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Eight people have died and thousands have been evacuated from their homes as extreme wildfires continue to rage in parts of southern Europe.The deaths occurred in Turkey, where for the past week firefighters have battled blazes in several coastal resort towns. Ten other people have been hospitalised. On Thursday, Turkish coastguards evacuated hundreds of villagers living close to a burning power plant in the Aegean province of Muğla.In Italy, the number of large wildfires is estimated to have tripled this summer compared to the yearly average, causing millions of euros-worth of damage to the environment and economy in central and southern regions.At the same time, the north of the country has been plagued by severe flooding and landslides in recent days, especially in Lombardy, where heavy rainfall caused Lake Como to burst its banks early on Thursday morning.“Flooding and intense rains in the north, fires in the south – the country has been split in two,” said Fabrizio Curcio, the chief of Italy’s civil protection authority.In Greece, Eleni Myrivili, who was appointed Athens’ first chief heat officer in July, described “apocalyptic” scenes after “a lot of houses and villages” burned down as a result of wildfires in the north-east of the Greek capital amid a protracted heatwave. The most intense days for the fires were Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures reached 45C.A helicopter pours water on a wildfire near the village of Kechries in Greece. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images“There was an incredible fight with the fire all day yesterday,” Myrivili told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday morning, adding that the blaze appeared to be subsiding. “The skies were grey and red, and there was ash falling on us. It was apocalyptic. On [Tuesday] night, the smoke came into my house and I had to sleep with a mask because I couldn’t breathe.”She added that it was a struggle to be outdoors under the extreme heat. “You run out of breath and it’s very easy to feel as if you’re getting dizzy, a kind of brain fog.”The Acropolis was also been closed to visitors. “It’s an issue of health,” Myrivili said. “We don’t want people to be exposed to the sun and heat for long periods of time in an area where there is no shade. This is the thing with extreme heat – it’s a subtle, slow and invisible kind of enemy.”The blazes in Greece also briefly cut off the main road leading to Athens and provoked fires in Olympia – the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Michalis Chrisochoidis, the citizens protection minister, said firefighters had waged “an all-night battle” to protect the archaeological site.Meanwhile, villages were evacuated and 90 people were rescued by boat from a beach as another significant fire ravaged forests on the Greek island of Evia.Since 28 July, 180 fires have broken out in Turkey, while over 100 were still burning in Greece on Wednesday night.In Turkey, a team from Agence France-Presse reported firefighters and police fleeing the 35-year-old Kemerköy power plant in Muğla, Turkey, as bright balls of orange flames tore through the surrounding hills.Wildfires burning close
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Belarusian Olympic sprinter who criticized her coaches at the Tokyo Games said Thursday that she showed police a translated plea for help on her phone as she tried to avoid being put on a plane home, where she feared reprisals from an authoritarian government. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya described a dramatic series of events at the Olympics that led her to flee to Poland, where she arrived Wednesday. After posting a message on social media that criticized the way her team was being managed, Tsimanouskaya said she was told to pack her bags. Team officials told her to say
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Even as the current surge of Covid-19 in the United States surpasses those in the spring and summer of 2020, trailing only the devastating winter wave, it is being driven by a different mix of cases than the prior waves. Back then, the coronavirus was still new and most people had no immunity to it. The vaccines were still months away. When cases started to rise, experts issued dire warnings that deaths would soon rise in accordance. They were right. But this wave comes as the US is hitting a milestone: 70 percent of the over-18 population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
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The Suicide Squad begins roughly how you’d expect. En route to the island nation of Corto Maltese, we’re introduced to the members of a revamped Task Force X, a motley crew of super(anti)heroes assembled for a covert mission at the behest of shady US intelligence agency Argus. These are new faces, but we recognise them all the same: there’s the cocksure wisecracker, the pretty boy, the taciturn senior figure – familiar guides to see us through another team-based superhero movie.Or so we think.Before the opening credits, most of these newcomers are wiped out in an orgy of brutally comic violence, their faces replaced by gooey bullet holes, their heads exploded by bomb implants, their bodies atomised in a fiery helicopter wreck. All the observing Argus agents can think to do is make bets on who’ll die next.The Suicide Squad ain’t your daddy’s superhero movie. Bloodthirsty and liberally profane, James Gunn’s hardcore do-over of 2016’s Suicide Squad wouldn’t have seemed possible even five years ago, when the similarly violent and irreverent Deadpool was made for a relatively hesitant $58m (The Suicide Squad reportedly cost around $175m). But the success of Deadpool, along with its sequel and the X-Men spin-off Logan, proved that an audience that grew up on a steady diet of PG comic book movies was ready for F-bombs and bloody decapitations, and to have its expectations challenged. The Suicide Squad doubles down on the swears and gore – and like its R-rated cousins, it goes all in on defying the conventions of a by now well-established genre.Ridiculing mismatched superhero team-ups of its kind, The Suicide Squad features characters with essentially useless powers like Nathan Fillion’s TDK, whose detachable limbs can do little more than tickle the bad guys from a distance; it pokes fun at the ubiquity of superheroes with mummy and daddy issues, with David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man seeing his detested mother in the faces of all his enemies, including the skyscraper-sized celestial starfish that is The Suicide Squad’s chief antagonist; then there’s John Cena’s Peacemaker, who is prepared to kill absolutely everyone in the name of freedom, and plays like an (only slightly) more extreme version of every cape-wearing super-patriot who ever graced a comic book cover.As wilfully silly as it often is, The Suicide Squad is proof that the
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From the suffocating costume that kept him blind and deaf to the movie’s ambiguous ending By Aug 5, 2021, 10:15am EDT Photo: A24 When the fabled Green Knight first appears onscreen in David Lowery’s brooding medieval fable The Green Knight, audiences aren’t likely to recognize the actor under all the layers of costuming and makeup. But that penny might drop for longtime cinema fans when the creature first speaks. British actor Ralph Ineson has a distinctive gravelly voice, a low rumble pitched almost at the edge of hearing. In a recent interview with Polygon, Ineson says that was what Lowery was looking for when he cast the Knight. “The first discussion was about how I knew he liked my voice, he wanted my voice for the character,” he says. “Then he was very keen to stress that he didn’t want it to be a CGI character, or a fully prosthetic character. He wanted to find a performance within the design he had.” Genre fans have seen Ineson in practically everything they love, even if they didn’t realize it. He played minor roles in Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the Harry Potter movies, among many other films. Most distinctively, he plays the separatist Puritan William in Robert Eggers’ stunning period horror piece The Witch, leading an obedient, doomed family (including his Green Knight co-star Kate Dickie as William’s wife Katherine) out into the wilderness to live far away from the corruption he sees in the local settlement. His title role in The Green Knight is one of his larger and more distinctive roles. Even if no one can really see his face, he’s still setting the tone of the film, as a magical forest spirit summoned up to challenge the young would-be knight Gawain (Dev Patel) to the contest of honor that drives the story. Ralph Ineson in The Witch Photo: A24 “It was a really strange experience,” Ineson says, about donning a ton of latex rubber and armor for the role. “On one level, it was incredibly uncomfortable, but there’s no way of getting around that. There’s no way you can have an actor play a character like that practically, and have it be a comfortable, pleasurable experience. I think you have to accept that. “I couldn’t really open my mouth enough to eat. I had to use a straw to eat or drink. There were holes for my nostrils, and I had full eye contact lenses that were very scratchy. So I was basically looking through tears all day. I sound like a real whiny actor. But it was summer 2019, so that’s long forgotten about. I don’t remember the pain. I’m just looking at the really nice reviews, and going ‘Hee hee!’” But he says the crew took “amazing” care of him, try
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#1 Apple has featured a number of apps with disproportionately expensive subscriptions on the App Store, arousing the ire of some developers. The App Store feature on the Australian App Store, first highlighted by Beau Nouvelle on Twitter, is called "Slime relaxations" and reportedly features apps that are non-functional and seek to charge disproportionately costly in-app purchase subscriptions. One of the apps, called "Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR," features a $13 per week subscription to get past its paywall, amounting to $676 per year. Apple's App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis our own): If we can't understand how your app works or your in-app purchases aren't immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while pricing is up to you, we won't distribute apps and in-app purchase items that are clear rip-offs. We'll reject expensive apps that try to cheat users with irrationally high prices. The fact that such apps have passed the App Store review process to be awarded a special feature from Apple on the App Store has induced outrage in some developers, such as Simeon Saëns of Two Lives Left, who took a closer look at one of the apps. Given that at least some of these apps charge $13 per week, it is difficult to not see them as breaking App Store guidelines, so it is particularly surprising that they were actively featured by Apple on the App Store. Article Link: Developers Complain as App Store Feature Promotes Rip-Off Apps #2 Who the hell would subscribe to a mobile game for 700$US a year? That is crazy
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Pharmaceutical company Moderna said its COVID-19 vaccine is 93 percent effective through six months after the second dose, but as new variants of the virus emerge, people who received the vaccine may need a booster shot before winter. The company made the announcement as part of its second-quarter earnings release Thursday. “We are pleased that our Covid-19 vaccine is showing durable efficacy of 93 percent through six months, but recognize that the Delta variant is a significant new threat so we must remain vigilant,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement with the earnings release. Moderna president Stephen Hoge said during an earnings call that a third booster “will lik
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Joshua Spriestersbach fell asleep on a sidewalk one hot day in May 2017 while waiting for food outside a Honolulu homeless shelter. He woke up to a police officer arresting him for violating the city’s ban on lying down in public places.At least that’s what Spriestersbach thought.The officer actually arrested him because he believed Spriestersbach was a man named Thomas Castleberry, who had an arrest warrant out for allegedly violating probation in a 2006 drug case.It was the first mistake of many that led to Spriestersbach spending two years and eight months in jail and a mental institution for crimes he didn’t commit, according to a 36-page petition filed Monday by the Hawaii Innocen
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The life of a Linux user can be a bit difficult. Sometimes you have to — or want to — run Windows. Why Windows? Sometimes you have a work computer or a laptop that Linux doesn’t support well. Or it might be software. Although there are plenty of programs that can edit, say, Word documents, there’s always that one document that doesn’t quite translate correctly. Things like videoconferencing software sometimes works on Linux but might have fewer features. So what do you do? You can dual boot, of course, but that’s not very handy. You can run Windows in a virtual machine if you have enough horsepower. There’s also Wine, but that often has its own set of problems with fea
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Joe Biden is setting a goal for half of all new US vehicle sales to be electric by 2030 while also tightening pollution standards for cars and trucks, in a barrage of action aimed at reducing the largest source of planet-heating gases in America.On Thursday, the White House outlined its plan to tackle the climate crisis by cutting emissions from vehicles, with Biden set to sign an executive order demanding that 50% of all new cars and trucks sold by the end of the decade be powered by electric batteries.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US department of transport, meanwhile, are unveiling new fuel efficiency standards for vehicles to bolster pollution rules that were weakened und
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Carmelle Kendall for Vox The original Gossip Girl sold viewers a romantic fantasy — then proved the fantasy was always a lie. By Aug 5, 2021, 10:00am EDT Every time I think about Gossip Girl — the glossy, aspirational, slightly wicked teen soap that ruled The CW in 2007 — I ask myself: You mean the show where the roma
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poly-lt-wire-logo Behind the headlines of the company’s internal reckoning By Aug 5, 2021, 9:59am EDT A Blizzard Entertainment employee during a July 28 protest walkout of the company’s Irvine, Californa headquarters. | Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images
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Amazon announced new efforts that might be able to prevent some overstocked and returned items from becoming trash. It launched two new programs that are intended to make it easier for third-party retailers to sell returned goods and unsold inventory. The moves come in the wake of several separate investigations into Amazon warehouses that found that many returned and unsold items were labeled for destruction. Businesses that use Amazon to sell their products pay to hold their stock in Amazon warehouses. When those goods don’t sell, or if returned items pile up, they might decide to chuck the products to save money. Amazon’s new “Grade and Resell” initiative will now give third-party sellers in the UK the option to sell stuff that’s been returned as “used.” Sellers can choose to funnel returned items to the new program, where Amazon will give the “used” item a rating: “Like New,” “Very Good,” “Good,” or “Acceptable.” The third-party seller can then set pricing based on the rating and sell it as they would a new item. The program is supposed to be available in the US later this year, Amazon says. It’s also expected to go live in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain by early next year. Another new program tries to make it easier for sellers to liquidate extra inventory. They can now sell overstocked and returned goods to wholesalers through Amazon. This option is now available in the US, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. It’s scheduled to come to the UK later this month. A June investigation pulled back the curtain on one “destruction zone” in Amazon’s Dunfermline fulfillment center in Scotland. The e-commerce giant marked millions of unsold products there for destruction each year, British television program ITV News found. “I used to gasp. There’s no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed: Dyson fans, Hoovers, the occasional MacBook and iPad; the other day, 20,000 Covid (face) masks still in their wrappers,” said a former Amazon employee who spoke anonymously to ITV News. In 2019, Amazon started a program for third-party sellers to donate leftover stock in its US and UK warehouses. But far fewer items in Dun
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Seven men have received life sentences for murdering 19-year-old Aya Hachem, a law student who was killed by a bullet meant for a rival business owner.The botched assassination on 17 May last year, orchestrated by Feroz Suleman, 40, was part of a longstanding feud between the owners of two Blackburn tyre companies.Suleman, who owned RI Tyres, and his friend Ayaz Hussain, 35, recruited gunman Zamir Raja, 33 to kill the owner of neighbouring Quickshine Tyres, Pachah Khan.Instead, Hachem, an innocent bystander who had gone out to buy groceries for a family meal that evening, was struck by one of the shots fired from the passing car.The bullet went through her shoulder and embedded itself in a telegraph pole and Hachem, a promising University of Salford student who had hoped to become a barrister, died within minutes.Aya Hachem had gone to buy groceries when she was hit by a bullet fired from a passing car. Photograph: Lancashire Police/PASuleman, described by the judge as “the driving force behind the whole enterprise from beginning to end”, and Raja, who was to be paid £1,500 for the shooting, were sentenced to a minimum of 34 years in prison for the murder and 28 years for the attempted murder of Khan, to be served concurrently, meaning they will each serve at least 34 years.
