Oct. 21, 2021Updated Oct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETDaily Business BriefingImageCredit...Hilary Swift for The New York TimesTwo years after WeWork’s attempt to become a public company flamed out spectacularly, the co-working giant will start trading on the stock market on Thursday, hoping that investors will now believe in its prospects.The earlier effort collided with concerns about WeWork’s breakneck growth, its huge losses and the alarming management style of its co-founder Adam Neumann. WeWork has new leaders who have pared back its expenses and hope to exploit an office space market that has been upended by the pandemic. But the company still has lofty growth targets, big losses and many empty desks in its 762 locations around the world.“We are the right company, at the right time,” Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork’s chief executive, told investors this month. “I joined this company with an upside-down cost structure. Over the past 20 months, we have focused on streamlining our operating expenses and right-sizing our real estate portfolio.”Instead of an initial public offering, WeWork is entering the public markets by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, something of a craze these days, and will trade under the ticker WE. It is expected to raise as much as $1.3 billion from the deal, a sum that includes stakes held by the investment firms BlackRock and Fidelity. Ahead of Thursday’s listing, WeWork said it was worth nearly $8 billion, a fraction of the $47 billion valuation placed on the company before investors soured on it in 2019.WeWork leases office space and charges membership fees to customers — including freelancers, start-ups and small and large businesses — to use it. Its business rests on the belief that people might prefer the flexibility of such an arrangement over a traditional office lease, which can last for years and have other burdensome conditions.ImageCredit...Hilary Swift for The New York TimesThough flexible office space was not new, WeWork said its business could not only revolutionize how people worked, but also change how people lived and thought. Mr. Neumann attracted billio
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In China, some academic programs accept only men or cap the number of female applicants, who often must test higher than their male counterparts.Credit...Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesOct. 21, 2021Updated 6:45 a.m. ETWhen Vincy Li applied to a prestigious police academy graduate program in China, she knew her odds of success were low. After all, the school set quotas, typically capping the number of female students at no more than a quarter of the student body.But her chances were even lower. When the school released admissions results earlier this year, just five out of 140 students who had tested into the program — less than 4 percent — were female, even though more than 1,000 women had applied. And the lowest-scoring woman to get in did 40 points better than the lowest-scoring male applicant who was admitted, according to the school’s admission data.For Ms. Li, the message was clear: Women weren’t welcome.“Female students were totally shocked,” said Ms. Li, who had spent more
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The Morning NewsletterWhat happens when health officials tell it?Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 6:21 a.m. ETEarly this summer, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C., went on a podcast and did something that top public-health officials are often uncomfortable doing: She spoke in straightforward, clear language. She dropped the bureaucratic reticence that treats scientific questions as either settled or unanswerable. She acknowledged nuance and uncertainty while still offering useful guidance.I want to revisit that interview today, because it covered a topic that’s back in the news: Covid-19 booster shots. Yesterday, the F.D.A. authorized Americans to receive a booster shot with a different vaccine than their original dose — an approach known as mix and match — and the C.D.C. may confirm that decision this week. If so, federal policy would be more in line with Walensky’s comments on that June podcast.Today’s newsletter will explain how the change may benefit people — and ask why it took so long.To veer or notThe podcast was “In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt,” and Slavitt’s background might explain why Walensky took a less formal approach.Slavitt ran Medicare and Medicaid during the Obama administration, and when he spoke with Walensky in June, he had just finished a stint as a Covid-19 adviser to President Biden. Even though Slavitt and Walensky were speaking on a public podcast, their tone at times resembled that of a private conversation between colleagues — which is what they had been until a few weeks earlier.During the conversation, Slavitt asked Walensky whether people who had received a Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine should consider getting a follow-up shot from one of the mRNA vaccines, either Moderna’s or Pfizer’s. The J.&J. vaccine has officially been a single-shot vaccine, unlike the others, and also seems to be somewhat less effective. Understandably, many J.&J. recipients have wondered whether they should get a second shot from one of the mRNA vaccines. Some doctors and scientists, finding the evidence persuasive, have already done so themselves.Walensky began her answer by restating official C.D.C. policy: “We’re not currently recommending it.” But then she added the fuller truth: “I’ll tell you what we do know, and some places where I think people might veer from standard guidance.”She explained that the AstraZeneca vaccine — available in many other countries — was very similar to the J.&J. vaccine. And some people who had received a single shot of AstraZeneca decided to follow it up with an mRNA shot. There was not much data about how well that worked, Walensky said, but it was probably safe and she understood why some people might choose to do so.At this point, Slavitt put the question in personal terms: “If someone you knew said, ‘I’m going to get the mRNA vaccine because I’m just too nervous,’ you wouldn’t lay down in the tracks necessarily and say, ‘This is a huge mistake’?”“Not with what I’ve seen so far,” Walensky replied. If you chose to take a mix-and-match approach, she added, “you have to be willing to take the risk-benefit there.”Black, white and grayI found her comments both jarring and refreshing at the time, because they reminded me of how officials and experts often speak when talking to friends and relatives (or when talking off-the-record with journalists).Walensky was being transparent. She was treating her audience like adults capable of handling subtlety. She was laying out what health officials believed with a very high degree of confidence: The vaccines were all extremely safe and highly effective at preventing serious illness, even if the J.&J. shot was a little less effective. She was also engaging with a specific question on many people’s minds and helping them think through the unavoidably uncertain options.Health officials are frequently unwilling to take that second step in public. When confronted with uncertainty, they do not acknowledge it. They ignore gray areas and talk in black and white.J.&J. booster shots have been one example: Federal policy has left many J.&J. vaccine recipients anxious and uncertain about what to do, even as the available evidence seems to indicate that a mix-and-match approach is the most promising. (In The Washington Post, Dr. Leana Wen explains how the evidence guided her own decision.)The flip-flop on masks last year was another example. Government officials first dismissed the many reasons to believe that masks could reduce the spread of Covid (like their longtime effectiveness in hospitals) — and went so far as to discourage mask use. Then, after the evidence had cleared a certain threshold, they reversed themselves and urged Americans to start wearing masks immediately. It was a 180-degree turn on an issue that didn’t require it.ImageCredit...Jim Wilson/The New York TimesGetting there, slowlyConducting public-health policy during a pandemic is not easy. There are rarely perfect solutions. And the country’s health officials overwhelmingly have good motives.In many of their minds, an extremely cautious approach is the right one. Until they know something with near certainty, they don’t talk it about it publicly. When asked about an issue involving uncertainty, they tend to duck the question and restate official policy.But this approach creates its own problems. During a crisis, people have to make uncertain decisions. Pretending otherwise doesn’t eliminate those decisions. If anything, the refusal to acknowledge uncertainty can undermine officials’ credibility, as happened with masks.Imagine how things might be different if officials were more straightforward with the public:On masks, health officials could initially have said that no studies yet showed masks to be effective in fighting this virus — and that they might not be — but that there were reasons to think they would be.On outdoor Covid transmission, the C.D.C. could have avoided trumpeting a single statistic — technically accurate, but misleading and alarming — and explained the full, largely reassuring picture.On rapid Covid tests, the F.D.A. could have approved them as quickly as some other countries have and explained the circumstances in which the tests were, and were not, useful.In most of these cases, health officials ultimately decided that they were willing to trust Americans with something resembling the full truth. It just took awhile. That’s the path the government is following on J.&J. booster shots.THE LATEST NEWSThe VirusThe F.D.A. authorized more people to receive booster shots: adults who received J.&J., and older or at-risk Moderna recipients.New York City is mandating vaccines for its municipal workers.Here are details about the plan to vaccinate young children.PoliticsAll 50 Senate Republicans voted to block Democrats from advancing a scaled-back voting rights bill.To win centrist votes, Democrats are trying to shrink their family-policy bill. They have a lot of cutting to do.Democrats have tried to give government the power to negotiate drug prices for three decades. They’re facing another failure.In their first debate, New York City mayoral candidates Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa disagreed on vaccine mandates, Rikers and more.Other Big StoriesImageCredit...Kiana Hayeri for The New York TimesWomen who once served as judges in Afghanistan are in hiding, fearing retaliation from the men they sentenced.The gunman in the Parkland school shooting in Florida pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder. The N.F.L. and players’ lawyers moved to scrap the league’s use of race-based evaluation for dementia claims in its concussion settlement.M.I.T. prompted a debate over free speech by canceling a guest lecture from a geophysicist who had opposed aspects of affirmative action.Onions may have caused a salmonella outbreak that sickened people in 37 states.Opinions“Everybody’s jumping in”: Gail Collins on Virginia Democrats’ anxious get-out-the-money campaign.Democrats should not underestimate Donald Trump’s antidemocratic behavior again, David Brock writes.The In
