3 Women Accuse Weinstein of Sexual Assault in Federal Suit

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In the lawsuit filed on Friday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Ms. Thompson said she first talked to Mr. Weinstein about her digital marketing platform at a meeting in his office at 375 Greenwich Street on Sept. 29, 2011. He asked if he “was allowed to flirt” with her, then caressed her leg and put his hand up her skirt as she was trying to demonstrate the product, the suit said. She moved away from him, but continued her sales pitch.

Mr. Weinstein then said he had to edit a film and asked her to meet him for a drink at 5:30 p.m. at the TriBeCa Grand to continue the conversation. At the hotel, he led her to a room, where, she said, a few minutes later he forced her onto a bed and raped her. “Thompson was fighting back, but could not outmuscle him,” the lawsuit said.

The other plaintiffs in the class-action suit are both actresses: Caitlin Dulany and Larissa Gomes. Ms. Dulany accused Mr. Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in a room at the Hotel du Cap in Cannes, France, in 1996. Ms. Gomes said Mr. Weinstein invited her to his room at the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto in 2000, ostensibly to talk about parts for her, then groped her breasts and propositioned her, saying other actresses “had no problem” having sex with him. She fled the room.

The New York Times does not normally publish the names of victims of sex crimes. Elizabeth A. Fegan, the lawyer for the three plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said they had consented to their names being published.

Their allegations follow a now-familiar script. More than 80 women, some of them famous actresses, have come forward in the last seven months to accuse Mr. Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them in hotel rooms and his offices, often during what he had said would be business meetings about films. Once one of Hollywood’s most successful producers, Mr. Weinstein has been turned by these accusations into a symbol of sexual harassment and the catalyst for the #MeToo movement.

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Getting Down Payment Help Now. Sharing Home’s Gain (or Loss) Later.

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Unison began in high-price markets like California, so most people using the program are at least in their 40s with incomes between $75,000 and $150,000. The company said it expected those numbers to fall now that it had branched into different areas.

THE PROCESS. Unison teams up with specific lenders that home buyers must work with. Applicants must qualify for a mortgage, and the home must be one that Unison wants to invest in. That generally means it has to be “typical” for its neighborhood. A McMansion on an acre plot amid more modest homes may not qualify.

The company will invest in single-family and multifamily homes with up to four units, and in townhouses and condominiums. To discourage the quick flipping of properties for a profit, Unison requres buyers to occupy the properties, but they can sell whenever they want.

THE STRUCTURE. Unison’s portion of the down payment is not a loan. No payments are made; no interest accrues. The company’s agreement with a home buyer is structured as an option contract, with its investment effectively giving it the right to buy a stake in the home at a later date, typically when it is sold or after 30 years, whichever comes first. So if the company contributes half of a down payment, it collects over a third of any appreciation in the home’s value (in addition to the original sum it invested).

A homeowner can sell at any time, but Unison absorbs a loss only after three years of ownership. Alternatively, the homeowner can buy out Unison’s share — at a price based on an independent appraisal — although that is permitted only after three years. In such instances, Unison does not share in any losses.

THE RULES. Homeowners generally cannot draw on their home equity beyond the amount of the original mortgage. And they must cover the entire cost of any renovations, although Unison credits the value the work adds to the home’s ultimate sale price. Conversely, there can be repercussions if a home is not well maintained.

In the event of default, Unison — which places liens on the properties it invests in — has the right to foreclose to protect its stake. More often, company executives said, it may step in to help settle arrears and to initiate a more orderly sale — at a price.

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Tech Was Supposed to Get Political. It’s Hanging Back in This Election.

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“I’ve just been super busy,” Mr. Altman wrote in an email, adding that he had “no idea” why others had been so quiet. A spokesman for Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder who previously showed an intense interest in politics, waved off an inquiry, saying: “Don’t really have anything new to report.”

Mr. Brin has no political thoughts to share at present, a Google spokeswoman said. Even Peter Thiel, who backed Mr. Trump when hardly anyone else in Silicon Valley would, appears not to be making any donations at the moment.

