Storm to be 'exceptionally bad news' if it hovers offshore

Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land the murkier its future gets.

"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective," University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said. "We've just never seen anything like this. ... This is just a strange bird."

Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people — now including some in Georgia — in more ways with a giant dose of uncertainty on top. The more it stalls, the more it rains. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters). And the more it hovers just off shore — a distinct possibility — the more potentially deadly storm surge it pushes on-shore.

Forecasters warn Hurricane Florence could hesitate just offshore for days, punishing a longer stretch of coastline, before pushing inland.

"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern — as we saw with Harvey — is the huge amount rainfall," said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance," Landsea said.

And there's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles (80 kilometers) off shore versus heading inland immediately, Landsea said.

The wide storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday and forecasters expect it to weaken further as it nears the shore.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

"It's going to coming roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland,'" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground.

Steering currents — around clear weather high-pressure systems and stormy low-pressure systems — redirect hurricanes, with the clear weather systems acting as walls that storms have to go around. And forecasts show those currents just not giving the storm any sense direction in a day or so.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems — one off the coast and one over Michigan — and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

Computer simulations — especially the often star-performing European model — push the storm further south, even into South Carolina and Georgia. The hurricane center also adjusted its projected track but stayed north of what most computer models were showing to prove some continuity with past forecasts.

Private meteorologist Ryan Maue of in an email called the overnight European computer simulation "another model run for the ages. So many weird/outlandish solutions — but that's what happens when the steering currents collapse."

The European computer model has Florence veering before landfall and hovering for a couple days off the coast.

If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge. The rainfall has been and continues to be a very substantial threat over the entire area."

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people. Tropical Storm Olivia has made landfall in the Hawaiian islands, the Philippines are bracing for the powerful typhoon Mangkhut, and Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing the Leeward Islands. Hurricane Helene is threatening no one in the Atlantic.

Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears . His work can be found here .

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit .


September 13, 2018

Sources: ABC News

Related news

  •  AP WAS THERE: Southern California's deadly 1994 earthquake

    AP WAS THERE: Southern California's deadly 1994 earthquake

    thridge quake, but a study issued the following year put the death toll at 72, including heart attacks.</p><p> About 9,000 people were injured, and the damage costs were estimated at $25 billion.</p><p> On this anniversary, The Associated Press is making available this story from Jan. 17, 1994, the day of the earthquake. The toll of dead and injured was not fully known when it first appeared.</p><p> Severe quake hits Southern California; at least 24 dead</p><p> LOS ANGELES — A violent earthquake struck Southern California before dawn today, turning freeways into rubble, collapsing buildings with a savage power and igniting fires that sent swirls of smoke across the hazy, battered city. At least 24 people died.</p><p> The quake, centered in the San Fernando Valley, buckled overpasses on three freeways, trapping motorists in tons of concrete rubble. It severed Interstate 5, California's main north-south highway, and Interstate 10, the nation's busiest freeway.</p><p> "This place was moving like a jackhammer was going at it," said Richard Goodis of Sherman Oaks, an affluent San Fernando Valley suburb. "Our bedroom wall tore away. I was looking at the ceiling one moment, then I was looking at the sky. I thought we were dead."</p><p> The quake derailed a freight train carrying hazardous material and briefly closed several airports, including Los Angeles International. Power and telephone service were lost throughout Southern California.</p><p> Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and California Gov. Pete Wilson declared states of emergency, and President Clinton said he expected to issue a federal disaster declaration later in the day.</p><p> Wilson called out the National Guard. In addition, fire rescue teams responded from as far away as San Francisco.</p><p> The quake struck at 4:31 a.m., and measured a preliminary 6.6 on the Richter scale, said Kate Hutton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Although not as strong as some quakes in recent years, it was unusually destructive because of its location in a populous area.</p><p> A swarm of aftershocks, some as strong as 5 on the Richter scale, jostled the region throughout the morning, and seismologists said they could continue for several days.</p><p> The dead, according to hospital and police reports, were:</p><p> — Fourteen people crushed to death in an apartment building in Northridge.</p><p> — Five people who died of quake-related heart attacks, three at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and two at Holy Cross Medical Center in Sylmar.</p><p> — Two people who died when a hillside home collapsed in Sherman Oaks.</p><p> — One woman who broke her neck when she slipped and struck a crib at her home in Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County.</p><p> — A Los Angeles police officer whose motorcycle sailed off a severed freeway overpass, falling nearly 25 feet to the road below.</p><p> — A person who fell from a sixth-floor window at a downtown hotel.</p><p> Referring to the ruins of the Northridge apartment building, fire Capt. Steve Bascom said: "We've got a three-story apartment that's now a two-story. ... We've got people we're pulling out all the time."</p><p> The building, half a block from California State University, Northridge, housed mostly college students. An identical building next to it buckled, but didn't collapse. Hundreds of people watched firefighters search the rubble.</p><p> The entire building "shifted north about six feet," said fire Battalion Chief Bob De Feo. A third-floor resident, Eric Pearson, told Cable News Network that he felt a huge jolt that lifted the building off its foundation, moved it over and slammed it down.</p><p> In a dramatic and dangerous rescue nearby, searchers spent hours digging through the wreckage of a parking garage at the Northridge Fashion Center before pulling out a 35-year-old street sweeper alive. The quake had turned the multi-story garage into a 20-foot-high pancake of concrete, and transformed the mall's Bullocks department store into a gnarled pile of concrete and steel.</p><p> Richard Andrews, California's emergency services director, said the early hour and the Martin Luther King holiday reduced the number of people exposed to injury in the quake.</p><p> That was easy to forget in the chaos at the Sylmar hospital, which was swamped by more than 250 new patients. The hospital's disaster coordinator, Mark Wallerstein, told those without serious injury to go elsewhere.</p><p> "We have no power, no laboratory, no X-rays, no pharmacy and almost no food," Wallerstein told them. He later said the hospital was operating on emergency power.</p><p> In Los Angeles, Cedars Sinai was receiving "a tidal wave of walking wounded," hospital spokesman Ron Wise said.</p><p> Three other hospitals, Holy Cross, Panorama City and Sepulveda, were forced to evacuate patients because of quake damage.