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VOL. 45 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 9, 2021

Charting a crossover hit

New National Museum of African American Music seeks broader audience – including country fans

Whenever proponents of the proposed National Museum of African American Music would hit a snag, they could take solace by looking south from their hoped-for home at Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

AUTO RACING

Knoxville partners race in to bolster Music City Grand Prix

Teddy Phillips knows a good investment opportunity when he hears it. But the chief executive officer of the Knoxville-based heavy civil construction firm Phillips & Jordan needed some questions answered before committing.

JOE ROGERS: MY TAKE

Legislative plan: Stoke fear, offer bill to soothe fear

If people could fight COVID-19 with a gun, Tennessee legislators would be health care champions. As it happens, though, the best weapons against COVID are masks, physical distancing and vaccines – none of which most legislators are keen on promoting. Instead, they’re keen on blocking them.

Local Weather
Currently
Nashville, TN
85.0°F
A Few Clouds
Wind: Variable at 3.5 mph
Humidity: 57%

EVENTS

Cheatham County Democratic Party. Cheatham County Democrats are invited to attend and participate in this meeting with the executive committee. Pinnacle Bank, Denney Room, 524 South Main Street, Ashland City. Wednesday, 6-8 p.m. Information

more events »

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Cook, McKee ramp up commitment to Habitat

Paul Cook entered the real estate business in 1972 and quickly established himself as a man with a keen intellect and the eye of a visionary entrepreneur. Over time, his reputation as a builder was as sound as the foundations of his homes.

REAL ESTATE

Mortgage rates dip for first time since January

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — Mortgage rates fell for the first time in more than two months as buyers continue to be stifled by high prices and limited supply.

NEWSMAKERS

Rucker named VU chief HR officer

Cleo D. Rucker has been promoted to the new position of chief human resources officer for Vanderbilt University.

BRIEFS

NEC announces Amazon as supporting partner

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and business leaders, has announced Amazon as a new supporting partner.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Testing casts doubts on Teslas’ EPA range estimates

Edmunds’ test team recently published the results of its real-world range testing for electric vehicles. Notably, every Tesla the team tested in 2020 came up short of matching the EPA’s range estimate. Almost all other EVs Edmunds tested met or exceeded those estimates.

PERSONAL FINANCE

Money shame seen as cause of increased suicide rate

The U.S. suicide rate has risen dramatically in recent years, and certified money coach Tammy Lally of Washington, D.C., is convinced money shame is a contributing factor.

CAREER CORNER

Spring rebirth offers new hope for finding right job

How relieved are you that spring is here? After months of snow storms paired with a long global pandemic, seeing flowers and clear skies brings much-needed hope.

MILLENNIAL MONEY

Reboot your budget to prep for reopening

Picture cruising your car deep into 2021 and never glancing in the rearview mirror. Vaccines, travel and a hope of normalcy are finally on the horizon.

TENNESSEE TITANS

Browns sign Jadeveon Clowney to pair with Garrett on D-line

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney will chase quarterbacks and a Super Bowl title with the Browns.

PREDATORS

Preds get 3 in 1st, beat Lightning 7-2 to end season series

NASHVILLE (AP) — Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in Nashville's three-goal first period as the Predators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2 Tuesday night for their fifth win in six games.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Bill letting students opt out of LGBTQ material heads to gov

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee bill requiring school districts to alert parents of any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity and let them opt their student out is heading to Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

MIDSTATE

Jack Daniel's inks deal on Tennessee solar farm

LYNCHBURG (AP) — Iconic whiskey maker Jack Daniel's has struck a long-term deal to fuel a solar panel farm a few miles from its Tennessee distillery.

Maine company to open COVID-19 swab factory in Orlinda

PORTLAND (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced that one of North America's largest manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs will establish a new manufacturing and distribution operations in Tennessee.

COURTS

Judge blocks state hearing on Tennessee sportsbook's status

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge who allowed a sportsbook to resume taking bets after questioning the process used to suspend its license has blocked state regulators from holding a new suspension hearing this week.

TECHNOLOGY

Users could soon hide 'like' counts on Instagram, Facebook

The tiny red hearts that appear under Instagram photos of kids, kittens and sandwiches can be a source of stress for many users, an insidious way of measuring self worth and popularity.

Amazon claims social network Parler trying to conceal owners

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon has accused Parler, the social network known as a conservative alternative to Twitter, of trying to conceal its ownership amid a legal dispute between Amazon and Parler stemming from the U.S. Capitol riots.

