Southwest Airlines Mechanics Approve Contract, Ending Long Impasse

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The union representing about 2,500 Southwest Airlines mechanics voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a new contract proposal, ending a labor impasse that lasted nearly seven years and wound up in court twice.

The five-year deal gives the mechanics $160 million in back pay to cover the period since the last contract ended in August 2012, increases salaries 20 percent immediately and includes 3 percent annual raises, according to the union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

In a statement, the union said that the proposal was better than one it rejected in September, and that more than 90 percent of its members had voted to approve it. The union said its major concession was allowing Southwest to continue outsourcing some mechanics’ work to foreign contractors.

“Our focus now shifts to working together with Southwest Airlines, as we do the important work of restoring the safety culture Southwest Airlines has traditionally been known for,” the union’s statement said.

Southwest said in its own statement that the deal would take effect immediately and would benefit both the company and its workers.

“Our mechanics will receive well-deserved pay increases, and the company will realize additional flexibilities necessary to compete in today’s airline industry,” Russell McCrady, Southwest’s vice president of labor relations, said in the statement.

The agreement came about three months after Southwest sued the union, accusing it of an illegal work slowdown that forced the cancellation of 100 flights a day for weeks. The union said mechanics were grounding planes because of safety concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration warned both sides that the dispute could hurt the safety of the airline, which carries more passengers on domestic flights than any other airline. (Southwest also sued the mechanics in 2017, accusing them of illegally boycotting overtime work.)

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst, said travelers would be happy to see the impasse broken.

“There is peace in the kingdom,” said Mr. Harteveldt, the founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “This is good news for Southwest and its travelers, especially as the airline heads into the extremely busy and extremely critical summer season.”

Mr. Harteveldt said Southwest investors could also have reason to applaud the agreement. American Airlines sued its mechanics on Monday, meaning some travelers might see Southwest as a more reliable option in cities where the two airlines compete.

“There may be a slight shift in market share and thus revenue in favor of Southwest,” he said.

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Google Changes Abortion Ad Policy

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Companies and organizations that plan to run ads on Google referring to abortion services in the United States, Britain and Ireland must first ask for permission, the search giant has said.

After outrage over recent reports of misleading abortion-related ads, Google said that it would require advertisers dealing with the topic to be certified as abortion providers or non-providers. Starting in June, abortion ads will include disclosures that identify whether or not the advertiser provides abortions. Advertisers can apply for certification starting now.

Google said last week in an online post that “this added transparency will help ensure that users have the necessary information to decide which abortion-related ads are most relevant to them.”

The statement from Google came about after an organization that opposes abortion had apparently billed itself as a facility that provided abortions. The certification process is meant to make plain exactly what services an advertiser provides.

“Depending on how you’re certified,” the company said in the post, “Google will automatically generate one of the following in-ad disclosures for your abortion product or service ads: ‘Provides abortions’ or ‘Does not provide abortions.’ The disclosures will show on all Search ad formats and help ensure that these ads transparently provide basic information users need to decide which abortion-related ads are most relevant to them.”

Google changed the ad policy after The Guardian reported that the tech company gave $150,000 in free ads to Obria Group. The ads suggested that Obria, which does not perform abortions and tries to persuade women not to end their pregnancies, offered abortion services.

Google does not allow ads related to abortion to appear on the site in more than 70 countries. Last week, Alabama lawmakers approved a near-total abortion ban in the state.

Many women looking for information on ending a pregnancy rely on Google. Over a month in 2017, more than 200,000 Google searches sought information on self-induced abortion, according to a study from the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. Similar searches surged nearly 500 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to data cited by researchers.

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As Huawei Loses Google, the U.S.-China Tech Cold War Gets Its Iron Curtain

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China has spent nearly two decades building a digital wall between itself and the rest of the world, a one-way barrier designed to keep out foreign companies like Facebook and Google while allowing Chinese rivals to leave home and expand across the world.

Now President Trump is sealing up that wall from the other side.

Google said on Monday that it would limit the software services it provides to Huawei, the telecommunications giant, after a White House order last week restricted the Chinese company’s access to American technology. Google’s software powers Huawei’s smartphones, and its apps come preloaded on the devices Huawei sells around the world. Depending on how the White House’s order is carried out, that could come to a stop.

For Huawei, the big impact will be abroad, since Chinese customers already have limited access to Google’s services. Google’s move will have its biggest effect in places like Europe, where it has emerged as a big smartphone seller. Other companies will inevitably follow. In effect, the move puts pressure on Huawei’s international expansion dreams.

