By Bradley Berman
SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Jennifer Devine, a human sexuality educator in San Francisco, would rumble onto school grounds on her Harley-Davidson, a grand entrance that broke the ice with the students before her workshops. These days, she arrives with even more fanfare — in a hot pink three-wheeled parking enforcement vehicle with old-school funk blasting on the stereo.
After she broke her leg in 2018, Devine bought a 1996 Go-4 Interceptor, a vehicle best known for ferrying the city’s dreaded parking police, for daily driving. “People get out of your way because you’re driving a meter…
By Sarah Lyall
First there was the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Then there was the chorus of disapproval. And then, as is so often the case in U.S. foreign policy, there was the Blob.
“‘The Blob’ turns on Jake,” Alex Thompson and Tina Sfondeles wrote in Politico, referring to President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan. And then: “I’ve got to say hats off to the Blob on this whole Afghanistan thing,” commentator Matthew Yglesias said sarcastically on Twitter. “They couldn’t achieve any of their stated war aims, but they’ve proven they can absolutely wreck you politically.”
By Emily Cochrane, Luke Broadwater, Ellen Barry and Jason Andrew
WASHINGTON — Three months after supporters of President Donald Trump violently stormed the Capitol, Alisa La, a close aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sat in the office suite where she had hid from the rioters, describing the lasting effects of her traumatic experience on Jan. 6.
Just as she finished speaking, an intercom began blaring: another lockdown.
She went through the same motions as on Jan. 6. She checked with colleagues to try to figure out what was going on. She reached out to family members to let them…
By Brian X. Chen
SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced a pop-up window for iPhones in April that asks people for their permission to be tracked by different apps.
Google recently outlined plans to disable a tracking technology in its Chrome web browser.
And Facebook said last month that hundreds of its engineers were working on a new method of showing ads without relying on people’s personal data.
The developments may seem like technical tinkering, but they were connected to something bigger: an intensifying battle over the future of the internet. The struggle has entangled tech titans, upended Madison Avenue and…
By Giulia Heyward
In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker is activating the National Guard to help with the shortage in bus drivers. In North Carolina, legislators are hoping to ease a cafeteria worker shortage by giving districts federal funding to cover signing bonuses for new hires. And some Missouri districts are wiping away some of the requirements to become a substitute teacher to attract more applicants.
Across the country, school districts are desperate to fill jobs. Some are struggling to retain counselors, teachers and principals, but a more urgent need seems to be for employees who have traditionally operated behind the…
By Sharon LaFraniere and Noah Weiland
WASHINGTON — Almost a month ago, President Joe Biden announced a plan to make coronavirus booster shots available to most adults in the United States eight months after they received their second dose. But a week before the plan is to roll out, its contours are up in the air amid a chorus of dissent inside and outside the government.
The White House has already been forced to delay offering boosters to recipients of the Moderna vaccine, and for now it is planning third shots only for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Depending…
By Steve Lohr
BOSTON — Two white-coated lab technicians, seated at workstations in a corner, are vastly outnumbered by the machines. Robotic arms calibrate liquids in microdrops. Small trays, with 96 tiny wells each, shuttle around the lab on magnetic tracks. Centrifuges whir. Gene sequencers hum.
The highly mechanized lab — operated by Ginkgo Bioworks, a fast-growing startup in Boston — is an engine room of synthetic biology, an emerging field that applies the tools of engineering and computing to make entirely new organisms or genetically turbocharge existing ones.
Proponents of synthetic biology say the field could reprogram biology to…
By Juliet Macur
WASHINGTON — Sitting at a witness table alongside three of her former gymnastics teammates, Simone Biles broke down in tears while explaining to a Senate committee that she doesn’t want any more young people to experience the kind of suffering she endured at the hands of Lawrence Nassar, the former national team doctor.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, but I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles, 24, said Wednesday as her mother, Nellie Biles, sat nearby, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.
By James Poniewozik
In spring 2019, as “Game of Thrones” aired its final season, the talk among TV-industry pundits was that the age of dragons was not the only era coming to an end. “Thrones,” the thinking went, might just be the last big TV series ever: That is, the last blockbuster-level behemoth that would dazzle and focus the obsession of a mass audience.
I don’t know if anyone’s told you this, but a lot has changed since spring 2019.
The pandemic, obviously, bolstered TV’s status as a virtual arena. “Tiger King” was a TV event, and so was “Hamilton”…
By Ben Casselman and Jeanna Smialek
The share of people living in poverty in the United States fell to a record low last year as an enormous government relief effort helped offset the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.
In the latest and most conclusive evidence that poverty fell because of the aid, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday that 9.1% of Americans were living below the poverty line last year, down from 11.8% in 2019. That figure — the lowest since records began in 1967, according to calculations from researchers at Columbia University — is based on a measure…