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News - Friday, July 19, 2024

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Golden dreams for Paris
Walsh sisters lead contingent of Tennessee Olympians

On its own, a 17-day, all-expenses-paid birthday trip to Paris is a fabulous thing. That’s what Nashville sisters Gretchen and Alex Walsh won earlier this summer.

While in the City of Lights with family, friends and tens of thousands of other sightseers, the Walsh sisters hope to visit the Eiffel Tower and other famous tourist sites, enjoy a taste of French cuisine and go shopping for a few souvenirs.


Several Tennessee Olympians to follow in Paris

Of the hundreds of athletes representing the United States in the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Olympics, 15 have ties to the state of Tennessee, either having lived here or played collegiately for one of the state’s universities. The list more than doubles with the addition of current or former University of Tennessee athletes representing their native countries.


Weitzel explores new spaces at GKH

R. Melissa Weitzel joins Grant Konvalinka and Harrison as a first-year associate eager to explore. An academic at heart, Weitzel says she welcomes the vast learning that accompanies entering a law firm.

While other firms require attorneys to select one or two specializations, Weitzel says, GKH allows every attorney to explore any arena – and gives them the immediate responsibility to do so.


Stay cool with these indoor summer chores

As a follow-up to last week’s column about ways to beat the heat, I share with you these tips from Houselogic.com on how smart homeowners focus their energies inside. Contributing writer Kelly Walters shares these four tasks that include taking advantage of your nice, cool basement.


Selling a home now costs nearly $55K

Americans report spending just under $55,000 on their home sale – a cost that surprised 64% of sellers, a new Clever Real Estate survey of 1,000 people who have sold a home since 2022 reveals.

Selling a home is one of the most lucrative transactions in a person’s life, but to the surprise of many home sellers, it’s also one of the most expensive.


Briefs: Annual sales tax holiday July 26-28

The state of Tennessee’s annual sales tax holiday weekend will take place Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28.

During this holiday, Tennesseans can save nearly 10% on qualifying clothing, school supplies and computers. Tennesseans can purchase clothing and school supplies tax-free if they are priced at $100 or less and buy computers tax-free if they are priced at $1500 or less. Qualifying items may be purchased online and in stores.


Whom should you choose as a trustee?

When drawing up your estate plans, you might find it useful to create a revocable or irrevocable trust, either of which can help your estate avoid probate court and give you significant control over how and when your assets are distributed. But who should oversee your trust?


Rogers column: ‘Patriots’ hide behind disguises, racist chants

You no doubt saw that the racist-wingnut group Patriot Front staged a march in downtown Nashville recently. A question: What’s the difference between Patriot Front members and Tennessee Republican legislators?

Patriot Front members like wearing masks. Too harsh?


Behind the Wheel: 5 SUVs that are great for towing big trailers

When the days get long and the mountains, lakes and campgrounds beckon, you need a vehicle that can pull what you might call the “toys of summer.”

Big boats, motorcycles and travel-trailers require muscle to move over hills and highways. A pickup truck will obviously do the job, but a SUV is better suited to also comfortably accommodate your children, pets and associated gear.


Two books to energize your entrepreneurial spirit

That’s it. You’ve had enough. Enough of taking nonsense directions. Enough overtime because of someone’s poor planning. Enough phone calls on your days off and interruptions that could’ve waited. You’ve had it, and you’ve decided that it’s time to be your own boss.


Federal appeals court blocks remainder of Biden's student debt relief plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court blocked the implementation of the Biden administration's student debt relief plan, which would have lowered monthly payments for millions of borrowers.

In a ruling Thursday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion for an administrative stay filed by a group of Republican-led states seeking to invalidate the administration's entire student loan forgiveness program. The court's order prohibits the administration from implementing the parts of the SAVE plan that were not already blocked by lower court rulings.


A washout on Wall Street sends stocks, big to small, lower

NEW YORK (AP) — A widespread washout across Wall Street dragged U.S. stocks lower.

The S&P 500 fell 0.8% Thursday to pull further from its all-time high set on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.3% from its own record set a day before, while the Nasdaq composite was 0.7% lower.


Federal appeals court dismisses lawsuit over Tennessee's anti-drag show ban

NASHVILLE (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging first-in-the-nation law designed to place strict limits on drag shows, reversing a lower court ruling that deemed the statute unconstitutional and blocked its enforcement in part of the state.


Hunter Biden seeks dismissal of tax, gun cases, citing decision to toss Trump's classified docs case

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, asked federal judges on Thursday to dismiss tax and gun cases against him, citing a ruling in Florida this week that threw out a separate prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

The requests in federal court in Delaware and California underscore the potential ramifications of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon's dismissal Monday of the classified documents case against Trump and the possibility that it could unsettle the legal landscape surrounding Justice Department special counsels.


