China Pledges Openness in Hopes of Reaching a Trade Deal

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BEIJING — Top Chinese economic policymakers promised this weekend that Beijing was ready to open up the country’s economy to more market-based competition and international trade, in the latest sign of strong Chinese interest in ending a multi-billion-dollar trade war with the United States.

Senior American officials are scheduled to come to Beijing in the coming days for trade talks, with Chinese officials then heading for Washington the following week in an attempt to wrap up a deal.

But Chinese officials have an extra incentive in pledging to loosen their hold over the world’s No. 2 economy, and not just to the Trump administration. In addition to a trade war that is hitting the country’s exporters, China’s economy has also been hurt by private sector business leaders who have become increasingly cautious in recent months about making new investments.

The economy has slowed, creating a self-reinforcing cycle of skepticism that further private investments will be profitable. State-owned enterprises have claimed a growing share of the loans available in the economy, a sign that the government may be crowding out the private businesses that could drive future growth. Xi Jinping, the country’s leader, has insisted that the Communist Party play an ever-greater role in corporate decision making and daily life.

The promises of economic opening may sound familiar. Chinese officials have said for years that they were ready to allow foreign competitors to enter their market on a more equal footing, with slow progress. The promises made over the weekend in many cases repeated pledges that have been made before, such as to open the country’s financial sector more widely to foreign investment.

The tone of remarks at this weekend’s session of the China Development Forum, the country’s premier annual economic policy conference, was nonetheless striking. It appeared to represent a coordinated effort to present an international image of China as a country moving in the direction of greater economic openness.

Han Zheng, one of the seven men who run the country as members of the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, said that China wanted to keep increasing imports. “We do not strive for a trade surplus,” he said.

Yi Gang, the governor of the central bank, said that China wanted more foreign investment. He said the government was looking for ways to let foreign investors trade derivatives and other financial instruments so as to limit their exposure to risk. Such a move could mean loosening Beijing’s controls over the value of its currency — a politically sensitive subject, and one in which Beijing has a mixed record — and Mr. Yi offered no details.

Mr. Han, Mr. Yi and other senior officials took turns extolling a new foreign investment law approved by China’s legislature on March 15, describing it as a carefully thought-out framework for making the country a more appealing place to invest.

“China never pays lip service,” said Han Wenxiu, the executive deputy director of the powerful, policy-setting General Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission. “We will honor our words and act on them.”

Foreign lawyers have described the law as vague, noting that a third of the provisions are no longer than one sentence each and that domestic companies are still covered by separate legislation.

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Yi Gang, China’s central bank governor, in Beijing on Sunday.CreditThomas Peter/Reuters

Chinese officials also emphasized their willingness to allow foreign banks, securities firms, insurers and asset management companies to buy larger stakes in their Chinese competitors.

“We can open it up more,” Fang Xinghai, a vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said at the forum. “You can compete.”

China has made similar offers ever since President Trump visited Beijing in November 2017, as part of an effort by Beijing to woo support from Wall Street during the trade war.

President Trump’s remark on Friday that the United States would keep its 25 percent tariff imposed last summer on $50 billion a year of Chinese goods drew irritation at the forum. For the United States to insist on keeping tariffs could “ruin the whole base of this negotiation,” said Zhu Min, an influential adviser on economic policy issues in Beijing and a former senior central banker in Beijing and former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

The Trump administration had consistently taken a hard line for many months on retaining the tariffs on the $50 billion a year in goods. The administration has been much more willing to discuss removing a 10 percent tariff imposed last autumn on another $200 billion a year in goods.

But corporate lobbyists in Washington have mounted a strenuous campaign for the repeal of all tariffs, including on the $50 billion in goods. Chinese officials have been hoping that campaign would be successful.

An extensive interagency effort by civil servants and political appointees produced the $50 billion list of products. They came up with product categories in which they did not want the United States to become more dependent on China. Some products were included for reasons of national security, like components for nuclear reactors and aircraft. Other products were on the list because they were deemed important for economic security, including cars using gasoline, diesel or electricity.

China needs to ramp up car exports because its home market, by far the world’s largest, has slowed sharply since last summer, That has left dozens of factories operating at half of capacity or less. Xi Guohua, the president of China’s FAW Group, a giant automaker, said at the forum that automakers and their suppliers directly or indirectly employed 12 percent of the country’s work force. Other estimates have been lower.

At a separate gathering on Friday afternoon that was organized by the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing research group, former senior American and Chinese officials also expressed worry about whether the broader relationship between China and the United States could be quickly fixed even if a trade deal were reached soon.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers warned that worries about China had become bipartisan.

“There is a better than even chance that the Democratic candidate in 2020, in speaking about foreign policy, will criticize Trump for being too conciliatory toward China,” he said.

He Yafei, a former Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs, said that a visit to the United States last September had persuaded him that the climate in Washington had been altered.

“Change has taken place, a fundamental change in the approach to take to China,” he said. He added that as he looked at the broad bilateral relationship, “my view of the future is probably the one that will neither be benign or tragic, but up and down.”

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Cruise Ship Stranded Off Norway Limps Toward Shore After Hundreds Evacuated

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LONDON — A cruise ship that set out with more than 1,300 people was finally heading to shore on Sunday after becoming stranded off Norway for nearly 24 hours with engine trouble and after a harrowing rescue operation in rough weather to evacuate hundreds of people by helicopter.

More than 890 people — 436 passengers and 458 crew members — were still on the 47,800-ton ship, the Viking Sky, as it headed toward Molde, a coastal town in western Norway, with one tugboat in front and another in the rear, the Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Centers said on Twitter. At 10 a.m. local time, the ship was about 50 miles from shore, having recovered the use of some of its engines.

Some passengers, who were airlifted one by one from the ship’s deck, arrived onshore bruised and battered, the Red Cross said. Passengers told NBC News that many had been hurt by falling objects and shattered glass as waves rocked the ship.

“Nothing similar has happened before, not in this magnitude,” Einar Knudsen, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center for Southern Norway, which was leading the rescue operation, said by phone on Sunday.

The ship was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday in Britain’s Tilbury Port on the River Thames. Many older passengers were onboard, including people from the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The vessel was traveling between two Norwegian ports, Tromso and Stavanger, when it sent a mayday alert on Saturday afternoon that several engines had failed.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the cruise ship to lose power. But it did so along a particularly dangerous part of the Norwegian coastline called Hustadvika, according to Eirik Walle, a coordinator for the southern rescue center.

Five helicopters and several other vessels were involved in the rescue effort. (According to local reports, two helicopters also helped a cargo ship on Saturday, the Hagland Captain, which was in Norwegian waters when it sent an SOS message saying it, too, had “engine problems.” The crew members were evacuated.)

Rough weather — high winds and 26-foot waves — hampered the effort to evacuate the passengers of the Viking Sky, which began around 2 p.m. local time on Saturday. At least three passengers had sustained serious injuries.