If China and the United States have begun a technological Cold War, then the Huawei order can best be seen as the beginnings of a digital Iron Curtain. In this potential vision of the future of technology, China will continue to keep out much of the world. The United States and many other countries, goes this thinking, will in turn block Chinese technology.

The tougher American stance is closing off many of the ways that the United States and China exchanged ideas and did business despite the strict Chinese censorship regime. Those closed doors could have profound effects not only on the business of technology, but also on how the world will use and understand the devices and services of the future.

Already, China’s censorship and tight control of its citizens’ digital lives have effectively isolated one-fifth of the world’s internet-using population, giving rise to a generation that doesn’t know what it means to Google something or to subscribe to a YouTube channel.

The aggressive new stance by the United States will only speed up that process, opening a potential window to a day when Chinese people can use only Chinese phones and gadgets powered by homegrown chips and software. All this is happening with a speed that has shocked many in China.

“The move by the Trump administration is much more comprehensive than many Chinese expected,” said Nicole Peng, an analyst at technology research firm Canalys. “It also came much earlier. Many people only realize now that it’s for real.”

It is far from clear whether the Trump administration’s moves will truly isolate Huawei from the rest of the world. The White House has struggled to persuade other countries to stop buying Huawei’s telecommunications equipment, citing potential espionage concerns. (Huawei denies that it spies for the Chinese government.) Huawei has already developed its own chips and other capabilities, and has said that it has stockpiled equipment for a day when it would lose access to American know-how and equipment.

Google’s software powers Huawei’s smartphones, and its apps come preloaded on the devices that Huawei sells around the world. Depending on how the White House order is carried out, that could stop.CreditAly Song/Reuters

China has ways it could retaliate. On Monday, China’s state media reported that Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, visited a site that mines and processes rare earths, which are essential minerals for a number of manufacturers in low-carbon technologies. His visit was a none-too-subtle reminder that China has a commanding presence in rare earths and could shut off global supplies — something it has done once before.

The digital Iron Curtain has been long in the making. From its earliest days dealing with the internet, the Chinese government has squelched content it didn’t like. Today, the Chinese internet at first glance doesn’t look much like the one the rest of the world uses. It has different platforms, ideals and business strategies, all tended carefully by censors.

But the wall was mostly one-sided. American chips and software power Chinese servers and mainframes. China has been a big revenue driver for Apple, Oracle, Intel, Qualcomm and other big names in tech. Much of this was by necessity, since China couldn’t make all this stuff itself, but it still gave American companies a role in the direction of the Chinese digital future.

The ties go deeper. Many of the founders of China’s most successful technology companies were educated in the United States. American investors helped them get established, and some of those Chinese companies turned around and invested in American companies. Academics from the two countries regularly teamed up and swapped notes.

Now the United States, concerned about securing intellectual property, is working to block some of those channels. It has tightened limits on Chinese investment in American companies. Some Chinese students who focused on science and technology have had problems getting visas to the United States. Some Chinese scholars have had their American visas revoked over spying fears.

With the Huawei limits, the Trump administration cited safety. The Commerce Department announced last week that it had placed Huawei and its dozens of affiliates on a list of firms deemed a risk to national security. The listing will prevent Huawei from buying American parts and technologies without seeking United States government approval.

The executive order, issued after trade talks with China collapsed this month, could ripple through all parts of Huawei’s business. It has said American suppliers account for nearly one-fifth of its procurement spending. Even small parts could be crucial. Nobody wants to buy a high-end Huawei router that is only 95 percent complete.

But in international expansion, companies like Google give Huawei a common platform for customers outside China. Its phones come loaded with Google Play, the app and media store, as well as popular apps like Gmail and YouTube. Its license to use Android gives Huawei access to security updates and new features.

Without Google’s cooperation, Huawei would have to come up with its own version of Android or use its own homegrown operating system. Many customers in places like Europe would rather not deal with that fuss. China has been trying to build its own operating systems over the past three decades but has not had much success.

In China, many people see the American moves as a naked ploy to stop a rising Chinese competitor. The United States can’t beat Huawei’s innovation and moxie, goes this thinking, so it will use the power of government to keep a Chinese rival down.

Others in China point to the country’s own barriers against competitors as a strategy that was going to provoke retaliation sooner or later. At some point, the United States was bound to use reciprocity in dealing with a closed Chinese internet market. One popular blog post explained that reciprocity has been translated into “mutual benefit” in Chinese, which explains why many in China didn’t understand that the idea could be used in retaliation.

Another popular blog post drives the point even more clearly.

“You’ve been opposing the U.S. for many years,” said the headline. “You should be long prepared that the U.S. will oppose you one day.”

