Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule, designed to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, will not fly until the first half of next year at the earliest, as the manufacturing giant continues to tackle an issue with the spacecraft’s valves. Things have not gone smoothly for Boeing. Its Starliner program has suffered numerous setbacks and delays. Just in August, a second unmanned test flight was scrapped after 13 of 24 valves in the spacecraft’s propulsion system jammed. In a briefing this week, Michelle Parker, chief engineer of space and launch at Boeing, shed more light on the errant components. Boeing believes the valves malfunctioned due to weather issues, we were told. Florida, home to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where the Starliner is being assembled and tested, is known for hot, humid summers. Parker explained that the chemicals from the spacecraft’s oxidizer reacted with water condensation inside the valves to form nitric acid. The acidity corroded the valves, causing them to stick. Engineers managed to free nine out of 13 faulty valves, but four remained stuck. The capsule was returned to the factory and two valves have been removed and handed to NASA for further analysis, with a third on the way. Boeing said will not resume flight tests of its CST-100 Starliner module until the first half of next year. NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who were expected to fly aboard Boeing's first official crewed flight for its Starliner-1 mission, will now hitch a ride to the ISS as part of Crew-5, a SpaceX mission in the second half of 2022. Boeing's Calamity Capsule might take to space once again ... in the first half of 2022 Nothing says 'We believe in you' like NASA switching two 'nauts off Boeing's Starliner onto SpaceX's Crew Dragon Dozy ISS cosmonauts woken by smoke alarm on eve of 5-hour spacewalk The Register recreates Apollo 15 through the medium of plastic bricks, 50 years on “NASA decided it was important to make these reassignments to allow Boeing time to complete the development of Starliner," the US agency previously said, "while continuing plans for astronauts to gain spaceflight expe
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Oct. 21, 2021Updated Oct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETDaily Business BriefingImageCredit...Hilary Swift for The New York TimesTwo years after WeWork’s attempt to become a public company flamed out spectacularly, the co-working giant will start trading on the stock market on Thursday, hoping that investors will now believe in its prospects.The earlier effort collided with concerns about WeWork’s breakneck growth, its huge losses and the alarming management style of its co-founder Adam Neumann. WeWork has new leaders who have pared back its expenses and hope to exploit an office space market that has been upended by the pandemic. But the company still has lofty growth targets, big losses and many empty desks in its 762 locations around the world.“We are the right company, at the right time,” Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork’s chief executive, told investors this month. “I joined this company with an upside-down cost structure. Over the past 20 months, we have fo
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In China, some academic programs accept only men or cap the number of female applicants, who often must test higher than their male counterparts.Credit...Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesOct. 21, 2021Updated 6:45 a.m. ETWhen Vincy Li applied to a prestigious police academy graduate program in China, she knew her odds of success were low. After all, the school set quotas, typically capping the number of female students at no more than a quarter of the student body.But her chances were even lower. When the school released admissions results earlier this year, just five out of 140 students who had tested into the program — less than 4 percent — were female, even though more than 1,000 women had applied. And the lowest-scoring woman to get in did 40 points better than the lowest-scoring male applicant who was admitted, according to the school’s admission data.For Ms. Li, the message was clear: Women weren’t welcome.“Female students were totally shocked,” said Ms. Li, who had spent more than a year preparing for the exam. “I don’t understand why they don’t even offer those academic opportunities to us.”Across China, women’s educational attainment has soared; female undergraduates now sharply outnumber males. But women still face significant barriers getting into training and academic programs — with outright quotas on their numbers in some fields — as they seek to pierce the country’s traditionally male-dominated professions.And that is thwarting China’s longstanding efforts to promote female advancement in a country where, as Mao famously said, women hold up “half the sky.”Civil aviation-related study programs often specify that they seek male applicants only, except for flight-attendant training. Military and police training academies publicly impose gender quotas that result in much stricter admission criteria for female students.Women who applied to the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force University of Engineering in June scored 127 points higher than the lowest-scoring male counterparts on the gaokao, the national examination that is the most important criteria for admissions to Chinese universities, according to data from a provincial education department.ImageCredit...Roman Pilipey/EPA, via ShutterstockReached by telephone, a staff member at the police academy program Ms. Li applied to said additional female students had been admitted through a separate process that relied on recommendations rather than testing.But even then, women make up only 17 percent of the police academy program as of last month, down from 38 percent in September 2020. That decline came after the university announced last September that it would restrict the share of women it would accept to 15 percent, later citing the high risks and pressures associated with policing.The differing standards are not limited to police or military schools. Even some art schools have imposed 50/50 gender ratios to curtail the growing share of female students.An informal survey of China’s 116 top universities, published by a group of feminist activists in February, found that 86 academic majors at 18 universities had gender-based admissions requirements.The practice of favoring male applicants has long drawn criticism. A decade ago, after news reports emerged about universities giving preference to men, public outrage and protests led the government to ban gender-based admissions for most fields.Private universities in the United States have also acknowledged maintaining gender ratios, particularly as the pool of more qualified female applicants has grown.But in China, the issue has become especially fraught in recent years, as a growing embrace of feminism has clashed with the Chinese Communist Party’s widening campaign for social control. Activists citing gender bias have been censored online, and officials have trumpeted the virtues of traditional gender roles.After the feminist group posted its report online about biased admissions policies, an officially sanctioned crackdown by social media companies on “extreme feminism” led to its quick erasure from the web.ImageCredit...Kevin Frayer/Getty Images“There was some progress achieved before, but it was not enough,” said Xiong Jing, who participated in the 2012 protests and was an editor at Feminist Voices, a media outlet that was shut down in 2018. Pushing back now, she added, “is nearly impossible.”While the Ministry of Education outlawed most gender-based admissions in 2012, it allowed them in “special areas of study,” including those affiliated with the military or related to national defense.Restrictions are also allowed in fields the government deems dangerous, such as mining, marine navigation or those “in need of a certain gender balance.” Television broadcasting schools, for example, argue that pairing female and male anchors is the industry norm.But critics say schools have applied those criteria too liberally.Take the Communication University of China, often called the “cradle of China’s broadcast talents.” To achieve gender parity for its television production program, the university admitted women who scored 20 points higher than men on average, according to admissions data.Early this year, the university was also accused of setting a lower bar for male applicants of the animation design program after women had been making up 70 to 90 percent of the major.In March, when the school released screening results, students were surprised to discover that the share of male candidates who qualified for pre-admission had jumped to 50 percent.Activists have asked why gender-based quotas should exist in any field, even those related to the military.ImageCredit...Giulia Marchi for The New York TimesPolicymakers assume that “women need to be caregivers and expect men to fill the leadership roles” said Professor Shen Hsiu-hua, a gender issue expert at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.Indeed, some defenses of the quotas favoring males lean heavily on traditional ideas about gender relations.In Guangxi Province, one university this year began offering a free, male-only degree in kindergarten education. The announcement followed state media coverage of a perceived “masculinity crisis” among young Chinese men, which they blamed in part on female teachers.After the outcry over the animation program at the Communication University, a lecturer there, Lin Bai, argued that favoring men benefited women, too. Or at least their social lives.“A little adjustment of gender ratio to ensure that young women on campus have some guys to date is acceptable,” he wrote on the social media platform Weibo.But Professor Shen pointed out that there are no equivalent policies favoring women in male-dominated majors.China, she said, wants “more men in every industry.”“For the increasingly authoritarian government,” she added, “China needs to project an image of being manly and strong.”ImageCredit...Giulia Marchi for The New York TimesOthers have cited more pragmatic reasons for imposing the gender ratios.Zhang Dongshen, who runs a tutoring agency known for helping students gain admission to police academies, said the lack of jobs for female police officers justified their low admissions rates.“I also feel bad for my female students,” Mr. Zhang said. “But policymakers don’t want them to end up with no jobs.”The result is a vicious cycle, as restrictions on female admissions feed restrictions on female employment, and vice versa, Professor Shen said.Some women seeking to enter traditionally male-dominated fields instead look overseas for opportunities.In 2018, Lian Luo, a flight attendant, decided to pursue her dream of becoming a pilot.She showed up to a hiring session for pilot trainees run by a domestic airline but the staff asked her and other female candidates to leave.Eventually, she pursued training in South Africa and graduated at the top of her class.“There are no such opportunities back in China for women like me,” she said. “Nowhere to start.”
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Emily Sheffield has left her role as editor of the Evening Standard after just 15 months in the job as the management at the London newspaper try to map out a financial future for the lossmaking outlet.Staff were told on Thursday morning that Sheffield, who had been absent for the last week, would be departing with immediate effect by “mutual consent”. Multiple sources at the news outlet said her time on the newspaper had been an unhappy one, with deep job cuts and financial pressures caused by the Covid pandemic exacerbated with a struggling digital strategy.One Evening Standard employee said that while Sheffield had tried to relaunch in difficult circumstances, the newspaper increasingly struggled to grasp what stories Londoners wanted to read.In an email to staff, Sheffield thanked employees for their support during this “incredibly challenging period of history” and said she would continue to write a column for the newspaper.Sheffield, the sister-in-law of the former prime minister David Cameron, replaced the former Conservative chancellor George Osborne as editor of the Evening Standard last summer. Multiple Evening Standard staff expressed hope that the next editor would not be someone from the same social background.The Evening Standard is controlled by Evgeny Lebedev, who was recently given a life peerage by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and also owns the Independent. It is unclear whether Lebedev can continue to sustain substantial losses at the Standard, although several years ago he sold a 30% stake in the outlet to [offshore] companies believed to be ultimately part-owned by a bank with close links to the Saudi Arabian government. Although the Standard is a regional paper, its large print distribution and proximity to power means many politicians in Westminster treat it as a national outlet. Publisher at the Standard, Charlotte Ross, takes over as acting editor with immediate effect.The Standard’s business model, which relies on distributing hundreds of thousands of free copies aimed at London commuters and then charging for advertising, was under threat before the pandemic. It has lost £40m in three years, with revenues plummeting fu
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The moon is a beautiful thing that has captivated humanity for centuries, particularly before the advent of television and the Internet when there was nothing else to watch. [JCM_MatSci] developed a clock which tracks the phases of the moon, so you can keep an eye on the state of Earth’s satellite without even having to turn your gaze to a window. The clock relies on a simplified model of the lunar phases, based around the synodic month which averages 29.530588 days. For non-astronomical purposes, it’s pretty much close enough. The clock uses a high-torque off-the-shelf
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A lorry has fallen into the harbour in Bristol city centre.Emergency services were called to the scene early on Thursday after the HGV ended up partially submerged in the water, with the cab perched on the dock.David Hill, who lives nearby and walked to the scene after hearing sirens, said he had not “seen anything like it before”.Referencing the moment a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston was toppled into the port during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, Hill, 37, told the PA news agency: “I’ve seen people go into the harbour, even a statue, but never a lorry.“I was just
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors pursuing the case against a man accused of raping a woman on a commuter train last week don’t anticipate charging fellow passengers for not intervening, a spokesperson for the suburban Philadelphia district attorney said.“It’s still an open investigation, but there is no expectation at this time that we will charge passengers,” said Margie McAboy, spokeswoman for the Delaware County District Attorney’s office.In an emailed statement, District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said prosecutors want witnesses to come forward, rather than fearing prosecution, and said, “Pennsylvania law does not allow for the prosecution of a passenger who may have witnessed a crime.”Authorities continue to investigate the Oct. 13 attack, where a woman was repeatedly touched and groped over the course of a 40-minute ride despite trying to push 35-year-old Fiston Ngoy away, according to an arrest affidavit that detailed the surveillance footage from the train.Investigators say Ngoy ripped the woman’s pants off and proceeded to rape her for somewhere between six and eight minutes before officers boarded the train and detained him.Police declined to say how many passengers may have witnessed the assault, but have said it appeared that some held their phones up in the direction of the assault seemingly to film the attack. Police have also declined to say whether investigators have found any photos or videos of the attack posted online.Requests by The Associated Press for surveillance video from the Oct. 13 attack on the Market-Frankford line have been denied, citing the ongoing criminal investigation. It remains unclear whether passengers actually witnessed or recorded what happened on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train.SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said Wednesday that at points during the rape, there were passengers standing or sitting nearby, though he couldn’t guess whether any understood the serious nature of the situation.“Chief (Thomas) Nestel made his best estimate that 10 people were walking through, sitting or standing near where the attack was occurring at points throughout the assault,” Busch said. “Our hope is that people will realize when they see this type of activity, whether they fully understand it or not, that they will push the emergency call button or call the police. There really was n
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Our highest court is facing a legitimacy crisis and is in desperate need of reform. And yet, due to the deadlock that seems to be Congress these days, I too often hear the rebuke to US supreme court reform, “None of these reforms will happen, so what is the point of talking about them?”This defeatist argument fails to recognize a pivotal audience who surely hears the growing public calls for urgent reform – the supreme court itself.We need only look to the number of justices who have felt the need recently to speak up on behalf of the court, in an attempt to justify its egregious abuse of judicial norms and processes, to know the justices are listening.Historically, one of the most common features of supreme court justices is their public silence when away from the court. They generally let their decisions speak for themselves. No longer is that tenable as this court’s conservative supermajority insists on using its power to advance a partisan agenda at the expense of our constitutional rights and democratic legitimacy.Most recently, Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech at the University of Notre Dame that can only be described as an attempted takedown of the press. In his remarks, Justice Alito lambasted the work of journalists and even criticized the press for using the term “shadow docket”, a term coined by a conservative law professor. All Justice Alito succeeded in doing, however, is proving his sensitivity to the public discourse about the court.It’s not just justices who are attempting to justify the court’s break from judicial norms and disregard for constitutional rights. Senator Chuck Grassley, for instance, has even taken it upon himself to defend the court from what he perceives as bullying. His implication, however, that the court should be beyond reproach is to suggest the public ought to sit idly by while our rights are systematically dismantled for partisan gain.Justices, and politicians, can proclaim that the court is not political or that the public’s waning approval of the institution is a product of the media, but nobody is forcing the court to deface its own norms and precedents.Nobody is forcing this conservative supermajority to use the shadow docket to rewrite American jurisprudence. Pregnant people in Texas no longer have a constitutional right to abortion because five justices on the supreme court opted to nullify Roe v Wade by way of the shadow docket.Nobody is forcing this supermajority to discard the court’s own precedent, even precedent that was written by some of these same justices. Whether you look at the court’s nullification of Roe v Wade in Texas, its reversal on questions of due process for Guantánamo Bay detainees, or the court’s 180-degree turn on juvenile sentencing, this conservative supermajority has made clear that precedent be damned.By way of example, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent in the recent Jones v Mississippi case that the majority decision distorted the court’s previous decisions in Miller v Alabama and Montgomery v Louisiana “beyond recognition” in order to “justify” reimposing juvenile life without parole. The court rejected its own decisions