“Currently, we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident,” a spokesman for Viking Cruises, which operates the ship, said by email. He added that they were all receiving medical care in Norway and that some had already been discharged.

The Red Cross said on Sunday that several of the rescued passengers had suffered cuts or broken bones. “Many are also traumatized by what they have experienced, and need to be taken care of when they land,” the statement said.

Video footage shared by the cruise ship passengers on social media showed a terrifying ordeal as the ship swayed and furniture, plants and people were sent sliding across the floor. Other footage depicted hundreds of people strapped in fluorescent life jackets as water rushed passed their feet inside the ship.

“The ship is rocking and rolling but at anchor,” Alexus Sheppard, a passenger, told The New York Times on Saturday after having waited to be evacuated for six hours. “Everyone is calm, except when we get rolled by a big wave,” she said.

Others commended the ship’s crew members, who gave water to the passengers and made them sandwiches.

One couple, Allen and Susan Dollberg of Novato, Calif., spoke on Sunday to NRK, the Norwegian government-owned broadcaster, about their experience.

“At first we took it lightly,” Mr. Dollberg said. “We thought we would be able to to make it through that water.” But he added, “Then suddenly the alarms went off that we needed to evacuate ship.”

Ms. Dollberg said, “We looked at each other and said, ‘This is really happening.’ ”

“Everything was breaking, furniture, glassware,” she said. “The closet doors were banging back and forth.” She added, “When we got the signal to evacuate, there was no time to think about getting important things like passports.”

The couple said they still had friends aboard the ship, saying it had been “a rough night for them.” But Ms. Dollberg praised the rescue operation: “The crew, the Norwegian people and the rescue operation have been stellar.”

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The Norwegian cargo vessel the Hagland Captain on Sunday. It, too, had engine trouble off the west coast of Norway the day before, and its crew was rescued by helicopter, according to local reports.CreditSvein Ove Ekornesvag/EPA, via Shutterstock

On Sunday, the operation seemed under control despite the challenging weather, including strong currents, heavy winds, and high waves.

“The ship has been turned from a westward to an eastward position with the help of two tugs,” Mr. Knudsen said. “It’s moving at a speed of 8 knots,” he added, with three of its four engines now working.

The cause of the ship’s engine failure was unknown, Torstein Hagen, the Norwegian founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, which has its headquarters in Switzerland, told local news outlets on Sunday.

He also said that the passengers would be compensated. “They will get their money back,” he said, adding, “They will also have a letter from me, and be invited back again.”

Mr. Hagen told the newspaper VG Sunday: “What happened today is among the worst I ever experienced. But as it seems to all end well, I’ve got to say we have been lucky. We keep doing the best we can.”

In a statement on Sunday, Viking Cruises said, “The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today.”

It also said that the company’s next sailing, which had been scheduled to embark on March 27, had been canceled. “Guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. We do not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time,” the statement said.

The Viking Sky was expected to arrive in Molde around 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, but Mr. Knudsen, the spokesman for the rescue operation, said that the bad weather made the exact time hard to predict.

“There’s strong current, heavy winds, and waves between five and eight meters high. It’s impossible to say,” he said.

The cruise ship industry has suffered a number of disasters in the past decade, including the sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012 and the deadly fire of the Norman Atlantic in 2014, as well as setbacks such as outbreaks of illness and onboard drug raids.

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Cambodia Faces Major Economic Blow as E.U. Weighs Ending Trade Deal

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BANGKOK — Cambodia faces a serious blow to its economy as the European Union investigates the government’s deteriorating human rights record and considers revoking a special trading deal with the country.

For 17 years, Cambodia has benefited from preferential access to the European Union, its biggest trading partner, under a program called Everything but Arms, which allows what the bloc calls “vulnerable developing countries” to pay fewer or no duties on all their exports to the bloc, except weapons and ammunition. The trading deal has contributed to a period of rapid economic growth in Cambodia.

But the program stipulates that countries meet international norms of human rights and democracy. Instead, Cambodia has engaged in one of its harshest waves of repression in recent years, actions that have prompted the European Union to consider ejecting the country from the program.

The bloc has said that the Cambodian government has engaged in “serious and systematic violations of core human rights and labor rights,” and in February it set in motion an 18-month process that could lead to the suspension of Cambodia’s preferential status under the Everything But Arms program.

Last week, senior officials from the European Union visited the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, in the first scheduled talks under the formal suspension process. It will include six months of monitoring and talks, then a further six months during which the commission will reach its final decision. Any withdrawal would take another six months.

In 2017, Cambodia sold $5.8 billion of goods to the European Union, about 40 percent of the country’s total exports.

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The government of Prime Minister Hun Sen has cracked down on independent news media, most notably the forced closing of The Cambodia Daily in 2017.CreditOmar Havana for The New York Times

Since gaining access to the European market in 2001, the textile industry has grown rapidly and now employs about 700,000 people. Most are women, and their wages are often the main source of financial support for families in poor villages around Cambodia.

Sebastian Strangio, a Southeast Asia expert and author of the historical study “Hun Sen’s Cambodia,” said that access to Everything but Arms and similar programs had been “vital in the development of Cambodia’s garment and apparel manufacturing sector — by far the country’s largest source of export revenue.”

The government of Prime Minister Hun Sen has dissolved the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, and jailed and then released the party’s leader, Kem Sokha, causing other party members to flee overseas. The authorities have also cracked down on independent news media, most notably with the forced closing ofThe Cambodia Daily; harassed local rights defenders and land activists; and curtailed rights to free expression and assembly.

Those actions, effectively resulting in the imposition of one-party rule, contributed to the European Union’s investigation.

“It should be clear that today’s move is neither a final decision nor the end of the process,” the European Union trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said in February when the suspension process was announced. “But the clock is now officially ticking, and we need to see real action soon.”

The visit by the European Union delegation, and the process of suspension, has served to fire Mr. Hun Sen’s longstanding resentment of what he calls the interference of Western countries on issues of human rights and democracy.

Lao Mong Hay, a leading political analyst in Cambodia, said, “Hun Sen is very determined not to trade what he calls national sovereignty and independence for foreign aid.”

Mr. Hun Sen, center right, in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, this month, has said of the European Union’s move: “I have already said that if they give us preferential access, it won’t make us rich. If they withdraw it from us, it won’t make us dead.”CreditTang Chhin Sothy/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

He added that the prime minister was engaging in his “classic strategy to negotiate from strength, while wearing down his interlocutors.”

Mr. Hun Sen did not meet the European delegation. During the officials’ visit, he toured a local factory and expressed defiance about the suspension process.

“I have nothing to be afraid of in talking about this,” he said. “Who is doing the monitoring? I have already said that if they give us preferential access, it won’t make us rich. If they withdraw it from us, it won’t make us dead.”

In January, referring to the ramifications of the end of access to the program, he warned the European Union: “If you want the opposition dead, just cut it. If you want the opposition alive, don’t do it, and come and hold talks together.”

