On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
67°
Mostly Sunny
H 87° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    67°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 87° L 66°
  • clear-day
    82°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Sunny. H 87° L 66°
  • clear-day
    83°
    Evening
    Mostly Sunny. H 87° L 66°

Business Headlines

    Asian shares are higher as moves to reopen regional economies from shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic override concerns about unrest in the U.S. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% to finish at 22,325.61, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 23,912.07. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.1% to 2,087.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose nearly 0.3% to 5,835.10, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% to 2,918.94. In Southeast Asia, where shutdowns are beginning to ease, Indonesia's benchmark jumped 2.4% and Singapore's surged 1.8%. The gains also tracked an advance on Wall Street overnight. Investors are balancing cautious optimism about the reopening of businesses shut down because of the pandemic against worries that widespread protests in the U.S. over police brutality could disrupt the economic recovery and widen the outbreak. Hopes for a quick recovery from the worst global downturn since the 1930s have helped spur buying. But Robert Carnell, regional head of research for the Asia-Pacific region at ING, warned against too much optimism, given the tensions between the U.S. and China, unrest in Hong Kong and the U.S., and uncertainties over prospects for a vaccine or dependable treatments for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. “How long can markets remain buoyant?” he asked. “The honest answer, and one that may save you five minutes is, ‘I don’t know.’ ” The protests that have rocked American cities for days have so far not had much impact on financial markets. But the violence and damage to property may hinder the re-opening of the economy. Crowds gathering to protest injustice and racism also could touch off more outbreaks. “The market has been expecting a springtime for economic activity,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “If these events derail the animal spirits that the markets have been counting on across the country, then I think they will have an impact. But investors are dismissing it as a short-term, non-event.” On Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 0.4% to 3,055.73 after wavering between small gains and losses. Banks, companies that depend on consumer spending and communications companies accounted for a big slice of the gains. Health care was the only sector to fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 25,475.02. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.7% to 9,552.05 and the Russell 2000 index picked up 0.8% to 1,405.37. The stock market is coming off its second month of solid gains. Stocks have now recouped most of their losses after the initial economic fallout from the coronavirus knocked the market into a breathtaking 34% skid in February and March. The S&P 500 is now down just under 10% from its all-time high in February. The Federal Reserve and Congress have pledged unprecedented amounts of aid for the economy. That helped spur the market's move higher from its March lows. Now investors are betting that the worst of the recession has already passed, or will soon, as governments around the country and around the world slowly lift restrictions meant to corral the outbreak. This week will provide market watchers more insight on the impact that the coronavirus is having on U.S. workers and employers. Payroll processor ADP issues its May survey of hiring by private U.S. companies on Wednesday. The next day, the government releases its weekly tally of applications for unemployment aid. And on Friday, the government reports its May labor market data. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect the report will show the economy lost 9 million jobs last month. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 0.66%. Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 33 cents to $35.77 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 5 cents to $35.44 a barrel Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 37 cents to $38.69 a barrel. The U.S. dollar rose to 107.79 Japanese yen from 107.58 yen. The euro inched down to $1.1128 from $1.1136. ___ AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed.
  • Parisians who have been cooped up for months with takeout food and coffee will be able to savor their steaks tartare in the fresh air and cobbled streets of the City of Light once more — albeit in smaller numbers.. The city famed for its vibrant cafe society and coffee culture will get some of its pre-lockdown life back as cafes and restaurants partially reopen Tuesday. The Paris City Hall authorized the opening of outside seating areas, but indoors will remain closed to customers until at least June 22. Dampening the mood of new freedom, social distancing of one meter (about three feet) between tables will be obligatory and drastically reduce the numbers. For the city well-known for its tiny chairs and fashionably-small 50-centimeter-wide (20-inch-wide) round tables that often touch, this will lower capacity in some outside areas by over half. To help matters, the normally space-restricting Paris City Hall is now allowing restaurateurs to be expansive — and have issued an authorization for them to enlarge their outside areas, or create one, without the normal legal red tape until Sept. 30. To do this, they will have to sign a charter promising to respect “pedestrian traffic, the cleanliness of the premises, safety or even noise reduction vis-à-vis residents.” But some restaurateurs have said that they haven't received the charter, and the details remain fuzzy and confusing. Xavier Denamur, who owns five of the Marais’ most popular cafes and bistros with around 70 employees, was mixed in his reaction about the reopening. “It’s amazing that we’re finally opening up, but the outside area is just a fraction of the inside space,” he said. In one of his restaurant-bars La Belle Hortense, he said that out of a normal capacity of 126 people, there will just be room for eight. “It’s a start,” he conceded, but “two in three outside tables had to be removed.” Customers will have the freedom to eat without wearing a mask, but as soon as nature calls they will be required to don one to go to the inside bathroom. Some have complained that the government’s speedy announcement of the plans, just five days before reopening, were also problematic. “It was confirmed on Thursday, and with the holiday weekend it’s been almost impossible to order all the necessary products from Rungis,” Denamur said, referring to the Paris region’s principal food market. ___ Thomas Adamson reported from Leeds, England. ___ Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
  • Reigniting a bitter row between key U.S. allies, South Korea on Tuesday said it will reopen a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization over Japan’s tightened controls on technology exports to its companies, blaming Tokyo for an alleged lack of commitment in resolving mutual grievances. South Korea had halted its WTO action in November when it decided to keep a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan it previously threatened to end over conflicts stemming from wartime history and trade, after months of pressure by the Trump administration. Japan in return agreed to resume talks on settling a bilateral trade dispute, which was triggered by its move in July in to strengthen export controls on key chemicals South Korean companies used to make computer chips and displays. But Na Seung-sik, an official from South Korea’s trade ministry, said there has been no progress since then because of what he described as Japan’s lack of willingness to settle the dispute. He said South Korea will request a WTO panel ruling over the issue and that the process will likely take more than a year. When imposing tighter controls over the three chemicals, Japan had cited unspecified security concerns over South Korea’s export controls on sensitive materials that could be used for military purposes. But Na said there has been no known security problem related to the chemicals or products that involved them in the past 11 months. “Our government in the past six months sincerely engaged in dialogue and provided thorough and sufficient explanations so that the Japanese side could understand South Korea’s export controls are functioning normally and effectively,” Na said in a briefing. “Our thinking is that the process of bilateral consultations is over, and the next step would be for us to request the WTO to set up a dispute settlement panel.” Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed regret over South Korea's move and said there was no change to Tokyo’s position that Seoul should improve its export controls. “It was regrettable that the South Korean side unilaterally made the announcement even though we have maintained dialogues,” he told reporters. South Korea says Japan’s trade measures threaten its export-dependent economy, where many manufacturers rely on materials and parts imported from Japan. It claims Tokyo is retaliating over South Korean court rulings that called for Japanese companies to offer reparations to aging South Korean plaintiffs over World War II forced labor. Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula for nearly four decades before the end of the war, insists that all compensation matters were settled when the two countries normalized relations under a 1965 treaty and that the South Korean court rulings go against international law. The countries also downgraded each other’s trade status before letting the row to spill over to the military pact, which symbolizes the countries’ three-way security cooperation with the United States in the face of a North Korean nuclear threat and China’s growing assertiveness. South Korea initiated the WTO complaint last September over Tokyo’s July export controls, which required Japanese companies to receive case-by-case inspections and approval on the shipments of the chemicals to South Korea. South Korean officials said the process could disrupt South Korean companies’ manufacturing activities because it could take up to 90 days, compared to the previous fast-track process that took a week or two. __ AP writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to the story from Tokyo.