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Greta Thunberg has accused countries including the UK of being in denial over the extent of the climate and ecological crisis and using “creative carbon accounting” to augment their green credentials.In an opinion piece for the Guardian, the Swedish activist says world leaders have been responsible for several years of inaction in reducing emissions which she has termed “their decades of blah, blah, blah”.Thunberg also accused the UK, the US and China of spinning emissions statistics to make it appear that their levels are lower.She wrote: “Between 1990 and 2016, the UK lowered its territorial emissions by 41%. However, once you include the full scale of the UK emissions – such as consumption of imported goods, international aviation and shipping etc – the reduction is more like 15%.“And this is excluding burning of biomass, like at Drax’s Selby plant – a heavily subsidised so-called “renewable” power plant that is, according to analysis, the UK’s biggest single emitter of CO2 and the third biggest in all of Europe. And yet the government still considers the UK to be a global climate leader.“The UK is, of course, far from the only country relying on such creative carbon accounting. This is the norm.“China, currently by far the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, is planning to build 43 new coal power plants on top of the 1,000 plants already in operation – while also claiming to be an ecological ‘trailblazer’ committed to leaving “a clean and beautiful world to future generations.”The 18-year-old also believes “there are no climate leaders … at least not among high-income nations” due to a lack of public awareness and pressure from the media. Her comments come ahead of the UN Cop26 climate talks which the UK is hosting in Glasgow starting on 31 October.Thunberg’s stance echoes remarks by the Queen who criticised world leaders’ inaction on addressing the climate crisis last week after acknowledging she is “irritated” by individuals who “talk but don’t do”. Other royals, such as Prince William and Prince Charles, have also recently weighed in on the climate breakdown.The UK government published its net zero strategy on Tuesday ahead of the Cop26 climate meeting, pledging more investment into electric cars, on-street charging points and planting trees.It detailed plans to meet legal targets to cut emissions to net zero by 2050, but it was met with criticism for not providing enough policies or investment to drive the transformation needed.The strategy said it would support 440,000 jobs in new sectors or for people moving from high-carbon industries to cleaner ones, along with unlocking £90bn in private investment in 2030 on the way to the mid-century goal.Officials insisted the policies would deliver the carbon cuts needed to meet UK legal targets in the 2020s and 2030s and deliver on commitments to cut greenhouse gases by 68% by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.However, the shadow business secretary, Ed Miliband, said: “The plan falls short on delivery, and while there is modest short-term investment, there is nothing like the commitment we believe is required.”
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I cannot think of Colin Powell without thinking of my own father, who, like Powell, served in the US military. My dad was only a generation older than Powell, but that gap was the difference between serving in a segregated or integrated military. A second world war veteran, my midwestern father was stationed at a southern military base in a segregated marine corps.In those days, a Black man could be demoted for failing to show “proper deference” to white officers, a fate that befell my father, who I never saw defer to anyone. My father never spoke of his time in the military, seemingly indifferent to it, not ashamed exactly, but not proud either. I suspect that he, like many Jim Crow era
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Most treatments mostly work, most of the time, for most people. But there will always be outliers.Adam Maida / The AtlanticAbout the author: Elizabeth Bruenig is a staff writer at The Atlantic. A pair
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The UN secretary general, António Guterres, called the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis a “code red” for humanity. “We are at the verge of the abyss,” he said.You might think those words would sound some kind of alarm in our society. But, like so many times before, this didn’t happen. The denial of the climate and ecological crisis runs so deep that hardly anyone takes real notice any more. Since no one treats the crisis like a crisis, the existential warnings keep on drowning in a steady tide of greenwash and everyday media news flow.And yet there is still hope, but hope all starts with honesty.Because science doesn’t lie. The facts are crystal clear, but we just refuse
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Following its previously reviewed partnerships with Remedy Entertainment, Inside developer Playdead, and Fumito Ueda's gen Designer (The Last Guardian), Epic Games
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Single-location dramas are all about comings and goings, manoeuvring multiple characters and plot lines in the same space. So what better setting than a taxicab office? August Wilson’s 1970s drama weaves together the hectic workdays of a company of African American drivers in an environment where someone is always half in or out of the door.Jitney sits solidly within the tradition of the 20th-century American work play. At its heart is Becker, the archetypal hard worker. He runs a station of jitney cabs – unlicensed taxis serving the local African American community in Pittsburgh. Flowing in and out of this hub, a series of men try to make their way in the world. But the release of Becker’s son after two decades in jail, paired with the city’s encroaching plans for urban renewal, threaten to shatter this fragile equilibrium.In Tinuke Craig’s meticulous production for Headlong and Leeds Playhouse, it feels as though we’re simply stumbling upon these lives, eavesdropping on their jokes and quarrels. There’s a lived-in quality to both the performances and Alex Lowde’s set, with its mismatched collection of chairs. Meanwhile, movement director Sarita Piotrowski’s speeded-up, repetitive sequences between scenes suggest the frenetic yet habitual activity of this workplace. These men are practised at the stop-start art of transporting others.Jitney is the earliest of Wilson’s Pittsburgh cycle of plays, and occasionally it shows. There are moments when you can hear the dramatic cogs whirring. Yet it is subtle in its dissection of the American dream from the marginalised perspective of its characters. While older men such as Doub believe in the elusive promise of opportunity regardless of race, a younger generation is scarred by the Vietnam war and chafing against a world that was never built for them.An excellent cast inhabit these men and their struggles. As Becker, Andrew French has a quiet containment that makes his eventual outbursts all the more explosive. Equally compelling are Sule Rimi as interfering gossip Turnbo and CJ Beckford as frustrated Vietnam vet Youngblood, constantly locking horns between jobs. Above all, Jitney is a character-cent
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The Morning NewsletterWhat happens when health officials tell it?Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 6:21 a.m. ETEarly this summer, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C., went on a podcast and did something that top public-health officials are often uncomfortable doing: She spoke in straightforward, clear language. She dropped the bureaucratic reticence that treats scientific questions as either settled or unanswerable. She acknowledged nuance and uncertainty while still offering useful guidance.I want to revisit that interview today, because it covered a topic that’s back in the news: Covid-19 booster shots. Yesterday, the F.D.A. authorized Americans to receive a booster shot with a different vaccine than their original dose — an approach known as mix and match — and the C.D.C. may confirm that decision this week. If so, federal policy would be more in line with Walensky’s comments on that June podcast.Today’s newsletter will explain how the change may benefit people — and ask why it took so long.To veer or notThe podcast was “In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt,” and Slavitt’s background might explain why Walensky took a less formal approach.Slavitt ran Medicare and Medicaid during the Obama administration, and when he spoke
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The Oxford lieder festival has grown since its 2002 inception, with 100-plus events this year: ample room for big names singing the famous song cycles, and a heartening amount of emerging singers and new music. One late-night slot showcased Dream.risk.sing, an hour-long programme devised by the soprano Samantha Crawford and pianist Lana Bode. It focused on women’s stories told through song, and included lots of new or unfamiliar music. Those two facts were related.The title references woman.life.song, composed in 2000 by Judith Weir for Jessye Norman, from which we heard two songs. First came Breasts!, a chatty setting of words by Clarissa Pinkola Estés that could be a monologue for a pre-teen Judy Blume heroine. This benefited from Crawford’s easy communication of text, while Edge, a remembrance of first love to words by Toni Morrison, sounded haunting with Bode tracing its unrooted harmonies.At the heart of the programme was Charlotte Bray’s new three-song cycle Crossing Faultlines, written for Crawford and Bode, dealing with women in the workplace – a subject that risks getting hidebound in specificity, but Nicki Jackowska’s specially written text largely skirts this. The second song tells a succinct story of sexual assault, with ominous, pulsing piano. Elsewhere, in songs dealing with mentorship and ambition, Bray’s translucent piano writing dances around the voice, leaving it space to shine; the vocal range is challengingly wide, though, and several times Crawford was sent audibly past her comfort zone.Two 2017 songs by Helen Grime stood out: Milk Fever, in which a rippling high piano line celebrates the lactating body, and Council Offices, a lullaby for a stillborn child that ends with the voice entirely, heartbreakingly alone. And male creators weren’t entirely absent – there was room for Ricky Ian Gordon’s bittersweet, almost Sondheimesque celebration of his mother, and Carson P Cooman’s exuberant Ballad. Dvořák’s Songs My Mother Taught Me made an apt opener, even if the performers wallowed a little in the song’s nostalgia; the send-off was Michele Brourman’s My Daughters, schmaltzy but touching. If the programme seemed a lit
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Informatica's former UK & Ireland vice president was correctly sacked after letting a salesman take Highways England's executive IT director on a $5,000 golfing jaunt, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled. Not only did Derek Thompson breach Informatica's anti-corruption policies but he also warned underlings to "be discreet" about the jolly – and told HR investigators "Why does anyone do any customer entertainment?" when asked how playing golf benefited the business. Thompson lost his appeal against a judge's earlier ruling [PDF] that his October 2017 sacking was reasonable, with the Employment Appeal Tribunal publishing its judgment [PDF] last week. Highways England's executive IT director Tony Malone was invited to speak at an Informatica conference in 2017. Highways England had signed a $4.8m contract with the US software development firm the previous year. Keen to impress the customer, Informatica salesman Colin Grey suggested he accompany Malone to California's Pebble Beach Golf Club so Malone could tick it off his "bucket list". Thompson cleared the jolly with senior EMEA veep Steve Murphy – but didn't check back in with Murphy when the likely cost of the overnight stay became clear before the conference, reasoning that the "cat was out of the bag" and the company couldn't retract its invite to the Highways England manager. Informatica bids to become Switzerland of data with SaaSy governance and catalogue tool The magic TUPE roundabout: Council, Wipro, Northgate all deny employing Unix admins in outsourcing muddle Senior IBMer hit with £290k demand from Big Blue in separate case as unfair dismissal claim rolls on I was fired for telling ICO of Serco track and trace data breach, claims sacked worker Informatica spent $5,400 on a one-night stay for Malone at the club, including dinner, green fees and a private hotel transfer on top of costing around $2,000, with Employment Judge Vowles noting in his 2020 ruling: "The Pebble Beach Golf Club is a very expensive venue, and widely known to be so, being one of the top golf clubs in the US." Internal auditors at Informatica immediately flagged up the transaction and bos
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Bill Clinton has released a video saying he is on the road to recovery after being hospitalised in southern California for six days to treat an infection unrelated to Covid-19.Clinton, 75, who arrived home in New York on Sunday, said he was glad to be back and that he was “so touched by the outpouring of support” he had received while in hospital last week.An aide to the former US president said he had a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream but was on the mend and never went into septic shock, a potentially life-threatening condition.Clinton thanked the doctors and nurses at the University of California, Irvine medical center.Clinton has faced health scares in the years since he left the White House in 2001. In 2004, he had quadruple bypass surgery after experiencing pro
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The health secretary, Sajid Javid, called on millions of eligible people to come forward and get booster doses of the coronavirus vaccine, during a press conference on Wednesday.What is the booster jab?The coronavirus booster vaccine dose is designed to improve the protection people have received from getting the first two doses of the vaccine, and combat any waning efficiency.Data from Public Health England (PHE) suggests that the protection provided by vaccines against severe illness gradually decreases over time.The introduction of the third jab started on 20 September. On 15 October, the NHS said more than 3 million people had received it in the first four weeks.But on 18 October, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary who now chairs the Commons health select committee, told the NHS
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI found a trash bag of shredded documents, thousands of dollars in cash, latex gloves and a “go-bag” when they searched the home of a Maryland couple accused of trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country, an agent testified Wednesday.Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear engineer, and his wife, Diana, were arrested in West Virginia this month. Prosecutors allege that Jonathan Toebbe tried to pass secrets about sophisticated and expensive Virginia-class submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who was actually an undercover FBI agent. The government accuses Diana Toebbe of serving as a lookout for her husband at several “dead drop” locations at which sensitive information was left behind.The couple pleaded not guilty in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia to espionage-related charges that carry life in prison. The Toebbes have been jailed since their arrests.The country to which Toebbe was looking to sell the information has not been identified in court documents and was not disclosed in court during a detention hearing Wednesday. A judge heard arguments but did not immed
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Escape artist Jonathan Goodwin, who avoided death last week when a rehearsal for NBC’s new “America’s Got Talent: Extreme” show went terrifyingly wrong, sends a defiant message from his hospital bed.“To death I say nananana boo boo,” the 41-year-old Wales-born stunt performer captioned a photo of himself on Instagram:Goodwin was crushed between two cars in mid-air and then plunged dozens of feet to the ground, while in a straitjacket, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, a week ago. Production on the show was suspended.On Instagram, Goodwin said his life had taken “a complete left turn” following the accident, but he was thankful for the “outpouring of love from all the corners of the world; from people I didn’t even think would know or remember me.”He praised his fiancée, the actor Amanda Abbington, as “the best thing to ever happen to me,” and said he’d “been to the very brink and dodged the worst that a human being can, without fear ... because I was protected by love.”Jonathan Goodwin reached the semifinals of the regular "America's Got Talent" show.NBC via Getty Images“Love is all you need, so make sure you get some, cos its good shit,” he added.“There is a long road to recovery and that won’t look like what it did…,” acknowledged Goodwin, a semifinalist in last year’s regular “America’s Got Talent” show. “I may leave the daft shit alone for a while, but I have a lot left to do in this world,” he concluded. “Maybe we can make something good together?”
