iPhone 13: reseña de una actualización sin sorpresas


La realidad es que los teléfonos inteligentes alcanzaron punto máximo hace ya algunos años.

Después de tantos avances, las computadoras miniatura han alcanzado velocidades increíbles, sus pantallas se han vuelto más grandes y brillantes y sus cámaras producen imágenes que logran que los fotógrafos aficionados parezcan magos.

El problema con tanta innovación genial es que las actualizaciones ahora son tan iterativas que se ha vuelto difícil saber qué escribir sobre ellas cada año. Ese es especialmente el caso del Apple iphone 13 de Apple, que podría ser la actualización más modesta del Iphone hasta la fecha.

El Apple iphone más nuevo es solo diez por ciento más rápido que los modelos del año pasado (para tener contexto, en 2015, el Apple iphone 6S fue más del 70 por ciento más rápido que su predecesor, el Apple iphone 6). Su característica más llamativa, una mayor “tasa de actualización” de la pantalla en los modelos superiores a los 1000 dólares, hace que el movimiento luzca más fluido al abrir aplicaciones y deslizar texto. Eso está lejos de ser revolucionario.

Las innovaciones en las cámaras de los teléfonos también parece que se están estancando. Los ejecutivos de Apple describieron las cámaras del Iphone 13 como “dramáticamente más poderosas” y “las más avanzadas” del Iphone hasta el momento, en gran parte porque pueden capturar más luz y reducir el ruido. Pero según mis pruebas, las mejoras fueron mínimas.

Todo esto me hace afirmar que la actualización anual de los teléfonos, que compañías como Apple y Samsung promocionan con enormes eventos de mercadeo y campañas publicitarias a fin de aumentar sus ventas en la temporada de compras navideñas, se ha convertido en un espejismo de innovación tecnológica. En realidad, las actualizaciones son ahora una celebración del capitalismo en forma de un despiadado incrementalismo.

¿Qué mejor manera de ilustrar esa lenta marcha que con fotos tomadas por teléfonos inteligentes? Para poner a prueba las cámaras del Apple iphone 13, compré un trípode especial para sostener dos teléfonos uno al lado del otro y así poder capturar casi las mismas imágenes de mis perros al mismo tiempo. Comparé fotos tomadas con los nuevos iPhones, el Apple iphone 12 del año pasado y un Apple iphone XS de hace tres años.

Cuando obtuve los resultados quedé genuinamente sorprendido del buen desempeño de la cámara del Iphone XS frente a los modelos más nuevos. La cámara del Apple iphone 13 fue solo un poco mejor que la del Apple iphone 12.

Basta de palabras. Deja que las fotos de mis perros te guíen por el último Iphone.

Para comparar fotos tomadas a la luz del día, me llevé todos los teléfonos y a mis perros Max (un corgi) y Mochi (una labradora marrón) a un parque en Richmond, California. En una foto de prueba de los dos perros sentados lado a lado bajo la sombra, las fotos del Apple iphone 13 y 12 apenas se podían distinguir una de la otra. El Apple iphone 13 fue ligeramente superior capturando las sombras.

En una prueba de comparación entre el Iphone 13 Pro de 1000 dólares y el Apple iphone XS, el modelo de 1000 dólares lanzado en 2018, ambas fotos de los perros a la luz del sol se vieron claras y detalladas. Admito que el Apple iphone 13 Professional produjo imágenes con colores más vivos.

Pero en una prueba en un sendero sombreado en medio del bosque, la foto tomada con el Apple iphone 13 hizo que Mochi luciera deslumbrado por la luz del sol las sombras y la iluminación capturada por el Apple iphone tres años más viejo lucieron más naturales. Apple no estuvo de acuerdo con mi evaluación. (Juzguen ustedes).

Las mejoras en las cámaras del nuevo Apple iphone fueron más evidentes en las fotos con poca luz tomadas con el modo Noche, que captura varias imágenes y luego las fusiona mientras realiza ajustes de colour y contraste. Las tomas con poca luz de Max posando en un balcón justo después de la puesta del sol se vieron más claras con el Iphone 13 Professional que con el Apple iphone 12.

Credit…Brian X. Chen / The New York Situations

En las fotos con poca luz el Iphone XS de tres años de antigüedad no tuvo un buen desempeño, porque su cámara carece de modo Noche. En la misma prueba, Max quedó envuelto en oscuridad, a excepción de su hermosa melena blanca.

Las cámaras del Iphone 13 también tienen una nueva función de video clip bautizada como modo cinemático, que utiliza algoritmos para enfocar de forma automática los rostros —incluso los de mis perros— en movimiento. Me cuesta imaginar por qué una persona sin ambiciones de convertirse en cineasta usaría este modo, pero se me ocurren algunos usuarios de TikTok a quienes les podría gustar.

En resumen, las cámaras del Iphone 13 son ligeramente mejores que las de los Apple iphone del año pasado. Incluso en comparación con los iPhones de hace tres años, las cámaras son mucho mejores solo si te preocupas por hacer buenas fotos en la oscuridad.

¿Qué importancia tiene la fotografía nocturna? Se lo pregunté a Jim Wilson, fotógrafo de The New York Times desde hace mucho tiempo, mientras tomaba fotos de los nuevos iPhones para esta reseña. Dijo que sería una característica important para gente como él, pero no tan importante para los fotógrafos ocasionales.

“A veces espero a la noche para hacer que una escena ordinaria parezca diferente y emocionante”, dijo. “Pero para la mayoría de las personas que no son fotógrafos profesionales, esto no tiene importancia”.

El hecho de que los teléfonos inteligentes se hayan estancado no es algo negativo. Significa que vas a poder disfrutar durante los próximos años del que ya tienes sin perderte de nada relevante. Y cuando sientas que es hora de actualizar, te encontrarás con una pieza de tecnología madura que será paulatinamente —aunque no de manera dramática— top-quality.

Brian X. Chen es columnista de tecnología de consumo. Reseña productos y escribe Tech Correct, una columna sobre cómo resolver problemas relacionados con la tecnología. Antes de unirse al Occasions en 2011, reporteó sobre Apple y la industria inalámbrica para Wired. @bxchen





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Retailers Rethink Pandemic-Battered Manhattan – The New York Times


In the heart of Manhattan’s garment district, a after-active Starbucks on a corner of Eighth Avenue and 39th Street sits empty. Just down the block, a Dos Toros Taqueria that opened just a few yrs back is now closed. And Wok to Stroll, which as soon as served steaming containers of noodles combined with chicken and veggies to a bustling lunch crowd, is also shuttered.

Whilst the Delta variant of the coronavirus has once more delayed plans by many firms to convey workforce back to offices en masse, workers who have been trickling into Midtown are discovering that several of their favorite haunts for a swift cup of coffee and a muffin in the morning or sandwich or salad at lunchtime have disappeared. A range of people that are open up are functioning at minimized hrs or with limited menus.

With the pandemic holding tens of millions of New York City workplace workers dwelling for the previous 12 months, restaurants, espresso shops, attire merchants and others struggled to keep afloat.

By the conclusion of 2020, the number of chain stores in Manhattan — every thing from drugstores to clothes merchants to restaurants — experienced fallen by a lot more than 17 per cent from 2019, according to the Middle for an Urban Upcoming, a nonprofit exploration and policy group.

Throughout Manhattan, the number of offered ground-floor retailers, commonly the area of occupied eating places and clothes stores, has soared. A quarter of the ground-flooring storefronts in Reduce Manhattan are out there for lease, whilst about a 3rd are out there in Herald Sq., according to a report by the real estate business Cushman & Wakefield.