  • When nurse Maria Alexeyeva caught coronavirus at work, she isolated herself at home and followed the rules set down by Moscow authorities: She checked in with doctors regularly, didn’t leave her apartment and downloaded a smartphone app required by the city to keep tabs on quarantined patients. The Social Monitoring app tracks users via GPS and sends them random notifications demanding a selfie to prove they're still at home. If it detects they've left home or they fail to provide a photo, they face a fine of about $56 each time. But soon the app became a nightmare for Alexeyeva. It crashed when she tried to take a photo. Weak with illness, she struggled with the software for days, sometimes on hold for hours with technical support. And when her quarantine ended, she discovered she had accumulated 11 fines totaling $620. “That’s more than my monthly wage,” Alexeyeva told The Associated Press. “This quarantine has been hard on me. And now I have to deal with this on top of it.” Thousands of Muscovites also complain they have been wrongfully fined by the quarantine app. In slightly over a month, authorities issued some 54,000 fines, totaling $3 million among its nearly 70,000 registered users. Authorities insist the fines were justified, issued to those who repeatedly violated quarantine. But the app's users say it has glitches and flaws, sometimes demanding selfies in the middle of the night, adding that the fines were dished out arbitrarily. Moscow has been Russia's biggest hot spot during the pandemic, recording nearly half of the country's more than 414,000 cases. As the city of 12 million struggled to contain the outbreak, it used technology that later drew widespread criticism. After two virus cases were reported in February, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin authorized facial recognition software to track Chinese citizens in the capital, drawing complaints from rights groups. When the city introduced digital passes for commuters in April, tightly packed crowds formed at Metro stations as police checked smartphones individually. But the biggest complaints focus on the Social Monitoring app, which was rolled out in early April and was mandatory for those infected with the virus or suspected of having it. Patients had to sign a form requiring them to install the app as part of their quarantine notifications, although they said they were not told how to use the app or what actions would lead to fines. Grigory Sakharov, who self-isolated after a week in the hospital with coronavirus-induced pneumonia, was given six fines, totaling about $336. Two dated back to when he was still hospitalized, even though he didn't install the app until after his discharge. “I don’t mind paying a fine for something I did wrong, but I don’t understand what I’m paying for here,” Sakharov told the AP. Svetlana Bystrova, quarantined at home with flu-like symptoms, didn’t install the app. She said her doctors didn’t tell her she had to, and she didn’t notice a clause obligating her to use the app in the quarantine order she signed. After two weeks of strict self-isolation, Bystrova found she had been fined four times, totaling $224. One was for not installing the app, two said it detected her outside her apartment, and one was for not giving details of her wrongdoing. “The one for not installing the app I get, fair enough,” Bystrova said. “But how can the app I never installed track my movements?” Vladimir Perevalov, who installed the app and diligently took selfies, was fined three times for $168. The app never sent him any notifications, he said. The outrage has mounted as tales of arbitrary fines mushroomed on social media. By the end of May, authorities got over 2,500 complaints contesting the fines, and more than 200 lawsuits were filed. Three online petitions demanding to abolish the app got over 94,000 signatures. Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division, said while many countries use mobile tracking apps, she hasn’t seen one getting so many complaints. “The situation is absurd. It’s insane,” Lokshina said. “Instead of serving to contain the epidemic, it in fact serves ... to punish law-abiding citizens who actually attempt to play by the rules.” On May 21, Human Rights Watch urged Moscow authorities to drop the app, noting that on top of the arbitrary fines, Social Monitoring violated users' privacy by accessing their location, calls, camera, network information and other data. Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council echoed HRW's stance, urging officials to cancel all fines. But Alexei Nemeryuk, the mayor's deputy chief of staff, said there will be no amnesty, noting: “There's a system for contesting the fines.” That has proved unsuccessful, said Leonid Solovyov of the Apologia Protesta legal aid group, which is working with over 100 people were fined. He said those who are fined must provide proof they did nothing wrong, which is difficult, while authorities are basing the punishment on data from the app. “Some fines are indeed being overruled,' Solovyov told AP, but only the 'most egregious cases.” City Hall has said it was canceling 468 fines for failing to take a selfie because the app made those requests in the middle of the night. Another high-profile case involved Irina Karabulatova, a bed-ridden professor who hasn’t left her apartment in a year and got two fines for not installing the app. After her story made national headlines, the fines were canceled and officials apologized. “They canceled my (fines) because journalists stood up for me,” Karabulatova told AP. “But what is going to happen to the others is a big question.” On Thursday, Sakharov started receiving messages saying his fines were canceled. Alexeyeva, the nurse, also was contacted by officials who promised to lift all her fines. Then, Alexeyeva's mother was notified she was being fined: Social Monitoring detected her leaving the apartment. “My mother was quarantined with me. She didn't sign (a document) that had a clause on using Social Monitoring and she doesn't have the app,” Alexeyeva said. “Looks like we got excited too soon.” —- Alexander Roslyakov, Anatoly Kozlov and Pavel Golovkin contributed. ___ Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
  • New York City imposed a late-night curfew Monday that failed to prevent another night of destruction, including arrests after a break-in at the iconic Macy's store on 34th Street, following protests over George Floyd’s death. As the 11 p.m. deadline to get off the streets approached, bands of protesters marched peacefully through Manhattan and Brooklyn, but police simultaneously responded to numerous reports of roving groups of people smashing their way into shops and emptying them of merchandise. The doors of Macy's flagship Manhattan store were breached. Police pulled two handcuffed men out and put them in a van. People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Near Rockefeller Center, storefront windows were smashed and multiple people arrested. Bank windows were smashed. Wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store. Video posted on social media showed some protesters arguing with people breaking windows, urging them to stop, but instances of vandalism and smash-and-grab thefts mounted as the night deepened. “We worked hard to build up the business, and within a second, someone does this,” said the owner of a ransacked Manhattan smoke shop, who identified himself only by the name Harri. “Really bad.” New York joined other cities around the country in imposing a curfew after days of unrest. It comes on top of months of restrictions on public gatherings already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Enough mayhem happened before the