Hamas’s Top Political Leader Is in Egypt for Talks About War in Gaza: Live Updates
World

Hamas’s Top Political Leader Is in Egypt for Talks About War in Gaza: Live Updates

Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib was at home in San Francisco when the panicked calls started. An Israeli airstrike on Thursday had hit his family’s home in Rafah, in the so-called safe zone of the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of people have sought refuge from the war.Soon, his phone was flooded with news footage of the home, where he used to go for family barbecues and to play with his grandmother’s ducks. He watched neighbors scramble over its smoking ruins, looking for survivors.Instead, they found at least 31 bodies, he said, including two women in their 70s, several people in their 60s, and nine children between the ages of 3 months and 9 years. More remain missing. He learned the names of the dead from texts and Facebook updates, spread out over hours and days.“It was sickening and na...
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...
NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space
Technology

NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space

On Dec. 11, NASA engineers anxiously gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to view a cat video, wondering if it would be in the pristine high definition for which they had hoped.To their relief, it was. For the first time, high-definition video — this one of a lab employee’s cat named Taters — was streamed from 18.6 million miles away, or roughly 80 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, the farthest ever.The demonstration was part of NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications experiment, aimed at improving the infrastructure for communication beyond the Earth’s orbit. As one example, if humans are to go to Mars, the need exists for larger amounts of data to be transmitted over a longer distance. This demonstration marked another step toward such a possibilit...
Sean Payton’s flare-up at Russell Wilson puts coach-QB relationship back in spotlight
Sports

Sean Payton’s flare-up at Russell Wilson puts coach-QB relationship back in spotlight

(Editor’s note: This is excerpted from Mike Sando’s Pick Six of Dec. 18, 2023.)Sean Payton blasting quarterback Russell Wilson on the sideline, then suggesting he was merely upset about officiating, invited all sorts of speculation.It’s hard to fault Payton for losing his cool when officials wiped out a Broncos touchdown with an offensive offside call that seemed indefensible. As one former head coach put it, officials have “lost their minds” searching for penalties associated with Philadelphia’s tush-push plays.It’s just difficult to understand why Payton would funnel any of that rage toward his quarterback.GO DEEPERSean Payton downplays sideline flare up with Russell WilsonThe nature of Payton’s relationship with Wilson faded into the background during a five-game winning streak fueled b...
Jeanne Hoff, Pioneering Transgender Psychiatrist, Dies at 85
Health

Jeanne Hoff, Pioneering Transgender Psychiatrist, Dies at 85

In December 1977, Dr. Jeanne Hoff, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, invited a television crew into her Manhattan home. The next day, they would accompany her to the operating room for her gender-affirming surgery.“Becoming Jeanne: A Search for Sexual Identity,” the resulting documentary about Dr. Hoff’s experience, was shown the next spring on NBC, with Lynn Redgrave and Frank Field as the hosts.“It’s a very lonely moment indeed,” Dr. Hoff, a slight figure with shoulder-length brown hair, said that evening. She added, “The things we do to our bodies and our lives are very disturbing to the people around us, and I can see that fear and that confusion written on their face even when they’ve known me a long time.”Her choice to undergo surgery was years in the making. Her choice to go public, howev...
Chile Rejects Conservative Constitution – The New York Times
World

Chile Rejects Conservative Constitution – The New York Times

Chileans on Sunday rejected a new constitution that would have pulled the country to the right, likely ending a turbulent four-year process to replace their national charter with little to show for it.Nearly 56 percent of voters rejected the proposed text, with all of the votes counted.It is the second time in 16 months that Chile, the South American nation of 19 million, has rebuffed a proposed constitution — the other was written by the left — showing how deeply divided the nation remains over a set of rules and principles to govern it even after four years of debate.That debate began in 2019 after enormous protests prompted a national referendum in which four out of five Chileans voted to scrap their constitution, a heavily amended version of the 1980 text adopted under the bloody milit...
U.S. Fines Southwest Airlines $140 Million for Holiday Meltdown
Business

U.S. Fines Southwest Airlines $140 Million for Holiday Meltdown

The Transportation Department announced a $140 million fine on Monday against Southwest Airlines over a meltdown last winter that disrupted travel for about two million people during the holiday season.Of the $140 million, Southwest Airlines will pay $35 million to the federal government. For the remaining amount, the department is giving the airline credit for providing frequent-flier points as an apology to customers affected by the problems and for agreeing to give out tens of millions of dollars in vouchers to those affected by future delays and cancellations.The fine is roughly 30 times what had previously been the department’s largest penalty against an airline for consumer-protection violations, a $4.5 million settlement with Air Canada in 2021 over customer refunds.“Today’s action ...
E.V. Start-up Founder Could Get Prison Term in Fraud Case
Technology

E.V. Start-up Founder Could Get Prison Term in Fraud Case

The founder of an electric truck company is expected to face significant prison time when he is sentenced on Monday in a fraud case that highlights the financial carnage left behind by a crop of electric vehicle start-ups and their promoters.A federal judge in Manhattan will sentence Trevor Milton, the founder and former chief executive of the truck company Nikola, after a jury found him guilty last year of one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Mr. Milton was accused of pumping up the value of Nikola stock by making extravagant claims about the company.Mr. Milton told investors that Nikola had working prototypes of emission-free long-haul trucks, had billions of dollars’ worth of binding orders and was producing low-cost hydrogen fuel. All those statements were false,...
Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player
Sports

Alcoholism, ayahuasca and the enlightenment of an NFL player

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — The Buffalo Bills have a new safety this season.He sometimes plays close to the line of scrimmage, even lining up in the gaps and banging helmets with interior linemen. They use him as a hybrid linebacker in a three-safety dime package. He has played free safety, strong safety, outside cornerback, inside cornerback, left linebacker and right linebacker. And more.Physically and mentally, he is being challenged, but he’s grateful, content and all in.The Bills’ new safety is Jordan Poyer. It’s the same Jordan Poyer who played for the team the previous six seasons, the only player in the NFL to have 500 or more tackles, 20 or more interceptions and 10 or more sacks in that time frame, a Bills captain for the fourth time, an Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2017, a...
Did Your Baby Spend Time in the NICU? Tell Us About It.
Health

Did Your Baby Spend Time in the NICU? Tell Us About It.

Across the country, neonatal intensive care units provide critical care to seriously ill babies.That care can be lifesaving but also comes at a price, as some parents report receiving multimillion dollar bills for their babies’ hospital stays. Some researchers have questioned whether too many babies are being admitted to the NICU and whether there is a profit motive at play.The New York Times is looking to hear from readers who can share their recent experiences with NICU care. Hearing from families about their experiences helps us better understand where we should focus our reporting.We will not publish any part of your response to this questionnaire without talking with you first. We will not share your contact information outside the Times newsroom, and will use it only to reach out to ...