In what seemed a provocative move in the week before the delegation’s visit, a government-friendly court in Phnom Penh issued indictments against eight opposition members who fled the country last year. They had been talking of returning to Cambodia, but the indictment effectively prevented their return.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said, “Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government have no one but themselves to blame for their predicament.”

“There is still hope as the E.B.A. decision deadline approaches,” Mr. Robertson said, referring to the Everything but Arms agreement, “the Cambodian government will finally look over the cliff and realize it doesn’t want to go that way — and come back to the bargaining table on human rights issues with the E.U.”

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DealBook Special: Everything You Need to Know About the Lyft I.P.O.

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Good Sunday morning, and welcome to a special edition of the DealBook Briefing, where we’ll take a deep dive into Lyft’s upcoming public offering. It’s the first of many decacorns about to go public. (Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.)

Lyft plans to make its public market debut in the coming week. The car sharing company’s I.P.O. will be the first of many highly valued tech companies that are expected to hit American stock exchanges this year.

Uber, Slack, Postmates and Pinterest have all filed documents with the S.E.C. to list shares. Palantir, Peloton and possibly Airbnb are expected to follow later this year.

America’s most successful start-ups have remained off-limits to most investors for years:

• Venture capital cash allowed America’s current wave of unicorns to eschew the public markets — and the spotlight that comes with them.

• That means a large portion of investors have been unable to buy a slice of the fastest-growing start-ups.

With Lyft’s I.P.O., that’s about to change, which explains much of the excitement it is generating. Here’s your cheat sheet for the offering.

____________________________

Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Stephen Grocer in New York and edited by Jamie Condliffe in London.

____________________________

Founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in 2007, Lyft was initially called Zimride and focused on pooling riders for long-distance trips. In 2012, Mr. Green and Mr. Zimmer renamed the company Lyft and shifted the business toward providing short trips, mimicking taxi rides.

Here’s how it sizes up today:

Lyft gave 18.6 million people at least one ride in the last quarter of 2018, up from 6.6 million in late 2016.

It has a 39 percent share of the United States ride-sharing market, based on estimates by the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, which is an investor in Lyft. That is up from 22 percent in 2016. But Lyft has been offering discounts to riders ahead of its offering, and the company warned: “We believe that much of the growth in our rider base and the number of drivers on our platform is attributable to our paid marketing initiatives.”

Lyft only operates in the U.S. and Canada, unlike Uber, which has operations across the globe.

But it has matched its rival’s innovation, by developing self-driving car technology and expanding into short-term bike and scooter rentals.

Lyft will list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker of, er, “LYFT.”

The company expects to be valued at as much as $23 billion. It plans to sell about 35.4 million shares, including the additional shares allotted to the underwriters, at between $62 to $68 a piece. At the high-end of that range, it will raise $2.4 billion.

That’s well above the $15.1 billion that private investors valued it at during a financing round in June.

And it would make it one of the largest I.P.O.s in the past 10 years. At a $23 billion valuation, Lyft’s offering would rank as the fifth largest since the financial crisis, and among the largest ever for American technology start-ups — only Facebook’s I.P.O. in 2012 would be larger.

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JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Jefferies are the lead underwriters of the I.P.O. for Lyft. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the top underwriters of tech I.P.O.s recently, are both working on Uber’s offering.

In all, Lyft will have 29 underwriters for its I.P.O., 13 (or 45 percent) of which are firms owned or led by women, minorities and military veterans. By comparison, such firms accounted for 30 percent of the underwriters Facebook selected for its I.P.O. and 14 percent for Snap’s.

After going public, the company will have two classes of stock: class A shares, which carry one vote each, and class B shares, which carry 20 votes. Lyft plans to sell only class A shares in the offering.

Lyft’s two founders will hold the Class B shares. That means that Mr. Green, the C.E.O., and Mr. Zimmer, the president, will own roughly 5 percent of the company’s outstanding stock but control nearly 49 percent of its voting shares.

This is quite normal in Silicon Valley. Facebook and Google went public with a dual-class structure that gave outside shareholders one vote per share and insiders 10 votes per share. Snap went further: It issued only nonvoting shares during its 2017 I.P.O.

But the practice is increasingly controversial among governance experts. Kenneth Bertsch, the executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, said in a letter to Lyft’s outside board members: “The principle of one-share, one-vote is a foundation of good corporate governance and equitable treatment of investors.”

Companies with dual-class stock structures outperformed those with a single stock structure in recent years, according to some studies. But prior to 2010, studies show, such companies didn’t perform as well.

Lyft is growing quickly. Its revenue more than doubled to $2.16 billion last year from 2017.

Its losses are also increasing, though not nearly as quickly. The company reported a loss of $911 million last year, up from $688 million in 2017. Total costs and expenses were $3.1 billion in 2018, up 77 percent from $1.8 billion in 2017.

Uber’s losses are smaller in percentage terms. Lyft’s rival, which has disclosed its finances for several years even though it is not public, said in February that it lost $1.8 billion in 2018 on net revenue of $11.3 billion.

Bookings, which represent fares less taxes, tolls and tips, surpassed $8 billion last year for Lyft, 76 percent more than in 2017. (In 2018, Uber increased its bookings to $50 billion, up 45 percent from 2017.)

Lyft plans to funnel some future profits into ethical investing. In its pitch to investors, it says it expects “to invest the greater of 1% of our profits or $50 million annually toward our social impact efforts.”

The risk factor section of any I.P.O. prospectus acts as a warning label for investors. Lyft’s is no different, but it offers a discussion of regulatory and data security issues that could become a recurring theme in this year’s I.P.O.s.

Rivals: The company faces a long list of competitors on several fronts. Uber, Gett (along with its acquisition Juno) and Via are its main ride-sharing rivals, along with regular taxi companies and automotive manufacturers, such as BMW, that are looking to enter the sector. Its bike and scooter sharing business faces competition from Lime, Bird and Uber’s acquisition Jump. And Waymo, Apple, Baidu, Uber and a number of other tech and auto companies compete with it on autonomous vehicles.

Regulation: Lyft says its industry is “rapidly evolving and increasingly regulated.” It warns investors that it has “been subject to intense regulatory pressure from state and municipal regulatory authorities across the United States and Canada, and a number of them have imposed limitations on or attempted to ban ride sharing.”

Labor: Lyft’s million-plus drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Legal actions that classify them as employees “could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations,” the company says.

Autonomous driving: Among the biggest risks involved in the push to driverless cars is getting beaten in the race. The first companies to offer autonomous ride sharing “are expected to have long-term advantages compared with traditional non-autonomous ride sharing offerings,” Lyft says.

For Lyft’s current shareholders and employees, the I.P.O. could provide a windfall. Here’s a rundown of who stands to gain.

Mr. Green and Mr. Zimmer will hold stakes in the company that are set to be worth $570 million and $390 million, respectively.

The Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is Lyft’s biggest shareholder, with a 13 percent stake. At $68 a share, its holdings would be valued at $2.1 billion. It will own 11.6 percent of Lyft’s stock after the I.P.O.

