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News - Friday, June 7, 2024

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Only the best avoid ‘death spiral’
The secret for mall survival is the right location, high-end shopping

A half-century after its opening, Knoxville’s West Town Mall continues to adapt, evolve and thrive. A mere 14 miles to the east, its younger competitor East Towne Mall, later re-christened Knoxville Center, is but a memory.

Both had big-name anchor tenants, a bustling set of food vendors, the occasional pop-music icon tour stop, all the things deemed essential for a mall, at least in the 1980s. Why did one fail? And why is this pattern playing out in other Tennessee and U.S. cities? Depends on who you ask.

A stroll past the food court

Here’s a rundown of the better-known malls, past and present, in the Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga areas:

Hamilton Place Mall

Opened: August 1987

Owner: CBL & Associates Properties

Size: 1,170,712 square feet, (retail floor area)

Flyers beware: Deadline looms for getting Real ID

The final countdown is on for you to get your Real ID. No, really, they mean it this time.

As of May 7, 2025, The Department of Homeland Security will require travelers to show its new form of identification, Real ID, to fly within the United States. Requirements for the new license include not only proof of identity but also proof of U.S. citizenship.

Obtaining Real ID won’t be an easy task for some

As much as we would prefer it to be, the process of obtaining a Real ID won’t be as easy as showing up to your nearest driver’s services center or county clerk’s office with your driver’s license and utility bill and walking out with a shiny new identification card.

Funny thing happened on way to early retirement for Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway

Gary Patrick had a bright idea when he, John Beard and Hoyt Samples left Stophel, Caldwell & Heggie in 1984 to form their own law firm: retire at the age of 45. He was 34 at the time.

Forty years later, Patrick is taking a break from practicing law to sit with Beard and discuss Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway’s ruby anniversary. It’s a rare pause for one of Chattanooga’s hardest-working attorneys, Beard says.

21 years later, Harwell happy with career shift

One of the benefits of doing these interviews is discovering new insights from those I have the privilege of working with as board president. Holly Harwell is one of those board members who has not only built a successful 21-year career in real estate but also actively contributes to the community and local association leadership. With a rich background in sales, marketing and political campaign finance, she’s a seasoned Realtor who brings a unique perspective to the industry and the board.

Haven’t been to Bento-Ya? Here’s what you’re missing

Have you ever tried to remember what you ate for dinner the previous evening and been stumped? If I were to ask for a show of hands, I’d have to stop typing and raise mine.

Who can blame us? The average person will eat about 86,000 meals in their lifetime, assuming they live to the ripe old age of 78, and it would be impossible to remember every repast.

CHA approves first phase for Henry Building

Since 2022, members of the Chattanooga Housing Authority’s development team have been developing the phases of One Westside, a project that will revitalize 300 acres of downtown riverfront, expand downtown education opportunities and create more affordable housing for more than 2,000 residents of Chattanooga’s Westside, local officials say.

‘Path to Presidency’ open at downtown library

The Chattanooga Public Library is hosting “Path to the Presidency,” a new exhibit showcasing over 100 years of presidential campaign memorabilia. Opening June 3, the exhibit is presented by Robert L. Golden Institute of Art & History and hosted by the library’s Local History and Genealogy Department.

McNabb to receive $200,000 to support active-duty military, veterans

State Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) has secured $200,000 in state funding to support the McNabb Center.

The investment will allow the nonprofit to expand into Chattanooga and provide outpatient mental health services for military service members, veterans and their families in southeast Tennessee.

Don’t let investments take a vacation

Summertime is almost here, and for many people that means it’s time to hit the road. But even if you decide to take a vacation, you’ll want other areas of your life to keep working, especially your investments.

So, how can you prevent your investments and your overall financial strategy from going on “vacation”?  Here are a few suggestions:

Enough! More people make ‘no-buy-year’ pledges

A 35-year-old Brooklyn resident gave up buying new clothes. A 22-year-old in San Diego swore off retail therapy at Target. A 26-year-old in England banned carbonated drinks from her shopping list.

These three women, who don’t know each other, all started the year resolving to spend money only on necessary purchases, or what is popularly known as engaging in a no-buy challenge. The self-imposed rules of the challenge are simple: participants pledge to stop buying nonessential items, be they unneeded shoes, additional beauty products or other impulse buys for a set amount of time, usually 12 months.

‘Cinderella story’ draws to close for an old friend

In 2012, I wrote of my high school classmate Truitt Williams, that he had “crossed over, passed on to glory, reached the promised land.” The use of death imagery was a joke. Truitt hadn’t died; he had retired.

As of May 15, the joke is a sad reality.

