Author: Kyle C. Garrison

Middle East Crisis: Hostage Talks Set for Paris on Friday
World

Middle East Crisis: Hostage Talks Set for Paris on Friday

A song called “October Rain” might simply be a ballad about dreary fall weather. But in the charged atmosphere following the Hamas-led attacks on Israel of Oct. 7, the title could also signal a lament about that tragedy, or a rallying call to stand firm against terrorism.This week, the meaning of “October Rain” — a song that very few people have heard — became a contested question when newspapers in Israel reported that a song with that name had been chosen to represent the country in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.Although initial reports gave few details of the song, they sparked a furor on social media. Some Eurovision fans complained that the track was clearly referring to Oct. 7 and should not be allowed in the nonpolitical event in which pop stars, representing countries, compet...
Menthol Cigarette Bans Can Reduce Smoking Rates, Study Finds
Health

Menthol Cigarette Bans Can Reduce Smoking Rates, Study Finds

Nearly a quarter of menthol cigarette smokers quit in the year or two after a ban on menthol went into effect, according to a study published on Wednesday.Researchers found that about half of the menthol smokers switched to other cigarettes and another quarter managed to keep smoking menthols. The rate of menthol smokers who quit was higher in nations that imposed bans, in contrast with cities or states, since it was harder for people to drive a few miles to keep buying menthol cigarettes, according to the study.The Food and Drug Administration has been urging the Biden administration to impose a ban on menthol cigarettes, a goal that has generated intense opposition from retailers and tobacco companies alongside concerns in a presidential election year that it could alienate Black voters....
The fearless mindset of the Warriors’ Brandin Podziemski: ‘He’s got a delusion to him’
Sports

The fearless mindset of the Warriors’ Brandin Podziemski: ‘He’s got a delusion to him’

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly a year ago on the dot, Mike Dunleavy, the Golden State Warriors’ future general manager, and Kent Lacob, an ascending front office personnel voice, hopped in a car and made the quick 50 mile trip south to Santa Clara’s campus.They were primarily there to see Maxwell Lewis, the possible lottery pick out of Pepperdine. Lewis played fine. He’d eventually get selected 40th in the 2023 NBA Draft. But he wasn’t the best player on the floor. Brandin Podziemski, a 6-foot-4 guard who was only beginning to creep onto the draft radar, made every significant play to lead Santa Clara to victory. His 23 points mattered. But it was the 18 rebounds that had Dunleavy’s and Lacob’s antennas up.“Mike and I walked out of the game like, ‘Um, that guy might be a first-round pick,'” Lacob ...
Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom
Technology

Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom

Nvidia, the kingpin of chips powering artificial intelligence, on Wednesday released quarterly financial results that reinforced how the company has become one of the biggest winners of the artificial intelligence boom, and it said demand for its products would fuel continued sales growth.The Silicon Valley chip maker has been on an extraordinary rise over the past 18 months, driven by demand for its specialized and costly semiconductors, which are used for training popular A.I. services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Nvidia has become known as one of the “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks, which, including others like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, have helped power the stock market.Nvidia’s valuation has surged more than 40 percent to $1.7 trillion since the start of the year, turning it into...
New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions
Business

New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions

After the Houthi militia started attacking container ships in the Red Sea last year, the cost of shipping goods from Asia soared by over 300 percent, prompting fears that supply chain disruptions might once again roil the global economy.The Houthis, who are backed by Iran and control northern Yemen, continue to threaten ships, forcing many to take a much longer route around Africa’s southern tip. But there are signs that the world will probably avoid a drawn-out shipping crisis.One reason for the optimism is that a huge number of container ships, ordered two to three years ago, are entering service. Those extra vessels are expected to help shipping companies maintain regular service as their ships travel longer distances. The companies ordered the ships when the extraordinary surge in worl...
As Latin America’s Prison Population Explodes, Gangs Seize Control
World

As Latin America’s Prison Population Explodes, Gangs Seize Control

Ecuador’s military was sent in to seize control of the country’s prisons last month after two major gang leaders escaped and criminal groups quickly set off a nationwide revolt that paralyzed the country.In Brazil last week, two inmates with connections to a major gang became the first to escape from one of the nation’s five maximum-security federal prisons, officials said.Officials in Colombia have declared an emergency in its prisons after two guards were killed and several more targeted in what the government said was retaliation for its crackdown on major criminal groups.Inside prisons across Latin America, criminal groups exercise unchallenged authority over prisoners, extracting money from them to buy protection or basic necessities, like food.The prisons also act as a safe haven of ...
Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots
Health

Some Pregnant Women and Infants Received the Wrong R.S.V. Shots

This winter, for the first time ever, there were two vaccines available to ward off respiratory syncytial virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and infants. Only one of them — Abrysvo, made by Pfizer — was approved for pregnant women, and neither was for young children.The distinction apparently slipped by some clinicians and pharmacists.At least 128 pregnant women were mistakenly given the alternative vaccine — Arexvy, by GSK — and at least 25 children under age 2 received a vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. Dr. Sarah Long, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and an adviser to the agency, said she was “blindsided” by the reports. “It is very upsetting that this should happen,” she said.Arexvy has not been ...
‘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...
Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups
Technology

Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups

Last May, Anthropic, one of the world’s hottest artificial intelligence start-ups, raised $450 million from investors including Google and Salesforce. It was the beginning of an astonishing funding spree.By August, Anthropic had landed $100 million from two Asian telecoms. Then Amazon committed $4 billion to it, followed by $2 billion more from Google.This month, the venture capital firm Menlo Ventures closed a deal to invest $750 million in Anthropic.All told, the A.I. start-up hauled in $7.3 billion in a year. Its five funding deals stood out not just for their speed and size, but for their unusual structures.In one of those deals, Anthropic agreed to use technology such as chips and cloud computing services from the companies that invested in it. That meant, in effect, that some of the ...
Will Food Prices Stop Rising Quickly? Many Companies Say Yes.
Business

Will Food Prices Stop Rising Quickly? Many Companies Say Yes.

Few prices are as visible to Americans as the ones they encounter at the grocery store or drive-through window, which is why two years of rapid food inflation have been a major drag for U.S. households and the Biden administration.Shoppers have only slowly regained confidence in the state of the economy as they pay more to fill up their carts, and President Biden has made a habit of shaming food companies — even filming a Super Bowl Sunday video criticizing snack producers for their “rip off” prices.But now, the trend in grocery and restaurant inflation appears to be on the cusp of changing.After months of rapid increase, the cost of food at home climbed at a notably slower clip in January. And from packaged food providers to restaurant chains, companies across the food business are report...