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 had moved to Drama Centre London (now closed), where the acting style emphasised the physical embodiment of inner feelings, and his choreography veered away from spectacle towards expressionist movement and physical theatre (inspired by Pina Bausch, among others). The works that finally made it on to the Sadler’s Wells stage – Antibody (2013), Manhood (2015) and I Can’t Breathe (2016) – showed him exploring much more personal concerns: race, masculinity, psychology and emotion.Malaolu we
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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
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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, with India reporting about 15,000 new cases daily, down from a recorded peak of more than 400,000.While other countries have struggled to secure enough doses to vaccinate their populations, India’s gigantic vaccination drive was made possible by domestic manufacturing capacity. The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has supplied more than 80 percent of the doses administered in the country.The demand for vaccines in India after the devastating second wave was such that the Serum Institute fell short on its commitments to supply vaccines to poorer nations. But as India’s situation stabilizes, vaccine exports from India — seen as crucial to global efforts — have slowly resumed.The toll of the pandemic on India’s already slowing economy, however, will take years to reverse. The tourism industry is seeing some reprieve, as India last week began gradually welcoming foreign visitors after nearly two years. In the initial stage, only fully vaccinated tourists on charter flights are allowed in, before the country opens up to other tourists next month.Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India, said the country could now hope to avoid a severe third wave unless a dangerous new variant emerged.“At the moment it appears that while the vaccination doses are a good landmark, we should continue our caution in making sure that people are observing Covid-appropriate behavior, particularly with masks and not having super-spreading events until we actually reach a much higher level of vaccination,” he said.ImageCredit...From left: David Zalubowski/Associated Press; Mark Lennihan/Associated PressAs the latest wave of the virus ebbs in most parts of the United States, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Thursday to evaluate which Americans need extra doses of the coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.They will also discuss the so-called mix-and-match strategy — whether people fully immunized with one company’s vaccine should be allowed to switch to a different one for their booster shot.On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots for millions of people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, just as it did for recipients of Pfizer-BioNTech shots last month. The F.D.A. also gave the green light for people eligible for boosters to get an extra dose of a different brand from the one they first received.But in practice who will get the shots and when depends greatly on the C.D.C.’s final guidance. Though the agency’s recommendations do not bind state and local officials, they hold great sway in the medical community.Regardless of the tenor of the discussion, the final recommendations from the C.D.C.’s panel — the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — are unlikely to hold surprises. The committee is expected to endorse additional doses of the vaccines for many Americans and to strive to bring the country closer to fulfilling President Biden’s promise to provide boosters to all adults.It will not happen without some misgivings, however.Some of the C.D.C.’s advisers last month voiced strong reservations about a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, saying the science did not support additional shots for anyone other than adults over 65. A majority voted to recommend booster shots for people with certain medical conditions that increase the risk of Covid-19.The committee did not support boosters for people whose jobs expose them to the virus — but in a highly unusual move, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C.’s director, overturned their decision.“It is going to be a difficult meeting, because I suspect that the science won’t have changed much,” said Dr. Sarah S. Long, a pediatrician and infectious diseases expert at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “I can see making it clear that we still don’t think this is the right approach, and Dr. Walensky would have to override it.”A similar dynamic played out on the expert panel advising the F.D.A. at a meeting last week. Several advisers to the F.D.A. criticized the paucity of evidence supporting a Johnson & Johnson booster and expressed discomfort at having to decide on the booster before the F.D.A. had carefully vetted the data.Still, they unanimously voted in favor of a second Johnson & Johnson shot for adults who had received that vaccine because it was clear that two doses would be more protective than one, according to one member of the panel, Dr. Paul A. Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.“There was a value to having that as a one-dose vaccine when it first came out,” Dr. Offit said. “But I think it was always on the road to being a two-dose vaccine.”He and others suggested that people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine might be better served by getting a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The F.D.A. on Wednesday updated its authorization of all three vaccines, which will allow the C.D.C.’s advisory committee to recommend this mix-and-match strategy when it meets on Thursday.At last week’s meeting, the F.D.A. advisers were shown evidence indicating that switching between two vaccine types might produce a richer immune response than boosting with the same vaccine.San Francisco has offered Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots to Johnson & Johnson recipients since August, and many Americans who initially received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have sought out booster doses of those vaccines on their own before federal agencies had endorsed them.But the F.D.A. advisers could not vote to recommend that people who initially got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine follow it up with one of the mRNA vaccines because the F.D.A. did not give them that option.“The formal vote was on the J.-&-J. booster following the J.-&-J. vaccine,” said Dr. Stanley Perlman, an immunologist and coronavirus expert at the University of Iowa. But “everybody knew that the data would show that the heterologous boost would be better.” (Heterologous refers to a shot of a different vaccine.)ImageCredit...Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via ShutterstockIran plans to abandon production of its Fakhravac Covid-19 vaccine for lack of demand, its defense ministry said on Tuesday. Iran’s five other domestic Covid vaccines could also be in jeopardy, as Iranians have shown they prefer imported vaccines.The Iranian vaccines have been undermined by the health ministry’s decision to back away from initial promises to purchase large quantities of doses from domestic manufacturers.“We are in the process of planning to end production, because who will we sell it to?” Ahmad Karimi, the director of the Fakhravac vaccine program, told Iranian news outlets on Tuesday. He said about a million dos
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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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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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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 aske
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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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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 to 2008.For those of us with serious reservations about the death penalty, the Supreme Court’s last-minute stay of execution last month on behalf of a condemned Texas inmate came as a happy surprise. The court’s majority has been so unreceptive to death penalty appeals, particularly to requests for intervention on the eve of a scheduled execution, that any sign of attention to a death row inmate’s complaint is welcome.Yet it is that very context that gives me second thoughts about the court’s unusual action in this case, set for argument on Nov. 1. Given the justices’ routine rejection of death penalty appeals, including during the Trump administration’s unseemly rush to execute 13 federal prisoners from July 2020 until just four days before President Biden’s inauguration, isn’t there something off key about the court’s sudden willingness to inject itself into this one?What is it about John Ramirez’s case that makes it different, for example, from the case of Corey Johnson, whose IQ tested as low as 65 and whose lawyers argued that he was therefore constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty; or of Alfred Bourgeois, another low-IQ inmate; or of the mentally ill Lisa Montgomery, who strangled a pregnant woman and cut the unborn baby out of the victim’s womb? The federal government put these three and ten other inmates to death during what Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointedly labeled an “an expedited spree of executions.”Consider that in Lisa Montgomery’s case, the court, at the administration’s last-minute request, actually vacated a stay that a federal appeals court had granted, thus enabling her immediate execution. In the Johnson case, an appeals court had denied a stay by a vote of 8 to 7, a fair indication that there might have been something for the Supreme Court to think about before permitting that execution to go forward.Whether the court should have ruled for these inmates on the merits of the issues they raised is a separate matter. My point here is simply that the court allowed the executions to go ahead without really bothering to consider the merits. Conservative justices often object when the court is asked at the last minute to stop an execution. “Last-minute stays should be the extreme exception, not the norm,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a 2019 majority opinion rejecting a Missouri inmate’s claim that an underlying medical condition would make lethal injection so painful as to be unconstitutional. Mr. Ramirez, convicted in 2004 of committing murder in the course of a robbery, was scheduled to be executed on Sept. 8. His lawyers filed the application for a stay on Sept. 7, and the court granted it the next day.He is not at this point contesting either his guilt or his death sentence. Rather, his case concerns what will happen in the execution chamber in the moments before his death by lethal injection. Texas permits the presence of a spiritual adviser of an inmate’s choice in the executi
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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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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 national research project by Art UK funded in part by City Hall, is the first comprehensive audit of pub
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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.
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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
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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 | Spot
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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 Queen’s attendance was cancelled yesterday on health grounds. Members of the DUP, and former taoiseach John Bruton, were quick to criticise Higgins’ decision, but it was an entirely logical move. Partition was imposed on Ireland a century ago, against the wishes of the majority of its people. The border was opposed not only by republicans, but also by the so-called “constitutional” nationalists of the Home Rule party, the labour movement and indeed many southern unionists. The birth of the border came as part of a violent process with what was to become the minority community in the new Northern Ireland effectively battered into submission.To imagine that this could be an occasion of value-free reflection on history, as church organisers claimed it to be, was entirely ill-conceived. Just as leaders of the Democratic Unionist party refused (entirely logically) to attend events commemorating the Easter Rising in 2016, it was correct for Higgins to stay away from this event. He has attended numerous events north of the border but in this case has argued that the ceremony is not “neutral politically”.While it cannot be said to have been the most important issue to face the public south of the border in the past month, opinion polls show a majority support the president’s decision. Does this reflect a hardening of the popular mood on issues such as the border? Partly, though that in turn has certainly been far more influenced by Brexit and its aftermath than by discussio
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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.