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In response to supply chain issues, particularly around semiconductors, Raspberry Pi is increasing the price of the version of the Raspberry Pi 4 sold with 2GB of RAM. The increase, which CEO Eben Upton says is the company’s first ever, will see the Pi 4 2GB’s price rise by $10 from $35 to $45. To serve the needs of customers on tighter budgets, the company is reintroducing the 1GB Pi 4 for $35, which was discontinued last year. “These changes in pricing are not here to stay,” Upton writes. “As global supply chain issues moderate, we’ll keep revisiting this issue, and we want to get pricing back to where it was as fast as we can.” Upton said supply chain challenges are likely to continue through next year, echoing the predictions of larger companies like TSMC, Nvidia, and Foxconn, but added that the company sees “early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease.” It’s a significant price increase of over 25 percent for the 2GB Pi 4, a computer prized for its affordability, that could have a big impact on the industrial customers that use Raspberry Pis. Upton says that although the world appears to be slowly emerging from the pandemic, semiconductors continue to be in high demand thanks to companies panic buying components to ensure they have enough to meet their own demands. The changes effectively revert the price drop Raspberry Pi introduced in February last year in response to falling RAM prices. It came just weeks before the COVID-19
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As well as a little detail about the Settled Systems' history I'm fighting off a real Bethesda itch right now. I know I'll hate myself if I start yet another Skyrim playthrough, and I'm too fussy to decide on a Fallout to sink another fifty hours into. But now there's a new Starfield trailer, and it's making me pine for those damned RPGs all the more. The developers have dived into Starfield's history, and revealed a handful of factions we'll come across on our space travels. It's mostly concept art, but hey, it'
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The Nintendo Switch version of Life is Strange: True Colors will arrive in "early December", publisher Square Enix has said. This version was originally set to arrive last month alongside the game's other console and PC editions, but was pushed back at the end of August. The Life is Strange: Remastered Collection, which includes the original game and Before the Storm, was also delayed for all platforms including Switch to "early 2022". Square Enix announced the Switch version's new date via Twitter, in a post which also includes a look at protagon
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This time last week it was Thursday, and now here we all are again facing 15 questions on general knowledge and topical trivia plus a few jokes. All your favourites are here: a Doctor Who reference to spot, a Kate Bush answer to avoid, the beloved Pokémon round, Ron from Sparks, and some twisty little anagrams along the way. It is very silly, just for fun, and there are no prizes, but let us know how you got on in the comments.The Thursday quiz, No 261.UK NEWS: It is that time of the year when the ONS releases its list of the most popular baby names, and then people try to draw social signifi
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Winning tip: The Falls of Clyde, South LanarkshireFollow in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Turner to enjoy the power and romanticism of the Falls of Clyde. Spectacular at any time of year, this walk reaches its golden, amber and feuille morte peak in the autumn months, especially after heavy rain. About 30 miles south-east of Glasgow, it’s home to badgers, otters and kingfishers on a trail that begins at the Unesco world heritage site of New Lanark (drop in to the visitor centre to find out all about the millowner and philanthropist Robert Owen) and leads to the 26-metre waterfall Cora Linn. You can have coffee at the Mill Café or stay at the New Lanark Hotel. A sepia and russet dream.scottishwildlifetrust.org.ukMichaelWistman’s Wood, Dartmoor Photograph: David Clapp/Getty
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During his first season as a wildland firefighter with the Idaho Department of Land, Luke Meyer camped out in a decrepit building infested with rodents. It was 2017 and he was a 20-year-old rookie earning $11 an hour. In the rural community where he worked, outside Bonners Ferry, Idaho, housing was scarce and rent was a luxury he couldn’t afford.Meyers kept a mattress inside a tent on the floor of his temporary home, provided for free by his employer, to prevent mice from crawling across his chest as he slept.Working his way up the ranks did little to upgrade Meyer’s living conditions. Four fire seasons later – with thousands of firefighting hours logged, a new job with the US Forest Service and fresh certifications to supervise small crews – Meyer was living out of the back of his
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Balance out your dinner menu with these healthyish dishes. Photo by Alex Lau, Food Styling by Yekaterina BoytsovaFrom sticky, glazed sweet potatoes to roast-y, caramelized cabbage, these healthy Thanksgiving recipes fit in perfectly with all their fall flavors and textures.  Because in our book, there’s only one rule on Thanksgiving: the food should be delicious. And trust us, your table needs more green beans topped with crispy shallots and gluten-free wild rice dressing. This list goes beyond appetizers and veggies, too. Celiac friends coming over? This decadent coconut pie is coincidentally gluten-free without compromising flavor. (Same with the turkey!) Read on for more of our fave healthy Thanksgiving recipes that'll make any holiday dinner a memorable one. Photograph by Emma Fis
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Diego Ibarra Sanchez/GettyIn three distinct and different places, a similar sense of loss—of liberal values, of freedom, of hope—is overwhelming.About the author: Kim Ghattas is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the author of Black Wave. From my home in Beirut, I think of Hong Kong all the time. Even though I’ve never been and have no real ties to it, I feel as though I have a stake in its future. I stare at news headlines that read, “Hong Kong Families, Fearing a Reign of Terror, Prepare to Flee the City,” and feel a strange, visceral sense of familiarity. I’ve become obsessed with trying to understand—to feel—Hong Kongers’ angst as their city undergoes a precipitous transformation.Si
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During the “Pixel Fall Launch” event, Google formally launched the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro as well as its Pixel Pass. Beyond that, however, the tech giant didn’t divulge much more about other new products — like Google’s first folding phone. Google previously confirmed in 2019 it’s working on prototyping foldable device technology, has applied for patents on foldable screens, and we’ve since reported on a number of leaks suggesting the Pixel Fold might arrive as soon as this year. For example, Korean industry site TheElec suggested Samsung was going to produce folding OLED panels for the device this very month — and that’s just one of many recent leaks. Here’s a catch-up on everything else we think we know about the Pixel Fold. Internal documents from 2020 sugg
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“How to Build a Life” is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.Want to live in a directed, resolute way? To always know why you’re doing what you’re doing? There’s a simple way to make your dreams come true: Go find the meaning of life!People who believe that they know their life’s meaning enjoy greater well-being than those who don’t. One 2019 study found that agreeing with the statement “I have a philosophy of life that helps me understand who I am” was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and higher positive affect.Lucky you if you were born already knowing what the meaning of your life is. For the rest of us, the search can
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Increasing numbers of "non-business" Internet of Things devices are showing up inside corporate networks, Palo Alto Networks has warned, saying that smart lightbulbs and internet-connected pet feeders may not feature in organisations' threat models. According to Greg Day, VP and CSO EMEA of the US-based enterprise networking firm: "When you consider that the security controls in consumer IoT devices are minimal, so as not to increase the price, the lack of visibility coupled with increased remote working could lead to serious cybersecurity incidents." The company surveyed 1,900 IT decision-makers across 18 countries including the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, finding that just over three quarters (78 per cent) of them reported an increase in non-business IoT devices conn
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Dom Sibley has pulled out of England Lions’ upcoming trip to Australia, effectively ending his Ashes hopes. Yorkshire’s Harry Brook has been called up as a replacement, with Sibley to “work on his batting at home”.Warwickshire batsman Sibley played 22 Tests for England before being dropped for the third Test against India in August, but the opener was handed a lifeline when he was invited on tour with the second-string Lions squad. Sibley, who averages 28.94 in his England career but 19.77 since the start of 2021, has now chosen to stay in the UK.“After much thought and consideration, Warwickshire batter Dom Sibley has made the decision not to tour Australia with the England Lions,” read an England and Wales Cricket Board statement. “Sibley has decided to spend the winter wor
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Plus, you can get a free pumpkin and emote Server transfers opened up in New World overnight, letting players shunt their explorers from one world to another. This is a desirable feature in many MMOs, and particularly in this one because servers were so overloaded at launch that Amazon recommended players join any old server then transfer to their desired home later once things settled. All players get one transfer for free, but only one, with Amazon planning to start selling that service later. New World players will receive one token to transfer a character to another world in the same region (contrary to initial reports that you'd be able to swap regions). Your character progression, inventory, storage,
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Android apps are finally available on Windows 11, albeit currently just for users of the operating system's beta channel.Microsoft made the announcement overnight via the Windows blog. To get stuck in, you need to make sure your PC is on one of the Windows 11 22000 builds with virtualisation on in your BIOS. You also need to make sure you're running the latest version of the Microsoft Store. Your PC's region also needs to be set to the US (as the trial is currently only being conducted in the US). Since Android apps are distributed by the Amazon Appstore, Microsoft says you need a US Amazon account, but Amazon credentials work across different regions so you should be able to use your local credentials just fine. After that, just click here t
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Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. An estimated 5% of adults live with depression worldwide, and 1 in 6 adults in the United States are impacted by depression at some point in their lifetime. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an influx of people self-reporting symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety.Though depression can impact children and adults at any age, the average age of onset (aka when the condition develops) for major depression is the mid-20s. Depressive episodes can occur suddenly, which may be overwhelming, confusing and even daunting for someone who has never experienced mental health issues in the past.Having a strong support system can be a key component to treatment and recovery. However, at times, family members, co-workers and frie
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No matter how old you are, Halloween is a magical time of year. It’s when people become other people, we actually seek out the scary and grotesque, and even the good-est of goody-two-shoes might have a sense of mischief. And even if you’re not into all that, you’ve got to admit, Halloween brings the best parties.If you’re planning to host a ghostly get-together, it’s easy enough to stock up on hard cider and pumpkin beer. But if you want to offer your guests something frighteningly impressive, consider mixing up a creative cocktail befitting the holiday. Whether you’re having a horror movie-watching kickback or a full-on rager (vaccinated ghouls only, please), mix up something memorable and, of course, ’grammable. Need inspiration? We’ve got you.We reached out to bars and r
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Who is Lanre Malaolu? Speaking to the young actor, director, writer, choreographer and film-maker via Zoom, the question keeps occurring, albeit in different guises. Characteristically, Malaolu responds not with answers, but with stories. For example: “About five years ago I had a meeting with a quite well-known agent and she said it’s good that you do all these things, but I just don’t know where I can put you. And in my head I was like but that’s the whole point!”Look over Malaolu’s life story, and it does indeed look like the whole point. Born and raised in Hackney, east London, he remembers having a lot of energy as a kid and not knowing “where to put it”. His mother helped channel it through acting, taking him to weekend classes at the Anna Scher theatre school, a champion of working-class talent in particular, with alumni including Kathy Burke, Daniel Kaluuya and Adam Deacon. After classes, inspired by groups such as Diversity and Flawless on TV talent shows, he and his friends would often dance together. But it was a live performance at Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention festival of hip-hop dance theatre that really hit home. “I’ll never forget walking down the street afterwards with my friends,” he says. “I was shaking with excitement. From that day, we decided to form a dance company, with the sole aim of performing at Breakin’ Convention.”‘The body feels emotions, we don’t think them’ … Lanre Malaolu. Photograph: Lidia CrisafulliProtocol Dance Company, founded in 2008 with a fellow Anna Scher student, Jared Garfield, did indeed make it to Breakin’ Convention – though not until their third try. In the meantime, Malaolu