Behind the Wheel: 5 good bargain rides for younger drivers

Safety is critically important when choosing a vehicle for a younger driver, since motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

There are many reasons for that statistic, ranging from inexperience and distraction to risky behaviors such as speeding or alcohol use. But the bottom line is that many parents want to mitigate risk as much as possible when selecting a vehicle for their first-time drivers.

More than 10,000 Southern Baptists gather for meeting that could bar churches with women pastors

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 10,000 voting representatives gathered Tuesday for the opening of the Southern Baptist Convention's two-day annual meeting, where they will vote on whether to ban churches with women pastors and deliberate yet again on how to respond to sexual abuse within churches.

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, is convicted of all 3 felonies in federal gun trial

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden was convicted Tuesday of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018 when, prosecutors argued, the president's son lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

Justice Alito questions possibility of political compromise in secret recording

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is heard questioning whether compromise between the left and right is possible in a conversation posted on social media. The conservative justice is also heard agreeing with a woman who says the United States should return "to a place of godliness."

3 Nixon justices helped end his presidency. Will the 3 Trump appointees force him to stand trial?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty years ago, three of the justices Richard Nixon appointed to the Supreme Court joined in an 8-0 decision in the Watergate tapes case that effectively ended his presidency, ruling only 16 days after hearing the case. Nixon resigned from office just over two weeks later.

Judge strikes paragraph from Trump classified docs indictment but denies request to dismiss charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump and two of his associates struck a paragraph from the indictment on Monday but denied a defense request to dismiss some of the charges.

In the rough: Felony convictions could cost Trump liquor licenses at 3 New Jersey golf courses

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's attorney general's office is looking into whether Donald Trump's recent felony convictions in New York make him ineligible to hold liquor licenses at his three New Jersey golf courses.

A spokeswoman for the office said Monday that it is reviewing whether Trump's conviction on 34 felony counts involving payment of hush money to a porn star and falsifying business records in an attempt to hide it should impact the former president's continued ability to hold liquor licenses.

Trump completes mandatory presentencing interview after less than 30 minutes of questioning

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump completed his mandatory presentencing interview Monday after less than 30 minutes of routine, uneventful questions and answers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

A group of House Democrats steps up to try to stop Project 2025 and a Trump White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning about the far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Donald Trump White House, a group of House Democrats has launched a task force to start fighting the proposal and stop it from taking hold if the Republican former president returns to power.

Americans are split on Biden's student loan work, even those with debt, an AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — As he campaigns for reelection, President Joe Biden frequently touts his work on student debt, pointing to the millions of people who received cancellation under his watch. Yet relatively few Americans say they're fans of his work on the issue, even among those who have student loans.

Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle join Biden for early Juneteenth celebration on White House lawn

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden celebrated the Juneteenth holiday early with a Monday concert on the White House South Lawn with singers including Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle.

Biden plans to head to Camp David to prepare for June 27 debate with Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — After back-to-back trips to Europe, President Joe Biden plans to head to Camp David next week to prepare for his first 2024 debate with former President Donald Trump, hunkering down at the woodsy Maryland hideaway that has hosted many similar cram sessions in the past.

US gas prices are falling. Experts point to mild demand at the pump ahead of summer travel

NEW YORK (AP) — Gas prices are once again on the decline across the U.S., bringing some relief to drivers now paying a little less to fill up their tanks.

The national average for gas prices on Monday stood around $3.44, according to AAA. That's down about 9 cents from a week ago — marking the largest one-week drop recorded by the motor club so far in 2024. Monday's average was also more than 19 cents less than it was a month ago and over 14 cents below the level seen this time last year.

With 100M birds dead, poultry industry could serve as example as dairy farmers confront bird flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As the U.S. dairy industry confronts a bird flu outbreak, with cases reported at dozens of farms and the disease spreading to people, the egg industry could serve as an example of how to slow the disease but also shows how difficult it can be to eradicate the virus.

As Congress investigates the Osprey, families balance grief with pilots' love for the warplane

WASHINGTON (AP) — The V-22 Osprey that crashed off the coast of Japan last year brought the aircraft's safety record back under scrutiny — but this time without one of its most vocal defenders.

Air Force Maj. Jeff Hoernemann piloted the Osprey for more than a decade. Each time a new safety issue occurred, you'd find him online, defending the warplane through his Reddit account, UR_WRONG_ABOUT_V22.

World Bank boosts forecast: Strength of US economy will support global growth of 2.6% this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank upgraded its outlook for the global economy Tuesday, estimating that it will expand 2.6% this year on the strength of sustained growth in the United States.

The bank's latest outlook marks an increase from the 2.4% growth for 2024 it had predicted in January. And it would match the global economy's 2.6% expansion in 2023.

Federal watchdog investigates UAW president Shawn Fain, accuses union of being uncooperative

NEW YORK (AP) — United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain is under investigation by a court-appointed watchdog who has been working to stamp out corruption at the union in the wake of its stunning bribery and embezzlement scandal several years ago.