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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 capital letters,” which may come as a surprise to those who recall Trump’s often caps-riddled tweets. Those aren’t the site’s only issues. Some people, who found a way to access the site, created accounts and logged in, joining under names such as “Donald Trump” and “Mike Pence” before the features were locked.Trump’s critics were quick to offer some free speech of their own in response: Trump announcing that his new media platform will be called TRUTH is the death of irony.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 21, 2021 Man banned from pet shop to open competing pet shop with one turtle.— Schooley (@Rschooley) October 21, 2021 The idea Trump’s new venture is designed not only to compete with Twitter/FB but also take on Netflix/Disney+ is laughable. The investment in staff, server farms and original content creation would be massive. Trump isn’t going to do that.— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) October 21, 2021 Was just able to setup an account using the handle @donaldtrump on 'Truth Social,' former President Donald Trump's new social media website.Although the site is not officially open, a URL was discovered allowing users to sign up anyway. pic.twitter.com/MRMQzjNhma— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) October 21, 2021 so many hilarious possible ways to fail, I say immediate data breach followed by pedophile invasion capped off by nazi flame war https://t.co/itxQHOontg— kilgore trout, defective towel (@KT_So_It_Goes) October 21, 2021
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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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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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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
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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 “unconstitutional” for President Joe Biden’s view of executive privilege to trump his own. That was “mistaken,” said Tribe.“And his argument that there is no legitimate legislative purpose is truly laughable,” Tribe added.
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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 news conference.It was “likely a through and through for one officer into another officer,” Superintendent Brown said. The officer who fired his weapon was not injured, the superintendent said, adding, “Obviously it’s very traumatic to have accidentally have this happen.”The three officers were not immediately identified. The injured ones were taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill., a small city just outside Chicago, and they “seem to be in decent, good condition,” the superintendent said.The episode began around 9:15 p.m. on South Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, where officers spotted a car that “license plate reader technology” linked to a homicide investigation, Superintendent Brown said.The driver traveled about 15 miles west to a gas station in Lyons, Ill. At the station, a man exited the vehicle and was surrounded by police officers, Superintendent Brown said. A s
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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
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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 fo
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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 Oct
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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 120 calls up till 2.30am regarding flood-related incidents.The Met Office issued yellow rain warnings for the southern counties and Channel Islands until 3am on Thursday, but said the most severe impact
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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 polemi
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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
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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 irre
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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, he knows it is a lot. “Others are physically weakened, tired, or have nasty muscular cramps, while others complain about having no appetite or libido – there really are so many symptoms.”Such varied symptoms require varied treatments, and at the underfunded and basic clinic where Garcia works, that leads to chaotic shifts. “The response depends on the individual case,” says Garcia, who also works at two other hospitals in the region. “Some people don’t have the energy to walk 500 metres, whereas others have very mild symptoms. We see everything from people who can be treated at home to people who are very much emergency cases.”The majority of Garcia’s patients have been exposed to heat stress while working in the region’s vast sugar cane fields in temperatures of up to 45C (113F). Despite the implementation in recent years of programmes of water, rest and shade breaks, many still find themselves suffering from CKD caused by heat stress.“You shouldn’t work if your kidneys are failing; you shouldn’t risk dehydration, exposing yourself to high temperatures or
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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 w
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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 F
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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 Nov, some free events) The fringe festival is being held in the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales, with self-guided planet trails, nocturnal animal treasure hunts, adventure walks and more (22-31 Oct). The North Pennines Stargazing festival is being held around the same time, and includes family astronomy sessions at Grassholme Observatory (22-31 Oct, £13 adults, £10 children). The Museum of the Moon, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, goes on display Chichester Cathedral at half-term. There will be storytelling, craft sessions and space workshops around the seven-metre spherical sculpture, which features Nasa imagery of the moon’s surface (25 Oct-14 Nov, free).The Norwich Science festival has a different theme each day (nature, climate change, the human body and so on) and lots of child-friendly workshops – including one called The Science of Poo. The festival is based at the Forum but has events across the city and online (23-30 Oct, some free events). At Gilbert White’s House in Selborne, Hampshire, children can make eight-legged friends on a spider safari (£5, 28 Oct).Li
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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 to 22 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Northampton crown court. He was also disqualified from being a director for five years and was made the subject of a five-year criminal behaviour order. His son, Joseph Ryan, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, disqualified as a director for three years, and received a three-year criminal behaviour order. Their company E.Asthampton Ltd, registered in Rushden, Northamptonshire, was fined £5,000 and the pair were ordered to pay £250,000 to compensate victims. Trading standards said that its investigations of a record 531 complaints found “a systematic defrauding of its customers through a range of misleading and dishonest techniques” between 2016 and 2019.The company was also found to have electronically transposed signatures onto documents which were then used to pursue innocent victims through the court. At least one Observer reader was ordered to pay FDCT’s £440 bill by a judge following this tactic.Northamptonshire county council said: “While the company was not set up to commit fraud in the beginning, the methods they employed became fraudulent as they evolved, with their aggressive techniques for chasing payments leaving customers feeling threatened and intimidated. Reading some of the comments made by the victims was heartbreaking, with one victim having to take money out of his pension pot to pay the amount demanded.”Email [email protected] Include an add
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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’ Woman with Tree‘I was never certain what cargo I was accompanying. I only knew that there would be a ticket waiting for me at the counter and that five-and-a-half hours later, I would arrive at JFK’
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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
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There’s a Twitter account called Fake Showbiz News that is occasionally kind/cruel enough to feature me as the subject of one its “exclusives”. Even if there’s an unpleasant undertone to the story, I’m at the stage in my “showbiz” career that, pitiably, I can’t help being grateful for any sign that I’ve not been forgotten. This week’s offering was so close to the truth that I didn’t know whether to wince, laugh or cry: “Adrian Chiles ordered to leave bottomless brunch following ‘misunderstanding’.”The ring of truth here has aggravated my tinnitus. I’ve never bee
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New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law forcing financial institutions to disclose and, the government says, act on climate-related risks and opportunities.“We have an opportunity to pave the way for other countries to make climate-related disclosures mandatory,” climate change minister James Shaw said. “New Zealand is a world-leader in this area and the first country in the world to introduce mandatory climate-related reporting for the financial sector.”The new rules will apply to large insurers, banks, publicly listed companies, listed issuers and investment managers. At present, most of these large New Zealand entities provide little information on what the climate crisis and global heating might mean for their future operations. By forcing them to disclose that, the law hopes to ensure the effects of the climate crisis are constantly considered in business, investment, lending and insurance underwriting decisions.“Climate-related disclosures will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making,” Shaw said. “It will encourage entities to become more sustainable by factoring the short, medium, and long-term effects of climate change into their business decisions.”“This bill will require around 200 of the largest financial market participants in New Zealand to disclose clear, comparable and consistent information about the risks, and opportunities, climate change presents to their business. In doing so, it will promote business certainty, raise expectations, accelerate progress and create a level playing field,” commerce and consumer affairs minister David Clark said in a statement after the bill passed its third reading on Thursday.James Shaw said the legislation was one of a number of actions the government is taking to meet its 2050 emissions targets required by the Climate Change Response Act 2002. So far, New Zealand has done very poorly on meeting its climate goals.The country is one of the world’s worst performers on emission increases. Its emissions rose by 57% between 1990 and 2018 – the second greatest increase of all industrialised countries. Earlier this year, data showed that New Zealand’s emissions had increased by 2% in 2018-19.While a number of countries are introducing similar legislation or regulations, officials said New Zealand’s law was t
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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 because of the disruption to their learning – costing the economy up to £463bn in the long run, according to research. The Educational Policy Institute (EPI) also identified stark regional differences, with pupils in parts of the north and Midlands worst affected by Covid upheaval.Natalie Perera from the EPI said the £3.1bn education recovery programme fell well short of the £13.5bn the EPI believes is required. Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the government’s tutoring “revolution” had the potential to help level the playing field between rich and poor pupils. “But unless government shift up a gear, this revolution is set to stall.”A government spokesperson said: “We are significantly expanding the national tutoring programme this year, building on the progress from last year when more than 300,000 children benefited, and giving schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and their families.”UK and NZ strike trade deal – Britain has struck a trade deal with New Zealand in a moment that comes with the expected corny lines about tariff-free kiwi fruit and sauvignon blanc in exchange for JCBs and buses. It is partly about reducing New Zealand’s heavy reliance on China for trade – Jacinda Ardern’s government has come under fire for gentler rhetoric towards Beijing than its allies would like. The deal may boost New Zealand’s GDP by $970m or around 0.3%. However, last year’s an
