The New York Times


In Pennsylvania and other battlegrounds, both parties are succeeding in coaxing infrequent voters off the sidelines. The all-important question is who does it better.

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Voters wait in line outside Philadelphia City Hall on the final day to cast their early voting ballots at the satellite polling station on October 27, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

By Trip Gabriel

GREENSBURG, Pa. — At 32, Ryan Walsh has never voted in a presidential election. He didn’t identify with either party before this year. But in the spring, he registered as a Republican, and he plans to cast a ballot in person Tuesday for President Donald Trump.

“I’m petrified of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi getting power and doing all this stuff that’s going to totally destroy the economy,” said Walsh, who works for a social services agency of state government.

He cited a string of proposals that trouble him — broad tax increases, the Green New Deal, “Medicare for All” — that Biden has said he opposes. …

To combat the coronavirus, schools across America moved students outdoors. Here’s a look at four new learning environments.

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Photo: Andrea Morales for The New York Times

By Amelia Nierenberg

First graders sit crisscross applesauce on tree stumps, hands sky-high to ask a question. Third graders peer closely at the plants growing in class gardens, or spread themselves out in a sunflower-filled space to read. When the sun beats down, students take shelter under shades made from boat sails.

That’s what a school day is like this year in one community on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where every student now spends at least part of the day learning outdoors — at least when the rain holds off.

Seeking ways to teach safely during the pandemic, schools across the United States have embraced the idea of classes in the open air, as Americans did during disease outbreaks a century ago. …

Coinbase, Expensify, Soylent, Clubhouse and others are embroiled in a culture war over politics and the workplace

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David Barrett, who runs the business software start-up Expensify, sent an email urging its 10 million customers to vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. Photo: Mason Trinca for The New York Times

By Erin Griffith and Nathaniel Popper

Rob Rhinehart, a co-founder of nutritional drink startup Soylent, declared in a blog post last week that he was supporting Kanye West for president.

“I am so sick of politics,” Rhinehart wrote. “Politics are suddenly everywhere. I cannot avoid them.”

David Barrett, chief executive of Expensify, a business software startup, went in another direction. In an email to his company’s 10 million customers last week, he implored them to embrace politics by choosing the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.

“Anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy,” Barrett proclaimed.

With days to go before the election Tuesday, Rhinehart and Barrett represent the twin poles of a startup culture war that has openly erupted in Silicon Valley. Startups such as the cryptocurrency company Coinbase and the audio app Clubhouse have become embroiled in a debate over how much politics should be part of the workplace. And venture capitalists and other tech executives have weighed in on social media with their own views. …

Why the GDP numbers out today can mislead

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Photo: Norbert Kundrak

By Neil Irwin

To understand what the latest numbers on gross domestic product are telling us, imagine you are an obsessive sort who takes various measures of your health every day, puts those readings into a spreadsheet, and then every three months averages those daily numbers to get a summary of whether you are getting better or worse.

Then, around mid-March, you’re hit by a bus.

You spend the last two weeks of March in a hospital room with catastrophic injuries. …

Government officials warned that hackers were seeking to hold American hospitals’ data hostage in exchange for ransom payments

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Photo: Camilo Jimenez

By Nicole Perlroth

Hundreds of American hospitals are being targeted in cyberattacks by the same Russian hackers who U.S. officials and researchers fear could sow mayhem around next week’s election.

The attacks on American hospitals, clinics and medical complexes are intended to take those facilities offline and hold their data hostage in exchange for multimillion-dollar ransom payments, just as coronavirus cases spike across the United States.

“We expect panic,” one hacker involved in the attacks said in Russian during a private exchange Monday that was captured by Hold Security, a security company that tracks online criminals.