Hunter Walk, formerly with Google’s YouTube and now a venture capitalist, appeared in the 2011 video supporting Mr. Lee. “That was the beginning — and end — of my viral video career,” he said. Others in the video were Marissa Mayer, then chief executive of Yahoo, and Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter.

Mr. Walk said he was supporting Ms. Breed, the mayoral candidate who seems to have the most backing from tech. Mr. Stone said he was “usually not public about politics” but had been helping Ms. Breed “with social media strategy and expertise,” introducing her to knowledgeable people. Ms. Mayer, who could not be reached for comment, gave $500, the legal maximum, to Ms. Breed.

If tech is determined to be low key about San Francisco politics, there is an eminently practical reason: fears of a backlash.

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Book Entry: Review: ‘The Book of Why’ Examines the Science of Cause and Effect

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This lowest rung deals simply with observation — basically looking for regularities in past behavior. Professor Pearl places “present-day learning machines squarely on rung one.” While it is true that the explosion of computing power and accessible deep data sets have yielded many surprising and important results, the mechanics still operate “in much the same way that a statistician tries to fit a line to a collection of points.”

“Deep neural networks have added many layers of complexity of the fitted function, but raw data still drives the fitting process,” according to Professor Pearl. The causal revolution is what has enabled researchers to explore the higher rungs of the ladder.

The second rung of the ladder of causation moves from seeing to doing. That is, it goes from asking what happened to asking what would happen based on possible interventions. Professor Pearl notes that “many scientists have been traumatized to learn that none of the methods they learned in statistics is sufficient to articulate, let alone answer, a simple question like ‘What happens if we double the price?’” “The Book of Why” provides a detailed explanation and history of how and when a model alone can answer such questions in the absence of live experiments.

The top rung of the ladder involves something called “counterfactual” questions: What would the world be like if a different path had been taken? These are “the building blocks of moral behavior as well as scientific thought.” The ability to look backward and imagine what could have been governs our judgments on success and failure, right and wrong.

Once considered a defining characteristic of humanity, in recent decades these topics have not escaped the reach of increasingly complex modeling tools. Those tools have been applied to varied social and scientific problems, including the efficacy of medical procedures, the impact of climate change and the usefulness of social policies.

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Trump Orders a Lifeline for Struggling Coal and Nuclear Plants

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If the Trump administration were to invoke these two statutes, the move would almost certainly be challenged in federal court by natural gas and renewable energy companies, which could stand to lose market share.

Depending on what the Trump administration decides, an intervention to prop up unprofitable coal and nuclear plants could cost consumers between $311 million to $11.8 billion per year, according to a preliminary estimate by Robbie Orvis, director of energy policy design at Energy Innovation.

Some analysts have asserted that there is an environmental case for keeping the nation’s ailing nuclear plants open, since, if they closed, their carbon-free electricity would most likely be replaced by natural gas and emissions would rise. A few states, including New York and New Jersey, have offered subsidies to their struggling nuclear plants in the name of fighting climate change.

There is no environmental argument for keeping open coal plants, which are the most carbon-intensive form of power.

The leaked memo circulating within the White House does not mention climate change. Instead, it says that the loss of both coal and nuclear plants could threaten national security, given that Department of Defense installations are 99 percent dependent on the grid.

Among other things, the report asserts that natural gas pipelines are vulnerable to cyberattacks and that coal and nuclear plants are essential during extreme weather because they can keep large amounts of fuel on-hand.

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Hello, You Must Be Going: Hulu Parts With a Top Executive

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The merger mania sweeping through corporate media means that the latest reshuffling may stay in place for only so long. If Disney prevails in its bid to acquire most of 21st Century Fox, it will become Hulu’s majority owner. On the other hand, if Comcast succeeds with its rogue bid for most of 21st Century Fox, it will assume 60 percent of the company. Whatever the outcome, Hulu is likely to have a majority owner for the first time — and, with it, a new content strategy.

For the time being, the position of chief content officer has been expunged.

As Hulu has introduced a live TV service and expanded its original programming and its library of content, which now includes vintage shows like “ER” and “30 Rock,” its number of subscribers has surpassed 20 million. And yet the losses are mounting: In 2017, the company lost nearly $1 billion, a figure that will climb to more than $1.5 billion this year, according to the firm BTIG.