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A man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a journalist’s phone straight from his hands during a live broadcast in Egypt.Mahmoud Ragheb, a reporter for the news site Youm7, was filming the aftermath of an earthquake live from the streets of Cairo when a man on a motorbike sped past and seized his phone.The alleged thief unknowingly broadcast his face to thousands of viewers as he fled the scene casually smoking a cigarette.More than 20,000 people were watching the livestream at the time, according to Facebook figures. Many joined in the search for the man as the phone’s camera was left rolling and footage of the incident widely circulated on social media.Officials from the Ministry of the Interior said they used “modern technology” to identify the suspect from the live broadcast, Youm7 reported.The unidentified man was arrested just hours later at his home and taken to Qalyub police station where he reportedly confessed to the crime, the news site said.The video has attracted more than 6.2m views and 45,000 comments in a little over 24 hours.According to local media reports, the incident happened on a bridge in Egypt’s fourth-largest city, Shubra Al-Khaimah.Viewers were quick to mock the seemingly clueless thief, with one commenting he had “died from laughter”, while another questioned why the man had bothered looking behind him while “the whole world is watching you”.In a statement, Egypt’s ministry of the interior said that the man was “jobless
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Only one in seven Covid vaccine doses promised to the world’s poorest countries have been delivered, a report reveals.Of 1.8bn doses pledged by wealthy nations, just 261m (14%) have arrived in low-income countries, according to the analysis by the People’s Vaccinealliance, a coalition of groups that includes Oxfam, ActionAid and Amnesty International.Nearly a year after vaccines first became available, only 1.3% of people living in the poorest parts of the world are fully vaccinated.The UK vowed to send poorer nations 100m doses but has so far delivered 9.6m, fewer than 10%, the report says. Canada has delivered 3.2m (8%) of the 40m doses it pledged. The US has delivered the most doses – nearly 177m. However, this is still less than a fifth (16%) of the 1.1bn jabs promised.Meanwhile, of 994m doses promised to Covax, a global vaccine distribution system, by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Pfizer/BioNTech, only 120m (12%) have so far been delivered, according to the report.GraphRobbie Silverman, of Oxfam, said the figures exposed “the failure of rich country donations and the failure of Covax”. He added: “The only way to end the pandemic is to share the technology, and knowhow with other qualified manufacturers so that everyone, everywhere can have access to these lifesaving vaccines.”The World Health Organization has publicly warned that it must be a global priority to deliver doses to developing countries before the end of this year. However, the report says wealthy nations are instead only working to a timetable of delivering more doses at some point in 2022. That delay, the report warns, will lead to unnecessary deaths.Maaza Seyoum, of the African Alliance and People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa, said: “Across the world health workers are dying and children are losing parents and grandparents. With 99% of people in low-income countries still not vaccinated, we have had enough of these too little too late gestures.”This week campaigners protested in Whitehall against the UK’s blocking of a waiver for the patent of the Covid vaccine.GraphIndia and South Africa have proposed that the World Trade Organization (WTO) suspend its enforcement of patents for coronavirus vaccines and treatments so that the inoculation could reach poorer countries.The call has been backed by more than 100 nations, human rights groups including Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, and prominent figures such as Gordon Brown, the UK’s former prime minister. They say nobody is safe from coronavirus until everybody is safe.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also backed a separate but related campaign calling on G7 countries and the European Union to share at least 1bn Covid vaccine doses with those most in need and support calls for a waiver on vaccine intellectual property rights.But the UK, EU and Switzerland have opposed the move.Tim Bierley, of Global Justice Now, said the UK and others had “obstructed efforts to scale up the world’s vaccine supply, forcing the global south to rely on donations that are always too little and too late”.A UK government spokesperson said: “The UK is proud to be playing a
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The Syrian government is siphoning off millions of dollars of foreign aid by forcing UN agencies to use a lower exchange rate, according to new research.The Central Bank of Syria, which is sanctioned by the UK, US and EU, in effect made $60m (£44m) in 2020 by pocketing $0.51 of every aid dollar sent to Syria, making UN contracts one of the biggest money-making avenues for President Bashar al-Assad and his government, researchers from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Operations & Policy Center thinktank and the Center for Operational Analysis and Research found.Hit by new US sanctions and the collapse of the banking system in neighbouring Lebanon, cash-strapped Damascus is relying increasingly on unorthodox methods for raising funds – money either pocketed by officials in Damascus for their own personal wealth, or put towards the 10-year-old war effort.Researchers analysed hundreds of UN contracts to procure goods and services for people living in government-held areas of Syria, where more than 90% of the population are living in poverty since the Syrian pound, or lira, crashed last year.While the central bank’s official exchange rate is now SYP2,500 to the US dollar, the black market rate is SYP3,500. Legitimate traders and consumers prefer to use the black market rate, as they receive more Syrian pounds for foreign currency.Since the UN is forced by the Syrian government to use the official rate, half of foreign aid money exchanged into Syrian pounds in 2020 was lost after being exchanged at the lower, official rate.“This shows an incredibly systematic way of diverting aid before it even has a chance to be implemented or used on the ground,” said Natasha Hall, of the CSIS, a Washington-based thinktank that helped compile the research.Syrian central bank staff count SYR1,000 notes, featuring Hafez al-Assad, ex-president and father of Bashar, in 2010. The government makes millions exploiting the gap between the official and black market rate for the currency. Photograph: Hussein Malla/AP“If the goal of sanctions overall is to deprive the regime of the resources to commit acts of violence against civilians and the goal of humanitarian aid is to reach people in need then we have this instance … where aid is at complete contradiction to those two stated goals.”After 10 years of civil war in Syria, international donor fatigue, already seen in decreasing aid pledges, has turned to more overt political re-engagement with Assad’s regime.Without the US playing a strong role in finding a political solution in Syria, which Washington still publicly advocates, Arab nations – including the US-allied Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt – have recently restarted diplomatic talks, reopened borders for trade and signalled renewing economic cooperation.The US allows Damascus to play a major role in funnelling Egyptian gas to Lebanon to power the country’s fuel-depleted power plants. Interpol allowed Syria to rejoin its network even as the fate of dissidents captured throughout the war remains unknown.Examining 779 publicly available procurements for 2019 and 2020, listed on the UN Global
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Charlene White: Empire’s Child9pm, ITVThe latest of ITV’s very worthwhile explorations of Black identity sees Loose Women’s Charlene White go on a journey of self-discovery that is equal parts Who Do You Think You Are? and Black Lives Matter. As a Black Briton of Jamaican origin, White is aware that her relationship with the British empire is potentially complex. But, as she uncovers her genealogy, she starts to make some surprising discoveries about the forces that have shaped both her life and the lives of her family. Phil HarrisonShop Well for the Planet?8pm, BBC OneJoanna Page, the host of Shop Well for the Planet? Photograph: Kieron McCarron/BBC/RDFThe Shop Well for Less? and Eat
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Theaster Gates likes to get his hands dirty. His two new London exhibitions are dedicated to clay, and in one there’s a film of him singing with great gusto as he throws a pot. So it feels a shame n
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Helena Normanton, the first woman to practise as a barrister and lead murder trials in the English courts, has been honoured with a blue plaque at her former London home.The trailblazing lawyer was also the first female law student at an inn of court, the first female counsel to lead in a case at the high court, the first woman to run a trial at the Old Bailey and one of the first two women to be made a King’s Counsel.She was a champion of women’s rights outside as well as inside the courts, making history as the first married woman to have a passport issued in her birth name at a time when a wife not taking her husband’s name was a rarity.Brenda Hale, the first woman to head the UK su
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On a grey morning in May this year, the English legal system’s epic failure to secure justice for the families devastated by the Hillsborough disaster finally ground to its dismal conclusion. Ninety
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Opinion|Biden Needs Leverage Over China. Here’s How to Get It.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/opinion/biden-china-xi-jinping.htmlGuest EssayOct. 21, 2021, 1:00 a.m. ETCredit...Mikey BurtonSusan ThorntonMs. Thornton is a former acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.As a U.S. diplomat managing our relations with China, I often was asked, “What is our leverage over China?” Beijing was always either doing something we didn’t like — buying oil from Iran, building a port in Cambodia, locking up dissidents — or not doing something that we thought it should, like enforcing sanctions on North Korea or opening its market to U.S. agricultural products.We were constantly considering what sticks or carrots we might deploy to change China’s behavior. There were no easy answers; frustrations over the insufficiency of our leverage and our inability to “change China” are longstanding. But China’s growing power exacerbates the problem. And in this era of great power competition, the need to accrue and use leverage to influence Chinese actions has never been greater.President Biden himself has acknowledged that leverage when it comes to China is lacking. Soon he will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping. So where will the requisite U.S. leverage come from?It doesn’t help that Chinese leaders have sensed weakness on the U.S. front. Successfully combating Covid-19 and reviving the U.S. economy will help to counter those impressions and improve Mr. Biden’s hand. Still, it’s not enough to give Washington the needed edge over Beijing.The Biden administration’s main approach to confronting China has been to recruit other countries to join it in countering Beijing on all manner of issues, from human rights to technology to Taiwan. But the difficulty in setting clear priorities ultimately could be Mr. Biden’s undoing.If everything is a priority, then nothing is, and leverage dissipates across an ever-shifting list of urgent issues.President Donald Trump focused on the trade deficit. While that wisdom can be debated, he got a deal to address it in less than two years. That’s because the Chinese saw that resolving this specific issue could stabilize relations.When it comes to dealing with China, Mr. Biden should take note. Prioritize the issues where the United States can realistically make progress with China: trade and investment, climate change measures and limits on dangerous weapons.We need new trade rules governing subsidies and technology, and rules to stop the spread and limit the use of autonomous weapons. The Biden administration should also aim to secure concrete changes in global energy, building and transport systems to curb climate change.To gain the needed leverage, we need to give China the prospect of a beneficial outcome — which for Beijing could start with developing what they would consider a more respectful partnership. U.S. officials often talk about “increasing pressure” on China, but sanctions and tariffs have not generally produced Chinese policy movement. What has produced movement is the prospect of a more stable and constructive relationship with the United States
