Author: Alphonse Elrick

Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023
Business

Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023

After enjoying a strong rebound in sales in 2023, the auto industry appears headed for slower growth this year as consumers struggle with elevated interest rates and high prices for new cars and light trucks.Edmunds, a market researcher, expects the industry to sell 15.7 million vehicles this year. That would amount to a modest increase from the 15.5 million sold last year, when sales jumped 12 percent.“There’s definitely pent-up demand out there, because people have been holding off purchases for a while,” said Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at Edmunds. “But given the credit situation, we don’t think the industry will see a ton of growth this year.”Since the coronavirus pandemic, automakers have struggled with shortages of critical parts that have prevented them from producing as many...
Israel-Hamas War: Killing of Senior Leader Carries Risks for Israel, Analysts Say
World

Israel-Hamas War: Killing of Senior Leader Carries Risks for Israel, Analysts Say

Many Israelis welcomed the assassination of a top Hamas official in Beirut as a necessary, even inevitable, step in the campaign to destroy Hamas that Israel has been waging since the terror group’s brutal Oct. 7 attacks.But some analysts said the killing of the official, Saleh al-Arouri, on Tuesday carries risks for Israel, and the benefits are unclear. The assassination appeared likely to put on ice any talks between Israel and Hamas over freeing more hostages taken on Oct. 7, dealing yet another setback to families waiting desperately for their loved ones to come home.While the death of Mr. al-Arouri, a key strategist and liaison with Hamas’s Iranian sponsors, was a blow to the group, analysts said, it has rebounded before. And the assassination adds fuel to tensions along Israel’s nort...
Boy, 13, Is Believed to Be the First to ‘Beat’ Tetris
Technology

Boy, 13, Is Believed to Be the First to ‘Beat’ Tetris

Ms. Cox bought her son a version of a Nintendo console called a RetroN, which used the same hardware as the original Nintendo console, from a pawnshop, as well as an old cathode-ray tube television to help him get started. In a given week, Willis said, he plays about 20 hours of Tetris.“I’m actually OK with it,” Ms. Cox, a high school math teacher, said. “He does other things outside of playing Tetris, so it really wasn’t that terribly difficult to say OK. It was harder to find an old CRT TV than it was to say, ‘Yeah, we can do this for a little bit.’”For decades, gamers “beat” Tetris by hacking into the game’s software. But Willis, who in the last year has become one of the country’s top Tetris players, is thought to be the first to do it on the original hardware.“It’s never been done by ...
Valencia’s Nou Mestalla ‘ghost ground’: After 15-year delay, will it finally be built?
Sports

Valencia’s Nou Mestalla ‘ghost ground’: After 15-year delay, will it finally be built?

The cheers rang long and loud around Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium as fans celebrated Hugo Guillamon’s late equaliser against Barcelona in their final home match before La Liga’s Christmas break.Four kilometres away, on the other side of Valencia’s old city centre, all was quiet around the site of the Nou Mestalla — where the club’s half-built new home has sat untouched for the past 15 years.Through all that time, one of La Liga’s most storied clubs has found itself stuck in this bizarre situation — unable to raise the money to finish a modern new ground, unable to sell its historic home.Meanwhile, a team used to competing at the highest level in national and European competition has found itself fighting relegation, with the club’s historic debts becoming ever more difficult to deal with.On...
It Took 10 Years to Grow This Christmas Tree. The Price? $105
Business

It Took 10 Years to Grow This Christmas Tree. The Price? $105

Every day since the trees were planted has been a roll of the dice.Unlike commodities like corn and soybeans, which Mr. Wyckoff grows on another 90 acres he owns, there is no good way to insure Christmas trees against the harm caused by extreme weather, or the effects of an overseas war or a pandemic that freezes supply chains, he added.“Farmers are the biggest gamblers there are,” Mr. Wyckoff, 57, said. His family has been growing Christmas trees in Belvidere, N.J., about a 90-minute drive from Midtown Manhattan, since his grandfather started the business in the 1950s.Christmas trees grow slowly, about 12 to 14 inches a year, and can take 10 years to go from seed to harvest. Most trees he plants are 3 to 5 years old by the time he buys them from nurseries.To keep up with costs, Mr. Wyckof...
Dry January: How to Set Yourself Up for Success
Health

