Sears declares bankruptcy
Sears, the once-dominant retail chain that changed how Americans shopped and lived, has filed for bankruptcy. The 132 -year-old company has been struggling for several years and is drowning in debt. The final straw was a $134 million debt payment due Monday that it could not afford. Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, is among dozens of prominent retailers to declare bankruptcy in the era of online stores like Amazon and big box rivals, including Walmart and Home Depot. The filing in federal bankruptcy court in New York came in the early hours of Monday morning. The company issued a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping open stores that are profitable, along with the Sears and Kmart websites. But Sears said that it's looking for a buyer for a large number of its remaining stores, and it will close at least 142 stores near the end of this year. That's in addition to the 46 store closings already planned for next month. Company leaders are hoping he bankruptcy process will allow the company to shed debt and costs and “become a profitable and more competitive retailer. ” Although retailers typically file for bankruptcy with the intention of staying in business, many end up going bust after filing. Formed in 1886 by Richard Sears, Sears was once the nation's largest retailer and its largest employer. It was both the Walmart and Amazon of its time.
In Other News n n n Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant with her first child, the UK's royal family has announced. The Queen and other members of the royal family congratulated Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry on the baby which is expected in the spring of 2019. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will be the child's great-grandmother. A lawsuit against Harvard brought on behalf of Asian-American students who failed to gain admission goes to trial on Monday in one of the most consequential race cases in decades, with affirmative action policies across the country at stake. The lawsuit was crafted by conservative advocates who have long fought racial admissions practices that traditionally benefited African. American and Latino students. Their ultimate goal is to reverse the 1978 Supreme Court case that upheld admissions policies that consider the race of students for campus diversity. The contention is that the university engages in unlawful "racial balancing" as it boosts the chances of admissions for blacks and Hispanics and lowers the chances for Asian Americans. Some who back the lawsuit seek to end all consideration of race in admissions, while others, siding with Harvard, argue that universities should be able to consider race for campus diversity and that some Asian Americans, particularly those with ties to Southeast Asian countries, may have had fewer educational opportunities before applying to college. Harvard, the country's oldest institution of higher education, denies that it engages in racial balancing or limits Asian-American admissions. It defends its longstanding effort for racial diversity as part of the education mission and says admissions officers undertake a "whole-person evaluation" that includes academics, extracurricular activities, talents and personal qualities, as well as socioeconomic background and race. A renowned South Korean climber was among nine people killed when a vicious snowstorm hit their camp on Nepal's Mount Gurja. Police and locals are working to bring the bodies off the mountain. The nine-person team had been missing since Friday, when officials lost contact with the climbers. It was not clear how much progress they'd made up the 7, 193 -meter (23, 600 -foot) Himalayan peak. No climber has summited the mountain, which is far less popular than Mt. Everest, in 22 years. It also was not exactly clear how they died, but the storm that struck their camp was particularly violent.