</p><p> Sylmar, the epicenter of a devastating earthquake in 1971 that killed 65, was blanketed by a black haze of smoke. From the air, at least 30 to 40 homes could be seen burning.</p><p> Nearby in Granada Hills, water from broken water mains raged through the streets. In one of the weirdest effects of the quake, fireballs from ruptured gas mains exploded in the midst of the floods.</p><p> Residents formed lines, filling buckets with water from a swimming pool and tossing the water onto their homes, hoping to prevent the spread of fire.</p><p> Elsewhere, motorists driving north from Los Angeles on the Golden State Freeway saw fires raging out of control on both sides of the road, red balls of flame exploding 30 feet in the air.</p><p> Fires also were reported in Sherman Oaks and elsewhere in the region.</p><p> Throughout Los Angeles, the sound of burglar alarms, car alarms and emergency sirens blended into a constant wail.</p><p> Six people were arrested in downtown Los Angeles for looting, and an undetermined number of others were arrested in the San Fernando Valley.</p><p> Riordan said there had been "major damage" from the quake, but insisted that the city had the situation under control.</p><p> Perhaps the most dramatic damage from the quake was the freeway destruction, which threatened to cripple the region's transportation system.</p><p> On the Santa Monica Freeway, Interstate 10, which ferries hundreds of thousands of commuters between the west side of Los Angeles and downtown every day, an overpass at Fairfax Avenue buckled like a wave, dropping to about six feet from street level.</p><p> "That freeway will be closed for quite a while," Riordan said.</p><p> But far more horrific was the collapse of a four-level intersection of Interstates 5 and 14, known as the Golden State and Antelope Valley freeways. Cars could be seen crushed beneath the collapsed intersection; huge slabs of steel-reinforced concrete were splayed at crazy angles.</p><p> The collapse was not far from the scene of a similar disaster in 1971.</p><p> A portion of state Route 118, the Simi Valley Freeway, also collapsed.</p><p> The quake derailed a 64-car freight train, which leaked sulphuric acid from one of its tankers between the communities of Chatsworth and Northridge, Southern Pacific Railroad spokesman Jack Martin said. Hazardous materials crews were cleaning up the spill.</p><p> The city Department of Water and Power urged residents to boil drinking water contaminated by broken mains. At mid-day, at least 625,000 customers were without power in Central and Southern California, said Southern California Edison.</p><p> Because of the interdependence of Western power grids, brief power outages caused by the quake were reported as far north as Portland, Ore., and Seattle.</p><p> The epicenter of today's quake was Northridge, according to Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. Northridge is a college community in the valley 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.</p><p> The San Fernando Valley is a suburban expanse that spreads for 50 miles north of downtown. Most of it is within the city of Los Angeles.</p><p> U.S. Geological Survey spokesman Robert Wesson said of the quake: "It's not the Big One we hear about so often. The real impact of this earthquake is because it has occurred in a metropolitan area."</p><p> He added that he was surprised by the damage to the freeways because freeway construction standards were improved - and freeways upgraded - after the 1971 quake.</p><p> The quake was felt at least as far away as San Diego, 125 miles to the south, and Las Vegas, 275 miles to the east.</p><p> It lasted for 30 seconds or more, and several aftershocks followed within minutes. In homes throughout the area, dishes fell off shelves, fixtures swayed and furniture slid across floors.</p><p> In the San Fernando Valley community of Studio City, Jan Klunder said his apartment "looks like it's been ransacked." The toll included a china cabinet that fell onto his dining room table, pictures that tumbled off walls, a television that smashed onto the floor, a refrigerator that overturned, spewing its contents onto the floor, and kitchen cabinets that disgorged still more food.</p><p> The Federal Aviation Administration closed Los Angeles International Airport for about two hours as a precaution.</p><p> In Washington, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it was setting up a regional operating center in Southern California to provide assistance to state and local officials.</p><p> Today's earthquake followed about 12 quakes near Santa Monica, the strongest of which was 3.7. Hutton said she didn't know whether those quakes were linked to today's.</p><p> The last big earthquake to hit the area was on June 28, 1992. The Landers quake, east of Los Angeles, measured 7.5 on the Richter scale and was followed a few hours later by a magnitude 6.6 quake in the Big Bear area.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  •  AP PHOTOS: 1994 LA quake caused widespread devastation