General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft in 2016. That stake could be worth as much as $1.27 billion at the time of the I.P.O.

The fund giant Fidelity is Lyft’s third largest shareholder. Its stake could be worth as much as $1.26 billion.

Alphabet owns 12,828,964 shares, most of them purchased by its venture capital arm, CapitalG. That stake is worth $870 million at the high end of the range.

The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz was among the earliest investors in Lyft. At $68 a share, the firm’s stake will be valued at just over $1 billion.

Governments and money managers have made a push to improve gender diversity on corporate boards. Last fall, California, where Lyft is headquartered, became the first state to require its publicly held corporations to include women on their boards.

Lyft will have three women on its board:

Valerie Jarrett. The former senior adviser to President Barack Obama has been on Lyft’s board since July 2017.

Maggie Wilderotter. The former chief executive of the telecom company Frontier Communications joined Lyft’s board in May 2018.

Ann Miura-Ko. The co-founder of Floodgate Fund, a venture capital firm, has served on the board since June 2016.

Rounding out the board of directors are: its chairman, Sean Aggarwal, of Soar Capital; Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz; David Lawee of CapitalG; and Hiroshi Mikitani of Rakuten.

Lyft and Uber are unlike any other businesses, Shira Ovide of Bloomberg Opinion writes. That “makes it difficult for potential investors to feel confident that they’re paying the right price given the potential reward and the potential risk that the on-demand ride business isn’t financially viable or as large as optimists believe.”

Lyft’s investors “will need to strap themselves in for what may be long periods of rather ugly numbers,” according to Heard on the Street’s Dan Gallagher. That’s because “decacorns tend to share two characteristics: plenty of money and a propensity to spend it in a race to build up share.”

“Investors may still want to decide between” Lyft and Uber, argues Richard Beales of Breakingviews. “If their fear of missing out allows them to look past the absence of foreseeable profit at either company, though, it’s hard to see any sensible course other than to put money on both.”

“The last time a fast-growing, lossmaking tech company tried this hard to persuade Wall Street to judge it by its own measure of profits, things didn’t end well,” the FT’s Richard Waters writes. He is referring to Groupon.

An I.P.O. prospectus often features an idealistic, sometimes corny, letter from the company’s founders about their vision for the firm. Here are a couple of choice cuts from Lyft’s letter:

“The Y in Lyft. The why in what Lyft is doing is most important to us, as well as the cities and communities we serve, and it will always be our company’s North Star. Lyft’s mission is to: improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.”

“Lyft has the opportunity to deliver one of the most significant shifts to society since the advent of the car. We do not take that lightly, and we intend to lead this shift with integrity, humanity and strong execution.”

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you on Monday.

You can find live updates throughout the week at nytimes.com/dealbook.

We’d love your feedback. Please email thoughts and suggestions to business@nytimes.com.

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Cruise Ship Near Norway With Nearly 1,400 Passengers Is Being Evacuated

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A cruise ship with nearly 1,400 passengers and crew members lost engine power in heavy winds and waves near the coast of Norway on Saturday, injuring several people and prompting a painstaking, hourslong evacuation, the authorities said.

The evacuation of the ship, the Viking Sky, began around 2 p.m. local time and stretched into the darkness past midnight, at which point only 180 of the 1,373 people on board had been removed, said Per Fjeld, a spokesman for Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Southern Norway, which was conducting the operation.

When helicopters reached the ship, rescue personnel were lowered to remove passengers by winch one at a time. Filled with 10 to 15 people, the helicopters then returned to land.

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Rescued passengers being helped from a helicopter in Hustadvika, Norway.CreditOdd Roar Lange/NTB Scanpix, via Associated Press

The images showed the Viking Sky listing in the midst of whipping winds and white-capped waves. Water could be seen rushing onto the ship and furniture sliding from one side to another.

“The evacuation is very slow,” Alexus Sheppard, who had been waiting to be evacuated for six hours, said in an interview from aboard the ship.

“The ship is rocking and rolling but at anchor,” she said. “Everyone is calm, except when we get rolled by a big wave.”

A spokesman for Viking described the injuries as not life-threatening but did not answer questions seeking more information. The spokesman said the Sky was not sinking, despite photos and videos showing water on the ship.

“The people on board the ship are safe, though it’s not a pleasant cruise for them any longer,” Mr. Fjeld said. “Those who are on the ship, there’s no real hurry. They are not in any danger or anything like that.”

The crew on the 47,800-ton ship, which was traveling from Tromso to Stavanger in Norway, sounded a mayday around 2 p.m. local time near the city of Molde. Mr. Fjeld said that at that time, only one of the ship’s four engines was working.

The Norwegian cargo vessel Hagland Captain also foundered in heavy seas. Its crew had to be evacuated.CreditSvein Ove Ekornesvag/EPA, via Shutterstock

It was not immediately clear what caused the cruise ship to lose power. Local police said the crew feared that the ship could run aground, according to The Associated Press, but Mr. Fjeld said that as of Saturday evening, that was no longer a danger.

“That was a situation that was rather critical from the start, but it managed to move away from the dangerous part of the coast,” he said.

The Viking spokesman said the Viking Sky was “proceeding on its own power.” Mr. Fjeld said that three of the ship’s four engines were working and that the ship was moving slowly south.

People who had been flown off the ship were being put up in hotels, and Viking would arrange return flights for all guests, the spokesman said.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities and all operational procedures were followed in line with international regulations,” the spokesman said. “In addition, Viking has dispatched an operational task force, including the company’s owner, to Molde.”

Mr. Fjeld said the heavy winds and poor weather also led a cargo ship to sound a mayday, and rescuers had to pluck nine people from that ship on Saturday.

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Boeing Was ‘Go, Go, Go’ to Beat Airbus With the 737 Max

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Boeing faced an unthinkable defection in the spring of 2011. American Airlines, an exclusive Boeing customer for more than a decade, was ready to place an order for hundreds of new, fuel-efficient jets from the world’s other major aircraft manufacturer, Airbus.

The chief executive of American called Boeing’s leader, W. James McNerney Jr., to say a deal was close. If Boeing wanted the business, it would need to move aggressively, the airline executive, Gerard Arpey, told Mr. McNerney.

To win over American, Boeing ditched the idea of developing a new passenger plane, which would take a decade. Instead, it decided to update its workhorse 737, promising the plane would be done in six years.

The 737 Max was born roughly three months later.

The competitive pressure to build the jet — which permeated the entire design and development — now threatens the reputation and profits of Boeing, after two deadly crashes of the 737 Max in less than five months. Prosecutors and regulators are investigating whether the effort to design, produce and certify the Max was rushed, leading Boeing to miss crucial safety risks and to underplay the need for pilot training.

While investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash in Ethiopia this month and one in Indonesia in October, they are focused on a newly installed piece of software designed to avoid stalls. The software was meant to compensate for bigger, more fuel-efficient engines and ensure the plane flew the same way as an earlier version.