Starbucks has forever shut 44 retailers in Manhattan considering the fact that March of very last year. Pret a Manger has reopened only 50 percent of the 60 spots it experienced in New York Metropolis ahead of the pandemic. Several delicatessens, independent dining places and more compact neighborhood chains have absent darkish.

“Midtown plainly has been the most difficult strike of any of the regions of Manhattan,” claimed Jeffrey Roseman, a veteran retail true estate broker with Newmark. “If you believe of other office environment-centric regions, irrespective of whether all the way downtown or Flatiron or Hudson Yards, there is a ton of household encompassing these regions that aided maintain all those marketplaces. Midtown, for the most element, is a a single-trick pony.

“It’s generally workplaces and accommodations, which also took a hit from the downturn in tourism.”

The turmoil has arrived at farther downtown, while. Final week, the luxurious home furnishings retailer ABC Carpet & Home — whose flagship retailer has been a fixture of the Union Sq. place — filed for personal bankruptcy defense, in element mainly because of “a mass exodus of recent and prospective customers leaving the metropolis.”

Still, with so substantially uncertainty about when staff members may perhaps entirely return to Midtown offices, some companies are proceeding very carefully. The espresso store Bluestone Lane had plans to broaden aggressively into Manhattan in advance of the pandemic and is even now thinking about areas in Midtown. But it has now turned its emphasis to opening in extra residential neighborhoods like Battery Park Metropolis, Hudson Yards and TriBeCa.

“We deliberately selected city residential places for our new cafes so we are not dependent on our locals returning to a actual physical workplace area, and are very well positioned for the potential of hybrid do the job,” Nick Stone, the founder and main executive of Bluestone Lane, mentioned in an emailed assertion.

And some chain places to eat that by now have reopened in Midtown are altering their tactics to address what they feel are the shifting wants of prospects in a publish-Covid world.

On a the latest weekday, a handful of buyers were being nibbling on salads and sandwiches at the Bryant Park location of Le Ache Quotidien. The very long, communal tables that the moment dominated the front of the restaurant are long gone for now, although refrigerated circumstances for a collection of get-and-go drinks, salads and sandwiches will be expanded upcoming calendar year as component of a transforming. A new app to preorder and choose up food became offered in Might.

Even though the new technologies do the job for some clients, other folks extensive for the previous.

Because early 2020, Starbucks has permanently shut 44 of its 235 areas in Manhattan. But it is introducing cell pickup parts in quite a few merchants and incorporating more pickup-only locations. The company says it expects to have internet new retail outlet progress in Manhattan in the up coming few yrs.

Right before the pandemic, Starbucks operated a few outlets close to the Columbus Circle place. It shut them and this year opened just one massive cafe. Now runners from Central Park choose up their preordered drinks from a cellular counter and head out once more, though other prospects stand in line to spot their orders and can sit at close by tables.

“We had been likely to construct the concept out and evolve more than time,” stated John Culver, the president of North The united states and chief functioning officer for Starbucks. “What we’ve carried out is taken the prospect that the pandemic has introduced and accelerated the transformation of our portfolio of stores. Shopper behaviors in the course of the pandemic have accelerated at levels that no one particular predicted.”



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4 Fast Mobile Camera Tips That Help You Get the Shot


Have you at any time missed capturing the great picture or movie possibility mainly because you got hung up having to your smartphone’s digital camera app in time? Your telephone probable has a range of shortcuts designed into its software program and settings, despite the fact that some may be less obvious than other folks. Here’s a speedy guideline to finding the speed you want so you do not overlook your minute.

Have to have the digicam now? With most current iPhones managing iOS 14, just swipe remaining from the lock monitor to go straight to the camera app. Pressing the camera icon in the base-correct corner of the lock display also opens the application.

Credit rating…Apple

On quite a few Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones operating Android 11, you can open up your default digital camera application by swiftly pressing the phone’s power button or Side essential twice. (If not, open up the Android process options and verify the Gestures options, or affirm that Samsung’s Facet critical settings have the Speedy Start aspect enabled for the digicam.)



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Why Facebook Shelved an Earlier Report on Popular Posts


When Fb this 7 days unveiled its first quarterly report about the most considered posts in the United States, Dude Rosen, its vice president of integrity, explained the social community had undertaken “a very long journey” to be “by considerably the most transparent platform on the internet.” The record confirmed that the posts with the most attain tended to be innocuous articles like recipes and cute animals.

Facebook experienced organized a identical report for the initial 3 months of the calendar year, but executives in no way shared it with the community mainly because of fears that it would appear bad for the corporation, in accordance to interior e-mails despatched by executives and shared with The New York Situations.

In that report, a duplicate of which was presented to The Periods, the most-viewed backlink was a information write-up with a headline suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine was at fault for the loss of life of a Florida medical professional. The report also confirmed that a Facebook web site for The Epoch Periods, an anti-China newspaper that spreads suitable-wing conspiracy theories, was the 19th-most-well-liked web site on the platform for the 1st a few months of 2021.

The report was nearing public launch when some executives, such as Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of analytics and chief marketing officer, debated no matter whether it would result in a public relations challenge, in accordance to the inside e-mail. The corporation determined to shelve it.

“We thought of producing the report general public before,” stated Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, “but given that we realized the notice it would garner, particularly as we saw this week, there were fixes to the method we needed to make.”

Mr. Stone stated Mr. Schultz had advocated releasing the authentic report but inevitably agreed with the advice to hold off. Fb produced the report on Saturday following the publication of this tale.

Fb did not say why it resolved to deliver a acceptance report, but it has faced raising scrutiny in excess of the knowledge it shares with the federal government and the public, specially over misinformation about the virus and vaccines. The criticism has escalated as cases from the Delta variant of the coronavirus surged. The White Dwelling has known as on the enterprise to share much more details about wrong and deceptive facts on the site, and to do a improved work of halting its spread. Last thirty day period, President Biden accused the company of “killing people” by allowing untrue facts to flow into broadly, a statement the White Home afterwards softened. Other federal businesses have accused Facebook of withholding crucial facts.

Facebook has pushed back, publicly accusing the White Home of scapegoating the enterprise for the administration’s failure to access its vaccination ambitions. Executives at Facebook, together with Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, have claimed the system has been aggressively removing Covid-19 misinformation due to the fact the commence of the pandemic. The organization explained it experienced taken out over 18 million pieces of misinformation in that time period.

But Brian Boland, a former vice president of products advertising and marketing at Fb, mentioned there was a good deal of explanation to be skeptical about knowledge gathered and introduced by a company that has experienced a background of preserving its very own interests.

“You can not have confidence in a report that is curated by a company and made to beat a push narrative alternatively than actual significant transparency,” Mr. Boland claimed. “It’s up to regulators and govt officials to provide us that transparency.”

In this week’s report, which covered public content considered in Facebook’s Information Feed from April 1 to June 30, well known backlinks integrated neighborhood information stories, a cat GIF and a Environmentally friendly Bay Packers alumni site. Well known posts, which were being found by tens of millions of accounts, included viral query-and-remedy prompts and memes.

Most of the company’s draft report, like the a person Fb released on Wednesday, confirmed that the 20 most-viewed inbound links on Fb in the United States had been to nonpolitical written content, like recipe websites and stories about the United Nations Children’s Fund.

But the turned down report also included the posting about the doctor’s dying in Florida. The headline of the report, from The South Florida Sunshine Sentinel and republished by The Chicago Tribune: “A ‘healthy’ health practitioner died two weeks immediately after finding a COVID-19 vaccine CDC is investigating why.”

This backlink was viewed by practically 54 million Facebook accounts in the United States. A lot of commenters on the publish elevated thoughts about the vaccines’ security. Six of the prime 20 sharers arrived from general public Facebook internet pages that often publish anti-vaccination content on Fb, according to knowledge from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics firm owned by Fb. Other best sharers of the story included Filipino Fb internet pages supporting President Rodrigo Duterte, a pro-Israel Fb group and a web site termed “Just the Facts,” which described by itself as “putting out the Truth even when the media won’t.”