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Trump Team Vets Fed Critic for Board Seat

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The Trump administration is vetting Judy Shelton, a conservative economist and former Trump campaign adviser, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, according to people familiar with the matter, putting the longtime Fed critic one step closer to a leadership role at an institution she would like to drastically change.

Ms. Shelton, 64, was recently interviewed by Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, but has yet to meet with President Trump.

If nominated and confirmed, Ms. Shelton would take one of two open positions on the seven-member board of governors in Washington. Two of Mr. Trump’s would-be nominees, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, were withdrawn from consideration after Republican lawmakers made clear they would not support their nominations given concerns about their past treatment of, or statements about, women.

Ms. Shelton, now executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, previously advised Mr. Trump during his presidential campaign and served on his transition team. She has regularly praised Mr. Trump’s economic policies, and now favors near-zero interest rates, a position likely to curry favor with a president who has called the central bank the “biggest risk” to the economy.

In an interview, Ms. Shelton criticized the Fed’s current practice of paying interest on excess money that banks keep at the Fed as a way to set the Fed’s policy rate. The approach, she said, encourages banks to hold money that they would otherwise lend out, since they are being paid to keep their money idle. To help “phase out” the practice, Ms. Shelton said, she would support gradually cutting interest rates back to rock-bottom. If that spurred inflation, Ms. Shelton said, she would want to sell off the Fed’s holdings of Treasury securities and other government-backed bonds to keep prices from spiraling out of control.

“It’s like paying the banks to do nothing,” Ms. Shelton said of the current practice. Her plan would be “effectively cutting interest rates, but not as a primary goal.”

Ms. Shelton, who is friends with both Mr. Kudlow and Mr. Moore, has been a proponent of the White House’s $1.5 trillion tax cut, deregulatory approach, and continuing trade war with China, which she calls “uncomfortable” but something “we have to pursue.”

“The policy changes, I think, are unleashing the potential for a high-growth, productive economy,’’ she said.

Ms. Shelton could have an easier road to nomination than some of Mr. Trump’s more recent picks. She was confirmed in March 2018 as head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, so she has already passed a government background check and made it through Senate Foreign Relations Committee vetting. If she is nominated, the Senate Banking Committee will hold her Fed confirmation hearing.

Still, while four of Mr. Trump’s Fed nominees were confirmed, his two most recent formal nominations — Nellie Liang and Marvin Goodfriend — were never cleared by lawmakers. And neither Mr. Moore, a political commentator, nor Mr. Cain, a former presidential candidate, was ever formally nominated after concerns about past issues surfaced.

Ms. Shelton would be an unconventional pick for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors. Her preference for a linked currency — one tied to gold or some other reference point, rather than simply backed by faith in the government — would make her unique among her colleagues. She wrote in 2018 that “we make America great again by making America’s money great again.”

That stance may appeal to Mr. Trump, who has fondly recalled the gold standard.

She has also been an outspoken opponent of the Fed, criticizing the central bank’s policies as a driver of the 2008 financial crisis and its attempt to clean up the mess. “No other government institution had more influence over the creation of money and credit in the lead-up to the devastating 2008 global meltdown,” she wrote in The Wall Street Journal in April. “And the Fed’s response to the meltdown may have exacerbated the damage by lowering the incentive for banks to fund private-sector growth.”

“She would bring a different voice, a different perspective,’’ said James A. Dorn, vice president for monetary studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. “Judy has been much more critical of the Fed than most of the people who are currently on the board.”

Ms. Shelton holds a doctorate in business administration from the University of Utah and cut her teeth at the Hoover Institution from 1985 to 1995. She sat just down the hall from Milton Friedman, a conservative economist who developed important groundwork for modern monetary policy. Condoleezza Rice, who went on to be secretary of state under President George W. Bush, was another colleague.

She then made her way to Washington. She worked with Bob Dole’s presidential campaign back in 1996. She spent much of the 2000s writing opinion pieces, serving on corporate boards and working with the National Endowment for Democracy, most recently as chairwoman.

She began the 2016 election cycle advising Ben Carson, but began advising Mr. Trump’s campaign in August 2016, after she penned a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “Trump’s Contribution to Sound Money.” Steven Mnuchin, now the Treasury secretary, called and asked her to join the cause, she said. She went on to work on the Trump transition team in a Treasury role.

Ms. Shelton has been married to Gilbert Shelton, a former banker and investor, for more than 40 years. Both she and her husband regularly donate to right-leaning candidates and organizations, records show.

Since taking her post at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a multilateral institution founded in 1991 to help foster post-Cold War projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Ms. Shelton has continued to watch and praise Mr. Trump’s actions. She has also remained critical of the Fed, both in her writings and in a recent interview.