Months behind Airbus, Boeing had to play catch-up. The pace of the work on the 737 Max was frenetic, according to current and former employees who spoke with The New York Times. Some spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Engineers were pushed to submit technical drawings and designs at roughly double the normal pace, former employees said. Facing tight deadlines and strict budgets, managers quickly pulled workers from other departments when someone left the Max project. Although the project had been hectic, current and former employees said they had finished it feeling confident in the safety of the plane.

The specter of Boeing’s chief rival was constant. Airbus had been delivering more jets than Boeing for several years. And losing the American account would have been gutting, costing the manufacturer billions in lost sales and potentially thousands of jobs.

“They weren’t going to stand by and let Airbus steal market share,” said Mike Renzelmann, an engineer who retired in 2016 from Boeing’s flight control team on the 737 Max.

Image
The successful end of a 2014 test flight of the Airbus A320neo. When Airbus announced plans for the plane in 2010, a Boeing executive told employees that it posed no threat.CreditEric Cabanis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Boeing didn’t seem bothered at first by the A320neo, the fuel-efficient plane that Airbus announced in 2010.

At a meeting in January of the next year, James F. Albaugh, the chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, told employees that Airbus would probably go over budget creating a plane that carriers didn’t really want, according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The Times.

Mr. Albaugh boasted that carriers were already paying more for Boeing’s single-aisle jet than the Airbus version. He didn’t see the need to strike now — Boeing could wait until the end of the decade to produce a new plane from scratch, the executive said.

“I don’t think we need to get too spun up over the fact that they’re making some sales,” he said.

For decades, Airbus was barely on Boeing’s radar. A consortium started in 1970 by several European countries, it was slow to compete globally. Boeing, founded in 1916, dominated the passenger-jet market with its 737 midsize jet and the 747 jumbo jet.

Then came John Leahy, an American who rose through the ranks to become the chief Airbus salesman in 1994. Mr. Leahy was relentless. Once, the chief executive of an airline got sick just as a deal was about to close. Mr. Leahy traveled to the man’s house, and the executive signed the papers while wearing his bathrobe.

“Boeing thought we were a flash in the pan,” Mr. Leahy said in an interview. “But I thought there was no reason we couldn’t have 50 percent of the market.”

John Leahy in 2013, when he was chief operating officer of Airbus. “Boeing thought we were a flash in the pan,” he said in an interview.CreditGuillaume Horcajuelo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Leahy scored a major coup in 1999 when JetBlue decided to launch with a fleet composed entirely of Airbus A320s. In the years that followed, more low-cost carriers around the world, like easyJet, placed big orders, too.

Airbus had pulled ahead of Boeing by 2005. “Boeing has struggled with the development work needed to take the company into the 21st century,” Tim Clark, president of Emirates, the Dubai airline, said that year. Airbus, he said, “has been braver, more brazen.”

In 2008, Airbus delivered 483 airplanes, while Boeing delivered just 375. Three years later at the Paris Air Show, Airbus took orders for 730 aircraft, worth some $72.2 billion, with its new fuel-efficient version dominating.

“Boeing was just completely arrogant in dismissing the viability of the A320,” said Scott Hamilton, managing director of the Leeham Company, an aviation consulting firm.

As American considered placing its largest-ever aircraft order exclusively with Airbus in the spring of 2011, executives at the carrier initially didn’t believe Boeing thought that the threat was real, according to a person involved with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Airbus had a team camped out in a suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, near American’s headquarters. Mr. Leahy traveled to Dallas and dined with the American chief, Mr. Arpey, at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, a five-star hotel. Boeing visited less frequently, according to several people involved in the sales process.

With American pondering which planes to buy, Boeing made a business decision. A former senior Boeing official said the company opted to build the Max because it would be far quicker, easier and cheaper than starting from scratch, and would provide almost as much fuel savings for airlines.

Eventually, American decided to makes deals with both Boeing and Airbus, buying hundreds of jets from each. Mr. Arpey called Mr. McNerney again, this time reading from a script to carefully calibrate his words. First, he congratulated the Boeing chief on the deal, according to the person with knowledge of the discussions. Then he broke the news that American would also place an order with Airbus.

One of the early Max planes, in 2015. During the model’s development, one team at times produced 16 technical drawings a week, double the normal rate, a former Boeing designer said.CreditTed S. Warren/Associated Press

Inside Boeing, the race was on. Roughly six months after the project’s launch, engineers were already documenting the differences between the Max and its predecessor, meaning they already had preliminary designs for the Max — a fast turnaround, according to an engineer who worked on the project.

“The timeline was extremely compressed,” the engineer said. “It was go, go, go.”

One former designer on the team working on flight controls for the Max said the group had at times produced 16 technical drawings a week, double the normal rate. “They basically said, ‘We need something now,’” the designer said.

A technician who assembles wiring on the Max said that in the first months of development, rushed designers were delivering sloppy blueprints to him. He was told that the instructions for the wiring would be cleaned up later in the process, he said.

His internal assembly designs for the Max, he said, still include omissions today, like not specifying which tools to use to install a certain wire, a situation that could lead to a faulty connection. Normally such blueprints include intricate instructions.

Despite the intense atmosphere, current and former employees said, they felt during the project that Boeing’s internal quality checks ensured the aircraft was safe.

In a statement, Boeing said: “The Max program launched in 2011. It was offered to customers in September 2012. Firm configuration of the airplane was achieved in July 2013. The first completed 737 Max 8 rolled out of the Renton factory in November 2015.”

The company added, “A multiyear process could hardly be considered rushed.”

At the heart of Boeing’s push was a focus on creating a plane that was essentially the same as earlier 737 models, important for getting the jet certified quickly. It would also help limit the training that pilots would need, cutting down costs for airlines.

Rick Ludtke, an engineer who helped design the 737 Max cockpit and spent 19 years at Boeing, said the company had set a ground rule for engineers: Limit changes to hopefully avert a requirement that pilots spend time training in a flight simulator before flying the Max.

“Any designs we created could not drive any new training that required a simulator,” Mr. Ludtke said. “That was a first.”

When upgrading the cockpit with a digital display, he said, his team wanted to redesign the layout of information to give pilots more data that were easier to read. But that might have required new pilot training.

So instead, they simply recreated the decades-old gauges on the screen. “We just went from an analog presentation to a digital presentation,” Mr. Ludtke said. “There was so much opportunity to make big jumps, but the training differences held us back.”

“This program was a much more intense pressure cooker than I’ve ever been in,” he added. “The company was trying to avoid costs and trying to contain the level of change. They wanted the minimum change to simplify the training differences, minimum change to reduce costs, and to get it done quickly.”

Boeing said in a statement that the 2011 decision to build the Max had beaten out other options, including developing a new airplane.

“The decision had to offer the best value to customers, including operating economics as well as timing, which was clearly a strong factor,” the company said. “Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.”