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9.49am EDT 09:49 Hugo Lowell reports for the Guardian: Top Republicans in Congress are embarking on a new campaign of revisionism seven months after the attack on the Capitol, absolving Donald Trump of responsibility and blaming the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, for the 6 January insurrection perpetrated by a mob of Trump supporters. Some House and Senate Republican leaders stated in the charged moments immediately following the attack that Trump was squarely to blame, and amid blood and shattered glass at the US Capitol, some even considered his removal. “The president bears responsibility,” the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, said of Trump at the time, demanding that he “accept his share of responsibility”. But after nearly 200 House Republicans voted to clear Trump in his unprecedented second impeachment and Senate Republicans scuttled a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of 6 January, the Republican party made a call to shift all blame away from Trump. The move to protect Trump from the fallout of the Capitol attack, at any cost, reflects the party leaders loyalty to a defeated former president, as well as the political self-interest of Republicans desperate to distance themselves from an insurrection they helped stoke with lies of a stolen election. 9.30am EDT 09:30 Even if the Senate can pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill this weekend, it may still face hurdles in the Democratic-controlled House. Bloomberg Government reports: House lawmakers, most notably House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), have repeatedly criticized the Senate package for leaving out provisions from the House-passed surface transportation and water bill that address climate change and fossil fuel pollution. But making tho
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The Olympics may be thought mostly to be the preserve of the young, but there are some sports where experience brings an advantage. The Australian equestrian Mary Hanna is 66 – the oldest competitor atTokyo, her sixth Games.Her teammate, Andrew Hoy, became Australia’s oldest Olympics medallist at 62, winning an individual bronze in the eventing after leading his team to silver. Asked whether age or experience was more important, he said: “Age.”The Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze, 52, is competing in her ninth Olympics, a record for a woman. She made her debut so long ago that she was representing the Soviet Union when she won gold as a teenager in Seoul in 1988.Veteran status might not be a huge disadvantage when you’re on a horse or using a gun, but perhaps the most impressive seasoned Olympian at the Tokyo Games is Oksana Chusovitina. She turned 46 in June, and competed against gymnasts three decades younger than her. She won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as part of the Unified Team that succeeded the Soviet Union in international competition. Having also won a medal representing Germany, she has said her dream is to finally win one for her home country, Uzbekistan.Dallas Oberholzer, 46, said he’d finally impressed his mum by competing at the Olympics, but the South African wasn’t the only veteran taking part in skateboarding’s Olympic debut. Rune Glifberg of Denmark was also competing at the age of 46.The all-time record for the oldest Olympic competitor is held by Sweden’s Oscar Swahn. He was born in 1847, and won two shooting gold medals at the 1908 London Olympics. He won another gold in Stockholm in 1912, but finished fourth in another event behind his own son. He competed again in the 1920 Antwerp Games at the age of 72.At 13 years and 28 days old, Sky Brown became Britain’s youngest summer Olympian and youngest medallist at the Tokyo Games, but she was beaten by someone even younger. Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, 12, became the youngest Olympic medallist in 85 years with her silver in women’s park skateboarding. Syria’s table tennis prodigy Hend Zaza is also 12, and was the youngest competitor at the Tokyo Olympics.Olym
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Mario Golf: Super Rush, which launched on Nintendo Switch on June 25 and has since spent six weeks on the market completely Toadette-less, is finally getting Toadette. She’s coming to the new Mario Golf on Thursday, as part of a free update to the game, Nintendo announced on Twitter. In addition to a playable Toadette, who can throw giant turnips at her opponents and whack the ball with a pickax, Mario Golf: Super Rush is getting a new course set in New Donk City. Thursday’s update will also add a new Ranked Mode. In that mode, players can compete in ranked online matches, either in speed golf mode or standard mode, using button controls or motion controls. Players can earn match points monthly in Ranked Mode, and fight for a spot on the World Rank charts. If players earn a high eno
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Time to horde more custom emotes.  Twitch will lower the cost of Tier 1 subscriptions in the UK from £4.99 to £3.99, starting this week.The change is part of a wider programme to introduce local pricing relative to the cost of living and exchange rates in every region. Under the existing pricing structure, UK subscribers were paying approximately $7 USD per sub, significantly higher than the $4.99 paid by Americans. The new price is therefore much fairer to subscribers outside the United States. The rollout of local pricing has also arrived in the rest of Europe, with most EU member states now paying €3.99 per sub. In July the pricing structure also arrived in Latin America,
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Plum, lemon, polenta and almond cakeThis is a cake made using the traditions of Italy. Sharp plums or damsons are placed atop a simple almond and polenta cake. Flourless and dairy-free, it is not intentionally health conscious; it just ends up being delicious this way. It will stay fresh for three days if wrapped in foil.First, heat the oven to 170C. Line the bottom of a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. Put 2 eggs, 70g caster sugar, the zest of 2 lemons and 50ml olive oil into a bowl and whisk until you have a pale, aerated mixture. Fold in 65g ground almonds, 35g polenta and ½ tsp baking powder until just combined. Tip this into the cake tin. Top with 250g halved plums or damsons, the cut half facing down. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until set with a golden top.Then make a lemon drizzle: just add sugar to the juice of one lemon until you have a grainy, thin paste. Once the cake is cooked and still warm, drizzle over your lemon mixture. Let the cake cool in the tin before serving. Geoff Warburton, psychotherapist and MasterChef finalist, London and Puglia, Italy Aloo bukhara chutneyPaul Bartlett’s aloo bukhara chutney. Photograph: Paul Bartlett/Guardian CommunityWash 1kg ripe plum
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Three members of an Irish family riven by an inheritance dispute died in a murder-suicide that was “beyond comprehension”, a coroner’s inquest has found.Tadg O’Sullivan, 60, and his son Diarmuid, 23, shot dead Diarmuid’s brother, Mark, 26, before turning their rifles on themselves in a case that shocked Ireland.An inquest on Wednesday returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of Mark and suicide in the cases of Tadg and Diarmuid.The coroner, Michael Kennedy, said the bloodletting on the family farm in Kanturk, county Cork last October defied reason: “A terrible tragedy that was beyond comprehension.”Mark O’Sullivan, 26, had told a friend he feared his father and brother would kill him. Photograph: Family Handout/PAKennedy said he would usually express condolences to the immediate family but there was no one left alive since Anne O’Sullivan, the wife of Tadg and mother of his sons, died of cancer in April. The former nurse was 61.Her terminal diagnosis in February 2020 appears to have set the tragedy in motion.Anne owned the 115-acre farm and planned to split it evenly between her sons. This infuriated her husband and younger son who believed Diarmuid, who studied accountancy and worked on the farm, should inherit most of the land.The jury heard about angry arguments, with Diarmuid threatening to leave a “trail of destruction’’ with “no lights on in Raheen again”. Raheen was the name of the farm.On 10 October Mark, a trainee solicitor, messaged a friend saying he feared his father and brother might kill him and try to make it look like suicide.Early on 25 October, Tadg and Diarmuid entered his bedroom and shot him with legally owned rif
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The new generation of meatless meat companies has been vocal in its ambition to make animal farming a thing of the past. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown wants to make meat from animals “obsolete,” and so does the CEO of Impossible Foods Pat Brown (no relation), and soon — by the year 2035. As steep a climb as that might sound, it certainly isn’t unrealistic to think that by 2035, startups that make alternative proteins might start eating into the market share for meat and dairy products. Early signs of such a shift are emerging. According to a USDA-funded report, rising plant-based milk sales could be a factor in the decline of cow’s milk consumption (though overall dairy consumption is on the rise, thanks to cheese). An Israeli startup that makes cell-based or “lab-grown” meat just opened a pilot facility to produce 5,000 slaughter-free burgers a day. And looking ahead, the CEO of beef giant Cargill recently said that plant-based meat could make up as much as 10 percent of the meat market within a few years. A largely plant-based future would be a win for livestock, 99 percent of which is raised in factory farms, and the environment, as industrial animal agriculture is a major source of pollution. But it would also cause a massive shift in a huge part of the economy — one that could lead to dislocation and upheaval for the hundreds of thousands of farmers and meatpacking workers who make their livelihood from raising and slaughtering animals. What does the
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This week, America’s most watched cable news host is broadcasting from an authoritarian state — not to criticize its leadership but to praise it. Fox’s Tucker Carlson is currently in Budapest, airing his show from Hungary’s capital city. In his Monday monologue, Carlson told his listeners that they should pay attention to Hungary “if you care about Western civilization, and democracy, and family — and the ferocious assault on all three of those things by leaders of our global institutions.” He tweeted out a friendly photo with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and is conf
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London will bear the brunt of an £11bn drop in revenue from overseas tourists resulting from the government’s continued tough restrictions on travel to England, according to research.The Centre for Economic & Business Research (CEBR) study said the capital would suffer a loss of almost £7bn compared with levels of spending in the six-month period leading up to the pandemic, unless there was a marked pick up in the rest of the year.The consultancy firm said London was being doubly hit because it was by far the most popular destination for international visitors, but was not getting the bene
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Holiday bookings to France have surged after the government announced on Wednesday that its “amber plus” status has been dropped – meaning vaccinated holidaymakers will no longer have to quarantine on their return, according to operators.A Brittany Ferries spokesperson said phones had been “ringing off the hook” since last night. “There’s been a huge spike in interest and bookings. At last there is some good news and some certainty – it’s a silver lining to the dark clouds that have been hanging over us. We suspect it’s a lot of second homeowners who were waiting to book, as well as last-minute holidaymakers.”The government also announced that no further changes to the traffic-light system would be made for at least three weeks. As well as France moving to the amber l
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If you have a solid internet connection, you owe it to yourself to get a mesh Wi-Fi system. It’ll help to cover more of your apartment or home in fast Wi-Fi. You can get Google’s Wifi in a three-pack for $150 at Amazon, down from $200. This 25 percent discount is the biggest price markdown yet. And considering that Google sells a single Wifi unit for $100, it doesn’t make much sense to opt for that when you can get another two for just $50 more. Now, Google’s newer Nest Wifi does offer better range and more features than this product, but these are still worth getting if you’re on a budget (not to mention, it’s cross-compatible with Nest Wifi, should you ever upgrade). Each Google Wifi router has dual gigabit ethernet ports, and plugs in via a 15W power adapter. Unlike the p
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No matter how hard you try to spin the house balls at your local bowling joint, they rarely curve. That’s because they are simple spheres built for durability, not fancy moves. But a small handful of companies—among them Storm Bowling—create gear that is surprisingly complex inside. Precisely shaped, meticulously balanced weight blocks leverage the laws of physics to help skilled alley jockeys throw a strike on most rolls. This clever engineering allows the projectiles to hook inward as they approach the end of the 60-foot lane, where the invisible oil slick on the boards thins. The spin an expert gives the globe (as fast as 600 rpm) will find purchase there as the friction increases, putting the orb right next to the headpin. Here’s a look at what’s going on under the
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The queen’s representative in New Zealand said Prince Harry and Meghan discussed moving to the South Pacific country during their 2018 visit, more than a year before the couple stepped back from royal duties and moved to the United States. Governor-General Patsy Reddy also told The Associated Press in an interview she believes the British monarch should remain New Zealand’s head of state and described the hand-typed letters she sends to Queen Elizabeth II. Reddy, 67, will leave her largely ceremonial role representing the queen in New Zealand in October after a 5-year term. A lawyer who was given the honorific Dame for her services to arts and business, Reddy officially signs bills into law, presides over many public ceremonies and tours the country, m
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Thomas Trutschel | Photothek | Getty ImagesEthereum's much-hyped and somewhat controversial "London" hard fork has just activated.So far, news of the successful upgrade has coincided with a runup in the price of ether, the native token of ethereum's blockchain. The cryptocurrency is at $2,620, up 3.9% in the last 24 hours.A big part of the enthusiasm has to do with the fact that the software upgrade means a few big — and necessary — changes are coming to the code underpinning the world's second-biggest cryptocurrency. It has always been a tough go for ethereum users. The blockchain has a long-standing problem with scaling, and its highly unpredictable and sometimes exorbitant transaction fees can annoy even its biggest fans.The problem has become worse in recent months thanks to a sur
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Cisco has published patches for critical vulns affecting the web management interface for some of its Small Business Dual WAN Gigabit routers – including a 9.8-rated nasty. The two vulnerabilities affect the RV340, RV345, RV340W, and RV345P products, which are aimed at SMEs and home office setups. Attackers abusing them on unpatched devices are able to execute arbitrary code and also force reboots of affected routers, causing a denial-of-service condition. CVE-2021-1609, rated 9.8 on the CVSS v3.1 scale, allows attackers to "remotely execute arbitrary code" thanks to improper validation of HTTP requests, according to Cisco's advisory. Similarly, CVE-2021-1610 (advisory also available at the link above) is a command injection vuln allowing attackers to run arbitrary commands as ro
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The integration of less and vim appeared above many times. However, when you move to graphical interfaces, those aren’t very composable at all--the only methods in wider use are through splitting out a library, wiring it in as a component, or plainly running a program with certain parameters, potentially feeding it commands from outside--the mutual connection isn’t apparent to the user. Even TUIs are lacking, as one would often want to employ a terminal subemulator, which is a substantial amount of code, and brings its own set of problems with it--yet it’s at least workable, and universal. XEmbed can kind of work--e.g., GVIM can be integrated using GtkPlug/GtkSocket with --socketid {id}--but this needs to be supported explicitly in the client. Moreover, the protocol specification
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DETROIT (AP) — The Biden administration wants automakers to raise gas mileage and cut tailpipe pollution between now and model year 2026, and it has won a voluntary commitment Thursday from the industry that electric vehicles will comprise up to half of U.S. sales by the end of the decade. The moves are big steps toward President Joe Biden’s pledge to cut emissions and battle climate change as he pushes a history-making shift in the U.S. from internal combustion engines to battery-powered vehicles. They also reflect a delicate balance to gain both industry and union support for the environmental effort, with the future promise of new jobs and billions in new federal investments in electric vehicles. The administration on Thursday announced there would be new mileage and anti-pollution