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Emily Sheffield has left her role as editor of the Evening Standard after just 15 months in the job as the management at the London newspaper try to map out a financial future for the lossmaking outlet.Staff were told on Thursday morning that Sheffield, who had been absent for the last week, would be departing with immediate effect by “mutual consent”. Multiple sources at the news outlet said her time on the newspaper had been an unhappy one, with deep job cuts and financial pressures caused by the Covid pandemic exacerbated with a struggling digital strategy.One Evening Standard employee said that while Sheffield had tried to relaunch in difficult circumstances, the newspaper increasingly struggled to grasp what stories Londoners wanted to read.In an email to staff, Sheffield thanked employees for their support during this “incredibly challenging period of history” and said she would continue to write a column for the newspaper.Sheffield, the sister-in-law of the former prime minister David Cameron, replaced the former Conservative chancellor George Osborne as editor of the Evening Standard last summer. Multiple Evening Standard staff expressed hope that the next editor would not be someone from the same social background.The Evening Standard is controlled by Evgeny Lebedev, who was recently given a life peerage by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and also owns the Independent. It is unclear whether Lebedev can continue to sustain substantial losses at the Standard, although several years ago he sold a 30% stake in the outlet to [offshore] companies believed to be ultimately part-owned by a bank with close links to the Saudi Arabian government. Although the Standard is a regional paper, its large print distribution and proximity to power means many politicians in Westminster treat it as a national outlet. Publisher at the Standard, Charlotte Ross, takes over as acting editor with immediate effect.The Standard’s business model, which relies on distributing hundreds of thousands of free copies aimed at London commuters and then charging for advertising, was under threat before the pandemic. It has lost £40m in three years, with revenues plummeting fu
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A lorry has fallen into the harbour in Bristol city centre.Emergency services were called to the scene early on Thursday after the HGV ended up partially submerged in the water, with the cab perched on the dock.David Hill, who lives nearby and walked to the scene after hearing sirens, said he had not “seen anything like it before”.Referencing the moment a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston was toppled into the port during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, Hill, 37, told the PA news agency: “I’ve seen people go into the harbour, even a statue, but never a lorry.“I was just
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors pursuing the case against a man accused of raping a woman on a commuter train last week don’t anticipate charging fellow passengers for not intervening, a spokesperson for the suburban Philadelphia district attorney said.“It’s still an open investigation, but there is no expectation at this time that we will charge passengers,” said Margie McAboy, spokeswoman for the Delaware County District Attorney’s office.In an emailed statement, District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said prosecutors want witnesses to come forward, rather than fearing prosecution,
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Our highest court is facing a legitimacy crisis and is in desperate need of reform. And yet, due to the deadlock that seems to be Congress these days, I too often hear the rebuke to US supreme court reform, “None of these reforms will happen, so what is the point of talking about them?”This defeatist argument fails to recognize a pivotal audience who surely hears the growing public calls for urgent reform – the supreme court itself.We need only look to the number of justices who have felt the need recently to speak up on behalf of the court, in an attempt to justify its egregious abuse of judicial norms and processes, to know the justices are listening.Historically, one of the most common features of supreme court justices is their public silence when away from the court. They generally let their decisions speak for themselves. No longer is that tenable as this court’s conservative supermajority insists on using its power to advance a partisan agenda at the expense of our constitutional rights and democratic legitimacy.Most recently, Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech at the University of Notre Dame that can only be described as an attempted takedown of the press. In his remarks, Justice Alito lambasted the work of journalists and even criticized the press for using the term “shadow docket”, a term coined by a conservative law professor. All Justice Alito succeeded in doing, however, is proving his sensitivity to the public discourse about the court.It’s not just justices who are attempting to justify the court’s break from judicial norms and disregard for constitutional rights. Senator Chuck Grassley, for instance, has even taken it upon himself to defend the court from what he perceives as bullying. His implication, however, that the court should be beyond reproach is to suggest the public ought to sit idly by while our rights are systematically dismantled for partisan gain.Justices, and politicians, can proclaim that the court is not political or that the public’s waning approval of the institution is a product of the media, but nobody is forcing the court to deface its own norms and precedents.Nobody is forcing this conservative supermajority to use the shadow docket to rewrite American jurisprudence. Pregnant people in Texas no longer have a constitutional right to abortion because five justices on the supreme court opted to nullify Ro
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Greta Thunberg has accused countries including the UK of being in denial over the extent of the climate and ecological crisis and using “creative carbon accounting” to augment their green credentials.In an opinion piece for the Guardian, the Swedish activist says world leaders have been responsible for several years of inaction in reducing emissions which she has termed “their decades of blah, blah, blah”.Thunberg also accused the UK, the US and China of spinning emissions statistics to make it appear that their levels are lower.She wrote: “Between 1990 and 2016, the UK lowered its territorial emissions by 41%. However, once you include the full scale of the UK emissions – such as consumption of imported goods, international aviation and shipping etc – the reduction is more like 15%.“And this is excluding burning of biomass, like at Drax’s Selby plant – a heavily subsidised so-called “renewable” power plant that is, according to analysis, the UK’s biggest single emitter of CO2 and the third biggest in all of Europe. And yet the government still considers the UK to be a global climate leader.“The UK is, of course, far from the only country relying on such creative carbon accounting. This is the norm.“China, currently by far the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, is planning to build 43 new coal power plants on top of the 1,000 plants already in operation – while also claiming to be an ecological ‘trailblazer’ committed to leaving “a clean and beautiful world to future generations.”The 18-year-old also believes “there are no climate leaders … at least not among high-income nations” due to a lack of public awareness and pressure from the media. Her comments come ahead of the UN Cop26 climate talks which the UK is hosting in Glasgow starting on 31 October.Thunberg’s stance echoes remarks by the Queen who criticised world leaders’ inaction on addressing the climate crisis last week after acknowledging she is “irritated” by individuals who “talk but don’t do”. Other royals, such as Prince William and Prince Charles, have also recently weighed in on the climate breakdown.The UK government published its net zero strategy on Tuesday ahead of the Cop26 climate meeting, pledging more investment into electric cars, on-street charging points and planting trees.It detailed plans to meet legal targets to cut emissions to net zero by 2050, but it was met with criticism for not providing enough policies or investment to drive the transformation needed.The strategy said it would support 440,000 jobs in new sectors or for people moving from high-carbon industries to cleaner ones, along with unlocking £90bn in private investment in 2030 on the way to the mid-century goal.Officials insisted the policies would deliver the carbon cuts needed to meet UK legal targets in the 2020s and 2030s and deliver on commitments to cut greenhouse gases by 68% by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.However, the shadow business secretary, Ed Miliband, said: “The plan falls short on delivery, and while there is modest short-term investment, there is nothing like the commitment we believe is required.”