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I have had several periods of loneliness in my life, but none more intense than after my second divorce. I was single for almost a decade, and despite being busy, and having a great job in TV, the reality was that I was incredibly lonely.By divorcing, and for a second time, I’d stepped away from what was considered acceptable by the British Pakistani culture of my heritage. I didn’t want to tell anyone about my past, or answer questions about why I’d made the choices I had – or about how far my culture and religion had influenced those decisions – because I was still grappling with t
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Nearly 4 million low-income households are behind on rent, bills or debt payments, up threefold since the pandemic hit, according to a study revealing the growing cost of the living crisis facing the UK’s poorest families.A third of the 11.6 million working-age households in the UK earning £25,000 or less were found to be in arrears on their rent or mortgage, utility bills, council tax bills or personal debt repayments, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).The charity called for urgent government action to support families at the sharp end of pandemic-related financial pressure
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It is hard to be upbeat about the latest numbers. The government’s Covid dashboard is awash with red and upward-pointing arrows. New cases have climbed 17% on the week. Hospital admissions are up 11% and deaths have increased by 21%. This is not where we wanted to be nearly two years into the pandemic – and 10 months into the most successful mass vaccination campaign in the history of the NHS.So is this what we have to get used to? Nearly 1,000 hospital admissions a day, and nearly 1,000 deaths a week? There are so many forces at work in a pandemic, operating on different timescales, pushing in opposite directions, that reliable predictions are a fantasy. But delve into the data and there are, perhaps, some reasons for optimism.With so many adults well protected after vaccination, infection, or both, the primary driver for the UK epidemic is the infection rate among schoolchildren. Data from the Office for National Statistics show that cases soared in secondary schools when they reopened after the summer. This was bound to happen: in England at least, protective measures in schools were minimal; the decision to vaccinate healthy children came later than elsewhere, and the process has been difficult and slow.The ONS estimates that for the week ending 9 October, 8.1% of children in school years 7 to 11 would have tested positive for coronavirus. This equates to about 5% becoming infected every week and adding to the pool of the immune. Before schools went back after the summer, a substantial minority of children in London may have had antibodies to the virus. With natural infections building on that immunity for weeks, cases may soon start to fall. And since schoolchildren are seeding infections into the community, national cases may follow suit.But England is not London, and not all children are equally protected. In London, fresh cases of Covid are barely increasing, suggesting the capital may be close to a peak – at least for now. In the south-west, where immunity in children is thought to have been much lower before schools went back, cases are rising fast. If herd immunity starts to drive cases down, it will happen city by city, region by region, not in a coordinated wave across the UK. As ever, other factors muddy the waters, not least mixing patterns among adults. In London, for example, home-working rates are far higher than in many other places, keeping exposure levels down.One question modellers are keen to answer is how much can Scotland tell us. When secondary schools in Scotland opened in mid- to late August, the percentage of students testing positive rose sharply. Depending on the age group, the rates peaked at 8%-10% before cases started to fall. At the same time, in early September, national cases fell sharply. Daily cases in Scotland more than halved in a month.England may follow suit in the weeks ahead, but there is uncertainty. Scotland was faster to vaccinate schoolchildren, so their immunity before returning to school may have been higher than for children in England. If the tide has started to turn in teenagers in England, the first sign may be a slowing of infections in the ONS data this Friday.01:47Coronavirus cas
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Winning the National Book Foundation medal for distinguished contribution to American letters in 2014, the late Ursula K Le Guin spoke of how how “hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope”. Seven years later, a new literary award is being launched by her estate to honour those authors.The Ursula K Le Guin prize for fiction will be awarded for the first time next year, on 21 October, which would have been the Earthsea author’s 93rd birthday. Worth $25,000 (£18,000), it will go to a work of “imaginative fiction”, with the intention of recognising the writers Le Guin spoke of in her 2014 acceptance speech. She said at the time that she was sharing the medal with “all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists”. When the hard times arrive, Le Guin said, “we’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality”.Le Guin died in 2018, aged 88. Theo Downes-Le Guin, her son and literary executor said he hoped the prize would “provide meaningful help and recognition to writers who might otherwise not receive it.“Many will appreciate an irony in that Ursula herself was suspicious of literary awards and prizes. At the same time, she recognised their genuine value in honouring a writer and increasing visibility of good, undervalued writing,” he added. “She also knew that a bit of money, at the right moment and in the right spirit, can be a turning point in a writer’s ability to continue writing.”Le Guin was the winner of six Nebula awards, eight Hugo awards, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Grand Master award. She was known for works of science fiction such as The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, and the celebrated and award-winning Earthsea children’s fantasy novels, which are currently being adapted for television.Her estate said it wanted to honour novels that “reflect some of the themes and ideas that were central to Ursula’s own magnificent and beloved work, including hope and freedom; alternatives to conflict; and a holistic view of humanity’s place in the natural world”.The new award will be open “to all; readers, authors, booksellers, publishers, librarians, and anyone else can nominate work they believe fits the prize criteria”, said the Ursula K Le Guin Literary Trust, which will create a shortlist of finalists, to be read by a panel of judges including David Mitchell, Luis Alberto Urrea and Becky Chambers.Cloud Atlas author Mitchell said he was “deeply honoured” to judge the award. “Ursula Le Guin’s visionary fiction entered my head when I was young and has never left. Her novels and stories defined, in part, my understanding of what fiction can do, should do, and why,” said Mitchell. “I look forward to encountering new wo
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The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, has said that devolving the crown estate to Wales could boost the country’s aspirations to become a world leader in renewable energy.One of the Labour-led government’s key strategies in tackling the climate emergency is to make the most of Wales’ extraordinary natural resources, including wind and wave power.Speaking to the Guardian during a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid Wales, Drakeford said: “Wales’ big contribution to a carbon-neutral future is to use the natural assets we have to be at the forefront of renewable energy production, whether that is from wind or waves or water. “Geography is on our side. If you’re on the west side of the UK, you have the prevailing winds. We are surrounded on three sides by water.”Asked about devolving the crown estate, which holds the rights to seabeds around the British Isles, Drakeford said: “It’s definitely an idea we should take seriously. The crown estate is devolved in Scotland. The Scottish government do have levers they are able to use that are not directly available to us. In Scotland it’s a direct tool the government is able to deploy.”Drakeford also criticised the UK government for not sharing its net zero strategy with Cardiff ahead of publication this week.“Working across the UK is absolutely essential,” he said. “I hate to sound complaining but the UK’s net zero paper is an essential context for things we can do in Wales. We were promised in June we would see a good draft of that in July. We ended up not seeing it at all until it was published.”Drakeford said the next decade was “absolutely essential in the journey to net zero by 2050 … We have to accomplish as much in the next decade as we have in the last 30 years. This is a decade of action if we are to be on the track we want to be on.”He also said that while Wales was blessed with natural resources that could help it tackle the climate emergency, it was also vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as flooding. “We do have fantastic resources but there are real vulnerabilities as well if global temperatures rise unchecked. It’s not too late but we’ve got to be serious about it,” he said.Drakeford said key plans for the Welsh government included turning new social housing into a net creator of power, only building roads in exceptional circumstances, investing in public transport and encouraging individuals to do more. “Small individual actions in our own lives cumulatively amount to something important,” he said.At prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, the Plaid Cymru leader in Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts, asked Boris Johnson if he would support her bill to devolve the crown estate to Wales, which she said would “bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control”.If COP26 is to be successful, people must be at the heart of our net zero [email protected]'s Crown Estate Devolution Bill would bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control.But Boris Johnson won't support it. pic.twitter.com/2fb578iUXY— Plaid Cymr
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Pupils in England whose learning has been severely disrupted by the pandemic could lose up to £46,000 in lifetime earnings, costing the economy hundreds of billions of pounds, without additional government investment, according to research.The report by the Educational Policy Institute (EPI) identified stark regional differences in learning loss – with pupils in parts of the north and Midlands worst affected – which it warned would undermine the government’s levelling-up agenda.It also said the government’s national tutoring programme, set up to support disadvantaged children who have lost out the most, was faltering with low take-up in the north, where it is most needed, and that s
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Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian oil palm plantations is located in the country’s forest estate, despite a law banning such activity, according to a study by Greenpeace.The report, p
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For the past few months Insulate Britain have been blocking roads in an effort to pressure the government into sealing up the UK’s leaky, draughty housing-stock. So why are a group of eco-activists facing confrontations from angry drivers, and even risking injury, for insulation? Shivani Dave speaks to environment correspondent Matthew Taylor about Insulate Britain’s demands and explores the possible health benefits of properly insulated homes with Dr James Milner How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know
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Oct. 20, 2021, 9:40 p.m. ETOct. 20, 2021, 9:40 p.m. ETCredit...Pool photo by Craig RuttleEric Adams and Curtis Sliwa offered different visions for New York City in their first debate on Wednesday nigh