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Style|My Son Died. How Can I Be Expected to Move On?https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/05/style/son-death-grief-social-qs.htmlSocial Q’sA reader asks for help dealing with pressure to put grief behind her after nine years of mourning.Aug. 5, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ETMy son died nine years ago from an opioid overdose. He was bipolar and trying to get on with his life after college, but he hit a rough patch, made some poor choices and was gone. I have gotten grief counseling, and I’m better. The problem is my stepchildren. In the middle of celebrations of big events in their lives — weddings, births, job promotions — I am often seized with grief that my son is not there and will never be doing these things. My habit has been to leave the events quietly and let my husband spend happy times with
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Five years ago, I began to notice that the perpetrators of some of the worst terrorist attacks had something in common. A high proportion shared a history of assaulting wives, girlfriends and other female relatives, sometimes involving a whole series of victims, long before they attacked total strangers.In the summer of 2016, for example, when just two terrorist attacks in Florida and the south of France left 135 people dead and hundreds injured, both perpetrators claimed to be Islamists. But I was struck by the fact that each had a horrific record of domestic violence.A year later, there were four fatal attacks in the UK and all six perpetrators turned out either to have abused women or, in one case, to have witnessed his father abusing his mother and sister. There were striking similarit
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I have had several sink issues over the years. Mostly flies. Fruit flies, drain flies, gnats ― it’s unclear what specific infestation of little winged creatures have taken over my sink area, but the cause was evident: the dirty dishes I’d left stacked there for weeks at a time. I once looked inside a pasta sauce-encrusted pot to see it teeming with wriggling white maggots, a detail so disgusting I hesitate to share it in publication. There are a few reasons I’ve struggled to wash my dishes in a timely manner. I’m a recovering alcoholic, and in active addiction, I neglected a lot of the tasks of being human. After a nasty relapse that interrupted a nine-year period of sobriety, I had to call my mother to get on a plane and help me dig out of the mess I’d been living in. We did
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poly-lt-wire-logo Rina Takasaki (left), voice of Susato, and Mark Takeshi Ota (left), voice of Ryunosuke in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon | Source images: Capcom “To be able to understand [Susato] ... it is very helpful that I fully understand Japanese language and culture” By Aug 5, 2021, 9:00am EDT The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles shows main characters Ryunosuke N
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Google has announced a new line of home security cameras and a video doorbell under its Nest brand. The new models, which include an indoor-only camera, an indoor / outdoor camera, a floodlight, and the video doorbell, replace the older Nest IQ cameras and Nest Hello doorbell. The main themes with the new devices are a unified design language and more accessible pricing — each model costs less than the camera it’s replacing, while adding more capabilities. The design of the new cameras will be familiar to anyone who’s seen other Nest products released in the past couple of years, such as the latest Nest Thermostat, Nest WiFi, or the Nest Audio smart speaker. The company has been moving toward softer edges and muted color palettes, and the new cameras adhere to that with color options that are meant to blend in, not stand out. Google is also adding a bit more intelligence to the cameras, thanks to advances in on-device machine learning. The new models can detect people, animals, packages, and vehicles and provide specific alerts for each of them without the need for cloud processing (or its related subscription costs). (The Familiar Faces feature, which uses cloud-based facial recognition, still requires a paid plan.) The idea behind it all is to cut down the noise from constant motion notifications, a common complaint with home security cameras and video doorbells. Google says the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) in the new cameras allows the algorithms to run on twice as many pixels and at twice the frame rate of previous Nest Cams, which provides more reliable event detection and alerts, similar to how a TPU will improve the upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone’s capabi
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Facebook has shut down the personal accounts of a pair of New York University researchers and shuttered their investigation into misinformation spread through political ads on the social network. Facebook says the researchers violated its terms of service and were involved in unauthorized data collection from its massive network. The academics, however, say the company is attempting to exert control on research that paints it in a negative light. The NYU researchers with the Ad Observatory Project had for several years been looking into Facebook’s Ad Library, where searches can be done on advertisements running across Facebook’s products. The access was used to “uncover systemic flaws in the Facebook Ad Library, to identify misinformation in political ads, including many sowing distrust in our election system, and to study Facebook’s apparent amplification of partisan misinformation,” said Laura Edelson, the lead researcher behind NYU Cybersecurity for Democracy, in a statement. Facebook’s action against the NYU project also cut off other researchers and journalists who got access to Facebook data through the project, Edelson said. The researchers offered Facebook users a web browser plug-in tool that let them volunteer their data showing how the social network targets political ads. But Facebook said the browser extension was programmed to evade its detection systems and vacuum up user data, creating privacy concerns. In a blog post late Tuesday, Facebook said it takes “unauthorized data scraping seriously, and when we find instances of scraping we investigate and take action to protect our platform.” Facebook sent a cease-and-desist letter to E
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Michael Murray, Frasers Group’s “head of elevation”, looks set to take the lift to the top of the company run by his future father-in-law, after leading an improvement in the look of its once proudly shabby Sports Direct stores.The 31-year-old Doncaster-born son of a property developer began by helping Sports Direct founder and controlling shareholder Mike Ashley with personal property deals a few years after meeting his daughter Anna on holiday in 2011.The former club promoter is now Ashley’s right-hand man, overseeing the revamp of Sports Direct stores and improving the group’s image with glossy ads and social media to help improve the relationship with high-end brands.A big part of the job has been ditching Sports Direct’s pile-it-high image which has turned key brands off the company and led them to withhold some of their most sought-after gear.While the majority of stores still require updating, the company is taking advantage of the retrenchment of other retailers to move into larger, more modern spaces that combine its high street brands including streetwear concept USC, bicycle retailer Evans and video games concept Belong.Murray has also helped build up the Flannels chain, where it is possible to spend over £4,500 on a Brioni suede jacket, pick up Alexander McQueen trainers for £420 or a pair of Off White socks for £48, discounted from £60 at present.Murray has gradually become a more high profile face of Frasers, recently taking journalists on a tour of a revamped Sports Direct store in London and speaking at results presentations.However, the man set to take over from Ashley as chief executive in May next year is not on the company’s board, or even an employee, but a consultant, paid up to 25% of any value he creates from property deals.That formula resulted in Frasers handing Murray £9.7m in total over 2019 and 2020. His annual earnings were not only more than the boss of the UK’s biggest retailer, Tesco, but far more than the £150,000 a year paid to Sports Direct’s previous senior executives such as former chief executive Dave Forsey.For this year, Murray’s company, MM Prop Consultancy, was paid £2.5m related to his proper
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Solène created a week-long personal computing challenge around old computers. I chose to use an Amiga for the week. In this issue I write about my experience, and what modern computing lost when Commodore died. I also want to show some of the things you can do with an Amiga or even an emulator if you'd like to try.If someone sent this to you and you’d like to read more, check out the back issues. Get future issues in your inbox by subscribing below or add the site to your RSS reader. As I keep telling my partner, Amigas aren’t an addiction, they’re just a very expensive hobby.This issue’s music comes from H0ffman and The Black Lotus’ Eon demo. Press play and read on, although you really should watch the demo at some point. It's amazing how they crammed so much into two floppy disks. It's even more amazing how this runs on an OCS A500 with 1Mb of RAM. Eon rinses every spare scanline to deliver high art on a machine using chips from the green screen text era. TBL wrote a blog post series explaining how it was done.Legends Never DieFriends, acquaintances and random people often ask me, “What is the greatest computer range of all time and why is it the Commodore Amiga?”. Of course I don’t wait for them to ask me. I just shout out reasons why the Amiga is the best f
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The British government was one of the “biggest supporters” of EU plans to require non-EU nationals to obtain authorisation and pay a fee to enter the bloc’s passport-free travel zone, the Guardian has learned.David Cameron’s government backed the idea when it was floated by the European Commission in April 2016, three months before the EU referendum, when few foresaw the €7 (£5.95) fee would one day hit British travellers.Brexit supporters reacted with fury this week when the commission said plans for a European travel information and authorisation system (Etias) were on track to come into force for travellers in late 2022.Despite claims of “Brexit punishment”, the idea, which is intended to increase border security, long predates Britain’s EU divorce and applies to citizens from about 60 countries.Modelled on the US Esta scheme, non-EU citizens who do not require a visa will have to fill out a form and pay €7 before entering Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone. In 95% of cases approval will be given within minutes. If travel is allowed, the €7 fee – which applies to adults between 18 and 70 years – covers multiple visits over three years.The former Labour MEP Claude Moraes told the Guardian the government had been keen on the idea. “The UK government was one of its biggest supporters, obviously prior to the referendum, and [Etias] was seen as part of the digital securitisation of borders that the UK wanted to lead on in the EU.”Moraes chaired the European parliament’s home affairs committee, which was responsible for negotiating the Etias regulation with EU interior ministers.The then home secretary, Theresa May, is understood to have supported the concept although she never expected to join, because the UK was outside the Schengen zone. If the UK had remained an EU member state, British nationals would be exempt from the form filling and charge – a special status that non-Schengen Ireland has today.The UK’s former ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers said the UK would have been in favour, but added he did not have a detailed recollection. “As it was a Schengen-building measure, we would not have joined it. That applied t
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August 3, 2021 8.35am EDT Authors Grant Donnelly Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Ohio State University Ashley Whillans Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Disclosure statement Ashley Whillans receives funding from the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA) John Templeton Foundation, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard University, Mittal Family Foundation at Harvard University, Burke Family Foundation at Harvard University, and the Pershing Square Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative at Harvard University. Grant Donnelly does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Partners The Ohio State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US. View all partners The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Declining an invitation by saying “I don’t have time” leads the person you rejected to feel undervalued and upset, making them trust you less and hurting the relationship, we found in research recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Offering a financial excuse such as “I don’t have money” doesn’t create the same negative reaction. To explore the best way to decline an invitation without damaging a relationship, we conducted six experiments with a focus on two common excuses: time and money. First, we invited 207 people into our lab and asked them to recall an experience when an acquaintance declined to do something with them, citin
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Lyft is boosting its $19.99-per-month Lyft Pink membership program with new bike-share benefits and an annual option that’s cheaper than paying for the service month to month, the company announced Thursday. Lyft Pink’s primary benefit is a 15 percent discount on car rides, but previously, it also offered three free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month (in certain markets). With the new bike-share benefits, you’ll get an unlimited amount of 45-minute bike rides on “classic” bikes (aka non-electric) at many of the company’s bike-share systems across the US as well as discoun
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Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates said he made “a huge mistake” in meeting with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates told CNN on Wednesday.Gates said he met with Epstein hoping the financier could help raise money for global health issues.“I had several dinners with him, you know, hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge,” Gates said. “When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relations
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Travel restrictions are changing for some travellers again – so keep up to date with our guide to the latest rules.What’s happening?Every three weeks, ministers review the traffic light system that grades countries across the world on their case, vaccine and variant rate, then decide on changes to the green, amber and red list.Those decisions were announced on Wednesday and will come into force from 4am this coming Sunday. They will initially apply to England only, with the devolved administrations considering whether to follow suit.It is mostly good news for travellers, with no countries taken off the green list that means passengers do not need to quarantine when they arrive in the UK – regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.New countries added to the green list are: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.Several places that have been on the red list for some time are also being upgraded to the amber list: India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE (which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi). This means anyone double-jabbed can avoid isolating, while those who have not had both doses still need to quarantine for up to 10 days at home. France was also moved from the “amber-plus” list to the regular amber one.However, there was some bad news, with Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte added to the red list – meaning incoming travel for all but UK residents and nationals is banned, who themselves must quarantine in a hotel for 11 nights.Were there any other changes?The cost of a quarantine hotel is rising substantially, in a move that will put off those allowed to still travel to the UK from red list countries from coming even more.From 12 August, the cost for one adult will rise from £1,750 to £2,285, while the additional rate for further adults or children over the age of 11 in the same party will rise from £650 to £1,430. Kids over five will still pay the same rate of £325.The mooted “amber watchlist” that ministers were considering introducing has been officially killed off. This would have been for countries at risk of going red, to warn travellers in advance of any changes. Despite some initial support from the Foreign Office and Department for Transport, other cabinet ministers, Tory MPs and aviation industry figures said it would have complicated the traffic light system further by adding a sixth tier