“It’s fair to challenge the models and practices of the Federal Reserve, and to say, ‘Is this is the best we could do?’” Ms. Shelton said. “Central banks, to some extent, have been a demoralizing force for free markets.”

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How Bettors in the Know Cashed In on ‘Game of Thrones’

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This article contains spoilers for Season 8, Episode 6 of “Game of Thrones.”

The hero, Jon Snow, had been revealed as the grandson of a slain king. Daenerys Targaryen had a loyal army and the kingdom’s only dragon. Sansa Stark had proven her guile and toughness, while her younger sister, Arya, had saved the day at the Battle of Winterfell.

Plenty of these leading “Game of Thrones” characters had seemed to have a real shot at ruling Westeros when the series came to an end on Sunday. But the wagering on who would prevail, which took place in offshore and European betting markets in the weeks before the finale, didn’t give them much of a chance.

Instead, bettors were partial to Bran Stark, a.k.a. the Three-Eyed Raven, who had been an important, but lesser, character in the series.

Bran was no mere favorite: The final wagers for him to rule the kingdom were placed at 2-to-9 odds on one major offshore betting site, which implied that the probability he would prevail was almost 82 percent.

[Read our recap of the series finale.]

That made for an expensive bet. For every $45 risked, the profit would only be $10. It was the sort of wager to make only by those who are pretty certain they are right.

And right the bettors were: During the finale, Bran was appointed king by a council of other main characters, a “head-scratcher” outcome that flummoxed many fans.

Other heavily bet scenarios paid off as well. For example, at 1-to-3 odds, Jon had been a strong favorite to kill Daenerys in the final episode — even though he had been her lover (and was her nephew) and repeatedly professed loyalty to her as some of his allies expressed doubts.

The bettors were right on that one, too.

[Our TV critic said the finale fell short of the series’s heights, but delivered some reminders of the spectacular ride it had been.]

To professionals who make their money wagering, it seemed clear what had happened: Despite a tremendous effort by HBO to keep the ending a secret, key plot details must have leaked, and some bettors had inside information.

“You never see 2-to-9 odds — that really tells you something’s going on,” said Bill Krackomberger, a professional sports bettor based in Las Vegas.

Even if you did come across odds like that, he said, the measly payout would make for a bad gamble: “How can you bet on something like that, anyway? You’re getting pennies on the dollar.”

It’s hard to know for sure who might have leaked the details. Employees at television providers and streaming services in the more than 150 other countries that broadcast the show had a legitimate need to see episodes before airtime, and thus might have been able to make an informed wager. But they would have seen the episodes only about a day in advance, and bets on Bran to win had spiked well before that.

Some anonymous leakers used Reddit to provide details of episodes of the series before they were broadcast, including Bran’s ascension and Jon’s stabbing of Daenerys in the finale. One Redditor who got some key details right said their source was a relative who had worked on the show.

“Game of Thrones” inspired a robust betting market on offshore betting sites and in Europe, where some bookmakers said the volume of bets eclipsed all but one other television show in history, the hugely popular Eurovision Song Contest.

But there was no strictly legal way to wager on the show in the United States, partly because of concerns over leaks and inside information. Some bookmakers asked regulators for permission to offer bets, but were told no. And others in Britain and Ireland had suspended wagers in the final weeks, amid worries that inside information had spread.

To Mr. Krackomberger, the overseas betting frenzy recalled a famous moment in the annals of Las Vegas wagering.

In 1980, one of the city’s legendary bookmakers, Sonny Reizner, had offered odds on “Who shot J.R.?” before the answer was revealed on the hit CBS series “Dallas.”

But Nevada gaming regulators forced Mr. Reizner to cancel the bets and refund the money before the episode was broadcast, over worries that a lot of people already knew the answer. When the show aired, the culprit was revealed to be J.R. Ewing’s sister-in-law.

Unlike Bran, though, she had only been a 7-to-2 underdog in Mr. Reizner’s betting lines.

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Dressbarn Closing All 650 Stores

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It’s time to close the barn doors.

The parent company for the fashion retailer Dressbarn said this week that it would close all of its approximately 650 stores.

Gary Muto, the chief executive of Ascena Retail Group Inc., which also owns Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor and Loft, wrote a letter to customers about the news and thanked them for 57 years of loyalty.

“It has been our pleasure to serve you, making it all the more difficult to let you know that the decision has been made to begin winding down the Dressbarn business,” Mr. Muto said. “This means that we will eventually be closing all of our stores.”