Boeing said its Max decision in 2011 “had to offer the best value to customers, including operating economics as well as timing, which was clearly a strong factor.” It also defended its commitment to safety.CreditLindsey Wasson/Reuters

Months before Boeing’s announcement of the Max, the commercial airplanes executive, Mr. Albaugh, critiqued the decision by Airbus to refit the A320 with bigger engines, which could alter the aerodynamics and require big changes to the plane.

“It’s going to be a design change that will ripple through the airplane,” Mr. Albaugh said in the meeting with employees.

“I think they’ll find it more challenging than they think it will be,” he told them. “When they get done, they’ll have an airplane that might be as good as the Next Generation 737,” a plane that Boeing had launched in 1997.

But a main selling point of the new A320 was its fuel-efficient engines. To match Airbus, Boeing needed to mount the Max with its own larger and powerful new engines.

Just as Mr. Albaugh had predicted for Airbus, the decision created a cascade of changes. The bigger engines altered the aerodynamics of the plane, making it more likely to pitch up in some circumstances.

To offset that possibility, Boeing added the new software in the Max, known as MCAS, which would automatically push the nose down if it sensed the plane pointing up at a dangerous angle. The goal was to avoid a stall. Because the system was supposed to work in the background, Boeing believed it didn’t need to brief pilots on it, and regulators agreed. Pilots weren’t required to train in simulators.

The push for automation was a philosophical shift for Boeing, which for decades wanted to keep pilots in control of the planes as much as possible. Airbus, by comparison, tended to embrace technology, putting computers in control. Pilots who preferred the American manufacturer even had a saying: “If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going.”

The new software system is now a focus of investigators who are trying to determine what went wrong in the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air tragedy in Indonesia. A leading theory in the Lion Air crash is that the system was receiving bad data from a faulty sensor, triggering an unrecoverable nose dive. All 737 Max jets around the world are grounded, and Boeing has given no estimate of when they might return to flight.

In Renton, Wash., where the 737 Max is produced in a 1.1-million-square-foot plant, the mere possibility that Boeing engineering contributed to the crashes has cast a pall over the factory. After the Lion Air crash, Boeing offered trauma counseling to engineers who had worked on the plane.

“People in my group are devastated by this,” said Mr. Renzelmann, the former Boeing technical engineer. “It’s a heavy burden.”

In a statement, Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, said he had spent time in Renton recently and “saw firsthand the pride our people feel in their work and the pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies.”

Boeing is working on an MCAS update that is expected to roll out by April. The company also intends to make a previously optional safety indicator in its cockpit standard in new Max jets. The business is increasingly under pressure, as airlines reconsider their orders and ask for compensation.

But work in Renton is continuing apace. Boeing now makes a record 52 Maxes a month, and aims to reach 57 by April. As fuselages and plane skeletons continued to chug into the factory by train this past week, crews worked around the clock to make thousands more.

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Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance. ‘There’s No Precedent in American History’

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At the heart of the “Medicare for all” proposals championed by Senator Bernie Sanders and many Democrats is a revolutionary idea: Abolish private health insurance.

Proponents want to sweep away our complex, confusing, profit-driven mess of a health care system and start fresh with a single government-run insurer that would cover everyone.

But doing away with an entire industry would also be profoundly disruptive. The private health insurance business employs at least a half a million people, covers about 250 million Americans, and generates roughly a trillion dollars in revenues. Its companies’ stocks are a staple of the mutual funds that make up millions of Americans’ retirement savings.

Such a change would shake the entire health care system, which makes up a fifth of the United States economy, as hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and pharmaceutical companies would have to adapt to a new set of rules. Most Americans would have a new insurer — the federal government — and many would find the health insurance stocks in their retirement portfolios much less valuable.

“We’re talking about changing flows of money on just a huge scale,” said Paul Starr, a sociology professor at Princeton University and author of “The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry.”

“There’s no precedent in American history that compares to this,” he said.

Economists have begun wrestling with basic questions about what this sort of change would mean and disagreeing over whether it would cost more or less than the country’s current health care system.

No one has examined the full economic impact of such plans on jobs, wages, investors, doctors and hospitals — or the health insurance companies themselves. Such an undertaking would be difficult, given the vagueness of key parts of the proposals being discussed and the wide-ranging possible effects.

There are few international analogues to the Medicare for all proposals, but Canada, which provides similar doctor and hospital benefits for its residents, probably comes closest. Even there, people buy private insurance for benefits that are not covered by the government program, like prescription drugs and dental care.

Most other countries with single-payer systems allow a more expansive, competing role for private coverage. In Britain, for example, everyone is covered by a public system, but people can pay extra for insurance that gives them access to private doctors. Most countries in Europe don’t have single-payer systems, but instead allow private insurance companies to compete under extremely tight regulations.

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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was joined by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to announce a Medicare for All bill in September 2017.CreditAndrew Harnik/Associated Press

Legislators writing the bills acknowledge that people in the health insurance industry would lose their jobs. Proposals in the House and Senate would set aside large funds to help cushion the blow to displaced workers, offering them training, benefits, and income supports.

The health insurance industry is now composed of a mix of for-profit and nonprofit companies of various sizes. About 155 million Americans get private health coverage through an employer, but the reach of the industry extends into publicly funded insurance programs.

A third of Americans enrolled in Medicare, which insures older and disabled people, and four-fifths of those in Medicaid, which covers the poor and disabled, now get their benefits from a private insurer.

Simply talk of Medicare for all makes investors jittery. Shares of the large publicly held insurance companies, including Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth, fell when Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, introduced her bill in late February, but have largely rebounded.

The effective takeover of the health insurance industry in the United States would mean a huge hit to the companies’ stocks, although the companies, which have additional lines of business, would most likely survive.

While the bills would give relief to insurance industry workers, they would provide no such compensation for investors. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry and many other health care industries vociferously oppose these plans and plan to spend heavily in fighting them.

Many supporters of this approach see elimination of private insurance as a key feature, not a bug, meant to improve the program’s efficiency and equity by streamlining the health care system and weakening profit motives. With a single insurer covering every patient, hospitals and doctors could spend less time and money complying with differing policies, negotiating contracts, and filing forms to get paid.

“It’s worth it,” said Adam Gaffney, the president of Physicians for a National Health Program, which supports single-payer health care and helped design Ms. Jayapal’s bill. “Because we are not going to get to true universal health care without the greater efficiency of a single-payer system.”

This idea — once at the edge of Democratic politics — has moved to the mainstream of the debate among the party’s numerous presidential contenders. Mr. Sanders, independent of Vermont, ran on the idea in his 2016 campaign, and now five 2020 Democratic aspirants have co-sponsored one of the two Medicare-for-all bills.

Senators Cory Booker of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts co-sponsored Mr. Sanders’s bill in the last Congress. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of New York is a co-sponsor on this year’s House Medicare for All Act.

