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    Intuit Inc. is reportedly close to a $7 billion deal to acquire personal-finance portal Credit Karma Inc. and beef up its position in the consumer-finance market. The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the talks, reported Sunday that a deal involving cash and stock could be announced as soon as Monday. Intuit makes TurboTax. Buying Credit Karma would be the biggest acquisition in the company’s 37-year history. The Journal said privately held Credit Karma was valued at about $4 billion in a private share sale two years ago. Credit Karma provides consumers with credit monitoring, free access to credit scores, data-breach alerts and tax-filing services. The company gets money by pitching credit cards and loans based on customers’ credit history. Credit Karma is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2007 by Kenneth Lin, its current CEO and others. The Journal said the company considered selling shares to the public, but the IPO market has been marked by disappointing roll-outs more recently. An Intuit purchase of Credit Karma would be merely the latest deal in the financial-services sector. Last week, investment bank Morgan Stanley announced it will buy online brokerage E-Trade Financial for about $13 billion in stock. In January, Visa said it was paying $5.3 billion for Plaid, which lets consumers to link bank accounts to financial-services apps like PayPal and Venmo. Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade are in the midst of their own merger.
  • Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons — two of the fashion world's biggest creative names — will collaborate on Prada collections from Spring/Summer 2021 going forward indefinitely, the designers announced Sunday at a news conference on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week. Prada, who has been the creative force behind one of luxury’s most successful brands for 30 years, said the new partnership didn't signal an eventual succession. “Don’t make me older than I am,” the 70-year-old designer quipped. Simons, 52, is considered one of the fashion world’s biggest talents, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation since he left Calvin Klein in 2018. He previously was creative director of Jil Sander and Dior, and also has his own eponymous label, which he said would continue. Their first collaboration will appear on the September runway for Spring/Summer 2021. “The contract in theory is forever,” Prada said. “Maybe this is the first time in fashion history that two expert designers who had their own successes in this sector will work together,” said Patrizio Bertelli, the co-CEO of the Prada Group with his wife, Miuccia Prada. The announcement came on a day when the new coronavirus was a growing concern around the fashion capital. Giorgio Armani took the unusual step to show his collection behind closed doors to an empty theater, streaming for the fashion public, as a precaution. The rest of the fashion shows scheduled for Sunday continued as planned. Later Sunday the number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to at least 152 and officials halted the Venice Carnival to try to stop the spread of the virus. Prada said they went ahead with the announcement despite the growing emergency in Italy — where more cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed than in Hong Kong. She said that the globalized world is becoming ever more complex “and we need to work, also if these ugly and difficult things are happening.” The designers said that the collaboration was born out of long mutual respect dating from 2005 when Simons took over as creative director of Jil Sander, which was at the time part of the Prada Group. They both said that the collaboration was also meant as a bulwark against a tendency in the fashion world for creativity to be squelched by business priorities. “I think a lot of creatives in a lot of positions dealing with independent brands and creative directorships feel troubled, feel like the fashion industry is moving more and more toward an industry that might end up excluding creatives,” Simons said. He specified that in the fashion world there are examples of financial success without a strong creative direction. “It is definitely something we question, and we do believe that a collaboration between creatives could re-position that aspect of the whole business,” he said. ___ This story has been corrected to show that the correct title of Patrizio Bertelli is the co-CEO of the Prada Group, not the chairman.
  • The fashion crowd put a defiant face against the spread of a new virus, packing runway shows on the last big day of Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, even as Giorgio Armani made a last-minute decision to stream his latest collection from an empty theater out of concerns for guests' health. Conde Naste artistic director Anna Wintour took her usual spot in the front-row of Dolce&Gabbana across from a gaggle of global social media Tik-Tok influencers, none of whom were deterred by the spreading virus that had put about a dozen northern Italian towns on lockdown. The Italian National Fashion Chamber said in a statement early Sunday there were no indications from health officials that changes in the schedule were called for, adding that it was up to brands to decide if they would go ahead. Only Armani made changes, among nine shows scheduled. Later in the day, Lombard officials closed theaters, cinemas and other places, like discos and pubs where people might crowd, for at least seven days, as confirmed cases in Italy jumped to at least 152. And Venice officials took the step of canceling Carnival celebrations, unprecedented in modern times, in a bid to stop the virus spread. Even as the shows went on, the coronavirus threat cast a strange mood over the Italian fashion capital. Despite pockets of activity around the venues at showtime, the city was more empty than normal for an unusually warm winter Sunday, when people from the surrounding province often come for a stroll or to soak in the fashion week energy. Inside shows, just a handful of people wore protective masks. Asked about the impact of coronavirus on the fashion schedule, Wintour pivoted to the unexpected announcement of a collaboration between creative forces Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada at Prada going forward, calling it ‘’the most inspiring news of the season.’’ “To me that just shows how we can all be much stronger together at a time when things are so politically divisive. The idea of two creative geniuses coming together supersedes other concerns,'' Wintour told The Associated Press after Dolce&Gabbana. The economic impact of the virus on the wider industry remains a concern. At least 1,000 Chinese journalists, buyers and industry insiders couldn't travel from China, which contributes one-third of global luxury revenues in domestic sales and shopping abroad. The Giorgio Armani fashion house announced overnight his runway show on Sunday would be conducted in an empty showroom and streamed for the fashion public on the internet as a ‘’preventative measure decided by Mr. Armani to support national efforts in safeguarding public health.’’ It was the first time the 45-year-old Milan fashion house has taken such a step out of public health concerns, though Armani did stage a show in an empty venue in Paris in 1998 after officials said the big tent posed a safety hazard. At that time, he distributed video of the event to fashion editors, then restaged it in New York to protest what he said had been a decision dictated by fashion world politics and not safety concerns. In streaming, Armani models moved across a dark background, giving contrast to pink, teal and pearl gray silky printed trousers and skirts, while black velvet jackets that blended in with the darkness. The show ended with what notes said was a ‘’message of love for China,’’ where the coronavirus first broke out. Models in glistening, sculpted gowns from archival couture Armani Prive’ collections inspired by China stopped along the runway, while the 85-year-old took a bow to the virtual audience. Empty seats were visible behind him. At Dolce&Gabbana, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showed a predominantly black and white collection in a world that is anything but. The looks included many iterations of the brand’s famous black dresses, but this season was distinguished by cozy, enveloping knits in oversized stitching. To underline the artisanal quality, the brand’s knitters and other craftspeople demonstrated their skills in the foyer. Tik-Tocker Anna O’Brien, whose videos empowering curvy women are posted as @glittersandlazers, was thrilled to be in the front row of her first-ever international runway show, virus or no. ‘’Working in this industry, you learn about the hot story, right? And that’s the hot story right now. Is it a threat? Definitely. But is it the only thing that’s threatening the world right now? Not really,’’ said O’Brien, who traveled from Austin, Texas, to Milan. Earlier Sunday, emerging talent Mariana Rosati was preparing models for its morning show of her Tuscan brand DROMe, which has found fans with Bella Hadid and Ariana Grande. Rosati said she didn't believe there was reason to fear, as models sat nearby waiting for hair and make-up. “I am very sorry what is going on. I know it is not predictable and obviously we need to be careful. But I actually think a lot of panic has been spread for not enough reasons,” Rosati said. Though she expected fewer people would show, it was standing room only for the collection meant to inspire sensuality in women with its oversized jackets complemented by body-defining mini-dresses with deep slits that show off knitted underwear with a vintage feel. “Good vibes,” Rosati said. “This morning the news was that people would not show up. They did and that is great.”