GM board approves another $6 billion share repurchase as the automaker gains momentum

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors approved another $6 billion share repurchase as the Detroit automaker continues to build momentum in 2024.

The Tuesday announcement follows a $10 billion share buyback authorization in November of last year. Shares in the Detroit automaker rose 2%, to $48.52 Tuesday while broader U.S. markets declined. GM shares are up 34% since the beginning of 2024.

Manhattan DA and Trump prosecutor set to appear before Congress on July 12, AP source says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is scheduled to testify before Congress on July 12, a day after former President Donald Trump's sentencing in his hush money trial, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Biden and gun control advocates want to flip an issue long dominated by the NRA

ATLANTA (AP) — Groups pushing tighter gun laws have been building political muscle through multiple elections, boosted by the outcry following mass shootings at schools and other public places, in addition to the nation's daily gun violence.

Now, gun control advocates and many Democrats see additional openings created by hard-line positions of the gun lobby and their most influential champion, former President Donald Trump. They also point to controversies surrounding the National Rifle Association, which has undergone leadership shuffles and membership declines after a key former executive was found to have expensed private jet flights and accepted vacations from group vendors.

Two weeks after hush money verdict, Trump to meet with Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will meet with Senate Republicans Thursday, speaking to the group just two weeks after he was convicted on 34 charges in his hush money trial and as GOP senators have increasingly rallied around him.

Wins by Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and A&M mean it'll be only SEC and ACC at College World Series

Kentucky finally made it to a College World Series, and the Wildcats will be joined by at least three other Southeastern Conference teams on college baseball's biggest stage.

Tennessee, Florida and Texas A&M also punched their tickets Sunday, joining Atlantic Coast Conference teams North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia when the CWS begins Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Top-seeded Tennessee hits 7 home runs, routs Evansville 12-1 to win super regional, spot in CWS

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Christian Moore and Dalton Bargo both hit two of Tennessee's seven home runs, powering the top-seeded Volunteers to a 12-1 victory over Evansville in the championship game of the Knoxville Super Regional on Sunday night.

The Rev. James Lawson Jr., civil rights leader who preached nonviolent protest, dies at 95

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Rev. James Lawson Jr., an apostle of nonviolent protest who schooled activists to withstand brutal reactions from white authorities as the Civil Rights Movement gained traction, has died, his family said Monday. He was 95.

'No one is above the law,' prosecutor says as he urges jurors to convict Hunter Biden on gun charges

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A prosecutor told jurors Monday that "no one is above the law" as he urged them to convict President Joe Biden's son Hunter on charges that he lied about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Leo Wise told jurors to focus on the "overwhelming" evidence against Hunter Biden and pay no mind to members of the president's family sitting in the courtroom, including first lady Jill Biden.

Supreme Court will take up Meta's bid to end lawsuit over Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider shutting down a multibillion-dollar class action investors' lawsuit against Facebook parent Meta stemming from the privacy scandal involving the Cambridge Analytica political consulting firm.

Hunter Biden's family weathers a public and expansive airing in federal court of his drug addiction

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — In a span of less than 48 hours this past week, first lady Jill Biden shuttled from a Normandy ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in France to the front row of a Delaware courtroom, where Hunter Biden is on trial in a gun case, and then back to Paris for an elaborate state visit at Élysée Palace.

Biden hosting early Juneteenth celebration concert on White House lawn

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will celebrate the Juneteenth holiday early with a Monday concert on the White House South Lawn with singers including Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle.

The presidential primary season is officially over. Here's what the results could mean for November

WASHINGTON (AP) — The presidential primary calendar has officially come to an end with weekend victories for Democratic President Joe Biden in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Both Biden and Republican Donald Trump already clinched their party nominations in March, setting up a historic general election rematch between the current and former president.

Biden's team asks CEOs how to further boost the economy while Trump says business is on his side

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden likes to take a hard thwack at corporate America.

The Democrat tells voters that companies should pay more in taxes and he blames many businesses for fueling higher prices by stoking "greedflation" and "shrinkflation."

Donald Trump tells a group that calls for banning all abortions to stand up for 'innocent life'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Donald Trump on Monday urged a staunchly anti-abortion Christian group to stand up for "innocent life," ambiguously revisiting an issue that Democrats want to make a focus of this year's presidential election.

The former president and presumptive Republican nominee's pre-recorded message praised the work of those attending the event hosted by The Danbury Institute, which is meeting in Indianapolis in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. The newly-formed institute is an association of churches, Christians and organizations that wants to eradicate abortion in its entirety.

Trump complains about his teleprompters at a scorching Las Vegas rally

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former President Donald Trump rallied voters in the scorching heat of Las Vegas, at points telling his supporters to ask for help if needed and appearing irritable with the teleprompters that he said were not working.

