Minnesota plans rewrite of rules for copper-nickel mining near popular wilderness

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:30

Minnesota regulators have concluded that state rules governing where copper-nickel mines can be built are insufficient to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from noise and light pollution.
Categories: Local News

Supreme Court Backs Employer in Suit Over Strike Losses

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:28
The justices ruled that federal labor law did not block state courts from ruling on a case regarding damage caused when workers walked off the job.
Categories: Local News

Families sue to block Idaho law barring gender-affirming care for minors

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:20

The families of two transgender teenagers are suing Idaho officials to block enforcement of a ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors.
Categories: Local News

Whitney Museum Sells Breuer Building to Sotheby’s

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:18
The auction house will make the Brutalist icon on Madison Avenue its flagship in 2025.
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Watch: BBC puts rape and exploitation claims to Andrew Tate

BBC World News - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:15
The social media influencer is pressed on his controversial views in a combative BBC interview.
Categories: World News

Move Disney World to Colorado if Nuggets beat the Heat, Gov. Polis proposes to Ron DeSantis

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:13

On the verge of the NBA finals, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has proposed a “friendly wager” with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a happy Disney ending should the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat.

The championship matchup starts on Thursday and Polis suggests that the Walt Disney World Resort pull up stakes from the Sunshine State and land in colorful Colorado should the Nuggets beat the Heat.

In the wager, posted at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday on Twitter, Polis refers to Colorado as “the ACTUAL happiest place on earth to do business, have fun, and be free!”

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It’s not the first time Polis has envisioned Disney in Colorado.

In April 2022, Polis offered Mickey and Minnie Mouse “full asylum in Colorado” after DeSantis, now a presidential candidate, was critical of Disney as part of a long, ongoing battle with the entertainment company.

Last month, Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis alleging the governor waged a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” after the company opposed a law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”

The Tuesday wager by Polis did not include how the bet would play out should the Heat beat the Nuggets. As of about 2:50 p.m. Mountain Time, DeSantis had no response on Twitter.

Calling @GovRonDeSantis and @Disney on a friendly wager. If the @nuggets win the finals against the @MiamiHEAT, Disney World will move to Colorado, the ACTUAL happiest place on earth to do business, have fun, and be free! #ColoradoForAll

— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) May 30, 2023


Categories: Local News

Democrats Want Trump? They’re Out of Their Minds

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:10
Do not underestimate his chances against Biden — or the damage he’d do with a second term.
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Author R.F. Kuang says she wanted ‘Yellowface’ to feel like ‘an anxiety attack’

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:08

When Athena Liu, a bright Asian American literary star suddenly dies after choking on a pancake, her friend June Hayward sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

June, a White woman who admires and envies Liu in equal measures, swipes Athena’s latest manuscript and sets out to claim it as her own.

“Yellowface,” the new literary thriller from R.F. Kuang, is an unusual page-turner, using the theft of a historical novel about Chinese laborers to fuel plot twists that revolve around publishing, marketing and social media. The story builds suspense while exploring ideas about artistic ethics, cultural appropriation, and the way the book world and the American marketplace fetishize the exotic while also trying to whitewash it.

Kuang, who was born in China but came here at age four, shares some autobiographical elements with Athena: She’s just turned 27 but is already on her fifth novel – and her previous one, “Babel,” was an acclaimed best-seller – and she too has had to overcome preconceived notions about ethnicity and gender. For example, her first name is Rebecca, but she says she was told when she selling her fantasy debut, “The Poppy War,” that she should use her initials “so people will think you’re a man.”

“We all know that people have conversations in-house at publishers about how attractive an author is and that affects the size of the advance,” Kuang said in a recent video interview. “You have to sell a story about yourself and that’s uncomfortable because we’re all raced and gendered in very different ways.” 

Kuang, who has two masters and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Yale, is definitively not Athena, however, and has a “deep resentment” of audiences psychoanalyzing her or presuming they know her from her writing.

“People think I had Athena’s life but the first few years were more like June’s,” she says. “When “The Poppy War” came out, it didn’t do so well. I’ve done bookstore events where nobody came and the bookstore manager intimated that I should just pack up and go home. It was terribly awkward. So I felt anxiety and worried if I’d get another opportunity.”