    AP PHOTOS: 1994 LA quake caused widespread devastation

    0 seconds, most strongly in an area 30 miles (48 kilometers) in diameter around the city's Northridge neighborhood, according to the public-private partnership Earthquake Country Alliance. It was felt as far away as Las Vegas.</p><p> Among vivid images from the Jan. 17, 1994, quake were scenes of vehicles stranded high on an elevated section of freeway with the road fallen away in front and behind, and the wrecked motorcycle of a police officer who plunged to his death off the end of a broken overpass while rushing to work in the early morning darkness.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  •  Northridge earthquake shattered Los Angeles 25 years ago

    Northridge earthquake shattered Los Angeles 25 years ago

    ismic safety since the disaster:</p><p> At 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994, a hidden fault lurking under the city's San Fernando Valley neighborhoods unleashed a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that shattered buildings, broke water mains and ignited fires.</p><p> The so-called blind thrust fault — one with no surface features to reveal its presence — caused a block of earth to move upward. Most of the energy was released toward mountains that line the northern side of the valley, but there was more than enough energy sent in other directions to cause devastation.</p><p> The ground shook horizontally and vertically for up to 10 seconds, most strongly in an area 30 miles (48 kilometers) in diameter around LA's Northridge neighborhood, according to the public-private partnership Earthquake Country Alliance . It was felt as far away as Las Vegas.</p><p> The state said at least 57 died in the earthquake, though a study issued the following year put the death toll at 72, including heart attacks. About 9,000 were injured.</p><p> The greatest concentration of deaths occurred at the Northridge Meadows, a 163-unit apartment complex where 16 people were killed when it collapsed onto the parking area below, crushing first-floor apartments.</p><p> The catastrophe at Northridge Meadows revealed a particular seismic hazard due to so-called soft-story construction in which a building's ground level has large open areas for purposes such as parking spots or shop windows.</p><p> The widespread damage to buildings, freeways and infrastructure made the Northridge quake the costliest U.S. disaster at the time.</p><p> According to Earthquake Country Alliance, 82,000 residential and commercial units and 5,400 mobile homes were damaged or destroyed, nine parking structures toppled, nine hospitals were evacuated due to structural or other problems, seven key freeway bridges collapsed, and hundreds more were damaged.</p><p> Some 200 steel-frame high-rises sustained cracked welds.</p><p> Among vivid images from the quake were scenes of vehicles stranded high on an elevated section of freeway with the road fallen away in front and behind, and the wrecked motorcycle of a police officer who plunged to his death off the end of a broken overpass while rushing to work in the early morning darkness.</p><p> The California Department of Transportation, which had already retrofitted many of the bridges that ended up being damaged, would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to further strengthen numerous bridges identified as being at risk.</p><p> The damage to hospitals led the state to require strengthening of those buildings.</p><p> Since Northridge there has been a push toward progress — sometimes frustratingly slow — on everything from making buildings safer to increasing society's overall ability to deal with seismic threats.</p><p> In 2008, an annual earthquake drill known as the Great ShakeOut began in Southern California to teach the basic safety technique of "drop, cover and hold on." Initially based on a scenario of a magnitude 7.8 quake on the southern end of the mighty San Andreas fault, the drill has since spread across the United States and around the world.</p><p> In 2015, Los Angeles enacted a mandatory retrofit ordinance aimed at preventing loss of life in major earthquakes at the city's most vulnerable buildings. It covered about 13,500 "soft-story" buildings like Northridge Meadows and some 1,500 buildings with "non-ductile reinforced concrete" construction.</p><p> The ordinance, however, allowed a process spanning seven years for retrofitting of soft-story buildings and 25 years for non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings.</p><p> Last year, the U.S. Geological Survey announced its fledgling West Coast earthquake early warning system was ready for broad use by businesses, utilities, transportation systems and schools after years of development and testing of prototypes. The system detects the start of an earthquake and sends alerts that can give warnings ranging from several seconds to a minute before shaking arrives, depending on distance from the epicenter. That can be enough time to slow trains, stop industrial processes and allow students to scramble under desks.</p><p> This month, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a mobile app that uses the early warning system to alert Los Angeles County residents when there is an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or greater. Other mobile apps are in development.</p><p> Also this month, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. released a guide aimed at helping businesses minimize disruptions from major earthquakes, taking advantage of information technologies such as the digital cloud to keep a company working even if its physical systems are destroyed or inaccessible.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  •  AP PHOTOS: 1994 LA quake caused widespread devastation

    AP PHOTOS: 1994 LA quake caused widespread devastation

    0 seconds, most strongly in an area 30 miles (48 kilometers) in diameter around the city's Northridge neighborhood, according to the public-private partnership Earthquake Country Alliance. It was felt as far away as Las Vegas.</p><p> Among vivid images from the Jan. 17, 1994, quake were scenes of vehicles stranded high on an elevated section of freeway with the road fallen away in front and behind, and the wrecked motorcycle of a police officer who plunged to his death off the end of a broken overpass while rushing to work in the early morning darkness.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • Designer of 3-D-printed guns asks federal judge to reject New Jersey law

    Designer of 3-D-printed guns asks federal judge to reject New Jersey law

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>&#x201C;I can&#x2019;t know how someone may use my work,&#x201D; attorney Josh Blackman said.</p><p>The New Jersey law prohibiting &#x201C;ghost guns&#x201D; took effect in July. Defense Distributed filed a lawsuit against the state&#x2019;s attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, as well as state officials from New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and California. </p><p>&#x201C;If that&#x2019;s all they have, which it is, there&#x2019;s no jurisdiction here,&#x201D;&#xA0;Casey Low, an Austin antitrust lawyer, who is representing the New Jersey attorney general, told the paper.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • HP says it will limit its 3-D printers' ability to create 'ghost guns'

    HP says it will limit its 3-D printers' ability to create 'ghost guns'

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2019 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>&#x201C;HP is against &#x2018;ghost guns&#x2019; being produced on our 3-D printers,&#x201D; HP Chief Executive Dion Weisler wrote in the November letter, obtained by the Oregonian/OregonLive.</p><p>HP did not say how it would stop people from using its products to make ghost guns -- weapons&#xA0;that are untraceable and unregulated -- and it was&#xA0;unclear how the policy would limit their production.</p><p>Fox News tried to contact HP for additional comments but did not receive a&#xA0; response.</p><p>HP&#x2019;s 3-D printers are primarily used by commercial businesses and run from $50,000 to $300,000, according to the paper. Printing experts have said determined hobbyists could probably find a way around the restrictions.</p><p>&#x201C;It&#x2019;s a problematic issue,&#x201D; he said. &#x201C;But if there&#x2019;s no blueprints of the weapons online, out there for free, nobody can print those unless they&#x2019;re gun specialists.&#x201D;</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  • Huawei Fires Employee Arrested in Poland on Spying Charges