Spending freely seems to be part of doing business in streaming, however: Netflix is expected to have a negative free cash flow of anywhere between $3 billion and $4 billion this year.

Hulu’s competitors are also ramping up their executive ranks. Amazon, a sleeping giant in the entertainment industry, is showing signs of getting its act together, having hired the executive Jennifer Salke from NBC this year in the first of several moves meant to assure Hollywood that it can, at last, become a real player.

And Netflix continues to gobble up talent, striking megadeals with the producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes, not to mention the Hollywood newcomers Barack and Michelle Obama. The company has 119 million paying subscribers, including more than 55 million in the United States.

Hulu, which is available only domestically, has undergone shifts in its identity several times since it started in 2007. Until the success of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” it was seen primarily as a place where viewers could click their way to last night’s episode of a network television show.

In addition to the news about Mr. Stillerman, Hulu announced that the senior vice president of experience, Ben Smith, and the head of partnerships and distribution. Tim Connolly, were no longer with the company.

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The Jobs Recovery: A Longer View

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With the monthly job-creation streak continuing to set records, the data shed light both on the rebound from the recession and on what’s left to be desired.

Friday’s jobs report was a blockbuster: Job growth rebounded after a recent dip, and the unemployment rate fell to a nearly two-decade low. But it’s worth taking a step back and putting the latest numbers in some longer-run context.

The United States lost nearly 8.7 million jobs in the Great Recession and its aftermath. It has gained 18.9 million since then — a powerful rebound that belied fears of another “jobless recovery.” (Net growth was needed just to keep pace with the working-age population, which has increased by about 10 million during the same period.)

Politicians, investors and, yes, journalists love to obsess over the month-to-month swings in the job numbers. But the true story of the recovery is one of remarkable consistency. American employers have added jobs for 92 straight months — far and away the longest streak on record — and apart from a few blips, the gains have been steady.

The trend in job growth is easier to see by focusing on the year-over-year growth at any point, rather than the more volatile monthly figures. Looked at this way, hiring accelerated early in the recovery, peaking in early 2015 at a pace of more than three million jobs per year. Growth gradually tapered after that, which isn’t surprising — most economists expected the rate of job creation to keep falling as companies recovered from the downturn and the pool of available workers dried up.

More recently, though, job growth has experienced an unexpected uptick. Employers have added an average of 207,000 jobs per month so far in 2018, up from 172,000 in the same five months a year ago. It’s too soon to say whether that acceleration is the start of a new trend or just a blip. But many economists expect the faster pace of growth to continue because of the tax cuts passed in December and the extra government spending approved by Congress in January.

All that hiring has gone a long way toward putting Americans back to work. The unemployment rate, now 3.8 percent, is the lowest since 2000. The progress is increasingly reaching groups that often face discrimination or other disadvantages in the job market: The unemployment rate for African-Americans hit its lowest level on record in May. The jobless rates for Hispanics, teenagers and those with less than a high school education are likewise at or near multidecade lows.

The unemployment rate doesn’t tell the full story, however. Government statistics count people as unemployed only if they are looking for work, a definition that excludes people who are voluntarily or involuntarily out of the labor force entirely. During the recession and recovery, that distinction was crucial: The official unemployment rate ignored millions of people who had abandoned their job searches as hopeless. Eight years of job growth, however, have shrunk the pool of “discouraged” workers, and broader definitions of unemployment all show strong progress.

But while the labor market today is healthy, there are signs it still isn’t booming the way it was in 1999 and 2000. The employment rate — the share of adults who have jobs, a measure that avoids tricky questions about who should count as unemployed — still hasn’t returned to its prerecession level. That’s largely because of the retirement of the baby boom generation. But even adjusted for the aging work force, the employment rate is below its peak in 2000.

Then there is the mystery that has loomed over the job market in recent years: lackluster wage growth. With unemployment low, companies are increasingly complaining about a shortage of qualified labor. Yet that hasn’t translated into fat raises for workers.

It’s important to note that wages are rising. Average hourly earnings were up 2.7 percent in May from a year earlier, faster than inflation. And while noisy and sometimes conflicting data make it hard to discern a clear trend, there are signs that the pace of growth is accelerating, especially for lower earners.

