Why I Changed My Mind on Student Debt Forgiveness

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Our current system of student loans and college funding is at odds with what we hope to achieve by encouraging people to go to college.
Categories: Local News

What Bill Barr Did to Clear Trump Is Still a Danger

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The ability to investigate future high-level wrongdoing in the executive branch is at stake.
Categories: Local News

Ted Cruz Would Like to Put Some Words in Your Mouth

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
The idea that student loan relief is a handout to a small minority of affluent college graduates is simply a myth.
Categories: Local News

What It’s Like to Have Face Blindness

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
When you can’t rely on facial recognition, you look beyond the obvious.
Categories: Local News

A Grammy-Nominated Singer Performs and Explores Music’s Deep Power Over Us

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00
Allison Russell discusses — and demonstrates — the craft of songwriting, and how to find ‘survivor’s joy’ and kinship through music.
Categories: Local News

Harriette Cole: I accidentally blew up his phone with provocative photos, and I’m mortified

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 02:00

DEAR HARRIETTE: I tried sending a somewhat provocative photo to a guy I like, but I was in a place with bad reception, and my phone says the picture never went through.

That made me sad after I had drummed up the courage to share this picture of me and then he didn’t get it. Anyway, I tried again to send it, but it didn’t go through.

I heard from him later, and he thanked me for sending the photo but told me that he had received it about three times.

I was mortified. I know it’s a technological thing, but I don’t want this guy to think I am a stalker. I was just trying to stir up a bit of interest.

I’m not sure if I turned him off or not. What can I do now?

Bad Click

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DEAR BAD CLICK: If at all possible, wait to talk about this in person rather than sending more texts.

Either way, tell him you are glad he liked the shot and that you are sorry that technology wasn’t your friend. Tell him that you were in a location with bad Wi-Fi. In an effort to ensure that he received the photo, you attempted to send it more than once, until your phone indicated that it had been delivered.

Apologize for blowing up his phone. That was not your intention! Leave it at that.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been spending time with some new friends who are kind and generous. Whenever we go out, they pay for meals, which is nice because we are not rich and they are.

They never make us feel any kind of way about it, either.

What we do to show our appreciation is different. We will cook delicious meals and specialty dishes to share with them. We sometimes bring over unusual desserts that we cook or that we discovered in our travels.

It feels like a comfortable relationship even though we aren’t on the same income level.

I just wonder if they will tire of us because we can’t spend the kind of money on things that they do. So far, it has been OK, but it does feel a bit awkward to be unable to afford some of the things that we do. Should I say something?


DEAR AWKWARD: Stop fretting. It sounds like you and your friends have established a natural, comfortable rhythm. Enjoy it in the moment. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

It’s nice when people who are different from each other, especially economically, can create a genuine friendship. Being able to spend time together where it is comfortable for everyone is lovely. Stop worrying about what may happen sometime in the future.

Honestly, relationships grow based on the ways people tend to each other. As long as you all are kind, respectful and honest about who you are and what you bring to the table, you should be fine. If the day comes when they ask you to do something you cannot afford, tell the truth and trust that they will understand.

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Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Categories: Local News

Clashes in Baghdad Intensify Amid Political Chaos in Iraq

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 01:57
The renewed violence has set Iraq on edge, with many fearing another destabilized phase after two decades of almost constant fighting.
Categories: Local News

The Animal Translators

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 01:41
Scientists are using machine learning to eavesdrop on naked mole rats, fruit bats, crows and whales — and to communicate back.
Categories: Local News

Miss Manners: Has asking the bride’s father for permission really come back into fashion?

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 01:30

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I came of age in the early 1980s, and I have never heard of anyone in my generation, or the previous one, asking a lady’s father for permission to propose marriage. And yet nowadays, the question of whether to do so comes up with surprising regularity in advice columns and online.

Has the custom undergone a revival in recent years, or was I mistaken to think that it had died out back then?

GENTLE READER: This was never a very useful custom, as Miss Manners recalls. Any self-respecting Victorian girl would have known how to make her father’s life a burden to him if he tried to drive away a favored suitor.

