By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial that shook the tech world. A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao, by firing her after she sued in 2012. Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao's effectiveness at her job. The verdict dashed Pao's hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley's corporate culture and its lack of diversity.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days beginning Friday, except for religious services, as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola.
Arkansas Senate passes religion bill seen as targeting gays
The Arkansas Senate overwhelmingly approved on Friday a Republican-backed bill whose authors say is intended to protect religious freedoms but critics contend could allow businesses to refuse service to gay people. The bill advancing in the Republican-led Arkansas legislature says "governments should not substantially burden the free exercise of religion without compelling justification." Supporters say a business should not be forced to, for example, cater a same-sex wedding if doing so would violate the religious beliefs of the owner. Two of the most powerful companies in the United States, retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which has its home office in Arkansas, and technology giant Apple Inc have criticized the measure. "We feel this legislation is counter to this core basic belief of respect for the individual and sends the wrong message about Arkansas, as well as the diverse environment which exists in the state," a Walmart spokesman said in a statement.
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