Business News

How Automated Background Checks Freeze Out Renters

This article was reported and written in collaboration with The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom investigating technology’s effects on society.

Burglary and domestic assault in Minnesota. Selling meth and jumping bail in Kentucky. Driving without insurance in Arkansas. Disorderly conduct. Theft. Lying to a police officer. Unspecified “crimes.” Too many narcotics charges to count.

That’s what the landlord for an apartment in St. Helens, Ore., saw when he ran a background check for Samantha Johnson, a prospective tenant, in 2018.

The automated background check for Ms. Johnson cast a wide net, looking for negative information from criminal databases even in

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Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Coronavirus Bailout

A multibillion-dollar institution in the Seattle area invests in hedge funds, runs a pair of venture capital funds and works with elite private equity firms like the Carlyle Group.

But it is not just another deep-pocketed investor hunting for high returns. It is the Providence Health System, one of the country’s largest and richest hospital chains. It is sitting on nearly $12 billion in cash, which it invests, Wall Street-style, in a good year generating more than $1 billion in profits.

And this spring, Providence received at least $509 million in government funds, one of many wealthy beneficiaries of a

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A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question

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Addison Cain was living in Kyoto, volunteering at a shrine and studying indigenous Japanese religion. She was supposed to be working on a scholarly book about her research, but started writing intensely erotic Batman fan fiction instead.

It happened almost by accident. It was 2012, and Ms. Cain — who grew up in Orange County, Calif., under a different name — was three years out of college, alone abroad with a lot of time on her hands. Her command of Japanese

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A Drug Company Wagers the U.S. Won’t Dare Charge It With Crimes

In the coming days, the Justice Department will make an important decision: whether to file criminal charges against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies for allegedly colluding with rivals to inflate the prices of widely used drugs.

It is a high-stakes gamble that could affect millions of Americans who rely on Teva’s dozens of inexpensive generic drugs, as well as its brand-name products like

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