Months afterwards, the health care examiner’s report explained there wasn’t ample evidence to say regardless of whether the vaccine contributed to the doctor’s demise. Significantly less individuals on Facebook noticed that update.



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What to Know About the Newest iPhone and Android Software


As the pandemic recedes across the place, a whole lot has transformed about how we perform and are living. Some of us are now organizing on returning to the place of work, while some others will keep on doing the job from household. Several of us will do each.

The computer software on our phones, which have been our most necessary instruments in the pandemic, is also evolving for this new actuality. The changes are courtesy of Apple and Google, which a short while ago unveiled their newest cellphone software program designed for this Covid-accelerated period of hybrid distant function.

This week, Apple confirmed iOS 15, its up coming running procedure for iPhones. The software program presents product homeowners new resources to attract boundaries for hybrid work, like a standing message that allows others know you are occupied before they message you. FaceTime, Apple’s videoconferencing software package, will also get its biggest growth considering the fact that its debut extra than a 10 years back. The assistance will last but not least be opened to non-Apple gadgets, such as Android telephones, and has been enhanced so movie sessions seem and audio far better.

Last month, Google launched Android 12, its most current operating procedure for mobile products. The firm targeted on streamlining the structure of its software to enable folks get their work performed additional proficiently, such as a menu of shortcuts to get to their most loved equipment a lot more rapidly.

To Carolina Milanesi, a shopper know-how analyst for Imaginative Strategies, the modifications in iOS 15 and Android 12 — primarily Apple’s device for placing electronic boundaries — reflect the way our lives and perform are shifting once again as we test to go away the pandemic behind.

“That minor prompt that states men and women really don’t want to be disturbed is going to be actually critical,” she said. “Maybe you’ll get ready your concept on the weekend, but you never strike send out right until Monday morning, so that way you really don’t press other people today to do the job on a weekend. It can take the stress absent.”

Apple and Google walked me by the highlights of their new mobile running methods, which also consist of new privateness controls and enhancements to cellular phone cameras. Both systems are established for launch this tumble.

Here’s what you need to know.

Stuck at household for most of the previous calendar year, many of us grew to become glued to our cell phone screens, chatting on video phone calls and messaging liked types amid doomscrolling classes. For some, that produced it come to feel difficult to keep focused on a solitary task.

In response, Apple’s new computer software offers Apple iphone homeowners with tools to lower interruptions, when Google has additional buttons to enable folks conduct tasks on the mobile phone additional promptly.

Take into consideration one particular new feature from Apple, called Emphasis. Aim can be utilised to set dividing lines for distinctive sections of your day. You can split up your day into classes like individual daily life, operate and rest. For every of all those, you then determine which people and applications can trigger notifications to look on your phone.

Throughout do the job, you can established the cell phone so that only your boss’s messages look as notifications other notifications will be muted. If you want to keep focused on your own existence, you could permit notifications only from family members and close friends. You can also set the cell phone to Do Not Disturb and have a standing information like “On deadline” or “At the motion pictures.” Persons attempting to concept you will see that status and may consider messaging you later on.

Google’s adjustments are more cosmetic. It redesigned the controls in Android to include things like significant rectangular buttons for simple obtain to functions this kind of as the flashlight, world-wide-web options and the audio recorder.

Videoconferencing has come to be a ubiquitous interaction medium for business meetings, pleased hrs and yoga periods. Now Apple’s FaceTime is receiving a big revamp, with extra functions and the means to function with non-Apple units. These improvements place it much more on a par with Zoom, the No. 1 videoconferencing application.

For the first time with iOS 15, FaceTime will be obtainable by an world-wide-web browser. That implies Android and Home windows users can use their browsers to movie chat with Apple iphone buyers in a FaceTime session by clicking on a link.

But the most impressive new options for FaceTime stay distinctive to Apple people. SharePlay will enable Apple iphone proprietors on a FaceTime get in touch with to use an application with each other. If you stream a film and hit the SharePlay button, the other person on the phone will be able to stream the movie at the same time. If an Android person is on the FaceTime simply call, while, the SharePlay functionality won’t function at all.

For decades, Apple and Google have competed head to head in presenting cell phone cameras that create excellent pictures. But Apple’s camera program has lagged Google’s software package, which is driven by synthetic intelligence. In iOS 15, Apple is having actions to make its camera software smarter.

With a feature that Apple calls Live Text, Iphone users can before long do extra with the camera’s capacity to functionality as a document scanner. If you snapped a picture of a cafe receipt, for instance, you will be equipped to use Live Textual content to tap on the cell phone selection in the photo to call the cafe. Or if you issue the digital camera at a tracking label, you can tap on the monitoring range to instantly keep track of the offer — no typing demanded.

Apple product homeowners will also be ready to pull up these styles of images later on with a search phrase search. So if you took a picture of a handwritten recipe, you could open up your photo album and variety the identify of the recipe to search for the picture. At that place, you could also change the scribbled notes from the handwritten recipe into text and transfer it to a digital notepad.

The know-how powering this is recognised as optical picture recognition, blended with some synthetic intelligence. Android’s image app has had a similar feature, Lens, for about four many years.

Apple has built waves around the last number of years with equipment to protect person privateness, such as a button that permits Iphone owners to ask apps not to observe and share their routines with third events like marketers.

Google, whose revenue relies principally on serving digital advertisements, has not responded with a comparable prompt for folks to conveniently decide out of tracking. But Android 12 will give people today a lot more transparency into the details that applications are amassing and present new controls to prohibit an app’s entry to info.

Just one resource, which Google phone calls a privacy dashboard, demonstrates a timeline of applications that have accessibility to different parts of the cellular phone in the course of the day. It could show that a social media application tapped your digital camera at 1 p.m. and that a weather application utilised your location at 3 p.m.

Google has also additional some buttons like eliminate switches to shut off an app’s access to the phone’s microphone and camera. That could be valuable in sensitive circumstances, like when you go to a physician and want to make sure an app is not listening in on the conversation.

Apple also explained this 7 days that additional privacy controls were being arriving for iPhones, together with a so-termed app privateness report that functions similarly to Google’s privacy dashboard. In addition to revealing what knowledge is being tapped by just about every app, the privateness report will present the domains, or website addresses, that the apps are calling. That could give perception into what firms an application is sharing data with though you use it.



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The F.T.C. asks for an extension to refile its Facebook antitrust suit.


Daily Business Briefing

July 23, 2021, 11:15 p.m. ET

July 23, 2021, 11:15 p.m. ET

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday asked a federal judge to give it more time to refile an antitrust suit against Facebook that is the agency’s biggest test in reining in the power of big tech.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the agency asked for a three-week extension, or until Aug. 19, to amend a lawsuit that the court dismissed last month. The F.T.C. said in its request that it had reached an agreement with Facebook over the proposed extension.

Last month, Judge James E. Boasberg of the federal court knocked down a core argument made by the F.T.C., saying prosecutors had failed to provide enough persuasive facts to back up the claim — that Facebook holds a monopoly over social networking. But the judge gave the F.T.C. a 30-day window to refile its lawsuit.

The new lawsuit will be the first major action by Lina Khan, the new chair of the F.T.C. and a critic of Facebook, Google and Amazon who has advocated for the breakup of the digital platforms.

Wall Street notched a fresh record on Friday as a number of strong corporate earnings reports helped investors overcome worries about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both crossed into record territory, with gains of 1 percent.