    Huawei Fires Employee Arrested in Poland on Spying Charges

    ang Weijing, had been accused of had nothing to do with the company.</p><p>“In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” a company spokesman, Joe Kelly, said.</p><p>Huawei’s equipment is used in mobile phone and internet networks around the world. But American officials have for years considered the company to be vulnerable to efforts by Beijing to spy on Americans or sabotage their communication systems.</p><p>Huawei denies that it operates as an extension of Beijing. Still, as the company has grown to become the world’s top supplier of telecommunications gear, the United States government has worked to discourage American mobile carriers and consumers from buying its equipment. Washington has shared its security concerns with allied governments in Europe and elsewhere.</p><p>The second person arrested by the Polish authorities this past week was an employee of Orange, the French telecommunications company. Orange’s office was raided, and the employee’s belongings were seized. Polish officials did not offer more details about what the two men were accused of, but said that they would be held for three months while the investigation continued.</p><p>Poland is Huawei’s headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic region.</p><p>A LinkedIn profile for Mr. Wang showed he has been employed by Huawei’s Polish division since 2011 and previously served as attaché to the Chinese general consul in Gdansk from 2006 to 2011, according to Reuters.</p><p>As cellular providers around the world prepare to build networks using fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology, Huawei has tested new equipment with a number of major European carriers.</p><p>An earlier version of this article misstated the given name of the chief financial officer of Huawei. She is Meng Wanzhou, not Wangzhou.</p>

    1 January 16, 2019
  •  Netflix raising prices for 58M US subscribers as costs rise

    Netflix raising prices for 58M US subscribers as costs rise

    ercent, its biggest increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago.</p><p> Its most popular plan will see the largest hike, to $13 per month from $11. That option offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously. Even at the higher price, that plan is still a few dollars cheaper than HBO, whose streaming service charges $15 per month.</p><p> This marks the fourth time that Netflix has raised its U.S. prices; the last hike came in late 2017 . But this is the first time that higher prices will hit all 58 million U.S. subscribers, the number Netflix reported at the end of September.</p><p> Previously, Netflix had continued to offer a basic, $8-a-month streaming plan while raising rates on more comprehensive plans with better video quality and options to watch simultaneously on different devices.</p><p> This time, the price for the cheapest plan is going up to $9 per month. A premium plan offering ultra-high definition will jump to $16 per month from $14.</p><p> The new prices will immediately affect all new subscribers and then roll out to existing customers during the next three months. Customers in about 40 Latin America countries where Netflix bills in U.S. currency will also be affected, excepting key international markets such as Mexico and Brazil.</p><p> Netflix had nearly 79 million subscribers outside the U.S. as of September.</p><p> Higher prices could alienate subscribers and possibly even trigger a wave of cancelations. For instance, Netflix faced a huge backlash in 2011 when it unbundled video streaming from its older DVD-by-mail service, resulting in a 60 percent price increase for subscribers who wanted to keep both plans. Netflix lost 600,000 subscribers after that switch.</p><p> The company is now betting it can gradually raise its prices, bolstered by a string of acclaimed hits during that past five years that have included "House of Cards," ''Orange Is The New Black," ''Stranger Things," ''The Crown" and, most recently, the film "Bird Box."</p><p> "We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience," the company said in a statement.</p><p> Consumers also have an increasing array of other streaming options .</p><p> Amazon offers a streaming service as part of its Prime shipping program for $13 per month, or $120 for an annual membership. Hulu sells an ad-free service for $12 per month. AT&T's WarnerMedia unit plans a broader streaming service this year centered on HBO. Walt Disney is gearing up to launch a streaming channel this year.</p><p> With Apple also widely expected to join the video-streaming fray, the competition for programming is enabling top directors, writers and actors to charge more for their talents. That has intensified financial pressure on Netflix, which hasn't been bringing in enough money to pay for all its programming and other business expenses.</p><p> The company burned through about $3 billion last year and is expecting to do so again this year. To offset the negative cash flow, Netflix has been borrowing heavily to pay for programming. The Los Gatos, California, company had accumulated nearly $12 billion in debt before borrowing another $2 billion in an October bond offering.</p><p> Concerns about the stiffening competition and Netflix's ability to sustain its current leadership in video streaming has caused the company's stock price to slide by 21 percent from its peak of $423.21 reached last June. The shares stood at $332.94 heading into Tuesday's trading session.</p>