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Bryson DeChambeau can drive a golf ball a country mile, but his explanation for not getting vaccinated before the Olympics is full of holes. DeChambeau tested positive for COVID-19 and was prevented from competing in Tokyo. In an interview Wednesday at a golf tournament in Memphis, the 2020 U.S. Open champ suggested, inaccurately, the vaccine was in short supply and that he was doing the selfless thing. “I’m young enough, I’d rather give it [the vaccine] to people who need it,” he told ESPN. “I don’t need it. I’m a healthy, young individual that will continue to work on my health. “I don’t think taking the vaccine away from someone who needs it is a good thing,” the world’s seventh-ranked golfer added. “My dad is a perfect example. He got it [the vaccine] early on because he’s a diabetic. People like that need to get it. My mom got it. I don’t want to take away that ability.” The United States has a surplus of vaccines and millions of doses are about to go to waste. In another head-slap moment, DeChambeau, 27, appeared to say he would get the vaccine when it becomes popular. “Now as time goes on, if it [the vaccine] is mainstream, really, really mainstream, then yeah,” he said, per CBS. The U.S. reported this week that 70% of eligible adults had received at least one vaccine dose. That seems mainstream.  But experts urge even greater compliance as the delta variant continues spreading, mostly among people who are unvaccinated.  For the record, Xander Schauffele of the United States won the gold in the Olympics golf event. Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week by 14,000 to 385,000 more evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding briskly from the coronavirus recession. The Labor Department reported Thursday that unemployment claims — a proxy for layoffs — dropped last week from a revised 399,000 the week before. The applications have mostly fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January. Still, they remain high by historic levels: Before the pandemic slammed the United States in March 2020, they were coming in at around 220,000 a week. Since cratering in the spring of 2020, the U.S. economy has bounded back as the rollout of vaccines encourages businesses to reopen or return to normal operating hours and consumers to return to shops, restaurants and bars. The United States has been adding more than 540,000 jobs a month this year, and the Labor Department’s July jobs report out Friday is expected to show it tacked on nearly 863,000 more last month, according to a survey of economists by the data firm FactSet. The U.S. economy is still 6.8 million jobs short of where it stood in February 2020. Companies are posting job openings — a record 9.2 million in May — faster than applicants are showing up to fill them. Many states have responded to business complaints of a labor shortage by ending expanded federal unemployment benefits meant to ease financial strains from the health crisis, including an extra $300 a
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Oren, TurkeyArmy soldiers using water hoses try to extinguish forest fires close to the Kemerkoy thermal power plant Photograph: Yasin Akgül/AFP/Getty Images New York, USMannequins are stored in a vehicle during a homeland defence emergency drill involving a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack in an urban environment, at the New York fire department training academy Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images Gorny Ulus, SiberiaBurned forest at Gorny Ulus area west of Yakutsk, in the republic of Sakha. It was a rare day this summer when the sky in the world’s coldest city was not shrouded in a sepia orange toxic smog produced by the third straight year of increasingly massive blazes Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images Shizuoka, JapanLaurine van Riessen of the Netherlands and Katy Marchant of Team GB crash in the women’s keirin Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
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British holidaymakers in Mexico have told of their dismay after the country was abruptly put on the government’s red list of travel destinations.The changes, which were announced on Wednesday night and will come into force at 4am on Sunday, mean that holidaymakers coming from Mexico and other red list countries – including Georgia, La Réunion and Mayotte - will either have to cut their holidays short to beat the restrictions or pay thousands of pounds to stay in a quarantine hotel when they return.Among those forced to cut their holiday short was Joe Coward, 29, who criticised the government’s handling of travel rules sharply after finding out about the changes shortly after landing in Mexico on Thursday morning for a two-week honeymoon near Cancún.The student from London told PA Media: “Basically we touched down to find that our two-week honeymoon, which had already been rearranged several times, was going to be a two-day visit.“We’ve arranged a flight for tomorrow and will be spending today getting ready to turn right around and go home.“We feel extremely angry at the government’s incompetent handling of international travel rules during this crisis, and incredibly sad and frustrated that the time that should’ve been spent enjoying being newlyweds has been ruined.”Seeing out the rest of their holiday and quarantining when they return was not an option because the cost of government quarantine hotels,” he said.The cost of a 10-day hotel quarantine stay will rise by £535 to £2,285 for a single traveller from 12 August. The cost per additional adult will be £1,430 and £325 for five to 12-year-olds.Coward said that if British Airways did not refund them, they would lose several thousand pounds as a result of the rule change.Ayo Faley, an NHS test and trace call handler from London, also arrived in Cancún on Thursday morning, but has decided to see out her holiday and “face the consequences” of paying for quarantine when she returns on 11 August.Faley, 24, said: “I only found out the minute I was able to connect to wifi at the airport ... I went into a state of panic.”She said she had tried to find other British people to share information and find out what they were planning to do, but they too had “confusion, fear and regret all in their faces”.“I am absolutely distraught ... I’ve decided to just stay and enjoy the time here.”Faley works from home, but does not know how she will access the equipment she needs to work from quarantine.She said: “How are [the government] planning to help individuals who have found themselves in a situation like this, leaving the UK thinking their country of destination was safe to then land and find out they better return ASAP or risk being stuck in a hotel for 11 days.”The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said on Thursday that the traffic-light system meant holidaymakers could travel abroad without “looking over their shoulders” for changing rules.The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, however said the shifting the rules were sowing confusion.“Most people don’t say that they object necessarily to the tests, it’s just the constant changing. One day they’v
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The latest numbers-- This latest release introduces 16 new languages to the Common Voice data set: Basaa, Slovak, Northern Kurdish, Bulgarian, Kazakh, Bashkir, Galician, Uyghur, Armenian, Belarusian, Urdu, Guarani, Serbian, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Hausa.-- The top five languages by total hours are English (2,630 hours), Kinyarwanda (2,260) , German (1,040), Catalan (920), and Esperanto (840).-- Languages that has increased the most by percentage are Thai (almost 20x growth, from 12 hours to 250 hours), Luganda (9x growth, from 8 hours to 80 hours), Esperanto (more than 7x growth, from 100 hours to 840 hours), and Tamil (more than 8x growth, from 24 hours to 220 hours).
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The best images from the 13th day of action in Tokyo, including hockey, skateboarding, athletics, track cycling and open-water swimming Steven Bloor Main image: Canada’s Damian Warner on his way to
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Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email. On the podcast today: previews of the Championship, League One and League Two. The panel assesses whether teams relegated from the Premier League are going to make an immediate return, whether the third tier is the most exciting division in England and the incredible staying power of Newport County’s Kevin Ellison. Elsewhere, Danny Ings springs a surprise on everyone by moving to Aston Villa, there are reports that Harry Kane is in Florida and we spend arguably too long reviewing a remarkable post-match m
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Simon Jenkins’ latest piece on HS2 (Depleted and unwanted, HS2 hurtles on as Johnson’s £100bn vanity project, 30 July) repeatedly mischaracterises both the case for, and the benefits of, a rail project that will transform connectivity in the UK.He talks as if services will only go from London to Birmingham, stating confidently that “Britain’s new high-speed railway will not – repeat: not – get to the north of England”. But this is simply untrue. Construction work on the Birmingham-Crewe section is now under way, and detailed planning and consultation prior to a parliamentary bill submission is under way for Crewe-Manchester. HS2 services will reach Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverp
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Late last month, 27 Republican members of the Georgia state Senate sent an ominous letter to the state elections board, touting a misleading claim about the 2020 election popularized by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. A few days later, several Republican members of the state House sent a similar letter seeking a “performance review” of election officials in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta. In a post-Trump GOP, it might seem unremarkable that elected officials are spouting off about some lie or half-truth broadcast by conservative media. But these letters set in motion a chain of events that could end in mass disenfranchisement of voters in the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta for t
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Britons will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 “for evermore” in order to travel between countries, the transport secretary has predicted, suggesting that quarantine restrictions for some arrivals in England will remain in place into the autumn.Grant Shapps said it was vital to “protect the domestic unlocking” after the latest changes were announced to the traffic light system that grades destinations according to their case, vaccine and variant numbers.Shapps predicted people would be required to prove they had been fully vaccinated for some time to come, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is a reality that in this new world, we’re living with coronavirus
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Jessica Cisneros, a progressive immigration attorney who narrowly lost a 2020 primary election challenge against Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, announced Thursday she’ll try again. In her March 2020 run against Cuellar, one of the House’s most conservative Democrats, Cisneros surprised poll watchers with a strong showing against the veteran incumbent, losing by less than 4 percentage points.  “The last election showed that people are ready for new leadership and we’re ready to finish the job that we started,” Cisneros told HuffPost. “A lot of people were left with so much hope last election cycle,” she added. “We were asking folks to envision the impossible and we were so close that we could taste that victory. I wanted to honor all the hard work that everyone put into this election.” Cisneros, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, briefly practiced law in New York City before moving home to Laredo in 2019 to run against Cuellar in Texas’ 28th Congressional District.  As the COVID-19 pandemic set in, Cisneros stayed in the district to work as an immigration attorney along the Texas-Mexico border. She joined Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Laredo office, where she represents low-income clients in need of legal representation. She has also been working as a supervising attorney at the Laredo office for RAICES, a nonprofit that represents undocumented immigrants in detention. Cisneros, a proponent of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, champions causes that excite the national progressive movement. But she used a two-minute announcement video to advertise her ties to working-class people in South Texas. “They said we had no chance. They said the patrones were just too powerful. They said change was impossible here,” Cisneros says as images of the district’s neighborhoods and workers appear on screen. “But we showed them that the dreams of immigrants, truckers, rancheros and teachers can be just as powerful as their corporate dollars.” The camera then shows her atop a horse alongside her cowboy hat-clad father. “Now we’re back to finish what we started ― to do what my dad taught me: Work hard, keep at it, y enseñar que la esperanza nunca muere,” she says, using the Spanish words for “and teach that hope never dies.” Cisneros argues that Cuellar has failed to address the social and economic challenges heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Biden’s values align better with our campaign’s than they do with Henry Cuellar’s. Jessica Cisneros, candidate, Texas' 28th Congressional District Cisneros notes that Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote against the PRO Act, a bill strengthening union rights; that he co-sponsored legislation that would increase detention of undocumented immigrants; and that he facilitated the acquisition of $500,000 worth of COVID-19 tests that Laredo officials said were unreliable. “When we expected Henry Cuellar to step up and be bold in the moment, he didn’t,” Cisneros said. Cisneros is sure to encounter fierce resistance from Cuellar, as well as skepticism from establishment Democrats unnerved by strong 2020 election performances by then-President Donal
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The number of Americans who renounced their citizenship in favor of a foreign country hit an all-time high in 2020: 6,707, a 237% increase over 2019.Between the lines: While the numbers are down this year, that's probably because many U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed for COVID-19, and taking this grave step requires taking an oath in front of a State Department officer.Why it matters: The people who flee tend to be ultra-wealthy, and many of them are seeking to reduce their tax burden. New tax and estate measures proposed by the Biden administration could, if implemented, accelerate
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Around 450 billion fewer pages were printed from home and office devices in 2020 as COVID-19 disrupted the world of work. The direction of travel has been obvious in recent times: people were printing less even before the pandemic took hold, but the decline was sharper last year as volumes plunged 14 per cent on 2019 levels to a total of 2.8 trillion pages, according to IDC. Click to enlarge Unsurprisingly, employees being asked to stay indoors and work from home caused the number of laser pages printed to fall 16 per cent, a drop that was even more pronounced for A3 devices. Conversely, pag
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The endangered hen harrier is continuing its recovery from near extinction in England with this summer set to have the highest number of chicks fledging since 2002.Of 24 successful nests producing at least 77 fledged chicks this summer, 19 were on moors managed for red grouse, according to the Moorland Association.The grouse shooting industry hailed the success as a vindication for controversial brood management, in which some chicks are removed from nests and reared in captivity if multiple nests are made on grouse moors.Hen harriers like to nest in proximity to each other, but grouse moor managers complain that concentrations of the bird predate too many red grouse, which provide a lucrative driven grouse shooting season.The brood management trial began in 2018 but was disavowed by conservation groups such as the RSPB, who argue that chicks should not be removed while the illegal persecution of hen harriers continues.“This is another excellent year for hen harrier breeding,” said Amanda Anderson, the director of the Moorland Association. “Three good years in a row shows that we have the right strategy to help the population to recover to a sustainable level, occupying a much greater area of England.“The management carried out on grouse moors by gamekeepers provides an ideal habitat for birds of prey, with fewer predators to steal their eggs, and good numbers of prey species such as small mammals and other birds.”The figures have not yet been confirmed by Natural England, the government’s conservation watchdog, and some conservationists argue the Moorland Association is using a very wide definition of grouse moor to claim so many successful nests are on grouse shooting land.“These are not official figures,” said Mark Avery of the campaign group Wild Justice. “They are from an incredibly vested interest which itself is responsible for the lack of hen harriers. They are trying to make a terrible situation look better than it is.“There should be more than 300 pairs of hen harriers nesting in England and there aren’t. There is one solution to the hen harrier problem – stop killing hen harriers, like the law says.”Four young harriers fledged from the RSPB’s Geltsdale reserve for the first time since 2016, but two male harriers disappeared there in the spring, with suspected illegal persecution being investigated by the police.Jim Wardill, the RSPB operations director for the north of England, said: “We know how important the management of our uplands is for the recovery of these birds and hope that this signals that attitudes are changing towards issues such as persecution. Whether the land is managed for water supply, farming, forestry or shooting, we need everyone to work together to build on this success and restore England’s population to the known potential of 300 nests.”Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin are hosting the eighth annual Hen Harrier Day on Saturday, celebrating the bird and efforts to save it, with artwork by Jim Moir – popularly known as the comedian Vic Reeves – being auctioned to raise money for hen harrier protection.
