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VOL. 45 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 13, 2021

Rescuing ‘Someone like me’

Police, nonprofits work in tandem to save human trafficking victims

Margie Quin recalls the breakthrough with a bit of wonder lingering as she shared the memory: A handful of special agents listening intently to a newly rescued sex trafficking survivor who had just turned 18.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Poll: Mortgage shoppers still seeking human interaction

With the pandemic gaining speed once again, many Realtors and sellers are concerned as to how the market will be affected. With the Nashville market having its best two years in history during the pandemic, most are not worried.

REAL ESTATE

Top Davidson County residential sales for July 2021

Top residential real estate sales, July 2021, for Davidson County, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
52.0°F
Fair
Wind: Calm mph
Humidity: 80%

EVENTS

Williamson County Job Fair. Williamson, Inc. is partnering with American Job Center and Visit Franklin. Fourth floor of the McEwen Northside Building, 4031 Aspen Grove Drive, with free parking at 4000 Rush Street. Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free event, bring resume. Information

more events »

US mortgage rates up after 6-week decline; 30-year at 2.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates rose this week for the first time after six weeks of declines amid signs of strong economic recovery.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Judge, historian Haywood a little strange, even for his era

Some once-prominent historical figures are being eased into the background now, judged by contemporary standards as having been on the wrong side of history.

NEWSMAKERS

Gresham Smith announces executive team expansion

Gresham Smith, a national architecture and engineering firm based in Nashville, has expanded its executive management team, with Peter Oram, market vice president for the firm’s Transportation and Water + Environment businesses, being named chief operating officer, and Kelly Knight Hodges, market vice president for the firm’s Corporate + Urban Design business, selected as chief development and engagement officer, a new role that expands Gresham Smith’s executive management team from four to five members.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Injury absence gave Titans' Lewan deeper appreciation for game

Taylor Lewan doesn’t come off as the sentimental type.

Titans also relying on Farley, Dupree comebacks

Taylor Lewan isn’t the only key Titan player coming off an injury to make his way back onto the practice field in this training camp.

Titans vs. Falcons: Four downs

Yes, it is preseason, but let’s look at four things to watch for when the Titans open with the Atlanta Falcons Friday in the Mercedes-Benz Dome. It will be interesting to see how the playing time is divvied up now with the preseason reduced from four games to three.

BRIEFS

Metro Council approves grants to 21 nonprofits

Metro Council has approved 21 Opportunity Grants to nonprofits working to enhance community safety and reduce violence in Nashville-Davidson County. This is the first round of funding from the $2 million Community Safety Partnership Fund, which Metro Nashville created with Governor’s Grant dollars earlier this year.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

The five best hybrid SUVs you can buy

Buying a hybrid vehicle is typically a smart way to help save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint compared to a conventional gasoline-only vehicle.

CAREER CORNER

Employers must also be on their best behavior

Job applicants have many social rules that are necessary to increase their chances of being taken seriously as a candidate. On the flip side, there also are rules companies should follow when interviewing candidates. These give the company the best chances of attracting the best candidates.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Ready for results? Find a mentor, put in the work

As your financial and professional lives become more complex, going it alone will only get you so far.

MUSIC INDUSTRY

Country star Sam Hunt pleads guilty to drinking and driving

NASHVILLE (AP) — Country singer Sam Hunt has pleaded guilty to drinking and driving in Tennessee.

UT SPORTS

Former Vols could have big impact on new teams

Tennessee hasn't finished a season ranked higher than 22nd since 2007, yet there still figures to be a heavy Volunteer flavor to the playoff picture this year.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville DA won't prosecute for governor's student mask opt-out order

NASHVILLE (AP) — An order by the Tennessee governor letting parents opt their children out of following mask rules at school has drawn defiance from officials in Memphis and Nashville, including a pledge Tuesday from Nashville's district attorney not to prosecute teachers and school officials for flouting the carveout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

STATEWIDE

5 Tennessee counties OK'd to drop vehicle emissions testing

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee officials say five counties will no longer require emissions testing of vehicles early next year under new federal approval, though Nashville won't be among them.

ENVIRONMENT

TVA plans to switch 1,200 vehicles to electric by 2030

NASHVILLE (AP) — The nation's largest public utility plans to switch out 1,200 of its vehicles for electric ones by 2030, furthering its role in that market for a power supplier that also plans to help add charging stations across the region, the utility's top official said Wednesday.