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I cannot think of Colin Powell without thinking of my own father, who, like Powell, served in the US military. My dad was only a generation older than Powell, but that gap was the difference between serving in a segregated or integrated military. A second world war veteran, my midwestern father was stationed at a southern military base in a segregated marine corps.In those days, a Black man could be demoted for failing to show “proper deference” to white officers, a fate that befell my father, who I never saw defer to anyone. My father never spoke of his time in the military, seemingly indifferent to it, not ashamed exactly, but not proud either. I suspect that he, like many Jim Crow era Black men, enlisted because of the GI Bill, which paid for college and then law school, degrees that would have otherwise been out of reach for my father.Yes, the federal government paid for my father’s education, but at the same time, it enforced restrictive covenants that barred him and other Black people from federally subsidized suburban housing. Nonetheless, my father’s enlistment was a ticket into the middle class, even as it was a Faustian bargain my father made to get a tiny sliver of the American pie. But he never forgot, was never allowed to forget, that the benefits he reaped derived from and reinforced the racist apartheid system in which he lived. He knew as do many Black people that serving in the military meant becoming disposable fodder, useful to the military as cooks, janitors or human shields. It meant fighting for a country that does not value Black life.Powell, too, made his own Faustian bargains, and in the end, he also served as fodder for US imperial ambitions destined to fail. He did this, most famously, in his 2003 speech to the UN security council in which he claimed that Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction.Powell’s televised testimony is widely credited with turning US public opinion in favor of invading Iraq, though when polled at the time, a majority of Black people continued to question the war’s necessity and morality. Powell’s position, the result of a civil rights movement in which he did not participate, lent cover to the Bush administration, as it was intended to do, a fact Powell would later lament. He squandered his political capital and popularity to shroud a pointless, endless war in the cloak of moral certitude.However, 2003 was not the first time that Powell justified US imperial ambitions. In fact, he rose to prominence in 1968 when, as a young major, he investigated the My Lai massacre, a mass murder of hundreds of unarmed South Vietnamese suspected of aiding the Vietcong. As his superiors no doubt hoped, Powell could not substantiate eyewitness accounts, concluding in his report that relations between the US military and the South Vietnamese people were “excellent”.Later, as he would with his US testimony, Powell would regret his part in covering up My Lai, which was widely condemned as a war crime. In 1989, Powell was again at the center of an imperial adventure. This time the setting was Panama, and the pretext was deposing that country’s leader, Manuel Noriega, wh
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The UN secretary general, António Guterres, called the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis a “code red” for humanity. “We are at the verge of the abyss,” he said.You might think those words would sound some kind of alarm in our society. But, like so many times before, this didn’t happen. The denial of the climate and ecological crisis runs so deep that hardly anyone takes real notice any more. Since no one treats the crisis like a crisis, the existential warnings keep on drowning in a steady tide of greenwash and everyday media news flow.And yet there is still hope, but hope all starts with honesty.Because science doesn’t lie. The facts are crystal clear, but we just refuse
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Most treatments mostly work, most of the time, for most people. But there will always be outliers.Adam Maida / The AtlanticAbout the author: Elizabeth Bruenig is a staff writer at The Atlantic. A pair
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Single-location dramas are all about comings and goings, manoeuvring multiple characters and plot lines in the same space. So what better setting than a taxicab office? August Wilson’s 1970s drama weaves together the hectic workdays of a company of African American drivers in an environment where someone is always half in or out of the door.Jitney sits solidly within the tradition of the 20th-century American work play. At its heart is Becker, the archetypal hard worker. He runs a station of jitney cabs – unlicensed taxis serving the local African American community in Pittsburgh. Flowing in and out of this hub, a series of men try to make their way in the world. But the release of Becke
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Escape artist Jonathan Goodwin, who avoided death last week when a rehearsal for NBC’s new “America’s Got Talent: Extreme” show went terrifyingly wrong, sends a defiant message from his hospit
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The Oxford lieder festival has grown since its 2002 inception, with 100-plus events this year: ample room for big names singing the famous song cycles, and a heartening amount of emerging singers and new music. One late-night slot showcased Dream.risk.sing, an hour-long programme devised by the soprano Samantha Crawford and pianist Lana Bode. It focused on women’s stories told through song, and included lots of new or unfamiliar music. Those two facts were related.The title references woman.life.song, composed in 2000 by Judith Weir for Jessye Norman, from which we heard two songs. First came Breasts!, a chatty setting of words by Clarissa Pinkola Estés that could be a monologue for a pre-teen Judy Blume heroine. This benefited from Crawford’s easy communication of text, while Edge, a remembrance of first love to words by Toni Morrison, sounded haunting with Bode tracing its unrooted harmonies.At the heart of the programme was Charlotte Bray’s new three-song cycle Crossing Faultlines, written for Crawford and Bode, dealing with women in the workplace – a subject that risks getting hidebound in specificity, but Nicki Jackowska’s specially written text largely skirts this. The second song tells a succinct story of sexual assault, with ominous, pulsing piano. Elsewhere, in songs dealing with mentorship and ambition, Bray’s translucent piano writing dances around the voice, leaving it space to shine; the vocal range is challengingly wide, though, and several times Crawford was sent audibly past her comfort zone.Two 2017 songs by Helen Grime stood out: Milk Fever, in which a rippling high piano line celebrates the lactating body, and Council Offices, a lullaby for a stillborn child that ends with the voice entirely, heartbreakingly alone. And male creators weren’t entirely absent – there was room for Ricky Ian Gordon’s bittersweet, almost Sondheimesque celebration of his mother, and Carson P Cooman’s exuberant Ballad. Dvořák’s Songs My Mother Taught Me made an apt opener, even if the performers wallowed a little in the song’s nostalgia; the send-off was Michele Brourman’s My Daughters, schmaltzy but touching. If the programme seemed a lit
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This time last week it was Thursday, and now here we all are again facing 15 questions on general knowledge and topical trivia plus a few jokes. All your favourites are here: a Doctor Who reference to spot, a Kate Bush answer to avoid, the beloved Pokémon round, Ron from Sparks, and some twisty little anagrams along the way. It is very silly, just for fun, and there are no prizes, but let us know how you got on in the comments.The Thursday quiz, No 261.UK NEWS: It is that time of the year when the ONS releases its list of the most popular baby names, and then people try to draw social significance from them. What was the most popular name for a girl in England and Wales in 2020?2.WORLD NEWS: The US artist Spencer Tunick has been getting masses of people to get their kit off again for one of his artworks. Where?3.OH FINE THEN: This week a man was a baffled when he received a fine for driving in a bus lane in Bath, about 120 miles from his home. What caused it?4.GREEK TRAGEDY: This statue of a world-famous singer has been unveiled in Athens to much disdain, and described by one observer as looking like "Gandhi in heels". Which Greek musical artist is it meant to be?5.MUSIC: While we're on the subject of music, Chelsea Wolfe has just released a haunting cover version of the song Wo
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The health secretary, Sajid Javid, called on millions of eligible people to come forward and get booster doses of the coronavirus vaccine, during a press conference on Wednesday.What is the booster jab?The coronavirus booster vaccine dose is designed to improve the protection people have received from getting the first two doses of the vaccine, and combat any waning efficiency.Data from Public Health England (PHE) suggests that the protection provided by vaccines against severe illness gradually decreases over time.The introduction of the third jab started on 20 September. On 15 October, the NHS said more than 3 million people had received it in the first four weeks.But on 18 October, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary who now chairs the Commons health select committee, told the NHS England chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, that just 200,000 doses a day were being provided, half the 400,000 a day being given in the spring.Who can get a Covid-19 booster vaccine?Booster vaccine doses are on the NHS for people most at risk from Covid-19, who had a second dose of a vaccine at least six months ago.A third jab has been offered to everyone over 50, as well as younger people with health conditions that put them at greater risk of getting very ill from Covid.People should get the booster no earlier than six months after their second jab.The following people are eligible for a booster jab: People aged 50 and over People who live and work in care homes Frontline health and social care workers People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19 People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.When can I get a booster jab?Previously people were told to wait until they were notified by text, letter or by their GP before booking.But on 21 October, the health minister Edwa
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI found a trash bag of shredded documents, thousands of dollars in cash, latex gloves and a “go-bag” when they searched the home of a Maryland couple accused of trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country, an agent testified Wednesday.Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear engineer, and his wife, Diana, were arrested in West Virginia this month. Prosecutors allege that Jonathan Toebbe tried to pass secrets about sophisticated and expensive Virginia-class submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who was actually an undercover FBI agent. The government accuses Diana Toebbe of serving as a lookout for her husband at several “dead drop” locations at which sensitive information was left behind.The couple pleaded not guilty in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia to espionage-related charges that carry life in prison. The Toebbes have been jailed since their arrests.The country to which Toebbe was looking to sell the information has not been identified in court documents and was not disclosed in court during a detention hearing Wednesday. A judge heard arguments but did not immediately rule on whether Diana Toebbe should continue to be locked up. Jonathan Toebbe waived his right to a detention hearing, meaning he continues to be held.Peter Olinits, a Pittsburgh-based agent specializing in counterintelligence investigations, testified in support of the government’s argument that Diana Toebbe was a potential flight risk and should remain jailed as the case moved forward.He described how agents on the day of the couple’s arrest found in their home, among other objects, $11,300 in cash, children’s valid passports and a “go-bag” containing a USB flash drive and latex gloves.Olinits also cited messages from 2019 and 2020 in which the Toebbes discussed leaving the country, including one in which Diana Toebbe said, “I cannot believe that the two of us wouldn’t be welcomed and rewarded by a foreign government.” Months later, in another message, she said, “I think we need to be actively making plans to leave the country,” according to Olinits.But Dia