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It may not be enough to prevent the dance being butchered by dance troupes, in TikToks or at pub crawls, but a historic new UK-New Zealand free trade deal includes commitments from the UK to protect New Zealand’s iconic haka, Ka Mate.The deal is expected to boost New Zealand’s GDP by $970m, and eventually lift tariffs on all its exports to the UK. But its provisions extend beyond the economic: unusually, it also notes “a commitment by the UK to cooperate with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the haka Ka Mate ... [and] acknowledge Ngāti Toa Rangatira’s [the leaders of Ngāti Toa tribe’s] guardianship of the haka”.The Ka Mate haka, a traditional Māori war dance that is performed internationally by some of New Zealand’s top sports teams, has been subject to controversial appropriation in the UK. Last year, a group of UK nurses apologised after performing an altered haka in facepaint, which cultural adviser Karaitiana Taiuru said at that time was “blatant cultural abuse that is verging on being racist”.While a free trade deal is unlikely to prevent those incidents entirely, it may go some way to protect the haka from being used in commercial settings by those other than its traditional Indigenous guardians.“Ka Mate is one of the most appropriated, commercially ripped off icons of New Zealand and Te Ao Māori [so] it’s important and logical that it’s in there,” Taiuru said. “And at events in London we see drunk Kiwis down the street doing the haka, just disrespecting Ngāti Toa, Te Rauparaha, the whole haka … I hope that this was a good step forward for recognition of Indigenous rights.”Ngāti Toa’s guardianship of Ka Mate has been written into New Zealand law since 2014, and the haka has been formally recognised as a taonga, or treasure, belonging to the iwi, or tribe. Ngāti Toa iwi leader Kahu Ropata has previously told Te Ao Māori, “It is recognised as a national treasure … “Our iwi signed the Ka Mate Ka Mate attribution bill through our settlement to recognise our rightful role as sole guardians of the haka. For whoever uses it should acknowledge its origins.”Announcing
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Holly Thomas, President Joe Biden’s pick for a lifetime seat on a powerful U.S. appeals court, got her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.But Republicans on the Judiciary Committee decided to make something else the focal point of the hearing: their own transphobia.One by one, GOP senators used their allotted time for questions with Thomas, a civil rights attorney up for a California-based seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to talk about a months-old case of sexual assault at a high school in Loudoun County, Virginia.The May attack involved a teenage boy allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom. Conservative media outlets seized on the incident after the parents of the victim claimed the attacker was “gender fluid” and wearing a skirt during the attack. Authorities have not confirmed either of those details.The victim’s parents also criticized the school’s policy that lets students use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identities, suggesting the policy made it easier for an assault to take place. But at the time of the alleged assault, that rule was not in effect, The Washington Post reported. More importantly, there are already laws protecting people from criminal conduct in public restrooms, and there is
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NFL agreed to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing that critics said made it difficult for Black retirees to qualify for awards in the $1 billion settlement of concussion claims, according to a proposed deal filed Wednesday in federal court.The revised testing plan follows public outrage over the use of “race-norming,” a practice that came to light only after two former NFL players filed a civil rights lawsuit over it in 2019. The adjustments, critics say, may have prevented hundreds of Black players suffering from dementia to win awards that average $500,000 or more.The Black retirees will now have the chance to have their tests rescored or, in some cases, seek a new round of cognitive testing, according to the settlement, details of which were first reported in The New York Times on Wednesday.“No race norms or race demographic estimates — whether Black or white — shall be used in the settlement program going forward,” the settlement said.The proposal, which must still be approved by a judge, follows months of closed-door negotiations between the NFL, class counsel for retired players, and lawyers for the Black players who filed suit, Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry.The vast majority of the league’s players — 70% of active players and more than 60% of living retirees — are Black. So the changes are expected to be significant, and potentially costly for the NFL.To date, the fund has paid out $821 million for five types of brain injuries, including early and advanced dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS.Lawyers for the Black players suspect that white men were qualifying for awards at two or three times the rate of Blacks. It’s unclear whether a racial breakdown of payouts will ever be done or made public.Black NFL retiree Ken Jenkins and others have asked the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to open an inquiry. The first payouts were awarded in 2017. The fund, now uncapped, is intended to last for 65 years, to cover anyone retired at the time it was first approved.To date, about 2,000 men have applied for dementia awards, but only 30% have been approve
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The first Māori woman to be named governor-general of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro, has been sworn in at an intimate ceremony in parliament, where she said she hopes to use the role to reach out to marginalised communities.Dame Cindy, who is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent, became the country’s 22nd governor-general – Queen Elizabeth’s representative in New Zealand.The governor-general’s role is to carry out constitutional and ceremonial duties on behalf of the British monarch, who remains the country’s official head of state.The swearing in at parliament in Wellington on Thursday morning was a pared back event, with the usual pomp and ceremony scrapped due to level 2 restrictions, as the country battles to stamp out an outbreak of Covid-19.After her swearing in, Dame Cindy said she wanted to use her role to reach out to marginalised people in society and acknowledged people were living in a time of immense uncertainty and anxiety due to the pandemic.“Communities develop resilience when people feel connected, have a sense of belonging, and have a place to stand,” Dame Cindy said, according to Reuters.“I will connect to new migrants and former refugees, and celebrate the many diverse cultures and religions gifted to our nation by those who have chosen to make New Zealand their home,” she said.Dame Cindy was born in Whangārei in 1958 and is the eldest of six children.The first in her family to achieve a university qualification, she has been the chief executive of the independent advisory body Royal Society-Te Apārangi, a children’s commissioner and pro-vice-chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland. She holds a PhD in social policy and an MBA (Exec) in business administration from the University of Auckland and Massey University.Dame Cindy succeeds Dame Patsy Reddy, whose five-year term ended last month.She is the third Māori governor-general after Sir Paul Reeves and Sir Jerry Mateparae, and the fourth woman to hold the title.The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, described Dame Cindy as compassionate, knowledgable and focused.“I know as the first Māori woman to hold this role you are mindful that your oppo
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued to mislead his viewers about COVID-19 on Wednesday, telling them that vaccinated and unvaccinated people spread coronavirus in the same way.“The vaccinated spread COVID just like the unvaccinated. There’s no difference actually,” he said during a rant about Seattle public employees who quit or were fired from their jobs for failing to meet the Oct. 18 deadline to be fully vaccinated. “Look at the science.”Science shows that vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit coronavirus than unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people are significantly less likely to get COVID-19. And multiple studies have shown that vaccinated people who do become infected tend to transmit much less virus than the unvaccinated and are likely to be contagious for
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Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate in the New York City mayor’s race, tried to compare Eric Adams, the Democratic front-runner, to Mayor de Blasio.Credit...Craig Ruttle/Associated PressOct. 20, 2021Updated 9:59 p.m. ETFor the better part of an hour on Wednesday, Eric Adams was accused of spending too much time with “elites,” losing touch with working-class New Yorkers and being a carbon copy of Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose popularity has steadily waned during his tenure.And when he was given openings to respond during the first general election debate of the New York City mayoral contest, Mr. Adams — the typically voluble Democratic nominee for mayor — declined to engage, flashing a placid smile.Mr. Adams, the overwhelming favorite in the race, often approached the matchup aga
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Politics|Stymied Before, Trump Finds Backing for His Own Media Venturehttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/politics/trump-media-spac.htmlA merger could give the former president access to nearly $300 million in cash — and perhaps a new platform.Credit...Illustration by Chris Delmas/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOct. 20, 2021, 10:40 p.m. ETFormer President Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he had lined up the investment money to create his own publicly traded media company, an attempt to reinsert himself in the public conversation online from which he has largely been absent since Twitter and Facebook banned him after the Jan. 6 insurrection.If finalized, the deal could give the new Trump company access to nearly $300 million in spending money.In a statement announcing the new venture, Mr. Trump and his investors said that the new company would be called Trump Media & Technology Group and that they would create a new social network called Truth Social. Its purpose, according to the statement, is “to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley.”Since he left office and became the only American
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Donald Trump has announced plans to launch a social media platform called TRUTH Social that will rolled be out early next year.The former president, who was banned from Facebook and Twitter earlier this year, says his goal is to rival the tech companies that have denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his rise.“I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH social and to fight back against big tech,” Trump said in a statement.Trump announced the news in a press release on Wednesday, saying the platform will be open to “invited users” for a beta launch in November, with plans to make it available to the broader public in the beginning of next year. Truth social will be a product of a new venture called the Trump Media & Technology Group which was created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The group said it seeks to become a publicly listed company.A link to the Truth Social website directs users to sign up for a wait list or pre-order the app via the Apple App Store. There, screenshots of the Truth Social app show a user profile that bears a striking resemblance to a Twitter profile. The name Truth Social was trademarked by Trump Group Corp in July 2021, according to public filings.Screenshots of the Truth Social app that Donald Trump plans to launch. Photograph: Apple App StoreIn July, Trump sued Facebook, Twitter, and Google for allegedly censoring him. The companies have so far upheld their bans and suspensions on the former president, though Facebook plans to revisit its decision in two years.“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American president has been silenced,” Tru
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Shares in the struggling property giant China Evergrande have fallen sharply after plans to offload a stake in one of its units for $2.6bn fell through, casting further doubt over whether it can avert the country’s biggest ever corporate failure.On Thursday morning, China Evergrande Group, the parent company for the sprawling empire built by former steel industry executive Xu Jiayin, was down 12% in early trade before recovering slightly to -9.8%. Evergrande Property Services, one of its most profitable units, was off by 6.45%.Evergrande announced on Wednesday that it had formally abandoned plans to sell a 50.1% slice of Evergrande Property Services, and said there was “no guarantee” it could meet its financial obligations in order to stay afloat.The company, which is China’s second-biggest property developer with thousands of projects, has debts of $305bn.But it is running out of cash thanks to a government crackdown on lending, and a slump in property sales and prices, sending shockwaves through the Chinese economy and global financial markets.The company has been trying to offload assets since September to generate funds to repay creditors, starting with 1.6 million homebuyers who have bought as-yet unfinished properties off the plan, building contractors and suppliers, and then Chinese banks and bondholders.Evergrande also owes billions to offshore bondholders and has already missed several key bond interest payments since September. The company will officially go