  • The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline remained steady at $2.53 per gallon over the past two weeks. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the price at the pump averages 9 cents higher than it was a year ago. The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.54 per gallon in San Diego. The lowest average is $2.06 in Jackson, Mississippi. The average price of diesel is $2.98, down three cents.
  • Spanish authorities said Sunday that they have closed airports on the Canary Islands because of a wind storm that is blinding the archipelago with sand and dust. Spain’s airport authorities said that incoming planes have been rerouted to other destinations and no flights are being allowed to leave airports on the islands’ airports. The regional government for the Canary Islands says that wind gusts could reach 120 kph (around 75 mph). Authorities have closed schools for Monday. Television images show palm trees whipping in the wind amid a thick yellow haze enveloping the islands. The storm phenomenon, locally known as “calima,” is capable of lifting up clouds of sand and dust from the Sahara desert and transporting them across the 95 kilometers (59 miles) separating the islands from the African coast.
  • Warning that China’s virus epidemic is “still grim and complex,” President Xi Jinping called Sunday for more efforts to stop the outbreak, revive industry and prevent the disease from disrupting spring planting of crops. Xi defended the ruling Communist Party’s response as “timely and effective” in a video conference with officials in charge of anti-disease work, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Xi sounded a note of caution in the face of hopes abroad that the disease that has killed more than 2,400 people since December might be under control. He said the situation is at a “critical stage” and called on officials to “resolutely curb the spread of the epidemic.” “The current epidemic situation is still grim and complex,” Xinhua cited Xi as saying. “Prevention and control are at the most critical stage.” The ruling party is trying to strike a difficult balance between stopping the virus and reviving China’s vast manufacturing and other industries. Most of the world's second-largest economy has been shut down since late January in the most sweeping anti-disease measures ever imposed and are only gradually reopening. Forecasters say China might rebound quickly if the outbreak can be controlled by the end of March. But they say this quarter’s economic output will shrink by as much as 1% from the quarter ending in December after Beijing extended the Lunar New Year holiday to keep factories and offices closed and told the public to avoid traveling. Concern is growing that the disease might be spreading in South Korea and other countries, instead of only affecting people who visited China and others who had close contact with them. Xi said the epidemic is a health emergency with the “fastest spread” and “most difficult prevention and control” in China since the Communist Party came to power in 1949, according to Xinhua. “For us, this is a crisis and a big test,” Xi was cited as saying. The report made no mention of criticism from members of the public that officials delayed taking action against the disease and might be concealing details its impact, but Xi was cited as saying “all work arrangements are timely” and anti-disease measures are effective. The meeting included officials of the Cabinet and the group headed by Premier Li Keqiang, China’s No. 2 leader, that was formed to oversee anti-disease efforts, according to Xinhua. It said officials from Hubei, the central province where the outbreak began, also participated. Invoking the martial theme the ruling party has given the anti-disease campaign, Xi called on them to “deploy medical forces” to “cut off the source of infection,” especially in the capital, Beijing. At the same time, he said they must help factories and other companies reopen and make sure low-income workers are employed. The president said “low-risk areas” in China should adjust disease-control measures to “fully restore production” while higher-risk areas keep their focus on epidemic prevention. The government previously promised tax breaks, subsidies and other aid to entrepreneurs and farmers to cushion the blow of the most sweeping anti-disease controls ever imposed. Forecasters say it will be at least mid-March before manufacturing and other industries return to normal after the government cut off most access to Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, imposed travel controls nationwide and closed factories, restaurants, shopping malls and other businesses. That disrupted the flow of supplies to farmers and factories. Xi mentioned possible use of monetary policy and more cuts in taxes and fees to support job creation but announced no specific initiatives. “We must promptly solve the outstanding problems that affect spring plowing and organize production, circulation and supply of materials to ensure production does not miss the farming time,” Xi was cited as saying. Local officials previously were ordered to make sure food supplies flow to populous Chinese cities following panic buying after the shutdown of access to Wuhan. Villages have been banned from setting up roadblocks to keep away outsiders and possible infection. The government must “actively organize” production of vegetables, livestock and poultry and “unblock transportation channels,” the president said.
  • The Transportation Security Administration said Sunday it has stopped allowing employees to use the China-owned video app TikTok to create social media posts for the agency after the Senate’s top Democrat raised concerns about potential national security issues. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer sent a letter letter Saturday to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, months after news reports that the U.S. government launched a national security review of the app, which is popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults. Schumer also cited a Department of Homeland Security policy prohibiting TikTok on agency devices. The TSA said in a statement Sunday that a 'small number of TSA employees have previously used TikTok on their personal devices to create videos for use in TSA’s social media outreach, but that practice has since been discontinued.” In his letter, Schumer said national security experts have raised concerns about TikTok’s collection and handling of user data and personal information, locations and other content. He also noted in the letter that Chinese laws compel companies to cooperate with China’s government and intelligence collection. “Given the widely reported threats, the already-in-place agency bans, and the existing concerns posed by TikTok, the feds cannot continue to allow the TSA’s use of the platform to fly,” Schumer said in a statement to The Associated Press. Over the past few months, the agency has posted a number of videos reshared on other social media platforms such as Twitter, which have amassed hundreds of thousands of views. The agency said it never directed viewers to TikTok or published content directly to the platform, despite videos reposted on other TSA social media accounts having the TikTok logo in the bottom of the screen. The agency said it had an “active and award-winning presence on several social media platforms.” Some of the videos are musical parodies about what can and cannot be brought on an aircraft, while others advertise services like TSA's expedited screening program known as PreCheck. In one of the videos, a TSA spokeswoman with Nutella spread on her face is showing different containers of the chocolate-hazelnut spread to detail which one can be brought in carry-on luggage.