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Bill Clinton has released a video saying he is on the road to recovery after being hospitalised in southern California for six days to treat an infection unrelated to Covid-19.Clinton, 75, who arrived home in New York on Sunday, said he was glad to be back and that he was “so touched by the outpouring of support” he had received while in hospital last week.An aide to the former US president said he had a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream but was on the mend and never went into septic shock, a potentially life-threatening condition.Clinton thanked the doctors and nurses at the University of California, Irvine medical center.Clinton has faced health scares in the years since he left the White House in 2001. In 2004, he had quadruple bypass surgery after experiencing pro
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Winning tip: The Falls of Clyde, South LanarkshireFollow in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Turner to enjoy the power and romanticism of the Falls of Clyde. Spectacular at any time of year, this walk reaches its golden, amber and feuille morte peak in the autumn months, especially after heavy rain. About 30 miles south-east of Glasgow, it’s home to badgers, otters and kingfishers on a trail that begins at the Unesco world heritage site of New Lanark (drop in to the visitor centre to find out all about the millowner and philanthropist Robert Owen) and leads to the 26-metre waterfall Cora Linn. You can have coffee at the Mill Café or stay at the New Lanark Hotel. A sepia and russet dream.scottishwildlifetrust.org.ukMichaelWistman’s Wood, Dartmoor Photograph: David Clapp/Getty
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During his first season as a wildland firefighter with the Idaho Department of Land, Luke Meyer camped out in a decrepit building infested with rodents. It was 2017 and he was a 20-year-old rookie earning $11 an hour. In the rural community where he worked, outside Bonners Ferry, Idaho, housing was scarce and rent was a luxury he couldn’t afford.Meyers kept a mattress inside a tent on the floor of his temporary home, provided for free by his employer, to prevent mice from crawling across his chest as he slept.Working his way up the ranks did little to upgrade Meyer’s living conditions. Four fire seasons later – with thousands of firefighting hours logged, a new job with the US Forest Service and fresh certifications to supervise small crews – Meyer was living out of the back of his truck.“I love this job and the people I work with,” said Meyer. “But is it worth living like this, with so much uncertainty?” The answer, he decided, was no. His last day as a wildland firefighter was 27 August.At a time when wildfires are forcing communities to evacuate or live under layers of ash and smoke, workers say they are being squeezed out of wildland firefighting by low pay and
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Diego Ibarra Sanchez/GettyIn three distinct and different places, a similar sense of loss—of liberal values, of freedom, of hope—is overwhelming.About the author: Kim Ghattas is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the author of Black Wave. From my home in Beirut, I think of Hong Kong all the time. Even though I’ve never been and have no real ties to it, I feel as though I have a stake in its future. I stare at news headlines that read, “Hong Kong Families, Fearing a Reign of Terror, Prepare to Flee the City,” and feel a strange, visceral sense of familiarity. I’ve become obsessed with trying to understand—to feel—Hong Kongers’ angst as their city undergoes a precipitous transformation.Since prodemocracy protests erupted there in 2019, at the same time as anti-corruption demonstrations in Lebanon, I’ve witnessed my own country’s collapse under a plethora of crises: the implosion of its economy, the enormous blast at the Beirut port, and of course the pandemic, all of it wrapped up in endemically corrupt politics and meddling by foreign powers, notably Iran. Decades of progress since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990 have been erased, and thousands of Lebanese are rushing for the exit.Lebanon and Hong Kong have everything and nothing in common. Both are energetic creative centers of design, film, and music; refuges for those seeking freedom of thought and expression; places situated between East and West, with a culture of emigration. At one time, Lebanon was even described as Syria’s Hong Kong—more on that later. But their histories, their politics, and e
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“How to Build a Life” is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.Want to live in a directed, resolute way? To always know why you’re doing what you’re doing? There’s a simple way to make your dreams come true: Go find the meaning of life!People who believe that they know their life’s meaning enjoy greater well-being than those who don’t. One 2019 study found that agreeing with the statement “I have a philosophy of life that helps me understand who I am” was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and higher positive affect.Lucky you if you were born already knowing what the meaning of your life is. For the rest of us, the search can be difficult and frustrating. Philosophy is often unhelpful, offering abstract ideas such as Aristotle’s human function or Kant’s “highest good” that are hard to comprehend, let alone put into action.Throwing up your hands and concluding that the question of the meaning of life is simply unanswerable—by you, at least—is the easy response. But you can make your quest for meaning manageable by breaking it down into three bite-size dimensions, and then considering each one in turn.Many psychologists call knowing your life’s meaning “presence,” and the drive to look for it “search.” They are not mutually exclusive: You might or might not search, whether you already have a
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Dom Sibley has pulled out of England Lions’ upcoming trip to Australia, effectively ending his Ashes hopes. Yorkshire’s Harry Brook has been called up as a replacement, with Sibley to “work on his batting at home”.Warwickshire batsman Sibley played 22 Tests for England before being dropped for the third Test against India in August, but the opener was handed a lifeline when he was invited on tour with the second-string Lions squad. Sibley, who averages 28.94 in his England career but 19.77 since the start of 2021, has now chosen to stay in the UK.“After much thought and consideration
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Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. An estimated 5% of adults live with depression worldwide, and 1 in 6 adults in the United States are impacted by depression at some point in their lifetime. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an influx of people self-reporting symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety.Though depression can impact children and adults at any age, the average age of onset (aka when the condition develops) for major depression is the mid-20s. Depressive episodes can occur suddenly, which may be overwhelming, confusing and even daunting for so
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No matter how old you are, Halloween is a magical time of year. It’s when people become other people, we actually seek out the scary and grotesque, and even the good-est of goody-two-shoes might have a sense of mischief. And even if you’re not into all that, you’ve got to admit, Halloween brings the best parties.If you’re planning to host a ghostly get-together, it’s easy enough to stock up on hard cider and pumpkin beer. But if you want to offer your guests something frighteningly impressive, consider mixing up a creative cocktail befitting the holiday. Whether you’re having a hor
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Who is Lanre Malaolu? Speaking to the young actor, director, writer, choreographer and film-maker via Zoom, the question keeps occurring, albeit in different guises. Characteristically, Malaolu responds not with answers, but with stories. For example: “About five years ago I had a meeting with a quite well-known agent and she said it’s good that you do all these things, but I just don’t know where I can put you. And in my head I was like but that’s the whole point!”Look over Malaolu’s life story, and it does indeed look like the whole point. Born and raised in Hackney, east London, he remembers having a lot of energy as a kid and not knowing “where to put it”. His mother helped channel it through acting, taking him to weekend classes at the Anna Scher theatre school, a cham
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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, ma
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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 from what she hoped to be a brighter future, Mehdina is arguably more fortunate, as she was able to emigrate to France – though, at the time, she was only 14 and already married. While people at home p
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Meghan McCain was reminded of her own hypocrisy when it comes to tell-alls on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” show on Wednesday.During what was a mainly congenial interview to promote McCain’s new audio memoir “Bad Republican,” Cohen asked the conservative personality “on a 1-to-10 scale, how hypocritical is it that you wrote a tell-all after prefacing every tell-all interview on ‘The View’ with ‘I hate tell-alls?’”McCain, who left “The View” in August, attempted to spin her past comments.“You know, those are political tell-alls,” she responded.Cohen asked McCain if she thought she was being hypocritical.“Hmm, I don’t. But it’s OK if other people do. I don’t really care,” she replied in a video shared online by The Daily Beast.McCain’s pre
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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 Mini
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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 public sculpture and monuments across the capital.It comes as Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, announce
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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
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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 th
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Complaints about commercial helicopters have soared in the last year, as the pandemic changed the rhythms of New York City and the people who live there.Credit...Michelle V. Agins/The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021Updated 5:03 a.m. ETFive years ago, New York City banned sightseeing helicopters from using its landing pads on Sundays, ostensibly giving residents one day of respite from the thumping overhead parade that had spurred thousands of complaints.But the prohibition has not turned Sundays into a day of peace. Far from it. The city is still being buzzed by helicopters more than 150 times on some Sundays — and hundreds more times on weekdays.All that noise is driving many New Yorkers, who have been stuck in their apartments during the pandemic, to near-constant distraction.Stacey Shub,
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Democrats have made giving government the power to negotiate drug prices a central campaign theme for decades. With the power to make it happen, they may fall short yet again.Credit...Paul Ratje for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETWASHINGTON — When a powerful Democratic Senate chairman assembled his Special Committee on Aging to confront what he called a “crisis of affordability” for prescription drugs, he proposed a novel solution: allow the government to negotiate better deals for critical medications.The year was 1989, and the idea from that chairman, former Senator David Pryor of Arkansas, touched off a drive for government drug-price negotiations that has been embraced by two generations of Democrats and one Republican president, Donald J. Trump — but now appears
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Left for dead in the 1980s, vinyl records are now the music industry’s most popular and highest-grossing physical format. Getting them manufactured, however, is increasingly a challenge.Credit...AJ Mast for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETWithin the Indianapolis office of Joyful Noise Recordings, a specialty label that caters to vinyl-loving fans of underground rock, is a corner that employees call the “lathe cave.”There sits a Presto 6N record lathe — a 1940s-vintage machine the size of a microwave that makes records by cutting a groove into a blank vinyl platter. Unlike most standard records, which are pressed by the hundreds or thousands, each lathe-cut disc must be created individually.“It’s incredibly laborious,” said Karl Hofstetter, the label’s founder.
