E.P.A. Officials Sidelined After Questioning Scott Pruitt

Supported by Business Day E.P.A. Officials Sidelined After Questioning Scott Pruitt Photo Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency faced career repercussions after questioning the spending of its administrator, Scott Pruitt, center. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times WASHINGTON — At least five officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, four of them high-ranking, were reassigned or demoted, or requested new jobs in the past year after they raised concerns about the spending and management of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.
The concerns included unusually large spending on office furniture and first-class travel, as well as certain demands by Mr. Pruitt for security coverage, such as requests for a bulletproof vehicle and an expanded 20-person protective detail, according to people who worked for or with the E.P.A. and have direct knowledge of the situation.
Mr. Pruitt bristled when the officials — four career E.P.A. employees and one Trump administration..

Trump Veers From Tax Script to Blast Democrats on Immigration

Supported by Politics Trump Veers From Tax Script to Blast Democrats on Immigration Photo Bored with his prepared remarks at an event in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on Thursday, President Trump opted instead for a lengthy tirade against immigrants and the nation’s immigration laws. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — President Trump on Thursday lashed out at Democrats for opposing his proposals to fortify the border and toughen immigration laws, accusing his political opponents of embracing dangerous policies to secure immigrant votes.
“This is what the Democrats are doing to you, and they like it because they think they’re going to vote Democrat,” Mr. Trump said, after recounting the terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan last October, in which an Uzbek immigrant killed eight people when he drove a truck onto a pedestrian and bicycle path on the West Side Highway. “They’re doing it for that reason, and other reasons.”
Mr. Trump traveled to West Virg..

Newsbook: Do Your Taxes. Then, Read These Books

Supported by Books Do Your Taxes. Then, Read These Books As you gather your receipts and W-2s this tax season, you may be inspired to tackle your overall financial well-being. Here are three books that can help.
Master the Mindset of Wealth
By Jen Sincero
269 pp. Viking. (2017)
According to this book, if you want to make more money, it starts with changing how you think about your finances. This book is aimed at changing readers’ mentality. In Sincero’s view, pursuing wealth gets a bad rap — that it is greedy, gross or will prevent you from spending time with your family — and those negative associations hold people back from achieving their desired or deserved income level. She argues that money can be a conduit to living a richer life and guides readers through thought exercises and mantras to change how readers talk to themselves about money and unleash their ability to attain it.

Groups in Myanmar Fire Back at Zuckerberg

Groups in Myanmar Fire Back at Zuckerberg Photo A half-dozen civil society groups in Myanmar said in an open letter on Thursday that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, had mischaracterized the social network’s efforts to detect hate speech in their country. Credit Noah Berger/Associated Press SHANGHAI — Civil society groups in Myanmar on Thursday criticized Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, arguing that he mischaracterized his company’s effectiveness at detecting and quashing messages encouraging violence in the country.
Taking aim at comments made by Mr. Zuckerberg in a recent interview, the groups said that Facebook had no consistent methods for dealing with hate speech in Myanmar. The same problems keep recurring, they said, with the company routinely failing to follow up on their comments and suggestions.
In a conversation with Vox’s Ezra Klein this week, Mr. Zuckerberg referred to a pair of chain letters that spread around Myanmar on Facebook Messenger last ye..

C.F.P.B.’s Chief Gives Big Raises, Even as He Criticizes Spending

C.F.P.B.’s Chief Gives Big Raises, Even as He Criticizes Spending Photo Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has recently approved high salaries for top appointees while using its cash reserves to fund its budget. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has complained that the regulator engages in “wasteful spending” and needs to be slimmed down. To underscore the point, he submitted a quarterly budget request recently that was a nice round number: $0.
That attitude, though, apparently didn’t apply to two of his recent hires.
Mr. Mulvaney appointed two senior staff members who are paid salaries of more than $230,000, amounts that are far above what they had been earning in their previous government jobs in Washington, according to agency documents obtained by The New York Times through a public records request.
The consumer bureau, as well as fellow financial regulators like..

Amsale Aberra, Trendsetting Bridal Gown Designer, Is Dead at 64

Supported by Business Day Amsale Aberra, Trendsetting Bridal Gown Designer, Is Dead at 64 Photo Amsale Aberra, an Ethiopian-American fashion designer and entrepreneur who is credited with shaping the modern American wedding dress. Credit Courtesy of Amsale Amsale Aberra, an Ethiopian-born fashion designer whose simple, minimalist aesthetic transformed the modern American wedding dress, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 64.
Her death, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was caused by uterine cancer, her husband, Neil Brown, said.
While most wedding dress designers in the 1980s were making elaborate, tulle-and-lace affairs with long trains and decorative appliqués, Ms. Aberra pared everything down. Her dresses had little fluff or flounce and were often strapless with sheer illusion necklines.
Describing Ms. Aberra’s wildly modern styles in 1997, Constance C. R. White wrote in The New York Times, “To be sure, the leg-of-mutton dress, the traditional, high-neck, puff-sleeve ..

Target Agrees to Review Screening of Job Applicants Amid Claims of Bias

Supported by Business Day Target Agrees to Review Screening of Job Applicants Amid Claims of Bias Photo A Target store in Dallas. The retailer said Thursday that it would revise how it used criminal background checks in its hiring process. Credit LM Otero/Associated Press Target agreed on Thursday to revise guidelines for how it screens people seeking jobs at its stores, a step meant to quell complaints that the retailer discriminates against black and Hispanic applicants with criminal records that can include offenses too minor or old to affect their performance as employees.
The move comes in a labor market so tight that companies are hiring applicants they would not have considered before, including people who have criminal records or, in some cases, are still incarcerated.
Those pressing the complaints against Target said the agreement announced on Thursday would create even more opportunities for fresh starts.
“Target’s background check policy was out of step with best practi..

The Paris Review Names a New Editor: Emily Nemens of The Southern Review

Supported by Media The Paris Review Names a New Editor: Emily Nemens of The Southern Review Photo Emily Nemens’s eclectic taste and creative ambitions proved to be a draw for the Paris Review board, which chose her over a pool of candidates better known in New York’s literary circles. Credit Jeremiah Ariaz Emily Nemens, a co-editor of The Southern Review, seems agnostic and omnivorous when it comes to narrative mediums. In addition to publishing poetry, fiction and essays, she is a prolific illustrator who has amassed a large following on Tumblr for her watercolor portraits of women serving in Congress.
She will now take on a more prominent role in American letters. On Thursday, she was named the new editor of The Paris Review, one of the most prestigious literary magazines in the United States.
Ms. Nemens, who lives in Baton Rouge, La., and has been a co-editor of The Southern Review since 2013, is a surprising choice for a publication so closely tied to the New York literary wor..