Although Mr. Muto did not share a specific timeline for the closings, he said there would be no changes to the current return, refund, or gift card policies or loyalty reward programs. He did invite customers to stock up before doors close, though.

Mr. Muto did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

In a statement Monday, Steven Taylor, the chief financial officer of Dressbarn, alluded to poor performance.

“This decision was difficult, but necessary, as the Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment,” Mr. Taylor said. “During the wind down process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value. We will work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers, and other key stakeholders through this process.”

The statement said Dressbarn’s 6,800 associates would receive information about specific store closings and would be offered transition support. According to its website, there are stores in 45 of the 50 states.

A recent credit analysis provided by Moody’s Investors Services, a company that tracks both credit ratings and debt for companies, said that Dressbarn’s parent company, Ascena, earned $6.6 billion in revenue ending November 2018. However, the report projects a “significant” earnings decline in 2019.

“The exit of Dressbarn will be positive in the long term, as it leaves a stronger and more profitable core business,” said Raya Sokolyanska, a Moody’s vice president. “However, the wind-down could cause some disruption in the company’s overall operations and require meaningful one-time charges, using up some of the company’s available cash that would otherwise be available for debt repayment.”

Neil Saunders, the managing director for GlobalData Retail, said Dressbarn had been in decline for some time, losing customers to competitors like TJ Maxx, Target and even Walmart. “It doesn’t come as a particular surprise,” Mr. Saunders said, adding the brand didn’t “evolve” with its customers.

He predicted it would take Ascena six to 12 months to fully close all of its stores after making consultations with landlords and selling off inventory.

Some on social media shared their dismay over the news.

“Make all the har har barn jokes you want,” one person said on Twitter. Dressbarn “still sold well-made stuff at a reasonable price. The dresses I got there are LINED. And naturally, its cut worked great for my shape, so of course they’re going away.”

Others shared nostalgia.

“Wow… brings back memories of my mom dragging me there as a kid so she could shop,” another person said on Twitter. “Then when I started working, it was my go to place for career gear, and I was the one dragging her there.”

Retail chains have suffered a difficult couple of years. According to data from Coresight Research, American retailers have announced plans to close 5,994 stores this year so far. That’s 140 more than were announced in all of 2018, but short of the more than 8,000 announced in 2017.

In 1962, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe started Dressbarn to help women in the workplace find designer clothing at a discount.

The name was born from the initial item they were selling, dresses, and in the ’60s the term “barn” noted value or discount.

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Update: Taking a Cello or a Surfboard on a Plane? American Airlines Just Cut Its Fees

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Effective immediately, the carrier will no longer charge passengers $150 to check sports equipment like bicycles or surfboards, or musical instruments like a cello. Such items, which were previously considered oversized baggage, will now be covered by the regular $30 fee for checked luggage, as long as the item weighs less than 50 pounds. And come winter, or if you’re heading to the southern hemisphere, skiers will be able to include their skis and an equipment bag as a single item if the weight is below that limit.

“American has made it easier for musicians and athletes to travel with their gear, by eliminating certain fees that were previously imposed on oversize equipment,” Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the airline, said in a statement. The changes were based on customer and employee feedback.

American will continue to charge a $150 fee for certain specialty items, like scuba tanks and antlers, which have different handling requirements.

American’s announcement isn’t going to affect a huge portion of its travelers, and it’s unlikely to be a sign of a bigger shift, at least, not yet. Airlines still rely heavily on fees as a way to collect revenue while keeping ticket prices lower.

“I’m very surprised by it because these pieces, like a bike or a surfboard, while they don’t weigh much, they are a hassle to handle, so typically what you do is you assign a higher cost to that because they’re nonstandard,” said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorksCompany, an airline revenue consultancy. “More than anything else it is an early sign that American is shifting their public persona to be more friendly.”

When it comes to what qualifies as oversized-baggage, airlines do not share universal standards. For example, American now lets surfboards fly for free, and so does United Airlines — if your itinerary starts or ends in California — but Delta Air Lines still charges $150 to check one no matter where you’re going.

But the airlines may still be reconsidering some of those fees, Mr. Sorensen said.

“If it’s seen as an unfair price, it just leads to fights at the ticket counter, and arguments, and that is not something that’s helpful for anyone.”

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U.S. Restrictions on Huawei Expose a High-Tech Achilles’ Heel for China

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BEIJING — For all of China’s efforts to become a global force in high technology rivaling the United States, it has mostly failed to produce top-flight contenders in one crucial area: the industry that gave Silicon Valley its name.

Last year, China imported more than $300 billion worth of computer chips, the backbone of all digital products. That is more than it spent on crude oil from abroad.

