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Tavares Strachan Teams With SpaceX to Launch Satellite-Sculpture Into Orbit

Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. never made it on a space mission. The first African-American to train as an astronaut with NASA, he died in a supersonic jet crash in 1967, at the age of 32. But the artist Tavares Strachan is getting ready to send the astronaut into space in a manner, to honor his legacy.Mr. Strachan has made an unusual satellite in the form of a 24-karat gold urn featuring a bust of the astronaut, in a high-tech black frame, to be launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket currently scheduled to go up on Monday. Mr. Strachan calls his satellite “Enoch” after the biblical figure…

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Barry Rand, Barrier-Breaking Chief Executive, Is Dead at 74

Barry Rand, who in 1999 became one of the few African-American chief executives of a Fortune 500 company when he took control of Avis, the rental car company, after being passed over for the top job at Xerox, died on Nov. 7 in an assisted living facility in Norwalk, Conn. He was 74.His wife, Donna Rand, said the cause was Alzheimer’s disease.Running a major corporation was a critical goal for Mr. Rand. He had spent 30 years at Xerox, rising to executive vice president of operations while developing a reputation as a strong salesman and motivator who helped build a highly diverse workplace.But despite Mr. Rand’s determination…

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State of the Art: Here’s the Conversation We Really Need to Have About Bias at Google

A lot of people made fun this week of the paucity of evidence that Mr. Trump put forward to support his claim. But researchers point out that if Google somehow went rogue and decided to throw an election to a favored candidate, it would only have to alter a small fraction of search results to do so. If the public did spot evidence of such an event, it would look thin and inconclusive, too.“We really have to have a much more sophisticated sense of how to investigate and identify these claims,” said Frank Pasquale, a professor at the University of Maryland’s law school who has studied the…

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How a Fake Group on Facebook Created Real Protests

SAN FRANCISCO — Black Elevation appeared to be an organization dedicated to fighting racism to the tens of thousands of people who visited its page on Facebook.The group promoted events and coordinated activities in several cities. It messaged activists and asked them to spread the word. It posted videos and photographs that encouraged people to show up at protest rallies. It even advertised a job opening.And it was all a lie. Black Elevation was actually part of an orchestrated political influence campaign, aimed at sowing divisions among Americans ahead of the midterm elections in November, according to Facebook.The Black Elevation page, one of the most popular of…

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At Uber, New Questions Arise About Executive Behavior

SAN FRANCISCO — Barney Harford was hired late last year to help fix problems at Uber, the ride-hailing company. Instead, he has created new ones.On a conference call this spring with colleagues, Mr. Harford, the company’s chief operating officer, critiqued a new ad that showed a mixed-race couple, said five people familiar with the conversation. He debated aloud how common the pairing was among the audiences that would see it. He also said he found parts of the ad’s early cut confusing, mixing up two black women in the video because they had similar hairstyles, said the people, who declined to be identified because they have signed…

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When White People Call the Police on Black People

A Yale spokeswoman said the officers followed procedures, but Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, the university’s vice president for student life, said in an email to students she was “deeply troubled” by the episode. On Thursday, Yale made a point to emphasize that officers had told the caller that this was not a police matter.Three teenagers looking for last-minute deals before a prom were trailed by Nordstrom Rack employees in suburban St. Louis on May 3. When they left the store carrying the items they bought, they were met by the police outside. The officers let them go after looking at their receipts and inside their bags and car.Nordstrom…

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