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Business

Major Embryo Shipping Company Halts Business in Alabama

Major Embryo Shipping Company Halts Business in Alabama

Business
Cryoport, a major embryo shipping company, said on Friday that it was “pausing” its business in Alabama as it evaluated the state’s Supreme Court decision that declared frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization to be children. “Until the company has further clarity on the decision and what it means for Cryoport, clinics and intended parents, it is pausing all activity in Alabama until further notice,” read an email received by an Alabama fertility clinic and shared with The New York Times. The email said that Cryoport would “not be able to assist” with a scheduled shipment, and instead would offer a refund. The Alabama court’s ruling has already significantly limited fertility treatment for patients in that state. Three clinics have paused care as they evaluate what the ruling...
When Science Class Is in a Former Macy’s

When Science Class Is in a Former Macy’s

Business
In the early morning in November, with a chill still in the air, three lines of cars inch across the open, cracked parking lot at the Sumter Mall in Sumter, S.C. It’s still hours before the doors open at Belk, a department store with roots in the Southeast and the mall’s last remaining anchor tenant. The mall, which is about 60 percent vacant, has a hodgepodge of other tenants. Call center workers are parking or being dropped off for their shifts. People are making their way into a nearby Planet Fitness. But on the other side of the parking lot, scores of young children dash out of cars and through a mall entrance. They’re not playing hooky; they’re going to school in a former J.C. Penney store. And if all goes according to plan, they will keep going there for years as the school adds mor...
Nvidia Is a Must-Buy. Or Is It?

Nvidia Is a Must-Buy. Or Is It?

Business
In 2002, after the dot-com bubble burst and Sun Microsystems swooned, the company’s co-founder Scott McNealy highlighted the folly of Wall Street analysts who favored one particular financial metric to gauge a stock’s worth: its price relative to the company’s sales. Mr. McNealy was musing about the “price to sales” ratio — an important measure of a company’s value relative to how much cash it generates. A high ratio can be justified if investors think a company has room to grow; a low ratio typically signals that investors think the company is accurately valued. Using that metric, analysts had gambled that Sun’s stock was undervalued even when it was trading at more than 10 times its revenue — a value the business couldn’t ultimately sustain. Even if Sun passed every dollar it was makin...
Leaked Files Show the Secret World of China’s Hackers for Hire

Leaked Files Show the Secret World of China’s Hackers for Hire

Business
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...
Capital One to Acquire Discover, Creating a Consumer Lending Colossus

Capital One to Acquire Discover, Creating a Consumer Lending Colossus

Business
Capital One announced on Monday that it would acquire Discover Financial Services in an all-stock transaction valued at $35.3 billion, a deal that would merge two of the largest credit card companies in the United States. “A space that is already dominated by a relatively small number of megaplayers is about to get a little smaller,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. Capital One, with $479 billion in assets, is one of the nation’s largest banks, and it issues credit cards on networks run by Visa and Mastercard. Acquiring Discover will give it access to a credit card network of 305 million cardholders, adding to its base of more than 100 million customers. The country’s four major networks are American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover, which has far fewer cardhol...
William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90

William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90

Business
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 w...
Can America Turn a Productivity Boomlet Into a Boom?

Can America Turn a Productivity Boomlet Into a Boom?

Business
Kevin Rezvani came of age in kitchens: spending summers at his grandfather’s bakery in Japan, doing work-study in his college cafeteria and working for years as a line cook at mid-tier restaurants, along with some stints in fast food. By his late 20s, the biggest takeaway Mr. Rezvani had from his experience “working in every kind of thing in food” was the industry’s widespread inability to reconcile the art of a kitchen, and the science of a restaurant, with the math of a business. Too many ventures, he says, are not profitable enough to justify all the work hours needed from managers and employees to stay afloat, much less grow. In other words, they fall short on productivity. “There’s a very fine line between doing OK, and doing well in this business,” said Mr. Rezvani, now 36. “And if ...
Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding

Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding

Business
On a recent Thursday morning in Queens, travelers streamed through the exterior doors of La Guardia Airport’s Terminal C. Some were bleary-eyed — most hefted briefcases — as they checked bags and made their way to the security screening lines. It was business as usual, until some approached a line that was almost empty. One by one, they walked to a kiosk with an iPad affixed to it and had their photos taken, as a security officer stood by. Within seconds, each passenger’s image was matched to a photo from a government database, and the traveler was ushered past security into the deeper maze of the airport. No physical ID or boarding pass required. Some travelers, despite previously opting into the program, still proffered identification, only for the officer to wave it away. This passeng...
BlackRock, JPMorgan and State Street Retreat From a Climate Group

BlackRock, JPMorgan and State Street Retreat From a Climate Group

Business
A $14 trillion exit Climate hawks have long questioned the financial industry’s commitment to sustainable investing. But few foresaw JPMorgan Chase and State Street quitting Climate Action 100+, a global investment coalition that has been pushing companies to decarbonize. Meanwhile, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, scaled back its ties to the group. All told, the moves amount to a nearly $14 trillion exit from an organization meant to marshal Wall Street’s clout to expand the climate agenda. The retreat jolted the political landscape. Representative Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who compared the coalition to a “cartel” forcing businesses to cut emissions, called for more financial companies to follow suit. And Brad Lander, New York City’s comptroller, accused the firms of ...
Inflation Was Higher Than Expected in January, a Worrying Sign for the Fed

Inflation Was Higher Than Expected in January, a Worrying Sign for the Fed

Business
Inflation cooled less than expected in January and showed worrying staying power after volatile food and fuel costs were stripped out — a reminder that bringing price increases under control remains a fraught, bumpy process. The overall Consumer Price Index was up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, which was down from 3.4 percent in December but more than the 2.9 percent that economists had forecast. That figure is down from the latest peak of 9.1 percent in the summer of 2022. But after stripping out food and fuel, which bounce around in price from month to month, “core” prices held roughly steady on an annual basis, climbing 3.9 percent from a year earlier. The measure jumped by the most in eight months on a monthly basis. American consumers, the White House and Federal Reserve officials ...