Unlike the endlessly needy June, Kuang learned to write solely for herself. “You can’t tie your creative drive to external validation,” she says, though June’s desire for that is what makes her book hard to put down.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q. For June, writing is essential to her very being. Is that true for you?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. We started binge-watching the “Star Wars” movies right when I moved to the U.S. and it’s where I learned a lot of English. After the scene “Luke, I am your father,” I was zooming around the house chanting “father, father, father.” A few years later, I would get printing paper from my dad’s office and staple them together and write fan fiction stories where 7-year-old Luke Skywalker and I were zooming around the planets and having adventures. 

Writing was about imagining other identities and imagining my way into English. But I didn’t let myself believe being a writer was a possible dream until it happened.

Q. Athena collects people’s stories – about June’s date rape trauma and strangers’ war stories – and turns them into fiction. Is that art or theft?

I don’t think there are clear ethical standards about what it means to steal someone else’s life experience as a writer. I don’t think there is creation without collecting. I overhear dialogue between friends or my dad tells a story about growing up in China and they get saved for a future story or book idea. But Athena does it in a way that makes her particularly an [expletive]. There are things you just don’t do to your friends unless you’re being a jerk. That’s not about creative ethics that’s about how you handle interpersonal relationships. 

Q. Your previous books involved fantasy or alternative history. Was this a conscious effort to move away from that?

This idea came to me all at once, but I was also ready to change gears and write a contemporary thriller, especially after “Babel,” which was this big Dickensian epic with all that detail about Victorian history. I had fun mucking around in all that detail but when you have to do hours of research just to type a single sentence about the kind of carriage they were riding, it becomes exhausting. It’s fun to write something where you can draw on the environment you’re already in. 

Q. Yet the novel that June steals from Athena is historical fiction. That must have required research, too.

Yes, but the book is mostly about publishing, which I already know about. I did read a lot about practices of yellowface and Asian American literary and film representation, the ways in which race and identity and creativity have intersected over the years, and how that intersects with how art is marketed and capitalized on. So there’s still a lot of scholarship that goes into what I’m writing.

Q. How do you balance that Ph.D. side of you with the desire to write a page-turner?

I’m writing about what I’m studying, but putting it in a commercial novel makes me think very hard about how you make these ideas digestible and how you strip away the jargon and get to the heart of what the problem is. Scholarship should help people rethink things they’ve taken for granted but it should be readable. 

Q. Beyond the thievery and the drama that ensues, what did you hope readers glean from June’s rewriting of Athena’s novel, “The Last Front”?

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It’s about how historical fiction is marketed to an audience. There is this genre of historical fiction that presents history as a story of suffering but with a happy ending, a feel-good story that convinces readers that things were bad in the past but we’ve gotten over that now. Publishing has less patience for history that proves there’s a persistent problem – they want a book that’s palatable and is predicted to be a best-seller. Those books don’t talk about the present but just indulge in the spectacle of the past. 

There are conversations about how to make Athena’s draft more accessible. They take out everything that’s radical or troubling and leave a story about racial tolerance and all sides coming together during World War II, which was not the intention of her original novel.

Q. “Yellowface” is fast-paced and has a frantic energy, like when you’re hitting refresh, hoping for that dopamine rush you get when a new text, email or social media like comes in.

That was very deliberate. Reading the book is supposed to make you feel like you’re having an anxiety attack in the way scrolling through Twitter literally does for me. I don’t think it’s healthy to feel the way the novel makes you feel all the time but I did want to see if I could capture it.

June picks at an open wound on social media and gets a masochistic pleasure from that. I have very firm boundaries about when I go online when I stay offline, what I look at on the internet, what I respond to, what I say and don’t say. I really try to stay calm and to preserve that sense of peace and focus that is necessary to write anything. 


Categories: Local News

Bay Area loses longtime women’s tennis event as WTA moves to Washington D.C.

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:08

After a nearly continuous run of over 50 years, the Bay Area will no longer have a major women’s tennis tournament.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Thursday that the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is moving from San Jose to Washington D.C.

The move brings an end to an iconic part of women’s tennis history, as the Bay Area’s event was the first U.S.-based event held on the groundbreaking Virginia Slims tour in 1971. Billie Jean King won the initial event and became a three-time champion.

It’s been held every year but two (1978, 2020) since then, making it the oldest and longest-running women’s-only tennis event in the world. Other major tennis names to win multiple Bay Area tournaments include Chris Evert (three times), Martina Navratilova (five times), Kim Clijsters (four times).

And that’s also true for the biggest names in the sport, the Williams sisters of Serena (three times) and Venus (twice). But perhaps most noteworthy is that a then-14-year-old Venus made her professional debut in Oakland in 1994 and won her first match, something that was highlighted in the recent movie King Richard.