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The organizers say they will have enough signatures by Monday to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. The company is pushing back.Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETTucked in four plastic tubs in a tent by a Staten Island bus stop are stacks of cards with valuable autographs: the signatures of more than 1,700 hourly Amazon workers.“I, the undersigned, authorize the Amazon Labor Union to represent me for the purpose of collective bargaining,” the cards read.The commitments are the results of six months of organizing at Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City. The organizers expect to have several hundred more by Monday, when they plan to file for a union election.If the National Labor Relations Board validates thei
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More than 160 reports, obtained by Human Rights Watch, reveal details of mistreatment that asylum seekers described experiencing from border officials and while in U.S. custody.Credit...Christopher Lee for The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETA Honduran man seeking a safe haven in the United States said a Border Patrol officer told him that he would not be granted asylum — a determination the officer was not authorized to make — and when the migrant refused to sign paperwork, the officer said he would be sent to jail, where he would be raped.In a report prepared by an asylum officer at Citizenship and Immigration Services, the officer wrote that threatening rape for refusing to sign paperwork was “a gross violation.”“I’m really sorry that this happened to you,” the asylum officer recalled telling the man. “It should not have happened.”In a separate account of misconduct, a migrant told an asylum officer that after she tried to run from a Border Patrol officer along the southwestern border in April 2017, “he caught me and threw me to the ground in a very aggressive way. And he pulled me up three or four times, and kept slamming me on the ground.” She said the officer also grabbed her by the hair and kicked her in the rib cage and lower pelvis, causing her to bleed.These and other accounts are among 160 reports filed by federal asylum officers from 2016 to 2021, relaying details of abuse that asylum seekers described experiencing during interactions with border officials and while in U.S. custody. The descriptions, disclosed in response to a public records request made by Human Rights Watch, did not include information about the outcomes of the
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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 Montg
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The Vienna Tourist Board has joined the adults-only site to display artworks that other social platforms have censored.Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETOnlyFans has a surprising new member: the Vienna Tourist Board.No, its account will not feature after-hours photos of employees. Instead, the board will use the adults-only site to show images of paintings and sculptures displayed in the Austrian capital that have been blocked by social media sites for nudity or sexual content.The offending artworks include the Venus of Willendorf, a 25,000-year-old limestone figurine of a woman. Facebook removed a photo of it from the Vienna Museum of Natural History’s page several years ago for being “pornographic.”There’s also “Liebespaar,” Koloman Moser’s early 20th-century painting, which the Leopold Museum included in a video post celebrating its anniversary in September. The video, which was blocked by the algorithms of Instagram and Facebook, “is a combination of details of the work and written feelings that are evoked by the painting,” said Christine Kociu, the museum’s social media manager. “It shows a nude couple embracing. It’s actually sweet.”Though nudity is generally not allowed on Instagram and Facebook, the platforms make some exceptions.For example, Instagram’s community guidelines say: “Photos in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”Facebook’s rules allow for nudity in photographs of “paintings, sculptures and other art,” and TikTok writes that it “may allow exceptions” to its ban on nudity and sexually explicit content.Despite the flexibility of the platforms’ guidelines, museums and other institutions that post photos of art have found that instances of nudity have not always been deemed acceptable. Part of the reason could be that on social media, censorship is less a matter of public opinion than the sensitivity of artificial intelligence, whic
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Guest EssayOct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETCredit... Doug Mills/The New York TimesDavid BrockMr. Brock led one of the largest Democratic super PACs dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Before he became a Democrat, he worked for The Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation.Like most Democrats, I initially underestimated Donald Trump. In 2015, I founded a super PAC dedicated to electing Hillary Clinton. Through all the ups and downs of the campaign, I didn’t once imagine that Americans would vote Mr. Trump in.He was an obvious pig (see the “Access Hollywood” tapes), a fraud (multiple failed businesses and bankruptcies) and a cheat (stiffing mom-and-pop vendors). Not to mention the blatant racism and misogyny. About the outcome, I was spectacularly wrong.Once he was in office, I misread Mr. Trump again. Having worked inside the conservative movement for many years, I found his policies familiar: same judges, same tax policy, same deregulation of big business, same pandering to the religious right, same denial of science. Of course, there were the loopy tweets, but still I regarded Mr. Trump as only a difference of degree from what I had seen from prior Republican presidents and candidates, not a difference of kind.When a raft of books and articles appeared
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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-
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Opinion|Can a Nobel Peace Prize Protect Maria Ressa From Rodrigo Duterte?https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-maria-ressa.htmlSwayOctober 21, 2021  •  41:48Can a Nobel Peace Prize Protect Maria Ressa From Rodrigo Duterte?October 18, 2021  •  45:39Is Mark Zuckerberg a Man Without Principles?October 14, 2021  •  43:25Adam Schiff on Facebook, Fox News and the Trump CultOctober 11, 2021  •  35:54Samantha Bee Talks Marjorie Taylor Greene and the TrumpsOctober 7, 2021  •  40:43Is Texas Ready for Matthew McConaughey?October 4, 2021  •  48:04Monica Lewinsky Has Some Things to Say About Cancel CultureSeptember 30, 2021  •  35:45Andrew Yang Is Back for a Third RoundSeptember 27, 2021  •  23:09Can Beto O’Rourke Turn Texas Blue?September 20, 2021  •  34:11What Is 23andMe Doing With Your DNA?September 16, 2021  •  36:38Jeffrey Katzenberg Talks About His Billion-Dollar FlopSeptember 13, 2021  •  35:33Dave Eggers Created the Google-Amazon Mash-Up of Your NightmaresSeptember 9, 2021  •  31:18Riz Ahmed Is Breaking Hollywood’s ‘Ethnicity Handcuffs’The journalist, whose reporting has taken on the president of the Philippines and the C.E.O. of Facebook, discusses the “atom bomb” that social media set off in our information ecosystem.Oct. 21, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ETMaria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov recently took home the Nobel Peace Prize, marking the first time working journalists have won the award since 1935. Ressa believes the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to recognize journalists this year sends a signal that, once again, “we are on the brink of the rise of fascism.” Through her digital media company Rappler, Ressa has been on the front lines of covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime in the Philippines, exposing the leader’s tactics of “violence and fear.” She also sounded the alarm on the role that social media platforms have played in the rise of leaders like Duterte and Donald Trump, saying that Facebook in particular “exploded an atom bomb” by amplifying misinformation and propaganda.Ressa’s reporting has made her a target for lawsuits from the
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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 Si
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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
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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 on Conservative MPs wearing masks, Argar said there was a “leadership role for members of parliament on all sides”, adding: “I think it’s for those individual members of parliament to read the
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Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. British public borrowing has almost halved so far this financial year as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, in a final healthcheck ahead of next week’s budget. Government borrowing fell to £21.8bn in September, a drop of around £7bn compared with September 2020, and less than economists forecast. That’s the second-highest September borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, reflecting the cost of the pandemic. UK public finances Photograph: ONS It means the UK has borrowed £108.1bn since April -- around £101bn less than in the first half of the last financial year, when the pandemic drove borrowing to record levels. That’s also sharply lower than the £151.1bn which the Office for Budget Responsibility had expected to have been borrowed so far this year. Borrowing so far this financial year has consistently undershot the forecasts from the OBR, which could give chancellor Rishi Sunak some flexibility on tax and spending. Photograph: ONS In September, central government receipts rose to around £62.3bn, an increase of £6.2bn than a year ago -- as tax revenues were lifted by the recovery. Spending by Central Government bodies dipped a little, down £1.3bn to £84.1bn. Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, says t
