Business

An Emboldened F.T.C. Bolsters Biden’s Efforts to Address Inflation
Business

An Emboldened F.T.C. Bolsters Biden’s Efforts to Address Inflation

An independent federal agency has become one of the most reliable executors of President Biden’s attempts to fight inflation, at a time when the White House has few weapons of its own to quickly bring down stubbornly high prices of consumer staples like groceries.The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit on Monday, joined by several state attorneys general, to challenge a merger between the supermarket giants Kroger and Albertsons. The agency’s rationale in many ways echoed Mr. Biden’s renewed attempts to blame corporate greed for rising prices and shrinking portions in grocery aisles.“If allowed, this merger would substantially lessen competition, likely resulting in Americans paying millions of dollars more for food and other essential household goods,” agency officials wrote in a leg...
AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage
Business

AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage

AT&T will offer a $5 credit to customers affected by a widespread outage on Thursday that was caused by technical issues the company encountered while trying to expand its network, its chief executive said on Sunday.The outage, which started around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, temporarily cut off connections for users across the United States.Some of the affected cities included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions.At its peak, the site had received about 70,000 reports of disrupted service for AT&T. Service was fully restored after about seven hours.“No matter the timing, one thing is clear — we let down many of our customers, including many of you and your families,” the chief executiv...
What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.
Business

What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.”I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of America’s suburbs) taped to a wall behind my desk. It summarizes why I love covering housing for The New York Times and seem never to run out of things to write about. Housing is everything. It’s where we live and raise our families. It is most people’s largest store of wealth. Whether you own, you rent, or you sleep outside, where you hang your head defines much of your existence.Over the past few decades, and especially since the pandemic, housing has gone from a symbol of American strength to an everyday crisis. Aspiring homeowners are becoming forever renters. People live in increasingly crowded households, the supply of illegal housing has ...
Leaked Files Show the Secret World of China’s Hackers for Hire
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Leaked Files Show the Secret World of China’s Hackers for Hire

The hackers offered a menu of services, at a variety of prices.A local government in southwest China paid less than $15,000 for access to the private website of traffic police in Vietnam. Software that helped run disinformation campaigns and hack accounts on X cost $100,000. For $278,000 Chinese customers could get a trove of personal information behind social media accounts on platforms like Telegram and Facebook.The offerings, detailed in leaked documents, were a portion of the hacking tools and data caches sold by a Chinese security firm called I-Soon, one of the hundreds of enterprising companies that support China’s aggressive state-sponsored hacking efforts. The work is part of a campaign to break into the websites of foreign governments and telecommunications firms.The materials, wh...
For Michigan’s Economy, Electric Vehicles Are Promising and Scary
Business

For Michigan’s Economy, Electric Vehicles Are Promising and Scary

Last fall, Tiffanie Simmons, a second-generation autoworker, endured a six-week strike at the Ford Motor factory just west of Detroit where she builds Bronco S.U.V.s. That yielded a pay raise of 25 percent over the next four years, easing the pain of reductions that she and other union workers swallowed more than a decade ago.But as Ms. Simmons, 38, contemplates prospects for the American auto industry in the state that invented it, she worries about a new force: the shift toward electric vehicles. She is dismayed that the transition has been championed by President Biden, whose pro-labor credentials are at the heart of his bid for re-election, and who recently gained the endorsement of her union, the United Automobile Workers.The Biden administration has embraced electric vehicles as a me...
William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90
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William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90

William Beecher, who as a reporter for The New York Times revealed President Richard M. Nixon’s secret bombing campaign over Cambodia during the Vietnam War, and who later won a Pulitzer Prize at The Boston Globe, died on Feb. 9 at his home in Wilmington, N.C. He was 90.His daughter, Lori Beecher, and son-in-law, Marc Burstein, confirmed the death.President Nixon ordered the bombings, code-named Operation Menu, in March 1969 in response to stepped-up attacks by the North Vietnamese Army and South Vietnamese guerrillas based in Cambodia, a neutral country. The campaign was so secret that even William P. Rogers, the secretary of state, was unaware of it.Mr. Beecher’s article about the bombings, which appeared on the front page of The Times on May 9, 1969, noted that in the previous two weeks...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...
Apple Music Removes Ye’s “Vultures 1” Amid Distributor Dispute
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Apple Music Removes Ye’s “Vultures 1” Amid Distributor Dispute

Ye, the rapper, producer and provocateur formerly known as Kanye West, has what will likely be the No. 1 album on next week’s Billboard chart, with “Vultures 1.” But on Thursday, the LP disappeared from Apple Music, one of the world’s top streaming platforms.The reason was unclear, and Apple gave no explanation. But the removal came a few hours after an independent distribution outlet complained that its system had been used to release the music in violation of its service terms.It also remained unclear whether — and how soon — Ye’s album might return to Apple, perhaps through another distributor.“Vultures 1,” a joint release with the R&B singer Ty Dolla Sign, was set to be Ye’s comeback moment after a series of antisemitic remarks in 2022 made him a pariah in music and fashion — witho...
This Arctic Circle Town Expected a Green Energy Boom. Then Came Bidenomics.
Business

This Arctic Circle Town Expected a Green Energy Boom. Then Came Bidenomics.

In Mo i Rana, a small Norwegian industrial town on the cusp of the Arctic Circle, a cavernous gray factory sits empty and unfinished in the snowy twilight — a monument to unfulfilled economic hope.The electric battery company Freyr was partway through constructing this hulking facility when the Biden administration’s sweeping climate bill passed in 2022. Perhaps the most significant climate legislation in history, the Inflation Reduction Act promised an estimated $369 billion in tax breaks and grants for clean energy technology over the next decade. Its incentives for battery production within the United States were so generous that they eventually helped prod Freyr to pause its Norway facility and focus on setting up shop in Georgia.The start-up is still raising funds to build the factory...
Two Big Texas Oil Producers Announce $26 Billion Merger
Business

Two Big Texas Oil Producers Announce $26 Billion Merger

Two large Texas oil producers are joining forces in a deal valued at $26 billion, the latest in a wave of consolidation in the U.S. energy industry.Diamondback Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources, both major players in the booming Permian Basin oil field that straddles New Mexico and Texas, announced on Monday that they would merge in a cash-and-stock deal, with Diamondback’s shareholders owning about 60 percent of the combined company.The Permian Basin was once seen as a worn-out patch. But over the last decade or so, technological advances, including the advent of fracking, or hydraulically fractured horizontal wells, have opened its oil- and gas-rich shale fields to development. The basin has been transformed into the most productive oil and gas field in the United States.“With this co...