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‘A new situation’: After protests, China relaxes COVID restrictions
Chinese cities are easing lockdown and testing restrictions after nationwide protests. It’s a reminder that public pressure can spark change, even within a top-down government. 
NATO strikes balance between protecting Ukraine – and itself
The United States and NATO have scrambled to help Ukraine defend itself, but some question whether that is leaving member countries vulnerable on defense.
Authorities on alert as explosive parcels investigated in Spain
Spanish authorities are on high alert after a number of packages containing explosives were sent to high government offices and foreign embassies. Though no one has been severely injured, the Spanish High Court is investigating the act as terrorism. 
In the Philippines, a deadly storm holds lessons on climate resilience
In the Philippines, one village’s struggle to rebuild in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Nalgae highlights the limits of climate resilience strategies. Does running from high-risk areas always make a community safer?
Europe debates: Should we ban Russians for actions of their government?
The EU is wrestling with a dilemma: to allow Russians continued access to Europe, letting them escape consequences of Putin’s war, or to cut them off, and risk losing them as potential allies in Russia.
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USA
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Where do Americans draw lines when it comes to guns and teens?
A mass shooter used to be a male in his 30s. Today’s shooters are far younger, in their teens and early 20s. Lawmakers are now looking more deeply at the balance between the age of majority and public safety.
Will Biden's loan cancellation plan pass? Supreme Court to decide.
Supreme Court justices have agreed to take up the case on President Joe Biden’s student loan cancellation plan. The Congressional Budget Office said that Mr. Biden’s program, currently on hold, will cost about $400 billion over the next three decades.
Voices in harmony: Choir helps Colorado LGBTQ community heal
A gay men’s choir in Colorado Springs is working to foster solidarity and healing after a shooting at a gay night club devastated the local LGBTQ community. Chorus members say the sound of their voices in unison instills strength and hope.
Rail strike averted: Good for the economy, hard on unions
Congress has voted to avoid a national rail strike with a strong majority in both the House and the Senate. Unions are unhappy with the settlement that the vote will put in place, but a strike could have serious implications on supply chains and travel.
Midterm results reflect growing range of pro-choice voters
After a series of wins in November’s midterms, abortion rights groups are looking for new ways forward in state legislatures while some Republican strategists say the GOP should move away from supporting strict prohibitions. 
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Commentary
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Worship by other means
A decline of faithful attendance in Western churches does not mean less practice of Christian qualities of thought.
Saving biodiversity with a note of harmony
A global conference next week will take up a plan to preserve a third of the planet for nature.  Will nature’s intrinsic harmony be reflected at the gathering?
A new laboratory for merciful justice
As the U.K. debates transitional justice in Northern Ireland, South Africa shows the patient and difficult work of reconciliation.
How Taiwan differs from China after pandemic missteps
Mistakes during Covid-19 brought election losses for Taiwan’s ruling party. The party leader accepted the people’s judgment with humility.
Tender touch for Africa's troubles
A peace accord in Ethiopia reflects a trend toward governance that puts a greater good above narrow political ambition.
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Economy
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Why FTX collapse doesn’t mean an end for cryptocurrency
The big question: If most of the trading in cryptocurrencies is high-risk speculation and they will require traditional regulation anyway, does the world really need such alternative money?
Utah is growing fast. Will there be enough water for everyone?
Some Utah towns are slowing development in the face of drought. Would conservation and higher rates work to limit water consumption?
US stopped being a nation of workaholics. Enter Elon Musk.
Twitter might be one of the most extreme examples of workplace culture issues that have been playing out in the U.S. since the pandemic.
No zoning: Is Houston an affordable housing model or morass?
Zoning and regulations face scrutiny for making it harder to build housing. One Texas region shows how it might look to remove red tape.
The rent is too high. After historic surge, is relief on the way?
Double-digit rent hikes are squeezing many Americans. But inflation appears to be cooling amid shifting marketplace realities for landlords, tenants, and builders.
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Environment
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‘We are a part of nature’: Hawaiians learn to let lava flow
For decades, Hawaiians have searched for ways to divert lava flows – from deific offerings to building walls to dropping bombs. Now they are wondering: What’s the point in trying to control the environment? 
India expands climate efforts as newest chair of G-20 economies
India became chair of the G-20 leading economies Thursday and will prioritize climate protection in its new role. The country, which remains one of the world’s top emitters of planet-warming gases, has made recent strides toward environmental goals.
The Florida town that challenged Hurricane Ian and won
Storm resilient design – a solar field, water system, human-made wetlands, native plants – helped Babcock Ranch, Florida, stand up to a powerful test.
Criticisms ‘outdated’: Australia opposes endangered reef status
The Great Barrier Reef may not get an official “endangered” status from UNESCO, thanks to the Australian government’s lobbying. Given recent legislative turnover, leaders argue that criticisms of government climate inaction are now obsolete.