curfew took effect that Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that it would move up to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The curfew lifts at 5 a.m. De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the outbreaks of violence the previous two evenings — which left stores ransacked and police vehicles burned — gave them no choice to impose a curfew and boost police presence, even as they insisted they stood with the throngs of peaceful demonstrators who have spoken out for several days against police brutality and racial injustice. “We can’t let violence undermine the message of this moment,” de Blasio said in a statement. He and Cuomo are Democrats. Big crowds rallied in Times Square and Brooklyn on Monday afternoon and marched through the streets for hours. As in previous days, the demonstrations in daylight were peaceful, with officers mostly keeping their distance from marchers. A nighttime march through Brooklyn was also peaceful, and police let it continue for hours after the 11 a.m. curfew passed. But midtown Manhattan descended into chaos as night fell. There were dozens of arrests, police said. De Blasio tweeted at 1 a.m. that there were also “real problems” in the Bronx, which had largely escaped previous nights of unrest unscathed. Video posted on social media showed multiple piles of rubbish on fire on a debris-strewn street and people smashing into stories. Another video showed a group of men beating a police officer who was alone and down on the ground, smashing him with pieces of wreckage until he pulled his gun and they ran. After the curfew took effect, police moved more actively to clear the streets, chasing after and knocking down some people who wouldn't comply as they streamed toward Times Square. At the same time, the city's elected public advocate, Jumaane Williams, and some other officials held a news conference in Brooklyn criticizing the curfew. “In the black community, every time we ask for resources or assistance, they send police,” said Williams, a Democrat. Earlier in the day, one Times Square demonstrator, Giselle Francisco, considered the curfew necessary. “There are people who have ulterior motives, and they’re trying to hijack the message,” the New Yorker said. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea expressed doubts earlier Monday about whether a curfew would be heeded. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a retired police captain whose borough has been a focal point for demonstrations and some damage, also had doubts. “There are real deep, legitimate wounds, and if we’re not going to put the same level of energy into correcting those wounds as we’re going to put into telling people not to come out at 11, then we’re going to fail, and this is going to prolong the problem,' said Adams, a Democrat. Bystander Sean Jones, who watched as people ransacked luxury stores in Manhattan’s chic Soho neighborhood Sunday night, explained the destruction this way: “People are doing this so next time, before they think about trying to kill another black person, they’re going to be like, ’Damn, we don’t want them out here doing this ... again.’” Monday marked the fourth night in a row of mainly peaceful daytime demonstrations, chaotic nights, hot spots of violence and arrests, with the mayor’s daughter among those arrested over the weekend. Chiara de Blasio, 25, refused to leave a Manhattan street officers were clearing Saturday because people were throwing things. She was released with a court summons. Her father said Monday she told him she'd behaved peacefully and believed she had followed officers' instructions. Thousands of people have taken to the streets around the nation to express outrage over Floyd’s May 25 death and other killings of black people, particularly by police. Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck. On Sunday, some New York City police officers knelt with protesters. But officers have also clashed with demonstrators. Shea said the department is investigating officers' behavior in about six confrontations, including one in which two police vehicles plowed through a group of protesters Saturday in Brooklyn. During Sunday night's demonstration, video posted to social media showed a police officer pulling a gun and pointing it at demonstrators on a debris-littered Manhattan street moments after a protester used an object to deliver a crushing blow to another officer's head a few yards away. “That officer should have his gun and badge taken away today,' de Blasio said. Cuomo said some officers had exacerbated tensions with some “very disturbing” actions. Police union president Patrick Lynch said Cuomo was ”wrongly blaming the chaos on the cops.' ___ Contributing were Associated Press writers Larry Neumeister, Jake Seiner, Maria Sanminatelli, Michael R. Sisak, Karen Matthews and Deepti Hajela and video journalist Robert Bumsted in New York and Marina Villeneuve in Albany.
  • The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the U.S. economy could be $15.7 trillion smaller over the next decade than it otherwise would have been if Congress does not mitigate the economic damage from the coronavirus. The CBO, which had already issued a report forecasting a severe economic impact over the next two years, expanded that forecast to show that the severity of the economic shock could depress growth for far longer. The new estimate said that over the 2020-2030 period, total GDP output could be $15.7 trillion lower than CBO had been projecting as recently as January. That would equal 5.3% of lost GDP over the coming decade. After adjusting for inflation, CBO said the lost output would total $7.9 trillion, a loss of 3% of inflation-adjusted GDP. CBO called this a “significant markdown” in GDP output as a result of the pandemic. “Business closures and social distancing measures are expected to curtail consumer spending, while the recent drop in energy prices is projected to severely reduce U.S. investment in the energy sector,” CBO Director Philip Swagel said in a letter. “Recent legislation will, in CBO’s assessment, partially mitigate the deterioration in economic conditions,” Swagel said in the letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The two had requested the information as a way to pressure Republicans to follow the lead of the House and pass more economic relief. “Last week we learned that over 40 million Americans lost their jobs as a result of this horrific pandemic,” Schumer and Sanders said in a joint statement. “Today, the CBO tells us that if current trends continue, we will see a jaw-dropping $16 trillion reduction in economic growth over the next decade.” Schumer and Sanders said Republicans should stop blocking legislation to provide more assistance given that 40 million workers have lost their jobs already. “In order to avoid the risk of another Great Depression, the Senate must act with a fierce sense of urgency,” Schumer and Sanders said. The CBO is forecasting that the GDP, which shrank at a 5% rate in the first three months of this year, will fall at a 37.7% rate in the current April-June quarter, the biggest quarterly decline on record. The CBO also issued a separate report detailing a cost estimate for a $3.4 trillion COVID-19 rescue bill that passed the Democratic-controlled House in mid-May. That legislation is built around $915 billion in aid to state and local governments, another $1,200 payment to most American workers, and additional aid to colleges and local school districts. The price tag is slightly higher than a back-of-the-envelope figure provided by Democrats when the measure passed. Senate Republicans have dismissed the proposal as a wish list but have yet to unveil any proposal to counter it.
