progress in fighting the pandemic and prompting governments and businesses to impose new restrictions.

Who hasn't heard of COVID-19 by now? More than you think

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A half-year into the most momentous pandemic in decades, it's hard to imagine that anyone, anywhere has not heard of the coronavirus. But scores of migrants arriving in Somalia tell United Nations workers every day that they are unaware of COVID-19.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed stops big banks from buying back stock, paying dividends

NEW YORK (AP) — A worst-case scenario for the U.S. economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic would cause nation's 34 largest banks to collectively lose roughly $700 billion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Banks lead gains for stocks on Wall Street in jumpy trading

Financial companies led stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday as traders welcomed news that the Federal Reserve and other regulators are removing some limits on the ability of banks to make investments.

Audit: US sent $1.4B in virus relief payments to dead people

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 1.1 million coronavirus relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people, a government watchdog reported Thursday. Legal and political issues hang over the misdirected taxpayer funds, the latest example of errors in massive aid being dispensed at crisis speed.

US GDP fell at 5.0% rate in Q1; worse is likely on the way

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.0% rate in the first quarter with a much worse decline expected in the current three-month economic period, which will show what happened when the pandemic began spread across the U.S.

Orders for US big-ticket factory goods surge 15.8% in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to American factories for big-ticket goods rebounded last month from a disastrous April and March as the U.S. economy began to slowly reopen.

US job market's modest improvement may be stalling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of laid-off workers seeking U.S. unemployment aid barely fell last week, and the reopening of small businesses has leveled off — evidence that the job market's gains may have stalled just as a surge in coronavirus cases is endangering an economic recovery.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Pick for top NY prosecutor won't withdraw from Trump matters

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick to be the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan won't say whether he would withdraw from overseeing matters related to Trump in his current job, as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, or if confirmed as U.S. attorney.

House Democrats push toward policing vote, challenge Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in the House are set to vote Thursday on a far-reaching policing overhaul, a moment heavy with emotion and symbolism after the collapse of a Senate GOP effort to address the global outcry  over the deaths of George Floyd  and other Black Americans.

As party leaders age, progressive Black Democrats take stage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yearning for change, a group of progressive Black Democratic congressional hopefuls is rushing toward the national stage, igniting rank-and-file enthusiasm in a party dominated by aging white leaders.

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