Boeing case puts a spotlight on plea agreements involving corporate defendants

After two jetliner crashes killed 346 people, a $2.5 billion settlement that let Boeing avoid criminal prosecution failed to resolve questions about the safety of the aerospace giant's planes.

Federal prosecutors now accuse the company of failing to live up to terms of the 2021 settlement. Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a felony fraud charge in a new deal with the Justice Department. The department said Thursday that it expects to file the detailed plea agreement no sooner than the middle of next week.


Biden faces increasing pressure to quit the race, but has spent a lifetime overcoming the odds

WASHINGTON (AP) — To borrow a favorite phrase from the man himself, President Joe Biden is at an inflection point.

Is his on-the-ropes reelection campaign about public service or his ego? About securing his legacy or shaping the future? Such opposing forces of American politics have been clashing with each other since his awful debate with Donald Trump.


Biden's campaign chair acknowledges support 'slippage' but says he's staying in the race

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's campaign is insisting anew that he is not stepping aside as he faces the stark reality that many Democrats at the highest levels want him to bow out of the 2024 election to make way for a new nominee and try to prevent widespread party losses in November.


Biden's campaign faces critical moment, as Democrats encourage him to consider exiting 2024 race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Critical days ahead, President Joe Biden is facing the stark reality that many Democrats at the highest levels want him to consider how stepping aside from the 2024 election to make way for a new nominee atop the ticket could be the party's best chance of preventing widespread losses in November.


Majority of Democrats think Kamala Harris would make a good president, AP-NORC poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden faces a growing drumbeat of pressure to drop his reelection bid, a majority of Democrats think his vice president would make a good president herself.

A new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Democrats believe Kamala Harris would do a good job in the top slot. About 2 in 10 Democrats don't believe she would, and another 2 in 10 say they don't know enough to say.


Obama's dilemma: Balancing Democrats' worry about Biden and maintaining influence with president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has a delicate balance to strike: how to weigh the mounting opposition to President Joe Biden continuing his campaign with his loyalty to his former running mate.

In recent days, Obama has taken calls from congressional leaders, Democratic governors and key donors in which he has shared their unease about the prospect of Biden's campaign following his calamitous June 27 debate performance against his predecessor, Donald Trump.


Trump urges unity after assassination attempt while proposing sweeping populist agenda in RNC finale

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Donald Trump, somber and bandaged, accepted the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in a speech that described in detail the assassination attempt that could have ended his life just five days earlier before laying out a sweeping populist agenda, particularly on immigration.


Rebranding Trump, former president recalls shooting details but avoids policy details: RNC Takeaways

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Republican National Convention celebrated former President Donald Trump not just as a party leader but a living martyr who survived a would-be assassin's bullet and is ready to work for everyday Americans after a sweeping victory in November.


A look at claims made at the Republican National Convention as Trump accepts nomination

As former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday he laid out his vision for running the country. He painted a dire picture of the state of the U.S. and outlined a range of actions he planned to take. But his comments were marked with a myriad of false and misleading information that distorted the facts around immigration, the U.S. economy and his previous accomplishments.


FACT FOCUS: Heritage Foundation leader wrong to say most political violence is committed by the left

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leader of a conservative think tank on Thursday misrepresented partisan differences in political violence in the United States, wrongly suggesting that people associated with left-wing causes commit more violence than those on the right.


Widespread global tech outage disrupts flights, banks, hospitals and media outlets

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A global technology outage caused by a faulty software update grounded flights, knocked banks and media outlets offline, and disrupted hospitals, small businesses and other services on Friday, highlighting the fragility of a digitized world dependent on just a handful of providers.


A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here's what we know

NEW YORK (AP) — Much of the world faced online disarray Friday as a widespread technology outage affected companies and services across industries — grounding flights, knocking banks and hospital systems offline and media outlets off air.

At the heart of the massive disruption is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm that provides software to scores of companies worldwide. The company says the problem occurred when it deployed a faulty update to computers running Microsoft Windows, and that the issue behind the outage was not a security incident or cyberattack.


Massachusetts lawmakers call on the Pentagon to ground the Osprey again until crash causes are fixed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three Massachusetts lawmakers are pressing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ground the V-22 Osprey aircraft again until the military can fix the root causes of multiple recent accidents, including a deadly crash in Japan.


EA Sports College Football 25, among most anticipated sports video games in history, hits the market

EA Sports College Football 25, among the most highly anticipated sports video games of all time, has flooded the market as gamers who waited more than a decade for the franchise's next installment rush to play.

The game officially launched Friday, with EA Sports increasing its server capacity during early access to handle the crush.