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They are land rich and resource poor. Most have hundreds of acres of fertile soil, some thousands, but little money in the bank and – most importantly – no water.Now the young farmers of the Klamath Basin, an agricultural community on the border of Oregon and California, fear they might be the last generation of their kind.“It sounds like a sad country song, but that’s the current situation we’re in,” said Bryce Balin, 28, who manages his family’s 2,200-acre farm. An all-organic enterprise, Balin raises grass-fed cattle, livestock feed, winter hay and potatoes, all set against a panorama of dry, alpine hills.The area has struggled with water scarcity for years – but this year has been unlike any other. Amid a historic drought, in May the federal government cut off all irrigation to farmers for the first time in more than a century, in an effort to conserve water for the endangered fish that also share this landscape. The move sparked fear and concern among farmers, some of whom have protested the decision, and put an already challenging way of life in doubt.The Klamath Basin has come to symbolize the precarious question of who gets water in a region without enough to go around – a question that could soon haunt farming communities across the American west. The fields and ranches here depend on a system of canals and dams that rearranged the natural ecosystem long ago, with disastrous consequences for fish and in turn the Native peoples whose cultures are tied to them.The Upper Klamath Lake in Klamath Falls, Oregon, is now a reservoir and home to unique species of sucker fish. Photograph: Alex Milan Tracy/The GuardianWater is getting harder to come by as the region becomes not only drier, but hotter. Snowpack has been low in winter, rainfall sparse in spring, and forest fires more threatening. Most days this summer, the temperature has been 15 or 20 degrees above normal. Keeping crops alive requires more water than ever.Balin and his brother Trent, 25, along with their father, made most of this season’s plans before knowing that water wouldn’t come. They bought seed, prepared soil and signed on to the usual loans. Now they are in triage mode – pumping water from wells uncertain to last the season, while expenses have ballooned 30 to 50% due to the cost of electricity for pumps. Supply prices are up, too. And unless he can find supplemental feed for the cows, Balin expects the ranch will reduce its herd by 20%.Most farmers are borrowing and buying what little water is available from nearby wells or, like the Balin family, spending enormous sums to pump water from their own – a solution that’s not only expensive but unsustainable for the ecosystem.“Everybody is facing loss and financial destruction,” he said on a recent July afternoon as firefighting planes zipped overhead toward a billowing plume on the horizon, signs of the Bootleg fire, now the worst wildfire in the US, beginning to burn nearby. “If the climate and weather events continue like this, where will we be?”From wetland to farmlandThe Klamath Basin was once a string of pristine wetlands that some have called “the Everglades of the west”. The b
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I know we’re all eager to forget, but let’s reflect back on spring 2020 for a moment. It was a season marked by the illogical, unharmonious totems of a looming pandemic: celebrity hand-washing videos, apocalyptic grocery store runs, waves of viral content involving windowsill singing and pot-banging. This global camaraderie might have been heartwarming, if it weren’t all so utterly terrifying. And in addition to the very real fear of a pandemic, many Americans also faced the looming dread of a financial crisis both sweepingly national and disarmingly personal. In the second quarter of 2020, US unemployment reached 14.8 percent, its highest rate since the record began in 1948. America’s GDP plummeted at an annual rate of 31.7 percent in the same time period. Across a spectrum of industries — mental health care, marketing, hospitality — my friends and loved ones expressed a sense of financial disequilibrium and tightrope-walking economics that followed us well into summertime. As a reliable income evaporated for a significant contingent of Americans, you might assume national credit card debt increased as those in need leaned on the lifeline — but you’d be wrong. According to a recent congressional report, credit card balances actually declined sharply, by $76 billion, in the second quarter of 2020. You might also assume that, with the guillotine of joblessness hanging precipitously in the balance, Americans might defer large purchases, like homes or cars. Again, you’d be wrong: By the fourth quarter of 2020, mortgage debt grew to $10 trillion (compared to a fourth-quarter 2019 statistic of $9.56 trillion), and auto loan debt reached $1.4 trillion. Desperate times, it seems, did not lead to desperate measures. If Americans were facing what many anticipated would be the largest financial slump since the Great Depression, or at least the Great Recession, why were their spending and debt accumulation habits so … healthy? Sociologist and demographer Teresa Sullivan has some ideas. Sullivan, who teaches at the University of Virginia, has studied consumer bankruptcy for decades, publishing award-winning books on the subject alongside co-authors Elizabeth Warren (yes, that Elizabeth Warren) and bankruptcy specialist Jay Lawrence Westbrook. She says it’s “impossible to look at” consumer bankruptcy without also considering consumer debt. In June, I spoke with Sullivan to parse the patterns of Americans’ personal finances and debt before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our interview has been edited for length and clarity. The phrase “consumer debt” is one that I think the public tends to misinterpret. What is consumer debt, and what does it look like in America? In my own work on consumer bankruptcy, “consumer” debt is any debt incurred by an individual or couple (as opposed to a business) — so that would be mortgages, car debt, student debt, bank loans, etc. The Federal Reserve Consumer Credit G.19 report excludes any debt secured by real estate, so it omits mortgages. Of course, the consumer can’t omit the mortgage. The Federal Reserve reported $14.56 trillion of consumer debt after the fourth quarter
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Mike Ashley is “transitioning” out of the job of chief executive at Frasers and handing the gig to his prospective son-in-law, Michael Murray. That, at least, was the Sports Direct firm’s summary of next year’s switch. The critical line, though, was the one at the end. Ashley will “remain on the board as an executive director”. He isn’t even adopting the formal back-seat role of a non-executive.So who will be making the big decisions? And, if there’s a disagreement, who will prevail? Will it be the 31-year-old who has worked for the company only for a few years as a consultant? Or could it – just possibly – be the 56-year-old who founded the business in 1982 and still con
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Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw won a surprise bronze medal in the Olympic pole vault competition behind the United States’ gold medal winner Katie Nageotte and Anzhelika Sidorova.Bradshaw, 29, the British record holder, managed a first-time clearance at 4.85m which was enough to secure the bronze medal despite three failures at 4.90m. It marked her first medal outdoors at a global championships in nine attempts. The Rio 2016 champion, Katerina Stefanidi, finished fourth after two failures at 4.85m and one at 4.90m.Bradshaw told the BBC: “This is what I’ve worked for my whole career. “I don’t know what emotion I’m feeling: relief, pure enjoyment, excited, proud of myself for sti
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I know what some of you are thinking. Strictly is getting its first all-male partnership? Big deal. It’s 2021! There are LGBTQ+ relationships depicted on screen in all manner of TV shows all the time, from Emmerdale to It’s A Sin. Surely in an era where queer relationships are depicted as being everyday and normal, we shouldn’t make a fuss when same-sex couples are announced on TV shows. Right?Wrong. Trust me on this: the news that former Bake Off winner John Whaite is to be part of the first all-male partnership on Strictly, a year after the first same-sex pairing between Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, does matter. It matters not just in terms of having LGBTQ+ lives fairly reflected on
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Brian May has been up to his neck in it, and he is fed up. We are talking a little more than a week after we were meant to, our initial chat having been postponed because the basement of May’s London home was filled with effluent after torrential rain caused the capital to flood and sewers to spew forth their contents.The basement was where he and his wife, the actor Anita Dobson, kept their memorabilia. “It’s made us feel violated,” he says. “It’s what it does to your soul to lose your possessions, to see them swimming about in it. I had to tear up all my old photograph albums, the very first ones I ever had when I was eight years old, to try to save the photographs.” May was
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Australia|Megachurch Co-Founder Is Charged in Child Sexual Abuse Casehttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/05/world/australia/hillsong-brian-houston.htmlThe Australian police alleged that Brian Houston, senior pastor at Hillsong, had failed to report assault by his father in the 1970s.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York TimesAug. 5, 2021, 8:07 a.m. ETBrian Houston, co-founder and senior pastor of the global megachurch Hillsong, was charged by the Australian police on Thursday with concealing child sexual abuse carried out by his father in the 1970s.In a statement, the police alleged that Mr. Houston, now 67, “knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and fai
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The National Fraternal Order of Police isn’t usually bashful about defending officers, but it’s been conspicuously subdued in discussing the January 6 attacks.ALEX BRANDON / POOL / AFP via GettyAbout the author: Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics. On Tuesday, the National Fraternal Order of Police decided to “clear up confusion” about its position on the January 6 assault on the Capitol by enraged Donald Trump supporters. “Those who participated in the assaults, looting, and trespassing must be arrested and held to account,” it said in a statement. “We continue to offer our support, gratitude, and love to our brothers and sisters in law enforcement who successfully fought off the rioters, and we will be with them as they grieve and recover, however long that may take.”The FOP does not often have to clarify its position on matters of public concern; the organization is usually rather strident in expressing its views. For example, in 2016, the FOP demanded that Walmart cease selling Black Lives Matter T-shirts. It denounced Nike for its ad campaign involving Colin Kaepernick, who was purged from the NFL for protesting police misconduct. If you go to the FOP’s Twitter feed, you can find a steady stream of clips from conservative outlets such as Newsmax and Fox News showing FOP representatives attacking policies like bail reform, slamming Democratic elected officials, and blaming Black-rights activists for the recent rise in homicides. These posts are interspersed with tributes to homicide victims, attacking “rogue prosecutors,” “activist judges,” and “progressive policies” for their deaths.From the July/August 2021 issue: The authoritarian instincts of police unionsLocal FOP chapters, meanwhile, are also not exactly known for being demure. The former head of the Houston FOP, now the vice president of the national FOP, dismissed a woman and a disabled Navy veteran who were killed in a botched drug raid by officers seeking heroin as “dirtbags.” (No heroin was found.) The Miami FOP boycotted a Beyoncé concert, charging that she had used her Super Bowl halftime show in 2016 “to divide Americans b
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by in CodeSOD on 2021-08-05 Edit Remy PorterRemy escaped the enterprise world and now makes LEDs blink pretty. Editor-in-Chief for TDWTF. Lets say you have a 64-bit integer. You want the first 42-bits. Now, if your language has a bitshift operator, you'd be tempted to do something like largeNumber >> 22. But what if your language also has all sorts of advanced stream processing and map functions? It'd be a shame to not use those. Tarah's shop uses Rust, and thus they do have all those exciting advanced stream processing. Her co-worker decided they just needed to be used: let binary = format!("{:b}", snowflake); let in_binary: u64 = binary[..42] .to_string() .chars() .rev() .enumerate() .map(|(idx, digit)| { (u64::from_str_radix(&digit.to_string(), 2).unwrap()) * ((2_u64).pow(idx as u32)) }) .sum(); This starts by taking a number, and converting it into a string containing the binary representation. Then we chop off the first 42 characters of that string, break them into characters, reverse the stream, enumerate it, and then apply a map where we parse each character back into a number (which will be 0 or 1), and