Still, many economists think wages should be rising faster given the tight labor market. Economists are divided over what explains the disconnect, with some seeing evidence of a long-term, structural shift in the economy, and others arguing that the slow wage growth suggests there is still room for the economy to improve.

Ben Casselman writes about economics, with a particular focus on stories involving data. He previously reported for FiveThirtyEight and The Wall Street Journal. @bencasselman Facebook


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Google Is Said to Not Renew Pentagon Contract That Upset Employees

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When the Maven work came under fire inside Google, company officials asserted that it was not “offensive” in nature. But Maven is using the company’s artificial intelligence software to improve the sorting and analysis of imagery from drones, and some drones rely on such analysis to identify human targets for lethal missile shots.

Google management had told employees that it would produce a set of principles to guide its choices in the use of artificial intelligence for defense and intelligence contracting.

At Friday’s meeting, Ms. Greene said the company was expected to announce those guidelines next week. Google has already said that the new artificial intelligence principles under development precluded the use of A.I. in weaponry. But it was unclear how such a prohibition would be applied in practice and whether it would affect Google’s pursuit of the JEDI contract.

Defense Department officials are themselves wrestling with the complexity of their move into cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Critics have questioned the proposal to give the entire JEDI contract, which could extend for 10 years, to a single vendor, and this week, officials announced they were slowing the contracting process down.

Dana White, the Pentagon spokeswoman, said this week the JEDI contract has drawn “incredible interest” and more than 1,000 responses to a draft request for proposals. But she said officials wanted to take their time.

”So, we are working on it, but it’s important that we don’t rush toward failure,” Ms. White said. “This is different for us. We have a lot more players in it. This is something different from some of our other acquisition programs because we do have a great deal of commercial interest.”

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Wealth Matters: Why Inconsistent Income Needs Consistent Planning

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Ms. Levinson, who is married to a novelist and has two children, is a client of Mr. McLean’s. She said the impetus for her to think more deeply about her finances was the death of her mother two years ago. Her father, Richard Levinson, a television writer who became a co-creator of shows like “Columbo” and “Murder, She Wrote,” died when she was a teenager.

“The security that is parents went away,” she said. And it left her asking: “How do I protect what my parents left me, and how do I plan responsibly?”

Ms. Levinson said she wanted to know how to plan for the money she would be earning.

“I work in an industry that fluctuates month to month,” she said. “I’ve worked steadily for 20 years, but things change. Let’s say I’m not passionate about something for a while. Do we have enough in the coffer so I never have to take a job out of necessity?”

She has a financial cushion, but she said she did not want to whittle it down and be stuck later on — or not be able to provide for her children the way her parents provided for her.

“I want to make sure I’m not foolishly spending in one direction at the expense of another,” Ms. Levinson said. “I also worry that the first thing to go is joy, which is travel. That’s the stuff that is so easy to cut, but it’s essential” for work.

Her strategy is to take certain tempting but risky investments off the table. “If you can drink it, drive it, eat it or wear it, you probably shouldn’t invest in it,” she said Mr. McLean had told her.

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Joy Reid, MSNBC Host, Apologizes Again as More Incendiary Blog Posts Surface

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Joy Reid, an MSNBC host and a prominent liberal figure who blamed hackers for some of the homophobic blog posts found on her decade-old blog in the past several months, apologized again on Friday after more incendiary posts emerged this week.

On Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported that Ms. Reid’s old blog had promoted a Sept. 11 conspiracy by suggesting that readers watch “Loose Change,” which posits that the attack was planned by the United States government.

And on Thursday, BuzzFeed News surfaced a post that contained an image of Senator John McCain’s head Photoshopped onto the body of Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, wrote on Twitter that the post was “beyond disgusting and disgraceful.”

Ms. Reid, 49, did not blame or mention hackers this time. In a statement on Friday, Ms. Reid, the “AM Joy” host, said that she had reached out to Ms. McCain, a former on-air colleague, and that she had the “highest respect for Senator McCain.” She said that she had evolved and that “I’m a better person today than I was over a decade ago.”

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