Old and Young, Talking Again
Health

Old and Young, Talking Again

On Fridays at 10 a.m., Richard Bement and Zach Ahmed sign on to their weekly video chat. The program that brought them together provides online discussion prompts and suggests arts-related activities, but the two largely ignore all that.“We just started talking about things that were important to us,” said Mr. Ahmed, 19, a pre-med student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.Since the pair met more than a year ago, conversation topics have included: Pink Floyd, in a long exploration led by Mr. Bement, 76, a retired sales manager in Milford Township, Ohio; their religious faiths (the senior conversation partner is Episcopalian; the younger is Muslim); their families; changing gender norms; and poetry, including Mr. Ahmed’s own efforts.“There’s this fallacy that these two generations can’t co...
Sydney Asbestos Problem Grows as Taylor Swift Venue Tests Negative
World

Sydney Asbestos Problem Grows as Taylor Swift Venue Tests Negative

Officials in Sydney, Australia, said on Sunday that they had found traces of asbestos at 34 public sites across the city in recent weeks, and that a venue for an upcoming Taylor Swift concert was declared free of the toxic mineral.The hunt for asbestos in recycled mulch in the city began last month, and sites that have tested positive include parks and the grounds of hospitals, train stations, supermarkets and four schools, two of which have temporarily closed. The figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency of New South Wales on Sunday included two new sites, both schools.The scandal has received international attention in part because the authorities have been testing mulch on the grounds of Sydney Olympic Park, where Ms. Swift is scheduled to perform four shows starting on F...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Technology

The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
Intensity, alter egos and ‘Benjamin Button’: Dan Hurley’s quest to become king of two in a row at UConn
Sports

Intensity, alter egos and ‘Benjamin Button’: Dan Hurley’s quest to become king of two in a row at UConn

STORRS, Conn. — It is 1 p.m. on a dismal January afternoon and, aside from a few managers, Gampel Pavilion is empty. The Connecticut players have finished reviewing film but have yet to shuffle in from the practice facility across the street. Dan Hurley stands a few steps behind halfcourt. He’s wearing gray sweats, a hoodie, a UConn beanie and a pair of reflector sunglasses. He would like it noted that he wore the sunglasses “way before Coach Prime.’’Hurley starts launching halfcourt shots, cursing under his breath when the first few attempts clank off the backboard or, worse, airball short of the basket entirely. The Huskies stream in, clomping down the stairs to the court, and Hurley, still in his getup, keeps shooting.Finally, the ball swishes through the net and Hurley shouts, to no on...
More Young People Are on Multiple Psychiatric Drugs, Study Finds
Health

More Young People Are on Multiple Psychiatric Drugs, Study Finds

The NewsGrowing numbers of children and adolescents are being prescribed multiple psychiatric drugs to take simultaneously, according to a new study in the state of Maryland. The phenomenon is increasing despite warnings that psychotropic drug combinations in young people have not been tested for safety or studied for their impact on the developing brain.The study, published Friday in JAMA Open Network, looked at the prescribing patterns among patients 17 or younger enrolled in Medicaid in Maryland from 2015 to 2020. In this group, there was a 9.5 percent increase in the prevalence of “polypharmacy,” which the study defined as taking three or more different classes of psychiatric medications, including antidepressants, mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants, sedatives and drugs for A.D.H.D. and ...
Venezuela Expels U.N. Human Rights Agency
World

Venezuela Expels U.N. Human Rights Agency

A United Nations agency that monitors and defends human rights was ordered on Thursday to leave Venezuela by the government of President Nicolás Maduro, an extraordinary move that will further strip the country of foreign oversight at a time when its government stands accused of intensifying repression.The announcement by Yván Gil, the foreign minister, comes just days after the detention and disappearance of Rocío San Miguel, a prominent security expert and human rights advocate.Following her detention, several U.N. entities issued online statements expressing concern about the arrest, some calling it part of a pattern in which the government tries to silence critics through intimidation.Mr. Gil said he was giving the staff of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 72 h...
Money in College Savings Accounts Can Now Go Toward Retirement
Business

Money in College Savings Accounts Can Now Go Toward Retirement

Starting this year, some of the money in 529 college savings accounts can be used for retirement if it’s not needed for education.New rules under the federal law known as Secure 2.0 allow up to $35,000 in a 529 account to be rolled over to a Roth individual retirement account for the beneficiary of the 529 account if certain conditions are met.State-sponsored 529 accounts, named for a section of the tax code, are used to pay for education expenses — mainly college costs. Money deposited in the accounts grows tax free and can be withdrawn tax free to pay for eligible expenses like tuition, housing, food and books.The new Roth option is aimed at parents who may be reluctant to save in a 529 because they worry about having to pay income taxes and a penalty if for some reason the funds aren’t ...
In Big Election Year, A.I.’s Architects Move Against Its Misuse
Technology

In Big Election Year, A.I.’s Architects Move Against Its Misuse

Artificial intelligence companies have been at the vanguard of developing the transformative technology. Now they are also racing to set limits on how A.I. is used in a year stacked with major elections around the world.Last month, OpenAI, the maker of the ChatGPT chatbot, said it was working to prevent abuse of its tools in elections, partly by forbidding their use to create chatbots that pretend to be real people or institutions. In recent weeks, Google also said it would limit its A.I. chatbot, Bard, from responding to certain election-related prompts to avoid inaccuracies. And Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, promised to better label A.I.-generated content on its platforms so voters could more easily discern what information was real and what was fake.On Friday, Anthropic, anot...
Kylian Mbappe is leaving PSG: Thank god that’s finally over
Sports

Kylian Mbappe is leaving PSG: Thank god that’s finally over

Ice ages haven’t lasted as long as this.Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid… it has been a thing for about a decade at least.The Athletic was not even in existence when the pair began courting each other. Twitter was still fun (and called Twitter), Taylor Swift hadn’t heard of American football and the closest thing we got to a global pandemic was from watching Contagion.It has been an inexorably long saga, the very worst kind of transfer saga in fact, with endless posturing, incessant lies and spin and thousands upon thousands of stories claiming that it is finally happening.Well now, once and for all, it surely is. Mbappe will leave PSG and you’d have to assume that next season, he will play in the Bernabeu (assuming another club doesn’t have the opportunity to pip them and he ends up at, say, ...