The move to Washington D.C. pairs up the women’s 500-level event with the men’s Associated of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in the same city and makes that event the only combined 500-level event on tour.

“The Bay Area has played host to so many unforgettable moments as one of the Hologic WTA Tour’s longest-running tournaments,” Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, said in a statement. “The legacy of this much-loved event will live on in its new home, in Washington, D.C., where I am excited to see WTA and ATP stars competing together for the first time at the 500 level, creating new memories for many more years to come.”

The event was played on San Jose State’s campus for the last five years (with the 2020 tournament canceled because of coronavirus). Before that, it was held in the San Francisco Civic Auditorium (1971-77), the Oakland Coliseum Arena (1979-95), the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland (1996) and at Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center (1997-2017).

The 2022 event saw Daria Kasatkina defeat Shelby Rogers 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-2 in the single’s final, making the Russian native the final winner in the Bay Area. Perhaps the highlight of the final Bay Area tournament was a matchup between Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, which Gauff won 6-4, 6-4.

In the press release announcing the decision, tournament owner and operator IMG says the move will create a more convenient tour schedule for players and will allow for “larger audiences” in the nation’s capital to watch both men’s and women’s action.

“We’d like to thank the Bay Area for over 50 years of support, enthusiasm and passion. We’ve loved bringing the best in women’s tennis to your doorstep year after year,” Josh Ripple, SVP of Tennis Events at IMG, said in a statement. “While we’re sad to go, we are also very excited about this new chapter in the event’s history as the only 500-level combined event on the tours in the U.S. We hope that by bringing this event to D.C. we can start new traditions and bring that same passion for women’s tennis we saw in San Jose to the capital.”

The newly named Mubadala Citi DC Open will be held from July 29-Aug. 6 in Washington D.C.

Categories: Local News

Senate races to wrap up debt ceiling deal before default deadline

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:05


WASHINGTON (AP) — Days away from a default crisis, the U.S. Senate dashed on Thursday to wrap up work on a debt ceiling and budget cuts package that overwhelmingly cleared a House vote, aiming to send it to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law before the fast-approaching deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber was digging into the bill that Biden negotiated with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and would “keep working until the job is done.”

He warned of a crush of ideas from senators anxious to revise the bill’s budget cuts and environmental policy changes, but said, “There is no good reason, none, to bring this process down to the wire.”

Passage in the Senate will require cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, much the way the narrowly divided House was able to approve the compromise late Wednesday night. Fast action is vital if Washington is to meet next Monday’s deadline when Treasury has said the U.S. will start running short of cash to pay its bills, risking a devastating default.

Having remained largely on the sidelines during much of the Biden-McCarthy negotiations, several senators are insisting on debate over their ideas to reshape the package. But making any changes at this stage seemed unlikely, and even opponents of the final deal say they will not hold it up.

Like Schumer, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell signaled he wanted to waste no time.

Touting the House package with its budget cuts, McConnell said Thursday, “The Senate has a chance to make that important progress a reality.”

The hard-fought compromise pleased few in its entirety, but lawmakers assessed it was better than the alternative — economic upheaval at home and abroad if Congress failed to act. Tensions had run high in the House as hard-right Republicans refused the deal, but Biden and McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition to push to passage on a robust 314-117 vote.

“We did pretty dang good,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said afterward.

As for discontent from Republicans who said the spending restrictions did not go far enough, McCarthy said it was only a “first step.”

Biden, watching the tally from Colorado Springs where Thursday he is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy, phoned McCarthy and the other congressional leaders after the vote. In a statement, he called the outcome “good news for the American people and the American economy.”

Overall, the 99-page bill would make some progress in curbing the nation’s annual budget deficits as Republicans demanded, without rolling back Trump-era tax breaks as Biden had wanted. To pass it, Biden and McCarthy counted on support from the political center, a rarity in divided Washington.

The compromise package restricts spending for the next two years, suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 and changes some policies, including imposing new work requirements for older Americans receiving food aid and greenlighting an Appalachian natural gas line that many Democrats oppose. It bolsters funds for defense and veterans, and cuts back new money for Internal Revenue Service agents.

Raising the nation’s debt limit, now $31.4 trillion, ensures Treasury can borrow to pay already incurred U.S. debts.

Top GOP deal negotiator Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana said Republicans had fought for budget cuts after the past years of extra spending, first during the COVID-19 crisis and later from Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, with its historic investment to fight climate change paid for with revenues elsewhere.