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Hopes for a more progressive Chile have been dealt a blow as a far-right candidate surges in opinion polls ahead of the first presidential election since massive demonstrations against inequality erupted in 2019.A month before the vote, polling shows that the leftwing candidate – former student leader Gabriel Boric – has slipped behind (by one percentage point) José Antonio Kast, a supporter of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, who has suggested digging ditches along the country’s border to stop migrants.After months of political unrest, voters chose by huge majority to replace the country’s Pinochet-era constitution, and then elected a broadly leftwing convention to complete that task.But fears over migration, public security and shifting social values have boosted the far right, making the 21 November election a battle between starkly contrasting visions for Chile’s future.The country has been on edge since September, when anti-migrant violence exploded in Iquique, a port on Chile’s arid northern coast.After police cleared a camp of homeless Venezuelan families, a xenophobic march culminated with jeering, flag-waving crowds tossing migrants’ belongings on to a bonfire – including children’s toys, nappies and a pram.“The far right have managed to weaponise migration in the run-up to the election,” says Romina Ramos, a sociologist at Arturo Prat University in Iquique.“They are playing on fears of a threat to security and Chilean identity – and Kast has been able to present the arrivals as an invasion which must be fought off.”But other elements are in the mix too: at subsequent demonstrations in Iquique, anti-vaccination banners were brandished a
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Willingness to look stupid People frequently1 think that I'm very stupid. I don't find this surprising, since I don't mind if other people think I'm stupid, which means that I don't adjust my behavior to avoid seeming stupid, which results in people thinking that I'm stupid. Although there are some downsides to people thinking that I'm stupid, e.g., failing interviews where the interviewer very clearly thought I was stupid, I think that, overall, the upsides of being willing to look stupid have greatly outweighed the downsides. I don't know why this one example sticks in my head but, for me, the most memorable example of other people thinking that I'm stupid was from college. I've had numerous instances where more people thought I was stupid and also where people thought the depths of my stupidity was greater, but this one was really memorable for me. Back in college, there was one group of folks that, for whatever reason, stood out to me as people who really didn't understand the class material. When they talked, they said things that didn't make any sense, they were struggling in the classes and barely passing, etc. I don't remember any direct interactions but, one day, a friend of mine who also knew them remarked to me, "did you know [that group] thinks you're really dumb?". I found that really delightful and asked why. It turned out the reason was that I asked really stupid sounding questions. In particular, it's often the case that there's a seemingly obvious but actually incorrect reason something is true, a slightly less obvious reason the thing seems untrue, and then a subtle and complex reason that the thing is actually true2. I would regularly figure out that the seemingly obvious reason was wrong and then ask a question to try to understand the subtler reason, which sounded stupid to someone who thought the seemingly obvious reason was correct or thought that the refutation to the obvious but incorrect reason meant that the thing was untrue. The benefit from asking a stupid sounding question is small in most particular instances, but the compounding benefit over time is quite large and I've observed that people who are willing to ask dumb questions a
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ImageCredit...Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesIndia on Thursday celebrated having administered a billion doses of Covid vaccine, drawing on local manufacturing to reverse devastating early stumbles in its pandemic response.Still, the country has some way to go in fully vaccinating its population: Just 30 percent of the 900 million people eligible for vaccination in India have received two doses.It was a turnaround in a vaccination drive that got off to a slow start, as India’s governing party prioritized elections and took up a lax attitude in tackling the virus, continuing to hold crowded political rallies and allowing religious festivals to take place even as cases surged.“Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. More than 70 percent of adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to government figures. India is administering second doses 12 to 16 weeks after the first.More than 450,000 people have died from Covid in India, according to government data that many experts say greatly downplays the true toll. India’s second wave earlier this year led to a shortage of medical care, oxygen, and hospital beds.But the worst of the pandemic seems to be over,
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When Kirsty Hanson glided on to Ella Toone’s neat through ball and fired into the net she shouted “yay”, but then came the roar from the crowd. “I’d forgotten what this was like,” says Hanson, who gets fans’ songs stuck in her head.In giving Manchester United a 1-0 first-half lead against Reading, Hanson had scored the first Women’s Super League goal of the season, the first shown live on Sky Sports and the first with fans back in the stands.“I forgot we were on Sky Sports so I was going mad and after it was like: ‘Oh gosh, I need to calm down, this is on Sky Sports, we’re only 1-0 up and they might come back.’”She needn’t have worried. United won 2-0 and Hanson says that with all the replays going around she was “buzzing for about a week”.A lifelong United fan and product of the club’s centre of excellence, the 23-year-old Scotland international was re-signed for the newly established team by the then manager Casey Stoney in 2018 after being forced elsewhere in the absence of a senior side upon outgrowing the academy.“I was speechless” she says of taking the call from Stoney. “When we met up in a coffee shop, me, my mum and Casey, and went through the plans and she was like: ‘So do you want to sign?’ I was like: ‘Of coooourse.’ I wasn’t even thinking about it. I was just really excited.”Hanson is a fan favourite, a key component of a dynamic, young United forward line and is known for never being satisfied and an insatiable desire to get better.Kirsty Hanson in action against Birmingham. She has been urged by Marc Skinner to play with freedom. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Action Images/ReutersThat drive has come from the knock backs. Having played with boys in the street she then joined a local boys’ team. “I think that’s where I’ve got my physicalness from,” she says. “I had to work hard because at first they didn’t pass to me but then I was like: ‘You know what, I’m going to show them what I can do.’ When I started scoring goals they ended up saying: ‘Oh right, she’s OK’ and they started passing to me.”Getting into the centre of excellence required similar determination. “It too
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Documentary photographer Sophie Green is fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of under-represented communities. Her solo exhibition Showtime runs from 23 October at Messums Wiltshire, and explores the realms of street car culture, banger racing and Gypsy fairs Sarah Gilbert Main image: Bubbles, from the series Gypsy Gold, 2015 Nice Pair, from the series A Day at the Races, 2014 Pitstop, from the series A Day at the Races, 2014
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Twitch is testing a new rewind feature for stream viewers.The feature will allow viewers to rewind a stream by two minutes, Twitch told The Verge. Then they are able to scrub through the time as with any VOD.Plus, a picture-in-picture window will allow viewers to still watch live in addition to the rewind. The feature will be tested with about a quarter of viewers along with two other buttons. One is a Remind Me button to notify a viewer of a stream; the other allows viewers to watch a streamer's channel trailer, if they have one. ? Over the next
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Featuring Indira and Mehdina, two Bosnian sisters who try to escape their life of poverty in their homeland, Claudia Marschal’s documentary observes the xenophobia and financial insecurity faced by immigrants from the Balkans, an area already troubled by a history of political turbulence. The “paradise” hinted at in the title, however, is a mirage, as the women and their families struggle to settle down in France and Germany.Indira and her young children are placed in an immigration centre in Germany where they apply for asylum – which is ultimately denied. As Indira is turned away fro
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Complaints about commercial helicopters have soared in the last year, as the pandemic changed the rhythms of New York City and the people who live there.Credit...Michelle V. Agins/The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021Updated 5:03 a.m. ETFive years ago, New York City banned sightseeing helicopters from using its landing pads on Sundays, ostensibly giving residents one day of respite from the thumping overhead parade that had spurred thousands of complaints.But the prohibition has not turned Sundays into a day of peace. Far from it. The city is still being buzzed by helicopters more than 150 times on some Sundays — and hundreds more times on weekdays.All that noise is driving many New Yorkers, who have been stuck in their apartments during the pandemic, to near-constant distraction.Stacey Shub, who lives near the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan, feels as if she were under siege.As the helicopters move closer, and their unmistakable thwup-thwup-thwup turns into a roar that fills her apartment, her heart speeds up, and Ms. Shub loses focus.On one recent sunny Sunday, she counted six helicopters flying overhead before 1 p.m. “It feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest,” she said.New Yorkers have always had a fraught relationship with noise. Though the urban cacophony can be vexing, it is also intrinsic to the frenetic character that draws many to the city. Some level of noise has always been deemed an acceptable price to pay for living in New York.But the coronavirus pandemic brought a huge upheaval to the city’s daily rhythms. For months last year, the bustling metropolis hushed, an abrupt shift that led New Yorkers to rethink their relationship to noise.ImageCredit...Michelle V. Agins/The New York TimesCalls about noise to the city’s 311 hotline jumped in 2020 and are on pace to continue to do so this year. And calls about helicopter noise have spiked significantly.Through the end of September, the city received 17,733 calls about helicopter noise, more than triple the number during the same period last year. Those calls already eclipse the helicopter-noise complaints made to 311 in all of last year and in 2019.The overwhelming majority have come from Manhattan, with just under 3,200 from the other four boroughs.Elected officials have reported a similar boom in calls as New Yorkers have shifted to working from home, away from office buildings
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Democrats have made giving government the power to negotiate drug prices a central campaign theme for decades. With the power to make it happen, they may fall short yet again.Credit...Paul Ratje for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETWASHINGTON — When a powerful Democratic Senate chairman assembled his Special Committee on Aging to confront what he called a “crisis of affordability” for prescription drugs, he proposed a novel solution: allow the government to negotiate better deals for critical medications.The year was 1989, and the idea from that chairman, former Senator David Pryor of Arkansas, touched off a drive for government drug-price negotiations that has been embraced by two generations of Democrats and one Republican president, Donald J. Trump — but now appears at risk of being left out of a sprawling domestic policy bill taking shape in Congress.Senior Democrats insist that they have not given up the push to grant Medicare broad powers to negotiate lower drug prices as part of a once-ambitious climate change and social safety net bill that is slowly shrinking in scope. They know that the loss of the provision, promoted by President Biden on the campaign trail and in the White House, could be the single most embarrassing defeat in the package, since it has been central to Democratic congressional campaigns for nearly three decades.“Senate Democrats understand that after all the pledges, you’ve got to deliver,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the chairman of the Finance Committee.“It’s not dead,” declared Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.But with at least three House Demo
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Meghan McCain was reminded of her own hypocrisy when it comes to tell-alls on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” show on Wednesday.During what was a mainly congenial interview to promote McCain’s new audio memoir “Bad Republican,” Cohen asked the conservative personality “on a 1-to-10 scale, how hypocritical is it that you wrote a tell-all after prefacing every tell-all interview on ‘The View’ with ‘I hate tell-alls?’”McCain, who left “The View” in August, attempted to spin her past comments.“You know, those are political tell-alls,” she responded.Cohen asked McCain if she thought she was being hypocritical.“Hmm, I don’t. But it’s OK if other people do. I don’t really care,” she replied in a video shared online by The Daily Beast.McCain’s previous disdain for tell-alls was most evident last year when she accused Mary Trump, the niece of former President Donald Trump, of cashing in with a book about her uncle, titled “Too Much And Never Enough.”“I don’t like family tell-all books, especially when it comes to families with fame and power,” said McCain, the daughter of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).McCain asked Trump what she’d say “to people like me who think this is just a great way for you to get a paycheck right now?”Trump said if she’d wanted to “cash in” then she “would have done this 10 years ago when Donald was still a very public figure and I would not have been taking the risk that I’m taking.