Dry January: How to Set Yourself Up for Success

Dry January sounds like a simple proposition: No alcohol. For 31 days. And some enthusiasts jump in without much planning — perhaps even hungover after a rowdy New Year’s Eve.There is no data suggesting that those folks won’t be able to abstain from drinking, said Dr. David Wolinsky, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with Johns Hopkins Medicine, who specializes in addiction. But starting the month with a few strategies in your back pocket — and with a clear sense of your goals — may help you get the most out of the challenge.“Most of the benefits of Dry January are probably going to be related to the intention with which you go into Dry January,” Dr. Wolinsky said. The challenge isn’t a stand-in for treatment for people with alcohol use disorder, he stressed, bu...
Ana Ofelia Murguía, Mexican Actress and Voice in Coco,’ Dies, 90
World

Ana Ofelia Murguía, Mexican Actress and Voice in Coco,’ Dies, 90

Ana Ofelia Murguía, one of Mexico’s most acclaimed actresses, whose voice acting as Mama Coco in the animated movie “Coco” brought her international recognition, died on Sunday. She was 90.Her death was confirmed by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts and National Theater Company, which did not specify the cause of death.The National Theater Company described Murguía on social media as “one of Mexico’s greatest actresses.” In a statement, Lucina Jiménez López, the director of the National Institute of Fine Arts, described her career as one that “marked an entire era.” In the 2017 film “Coco,” made by Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, Murguía plays the key role of Mama Coco, the great-grandmother of a boy, the protagonist Miguel, who finds himself in the land of the dead on a journey t...
A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024
Technology

A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024

Crucial Events on the Path Back to the MoonNASA wants to put American astronauts on the moon’s surface in the years ahead with the Artemis III mission. Before that can happen, though, many things have to go right, and two of the most important are scheduled for 2024.The first is the Artemis II mission. NASA introduced the four astronauts of Artemis II last year. As soon as November, the four could travel around the moon and back. They would be the first humans to travel near the moon since 1972, when the Apollo 17 mission concluded. To fly in 2024, NASA will need to resolve issues with a heat shield on the astronauts’ spacecraft, as well as overcome other potential delays.The second hurdle is that the Orion capsule can only orbit the moon — it doesn’t land. Astronauts need another vehicle ...
Israeli sisters find strength, support and safe place in college basketball
Sports

Israeli sisters find strength, support and safe place in college basketball

In the days after Oct. 7, in which Hamas militants killed around 1,200 people, Yarden Garzon struggled to eat and sleep. The outbreak of war in Israel and the Gaza Strip was all-consuming to her, as she watched the news from Bloomington, Ind., where she’s a sophomore guard. Yarden, who was born and raised in Israel, worried about her friends, her family, her country. “I think I was more nervous than my mom,” Garzon said. “It was really scary the first week.”Garzon’s parents have been half a world away from her, staying put in their home in Ra’anana, Israel, an affluent suburb north of Tel Aviv about 50 miles from the war’s epicenter. Still, over the last two months as the death toll has risen, her family has spent time in the house’s bomb shelter. Sirens warning of air strikes pierced the ...
2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers
Business

2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers

For deal makers, 2024 is a year to look forward to, if only because 2023 wasn’t necessarily one to celebrate.Despite some notable transactions, the year presented challenges to the bankers and lawyers who advise corporate clients on big takeovers and initial public offerings.Global M.&A. fell to a 10-year low. About 53,529 deals worth a combined $2.9 trillion were announced, down 17 percent annually by volume, according to data from L.S.E.G.The busiest sectors included energy — led by Exxon Mobil’s takeover of Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s acquisition of Hess — and health care, which was topped by Pfizer’s purchase of the cancer drug maker Seagen.The story was worse for I.P.O.s, which tumbled 25 percent year-on-year to a combined $109.8 billion in proceeds, a 14-year low. Tha...