Washington has now turned China’s reliance on American microchips against Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the Trump administration has labeled a national security threat. The Commerce Department last week restricted American firms from selling components and technology to the company, essentially cutting Huawei off from Google software, Qualcomm chips and more.

The department said Monday that it would allow Huawei to continue doing business with American suppliers for 90 days to prevent disruption to mobile networks that use the company’s equipment. Yet Washington’s move still strikes at a national soft spot for China that has weighed on the minds of the country’s leaders for decades.

Desperate to reduce the dependence on imports, the authorities in China have pledged tens of billions of dollars to help foster homegrown chip champions. The country’s dreams of semiconductor hegemony have added to the trade tensions with the United States, which wants Beijing to scale back what it considers unfair government support for Chinese firms.

Washington has found reason to directly punish one state-backed chip maker, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company. After Micron Technology, an American rival, accused the Chinese company of pilfering chip designs, the Commerce Department blocked it from buying American components.

Last year, China imported more than $300 billion worth of computer chips, the backbone of all digital products. That is more than it spent on crude oil from abroad. CreditTomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

The fruits of China’s chip drive have been mixed at best. Chinese firms’ market share remains modest in most areas of semiconductor production. Nearly all of the most complex chips must still be imported. Several Chinese state-backed makers of memory chips, which store data, have announced big production plans. But the global market for such chips is currently saturated, suggesting grim prospects for turning a profit.

On the whole, government support has helped the Chinese industry, said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at ICwise, a semiconductor market research firm in Shanghai. “But now that the market has become overheated and fickle, the negative effects are increasingly apparent,” he said.

Local governments in China “don’t understand the industry,” Mr. Gu said. They are merely using up resources that private companies know how to spend more effectively, he added.

China’s role as the world’s leading assembler of electronics, and its vast consumer market for electronics, has convinced some observers that given enough time, the country would inevitably attract or foster the knowledge for producing advanced chips. If China could catch up in making toys and then in producing cellphones, the thinking goes, then why not in semiconductors someday?

For now, surviving without American chips promises to be the ultimate test for Huawei, despite the company’s recent strides in developing its own processors.

In an interview with Chinese media on Tuesday, Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, said that in “peaceful times,” half of Huawei’s chips came from American companies, and the other half it developed itself. Huawei has stockpiled chips for emergencies like this, Mr. Ren said.

But the company could never entirely reject American technology, he said. Even his own family members, he said, were iPhone users.

“We will not recklessly get rid of American chips,” Mr. Ren said. “We need to grow together.”

Beijing’s angst over foreign semiconductors has a long pedigree.

As Japan, South Korea and Taiwan emerged with formidable chip industries in the 1980s and ’90s, China experimented with various forms of state planning to develop its own capabilities. In 2014, Beijing set a goal of becoming a global leader in all segments of the chip industry by 2030, and national and local government semiconductor investment funds began springing up across the country.

The results of those efforts are hard to spot, however, in the innards of leading Chinese tech companies’ products.

To crack open one of Huawei’s smartphones or cellular base stations is to see the extent to which advanced technology is a truly globalized endeavor, even as Beijing and Washington have come to distrust each other’s tech providers.

In Huawei’s new P30 Pro flagship phone, for example, American firms supply a number of key components, including parts that help process the radio signals that carry calls and data through the air, according to an analysis by System Plus Consulting, a research firm based in France.

The P30 Pro’s memory chips are from Micron and the Japanese company Toshiba. The camera technology is from Sony of Japan. The processor, the brains of the phone, was developed by Huawei itself.

Huawei’s semiconductor division, HiSilicon, has surprised industry observers with the progress it has made in developing processors and baseband chips, which connect phones to data networks. Yet even HiSilicon may be affected by the Commerce Department’s restriction. Many of the leading providers of chip design software are American.

For other kinds of components, Huawei should not have much trouble finding non-American substitutes if it is fully cut off from American suppliers. In memory chips, for instance, Micron is a leading global supplier, but so are Samsung and SK Hynix of South Korea.

In general, the more advanced the silicon, the more likely it is that Huawei will have to compromise on quality to avoid American providers like Broadcom, which supplies specialized chips for Huawei’s data centers, and Nvidia, which makes high-end graphics processors for Huawei’s laptops.

The company’s options may also be limited when it comes to the critical components that help smartphones process radio signals. American companies, including Skyworks and Qorvo, lead the market for these “radio frequency” parts, which are technologically demanding to produce.

“It’s just very difficult unless this is your bread and butter,” Liam K. Griffin, Skyworks’s president and chief executive, said on a conference call this month with analysts. “We have years and years of experience here working with this.”