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Left for dead in the 1980s, vinyl records are now the music industry’s most popular and highest-grossing physical format. Getting them manufactured, however, is increasingly a challenge.Credit...AJ Mast for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETWithin the Indianapolis office of Joyful Noise Recordings, a specialty label that caters to vinyl-loving fans of underground rock, is a corner that employees call the “lathe cave.”There sits a Presto 6N record lathe — a 1940s-vintage machine the size of a microwave that makes records by cutting a groove into a blank vinyl platter. Unlike most standard records, which are pressed by the hundreds or thousands, each lathe-cut disc must be created individually.“It’s incredibly laborious,” said Karl Hofstetter, the label’s founder. “If a song is three minutes long, it takes three minutes to make every one.”This ancient technology — scuffed and dinged, the lathe looks like something from a World War II submarine — is a key part of Joyful Noise’s strategy to survive the very surge of vinyl popularity the label has helped fuel. Left for dead with the advent of CDs in the 1980s, vinyl records are now the music industry’s most popular and highest-grossing physical format, with fans choosing it for collectibility, sound quality or simply the tactile experience of music in an age of digital ephemerality. After growing steadily for more than a decade, LP sales exploded during the pandemic.In the first six months of this year, 17 million vinyl records were sold in the United States, generating $467 million in retail revenue, nearly double the amount from the same period in 2020, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Sixteen million CDs were also sold in the first half of 2021, worth just $205 million. Physical recordings are now just a sliver of the overall music business — streaming is 84 percent of domestic revenue — but they can be a strong indication of fan loyalty, and stars like Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo make vinyl an important part of their marketing.ImageCredit...Andrew Lipovsky/NBCUniversal, via Getty ImagesYet there are worrying signs that the vinyl bonanza has exceeded the industrial capacity needed to sustain it. Production logjams and a reliance on balky, decades-old pressing machines have led to what executives say are unprecedented delays. A couple of years ago, a new record could be turned around in a few months; now it can take up to a year, wreaking havoc on artists’ release plans.Kevin Morby, a singer-songwriter from Kansas City, Kan., said that his latest LP, “A Night at the Little Los Angeles,” barely arrived in time to sell on his fall tour. And he is one of the lucky ones. Artists from the Beach Boys to Tyler, the Creator have seen their vinyl held up recently.“It’s almost how I feel about playing live music,” Morby said in an interview. “I now count every show as a success. ‘Wow, we pulled it off — no one got Covid.’ Now I know what it’s like for the world to completely stop. So even if it’s going to be a little late I’m still grateful for that.”For Joyful Noise, the vinyl crunch has also presented a
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The organizers say they will have enough signatures by Monday to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. The company is pushing back.Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETTucked in four plastic tubs in a tent by a Staten Island bus stop are stacks of cards with valuable autographs: the signatures of more than 1,700 hourly Amazon workers.“I, the undersigned, authorize the Amazon Labor Union to represent me for the purpose of collective bargaining,” the cards read.The commitments are the results of six months of organizing at Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City. The organizers expect to have several hundred more by Monday, when they plan to file for a union election.If the National Labor Relations Board validates their request, it could bring the second unionization vote at an Amazon warehouse in less than a year. In April, Amazon defeated a union election at its warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., in what was the gravest union threat the company had faced in its history. The workers’ effort attracted national attention, including visits from Senator Bernie Sanders and a tacit nod of support from President Biden.Unlike the Alabama drive, which was run by a national retail workers union, the one in Staten Island is being organized by current and former Amazon workers aiming to form a new independent union, called the Amazon Labor Union. The drive is led by Christian Smalls, a former employee at the warehouse who became the face of worker unrest at the company last year.ImageCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesThe unionization push reflects the growing labor challenges that Amazon and other large employers face as the pandemic has given workers across the economic spectrum an upper hand for the first time in decades. Unleashed by the pandemic’s shock to their daily lives, workers have gone out on strike at John Deere and at plants that make Oreos and other Nabisco snacks as well as Kellogg cereals like Frosted Flakes, and nearly walked off sets in Hollywood. And workers at some Starbucks locations have filed to form a union.At Amazon, the issue is compounded by its ambitions. It has 1.3 million employees and wants to hire almost 300,000 seasonal and permanent hourly workers in the United States this fall alone. Amazon has increased wages, and announced that it strives to be “Earth’s best employer.” Its employment model, however — with turnover so high executives fear running out of available American workers — was under strain even before the pandemic.Still, the campaign in Staten Island faces many hurdles. The labor board will need to determine if enough valid signatures were collected to demonstrate substantial interest in an election. And as the Alabama vote showed, support can erode over time. Amazon pushed back, promoting its $15 minimum wage and benefits, and workers rejected the union by a wide margin. Some of Amazon’s anti-union measures prompted a labor board official to recommend that the results be thrown out and the election rerun, which Amazon has said it would appeal.Mr. Smalls and others behind the push said they hoped their insider status gave
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"Demand far outweighs current supply." UK retailer GAME has warned scalpers it has "strong measures" in place to stop multiple orders this morning, ahead of a new release of PlayStation 5 stock. The chain will continue to enforce a limit of one console per customer, and subject each order to automatic checks after it has been put through. This may mean that repeat orders initially appear to have worked, GAME said in a statement posted to Twitter, and may mean those trying to scalp successfully receive multiple order confirmation emails. (This line seems designed to counteract the poten
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More than 160 reports, obtained by Human Rights Watch, reveal details of mistreatment that asylum seekers described experiencing from border officials and while in U.S. custody.Credit...Christopher Le
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Umami is a simple, fast, website analytics alternative to Google Analytics. Getting started A detailed getting started guide can be found at https://umami.is/docs/ Installing from source Requirements A server with Node.js 12 or newer A database (MySQL or Postgresql) Get the source code and install packages git clone https://github.com/mikecao/umami.git cd umami npm install Create database tables Umami supports MySQL and Postgresql. Create a database for your Umami installation and install the tables with the included scripts. For MySQL: mysql -u username -p databasename < sql/schema.mysql.sql For Postgresql: psql -h hostname -U username -d databasename -f sql/schema.postgresq
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Linda GreenhouseOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETCredit...Matthew Busch for The New York TimesLinda GreenhouseMs. Greenhouse, a contributing Opinion writer, covered the Supreme Court for The Times from 1978
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The Vienna Tourist Board has joined the adults-only site to display artworks that other social platforms have censored.Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETOnlyFans has a surprising new member: the Vienna Tourist Board.No, its account will not feature after-hours photos of employees. Instead, the board will use the adults-only site to show images of paintings and sculptures displayed in the Austrian capital that have been blocked by social media sites for nudity or sexual content.The offending artworks include the Venus of Willendorf, a 25,000-year-old limestone figurine of a woman. Facebook removed a photo of it from the Vienna Museum of Natural History’s page several years ago for being “pornographic.”There’s also “Liebespaar,” Koloman Moser’s early 20th-century painting, which the Leopold Museum included in a video post celebrating its anniversary in September. The video, which was blocked by the algorithms of Instagram and Facebook, “is a combination of details of the work and written feelings that are evoked by the painting,” said Christine Kociu, the museum’s social media manager. “It shows a nude couple embracing. It’s actually sweet.”Though nudity is generally not allowed on Instagram and Facebook, the platforms make some exceptions.For example, Instagram’s community guidelines say: “Photos in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”Facebook’s rules allow for nudity in photographs of “paintings, sculptures and other art,” and TikTok writes that it “may allow exceptions” to its ban on nudity and sexually explicit content.Despite the flexibility of the platforms’ guidelines, museums and other institutions that post photos of art have found that instances of nudity have not always been deemed acceptable. Part of the reason could be that on social media, censorship is less a matter of public opinion than the sensitivity of artificial intelligence, which is used to flag content that violates a site’s guidelines.The social media platforms did not respond to requests for comment on the seeming contradiction of the rules and how they are enforced.“It’s not an anti-technology agenda that we have,” said Norbert Kettner, the director of the Vienna Tourist Board. But after the city’s museums faced one case after another of social media sites taking down their posts, he said, “We thought, ‘What would be an alternative? What would be a channel where nudity is not an issue in and of itself?’”Mr. Kettner said that the OnlyFans account is not a permanent solution, but rather a protest against censorship and a call for conversation. “We want to draw attention to a certain thing,” he said. “We want to put it out there, to talk about the role of artificial intelligence, of algorithms.”It is not the first time the tourist board has taken a public stand against censorship. In 2017, the board approached several cities with a
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The number of sculptures that feature animals in London is double that of named women, a study has found, as the mayor office announces £1m fund to champion diversity in the capital’s public spaces.The findings show that out of almost 1,500 monuments in the capital, more than a fifth are dedicated to named men (20.5%), and only 4% are dedicated to named women. The number of sculptures that feature animals, almost 100, is double that of named women.Just 1% of sculptures are dedicated to named people of colour; 0.9% are men of colour and 0.2% are named women of colourThe study, part of a nati
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A lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from CodeMash 2012 This talk does not represent anyone's actual opinion. For a more serious take on software, try Destroy All Software Screencasts: 10 to 15 minutes every other week, dense with information on advanced topics like Unix, TDD, OO Design, Vim, Ruby, and Git. If you liked this, you might also like Execute Program: interactive courses on TypeScript, Modern JavaScript, SQL, regular expressions, and more. Each course is made up of hundreds of
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It’s not yet November and the Miami Dolphins have lost five of their six games and their season is effectively over – again.It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Midway through last season, it looked like the Dolphins may have finally have cracked this whole football thing. They hoarded first-round draft picks and cap space like a squirrel preparing for winter. They moved on from Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil, high draft picks with top-five-at-their-position type talent, in the name of culture. They were happy to be bad in the short term for the hope of tomorrow. But when a team is so public in pursuit of winning tomorrow, it raises expectations when tomorrow inevitably arrives. Cleveland’s long-term rebuild worked. The Browns put together one of the finest rosters in the league. They have a high-level player in every room, sans, maybe, the most valuable room of them all. That’s not true for the Dolphins. They stripped their roster to the bone and rebuilt it back into a puddle of blah. Where are the difference-makers? Where is the Myles Garrett? Where is the dominant position group? What if culture and coaching smarts and wins on the margin are meaningless if you select the wrong quarterback in the first-round and the three linemen you drafted stink?The Dolphins have been one of the league’s sneakily miserable franchises for 20-odd years. Owner Stephen Ross has run things for 12 full seasons. Over that span, the Dolphins have had two winning seasons, and reached the playoffs once. Think about how incompetent a franchise must be to poop out such a run in a league where almost half the teams make the postseason and the entire ecosystem is built to sustain parity. Even Daniel Snyder is mildly impressed.In the early stages of Ross’s reign, the Dolphins botched draft picks, hired the wrong executives, and chased short-term wins. That’s why it felt like a smart move when Ross opted to go all-in on a burn-it-all-down rebuild. He empowered general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores to remake the roster and organization in any way they saw fit. The process was smart; the outcome, the same as always.Given the league now operates with a 17-game season, it’s plausible that the team could get back into the playoff discussion this season through a wildcard, but it’s unlikely given the depth in the AFC North and AFC West. The moment the Dolphins are formerly dumped from the playoff proceedings, the franchise will stand at a crossroads. There is an organizational tug-of-war between the patience preachers in the front office and the win-now mantra of the 81-year-old Ross, who realizes that Father Time (outside of Tom Brady) remains undefeated. In such disputes, there’s only one winner – the person who writes the checks.The problem is that there is little the Dolphins can do on the margins to get significantly better in the immediate future. They’ve already invested a ton in their offensive line – three first or second-round picks over the course of three seasons. They spent two first-round picks on Jaylen Waddle, a wide receiver who was supposed to bring a spark to a flat offense. Nineteen percent of the team’s s
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Guest EssayOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETCredit... Doug Mills/The New York TimesDavid BrockMr. Brock led one of the largest Democratic super PACs dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Before he became a Democrat, he worked for The Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation.Like most Democrats, I initially underestimated Donald Trump. In 2015, I founded a super PAC dedicated to electing Hillary Clinton. Through all the ups and downs of the campaign, I didn’t once imagine that Americans would vote Mr. Trump in.He was an obvious pig (see the “Access Hollywood” tapes), a fraud (multiple failed businesses and bankruptcies) and a cheat (stiffing mom-and-pop vendors). Not to mention the blatant racism and misogyny. About the outcome, I was spectacularly wrong.Once he was in office, I misread Mr. Trump again. Having worked inside the conservative movement for many years, I found his policies familiar: same judges, same tax policy, same deregulation of big business, same pandering to the religious right, same denial of science. Of course, there were the loopy tweets, but still I regarded Mr. Trump as only a difference of degree from what I had seen from prior Republican presidents and candidates, not a difference of kind.When a raft of books and articles appeared warning that the United States was headed toward autocracy, I dismissed them as hyperbolic. I just didn’t see it. Under Mr. Trump, the sky didn’t fall.My view of Mr. Trump began to shift soon after the November election, when he falsely claimed the election was rigged and refused to concede. In doing so, Mr. Trump showed himself willing to undermine confidence in the democratic process, and in time he managed to convince nearly three-quarters of his supporters that the loser was actually the winner.Then came the Capitol Hill insurrection, and, later, proof that Mr. Trump incited it, even hiring a lawyer, John Eastman, who wrote a detailed memo that can only be described as a road map for a coup. A recent Senate investigation documented frantic efforts by Mr. Trump to bully government officials to overturn the election. And yet I worry that many Americans are still blind, as I once was, to the authoritarian impulses that now grip Mr. Trump’s party. Democrats need to step up to thwart them.Are Democrats up for such a tough (and expensive) fight? Many liberal voters have taken a step back from politics, convinced that Mr. Trump is no longer a threat. According to research conducted for our super PAC, almost half of women in battleground states are now paying less attention to the political news.But in reality, the last election settled very little — Mr. Trump not only appears to be preparing for a presidential campaign in 2024, he is whipping up his supporters before the 2022 midterms. And if Democrats ignore the threat he and his allies pose to democracy, their candidates will suffer next fall, imperiling any chance of meaningful reform in Congress.Going forward, we can expect bogus claims of voter fraud, and equally bogus challenges to legitimate vote counts, to become a permanent feature of Republican political strategy. Every election Republicans lose will be