COURTS

Judge mulls key rulings in Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A year and a half after the Boy Scouts of America sought bankruptcy protection amid an onslaught of child sex abuse lawsuits, a Delaware judge is poised to issue a ruling that could determine whether the organization might emerge from bankruptcy later this year.

REAL ESTATE

Housing construction slumps 7% in July to 1.53 million units

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home construction fell a sharp 7% in July as homebuilders struggled to cope with a variety of headwinds.

TECHNOLOGY

Data of more than 40 million exposed in T-Mobile breach

NEW YORK (AP) — The names, Social Security numbers and information from driver's licenses or other identification of just over 40 million former and prospective customers that applied for T-Mobile credit were exposed in a recent data breach, the company said Wednesday.

MEDIA

Study: Pandemic accelerated trends away from live TV viewing

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic accelerated changes in how people use their televisions, further reducing the dominance in traditional live viewing of what networks are showing, a new study has found.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US health officials call for booster shots against COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials Wednesday announced plans to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to all Americans to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and signs that the vaccines' effectiveness is falling.

AP Source: Biden to require vaccines for nursing home staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

2 men arrested in Nashville for not wearing masks on flights

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two men were arrested at the Nashville International Airport for refusing to wear face masks aboard their flights, police said.

TSA extends into January mask rule for airline passengers

Federal officials are extending into January a requirement that people on airline flights and public transportation wear face masks, a rule intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.

EXPLAINER: What do we know about booster shots for COVID-19?

U.S. health officials may soon recommend COVID-19 booster shots for fully vaccinated Americans. A look at what we know about boosters and how they could help fight the coronavirus:

DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — who has been criticized for opposing mask mandates and vaccine passports — is now touting a COVID-19 antibody treatment in which a top donor's company has invested millions of dollars.

Texas governor tests positive for COVID-19, in 'good health'

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to his office, who said the Republican is in good health and experiencing no symptoms.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Robinhood's crypto trading surges, as overall growth slows

NEW YORK (AP) — After helping a new generation of investors get into stocks, Robinhood is increasingly doing the same for cryptocurrencies.

US stocks take a late turn lower, marking 2nd consecutive loss

Stocks took a late turn lower on Wall Street, ending with their second straight loss.

Fed discussed pulling back on bond purchases later this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials last month discussed the idea of beginning to dial back their extraordinary support for the U.S. economy later this year, though they stopped short of a firm decision on a timetable.

Target extends streak even as online sales growth cools

NEW YORK (AP) — Target's streak of strong results extended into its latest quarter but its skyrocketing online sales growth has come back to earth.

Japan's imports, exports grow on overseas economic rebound

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's exports in July jumped 37% from a year ago, the government said Wednesday, highlighting an overseas recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

House Dems plan budget vote next week, defying moderates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Democrats plan House votes next week on a budget resolution that could clear a path for future passage of a $3.5 trillion, 10-year social and environment package, suggesting a showdown ahead with rebellious party moderates.

Pentagon: US in talks with Taliban to ease Kabul obstacles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. military officers at the Kabul airport are talking to Taliban commanders in the capital about Taliban checkpoints and curfews that have limited the number of Americans and Afghans able to enter the airport, the Pentagon said Wednesday.


TUESDAY, AUGUST 17
TENNESSEE TITANS

Creative Titans share autographs with fans at open practice

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ongoing construction at the Tennessee headquarters has prevented the Titans from having fans watch any of their practices so far during training camp.

REGION

USGS: Magnitude 2.7 earthquake reported in North Carolina

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — A magnitude 2.7 earthquake rattled parts of western North Carolina on Tuesday and was felt in parts of Tennessee and Kentucky as well, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

COURTS

Heir: Sacklers won't settle unless freed from opioid suits

Members of the family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma won't contribute billions of dollars to a legal settlement unless they get off the hook for all current and future lawsuits over the company's activities, one of them told a court Tuesday in a rare public appearance.

MEDIA

Discovery obtains Dutch license for Polish news station

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. company Discovery Inc. has been granted a Dutch license that would allow it to keep broadcasting its independent news channel TVN24 into Poland.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Automaker FCA US admits paying off union leaders; fined $30M

A federal judge fined FCA US $30 million on Tuesday after the automaker admitted that it paid off United Auto Workers leaders to try to win concessions in negotiations covering thousands of factory workers.

TRANSPORTATION

Spirit Air says canceled flights cost $50M, hurt bookings

Spirit Airlines said Monday the cancellation of more than 2,800 flights over an 11-day stretch this summer cost the budget airline about $50 million in lost revenue and caused spending to soar.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Gov. Lee allows opt-out of student mask requirements

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday letting parents opt their children out of coronavirus-related mask mandates in K-12 schools, after a few school districts issued mask requirements for students and others.

