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As Congress Dithers, States Step In to Set Rules for the Internet

Critics of the state regulations warned that tech companies weren’t the only ones that would have to maneuver through the patchwork of rules. “For consumers, this means confusion,” said Daniel Castro, a vice president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a think tank sponsored by tech companies.Apple and Google declined to comment. Jodi Seth, a spokeswoman for Amazon, pointed to an April blog post from the company’s policy executive Brian Huseman, who said the state laws risked creating a hodgepodge of regulations that wouldn’t serve users well.Will Castleberry, Facebook’s vice president of state and …

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Seychelles Sees Rise in Coronavirus Cases Despite Vaccinations

Marie Neige, a call center operator in Seychelles, was eager to be vaccinated. Like the majority of the residents in the tiny island nation, she was offered China’s Sinopharm vaccine in March, and was looking forward to the idea of being fully protected in a few weeks.On Sunday, she tested positive for the coronavirus.“I was shocked,” said Ms. Neige, 30, who is isolating at home. She said she has lost her sense of smell and taste and has a slightly sore throat. “The vaccine was supposed to protect us — not from the virus, but the symptoms,” she said. “ …

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China Wants to Boost Births. But It’s Wary of Losing Control.

When Fan Jianhua had her third daughter last April, she was afraid that she would be fined for violating China’s birth limits.Ms. Fan was already heavily in debt paying for treatment for her 6-year-old, who has leukemia. To her relief, when she registered her new baby with the police, she didn’t have to pay the $7,500 fine.“I was really happy and could finally relax,” said Ms. Fan, 34, a stay-at-home mother in the central city of Danjiangkou, in Hubei Province.Slowly, in fits and starts, China’s ruling Communist Party is loosening its long-held restrictions over childbirth and …

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China Is Set to Rule Electric Car Production

ZHAOQING, China — Xpeng Motors, a Chinese electric car start-up, recently opened a large assembly plant in southeastern China and is building a matching factory nearby. It has announced plans for a third.Another Chinese electric car company, Nio, has opened one large factory in central China and is preparing to build a second a few miles away.Zhejiang Geely, owner of Volvo, showed off an enormous new electric car factory in eastern China last month rivaling in size some of the world’s largest assembly plants. Evergrande, a troubled Chinese real estate giant, has just built electric car factories in …

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College Accounts at Birth: State Efforts Raise New Hopes

Braylon Dedmon was 3 days old when his mother, Talasheia, was offered $1,000 to open a college savings account in his name.“I was like, ‘What?’” Ms. Dedmon recalled. Her skeptic’s antennae tingled. “I was a little scared.” Was this a scam?It wasn’t. The offer was the beginning of a far-reaching research project begun in Oklahoma 14 years ago to study whether creating savings accounts for newborns would improve their graduation rates and their chances of going to college or trade school years later.A few weeks after that initial conversation in 2007, the first statement arrived, showing $1,000 in Braylon’s …

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A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

On Dec. 9, the Federal Trade Commission and nearly every state filed bipartisan lawsuits accusing Facebook of acting anticompetitively. Less than a week later, European policymakers introduced a competition law and new requirements for blocking online hate speech. On Dec. 24, Chinese regulators opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba after scuppering an initial public offering from Ant.Antitrust and content moderation have been where tech companies are most vulnerable. Google, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba, Amazon and other companies clearly dominate online advertising, search, e-commerce and app marketplaces, and have faced questions about whether they have unduly used their clout to buy competitors, promote …

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‘We Were Left With Nothing.’ Argentina’s Misery Deepens in the Pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Carla Huanca and her family were making modest but meaningful improvements to their cramped apartment in the slums of Buenos Aires.She was working as a hairstylist. Her partner was tending bar at a nightclub. Together, they were bringing home about 25,000 pesos ($270) a week — enough to add a second story to their home, creating extra space for their three boys. They were about to plaster the walls.“Then, everything closed,” said Ms. Huanca, 33. “We were left with nothing.”Amid the lockdown, the family needed emergency handouts from the Argentine government to keep food on the table. They …

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One Way to Get People Off the Streets: Buy Hotels

With offices in San Francisco booming and ample opportunity for overtime, Mr. Sanchez said that at his peak he could max out at $22 an hour, or a little over $60 adjusted for inflation. He also wasn’t worried about rent. He stayed in his family’s public housing unit until his mid-20s and had a cheap after-hours life that consisted of floating around the neighborhood and hanging out with friends near the 24th Street BART stop. “I was always in the streets,” he said.When he moved out of his family’s apartment, an event that was set off by …

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China’s First Quarter Growth is Expected to Boom on Paper

Factories are whirring, new apartments are being snapped up and more jobs are up for grabs. When China releases its new economic figures on Friday, they are expected to show a remarkable post-pandemic surge.The question is whether small businesses and Chinese consumers can fully share in the good times.China is expected to report that its economy grew by a jaw-dropping double-digit figure in the first three months of the year compared with the same period the year before. The number is widely estimated by economists to be 18 percent to 19 percent. But the growth is as much a reflection …

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Hundreds of Companies Unite to Oppose Voting Rights Limits, but Others Abstain

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the bank said, “We publicly made our own strong statement last month about the critical importance of every citizen being able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”That statement released on Wednesday came together over the past week and a half, after the Black executives who spoke out received an outpouring of support.About 10 days ago, Mr. Chenault and Mr. Frazier conferred with three other Black executives — William M. Lewis Jr., the chairman of investment banking at Lazard; Clarence Otis Jr., a former chief executive of Darden Restaurants; and Charles Phillips, a former chief …

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