The seizure took place in international waters Friday in the South China Sea, where China and neighboring countries have been sparring over disputed territorial claims. According to the U.S. military, the drone was part of an oceanic research project carried out by the Navy research vessel USNS Bowditch. The Chinese Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of “hyping up” the drone’s seizure on Saturday and said it would be returned “in an appropriate manner.” Trump’s tweet comes just two weeks after the president-elect spoke with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen by phone, the first contact of its kind between Taiwanese leaders and a U.S. president in almost four decades.
Update, 9:01 p.m. ET: President-elect Trump has revised his position on the drone’s status. In a tweet Saturday evening, he wrote China should keep the seized U.S. Navy property because “we don’t want the drone they stole back.”
We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!
Trump did not elaborate on his view. The stance marks a shift away from one taken earlier by Jason Miller, the Trump transition team's communications director, who credited the president-elect for China's announcement it would return the seized drone.
Suicide Car Bomb Kills At Least 14 Turkish Soldiers
At least 14 off-duty Turkish soldiers were killed Saturday by a suicide car bomb, Turkish officials said. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said another 56 people were injured. The explosion occurred next to a bus carrying the soldiers as it drove through Kayseri, a city in central Turkey. According to Agence-France Press, local officials blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement that has battled the Turkish government for years. No public claims of responsibility have been made. The BBC reported that Turkish officials instituted a temporary press blackout shortly after the bombing, an increasingly common practice in the country. The bombing comes one week after two blasts outside Istanbul’s Vodafone Stadium killed 44 people, most of whom were police officers, and wounded dozens more shortly after a soccer match between two of the country’s most well-known teams. A PKK splinter faction claimed responsibility.
Henry Heimlich, Anti-Choking Maneuver's Inventor, Dies at 96
Henry Heimlich, whose eponymous technique of using abdominal thrusts to save a choking person’s life became an international first-aid staple, died Saturday at a Cincinnati hospital. He was 96 years old. Heimlich, a thoracic surgeon, first published a paper about the method in 1974. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association added it to their guidelines for treating choking victims two years later, leading to its wide use throughout the world. According to the BBC, the maneuver is believed to have saved over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone since its adoption. Heimlich himself performed the maneuver earlier this year at age 96 to save the life of a fellow retirement-home resident who had begun choking at dinner. Alongside the maneuver and his work on a chest valve to re-inflate collapsed lungs, Heimlich also received criticism for his controversial support of malariotherapy, in which weaker strains of malaria are used as treatments for illnesses ranging from cancer to HIV/AIDS. Its efficacy remains unproven.
7.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Papua New Guinea
A strong 7.9-magnitude tremor struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Saturday night local time, causing minimal damage and no reported injuries so far. The earthquake occurred 29 miles east of New Ireland, a Papua New Guinean island in the eastern Bismarck Archipelago, at a depth of about 61 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. As the Associated Press noted, tremors at lower depths tend to cause less damage. The quake nonetheless prompted tsunami warnings throughout the southwestern Pacific Ocean, including in Indonesia, Nauru, and New Zealand. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, those warnings have now ended without signs of serious waves.
CEO Chris Licht felt he was on a mission to restore the network’s reputation for serious journalism. How did it all go wrong?
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“How are we gonna cover Trump? That’s not something I stay up at night thinking about,” Chris Licht told me. “It’s very simple.”
It was the fall of 2022. This was the first of many on-the-record interviews that Licht had agreed to give me, and I wanted to know how CNN’s new leader planned to deal with another Donald Trump candidacy. Until recently Licht had been producing a successful late-night comedy show. Now, just a few months into his job running one of the world’s preeminent news organizations, he claimed to have a “simple” answer to the question that might very well come to define his legacy.
How has America slid into its current age of discord? Why has our trust in institutions collapsed, and why have our democratic norms unraveled?
All human societies experience recurrent waves of political crisis, such as the one we face today. My research team built a database of hundreds of societies across 10,000 yearsto try to find out what causes them. We examined dozens of variables, including population numbers, measures of well-being, forms of governance, and the frequency with which rulers are overthrown. We found that the precise mix of events that leads to crisis varies, but two drivers of instability loom large. The first is popular immiseration—when the economic fortunes of broad swaths of a population decline. The second, and more significant, is elite overproduction—when a society produces too many superrich and ultra-educated people, and not enough elite positions to satisfy their ambitions.
Trump’s fear of damaging press was so much greater than his fear of criminal accountability that he ended up making an incriminating recording.
Almost exactly six years ago, James Comey begot a new mantra for the Trump era: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” In most cases, none has emerged: not of the former FBI director’s conversation with Donald Trump about loyalty, not of the fateful call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and not, well, that other fabled tape.
In the ongoing classified-documents scandal, though, the tapes seem to exist. CNN and The New York Timesreport that Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump’s removal of secret records to Mar-a-Lago, has obtained a recording in which the former president discussed his possession of a sensitive document. According to the outlets, Trump indicates that he knows it’s classified and is aware he cannot share it.
Nothing is healthier or more happy-making than loving attachment. Don’t deprive yourself.
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Shu-Sin was the king of Sumer from about 2000 B.C.E. Although his wife’s name is lost to history, her legendary words are not. Carved on a cuneiform tablet is an ode to their love, containing these lines:
Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit,
Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn,
Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart,
Lion, sleep in our house until dawn.
