Pulitzer entry withdrawn
A high-profile podcast on terrorism from the New York Times that had been a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize was withdrawn as a contest entry in the wake of the newspaper saying the claims of a man central to Caliphate could not be verified. In a statement on Tuesday, the board of the Pulitzer Prizes said it “accepted withdrawal of the entry as an appropriate resolution of this matter.” The 2018 podcast series, about a Canadian man who said he had carried out atrocities for the Islamic State in Syria, had been named as a finalist in the international reporting category for last year, which was won by Reuters and The Associated Press. However, the Times last week said that, after the man was arrested in Canada in September for perpetrating a terrorist hoax, it investigated and the man’s story did not hold together. “We volunteered to return the citation and the Pulitzer Prize Board accepted the offer,” the Times said in an e-mail. The paper had previously said it would return a Peabody award it had won for Caliphate, and the Overseas Press Club of America said it was taking back an honor it had bestowed on the podcast. The story’s central reporter, Rukmini Callimachi, would be reassigned off the terrorism beat, the newspaper said.
Population growth slows
The population grew by the smallest rate in at least 120 years from last year to this year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Census Bureau — a trend that demographers say provides a glimpse of the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll. Population growth was already stagnant over the past several years due to immigration restrictions and a dip in fertility, but coronavirus-related deaths exacerbated that lethargic growth trend, said William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “I think it’s a first glimpse of where we may be heading as far as low population growth,” Frey said. “It’s telling you that this is having an impact on population.” The US population grew by 0.35 percent from July last year to July, an increase of 1.1 million people in a nation whose estimated population in July was more than 329 million residents, according to bureau estimates. An analysis by Frey showed that it is the smallest increase this century and smaller than any in the previous century as well. At the height of the Spanish flu, the growth rate from 1918 to 1919 was 0.49 percent — even with troops abroad during World War I.
Louis Vuitton mats draw ire
A Hindu advocate is calling on luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton to pull a yoga mat made partly from cowhide leather, calling it “hugely insensitive.” Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in a statement on Tuesday that the mat is “highly inappropriate” to practicing Hindus, who regard cows as sacred symbols of life. “The scenario of yoga — a profound, sacred and ancient discipline introduced and nourished by Hinduism — being performed on a mat made from a killed cow is painful,” Zed said. Paris-based Louis Vuitton did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. The company’s yoga mat, made mostly of canvas with leather details and a cowhide carrying strap, retails for US$2,390 online. The company “should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, mocking serious spiritual practices and ridiculing entire communities,” Zed said.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to