Tech stocks such as Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, led the gains, as investors took strong corporate profits from Twitter and Snap as a reason to expect similar results from other tech giants next week. Twitter rose 3.1 percent on Friday, and Snap gained 23.3 percent. Facebook climbed 5.3 percent, while Alphabet rose 3.6 percent.

The parade of second-quarter results, which began earlier this month, has been supportive for stocks for a simple reason: Companies are making more money than Wall Street analysts expected, even after accounting for the easy comparisons with last year, when earnings cratered during the worst of the Covid shutdowns.

So far, roughly 86 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported second-quarter results have beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts. (It’s true that companies do often beat expectations, but during a typical quarter, the share of better-than-expected results is closer to 75 percent.)

Those profits — and the fact that many companies are raising the guidance they give analysts about what to expect for the remainder of the year — have helped stocks overcome their brief crisis of confidence earlier this week.

On Monday, the S&P 500 had its worst drop since May, on growing concerns about the Delta variant. But it has steadily climbed since and ended the week with a gain of 2 percent. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.8 percent for the week.

Stocks in Europe were also higher on Friday after a new survey showed the pace of expansion of business activity in the eurozone hit a 21-year high in July. The first reading of the Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 60.6, up from 59.5 the previous month.

Across the region, the services industry got a boost from looser pandemic restrictions and higher vaccination rates that have encouraged tourism.

Manufacturing is still being restrained by shortages of critical products, which is causing input prices to rise. Analysts at IHS Markit, which published the report, also noted that business confidence had slipped to its lowest level since February as the Delta variant continued to spread.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index jumped 1.1 percent, while the FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent.

Credit…Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

General Motors is recalling nearly 51,000 Chevrolet electric cars in the United States whose battery modules have been found to be at risk of catching fire.

The recall covers Chevrolet Bolts from the 2017 to 2019 model years and comes after an earlier recall to add software designed to prevent the cars’ batteries from overheating. Two fires have been reported since the initial recall, including one in a Bolt that had the updated software.

The recalled Bolts use battery packs made in South Korea by LG Chem, a close partner in G.M.’s electric vehicle strategy.

G.M. and LG Chem linked the fires to two manufacturing defects that on rare occasions can be present in cells in the Bolt’s battery pack, the automaker said in a statement. G.M. plans to replace battery modules that have defective cells.

Until replacement modules are available, the company has advised owners to avoid parking the cars in garages or near buildings, and to avoid fully charging the battery packs.

“Experts from G.M. and LG have identified the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell as the root cause of battery fires in certain Chevrolet Bolt E.V.s,” the company said. “As part of this recall, G.M. will replace defective battery modules in the recall population. We will notify customers when replacement parts are ready.”

G.M. is moving to ramp up production of electric vehicles. It plans to introduce more than two dozen models in the U.S. market over the next few years, and is building several battery plants in a joint venture with LG. G.M. has said it is hoping sales of electric vehicles will take off and surpass sales of gasoline-powered cars and light trucks within about a decade.

The company has set a goal of ending production of internal combustion vehicles by 2035.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally opened an investigation into fires involving the Bolt last fall and issued a new alert last week. The original recall was issued in November.

Tony Podesta, who had stepped away from lobbying in 2017 amid a federal investigation that rendered him toxic, is now representing new clients.
Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has hired the veteran Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta as part of an expanded campaign to improve relations with the Biden administration.

Mr. Podesta has deep connections inside the White House, including to President Biden and his close counselor Steve Ricchetti. But Mr. Podesta has been out of lobbying since late 2017, when his $42-million-a-year lobbying and public relations firm collapsed amid a federal investigation that rendered him toxic.

He turned to his vast modern art collection for income, but in recent weeks, he began exploring a return to lobbying, holding talks with prospective clients around the world.

Mr. Podesta signed an agreement with Huawei a couple weeks ago, and this week he signed a deal to represent a Bulgarian energy company seeking to do business with American companies, according to a person familiar with his efforts.

His hiring by Huawei, which was reported by Politico on Friday, comes as the company tries to smooth over tensions with the U.S. government and make inroads into U.S. markets.

Huawei was branded a national security threat by the Trump administration, which argued that the Chinese government could use its communications technology for spying. The company has denied that, but it has suffered from a sustained American campaign to bar it from using U.S. technology and software, and to keep its equipment from being used in new 5G networks around the world.

The company and two of its subsidiaries are also facing federal charges of racketeering and conspiring to steal trade secrets from American companies.

Huawei has hired a number of new lawyers and lobbyists with connections to both parties in recent months, increasing its lobbying spending to more than $1 million in the last three months from $180,000 in the first three months of the year, according to congressional lobbying disclosures.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Podesta, 77, was once a dominant figure in Washington, raising millions of dollars for Democratic candidates and party committees, while building his firm, the Podesta Group, into one of the highest-earning shops on K Street.

The firm disintegrated after it became ensnared in one strand of the special counsel’s investigation into President Donald J. Trump, his campaign and its ties to Russia. The firm had taken on a client involved in Ukrainian politics that was linked to two figures central to the investigation: the Republican lobbyists Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who had worked in Ukraine before joining the Trump campaign.

Mr. Podesta’s firm initially failed to register the work under Justice Department foreign lobbying rules, and investigators spent months looking into the Podesta Group’s work, but ultimately decided not to bring charges.

Mr. Podesta’s return to lobbying is starting off more modestly.

He is working mostly by himself and intends to use the corporate name Podesta.com, the person familiar with his efforts said, in part because the Podesta Group’s email accounts and website were compromised after Chinese cyberthieves launched a wide-ranging phishing campaign using one of his domain names.

He is consulting with a lawyer about whether to disclose his lobbying arrangement with Huawei under congressional lobbying rules or the more detailed Justice Department foreign lobbying rules, the person said.

Adam Selipsky, chief executive of Amazon Web Services, spoke to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, last month.
Credit…Albert Gea/Reuters

Amazon has hired a law firm to investigate claims of widespread gender discrimination in part of its cloud computing division, the company said in an email to employees late last week.

The investigation is a response to a petition filed by a group of employees in Amazon Web Services’ Professional Services group, known as ProServ, which helps companies adopt cloud computing. In the petition, the employees alleged gender bias and bullying in the department. The Washington Post, which first reported the investigation, said more than 550 employees had signed the petition.

Adam Selipsky, the new chief executive of AWS, responded with the email, which was addressed to the leaders of the petition.

“We have retained an outside firm to investigate and understand any inappropriate conduct that you or others may have experienced or witnessed,” he wrote. “This firm is experienced and objective, and I personally will review their independent findings, which will help guide any further actions.”

Amazon has been hiring heavily in AWS, which is the largest provider of cloud computing. The industry has largely been dominated by men. About 23 percent of Amazon’s senior leaders are female, company data show.

In May, five women, including one who worked in ProServ, sued the company, accusing it of various forms of racial and gender discrimination, claims the company has denied.

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen at the White House in May.
Credit…Erin Scott for The New York Times

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen warned Congress on Friday that the U.S. economy faced “irreparable harm” if lawmakers failed to raise or suspend the nation’s borrowing cap and that the Treasury Department would begin taking “extraordinary measures” to avoid breaching the so-called debt limit.

In a letter to Congress, Ms. Yellen said that the nation’s debt will hit its statutory limit on Aug. 1 and that it is possible that soon after lawmakers return from their August recess the United States could face the dire prospect of defaulting on its obligations. Urging Congress to act, she recalled that in 2011 the threat of default caused nation’s credit rating to be downgraded.

“Even the threat of failing to meet those obligations has caused detrimental impacts in the past, including the sole credit rating downgrade in the history of the nation in 2011,” Ms. Yellen wrote. “This is why no president or Treasury secretary of either party has ever countenanced even the suggestion of a default on any obligation of the United States.”

