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The Sunday Read: ‘The Composer at the Frontier of Movie Music’

You have almost certainly heard Nicholas Britell’s music, even if you don’t know his name. More than any other contemporary composer, he appears to have the whole of music history at his command, shifting easily between vocabularies, often in the same film. His most arresting scores tend to fuse both ends of his musical education….

The United States v. Elizabeth Holmes

When Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos, the blood testing start-up, she was held up as one of the next great tech innovators. But her company collapsed, and she was accused of lying about how well Theranos’s technology worked. Now she is on trial on fraud charges. The case against Ms. Holmes is being held up as…

‘We’re Going to Take Over the World’

On the internet, there are bizarre subcultures filled with conspiracy theorists — those who believe the coronavirus is a hoax or that the 2020 election was stolen, or even that Hillary Clinton is a shape-shifting lizard. It’s a way of thinking that can be traced back to the first real internet blockbuster, a 9/11 conspiracy…

The Summer of Delta

This summer was supposed to be, in the words of President Biden, the “summer of freedom” from the coronavirus. What we saw instead was the summer of the Delta variant. The surge driven by Delta — which has seen rises in cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the United States — has underlined that we are…

How Will the Taliban Rule This Time?

Since the Taliban took over Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, last month, many have wondered what kind of rulers they will be. The memory of the Taliban of the 1990s — the public executions, the whippings in the streets and the harsh rules preventing women from leaving the house unaccompanied — has filled some with fear. This…

How Has the Texas Abortion Law Survived the Courts?

In a way, the new Texas law that has effectively banned abortions after six weeks is typical — many other Republican-led states have sought to ban abortions after six, 10 or 15 weeks.  But where federal courts have routinely struck down other anti-abortion laws, the Texas legislation has gone into effect with the Supreme Court’s…

New Orleans in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

After Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans, leaving destruction in its wake, comparisons with Hurricane Katrina were made. There are, however, big differences between the two disasters — namely that the city, in the 16 years since Katrina, has heavily invested in flood defenses. But on the ground, there is little cause for celebration. What has…

The Education Lost to the Pandemic

The closure of schools because of the pandemic and the advent of widespread virtual learning has impacted students of all ages — but particularly the youngest children. Research suggests that the learning missed during this period could have lasting impacts. What is the educational cost of pandemic learning and how are schools trying to get…

The Tale of California’s Recall Election

Almost from the moment Gavin Newsom was elected governor of California, there were attempts to remove him from office. Initially, a recall election against him seemed highly unlikely — but the pandemic has changed things. What is behind the recall effort against Mr. Newsom, and what happens next? Guest: Shawn Hubler, a California correspondent for…

The Sunday Read: ‘How Long Can We Live?’

Jeanne Calment lived her entire life in the South of France. She filled her days with leisurely pursuits, enjoying a glass of port, a cigarette and some chocolate nearly every day. In 1997, Ms. Calment died. She was 122. With medical and social advances mitigating diseases of old age and prolonging life, the number of…