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Walmart, Huge U.S. Employer, Will Let Workers Take Pay Before Payday

The retailer is giving its 1.4 million workers early access to part of their paychecks. Some critics of the company say it points to a need to raise wages.

Fed Raises Interest Rates as Focus Turns to 2018

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate by a quarter-point and issued a new economic forecast. The Fed did not deviate from its 2018 interest rate or inflation outlook.

How the Fed Rate Increase Affects Your Mortgage, Car Loan and Credit Card Bill

The fifth increase in the Federal Reserve benchmark interest rate since the financial crisis will have a ripple effect on all types of consumer borrowing.

Republican Tax Bill in Final Sprint Across Finish Line

House and Senate negotiators reach agreement, appearing on track to send a bill to President Trump by Christmas.

Top Stories in last day

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DealBook Briefing: Disney Deal Expected to Value Fox at Around $40 a Share

www.nytimes.com

Disney’s deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox will value the latter at over $75 billion.

Wall Street Mixed as Financials Drag After Fed Rate Hike

www.nytimes.com

The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Wednesday pressured by the financial sector after the Federal Reserve announced a widely expected interest rate hike but kept its rate outlook for coming years even as it projected faster U.S. economic…

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Google, Looking to Tiptoe Back Into China, Announces A.I. Center

The move also nods to the country’s growing strengths in artificial intelligence, and is the latest A.I. effort set up by a Western tech company in the country.

Critical Shopper: Why You Should Love Secondhand Fashion Now

The RealReal, the luxury consignment site, has opened its first store.

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Is Christmas a Religious Holiday? A Growing Number of Americans Say No

The Pew Research Center said that while most Americans still celebrate Christmas, few of them care that religious elements seem to receive less attention than in the past.

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The Year in Stuff

What a long, strange year it has been. Here are the pieces that defined it: what we wore, we carried, wanted, feared and waited for.

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Tech We’re Using: Busting the Myths About A.I. Invading Our Lives

Cade Metz, a technology reporter for The Times, assesses the pitfalls of A.I. and the possibilities that Skynet will rule us.

16

Arrests of Reporters in Myanmar Add to Fears About Press Freedom

www.nytimes.com

News agencies said two Reuters journalists were accused of illegally possessing government documents. The U.S. Embassy called the arrests “highly irregular.”

Tech Tip: 2017’s Best Technology Tips and Tricks: You Asked, We Answered

www.nytimes.com

Readers of The Times’s personal technology section had lots of questions. Here we highlight the most compelling — in terms of their connection to current events or in reader response.

15

China Names and Shames Tech Tycoon With Debt Blacklist

The ambitious head of an embattled tech company is the latest casualty of China’s efforts to rein in irresponsible borrowing through public humiliation.

12

Rising Coal Exports Give Short-Term Aid to an Ailing Industry

With supplies down elsewhere, American producers are seeing more demand overseas, lifting revenue and jobs. But the upturn may not last.

The Race to Erase Kevin Spacey

“I took action,” the director Ridley Scott said of his whirlwind reshoot of “All the Money in the World,” which featured Christopher Plummer in a role originally filmed by Mr. Spacey.

Q&A: In Pittsburgh, the Airport Is a Destination

It’s open to non-passengers for shopping, dining and meeting people at the gate. Here’s how — and why — it works.

State of the Art: How 2017 Became a Turning Point for Tech Giants

For the first time, big tech companies began to accept responsibility in 2017 for how their platforms affect the world. The scope of that change remains unclear.

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Toshiba Settles Fight With Western Digital That Imperiled a Major Deal

www.nytimes.com

The ailing Japanese conglomerate, which bet badly on U.S. nuclear power, can now proceed with a deal that will bring it $14 billion in needed cash.

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Disney’s Deal for 21st Century Fox Is Said to Be Close

The $60 billion-plus acquisition would give Disney control of most of Rupert Murdoch’s movie and TV empire, and give a serious boost to the company’s streaming ambitions.

Wednesday, Dec 13

In Spending Spree, European Mall Operator Bets on Westfield

Though malls are struggling, Unibail-Rodamco is set to acquire Westfield, the owner of shopping centers including the mall at One World Trade Center.

Tuesday, Dec 12

Sexual Harassment Cases Show the Ineffectiveness of Going to H.R.

Human resources departments face a quandary: protect the employees who bring complaints or the companies that employ them.

Indiegogo Goes Where Few Companies Dare: Into Initial Coin Offerings

I.C.O.s have been big this year, but few established names have touched them. Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site, is looking to change that.

Economic Scene: Tax Plan’s Biggest Cuts Could Be in Living Standards

Cutting taxes is mostly an exercise in slicing the economic pie a different way, not making it bigger, with gains for a few offset by losses for many.

Trump Escalates His Criticism of the News Media, Fueling National Debate

President Trump has issued broadsides against major news outlets, as reporting errors provide ammunition for his case that he is being persecuted.

Monday, Dec 11

The Shift: The Alt-Right Created a Parallel Internet. It’s an Unholy Mess.

Hard-right activists, censored and banned by Twitter and Facebook, tried to create their own digital services. But they appear to have hit obstacles.

Europe’s Thirst for Cheap Labor Fuels a Boom in Disposable Workers

Employment agencies across the region recruit thousands of migrants for Foxconn and other businesses, with conditions and pay that few in-country nationals would accept.

As Brexit Looms, Paris Tries a Business Makeover

Hoping to woo companies that will move employees from London, leaders in Paris are trying to replace red tape with a red carpet.

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Specialize in Small Talk and Big Ratings

The homey “Live With Kelly and Ryan” sticks to light banter even as its NBC rival, Megyn Kelly, takes on weightier matters.

Sunday, Dec 10

Net Neutrality’s Holes in Europe May Offer Peek at Future in U.S.

Telecom operators have been pushing boundaries in Europe, where loopholes have left net neutrality regulations weaker than intended.

A Fed Rate Increase Is Expected. But What Comes Next?

The Federal Reserve has signaled its move this week. Investors, though, want to know whether the central bank will continue with its patient approach to rates.

Once the W.T.O.’s Biggest Supporter, U.S. Is Its Biggest Skeptic

www.nytimes.com

The Trump administration isn’t alone in criticizing the World Trade Organization. But it may be the only country trying to subvert it.

VW Chief Breaks Ranks on Diesel, Suggesting End to Subsidies

In a major turnaround, Matthias Müller said that Germany should consider phasing out tax breaks that have encouraged diesel’s popularity in Europe.

Saturday, Dec 9

Tax Plans May Give Your Co-Worker a Better Deal Than You

The G.O.P. bills impose different rates on the same income based on things like organizational structure or occupation. At the losing end? Employees with paychecks.

Can Marriott Keep Starwood’s Culture of Cool, and Its Customers?

For the Marriott-Starwood combination to succeed, top-tier loyalty program members like our writer must not flee. Here’s what would keep him in the fold.

Janet Yellen Didn’t Set Out to Be a Feminist Hero

The Federal Reserve chair (don’t call her “chairwoman”) quietly achieved rock-star status. Now that she’s leaving, her many fans are sad to see her go.

How the Fingerling Caught On (Robot Grip and All) as 2017’s Hot Toy

The motorized plastic monkey that grasps your finger is the must-have gift of the holiday season, thanks to marketing, pricing and, well, scarcity.