Ms. Yellen also warned that the pandemic had made it difficult for the Treasury to predict how long it could delay breaching the debt ceiling given uncertainty around the timing of government payments and tax receipts.

The Treasury often takes what it calls “extraordinary measures” to avoid breaching the debt limit, which is a cap on how much the government can borrow. Those measures include suspending investments of the Exchange Stabilization Fund and suspending the issuing of new securities for the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the Treasury Department could run out of cash by October or November.

Ms. Yellen noted that the government was required to make a payment of $150 billion for a Department of Defense-related retirement and health care investment on Oct. 1, which will deplete its cash reserves.

Brinkmanship over the debt limit has become common in Washington. Republicans have traditionally resisted raising or suspending the debt limit when Democrats control the White House. They backed a two-year suspension of the debt limit in 2019 as part of a spending agreement with Democrats while President Donald J. Trump was in office.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, suggested this week that Republican senators would not back a debt ceiling increase and that Democrats would have to deal with it on their own.

White House officials said they remained hopeful that lawmakers would work together to avert a debt limit crisis.

“We certainly expect Congress to act in a bipartisan manner as they did three times under the prior administration to raise the debt limit,” Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said on Friday.

Ms. Yellen said in her letter that suspending or increasing the debt limit did not authorize future spending but, in fact, allowed the Treasury Department to pay for expenses that Congress had already approved.

“The current level of debt reflects the cumulative effect of all prior spending and tax decisions, which have been made by administrations and Congresses of both parties over time,” Ms. Yellen wrote.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries has been dropping for months and remains at just under 1.3 percent.
Credit…Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press

The fear that the economic recovery is faltering, in part because of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, appears to have receded among stock investors.

Bond buyers, though, are still spooked. The yield on 10-year Treasuries has been dropping for months and remains at just under 1.3 percent, near the lowest it has been since February, when the prospects for the economy were much shakier.

The DealBook newsletter asks: Who to believe?

A drop in yields usually signals slower growth ahead, which seems at odds with what’s happening. Yes, the Delta variant has delayed some reopening plans, but the economy generally appears to be expanding rather quickly. Most economists think 2021 growth will be the strongest since the mid-1980s.

10-year U.S. government bond yield

That’s led some Wall Street strategists to conclude that the bond market is broken:

  • The long-held belief that bonds are somehow better able to predict the economy than stocks doesn’t make sense in our current situation, said Vincent Deluard, a global macrostrategist at the institutional brokerage firm StoneX. The Federal Reserve’s pandemic stimulus included a heavy dose of bond buying, distorting the market. And the popularity of target date funds, which balance stocks and bonds based on investors’ projected date of retirement, is also moving bonds for reasons unrelated to the economy. “I find it hard to take seriously that the bond market is saying that we are not going to have inflation and a hot economy,” Mr. Deluard said.

  • There is another possibility: Economic rebounds have been getting successively slower, said Tom Atteberry, who runs the FPA New Income bond fund, one of the most conservative funds around. Growth peaked around 5 percent in the 1990s, 4 percent in the mid-2000s and 3 percent before the pandemic.

The big difference this time is that the government has spent trillions to pull the economy out of a deep recession. What if that masks something fundamentally awry? What if growth has already peaked? What if the new long-term ceiling is even lower than before? Mr. Atteberry considered this, “but then I come back to ‘nah,’” he said. “Rates are going to rise and the economy is going to do a lot better than it is now.”

  • Amazon told customers this week that it would no longer require them to resolve their legal complaints involving the technology giant through arbitration, a significant retreat from a strategy that often helps companies avoid liability. In a brief email to customers, Amazon said anyone using its products would now have to pursue disputes with the company in federal court, rather than go through the private and secretive arbitration process, which critics say puts consumers at a huge disadvantage. The five-sentence note informing Amazon’s customers about its updated “conditions of use” did not explain the reasons for dropping arbitration. When asked about the reasoning, a company spokeswoman did not elaborate.

  • Felicia Sonmez, a Washington Post reporter, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper and some of its top editors on Wednesday, claiming they had discriminated against her by barring her from covering stories related to sexual assault after she went public as a victim of assault. Ms. Sonmez said in the lawsuit that after she publicly stated in 2018 that she had been assaulted by a fellow journalist while living in Beijing, The Post had barred her from covering Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual misconduct allegations against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. After an article in Reason magazine on allegations against the journalist came out a year later, Ms. Sonmez said, The Post again subjected her to a coverage ban. She added that her editors had “disciplined” her for publicly requesting a correction to the article.

Movers in New York last summer. “In the short run, prices are going to continue to soar,” said Igor Popov, an economist at Apartment List.
Credit…OK McCausland for The New York Times

The rental market, which slumped during the pandemic, has snapped back more quickly than many economists predicted, and renters across the country are facing sticker shock.

Demand for apartments and single-family rentals is rebounding — and even looking hot in some places, Coral Murphy Marcos, Jeanna Smialek and Jim Tankersley report for The New York Times.

If rents continue to take off, it could be bad news both for those seeking housing and for the nation’s inflation outlook. Rental costs play an outsize role in the Consumer Price Index, so a meaningful rise in rent could help keep that closely watched government price gauge, which has picked up sharply, higher for longer.

  • Rents last month rose 7 percent nationally from a year earlier, Zillow data shows. That was measured against a weak June 2020, but the gain was also a robust 1.8 percent from May.

  • Measures of rent and “owners’ equivalent rent” — which uses rental data to try to put a price on how much owners would pay for their housing if they hadn’t bought a home — make up nearly one-third of the Consumer Price Index. Both tend to move slowly, but are defying expectations that they would take time to bounce back.

  • The rental experience diverges across markets. Rents have appreciated rapidly in places like Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Wash.; and Phoenix, while big cities on the coasts have lagged, based on Zillow data. Rents in New York and San Francisco are recovering quickly but remain cheaper than two years ago.

Video

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CreditCredit…Nick Little

Today in the On Tech newsletter, Shira Ovide writes that it feels as if we’re in the middle of reimagining both what a “video game” is and what online idle time can be — more engaging and social, perhaps, and a little less passive doomscrolling.



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Stress tests passed, banks are primed to pay shareholders.


Daily Business Briefing

June 25, 2021, 12:07 a.m. ET

June 25, 2021, 12:07 a.m. ET

The nation’s biggest banks can get back to business as usual.

The Federal Reserve said on Thursday that Wall Street lenders were most likely strong enough to fully resume shareholder payouts after the regulator lifted pandemic-related restrictions — the latest sign that the economy is returning to normal.

“The banking system is strongly positioned to support the ongoing recovery,” the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, Randal K. Quarles, said in a statement.

That means the nation’s biggest lenders — including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America — can increase the amount they pay out to shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends.

Industry representatives immediately took a victory lap.

“The strength and resiliency of the nation’s largest banks have been reconfirmed,” Kevin Fromer, the chief executive of the Financial Services Forum, said in a statement. The resumption of “reasonable” dividends and buybacks would support the economy’s recovery, said Mr. Fromer, whose group represents the leaders of the eight largest U.S. banks.

The Federal Reserve imposed temporary limits on dividends and buybacks last year as a way to protect against loan losses that could have threatened the financial system. But government efforts to prop up the economy, including enhanced unemployment benefits and stimulus payments, meant that such losses never emerged. Indeed, Americans used some of that money to pay down debts and are, overall, comparatively flush and eager to spend after a year of lockdowns.

In March, the Fed’s governors unanimously approved plans to end the buyback and dividend limits after the second quarter as long as banks passed their so-called stress tests — the annual evaluations of banks with $100 billion or more in assets. The test were established by the Dodd-Frank reform law established after the 2008 financial crisis.