But Republican Rep. Chip Roy, a member of the Freedom Caucus helping to lead the opposition, said, “My beef is that you cut a deal that shouldn’t have been cut.”

For weeks negotiators labored late into the night to strike the deal with the White House, and for days McCarthy had worked to build support among skeptics. Aides wheeled in pizza at the Capitol the night before the vote as he walked Republicans through the details, fielded questions and encouraged them not to lose sight of the bill’s budget savings.

The speaker faced a tough crowd. Cheered on by conservative senators and outside groups, the hard-right House Freedom Caucus lambasted the compromise as falling well short of the needed spending cuts, and they tried to halt passage.

Ominously, the conservatives warned of possibly trying to oust McCarthy over the issue.

One influential Republican, former President Donald Trump, held his fire: “It is what it is,” he said of the deal in an interview with Iowa radio host Simon Conway.

Before the House vote, Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said it was up to McCarthy to turn out Republican votes in the 435-member chamber, where 218 votes were needed for approval.

As the tally faltered on an afternoon procedural vote, Jeffries stood silently and raised his green voting card, signaling that the Democrats would fill in the gap to ensure passage. They did.

“Once again, House Democrats to the rescue to avoid a dangerous default,” said Jeffries, D-N.Y. “What does that say about this extreme MAGA Republican majority?” he said about the party aligned with Trump’s ”Make America Great Again” political stance.

On the final vote hours later, Democrats again ensured passage, leading the tally as 71 Republicans bucked their majority and voted against the bill.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the spending restrictions in the package would reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the decade, a top goal for the Republicans trying to curb the debt load.

In a surprise that complicated Republicans’ support, however, the CBO said their drive to impose work requirements on older Americans receiving food stamps would end up boosting spending by $2.1 billion over the time period. That’s because the final deal exempts veterans and homeless people, expanding the food stamp rolls by 78,000 people monthly, the CBO said.

Liberal discontent ran strong, too, as nearly four dozen Democrats broke away, decrying the new work requirements for older Americans, those 50-54, in the food aid program.

Some Democrats were also incensed that the White House negotiated into the deal changes to the landmark National Environmental Policy Act and approval of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project. The energy development is important to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., but many others oppose it as unhelpful in fighting climate change.


AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller, AP writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Seung Min Kim and Jill Colvin and video journalist Nathan Ellgren contributed to this report.

Categories: Local News

Andrew Tate BBC interview: Influencer challenged on misogyny and rape allegations

BBC World News - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:02
This is the influencer's first TV interview with a major broadcaster while under house arrest.
Categories: World News

Debt ceiling deal heads to US Senate for approval

BBC World News - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:01
The Senate must approve the deal and send it to the president's desk this weekend to avoid a default.
Categories: World News

Asus will offer local ChatGPT-style AI servers for office use

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:00
The ASUS logo in front of an AI-generated background.

Enlarge / The ASUS logo in front of an AI-generated background. (credit: ASUS / Stable Diffusion)

Taiwan's Asustek Computer (known popularly as "Asus") plans to introduce a rental business AI server that will operate on-site to address security concerns and data control issues from cloud-based AI systems, Bloomberg reports. The service, called AFS Appliance, will feature Nvidia chips and run an AI language model called "Formosa" that Asus claims is equivalent to OpenAI's GPT-3.5.

Asus hopes to offer the service at about $6,000 per month, according to Bloomberg's interview with Asus Cloud and TWS President Peter Wu. The highest-powered server, based on an Nvidia DGX AI platform, will cost about $10,000 a month. The servers will be powered by Nvidia's A100 GPUs and will be owned and operated by Asus. The company hopes to provide the service to 30 to 50 enterprise customers in Taiwan at first, then expand internationally later in 2023.

"Nvidia are a partner with us to accelerate the enterprise adoption of this technology,” Wu told Bloomberg. “Before ChatGPT, the enterprises were not aware of why they need so much computing power.”

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Categories: Tech News

Kamiak High coach, substitute teacher fired after sexual misconduct accusations

Seattle Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 09:00

An assistant football coach and substitute teacher was fired from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo after police opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a student.
Categories: Local News

Jaylon Johnson tells ESPN radio he expects to attend Chicago Bears OTAs next week — and why he missed the 1st 2 weeks

San Jose Mercury - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:57

Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson plans to attend organized team activities at Halas Hall next week, he told ESPN radio Thursday.