  • Carrying brooms, shovels, trash bags and cans of paint, thousands of people from Los Angeles to New York swept up glass from broken store windows, covered over graffiti and organized ransacked businesses Monday after protests over police killings of black people turned destructive once again. Some showed up only hours after taking part in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, a black man pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes. Many said cleaning felt cathartic during a dark period for a nation battling the coronavirus pandemic, the job losses that followed and now the worst racial unrest in half a century. Bill Stuehler donned a mask Sunday and marched with a fellow nurse and other activists in Los Angeles, later trying to stop young people from breaking into stores and stealing. At home, he kept watching the violence on live feeds and fell deeper into despair. So before sunrise, the 66-year-old grabbed brooms, a rake and a trash shovel and drove to nearby Long Beach to clean up the mess. Soon, more than 2,000 people were working side by side, scrubbing, filling trash containers and repairing what they could in the hard-hit city south of Los Angeles. “It was pretty amazing to see the number of people turn out for the community,” Stuehler said. “It restored the faith in humanity that I had lost last night.” Throngs of people nationwide volunteered to help businesses — from small shops to major chains — bounce back from the damage, though some stores had burned to the ground and another night of unrest was expected. In New Jersey, Chris DeLeon, broom in hand, arrived at 8 a.m. with dozens of other people to sweep up broken glass in the capital of Trenton. The 34-year-old had protested Sunday, then decided to help clean up after seeing videos of people smashing windows. “It just goes to show there’s at least as many good people as there are other folks out there,” DeLeon said. In Wisconsin, volunteers in Milwaukee and Madison turned up for a second day to clean up damage from the night before. Countless businesses already had taken a hit from restrictions designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus and were starting to reopen just as the protests led to more expensive setbacks: vandalism and stolen merchandise. The owner of the Laugh Factory’s club in Long Beach discovered broken windows and doors, computers smashed and memorabilia stolen, including Three Stooges posters and autographed photos of Redd Foxx and other late comedians. Workers boarded up windows and swept up broken glass Monday. Owner Jamie Masada was offering an unspecified reward to anyone who returns the memorabilia. “It is not worth anything to them but it means a lot to me,” Masada said, because it's tied to those who represent “the height of comedy.’” In Sacramento, two-thirds of the capital city's 600 downtown properties took a hit, with more than 200 broken windows, 330 pieces of graffiti, and more than 50 cases of “significant property damage,' said Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she didn't recognize downtown when she walked through it Sunday, “but what I did recognize were the hundreds of volunteers and residents who came because they love Seattle.” Stuehler found the same community spirit in Long Beach. A nurse who had been treating COVID-19 patients, Stuehler took the month off when he joined the protest. He said a small percentage of people vandalized businesses but “the horror of the opportunism, the rage, the disregard for logic and reason — it was shocking.” They had an outsize impact that detracts from the message of overhauling police agencies, Stuehler said. But he said he's feeling revived after seeing so many people work together. Alycia Barber also was moved to help after watching from her Long Beach apartment as people smashed windows and police doused the crowds with pepper spray Sunday. The 22-year-old got up early and joined others organizing clothing and jewelry strewn inside a Forever 21 store, hours after thieves made off with armloads of merchandise. Few of the volunteers knew each other; they just showed up, she said. There were parents with children, senior citizens, college students. One woman brought paint and brooms so people could paint over graffiti on the outside wall of a parking garage. “I just feel so helpful today,' Barber said, adding that she supports the fight against racial injustice. “But now we also want to get up and make the world a beautiful place for people.' ___ Watson reported from San Diego. Associated Press writers Adam Beam and Cuneyt Dil in Sacramento, Amy Taxin in Orange County, John Antczak and John Rogers in Los Angeles, Chris Grygiel in Seattle, Mike Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey, and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.
  • As thousands of protesters take to the streets in response to police killings of black people, companies are wading into the national conversation but taking care to get their messaging right. Netflix’s normally lighthearted Twitter account took on a more somber tone on Saturday: “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.” That got retweeted over 216,000 times and “liked” over a million times. The streaming service is just one of many corporate brands that have turned to social media to voice concerns over racial injustice after the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes. At the same time, companies must consider whether it makes sense for them to weigh in, especially on an issue as sensitive as race. “It’s brand activism,” said Alexander Chernev, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “It’s not surprising. But companies have to think very carefully before they take a stand on these issues.” There are plenty of examples of brands speaking out forcefully on social media, particularly in industries where cultural awareness is crucial. WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T and includes brands like HBO and TBS, changed their handles to #BlackLivesMatter and all posted the same James Baldwin quote: “Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.” Twitter changed its iconic profile image to black with the Black Lives Matter hashtag. Media giant ViacomCBS tweeted “Black Lives Matter. Black Culture Matters. Black Communities Matter,” and on Monday announced that its cable properties like MTV and Comedy Central will go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor Floyd. Nike, which famously took on the racial injustice issue head-on with its ad campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, revealed a new video ad on Friday that bore the words: “For once, don’t do it.” The ad, a twist on its “Do it” motto, urged viewers not to “pretend there’s not a problem in America.” But some companies that offered up statements of support were called out on their own track records on race. L’Oreal, one of the world’s biggest cosmetics companies, tweeted Monday: “Speaking out is worth it,” and pledged a “commitment” to the NAACP. That drew swift criticism online from those who see the company’s business model and advertising as focused on white consumers. Likewise, Amazon’s tweet urging the end of ″the inequitable and brutal treatment of black people” received backlash from followers, who questioned the company's own commitment during the coronavirus pandemic in which employees have been complaining about unsafe working conditions. Other companies have been kept their messages broad. For instance, The Walt Disney Co. and its brands, like Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar, all posted the same statement on Twitter about standing for inclusion and with the black community. Starbucks, which took heat in 2018 when two black men in one of its Philadelphia stores were arrested for not ordering anything, simply said it will stand in solidarity with black partners, customers and communities: “We will not be bystanders.” Brand experts say corporate America needs to go beyond statements and outline what they plan to do to combat racism. “Expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Movement is the right message, but everyone is jumping in on that bandwagon,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder and managing partner of Metaforce a marketing and product consultancy. “Just saying you are standing with them is nice but probably isn’t going to be meaningful for them or for the brand. It can be seen as opportunistic.” Wendy Liebmann, founder and CEO of WSL Strategic Retail, agrees, saying there is no reason to make a public statement unless the company actually has a concrete plan to help resolve the issue of racism. She praised Peloton’s Twitter pledge to donate $500,000 to the NAACP legal defense fund as an example. Jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co. is also backing its statements with money, committing $100,000 to its longstanding partner ACLU. YouTube pledged $1 million to support efforts addressing social injustice. And semiconductor chip manufacturer Intel is pledging $1 million to address social justice and racism. Some of the most moving statements so far have come from corporate executives who are black. Marvin Ellison, president and CEO of home improvement chain Lowe’s tweeted a statement about growing up in the Jim Crow South and the company’s zero tolerance for racism, discrimination and hate. Citigroup’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason repeated Floyd’s words “I can’t breathe” in an emotional corporate blog post. And Jide Zeitlin, chairman and CEO of Kate Spade, Coach and Stuart Weitzman parent Tapestry Inc., who along with Ellison is one of only a handful of black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, noted in a heartfelt LinkedIn post to his employees that some of Tapestry’s stores had been damaged during the protests but he said his focus quickly turned to the looters after determining his staff was safe. “What was going through their minds as they acted? Has our society truly left them with little to lose and few other ways to force the rest of us to come to the negotiating table?” he wrote. “We can replace our windows and handbags, but we cannot bring back George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and too many others. Each of these black lives matter.”