Carolyn Zhang contributed research from Shanghai. Paul Mozur contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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Revitalizing Montgomery as It Embraces Its Past

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — No other Southern city is arguably tied as closely to the history of race relations in America as Alabama’s capital, considered to be the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Not until recently, though, have the story of suffering and the response from activists translated into economic benefit for the 200-year-old river city.

Now, thousands of visitors arrive every day to experience new expressions of racial injustice, represented in a national monument to victims of lynching and an accompanying museum of slavery and mass incarceration. The two projects and the throngs of people who visit them are encouraging a surge of downtown construction.

Both attractions were the inspiration of Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. They express a contemporary narrative of bigotry that ties slavery, the Civil War, lynching, segregation and civil rights to the current era of street shootings and mass incarcerations of African-American men.

Since they opened in April 2018, the monument and museum are responsible for attracting 400,000 more visitors to Montgomery and selling 107,000 more hotel rooms in 2018 than the year before, according to city figures.

The Legacy Museum in Montgomery is helping bolster tourism and development in the downtown area.CreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times
The museum’s exhibits follow the brutal story of racial injustice, from the slave trade to mass imprisonment and unjust executions.CreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times

From the steps of the State Capitol, overlooking a historic business district, the ripple effects of the museum and monument are visible on almost every street. New hotels and thousands of square feet of retail space, offices, entertainment venues and residences are under construction.

Three more hotels and some 300 more residential units are planned by local and out-of-state builders, bringing the number of downtown units to 800 and the number of downtown residents to roughly 1,000. At the start of the decade, almost none of Montgomery’s citizens lived downtown, according to city figures.

The burst of development, the second wave of downtown construction since 1990, is reinventing the city. And it mirrors the experiences of other once-drowsy Southern state capitals that are being reshaped by strong downtown investment.

For example, developers spent almost $1.3 billion over the last decade in Baton Rouge, La., on mixed-use construction including nearly 800 residential units. Some 41 projects are under construction or planned, according to Downtown Baton Rouge, a development group.

In Columbia, S.C., an undeveloped 181-acre tract, most of it formerly owned by the state, is being converted into the BullStreet District, a walkable neighborhood with offices, residences, restaurants, stores, a new baseball stadium and a park.

And city leaders in Jackson, Miss., collaborated on an $800 million program of renovation and new construction. Since 2005, the city has added new downtown residences, office buildings, retail space, hotels, restaurants and two museums — the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, which were finished in 2017 at a combined cost of $74 million.

A $14 million, 103-room SpringHill Suites hotel is being built across the street from the Legacy Museum. CreditMelissa Golden for The New York Times

“What’s important and interesting to note in these Southern cities is that redevelopment is occurring with specific projects that leave room for small developers, many of them local,” said Jason King, a principal of Dover, Kohl and Partners, an urban planning firm that wrote Montgomery’s downtown master plan in 2007. “Everyone is taking part. Not just the big guys.”

One element of Montgomery’s plan was relaxing the city’s zoning rules to allow downtown buildings to house a mix of offices, entertainment space and residences. That adjustment, along with the city’s role in America’s history of race relations, is producing visible results.

An active area of redevelopment is Coosa Street, close to the Alabama River, where Africans were unloaded and sold in the early 19th century in one of the country’s most active slave markets.

Mr. Stevenson’s project, the 10,000-square-foot Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, was developed by his nonprofit law group, the Equal Justice Initiative, which represents imprisoned and condemned inmates. Its exhibits follow the brutal story of racial injustice — much of it occurring in Montgomery and Alabama — from the slave trade to mass imprisonment and unjust executions.

The museum’s opening coincided with the unveiling of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a short walk away. The six-acre collection of sculpture and commemorative architecture, constructed on an empty lot bought from the city, commands attention to the more than 4,000 lynchings that occurred in 800 American counties from Reconstruction to 1950.

Both the museum and the memorial were constructed at a cost of $20 million. Mr. Stevenson, a decorated human rights lawyer, earned his national reputation representing death-row inmates. He became a developer by necessity, he said.

“I became focused on cultural spaces for people to deal honestly with the past. We’ve done a terrible job in America of talking honestly about slavery and segregation,” Mr. Stevenson said. “I knew it was going to be significant because it hadn’t happened in America and it needed to be done. I just wasn’t sure how much interest there would be.”

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, a collection of sculpture and architecture that brings attention to lynchings in the United States.CreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times
A walkway in the memorial with 800 weathered steel columns. Etched on each column is the name of an American county and the people who were lynched there.CreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times

It turns out there’s tremendous interest. Mr. Stevenson just spent almost $1 million to buy an empty city lot and a 25,000-square-foot warehouse near the museum for 150 parking spaces and a $4 million visitor center for the museum’s ticket office and store and for a soul food restaurant.