  • Runway shows continued apace on the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week as the itinerant fashion crowd took an analytical attitude toward the cases of the virus from China clustered not far away in northern Italy. Milan city officials closed offices as a precaution as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grew in an area just an hour outside of the fashion capital. Milan is the capital of Italy's Lombardy region, which reported 39 confirmed cases tied to a single patient. While there was chatter at runway shows and other Fashion Week events about the rapidly spiking infections, health worries remained remote enough. 'For the moment the situation is under control,’’ the president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa, said. ‘’It doesn’t seem to me, in this moment, for what regards our sector, our fashion week, that there are signs of danger,’’ Capasa said. ‘’We are tranquil and prudent.’’ Still, MIDO, the world's largest eyewear industry fair, announced Saturday that it would postpone the gathering scheduled Feb. 29-March 2 until June, due to concerns over the virus. ‘’The evolution of this health crisis under way in our country does not leave any doubt over our decision,'' MIDO president Giovanni Vitaloni said in a statement. Highlights from previews for Fall-Winter 2020-21 womenswear looks: ___ FASHION’S VIRAL ECONOMIC CONCERNS While the virus clusters didn't cause undue health concerns at Milan Fashion Week, fashion houses remain worried about the longer-term economic impact. Chinese consumers at home and abroad are responsible for one-third of global luxury sales. The Italian fashion chamber has already forecast a 2% contraction in first-half revenues. ‘’I think we have to live day by day because it is beyond our control,’’ Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of the late Salvatore Ferragamo, said at the brand's Saturday’s runway preview. ‘’We try to do our best with heart and head, everything in order to get over this.’’ He said the brand is maintaining close contact with its people in China. ‘’I think that if we are very ‘foot on the ground,’ we will benefit later,’’ Ferragamo said. Giorgio Armani also expressed longer-term uncertainty ‘’We don’t know when we will be able to breath a sigh of relief,’’ the designer said. Armani said the challenge for businesses won't end when the virus stops spreading. At that point, a fashion companies will need to renovate stores and ‘’again create enthusiasm among the people,'' he said after the Emporio Armani preview Friday. ___ FERRAGAMO’S ‘’METAMODERN’’ WOMAN The queen, the mother, the lover, the sage, the maiden, the huntress and the mystic. They are the seven Jungian archetypes that inspired creative director Paul Andrew’s newest collection for Salvatore Ferragamo. ‘’I was thinking that here, today, in this modern age, a woman in any given hour is all of those things together,’’ Andrew said backstage. Andrew’s mood board was full of ‘’iconic’’ women who fulfill those roles. They included Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Stone, in her ‘’Fatal Attraction,’’ iteration, and Wanda Ferragamo, Salvatore’s widow, who helped turn his luxury shoe business into the global luxury brand it is today. The collection brimmed with Italian craftsmanship -- from wavy woven bags made from upcycled left-over leather from the Ferragamo warehouses, to hand-made macramé inserts in an archival botanical print that enhanced the back of a print blouse with eye-catching detail. Trousers were high-waisted, sometimes corseted and other times layered with a built-in side-cinched long skirt on top. Knitwear, worn perhaps as mini-dresses, came embroidered with exotic florals. Leather coats had a light feel and incorporated scarves. The design feature was repeated on sheer dresses and blazers, creating a dramatic effect. And there were strong all-leather pant looks for anyone wanting to star in their own James Bond thriller. The opening and closing looks featured fringe-adorned dresses -- one a shimmering silver fringe skirt over a black sheath, and the other long strands of ribbon trailing from a black strapless number -- that had a polished, shredded effect. Coincidence that it comes just weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shredded a copy of U.S. President Trump’s State of the Union address on live TV? ‘’She’s an incredible woman,’’ Andrew said of Pelosi. ‘’She is powerful, she is strong, she is comfortable with herself. She is everything I admire in a woman.’’ ___ ANNAKIKI REPRESENTS CHINA IN MILAN Annakiki creator and designer Anna Yang filled her Milan runway with a zany collection of expertly constructed, playful silhouettes. As the only Chinese brand originally on the Milan schedule that was able to keep its runway appointment, Yang was ‘’very emotional about the show,'' said an associate, who goes by Meng. ‘’She's worried about public opinion.'' The show was packed, including Capasa in the front row, and her return to making an upbeat and fun collection after a more commercial last season was popular with the fashion crowd. That included a multi-tiered bubble ruffle dress, an overcoat with accentuated sleeves and a bubble skirt finish, and a mini-dress with puffy circular shoulders contrasting with the tightly cinched waist — all in bright hues of pink or orange. For him, there was an oversize tan plaid suit jacket that looked as if it had been mauled, revealing purple undertones. Yang makes all of her accessories and part of her ready-to-wear collection in Italy, and the other half in Shenzhen, China. The collection was mostly complete before the Chinese New Year and in Milan before flights closed. Three other Chinese brands had to pull out of Milan Fashion Week due to travel issues related to the virus. Annakiki's Chinese factory was able to open last week after a three-week closure, Meng said. But business still faces a tough recovery in China, where traffic at 24 monobrand stores has been ‘’down to zero,'' she said. The brand is also available in eight cities outside Asia, including London, Paris and Florence as well as online. ___ MISSONI’S GEOMETRIC MISSION Angela Missoni presented a co-ed collection bursting with youthful touches for mixing and matching. For her, there were light-weight knit tunics with diagonal stripes, worn with dark horizontally striped leggings. Overcoats were oversized and enveloping. Layered cardigans were worn with loose knit pants tucked into boots. Looks were finished with glittery knit gardening gloves, kerchiefs around the neck or Renaissance painter hats. The uniting theme was geometry: stripes of all types, that is horizontal, diagonal, vertical, triangular and patchwork. For him, geometric patterns clashed on a clean silhouette: a knit top of tiny bursts, patchwork pants and houndstooth overcoat covered with triangle patches. Sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid closed the Missoni show, side-by-side, fittingly for the brand that is still firmly in family hands. ____ ERMANNO SCERVINO’S FEMININE BEAUTY Lace and embroidery lent beauty to Ermanno Scervino’s ever-light creations for next fall and winter. Strong floral embroidery, white on black, gave a Nordic edge to belted overcoats and ponchos, and a couture touch to puffer coats. Sequins became a glam daytime office look on a green asymmetrical skirt paired with a knit turtleneck. Pretty transparent pleated skirts were worn over sequined layers for a pretty impact. Slip dresses ranged from leather and lace combos in black to white-on-white embroidery. Beautiful golden lame suits will light up any holiday party next season. ‘’It’s an unconditional celebration of beautiful femininity,’’ Scervino said in show notes.