HEALTH CARE

Biden begins to undo Trump's ban on abortion referrals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday began to undo a Trump-era ban on clinics referring women for abortions, a policy directive that drove Planned Parenthood from the federal family planning program and created new complications for women trying to get birth control.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

'Red' states on U.S. electoral map lagging on vaccinations

SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) — With coronavirus shots now in the arms of nearly half of American adults, the parts of the U.S. that are excelling and those that are struggling with vaccinations are starting to look like the nation's political map: deeply divided between red and blue states.

EU to negotiate major vaccine contract extension with Pfizer

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced plans Wednesday for a major contract extension for COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer stretching to 2023.

Biden says pause on J&J shots shows gov't putting safety 1st

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccination campaign hit a snag when federal regulators recommended a "pause" in administering Johnson & Johnson shots. But the White House portrayed the action as important validation of his measured approach throughout the rollout.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Most US stocks rise, indexes end mixed as earnings kick off

NEW YORK (AP) — Most U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, but indexes petered out to a mixed finish as momentum weakened following an encouraging start to what's expected to be a thunderous earnings reporting season.

Fed survey: Economy rebounding, helped by stimulus, vaccines

A Federal Reserve survey has found that the economy was rebounding in late February through early April, helped by billions of dollars in a new round of stimulus payments and the stepped-up rollout of coronavirus vaccines.

Powell defends Fed's consideration of climate change risks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday defended the Fed's increasing scrutiny of the threat that climate change could pose to the health of the nation's banks, after some Republican members of Congress had complained that by doing so the Fed was overstepping its mandate.

Big-business pushback against voting measures gains momentum

Big business has ratcheted up its objections to proposals that would make it harder to vote, with several hundred companies and executives signing a new statement opposing "any discriminatory legislation."

New Treasury office to oversee billions in virus relief help

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department has created a new office to supervise the disbursement of the billions of dollars in relief money authorized by Congress to combat the coronavirus-related recession.

Wells Fargo earned $4.74 billion in Q1, topping estimates

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Wells Fargo had its best quarter in a year and a half, posting a profit of $4.74 billion and freeing up more than a billion dollars that had been set aside for potential loan defaults at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

JPMorgan 1Q profit up sharply, helped by improving economy

NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase saw its first-quarter profit jump nearly five fold from a year earlier, as the improving economy allowed the bank to release roughly $5 billion from its loan-loss reserves that it had stored away in the early weeks of the pandemic.

McDonald's to mandate anti-harassment training worldwide

McDonald's will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting next year, the company said Wednesday.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Senate OKs tough former regulator as market watchdog chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved President Joe Biden's choice of Gary Gensler to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, signaling an emphasis on investor protection for the Wall Street watchdog agency after a deregulatory stretch during the Trump administration.

Biden to address Congress under security, COVID restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress will look like no other in recent memory.

Senate filibuster test over Asian-American hate crime bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to start debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate crimes against Asian Americans, a growing problem during the coronavirus crisis that will also test whether the chamber can push past partisanship on an issue important to many constituents.

Watchdog lays bare Capitol Police's riot security failures

WASHINGTON (AP) — A blistering internal report by the U.S. Capitol Police describes a multitude of missteps that left the force unprepared for the Jan. 6 insurrection — riot shields that shattered upon impact, expired weapons that couldn't be used, inadequate training and an intelligence division that had few set standards.

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end 'forever war'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday he will withdraw remaining U.S. troops from the "forever war" in Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 terror attacks of 20 years ago cannot justify American forces still dying in the nation's longest war.

No. 2 House Republican says GOP would act against Gaetz

WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 House Republican leader said Wednesday that party leaders would "take action" against Rep. Matt Gaetz if the Justice Department formally moves against the Florida lawmaker, who is under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking.


TUESDAY, APRIL 13
SPORTS

TSU hires 1st-time coach Eddie George hoping for revival

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State is banking on Eddie George's name, connections and football knowledge as a former NFL running back to return the proud program with 13 Black national championships to national prominence.

VANDERBILT SPORTS

Vanderbilt hires Shea Ralph from UConn as new women's coach

NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt has hired Shea Ralph away from UConn to help revive the Commodores' struggling women's basketball program, which hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament since 2014.

