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Is that drink worth having for you?

Is that drink worth having for you?

Alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, which may be why news of any kind about alcohol seems to have found a receptive audience in recent years. In 2022, an episode of the “Huberman Lab” podcast dedicated to elaborating on the various risks of alcohol to the body and brain was one of the most popular programs of that year. Non-alcoholic spirits have gained such popularity that they have begun to form the basis for entire nightlife guides; and more and more people report consuming cannabis rather than alcohol on a daily basis.Some governments are responding to the new research by reviewing their messaging. Last year, Ireland became the first country to pass legislation requiring a cancer warning on all alcohol products sold there, similar to those found on cigarettes: &#...
Sweden and Iran exchange prisoners in a revolutionary exchange

Sweden and Iran exchange prisoners in a revolutionary exchange

Iran and Sweden exchanged prisoners on Saturday, breaking an impasse that brought relief to families but also raised concern over Sweden's decision to release the first Iranian official convicted of crimes against humanity.Iran has released Johan Floderus, 33, a European Union diplomat and Swedish citizen, arrested in April 2022 in Tehran, as well as Saeed Azizi, a dual citizen arrested in 2023, the Swedish prime minister said.“It is with pleasure that I can announce that Johan Floderus and Saeed Azizi are now on a plane back to Sweden and will soon be reunited with their families,” Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on social media.Mr. Floderus had been accused of espionage and corruption, and Mr. Azizi of “assembly and collusion against national security,” charges which both have co...
Fake news still has a home on Facebook

Fake news still has a home on Facebook

From Stuart A. ThompsonStuart Thompson collected and analyzed data on thousands of Facebook posts for this article.On the morning of January 6, 2021, Christopher Blair's fake news empire was abuzz.In some months, Blair had earned up to $15,000 by posting false stories on Facebook about Democrats and the election, reaching millions of people every month.But after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, his growing feat came to an abrupt halt. Facebook appeared to recognize its role in fomenting an insurrection and changed its algorithm to limit the spread of political content, false and otherwise. Mr Blair witnessed her engagement flatline.“It just collapsed – anything political collapsed for about six months,” he said.Today, however, Blair is fully recovered, and then so...
As the war drags on, Gazans are increasingly willing to speak out against Hamas

As the war drags on, Gazans are increasingly willing to speak out against Hamas

On October 7, as the Hamas-led attack on Israel unfolded, many Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza to celebrate what they likened to a prison break and saw as the sudden humiliation of an occupier.But it was only a temporary boost for Hamas, whose support among Gazans has long been low. And while the Israeli assault brought widespread devastation and tens of thousands of deaths, the group and its leaders remained largely unpopular in the enclave. Many Gazans have even been willing to speak out against Hamas, risking retaliation.In interviews conducted with nearly a dozen Gaza residents in recent months, many of them said they hold Hamas responsible for starting the war and helping to bring death and destruction upon them, even as they blame Israel first and foremost.One Gaza residen...
Medical experts alarmed by out-of-hospital C-sections in Florida

Medical experts alarmed by out-of-hospital C-sections in Florida

A new law in Florida that allows doctors to perform C-sections in outpatient birth centers has raised serious safety concerns among medical experts, who say the procedures carry a small but real risk of life-threatening complications and should not be undertaken outside outside hospitals.The proposed new facilities, to be called advanced birth centers, will not be able to quickly mobilize extra staff, equipment and expertise if complications suddenly arise, as a hospital would, critics noted.“A pregnant patient who is considered low risk at one moment may suddenly need life-saving care the next,” said Dr. Cole Greves, Florida district president for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.“Advanced birth centers, even with more stringent regulations, cannot guarantee the lev...
Princess Catherine appears in public for the first time since her cancer diagnosis

Princess Catherine appears in public for the first time since her cancer diagnosis

Catherine, Princess of Wales, appeared in public on Saturday for the first time since her cancer diagnosis, smiling as she rode in a carriage with her three children as she took part in a ceremonial parade to mark the birthday of her father-in-law, King Charles III.Crowds gathered in central London to watch the princess and her family attend an event full of military tradition, music and pageantry, dampened only slightly by light rain. Her appearance was hailed as a sign of improvement in her medical condition and a significant moment for the British royal family, which suffered another blow this year when King Charles announced he also had cancer.However, when she announced on Friday evening that she was well enough to attend Saturday's events, the princess made it clear that her rec...
“Brainrot” is the new online affliction

“Brainrot” is the new online affliction

The term primarily refers to low-value Internet content and the effects of spending too much time consuming it. Example: “I've watched so many TikToks that my brain is rotten.”Online debate about brainrot has recently become so widespread that some social media users have begun creating parodies of people who appear to embody the condition.Several videos from TikTok user Heidi Becker show her in front of the camera as she quickly strings together one Internet reference after another.“Hello, oh my God, the fit is right, pop in, king!” he says at the beginning of a recent video that has over 200,000 likes.Other lines in his soliloquy include: "He's giving energy to the golden retriever," a piece of slang describing someone who gives the impression of being friendly, silly, or harml...
Israel's defense chief rejects French efforts to end fighting between Israel and Hezbollah

Israel's defense chief rejects French efforts to end fighting between Israel and Hezbollah

As part of any diplomatic agreement with Hezbollah, Israel has asked the group to withdraw its forces north of the Litani River in Lebanon, in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 war between the two set off. The resolution stipulated that only UN forces and the Lebanese army could enter the area, but both sides accused the other of violating it.Analysts say Hezbollah is unlikely to withdraw its forces from the border. French mediators have instead proposed a smaller buffer zone that would extend about six miles beyond Lebanon's border with Israel, and an increase in the number of Lebanese army troops stationed in the border area.Without an agreement to stop the attacks, both sides opted for limited escalation, with Hezbollah firing hundred...
Montana’s Suicide Rate Is Highest in the U.S., With Most Involving Guns

Montana’s Suicide Rate Is Highest in the U.S., With Most Involving Guns

On a typical day, Ali Mullen races from her job at the county health department in Helena, Mont., to pick up dinner for her three children, heads home to feed them and then goes back out for a violin lesson or a school play, crisscrossing the small city in her aging S.U.V., with a rainbow bumper sticker that reads “You Are Loved.”A big pack of gummy bears keeps her going, stashed in her handbag next to a different sort of lifesaver: a gun lock that she carries almost everywhere she goes.In a sparsely populated state where many people own firearms, the small metal contraptions, which fit around a trigger and cost less than $10 on Amazon, are one way Montanans are trying to reduce the high rate of people who kill themselves.For the past year, Ali, 46, has been giving gun locks away to anyone...
Stephen Colbert and Whoopi Goldberg met the Pope at the Vatican.  No joke.

Stephen Colbert and Whoopi Goldberg met the Pope at the Vatican. No joke.

In the audience, Francis cited several times the "Prayer of Good Humour" attributed to St. Thomas More, who said he had prayed for 40 years. “Do you know that prayer? You should know that,” he said.He also shook hands with everyone present.“I said, 'Thank you for inviting me and God bless you,'” Mrs. Louis-Dreyfus later said. “And he said, 'God bless you,' so that was something.” She added: “He spoke beautifully – I mean, they gave us a translation. So I really think her comments were wonderful.Whoopi Goldberg, who joked that she offered the Pope a cameo in the movie "Sister Act 3" during a meeting with him last year - "he seems to be a bit of a fan," she said at the time - said that this visit was “really quick and really loving and made me happy.”Some of the comedian...