Many Bible Belt preachers silent on shots as COVID-19 surges

Dr. Danny Avula, the head of Virginia's COVID-19 vaccination effort, suspected he might have a problem getting pastors to publicly advocate for the shots when some members of his own church referred to them as "the mark of the beast," a biblical reference to allegiance to the devil, and the minister wasn't sure how to respond.

Sources: US to recommend COVID vaccine boosters at 8 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans eight months after they get their second dose of the vaccine, to ensure longer-lasting protection as the delta variant spreads across the country.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Fed's Powell: There's no returning to pre-pandemic economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economy has been permanently changed by the COVID pandemic and it is important that the central bank adapt to those changes.

Wall Street slips as retail sales post steep drop in July

Stocks are closing lower Tuesday, as data showed the coronavirus pandemic is still holding back the U.S. economy.

Americans spent less in July as COVID-19 cases surged

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans cut back on their spending last month as a surge in COVID-19 cases kept people away from stores.

US factory production rebounds at fastest pace in 4 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factory production in July posted the strongest gain in 4 months, reflecting a surge in production at auto plants that are still wrestling with major supply chain problems.

Buffett's firm ups Kroger stake while trimming drug holdings

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett's company has again increased the size of its bet on grocery giant Kroger, while scaling back several of its health care industry investments.

Home Depot sales climb again, but DIY frenzy may be cooling

Home Depot's sales continue to surge, though same-store sales appeared to come back to earth after a year in which the home improvement chain outperformed expectations repeatedly.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

White House: Taliban agree to allow civilian 'safe passage'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Taliban have agreed to allow "safe passage" from Afghanistan for civilians hoping to join a U.S.-directed airlift from the capital, President Joe Biden's national security adviser said Tuesday, although a timetable for completing the evacuation of Americans, Afghan allies and possibly other civilians has yet to be worked out with the country's new rulers.

Biden: Afghan chaos 'gut-wrenching' but stands by withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A defiant President Joe Biden rejected blame for chaotic scenes of Afghans clinging to U.S. military planes in Kabul in a desperate bid to flee their home country after the Taliban's easy victory over an Afghan military that America and NATO allies had spent two decades trying to build.

GOP hits Biden despite divides over Afghanistan withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Joe Biden announced he would stick to his predecessor's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Republican reaction was mixed and largely muted. Foreign policy had become so contentious that the party's own leaders had no single position on the end of the nation's longest war.

Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Built and trained at a two-decade cost of $83 billion, Afghan security forces collapsed so quickly and completely — in some cases without a shot fired — that the ultimate beneficiary of the American investment turned out to be the Taliban. They grabbed not only political power but also U.S.-supplied firepower — guns, ammunition, helicopters and more.

AP FACT CHECK: Biden skirts US failures in Afghan mayhem

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden ignored his own administration's failures when he tried to explain why desperate civilians in Afghanistan's capital have been left stranded and in danger from the Taliban because of the swift U.S. departure.


MONDAY, AUGUST 16
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Charles, Judds to join Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE (AP) — R&B legend Ray Charles, who helped redefine country music in the Civil Rights era, and Grammy-winning duo The Judds will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

PREDATORS

Preds sign goalie Juuse Saros to 4-year, $20M deal

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville Predators have signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a four-year, $20 million contract.

NASHVILLE SC

Sapong, Muyl lead Nashville to 5-2 win over DC United

NASHVILLE (AP) — C.J. Sapong and Alex Muyl each scored two goals and Nashville beat D.C. United 5-2 on Sunday night.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Journeyman wide receiver proving a good fit with Titans

NASHVILLE (AP) — Marcus Johnson never doubted how much the Tennessee Titans liked him. Not even when they traded for seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones.

STATEWIDE

Sen. Hagerty eyes annual Tennessee economic development tour

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty is planning an annual economic development tour of Tennessee to visit with business owners, workers and farmers.

ENVIRONMENT

Western states face first federal water cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials on Monday are expected to declare the first-ever water shortage from a river that serves 40 million people in the West, triggering cuts to some Arizona farmers next year amid a gripping drought.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Tennessee tops 1-month COVID hospitalization high in 2 weeks

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's top health official said Monday that just halfway through August, the state has already shattered its single-month record for new COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Schumer calls for federal crackdown on fake vaccine cards

NEW YORK (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat says federal law enforcement officials need to crack down on fake COVID-19 vaccination cards being sold online.