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Jofra Archer’s hopes of spearheading England’s T20 World Cup and Ashes campaigns this winter have been ended following the emergence of the latest stress fracture in his troublesome right elbow.The 26-year-old fast bowler has spent the majority of the summer on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to remove an impingement in the joint in May and a goal of returning midway through the current India Test series was always optimistic.But after a tentative recent return for Sussex, bowling nine overs in two white-ball matches, Archer reported further discomfort, with a visit to a specialist delivering the news that the injury is worse than both he and England were fearing.An England spokesperson said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that England fast bowler Jofra Archer underwent further scans on his injured right elbow last week. The scans revealed that he has suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture.“In response to these findings, he has been ruled out for the rest of the year and will miss the current LV Insurance Test series against India, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and the Ashes series in Australia.“The 26-year-old, who had an operation in May to remove a bone fragment from his elbow, returned to play last month. As part of his return-to-bowling programme, he became aware of increasing discomfort in his elbow during matches for Sussex in the Vitality Blast and a 50-over friendly against Oxfordshire. The operation [was] not related to the stress fracture that sidelined the player previously.“He will now spend time on an extended break from cricket before returning for a medical review in early autumn.”It is the second time Archer has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right elbow, with the same issue ending his tour of South Africa in 2019/20 ended after one Test. England may maintain this year’s problems are unrelated but it is clear his push for 90mph-plus top speeds is creating regular wear and tear in his bowling arm.The concern for England now is that Archer may be forced to specialise in white-ball cricket due to the physical demands of playing Tests and, given his rise to prominence on the global T20
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You don’t have to be a dedicated “plant parent” to appreciate the life and color plants bring to every room in your home. A stately bird of paradise in the living room, a trailing pothos in the kitchen, a line of succulents on the windowsill in your bedroom—they don’t have to be the center of attention, but they gently point towards a home well-kept, since they have to be watered and kept alive, of course. And if you ask me, every room in a house needs a plant. But what to do about the bathroom—the small, humid, and usually natural-light-less room oft forgotten in the plant world? The general trick here is to choose plants that enjoy high humidity (luckily that’s lots of tropical plants), because any amount of showering will emit lots of moisture into the air. So, if you’re ready to deck your bathroom out with living art, here are 12 of our favorite plants that’ll thrive in your bathroom. Arguably one the most important factors to consider when choosing a plant for your bathroom is how much light it gets. If the room has windows (or a skylight) and is generally quite bright—for instance, if you don’t have to turn the lights on to use the mirror during the day—then you’ll need a light-loving plant for the space. Philodendrons Heartleaf Philodendrons are great for the bathroom, but not for your pets Photo by James Ransom Heartleaf philodendrons are easy to take care of because they show you exactly what they need. If their leaves are turning brown, they need more water, and if they’re turning yellow, they need less. However, this may not be the right option for you if you have pets, as they’re toxic to animals. Orchids These beautiful flowers love the damp environment of bathrooms (Some people even go as far as to put them in the shower), but they do need bright, indirect light to thrive. Airplants Airplants are basically tropica
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CareersWork hard, have fun & do what you love to do.Whatnot is the fastest growing marketplace in the USDiversity & InclusionWhatnot empowers every employee to reach their full potential, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background.Benefits of WhatnotLive your best lifeSelf-careHealth, dental, and vision; One Medical; Spring Health mental wellbeing; Calm membership.MoneyCompetitive compensation with a biannual merit cycle, equity, 401(k) plan, and more.RestUnlimited PTO if full-time, paid holidays, company weeks off, and parental leave.FreedomRemote-first, team and company offsites, monthly stipend, and one-time office setup budget.Our PrinciplesBe part of something epic01Always listen to customers02Take complete ownership03Move uncomfortably fast05Prioritize i
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The worst of the pandemic shutdowns are over, I am told, but I am still a nervous wreck. PPP and grants saved independent restaurants from closing and business is booming, I am told, but I am still worried about my restaurants. Food costs are at an all-time high. Scallops are 40 percent more expensive, shallots are up 44 percent, brussels sprouts are up 32 percent. Some weeks I can’t find chicken wings. And when thousands of restaurants across America tried to reopen all at the same time this past spring, I knew an employee shortage was bound to happen. But for it to last this long, you couldn’t predict that.So here we are, struggling to find workers, supplies, and ingredients for our restaurants. In the past three months, I have picked up shifts in every kitchen position; I’ve been
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For a moment it was hot vax summer; then the vibe sort of shifted.Alberto Pezzali / AP; The AtlanticYou wouldn’t remember this, but at the end of June I was honestly on a dance floor under a disco ball, shoulder to shoulder with sweaty strangers, most of whom were singing “Dancing Queen,” and we were all vaccinated against the coronavirus, so we were nervous enough to say “Do you think this is okay?” but not nervous enough to leave. It was hot vax summer! Just like we were promised! When that first big night out of the house resulted in a strep-throat diagnosis, I didn’t find it ominous at all. No, it was cute: two days of antibiotics and I was ready to get drunk on the Fourth of July.Just a few weeks later, New York City was counting more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, and the primary topic of conversation in my social circle had turned to the season’s shifting vibes. The city’s energy was—some suggested—unsettling and weird. There were rumors of a “gay cold” circulating at Pride events, and then through a holiday cluster in Provincetown, Massachusetts. New York’s government started offering $100 bribes to get vaccinated, and its appeals took on a m
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Outside Tunisia, the president’s sacking of the prime minister and shutdown of parliament looked like a coup. Inside, however, activists and journalists are still struggling to define what is happening to their country – and what to do about it.“The day after the president acted, we had a conversation in the newsroom about whether it was a coup,” said Thameur Mekki, the editor-in-chief of the influential media platform Nawaat. Other news outlets aired programmes debating the “coup” question, and activist groups started worrying. But then, said Mekki, the president, Kais Saied, personally called leading civil society groups and “gave assurances about their freedom to operate”.“I don’t know what that is, but it’s not really a coup … People living through a coup don’t get to debate it on television.”For Mekki, the international approach to looking at Tunisia’s crisis has been lazy. The key context to the power grab, he said, was the dire situation in parliament. The president’s intervention was “risky, he said, “but we couldn’t continue with the parliament as it was. For Tunisians, it was a joke, incapable of respecting even its own laws.”Allegations against multiple lawmakers are widespread and longstanding. IWatch, the local anti-corruption watchdog, has published a list of MPs subject to outstanding legal action, or who have had prison sentences deferred because of their parliamentary immunity, which Saied has now withdrawn.On the list was Zouheir Makhlouf, who was photographed by a 19-year-old woman while parked outside a secondary school with his genitals exposed. Makhlouf has denied all subsequent charges, saying he was urinating
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One of Britain’s leading universities is failing to stamp out bullying and harassment, some of its staff have said, after a college principal was allowed to remain in post despite complaints of intimidating behaviour towards colleagues.Prof Adekunle Adeyeye, the head of Durham University’s Trevelyan college, is alleged to have frequently reduced colleagues to tears and made sexist remarks.He stepped down from the university’s bullying policy committee after the Guardian approached him last week, but he is understood to remain in post as a college principal.Previously the Guardian has spoken to five former members of staff who say they experienced intimidating behaviour or misogynistic comments from Adeyeye, who joined the university in January 2020.Two people had filed formal grievances against him in a matter of 16 months and three have left over concerns about his manner.The institution’s University and College Union branch said in a statement on Thursday that the case highlighted “extremely important structural issues at Durham”, which has been dogged by complaints about bullying and harassment on campus.The union, which represents nearly current 1,300 academics and staff at the university, said: “While we can’t comment on this particular case while the proceedings are ongoing, there have been similar cases in the past.“It appears that the university has in many instances been reluctant to address the structural problems which have allowed bullying to tak
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Britain’s builders struggled to keep pace with the demand for new homes and maintenance work in July as shortages of materials and skilled staff slowed growth, according to a closely watched industry survey.After hitting a 24-year high in June, the construction industry last month grew at the slowest pace since February, after firms that had stockpiled materials in the first half of the year began to run low while others were unable to find enough workers to fulfil bulging order books.Analysts said the future looked rosy for much of the industry as the economy reopened and a consistently hig
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Given the steep rise in economic inequality in many parts of the world since the 1980s, one might have expected to see increasing political demands for the redistribution of wealth and the return of class-based politics. This didn’t quite happen – or at least not straightforwardly. To make sense of the big picture, we studied the long-term evolution of political divides in 50 western and non-western democracies, using a new database on the vote that covers more than 300 elections held between 1948 and 2020.One of the most striking results that emerges from our analysis is what we propose t
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TOKYO (AP) — Of course, an Olympic medal has significance. But the bouquet of flowers that every medal winner is being handed at the Tokyo Olympics has deeper meaning. Much deeper. The sunflowers and all the other flowers in the bouquet were grown in the three northeastern Japanese prefectures that were devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors. About 18,000 people died in the catastrophe that hit the prefectures of Iwate, Fukushima, and Miyagi. The recovery is still on-going from that day — March 11, 2011. Organizers had hoped
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Christina Animashaun/Vox “There’s just a lot of drama.”  By Aug 5, 2021, 7:30am EDT This story is part of Down to Earth, a Vox reporting initiative on the science, politics, and economics of the biodiversity crisis. In 2017, an evolutionary biologist named R. Alexander Pyron ignited controversy with a Washington Post commentary titled “We don’t need to save endangered species. Extinction is part of evolution.
