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A Times Editor Is Demoted as the Paper Discusses Its Coverage of Race

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Replying to a Twitter post by the progressive political organization Justice Democrats that included a photograph of Morgan Harper, a candidate the group was backing for a United States House seat in Ohio, Mr. Weisman noted that she would be challenging Representative Joyce Beatty, an African-American Democrat.

Ms. Harper quickly replied to Mr. Weisman’s message, telling him: “I am also black.”

To that, Mr. Weisman replied, “@justicedems’s endorsement included a photo,” as if that settled the matter.

Roxane Gay, a contributing opinion writer to The Times since 2015, joined the discussion with a tweet that said: “Any time you think you’re unqualified for a job remember that this guy, telling a black woman she isn’t black because he looked at a picture and can’t see, has one of the most prestigious jobs in America.”

According to screenshots posted by Ms. Gay, Mr. Weisman sent messages to her saying she owed him “an enormous apology.” Ms. Gay made it clear in a subsequent tweet that she strongly disagreed with Mr. Weisman’s demand.

Erica Green, a national education reporter at The Times, said in an interview that she understood why the tweets by Mr. Weisman, who was her editor, had provoked a backlash. She also defended him as a journalist and colleague, based on her experiences working with him on stories about minorities.

“As a black woman, I feel a little bit better that he is in the room,” Ms. Green said.

Mr. Weisman, the author of the 2018 book “(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump,” stepped away from Twitter for a few months in 2016 after becoming a target of online trolls. Before joining The Times, he worked at newspapers including The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, The Times drew intense criticism — from readers, some of whom canceled subscriptions; members of its own staff; and prominent politicians — because of a front-page headline that Mr. Baquet described as “credulous.” The headline, “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” was changed for later editions.



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No renegades in New Economics Party

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Mingkwan Sangsuwan assures the media there are no renegades in the New Economics Party and they all remain loyal members of the opposition bloc – despite reports to the contrary. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Leaders of the six-MP New Economics Party (NEP) on Wednesday denied that four of them planned to support the government camp even though they sit on the opposition benches.

Former party leader Mingkwan Sangsuwan led a parade of the party’s five other MPs, including acting leader Supadit Arkasarerk, at a news conference at parliament to confirm they were all staying in the opposition bloc.

Mr Mingkwan said the NEP remained united, with no rebellious members supporting the Palang Pracharath Party-led administration. However, the NEP was not committed to supporting all motions tabled by the opposition in parliament. It would not blindly back all opposition moves.

Still, Mr Mingkwan confirmed the party’s support for an opposition decision to grill the government in a no-confidence debate.

The news conference was called to end speculation that four NEP members would break ranks to support the government, although they were still with the party. They were, reportedly, the acting party leader and three other MPs – Passakorn Ngerncharoenkul, Manoon Siwapiromrat and Marasi Kajornruengroj.

Mr Supadit said the defection speculation was groundless, but Mr Passakorn admitted he was not completely comfortable with the opposition as it paid too much attention to political issues and ignored economic problems.

Mr Mingkwan resigned as the NEP leader in May but he retains influence and is still seen as the face of the party. 

The government works with only a slim majority in the 500-seat lower house. It has 254 seats after Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, leader of the Thai Civilized Party, pulled his support. The Thai Forest Conservation Party, with two party-list MPs, has also threatened to end its alliance with the government if their policy environmental issues remain on the back burner.



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Target reports fiscal 2019 q2 earnings

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Target’s profit jumped 17% during the second quarter as its in-store pickup and same-day shipping services drew more customers, prompting the retailer to raise its outlook for the rest of the year, the company said Wednesday.

Sales at the company’s stores that have been open for at least a year grew 3.4% during the second quarter, also exceeding expectations. Target said same-day fulfillment services, including order pick up, drive up and Shipt same-day delivery business contributed nearly 1.5 percentage points of its overall same-store sales growth.

Target’s shares surged 13% in premarket trading, on pace to open at a record high.

Here’s what Target reported for the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 3 compared with what analysts were expecting, based on Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: $1.82 vs. $1.62 expected
  • Revenue: $18.42 billion vs. $18.34 billion expected
  • Same-store sales: up 3.4% vs. growth of 2.9% expected

Target and its peers are searching for ways to make shopping more convenient. To compete with Amazon, they are improving their online stores and trying to ship faster. They are also betting that consumers do not mind visiting stores, especially when it’s faster than waiting for delivery.

“By appealing to shoppers through a compelling assortment, a suite of convenience-driven fulfillment options, competitive prices and an enjoyable shopping experience, we’re increasing Target’s relevancy and deepening the relationship between our guests and our brand,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement announcing the earnings results.

Net income rose to $938 million, or $1.82 a share, compared with $799 million, or $1.49 per share, a year ago. That was 20 cents better than expectations for earnings per share of $1.62, based on Refinitiv data.

Total revenue grew 3.6% to $18.42 billion from $17.78 billion a year ago, topping estimates for $18.34 billion.

Sales at Target stores open for at least 12 months and its website were up 3.4%, better than expectations for growth of 2.9%. A year ago, same-store sales climbed 6.5%. Target said traffic was up 2.4% during the latest quarter. Meanwhile, digital sales surged 34%, down from a 42% increase during the first quarter.

Like Walmart, Target is expected to have seen somewhat of a sales bump around Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day event in early July.

Cornell said the company had “outstanding performance” during the first half of 2019, giving it the “confidence” it needed to boost expectations. Target is now calling for adjusted earnings per share to fall within a range of $5.90 to $6.20, up from a prior range of $5.75 to $6.05.

“Traffic and sales continue to grow,” Cornell said.

Target’s report comes on the heels of its bigger rival Walmart’s, which last week reported earnings that topped expectations and also raised its outlook for the year. That’s despite the ongoing threat of additional tariffs taking effect amid the U.S.’ trade war with China.

Analysts have largely expected Target to continue to see same-store sales gains, while other retailers like department store chains are struggling to draw traffic. Target also suffered a register outage during the latest quarter, but that wasn’t enough to noticeably weigh on sales.

Target’s report comes on the heels of its bigger rival Walmart, which last week reported earnings that topped expectations and raised its outlook for the year. That’s despite the ongoing threat of additional tariffs taking effect amid the U.S.’s trade war with China.

Analysts have largely expected Target to continue to see same-store sales gains, while other retailers like department store chains are struggling to draw traffic. While Target suffered a register outage during the latest quarter, which could end up slightly hitting its same-store sales, its traffic is still anticipated to climb this quarter.

Target this week announced the launch of a new grocery line, called Good & Gather, marking its biggest private-label venture to date. The retailer has been investing heavily in incubating its own brands. It’s also been investing in store remodels, opening small-format locations in major metros like New York and rolling out curbside pickup for online orders.

Target shares, which have a market cap of $44.2 billion, are up more than 30% this year.

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