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Category: News

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China Hacked Microsoft With Data from Previous Infiltrations

Microsoft Corp. and U.S. government officials are still working to understand how a network of suspected Chinese hacking groups carried out an unusually indiscriminate and far-reaching cyberattack on Microsoft email software, more than a month after the discovery of an operation that rendered hundreds of thousands of small businesses, schools and other organizations vulnerable to intrusion. A leading theory has […]

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Americans Are Using Their Stimulus Checks to Get Out of Debt

Stimulus checks for $1,400 went out this month to most Americans. I found myself wondering today, did they save it, invest it, or just blow it? Data indicates that the biggest use of stimulus funds has been to pay down debt. A Census Bureau survey found 52% of people mostly used their checks to pay off debt, while only 28% mostly spent them. Repeated rounds of stimulus have left households with the lowest debt levels on record: Households finished 2020 with $14.1 trillion combined in checking and savings accounts, compared with $11.4 trillion in 2019, according to Federal Reserve data. Their debt-service burden—the percentage of after-tax income used to pay off debt—fell to its lowest level in records going back […]

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When the Suez Canal Was Blocked for Eight Years

As the Suez Canal, chokepoint for 15% of world shipping, was cleared today, I thought of another time it was blocked. Not for a week, but for 8 years. Following the Six Day War in 1967 between Egypt and Israel, Egypt blocked the canal to prevent Israel from using it. They placed old ships, debris, and even explosives in the […]

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How Alex Jones Lost Bitcoin Worth $563 Million

Ten years ago, when bitcoin was worth only $5 each, cryptocurrency proponent Max Keiser gave conspiracy theorist Alex Jones a laptop. It contained 10,000 bitcoin, which would now be worth over $500 million. That laptop has gone missing: Alex Jones, the founder of the right-wing media group Infowars, has revealed that he has lost the laptop containing 10,000 bitcoins given […]

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Will A Massive Uprising in North Korea Mean the End of Kim Jong-un?

North Korean defector and Youtuber Yeonmi Park is reporting a massive uprising in Musan, North Korea. The uprising began when police cracked down on a market selling Chinese products, which is illegal in North Korea despite them being the only goods available. Farmers took their farm implements and attacked the police. The backdrop for this is an increasingly hungry population […]

COVID 0

What Captain Sir Tom Meant to Me

My wife was the first person to tell me about Captain Tom, a man in the UK nearing his 100th birthday who was walking across his small garden day after day to raise money for the NHS. At that time, things in the New York area, where we live, were at their worst. I remember the disturbing sights of that […]

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Sound Familiar?

Today, Myanmar’s (deeply flawed) democracy fell today to a military coup: The coup follows a disputed election in November that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide. The main opposition party, the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, claimed the vote was marred by fraud. Myanmar’s election commission rejected the allegations but tensions between the two […]

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Is Zoning Keeping Poor People Poor?

I recently subscribed to a newsletter from the journalist Matthew Yglesias that has turned out be outstanding. A message I received this morning really struck me. Yglesias argues that the best thing we can do for the poor, given that housing is their biggest expense, is to build housing like crazy: This is diametrically opposed to the narrative we so […]

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Has Zimbabwe Found the Solution to the Mental Health Crisis?

Many people have experienced worsening mental health since the COVID pandemic began. Many others struggled even before. But I came across an interesting article today about a very innovative program in Zimbabwe that just might have the solution. It’s called the Friendship Bench: This is a community-based psychological treatment programme delivered by over 700 trained community grandmothers in over 100 […]

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Reversing the Aging Process in Mouse Eyes… and Maybe Someday, Us?

I just listened to a fascinating discussion with Dr. David Sinclair, PhD, on his lab’s recent success in reversing aging in mouse eyes. Sinclair and his team damaged the optic nerves of mice and then, using Yamanaka factors, reprogrammed the cells to “remember” their youthful vitality and regenerate. The mice could then see! The paper was recently published in the […]

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What Do Conspiracy Theories Have To Do With Ant Farms?

I notice a significant increase in the popularity of conspiracy theories recently. Some are byzantine, with such outrageous claims it’s a wonder they ever gained currency. And they seem to be gaining new adherents by the day. Conspiracy theories are nothing new. But why do they seem particularly salient today? Being a part of a group of believers, either in […]

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Could the MRNA Vaccines Used for COVID Also Cure Multiple Sclerosis?

The vaccine blocked all clinical signs of MS in mice, while control animals experienced the typical symptoms of the disease.  Fierce Biotech BioNTech, the company behind one of the best COVID vaccines, has reported excellent results in curing an MS-like disease in mice. The treated animals showed no signs of the disease, and those that were already having MS symptoms […]