The concept, in broad strokes, appeals to many Democratic voters. But overall support diminishes by a third or more when people are told that the plan would involve eliminating private insurance, raising taxes, or requiring waits to obtain medical care, according to surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

And the approach is a big departure from the Democrats’ strategy in 2010, when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. That law expanded coverage, but did so largely using private insurance carriers. It set up marketplaces for Americans who didn’t have coverage through work to buy insurance, usually with federal subsidies, and broadened access to the Medicaid program for the poor.

Obamacare was designed to build on the current system, patching its holes while minimizing disruption and avoiding the fierce opposition from industry that helped sink earlier attempts to change the health care system.

But 107 Democratic House members are now co-sponsoring a Medicare for all bill written by Ms. Jayapal. Mr. Sanders, whose update of his bill is expected in the next few weeks, argues that only a single-payer approach would resolve problems he sees as inherent in private insurance. Both proposals are clear that a single, government-run insurer would replace the private sector, but they are less detailed about exactly how the government program would pay for medical care.

Their plans would include nearly every doctor and hospital in the United States and provide generous benefits, including dental care and hearing aids, and would not require patients to pay any out-of-pocket cost to see a doctor. The federal government, of course, would have to cover those benefits, and would need to raise taxes to pay for them.

Gerald Friedman, a labor economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who was close to Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, estimated then that it could reduce the nation’s health care spending by $6 trillion over a decade, while the left-leaning Urban Institute said it might increase the overall bill by nearly $7 trillion.

Both Mr. Sanders and Ms. Jayapal said the switch to a government insurer would mean no loss in access to health care that private insurance provides.

“There is a reason why the United States is the only major country on earth that allows private insurance companies to profit off of health care,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview. “The function of private health insurance is not to provide quality care to all, it is to make as much money as possible for the private insurance companies, working with the drug companies.”

There are sharp disagreements among Democrats in Congress over whether Medicare for all or a more incremental approach is best — and presidential candidates co-sponsoring Mr. Sanders’s bill also support other, less sweeping measures.

The Medicare for All bill written by Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington currently has 108 Democratic co-sponsors.CreditSarah Silbiger/The New York Times

Ms. Harris, asked directly about getting rid of private health insurance during a CNN forum in January, answered, “Let’s eliminate all that. Let’s move on.” But after her comments were characterized as extreme, her campaign quickly clarified that, while she continued to endorse the Sanders plan, she would also support more incremental expansions of health coverage.

During her CNN forum last week, Ms. Warren said she was open to various ways to get to universal coverage. “When we talk about Medicare for all, there are a lot of different pathways,” she said. “What we’re all looking for is the lowest cost way to make sure that everybody gets covered.”

Dr. David Blumenthal, a former Obama administration official who is now chief executive of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that funds health care research, voiced concern about the prospects for the most transformative approach. “I do think it’s an uphill battle to take things away from people in the name of giving them something better,” he said.

Believers in markets argue that consumer choice and competition among private health plans improve the quality of care. Others laud private industry’s relative nimbleness compared with Medicare, which can be bureaucratic and prone to political influence.

“Private plans have been able to evolve and test new models more quickly,” said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at NORC, a research organization at the University of Chicago. “The political process slows things down.”

In a Medicare-for-all world, private insurers might evolve into contractors for the big government system. They already perform various functions for Medicare, including helping the program manage paying its bills. The industry could retain that role, or take on new responsibilities.

“The government would have to build out infrastructure if they were to shut down all the private insurance companies,” said Mark Bertolini, the former chief executive of Aetna, now part of CVS Health. “It’s not that simple pulling all that apart.”

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Sexual Assault on Flights: Experts Recommend Ways to Stay Safe and Combat It

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Airplanes, with their cramped quarters and crowded conditions, would seem improbable settings for sexual assaults, but recent news accounts show they do happen.

A Detroit-area man who was convicted of sexually assaulting a sleeping passenger during an overnight flight was sentenced to nine years in prison, and two men were charged in separate cases last year. In August, a female passenger described on Twitter how a man masturbated sitting next to her for hours.

And this week, two flight attendants for JetBlue filed a lawsuit in federal court against the airline and two of its pilots, alleging that the pilots drugged both attendants during a layover and that one of the pilots raped one of the women and a co-worker.

Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in Harrisburg, Pa., said there was every reason to believe that sexual assaults and harassment on flights had started getting increased attention thanks to the #MeToo movement and after a 2016 report that Donald J. Trump, decades before he became president, sexually assaulted a businesswoman on a flight. (He denied the allegation.)

Definitive figures about sexual assaults on flights are elusive because no clearinghouse for data exists, the figures that are collected are scattershot and sexual assaults are the most underreported of violent crimes, experts said.

The F.B.I. tracks only the cases that are reported to it, and the federal Department of Transportation says it forwards such reports to the relevant airline, not to other federal authorities.

Ayn Dietrich-Williams, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.’s Seattle field office, which started an awareness campaign about in-flight sexual assaults, said the number of such assaults reported to the bureau climbed to 63 in the 2017 fiscal year from 38 in the 2014 fiscal year. It dropped to 39 in the 2018 fiscal year.

One-fifth of flight attendants said they had received a report of passenger-on-passenger sexual assault while working on a flight, according to a 2017 survey by the Association of Flight Attendants-C.W.A. Law enforcement officials were contacted or met the plane less than half the time, the survey found.

The International Air Transport Association, an industry trade group, collects figures about disruptive passengers, a label that covers an array of behavior, including physical touching and racial slurs.

However, not every airline is an association member, not every member submits data and the filings are voluntary, making it “likely that the statistics significantly underestimate” the reports, the association said.

Investigations can also be a jurisdictional maze, depending on which agency an assault is reported to, Ms. Palumbo said. It is not unusual for victims to return home and file a report with their local police department, which might then say it does not have the authority to follow up.

“For victims and survivors, every barrier to making this report increases the likelihood that they just will give up and not report,” she said.

Considering the crowded, confined space on a plane, wouldn’t an assailant fear being caught?

Kris Macomber, an assistant professor of sociology at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., said the attacks were an extension of what women have long endured in other public spaces, such as streets, buses and subways. Any fear predators might have about getting caught is overcome by their perceived sense of control.

We also live in a “era of distraction” in which passengers watch movies, listen to music or take sleep medications, making intervention by fellow passengers less likely, Professor Macomber said.

Ms. Palumbo said attacks had been known to happen in broad daylight and to passengers in aisle seats where they would be visible to even more potential witnesses.

The F.B.I. said offenders would test victims’ boundaries by pretending to brush against them to see if they react or wake up. The agency suggested keeping the armrest down between you and your seatmates no matter how friendly they might appear.

Tammy Yard-McCracken, the owner of Personal Defense Industries in Virginia and a certified conflict communication instructor, recommended that passengers be mindful about what they divulge to strangers.

“Everything you say is information,” she said. “People don’t think about what they say in casual social settings.”

She recalled overhearing a woman tell a seatmate that the previous six months had been tough because of a divorce. “That’s intel to somebody who is target hunting,” she said.