On Thursday, the Fed said the banks had passed the test, which assessed how they would fare under dire situations such as a severe global recession punctuated by major stress in commercial real estate and corporate debt markets alongside a 55 percent decline in equity prices. That hypothetical case would trigger collective losses of $470 billion among the 23 large banks, with nearly $160 billion of the losses coming from commercial real estate and corporate loans, the Fed said. While the banks’ capital ratios would fall to 10.6 percent under that scenario, that is still more than double the lowest required ratio.

The stringent conditions in the stress tests contrast with a more rosy reality: U.S. lenders have maintained a firm footing during the pandemic, racking up profits and building up reserves in preparation for a torrent of losses that so far hasn’t materialized. Bank stocks have jumped about 28 percent since January as a speedy vaccine rollout bolstered economic activity.

If a bank’s capital dips below certain levels in the tests, the Fed can restrict it from paying out money to shareholders. But a New York Times analysis of results suggested that none of the six largest banks were close to facing such restrictions.

The banks’ passing grades prompted criticism that the test had been too easy.

“I’m losing my faith in the stress tests,” said Sheila Bair, who was head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the financial crisis. She pointed out that the tests are predictable because they have been made more transparent, and that the scenarios are reflective of the 2008 meltdown — not emerging risks, like climate change.

“They need to get a little more creative,” she said. “They’re looking in the rearview mirror — that’s the problem.”

Lenders are expected to announce their capital plans on Monday afternoon, according to the Fed. The lag will allow banks to compare their own analyses with the Fed’s and potentially revise their payout proposals.

“The expectations have been high regarding payouts,” said Ian Katz, an analyst at Capital Alpha Partners, a research firm in Washington. “I think they’re going to meet those expectations, and they’ve gotten the green light to do that.”

Mayra Rodríguez Valladares, a financial risk consultant who trains bankers and regulators, said she expected banks to boost their dividend payouts and share buybacks — although she believed doing so would be premature.

“We still do not know how many corporate or individual defaults are coming our way once all stimulus and Fed programs to provide respite during Covid end,” Ms. Rodríguez Valladares said. “Banks should not be excessive in dividend payouts and should make sure that they are well above minimum capital levels to protect them if defaults rise later in the year.”

Gregg Gelzinis, associate director for economic policy at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, added that bigger dividends and buybacks wouldn’t bolster the economy.

“That’s money that could have been used to expand lending to businesses and households, aiding the recovery,” he said.

But the Bank Policy Institute, an industry group, said large lenders were on solid ground to help the economy bounce back from the past year’s upheaval.

Large banks “remain in an excellent position to continue to support the economic recovery as loan demand strengthens,” said Francisco Covas, the institute’s executive vice president.

Future tests, however, may not be so forgiving.

Mr. Quarles was appointed vice chair for supervision by President Donald J. Trump, and his term will expire in mid-October. The next time the banks go through their annual checkups, they most likely will be facing scenarios approved by different leadership.

Isaac Boltansky, the director of policy research at the research and trading firm Compass Point, said the change will introduce an element of uncertainty for banks, who might encounter more strenuous scenarios related to the kinds of risks Ms. Bair said could lie ahead.

“Where I think it is a little bit hazier is what happens after this,” he said.

Credit…Laura Morton for The New York Times

Google pushed back plans to phase out a widely used technology to track the web activity of users, in an effort to address growing concerns from regulators and digital advertising industry rivals.

In a blog post on Thursday, Google said it intended to start gradually blocking trackers, or cookies, from its Chrome web browser in mid-2023 and eliminate them altogether later that year. Previously, Google had said it planned to begin stripping cookies from Chrome in January 2022.

Google’s approach to removing cookies from Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser, upset many in the digital advertising industry and captured the attention of regulators. The fear was that Google’s dominance, already evident through its stranglehold on advertising, search and web browsing, would be further entrenched by removing a tool used by many rival online marketers to target ads.

“It’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” wrote Vinay Goel, director of privacy engineering for Chrome. “This will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services.”

The company’s announcement came on the heels of the European Union saying it will investigate Google’s plans to eliminate cookies as part of a broader inquiry of its dominance in digital advertising technology. Earlier this month, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority reached an agreement with Google to allow the regulator to review any changes to Chrome as part of another investigation.

Other web browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox have taken more aggressive measures to curb tracking online, but Google has struggled to move forward — in part because of the concerns that its privacy initiatives are self-serving for a company that already knows so much about the interests and habits of its users.

Under an initiative called the Privacy Sandbox, Google has proposed a new set of tools to approximate the role played by cookies without the same privacy concerns of tracking individuals on the internet.

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, recently compared the British economy to “a coiled spring,” and inflation to a sleeping tiger.
Credit…Toby Melville/Reuters

Britain’s economic recovery is continuing apace and inflation is now expected to climb even higher than previously predicted, but the Bank of England’s policymakers stood firm on Thursday and saw little need to scale back their large monetary stimulus program.

That is, all but one.

In his final meeting, Andy Haldane, the central bank’s chief economist, cast the lone dissenting vote, arguing that the bank should pare back its bond-buying program because of the improved economic outlook and rising price pressures. It continued a theme he has sounded for months. In February, he described inflation as a sleeping tiger that had been “stirred from its slumber.”

Since the central bank’s previous meeting in May, it has raised its expectations for economic growth and predicted that the annual inflation rate would temporarily climb above 3 percent, higher than previously forecast and exceeding its 2 percent target.

“It is possible,” the minutes from this week’s meeting said, that “upward pressure on prices could prove somewhat larger than expected.”

Still, the majority of policymakers were not ready to withdraw any of the support they were giving to the economy, arguing that the central bank should not undermine the economic recovery by tightening monetary policy too quickly, the minutes said.

The policy-setting committee held interest rates at a record low of 0.1 percent and kept the size of its bond-buying program at 895 billion pounds. It offered few clues about when it might reduce stimulus. After the announcement, the pound dropped 0.5 percent against the U.S. dollar.

Mr. Haldane contends the economy is approaching takeoff speed and, for a second consecutive month, urged the central bank to reduce its target for the amount of bonds it intends to buy by £50 billion. That would end the program in August instead of at the end of the year.

It was the 68th and last policy meeting for Mr. Haldane, 53, who joined the bank in his early 20s and has recently been one of the most optimistic proponents of strong economic recovery in Britain — and a leading worrier that central banks risk underreacting to rising inflation.

He is leaving to run the Royal Society of Arts, a British think tank focused on the future of work and sustainable business practices.

With Mr. Haldane’s departure, the monetary policy committee will lose its most hawkish member as it has to decide how to emerge from its pandemic response measures. Even while Britain was enduring a strict lockdown through a cold and dark winter, Mr. Haldane kept up his confidence in the economy.

In February, he said there was “enormous amounts of pent-up financial energy waiting to be released, like a coiled spring.” Since then, that spring has turned into warnings about the “beast of inflation.”

Now central bankers face their “most dangerous moment” since the early 1990s, when policymakers began using targets for inflation to guide decisions, Mr. Haldane recently wrote in New Statesman magazine. “While nothing is assured, acting early as inflation risks grow is the best way of heading off future threat.”

Mr. Haldane’s imaginative language and directness have been a consistent feature of his time at the Bank of England, which he joined in 1989. He became a member of the policy-setting committee and became chief economist in 2014.

After the 2008 financial crisis, he was outspoken about the risks that banks and large asset managers could pose to national economies, sometimes making him a pariah in the financial sector. But he just as eagerly addressed what he believed was a crisis in economics that left his profession blindsided, and has warned against groupthink in central banks. He has also voiced his support for the Occupy movement, and worked with students determined to make economics education more intellectually diverse.