Johnson missed the first two weeks of OTAs, which are voluntary, but he has been participating in meetings via video conference call. Coach Matt Eberflus said after practice Wednesday he hoped to have Johnson in the fold at least by mandatory minicamp June 13-15 and potentially next week.

Johnson said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill and Max show he didn’t attend the first two weeks because he was spending time with his daughter in their hometown of Fresno, Calif.

“I don’t get too much time during the season to get with her,” he said. “For me, the offseason is a lot of time for her, to make that up for family. I’m a big family guy for sure, being a young dad, just trying to be present in my daughter’s life. So I take a lot of pride in that.”

Johnson said he was also tending to business, including preparing for a golf event Saturday for his charity, Kevvy’s Vision Project, which he created in 2021 to honor his friend who was shot and killed. Johnson runs a Christmas carnival through the charity and hopes to offer scholarships too. He said quarterback Justin Fields planned to attend the golf event.

Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, is entering his fourth season with the Bears, and his OTAs absence brought up questions about a potential quest for a contract extension.

He has started 39 games over three seasons with one interception, 31 passes defended, two forced fumbles and 125 tackles. General manager Ryan Poles said after the draft he hopes Johnson is “a guy we get to keep here for a while too.”

When asked Thursday about his contract on ESPN, Johnson turned the focus to how he can help the Bears win.

“For me, it used to be a lot of pressure. Going into my third year, I felt like that was the year for me to put myself out there to have a new contract, to be able to re-up,” Johnson said. “It’s just about going out and being who I am. I know I can be a dominant corner. I am a dominant corner in this league, following the No. 1 wide receivers. And just finding ways to do my job at a higher rate, continue to be a better teammate, continue to find ways to win. At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do. I haven’t had a winning season since I’ve been on the Chicago Bears yet.

“With winning comes paychecks. At the end of the day, I need to focus on winning, and that’s what I’m worried about going into Year 4.”

Johnson is one of just a few starters who haven’t participated in OTAs so far. Wide receiver Darnell Mooney and safety Eddie Jackson are recovering from injuries. New veteran guard Nate Davis also has been absent, but Eberflus indicated it’s not injury related.

Bears coaches have walked the line between saying there is value to being at OTAs while also acknowledging the league makes the sessions voluntary. New Bears cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke said Johnson can get a better feel for how Hoke teaches at practice.

“Just the subtle changes of how I teach and the way it was taught before from a technical standpoint as much as anything else,” Hoke said. “The package is the package, the scheme’s the scheme, but there are nuances about how you teach certain things, so that’s the big part of it.”


Categories: Local News

China Crosses Milestone With C919 Flight but Has Long Way to Go

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:57
The C919 jet, made by a state-owned manufacturer, completed its first commercial flight. But Western rivals still supply most of China’s planes.
Categories: Local News

Miami Mayor Suarez Eyes Presidential Run Amid City Hall Turmoil

N.Y. Times - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:56
Miami’s strong economy has its mayor weighing a presidential run. But a trial against a city commissioner has exposed some of the city’s less attractive inner workings.
Categories: Local News

Smartphone recovery that's always around the corner is around the corner

The Register - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:56
Pay a bill or buy new phone? That lovely question facing some of us in 2023

Things aren't going to get better for smartphone brands anytime soon as households and businesses weigh up monthly bills versus discretionary spending, and decide a shiny handset perhaps isn't the wisest use of funds.…

Categories: Tech News

Apple reportedly prepping a pair of high-end Mac desktops ahead of WWDC

ARS Technica - Thu, 06/01/2023 - 08:51
Apple's Mac Studio desktop.

Enlarge / Apple's Mac Studio desktop. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

As Apple rumors go, the long-rumored 15-inch MacBook Air sounds almost certain to be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week. But as Apple’s plans take shape, it also seems possible that we’ll see new Mac desktops featuring high-end M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes that these new chips are most likely to power an updated range of Mac Studio desktops, a little over a year after the first Studios were initially introduced. As recently as a few months ago, Gurman speculated that the M2 generation would skip over the Mac Studio entirely and that Apple would instead opt to use the newer chips as a selling point for a new Apple Silicon Mac Pro.

But that version of reality may not come to pass. Gurman says these new Mac models have Mac14,3 and Mac14,4 model identifiers, while the Mac Pro that Apple is testing internally is identified as Mac14,8. (We initially thought these no-adjective model identifiers were a throwback to the PowerPC days, but the reality is more boring; Apple just isn’t using unique Mac names in model identifiers anymore, possibly to combat leaks and the speculation that arises when new IDs break cover.)

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Categories: Tech News