But now that its uselessness is blatant, it has acquired a certain charm — like the surprise proposal in a couple who have long since established a household and debated making it legal. Or, for that matter, a father “giving away” a bride who is obviously independent of his jurisdiction.

Miss Manners would consider these quaint trappings harmless, but only up to the point when they are used as a serious requirement.

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a problem that was once unique, but more people these days are unfortunately facing it.

I’m a retired teacher who spent my whole career at a school that is internationally famous for a mass shooting that happened before I retired. It is a horribly painful part of my life.

At a wedding last night, I went through something that has happened more times than I can count: The hostess introduced me to a guest by saying, “This is (my name). She used to teach at (school’s name).”

The new acquaintance said, “Where were you when the shooting happened?”

I said, “In the building, but that’s not a pleasant conversation for a wedding,” and tried to change the subject. He followed up by asking about how I felt about another shooting involving elementary students.

Trust me: Nobody wants to know how I feel about that.

I said, “Oh, that’s not really a good conversation for a wedding, either.”

He got huffy and said, “You knew I had to ask.”

This has happened at holiday parties, showers, all kinds of places. It’s like all of my friends and acquaintances think this is a great way to start conversations between me and their other friends. It’s not.

Do I talk to everyone whose invitations I accept and ask not to be introduced this way? How do I get people not to ask, and certainly not to keep pushing? It has ruined entire occasions for me that should have been happy.

GENTLE READER: Your problem is indeed those tasteless hosts. When introducing guests, it is helpful to provide a conversation starter — but only if the guest wants to have that conversation.

Aside from choosing more sensitive friends, you must stop such announcements by saying firmly, “That is not something I care to discuss.” Or, in today’s parlance, Miss Manners might resort to “I don’t think you want to trigger that memory.”

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Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Categories: Local News

Dear Abby: I can’t look at him the same way since I heard his sister’s story

San Jose Mercury - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 01:00

DEAR ABBY: Fifteen years ago, my husband’s sister told him their brother “Brad” had molested her when she was young. She had repressed it until revealing it to a therapist.

Brad admitted doing it, but said it was because a parish priest showed him pornography. Brad gave her money to pay for her therapy.

My husband has pretty much dismissed it and remains very close to Brad. I have never been able to look at Brad in the same way, and I prefer to not be around him.

My husband wants me to pretend it’s in the past and let it go, but I’m having trouble doing that. My aversion to Brad has grown more intense over the years. His sister still has issues, and I believe they stem from his abuse.

I don’t know what to do. Help, please.


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DEAR COMPLICATED: It is probable that the priest who showed Brad the pornography sexually abused him, too. Brad has tried to make amends by paying for his sister’s therapy. (I wonder if he had any himself.)

I think you should talk to your sister-in-law about this, and take your cues from her.

DEAR ABBY: I have a close friend who was diagnosed with skin cancer. She had surgery a few days ago, and she will know within the next two weeks if it is gone.

I am devastated. I don’t know what to do, to say or how to act.

I check in several times a day with her to ask what I can do. We usually talk about everything, but now she’s talking about death and dying.

My heart is broken and I tear up when I think about it. I’d like to tell her what I’m feeling and how much I think of her but I don’t know how.


DEAR LOST: If you feel you can’t get out what you need to communicate to your friend without breaking down, put it in a letter to her. Take your time writing it, and when you’re done, put it aside for a day or two, and then reread it before sending or giving it to her.

It couldn’t do any harm to let her know how much you love and value her, the things you most admire about her and how important she is (not was) in your life. If she lives decades more, which I sincerely hope, that love letter will be a treasured keepsake.

DEAR ABBY: I am in my late 60s. When I am approached by people who know me, I can’t remember them.

It’s embarrassing to ask them who they are. I may have worked with them or met them somehow, but although they look familiar, I draw a blank.

I have spoken to several friends who have the same problem. I sometimes recognize people I haven’t seen for a while and have to remind them who I am.

What would be the polite way to ask, “Who are you?”


DEAR DON’T KNOW: A polite way to manage it would be to be honest. Simply say, “Forgive me, but I think I’m having a ‘senior moment.’ Where do we know each other from?”