  • Debris has been found in the fuel tanks of 70% of grounded Boeing 737 Max jets that have been inspected by the company, Boeing confirmed on Saturday. Inspectors found the debris in 35 out of about 50 jets that were inspected. They are among 400 built in the past year that Boeing hasn't been able to deliver to airline customers. Boeing temporarily halted production last month because the planes were grounded after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. Although debris hasn't been linked to those crashes, metal shavings, tools and other objects left in planes during assembly can raise the risk of electrical short-circuiting and fires. On Tuesday the company had said debris was found in “several” planes but it did not give a precise number. The debris was discovered during maintenance on parked planes, and Boeing said it immediately made corrections in its production system to prevent a recurrence. Those steps include more inspections before fuel tanks are sealed. “This is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on any Boeing aircraft when it’s delivered to the customer,' the company said in a statement Saturday. Boeing previously said the issue does not change the company’s belief that the Federal Aviation Administration will certify the plane to fly again this summer. A Boeing spokesman cautioned against applying the 70% to all 400 jets, saying there's no way to know how many have the same problem until they're all inspected. An FAA spokesman said the agency knows that Boeing is inspecting undelivered Max planes and said the agency has increased surveillance. The number of planes with debris was reported Friday night by The Wall Street Journal. Max jets were grounded around the world last March. Boeing is testing updated flight control software that will replace a system that has been implicated as a cause of thecrashes. The system activated before the crashes based on faulty signals from sensors outside the planes. It pushed the noses of the aircraft down, triggering spirals that pilots were unable to stop. While investigators examining the Max accidents have not pointed to production problems at the assembly plant near Seattle, Boeing has faced concerns about debris left in other finished planes including the 787 Dreamliner, which is built in South Carolina.
  • American dairy farmers, distillers and drugmakers have been eager to break into India, the world’s seventh-biggest economy but a tough-to-penetrate colossus of 1.3 billion people. Looks like they’ll have to wait. Talks between the Trump administration and New Delhi, intended to forge at least a modest deal in time for President Donald Trump’s visit that begins Monday, appear to have fizzled. Barring some last-minute dramatics — always possible with the Trump White House — a U.S.-India trade pact is months away, if not longer. “I’m really saving the big deal for later on,” Trump said this week. “I don’t know if it will be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India.’’ The U.S. presidential election is Nov. 3. For now, the failure to reach a deal, despite the pressure of an approaching summit, may reflect not so much the differences between Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the similarities. Both men are fierce nationalists who favor protecting their own producers over opening their markets to foreign competition. “You’ve got two leaders who are looking at trade very much as a zero-sum game,’’ said Richard Rossow, a specialist in U.S.-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Long notorious for high trade barriers and a cumbersome bureaucracy, India had for the past two decades or three decades been slowly reforming and opening its economy. Under Modi, that trend has reversed. Regarded as a business reformer when he took office in 2014, Modi has increasingly turned protectionist, matching Trump’s “America First” example with “India First” policies of his own. “U.S. behavior on the trade front has pushed India in the opposite direction of where we could like it to go,’’ Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told reporters Friday. One of Trump’s first acts was to withdraw from a 12-country Asia-Pacific free trade pact negotiated by the Obama administration. Similarly, Modi last year abandoned another Pacific Rim trade agreement, worried that India would be overwhelmed by Chinese imports. Modi may be even more sensitive about exposing Indian companies to foreign competition because his country is in an economic slump. The International Monetary Fund last month scaled back its expectation for India's growth this year to 5.8% from the 7% it had expected back in October. Indian loan companies, struggling to collect on bad debts, have reduced lending, thereby squeezing Indian consumers. The Trump administration escalated the pressure on India last year by denying some of its products preferential duty-free entry to the American market. In effect, that move raised tariffs on Indian imports. The administration is annoyed by a deficit in the trade of goods with India that last year reached $23.3 billion. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last year argued that India had failed to provide assurances that it would give U.S. products “equitable and reasonable access” to its markets. The thinking was that India would make concessions to regain its duty-free benefits. But India hasn’t yielded yet. “We had hoped that India would respond with a little more urgency,’’ said Roger Murry, senior policy adviser at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Negotiations between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and India's commerce minister, Piyush Goyal, seemed to be advancing until about a week ago. Yet they failed to bridge their differences. “I would have thought they would have been able to pull off a mini-deal,’’ said Safiya Ghori-Ahmad, an India specialist at the consulting firm McLarty Associates. “It seems there are a lot of sticky issues.’’ One irritant is that just as negotiators were scrambling to conclude an agreement, India this month made another lurch toward protectionism. It issued an annual budget that raises import taxes on everything from cheese to shoes to toy tricycles. The two sides have also squabbled over access to India’s dairy market. A predominately Hindu nation, India prohibits, on religious grounds, dairy imports that do not derive from cows that have been raised on vegetarian diets. The U.S. dairy industry argues that such restrictions are scientifically unnecessary and burdensome. The administration has complained, too, about Indian restrictions on imported medical devices. In 2017, Indian officials imposed price controls on coronary stents and knee implants, forcing American companies to sell those products at a loss. U.S. distilleries also have a big stake in a more open Indian economy. India is by far the world’s largest market for whiskey. In 2018, Indian drinkers downed nearly 1.7 billion liters of whiskey, worth $25 billion, accounting for half the world's consumption and out-drinking Americans by a factor of three, according to Euromonitor. But facing 150% tariffs on imported spirits, U.S. distilleries sold just $7 million worth whiskey to India in 2018, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. “There is no doubt that India has turned protectionist during the last two to three years,” said Columbia University’s Arvind Panagariya, a former Indian government official and a specialist in India’s economic policymaking. “And that is surely making matters more difficult by hardening Indian positions.’’ Still, Modi puts a high value on a strategic partnership with the United States, especially in the face of an increasingly assertive China. For that reason, he may be willing to make trade concessions for stronger ties with Washington. “I remain optimistic about an agreement in due course,’’ Panagariya said. But Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he was discouraged by the failure of negotiators to reach a modest, confidence-building deal before the Trump-Modi summit. “The ambitions were small to begin with,’’ Dhume said. “If a presidential visit cannot force these two countries to get over a small speed bump, that really does not augur well’’ for a more ambitious trade agreement. ___ Follow Paul Wiseman on Twitter at @PaulWisemanAP

Local News

  •     Congressman Doug Collins told Fox News this morning he would not accept an offer to be the next Director of National Intelligence. Original story: President Donald Trump said late Thursday he could make U.S. Rep. Doug Collins his permanent director of national intelligence, a move that could spare Republicans of a nasty intraparty fight against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler.          The president told reporters on Air Force One that he is considering appointing the Gainesville Republican, one of his most visible defenders in Congress, for the coveted position.    It came days after Trump hinted he could intervene in the bitter race between Collins and Loeffler, a wealthy financial executive who Gov. Brian Kemp selected for the seat despite lobbying by Trump and some of his allies who favored the congressman.    “I know, Kelly, that you’re going to end up liking him a lot,” Trump said on Feb. 6 of Collins, adding that “something’s going to happen that’s going to be very good. I don’t know; I haven’t figured it out yet.” The president’s remarks triggered immediate talk in Georgia GOP circles that Collins could be in line for a prized appointment, though what exactly what that job could be was uncertain.   Collins’ aides could not immediately be reached for comment late Thursday, but earlier this month his camp was dismissive of the idea that he could be knocked out of the race to accept an appointment.    Trump on Wednesday tapped Richard Grenell, a U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director of national security, a post that oversees a vast part of the U.S. national security apparatus. Grenell is only expected to fill the post for a short time. Whoever Trump selects to permanently take the job would require U.S. Senate confirmation, which could set up a divisive debate if Collins is picked.  Republican leaders have searched for ways to diffuse the scathing race between the two, which has forced top national and Georgia GOP leaders to take sides at a time when the party can ill afford a divide.  Since Collins entered the race in January, he has assailed her as an out-of-touch millionaire, a “fake conservative” and a “pretend farmer.” Her allies have fired back, depicting him as a tax-and-spend phony.  The escalating feud has raised GOP concerns that Democrats could win the special election for the seat once held by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired in December because of growing health concerns. That’s because the race will feature multiple candidates from both parties on the same ballot, with no primaries to filter nominees. That could give Democrats an opening to exploit Republican divisions by unifying behind a candidate. The decision by Rev. Raphael Warnock to enter the race in January has amplified those fears, as the Democrat has quickly locked up support from state and national figures, including Stacey Abrams and the party’s U.S. Senate campaign arm.  Some Republicans also worry that the GOP feud could spill over to damage U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is up for a second term in November, as well as Trump’s chances of holding a state he won by 5 percentage points in 2016. Still, Democrats have their own challenges to work out. The party hasn’t captured a statewide seat in more than a decade, and no Democratic presidential candidate has carried Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992. And Warnock has failed to scare off two contenders from his own party who could complicate his chances of scoring an upset victory: Entrepreneur Matt Lieberman and former federal prosecutor Ed Tarver, who announced his campaign earlier Thursday. 
