Opposition Candidate Is Declared Victor in Sierra Leone’s Election

Opposition Candidate Is Declared Victor in Sierra Leone’s Election Photo The opposition presidential candidate in Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, seen above casting his vote last month, was declared the winner on Wednesday after a second round of voting. Credit Issouf Sanogo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images DAKAR, Senegal — A former military commander and rebel leader who later went to graduate school in the United States and Britain was declared the winner of Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff on Wednesday after a campaign season marred by reports of violence and irregularities.
The new president, Julius Maada Bio, was to be immediately sworn in on Wednesday night. The country’s chief justice, Abdulai Charm, said the inauguration needed to be held quickly to avoid a power vacuum and in compliance with the country’s Constitution.
Candidates from 16 parties ran for president, but in the first round of voting last month, no one won the 55 percent required to avoid a second round.
Mr. ..

Sinclair’s Boss Responds to Criticism: ‘You Can’t Be Serious!’

Supported by Media Sinclair’s Boss Responds to Criticism: ‘You Can’t Be Serious!’ Photo David D. Smith, the chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, in 2011. This week, he defended a script that news anchors at his company’s stations were told to read. “Do you understand,” he wrote, “that as a practical matter every word that comes out of the mouths of network news people is scripted and approved by someone?” Credit Nicholas Griner/Baltimore Business Journal David D. Smith, the chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, says the media is getting his company all wrong.
His remark, in a lengthy email exchange with The New York Times, came in response to renewed scrutiny of Sinclair after a video spread rapidly showing anchors at dozens of its stations across the country reciting the same speech about media bias.
Mr. Smith defended the anchors’ segments, known as “must-runs,” and likened them to the late-night shows that networks air on their local affiliates.
“Not that you would print it, b..

Is Amazon Bad for the Postal Service? Or Its Savior?

Supported by Technology Is Amazon Bad for the Postal Service? Or Its Savior? Photo Credit Illustration by The New York Times; Doug Mills/The New York Times, left, Sajjad Hussain/Agence France-Presse SEATTLE — Five times in the last week, President Trump has pointed his Twitter arrows at Amazon over what he insists is a bad deal for the United States Postal Service.
Mr. Trump wrote on Tuesday that the agreement, which sets what Amazon pays the Postal Service for many orders, costs American taxpayers billions of dollars. “I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy,” he wrote.
The details about the deal are not public — they are considered commercially sensitive information — but some of the available evidence suggests the opposite: that Amazon has been a boon to the Postal Service.
The Postal Service has experienced a steady decline in the amount of mail it ships as more of its customers turn away from postcard..

Massive United States-Saudi Infrastructure Fund Struggles to Get Going

Supported by Business Day Massive United States-Saudi Infrastructure Fund Struggles to Get Going Photo Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the United Nations in New York City last month. Credit Amir Levy/Reuters Last May, the private equity firm Blackstone announced that it was creating a $40 billion fund that would invest in infrastructure projects in the United States. The fund’s largest backer was the government of Saudi Arabia, which agreed to kick in half the cash.
Ten months later, the highly anticipated fund has yet to complete an initial round of fund-raising, much less start investing in infrastructure.
Although the Saudis promised to contribute up to $20 billion, Blackstone is required to raise a dollar from other investors for every dollar the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund puts in. So far, only two other investors have publicly committed to the fund, with their contributions totaling $575 million, according to data provider Preqin, which tracks such in..