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Built to Flood: Houston Speculators Make a Fast Buck From Storm’s Misery

Houston Speculators Make a Fast Buck From Storm’s Misery

HOUSTON — The yard signs appeared almost immediately. Canyon Gate was still in ruins, its streets strewn with moldy furniture, the stench of rot everywhere. But somehow, someone had managed to plant dozens, maybe hundreds of them across the tiny Houston suburb. One proclaimed “Dump Your Home!” Another, stuck into the dirt, read “Flood Damage? We Can Help.”
Bernadette Leaney, 67, one of the thousands of Houston residents whose homes were swamped in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, hated them. She and her neighbors were just beginning their grim reckoning with the damage. Who could be looking to make a buck this soon? She tried to ignore the come-ons. “But then I realized I just couldn’t stand looking at them anymore,” she said. “They were adding to our despondency.”
She tore down every sign she came across — 114 by her count — until another resident told her it was one of their own neighbors who had posted many of them. His nam..

Uber to Sell Its Southeast Asia Business to Grab, a Regional Rival

Uber to Sell Its Southeast Asia Business to Grab, a Regional Rival Photo Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, center, in New Delhi last month. The company’s retreat from Southeast Asia follows similar exits from China and Russia. Credit The New York Times Uber, which for years spread across the globe with command-and-conquer rapaciousness, is pulling back from another major ride-hailing market.
The company said on Sunday that it would sell its Southeast Asia ride and food-delivery businesses to Grab, a rival based in Singapore, in the latest move to shore up its finances and refocus its business ahead of a planned public listing.
Uber will get a 27.5 percent stake in Grab in exchange. Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, will join Grab’s board. Further financial terms were not disclosed.
The détente in Southeast Asia, which is similar to deals Uber has made in China and Russia in recent years, comes at a time of larger changes at the company, based in San Francisco.

Tech Tip: Copy Here, Paste There

Copy Here, Paste There Photo With Apple's Universal Clipboard feature, you can copy photos, text and other content from an iPhone and paste it into a program on the Mac. Credit The New York Times Q. I thought you were supposed to be able to cut and paste content between Macs and iPhones, but I can’t make it work.
A. The Universal Clipboard tool allows people to copy text, images and videos on one Apple device and then paste the content into an app on another Apple device. The feature arrived in 2016 with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, but you need to meet a few other conditions to use it. (Some apps, like Notes, can sync content between iOS and macOS automatically with iCloud.)
You need to be logged into the same iCloud account with the same Apple ID on all of the hardware in the mix. You can check the accounts in the iCloud system preference on the Mac and in the iOS settings on the iPhone; if you have multiple Apple IDs — like an old one used for iTunes Store purchases and another y..

Trilobites: What Makes Some Hair Curly? Not Quite What Scientists Thought

What Makes Some Hair Curly? Not Quite What Scientists Thought Photo Merino sheep on a farm in Alexandra, New Zealand. Scientists found that differences in the cells on a hair explain a sheep’s curls, and may offer insights for other mammals, like us. Credit Guy Frederick for The New York Times Every day is a curly hair day for sheep. Those curls and kinks are part of what makes woolen sweaters so cozy — the maze of fibers helps trap warm air, keeping it close to the body. But wrapped up in those curls may also be answers to a longstanding mystery: exactly how a strand of hair winds itself into a curl on the cellular level.
For many years, there were two competing theories to explain what makes hairs curl in sheep. Research by scientists in New Zealand and Japan published Thursday in the Journal of Experimental Biology finds that neither theory is exactly correct. But it remains likely that differences between certain cells on a hair may explain what makes a sheep’s wool curly. And whil..

Carolina Panthers Headed Toward Record Sale Price

Supported by Sports Carolina Panthers Headed Toward Record Sale Price Photo Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced in December he would sell the team after complaints of sexual harassment surfaced.
Credit Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ORLANDO, Fla. — Four months after the Carolina Panthers went on the auction block, owner Jerry Richardson is on track to collect a record sale price for the team he founded in 1993.
However, while the Panthers will fetch far more than the Buffalo Bills, which Terry Pegula bought for a then-record $1.4 billion in 2014, previous reports that the team could sell for $3 billion or more now appear overly optimistic. Sports bankers and people involved in the process expect the Panthers to sell for around $2.5 billion.
That would still serve as a sign that N.F.L. teams remain extremely valuable, with leaguewide revenues reaching more than $14 billion. Earlier this year, Fox agreed to pay a record $600 million to broadcast Thursday night games. The day afte..

Motion Picture Academy Finds No Merit to Accusations Against Its President

Supported by Media Motion Picture Academy Finds No Merit to Accusations Against Its President Photo John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The inquiry focused on a claim that Mr. Bailey had attempted to touch a woman inappropriately about a decade ago. Credit David McNew/Reuters LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences concluded on Tuesday that an allegation of sexual harassment against its president had no merit, in the first test of new guidelines that the powerful Hollywood industry group enacted after a wave of accusations of inappropriate behavior rocked the entertainment industry.
In a statement released after its regularly scheduled board meeting, the academy said that an internal investigation into allegations levied against John Bailey, who was elected as president of the group in August, had determined that “no further action was merited.”
Mr. Bailey, a cinematographer with credits ranging from “Ordinary People..

Julie Yip-Williams, Writer of Candid Blog on Cancer, Dies at 42

Supported by Obituaries Julie Yip-Williams, Writer of Candid Blog on Cancer, Dies at 42 Photo Julie Yip-Williams in a family photograph at her home in Brooklyn in January. “Rejoice in life and all of its beauty,” she told her children. Julie Yip-Williams, whose candid blog about having Stage IV colon cancer also described a life of struggles that began with being born blind in Vietnam and her ethnic Chinese family’s escape in a rickety fishing boat, died on Monday at her home in Brooklyn. She was 42.
Joshua Williams, her husband, said the cause was metastatic colon cancer.
Ms. Yip-Williams’s richly detailed blog, which she started writing after receiving her diagnosis in 2013, was more than an account of her siege with cancer. It was also a meditation on love and family as well as a message of openness to her young daughters, Mia and Isabelle, about her illness.
Ms. Yip-Williams wrestled with hope, which she cursed as an “illusory sentiment.”
“Cancer crushes hope, leaving a wastel..