  • Facebook employees are using Twitter and Facebook's internal communications tools to register their frustration over CEO Mark Zuckerberg's decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. Twitter flagged and demoted Trump's tweet about the protests when he used the phrase “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” Facebook has let it stand, and Zuckerberg explained his reasoning in a Facebook post Friday. “I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” Zuckerberg wrote. Angry demonstrations have spread across the U.S. over the past week, creating some of the most widespread racial unrest since the 1960s. The protests, which have been met by violent police action in many cities, were spurred by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned to the pavement by an officer who put his knee on the handcuffed man's neck until he stopped breathing. Trump's comment evoked the civil-rights era by borrowing a phrase used in 1967 by Miami’s police chief to warn of an aggressive police response to unrest in black neighborhoods. On Monday, dozens of Facebook employees staged a virtual “walkout” to protest the company's decision not to touch the Trump posts according to a report in the New York Times, which cited anonymous senior employees at Facebook. The Times report says dozens of Facebook workers “took the day off by logging into Facebook’s systems and requesting time off to support protesters across the country.' Workers also expressed frustration in other ways, including posting on Twitter, speaking to managers and writing on Facebook's internal communication network. Though virtual, this was the first time that Facebook workers have staged a walkout in the company's history. Employees at the social media giant have been less outspoken than their counterparts at other tech companies such as Google and Twitter. “I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard,” tweeted Jason Toff, a director of product management at Facebook who's been at the company for a year. Toff, who has a verified Twitter account, had 131,400 “likes” and thousands of retweets of his comment. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday. “I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism,” Facebook design manager Jason Stirman tweeted. Stirman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. Sara Zhang, a product designer at the company, tweeted that Facebook's “decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. The policy pigeon holes us into addressing harmful user-facing content in two ways: keep content up or take it down.” “I believe that this is a self-imposed constraint and implore leadership to revisit the solution,” she continued. Zhang declined to comment to The Associated Press. “We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community. We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback,” Facebook spokeswoman Liz Bourgeois said in a statement Monday. Facebook moved a weekly employee question and answer session with executives to Tuesday from this coming Thursday to respond to workers' concerns. Late Sunday, Zuckerberg again posted on Facebook, pledging a $10 million donation to racial justice groups. But he made no mention of Trump's posts. Instead, he highlighted Facebook's role in the spreading of the video of Floyd's death. “We need to know George Floyd’s name. But it’s clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias,” Zuckerberg wrote. Twitter has historically taken stronger stances than its larger rival, including a complete ban on political advertisements that Twitter announced last November. That’s partly because Facebook, a much larger company with a broader audience,targeted by regulators over its size and power, has more to lose. And partly because the companies’ CEOs don’t always see eye to eye on their role in society. Over the weekend, Twitter changed the background and logo of its main Twitter account to black from its usual blue in support of the Black Lives Matter protesters and added a #blacklivesmatter hashtag. Facebook did the same with its own logo on its site, though without the hashtag.
  • BELT-LOOSENING: — Chuy's Holdings, which runs restaurants that make Tex-Mex inspired dishes, has re-opened a majority of its dining rooms. The company said Monday that 87 of its dining rooms were in operation in varying levels of capacity. Five restaurants continue to operate with enhanced off-premise service only, while nine restaurants remain temporarily closed. Chuy's has restaurants in 19 states. — U.S. restaurant traffic is improving as dining rooms reopen. Total transactions at U.S. restaurant chains were down 18% year-over-year in the week ending May 24, according to The NPD Group, a data and consulting firm. That was a 25-point gain from the week of April 12, during the pandemic’s height, when declines hit 43%. Transactions at fast food restaurants were down 17% the week of May 24, while transactions at sit-down chains were down 49%. BELT-TIGHTENING: — Furniture maker FlexSteel Industries is continuing to take actions to strengthen its liquidity and conserve cash during the virus outbreak as it contends with softer furniture demand. The company is extending 25% salary reductions for its CEO and CFO/COO, as well as a 50% cash compensation reduction for its board through Oct. 1. It is also evaluating and renegotiating lease obligations where feasible. WHEELS IN MOTION: — Air travel is improving but still very weak as the traditional start of summer vacation approaches. The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 352,947 people Sunday, the most since March 22. That was still 86% fewer people that passed through checkpoints on the comparable Sunday a year ago. — Frontier Airlines said Monday it started fever checks for passengers and crews and will stop anyone with a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or higher from boarding the plane. Frontier, a budget airline based in Denver, said screenings are part of its approach to protect passengers from contracting the new coronavirus. Other airlines have not matched the policy, which Frontier announced last month. They want the Transportation Security Administration to take passengers’ temperatures. A TSA spokeswoman said no decision has been made about health screening measures. — Cooper Tire & Rubber is beginning the process of restarting production on a limited basis at its tire manufacturing plant in El Salto, Mexico. The company's procedures for reopening include required employee health disclosures, increased cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and equipment, social distancing and physical barriers and visitor restrictions. Cooper has already reopened plants in China, the U.S. and Serbia with similar procedures. CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS & BANKS: — Spain’s national statistics office said that it received zero international tourists in April. That compares with 7 million tourists that spent 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in Spain in the prior-year period. Spain is waiting until July to reopen its border for foreign tourists. Tourism is a pillar of Spain’s economy. Eighty million annual visitors generate 12% of Spain’s GDP and help employ 2.6 million people. — Turkish airlines resumed limited domestic flights, restaurants welcomed dine-in customers and beaches and museums reopened as Turkey’s broadest easing of coronavirus restrictions came into effect. A Turkish Airlines flight departed from Ankara airport for Istanbul on Monday as Turkey lifted a travel ban between 15 of its worst-affected provinces. The air routes between Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Trabzon are the first start, with others scheduled to follow gradually. Istanbul’s 15th century Grand Bazaar, museums, gyms, child care centers and nurseries, were among other venues allowed to resume operations. Bars, nightclubs and hookah bars however, will remain closed. — Greece lifted lockdown measures for businesses including hotels, open-air cinemas and tattoo parlors on Monday. International flights with relaxed screening procedures will resume to Athens and Greece’s second-largest city Thessaloniki starting June 15 and expanding to the rest of the country on July 1. Hotels with a 12-month operating license were allowed to reopen Monday, but many chose to remain closed until closer to the start of the tourism season in two weeks, citing low bookings. MARKETS: Stock indexes closed higher on Wall Street after shaking off a wobbly start. Investors balanced cautious optimism about the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic against worries that the civil unrest across the U.S. over police brutality could disrupt the economic recovery and widen the outbreak.