  • The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia received the award for exhibition of the year at the Georgia Association of Museums Conference for the exhibition “Richard Hunt: Synthesis.” “Richard Hunt: Synthesis” was on view at the Georgia Museum of Art Oct. 20, 2018 – Feb. 3, 2019. Shawnya Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art, organized the exhibition to fill a notable gap in critical evaluation of Hunt’s career. Hunt, born in 1935, is an African American sculptor whose career has spanned more 60 years so far. His art helped redefine public sculpture in the late 20th and early 21st century through his 130-plus public commissions in more than 24 states. The exhibition featured both Hunt’s sculptures and his works on paper. It also highlighted formative moments and progressions in his artistic development. Welded and cast sculptures from the 1950s to the present were on display as well as models for public commissions dating back to the 1960s and lithographs and drawings that demonstrated Hunt’s complex sense of three-dimensional design. In conjunction with the exhibition, museum staff created a wide array of public programming, including a program for toddlers and their caregivers to a Teen Studio, numerous public tours, a Family Day attended by hundreds of people aa part of UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts festival, a screening of the documentary “Richard Hunt: Sculptor” and a public conversation with the artist himself. The exhibition also served as the basis for the museum’s fifth-grade tour program, as part of Experience UGA, allowing all fifth-grade students in the Clarke County School District to tour it and participate in a hands-on sculpture project designed to facilitate STEAM learning. The Georgia Association of Museums is a private, nonprofit museum and gallery association dedicated to serving and maintaining a diverse membership of museums across the state. It establishes a responsive network, serves as a resource base and promotes professionalism to uplift the Georgia museum community.
  • Fourth-ranked Georgia starts a four-game series with undefeated Santa Clara Friday at Foley Field. First pitch will be at 3 p.m. followed by a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday.   Both teams are coming off midweek victories as the Bulldogs (4-0) went on the road and defeated Kennesaw State Wednesday 10-3. The Broncos are off to their best start since 2012 when they began the year 5-0. Before heading to Athens, Santa Clara upset No. 25 Stanford 3-2 Tuesday as six pitchers combined to limit the Cardinal to a pair of runs on three hits. The Broncos have outscored their opponents 43-12 and boast a team ERA of 2.00. The Bulldogs and Broncos have never met on the diamond.   Georgia is batting .308 with a 3.75 ERA and a .980 fielding percentage. Also of note, the Bulldogs are 14-for-14 in stolen base attempts with junior Tucker Bradley leading the team with five followed by senior Cam Shepherd with four. Bradley (.538-1-6) and Shepherd (.412-1-6) rank among the SEC’s leading hitters at this point while junior Garrett Blaylock (.294-3-6) is second in the in SEC in home runs. Sophomore Ben Anderson (357-0-1) is second in the SEC with 10 runs scored. Freshman reliever Jonathan Cannon (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is one of two pitchers in the league who have faced at least 13 batters and yet to allow a hit. Senior Jake MacNichols headlines the Broncos offense, batting .350 with four home runs and 11 RBI while senior Ryan McCarthy is tops on the club in batting at .476 with a home run and six RBI.   Georgia will start junior RHP Emerson Hancock (0-1, 13.50 ERA) and Cole Wilcox (1-0, 1.80 ERA) in the first two games of the Santa Clara series while the Broncos have not announced their rotation. The Broncos have employed 15 pitchers this year and none have tossed more than four innings. The Santa Clara staff has allowed just 12 runs with 53 strikeouts and 13 walks on the year. Georgia has used 12 pitchers and given up 16 runs with 43 strikeouts and 13 walks.   Prior to Saturday’s action, the Bulldogs will honor Nicholas Chaclan and his family as part of their support for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Vs. Cancer program. During the fall semester, the Bulldogs began a Vs. Cancer campaign, and they will present a donation to the organization Saturday. These funds will go to child life programs at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Pediatric Brain Cancer research to save kids’ lives. Saturday’s doubleheader is being played in honor of children and teenagers who have experienced a pediatric brain tumor or cancer diagnosis. 
  • Athens Republicans hold precinct meetings Saturday. It’s the first step in a delegate selection process that will continue with a county-wide meeting of the Athens-Clarke County GOP and will continue through this summer’s state and national Republican conventions. From the Athens-Clarke Co GOP website… MASS PRECINCT MEETINGThe Athens-Clarke County Mass Precinct meeting will be held on February 22, 2020. Registration will begin at 9:00 am with the doors closing at 10:00 am. The purpose of this meeting will be to elect Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention on March 21. 2019. Note that only those delegates elected by the precincts may vote in the County Convention. Mass Precinct Meeting will be held at the Athens Moose Lodge 767, 185 Ben Burton Road, Bogart, GA 30622 (near Adcock Furniture on Atlanta Highway).COUNTY CONVENTIONThe Athens Clarke County GOP Convention will be held in Saturday, March 21, 2020 in Athens, GA. The purpose of the convention is to elect delegates and alternates to the District and State Conventions. The County Convention will be held at the Athens Moose Lodge 767, 185 Ben Burton Road, Bogart, GA 30622 (near Adcock Furniture on Atlanta Highway).TENTH DISTRICT CONVENTIONThe 10th District Convention will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Marswood Hall, St. Philothea Greek Orthodox, 3761 Mars Hill Road | Watkinsville, Georgia 30677. $25 registration fee.GEORGIA STATE REPUBLICAN CONVENTIONThe Georgia State Republican Convention will be held May 29-30, 2020 at the Cobb Galleria, Marietta, GA (Cobb County). Cost information to be announced.PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESSWhy do we hold conventions?In 2020, a presidential election year, we hold conventions to vote on Delegates and Alternates to the County Convention, and then the District Convention and the State Convention. We also vote on key resolutions to let the Republican officials know where the rank-and-file stand on important issues.In Presidential Election years, including 2020, the main work we do - the real work of the party - is to choose delegates and alternates to each of the held conventions, including to the National Convention. The Delegates chosen to participate in the National Convention will vote on the Republican candidate for President of the United States.Who can be a delegate?You must be registered to vote in the Clarke County Georgia, in the precinct/district/state in which the convention is held.Who should be a delegate?The best delegates/alternates pool should come from those who attend GOP meetings regularly and are members of the local GOP.How much does it cost to attend a convention?Precinct meetings: $0County Convention: $0District Convention: $25 feeState Convention: Cost depends on what you attend: Saturday only: just convention fees. If you attend all of the activities (hotels, parties, dinner, breakfast, etc.) then it may be several hundred dollars.