The presumptive GOP nominee's campaign hired extra medics, loading up on fans and water bottles and allowed supporters to carry umbrellas to an outdoor rally Sunday in Las Vegas, where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). The Clark County Fire Department said most of the medical calls were related to the heat, and six people were sent to a hospital and 24 others were treated on site.

Why Robert F. Kennedy's Jr.'s current presidential polling numbers might not hold up into November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has reached 15% or more in three approved national polls. One more, and he will have met one of CNN's benchmarks to qualify for the debate June 27 with Democratic President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Chrysler recalls more than 211,000 SUVs and pickup trucks due to software malfunction

NEW YORK (AP) — Stellantis-owned Chrysler is recalling more than 211,000 SUVs and pickup trucks in the U.S., due to a software malfunction that could disable the cars' electronic stability control systems.

The recall covers certain model year 2022 Dodge Durango, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 vehicles. According to documents published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these cars may experience a malfunction in their anti-lock braking control module — which could cause stability control, a key safety feature, to fail and increase the risk of crash as a result.

Alzheimer's drug that can slow disease gets backing from FDA advisers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A closely watched Alzheimer's drug from Eli Lilly won the backing of federal health advisers on Monday, setting the stage for the treatment's expected approval for people with mild dementia caused by the brain-robbing disease.

A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers voted unanimously that the drug's ability to modestly slow the disease outweighs its risks, including side effects like brain swelling and bleeding that will have to be monitored.

In Wyoming, Bill Gates moves ahead with nuclear project aimed at revolutionizing power generation

Bill Gates and his energy company are starting construction at their Wyoming site for a next-generation nuclear power plant he believes will "revolutionize" how power is generated.

Apple expected to enter AI race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference on Monday is expected to herald the company's move into generative artificial intelligence, marking its late arrival to a technological frontier that's expected to be as revolutionary as the invention of the iPhone.

A majority of Black Americans believe US institutions are conspiring against them, a Pew poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Black Americans say they've experienced racial discrimination regularly or from time to time, which colors how they view U.S. institutions like policing, the political system and the media, according to a study on conspiracy theories.

Coffee, sculptures and financial advice. Banks try to make new branches less intimidating

NEW YORK (AP) — It's like Sephora or Starbucks now offered a checking account.

After years of closing or mostly neglecting physical bank branches across the U.S., the nation's largest banks are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on refurbishing old locations or building new ones, and in the process changing the look, feel and purpose of the local bank branch.

Inflation data this week could help determine Fed's timetable for rate cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — After Federal Reserve officials meet this week, a statement they will issue may suggest that they've seen meaningful progress on inflation this year — a prelude to eventual interest rate cuts.

Yet it's hard to say, because the officials themselves may not know for sure until they begin their meeting. That's because the government's latest snapshot of U.S. inflation will be released Wednesday morning, just before the Fed begins the second day of its policy discussions.

Japan's economy is shrinking, although slightly less than previously thought

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese economy shrank at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter of this year, slightly better than the initial estimate at a 2.0% contraction, according to revised government data Monday.

The revision was due to private sector investments, at minus 0.4%, up from the previous minus 0.5%.

Wall Street drifts up to more records ahead of this week's Fed meeting

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks ticked to more records Monday ahead of a week with several top-tier reports on inflation due, as well as the Federal Reserve's latest meeting on interest rates.

The S&P 500 rose 13.80 points, or 0.3%, to 5,360.79 and topped its all-time high set last week. The Nasdaq composite also set a record after rising 59.40, or 0.3%, to 17,192.53, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 69.05, or 0.2%, to 38,868.04.

Investment firm takes a $1.9B stake in Southwest Airlines, wants to oust the CEO

DALLAS (AP) — Activist shareholder Elliott Investment Management has bought a $1.9 billion stake in Southwest Airlines and is seeking to force out the CEO of the airline, which has struggled with operational and financial problems.

Shares in the airline rose 9% in midday trading Monday, on pace for the biggest one-day increase in four years.

Martha's Vineyard is about to run out of pot. That's led to a lawsuit and a scramble by regulators

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) — An 81-year-old woman on Martha's Vineyard drove up to the Island Time dispensary last week seeking her usual order of pot. But owner Geoff Rose had to tell her the cupboard was bare — he'd been forced to temporarily close three weeks earlier after selling every last bud and gummy.

FDA and DOJ pledge more cooperation on illegal e-cigarettes ahead of congressional hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health regulators and law enforcement officials on Monday vowed to work more closely to stop sales of illegal electronic cigarettes, which have grown into a multibillion-dollar business in the U.S. while skirting government oversight.