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U.S.|Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Onions Sickens More Than 650https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/onions-salmonella-outbreak-recall.htmlThe C.D.C. urged consumers to throw away any whole red, white or yellow onions they purchased that do not have a sticker or packaging.Credit...CDC.govOct. 20, 2021, 9:53 p.m. ETMore than 650 people in 37 states have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to imported onions, federal health officials said on Wednesday.The Food and Drug Administration said that an investigation had identified ProSource Inc., of Hailey, Idaho, as a source of potentially
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When Covid-19 struck the UK in early 2020, GPs in England were already feeling the pinch of an increasingly ageing society presenting in their surgeries with increasingly complex medical needs. The arrival of the pandemic at an instant moved their work almost entirely online. Instead of face-to-face consultations being the norm, they became the exception. In their place came phone and video consultations. But as lockdown ended and the country opened up, the demand for a return to in-person GP appointments has grown, fuelled in no small part by high-profile
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The agency will also allow vaccine recipients to pick which vaccine they want as a booster, endorsing a mix-and-match approach.Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York TimesOct. 20, 2021Updated 9:49 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots on Wednesday for tens of millions of recipients of Moderna’s two-dose coronavirus vaccine and Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot, significantly expanding efforts to bolster protection for vulnerable Americans.The agency also authorized medical providers to give people a booster shot of a different Covid-19 vaccine, a st
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Jonathan and Diana Toebbe planned for years to sell classified materials about submarine technology to a foreign government and were seeking as much as $5 million, the prosecution said in court.Oct. 20, 2021Updated 9:26 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — A Maryland couple facing espionage charges spent years collecting classified information, planning to sell it to a foreign country for as much as $5 million in cryptocurrency and then leave the United States, according to material laid out by prosecutors and the F.B.I. in federal court on Wednesday.An F.B.I. agent read what he said were excerpts from encrypted messages between the couple, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, from 2019, before they reached out to the foreign country and as they considered whether to sell the secret information about the nuclear r
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Astros 9, Red Sox 1 | Houston leads A.L.C.S., 3-2A blowout win in Game 5 sends this series back to Houston, decidedly in the Astros’ favor. The resilient Red Sox may have finally met their match.Credit...David J. Phillip/Associated PressOct. 20, 2021Updated 9:09 p.m. ETBOSTON — No one has been able to drive the 2021 Boston Red Sox into extinction, yet. The Yankees tried and failed. Tampa Bay had its chances, but could not do it, either. It almost happened much earlier, during the final weekend of the regular season in Washington, D.C., but Boston survived.Now it is the Houston Astros’ turn. With one more win they can end Boston’s bumpy, unexpected ride across their seven-month season, as the Red Sox sit, once again, on the precipice of doom.On Wednesday, Houston pounded the suddenl
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Australia’s national team coach Brian Goorjian has strongly defended Ben Simmons as a “really good human” as the NBA star’s relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers continues to disintegrate.Simmons was suspended from the 76ers’ season opener against New Orleans after was sent home from practice for “conduct detrimental to the team”. It was the latest bombshell development in a messy situation which has turned increasingly ugly as the former No 1 draft pick attempts to force a trade away from Philadelphia.Goorjian described the situation as “disappointing” and hoped the 25-year-old could quickly get his NBA career back on track.“I just wish when I look at this that Ben could have been a part of our thing [at the Tokyo Olympics] and experienced that and got some enjoymen
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Singapore’s healthcare system is at risk of being “overwhelmed” by surging coronavirus infections, government officials warned on Wednesday, a day after the city-state expanded quarantine-free travel as it shifts its approach to dealing with the pandemic.The health ministry reported 18 deaths on Wednesday – Singapore’s highest toll in a single day – and 3,862 more cases, just shy of the record 3,994 tallied the day before.“At the current situation, we face considerable risk of the healthcare system being overwhelmed,” Lawrence Wong, co-chair of a government taskforce fighting Covid-19, said before the new figures were released.Wong, who is also the finance minister, said nearly 90% of isolation beds in hospitals have been filled and more than two-thirds of intensive care un
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Like a gluten-free keto scone we can’t say “no” to, we couldn’t help but love and root for Sherry and Cary Conrad by the end of Season 3 of Netflix’s hit show “You.” (Heads up if you haven’t finished watching the series: Copious spoilers ahead!) Madre Linda’s stalwart power couple — one half tech bro entrepreneur, one half mommy blogger extraordinaire — are easily the most insufferable characters in town (and in a show as murder-y and treacherous as “You,” that’s saying something).Cary (played by Travis Van Winkle) has 6% body fat, can’t stop talking about optimizing every segment of his life, and leads male-bonding hunting trips where he shares his weird Matthew McConaughey-esque musings on masculinity.Sherry (Shalita Grant) is a cliché momfluencer who lives
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Framber Valdez was perfect through four, took a two-hit shutout into the seventh and became the first pitcher in the 2021 postseason to finish eight innings on Wednesday as the Houston Astros beat Boston 9-1 in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series and moved one win from another trip to the World Series.Yordan Alvarez had three hits and three RBIs for Houston, which can clinch its third pennant in five years with a victory in Game 6 at home on Friday night. The Red Sox need a win to force a deciding seventh game on Saturday.One day after the Astros scored seven runs to break a ninth-inning tie, they hung another crooked number on the Fenway Park scoreboard, chasing Chris Sale while scoring five runs in the sixth. Alvarez, who homered in the second and singled in the fourth, had a two-run do
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Americas|Blinken Cites ‘Democratic Reckoning’ in South Americahttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/world/americas/blinken-democracy-south-america.htmlSecretary of State Antony Blinken warned of an eroding trust in democracy in the Western Hemisphere and described challenges posed to open government by authoritarian leaders.Credit...Jose Jacome/EPA, via ShutterstockOct. 20, 2021QUITO, Ecuador — When Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday described democracies where leaders have threatened opponents, attacked the media or undermined legal systems, he could have been talking about any number of nations in the Western Hemisphere: Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, even the United States.As it happened, Mr. Blinken was speaking about past administrations in Ecuador, citing the country
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Opinion|The Married Will Soon Be the Minorityhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/opinion/marriage-decline-america.htmlCharles M. BlowOct. 20, 2021, 8:32 p.m. ETCredit...David La Spina for The New York TimesWhen I was young, everything in society seemed to aim one toward marriage. It was the expectation. It was the inevitability. You would — and should — meet someone, get married and start a family. It was the way it had always been, and always would be.But even then, the share of people who were married was already falling. The year I was born, 1970, the percentage of Americans between the ages of 25 and 50 who had never married was just 9 percent. By the time I became an adult, that number was approaching 20 percent.Some people were delaying marriage. But others were forgoing it altoge
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The NFL agreed to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing that critics said made it difficult for Black retirees to qualify for awards in the $1bn settlement of concussion claims, according to a proposed deal filed Wednesday in federal court.The revised testing plan follows public outrage over the use of “race-norming”, a practice that came to light only after two former NFL players filed a civil rights lawsuit over it in 2019. The adjustments, critics say, may have prevented hundreds of Black players suffering from dementia to win awards that average $500,000 or more.The Black retirees will now have the chance to have their tests rescored or, in some cases, seek a new round of cognitive testing, according to the settlement, details of which were first reported in the New York T
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A third of Pacific small island states and territories do not plan to send any government figures to the Cop26 summit in Glasgow due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.The lack of high-level representation of Pacific nations at the meeting has led to fears that the concerns of these countries, which are among those most at risk due to the climate crisis, will not be appropriately represented at the summit.At a meeting of Pacific regional organisations last week, it was confirmed that 13 of the Pacific small island developing states plan to send a leader or minister to Cop26 and seven do not, and instead intend to send representatives from their missions in New York, Brussels, or other cities, though sources present at the meeting say the number could change in the next few weeks.“It’s a b
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WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump bankrupted casinos and become the biggest presidential loser since Herbert Hoover, but the Jan. 6 investigation’s move into the courts lets him operate in his one area of proven expertise: using them to stall and delay.And with the congressional probe almost certain to end if Republicans retake the House next autumn, the former president could well bury details of his attempt to overthrow U.S. democracy by just running out the clock with his lawsuits.“This is Trump 101, in terms of delaying and grinding out legal actions that affect him,” said Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and “fixer” who served time in federal prison for helping Trump make preelection hush-money payments in 2016 to women who said they’d had affairs with Trump.Trump sued t
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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) confirmed on Wednesday to a House panel that he had spoken with then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol but contradicted a previous answer about the timeline of calls that day.The House Rules Committee grilled Jordan, a potential witness in the House investigation of the attack, about his communications with Trump while he was testifying against a resolution to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D- Mass.) asked Jordan about interviews he gave over the summer admitting he had spoken with Trump on Jan. 6.In July, Jordan told Fox News’ Bret Baier that he and Trump had spoken, but changed the subject when asked what they’d discussed. Pressed to elaborate on Spectrum New