It’s effective, and as you stated, you are not the only one. It also happens to people who are younger than you.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Categories: Local News

Japanese business pioneer, philanthropist Inamori dies at 90

Seattle Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:28

Kazuo Inamori, founder of Japanese ceramics and electronics maker Kyocera who also became a philanthropist singing the virtues of fairness and hard work, has died.
Categories: Local News

WHO director in Asia accused of racism, abuse put on leave

Seattle Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:11

The World Health Organization’s top director in the Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, has been indefinitely removed from his post, according to internal correspondence.
Categories: Local News

Death in Navy SEAL Training Exposes a Culture of Brutality, Cheating and Drugs

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:00
The elite force’s selection course is so punishing that few make it through, and many of those who do resort to illicit tactics.
Categories: Local News

A Surprise Senate Race in Colorado: Michael Bennet and Joe O’Dea

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:00
Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat seeking re-election in Colorado, faces a challenge from Joe O’Dea, a novice Republican emphasizing more moderate positions in a break with his party.
Categories: Local News

Gov. Kathy Hochul Seeks Donations From Cuomo Appointees

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:00
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign says contributions from board and commission members and their families are fair game because she did not appoint them.
Categories: Local News

Biden’s Student Loan Plan Sets Off Fierce Debate Among Economists

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:00
Liberals and more moderate Democrats are arguing over the impact on inflation, the federal budget deficit and high earners.
Categories: Local News

Serena Williams Rises to the Occasion, Like So Many Times Before

N.Y. Times - Tue, 08/30/2022 - 00:00
Williams met a valedictory night at the U.S. Open with a win that was fitting, and with a second-round match on Wednesday, the farewell party at Arthur Ashe Stadium continues.
Categories: Local News

4 thoughts on how Niantic redeemed Pokemon Go Fest 2022

San Jose Mercury - Mon, 08/29/2022 - 23:52

Pokemon Go Fest has come and gone, and the finale for the season ended on a high note. Professor Willow made his way back to the game. The spawn rate was good compared to the kickoff event. Niantic even managed to squeeze in a mini-event afterward with Solrock and Lunatone.

That send-off was the perfect cap to the season and put the past few months in context. Perhaps this is what Niantic was aiming for all along: This year has focused mainly on the Alola region and “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon.” Hence, the sun- and moon-inspired surprise, and the hint that Solgaleo and Lunala would be coming in a recent trailer.

Here are other thoughts on the Season of Go and Pokemon Go Fest 2022:

1. After a disappointing start, the Season of Go made up for it with the Aug. 27 finale and a few other events. Yes, the first part of Pokemon Go Fest 2022 had its problems. The game was not at its best, the selection of Pokemon and their shiny variants were wanting and the overall structure just felt haphazardly slapped together. The type of Pokemon chosen felt like it didn’t have a story to it.

The finale event was different because it brought a conclusion to the mystery of the season: the disappearance of Professor Willow. The picks of Pokemon were better with a diverse set, but most of all they made sense within the context of the past few weeks. The Go Fest finale acted almost like a review of the whole season and a reminder of the past in-person Go Fest celebrations and standalone events such the as the stellar Adventure Week.

Players had enough new shinies to chase while also having the opportunity to catch some useful ones. It was bolstered by a great set of raids that opened up more Ultra Beasts to players. Xurkitree, Buzzwole and Pheromosa were all welcome additions, and much better than the underwhelming Nihilego.

Anytime a player can get a new shiny or an intriguing Pokemon they didn’t have before made the day a success for everyone. That’s the minimum for asking players to spend eight hours chasing make-believe monsters.

2. The lack of glitches and distractions on top of the two-hour format made this Go Fest feel more relaxing. Although some people may not have liked it, I dug the two hours for each habitat themed after the Ultra Beasts. The slot felt a little long by about 30 minutes, but it made me feel as though I had more time to catch (or at least shiny check) the pocket monsters I wanted while also doing a few raids and saying hi to other players.