Surprising Evansville has a winning hand in getting to the super regional against No. 1 Tennessee

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Evansville was an afterthought in the college baseball discussion two weeks ago.

It entered the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as the No. 3 seed, a decided underdog to regular-season champ and rival Indiana State. The Purple Aces were relying on a true freshman pitcher and a committed coach who believed in them.

Thomas acknowledges more travel paid for by Harlan Crow. Colleagues report six-figure book payments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday belatedly acknowledged more travel paid by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, while several colleagues reported six-figure payments as part of book deals.

Judge rather than jury will render verdict in upcoming antitrust trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge rather than a jury will decide whether Google violated federal antitrust laws by building a monopoly on the technology that powers online advertising.

The decision Friday by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema was a defeat for the Justice Department, which sought a jury trial when it filed the case last year in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

British tech magnate Mike Lynch acquitted of fraud charges in $11 billion deal with Hewlett Packard

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Lynch, once hailed as Britain's king of technology, has been cleared of charges alleging he orchestrated a fraud and conspiracy leading up to an $11 billion deal that turned into a costly albatross for Silicon Valley pioneer Hewlett Packard.

Trump film 'The Apprentice' made noise in Cannes, but it still lacks a US distributor

NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks after its much-anticipated premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, a film about Donald Trump in the 1980s is still seeking distribution in the United States.

In Cannes, "The Apprentice" unveiled a scathing portrait of the former U.S. President as a young man. The film, starring Sebastian Stan, chronicles Trump's rise to power in New York real estate under the tutelage of Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong), the defense attorney who was chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy's 1950s Senate investigations of suspected communists.

A new account rekindles allegations that Trump disrespected Black people on 'The Apprentice'

Gene Folkes had just been jettisoned as a contestant on "The Apprentice" and was commiserating with a crew member at a bar inside the lobby of Trump Tower. He was indignant — and not just at having been kicked off the reality show after its star, Donald Trump, had delivered his catchphrase: "You're fired."

What to know about new claims that Trump made racist comments on 'The Apprentice'

As Donald Trump seeks to make inroads with African American voters in his third run for the White House, fresh allegations are surfacing about his disrespectful behavior toward Black people on " The Apprentice," the hit reality TV show that launched his political career.

Trump, in his first post-trial rally, demands that appeals courts reverse his felony conviction

PHOENIX (AP) — Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Thursday with a trip to Arizona, his first appearance in a battleground state since he was convicted in a hush money scandal, repeating his critiques of the case against him as politically motivated and calling for his conviction to be overturned on appeal.

Kia recalls nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs due to fire risk, urges impacted consumers to park outside

NEW YORK (AP) — Kia America is recalling nearly 463,000 Telluride SUVs — and urging owners to park their cars outside and away from other structures until an issue posing a fire hazard is fixed.

The front power seat motor on the affected Tellurides from the 2020-2024 model years may overheat because of a stuck slide knob, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That could potentially result in a fire while the car is parked or being driven.

Real-world mileage standard for new vehicles rising to 38 mpg in 2031 under new Biden rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — New vehicles sold in the U.S. will have to average about 38 miles per gallon of gasoline in 2031 in real-world driving, up from about 29 mpg this year, under new federal rules unveiled Friday by the Biden administration.

The final rule will increase fuel economy by 2% per year for model years 2027 to 2031 for passenger cars, while SUVs and other light trucks will increase by 2% per year for model years 2029 to 2031, according to requirements released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

US hiring and wage growth picked up last month in sign of sustained economic health

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's employers added a strong 272,000 jobs in May, accelerating from April and a sign that companies are still confident enough in the economy to keep hiring despite persistently high interest rates.

Last month's sizable job gain suggests that the economy is still growing steadily, propelled by consumer spending on travel, entertainment and other services. U.S. airports, for example, reported near-record traffic over the Memorial Day weekend. A healthy job market typically drives consumer spending, the economy's principal fuel. Though some recent signs had raised concerns about economic weakness, May's jobs report should help assuage those fears.

China's exports grow 7.6% in May, beating expectations despite trade tensions

HONG KONG (AP) — China's exports in May grew at their fastest pace in more than a year despite trade tensions, though imports fell short of analyst expectations, according to customs data released Friday.

Exports jumped 7.6% in May from the same month last year to $302.35 billion, rising at the fastest pace since April 2023. Imports rose by 1.8% to $219.73 billion, missing estimates of about 4% growth.

Stocks slip and bond yields jump following a hotter-than-expected jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks slipped and Treasury yields rose sharply after the government released a jobs report whose headline numbers came in hotter than expected.

Overall, the report suggests markets may have to wait even longer for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

Blinken to push cease-fire proposal in eighth urgent Mideast trip since war in Gaza erupted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will push for a breakthrough on President Joe Biden's cease-fire proposal when he returns to the Middle East next week on his eighth diplomatic mission to the region since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began in October, the State Department said Friday.