Lou Dobbs, conservative pundit and longtime cable TV host for Fox Business and CNN, dies at 78

NEW YORK (AP) — Lou Dobbs, the conservative political pundit and veteran cable TV host who was a founding anchor for CNN and later was a nightly presence on Fox Business Network for more than a decade, has died. He was 78.


Treasury warns that anti-woke banking laws like Florida's are a national security risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is warning that state laws that restrict banks from considering environmental, social and governance factors could harm efforts to address money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter sent Thursday to lawmakers. The letter singled out a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in May that says it would be an "unsafe and unsound practice" for banks to consider non-financial factors when doing business. The letter concludes that "such laws create uncertainty and may inhibit" national security efforts.


Cardmember spending drives American Express second-quarter profits soaring 39%

NEW YORK (AP) — American Express said Friday second-quarter profits jumped 39% as the credit card company benefitted again from a broad increase in cardmember spending as well as more of its customers carrying a balance.

Profit reached $3.02 billion, compared to $2.17 billion in the same period a year ago. On a per-share basis, AmEx earned a profit of $4.15. Excluding one-time gains, AmEx earned $3.49 per share, handedly beating analyst's forecasts of $3.24 per share, according to FactSet.


Former Trump executive Weisselberg released from jail after serving perjury sentence

NEW YORK (AP) — Retired Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg was released from New York City's Rikers Island jail on Friday after serving a sentence for lying under oath, according to online records.

The former chief financial officer at Donald Trump's real estate company pleaded guilty in March to committing perjury during his testimony in the fraud lawsuit that New York's attorney general brought against the former president.


Gazdag's hat trick sparks Philadelphia Union's 3-0 win over Nashville

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Dániel Gazdag scored all three goals and the Philadelphia Union defeated Nashville SC 3-0 on Saturday night.

Gazdag scored with a right-footed shot from the center of the box to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.


Nashville-area GOP House race and Senate primaries top Tennessee's primary ballot

NASHVILLE (AP) — A first-term Tennessee congressman backed by former President Donald Trump will face a Republican challenger who calls the lawmaker ineffective, a contest that is among the top races in the state's August primary election.

The primary will also cement who will be the Democratic contender in the fall matchup for the seat that Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is running to keep.


US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, gets 6 1/2 years in prison, court says

A court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday.


Harris praises Biden's 'unmatched' legacy, looks to lock up the Democratic nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris moved swiftly to lock up Democratic delegates behind her campaign for the White House after President Joe Biden stepped aside amid concerns from within their party that he would be unable to defeat Republican Donald Trump.


Harris vows to 'earn and win' party nomination after Biden drops out

President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, suddenly the leading candidate to succeed Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and her party's main hope of defeating Trump.


Harris could become first Black woman, first person of South Asian descent to be president

WASHINGTON (AP) — She's already broken barriers, and now Kamala Harris could shatter several more after President Joe Biden abruptly ended his reelection bid and endorsed her.

Biden announced Sunday that he was stepping aside after a disastrous debate performance catalyzed fears that the 81-year-old was too frail for a second term.


Harris gets a chance to press reset on the 2024 race against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the past year, the presidential campaign seemed destined to be a monotonous slog featuring two candidates, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who voters didn't really want.

But that all changed on a quiet Sunday afternoon just 107 days before the election.


Biden's decision to drop out leaves Democrats across the country relieved and looking toward future

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP) — After weeks of uncertainty about who would be at the top of the Democratic Party's ticket in November, many voters expressed relief over the news that President Joe Biden would drop his reelection bid and began to think about who might replace him in a dramatically altered election landscape.


Democrats promise an 'orderly process' to replace Biden. Harris is favored, but questions remain

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shortly after President Joe Biden announced that he would drop his reelection campaign, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison had a message: There would be no automatic coronation for his replacement.

"In the coming days, the party will undertake a transparent and orderly process to move forward," Harrison said in a statement. "This process will be governed by established rules and procedures of the party. Our delegates are prepared to take seriously their responsibility in swiftly delivering a candidate to the American people."


Here's the letter that Biden wrote to say he would no longer seek reelection

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Sunday posted a letter to social media announcing that he would no longer seek reelection.

The decision by the Democrat came after building pressure from lawmakers, donors, activists and voters within his own party who had concerns about his ability to beat Republican Donald Trump in November's election. The letter ended weeks of speculation after the 81-year old's troubling performance at the June 27 presidential debate. Below is the text of the letter that Biden sent on his personal stationery:


Trump's campaign quickly pivots to Harris after Biden announces decision to leave the race

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's campaign has spent the last year-and-a-half viciously attacking Joe Biden, ridiculing his policies, mocking his fumbles and relishing a rematch they felt they were winning.

