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Congress, California, Amazon: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview ____ Photo Credit TBS 10. Finally, Samantha Bee fiercely defended the #MeToo movement amid signs of a growing backlash […]

Tax Plan, Robert Mugabe, Rancho Tehama Reserve: Your Wednesday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview Smarter Living Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life. Continue reading the main story • A link between alcohol and cancer is not nearly as scary as it sounds. • Can ketone supplements rev up your workout […]

Immigration Officials Taking New Steps to Discourage Smuggling of Children

“The risks associated with smuggling children into the U.S. present a constant humanitarian threat,” ICE officials said in a statement. “The sponsors who have placed children directly into harm’s way by entrusting them to violent criminal organizations will be held accountable for their role in these conspiracies.”Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storySign Up for the Race/Related NewsletterJoin a deep and provocative exploration of race with a diverse group of New York Times journalists.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.Some children reported being raped or held hostage by smugglers for more money. Others have been abandoned by smugglers as they try to cross the border.Immigration advocates called the new enforcement policy a heartless way to try to reduce smuggling.“It’s extremely cruel when you started shutting down refugee applicants and rescinding protections for children brought to the country at a young age, to send this kind of message to parents trying to get their kids to safety,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington.Smuggling cases are among the most challenging to prove, and the biggest hurdle is identifying witnesses, who are likely to be undocumented and unwilling to help, according to Michael J […]

For One Family in Houston, an Overwhelming Start to Recovery

HOUSTON — She couldn’t sleep. Not now.Kris Ford-Amofa lay next to her husband in a spare bedroom at her sister’s house, thinking once more about the brown water that had slithered under the front door of the first home she had ever owned. The water that swirled around her three children as the family fled, wading up City Green Trail to seek refuge at a neighbor’s house. […]

As Houston Looks to Recover, Small Towns Now Bear the Brunt

PhotoEvacuees after a rescue in Port Arthur, Tex.Credit Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesNEWTON, Tex. — For the streets of Newton, a small town on the Texas side of the Louisiana state line, to become impassable, “the flood would have to be biblical,” Kristen Rogers was told when she peeked into the sheriff’s office looking for guidance.“That’s what they said about Houston,” replied Ms. Rogers, who was looking for a dry way out of rural Texas on her way to Florida.But as Houston, the urban behemoth that has so far been the focal point in the unfolding drama of Hurricane Harvey, began gingerly to assess the devastation, the storm marched on to conquer a vast new swath speckled with small towns that are home to millions of people who were shocked anew by Harvey’s tenaciously destructive power. Officials faced a population in dire need, but far more difficult to reach.Flooding and rain, topping 47 inches in some areas, pounded 50 counties in southeast and lower central Texas with a combined population of roughly 11 million people […]

Amazon Plans to Lower Some Prices at Whole Foods

Investors drove Kroger shares down more than 8 percent on Thursday; shares of Walmart, the nation’s biggest grocer, fell about 2 percent. Both companies’ shares also fell sharply when the deal was announced in June.Amazon plans to weave together its online business and physical stores by turning its Prime membership program into a Whole Foods rewards program, providing additional savings to customers. Amazon Prime is a $99-a-year service that gives customers faster free shipping, video streaming and other benefits.Whole Foods’ private-label products will be available through Amazon’s online services and Amazon lockers that will be installed in some Whole Foods markets. Customers will also be able to return online orders to Amazon through the lockers.“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” Jeff Wilke, the executive who runs Amazon’s consumer businesses, said on Thursday in an announcement about the changes. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality.”Discounts are not the only reason shoppers use Amazon — selection and convenience are others — but Mr. Bezos has never been shy about starting price wars that inflict pain on rivals. In the 1990s, the company tussled with Barnes & Noble to see which could discount books the most. Amazon and Walmart have been in an on-and-off price war in a variety of categories for years.In its battle with Quidsi, a start-up that owned Diapers.com, Amazon put so much pressure on the company that it eventually agreed to be acquired by Amazon rather than by Walmart.Ever since Amazon made the surprise announcement in June that it was acquiring Whole Foods for more than $13 billion, competitors have expected it to shake things up at the grocer, which has struggled in the face of competition from Costco, Walmart and others that have wooed customers with a growing selection of organic produce and kitchen staples. (Gabrielle Sulzberger, a private equity executive who is married to Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and publisher of The New York Times, is the chairwoman of Whole Foods.)Continue reading the main storyStill, the speed with which Amazon completed the acquisition and embarked on a price-cutting campaign is stunning. […]

Trump Ends C.E.O. Advisory Councils as Main Group Acts to Disband

“Intolerance, racism and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values,” said a statement released by the council. “We believe the debate over forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans. As such, the president and we are disbanding the forum.”Before the president’s announcement, executives from his manufacturing council were expected to have a similar call Wednesday afternoon. The manufacturing panel has seen a wave of defections since Monday, as business chiefs who had agreed to advise the president determined that his remarks left them with no choice but to walk away.GraphicThe Business Leaders Who Were on Trump’s Advisory CouncilsThere was a mass exodus of executives from presidential advisory councils as they opposed stances taken by President Trump.OPEN GraphicTwo additional chief executives — Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup and Inge Thulin of 3M — had announced Wednesday morning they would resign from the manufacturing council.The defections left Mr. Trump all but isolated from the business leaders whose approval he covets.Members of the advisory group had stood with the president in recent months even as he advanced policies they vehemently opposed, including tough immigration policies and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.But the president’s equivocating in the wake of the outburst of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville was too much for the C.E.O.s to bear.“He had put them in a very difficult position,” said Anat R. Admati, a professor of finance and economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “This has ruined his relationships with some of them.”On Monday, after Mr […]