2017/02/08

Serial killers should fear this algorithm

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In a rare move for a U.S. president, Trump aired his frustrations about the case involving his immigration ban—while it is before the courts. He accused federal judges of playing politics and warned of dire consequences if the ban wasn't reinstated. He then focused his ire on retailer Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka's brand from their stores, a step which doesn't dispel concerns he's using his pulpit to sway business interests. —Katie Robertson

Legal drama
In a speech to a gathering of police chiefs, the president defended his power to put limits on who can enter the U.S. A ruling from the three-judge panel weighing whether to reinstate restrictions on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations could come this week—but the losing side is almost certain to turn to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here are today's top stories...

Serial killers should fear this algorithm. That is, if psychopaths felt fear. Retired news reporter Thomas Hargrove is building software to identify trends in unsolved murders, using publicly available data nobody has bothered with before. His work is shining a light on a question that's gone unanswered for too long: Why, exactly, aren't the police getting any better at solving murder?

Nordstrom just keeps getting Trumped. The retailer spent months trying to maintain a neutral profile despite being a prominent seller of Ivanka Trump's fashion label. When it sought to quietly wind down its relationship with brand, her father slammed the chain. Meanwhile, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores have stopped presenting the products in separate branded areas, instead putting the items in with the rest of their wares. Ivanka's brand has fired back at critics, saying sales jumped 21 percent last year and they are expanding.

Up next in the benefits arms race: helping workers deal with illness and death. Facebook now offers employees six weeks of paid leave to spend time with a family member who has a long-term illness. Paid family medical and bereavement leave is the next frontier for companies, and is becoming increasingly sought-after as millennials, now the largest share of the workforce, begin caring for their aging boomer parents.

The big reason whites are richer than blacks. While the racial gap in income is big, it's nowhere near as big as the gap in wealth. A new study has found that inheritance matters a lot more than previously thought. Whites are five times as likely as blacks to receive substantial gifts and inheritances, and the sums they get tend to be much larger. The result is a wealth advantage that is passed down from generation to generation.

Good luck destroying the EPA. Dismembering the agency could require changing 45 years worth of laws, warns one Republican who ran it. As Trump and Congress take a hard look at environmental rules, former administrators have pointed out that shredding the EPA willy-nilly would also hamstring businesses, which rely on it for approval and permits.

Italian luxury
Tucked next to a Herm├Ęs store on a cobblestone street steps off the Piazza San Marco, Casa Codognato showcases designs audacious even by Italian standards. The exclusive boutique has been a supplier of ornate, macabre jewelry to celebrities, royals and artists since it opened in 1866. Clients have included Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly.

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