But they have also spent weeks preparing for the possibility that Biden might exit the race, readying a bevy of attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris that they unleashed as soon as Biden made his stunning announcement Sunday that he would step aside. Biden soon after endorsed Harris, who was quickly winning support from Democrats to be the party's nominee.


Too many pills? How to talk to your doctor about reviewing what's needed

Swallowing a handful of pills is a daily ritual for many people, from young adults coping with anxiety to older adults managing chronic conditions. Overall, 13% of people in the U.S. take five or more prescription drugs. For those 65 and older, that number is 42%.


EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management.


Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says: 'We failed'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump was the Secret Service's "most significant operational failure" in decades, Director Kimberly Cheatle told lawmakers Monday as calls mounted for her to resign.

In the first congressional hearing over the shooting at a Trump campaign rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month, Cheatle said she took "fully responsibility" for the security lapses, and she vowed to "move heaven and earth" to make sure there's no repeat of it.


Biden's legacy: Far-reaching accomplishments that didn't translate into political support

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sitting in the Oval Office behind the iconic Resolute desk in 2022, an animated President Joe Biden described the challenge of leading a psychologically traumatized nation.

The United States had endured a life-altering pandemic. There was a jarring burst of inflation and now global conflict with Russia invading Ukraine, as well as the persistent threat to democracy he felt Donald Trump posed.


Homeland Security secretary names independent panel to review Trump assassination attempt

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has appointed a bipartisan, independent panel to review this month's assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, officials said Sunday.

The panel members will have "extensive law enforcement and security experience to conduct a 45-day independent review of the planning for and actions taken by the U.S. Secret Service and state and local authorities before, during, and after the rally, and the U.S. Secret Service governing policies and procedures," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.


Bernice Johnson Reagon, whose powerful voice helped propel the Civil Rights Movement, has died

NASHVILLE (AP) — Bernice Johnson Reagon, a musician and scholar who used her rich, powerful contralto voice in the service of the American Civil Rights Movement and human rights struggles around the world, died on July 16, according to her daughter's social media post. She was 81.


Harris claims most of the delegates she needs for the nomination, sets new fundraising record

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris received the backing of more than half of the Democratic delegates she needs to become her party's nominee, and she set a new fundraising record Monday in her first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, as top Democrats moved to coalesce around her in their bid to defeat Republican Donald Trump.


Harris has a daunting to-do list as she starts up a presidential campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a daunting to-do list. Vice President Kamala Harris suddenly needs to whip up a presidential campaign almost from scratch.

It's a process that usually takes months, even years. Harris has only about two months before early voting starts. And, of course, nothing is guaranteed, despite her getting the endorsement of President Joe Biden — and significant pieces of his campaign — after he exited the race on Sunday.


GOP threatened to sue over November ballot if Biden dropped out. Experts call that 'ridiculous'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before President Joe Biden's long-speculated withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race, allies of former President Donald Trump floated the possibility of suing to block Democrats from having anyone other than Biden on the ballot in November.


Harris could become the first female president after years of breaking racial and gender barriers

WASHINGTON (AP) — She's already broken barriers, and now Kamala Harris could shatter several more after President Joe Biden abruptly ended his reelection bid and endorsed her.

Biden announced Sunday that he was stepping aside after a disastrous debate performance catalyzed fears that the 81-year-old was too frail for a second term.


CrowdStrike says more machines fixed as customers, regulators await details on what caused meltdown

AUSTIN, Tex. (AP) — Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike says a "significant number" of the millions of computers that crashed on Friday, causing global disruptions, are back in operation as its customers and regulators await a more detailed explanation of what went wrong.


Warner Bros. Discovery informs NBA it will match Amazon Prime Video's offer to carry games

Turner Sports intends to continue its longtime relationship with the NBA.

Warner Bros. Discovery informed the league Monday that it will match the $1.8 billion per year offer by Amazon Prime Video. Turner has had an NBA package since 1984 and games have been on TNT since the network launched in 1988.


Wall Street climbs as Big Tech recovers following worst week in months

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Monday, clawing back some of the losses from their worst week since April.

The S&P 500 rose 1.1%, breaking a three-day losing streak. It was the first gain for the benchmark index since it set an all-time high on Tuesday.


Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says 'we failed'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle said Monday that her agency failed in its mission to protect former President Donald Trump, as lawmakers of both major political parties demanded during a highly contentious congressional hearing that she resign over security failures that allowed a gunman to scale a roof and open fire at a campaign rally.


Heading to Asia, Blinken aims to shore up Indo-Pacific ties and stress US commitment to the region

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ignoring the political chaos surrounding President Joe Biden's decision to end his reelection campaign, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will head to Asia this week on a long-planned eight-day trip aimed at shoring up ties with Indo-Pacific allies and partners but with the priority of assuring them that the United States remains committed to the region.