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu set to address the US Congress on July 24

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24, setting the stage for what is expected to be a contentious speech at a crucial moment for the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Congressional leaders confirmed the date of the address late Thursday after formally inviting Netanyahu to come speak before lawmakers last week. It is the most recent show of wartime support for the longtime ally despite mounting political divisions over Israel's military assault on Hamas in Gaza.

Members of Congress commemorate D-Day with their own parachute jump over Normandy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A contingent of U.S. lawmakers from the House of Representatives made a commemorative parachute jump Friday at Normandy marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the historic assault that launched the end of World War II.

Organized by Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., the bipartisan group included 10 congressmen, all veterans, making the trek to France to honor and pay tribute to the U.S. and Allied troops at a defining moment at home and abroad.

US to send new $225 million military aid package to Ukraine, officials say.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will send about $225 million in military aid to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Thursday, in a new package that includes ammunition Kyiv's forces could use to strike threats inside Russia to defend the city of Kharkiv from a heavy Russian assault.

Titans wrap offseason program with rookie left tackle JC Latham last off field

NASHVILLE (AP) — JC Latham stopped with a quick question for his position coach after running on his own to wrap up the Tennessee Titans ' final session of their offseason program Tuesday.

Veteran coach Bill Callahan said he couldn't ask much more of the Titans' first-round draft pick, not that they expected anything different from the Alabama offensive lineman. Callahan said the rookie is the type of player coaches yearn to have in their meeting rooms as great examples for others.

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is adding $1.4 billion to a fund it established three years ago for preserving or building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices, CEO Andy Jassy announced Tuesday.

The Seattle-based company said the new sum would go on top of the $2.2 billion it had already invested to help create or preserve 21,000 affordable housing units in three areas: the Puget Sound in Washington state; Arlington, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. When it launched its Housing Equity Fund in January 2021, Amazon said it aimed to fund 20,000 units over five years.

Judge sets hearing over alleged leak of Covenant school shooter info to conservative outlet

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee judge has ordered a conservative media organization to appear in court over publishing details from allegedly leaked documents about a 2023 Nashville school shooting, while the outlet sues for the same kind of records to be released to the public.

Alarmed by embryo destruction, Southern Baptists urge caution on IVF by couples and government

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Southern Baptist delegates expressed alarm Wednesday over the way in vitro fertilization is routinely being practiced, approving a resolution lamenting that the creation of surplus frozen embryos often results in "destruction of embryonic human life."

Southern Baptists narrowly reject formal ban on churches with any women pastors

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Southern Baptists narrowly rejected a proposal Wednesday to enshrine a ban on churches with women pastors in their constitution after opponents argued it was unnecessary because the denomination already has a way of ousting such churches.

American investor Martin Shkreli accused of copying and sharing one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album

NEW YORK (AP) — American investor Martin Shkreli is facing a new lawsuit for allegedly retaining and sharing recordings from a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he was forced to sell following his 2017 conviction on securities fraud charges.

The lawsuit was brought Monday by a cryptocurrency collective, PleasrDAO, which purchased the only known copy of the album from Shkreli for $4.75 million. The album, "Once Upon a Time is Shaolin," has not been released to the public, functioning as a rare contemporary art piece since it was auctioned off by the famed hip-hop group in 2015.

Elon Musk drops lawsuit against ChatGPT-maker OpenAI without explanation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk has dropped his lawsuit against OpenAI just ahead of a scheduled Wednesday hearing on the case.

Musk in February sued the San Francisco artificial intelligence company and its CEO Sam Altman over what he said was a betrayal of the ChatGPT maker's founding aims of benefiting humanity rather than pursuing profits.

Supreme Court has a lot of work to do and little time to do it with a sizable case backlog

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is headed into its final few weeks with nearly half of the cases heard this year still undecided, including ones that could reshape the law on everything from guns to abortion to social media. The justices are also still weighing whether former President Donald Trump is immune from criminal prosecution in the election interference case against him, more than a month after hearing arguments.

Judges hear Elizabeth Holmes' appeal of fraud conviction while she remains in Texas prison

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A panel of federal judges spent two hours on Tuesday wrestling with a series of legal issues raised in an attempt to overturn a fraud conviction that sent Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to prison after a meteoric rise to Silicon Valley stardom.

Trump's company: New Jersey golf club liquor license probe doesn't apply to ex-president

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Former president Donald Trump is not the holder of liquor licenses at his three New Jersey golf clubs, his company said Tuesday in response to an inquiry by the New Jersey attorney general's office into whether his convictions in a New York case might affect those licenses.

