Thursday, February 22

International

Alabama rules frozen embryos as babies, raising questions about fertility treatment
International

Alabama rules frozen embryos as babies, raising questions about fertility treatment

The Alabama Supreme Court's ruling that frozen test-tube embryos should be considered babies sent shockwaves through the world of reproductive medicine, raising questions about fertility care for intended parents in the state and raising complex legal questions with implications that extend far beyond Alabama. .On Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said the ruling would cause "exactly the kind of chaos we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make."Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Biden traveled to California, Ms. Jean-Pierre reiterated the Biden administration's call for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade in fede...
Plans to expand chip manufacturing in the United States face obstacles
International

Plans to expand chip manufacturing in the United States face obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the leading maker of the world's most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona for its first major U.S. semiconductor manufacturing hub.The much-publicized project outside Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — has become a symbol of President Biden's attempt to spur more domestic production of chips, the wafers of silicon that help all kinds of devices perform calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC postponed initial production at its first Arizona plant to 2025, starting this year, saying local workers lacked experience installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant would not produce chips until 2027 or 2028,...
75 Hard has a cult following.  Is it worth all this effort?
International

75 Hard has a cult following. Is it worth all this effort?

Two 45 minute workouts per day. One liter of water. 10 pages of a non-fiction book. A diet. No "light meals" or alcohol. For 75 days.And if you make a mistake, you have to start over from the beginning.Does it seem like a lot? It should be. The program, called 75 Hard, is aimed at increasing mental toughness. Some say the rigidity is what makes it great, while others say it makes it problematic.Since it was created in 2019, 75 Hard has developed something of a cult following, with practitioners posting daily progress pictures and videos that sometimes rack up millions of views on TikTok and Instagram. One of Reddit's largest subreddits, with over 44,000 members, is dedicated to the program.But is it beneficial and are the changes sustainable? Psychologists say that while the prog...
SpaceX launches user-friendly Nova-C Moon Lander machines
International

SpaceX launches user-friendly Nova-C Moon Lander machines

Another month, another attempt at the moon.A robotic lunar lander launched into space early Thursday morning. If all goes well, on February 22 it will become the first American spacecraft to land softly on the lunar surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It would also become the first private attempt to reach the surface of the Moon in one piece. Three previous attempts, by an American company, a Japanese company and an Israeli nonprofit, have failed.The company tasked with this mission, Houston-based Intuitive Machines, is optimistic.“I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to land softly on the moon,” Stephen Altemus, president and CEO of Intuitive Machines, said in an interview. “We did the tests. We tested, tested and tested. All the tests we could do.If private companie...
Elon Musk says SpaceX has moved its headquarters to Texas
International

Elon Musk says SpaceX has moved its headquarters to Texas

Private rocket company SpaceX has moved its headquarters to Texas from Delaware, its founder, Elon Musk, said Wednesday, weeks after a Delaware judge struck down his pay package at Tesla, another company he owns.Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson issued a certificate Wednesday confirming that the state has accepted the company's request to relocate its headquarters, according to a copy of the document posted on her office's website. A spokeswoman for Ms. Nelson's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mr. Musk, a billionaire who lives in Texas and also runs the car company Tesla, has had trouble with Delaware. Last month, a judge struck down the salary package that had helped make him the richest person in the world.The case was brought by a group of Tesla sharehol...
Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill, has died at the age of 94
International

Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill, has died at the age of 94

Bob Moore, the entrepreneur grandfather who, with his wife Charlee, exploited an image of organic friendliness and wholesome Americana to turn the artisan cereal company Bob's Red Mill into a $100 million-a-year business, died Saturday at his home in Milwaukie, Oregon. He was 94 years old.His death was announced by the company, which cited no cause.Founded in Milwaukie in 1978, Bob's Red Mill has grown from serving the Portland area to become a global natural foods giant, marketing more than 200 products in more than 70 countries. The company's product line includes a range of whole grains, including stone-ground sorghum flour, paleo-style granola and pearled whole grain couscous, along with energy bars and cake and soup mixes.Over the years, the company has profited greatly from moving ...
The friar who became the Vatican’s point of reference for artificial intelligence
International

The friar who became the Vatican’s point of reference for artificial intelligence

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on an ever-changing world.“It was a wonderful meditation on what is happening inside,” he said, stepping out into the street wearing his friar robe. "And outside too."There's a lot to do for Father Benanti, who, as an expert on artificial intelligence ethics for both the Vatican and the Italian government, spends his days thinking about the Holy Spirit and ghosts in machines.In recent weeks, the ethics professor, ordained priest and self-proclaimed geek joined Bill Gates in a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, chaired a commission seeking to save the Italian media from ChatGPT signatures and general oblivion of the AI, and met with V...
CEOs of J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb defend drug prices at Senate hearing
International

CEOs of J&J, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb defend drug prices at Senate hearing

The CEOs of three major pharmaceutical companies defended their drug prices before the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, drawing them further into a confrontation with lawmakers and the Biden administration over the cost of some of the most widely used prescription drugs.Lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the committee's chairman, noted that companies charge more in the United States than in other wealthy countries, accusing them of profiting at the expense of American patients. Pharmaceutical executives - from Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb - admitted that patients in the United States pay too much, but said new drugs are arriving there faster than anywhere else in the world.Sanders, an independent who made keeping drug prices down a major reason f...
Federal records show increasing use of solitary confinement for immigrants
International

Federal records show increasing use of solitary confinement for immigrants

The U.S. government has placed immigrant detainees in solitary confinement more than 14,000 times in the past five years, and the average duration is nearly double the 15-day threshold that the United Nations says constitutes torture, according to a new federal government analysis . documents from Harvard researchers and the nonprofit group Physicians for Human Rights.The report, based on government documents from 2018 to 2023 and interviews with several dozen former detainees, found cases of extreme physical, verbal and sexual abuse against immigrants held in solitary confinement cells. The New York Times reviewed original documents cited in the report, spoke to data analysts and interviewed former inmates to corroborate their stories.Overall, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deta...