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At his confirmation hearing, President Biden’s pick for envoy to Japan issued a warning to Beijing and explained his actions as mayor of Chicago after the killing of Laquan McDonald.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 20, 2021Updated 7:50 p.m. ETRahm Emanuel, President Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Japan, told a Senate committee on Wednesday that he would seize the offensive against China if confirmed — even as questions about his conduct as mayor of Chicago have put him on the defensive.The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee took up Mr. Emanuel’s nomination seven years to the day after a white Chicago police officer murdered Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, prompting weeks of protests and accusations of a cover-up.“There’s not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years that I haven’t thought about this and thought about the what-ifs,” Mr. Emanuel said when asked about the anniversary.Mr. Emanuel, 61, pointed to reforms he instituted after the killing. But he said he underestimated the distrust of his administration among Chicago’s Black residents.“It is clear to me those changes were inadequate to the level of distrust,” he said. “They were on the best marginal. I thought I was addressing the issue, and I clearly missed the level of distrust and skepticism that existed, and that’s on me.”Mr. Emanuel’s confirmation hearing represented an extraordinary collision of international affairs and a homegrown crisis, as participants alternated between a geopolitical discussion of the challenges posed by an ascendant Beijing and wrenching exchanges about police violence against Black people.The McDonald case will pro
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At his confirmation hearing, President Biden’s pick for envoy to Japan issued a warning to Beijing and explained his actions as mayor of Chicago after the killing of Laquan McDonald.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 20, 2021Updated 7:50 p.m. ETRahm Emanuel, President Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Japan, told a Senate committee on Wednesday that he would seize the offensive against China if confirmed — even as questions about his conduct as mayor of Chicago have put him on the defensive.The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee took up Mr. Emanuel’s nomination seven years to the day after a white Chicago police officer murdered Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, prompting weeks of protests and accusations of a cover-up.“There’s not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years that I haven’t thought about this and thought about the what-ifs,” Mr. Emanuel said when asked about the anniversary.Mr. Emanuel, 61, pointed to reforms he instituted after the killing. But he said he underestimated the distrust of his administration among Chicago’s Black residents.“It is clear to me those changes were inadequate to the level of distrust,” he said. “They were on the best marginal. I thought I was addressing the issue, and I clearly missed the level of distrust and skepticism that existed, and that’s on me.”Mr. Emanuel’s confirmation hearing represented an extraordinary collision of international affairs and a homegrown crisis, as participants alternated between a geopolitical discussion of the challenges posed by an ascendant Beijing and wrenching exchanges about police violence against Black people.The McDonald case will pro
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Responding to concerns from a key centrist, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the White House and leading Democrats are instead discussing a range of other taxes to pay for the plan.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 20, 2021, 7:38 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — The Biden administration and congressional Democrats are moving toward dropping their push to raise corporate and individual income tax rates to pay for their sprawling domestic policy bill, instead drafting a plan that includes new ways to tax the wealthy and multinational corporations, according to people familiar with the discussions.The conversations have been driven in large part by the concerns of a crucial centrist senator, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who has been resisting any increase in either rate for more than a month.While White House officials and leading Democrats had hoped to persuade Ms. Sinema to change her stance, their focus on different proposals for financing the package, which is expected to cost about $2 trillion, reflects a recognition that they need a backup plan if they want to secure the votes needed in the Senate to pass President Biden’s marquee legislative priority.Officials have made no final decisions on the plan — which is expected to include education, child care, paid leave, anti-poverty and climate change programs — and negotiations are continuing, according to multiple people briefed on the effort.Mr. Biden had proposed paying for those programs by raising the top individual income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 37 percent and the corporate rate to 28 percent from 21 percent. Administration officials have said privately in recent weeks that they believed Ms. Sinema would eventually support some level of increase in those rates. Her office declined to comment on continuing negotiations.The plan the White House and leading congressional Democrats are discussing is built around a range of other revenue raisers to which Ms. Sinema appears to be open. They include increased I.R.S. efforts to collect taxes owed by corporations and high earners, and increased taxes on the income that multinational companies operating in the United States earn overseas, which m
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Gail CollinsOct. 20, 2021, 7:36 p.m. ETCredit...Photographs by Eze Amos for The New York Times; top left, Kendall Warner/The News & Advance, via Associated PressWe’re heading around the bend, people! Elections are just a couple of weeks away and the two biggest races in the nation are …You have no idea, right?OK, most of the voting is going to be about local government — mayors and council members and holders of even smaller offices. But there are a couple of contests for governor, in Virginia and New Jersey.It’s Virginia that’s obsessing the world. Or at least the world that’s already terrified about what’s going to happen in 2022 (Dems lose Congress?) or 2024 (Trump? Trump? Trummmpp?).The candidates are the Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor who left office after one term because Virginia is the only state in the union that makes governors do that. Versus Glenn Youngkin, a former business tycoon who’s chipped in at least $16 million of his own money.McAuliffe isn’t exactly a pauper — Virginia’s very loose filing rules show he’s worth at least $6.9 million. But he’s always been a star at raising money. He once recalled a political event he was involved in when he was 7: “Nobody got in that door unless I got 50 dollars from them. Unfortunately
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Jonathan and Diana Toebbe planned for years to sell classified materials about submarine technology to a foreign government and were seeking as much as $5 million, the prosecution said in court.Oct. 20, 2021, 7:36 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — A Maryland couple facing espionage charges spent years collecting classified information, planning to sell it to a foreign country for as much as $5 million in cryptocurrency and then leave the United States, according to material laid out by prosecutors and the F.B.I. in federal court on Wednesday.An F.B.I. agent read what he said were excerpts from encrypted messages between the couple, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, from 2019, before they reached out to the foreign country and as they considered whether to sell the secret information about the nuclear reactors that power Virginia-class nuclear submarines. Mr. Toebbe expressed ambivalence, writing about one of their proposed plans: “It’s not morally defensible either. We convince ourselves it is fine, but really isn’t either.”Ms. Toebbe, the agent said, responded: “I have no problem with any of it. I feel no loyalty to abstractions.”ImageCredit...Wesley AllsbrookThe Toebbes are accused of attempting to sell closely held secrets of America’s submarine technology to an undisclosed foreign government. Both pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to communicate restricted data and two counts of communication of restricted data in federal court in Martinsburg, W.Va.The hearing also considered whether they could be granted bail. Mr. Toebbe offered no legal defense, and did not contest his detention. The magistrate judge, Robert W. Trumble, did not immediately rule on Ms. Toebbe’s detention, saying he would issue a written order later.The F.B.I. still does not know the whereabouts of most of the information an agent said the Toebbes were offering to sell to the foreign government. It also has not recovered the $100,000 in cryptocurrency paid to them by the undercover agents as they pursued the case.Arguing that Ms. Toebbe should remain in jail, prosecutors expressed concerns that she might still have access to the missing funds and could attempt to share
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Tesla saw its biggest quarterly net earnings in history, the company said on Wednesday, propelled by record electric vehicle sales last summer, amid a shortage of computer chips and other materials.The company made $1.62bn in the third quarter, beating its old record of $1.14bn, set just in the second quarter of this year. The profit was nearly five times greater than the $331m Tesla made in the same quarter in 2019.A record-setting revenue of $13.76bn from July through September fell short of Wall Street’s expectations of a little more than $14bn, according to FactSet.“[Tesla CEO] Elon Musk delivered another terrific quarter as Tesla continues to execute flawlessly”, said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com. “It has done an outstanding job navigating through global supply chain and logistics challenges, weathering the storm significantly better than rival automakers.”The Palo Alto, California-based electric car company made $1.86 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.62. Earlier this month, Tesla said it delivered a record 241,300 electric vehicles in the third quarter, even as it wrestled with the shortages that have hit the entire auto industry.Third-quarter sales rose 72% over the 140,000 deliveries Tesla during the same period last year. So far this year, Tesla has sold around 627,300 vehicles. That puts it on track to beat last year’s total of 499,550.“A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed,” the company said in a statement to shareholders. “We believe our supply chain, engineering and production teams have been dealing with these global challenges with ingenuity, agility and flexibility that is unparalleled in the automotive industry.”While third-quarter sales grew, the average sales price fell 6% because Tesla is selling more of the less-expensive Models 3 and Y and fewer units of the pricier Models S and X.Musk recently announced plans to relocate the company’s headquarters to Austin, Texas. The company said in its statement that construction of its new factory is progressing as plann
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Ricardo Cruciani, a former pain management physician, already faces state charges. Each of the federal charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.Credit...Matt Rourke/Associated PressOct. 20, 2021, 7:32 p.m. ETFederal prosecutors in New York filed criminal charges on Wednesday against Ricardo Cruciani, a former pain management physician, accusing him of enticing women to cross state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity over the course of 15 years.Mr. Cruciani, 63, who has been accused of overmedicating and sexually assaulting numerous female patients, also faces state criminal charge
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Critic’s PickDenis Villeneuve’s adaptation is an equally sweeping and intimate take on Frank Herbert’s future-shock epic.Credit...Chia Bella James/Warner BrosOct. 20, 2021, 6:46 p.m. ETDuneNYT Critic's PickDirected by Denis VilleneuveAction, Adventure, Drama, Sci-FiPG-132h 35mIn a galaxy far, far away, a young man in a sea of sand faces a foreboding destiny. The threat of war hangs in the air. At the brink of a crisis, he navigates a feudalistic world with an evil emperor, noble houses and subjugated peoples, a tale right out of mythology and right at home in George Lucas’s brainpan. B