AP-NORC poll: About half of US adults approve of Trump's conviction, but views of him remain stable

NEW YORK (AP) — About half of U.S. adults approve of Donald Trump's recent felony conviction, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows some potential vulnerabilities, along with some signs of resilience in his support, as Trump tries to become the first American with a felony record to win the presidency.

Thefts of charging cables pose yet another obstacle to appeal of electric vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — Just before 2 a.m. on a chilly April night in Seattle, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup stopped at an electric vehicle charging station on the edge of a shopping center parking lot.

Two men, one with a light strapped to his head, got out. A security camera recorded them pulling out bolt cutters. One man snipped several charging cables; the other loaded them into the truck. In under 2½ minutes, they were gone.

Europe wants affordable electric vehicles from China. But not at the cost of its own auto industry

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Union moved Wednesday to hike tariffs, or import taxes, on electric vehicles made in China. EVs are the latest flash point in a broader trade dispute over Chinese government subsidies and the Asian nation's burgeoning exports of green technology to the 27-nation bloc.

Paramount Global owner calls off merger talks with Skydance Media

NEW YORK (AP) — National Amusements, which owns a majority voting stake in embattled entertainment giant Paramount Global, said Tuesday that it has ended talks on a possible merger of Paramount with movie production company Skydance Media.

The potential deal had drawn attention for weeks amid concerns about Paramount's future given its heavy debt load and declining television business. One media report in early June even stated that Paramount and Skydance had agreed to terms of a deal, contingent only on signoff from Paramount's controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. A statement from National Amusements merely noted that the two sides "have not been able to reach mutually acceptable terms" for the deal.

Faking an honest woman: Why Russia, China and Big Tech all use faux females to get clicks

WASHINGTON (AP) — When disinformation researcher Wen-Ping Liu looked into China's efforts to influence Taiwan's recent election using fake social media accounts, something unusual stood out about the most successful profiles.

They were female, or at least that's what they appeared to be. Fake profiles that claimed to be women got more engagement, more eyeballs and more influence than supposedly male accounts.

Ospreys won't return to full flight status until at least 2025, program head tells Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — The military's hundreds of V-22 Ospreys will not be permitted to fly their full range of missions until at least 2025 as the Pentagon continues to address safety concerns in the fleet, the head of the program told lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday.

Federal Reserve sees some progress on inflation but envisions just one rate cut this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials said Wednesday that inflation has fallen further toward their target level in recent months but signaled that they expect to cut their benchmark interest rate just once this year.

The policymakers' forecast for one rate cut was down from a previous forecast of three, likely because inflation, despite having cooled in the past two months, remains persistently elevated.

US inflation cooled in May in sign that price pressures might be easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation in the United States eased in May for a second straight month, a hopeful sign that an acceleration of prices that occurred early this year may have passed. The trend, if it holds, could move the Federal Reserve closer to cutting its benchmark interest rate from its 23-year peak.

Wall Street climbs on hopes for coming cuts to interest rates

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday following a surprisingly encouraging update on inflation and a reassurance that the Federal Reserve still sees a cut to interest rates as likely this year.

The S&P 500 added 0.9% to its all-time high set a day earlier. The Nasdaq composite also built on its own record and jumped 1.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged the market with a dip of 35 points, or 0.1%.

Traffic resumes through Baltimore's busy port after $100M cleanup of collapsed bridge

BALTIMORE (AP) — Authorities anticipate commercial shipping traffic through the Port of Baltimore will soon return to normal levels since the channel fully reopened earlier this week for the first time since the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

"They are back open for business, ready to bring in the largest container ships that call there," U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon Gilreath said during a virtual press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans stick to attacking criminal justice system, echoing Trump, after Hunter Biden conviction

PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans are responding to Hunter Biden's conviction on federal gun charges with some version of, "That's it?"

Loyal to Donald Trump, they largely echoed the former president's claim that the Justice Department has treated President Joe Biden's son with kid gloves while zealously prosecuting Trump. Using the attention given to Hunter Biden's conviction for charges related to buying a gun while addicted to drugs, they pressed unsubstantiated or debunked allegations that Joe Biden — while vice president — acted to advance his family members' foreign business interests.

US widens sanctions on Russia to discourage countries such as China from doing business with Moscow

The United States widened its sanctions against Russia Wednesday as G7 leaders prepared to gather in Italy for a summit where the top priorities will be boosting support for Ukraine and grinding down Russia's war machine.

Wednesday's package targeted Chinese companies which help Russia pursue its war in Ukraine and raised the stakes for foreign financial institutions which work with sanctioned Russian entities.

Senators blast health regulators and law enforcement over illegal e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators on Wednesday blasted top health and law enforcement officials for not doing more to combat the rise of illegal electronic cigarettes in the U.S., a multibillion-dollar business that has flourished amid haphazard enforcement.