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Billionaire Donald Bren was behind a quiet $100m donation in 2013 that established Caltech's Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP) in an attempt to harness solar power from outer space, the California private research university revealed this week. The real estate magnate was inspired by a 2011 article in Popular Science (perhaps this one?). He also knew a thing or two concerning power distribution problems from his experience master planning cities like Irvine, California. Bren subsequently approached Caltech to discuss his ideas. Caltech said he has no stake in the tech and won't make any money from it. The donation is being disclosed now, eight years later, as SSPP wants to highlight upcoming project milestones. In early 2023, the org is launching technology demonstrating proto
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The number of self-isolation alerts sent out by the NHS Covid app has fallen by 43% in a week, government figures show.A total of 395,971 alerts were sent in the week to 28 July telling people in England and Wales they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus – down from 690,129 the week before.The large decrease has been matched by a decline in the number of recorded cases over the same period. A total of 189,232 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to 28 July, down 39% on the previous week, according to the latest Test-and-Trace figures.The number of check-ins to venues using the app also fell. There were 2.4m check-ins in the week to 28 July in England and Wales – down 65% on the previous week. As part of the
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August 4, 2021 | 1:23pm | Updated August 4, 2021 | 2:16pm A top communications manager at Facebook helped Gov. Andrew Cuomo fight sexual misconduct allegations — including by helping leak confidential files about accuser Lindsey Boylan and by participating in regular discussions about Cuomo’s communications strategy, according to the New York attorney general’s bombshell investigation.  Dani Lever — who had worked in Cuomo’s press operation since 2014 but left in August 2020 to join Facebook as a communications manager — played a key role in Cuomo’s communications strategy even while working for Facebook, according to the investigation released Tuesday.  In December 2020, former Cuom
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And Lost in Harmony developer DigixArt. Embracer Group - the parent company of THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Koch Media and Gearbox - has added another eight studios to its bulging collection. Notably, this includes Duke Nukem studio 3D Realms, which currently has six new projects in the works. It, alongside support studio and fellow Danish outfit Slipgate Ironworks, will be folded into Saber.Lost in Harmony and 11-11 Memories Retold developer DigixArt will be folded into Koch Media, meanwhile. Its next project is the promising-looking procedural roadtrip game Road 96. VR studio Force Field, as well as its subsidiary Vertigo Games, will also become part of Koch Media and contin
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Descriptions of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes seem to pour out in drink metaphors: it’s sparkling, bubbly, a tonic. It’s certainly got the giddy hopefulness of the night’s first champagne bottle popped, suspended in that state when the world is full of bright delight and possibility. The auditorium is fizzing, too, a buoyantly full house. This 1934 show is Depression-era escapism fit for post-Covid times. If you want to remove yourself from the world for a few hours, this is the place to do it.The genius of Anything Goes lies in the combination of seriously good music with a plot so gloriously inconsequential that a state of blithe, uncomplicated bliss is reached. PG Wodehouse co-wrote the original book but this version, by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman was the basis for a triple-T
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A few minutes after he had finished skating in the Olympics, Dallas Oberholzer, 46, from Durban, South Africa, launched into a story about the time he was nearly eaten by a jaguar while he was travelling in the Amazon.“I was driving a little jeep and I got stuck in the mud, I tried putting my skateboard under the wheels but that didn’t work, so I was looking for some wood and I walked off and found this little hut down the track. There were white droppings outside so I knew there was a meat-eater around and then when I walked in the door I saw this jaguar and oh, shit, this was clearly its lair, so I let rip, roared like some Tarzan crazy man, to let the thing know I was something to be reckoned with, and luckily it bolted out the back. So I just stood there and thought: ‘Oh shit tha
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The Bank of England has kept UK interest rates at the historic low of 0.1% despite predicting a stronger recovery this year from the pandemic that will push inflation higher than previously expected.Central bank policymakers predicted that UK inflation would rise to 4% by the end of this year, double their target, up from 2.5% in June, largely due to higher energy and other goods prices.But they resisted pressure to increase the cost of borrowing to calm rising prices, saying the increase in inflation this year would prove temporary and was expected to fall back towards a 2% target next year.“CPI inflation has risen markedly, to above the monetary policy committee’s target of 2%, and is projected to rise temporarily to 4% in the near term. The rise largely reflects the impact of the pa
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TOKYO (AP) — Ryan Crouser wrote the note and brought it to the stadium just in case. “Grandpa. We did it. 2020 Olympic champion!” it said. The world’s best shot putter had a feeling he’d win. After he did just that on Thursday, he pulled out that piece of paper and showed it to the world. Crouser’s second straight Olympic gold medal was a tribute to his grandfather, Larry, who died shortly before Crouser left for Tokyo. “To lose him the week before the Olympics was obviously sad,” Crouser said. “But I feel like he was able to be here in spirit.”  It was years ago in Larry Crouser’s backyard that Ryan attempted his first toss with the heavy metal ball that would shape his life. What a journey it produced. Crouser has seen the world thanks to that shot put. Domi
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Sebastian Coe, world track’s leader, has spent the past five years pushing his vision of a level playing field. Critics say he is violating athletes’ human rights.Credit...Tytus Zmijewski/EPA, via ShutterstockPublished July 30, 2021Updated Aug. 5, 2021, 7:09 a.m. ETFor six years, Sebastian Coe, the president of track and field’s world governing body, has been fighting a battle.Coe, a two-time gold medalist in the 1,500 meters and a former member of the British Parliament, has been on a mission to uphold his vision of a level playing field, even if that put him at odds with increasingly vocal advocates for inclusion.For decades, track and field, which moved to center stage at the Tokyo Olympics when it began on Friday, has focused on doping as its primary existential threat. But a bro
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As part of our coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, we would like to hear from people who have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. Do you know how or where you were infected? What is the situation like now?Share your experiencesYou can get in touch by filling in the form below, anonymously if you wish or via WhatsApp by clicking here or adding the contact +44(0)7766780300. Your responses are secure as the form is encrypted and only the Guardian has access to your contributions.One of our journalists will be in contact before we publish, so please do leave contact details.If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here and privacy policy here.
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The second Fredo album in the space of six months begins in portentous style. There’s a reading of an extract from an 1852 speech given by the former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass – a speech that contrasted the celebration of “freedom” on 4 July with the lot of the slave – followed by a churchy sounding organ playing a figure that distinctly recalls Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. “I know labels don’t want it to end this way,” offers the rapper on the chorus, “but I had to tell them it’s independence day.”It’s the kind of bullish declaration of freedom an artist might make had they recently quit, or been dropped by, a major label: a new beginning, free from the interference of A&R men and bean-counters suggesting you round your edges and demanding
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Guardian writers’ predicted position: 8th (NB: this is not necessarily Andy Hunter’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)Last season’s position: 10thOdds to win the league (via Oddschecker): 100-1The plan“To put it simply, we need to be competing at the top end of the league and to be winning trophies.”Farhad Moshiri made clear what he expects from Everton when explaining in June why he had pushed through the appointment of Rafael Benítez as the club’s fifth permanent manager in five years. There was also an undisguised brusqueness to the majority shareholder’s comments that could be surmised as follows: I know this is an unpopular choice but Carlo Ancelotti has landed us in it, I’ve tried all manner of different coaches, none have worked, so stop moaning and get behind the team. The appeal, and stated ambition, would be understandable from a man who has invested about £500m into Everton, although it sounds optimistic with a squad whose character has been openly criticised by a succession of managers and finished 10th last season under one of the most decorated of all.Five years into Moshiri’s reign and Everton find themselves back at square one yet again, only without the extravagant spending that inflated expectations under the sizeable roll-call of Benítez’s predecessors. Several high earners have been removed from the wage bill – Theo Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Bernard – but many more remain at a club in danger of breaching FFP regulations and overseeing the construction of a £500m-plus stadium at Bramley Moore dock. Benítez, like Ancelotti, Marco Silva, Sam Allardyce and Ronald Koeman before him, has a considerable task to
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In the film, edgy shock value meets Hollywood sentimentality, resulting in a superhero movie unlike most others in the genre.Warner Bros.The Suicide Squad might seem like a typical superhero movie at first: Yet another group of powerful comic-book characters is thrown together to fight insurmountable odds on a mysterious, deadly mission. Audiences will recognize a few faces from the last (horrendous) Suicide Squad film, such as that of the chipper criminal Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie). But much of the fun comes from trying to puzzle out who the newcomers are, including a costumed hunk named T.D.K. (Nathan Fillion). When someone asks him what T.D.K. stands for, he replies, “It doesn’t stand for anything. It’s just my name. It stands for me.” “Your name is … letters?” “All names are letters,” another character shoots back.Hollywood is now deep in the superhero-movie craze. Every year another torrent of films about caped do-gooders dominates box offices. T.D.K. (whose name is in fact a cheeky initialism) is mostly a winking joke from the writer and director James Gunn about the sheer number of characters who have appeared in these works at this point. The comic-book source material is running out, forcing movies to resort to villains whose names are just … letters. Can viewers still love characters they’ve never heard of?Gunn knows the answer is yes, given that he launched the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise for Marvel, which also featured a little-known motley crew of champions. But in the looser world of DC Comics movies, which place less emphasis on narrative continuity and have no mandate to position individuals as long-term heroes, Gunn
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We spend a lot of time thinking of how to create 3D objects, but what about being able to print full color graphics on the objects we create? This isn’t just multicolor, this is full-color! Here’s one elegant solution that uses ink jets to print full color images on 3D terrain models. Admittedly we are very late to the party on this one as the technology was spotted on season 22, episode 7 of How It’s Made that aired way back in 2013. The segment shows terrain models — think of the physical contour map under glass that you might see at a National Park or at the main lodge of a ski resort. It’s easy enough to envision how the elevation is carved out of foam by a CNC. But the application of color printing to those surfaces is what caught our eye this time around. It’s a custom rig that a company called Solid Terrain Modeling built for this purpose. Since the height at any point on the work material is already known from the milling process, four ink heads (black, cyan, magenta, yellow) have been added to individual Z-axis actuators, applying a raster image as they traverse the surface. Part of what makes this work is the post-processing steps that follow milling. The model is very carefully cleared of debris before being sprayed with primer. Another coat of an undetermined material (“a specialty coating to receive the ink”) gets the piece ready for the ink. The final step after printing is a protective clear coat. In the How It’s Made episode, buildings and other structures are then 3D-printed and added. It seems like the trick is to get the heads to have as small of a footprint as possible for clearance when printing in sloped areas. We’re not experts in all the available consumer ink-jet printers out there, but finding a setup where the heads are separated from the reservoirs would be key. Watching this segment made us so excited to think of the person/people who got to hack this rig together as part of their job. Looking for other ways to abuse ink jet parts? [Sprite_TM] came up with a way to make them handheld so you print on anything from latte foam to your buddy’s forearm. There’s no better name for that than the M
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Yelp will let businesses share their policies on COVID-19 vaccinations, the company announced today. There are a pair of new attributes businesses can add to their profiles; one to share whether their staff are fully vaccinated, and one to specify whether customers will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Businesses can list the attributes via their Yelp for Business accounts. allowing users of the service to find places with policies they’re most comfortable with. The ability to list vaccination policies joins a long list of pandemic-focused features Yelp has added to its service over the past year. Early on in the pandemic, the service let businesses specify whether they offer virtual or contact-free services, and later expanded this to other safety measures like whether they offer outdoor dining, or have a face masks policy for staff. Businesses can add the attributes via their Yelp for Business account. Image: Yelp But some of Yelp’s attempts to help businesses during the pandemic have been less warmly received. In March last year it was forced to reverse a controversial decision to automatically add fundraisers to the pages of tens
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Are environmental crusaders like Douglas Tompkins good for the planet?Douglas Tompkins reached the summit of Mount Fitz Roy on December 20, 1968. (Chris Jones)This article was published online on August 5, 2021.Patagonia as many of us imagine it was born in 1968. That year, the vast region of South America became an exotic destination for outdoor adventure. Of course, residents of Chile and Argentina did not need their backyard discovered any more than Native Americans needed Christopher Columbus. But to a group of young men in California, the landscape held a mystical appeal. That summer they set out by van to drive 16,000 miles southward, drawn by the peak of Fitz Roy, a forbidding mountain that no American had ever summited. Despite weeks of storms, they succeeded. The five men returned home with film footage of breathtaking terrain at the ends of the Earth. Their 1968 expedition has enjoyed a romantic legacy, inspiring countless adventurers—and, in a way, outfitting them as well. One member of the party, Yvon Chouinard, later founded the apparel company Patagonia. The instigator of the trip, Douglas Tompkins, had already launched The North Face.Tompkins, the group’s alpha male, traveled in search of achievement and discovery, but his journey was also an abandonment. The six-month trip stranded his wife, Susie Tompkins, with two very young children as she attempted to start her own clothing business, Plain Jane. Tompkins tossed her some cash and wished her luck (returning for a brief stint of troubleshooting, and then leaving again). She found herself in fearful limbo when the group was months overdue in returning from the dangerous ascent. A film of the expedition, called Mountain of Storms, elides these tensions. It shows Tompkins having his fortune read in a Central American city and being told that his family is thinking of him. The film then cuts to gauzy scenes of domestic life accompanied by guitars and flutes. Two children play happily with their father as his wife cradles his head and feeds him crackers. In a voice-over, Tompkins marvels at his own freedom of movement: “You never really thought about the motives.”One adventurer’s selfish ac
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A "left-wing" German infosec researcher was this week threatened with criminal prosecution after revealing that an app used by Angela Merkel's political party to canvass voters was secretly collecting personal data. Germany's respected Chaos Computer Club (CCC) announced it would stop reporting any weaknesses in the centre-right wing Christian Democratic Union's (CDU) web-facing infrastructure to the party after it procured a criminal prosecution against Lilith Wittmann. "I got an email from the Cyber Security Police of Berlin," she told The Register. "Could you please provide us your address, so we can send you... legal documents? And then I was like, that's weird. I didn't do anything wrong. Let's tweet about that. Let's find a lawyer who can look into that." Although the prosecution is due to be withdrawn after an apology from the CDU, the episode shines a light on some German politicians' attitudes to vulnerability disclosures. In May, during federal elections in Germany, the CDU equipped its door-knocking activists with an app called CDU Connect. The app was used for recording data on homeowners: did they welcome political activists knocking on their doors to find out who they were going to vote for? Did they shoo the CDU's foot soldiers away, or did they invite them in for a cuppa and a chat? At the time, Wittmann told us, the CDU insisted that data collected in the app was anonymous. This was incorrect, Wittmann said. The researcher revealed her findings in a blog post (auf Deutsch), explaining on a phone call with The Register that all she did was sniff an API token, "man in the middle" style, "to figure out how the API works." Having done that, she discovered personal data was indeed being processed by the app. The perils of non-disclosure? China 'cloned and used' NSA zero-day exploit for years before it was made public C'mon, biz: Give white hats a chance to tell you how screwed you are Google, Facebook, Chaos Computer Club join forces to oppose German state spyware After Wittmann reported the exploitable vulns to the CDU, the party shut down CDU Connect. There was, so the infosec researcher said, no specific agreemen
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In a bold move that certainly didn't pay off, a pair of PlayStation 5 development kits appeared on eBay yesterday - although the listings didn't last more than a few hours before being removed. As spotted by Twitter user iDCx1337, the listings were for a DFI-D1000AA dev kit and a DFI-T1000AA test kit (thanks, Kotaku). A screenshot of the DFI-D1000AA dev kit, complete with two all-black DualSense controllers, showed that the listing apparently reached a bidding price of €2850 (£2423) before being pulled. PlayStation 5 Teardown Analysis: Inside Sony's Ne
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Little can be done to change the minds of the 30% of American adults yet to get jabbedTHE CORONAVIRUS is upending daily life in America once again. Cases have risen in all states over the past 14 days owing to the spread of the Delta variant. In Florida, where the rate of new infections is second highest, hospitals have more covid-19 patients than ever. Deaths have risen in 30 states over the past two weeks, typically in places with the lowest rates of fully vaccinated people. Although the country has met President Joe Biden’s target of giving at least one dose to 70% of its adult population
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Nearly 72,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, a “substantial” increase that troubles public health advocates amid the growing wave of infections linked to the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics released the figures on Tuesday, noting they were a nearly 85% increase from a week earlier. Children — defined by individual states as those aged 17 or 18 and under ― now account for 19% of the nation’s weekly COVID-19 cases. More than 4.2 million children have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The data is troubling as many children are not yet eligible for a coronavirus vaccine. Those used in the United States are only authorized for people aged 12 and over, but many schools are preparing to hold in-person classes in the fall for the first time since the pandemic took hold last year. The American Academy of Pediatrics noted that severe illness and hospitalization remained uncommon among children. Top vaccine makers are testing their products on children as young as 6 months old, but emergency use authorization is still months away. “There is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects,” the group said. A recent study from scientists in London found that children who are infected with the coronavirus rarely develop long-term illnesses, known colloquially as “long COVID,” suggesting the issue may be more frequent in adults. Researchers found just 4.4% of kids have symptoms that last for four weeks or longer, and just 1.8% have illnesses that go on for more than eight weeks. The report comes less than two weeks after the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended all kids over the age of 2 wear face masks in school this fall, regardless of vaccination status, citing the delta variant. Vaccines remain the best defense against severe cases of COVID-19 and death associated with the disease, and studies show that all vaccines used in the U.S. protect well against the delta strain. Almost all of the nation’s deaths linked to the pandemic are among unvaccinated Americans, and regions with notably low inoculation rates have seen cases jump dramatically since June.