The one-hour format felt like I was racing against time to grab as many Pokemon as possible. There’s this just immense pressure to push forward and any interruption from that such as raids or a Team Rocket battle felt agonizingly annoying. Speaking of that, it was great to see no gym interactions other than spinning stops for balls and getting the occasional quest. The fact that the Ultra Beasts were easy to catch with one or two Beast Balls also removed the anxiety from the day, so players can spend more time catching and exploring.

Niantic did a really great job at increasing the fun and minimizing the frustrations that went along with these big events. Everything just flowed for a breezy, less stressful experience.

3. Looking ahead to the Season of Light, we can expect to see more Alolan Pokemon. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the planning over the past few months. If Niantic would have just laid out more of the plan and said this is the year of “Pokemon Sun” and “Pokemon Moon,” a lot of the decisions and structure of the next few months would have made more sense and put players in a better frame of mind when it comes to expectations.

With that said, there are plenty more Alola Pokemon that haven’t debuted yet, so there’s still plenty of content for Niantic to stretch out. On top of that, “Pokemon Scarlet” and “Pokemon Violet” are coming out in November, which is within the window for the three-month season. Players should definitely expect some acknowledgment of the new games or at least a promo for them.

How good that experience will be hinges on what kind of integration the new entries will have with Pokemon Home. That leads me to my last point.

4. Finding a new end game for “Pokemon Go.” Over the course of the past six years, players had to make their own end game after they’ve hit the level cap or filled their Pokedex, and for better or worse, that has turned the game into a chase for shiny variants.

Niantic has tried to come up with other avenues for hard-core players to pursue playing, and that has revolved around Go Battle League. That hasn’t caught on very well as players like to keep Great and Ultra league Pokemon just in case, but issues with PvP has led to a bumpy few years.

When playing “Pokemon Legends: Arceus,” I ran across a new route to explore, and that’s by migrating some my favorite or best Pokemon Go creatures over to Pokemon Home and using them on the Nintendo Switch. The process is as simple as ever. All players have to do is open the App on the Switch and pick “Arceus,” and they can shift their Pokemon to that main series game.

Players don’t have to wait to beat the campaign to access them. They can use those Pokemon from the start and nurture them through the adventure. It added another bond and made the experience feel more special because these are the pocket monsters that I caught in the real world. I even used some extra Community Day shinies (Oshawott and Cyndaquil) and other variants I amassed to create a shiny team.

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Now, I’ve taken to shifting more variants and even legendaries to Pokemon Home, just to power them up in other titles to see what they can do. What’s even better is that I can move those Huisian forms over to Pokemon Home and use them if they’re available in other upcoming games such as “Pokemon Scarlet” and “Pokemon Violet.”

I’ve evolved Huisian versions of Typhlosion, Samurott and Braviary (all shiny) just to see what they look like. I was constantly surprised by what their shiny forms looked like. It’ll be interesting to see if that same mechanic shows up in the Paldea region. If that were the case, I’d hope that the “Scarlet” and “Violet” support Pokemon Home at launch, so that players can use creatures they’ve raised in “Pokemon Go” and find a new and more fascinating way to play with them.

They can even make a shiny team to show off to friends because “Scarlet” and “Violet” appear to have a more open format with a focus on exploring region with friends.

Categories: Local News

Rodón roughed up by Padres as SF Giants’ playoff gap reaches season-high

San Jose Mercury - Mon, 08/29/2022 - 23:12

SAN FRANCISCO — The opening game of the Giants’ home stand was interrupted for nearly an hour by separate stoppages Monday night, but not even lighting malfunctions or injured umpires could delay the inevitable.

Faced with a chance to gain ground on the team they’re attempting to chase down for the final National League wild card spot, the Giants’ playoff chances only took another blow, with a 6-5 loss to the Padres that started before either stoppage of play and only continued once it resumed for good.

In his shortest start of the second half, Carlos Rodón needed 94 pitches to labor through four innings, walking twice as many batters as he struck out, and left the game in a 5-0 hole. By the time San Diego reliever Nick Martinez recorded the final out, the Giants were further out of playoff position (8.5 games) and further below .500 (61-66) than any point this season.