In 2009, Mr. Haldane founded the charity Pro Bono Economics, which sends economists into charities to help them use data to measure their impact, while also advocating higher levels of math skills across the country. Although he has said economics needs to be more easily accessible, Mr. Haldane has also insisted that economists need to better understand the public. He has crisscrossed Britain meeting community groups and students to discuss topics including homelessness and mental health.

“Technocratic institutions require the continuous consent not just of Parliament but of the wider public,” Mr. Haldane wrote in the foreword to “The Econocracy,” a book by ex-students on reforming economics.

His successor has not been named.

A Maricopa County constable posting an eviction order for non-payment of rent last October in Phoenix.
Credit…John Moore/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday approved a one-month extension of the national moratorium on evictions, scheduled to expire on June 30, as officials emphasized this will be the final time they will push back the deadline.

The moratorium, instituted by the agency last September to prevent a wave of evictions spurred by the economic downturn associated with the coronavirus pandemic and extended earlier this year, has significantly limited the economic damage to renters and sharply reduced eviction filings.

On Thursday, the C.D.C. director, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, signed the extension, which goes through July 31, after a week of internal debate at the White House over the issue.

Local officials and tenants rights groups have warned that phasing out the freeze could touch off a new, if somewhat less severe, eviction crisis than the country faced last year during the height of the pandemic.

White House officials agreed and pressed reluctant C.D.C. officials to extend the moratorium, which they see as needed to buy them more time to distribute $21.5 billion in emergency federal housing aid funded by a pandemic relief bill passed this spring.

Administration officials, speaking on a conference call with reporters on Thursday, unveiled a range of other actions intended to blunt the impact of lifting the moratorium and the lapsing of similar state and local measures.

Among the most significant is a new push by the Justice Department, led by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, to coax local housing court judges to slow the pace of evictions by forcing landlords to accept federal money intended to pay back rent.

In a letter to state court officials, Ms. Gupta urged judges to adopt a general order requiring all landlords to prove they have applied for federal aid before signing off on evictions, while offering federal funding for eviction diversion programs intended to resolve landlord-tenant disputes.

Other initiatives include a summit on housing affordability and evictions, to be held at the White House later this month; stepped-up coordination with local officials and legal aid organizations to minimize evictions after July 31; and new guidance from the Treasury Department meant to streamline the sluggish disbursement of the $21.5 billion in emergency aid included in the pandemic relief bill in the spring.

White House officials, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, said recently that the one-month extension, while influenced by concerns over a new wave of evictions, was prompted by the lag in vaccination rates in low-income communities.

Ms. Walensky was initially reluctant to sign the extension, according to a senior administration official involved in the negotiations. She eventually concluded, the official said, a flood of new evictions could lead to greater spread of the virus by displaced tenants.

Forty-four House Democrats wrote to Ms. Walensky, on Tuesday, urging them to put off allowing evictions to resume. “By extending the moratorium and incorporating these critical improvements to protect vulnerable renters, we can work to curtail the eviction crisis disproportionately impacting our communities of color,” the lawmakers wrote.

Groups representing private landlords maintain that the health crisis that justified the freeze has ended and that continuing the freeze even for an extra four weeks would be an unwarranted government intrusion in the housing market.

“The mounting housing affordability crisis is quickly becoming a housing affordability disaster fueled by flawed eviction moratoriums, which leave renters with insurmountable debt and housing providers holding the bag,” said Bob Pinnegar, president of the National Apartment Association, a trade group representing owners of large residential buildings.

Stocks on Wall Street climbed into record territory on Thursday, extending a rebound lifted by more good news about the economy and progress on a deal in Washington that could boost infrastructure spending.

After a slide last week, the S&P 500 has climbed nearly 2.5 percent this week, gaining three of four days. Last week’s drop reflected uncertainty about the path forward for interest rates and inflation after the Federal Reserve indicated it was open to raising rates sooner than expected and would begin discussing when to pull back on its emergency stimulus to support the economy.

Thursday’s gains came after the Labor Department reported that weekly claims for state jobless benefits declined,; the Commerce Department said orders at factories for big-ticket items like aircraft and machinery rose in May; and lawmakers in Washington said they had reached an agreement on a $579 billion spending plan for roads, broadband internet and other projects.

Though a final bill is still far from assured, optimism around its prospects meant stocks tied to construction and engineering jumped. Terex Corporation, a supplier of cranes and lifts used in large construction projects, jumped 4 percent, while Dycom, which specializes in telecommunication systems, rose 5.8 percent.

Fluor, another engineering and construction company that has a large government contracting business, climbed 4.5 percent. Vulcan Materials, which makes asphalt for roads, rose 3.3 percent, and construction-equipment giant Caterpillar was the one of the best-performing stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average, rising more than 2.6 percent.

Banks also rallied on Thursday ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s annual “stress tests” on the largest financial firms. The Fed could drop or relax restrictions put on the banks’ ability to distribute cash to shareholders — limits that were put in place earlier in the pandemic to strengthen the financial system. Goldman Sachs gained 2.1 percent, while JPMorgan Chase rose more than 0.9 percent.

Microsoft climbed about half a percent to end the day with a market value of over $2 trillion for the first time. It’s not the first company to cross that threshold, Apple did so in August 2020, and oil giant Saudi Aramco did so in late 2019.

The S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent, notching a record high. The Dow rose 1 percent.

The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced a $2.2 billion cryptocurrency fund on Thursday, during a stormy week for Bitcoin in a season of extremes for digital assets. A crackdown in China has driven down crypto prices in recent days, the latest bout of volatility that makes regulators wary of the industry as it moves into the mainstream.

Katie Haun, a co-chair of the fund, is a former federal prosecutor who created the first U.S. government cryptocurrency task force. Anyone who has been around crypto for years realizes it will be “a bumpy ride,” she told the DealBook newsletter before the announcement. Nonetheless, the fund is oversubscribed. “We could have quite easily raised a lot larger funds without any issue at all,” she said.

The crypto fund is “all weather,” investing at all stages, in both the equity of companies and directly in crypto coins and tokens, according to a statement from the fund. “We are radically optimistic about crypto’s potential,” Ms. Haun and her fellow co-chair, Chris Dixon, said in the statement. “The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”

This is Andreessen’s third crypto fund. Each is progressively bigger, as the firm expands into new areas and doubles down on what worked before. Ms. Haun said the latest fund — focused on infrastructure, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and decentralized finance, or DeFi — is made up entirely of repeat investors. Through the ups and downs, interest in crypto is only getting stronger, she said. That’s why the industry needs more clarity about “the rules of the road,” she added.

To that end, Andreessen isn’t just betting on crypto businesses, but hiring former government insiders to help steer its strategy as crypto regulation evolves. Bill Hinman, the former director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, where he worked on digital asset issues, is joining as an advisory partner, as is Brent McIntosh, the former under secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, who coordinated the G7’s work on crypto. Tomicah Tillemann, the technologist and former adviser to Joe Biden in the Senate, is joining to run global policy.

“As with any new computing movement, crypto has endured a variety of challenges and misconceptions,” the statement said. “That’s why we are also bringing together heavy-hitters across several functions to help translate crypto to the mainstream.”

  • Initial claims for state jobless benefits fell last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

  • The weekly figure was about 393,000, down 15,000 from the previous week. New claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federally funded program for jobless freelancers, gig workers and others who do not ordinarily qualify for state benefits, totaled 105,000, up 7,000 from the week before. The figures are not seasonally adjusted. (On a seasonally adjusted basis, state claims totaled 411,000, a decrease of 7,000.)

  • A total of 26 states have announced plans to discontinue some or all federal pandemic unemployment benefits this month or next — including a $300 supplement to other benefits — even though they are funded through September.