  • There are charges for a Hoschton man stemming from a deadly crash in Gwinnett County: 27 year-old Bareten Petraro was killed when his motorcycle was hit by an SUV driven by 63 year-old Samuel Perry. Perry faces charges that include vehicular homicide.  Clayton Hardy is booked into the Hall County jail: the 34 year-old Gainesville man is facing child porn charges. He’s also accused of methamphetamine possession.  A 55 year-old woman from Flowery Branch is arrested on forgery charges: Wendy Schwartz is in the Hall County jail, accused of forging checks and using the credit card of an elderly family member. The victim in the case is said to be 88 years old.  The explosion that rocked a firewood company in White County is under investigation, with initial reports indicating a mechanical failure led to the blast that gutted a metal building at Mount Yonah Lumber on Helen Highway. There were no injuries reported. 

Bulldog News

  • The announcement this past week that UGA bought out its scheduled 2021 game against San Jose State in Athens in order to play Clemson in a neutral-site game in Charlotte has a lot of fans excited (which couldn't be said about the now-dropped matchup with the Aztecs of the Mountain West conference). The addition of national powerhouse Clemson to next year's schedule justifiably has drawn praise across the college football landscape. The bold move is part of the aggressive upgrading of the Dawgs' nonconference schedule that head coach Kirby Smart and his football operations director, Josh Lee, have spearheaded over the past couple of years. The results so far have been impressive. Georgia has previously announced home-and-home series scheduled withTexas (2028 at Austin and 2029 in Athens), UCLA (2025 in Pasadena and 2026 in Athens), Florida State (2027 in Tallahassee and 2028 in Athens), Oklahoma (2023 in Norman and 2031 in Athens) and Ohio State (2030 in Athens and 2031 in Columbus). Plus a pair of home-and-home series with Clemson (2029 at Clemson and 2030 in Athens, and 2032 in Athens and 2033 at Clemson), and three other neutral-site Power 5 games at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium: this year againstVirginia, 2022 vs. Oregon, and 2024 vs. Clemson. (It was amusing to read one national site's estimation that Georgia-Clemson 'is about to become a bit of a rivalry.' Obviously, they don't know the tremendous history of the Georgia-Clemson series, which dates back to 1897 and included a long stretch of meeting every year. In fact, I feel safe in saying that, Jacksonville included, Georgia-Clemson was the Dawgs' hottest rivalry in the early '80s, with the peak being the 1982 game, which was nationally televised and played on Labor Day. It was the first night game to take place in Sanford Stadium in three decades, and it featured not only two Top 10 teams, but also the two most recent national champions.) As a longtime proponent of more games against the Tigers, I'm especially pleased that this gives Georgia and Clemson six games scheduled over the next 14 years, a vast improvement over the two-games-a-decade pattern they'd fallen into after the expansion of the SEC ended the annual meetings of the two programs located about 80 miles apart. The Dawgs and the Cats have met only eight times since 1987, with the most recent being 2014, when a Georgia win Between the Hedges avenged a loss at Clemson a year earlier. The addition of this game serves Clemson's interests as well, as the ACC powerhouse is looking to upgrade its nonconference schedules, since its weak conference opposition has been the subject of much griping nationally as the Tigers have become a regular participant in the College Football Playoff. UGA has turned heads across the country with its aggressive Power 5 scheduling over the coming decade and a half, and I'm all for it. As Athletic Director Greg McCarity told me this time last year, 'the scheduling model we're moving to in the future will be built around eight conference games, and Tech, and two more Power 5's and one non-Power 5 opponent.' So, in other words, only one 'cupcake' per season (as opposed to 2018, when Georgia had three such games in Athens). As I said then, it's an ambitious and somewhat daunting schedule model. But, McGarity said, 'That's our goal. Kirby is all about playing a tough schedule and playing quality opponents.' As McGarity said in a statement announcing the 2021 Clemson game, ' We will now have at least two Power 5 opponents on our schedule through 2033.' That will give the Dawgs at least 10 regular-season games each year against Power 5 conference teams (including the eight SEC games). This also means that Georgia will open away from Athens in a high-profile neutral-site game three years running: this season against Virginia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, 2021 in Charlotte, and back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2022 to meet Oregon in another Chick-fil-A game. Still, despite all that, there's definitely room for improvement in Georgia's home scheduling. Just look at the 2021 season, which had a pretty weak lineup for fans in Athens even before they dropped the San Jose State game. Now, the six remaining games in Athens will consist of South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, UAB and Charleston Southern, the latter another FCS opponent from the level of Division 1 NCAA football below the bowl division. That's not as dire as the 2018 season, which saw a nonconference lineup of Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee and UMass in addition to Tech, but it's definitely nothing to get excited about. I recognize that the filling out of the nonconference schedule with so-called 'cupcakes' is something of a necessary evil in college football, since Power 5 opponents usually demand a return game in a home-and-home deal. And, with the Dawgs filling one spot each year with Georgia Tech and looking to add a second Power 5 opponent each year, you expect the two remaining nonconference games to be a bit less challenging. Also, not all cupcakes are equal. Opponents taken from the Group of 5 conferences that rank just below the Power 5 range from true cupcakes to something more akin to college basketball's 'mid-majors.' (Maybe, if we're going to continue the food-related terminology for opponents you pay handsomely to come be a sacrificial lamb, we should call these teams something other than a cupcake. Let's borrow from the QuickTrip chain and call them 'snackles.') The true cupcakes tend to be programs along the lines of Louisiana-Monroe (on this year's schedule), UMass and Western Kentucky. Unfortunately, Georgia seems to be relying a bit too much on the allowance that schools at its level can count one game a season against FCS opponents, who really aren't even up to cupcake level. Let's call them 'bon-bons.' Looking at upcoming schedules, we see these bon-bons coming to Athens: East Tennessee State in 2020, Charleston Southern in 2021, Samford in 2022, Tennessee Tech in 2024, and the return of Austin Peay in 2025. Asking UGA fans shell out for tickets and travel to Athens, dealing with the attendant traffic and parking headaches, to see such games is a bit much. That's especially true for those of us who contribute to the Hartman Fund for the chance to buy season tickets. I thought it was noteworthy that, as part of the Georgia-Clemson scheduling musical chairs, Southern Cal was able to dump UC Davis and pick up San Jose State, meaning it will maintain its status of never having played an FCS opponent. (Only three Football Bowl Subdivision programs have never played a team from the FCS in football Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.) Really, it would suit me if Georgia never again added another FCS opponent to its schedule with the exception of Yale, which I still would love to see come back to Athens in 2029 to mark the centennial of