Local News

  • Longtime Auburn coach Pat Dye has died. He was 80. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. Dye, a three-time SEC coach of the year, coached the Tigers to a 99-39-4 record in 12 seasons from 1981 to 1992. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Before coaching at Auburn, Dye coached at Alabama, East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference power, died Monday. He was 80. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from complications of kidney and liver failure. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. » MORE: Notable sports deaths in 2020 Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. When Dye came to Auburn, he inherited a program that was deeply divided after only three winning seasons in the previous six years. In 12 years, he posted a 99-39-4 record, Auburn won or shared four conference titles and the Tigers were ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 10 five times. Dye’s overall coaching record was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina. His coaching career ended in November 1992 when he was forced to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the program, which was placed on two years’ probation. Dye served as athletic director as well as coach for most of his career with Auburn. He remained associated with the university after his resignation and was a frequent commentator on football talk-radio shows. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.  Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Oconee County Commissioners are set to adopt a new County budget: a Commission meeting is set for 6 o’clock Tuesday night, an on-line session in which a final budget vote is scheduled.  From the Oconee Co government website… The Oconee County Board of Commissioners will hold a meeting to adopt the 2021 Fiscal Year Budget at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, during the Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting. This meeting will be held via Zoom; click here for information on joining the meeting.   NOTICE OF  BUDGET ADOPTION The Oconee County Board of Commissioners will hold a meeting to adopt the 2021 Fiscal Year Budget at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 02, 2020, in the Commissioners Meeting Chambers at the Oconee County Courthouse, 23 N. Main Street, Watkinsville, Georgia. A copy of the proposed budget will be available after May 19, 2020 at the Office of the Board of Commissioners. OCONEE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS JOHN DANIELL, CHAIRMAN (pictured above)
  • The Clarke County School Board names Dr. Beverly Ford as the new principal of Coile Middle School: Ford will replace the retiring Dr. Marsha Thomas, who is leaving after 22 years at the helm of the school in Athens. Dr. Ford has been an assistant principal at Coile.  From the Clarke Co School District… 'Dr. Ford brings years of historical knowledge and experience to her new role as principal of Coile Middle School. She has consistently shown a high level of commitment to the Clarke County School District and our work,' states Dr. Xernona Thomas, interim superintendent. 'She is passionate about meeting the needs of all students and works to ensure rigorous learning strategies are implemented. We are excited to have her as the new instructional leader of the Cougar community.' Dr. Ford received a Doctorate in P-12 Education Leadership from Georgia Southern, a Master of Arts in Special Education from Piedmont College, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central, and holds numerous certifications including Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership, Gifted In-Field, and an English to Speakers of Other Languages Endorsement.  'It is truly a privilege to be a part of a community where parents, teachers, and students care for each other and strive to build positive relationships that support academic and social growth,' states Dr. Ford. 'I have enjoyed each experience along my educational journey and excited about my next role as principal at Coile Middle. It is my goal to engage and empower every child and to have them feel a part of the Cougar family. I embrace Rita Pierson's quote, 'Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly
  • The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is warning about a phone scam that is apparently making the rounds in Athens, with callers claiming to be US Marshals, court officers, and sheriff’s deputies. They’re telling victims that can avoid arrest by forking over cash. From the Clarke Co Sheriff’s Office… The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is making efforts to alert the public of several nationwide imposter phone scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers, the social security commission, and even deputy sheriffs. I am urging you to contact the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office at 706-613-3250 if these scammers are attempting to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. They are telling the victims they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine. Always remember the following: Law Enforcement, U.S. Marshals, nor a social security representative will never ask for credit/ debit card/ gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing number. Never give this out over the phone. Never divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers. Report scam phone calls to your local law enforcement. You can remain anonymous when you report. While these callers may sound legitimate, I urge you to question the validity of the call. If in doubt, please call your local law enforcement. Don’t let the scammers swindle you from your hard-earned money.