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HACKING THE HACKERS — New exploit available for download lets hackers crash Cobalt Strike Team Servers. Enlarge / You did a bad bad thing.Governments, vigilantes, and criminal hackers have a new way to disrupt botnets running the widely used attack software Cobalt Strike, courtesy of research published on Wednesday. Cobalt Strike is a legitimate security tool used by penetration testers to emulate malicious activity in a network. Over the past few years, malicious hackers—working on behalf of a nation-state or in search of profit—have increasingly embraced the software. For both defender and attacker, Cobalt Strike provides a soup-to-nuts collection of software packages that allow infected computers and attacker servers to interact in highly customizable ways. The main components of the security tool are the Cobalt Strike client—also known as a Beacon—and the Cobalt Strike Team Server, which sends commands to infected computers and receives the data they exfiltrate. An attacker starts by spinning up a machine running Team Server that has been configured to use specific “malleability” customizations, such as how often the client is to report to the server or specific data to periodically send. Then the attacker installs the client on a targeted machine after exploiting a vulnerability, tricking the user, or gaining access by other means. From then on, the client will use those customizations to maintain persistent contact with the machine running the Team Server. The link connecting the client to the server is called the web serve
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Nintendo has now shifted 89.04m Switch consoles worldwide as of 30th June, though sales have slowed compared to this time last year. Shipments of the main Switch console actually increased year-on-year, though a fall for the Switch Lite model offset that, leading to an overall decrease for the last quarter of 21.7 percent. In its latest earnings briefing, Nintendo pointed to last year's sales boom "substantially driven" by Animal Crossing: New Horizons as providing tough comparisons. A further 45.28m Switch games have been sold, including 2.07m copies of New Pokémon Snap, 1.34m copies of Mario Golf: Super Rush and 1.04m copies of Miitopia.Sales of evergreen games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing continued to tick upwards, to 37.08m and 33.89m copies respectively. Just last week, Nintendo finally promised further updates to Animal Crossing: New Horizons were on the way, after months of silence on the subject.Nintendo Switch is now just 12m sales behind the Wii, Nintendo's all-time best-selling home console, which stands at 101.63m. Switch OLED arrives on 8th October.Looking ahead, Switch will get WarioWare: Get It Together! on 10th September, Metroid Dread on 8th October, Mario Party Superstars on 29th October, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on 19th November and Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp on 3rd December, before Pokémon Legends: Arceus on 28th January.
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Facebook is being criticized by politicians and researchers for banning the accounts of academics who analyzed political ads and misinformation on the social network. In press statements, Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) said the company’s actions were “deeply concerning,” while Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said she was “deeply troubled” by the news. Creator of the Firefox browser, Mozilla, which conducted a privacy audit of the academics’ work, said Facebook’s justification for banning the researchers was “wrong.” “Facebook claims the accounts were shut down due to privacy problems with the Ad Observer,” wrote Mozilla’s chief security officer Marshall Erwin in a blog post. “In our view, those claims simply do not hold water.” The academics banned by Facebook worked with the NYU Ad Observatory, creating a browser plug-in called Ad Observer that Facebook users could install to collect data about what political ads they were shown and how they were targeted. Facebook does not provide equivalent information, says the NYU Ad Observatory, not least because, as the researchers have shown, the company sometimes fails to label political ads at all. Facebook has defended its ban of NYU Ad Observatory accounts and pages by saying it’s protecting users’ privacy. It’s a not-unreasonable argument given that the Cambridge Analytica scandal sprung from third-party researchers scraping the site for user data. But critics say Facebook has got the details wrong. Mozilla, which examined the code and consent flow of the Ad Observer plug-in, is adamant that it presents no privacy threat. As Mozilla’s Marshall Erwin wrote in a blog post (emphasis his): We decided to recommend Ad Observer because our reviews assured us that it respects user privacy and supports transparency. It collects ads, targeting parameters and metadata associated with the ads. It does not collect personal posts or information about your friends. And it does not compile a user profile on its servers. The extension also allows you to see what data has been collected by visiting the “My Archive” tab. It gives you the choice to opt in to sharing additional demographic information to aid research into how specific groups are being targeted, but even that is off by default. As reported in Casey Newton’s Platformer newsletter, Facebook claims the plug-in may collect some information about third-parties. For example: ”If an individual pays to boost a post, such as for a fundraiser, information including that user’s name and photo winds up in the NYU researchers’ hands.” But as Newton notes: “In any of these cases, the actual harm to the user would seem to be extremely minor, if you can call it a harm at all.” In a statement, Senator Warner said Facebook’s actions were exactly the wrong response to current worries about political ad transparency and misinformation on its platform. “This latest action by Facebook to cut off an outside group’s transparency efforts — efforts that have repeatedly facilitated revelations of ads violating Facebook’s Terms of Service, ads for frauds and predatory financial schemes, and political ads that wer
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TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo reported 5,042 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, hitting a record since the pandemic began as the infections surge in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics. The additional cases brought the total for Tokyo to 236,138, about a quarter of the national total. Japan reported more than 14,000 cases on Wednesday for a total of 970,000. Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four other areas have since been added and extended until Aug. 31. But the measures, basically a ban on alcohol in restaurants and bars and their shorter hours, are increasingly ignored by the public, which has become tired of restrictions. “We need to tackle the situation as we now have a stronger sense of urgency,” Prime Minister Yosihide Suga told reporters, referring to Tokyo’s new record exceeding 5,000 cases for the first time. “The infections are expanding at the pace we have never experienced before.” Suga, who has been criticized for insisting on hosting the Olympics despite the coronavirus spreading, says there is no evidence linking the surge in cases to the July 23-Aug. 8 Games. He urged people to firmly stick to the emergency requests and stay home despite the summer vacation. Alarmed by the pace of the spread, some experts have called for a current state of emergency in Tokyo and five other areas to be expanded nationwide. Instead, Suga on Thursday announced a milder version of the emergency measures in eight prefectures, including Fukushima in the east and Kumamoto in the south, expanding the areas to 13 prefectures. The less-stringent measures allow prefectural heads to target specific towns but cannot order business closures. Suga also pledged to “prevent the further spread of the virus by firmly carrying out vaccinations.” Experts say people are not cooperating because many feel less of a sense of urgency about the pandemic while the Olympics are going ahead and Suga’s government keeps issuing the same requests for people to stay at home. Experts at a Tokyo metropolitan government panel cautioned that infections propelled by the more contagious delta variant have become “explosive” and could exceed 10,000 cases a day in two weeks. Measures targeting business owners start from requests and increase to orders, and violators can be fined, though this rarely happens. Those who comply can receive compensation, but thousands of eateries still stay open after the requested 8 p.m. closing time. Measures for the general public are only requests, including stay home, wear a mask outside and avoid nonessential trips. Japan has managed to keep its cases and deaths lower than much of the world, but testing is still insufficient and Tokyo’s positivity rate stands at 20%, indicating widespread infections. In Tokyo, more than 14,000 patients with mild symptoms are currently isolating at home — more than a tenfold increase from a month ago — and about 8,400 others are waiting for beds in hospitals or special hotels. As hospital beds start to fill, Suga’s government this week introduced a new policy in which coronavirus patients with moderate symptoms will isolate at home instead of in hospitals,
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The former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite will compete in Strictly Come Dancing’s first all-male partnership.The 33-year-old chef is the fourth contestant to be confirmed for the next series of the BBC One show.It is the second time that the show has featuring a same-sex pairing, after the boxer Nicola Adams and the professional dancer Katya Jones formed its first female same-sex dance pairing last year. The Olympic gold medalist and her dance partner were forced to pull out of the 2020 competition five weeks in, however, after Jones tested positive for Covid-19.Whaite said: “I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family. I’ve been wearing se
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The installation features figures dotted among the trees and explores the relationship between man and nature. Photograph: Jason deCaires Taylor/Musan
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As a marine biologist who has studied the effects of extreme weather events for decades, I expected it would be bad. The ‘heat dome’ brought record high air temperatures to the Pacific north-west, and for the plants and animals living along our extensive coastlines the late June timing could not have been worse. The scorching heatwave coincided with some of the lowest daytime tides of the year, leaving tidal lands exposed to hot air and sun for hours during the hottest part of the day, several days in a row.And bad it was. In the days immediately after the historic heatwave, I visited shorelines that looked and smelled like death. Mussel, oyster and clam shells open wide with rotting tis
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On 19 July, Ben & Jerry’s, the celebrated ice cream company based in Vermont, where I live, set off a firestorm after it announced it would no longer allow its ice cream to be sold in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and would not renew its licensing agreement with its franchise in Israel beyond next year. The company said that continuing to sell ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territory would be “inconsistent” with its values. I spent the last decade organizing with fellow activists in Vermont to convince Ben & Jerry’s to end its business in Israel’s settlements. The company’s statement, therefore, was a welcome step towar
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Look at all of our tech billionaires trying to leave the world to evade responsibility for their malevolent influence on it. Anything to avoid being confronted by the workers they exploit or the victims of the ethnic and religious clashes facilitated by their platforms. Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are flinging themselves into space; Elon Musk is burrowing into the earth; now Mark Zuckerberg is retreating into a virtual “metaverse”.What is a metaverse, you ask? Well, late last year a former Facebook data scientist, Sophie Zhang, accused the company of having known about - and failed to prevent – attempts by heads of state and other political actors in Honduras, India, Azerbaijan, and
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) minced no words when anti-vaxxers heckled him during a press conference in Union City on Wednesday. Murphy slammed a small group protesting mandatory inoculations as “the ultimate knuckleheads.” They were carrying signs that read “No forced injections” and “My body, my choice,” reported NorthJersey.com. “These folks back there have lost their minds,” said Murphy, who’d urged people to get vaccinated during his announcement of the state’s extension of its eviction moratorium. “You are the ultimate knuckleheads and because of what you are saying and standing for, people are losing their life,” the governor continued. “People are losing
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