STATEWIDE

Tennessee eyes 2-week tax holiday for restaurants, groceries

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is proposing a $100 million, two-week sales tax holiday on restaurants, bars and groceries, as his administration looks to divvy up hundreds of millions of dollars in extra spending due to better-than-expected revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASHVILLE AREA

New State Library and Archives hosts opening ceremony

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Library and Archives celebrated the opening of its new 165,000-square-foot building Monday in Nashville, with several Tennessee governors and other top figures in state government on hand for a ribbon cutting.

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook users can appeal harmful content to oversight board

LONDON (AP) — Facebook's quasi-independent Oversight Board said Tuesday that it will start letting users file appeals over posts, photos, and videos that they think the company shouldn't have allowed to stay on its platforms.

ENVIRONMENT

European lawmakers, executives urge US to halve emissions

BERLIN (AP) — Dozens of European lawmakers, business executives and union leaders on Tuesday urged the United States to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in the coming decade compared with 2005 levels.

Business leaders urge Biden to set ambitious climate goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 300 businesses and investors, including such giants as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, are calling on the Biden administration to set an ambitious climate change goal that would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

AUTO INDUSTRY

US investigating possible air bag failures in GM vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's highway safety agency is investigating complaints that the air bags may not inflate in a crash on thousands of General Motors vehicles.

Leaders of GM, Ford among opponents of voting restrictions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The leaders of three-dozen major Michigan-based companies, including General Motors and Ford, on Tuesday objected to Republican-sponsored election bills that would make it harder to vote in Michigan and other states.

US nominates NY lawyer to monitor United Auto Workers union

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. attorney's office in Detroit is recommending that a federal judge name New York lawyer Neil Barofsky to monitor the United Auto Workers union's behavior after a corruption scandal.

HEALTH CARE

US agency says women can get abortion pill via telemedicine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Women seeking an abortion pill will not be required to visit a doctor's office or clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. health officials said Tuesday in the latest reversal in an ongoing legal battle over the medication.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

US recommends 'pause' for J&J shots in blow to vaccine drive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Tuesday recommended a "pause" in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots, setting off a chain reaction worldwide and dealing a setback to the global vaccine campaign.

Selena Gomez and J.Lo headline vax concert for poor nations

NEW YORK (AP) — Backed by an international concert hosted by Selena Gomez and headlined by Jennifer Lopez, Global Citizen is unveiling an ambitious campaign to help medical workers in the world's poorest countries quickly receive COVID-19 vaccines.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

IRS chief expects new child payments to start this summer

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a strain, but the head of the IRS said Tuesday he expects to meet the July 1 deadline in the new pandemic relief law for starting a groundbreaking tax program aimed at reducing child poverty. That means new advance monthly payments of as much as $300 per child could begin flowing to lower-income families this summer.

Stocks close mixed as regulators seek pause in J&J vaccine

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Tuesday as gains from a handful of Big Tech companies were tempered by weakness elsewhere in the market.

US intel report: Virus impact to cause global 'aftershocks'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to contribute over the next year to "humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition," according to a new intelligence report that also warns about the threats from foreign adversaries and from violent extremists inside the United States.

Consumer prices jump 0.6% in March, biggest gain since 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices increased a sharp 0.6% in March, the biggest increase since 2012, while inflation over the past year rose a sizable 2.6%. The big gains were expected to be a temporary blip and not a sign that long dormant inflation pressures were emerging.

Poll: 15% of Americans worse off a year into pandemic

While most Americans have weathered the pandemic financially, about 38 million say they are worse off now than before the outbreak began in the U.S.

China's March exports rise 30.6% as global demand revives

BEIJING (AP) — China's exports rose 30.6% over a year ago in March as global consumer demand strengthened and traders watched for signs of what President Joe Biden might do about reviving tariff war talks with Beijing.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden, lawmakers at tribute to slain Capitol Police officer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans was lauded for his dedication to country, love for his job and for a mischievous sense of humor as President Joe Biden and congressional leaders honored him during a memorial service Tuesday.

Biden aims for bipartisanship but applies sly pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan deal.

Biden wants infrastructure deal, but GOP doubts persist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S. as a world power.

What's next as Congress ramps up investigations of Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than three months after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Congress is still trying to figure out how to move forward and prevent future attacks.


MONDAY, APRIL 12
MUSIC INDUSTRY

Luke Bryan tests positive for COVID, sidelined from 'Idol'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luke Bryan says he's tested positive for COVID-19, which sidelined him from the season's first live "American Idol" episode on ABC.