House votes to hold AG Garland in contempt for withholding Biden audio

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden's interview in his classified documents case, Republicans' latest and strongest rebuke of the Justice Department as partisan conflict over the rule of law animates the 2024 presidential campaign.

US will send Ukraine another Patriot missile system after Kyiv's desperate calls for air defenses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will send Ukraine another Patriot missile system, two U.S. officials said Tuesday, answering Kyiv's desperate calls for more air defenses as it battles an intense Russian assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region.

8 people with possible Islamic State ties arrested in US on immigration violations

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight people from Tajikistan with suspected ties to the Islamic State group have been arrested in the United States in recent days, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

The arrests took place in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and the individuals, who entered the U.S. through the southern border, are being held on immigration violations, said the people, who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

College World Series might offer glimpse of future with only SEC and ACC teams in the field

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The College World Series begins this week and only two conferences will be represented on the game's biggest stage for the first time since the event expanded to eight teams in 1950.

The Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference each are sending four teams, the SEC for the fourth time since 2015 and seventh overall and the ACC for the first time since 2006.

Breaking down the teams playing for national championship at the College World Series

A look at the eight teams competing in the College World Series, which starts Friday at Charles Schwab Field. (Capsules in order of CWS opening games. Coaches' records through super regionals):

A Florida law blocking treatment for transgender children is thrown out by a federal judge

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a 2023 Florida law that blocked gender-affirming care for transgender minors and severely restricted such treatment for adults, calling the statute unconstitutional.

Senior Judge Robert Hinkle said the state went too far when it barred transgender minors from being prescribed puberty blockers and hormonal treatments with their parents' permission. He also stopped the state from requiring that transgender adults only receive treatment from a doctor and not from a registered nurse or other qualified medical practitioner. And he barred a ban on online treatment for transgender adults.

President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, is convicted of all 3 felonies in federal gun trial

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden was convicted Tuesday of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018 when, prosecutors argued, the president's son lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

President offers love and pride for his son's addiction recovery after Hunter Biden's guilty verdict

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden kept his distance from the courtroom where his son Hunter stood trial on felony gun charges to avoid any appearance of meddling but his quick statement reacting to the jury's guilty verdict Tuesday spoke to where his heart has been all along.

House Democrats step up to try to stop Project 2025 plans for a Trump White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning about the far-right Project 2025 agenda for a Donald Trump White House, a group of House Democrats has launched a task force to start fighting the proposal and stop it from taking hold if the Republican former president returns to power.

Future of Elon Musk and Tesla are on the line this week as shareholders vote on massive pay package

DETROIT (AP) — If Tesla shareholders vote against restoring Elon Musk's $44.9 billion pay package Thursday, the CEO could deliver on threats to take artificial intelligence research to one of his other companies. Or he could even could walk away.

Wall Street drifts to a mixed close but still notches some records

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks drifted to a mixed close overall on Wall Street, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite still managed to notch more record highs.

A big gain in Apple helped push both indexes higher Tuesday. The S&P 500 added 0.3%, driven largely by gains in tech stocks, even though more stocks fell than rose within the index.

Waffle House raises worker pay after strikes and pressure from labor organizers

Waffle House is increasing pay for its U.S. workers after a year-long push from labor advocates.

In a video message to employees late last month, Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers III said base pay would rise to at least $3 per hour in June and then gradually rise to at least $5.25 per hour by June 2026. Base pay doesn't include workers' tips, and will be higher in some states depending on minimum wage laws, Rogers said.

Thousands of drivers file arbitration claims against Amazon for unpaid wages and other losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of delivery drivers filed legal claims against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the company's classification of them as independent contractors instead of employees has led to unpaid wages and other financial losses.

Two law firms spearheading the action said about 15,860 Amazon Flex drivers have submitted arbitration claims with the American Arbitration Association, where 453 similar cases are already being litigated.

Watchdog investigates UAW president Shawn Fain, accuses union of being uncooperative

NEW YORK (AP) — United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain is under investigation by a court-appointed watchdog who has been working to stamp out corruption at the union in the wake of its stunning bribery and embezzlement scandal several years ago.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and Trump prosecutor Matthew Colangelo will appear before Congress July 12

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has agreed to testify before Congress on July 12, a day after former President Donald Trump's sentencing in his hush money trial.

A spokesperson for Bragg's office confirmed Tuesday that he will appear before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government alongside Matthew Colangelo, the former high-ranking Justice Department official who was hired by Bragg in 2022 and helped lead the Trump investigation.

Trump will meet with House and Senate Republicans this week near the Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans will meet privately with Donald Trump on Thursday, as the former president who is now the party's presumptive nominee returns to Capitol Hill for the first time since his supporters attacked the building on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn President Joe Biden's election.