Cities are killing birds. Activists and architects have solutions.
Collisions with buildings kill as many as 1 billion birds a year in the United States. But architects and activists are working to make cities safer.
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Technology
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In Asia, citizen groups fill fact-checking gap left by Big Tech
Initiatives across Asia are tackling misinformation using on-the-ground training and civil society engagement to cater to the needs of communities. They are filling a fact-checking gap left by tech giants who lack expertise in local languages and context.
RIPTwitter? Mass worker exodus follows Musk ultimatum.
Twitter engineers are leaving the company in droves after Elon Musk asked them in an email to either commit to “hardcore” work or resign. Doubts over the company’s future persist after Mr. Musk fired half of the company’s staff during his chaotic takeover.
Meta lays off 11,000 employees in desperate cost-cutting measure
As economic downturn leads to desperate cost-cutting measures at Meta, Mark Zuckerberg has made major layoffs. The Facebook parent company has struggled to keep profits up amid pressure from regulations and competitors like TikTok.
'Chief Twit': Will toxic Twitter discourse change under Musk?
Twitter has never been known for civil discourse. But as Elon Musk rearranges its structure at breakneck speed, experts are calling attention to the platform’s legacy.
Blue checks for all? Musk shakes up Twitter in first week as owner.
Just days after buying Twitter, Elon Musk fired its board and floated new profit models like a monthly fee for verified accounts. Security concerns have been raised after news the Saudi royal family owns billions in shares – second only to Mr. Musk himself.
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Science
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With Artemis, NASA envisions a multiplanetary future for humanity
NASA’s Artemis launch Wednesday is a step toward humans returning to the lunar surface. The motivations go far beyond exploring the moon itself.
‘Good Night Oppy’: How a documentary captures the human-robot bond
When director Ryan White talks about “Good Night Oppy,” which features Mars space rovers and their handlers, he describes the bonds of family – and the teamwork it took to exceed expectations.
A new space race? Britain enters the orbital launch business.
For people accustomed to hearing about rocket launches from Florida or Russia, the name Spaceport Cornwall may sound like an oxymoron. But the United Kingdom is a builder of satellites – and now Europe’s first player in sending them into space.
‘It pulls us to be our best selves’: Exploring space and diversity at JPL
As the first woman to lead NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Laurie Leshin aims to include “all the brains” in the search for answers to humanity’s biggest questions.
Return of Nutkin: Red squirrels’ comeback in UK
Efforts in the United Kingdom to restore the red squirrel population range from secluded sanctuaries to the reintroduction of predators.
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The Culture
Top Stories:
How ‘British Baking Show’ judge approaches icing – and success
The culinary world is not always kind to women. “Great British Baking Show” judge Prue Leith has embraced a way of thinking that has allowed her to not only survive, but also thrive. 
How Alfred Molina found his superpower in ‘Three Pines’
Some actors love a good villain. But with Inspector Gamache, conceived as the embodiment of decency, Alfred Molina says that humanity has made it one of the best roles he’s played. 
Filmmaker: ‘Women Talking’ offers model of ‘truly democratic’ conversation
In “Women Talking,” Mennonite women plot a path forward after sexual assault. Writer-director Sarah Polley looks at the limits of forgiveness and the sacrifices of courage.
With ‘Devotion,’ an homage to friendship that shows many sides of heroism
With “Devotion,” a Black filmmaker pays homage to his father and to a historical friendship that shows the many sides of heroism.
The Rosetta stone lies in Britain. Egyptians want it back.
Thousands of Egyptians are demanding the return of the Rosetta stone, displayed in London’s largest museum. Egypt plans to open a newly built, state-of-the-art museum where thousands of reclaimed objects will be displayed. 
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Books
Top Stories:
How Alfred Molina found his superpower in ‘Three Pines’
Some actors love a good villain. But with Inspector Gamache, conceived as the embodiment of decency, Alfred Molina says that humanity has made it one of the best roles he’s played. 
The Himalayas exert a pull on Western imagination
Explorers, armies, and tourists over centuries wrought changes to the Tibetan plateau, writes John Keay in “Himālaya: Exploring the Roof of the World.” 
Misinformation isn’t new. Colonial America was rife with it.
In “Misinformation Nation,” historian Jordan E. Taylor explores America’s long history of partisan news.  
Bears, bees, and a twist on ‘Goldilocks’ enliven latest children’s books
“Gold” transforms the familiar “Goldilocks” story, while the other children’s picture books we chose nurture feelings of belonging and connection.
The path to Hiroshima and Nagasaki began with the firebombing of Tokyo
'Black Snow' examines the U.S. firebombing of Tokyo in 1945, and public attitudes toward targeting civilians, which set the stage for  use of the atomic bomb.  
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