Thursday, July 25

Business

Kam Ghaffarian’s Moonshots – The New York Times
Business

Kam Ghaffarian’s Moonshots – The New York Times

Much of the American space program is run out of nondescript offices in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. That’s where Kam Ghaffarian, the billionaire space entrepreneur, could be found on an auspicious day. Exactly 47 years before, he had immigrated to the United States from Iran. Mr. Ghaffarian, 66, sat at a table made of gently glowing white onyx, also from Iran.Mr. Ghaffarian said he imported the stone because of its unique translucence when lit and because of the energy (spiritual, not physical) that the billion-year-old mineral emits. He is a big believer in the importance of meditating to connect with the energy in the universe, which he has done on a daily basis for decades.“When you touch it, you feel the energy of the stone,” he said. “How many years? Go ahead, touch it.”He was in t...
Amazon Argues National Labor Relations Board Is Unconstitutional
Business

Amazon Argues National Labor Relations Board Is Unconstitutional

In the latest sign of a growing backlash within corporate America to the 88-year-old federal agency that enforces labor rights, Amazon argued in a legal filing on Thursday that the National Labor Relations Board was unconstitutional.The move followed a similar argument by SpaceX, the rocket company founded and run by Elon Musk, in a legal complaint in January, and by Trader Joe’s during a labor board hearing a few weeks later.The labor board consists of a prosecutorial arm, which issues complaints against employers or unions deemed to have violated federally protected labor rights; administrative judges, who hear complaints; and a five-member board in Washington, to which decisions can be appealed.Amazon’s filing was part of a case before an administrative judge in which labor board prosec...
SpaceX Postpones Launch of Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander
Business

SpaceX Postpones Launch of Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander

Another month, another try at the moon — but not on Wednesday.SpaceX announced the postponement on Tuesday night of the scheduled launch of a private robotic lunar lander.The spacecraft, built by Intuitive Machines of Houston, is on top the rocket on the launchpad. Weather conditions were favorable but a technical issue led to the delay of its flight by at least a day. The next attempt will be Thursday at 1:05 a.m. Eastern time.If all goes well then, it will set up the first American spacecraft to land softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972. It will also be the latest private effort to send a spacecraft to the moon.Why was the launch postponed?The Intuitive Machines lander, named Odysseus, was scheduled to launch at 12:57 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday on a SpaceX...
American Firms Invested  Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find
Business

American Firms Invested $1 Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find

A congressional investigation has determined that five American venture capital firms invested more than $1 billion in China’s semiconductor industry since 2001, fueling the growth of a sector that the United States government now regards as a national security threat.Funds supplied by the five firms — GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Walden International — went to more than 150 Chinese companies, according to the report, which was released Thursday by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.The investments included roughly $180 million that went to Chinese firms that the committee said directly or indirectly supported Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide ch...
Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.
Business

Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.

Lilly Calman is not in the mood this Valentine’s Day for the flowers, chocolates or a romantic dinner for two, especially after a recent breakup.“I’m very angry,” said Ms. Calman, 26, adding that it had been painful to see all the holiday paraphernalia in store aisles.She found a more fitting outlet for her mood this year: a fund-raiser for the San Antonio zoo that will symbolically name a roach or rodent after an ex and feed it to one of the zoo’s animals.“The visual image of him getting eaten by a Komodo dragon is pretty satisfying,” said Ms. Calman, who donated $25 for the rat option. She is hoping the zoo sends her a video so she can host a screening with a friend. “I love reptiles. I think it’s cool.”The annual campaign has raised over $235,000 since the zoo first ran it in 2020, unde...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
Disney Adds to Its Defenses With Strong Earnings — and Taylor Swift
Business

Disney Adds to Its Defenses With Strong Earnings — and Taylor Swift

What will Peltz do now? Shares in Disney are up more than 7 percent in premarket trading on Thursday, after the entertainment giant released blockbuster quarterly earnings and made a string of headline-grabbing announcements. (Taylor Swift! Fortnite! A “Moana” sequel!)In short, the House of Mouse bolstered its case against the activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is seeking two board seats. The question is whether that will be enough to definitively fend off the financier.Disney had a great quarter. Not only did it surpass analysts’ profit expectations — earnings per share last quarter beat estimates by 23 percent — but the company also promised a generous dividend and cut streaming losses more than anticipated, to $138 million.The company also broke with precedent by giving profit guidance...
President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down
Business

President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down

Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s largest and most politically powerful labor unions, announced Tuesday that she would step down after 14 years in her position.Ms. Henry was the first woman elected to lead the union, which represents nearly two million workers like janitors and home health aides in both the public and private sectors.Under her leadership, it launched a major initiative known as the Fight for $15, which sought to organize fast-food workers and push for a $15 minimum wage. Winning over skeptics in the ranks, Ms. Henry argued that the union could make gains through a broad-based campaign that targeted the industry as a whole rather than individual employers.Labor experts and industry officials cite the campaign as ...
BP to Increase Oil Output Amid Strong Demand, New Chief Says
Business

BP to Increase Oil Output Amid Strong Demand, New Chief Says

BP’s new chief executive, Murray Auchincloss, promised a flexible approach to the shift away from fossil fuels as the oil giant reported a $3 billion profit in its latest quarter on Tuesday.Mr. Auchincloss said in an interview after BP reported earnings that the company was pursuing what he called a “demand strategy.” BP’s shares rose nearly 5 percent in trading in London, where the company is based.BP has a plan to become what Mr. Auchincloss called an integrated energy company. But in the meantime, “we see growing demand for energy right now across the globe,” he said. “It is not slowing down.”BP is “going to invest in today’s energy system, to help make sure that prices don’t get out of control,” Mr. Auchincloss said. “So that’s investing into oil and gas,” he added, while also putting ...