Duke Shuts Down Huge Plant Collection, Causing Scientific Uproar
Health

Duke Shuts Down Huge Plant Collection, Causing Scientific Uproar

Duke University has decided to close its herbarium, a collection of 825,000 specimens of plants, fungi and algae that was established more than a century ago. The collection, one of the largest and most diverse in the country, has helped scientists map the diversity of plant life and chronicle the impact of humans on the environment.The university’s decision has left researchers reeling. “This is such a devastating blow for biodiversity science,” said Erika Edwards, the curator of the Yale Herbarium. “The entire community is simultaneously shocked and outraged.”Scientific societies have also protested the move. “Duke’s decision to forgo responsibility of their herbarium specimens sets a terrible precedent,” the Natural Science Collections Alliance wrote in a letter to the university last F...
U.S. Defends Israel at UN Court Hearing on Occupation: Live Updates
World

U.S. Defends Israel at UN Court Hearing on Occupation: Live Updates

A day after vetoing calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the United States on Wednesday defended Israel’s decades-long occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, arguing at the United Nations’ highest court that Israel faced “very real security needs.”The latest United States defense of Israel on the global stage came at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where Richard C. Visek, the acting legal adviser at the U.S. State Department, urged a 15-judge panel not to call for Israel’s immediate withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory.He said that only the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel could bring about lasting peace, repeating a longstanding U.S. position but one whose prospects appear even more elusive amid the war in Gaza.Th...
U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?
Business

U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?

The last time the American economy was posting surprising economic growth numbers amid rapid wage gains and moderating inflation, Ace of Base and All-4-One topped the Billboard charts and denim overalls were in vogue.Thirty years ago, officials at the Federal Reserve were hotly debating whether the economy could continue to chug along so vigorously without spurring a pickup in inflation. And back in 1994, it turned out that it could, thanks to one key ingredient: productivity.Now, official productivity data are showing a big pickup for the first time in years. The data have been volatile since the start of the pandemic, but with the dawn of new technologies like artificial intelligence and the embrace of hybrid work setups, some economists are asking whether the recent gains might be real ...
Let Tesla Expand? Germans Vote No.
Technology

Let Tesla Expand? Germans Vote No.

Why It Matters: A factory that has divided a town.Tesla’s decision to settle in Grünheide, which is in the state of Brandenburg, and the speed with which the factory was built — 861 days — has been a point of pride for local politicians in a country known for its onerous permitting processes.The factory, which opened two years ago, has also become an important driver of growth in the state, long one of the most economically challenged in Germany. Brandenburg recorded economic growth of 6 percent in the first half of 2023, largely driven by the 11,000 jobs at the plant and dozens of suppliers that have sprung up around it.But many local residents contend the plant has disrupted a quality of life that drew them to Grünheide, and say it threatens the air and water quality.Some said that Tesla...
‘His legs have gone’: Unpicking the four words no footballer wants to hear
Sports

‘His legs have gone’: Unpicking the four words no footballer wants to hear

Last season, it was a Brazilian midfielder at Liverpool. This season, it’s been his international team-mate at Manchester United.“I think Casemiro’s legs have gone,” Jamie Carragher told the Covering Liverpool podcast in October. “I noticed it last season at Anfield and I didn’t like what I saw. It took me back to watching Fabinho last year for Liverpool. I want to be the first to say it (about Casemiro). I don’t want to say it when everyone else is saying his legs have gone.”Regardless of who said what and when, Carragher — who played for Liverpool until he retired at age 35 — is not a lone voice in this debate, and Fabinho and Casemiro are far from the only players singled out for seemingly having lead in their boots.Any footballer over the age of 30 who is struggling for form leaves the...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
Health

How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...
The Wife of Haiti’s Assassinated President Is Accused in His Killing
World

The Wife of Haiti’s Assassinated President Is Accused in His Killing

A Haitian judge has indicted 51 people for their roles in the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, including his wife, Martine Moïse, who is accused of being an accomplice, despite being seriously wounded in the attack.A 122-page copy of the indictment by Judge Walther Voltaire that was provided to The New York Times does not accuse her of planning the killing nor does it offer any direct evidence of her involvement.Instead, it says that she and other accomplices gave statements that were contradicted by other witnesses, suggesting that they were complicit in the killing. The indictment also cites one of the main defendants in the case in custody in Haiti, who claimed that Mrs. Moïse was plotting with others to take over the presidency.The accusations echo those contained in a cr...
Capital One to Acquire Discover in $35.3 Billion Deal
Business

Capital One to Acquire Discover in $35.3 Billion Deal

Capital One announced on Monday that it would acquire Discover Financial Services in an all-stock transaction valued at $35.3 billion, a deal that would merge two of the largest credit card companies in the United States.“A space that is already dominated by a relatively small number of megaplayers is about to get a little smaller,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.Capital One, with $479 billion in assets, is one of the nation’s largest banks, and it issues credit cards on networks run by Visa and Mastercard. Acquiring Discover will give it access to a credit card network of 305 million cardholders, adding to its base of more than 100 million customers. The country’s four major networks are American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover, which has far fewer cardholder...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
Technology

Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project in Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather than 20...
Does the PGA Tour have a juice problem, and will Sunday solve it?
Sports

Does the PGA Tour have a juice problem, and will Sunday solve it?

LOS ANGELES — It was all going to be so perfect. It had stars. It had records. It had one of the most beautiful stages in all of sports in prime time. It was supposed to be the PGA Tour’s big day.Two weeks ago up in Pebble Beach, Wyndham Clark shot a third-round 60 to break the historic course’s record and take the lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The tour couldn’t have drawn up a better Sunday — in theory. It was the off week before the Super Bowl, meaning it practically had the sports calendar to itself. It made the tournament a signature event, meaning one of golf’s most iconic venues had all the best players on tour competing. And suddenly it had the reigning U.S. Open champ — the star of the new season of golf’s Netflix show, “Full Swing” — Clark going into a Sunday duel with...