    1 January 15, 2019
  • Who Is MacKenzie Bezos?

    Who Is MacKenzie Bezos?

    his novelist, and her private life, a public fascination.</p><p>In her 25 years of marriage to Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Bezos has been a loyal ambassador for Amazon, the company that made her and her husband the richest couple in the world.</p><p>The couple, who have four children, wrote that they see “wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.”</p><p>Over the last few decades, as Amazon grew, Ms. Bezos appeared with her husband at some high-profile events, including Vanity Fair’s Oscar parties and the Golden Globes; in 2012, she was a host of the Met Gala. (Amazon also underwrote the event.) But for the most part, Ms. Bezos has guarded her privacy, preferring to focus on writing and her children. She could not be reached for comment on this article.</p><p>Little is known about Ms. Bezos, a private woman who may be awarded one of the largest divorce settlements to date.</p><p>MacKenzie Tuttle, an aspiring novelist, met her husband at D. E. Shaw, a New York hedge fund where Mr. Bezos, a computer scientist by training, had become a senior vice president. </p><p>Within three months of dating, the two were engaged; they married shortly thereafter at a resort in West Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. Bezos was 30; Ms. Bezos was 23.</p><p>Ms. Bezos’s literary ambitions began early. According to interviews and her author biography on Amazon (where she coyly notes that she “lives in Seattle with her husband and four children”), she started writing seriously at age 6, when she finished a 142-page chapter book titled “The Book Worm.” It was later destroyed in a flood; Ms. Bezos has said that she now meticulously backs up her work.</p><p>At Princeton, she studied creative writing under the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, who hired her as a research assistant for the 1992 novel “Jazz” and introduced her to her high-powered literary agent, Amanda Urban. </p><p>In Vogue, Ms. Morrison hailed Ms. Bezos as a rare talent, calling her “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative writing classes.” In 2005 she gave Ms. Bezos a glowing blurb on her debut novel, “The Testing of Luther Albright,” calling it, “a rarity: a sophisticated novel that breaks and swells the heart.”</p><p>After graduating from Princeton in 1992, six years after Mr. Bezos graduated from the same university, Ms. Bezos took the job that introduced her to the future e-commerce titan. The couple married in 1993 and moved to Seattle in 1994, the same year Amazon was incorporated. </p><p>Quickly, Ms. Bezos’s identity became enfolded into her husband’s company, even as she sought to make her mark in a publishing industry that he worked tirelessly to upend.</p><p>From the start, Mr. Bezos knew he wanted to disrupt traditional retail businesses using the internet. He quickly established Amazon as a successful internet bookstore and then began to diversify, selling music (when that was still viable), videos, medication and other consumer goods.</p><p>His vision, as told to Chip Bayers and published in a 1999 Wired profile, was prescient. Mr. Bezos predicted that in 2020: </p><p>The vast bulk of store-bought goods — food staples, paper products, cleaning supplies, and the like — you will order electronically. Some physical storefronts will survive, but they’ll have to offer at least one of two things: entertainment value or immediate convenience.</p><p>MacKenzie Bezos, who first lived with her husband in a rented home in an East Seattle suburb, was heavily involved in the business at the start: In addition to working as an accountant, she helped brainstorm names for the company and even shipped early orders through UPS, according to “The Everything Store.”</p><p>In 1999, they moved into a $10 million mansion in Medina, Wash., and Ms. Bezos became pregnant with their first child. As they rapidly accumulated wealth, the Bezos family took pains to preserve the trappings of normalcy. </p><p>Ms. Bezos often drove the four children to school in a Honda, and would then drop Mr. Bezos at the office, Mr. Stone wrote.</p><p>As the company flourished, Ms. Bezos stepped back and focused on her family and her literary ambitions.</p><p>“Business wasn’t her passion, and when Amazon took off she wasn’t as involved in the day-to-day business,” Mr. Stone said.</p><p>She spent a decade on her first novel, often getting up early to write, and signed with her mentor’s literary agent, Ms. Urban at ICM Partners, who also represents Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro. </p><p>“The Testing of Luther Albright,” which was published by Harper in 2005 and was widely embraced by critics, tells the story of an engineer whose professional and home lives begin to unravel in the 1980s. </p><p>In 2013, Ms. Bezos published her second novel, “Traps,” which follows the journey of woman named Jessica Lessing, a reclusive film star, as she emerges from hiding to confront her father, a con man who has been selling her out to the paparazzi for years. Jessica drives to Las Vegas to meet him, and encounters three other women: a teen mother, a dog-shelter owner and a former military bodyguard, who become her allies.