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Opinion|Can a Nobel Peace Prize Protect Maria Ressa From Rodrigo Duterte?https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-maria-ressa.htmlSwayOctober 21, 2021  •  41:48Can a Nobel Peace Prize Protect Maria Ressa From Rodrigo Duterte?October 18, 2021  •  45:39Is Mark Zuckerberg a Man Without Principles?October 14, 2021  •  43:25Adam Schiff on Facebook, Fox News and the Trump CultOctober 11, 2021  •  35:54Samantha Bee Talks Marjorie Taylor Greene and the TrumpsOctober 7, 2021  •  40:43Is Texas Ready for Matthew McConaughey?October 4, 2021  •  48:04Monica Lewinsky Has Some Things to Say About Cancel CultureSeptember 30, 2021  •  35:45Andrew Yang Is Back for a Third RoundSeptember 27, 2021  •  23:09Can Beto O’Rourke Turn Texas Blue?September 20, 2021  •  34:11What Is 23andMe Doing With Your DNA?September 16, 2021  •  36:38Jeffrey Katzenberg Talks About His Billion-Dollar FlopSeptember 13, 2021  •  35:33Dave Eggers Created the Google-Amazon Mash-Up of Your NightmaresSeptember 9, 2021  •  31:18Riz Ahmed Is Breaking Hollywood’s ‘Ethnicity Handcuffs’The journalist, whose reporting has taken on the president of the Philippines and the C.E.O. of Facebook, discusses the “atom bomb” that social media set off in our information ecosystem.Oct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETMaria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov recently took home the Nobel Peace Prize, marking the first time working journalists have won the award since 1935. Ressa believes the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to recognize journalists this year sends a signal that, once again, “we are on the brink of the rise of fascism.” Through her digital media company Rappler, Ressa has been on the front lines of covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime in the Philippines, exposing the leader’s tactics of “violence and fear.” She also sounded the alarm on the role that social media platforms have played in the rise of leaders like Duterte and Donald Trump, saying that Facebook in particular “exploded an atom bomb” by amplifying misinformation and propaganda.Ressa’s reporting has made her a target for lawsuits from the Duterte government and online harassment from his supporters: One study found almost 400,000 tweets targeting Ressa over a 13-month period. And she was convicted of cyber libel in 2020, which has made it difficult for her to leave the country.[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Ressa to discuss the role of social media in the rise of polarization, and to consider if new revelations from the Facebook whistle-blower will be a game changer. And Ressa shares how her work — and the onslaught of lawsuits in response to it — have impacted her personal life and her family.(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)ImageCredit...Aaron Favila/Associated PressThoughts? Email us at sway@nytimes.com.“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schicke, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen and Caitlin O’Keefe, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by
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Today in Armagh a church service is marking the centenary since the partition of Ireland. Though the event is hosted by the five main Christian churches on the island of Ireland, it has been shrouded in controversy since it emerged in September that the Irish president, Michael D Higgins, had declined an invitation to attend.The president objected that the title and structure of the “Service of Reflection and Hope” to “mark the centenaries of the partition of Ireland and the foundation of Northern Ireland” were political in nature; though he insisted it wasn’t a boycott. Tánaiste Simon Coveney is now representing the Irish government, with Boris Johnson also attending – the Quee
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MBB Forum 2021 The "G" in 5G stands for Green, if the hours of keynotes at the Mobile Broadband Forum in Dubai are to be believed. Run by Huawei, the forum was a mixture of in-person event and talkin
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Donald Trump on Thursday announced his upcoming social media platform, which he vowed would allow free speech after he was banned from multiple websites following the Jan. 6 insurrection carried out by his supporters. But the rules for TruthSocial.com are already online and there’s an ironic flaw built in. The free speech website, “founded with a mission to give a voice to all,” forbids anyone from criticizing the site or those behind it, presumably including the former president.The terms of service include an agreement not to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site,” as Brad Heath of Reuters noted on Twitter.It also bans “excessive use of capi
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Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not a new game by this point, but it's one that still surprises me. Spider-Man is one of my favourite superheroes, so I ob
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Current pressure on the NHS is “sustainable”, according to a health minister, who denied the government had a “plan C” that would ban the mixing of households at Christmas in England if cases continued to rise.Edward Argar told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that while the NHS was “under huge pressure” it was not the right time to introduce any additional measures to control the spread of Covid.It came as the British Medical Council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, accused ministers of being “wilfully negligent” after the health secretary ruled out immediately implementing the government’s coronavirus “plan B”.Nagpaul said: “It is wilfully negligent of the Westminster government not to be taking any further action to reduce the spread of infection, such as mandatory mask wearing, physical distancing and ventilation requirements in high-risk settings, particularly indoor crowded spaces. These are measures that are the norm in many other nations.”Argar urged people to get vaccinated to help “ease that pressure on the NHS”. He said plan A was still working, adding: “It’s a race … between the vaccines, and getting those in people’s arms, and the virus. We’re still winning that race at the moment, but it’s narrowing, that lead is narrowing. So what we need to do is that sprint for the line.”On Wednesday Sajid Javid predicted new infections could hit a record 100,000 a day and urged millions of eligible people to come forward for booster jabs. Javid urged people to wear masks in crowded places and test themselves before go to Christmas parties. But the government has been accused of sending mixed messages, with most Conservative MPs declining to wear masks in the House of Commons or in packed cabinet meetings, and the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, encouraging the public to book Christmas parties.On Thursday a leading virologist said the UK was probably already close to 100,000 cases a day. Dr Chris Smith, from the University of Cambridge, said half of Covid cases were asymptomatic, meaning the number of active cases in the UK was likely far higher than currently recorded, “we just don’t know about lots of them”.Pushed
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There is no mouse cursor in Evertried. You control everything with the keyboard, from the hops and scythe attacks of your cute otherworldly hero, to the settings in the pause menu. It's a strange omission but one that is representative of the feeling this roguelike evokes throughout your time climbing its purgatorial tower of baddies. That is to say, a feeling that there's something important missing. In fact, there seems to be a lot missing from this tile-based timewaster, small touches that could have given its solid foundation the polish it needed to excel. It's a pared-back roguelike with a pixel artist's heart. You are a warrior's spirit, brought to this tower to climb ever upwards and fight monsters on a big tile board. There's a bunch of different enemy types, from exploding ghost wolves to gas-spewing slimers, each with particular movement and attack rules. You hop around or dash (moving two spaces instead of one) and kill all to proceed to the next floor. Die, and it's all the way back to the bottom. There are plentiful traps and obstacles to avoid but you will also use these to dispatch fiends. There are ice tiles to slip on, clouds of frost that make units miss a turn, podiums that shoot projectiles if yo
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Barclays almost doubled its third-quarter profit to £2bn as it benefited from strong mortgage lending in the UK and a boom in investment banking.The British bank’s profit before tax rose from £1.1bn a year ago, taking its year-to-date profit to an all-time high of £6.9bn. Barclays said a consumer recovery had contributed to the stronger performance, as well as higher investment banking fees.Barclays has released bad debt provisions of £622m so far this year as the economy recovers from the pandemic and it reckons it will need less to cover bad debts. This is in stark contrast with this time last year when Barclays had set aside £4.3bn to cover bad debts, but government support measures propped up businesses.Jes Staley, the chief executive, said: “While the corporate and investment bank performance continues to be an area of strength for the group, we are also seeing evidence of a consumer recovery and the early signs of a more favourable rate environment.”Barclays said it was “well positioned for a rising rate environment”, as expectations mount that inflation pressures will prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates. Personal banking income in the UK climbed 10% to £2.9bn in the first nine months of the year, reflecting strong growth in mortgages and deposits, and boosted by the end of Covid-related customer support measures.Sign up to the daily Business Today email Investment banking fees and equities income posted their best nine-month performances on record. This resulted in a return on equity for the overall investment bank of 16.4%, up from 10.5% in the same period last year.Zoe Gillespie, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: “A record profit for Barclays in the third quarter is illustrative of the turnaround in fortunes the UK’s major banks have had compared to where they were this time last year. Barclays has delivered a strong set of numbers and is striking a good balance between reinvesting in its businesses and delivering returns to shareholders.“The bank still looks one of the best positioned among its peers, with exposure to markets beyond the UK and an offering that covers retail banking, business lending, credi
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Tea samples being packed in the Commercial Road warehouses, c1930-1945 Photograph: Fox Photos/PLA Collection/Museum of London A sample of tobacco is inspected by a customs official at Royal Victoria Dock, c1930-1940 Photograph: PLA Collection/Museum of London A raftsman manoeuvring floating timber, c1930-1945 Photograph: PLA Collection/Museum of London
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Earlier this month, Steve Reich celebrated his 85th birthday. The Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals are marking this landmark in the life of one of the greatest living composers with a European tour, which includes the first performances of his latest work, composed for them and jointly commissioned by a consortium of concert halls including the Southbank Centre.Traveler’s Prayer was composed last year, begun before and completed during the pandemic. It’s a setting not of the Hebrew Traveller’s Prayer itself, but of three short Old Testament passages that are often added to it, and Reich sets them for four voices in long sinuous vocal lines, often doubled and coloured by the instrumental ensemble, and making extensive use of intertwining canons and their inversions and retrograde
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Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe has rejected former President Donald Trump’s arguments against the release of archived documents relating to the deadly U.S. Capitol riot as “truly laughable.”Trump this week filed a lawsuit in a bid to block (or at the very least delay) the release of the files to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence, which he was impeached for inciting. The ex-president called it an “illegal fishing expedition” and cited executive privilege, even though he’s no longer in office.On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” Tribe said Trump’s claim “that he is not trying to hide the truth, but just preserve the Constitution, is really quite laughable.”Tribe also dismissed Trump’s view that it would be
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Stephen Colbert’s audience cheered over the news that a House committee had voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Bannon, a former aide to Donald Trump and a recipient of a last-minute pardon from his old boss, has refused to comply with a subpoena by the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “It’s possible that my prayers are about to be answered,” Colbert said as he described how that means Bannon could face criminal contempt charges. “Hell yeah!” Colbert said. “Criminal contempt makes sense to me because I feel a lot of contempt for that criminal.” And that was just about the nicest thing he had to say about Bannon. “This is the first time we’ve seen any accountability for one of the big fish,” Colbert said, then painted a very vivid image of the Trump sidekick: “Or in Bannon’s case, one of those weird gelatinous fish that live in eternal darkness with spiky teeth and a lantern glob up here, glowing out of their face.” However, when Colbert learned the details of just what punishment Bannon could face, he wasn’t exactly impressed. Check it out in his Wednesday night monologue:
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Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. British public borrowing has almost halved so far this financial year as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, in a final healthcheck ahead of next week’s budget. Government borrowing fell to £21.8bn in September, a drop of around £7bn compared with September 2020, and less than economists forecast. That’s the second-highest September borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, reflecting the cost of the pandemic. UK public finances Photograph: ONS It means the UK has borrowed £108.1bn since April -- around £101bn less than in the first half of the last financial year, when the pandemic drove borrowing to record levels. That’s also sharply lower than the £151.1bn which the Office for Budget Responsibility had expected to have been borrowed so far this year. Borrowing so far this financial year has consistently undershot the forecasts from the OBR, which could give chancellor Rishi Sunak some flexibility on tax and spending. Photograph: ONS In September, central government receipts rose to around £62.3bn, an increase of £6.2bn than a year ago -- as tax revenues were lifted by the recovery. Spending by Central Government bodies dipped a little, down £1.3bn to £84.1bn. Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, says t
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Last week, I went to the funeral of an old farmer named Brian. Until he died, Brian managed his farm, with its traditional orchards, hedgerows, and meadows, as an ecosystem. I could see from the age of the farmers who came to pay their respects that this way of farming was dying out and being replaced by a farming system that is one of the greatest contributors to the climate and nature crisis we face. However, there is hope. My husband and I, like the many new farmers emerging, learned our approach from these old farmers, who have been through drastic changes in the farming industry, yet have managed to keep alive their knowhow.Our family-run farm in Dorset produces meat, cheese, vegetables and apple juice, using many of these same agroecological farming methods. Agroecological farming means we nurture the soil, insects, grassland, plants, animals and trees on our land to provide healthy affordable food for our local community. For us, farming isn’t just a business, and it isn’t just about feeding human beings – it’s about feeding all living things on the planet.Over the past 40 years, many food-producing farms have become more industrialised and integrated into the globalised food system. To produce the higher yields and uniform crops demanded by supermarkets, many farms converted and got bigger, buying fuel-hungry tractors and carbon-intensive nitrate fertilisers. Farmers started using pesticides that kill bees and earthworms. Instead of raising animals on homegrow
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In the eponymous story of Vanessa Onwuemezi’s beautiful, vertiginous and enriching first collection, the reader inhabits what might be the very near future. The fantastic elements of standard dystopia are stripped away to reveal a sombre reflection of the present: what we might be about to live through and become. “That crucial part of our longing, after a flood, is revitalised in some of us as a weed, rooted deeper into hope, and for others it is washed away leaving a hopeless void, a moan from a parcelled throat.” There are reverberations not only of the biblical flood and earlier myth
