The New York Times

The government has laid out plans for gradual reopening. But in cramped intensive care wards, teeming with patients and doctors near despair, the battle is unrelenting.

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A nurse tries to reassure Haydar Sal, a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit at Homerton hospital in East London, Jan. 17, 2021. Photo: Andrew Testa/The New York Times

By Alan Cowell

LONDON — The numbers may be trending downward, but the battle is no less intense. In the land of Winston Churchill, it is likened sometimes to war, the COVID war.

In the latest phase of Britain’s splintered campaign against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week laid out a long glide path for England’s gradual reopening from lockdown, from March to June.

But despite a speedy vaccine rollout, the schedule for changes was decidedly protracted — and declared reversible — for good reason.

After almost a year of mixed messages, COVID still divides the land between…


On social media, on cable networks and even in the halls of Congress, supporters of Donald J. Trump tried to rewrite history in real time, pushing the fiction that left-wing agitators were to blame for the violence on Jan. 6

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Talk show host Laura Ingraham speaks during CPAC 2019 February 28, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

By Michael M. Grynbaum, Davey Alba and Reid J. Epstein

At 1:51 p.m. on Jan. 6, a right-wing radio host named Michael D. Brown wrote on Twitter that rioters had breached the U.S. Capitol — and immediately speculated about who was really to blame. “Antifa or BLM or other insurgents could be doing it disguised as Trump supporters,” Brown wrote, using shorthand for Black Lives Matter. “Come on, man, have you never heard of psyops?”

Only 13,000 people follow Brown on Twitter, but his tweet caught the attention of another conservative pundit: Todd Herman, who was guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s national…


Older adults living alone often lack access or an understanding of technology, and many are unsure how to sign up for an appointment

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With the pandemic curtailing in-person interactions, the stark digital divide between generations has become more apparent. Photo: Christian Sorensen Hansen for The New York Times

By Kellen Browning

Annette Carlin feels trapped.

Before the pandemic, Carlin, who is 84, loved to go on walks in Novato, California, with her grandchildren and dance at the senior center. Since March, though, she has been stuck indoors. She has been eager to sign up for a vaccine and begin returning to normal life.

But booking an appointment has been a technological nightmare. Carlin cannot afford to buy a computer and would not know how to navigate the internet in search of a shot even if she could. …


Among Asian-Americans, many of whom have endured racist taunts, rants and worse during the pandemic, the fatal assault on a defenseless older man became a rallying cry

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Monthanus Ratanapakdee praying for her father, Vicha, at the Nagara Dhamma Temple in San Francisco on Monday. Mr. Vicha was fatally attacked during a morning walk last month. Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

By Thomas Fuller

SAN FRANCISCO — Weary of being cooped inside during the pandemic, Vicha Ratanapakdee was impatient for his regular morning walk. He washed his face, put on a baseball cap and face mask and told his wife he would have the coffee she had prepared for him when he returned. Then, on a brisk and misty Northern California winter morning last month, he stepped outside.

About an hour later, Vicha, an 84-year-old retired auditor from Thailand, was violently slammed to the ground by a man who charged into him at full speed. It was the type of forceful…


Massachusetts is one of the first states to put legislative guardrails around the use of facial recognition technology in criminal investigations

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“One of my concerns was that we would wake up one day in a world resembling that depicted in the Philip K. Dick novel ‘Minority Report’,” said Kade Crockford, an activist at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Photo: Tony Luong for The New York Times

By Kashmir Hill

Though police have been using facial recognition technology for the last two decades to try to identify unknown people in their investigations, the practice of putting the majority of Americans into a perpetual photo lineup has gotten surprisingly little attention from lawmakers and regulators. Until now.

Lawmakers, civil liberties advocates and police chiefs have debated whether and how to use the technology because of concerns about both privacy and accuracy. But figuring out how to regulate it is tricky. So far, that has meant an all-or-nothing approach. City Councils in Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Minneapolis


Discovery’s new app has taken off largely because viewers love watching people fix houses, tour diners and bicker about their relationships.

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The widely watched show “90 Day Fiancé” has spawned about a dozen spinoffs. Photo: An Rong Xu for The New York Times

By Ben Smith

“Ninety Day Fiancé” is, on some Sunday nights, the most-watched show on television. And in the latest innovation in streaming, Discovery+ includes a channel that lets you watch it for four days straight without seeing the same episode twice.

If you’re not familiar with the 6-year-old show, as a surprisingly large share of New Yorkers (my editors here, shamefully, included) are, the 90 days of the title refers to the period in which the noncitizen holder of a K-1 visa may remain in the country before marriage or face deportation. …


Was it UFOs? Yeti? The KGB? The riddle of who or what killed nine young hikers has inspired conspiracy theories for decades. Two scientists now say a natural disaster may be to blame.

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An image of the hiking trip from Jan.28, 1959. Cameras and film were recovered after the hikers were found. Photo: dyatlovpass.com via The New York Times

By Ivan Nechepurenko and Alan Yuhas

MOSCOW — What drove nine experienced hikers, some barefoot and almost naked, out of their tent and into the subzero cold and the tomblike darkness of the Russian wilderness in 1959?

When their bodies were found in a remote pass in the Ural Mountains, 62 years ago this week, no one could explain what — or who — had killed them.

That riddle has baffled investigators and inspired books, movies and TV shows for decades, but now two scientists believe they may finally have found an answer.

For some Russians, the enduring mystery has…


While much has been made of tech’s unwillingness to work with the Pentagon, start-ups are still plumbing the industry’s decades-long ties to the military

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Palmer Luckey, a founder of Anduril, among the equipment at his company’s testing range near Camp Pendleton in Southern California. Photo: Philip Cheung for The New York Times

By Cade Metz

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Over the rolling, scrub-spotted hills of the Southern California coast, where defense contractors once tested rockets and lasers for President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” missile defense program, what looked like a big, mechanical insect stalked a white pickup truck.

Half a mile away, 28-year-old Palmer Luckey, one of the tech industry’s proudest iconoclasts, talked excitedly about the military potential of the flying machine — a self-piloting drone, called Ghost, that his startup company Anduril built.

“You can just set it up and then go do something else while it maneuvers,” he said.

Although…


What was I trying to accomplish with my anonymous Tumblr?

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Illustration: Paige Stampatori/The New York Times

By Liat Kaplan

If you were on Tumblr in the early 2010s, you may remember a blog called Your Fave Is Problematic. If not, its content should still sound familiar to you. The posts contained long lists of celebrities’ regrettable (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ethnophobic, ableist and so on) statements and actions — the stuff that gets people canceled these days.

That blog was my blog. I spent hours researching each post; as you can probably imagine, my search history was pretty ugly.

Your Fave Is Problematic had around 50,000 followers at its peak, in 2014, when I was a…


Many scientists are expecting another rise in infections. But this time the surge will be blunted by vaccines and, hopefully, widespread caution. By summer, Americans may be looking at a return to normal life.

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Two people embrace at Lincoln Park in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2021. Photo: Lyndon French/The New York Times

By Apoorva Mandavilli

Across the United States, and the world, the coronavirus seems to be loosening its stranglehold. The deadly curve of cases, hospitalizations and deaths has yo-yoed before, but never has it plunged so steeply and so fast.

Is this it, then? Is this the beginning of the end? After a year of being pummeled by grim statistics and scolded for wanting human contact, many Americans feel a long-promised deliverance is at hand.

The United States will win against the virus and regain many aspects of our pre-pandemic lives, most scientists now believe. Of the 21 interviewed for this…

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