</p><p>“I would say the biggest theme in the book is the idea that the things that we worry over the most in life, the things that we feel trapped by, the mistakes we’ve made, the bad luck that we come across, the accidents that happen to us, the paradoxes — in the end, oftentimes those things are the things that we’ll look back and be the most grateful for,” Ms. Bezos said of the novel during an interview with Charlie Rose. “They take us where we need to go.”</p><p>Throughout their marriage, Mr. Bezos was an enthusiastic supporter of Ms. Bezos’s fiction, and would clear his schedule to read drafts of her novels, Ms. Bezos told Vogue. In the acknowledgments of “Traps,” she called him “my most devoted reader.”</p><p>Sales of her books have been modest: The novels have sold a few thousand print copies, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks some 85 percent of print sales. Some independent booksellers refused to stock Ms. Bezos’s novels, according to a publishing executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Ms. Urban, Ms. Bezos’s literary agent, declined to comment for this article.</p><p>The Bezoses were the richest couple in the world; their divorce exists at a level of wealth that is virtually unprecedented. There have been billion-dollar divorces, like that of Steve and Elaine Wynn who owned casinos together, and certainly, technology entrepreneurs have been in and out of divorce court — most notably Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle who has been wed and unwed four times.</p><p>But there has never been a divorce with a couple worth an estimated $137 billion, as Mr. and Ms. Bezos are.</p><p>Little is known about the couple’s financial arrangements. Divorces are governed by state law, and the Bezoses’ primary residence and business are in Washington state, a community property state where any income earned or wealth created during the marriage is to be divided equitably between spouses.</p><p>But some lawyers think it is unlikely that Mr. and Mrs. Bezos will adhere to that guideline in a predictable manner. If they were to split assets equally, Mr. Bezos could find the 16.1 percent of Amazon stock he owns halved.</p><p>“I’d imagine they didn’t fight at all over how much wealth each other gets,” said William Zabel, a founding partner of the law firm Schulte Roth and Zabel, who has handled many high-profile divorce cases but not worked with the Bezoses. Probably, he said, “they fought about control.”</p><p>Mr. Zabel represented Wendi Murdoch and Jane Welch in their separations, and said he thought the Bezoses would almost certainly negotiate a way to split the value of the Amazon shares while allowing Mr. Bezos the leverage he might need. The length of time such an agreement remains in place would be part of the negotiations.</p><p>Ms. Bezos has kept a low profile in recent weeks, and has not been photographed since the divorce was announced. (Mr. Bezos, by contrast, has continued to appear publicly and was pictured this month at a Golden Globes after-party with Lauren Sanchez, a former television anchor he is reportedly seeing.)</p><p>It is unknown what Ms. Bezos will do next, and how the divorce will play out.</p><p>There will be inevitable questions, for instance, about her plans regarding philanthropy. The Bezoses’ charitable contributions have been modest in the past. In 2011, they donated $15 million to their alma mater to create a center to study the brain. The following year, they gave $2.5 million to support a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington. </p><p>And if Ms. Bezos continues to write and publish, perhaps she could find a more receptive audience among independent booksellers. Some publishing executives, who declined to be quoted on the record, spoke gleefully, at least, of the blockbuster potential if Ms. Bezos decides to write a memoir.</p><p>Vanessa Friedman and Paul Sullivan contributed reporting. </p>

    1 January 15, 2019
  •  Huawei founder says company would not share user secrets

    Huawei founder says company would not share user secrets

    wei Technologies says the tech giant would reject requests from the Chinese government to disclose confidential information about its customers.</p><p> Meeting with foreign reporters at Huawei's headquarters, Ren Zhengfei sought Tuesday to allay Western concerns the company is a security risk. Those fears have hampered Huawei's access to global markets for next-generation telecom technology.</p><p> Asked how Huawei would respond if Chinese authorities ask for confidential information about foreign customers or their networks, Ren said, "we would definitely say no to such a request."</p>

    1 January 15, 2019