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It’s a story that has caused consternation and mirth in equal measure amongst Brits, that the owners of a car in Surrey received a fine for driving in a bus lane miles away in Bath, when in fact the camera had been confused by the text on a sweater worn by a pedestrian. It seems the word “knitter” had been interpreted by the reader as “KN19 TER”, which as Brits will tell you follows the standard format for modern UK licence plate. It gives us all a chance to have a good old laugh at the expense of the UK traffic authorities, but it raises some worthwhile points ab
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Skip to contentSite NavigationThe highest court in America isn’t safe from mansplaining. A new set of rules for oral argument may change things.Mitch BoyerListen and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google PodcastsLast week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor announced that the Supreme Court had broken with tradition and changed its rules for oral argument. This came after a study revealed that women are disproportionately interrupted by men in the highest court in America. This week, we’re re-airing a More Perfect episode about the Northwestern University research that inspired the C
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Government borrowing fell at a faster than expected rate in September as the furlough scheme came to an end and tax receipts recovered strongly.Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed borrowing fell to £21.8bn last month from £28.8bn in the same month a year earlier, as Covid support measures were unwound. It was still the second-highest September borrowing since comparable records began in 1993.Public sector borrowing for the first six months of the 2021-22 year fell to £108.1bn, down by £101.2bn in April-September 2020 but roughly triple its level before the pandemic, the ONS added.City economists had expected a slightly higher level of borrowing of £22.6bn in September after the economy began to slow in response to severe shortages of petrol and raw materials
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Munich, Dallas, 21 October 2021 FlixMobility acquires Greyhound Summary + Combination of FlixBus and Greyhound will be able to better serve U.S. intercity bus service passengers  + Addresses significant opportunity from increased U.S. demand for affordable, sustainable, collective mobility   Boilerplate About FlixMobility  FlixMobility is mobility provider, offering new alternatives for convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. With a unique approach and innovative technology, the company has
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U.S.|Chicago Police Officer Accidentally Shoots and Injures 2 Colleagueshttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/us/chicago-police-shooting.htmlThe shooting occurred during a struggle with a man after officers followed a car linked to a homicide investigation, the city’s police superintendent said.Credit...Kamil Krzaczynski/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOct. 21, 2021, 3:27 a.m. ETTwo Chicago police officers were shot and injured — apparently by one bullet — on Wednesday night after a third officer accidentally discharged his handgun during a struggle with a man while investigating a homicide, officials said.The officer fired his weapon once, and one officer was struck in the arm and another in the shoulder, David Brown, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said during a
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Brexit divisions in UK society appear to be as entrenched as ever, according to the latest British social attitudes survey, with little sign that the issue is losing its polarising force. Nine in 10 of leave and remain voters said they would vote the same way again, it found.Although Britain’s departure from the EU pushed overall public trust and confidence in government to its highest level for more than a decade, the survey reveals that this surge in support for the UK political system came almost entirely from leave voters – with remainers as disillusioned as they were previously.The survey co-author Sir John Curtice said the latest findings contained little to indicate that Brexit wounds were healing. “As a result, Britain is left divided between one half of the country who now f
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) faced backlash on Wednesday for a tweet mocking assistant health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the country’s first transgender four-star officer.Critics slammed the Donald Trump-adoring, conspiracy theory-endorsing Greene for transphobia with her post, below:Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) drew similar ire with her “welcome to woke medicine, America” post about Levine, with Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) calling her “a hateful bigot.”Greene has made transphobic comments before, even going so far as to post an anti-transgender sign near the office of another representative who has a transgender child.Critics of Greene’s tweet said they had reported it to the platform as targeted harassment. Twitter did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for
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Trevor Noah roasted police and firefighters who are exiting the workforce because they refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.As vaccine mandates for public employees begin to take effect across the nation, conflicts have arisen in multiple states between first responders, their unions and city officials, over those who refuse to comply. In Chicago, less than 65% of the police force and 72% of firefighters met a COVID-19 vaccine reporting requirement by the deadline last week. In Seattle, around 176 police officers and firefighters were unable to report to work this week as a deadline to get vaccinated passed. And in New York City, the police department’s vaccination rate has lagged behind the rest of the city: just 69% of its workforce is vaccinated compared with 77.4% of New York’
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IBM has blamed another quarter of tepid performance on its servers. Big Blue's last quarter before it spins out services limb Kyndryl saw it land revenue of $17.6 billion – just 0.3 per cent above revenue for the same quarter in 2020. For the year to date, which now covers three quarters, the corporation has posted anaemic 1.6 per cent growth. Investors were told that the quarterly growth figure is 2.5 per cent if you consider Kyndryl's imminent ejection, or 1.9 per cent after adjusting for divested businesses and currency. Whatever number you choose, CEO Arvind Krishna described growth as "modest" and reiterated that IBM plans "sustainable mid-single-digit revenue growth starting in 2022". On the earnings call, financial analysts asked unusually pointed que
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As Formula One revels in its most enthralling season for years, no one is enjoying it more than Stefano Domenicali. The sport is lucky to have him at the helm. For the Italian, who grew up as a fan and was competing at the heart of the sport for the greater part of his career, this is much more than a business. Domenicali knows that to the drivers, the teams, and most importantly the fans, it is racing that matters.Born in Imola it is unsurprising that Domenicali, the Formula One Group’s chief executive, took to motor racing and he laughs and launches a fond recollection when asked to recall his youth. “When you are born in Imola you grow up with the track,’’ he says. “It’s natural for kids growing up in the midst of the sport that you fall in love with it. We were having fun,
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1) The first round of the T20 World Cup is currently in session in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Treat yourself to the official anthem here. What’s the moment that shows off T20 played at its apex? Carlos Brathwaite, of course, hitting four sixes to win the 2016 final for West Indies, with that superb, howling Ian Bishop commentary at the death. England had their moment in 2010, beating Australia in Bridgetown, with Craig Kieswetter and Ryan Sidebottom starring. Some classic moments? How about Stuart Broad getting the Gary Sobers-Malcolm Nash treatment off Yuvraj Singh in 2007? Or the 2009 final, when Mohammed Amir set Sri Lanka off to a start they never recovered from by taking a wicket for the loss of a single run in the opening over at Lord’s? Or Virat Kohli doing Virat Kohli t
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Who hasn’t been at a children’s party and started an impromptu game of keep-ups with a balloon? It’s fun, addictive and can get fiercely competitive. Well, that same game has just had its own World Cup, won by Peru, after a thrilling final watched by a sell-out crowd in Spain and around eight million Twitch viewers online.If you’re wondering how a seemingly childish activity could ever become a legitimate source of sporting entertainment, we need to go back to Covid lockdowns – and how those experiencing cabin fever got creative to stay active at home. Some juggled toilet rolls, did indoor parkour or ran marathons on their balconies.Meanwhile, Antonio and Diego Arredondo, together with sister Isabel, relived their childhood by leaping around their Oregon living room in spectacula
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Months later, some Federal Reserve leaders resumed their market activity, stoking a scandal now engulfing the central bank.Credit...Sarahbeth Maney/The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 3:00 a.m. ETOn March 23 last year, as the Federal Reserve was taking extraordinary steps to shore up financial markets at the onset of the pandemic, the central bank’s ethics office in Washington sent out a warning.Officials might want to avoid unnecessary trading for a few months as the Fed dived deeper into markets, the Board of Governors’ ethics unit suggested in an email, a message that was passed along to regional bank presidents by their own ethics officers.The guidance came just as the Fed was unveiling a sweeping rescue package aimed at backstopping or rescuing markets, including those for corporate
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Lev Parnas appeared to parlay donations to Republican candidates into influence and access — and money from a Russian tycoon.Credit...U.S. attorney's office, Southern District of New YorkOct. 21, 2021, 3:00 a.m. ETThe messages, written in Russian and shared on WhatsApp in October 2018, were celebratory.“How is Washington?” Andrey Kukushkin asked in a message to an associate, Igor Fruman.“Everything is great!!” Mr. Fruman wrote back. “We are taking over the country!!!!” Soon after, Mr. Fruman’s business partner, Lev Parnas, provided some evidence: a picture of himself, beaming as he stood between Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.Three years later, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Kukushkin are on trial in Manhattan, accused of funneling foreign money into American political campaigns in an
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Atlanta 9, Los Angeles 2 | Atlanta leads N.L.C.S., 3-1A midseason pickup from Cleveland, Eddie Rosario has been nothing short of incredible. He led the way in yet another win.Credit...Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated PressOct. 21, 2021, 2:59 a.m. ETLOS ANGELES — Eddie Rosario introduced himself to October baseball in 2017 by crushing a home run off the Yankees’ Luis Severino in the first postseason plate appearance of his career in that year’s American League wild-card game. Though the Minnesota Twins would nontender him after the 2020 season, there was more postseason magic left in his bat.Like Randy Arozarena, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson, Rosario, an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, is fast emerging as a player that shines his brightest on the October stage — each a successor of sorts to the legacy of Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. You could feel Rosario’s impact in the silence that enveloped the once-raucous Dodger Stadium by the middle of Game 4 here Wednesday night. And you could see it in the empty seats as Los Angeles fans streamed out of the park long before the ninth inning.Atlanta pummeled Dodgers starter Julio Urias in a 9-2 win that moved it to within one victory of its first World Series since 1999. Rosario started the slugfest with an opposite-field solo homer to lead off the second and then followed that up by cracking a triple in the third, a single in the fifth and a three-run homer in the ninth.Rosario, a native of Puerto Rico, finished the night with four R.B.I., three runs scored and 12 total bases.“I’m still dreaming of bigger things,” he said afterward, and so is his team.One year ago Atlanta a
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Arm has teased an upcoming graphics processor unit, due to be unveiled next year, and said it is tuned heavily for running artificial intelligence code. This unnamed GPU will provide a 4.7x FP32 performance improvement over its Mali-G76 cousin, said Ian Bratt, fellow and senior director of technology at Arm's machine learning group, during a speech at the chip business's DevSummit conference on Wednesday. This mystery "2022 GPU" won't be announced until next year, it appears, and likely ship much later. To put the performance improvement claim in context, the Mali-G76 was announced in 2018, and the latest in the series, the G710, was announced earlier this year and is expected to ship in silicon in 2022. Arm's Ian Bratt teasing the unnamed 2022 GPU in a DevSummit talk The G710 GPU, which is targeted at premium smartphones and Chromebooks, it said to provide a 35 per cent improvement in the performance of AI applications, such as automatic enhancements to images and videos, over the G78, which was announced in 2020 and is appearing this year in things like the Google Pixel 6. As such, you can see that Arm GPUs tend to ship the year after they are announced to the world, something to bear in mind for the "2022 GPU." We also have to provide the software, the tools, the libraries to enable that ML performance No information was shared on the performance boost the mystery GPU would provide to graphics rendering. Arm declined to provide further details about the upcoming GPU or the CPU cores it would be paired with. Typically top-line Mali GPUs are linked with Arm's most powerful processor core designs, and Arm earlier this year announced such a CPU core, the Cortex-X2. "I
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One of the more controversial demands that came out of the Black Lives Matter protests last year was that those in power should “defund the police”. The broad principle is that money should be divested from policing and diverted towards programmes that make communities safer. That includes, among other things, housing, healthcare and youth support services. What underpins this demand is the belief that by the time the police get involved in a situation, it is too late. They end up violently suppressing the symptoms of social breakdown rather than treating the disease. Reducing policing in order to decrease crime sounds counterintuitive, but a new book by Derecka Purnell largely succeeds in explaining why “abolition”, as she puts it, makes sense.Becoming Abolitionists is half polemic, half memoir. During her impoverished childhood in a neighbourhood of St Louis beset by violence and environmental hazards, Purnell and her family “called 911 for everything except snitching”. Paramedics who arrived to treat conditions from asthma to gunshot wounds were invariably accompanied by police.In these kinds of communities there are no safety nets. People are precariously employed or on meagre benefits, sick from the pollutants released by the factories that surround them and at the mercy of corrupt landlords. Boys deal drugs for money and fight over territory. Parents work long hours and fight with each other at the end of the day. When these conflicts reach boiling point, there is only one place to turn: the emergency services.Purnell recalls that it was rarely a solution, and her lived experience lends credibility. “When people come across police abolition for the first time,” she writes, “they tend to dismiss abolitionists for not caring about neighbourhood safety or the victims of violence. They tend to forget that often we are those victims, those survivors of violence.”In addition to drawing on her own life, Purnell makes the case for abolition from a historical standpoint. She argues that the modern model of western policing in general, and US policing in particular, was developed in order to protect the haves from the have nots – to catch runaw
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Chronic kidney disease linked to heat stress could become a major health epidemic for millions of workers around the world as global temperatures increase over the coming decades, doctors have warned.More research into the links between heat and CKDu – chronic kidney disease of uncertain cause – is urgently needed to assess the potential scale of the problem, they have said.Unlike the conventional form of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a progressive loss of kidney function largely seen among elderly people and those afflicted with other conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, epidemics of CKDu have already emerged primarily in hot, rural regions of countries such as El Salvador and Nicaragua, where abnormally high numbers of agricultural workers have begun dying from irreversible kidney failure.CKDu has also started to be recorded as affecting large numbers of people doing heavy manual labour in hot temperatures in other parts of Central America as well as North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa and India.Kidneys are responsible for fluid balance in the body, which makes them particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures. There is an emerging consensus that CKDu should be recognised as a heat stress-related injury, where workers are developing sub