  • New state claims remain high by historical standards but are one-half the level recorded in early February. The benefit filings, something of a proxy for layoffs, have receded as businesses return to fuller operations, particularly in hard-hit industries like leisure and hospitality.

Climate activists protesting during the Group of 7 summit in Cornwall, Britain, this month.
Credit…Jon Rowley/EPA, via Shutterstock

An influential watchdog group said on Thursday that the British government was doing far too little to carry out the ambitious pledges it had made on tackling climate change.

Although the government has promised to cut its greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050, it has failed to take interim steps — such as tax incentives for reducing emissions — essential to meet that goal, according to a report by the group, the Committee on Climate Change.

“The trouble is the action, the delivery has just not been there,” said John Gummer, chairman of the committee, which is funded by the British government to advise lawmakers on environmental policies.

The criticism may prove uncomfortable for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has made leadership on climate diplomacy a key pillar for the post-Brexit Britain that he is trying to shape.

Britain’s ambitions to wield influence in this area will be on display in November in Glasgow, where Mr. Johnson is expected to lead a significant international gathering known as COP26, which leaders like President Biden hope will be a forum for advancing the global climate agenda.

In 2019, Mr. Johnson sketched a vision for a “green industrial revolution” in Britain, pledging to ban the sale of most new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars by 2030 and holding out the prospect of creating some 250,000 jobs in areas like offshore wind, hydrogen and battery production. The ideas followed legislation passed in 2019, before Mr. Johnson took office, that established the net-zero pledge for 2050.

On Thursday, though, the committee said that while such pledges were “historic,” the government was badly lagging in making good on them.

“What we have seen since then is almost nothing at all,” Chris Stark, the chief executive of the committee, said in an interview.

The committee and environmentalists have warned that continued lack of follow-through could make it difficult for Mr. Johnson to persuade other governments to take potentially painful steps on reducing emissions at the climate summit.

“Everyone is looking for action and delivery, not for promises,” said Mr. Gummer, a former cabinet minister who, like Mr. Johnson, is a member of the Conservative Party.

Credit…Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament, via Reuters

Unless the government comes up with credible plans, he said, “the whole concept of global Britain being a leader will, in fact, be undermined.”

In the report published on Thursday, the committee wrote that reaching net zero as well as interim milestones would require what it called a significant change in government action. In addition to tax incentives to spur reduced emissions, the committee called for dedicated government spending to reduce emissions from industry, buildings and agriculture, and a bigger effort to point out the opportunities offered to people and businesses by tackling climate change.

So far, the report’s authors wrote, “it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months.”

Analysts say the criticism may well nudge the government to do more, especially with the climate summit coming.

Doug Parr, the chief scientist of the environmental group Greenpeace UK, said the committee’s critique would be “awkward” for the government. “In this year of all years, yes, it will matter,” he added.

Responding to the report, George Eustice, the government’s environment secretary, told the BBC that Mr. Johnson was closely following climate issues. “This is an agenda that matters to the prime minister, and it is not true to say that he just made a promise and isn’t following through,” he said.

The committee has clout because it is part of the legal framework credited with Britain’s achievements to date on climate. In recent decades, Britain has by some metrics been among the world leaders on tackling climate change, reducing emissions by 40 percent from 1990 to 2019.

Many observers give credit for Britain’s performance to legislation in 2008 that set legally binding emissions targets and established the committee to monitor progress and advise the government.

At the same time, many say, government foot-dragging at this juncture is not surprising, because Britain has previously picked the low-hanging fruit on climate change and now faces more difficult hurdles to make further progress.

A large portion of the earlier gains have come in the power sector. Britain has replaced most of its highly polluting coal-fired generators — first with natural gas plants and, more recently, with renewable generation sources, carpeting the shallows of the North Sea with wind turbines.

Analysts say reducing carbon in electric power is relatively easy because consumers do not see any real change when they flip a light switch. Future progress may require more intrusive and expensive measures, such as replacing natural gas heating systems with devices known as heat pumps and widespread retrofitting of homes with insulation.

“All politicians are deeply afraid of having to engage with consumers and people’s houses because of the political sensitivities,” said Nick Mabey, the chief executive of E3G, an environmental group.

Mr. Stark listed other areas that the government must address, beginning with around 30 million privately owned buildings that will need to have their emissions slashed over 30 years — a daunting task.

There is also much work to be done in transportation, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The government has pledged to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles but now must follow through on needed infrastructure like electric charging points. The government must also figure out how to clean up heavy industries like steel and chemicals without forcing these businesses to close.

It all adds up to a huge effort for Britain or any other industrialized country to meet climate targets. Last year, because of the pandemic, Britain reached a level where emissions were around half the level of 1990.

“The next half will be the most difficult half,” Mr. Stark said. “We have done most of the easy bits.”

The New York Stock Exchange in March 2020. The early days of the pandemic in the United States rattled the markets.
Credit…John Taggart for The New York Times

Laurence D. Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was in frequent touch with the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the days before and after many of the Fed’s emergency rescue programs were announced in late March, Jeanna Smialek reports for The New York Times.

Emails obtained by The New York Times through a records request, along with public releases, underscore the extent to which Mr. Fink planned alongside the government for parts of a financial rescue that his firm referred to in one message as “the project” that he and the Fed were “working on together.”

Mr. Mnuchin held 60 recorded calls over the frantic Saturday and Sunday leading up to the Fed’s unveiling on Monday, March 23, of a policy package that included its first-ever program to buy corporate bonds, which were becoming nearly impossible to sell as investors sprinted to convert their holdings to cash. Mr. Mnuchin spoke to Mr. Fink five times that weekend, more than anyone other than the Fed chair.

The Fed and Treasury consulted with many financial firms as they drew up their response — and practically all of Wall Street and much of Main Street benefited — but no other company was as front and center.

The Fed has explained the decision to hire the advisory side of the house in terms of practicality.

“We hired BlackRock for their expertise in these markets,” Mr. Powell has since said in defense of the rapid move. “It was done very quickly due to the urgency and need for their expertise.”

  • Delegates to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters convention on Thursday approved a resolution making it a priority to organize Amazon workers and help them secure a union contract. The union represents more than one million workers in industries including parcel delivery and freight and had more than $200 million in revenue last year. The resolution states that Amazon “presents an existential threat to the standards we have set in these industries” and that the union will eventually create a division to organize workers at the company.

  • President Biden removed the chief of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hours after the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the president had the authority to dismiss the agency’s director. The director, Mark Calabria, had overseen a number of rules aimed to end the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie, imposed in 2008 at the start of the financial crisis. Mr. Calabria favored the eventual privatization of the mortgage giants, and his dismissal hit the companies’ share prices, hurting hedge funds that had bet on an exit from government control.

  • BuzzFeed, the digital publisher known for quizzes, listicles and a news division that won its first Pulitzer Prize this month, is close to reaching a merger deal that would take the company public, a person with knowledge of the company said Wednesday. An announcement could come as soon as this week, the person added. BuzzFeed declined to comment. Led by its founder and chief executive, Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed has been in talks to merge with an already public shell company, 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, in what is known as a SPAC deal.

  • After nearly two decades leading Southwest Airlines, Gary C. Kelly, will step down from the chief executive position next year, the airline said on Wednesday. He will be replaced by Robert E. Jordan, a top executive who has held a number of jobs at the company. Both men have worked for Southwest since the 1980s. Mr. Kelly, 66, has been in the top job since 2004, expanding Southwest into the nation’s largest airline by passengers carried. Mr. Jordan, 60, an executive vice president who oversees communication and outreach and human resources, will become chief executive on Feb. 1.

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CreditCredit…Brenna Murphy

Today in the On Tech newsletter, Shira Ovide talks to Cecilia Kang about a package of bills written by House lawmakers that poses existential threats to the tech giants.



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