Thursday, April 25
Harvard President Apologizes for Congressional Testimony on Antisemitism
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Harvard President Apologizes for Congressional Testimony on Antisemitism

Harvard’s president apologized for her testimony before Congress about how she responded to antisemitism on campus — another sign that the controversy over her remarks and similar comments by the presidents of M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania was not going away.“I am sorry,” Claudine Gay, Harvard’s president, said in an interview that the campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, published on Friday. “Words matter.”“When words amplify distress and pain, I don’t know how you could feel anything but regret,” she said.The interview came as Dr. Gay, along with Elizabeth Magill of Penn and Sally Kornbluth of M.I.T., faced a storm of repercussions from the hearing, including a demand from more than 70 members of Congress — all of them Republicans, except for three Democrats — that they res...
Israel Presses On With Attacks in Gaza: Live Updates
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Israel Presses On With Attacks in Gaza: Live Updates

The Israeli military said on Thursday that it had apprehended hundreds of people suspected of terrorism, including wanted Hamas operatives, across the Gaza Strip in a single day, and that many had surrendered and been transferred to Israel for further questioning.Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman, said in a televised briefing that many of the suspects under interrogation by the military and the Shin Bet domestic security agency had turned themselves over to the Israeli forces.“The intelligence we gather from the questioning aids us in the continued fight,” he said.The announcements of the surrenders and arrests came soon after photographs and videos surfaced on social media appearing to show rows of men stripped to their underwear, sitting or kneeling on the ground, wit...
Sex Cult Survivors Accuse Sarah Lawrence of Negligence: ‘They Failed Us’
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Sex Cult Survivors Accuse Sarah Lawrence of Negligence: ‘They Failed Us’

Sarah Lawrence College for years has promoted itself as an experimental and progressive haven, a leafy enclave where students design curriculums and believe in what its president has called “the underlying goodness of others.”“You are different. So are we” was a slogan the school used. Some students saw it as a declaration that they would be understood and valued.Now former students are accusing the college of betraying them by allowing a 50-year-old ex-con to roam its Westchester County campus; spend nights in a dormitory where his daughter lived; and form relationships with students whom he went on to abuse.That man, Lawrence V. Ray, was convicted in 2022 of extortion, sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy after a trial in Manhattan. Federal prosecutors said that he used cult-leade...
Climate Change Makes East Africa’s Deadly Floods Worse, Study Finds
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Climate Change Makes East Africa’s Deadly Floods Worse, Study Finds

Heavy rain and floods in East Africa that started in October have killed at least 300 people and displaced millions more. Locations in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, including the giant Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya, have suffered the most, but the extreme rains have affected the whole region and are ongoing.East Africa has an annual rainy season in fall, but this year’s disastrous rainfall is about double what it would have been without human-caused climate change, according to research made public on Thursday. A natural climate cycle called the Indian Ocean Dipole has also contributed to heavier rain than usual, but this phenomenon alone does not account for the extreme amount.Multiple individual rainstorms over the past two months have caused widespread flash flooding and overflowing ri...
White House Delays a Decision on Banning Menthol Cigarettes
Health

White House Delays a Decision on Banning Menthol Cigarettes

The Biden administration delayed a decision on Wednesday about whether it would ban menthol cigarettes amid intense lobbying from tobacco companies, convenience stores and industry-backed groups that contend that billions of dollars in sales and jobs will be lost.The proposal has also generated concerns that Black smokers will become the targets of aggressive police tactics, although some Black leaders, top lawmakers and government officials dispute that and say that tobacco companies are financing and fueling those fears.The plan to eliminate menthol cigarettes has been years in the making. The Food and Drug Administration formally proposed an official rule last year, aimed at reducing health disparities, citing statistics that an estimated 85 percent of Black smokers prefer menthol brand...
College Presidents Under Fire After Dodging Questions About Antisemitism
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College Presidents Under Fire After Dodging Questions About Antisemitism

Support for the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and M.I.T. eroded quickly on Wednesday, after they seemed to evade what seemed like a rather simple question during a contentious congressional hearing: Would they discipline students calling for the genocide of Jews?Their lawyerly replies to that question and others during a four-hour hearing drew incredulous responses.“It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said: Calls for genocide are monstrous and antithetical to everything we represent as a country,” said a White House spokesman, Andrew Bates.Josh Shapiro, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, said he found the responses by Elizabeth Magill, Penn’s president, “unacceptable.”Even the liberal academic Laurence Tribe found himself agreeing with Representative Elise...
Israel Says Main Gaza Highway Is ‘Battlefield’: Live Updates
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Israel Says Main Gaza Highway Is ‘Battlefield’: Live Updates

When Dr. Yael Mozer-Glassberg, a senior physician at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, was initially asked to join the team of people who would be responsible for the intake of child hostages returning to Israel, her internal reaction was immediate.“Oh my God, no,” she recalled saying to herself. “But how could I say no? It’s a national mission.”She was selected to join a group in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, comprising the first medical professionals to care for a group of children and their mothers returning to Israel. During the cease-fire, which lasted from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1, the hospital admitted 19 children and 6 women who were kidnapped on Oct. 7 in Israel by Hamas and other militant groups.To the initial surprise of many, the children were quick to speak freely about th...
Math Scores Dropped Globally, but the U.S. Still Trails Other Countries
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Math Scores Dropped Globally, but the U.S. Still Trails Other Countries

The math performance of U.S. teenagers has sharply declined since 2018, with scores lower than 20 years ago, and with American students continuing to trail global competitors, according to the results of a key international exam released on Tuesday.In the first comparable global results since the coronavirus pandemic, 15-year-olds in the United States scored below students in similar industrialized democracies like the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany, and well behind students in the highest-performing countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Estonia — continuing an underperformance in math that predated the pandemic.The bleak math results were offset by a stronger performance in reading and science, where the United States scored above average internationally.About 66 percent of ...
Arab Citizens of Israel Released in Deals With Hamas Fear a Backlash
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Arab Citizens of Israel Released in Deals With Hamas Fear a Backlash

About one-fifth of Israelis are Arabs whose families were living in what would become Israel before the state was founded in 1948. Unlike the Palestinian refugees who ended up in the West Bank, Gaza and neighboring Arab countries, this group remained in Israel and received citizenship.While they carry Israeli passports, vote and can exercise other civil rights, many Israeli-Arabs accuse Israel of treating them as second-class citizens and sympathize with Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and around the Middle East.The Hamas-led attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 killed more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and saw 240 others taken back to Gaza as captives, according to Israeli officials. Israel responded by launching a vast military campaign in Gaza against Hamas, which controls the encla...
Harvard, M.I.T. and Penn Say They Are Acting Against Antisemitism, in Congressional Testimony
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Harvard, M.I.T. and Penn Say They Are Acting Against Antisemitism, in Congressional Testimony

The presidents of three of the country’s top universities — Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and M.I.T. — defended themselves against accusations that they had allowed their campuses to be swept by a tide of antisemitism, in testimony before a congressional committee on Tuesday.Claudine Gay of Harvard, Elizabeth Magill of Penn and Sally Kornbluth of M.I.T. testified before the Republican-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce about what they acknowledged was antisemitic, and also Islamophobic, behavior on their campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza.Dr. Gay said that the balance between allowing protests and protecting against antisemitism has been tricky.“I have sought to confront hate while preserving free expression,”...