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China's National Internet Information Office has revisited some of the government's recent internet crackdowns, to put a stop to workarounds such as renting or selling accounts for online games to minors in order to circumvent the three-hours-per-week play time imposed by Beijing. China's lawmakers introduced the play time limits in August, restricting gaming to between the hours of 8pm and 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with an extra hour allowed as a treat on public holidays. Beiing's stance is that it’s a necessary precaution to prevent gaming addiction. It believes that gaming does not reflect Chinese values, is unproductive, and anti-social. The rules quickly sparked a black market for online gaming accounts – a black market Beijing is looking to eliminate. According to the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CAC), the Internet Information Office has also revisited recent rulings on instant messaging, news information, forums and communities, live webcasts, knowledge Q&As, life services, e-commerce, and online videos. China to allow overseas investment in VPNs but Beijing keeps control of the generally discouraged tech Chinese tech minister says he's 'dealt with' 73,000 sites that breached the law Forget everything you learned playing Lunar Lander: Chinese boffins reveal secrets of Chang'e 5 probe's touchdown Specifically, they target the "reincarnation" of illegal accounts, meaning those that have been shut down must remain inactive and cannot be reregistered – at least for a determined length of time. Accounts with fake names designed to resemble those of agencies or organizations, or falsely claiming to be run by members of certain professions, will also be getting attention. Fake fans of celebrities' accounts will also be disallowed, addressing a space noted for aggressive behavior in which online gangs, consisting largely of teenage females, battle to assert their ardor for the celebrity of their choice. Last of all, clickbait (referred to by the commission as "malicious marketing of Internet user accounts") is getting some scrutiny as Beijing looks to reduce the prevalence and impact of articles that
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It’s hard to say when it happened, but somewhere in the past five or so years, anime got so entrenched in the mainstream that articles announcing this development as a new discovery are inevitably mocked online for their cluelessness. The buffet of eastern animation has grown too broad to be diagnosed as a trend or analyzed as a monolith, no longer a novelty at a time when every rapper seems to have a nuanced take on which deep-cuts series deserve greater appreciation. Even those of us residing under rocks have the inkling that it’s no longer the domain of ninjas and other superpowered martial artists; what was once thought of as a genre has splintered into a medium, to the point that top-10 lists could be filled solely with entries about teens playing tennis.In the preponderance of on-air offerings across the tail end of this year, TV watchers can see this diversification mirrored through the exploding world of adult-geared animation. It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of American cartoons for a non-kid audience fell into one of two general categories: either domestic descendants of The Simpsons, or button-pushers predicated on their uncouth pairing of juvenile format and adult content. Springfield’s favorite family spawned a long line of descendants leavening the traditional at-home sitcom with line-drawn antics, a lineage including everyone from Hank Hill to Peter Griffin. The other umbrella covered the sniggering provocations affecting the appearance of Saturday morning fun-tertainment, everything from South Park and the oddities of Adult Swim to one-joke also-rans like the rightly forgotten Stripperella. This sector of TV has long since left that dichotomy behind, moving into a more fertile climate epitomized by a fall season chock-a-block with varied options of all tones and styles. As a term, “adult animation” no longer connotes anything specific, its openness to interpretation evident in an eclectic class of freshman shows.The pandemic and subsequent lockdown halted production on live-action programming, while leaving animated alternatives at a distinct advantage. Digital artwork and vocal recording sessions could all be done in relative
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Emergency services have received a high number of calls from people reporting flooding after southern England was hit overnight by heavy rain and strong winds from a storm moving in from France.The Met Office issued a yellow rain warning covering most of southern England for Wednesday night and into Thursday, meaning people living there could experience transport delays, flooding and power issues.It came as a low-pressure system named Storm Aurore moved in from France, bringing up to 50mm of rain and 45mph winds in the worst affected areas.Essex fire service said they had received more than 12
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At the Sacuanjoche clinic in Chinandega, the largest city in Nicaragua’s sugar cane-growing region, nephrologist Nelson Garcia does the rounds of his patients. Many are suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD); most fell ill while working long hours under the beating sun in the nearby sugar cane fields, and now have damaged and failing kidneys. “People arrive with a host of symptoms here; some are really nauseous, or vomiting, or have severe diarrhoea,” Garcia says, adding that although unsure exactly how many people he has treated for heat stress and related kidney diseases this year
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Could Alexa kill the radio star? The government is considering introducing legislation to ensure that Amazon and other tech companies do not abuse their growing power over UK airwaves.Millions of Britons have bought voice-controlled devices in recent years, principally Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Assistant. Most are used for listening to audio, with many households using them as replacements for traditional standalone radio sets in kitchens and bedrooms.British radio broadcasters including the BBC and the main commercial radio groups now fear they have inadvertently handed control over their output to large technology companies who make smart speakers. They fear the US-based technology companies will hoard data on users’ listening habits, could be tempted to slip their own adverts into radio broadcasts, and may ultimately make it harder to find UK-produced content.The BBC is particularly concerned by research suggesting that when BBC material is consumed through a smart speaker or other third party device, audiences are substantially less likely to mentally associate it with the BBC. This has potentially enormous implications for the future of the licence fee and convincing audiences to pay for the BBC in the future.The government-commissioned digital radio and audio review, which asked industry voices for their views on the future of radio, has now asked the government to propose legislation to force Amazon and other companies to carry UK radio services on a free-to-air basis. A similar lobbying battle is currently being fought by UK television channels to secure so-called “prominence” on the home screens of modern television sets.Radio stations also want a law to prohibit technology companies from inserting their own advertisements without the radio broadcaster’s consent, as well as legislation requiring car manufacturers to continue to prominently display radio stations on car dashboards.The newly appointed media minister, Julia Lopez, said the government would reflect on the findings and “consider new rules” to protect the future of the British radio industry as part of forthcoming broadcasting regulation.The radio report also concluded that FM radio services should be maintained in the UK until 2030, 15 years later than originally planned. The analogue signal serves some rural areas that are not reached by digital broadcasts and is still
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Foreword # This article is intended to serve as an introductory technical analysis of the Yamaha DX7, detailing some of the known information about the synthesiser’s engineering. This article does not intend to be an exhaustive repository of such information, or as reference material for technical means. Instead it intends to provide an informative introduction to the subject. The intended audience for this article is people with a computer science or similar engineering background who are interested in the technical aspects of synthesisers. Acknowledgements # The debt of gratitude this article owes to the hard work of others is so great that I would be remiss to even risk taking undue credit for their hard work. This article would not have been possible without the work of Acreil, Raph Levien, the Dexed team, and Steffen Ohrendorf. I would also like to thank MadFame for his fantastic research into the DX7’s history, from which he has made an extremely informative short documentary. Introduction # In 1983 Yamaha Corporation released the now iconic DX7 synthesiser. Featuring a novel form of digital tone synthesis called frequency modulation, it would introduce musicians to a world of new timbral possibilities not possible with its analog contemporaries. By all accounts it was revolutionary, its brassy, metallic timbres would go on to define the characteristic sound of the decade. It would become the first commercially successful digital synthesiser, going on to sell over 200,000 units worldwide. The frequency modulation synthesis that forms the basis of Yamaha’s FM synthesiser technology had its origins in the research of Stanford U
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Newsstand in the 34th Street Station‘A dear friend of mine scheduled couriers for DHL. From time to time he would ring and ask if I wanted to catch the next red-eye flight to New York. I always said yes’
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1.43am EDT 01:43 India administers its one billionth Covid-19 vaccine dose Hannah Ellis-Petersen India has administered its one billionth Covid-19 vaccine dose, a key milestone for a country hoping to have all 944 million adults fully vaccinated by the end of the year. India had a faltering and mismanaged start to its Covid vaccination rollout nine months ago, with severe shortages of shots nationwide and an export ban imposed on covid vaccines made in India to cope with the shortfall. However, in recent months, stocks have gone up and the take-up of the vaccine began to ramp up significantly. Vaccine hesitancy, an impediment in many rural areas, has also diminished. The country is now administering an average of five million shots per day, though at its peak, as part of a vaccine push on prime minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, 25 million were given in one day in September. Eight states have now administered a first dose to 100% of adults. India is the second country after China to administer a billion shots of the covid vaccine. The government hailed what it described as their “vaccine century”. “Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat,” tweeted prime minister Narendra Modi. However, Indian health officials warned there was still a way to go in terms of getting the whole country inoculated. Though the first dose of the vaccine has been given to 75% of adults, there are still millions who have not had a shot, and only 30% of the country is fully vaccinated. The majority of Indians have been vaccinated with Astrazeneca, which is produced in India under the name Covishield but another Indian-made vaccine, produced by domestic pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech, has also been rolled out. However, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine does not have emergency approval from the World Heath organisation (WHO) and this week the WHO said they were seeking more information before being able to give it the green light. As well as the government’s end of year deadline for complete vaccination, the country is also racing to vaccinate as many people before the predicted third wave of the virus hits the country. The second wave, which devastated India in April, brought the healthcare system to its knees and led to shortages of hospital beds, oxygen and medicines. The official death toll from Covid in India is 452,000 but there has been evidence of widespread undercounting and the true figure has been calculated to be up to four million. 1.31am EDT 01:31 Welcome back to our live coverage of all coronavirus news happening around the world. I’m Samantha Lock reporting from Sydney, Australia, bringing you all the latest developments for the next few hours. New Zealand Covid daily cases pass 100 for first
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GIMP 2.99.8 is our new development version, once again coming with a huge set of improvements. “Work in Progress 2” (follow-up of 2.99.6 image) by Aryeom, Creative Commons by-sa 4.0 - GIMP 2.99.8 To get a more complete list of changes, you should refer to the NEWS file or look at the commit history. The Clone, Heal and Perspective Clone tools now work when multiple layers are selected. There are 2 new modes in particular: When sourcing from multiple selected drawables then cloning into a single drawable, the pixel source is the composited render of source layers. This is similar to “Sample Merged”, except that it is limited to a list of drawables and you don’t have to hide the layers that you don’t want to source from. When cloning while multiple drawables are selected, each drawable clones from itself to itself, i.e. every drawable is both its source and target (the layers selected when sourcing do not matter in this case). This can be very useful in particular when you need to heal several layers exactly the same way, for instance when working on textures and various texture mappings. Development of this feature was proposed and financially supported by Creative Shrimp: Gleb Alexandrov and Aidy Burrows, well-known Blender educators. Here’s an excerpt from a new course where multi-layer cloning is already used: Your browser does not support the video tag. Extract of a video course by Creative Shrimp (Gleb Alexandrov and Aidy Burrows) Selection cue fixed on Wayland and macOS¶ Windows drawing logics evolved in recent compositing window managers. In particular, the drawing of image selection (marching ants 🐜 representing your selection boundary) broke on Wayland, as well as on macOS since Big Sur release. The selection tools were still perfectly working but the outlines were simply not visible on the canvas anymore. We fixed this by reimplementing part of how selections were being drawn over the image. We aimed to only fix this for Wayland, but our recent macOS contributor (see below in macOS package section) confirmed it also fixes the issue for Big Sur. Now the next step is to backport this fix to the stable branch (only for the sake of macOS, since the stable GTK2 version uses XWayland and thus doesn’t exhibit the bug). There have been two more Wayland-specific changes. For our Flatpak builds, we will now use the new fallback-x11 permission instead of x11 to prevent unnecessary X11 access while in Wayland, hence improving security step by step. Finally, some people reported huge memory leaks under Wayland only (it was fine on X11). We didn’t do much so we can’t take any credit for this, but this seems to have been fixed, probably in a dependency with Wayland-specific code. Wider coverage of input devices thanks to Windows Ink support¶ Windows Pointer Input Stack (Windows Ink) support was recently added to GTK3 by Luca Bacci, who also made it available in GIMP and added a new option in the Preferences dialog to switch between Wintab (older API) and Windows Ink. You can find this option on the Input Devices page. Pointer input API selectio
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I’ve been exposing the tactics of the claims management firm, Flight Delay Claims Team (FDCT) since 2017, after it hounded scores of airline passengers over alleged debts. The website promised to check whether claimants were entitled to compensation payments for cancelled or delayed flights. Those who entered their details into the flight checker found they’d been unwittingly signed up to a “contract” and were sent escalating bills of up to £850, despite no service having been performed.Now the company directors have been successfully prosecuted after a four-year investigation by Northamptonshire trading standards and 182 victims will be reimbursed.Director Martin Ryan was sentenced
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ScienceThe fifth Dark Skies festival is taking place on Exmoor with lots of family-friendly events, including wildlife safaris, owl experiences, space workshops and, of course, stargazing (22 Oct-7 No
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When Martin Amis was asked if he’d ever consider writing for children, he reportedly answered: “I might, if I had brain damage.” His sniffiness completely disregards the genius it takes to see the world through a kid’s eyes – not something this Boss Baby sequel pulls off with any flair. It is a noisy and nonsensical film, with a pointlessly convoluted plot that sailed over the head of the four-year-old I watched it with. The frantic pace will leave grownups feeling as if they’ve been battered over the head with a brick, or at the very least reaching for the Anadin Extra.The novelty in the first film of seeing a baby in a business suit with tiny Trump hands, sucking a dummy and vo
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Top story: Tutoring ‘revolution is set to stall’Hello, Warren Murray introducing the stories that matter right now.England’s pandemic pupils could lose up to £46,000 in lifetime earnings becaus
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