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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 retrogrades. Reich has said that the music is “closer to Josquin des Prez than Stravinsky”, though the opening section for two tenors (which takes up half of the 16-minute work) does seem to hark back to late Stravinsky, especially to Threni. It’s a muted, rather contained piece, low on rhythmic energy, rooted in the same tonality throughout, and very different from anything Reich has composed before.At the Festival Hall, the contrast between this almost static new work and most of Reich’s other music by was emphasised by the pieces with which Currie and his group framed it, two of them with strong London connections; there were the dense, dark harmonies and shifting tonality of Quartet, for t
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Tea samples being packed in the Commercial Road warehouses, c1930-1945 Photograph: Fox Photos/PLA Collection/Museum of London A sample of tobacco is inspected by a customs official at Royal Victoria Dock, c1930-1940 Photograph: PLA Collection/Museum of London A raftsman manoeuvring floating timber, c1930-1945 Photograph: PLA Collection/Museum of London Aerial view of the gauging ground at London docks, showing the huge amount of wine barrels that passed through, November 1920 Photograph: PLA Collection/Museum of London
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Last week, I went to the funeral of an old farmer named Brian. Until he died, Brian managed his farm, with its traditional orchards, hedgerows, and meadows, as an ecosystem. I could see from the age of the farmers who came to pay their respects that this way of farming was dying out and being replaced by a farming system that is one of the greatest contributors to the climate and nature crisis we face. However, there is hope. My husband and I, like the many new farmers emerging, learned our approach from these old farmers, who have been through drastic changes in the farming industry, yet have managed to keep alive their knowhow.Our family-run farm in Dorset produces meat, cheese, vegetables and apple juice, using many of these same agroecological farming methods. Agroecological farming means we nurture the soil, insects, grassland, plants, animals and trees on our land to provide healthy affordable food for our local community. For us, farming isn’t just a business, and it isn’t just about feeding human beings – it’s about feeding all living things on the planet.Over the past 40 years, many food-producing farms have become more industrialised and integrated into the globalised food system. To produce the higher yields and uniform crops demanded by supermarkets, many farms converted and got bigger, buying fuel-hungry tractors and carbon-intensive nitrate fertilisers. Farmers started using pesticides that kill bees and earthworms. Instead of raising animals on homegrown feeds and pasture, they started using soya grown on land reclaimed from forests.We are now in a situation where industrial farming is a significant contributor to the climate crisis, responsible for 30% of the total of greenhouse gas emissions. The industry must convert to an agroecological farming system where we feed ourselves without destroying the land for future generations, while, at the same time, protecting and improving the livelihoods of millions of food producers worldwide.To be a part of the solution, I work for a union called the Landworkers’ Alliance representing small and family farmers across the UK. We are a part of La Via Campesina, a union representing 200 million farmers across the world. I lobby for policy to help our industry make the huge transition to nature-friendly farming that will restore biodiversity while mitigating the effects of climate change.The UK government should reform the farm subsidy system so it pays farmers to restore our soils, plant trees, and provide sustainable employment, instead of simply paying them to intensify production. Alongside this, it needs to protect farmers from being undercut by cheap imports. Global trade has meant that supermarkets can source from anywhere, including, sadly, places with exploited workers or lower animal welfare and environmental regulations. This also goes directly against our climate commitment to reduce transport emissions.Local councils, especially those declaring climate emergencies, should be encouraging local food webs to flourish. They should be developing food markets, delivery-box schemes, farm shops, community gardens, allotments and farms on the outskirts of cities (known as peri
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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 measure
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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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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 t
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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 offic
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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, always at Tosa corner with my friends. I fell in love with cars, with Ferrari, with the bikes.” Domenicali’s passion is palpable and refreshing but he must navigate a difficult path in considering how F1 acts in its position as an increasingly popular and genuinely global sport, not least in where it goes racing.With Qatar and Saudi Arabia new additions this season and Bahrain already on the calendar, human rights groups have been vocal in their criticism of F1 enabling sportswashing by visiting these states.Nelson Mandela noted the part the sporting boycott of South Africa played in ending apartheid. Domenicali questions whether F1 should follow Mandela’s lead.“What Nelson Mandela said is absolutely understandable but it was at a different time of the world,” he says. “Today the approach is of making sure that through F1 we can be the big lens on the fact that each country really wants to prove to the world they want to change. There will be no excuses, no filter.”He cites F1’s stated commitment to human rights and that host nations are expected to abide by it but in Bahrain opposition groups insist there has been no change since F1 began racing there and Domenicali concedes the scale of the challenge.“We cannot pretend to change from day to night a millennial situation,” he says. “We can give an incredible opportunity to them with which they cannot play games. I would say we are going to help the community to change faster rather than slower.”Qatar has been added to the F1 calendar this season but Stefano Domenicali insists the sport ‘can be the big lens on the fact that each country really wants to prove to the world they want to change’. Photograph: Ibraheem Al Omari/ReutersIt is an argument unlikely to go away in the near future. Beyond these big questions Domenicali is hugely optimistic for that future, even after Lewis Hamilton hangs up his helmet. “The good news is that we have an incredible number of top drivers,” he says. “I see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc and all the others. Almost all of them are really top drivers. The next five years the drivers will not be an issue at all for F1.”The 56-year-old took over as chief executive from previous incumbent Chase Carey at the start of this year. Carey had led F1 since it was bought by Liberty Media in 2017 but was a businessman not a
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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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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 that forced factories to cut production.However, lower Whitehall spending helped the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, maintain a steady cut in borrowing that is likely to boost his spending power when he presents next week’s budget.Sunak is expected to present fresh forecasts for the public finances that show borrowing this financial year on track to come in around £40bn below the most recent forecasts made in March thanks to faster economic growth.Responding to the latest borrowing figures on Thursday, the chancellor said he plans to reduce borrowing in the next financial year to bring the government’s spending under control.He said: “At the budget and spending review next week I will set out how we will continue to support public services, businesses and jobs while keeping our public finances fit for the future.”Britain’s budget deficit soared last financial year to 15% of GDP – its highest since the second world war – but is expected to drop to just over half that this year due to the end of emergency economic support and stronger tax revenues.Last month, Sunak announced a £12bn increase in national insurance, hitting workers and employers, starting next year, alongside a freeze on income tax thresholds to fund health and social care. In addition, he plans to introduce higher rates of corporation tax from 2023.Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk Michal Stelmach, a senior economist at the consultancy KPMG, said: “With the remaining employees navigating their way back into work, the final month of furlough brought the overall cost of the scheme to £69bn, rising to nearly £100bn including spending on the self-employment income support scheme.“Ahead of next week’s budget, the chancellor faces a cocktail of slowing recovery, vulnerable labour market and public debt at its highest level since the 1960s, while the recent lifting of restrictions on creditor actions could trigger a wave of corporate insolvencies.The UK’s total borrowing continued to climb, standing at £2.2tn at the end of September 2021 or around 95.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest ratio since the 98.3% recorded in March 1963.