And down to today, this kind of romantic attachment is one of the best predictors of happiness that social scientists have identified. For example, my review of the General Social Survey finds that although 27 percent of married Americans said they were “very happy” with their lives, only 11 percent of those respondents who were never married, divorced, separated, or widowed answered this way. (Obviously, marriage is not the only romantic arrangement, but it is the one most often studied.) And research in the Journal of Research in Personality has shown that marriage can protect happiness in adulthood.
Russia’s gambit to deter support for Ukraine by restricting energy supplies flopped—thanks to concerted action by European countries.
The most significant defeat in Russia’s war on Ukraine was suffered not on a battlefield but in the marketplace.
The Russian aggressors had expected to use natural gas as a weapon to bend Western Europe to their will. The weapon failed. Why? And will the failure continue?
Unlike oil, which is easily transported by ocean tanker, gas moves most efficiently and economically through fixed pipelines. Pipelines are time-consuming and expensive to build. Once the pipeline is laid, over land or underwater, the buyer at one end is bound to the seller on the other end. Gas can move by tanker, too, but first it must be compressed into liquid form. Compressing gas is expensive and technologically demanding. In the 2010s, European consumers preferred to rely on cheaper and supposedly reliable pipeline gas from Russia. Then, in 2021, the year before the Russian attack on Ukraine, Europeans abruptly discovered the limits of Russian-energy reliability.
Big Tech’s warnings about an AI apocalypse are distracting us from years of actual harms their products have caused.
On Tuesday morning, the merchants of artificial intelligence warned once again about the existential might of their products. Hundreds of AI executives, researchers, and other tech and business figures, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Bill Gates, signed a one-sentence statement written by the Center for AI Safety declaring that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
Those 22 words were released following a multi-week tour in which executives from OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and other tech companies called for limited regulation of AI. They spoke before Congress, in the European Union, and elsewhere about the need for industry and governments to collaborate to curb their product’s harms—even as their companies continue to invest billions in the technology. Several prominent AI researchers and critics told me that they’re skeptical of the rhetoric, and that Big Tech’s proposed regulations appear defanged and self-serving.
Talking about mysterious sightings in the sky can be a nasty business.
At a meeting in NASA headquarters yesterday, the public had some blunt questions about UFOs, or, as the government now calls them, “unexplained anomalous phenomena.” A NASA spokesperson summarized them aloud: “What is NASA hiding, and where are you hiding it? How much has been shared publicly? Has NASA ever cut the live NASA TV feed away from something? Has NASA released all UAP evidence it has ever received? What about NASA astronauts—do they have an NDA or clearance that does not allow them to speak about UAP sightings? What are the science overlords hiding?” In short: Are you guys lying to everyone?
There was some gentle laughter among the panelists, whom NASA had convened on the subject. No, NASA “has never intentionally cut a live feed to hide anything,” a senior agency official said. A retired astronaut who worked at NASA for 20 years chimed in: “There was never any formal or informal discussions at all about UAPs or UFOs or anyone reporting anything that would suggest something from beyond our planet.” An astrobiologist—the kind of scientist whose job revolves around finding extraterrestrial life—said that scientists are a “rebellious” type, and if someone told him to keep a secret as big as this, he’d want to spill.
In her latest work to be translated into English, Annie Ernaux examines the malaise of the modern supermarket.
The sliding doors of a supermarket open into a dilemma: Though one may find comfort in the grocery store’s order and abundance, its high stakes can also provoke anxiety—after all, this is the place where we trade hard-earned money for sustenance. “Everything was fine, would continue to be fine, would eventually get even better as long as the supermarket did not slip,” Don DeLillo’s narrator Jack Gladney observes in White Noise, commenting on the structure that supermarkets, with their rows of neatly ordered products, impose on his chaotic life. Thirty years later, Halle Butler’s protagonist in the novel Jillian enters a gourmet grocery store on a whim because “there were delights there.” The prices are so out of her budget that she has to give herself a pep talk before buying anything. “I mean, I work all the time,” she mutters. “This is why I work, isn’t it? I’m a hard worker. I can buy this cheese. It’s just cheese, I guess.” But it’s not just cheese.
The U.S. is returning to a tired old playbook: If at first you fail to make something a universal right, try making it an employee benefit.
For a brief moment, it looked like America could get a real child-care system—one that wasn’t defined by lengthy waitlists, sky-high fees, and crossed-fingers quality. When the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act in 2021, it included $400 billion in funding, part of which would have paid programs enough to boost providers’ wages, in turn increasing the supply of available slots. The act also would have capped all but the wealthiest families’ child-care bills at 7 percent of their income. This overhaul would have put child care squarely in the same category as Social Security, Medicare, and other guaranteed supports: It would have, in other words, become a right. Since Joe Manchin and 50 Republican senators killed the bill, however, many policy makers have started following a tired old playbook: If at first you fail to make something a universal right, try making it an employee benefit.
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
The ashes filled a black plastic box about the size of a toaster. It weighed three and a half pounds. I put it in a canvas tote bag and packed it in my suitcase this past July for the transpacific flight to Manila. From there I would travel by car to a rural village. When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household.