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Cuts to the government’s overseas aid budget of more than £3.5bn have undermined the quality of the UK’s efforts to slow the global Covid-19 pandemic, ministers’ own aid spending watchdog has found.It is the first official UK assessment of how the cuts to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget have damaged the British contribution to the fight against Covid in poorer countries, with a number of such programmes having been “reduced or closed, increasing the burden on developing countries and placing vulnerable groups at increased risk”.As a result, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) says, the “ability of the UK aid programme to respond flexibly to the evolving pandemic has been reduced”.The report, looking into the first 16 months of ministers’ response to Covid, finds that from November 2020 the “scale of the budget cuts required to meet the reduction of the aid spending target from 0.7% to 0.5% of UK gross national income meant that many areas of aid spending linked to the pandemic response were affected”.It says decisions on where to cut “were mostly taken centrally, with overseas networks and spending teams closest to the programmes providing advice. They did not always reflect the substantial volume of evidence and analysis on pandemic-related risks and vulnerabilities that had been collected”.It points out that by March 2021, one year into the pandemic, the UN had estimated that 12 million women had seen interruption in their access to contraceptives, leading to 1.4 million unwanted pregnancies.Yet the report points out that in April 2021 the UK government announced its decision to reduce funding by 85% to UNFPA Supplies Partnership, the UN’s flagship programme focused on expanding access to reproductive health services.The report concludes: “Programmes that would have mitigated the long-term damage of the pandemic … have been reduced or closed, as well as long-term investments delivering good value for money, which have been ended.”It cites a 27% decrease in funding for “social safety nets” for Syrian refugee families in Jordan as another example of a cut that went against the available guidance. The report warns that it is not yet clear how much of the vaccine help given by the UK will qualify as ODA or instead have to come from other budgets.The report points out that as of October 2021 les
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An epic scale model of the solar system and an “almost indescribable” artwork that is seen with closed eyes are included in a highly ambitious programme of live and digital events in UK towns and cities next year.Unboxed: Creativity in the UK – formerly known as Festival 2022 and derided by some as a “festival of Brexit” – draws on arts, science, engineering, technology and maths in a government-backed £120m celebration of ingenuity.Ten projects selected from nearly 300 submitted ideas form a “once-in-a-lifetime” extravaganza, according to Martin Green, Unboxed’s chief creative officer, who was the head of ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics.He said it was the UK’s “biggest and most ambitious public creative programme to date. Unboxed represents an unprecedented and timely opportunity for people to come together across the UK and beyond and take part in awe-inspiring projects that speak to who we are and explore the ideas that will define our futures.”The festival was commissioned in 2018 under Theresa May’s premiership. It has been endorsed and funded by Boris Johnson’s government and the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.Free events will take place “from the Outer Hebrides to Dover, and from Omagh to Swansea, right across the UK” between March and October next year, said Green. Thousands of schoolchildren will take part in competitions and educational programmes, and hundreds of jobs and “opportunities for emerging talent” will be created.“The future of creativity is about the combination of science, tech, engineering, arts and maths. Frankly, a lot of kids have been doing it already, it’s only the gr
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US president Joe Biden’s nominee to be ambassador to Beijing on Wednesday said China was aggressive and untrustworthy, insisting that boosting Taiwan’s defences against the threat of Chinese invasion should be a US priority.Speaking to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which is due to confirm his appointment, Nicholas Burns denounced recent Chinese warplane incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone, calling them “especially objectionable”.“We certainly cannot trust the Chinese” on the issue of Taiwan, Burns said. “Our responsibility is to make Taiwan a tough nut to crack.”Since 1979 the United States has recognised the People’s Republic of China, but the US Congress simultaneously requires Washington to provide Taiwan with means of self-defence.The island has had its own government since the communist takeover of mainland China in 1949, but Beijing considers Taiwan a part of its territory to be assimilated one day, by force if necessary.The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, however recently urged a “peaceful reunification”.Burns – a career diplomat who has worked in a number of US administrations, both under Democrats and Republican – did not mince words Wednesday.He accused the Chinese government of being “an aggressor against India along their long Himalayan border, against Vietnam, the Philippines and others in the South China Sea, against Japan, in the East China Sea.“Beijing has launched an intimidation campaign against Australia,
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The head of Scottish Power has said Britain’s gas crisis will keep driving energy bills higher until 2023, and could leave only five or six of the strongest suppliers standing.Keith Anderson, chief executive of Scottish Power, said the UK’s record energy prices could mean households faced another 18 months of rising bills and that even well-run energy suppliers could go bust.The only energy companies able to survive a fresh £4bn blow to the energy supply market would include a small number of players backed by major multinational firms, he said, reversing years of growing competition in the market.The UK’s energy market has increased from the big six suppliers that have dominated it since privatisation, including Scottish Power, to about 70 companies at the start of 2021. But in the past six weeks rocketing energy prices have caused 13 suppliers to go bust, leaving more than 2m homes without a supplier.“And in that time nothing has changed,” said Anderson. “I’ve seen nothing about what new regulation might look like. I’ve seen nothing about protecting vulnerable customers and the fuel poor.”Scottish Power has called on the government and the regulator to prevent an energy market cull by adjusting the price cap to make it easier for suppliers to pass on the fast-rising energy costs. At the same time, Anderson said the government should put in place a social energy tariff to protect households that could not afford the steady increase in bills.Consumers are facing one of the steepest bill increases on record this winter after the regulator lifted the maximum level of its energy price cap from 1 October to reflect surging wholesale market prices.But energy bosses fear that the cap, which changes every six months, will not keep pace with the fast-rising market and could cause more suppliers to fold unless they have the financial muscle to shoulder the costs before the next price rise.“Customers are going to get a huge increase in their bills next April, and in October, and I suspect that they’ll see another increase in their bills six months later,” Anderson said. “Moving the energy price cap every six months is just completely hopeless. We need it to start changing more frequently.”Energy suppliers can expect a double blow as millions more people take up a standard price-cap tariff at the end of their fixed rate deal, rather than choose one of the new fixed tariffs that have surged in price. Up to 2m homes are expected to move to a price cap tariff in the coming months, each representing an extra cost of £1,000 to their supplier, which could cause unexpected costs of up to £4bn over the next year.“All of that financial stress will hit the companies left in the market. That’s why we think there’s a significant risk that the market returns to five or six companies. It will only be the biggest and the strongest which can survive this pressure,” he said.Anderson said a “reflective and flexible” price cap should change “at least every quarter” to stem the number of energy suppliers leaving. This would help pass on a fall in energy prices to customers sooner, he said.For consumers who cannot afford steady
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Democrats, it seems, are looking to pare down their budget bill by going the route favored by progressives. While they’re weighing some big cuts to the $3.5 trillion package, the general approach — which isn’t yet finalized — skews toward funding more programs for a shorter period of time, rather than fewer programs for longer. Pushback from moderates over the size of the package has meant tough decisions about what to cut and what to keep. Progressives argued for preserving as many of the proposal’s policies as possible, while saving money by having them expire sooner than initially planned. Some moderates, meanwhile, advocated for the opposite: funding fewer programs for more time. President Joe Biden backed the former strategy as well, and that appears to be the course Democrats will pursue. Biden and the progressives hope the policies will be so popular — even if they’re only implemented for a short period — that it will be difficult for future lawmakers to let them lapse, regardless of who controls Congress. President Biden addressed attendees on his Build Back Better plan at an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on October 20. Spencer Platt/Getty Images “Obviously, some of these programs are shorter than ideal. But the president believes, and I agree with him, that once we have these programs established, it becomes hard to take them away,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a member of Progressive Caucus leadership, told reporters on Tuesday. Opponents of this thinking emphasize that this approach could mean that many of these programs simply expire after funding runs out. Provisions in the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, like the eviction moratorium and expanded unemployment insurance, ended after Congress opted not to renew them. “My own view is we ought to do fewer things better,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters on Tuesday. Progressives, however, feel quick implementation of a broader set of programs will benefit a wide constituency, which will pressure lawmakers of both parties to keep the programs around. Second, they see these policies helping more people and giving Democrats concrete achievements to point to as the 2022 midterms approach. “If given a choice between legislating narrowly or broadly, we strongly encourage you to choose the latter, and make robust investments over a shorter window,” Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders recently emphasized in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This will help make the case for our party’s ability to govern, and establish a track record of success that will pave the way for a long-term extension of benefits.” What this framework could look like Increasingly, Democrats are narrowing in on what will — and won’t — make it into the bill. While a lot is still fluid, lawmakers emphasize that they hope to reach a “framework” this week, which would outline the main tenets in the legislation ahead of an October 31 deadline they’ve set for themselves. Thus far, what exactly tha
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Oct. 20, 2021, 6:54 p.m. ETOct. 20, 2021, 6:54 p.m. ETCurtis Sliwa has struggled to gain traction in the general election. He said yesterday that he planned to be aggressive and attack Eric Adams's image as a “blue-collar” New Yorker. Since his primary victory, Adams has been with “the hedge-fund people and the developers,” Sliwa said. “I’m in the subway, the streets and the projects.”Oct. 20, 2021, 6:46 p.m. ETOct. 20, 2021, 6:46 p.m. ET Michael GoldIt’s worth mentioning that this debate, the first of two between these candidates, comes three days before early in-person voting begins on Saturday. (The next and final debate will take place next Tuesday.)Oct. 20, 2021, 6:45 p
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Wes Anderson pays antic tribute to the old New Yorker and its far-flung correspondents.Credit...Searchlight PicturesOct. 20, 2021Updated 6:45 p.m. ETThe French DispatchDirected by Wes AndersonComedy,
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Politics|Democrats Search for Path on Voting Rights Amid Republican Blockadehttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/politics/voting-rights-filibuster-democrats.htmlNews AnalysisBackers of the legislation said they were not giving up as they shifted focus to the need to “restore” the Senate.Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 20, 2021, 6:43 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — Senate Democrats crashed once again on Wednesday into the seemingly impenetrable Republican wall blocking new voting rights legislation, leaving them with a simple question: Now what?If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now abundantly clear that no voting legislation will advance without changes in Senate rules to o
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Politics|Democrats Search for Path on Voting Rights Amid Republican Blockadehttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/politics/voting-rights-filibuster.htmlNews AnalysisBackers of the legislation said the
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