Some hospitals in New York state and on the West Coast reported cyberattacks in recent days, though it was not clear whether they were part of the attacks, and hospital officials emphasized that critical patient care was not affected. …

The idea of modifying Earth’s atmosphere to cool the planet, once seen as too risky to seriously consider, is attracting new money and attention

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A photo provided by the NASA Earth Observatory shows the sky over the northeast Pacific Ocean streaked with clouds that form around the particles from ship exhaust on March 4, 2009. The idea of modifying Earth’s atmosphere to cool the planet, once seen as too risky to seriously consider, is attracting new money and attention. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory via The New York Times

By Christopher Flavelle

WASHINGTON — As the effects of climate change become more devastating, prominent research institutions and government agencies are focusing new money and attention on an idea once dismissed as science fiction: artificially cooling the planet, in the hopes of buying humanity more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

That strategy, called solar climate intervention or solar geoengineering, entails reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space — abruptly reducing global temperatures in a way that mimics the effects of ash clouds spewed by volcanic eruptions. …

Hollywood hasn’t always made great choices about how people talk. That may be changing.

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Tré Cotten at work. Photo: Alana Paterson for The New York Times

By Reid Singer

Tré Cotten got his big film industry break this year in “One Night in Miami,” the first feature directed by Regina King. Cotten is an expert in voice and speech training and a self-described “research nerd,” adept at seeking out audio recordings and other materials to identify the habits that make a character’s language unique.

He was eminently qualified to help actor Eli Goree, who plays Cassius Clay in the film, reproduce the rhythms and tones of the boxer’s Louisville, Kentucky, sound. Yet many crew members were surprised to see a Black man doing this kind of work — even on a film that recounts an imagined meeting between Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and the man who would become Muhammad Ali, and which was written, directed and cast by Black people. …

Between a third and a half of all eligible voters typically stay home during presidential elections

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“I try to avoid it because it gets angry and nasty,” said Susan Miller of voting, who said the only time she had ever cast a ballot was for Barack Obama in 2008. Photo: Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

By Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Like nearly half of all the eligible voters in her county in 2016, Keyana Fedrick did not vote.

Four years later, politics has permeated her corner of northeastern Pennsylvania. Someone sawed a hole in a large Trump sign near one of her jobs. The election office in her county is so overwhelmed with demand that it took over the coroner’s office next door. Her parents, both Democrats born in the 1950s, keep telling her she should vote for Joe Biden. Anything is better than President Donald Trump, they say.

But Fedrick, who works two jobs, at a hotel and at a department store, does not trust either of the two main political parties, because nothing in her 31 years of life has led her to believe that she could. She says they abandon voters like “a bad mom or dad who promises to come and see you, and I’m sitting outside with my bags packed and they never show…

When his skyscraper proved a disappointment, Donald Trump defaulted on his loans, sued his bank, got much of the debt forgiven — and largely avoided paying taxes on it

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The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago on June 27, 2018. Despite drawing new business from its connection to the president, the property has continued to fall short, with retail space sitting empty and revenues falling. Photo: Alyssa Schukar/The New York Times

By David Enrich, Russ Buettner, Mike McIntire and Susanne Craig

The financial crisis was in full swing when Donald Trump traveled to Chicago in late September 2008 to mark the near-completion of his 92-floor skyscraper.

The fortunes of big companies, small businesses and millions of Americans — including the Trumps — were in peril. But the family patriarch was jubilant as he stood on the terrace of his gleaming glass tower.

“We’re in love with the building,” Trump gushed. “We’re very, very happy with what’s happened with respect to this building and how fast we put it up.”

He and his family hoped the Trump International Hotel & Tower would cement their company’s reputation as one of the world’s marquee developers of luxury real estate. …

An approach called contingency management rewards drug users with money and prizes for staying abstinent. But few programs offer it, in part because of moral objections to the concept.

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Stephen Goldschmidt drawing a slip of paper from a bowl as part of his contingency management treatment at the Philadelphia V.A. Medical Center. Some slips offer encouraging messages; others, monetary rewards. Photo: Hannah Yoon for The New York Times

By Abby Goodnough

PHILADELPHIA — Steven Kelty had been addicted to crack cocaine for 32 years when he tried a different kind of treatment last year, one so basic that he was skeptical.

He would come to a clinic twice a week to provide a urine sample, and if it was free of drugs, he would get to draw a slip of paper out of a fishbowl. Half contained encouraging messages — typically, “Good job!” — but the other half were vouchers for prizes worth between $1 and $100.

“I’ve been to a lot of rehabs, and there were no incentives except for the idea of being clean after you finished,” said Kelty, 61, of Winfield, Pennsylvania. “Some of us need something to motivate us — even if it’s a small thing — to live a better life.” …


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