If you want to politely end a conversation with a stranger, say you need to catch up on reading or work and take out a book or a laptop.

You could also put in earbuds, which Ms. Yard-McCracken described as “the universal signal that I’m not talking to other people.” If you are trying to ditch someone who you no longer want to talk to and signal you are going to end the chat, put in the buds and leave the music off.

If a person makes you uncomfortable or is invading your personal space, ask to be relocated, Ms. Palumbo said. Don’t hesitate to press the call button for a flight attendant or leave your seat to seek one.

Ms. Yard-McCracken recommended responding to transgressions of social norms by setting boundaries.

Ask the person to stop the intrusive behavior: “Can you please stop touching my leg?” If it persists, escalate to a “command statement,” such as, “I need you to stop touching my leg.”

Failing that, use a “statement of consequences,” such as, “If you don’t stop touching my leg, I will call a flight attendant.”

Rory Miller, a former corrections officer who has written books about self-defense, suggested calling attention to yourself.

“If you just say it loudly enough that everyone looks at you, ‘Hey you pervert, keep your hands off me,”’ he said, “everyone looks and keeps on looking. ‘Pervert’ is a magic word for self-defense.”

A Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill last year included the creation of a sexual misconduct task force.

The flight attendants’ union has spearheaded action on the issue. The union’s international president, Sara Nelson, said executives from airlines such as Alaska, United and Spirit had made it clear they have zero tolerance for sexual harassment of their staff or passengers.

She said a cultural change was needed at every level — from flight crews to air traffic controllers and airport personnel — that sexual harassment and assaults will be taken seriously.

“Ultimately, this is not going to get resolved by putting this on the victim to solve it,” Ms. Nelson said. “It really does take everyone speaking up and saying this has got to be different.”

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Mueller Speculation on TV Gives Way to Hard News. Then It’s Back to Speculation.

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The anchors and pundits vamped on Friday, filling the long hours of airtime with questions and speculation. And then — shortly after 5 p.m. — they finally had something headline worthy.

That was when the major networks and cable news outlets reported that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had completed the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and had submitted his report to Attorney General William P. Barr.

On CNN, Wolf Blitzer read aloud from a copy of Mr. Barr’s letter to Congress. On CBS, the anchor Jeff Glor broke into the network’s analysis of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament.

On Fox News, the highest-rated cable news station, the anchor Juan Williams reported the big story during the daily episode of “The Five.” “We’ve just been told that the Mueller report has been delivered to the Justice Department,” he said at 5:03.

Not long after those words were out of his mouth, the speculation started anew. The “Five” member Jesse Watters seemed to undercut the import of the breaking story, saying, “I honestly don’t think the rest of the country, outside the swamp and the Mueller partisans, cares about the Mueller report.”

After mentioning a few things that, in his view, typical citizens actually do care about, like Netflix and college basketball, Mr. Watters added, “If there was real collusion, it would have leaked by now.”

Another “Five” panelist, Dana Perino, offered commentary that was less charged. “Setting aside what it says or doesn’t say about how Russia tried to get involved, I think this report could actually be quite instructive about what we need to do to protect our elections going forward,” she said.

On this day that so many had been waiting for, Mr. Mueller stayed out of the media glare. He had issued no public comments while conducting the investigation, and even when it was all wrapped up, he did not face the cameras. All the while, through the 22 months of his inquiry, he managed to drive countless hours of onscreen discussion without setting foot in a television studio.

The news of his report followed a day of low-calorie cable fare, heavy on anticipation and light on facts, that teased the development the networks were counting on.

“It’s Friday, but is it Mueller Friday?” the CNN anchor John King sked at the start of his noon-hour show, “Inside Politics.” Around the same time, the CNN reporter Laura Jarrett noted on Twitter that Justice Department reporters at the network had hunkered down: “Breaking — DOJ beat reporters ordering pizza,” she wrote.

What seemed like a relatively slow news days decelerated further when Fox News took a moment to declare that the 94-year-old Jimmy Carter had become the oldest former living United States president in history, surpassing the first President George Bush.

Then, at last, came the news that the special counsel’s work was done.

After all the buildup, the anchors had one new development to gnaw on: the fact that, according to a Justice Department official, the Mueller report recommended no new charges. (Before the report was submitted, the special counsel had filed 199 charges against 34 people and three companies.)

On NBC, after the main news had hit, the veteran Justice Department reporter Pete Williams reported that “there will be no more indictments from the special counsel.” Others seemed reluctant to go there, at least at first. “Nobody knows anything,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough cautioned on Twitter. And the Fox News anchor Bret Baier said, “We don’t have the meat of what’s in this report at this hour.”

Appearing as a guest on Mr. Baier’s show, the Fox News host Chris Wallace said: “The fact that that investigation is over is a big milestone, even if we don’t know what the final conclusion of the special counsel was. We will have to wait and see.”

He continued: “And I do think that if — and I repeat if — it should be the president is cleared of the basic fundamental charges of the special counsel, whether it was, one, collusion or, two, obstruction of justice, that is a major victory for the president.”

And before you knew it, television was populated, as it had been earlier in the day, with talking heads spinning out various possibilities that could fill the news maw in the days to come.

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Tyson Recalls 69,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Metal Fragments Are Found

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Tyson Foods has recalled 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips after two people reported that they found pieces of metal in the product, the federal Department of Agriculture said this week.

It was the second time this year that the company had recalled some of its products.

Tyson said in a statement on its website that it was going ahead with the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We continue to investigate this matter, but currently believe it’s an isolated matter,” Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson, said on Friday.

The Agriculture Department said that no one had reported getting sick from the products. “Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a health care provider,” the department said in a statement.

The items that were recalled were all produced at the same plant in Rogers, Ark., on Nov. 30, 2018. They include 65,313 pounds of Tyson’s fully cooked Buffalo-style chicken strips and fully cooked crispy chicken strips, which are sold to retailers in 25-ounce bags. Tyson also recalled 3,780 pounds of “Spare Time” branded fully cooked Buffalo-style chicken breast strips, which are sold to retailers and correctional facilities in 20-pound boxes.

All of the packages in question have an establishment code of “P7221” and a “use by” date of Nov. 30, 2019. They were sent to distribution centers in 25 states, including Arkansas, Connecticut, New York and Texas. The full list of retail stores that received the products will be posted on the Food Safety and Inspection Service website when it is available.

Customers who may have the recalled products in their freezers should not consume them. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the department said. They can also call Tyson’s Consumer Relations Department at 866-886-8456.

In January, the company recalled 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets after pieces of “soft, blue rubber” were found in the food. In that instance, Tyson said the rubber came from part of the seal on a piece of equipment used to produce the nuggets.

Perdue, another large meat supplier, recalled 16,000 pounds of its chicken nuggets in January because of misbranding and undeclared allergens.

Food is the most common source of salmonella infection, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates is the cause of 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths every year.

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