San Francisco mounted a threat in the eighth, with RBI singles from Austin Slater and J.D. Davis pulling the Giants within one run. The three runs equaled their total in any of the previous four losses on the skid they took into Monday night but proved to be too little and too late, extending the losing streak to five games.

Although San Diego improved to only 11-13 since the trade deadline, the Padres’ trio of acquisitions plated three runs off Rodón before the Giants came to bat, which had to wait an extra 10 minutes because of the first of two stoppages. Brandon Drury’s two-run shot to left capped the three-run rally, driving home Josh Bell, who singled in Juan Soto after he reached on the first of four free passes issued by Rodón.

Play was delayed for the first time when home plate umpire Marvin Hudson slipped and fell while tracking a foul pop fly from Giants leadoff man Tommy La Stella. Hudson was injured enough to leave the game, replaced behind home plate by second base ump John Tumpane, and play carried on with a three-man crew.

It took another 40 minutes for play to resume between the third and fourth innings when the lights at Oracle Park failed to properly illuminate the field once the sun set on the clear, 64-degree day.

Despite the lengthy delay, both starting pitchers remained in the game when play resumed. However, after another two-run rally in the fourth — started with another walk and ended with a two-single from No. 9 hitter Austin Nola — Rodón’s night was done, matching his second-shortest outing of the season (four innings) and his second-most runs allowed (five).

Joc Pederson got the Giants on the board in bottom of the fourth with a 420-foot home run that cleared triples alley in right-center, driving home LaMonte Wade Jr. after a leadoff single. The homer was Pederson’s first at Oracle Park since June 25 and snapped a team-wide drought that had lasted since the sixth inning of Tuesday’s win in Detroit — a span of 172 plate appearances.

Pederson, who has never missed the postseason in his seven previous seasons, has turned things around after a midseason slump and is playing like someone who doesn’t want to make October plans.

Since snapping his own homerless streak last Friday in Colorado, Pederson is 8-for-23 (.348) with a team-leading 1.037 OPS but struck out in his final two at-bats Monday, including one two-strike bunt that went foul.

As a team, the Giants’ five runs matched their total over their three-game sweep in Minnesota and marked only the third time in their past 12 games that they pushed more than three runners across home plate. Over the 12-game skid, the Giants are 3-9 and have combined for a team batting average of .203, the second-worst mark in the majors.

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After losing the last game of their series in San Diego earlier this month, the Giants fell 7.5 games back for the first time this season. Since then, San Diego had gone 7-8 in 15 games leading up to Monday, yet San Francisco entered this series exactly where it was nearly three weeks ago, only with 36 games to make up the gap, instead of more than 50.

After Monday’s loss, the Giants are one game further back with one fewer to left to play.

  • Catcher Joey Bart was removed from the game between the fourth and fifth innings, after taking a foul tip off his face mask in the top of the third. Before the start of the fourth, Bart was checked up on by manager Gabe Kapler and trainer Anthony Reyes, who appeared to conduct a concussion test that evidently showed no initial signs of concern. After catching the top of the fourth, however, Bart was shown heading back to the clubhouse, and Austin Wynns, who took over behind the plate in the top of the fifth, was in the on-deck circle, ready to pinch-hit for Bart.
Categories: Local News

Byron: Rollover collision claims person’s life on roadway

San Jose Mercury - Mon, 08/29/2022 - 23:01

BYRON — A person died Monday after their vehicle rolled over in Byron Highway lanes, authorities said.

Shortly after 8:50 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers received word of a possible collision in southbound Byron Highway lanes just south of Clifton Court Road, CHP Officer Damian Cistaro said.

When officers arrived, they found debris in two roadway lanes from at least one vehicle that had rolled over on the highway just north of Holey Road, and a person suffering from major injuries.

Despite paramedics and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District firefighters’ efforts, the person was pronounced dead at the scene, Cistaro said.

The driver’s identity was not immediately available from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office coroner’s division, pending next-of-kin notification.

No Sig-alert closing lanes for any investigation was issued, but the CHP did issue a travel advisory shortly before 9:50 p.m. setting up one-way traffic controls for at least two hours.

Anyone with information may call the CHP’s Contra Costa office at 925-646-4980.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

Categories: Local News