SPORTS

Reed out, George in as TSU football coach

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee State announced Monday coach Rod Reed's contract will not be renewed after 11 seasons running the Tigers' football program with former NFL running back Eddie George reportedly poised to replace him.

NASHVILLE SC

Nashville extends coach Gary Smith's contract through 2023

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville has extended coach Gary Smith's contract through the 2023 season after leading the club to the playoffs in its inaugural season.

PREDATORS

Johansen's shootout goal leads Predators over Stars 3-2

NASHVILLE (AP) — Ryan Johansen was the lone scorer in the shootout, leading the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.

Predators' McCarron suspended 2 games for illegal head check

NEW YORK (AP) — Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron was suspended two games Sunday for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay's Yanni Gourde.

NASHVILLE AREA

New State Library and Archives to host opening ceremony

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee State Library and Archives will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new 165,000 square foot building.

EDUCATION

Tennessee offering free online courses amid pandemic

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee labor officials are continuing to offer free online courses to help people without work during the COVID-19 pandemic advance their skills.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Biden sees `win' for US in electric vehicle battery deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two big South Korean electric vehicle battery makers said Sunday they have settled a long-running trade dispute that will allow one company to move ahead with plans to manufacture batteries in Georgia. President Joe Biden called it "a win for American workers and the American auto industry."

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft buying speech recognition firm Nuance in $16B deal

Microsoft, on an accelerated growth push, is buying speech recognition company Nuance in a deal worth about $16 billion.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Tweaked COVID vaccines in testing aim to fend off variants

Dozens of Americans are rolling up their sleeves for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine -- this time, shots tweaked to guard against a worrisome mutated version of the virus.

Drivers wanted: Record demand at Uber as vaccinations rise

Uber is offering sign-up bonuses and other incentives for drivers as it faces record demand for rides and meal delivery.

Time to party? Events industry still uncertain about COVID

NEW YORK (AP) — Although weddings and other big celebrations are going back on the calendar in the U.S., business owners who make those events happen expect a slow recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

US colleges divided over requiring student vaccinations

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. colleges hoping for a return to normalcy next fall are weighing how far they should go in urging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including whether they should — or legally can — require it.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks end slightly below latest record highs as tech slips

Stocks ended just below the latest record highs they hit last week as technology companies slipped.

Biden tells execs US needs to invest, lead in computer chips

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden used a virtual meeting with corporate leaders about a global shortage of semiconductors to push Monday for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, telling them that the U.S. should be the world's computer chip leader.

US budget deficit jumps to record $1.7 trillion this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government's budget deficit surged to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion for the first six months of this budget year, nearly double the previous record, as another round of economic-support checks added billions of dollars to spending last month.

Fed's Powell sees US boom ahead, with COVID still a risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is poised for an extended period of strong growth and hiring, the chair of the Federal Reserve said in an interview broadcast Sunday, though the coronavirus still poses some risk.

Business faces tricky path navigating post-Trump politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than a half-century, the voice emerging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's monolithic, Beaux Arts-styled building near the White House was predictable: It was the embodiment of American business and, more specifically, a shared set of interests with the Republican Party.

CEOs gather to speak out against voting law changes

More than a hundred top executives and corporate leaders gathered online this weekend to discuss their response to restrictive voting laws under consideration in several states and already enacted in Georgia, according to a statement from organizers of the meeting.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

White House grades states' infrastructure as it pushes bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden White House is amplifying the push for its $2.3 trillion infrastructure package with the release of state-by-state breakdowns that show the dire shape of roads, bridges, the power grid and housing affordability.

Biden Republicans? Some in GOP open to president's agenda

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jay Copan doesn't hide his disregard for the modern Republican Party.

'Clear the Capitol,' Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — From a secure room in the Capitol on Jan. 6, as rioters pummeled police and vandalized the building, Vice President Mike Pence tried to assert control. In an urgent phone call to the acting defense secretary, he issued a startling demand.


FRIDAY, APRIL 9
NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville lifts outdoor mask mandate

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville's top health officials on Friday tweaked the city's mask mandate to exclude requiring face coverings in outdoor spaces.

PREDATORS

Surging Predators rout Red Wings 7-1, have won 9 of 10

DETROIT (AP) — Viktor Arvidsson scored three times to lead the surging Nashville Predators in a 7-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

STATEWIDE

Hagerty huddles with Trump at Mar-a-Lago

NASHVILLE (AP) — In his first week, Tennessee's freshman U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty watched in horror as the Capitol riots unfolded around him and decided to back down from his plans to oppose the electoral college results that affirmed President Joe Biden's win despite then-President Donald Trump's weekslong push to block the certification.

