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Hop Backstage
‘Financial Ruin Is Baked Into the System’: Readers Debate Long-Term Care Costs
Economy

‘Financial Ruin Is Baked Into the System’: Readers Debate Long-Term Care Costs

Thousands of readers reacted to the articles in the Dying Broke series about the financial burden of long-term care in the United States. They offered their assessments for the government and market failures that have drained the lifetime savings of so many American families. And some offered possible solutions.In more than 4,200 comments, readers of all ages shared their struggles in caring for spouses, older parents and grandparents. They expressed their own anxieties about getting older and needing help to stay at home or in institutions like nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.Many suggested changes to U.S. policy, like expanding the government’s payments for care and allowing more immigrants to stay in the country to help meet the demand for workers. Some even said they would ...
Morning Person? You Might Have Neanderthal Genes to Thank.
Health

Morning Person? You Might Have Neanderthal Genes to Thank.

Neanderthals were morning people, a new study suggests. And some humans today who like getting up early might credit genes they inherited from their Neanderthal ancestors.The new study compared DNA in living humans to genetic material retrieved from Neanderthal fossils. It turns out that Neanderthals carried some of the same clock-related genetic variants as do people who report being early risers.Since the 1990s, studies of Neanderthal DNA have exposed our species’ intertwined history. About 700,000 years ago, our lineages split apart, most likely in Africa. While the ancestors of modern humans largely stayed in Africa, the Neanderthal lineage migrated into Eurasia.About 400,000 years ago, the population split in two. The hominins who spread west became Neanderthals. Their cousins to the ...
Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged at Meeting and Signals 3 Cuts in 2024
Economy

Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged at Meeting and Signals 3 Cuts in 2024

Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged in their final policy decision of 2023 and forecast that they will cut borrowing costs three times in the coming year, a sign that the central bank is shifting toward the next phase in its fight against rapid inflation.Interest rates are set to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent, where they have been since July. After making a rapid series of increases that started in March 2022 and pushed borrowing costs to their highest level in 22 years as of this summer, officials have held policy steady for three straight meetings.That patient stance has given policymakers time to assess whether interest rates are high enough to weigh on the economy and ensure that inflation will slow to the Fed’s 2 percent target over time — and increasingly, slowin...
William P. Murphy Jr., Innovator of Life-Saving Medical Tools, Dies at 100
Health

William P. Murphy Jr., Innovator of Life-Saving Medical Tools, Dies at 100

Dr. William P. Murphy Jr., a biomedical engineer who was an inventor of the vinyl blood bag that replaced breakable bottles in the Korean War and made transfusions safe and reliable on battlefields, in hospitals and at scenes of natural disasters and accidents, died on Thursday at his home in Coral Gables, Fla. He was 100.His death was confirmed on Monday by Mike Tomás, the president and chief executive of U.S. Stem Cell, a Florida company for which Dr. Murphy had long served as chairman. He became chairman emeritus last year.Dr. Murphy, the son of a Nobel Prize-winning Boston physician, was also widely credited with early advances in the development of pacemakers to stabilize erratic heart rhythms, of artificial kidneys to cleanse the blood of impurities, and of many sterile devices, incl...
Sign Up for Well’s 6-Day Energy Challenge
Health

Sign Up for Well’s 6-Day Energy Challenge

Would you like more energy as you go about your day? We’ll bet the answer is yes. Whether you’re younger or older, working or retired, raising a family or living solo, most of us could use more vigor in our lives.There are lots of reasons we may feel sluggish or uninspired. Some factors, like medical conditions, are beyond our control. “But most of the time, there are very small, simple and achievable lifestyle habits that can raise our energy levels,” said Dr. Sue Varma, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and author of the upcoming book “Practical Optimism.”So we’ve crafted a six-day challenge to set you up for a more energetic year.Starting on Jan. 1, 2024, the Well desk will share a week of evidence-based tips and inspiration so you...
DHL Workers at Kentucky Air Cargo Hub Go on Strike
Economy

DHL Workers at Kentucky Air Cargo Hub Go on Strike

More than 1,100 workers at DHL Express’s global air cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport went on strike on Thursday after months of failed negotiations with the parcel carrier.A group of DHL workers at the hub who load and unload planes voted in April to unionize with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has been in contract negotiations with the company since July. The union has filed more than 20 unfair labor practice complaints with the National Labor Relations Board since then, accusing the company of retaliation against organized workers. Teamsters Local 100, which represents the unionized workers, voted to authorize a strike on Sunday.“The company forced this work stoppage, but DHL has the opportunity to right this wrong by respecting our membe...
Dr. John A. Talbott, Champion of Care for the Mentally Ill, Dies at 88
Health

Dr. John A. Talbott, Champion of Care for the Mentally Ill, Dies at 88

Dr. John A. Talbott, a psychiatrist who championed the care of vulnerable populations of the mentally ill, especially the homeless — many of whom were left to fend for themselves in the nation’s streets, libraries, bus terminals and jails after mass closures of state mental hospitals — died on Nov. 29 at his home in Baltimore. He was 88.His wife, Susan Talbott, confirmed the death.Dr. Talbott was an early backer of a movement known as deinstitutionalization, which pushed to replace America’s decrepit mental hospitals with community-based treatment. But he became one of the movement’s most powerful critics after a lack of money and political will stranded thousands of the deeply disturbed without proper care.“The chronic mentally ill patient had his locus of living and care transferred from...
E.U. Agrees on Artificial Intelligence Rules With Landmark New Law
Economy

E.U. Agrees on Artificial Intelligence Rules With Landmark New Law

European Union policymakers agreed on Friday to a sweeping new law to regulate artificial intelligence, one of the world’s first comprehensive attempts to limit the use of a rapidly evolving technology that has wide-ranging societal and economic implications.The law, called the A.I. Act, sets a new global benchmark for countries seeking to harness the potential benefits of the technology, while trying to protect against its possible risks, like automating jobs, spreading misinformation online and endangering national security. The law still needs to go through a few final steps for approval, but the political agreement means its key outlines have been set.European policymakers focused on A.I.’s riskiest uses by companies and governments, including those for law enforcement and the operatio...
Bellevue Hospital Rushes Patients Into Weight-Loss Surgery
Health

Bellevue Hospital Rushes Patients Into Weight-Loss Surgery

Early one morning in February, a guard clanged on the door of David Mustiga’s jail cell on Rikers Island. Soon, the 43-year-old was shackled and put on a bus to Bellevue.Rikers detainees often struggle to get even rudimentary medical care. But Mr. Mustiga and 10 other prisoners have undergone elective bariatric surgery at Bellevue, often spending weeks in the hospital.Even in the best conditions, recovering from bariatric surgery is tough. Trying to recuperate in jail, where detainees have little control over what they eat or how fast they eat it, is especially difficult.Mr. Miller said patients from Rikers were “screened and assessed like all others” and were kept at Bellevue until they were ready to eat the types of food that were available at the jail.Mr. Mustiga, who was later convicte...