the Georgia-Yale clash that dedicated Sanford Stadium. Unfortunately, as UGA told me last year, they tried to schedule Yale for 2029, but the Ivy League school wasn't interested. But, the Yalies aside, I'd like to see Smart and Lee focusing more on the Group of 5 than the FCS. And, maybe, they could give some thought to opponents at that level that have some regional interest. (Besides Georgia Southern, which has shown up occasionally on UGA schedules in recent decades, a game against Georgia State would be of much greater interest to fans. And, as Tennessee found out last year, the Panthers aren't to be taken too lightly.) There's another reason UGA ought to be thinking about an upgrading of its non-Power 5 opponents: attendance. Figures showing actual attendance at Sanford Stadium released by UGA show that lower-tier opponents tend to put fewer folks in the stands, sinking as low as 56,065 for Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016. In the 2018 season, the most recent for which real attendance (as opposed to paid attendance) figures have been released, Austin Peay brought only 78,050 to Sanford for the season-opener, and only 67,764 attended the UMass game. So, yeah, the seats may have been sold, but in an era when every game is televised, the fact that quite a few fans aren't bothering to show up for such games should send a message that such cupcakes aren't really what the UGA fan base wants to see. Like I said, overall, I'm very pleased with the aggressive scheduling Georgia has undertaken at the Power 5 level, but I'd like to see the rest of the nonconference schedule be less of a snoozefest. The post UGA's nonconference football schedule needs even more bold moves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Lawrence Cager might not be 100 percent for the NFL combine this week, but fans who have followed his career know better than to count him out. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Cager overcame a shoulder injury and bruised ribs to lead Georgia to a 24-17 win over Florida this season with 7 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown last season. pic.twitter.com/IsmaE5biyV Lawrence Cager (@lawrencecager3) October 28, 2019 'I was dead, I hadn't practiced or played in like 2 1/2 weeks, so you got to rise from the dead sometime,' Cager said after his historic performance. 'I wasn't going to miss this game for anything.' RELATED: Lawrence Cager performance at Florida one for the ages Cager did, however, miss the final three games of the season after suffering an ankle injury in a Nov. 27 practice and undergoing ankle surgery on Nov. 29. Cager's absences staggered the Georgia football team. Cager had three first down catches in the first half against South Carolina, but without him, the offense came apart and lost 20-17 overtime. The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm completed more than 70 percent of his passes with Cager on the field. But without him, the pass game struggled. Fromm completed less than 50 percent when the graduate transfer from Miami was sidelined. 'He was the one guy, and this isn't from Jake, (but) he looked like the guy that Jake was really comfortable with,' Former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl scout Jim Nagy said. 'He was kind of the bailout guy. Jake knew where Lawrence was going to be, and they looked like they were on the same page,' said Nagy, who has studied film of UGA players in preparation an ESPN analyst role for the NFL combine. 'That wasn't always the case (with other receivers). Especially the guys out on the perimeter. It looked like they weren't on the same page quite a bit.' Cager, despite his success for Georgia this season he had 33 catches for 476 yards and 4 TDs in nine games projects as a later-round pick heading into the combine. 'Where he gets drafted will be interesting,' Nagy said. 'But big picture, where Cager is concerned at the next level, is going to be what he does on special teams. 'If you don't project to be a top three receiver on an NFL team next year, and you're a four or a five or a six, you're going to have to play in the kicking game.' Georgia football coach Kirby Smart harps on that all the time. The message seems to get lost on some. Smart is actually doing his players a favor by teaching them to play special teams and utilizing them on the units. Former Bulldogs receiver Jayson Stanley went undrafted last year and didn't make a catch all season. But Stanley's special teams ability landed him a spot on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad, and he's now rostered with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cager, however, didn't play special teams in his short time at Georgia. With the injuries he was battling he hurt his shoulder before the halfway mark of the season it was all he could do to play receiver. Nagy said that Cager impressed when he was on the field at Georgia. 'You heard from the people in Miami he was inconsistent catching the football, but he sure didn't look that way (at Georgia),' Nagy said. 'I was at the Notre Dame game, he made plays in that game, so yeah, the injury thing is real, he's going to have to work through that. And, Nagy said, Cager is going to have to convince teams is willing and able to play special teams. 'From a scout's perspective, that would be my reservation, never really seeing Lawrence do that,' Nagy said. 'Is he fast enough, is he aggressive enough, is he strong enough to be that guy to run down on kickoff or punt? 'I'm not saying he's not, but when you are talking about Day Three (NFL draft rounds 4-6) receivers, that's a huge part of the equation, not just what they do at receiver.' Nagy said very few college receivers transition quickly into one of the top three receiver spots on an NFL team, so they need to show value on special teams to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. 'Big picture, that's what Lawrence is going to be facing, that's what teams are battling with now,' Nagy said. 'If we take him in the fifth or the sixth round, is he going to be active on game day for us?' First things first, Cager needs to get himself active and healthy enough to work out for the NFL teams. If not at the combine, perhaps by the Georgia Pro Day, which is projected to be March 18. Cager has been mum, but earlier the year he put a short video out of himself running on a treadmill. Cager was one of 10 Georgia players invited to the NFL combine. The quarterbacks and receivers work out on Thursday night (TV: NFL Network, 4 p.m.). DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia's Lawrence Cager has questions to answer at NFL combine appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball senior Tyree Crump hit a last-second 3-point shot from the top of the key to lift the Bulldogs to an 80-78 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night. Georgia was down five points with less than 18 seconds left before it pulled off the improbable victory. 'it was dead-eye perfect,' UGA coach Tom Crean said. 'There was no short-arm, he snapped his wrist, it was picture-percent, and it was huge.' Commodores' guard Scottie Pippen Jr. missed two free throws with 5.1 seconds left, and Jordan Harris tipped out the second miss to Crump, who raced down court and launched the game-winner. Crump for the WIN https://t.co/8wNHw3rig4 Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) February 23, 2020 It's the first time Georgia (14-13, 4-10 SEC) has won back-to-back SEC games this season. It gives the Bulldogs a sweep over Volunteer State teams, as they beat Memphis, Tennessee and now Vanderbilt (9-18, 1-13). Georgia had beat No. 13 Auburn, 65-55, on Wednesday, to get much-needed confidence and momentum. 'It's perseverance, throughout the year,' Harris, who scored a season-high 17 points, said on the Georgia Sports Radio Network. 