Misinformation at public forums vexes local boards, big tech

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There are plenty of places to turn for accurate information about COVID-19. Your physician. Local health departments. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

US mulls COVID vaccine boosters for elderly as early as fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning of tough days ahead with surging COVID-19 infections, the director of the National Institutes of Health said Sunday the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer coronavirus booster shots to Americans this fall.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P hits new record amid rising concerns about pandemic

Stock indexes are closing at record highs on Wall Street Monday, despite rising coronavirus infections in the U.S. and around the globe, as well as geopolitical concerns in Asia.

USDA to permanently boost food stamp benefits by 25%

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families — the largest single increase in the program's history.

Official: China's growth likely to slow due to virus, floods

BEIJING (AP) — China's economic growth will soften this year due to summer flooding and anti-coronavirus controls, an official said Monday, after consumer sales and other activity weakened in July.

Japan ekes out economic growth in recovery from pandemic

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3% in the last quarter, raising hopes for a gradual recovery from the painful impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden says he stands 'squarely behind' Afghanistan decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — Striking a defiant tone, President Joe Biden said Monday that he stands "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and that the Afghan government's collapse was quicker than anticipated.

Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefitted Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Built and trained at a two-decade cost of $83 billion, Afghan security forces collapsed so quickly and completely — in some cases without a shot fired — that the ultimate beneficiary of the American investment turned out to be the Taliban. They grabbed not only political power but also U.S.-supplied firepower — guns, ammunition, helicopters and more.

Pelosi takes step to quell moderates' budget rebellion

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has proposed a procedural vote this month that would set up future passage of two economic measures crucial to President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, a move Democratic leaders hope will win must-have votes from unhappy party moderates.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 13
NASHVILLE AREA

Census: Tennessee sees big growth in, 20.9% in Nashville area

NASHVILLE (AP) — Areas in and around Nashville saw a population boom over the last decade, while the greater Memphis region saw low or no growth, or lost people, according to detailed national population data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday that lawmakers in Tennessee will use to redraw state and congressional districts currently dominated by Republicans.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Hydrogen-powered vehicles: A realistic path to clean energy?

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Each morning at a transit facility in Canton, Ohio, more than a dozen buses pull up to a fueling station before fanning out to their routes in this city south of Cleveland.

Tesla hopes to start production at Berlin factory in October

BERLIN (AP) — Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk said Friday that he hopes to start producing cars at its new factory outside Berlin in October.

MEDIA

Discovery CEO vows fight to keep $3B Polish media investment

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A top Discovery Inc. executive said Friday that the U.S.-owned company will fight hard to keep control of a television network it owns in Poland, a $3 billion investment that is threatened by a new media bill that passed in parliament this week.

COURTS

Federal judge leaves CDC evictions moratorium in place

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Friday refused landlords' request to put the Biden administration's new eviction moratorium on hold, though she ruled that the freeze is illegal.

Supreme Court blocks part of NY eviction moratorium

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked part of New York's moratorium on evictions, put into effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, less than a month before it was supposed to expire anyway.

Evidence presented to grand jury in Durham's Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Durham, the federal prosecutor tapped to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, has been presenting evidence before a grand jury as part of his probe, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

HEALTH CARE

Biden made 'Obamacare' cheaper, now sign-up deadline is here

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Obama health care law undergoing a revival under President Joe Biden, this Sunday is the deadline for consumers to take advantage of a special sign-up period for private coverage made more affordable by his COVID-19 relief law.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden eyes tougher vaccine rules without provoking backlash

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. first began to slow, President Joe Biden backed incentives like million-dollar cash lotteries if that's what it took to get shots in arms. But as new coronavirus infections soar, he's testing a tougher approach.

Extra COVID vaccine OK'd for those with weak immune systems

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators say transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the delta variant continues to surge.

Supreme Court justice won't block college vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday refused to block a plan by Indiana University to require students and employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stocks eke out gains, leaving S&P 500 higher for the week

Stocks managed to eke out tiny gains after another day of wobbly trading, leaving the S&P 500 higher for the second week in a row.

Airbnb cuts 2Q loss to $68 million, COVID clouds forecast

Airbnb said Thursday that it narrowed its second-quarter loss to $68 million and gave a bullish forecast for revenue, but the company warned that new variants of COVID-19 will make future bookings and cancellations harder to predict.