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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 feel better about how they are being governed and another half who, relatively at least, are as unhappy as they have ever been.”The annual poll is Britain’s longest-running tracker of public opinions, building up a comprehensive and authoritative picture of how the country’s attitudes and expectations have evolved over the past four decades across a diverse range of moral, social and political issues.The survey found that the pandemic pushed public concern over inequality to its highest level since 1998, as well as raising support for welfare benefits and public spending, but it concluded there was little evidence so far that Covid had proved a “reset” moment that indicated widespread desire for radical social or political change.The proportion of Britons who think ordinary working people do not get their fair share of the nation’s wealth is at its highest for 22 years.The rise in support for progressive views on these issues was an extension of existing changes over several years rather than an abrupt shift in attitudes caused by Covid. “These trends do not signify a new direction in the public mood. Rather, in many ways the pandemic has reinforced opinions and attitudes that had already become increasingly common in Britain in recent years,” said Curtice.Nonetheless, there was a sharp rise in 2020 in the proportion of 18- to 44-year-olds who thought Britain was unequal and favoured the rich. Younger adults were also more likely than older cohorts to agree that the government should redistribute income from the better-off to the less well-off – and this could have lasting effects, the survey said.“It may be that the exposure [young people] have had during the pandemic to relatively high levels of precarity in their early adult years will prove a formative experience that leaves a legacy of a more egalitarian generation – only future survey research will affirm whether or not that proves to be the case,” it concluded.The most recent poll of 4,000 British adults was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research between October and December 2020, with an additional survey of 2,400 adults conducted in July 2020.Getting Brexit “done” had marginally reinvigorated overall trust levels in the UK political system – which had hit a record low in 2019. But this mainly reflected a major shift in the attitudes of Eurosceptics, who w
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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 spectacular fashion as they tried to keep a balloon in the air. “We started arguing with each other over if [the balloon] hit the ground or not, so we started taking videos in slow-mo to see if it did, and then finally it got to the point of let’s post this video of us on Tik-Tok,” Antonio told Reuters. Their hugely entertaining games went viral.Over in Spain the celebrity streamer Ibai Llanos became a huge fan, as did the Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué, who loves a bit of fun and has form for getting involved in other sports, having overhauled the Davis Cup. Llanos joked on Twitter in August that the game should have its own World Cup, with Piqué replying to say he would make it happen if Llanos’s tweet received over 50k RTs. It got far more. So with a bit of nifty marketing, Llanos’s throwaway remark became a reality in Tarragona at the weekend.Thirty-two teams of competitive ballooners from around the world were invited to take their skills to the limit in a battle to be crowned world champions at the PortAventura theme park. Diego Arredondo, one of the siblings largely credited with inspiring the tournament, was among those competing in an eye-catching arena that resembled a glass-encased living room. In later rounds, rather bizarrely, a car is parked in the middle, but then, every successful sport needs a sponsor.Morocco’s Yahya El Hajouji in action with Sweden’s Nicklas Hallback. Photograph: Albert Gea/ReutersThe rules are simple: the balloon always has to be struck upwards and a point is won if it hits the floor. Matches last between two and five minutes and the player leading when the clock stops wins. And, much like squash, competitors must not hinder their rival’s path to the balloon. Match highlights are wild fun to revisit, with the Spanish commentators, Llanos and Ander Corts, regularly losing it as they revel in the sneaky tactics of competitors who play drop-shots behind obstacles or when a player leaps over furniture to save a point. Unlike some sports, men can play against women and helmets must be worn to guard against head injuries – a collision with the corner of a dining table could be nasty.Officials drawn from the world of football take their jobs very seriously and refer close calls to the VAR room, where slow-motion is used to determine whether the balloon touches the floor or not. Veteran former La Liga assistant referee
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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 t
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Months later, some Federal Reserve leaders resumed their market activity, stoking a scandal now engulfing the central bank.Credit...Sarahbeth Maney/The New York TimesOct. 21, 2021, 3:00 a.m. ETOn Marc
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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 beh
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Lev Parnas appeared to parlay donations to Republican candidates into influence and access — and money from a Russian tycoon.Credit...U.S. attorney's office, Southern District of New YorkOct. 21, 20
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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 things in the 2016 final with an unbeaten 82?2) The NFL season is in full swing, more than enough excuse to enjoy the genius of Walter “Sweetness” Payton who, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, reimagined what was possible in the game. Here’s a little doc about him, here’s a longer piece, here’s one on his heart and here’s one on his magical 1977 and the greatest season ever put in by a running back.3) To Cleveland and the world’s longest indoor mountain bike trail.4) We all love a forgotten goal, so here are a few: Jimmy Greenhoff for Stoke against Birmingham in December 1974; Peter King for Cardiff against Middlesbrough in October 1970; Ronald Koeman playing rugby league for Barcelona against Trabzonspor in October 1990; Bryan Robson for West Brom against Liverpool in February 1981; and Gerhard Hoppe for Carl Zeiss Jena against Dinamo Tblisi in the 1981 Cup Winners’ Cup final.5) On this day in 1964, Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila became the first man to retain the Olympic marathon gold. Here he is winning barefoot in 1960 and here he is, following a car accident, competing at archery in the 1970 Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games.6) Chloë McCardel achieves her dream of crossing the Channel more times than anyone else.01:24Australian Chloë McCardel sets world record for most swims across the Channel – video7) Weymouth v Yeovil Town, a place in the FA Cup first r
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Atlanta 9, Los Angeles 2 | Atlanta leads N.L.C.S., 3-1A midseason pickup from Cleveland, Eddie Rosario has been nothing short of incredible. He led the way in yet another win.Credit...Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated PressOct. 21, 2021, 2:59 a.m. ETLOS ANGELES — Eddie Rosario introduced himself to October baseball in 2017 by crushing a home run off the Yankees’ Luis Severino in the first postseason plate appearance of his career in that year’s American League wild-card game. Though the Minnesota Twins would nontender him after the 2020 season, there was more postseason magic left in his bat.Like Randy Arozarena, Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson, Rosario, an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, is fast emerging as a player that shines his brightest on the October stage — each a successor of sorts to the legacy of Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. You could feel Rosario’s impact in the silence that enveloped the once-raucous Dodger Stadium by the middle of Game 4 here Wednesday night. And you could see it in the empty seats as Los Angeles fans streamed out of the park long before the ninth inning.Atlanta pummeled Dodgers starter Julio Urias in a 9-2 win that moved it to within one victory of its first World Series since 1999. Rosario started t
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One of the more controversial demands that came out of the Black Lives Matter protests last year was that those in power should “defund the police”. The broad principle is that money should be divested from policing and diverted towards programmes that make communities safer. That includes, among other things, housing, healthcare and youth support services. What underpins this demand is the belief that by the time the police get involved in a situation, it is too late. They end up violently suppressing the symptoms of social breakdown rather than treating the disease. Reducing policing in order to decrease crime sounds counterintuitive, but a new book by Derecka Purnell largely succeeds in explaining why “abolition”, as she puts it, makes sense.Becoming Abolitionists is half polemic, half memoir. During her impoverished childhood in a neighbourhood of St Louis beset by violence and environmental hazards, Purnell and her family “called 911 for everything except snitching”. Paramedics who arrived to treat conditions from asthma to gunshot wounds were invariably accompanied by police.In these kinds of communities there are no safety nets. People are precariously employed or on meagre benefits, sick from the pollutants released by the factories that surround them and at the mercy of corrupt landlords. Boys deal drugs for money and fight over territory. Parents work long hours and fight with each other at the end of the day. When these conflicts reach boiling point, there is only one place to turn: the emergency services.Purnell recalls that it was rarely a solution, and her lived experience lends credibility. “When people come across police abolition for the first time,” she writes, “they tend to dismiss abolitionists for not caring about neighbourhood safety or the victims of violence. They tend to forget that often we are those victims, those survivors of violence.”In addition to drawing on her own life, Purnell makes the case for abolition from a historical standpoint. She argues that the modern model of western policing in general, and US policing in particular, was developed in order to protect the haves from the have nots – to catch runaw
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It’s hard to say when it happened, but somewhere in the past five or so years, anime got so entrenched in the mainstream that articles announcing this development as a new discovery are inevitably mocked online for their cluelessness. The buffet of eastern animation has grown too broad to be diagnosed as a trend or analyzed as a monolith, no longer a novelty at a time when every rapper seems to have a nuanced take on which deep-cuts series deserve greater appreciation. Even those of us residing under rocks have the inkling that it’s no longer the domain of ninjas and other superpowered martial artists; what was once thought of as a genre has splintered into a medium, to the point that top-10 lists could be filled solely with entries about teens playing tennis.In the preponderance of on-air offerings across the tail end of this year, TV watchers can see this diversification mirrored through the exploding world of adult-geared animation. It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of American cartoons for a non-kid audience fell into one of two general categories: either domestic descendants of The Simpsons, or button-pushers predicated on their uncouth pairing of juvenile format and adult content. Springfield’s favorite family spawned a long line of descendants leavening the traditional at-home sitcom with line-drawn antics, a lineage including everyone from Hank Hill to Peter Griffin. The other umbrella covered the sniggering provocations affecting the appearance of Saturday morning fun-tertainment, everything from South Park and the oddities of Adult Swim to one-joke also-rans like the rightly forgotten Stripperella. This sector of TV has long since left that dichotomy behind, moving into a more fertile climate epitomized by a fall season chock-a-block with varied options of all tones and styles. As a term, “adult animation” no longer connotes anything specific, its openness to interpretation evident in an eclectic class of freshman shows.The pandemic and subsequent lockdown halted production on live-action programming, while leaving animated alternatives at a distinct advantage. Digital artwork and vocal recording sessions could all be done in relative
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Emergency services have received a high number of calls from people reporting flooding after southern England was hit overnight by heavy rain and strong winds from a storm moving in from France.The Met Office issued a yellow rain warning covering most of southern England for Wednesday night and into Thursday, meaning people living there could experience transport delays, flooding and power issues.It came as a low-pressure system named Storm Aurore moved in from France, bringing up to 50mm of rain and 45mph winds in the worst affected areas.Essex fire service said they had received more than 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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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
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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
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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 Nort
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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 been to a bottomless brunch but, if I had, there would indeed have been the chance of a misunderstanding, as until now I didn’t realise the “bottomless” refers to the booze not the food. Though I c