'We're living in the now.' The Bulldogs led for just 57 seconds of the 40-minute contest in Nashville, but they were ahead when it mattered most in the end. Anthony Edwards led UGA with 19 points, and point guard Sahvir Wheeler had 11 points and 5 assists. Georgia trailed by 11 points in the second half when a Toumani Camara dunk triggered a 12-0 run. Edwards capped the run with a drive that gave the Bulldogs a 52-51 lead with 11:56 left. It proved to be Edwards' final points in the game. The Commodores answered UGA's big run with an 8-0 burst of their own, however, and the lead was back up to 59-52 with 10:23 left. Vanderbilt appeared to be in control when Saben Lee, who scored a career-high 34 points, went to the free-throw line and hit two free throws to make it 78-73 with 22 seconds left. Wheeler raced downcourt and scored on a layup with 17.7 seconds left to narrow the gap to 78-75. Then it was Lee going back to the free-throw line with 11.3 seconds left. This time, he missed the front end of the one-and-one. Vanderbilt's Braelee Albert rebounded the miss, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds. Down three, Wheeler drove to the basket again, drawing a foul with 6 seconds left. Wheeler hit both free throws to make it a 78-77 game. Edwards fouled Pippen Jr. on the ensuing inbounds, fouling out of the game and setting up the final sequence. Vanderbilt held a 40-32 lead at the half after leading by as many as 11 points early. Edwards hit a 3-pointer at the 11:17 mark to cut into that 11-point margin and trigger a 10-0 run that left the Commodores up 20-19. Moments later, a Wheeler drive tied the game at 25-25. The Commodores answered with a 7-1 run, and took the 8-point lead into the half when Drew Weikert stole a back-court pass with two seconds left and laid it in. Georgia returns to action at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at South Carolina. Anthony Edwards dunk The world reacts to the Anthony Edwards' poster pic.twitter.com/8Bkyt6w6YG SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 23, 2020 DawgNation Georgia basketball Tom Crean: We're building a program' after big home win Bulldogs score resounding win over No. 13 Auburn Georgia basketball drops close one at Texas A&M, Anthony Edwards ill Georgia suffers deflating defeat at Florida UGA snaps four-game losing streak with Texas A&M win Perplexing loss for Georgia basketball at Missouri Column: Anthony Edwards needs to get back to having fun Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post WATCH: Georgia basketball pulls off amazing last-second win at Vanderbilt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The 2020 NFL Combine has yet to get underway, the players reporting on Sunday for an event that runs through March 2. But already, ESPN has a pay site article up on which players could stand out at the 2021 NFL combine, and Georgia has a couple of them. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is widely considered the odds-on favorite to be the top pick in 2021 draft. That would be good news for Georgia, which opens the 2021 season against Clemson. RELATED: Georgia football schedule 2021 adds Clemson Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields, now at Ohio State, is also in the discussion as a potential early entry who could star at the 2021 NFL Combine. But the Bulldogs have a quarterback expected to be 'on the radar' and in the mix at the 2021 NFL Combine, too, according to ESPN writer Adam Rittenberg. Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer expected to get plugged into Kirby Smart's made-over offense, has the size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and arm strength to draw attention. RELATED: Georgia's Jamie Newman and George Pickens SEC's highest-rated QB-WR duo, per PFF ESPN recognized Georgia safety Richard LeCounte among its 'defenders to watch,' as well. ESPN didn't mention him, but senior defensive lineman Malik Herring should be on the list. Herring, 6-3, 280, was rated by PFF as the top returning defensive lineman in the SEC. RELATED: Malik Herring spearheads dominant Georgia football front DawgNation underclassmen to watch Georgia has a pair of potential top picks at cornerback in juniors Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell that didn't make the list. Stokes has the fourth-best grade according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) in single coverage over the past two seasons. Campbell is a former 5-star recruit who started as a true freshman but was slowed by a foot injury last season. RELATED: Georgia players discuss fastest man' on Bulldogs team Campbell has the size (6-2, 185) and speed (former 100- and 200-meter champion in Florida) that NFL teams like at the position, and has shown great ability. Georgia junior offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer could elect to turn pro after next season with a big enough campaign, as could junior nosetackle Jordan Davis. UGA senior 2021 combine candidates Monty Rice (linebacker) Jermaine Johnson (linebacker) Julian Rochester (defensive line) Devonte Wyatt (defensive line) DJ Daniel (cornerback) Mark Webb (defensive back) Ben Cleveland (offensive line) Justin Shaffer (offensive line) Demetris Robertson (receiver) DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Georgia football LB Tae Crowder snubbed, but arrow pointing up Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia football returning stars among 2021 NFL combine prospects appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Ten Georgia football players will be headed to Indianapolis for the NFL combine in the next week. Linebacker Tae Crowder is not one of them. The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine But Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who has four Super Bowl rings from his stints in Green Bay, New England, said he believes Crowder can still make an NFL roster. 'Getting the invite to Indy isn't the end all be all, whatsoever,' Nagy said during the DawgNation Ingles On The Beat Show. 'He'll have his pro day and the rest of the process to work it out.' Crowder was a key to the nation's best defense last season from his inside linebacker position. The Bulldogs finished last season ranked No. 1 in scoring defense and rushing defense and No. 3 in total defense and No 8 in pass efficiency defense. 'I'll say this about Tae Crowder, to me, the arrow is pointing up with him,' Nagy said. 'When you're in scouting, you talk about guys that are ascending players, and I think Tae is doing that.' Crowder, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, was a late bloomer of sorts. A noted running back and receiver prospect in high school, Crowder converted to the linebacker position under Coach Kirby Smart. Crowder finished second on the team with 62 tackles last season, and many believe his best football is ahead of him. 'I think he's playing his best football this year, no doubt,' Nagy said. 'He's long, he can run, he can play in space. I think he's going to make somebody's team on special teams.' Nagy pointed out that Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick made the Los Angeles Rams 53-man roster last season without an invite to the NFL combine. 'Tae Crowder to me is a better prospect than Natrez, and to Natrez's credit he signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent and made their 53, so that's awesome for him,' Nagy said. 'But if you're just grading players, Tae is a better prospect in my mind than Natrez was, so it surprised me (Crowder) wasn't in another all-star game, that was a little surprising, and then the combine snub. 'I hope he uses that as some fuel moving forward. I was part of a lot of teams that drafted guys with no all-star game, no combine, and that played for a long time.' DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia LB Tae Crowder snubbed by NFL combine, but arrow is pointing up' appeared first on DawgNation.