Author: Alphonse Elrick

Rafael Nadal is ready to play again. In America. On hard courts. Should he?
Sports

Rafael Nadal is ready to play again. In America. On hard courts. Should he?

For more than a month, the smoke signals out of Rafael Nadal’s camp have kept the tennis world on its toes, sparking predictions of everything from a triumphant spring on the red clay of Paris to him never playing another competitive match following yet another hip injury in Australia in January. The only thing that seemed clear was that the 22-time Grand Slam champion was prioritizing the clay court season in Europe this spring. Nadal said as much in January when he returned following a year-long layoff because of hip surgery. Sure, he was happy to be back and competing in Australia, where he won the year’s first Grand Slam as recently as 2022, but he was singularly focused on being in top form — or, at least, as close as he can get to it at this point — in three months when the red clay ...
China Has Thousands of Navalnys, Hidden From the Public
Business

China Has Thousands of Navalnys, Hidden From the Public

After watching “Navalny,” the documentary about the Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, a Chinese businesswoman messaged me, “Ren Zhiqiang is China’s Navalny.” She was talking about the retired real estate tycoon who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for criticizing China’s leader, Xi Jinping.After Mr. Navalny’s tragic death this month, a young dissident living in Berlin posted on X, “Teacher Li is closest to the Chinese version of Navalny.” He was referring to the rebel influencer known as Teacher Li, who used social media to share information about protests in China and who now fears for his life.There are others: Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died in government custody in 2017, and Xu Zhiyong, the legal scholar who is serving 14 years in prison on charges of s...
One in Six Abortions Is Done With Pills Prescribed Online, Data Shows
Health

One in Six Abortions Is Done With Pills Prescribed Online, Data Shows

The NewsA growing share of abortions is now being administered through telemedicine, with clinicians prescribing mail-order abortion pills after online consultations, according to the first nationwide count of telehealth abortions in the U.S. medical system. At least one in six abortions, around 14,000 a month, was conducted via telehealth from July through September, the most recent months with available data.How It WorksPills are prescribed by virtual-only providers and by clinics that also offer in-person services. Patients fill out an online questionnaire or meet with a clinician via video or text chat. This method began nationwide in 2020, when the Food and Drug Administration began allowing abortion providers to mail pills without an in-clinic visit during the pandemic.Some of the pr...
Belmopan, Belize’s Capital, Is a City of Brutalist Calm
World

Belmopan, Belize’s Capital, Is a City of Brutalist Calm

Mention Belmopan, Belize’s capital that sits deep in the country’s interior, and many Belizeans will belittle the city as a bastion of pencil-pushing bureaucrats that’s not just dull, but also devoid of nightlife.“I was warned, ‘Belmopan is for the newlyweds or the nearly deads,’” said Raquel Rodriguez, 45, owner of an art school, about the reactions when she moved to Belmopan from coastal, bustling Belize City.Not exactly known as an Eden for young urbanites, Belmopan figures among the smallest capital cities anywhere in the Americas. It has only about 25,000 residents and a cluster of hurricane-proof, heavy-on-the-concrete, Maya-inspired Brutalist buildings.The capital of Central America’s only English-speaking nation can feel jarringly different from the frenetic capitals of neighboring...
Microsoft Word’s Subtle Typeface Change Affected Millions. Did You Notice?
Technology

Microsoft Word’s Subtle Typeface Change Affected Millions. Did You Notice?

When you read — a book, a traffic sign, a billboard, this article — how much do you really notice the letters? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably not at all.But even if you don’t really notice them, you might sense it if something has subtly changed. That’s a feeling some people have had in recent weeks when they turn on their Microsoft Word programs.After 17 years of Calibri as Word’s default typeface, many users suddenly found themselves typing in a new typeface called Aptos. The change is also affecting the look of PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel.Letters are letters, but for designers and typography fans, they matter a lot.Why the change?“We wanted to bring something new and fresh that really was designed natively for the sort of modern era of computing,” said Jon Friedman...
NFL Scouting Combine: What we’re following for all 32 teams in Indianapolis
Sports

NFL Scouting Combine: What we’re following for all 32 teams in Indianapolis

Draft season kicks into high gear this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis as teams will put prospects under a microscope during private interviews, news conferences and workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium.Quarterbacks always dominate conversations at the combine, and this year will be no different with USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels expected to be among the first handful of picks come April. But a stellar wide receiver group, headlined by Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze, will also draw plenty of interest this week.Beyond the draft prospects, new head coaches, led by the Chargers’ Jim Harbaugh, and GMs, including the Commanders’ Adam Peters, will be in the spotlight. And the futures of quar...
Yellen Urges Israel to Restore Economic Ties to West Bank
Business

Yellen Urges Israel to Restore Economic Ties to West Bank

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Tuesday that she had personally urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to increase commercial engagement with the West Bank, contending that doing so was important for the economic welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians.Ms. Yellen’s plea was outlined in a letter that she sent to Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday. It represented her most explicit public expression of concern about the economic consequences of the war between Israel and Hamas. In the letter, Ms. Yellen said, she warned about the consequences of the erosion of basic services in the West Bank and called for Israel to reinstate work permits for Palestinians and reduce barriers to commerce within the West Bank.“These actions are vital for the economic well-being of Palestinians and ...
UnitedHealth Cyberattack Disrupts Prescription Drug Coverage
Health

UnitedHealth Cyberattack Disrupts Prescription Drug Coverage

A cyberattack on a unit affiliated with UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, has disrupted drug prescription orders at thousands of pharmacies for nearly a week.The assault on the unit, Change Healthcare, a division of United’s Optum, was discovered last Wednesday. The attack appeared to be by a foreign country, according to two senior federal law enforcement officials, who expressed alarm at the extent of the disruption on Monday.UnitedHealth Group, the conglomerate, said in a federal filing that it had been forced to disconnect some of Change Healthcare’s vast digital network from its clients, and as of Monday, had not been able to restore all of those services.Change handles some 15 billion transactions a year, representing as many as one in three U.S. patient records and inv...
Middle East Crisis: Israel Signals a Willingness to Free High-Profile Palestinian Prisoners, Officials Say
World

Middle East Crisis: Israel Signals a Willingness to Free High-Profile Palestinian Prisoners, Officials Say

President Biden said on Monday that he believed negotiators were nearing an agreement that would halt Israel’s military operations in Gaza within a week in exchange for the release of at least some of the more than 100 hostages being held by Hamas.Speaking with reporters during a stop in New York, Mr. Biden offered the most hopeful assessment of the hostage talks by any major figure in many days, suggesting that the war might be close to a major turning point.“I hope by the end of the weekend,” he said when asked by reporters when he expected a cease-fire to begin. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a cease-fire.”The president delivered the comments spontaneously in response to questions during a v...
Supreme Court Seems Open to Free Speech Challenges to Social Media Laws
Technology

Supreme Court Seems Open to Free Speech Challenges to Social Media Laws

The Supreme Court seemed skeptical on Monday of laws in Florida and Texas that bar major social media companies from making editorial judgments about which messages to allow.The laws were enacted in an effort to shield conservative voices on the sites, but a decision by the court, expected by June, will almost certainly be its most important statement on the scope of the First Amendment in the internet era, with broad political and economic implications.A ruling that tech platforms have no editorial discretion to decide which posts to allow would expose users to a greater variety of viewpoints but almost certainly amplify the ugliest aspects of the digital age, including hate speech and disinformation.Though a ruling in favor of big platforms like Facebook and YouTube appeared likely, the ...