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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 broadc
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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 di
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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,
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Television|Late Night Suggests a Few New Names for Facebookhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/arts/television/stephen-colbert-facebook-name.htmlBest of Late NightStephen Colbert proposed names like “Aunt Brenda’s Three-Paragraph Rant-a-torium” or “Best Fun Times America Website.”Credit...CBSOct. 21, 2021, 1:29 a.m. ETWelcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. Here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now.Extreme MakeoverLate night hosts couldn’t resist needling Facebook on Wednesday with news of the company’s impending name change.“They’re still facing accusations of endangering teens, spreading misinformation and destroying democracy. So they’re doing the right thing: re
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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 fiel
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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 Well For Less? gangs join forces for this new eco-minded consumer series. Can a family of six bring
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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,
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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 b
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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 supreme court, unveiled the plaque on Wednesday at 22 Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury, central Londo
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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 them myself.I know now that by refusing to accept my fate, and an unhappy marriage, I was breaking the bonds of intergenerational trauma, and that comes with a price. But back then all I felt was alone
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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 pressures, including the reinstatement of the £20 uplift in universal credit, which was withdrawn earlier this month, and help with debts.“Behind these figures are parents gripped by anxiety, wondering how
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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 not to be meeting one to one, but via laptop. The artist decided at the last minute to stay at home in Chicago while the shows were mounted, directing things on Zoom. (He finally made it to the UK this week; on Thursday he will give a talk with potter Magdalene Odundo.)“I’m really mindful of my health and of the truth of these contagious times,” he tells me. “I just wanted to give myself time to be in the best shape so my body would be as resistant as possible. Even if the world is opening up, I’m happy to move slower.”Gates is speaking from his library – “the brain!” – which, as well as books, contains shelves of records and magazines, turntables, and vintage speakers a hi-fi buff would kill for, through which he is currently listening to Etta James, early Miles Davis, and the house music that rocked, or rather jacked, his city when Gates was a teenager. (“House music is on my mind all the time,” he admits.) Now 48, he spent most of lockdown in the library with his band the Black Monks, who formed a bubble together. “We were writing new music,” he says. “I was making pots, and sometimes my guys would come over just to get out of the house. I feel really fortunate that I was able to spend time with my best friends, sometimes every day.”‘I feel really fortunate I was able to spend time with my best friends’ … Gates with his band the Black Monks. Photograph: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for PradaThere were other upsides, namely that Gates
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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-seven people were killed due to a terrible crush on an overcrowded terrace at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football stadium on 15 April 1989. Since then, the families have endured a 32-year fight for the truth to be accepted – that the main cause of the disaster was police negligence, and for those responsible to be held accountable.The first bereaved parents I met when I began reporting on the disaster and the families’ implacable campaign for justice, in 1996, were Phil and Hilda Hammond, whose son, Philip, had died at Hillsborough, aged 14. Hilda, who worked as a senior intensive care nurse at Liverpool’s Walton hospital, told me that, unbearable as their loss was, she had still been able to understand that disasters can happen. She expected that the authorities would hold prompt and rigorous proceedings. “I thought they would find the truth of how Philip died, how they all died, and if anybody was found to be to blame they would be punished,” she said. “I was so naive.”Instead of committing to a process that would lead to justice for the people who had died, their families and those who were injured, South Yorkshire police mounted a campaign of lies, and the courts, through a series of proceedings, piled on more trauma.The people who died at Hillsborough were trapped against a high metal fence at the front of the Leppings Lane terrace, the kind built at many grounds to prevent people i
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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
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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. le
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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 ar
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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 schools were struggling to meet growing costs.The EPI’s modelling found that pupils in England would lose at least £16,000 in earnings – rising to £46,000 for those who have experienced the most learning loss – if the government fails to intervene. Researchers estimated that the total cost to the economy in the long run could be as high as £463bn.Natalie Perera, the EPI chief executive, said the government’s £3.1bn education recovery programme fell well short of the £13.5bn funding package the EPI believes is required to help children catch up, and called on the Treasury to prioritise education recovery in the forthcoming spending review.“Without a bold education recovery funding settlement targeted at those pupils who need it most, any wider plans from the government to address longstanding regional inequalities are consigned to fail,” she said.According to the EPI, the government is spending about £310 a pupil on education recovery, compared with £2,000 a pupil in the US and the Netherlands. On regional disparities, it said average learning loss in primary maths measured last December ranged between 0.5 months in the south-west and 5.3 months in Yorkshire and the Humber.Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, accused the government of seeking education recovery on the cheap. “Recovery will require years of work and investment. It is for the government to meet that funding challenge in the comprehensive spending revie
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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 en
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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, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has allowed swathes of land, including Unesco sites, national parks and areas once mapped as habitat for orangutan and Sumatran tigers, to be turned into oil palm plantations.Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipst
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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 the deal, British prime minister Boris Johnson said: “We already share deep ties of history, culture and values, and I look forward to the next chapter in our friendship.”Competitive against Chin
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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 night, disagreeing over everything from vaccine mandates to keeping a statue of Thomas Jefferson at City Hall.Mr. Adams, the Democratic nominee, tried to remain calm while Mr. Sliwa, his Republican opponent, lobbed a barrage of attacks and tried to tie Mr. Adams to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is deeply unpopular among many New Yorkers. Mr. Adams criticized Mr. Sliwa for admitting to faking crimes for publicity as the leader of the Guardian Angels — and for not following the rules of the debate, calling Mr. Sliwa’s confrontational and often random debate style “buffoonery.” Beyond trading barbs, there were some substantial policy differences between the candidates ahead of the general election on Nov. 2. Here are five takeaways from the debate:A disagreement over a vaccine mandate for city workersMr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said he supports Mr. de Blasio’s new vaccine mandate for public workers that was announced on Wednesday. But Mr. Adams said he would have worked more closely with labor leaders to figure out a way to reach an agreement together.“I believe the mayor’s action today was correct,” Mr. Adams said. “I would have handled it differently.”Mr. Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels and a former radio host, said he opposed the mandate and worried that it could lead to the loss of some police officers.“I disagree with Eric,” Mr. Sliwa said. “I feel that we don’t have enough police officers as it is.”Attacks over past lies and a
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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 a shorter period of time.Tucker Carlson tells viewers that "the vaccinated spread COVID just like the unvaccinated. There's no difference actually."This is false, vaccinated people are far less likely to transmit COVID than unvaccinated people https://t.co/fWtKwGFMn8 pic.twitter.com/yhxz5drva1— nikki mccann screamírez 👻 (@NikkiMcR) October 21, 2021 Carlson has persistently cast doubt on the lifesaving vaccines and dedicates considerable airtime to attacking workplace vaccine mandates intended to protect people from coronavirus.Earlier this week, following the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell from COVID-19 complications, Carlson suggested Americans are “being lied to
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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 approved. In some cases, the NFL appealed payouts awarded to Black men if doctors did not apply the racial adjustment. The new plan would forbid any challenges based on race.“The NFL should be really enraged about the race norming. …. That should be unacceptable to them and all of their sponsors,” Roxanne “Roxy” Gordon of San Diego, the wife of an impaired former player, said earlier this week.Amon Gordon, a Stanford University graduate, finds himself at 40 unable to work. He has twice qualified for an advanced dementia award only to have the decision overturned for reasons that aren’t yet clear to them. His case remains on review before the federal appeals court in Philadelphia.The NFL would admit no wrongdoing under terms of the new settlement.The league had agreed in June, amid the uproar, to halt the use of race-norming, which assumes Black players start with lower cognitive function. That makes it harder to show they suffer from a mental deficit linked to their playing days.T
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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 no evidence that gender-segregated restrooms are safer than unisex restrooms.The teenage boy was allowed to transfer to another school after the incident, and in October, he sexually assaulted a second teenage girl in a classroom. He has since been detained and charged, and Loudoun County school officials have apologized for the way they handled the situation.There is no evidence the teenage boy was in a skirt at the time of the assault, or that he identifies as gender fluid or transgender. In fact, these claims appear to stem from the victim’s father saying he heard the boy “is apparently bisexual and occasionally wears dresses,” per an Oct. 19 report by Media Matters.But on Wednesday, Senate Republicans went ahead and used the incident to push the false narrative that girls are unsafe in bathrooms shared with transgender women.“Last week, we learned that the Loudoun County school board in Virginia covered up the fact that a male wearing a skirt had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in the girl’s bathroom at the school,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the top Republican on the committee.“In 2016, you argued in multiple briefs that concerns about the safety of young girls in school bathrooms were unfounded,” he said to Thomas. “In light of the troubling news about Loudoun County, do you still believe that concerns about safety and privacy, especially for young girls, in school bathrooms are [not] valid?”Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) parroted transphobic rhetoric in his questions for one of President Biden's judicial nominees, Holly Thomas.Anna Moneymaker via Getty ImagesThomas, who is currently an L.A. County superior court judge and previously worked for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, said she was special counsel to the New York Solicitor General’s Office in 2016, and the briefs she filed at the time represented the
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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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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,
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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 d
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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
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