COURTS

Biden assigns study on delicate issue of Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has ordered a study on overhauling the Supreme Court, creating a bipartisan commission Friday that will spend the next six months examining the politically incendiary issues of expanding the court and instituting term limits for justices, among other issues.

NRA trial opens window on secretive leader's life and work

DALLAS (AP) — Wayne LaPierre flies exclusively on private jets, he sailed around the Bahamas for "security" and he never sends emails or texts in the course of his work running the nation's most politically influential gun-rights group.

REAL ESTATE

Ready to buy a home? The trick is finding or affording one

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nathan Long and Lili Chin have struck out so far in their four-month search to find an affordable home in the Los Angeles area — a cold streak that threatens to mess up their anniversary plans.

MEDIA

Study: Facebook delivers biased job ads, skewed by gender

Facebook is showing different job ads to women and men in a way that might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws, according to a new study.

TRANSPORTATION

Airlines pull Boeing Max jets to inspect electrical systems

Airlines pulled dozens of Boeing Max 737s out of service for inspections after the aircraft maker told them about a possible electrical problem, the latest setback for plane.

RELIGION

'How many of us will be left?' Catholic nuns face loss, pain

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — The nuns' daily email update was overtaken by news of infections. Ambulances blared into the driveways of their convents. Prayers for the sick went unanswered, prayers for the dead grew monotonous and, their cloistered world suddenly caving in, some of the sisters' thoughts were halting.

HEALTH CARE

Biden's ambitious expansion of long-term care sparks debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is proposing a major expansion of the government's role in long-term care, but questions are being raised over his using the low-income Medicaid program and piggybacking the whole idea on an infrastructure bill.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Biden to rush vaccinators, testing to hard-hit Michigan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington will rush federal resources to support vaccinations, testing and therapeutics, but not vaccines, to Michigan in an effort to control the state's worst-in-the-nation COVID-19 transmission rate, the White House said Friday.

No region in the world spared as virus cases, deaths surge

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Hospitals in Turkey and Poland are filling up fast. Pakistan is restricting domestic travel to bring a surge in coronavirus infections under control. Even Thailand, which has weathered the coronavirus pandemic far better than many nations, is now struggling to contain a new COVID-19 surge.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Tech companies help lift stocks, push S&P 500 to record high

Wall Street capped another week of gains with more milestones Friday, as strength in technology and health care stocks helped push the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to all-time highs.

Virus knocks 80% off Atlantic City casino profits in 2020

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak sent profits plunging at Atlantic City's casinos by more than 80% last year, according to figures released Friday by New Jersey gambling regulators.

Wholesale prices up 1% in March, energy leads the way again

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Wholesale prices jumped again in March pushed by another big increase in energy prices, the government reported Friday.

Amazon warehouse workers reject union bid in Alabama

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama handed the online retail giant a decisive victory when they voted against forming a union and cut off a path that labor activists had hoped would lead to similar efforts throughout the company and beyond.

US sanctions Chinese computer makers in widening tech fight

BEIJING (AP) — China's government on Friday criticized the Biden administration's curbs on access to U.S. technology for its supercomputer developers and said sanctions "only strengthen China's determination" to invent its own.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Gaetz faces probe by House ethics over potential misconduct

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz, citing reports of sexual and other misconduct by the Florida Republican.

Biden budget seeks more for schools, health care and housing

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget on Friday, asking for an 8.4% increase in agency operating budgets with substantial gains for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing and environmental protection.

Gaetz hires prominent New York lawyers amid federal probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Matt Gaetz is retaining two prominent New York attorneys as he faces a Justice Department investigation into sex trafficking allegations involving underage girls.

Biden seeks a new view of infrastructure, far beyond asphalt

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is giving himself lots of latitude when he defines infrastructure for the purpose of spending money on it. It's not just steel, but home health care workers. Not just excavating dirt, but building "dignity."

Private sales emerge as obstacle to Senate action on guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Congress are trying to pass the first major gun control legislation in more than two decades with the support of President Joe Biden, who said Thursday that it is "long past time" to do so. But they are confronting a potentially insurmountable question over what rules should govern private sales and transfers, including those between friends and extended family, as they seek Republican votes.