Elsewhere on Coosa Street, a 116-year-old brick furniture warehouse is being renovated as a $14 million, 103-room SpringHill Suites hotel. Down the block, the Murphy House, a two-story Greek Revival mansion built in 1851 that housed Union troops after the Civil War, was sold last year for $2 million and will be renovated into a 100-room Marriott Autograph boutique hotel.

The once-empty and dilapidated brick commercial buildings on Dexter Avenue, which were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were the endpoint of the 54-mile civil rights protest march from Selma in 1965, are being restored as retail, office and residential spaces.

Blocks away, close to where Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus, the 112-year-old, 12-story Bell Building, once the city’s tallest office structure, is being remodeled into 88 apartments at a cost of $25 million.

Around a corner, a 114-room, $12.5 million Staybridge Suites hotel is nearing completion. It’s within walking distance of a museum commemorating the Freedom Riders, housed in the Greyhound bus station where civil rights activists were attacked in 1961 by a white mob.

“The city has wonderful bones for redevelopment,” said Mark Buller, president of Marjam Supply, a construction supplier in Brooklyn, who bought a lumberyard in Montgomery in 2009.

Mr. Buller and his wife, Sarah Beatty Buller, spent $25 million to renovate the 90-year-old Kress Building on Dexter Avenue. Once a bustling department store, the building reopened last year with 110,000 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors, office space on the third floor, and 28 apartments on the newly added fourth and fifth floors.

Inspired by the area’s history and business opportunities, the Bullers paid $5.2 million in 2014 to buy the Kress Building, eight other empty buildings near Court Square and several city-owned lots. They plan to invest $100 million to redevelop the 247,000 square feet they own along Dexter Avenue and adjoining Montgomery Street, and 55.5 undeveloped acres elsewhere in Montgomery. All will be designed by local professionals and constructed by Montgomery tradesman and contractors.

“We’ve met wonderful people,” Mr. Buller said. “I feel strongly that we are on track to make things better, including for our family and our business.”

“We’re confronting our past,” said Todd Strange, the city’s mayor. “We’re owning the issues that Bryan is talking about.”CreditMelissa Golden for The New York Times

Montgomery’s ample assembly of historical museums is also registering strong increases in visitors. The First White House of the Confederacy, a mansion built in 1835, where Jefferson Davis lived in 1861 while serving as Confederate president, had 30,000 visitors last year, up from the typical 25,000, said Bob Wieland, its curator. Last year, according to city figures, Montgomery’s airport served nearly 339,000 passengers, 34,000 more than in 2017.

“We’re confronting our past. We’re owning the issues that Bryan is talking about,” the city’s mayor, Todd Strange, said. “The Memorial for Peace and Justice is amazing. It’s powerful.”

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Jamie Oliver’s U.K. Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy

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LONDON — The celebrity chef Jamie Oliver put his British restaurants into administration, a form of bankruptcy protection, on Tuesday, after the chain struggled with debt and an increasingly saturated market in recent years.

The move puts about 1,300 jobs at risk at 25 restaurants. Administrators working on behalf of the business’s creditors will examine whether to keep the outlets open.

“I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration,” Mr. Oliver tweeted. “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years.”

Mr. Oliver set up the restaurant group just over a decade ago, on the back of his fame as “The Naked Chef” on television. The business expanded to include Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver’s Diner and Barbecoa steakhouses.

Mr. Oliver’s restaurants have struggled with debt and increased competition.CreditPaul Miller/EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Oliver’s broader empire has expanded, too. As well as writing cookbooks and presenting television programs, Mr. Oliver has campaigned for healthier food in school canteens, promoted a supermarket and opened up restaurants overseas.

But his British restaurants ran into financial trouble in 2016 and got into such dire straits that Mr. Oliver had to inject millions from his own savings to salvage the business. Even then, he had to close about 20 restaurants and pizzerias in the months that followed.

As well as having to grapple with debt, his company has struggled against increased competition in the mid-market casual dining sector. Other restaurants serving Italian food and hamburgers in Britain have closed outlets and restructured. The Italian restaurant group Prezzo closed almost 100 restaurants last year, while the Byron burger chain had to restructure and close about 20 of its outlets.

The restaurants affected by the decision on Tuesday are 22 branches of Jamie’s Italian, a Jamie Oliver’s Diner, a Barbecoa and Fifteen London.

Mr. Oliver’s international restaurants and Fifteen Cornwall, a social enterprise in southwest England, are unaffected.

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