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Ellen Pao Loses Gender Discrimination Case Against Silicon Valley Venture Capital Firm

A jury of six men and six women decided that Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers did not discriminate against former employee Ellen Pao. Pao, now interim CEO of Reddit, claimed that the firm did not promote her because she was a woman and retaliated against her for complaints about gender discrimination. There were four counts of discrimination, and the judge sent the jury back to deliberations on the last one after a miscount. They then returned with another verdict in favor of Kleiner Perkins.

A recent study from Babson College shows that the number of women partners at venture capital firms has dropped from 10 percent in 1999 to 6 percent today. Other gender discrimination cases have recently been filed against Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook and Twitter. 

A Long History of Assuming That Chuck Schumer’s Day of Glory Would One Day Come

When Senator Harry Reid announced he would retire next year, he also endorsed Senator Chuck Schumer as his replacement as Democratic leader of the Senate. Schumer's chief rival, Senator Dick Durbin, also endorsed the New York senator. 

This is one of the least surprising developments in recent political history, as Schumer has been described as Reid's replacement for more than half of his Senate career. He always denied that he was thinking about such things, but everyone assumed anyway. 

The probable coronation won't happen for another year and a half, and there's still plenty of ways the prophecy could be proven wrong, but for once, it looks like American politics is going to follow the script printed out for it in advance.


Public-Radio Listener Barack Obama Calls In to Say He’s Going to Miss Harry Reid So Much

Senator Harry Reid went on Nevada Public Radio on Friday morning to talk about his decision to retire next year, and dozens of people called in to comment on the news. "Hello? Hello?" one of the callers said. "Is this Harry Reid? Harry, this is Barack."

"Well, I'll be damned," Reid said. The surprise caller on the line responded, "Are you allowed to say that on live radio?" 

Barack Obama is a fan of giving political friends a nice send-off on public radio; he crashed former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick's last interview on WGBH last December to say, "Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville. I've got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I've moved down South since that time."


Yes, It’s Going to Snow This Weekend

Spring is a lie perpetuated by people who look good in tank tops, and I have never been more sure of it than I am today, in late March, on the eve of another predicted snowfall. Though March is supposedly known for going "out like a lamb," this year's version of that saying appears to mean "sprinkling the city with a healthy coating of snowflakes even though it's supposed to be temperate." Somebody catch that lamb and put it in the oven.


Why de Blasio’s Fight to Keep Control of NYC Schools Could Get Ugly

Mayor Bill de Blasio has done a good job of keeping his distance and playing it cool this state budget season. Earlier this week, though, during an appearance at AutomotiveHigh School in Queens, the mayor was asked about the possibility of New York State taking over troubled schools like Automotive.

His answer was pointed. “With all due respect to folks who work in Albany,” de Blasio said, in a tone suggesting frustration more than respect, “I don’t think that bureaucrats 150 miles away are going to do a better job of solving our problems than our own chancellor and our own principals and teachers will do.”


Being President Means Sleeping in Sad, Windowless Hotel Rooms Across the Globe

Being the president of the United States often sounds like a pretty sucky job. At least half of the country is nearly always going to dislike you; you have to spend the majority of your days making stressful decisions; and whenever you try to take a break, everyone yells at you. Unlike the pope, you can go grab a slice of pizza every once in a while, but dozens of people are going to try to take selfies with you while you do it. 

And, as Yahoo News tells us today, you might be able to travel all around the world while you're leader of the free world, but it's going to involve smelling a lot of garbage and staying in sad hotel rooms that look like basement apartments. 

An aide told reporter Olivier Knox, “The president never has a view from his hotel room." Even when the window opens out on the most boring view possible — like a wall — the blinds have to stay closed. 


Weed Killer Is Totally Safe to Drink Says Ecologist Before Declining a Glass [Updated]

A well-regarded research team recently announced that glyphosate, the chemical used in the Monsanto-produced weed-killer Roundup, is likely carcinogenic to humans. But during an interview with French news channel Canal+, ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore claimed that Roundup isn't dangerous, and in fact is totally safe to drink.

"You can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you," he claims in the video. That sounds like a challenge.


I Was an ISIS Hostage for 5 Months

It's strange how you can interact with someone every day and not know anything about them at all. I work in Lebanon much of the year. When I'm there, I stay in the residential Christian neighborhood of Fanar, about 20 minutes outside of Beirut. I see the natour — the superintendent of my building — when I enter or exit. He's a handsome man in his 30s with a quick, easy smile. I knew he was Syrian, but that was the extent of my knowledge about his life.

About a month ago we were talking, and it came out that he had been seized and detained in Syria by the Mujahideen Shura Council, one of the jihadi militias that was eventually absorbed into ISIS. He ended up a hostage of the notoriously brutal terrorist group for about five months. It was a subject I knew all too much about: In 2013, my close friend, the aid worker Peter Kassig, was kidnapped by ISIS in Syria. About four months ago, they released a video in which they showed his decapitated head and a black-clad man announced his death. And three months before I was born in 1985, my father, Terry Anderson, who used to be the Middle East bureau chief of the Associated Press in Beirut, was kidnapped by a Shia militia during the Lebanese civil war. He was held for seven years, becoming the longest-held U.S. hostage in history.

As much as I wanted to avoid the subject, I had to know more. So I asked the superintendent if he would tell me his story. He agreed to, on the condition that I not publish his name or say where he is from. —Sulome Anderson

"You hear about hostages, but you have no idea." »

At Least 2 Missing and 19 Injured After East Village Explosion

At least two people are still unaccounted for after Thursday's East Village explosion collapsed three buildings and caught fire to a fourth on Second Avenue north of 7th Street. Twenty-three-year-old Nicholas Figueroa was on a lunchtime date at Sushi Park, the restaurant where the explosion occurred, and he has not been seen since the blast. His date is being treated for her injuries at Bellevue Hospital. The other missing person is an unnamed Sushi Park busboy, according to police.


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