DoorDash's Q2 orders hit record high but revenue gains slow

DoorDash booked a record number of orders in the second quarter even as its revenue growth slowed from pandemic-induced highs.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Pelosi faces new threat from Dem moderates in budget fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced a fresh hurdle Friday to passing President Joe Biden's multi-trillion dollar domestic policy aspirations, as nine moderate Democrats threatened to derail a budget blueprint crucial to opening the door to much of that spending.

Prospects ever fainter for bipartisan policing overhaul deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prospects seem increasingly faint for a bipartisan Senate deal on overhauling policing practices as deadlocked lawmakers have fled the Capitol for August recess and political pressure for an accord eases with each passing week.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Robert Plant, Alison Krauss reunite for another album

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have reunited for another album more than a dozen years after their collaboration "Raising Sand" became a critical and commercial hit, earning six Grammy Awards.

Dan + Shay found time for reflection after global success

NASHVILLE (AP) — More than a year ago, country pop duo Dan + Shay were just beginning their first headlining arena tour when COVID-19 started impacting the United States.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Tennessee House GOP urges session to curb local COVID powers

NASHVILLE (AP) — All 73 Tennessee House Republicans signaled their support on Wednesday for a special session to limit the authority of local officials to make rules aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, as lawmakers fumed over mask requirements in a handful of school districts.

COURTS

OxyContin-maker Purdue goes to judge to confirm settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — Purdue Pharma's quest to settle thousands of lawsuits over the toll of OxyContin and its other prescription opioid painkillers entered its final phase Thursday with the grudging support of many of those who have claims against the company.

Judge rules Dominion case can proceed against Trump allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for a defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems to proceed against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell, allies of former President Donald Trump who had all falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.

TECHNOLOGY

Accenture claims 'no impact' in apparent ransomware attack

BOSTON (AP) — Cybercriminals have breached Accenture in an apparent ransomware attack but the global consulting giant says the incident was immediately contained with no impact on it or its systems.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

HHS joins vaccine trend, orders shots for its health workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal Health and Human Services Department is requiring employees who provide care or services for patients to get their COVID-19 shots, officials announced Thursday.

Fauci: Booster shot for those with weakened immune systems

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says an additional COVID-19 booster shot will be recommended for previously vaccinated people with weakened immune systems.

Republicans take to mask wars as virus surges in red states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans are battling school districts in their own states' urban, heavily Democratic areas over whether students should be required to mask up as they head back to school — reigniting ideological divides over mandates even as the latest coronavirus surge ravages the reddest, most unvaccinated parts of the nation.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect my chances of pregnancy?

Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect my chances of pregnancy?

California requires vaccines, tests for teachers and staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns about the highly contagious delta variant, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

Scientists fear UK COVID cases may surge after summer lull

LONDON (AP) — As Britain enjoyed a summertime lull in COVID-19 cases, the nation's attention turned to the end of pandemic-related restrictions and holidays in the sun.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end higher on Wall Street as Big Tech climbs

Major U.S. stock indexes shook off a weak start and ended higher Thursday, notching another round of record highs for the S&P 500 and, just barely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Wendy's opens delivery-only kitchens to meet growing demand

Wendy's plans to open 700 delivery-only kitchens by 2025 to meet the growing demand from people who want their fast food brought to them.

US jobless claims near pandemic low as economy strengthens

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for a third straight time last week, the latest sign that employers are laying off fewer people as they struggle to fill a record number of open jobs and meet a surge in consumer demand.

Wholesale prices jump 1% in July, matching June increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level jumped a higher-than-expected 1% in July, matching the rise from the previous month, and dimming hopes that the upward trajectory of prices would begin to slow.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Kentucky Sen. Paul failed to disclose wife's COVID-related stock trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul waited more than a year to disclose that his wife purchased stock in a company that makes a COVID-19 treatment, an investment made after Congress was briefed on the threat of the virus but before the public was largely aware of its danger.

Biden's complicated new task: keeping Democrats together

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden overcame skepticism, deep political polarization and legislative gamesmanship to win bipartisan approval in the Senate this week of his $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Senate panel interviews former US attorney in Trump probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee met privately Wednesday with a former U.S. attorney in Georgia who resigned in January as then-President Donald Trump waged a pressure campaign on state and federal officials to overturn his presidential defeat — part of a larger probe into Trump's actions after the November election.

NAACP: Justice must probe arrest threats against Texas Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — The NAACP, one of the nation's leading civil rights groups, is urging the Justice Department to investigate whether a federal crime was being committed when Texas Republicans threatened to have their Democratic colleagues arrested for refusing to attend a legislative session in an effort to try and block a sweeping elections overhaul bill that makes it harder to vote in the state.

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