Bulldog News

  • Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference power, died Monday. He was 80. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from complications of kidney and liver failure. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. » MORE: Notable sports deaths in 2020 Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. When Dye came to Auburn, he inherited a program that was deeply divided after only three winning seasons in the previous six years. In 12 years, he posted a 99-39-4 record, Auburn won or shared four conference titles and the Tigers were ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 10 five times. Dye’s overall coaching record was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina. His coaching career ended in November 1992 when he was forced to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the program, which was placed on two years’ probation. Dye served as athletic director as well as coach for most of his career with Auburn. He remained associated with the university after his resignation and was a frequent commentator on football talk-radio shows. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.  Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Longtime Auburn coach Pat Dye has died. He was 80. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. Dye, a three-time SEC coach of the year, coached the Tigers to a 99-39-4 record in 12 seasons from 1981 to 1992. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Before coaching at Auburn, Dye coached at Alabama, East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Tony Grimes included four teams in the long-awaited cutdown of his top four schools on Sunday afternoon. At this time, it looks like his choice is down to four schools: Georgia. North Carolina. Ohio State. Texas A&M. Final 4 @dhglover @Bubblesdnf @Giavanni_Ruffin @RivalsFriedman @BrianDohn247 @DemetricDWarren pic.twitter.com/oiINaCKm3U Tony Grimes (@757EliteDB) May 31, 2020 Grimes released that quartet of options via his Twitter account. He still has established a plan to make his college commitment on December 1, 2020. @Hayesfawcett3 pic.twitter.com/o63R0RlvwG Tony Grimes (@757EliteDB) May 31, 2020 The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior from Princess Anne School in Virginia Beach rates as the nation's No. 1 CB and the No. 7 overall prospect for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. If you're looking for a quick refresh on all things Grimes, this DawgNation deep-drive profile will define his worth as a young man first and his abilities as a lockdown cornerback second. Grimes has been rated as the top of the board for months now on the weekly DawgNation 'Before the Hedges' program which airs every Wednesday on our Facebook and YouTube social channels. The 5-star prospect had planned to visit Georgia several times over the last few months prior to the global pandemic which sidelined all on-campus recruiting travel. That NCAA ban for both unofficial and official visits has since been extended to July 31. That decision was made by the NCAA over the last week. Grimes had only recently decided to start conducting the weekly zoom and recruiting contact calls he had been making over the last month during the coronavirus epidemic. He had taken a break from that activity. He had visits planned to see UGA in March, April and an official visit was already on the books for June 12. His father, Deon Glover, described an ascending interest level for the family in Georgia at that time. 'We've been to enough schools to say Hey if push came to shove and we need to make a decision now we can make a decision now' and we've been to enough schools multiple times to be able to say that,' Glover said. 'At least with the schools we like. We've been multiple times. With the exception of Georgia.' There is a clear interest here in Kirby Smart's program. 'What's going on at Georgia is elite mimic energy that you see in Clemson and some of the other top programs,' Glover said earlier this month. 'With the program itself. We learned a lot when we were down there the first time and of course, we were going to go back this time in March and go back again in April.' 'We had an official visit set up for June 12. We had put the gas in there with Georgia. Trying to get as much as we can about Georgia in a short period of time. But with those other schools, we have already got enough information on them. For real.' Check out the junior highlight reel for the Under Armour All-American selection below. Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. DAWGNATION RECRUITING (the recent reads on DawgNation.com) BREAKING: All-American OL Dylan Fairchild has made his college decision Brock Vandagriff: How does that family feel about the JT Daniels transfer? The JT Daniels to Georgia buzz seems very real BREAKING: Elite 2022 DB Marquis Groves-Killebrew commits to UGA Who is Chaz Chambliss? Carrollton staff shares the goods on the new Bulldog commit BREAKING: Chaz Chambliss commits to Georgia football Taking a deep dive at how well Georgia has been recruiting Metro Atlanta of late Elite 2022 defensive athlete Daniel Martin already has a 'family' feel at UGA Brock Bowers: Nation's No. 3 TE knows what he needs to do before his college decision De'Jahn Warren: The 'nugget' for the nation's No. 1 JUCO prospect with UGA Decrypting that recent tweet from 5-star LB Smael Mondon Jr. Prince Kollie: The ILB target who had 1,085 yards as a receiver in 2019 Lovasea Carroll: DawgNation goes one-on-one with the 2021 RB commit The post BREAKING: Nation's No. 1 CB Tony Grimes includes UGA in his final four appeared first on DawgNation.
  • QB room is gonna be full.' That was one family member's response Thursday afternoon when a text from one of my brothers passed along the surprise word that the Dawgs are getting another quarterback. Actually, observations about Georgia having a 'crowded' quarterback room were a fairly widespread reaction nationally, even among sports media types, as former Trojans starting quarterback JT Daniels announced he was transferring to UGA from the University of Southern California. After all, Daniels, a redshirt sophomore, will be joining a position group that already included four scholarship QBs as well as several preferred walk-ons (including Will Muschamp's son, Jackson, who turned down a scholarship at Colorado State to walk on at UGA). Currently on the roster are presumed starter Jamie Newman, a recent graduate transfer from Wake Forest; junior Stetson Bennett, last year's backup; redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis, who finally has been cleared to play after recovering from brain surgery; and incoming freshman Carson Beck. The Dawgs also have a commitment from 5-star Brock Vandagriff of Bogart, who's set to join Kirby Smart's team for the 2021 season. So, yes, that's a jam-packed QB room for new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to oversee , but I remain convinced of one thing: It will thin out. Let's face it, in an age when each of the past three Heisman Trophy winners and three of last year's Heisman finalists all had transferred from another school, you're not going to see any program stockpile highly rated QBs like FSU did in its heyday. You can carry a bunch of tailbacks successfully, because at least three of them probably will see considerable playing time, but that doesn't happen with quarterbacks, as the Dawgs have seen in recent years with Jacob Eason and Justin Fields transferring elsewhere when they couldn't dislodge Jake Fromm from the starter's spot. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if to see Georgia lose at least one of the quarterbacks currently on its roster before the season begins. And, looking ahead to next season, when Newman's one-and-done time at UGA is over, the eventual winner of the battle for the starter's job will be lucky to have even one of the current scholarship QBs sticking around to back him up. To borrow a phrase we've heard all too often over the past couple of months, that is the 'new normal' in college football. Very few elite QBs are inclined to wait on the sideline a couple of years for their chance to be the starter. That's why the transfer portal is so busy these days. So, yes, it's good for Georgia to have all these QBs on the roster right now, but it probably won't last very long. If Daniels gets his NCAA waiver, he'll be the most experienced QB on the roster after Newman, and he'll have three seasons of eligibility left. That's sparked a lot of speculation that Bennett may see the writing on the wall and decide he'll need to transfer elsewhere in order to see playing time. And, unless Mathis wows the coaches in camp and moves into starting contention, you've got to wonder if he'll stick around past this season, too. After Newman is gone, if the 2021 starting QB competition ends up being between Daniels, Beck and Vandagriff (assuming he doesn't take a redshirt year), you're talking about two 5-star players and a 4-star player. Nobody gets the luxury of carrying a QB roster like that anymore, so chances are that at least one, if not both, of the players who don't win the starting spot will move elsewhere as well. Yes, any coach would love to have a pair of highly rated backups as an insurance policy, but, again, that's not the new normal in college football: If you have an established starter, you're probably going to have to keep recruiting highly rated talent to compete with him, knowing that those who lose out are unlikely to be content sitting on the bench or playing mop-up duty more than one season. And, while Smart has been aces at drawing top QB talent to UGA, he so far hasn't been successful in keeping a highly rated backup from going elsewhere. CBS Sports' Barton Simmons summed it up nicely when he tweeted about Daniels' move: ' This is the way you have to recruit (if you're able to). Load the room with the best guys you can and assume some attrition.' Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly noted in 2018, 'When you're recruiting, you're going to have to have it in your mind that if your No. 2 doesn't feel like he's going to get a shot, you may lose him. I've come to grips with it a couple years ago. I don't see it changing.' As for what Daniels' arrival in Athens means for the 2020 quarterback situation, there's been a lot of speculation that he might challenge Newman for the starter's spot, if he's given a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately for UGA. Some even have floated the idea that Smart brought Daniels in because he has concluded he needs an option besides Newman. I'm skeptical about that idea, however. Yes, Daniels was the third highest rated QB in the 2018 class (behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields), and only the second true freshman quarterback to start an opener for the Trojans. And, he did that after graduating one year early from the vaunted Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California (which also produced Bama's Bryce Young ) . Still, his freshman numbers were solid, but not spectacular (the USC team wasn't very good that year). And, while he did win the initial battle to keep the starting job last season, he lost it due to injury. Rising sophomore Kedon Slovis, who stepped in for Daniels and proceeded to shatter USC's freshman records on his way to Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year honors, was widely expected to retain his starting job this year, leaving Daniels as the odd man out, according to Ryan Kartje, the USC beat writer at the Los Angeles Times. Thus, Daniels transferred. Meanwhile, Newman is a dual passing-running threat who put up some impressive numbers the past couple of seasons at Wake Forest, and already is drawing NFL interest. If Daniels is eligible and physically able to participate fully in preseason camp, I'm sure he'll be given a chance to compete for the starter's job, and competition usually makes the eventual starter better (certainly, Fromm played better the two seasons when he had to beat out highly rated competition). However, the biggest reason I'm skeptical about Daniels' chances of taking the starter's spot this season is simply the fact that he's coming back from a major injury. Assuming preseason practice begins sometime in July or August (based on the current prevailing wind favoring starting the season on time), it still will be less than a year since Daniels suffered a season-ending ACL injury in USC's first game of last season. Had USC been able to hold spring practice this year, Daniels wouldn't have been cleared to participate fully, because he still was recovering from a second clean-up surgery on his knee. He is expected to be good to go by August, but it's the rare athlete who gets back in top form that quickly after rehabbing a knee. Remember, as good as Nick Chubb was in 2016, returning from knee surgery, it wasn't really until the 2017 season that he was his old self. And it wasn't until late last season that Zamir White, also coming back from knee surgery, appeared to be regain his form fully. So, while Daniels might be available as a backup in 2020, if needed, I tend to think that, in bringing him in to the program, Smart really has his eye more on 2021, and the chance to have an experienced QB behind center when the Dawgs open with Clemson in Charlotte. Finally, there's one more reason for Bulldog Nation to celebrate Daniels' arrival in Athens: Tennessee, which has been drawing considerable hype with its own recruiting lately, was hoping he'd wind up in Knoxville after he entered the transfer portal in April. Instead, we get the latest example of the stratospheric level at which Smart is recruiting these days. The post UGA quarterback room likely won't stay crowded' very long appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Dylan Fairchild is a state heavyweight wrestling champion and an All-American football player out of West Forsyth High School. Needless to say, he is a priority target for the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2021 recruiting cycle. He was so well-regarded by Georgia line coach Matt Luke, that Luke wanted to make sure he offered him in person earlier this year. When he told DawgNation this week he was ready to make his college decision, he spoke with a conviction and a clear purpose that we rarely hear from a recruit. Especially not one rated as the nation's No. 2 OG and the No. 40 overall prospect (247Sports) for the class of 2021. Toss in the global pandemic denying all the college visits he thought needed to take. Sprinkle in the fact that he never thought he'd be committing this early regardless of the COVID-19 concerns. Fairchild just knows. He makes a very telling case. 'It was always Georgia and Auburn,' Fairchild said. 'I think it was those two. Those were the closest but I think that Georgia was there. I think I was sitting there and I don't think I had that two hour or three-hour conversation with other schools like I did with coach Matt Luke and coach [Kirby Smart] to get to know each other.' 'To get to really really know each other. The more I am around Coach Luke and I see his style and the way he coaches and takes care of his kids, the more I have grown closer with him. We've built a very good bond.' The 4-star prospect becomes the ninth public commitment of the 2021 recruiting class in Athens. That moves the Bulldogs up to the nation's No. 12 class for 2021 on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings. 'Georgia is going to be the best of both worlds for me,' he said. 'Even with football, I am picking a school that even without football I would want to go too. You never know what could happen. This football life could end in one moment. I think I am going to go to a place where I am going to be happy with football and I am going to be happy with school, too.' 'I think Georgia is really the best of both worlds. I think all the pieces of a national championship are falling right into Georgia's hands. I want to be a part of that and do something special over there. I think that me and a few other guys have that same mindset. I'm just ready to go.' 'I've been talking with Brock [Vandagriff] and Micah Morris and a few other guys and we are all with this. We are ready to be a part of something really special at Georgia.' Dylan Fairchild: This is one committed member of the class He actually knew he wanted to be a Bulldog before he got his first Georgia hat. The West Forsyth rising senior called the Georgia staff at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. That was a private chat and he made his commitment. He then joined DawgNation for a special recruiting announcement on its Facebook and YouTube social channels. When Fairchild sent out his tweet letting the world know he was a Bulldog, he was live on the air with DawgNation. 'If I were to do this without the whole coronavirus thing going around I would go see the Georgia coaches and do it in person,' Fairchild said. 'It just wanted to give them that respect and call them. Person to person. Just tell them I was 100 percent with this and ready to go. I'm ready to get to work already.' It was a bit unexpected here, but he said the fact he couldn't visit the Georgia coaches in person actually helped him come to that decision faster than he ever expected. 'The Zoom meetings really helped me more,' Fairchild said. 'It really made it feel like I was doing a one-on-one with the coaches on a recruiting visit. I don't think it would have been the same for me with that if I was on a recruiting visit on the campus at Georgia. You can really ask the questions you would really want to ask face-to-face and in some circumstances it helped even more than doing it when you are around a bunch of people and have a lot of activities going on.' 'I think in my case the Zooms actually helped me more.' Fairchild ranks as the nation's No. 7 OG and the No. 135 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He grew up a Georgia fan with his family barking at the TV every Saturday in the fall. His family is made up of mostly Bulldogs with a few Georgia Tech fans sprinkled in. 'I don't know it is just like it kind of all matches up,' Fairchild said. 'There's just no way that if I went to any other school. There's no way at any point that I would regret it if I went to Georgia. It was just meant to happen. All the recruiting put aside, I just think that degree from Georgia is just going to be the best fit for me. I've never been more excited about something.' Check out his junior highlight reel. Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. The post BREAKING: Elite OL Dylan Fairchild has made his college decision appeared first on DawgNation.