'New strategy': Politicians in crisis refuse calls to resign

WASHINGTON (AP) — The mere whiff of a scandal once unraveled political careers with stunning speed. Not anymore.

Grim view of global future offered in intelligence report

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials are painting a dark picture of the world's future, writing in a report released Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has deepened economic inequality, strained government resources and fanned nationalist sentiments.

Groups pressure Senate to end filibuster as Jim Crow relic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 150 groups are calling on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster, saying it is a Jim Crow-era relic that can be used to block an upcoming voting rights bill and other priorities, and should be relegated to the "dustbin of history."


THURSDAY, APRIL 8
STATE GOVERNMENT

Permits won't be needed to carry handguns in Tennessee

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee has become the latest state to soon allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without first clearing a background check and training after Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday signed the measure into law.

COURTS

NRA boss says he didn't tell group leaders before bankruptcy

DALLAS (AP) — Wayne LaPierre, the embattled leader of the National Rifle Association, said Wednesday that he put the powerful gun-rights group into bankruptcy without first informing most of its board members and top officials.

NRA exec sheltered on borrowed yacht after mass shootings

DALLAS (AP) — After school shootings that left dozens dead in recent years, National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre said the resulting outrage put him in such danger that he sought shelter aboard a borrowed 108-foot (32.92-meter) yacht.

Ex-California man charged with $14M boiler room scam

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A former Southern California man was charged Wednesday with running a "boiler room" scheme that bilked more than 100 investors out of $14 million.

MEDIA

Netflix scores streaming rights to new top Sony films

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix further beefed up its film catalog on Thursday in a multi-year deal that will make it the new streaming home to Sony Pictures' top releases in the U.S.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Chip shortage forces more production cuts by GM

DETROIT (AP) — The global shortage of semiconductors has forced General Motors to further cut production at six North American factories as chip supplies seem to be growing tighter.

TRANSPORTATION

2 new airlines await Americans looking to fly somewhere

Americans are traveling in the greatest numbers in more than a year, and soon they will have two new leisure-oriented airlines to consider for those trips.

REAL ESTATE

Pandemic impact might weigh on CRE recovery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is fueling optimism that Americans will increasingly return to the ways they used to shop, travel and work before the pandemic.

VIRUS OUTBREAK

Countries worldwide hit new records for virus cases, deaths

Nations around the world set new records Thursday for COVID-19 deaths and new coronavirus infections, and the disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check. In the United States, Michigan has averaged more than 7,000 new cases a day.

Florida sues federal government to allow cruises to sail

MIAMI (AP) — The state of Florida has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to demand cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday.

Are some COVID-19 vaccines more effective than others?

Are some COVID-19 vaccines more effective than others? It's hard to tell since they weren't directly compared in studies. But experts say the vaccines are alike on what matters most: preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

Australia halts AstraZeneca vaccine for most people under 50

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia on Thursday become the latest country to restrict use of the AstraZeneca vaccine by recommending that it not be given to people under age 50.

UK cases drop 60% due to vaccines, lockdown

LONDON — Britain's COVID-19 vaccination program is beginning to break the link between infection and serious illness or death, according to the latest results from an ongoing study of the pandemic in England.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Stocks rise as lower bond yields help lift tech companies

Technology companies led stocks to more gains on Wall Street Thursday, nudging the S&P 500 to an all-time high for the third time this week.

IMF policy panel endorses $650 billion increase in resources

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund on Thursday authorized a $650 billion expansion of the 190-nation lending institution's resources with the aim of providing more support for vulnerable countries as they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Fed's Powell: US nears full reopening to 'different economy'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy, boosted by quickening vaccinations and signs of rapid hiring, is headed toward a strong recovery, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday.

US jobless claims up to 744K as virus still forces layoffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.

Vote counting to start in Amazon union election

Vote counting in the union push at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, is about to begin, but hundreds of contested ballots could muddy the outcome if it's a close race.

What to know about the Amazon union vote count

Amazon is known for quick delivery. But finding out whether Amazon warehouse workers voted for or against unionizing is going to take some more time.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Biden seems ready to extend Afghanistan troop presence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Without coming right out and saying it, President Joe Biden seems ready to let lapse a May 1 deadline for completing a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Orderly withdrawals take time, and Biden is running out of it.

Biden tightens some gun controls, says much more needed

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden, in his first gun control measures since taking office, announced a half-dozen executive actions Thursday aimed at addressing a proliferation of gun violence across the nation that he called an "epidemic and an international embarrassment."

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