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A Generation Grows Up in China Without Google, Facebook or Twitter

HONG KONG — Wei Dilong, 18, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, likes basketball, hip-hop music and Hollywood superhero movies. He plans to study chemistry in Canada when he goes to college in 2020.<p>Mr. Wei is typical of Chinese teenagers in another way, too: He has never heard of …

China

An inversion of nature: how air conditioning created the modern city

The shopping mall, the office block, suburbs, museums, Hollywood, the Gulf cities – air conditioning powered them all. But has the time come to turn it off?<p>Once, when I was staying in Houston, Texas, my host was showing me round her house. It included a mighty fireplace.<p>“How often does it get cold …

2022 FIFA World Cup

California’s Birds Are Testing New Survival Tactics on a Vast Scale

More than a century ago, zoologist Joseph Grinnell launched a pioneering survey of animal life in California, a decades-long quest — at first by Model T or, failing that, mule — to all corners and habitats of the state, from Death Valley to the High Sierra.<p>Ultimately Grinnell, founding director of …

Birds

Why Are Some Crows Committing Acts of Necrophilia?

The setting was romantic enough. Sunny spring day. A cherry tree blossoming a vivid pink. One party, the suitor, was dark, fetching and amorous. But the other party lay there like a corpse. It was, in fact, a corpse.<p>So began the first documented human observation of a crow copulating with a …

Birds

In India, Summer Heat Could Soon Be Unbearable. Literally.

NEW DELHI — On a sweltering Wednesday in June, a rail-thin woman named Rehmati gripped the doctor’s table with both hands. She could hardly hold herself upright, the pain in her stomach was so intense.<p>She had traveled for 26 hours in a hot oven of a bus to visit her husband, a migrant worker here …

Heat Index

What's the real price of getting rid of plastic packaging?

Crunching the numbers on how much switching might cost us<p>How much would it cost to switch to plastic alternatives? Richard Gray crunches the numbers.<p>Walking along a short section of stony beach, Claire Waluda stoops briefly to pick up something from between the rocks. It is a brightly coloured …

Sustainability

Is Lab-Grown Meat Really Meat?

This is a wonky battle but a battle nonetheless.

Agriculture

Archaeologists in China Discover the Oldest Stone Tools Outside Africa

The oldest stone tools outside Africa have been discovered in western China, scientists reported on Wednesday. Made by ancient members of the human lineage, called hominins, the chipped rocks are estimated to be as much as 2.1 million years old.<p>The find may add a new chapter to the story of hominin …

Magnetism

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras

ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.<p>In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal …

China

E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity

The police raid on a junkyard on the outskirts of Bangkok had all the trappings of a drug bust. Swarming onto the open-air property in late May, officers from the Royal Thai Police found undocumented workers from Laos and Myanmar engaged in dangerous work that exposed them to blasts of toxic fumes …

In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’

COPENHAGEN — When Rokhaia Naassan gives birth in the coming days, she and her baby boy will enter a new category in the eyes of Danish law. Because she lives in a low-income immigrant neighborhood described by the government as a “ghetto,” Rokhaia will be what the Danish newspapers call a “ghetto …

Social Democrats

How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment

WASHINGTON — On the final day of the Supreme Court term last week, Justice Elena Kagan sounded an alarm.<p>The court’s five conservative members, citing the First Amendment, had just dealt public unions a devastating blow. The day before, the same majority had used the First Amendment to reject a …

Tropical Forests Suffered Near-Record Tree Losses in 2017

In Brazil, forest fires set by farmers and ranchers to clear land for agriculture raged out of control last year, wiping out more than 3 million acres of trees as a severe drought gripped the region. Those losses undermined Brazil’s recent efforts to protect its rain forests.<p>In Colombia, a landmark …

Criminal Groups Seek to Decide Outcome in Many Mexican Races

CHILPANCINGO, Mexico — His election campaign for state Congress was only hours old when he started to receive the threats. Sometimes they came by text, other times in phone calls, with an unidentified voice on the other end of the line.<p>The messages were always the same: Abandon the race or you will …

From Brewery to Bakery: A Flour That Fights Waste

For some people, beer is the perfect end to a workday. For Bertha Jimenez, it’s the start of a new way to eliminate food waste.<p>Breweries throw out millions of pounds of used grain every day that could have other uses. While some is repurposed as animal feed, compostable products or heating fuel, …

A Victory for Coral: Unesco Removes Belize Reef From Its Endangered List

It was a drop of good news about the world’s oceans: The Belize Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, has been removed from the United Nations list of endangered world heritage sites.<p>Unesco, the world body’s educational, scientific and cultural agency, said its …

Is promoting vegetarianism a form of colonialism?

The debate over whether a vegetarian diet is better for the planet is top of mind for many as news of water scarcity, climate change, and deforestation seem to worsen by the day. Sarah Taber, a US-based agricultural scientist who works as a consultant for aquaculture and greenhouse food safety, …

Agriculture

San Francisco Restaurants Can’t Afford Waiters. So They’re Putting Diners to Work.

SAN FRANCISCO — Souvla, a Greek restaurant with a devoted following, serves spit-fired meat two ways: in a photogenic sandwich, or on a photogenic salad, either available with a glass of Greek wine. The garnishes are thoughtful: pea shoots, harissa-spiked yogurt, mizithra cheese.<p>The small menu is …

San Francisco

Basic income could work—if you do it Canada-style - MIT Technology Review

Fresh produce<p>Dana Bowman, 56, expresses gratitude for fresh produce at least 10 times in the hour and a half we’re having coffee on a frigid spring …

Basic Income

Animated History: The Evolution Of Parenting

The Great Wall of China. A walk on the moon. Genome sequencing. How did we humans, who share almost all of our DNA with chimpanzees, end up doing all that, while they ended up pretty much where they started?<p>Some scientists will tell you it was language, or tools, or brainpower.<p>Another group of …

Parenting

Defending Privacy, Supreme Court Says Warrants Are Generally Needed to Collect Cellphone Location Data

WASHINGTON — In a major statement on privacy in the digital age, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the government generally needs a warrant to collect troves of location data about the customers of cellphone companies.<p>“We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s …

John Roberts

How Tech Companies Conquered America’s Cities

I’m not saying America’s cities are turning into dystopian technocapitalist hellscapes in which corporations operate every essential service and pull every civic string.<p>But let’s take a tour of recent news from the metropolises.<p>■ In Seattle, the City Council decided last week to undo its plan to …

Santa Monica

Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.

VINALHAVEN, Me. — At 3:30 in the morning on a Friday in late May, the lobstermen ate breakfast. Outside, their boats bobbed in the labradorite water, lit only by the dull yellow of streetlamps across the bay. It was windy, too windy for fishing, but one by one the island’s fishermen showed up at …

Immigration Myths and Global Realities

Immigrants have often delivered economic benefits to the countries taking them in, but they have also upended the politics of the industrialized world — where the native-born often exaggerate their numbers and their needs.

Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield

As the sport’s popularity wanes, vast amounts of underutilized land will open up. Can it be developed?<p>Golf is dying, many experts say. According to one study by the golf industry group Pellucid Corp., the number of regular golfers fell from 30 to 20.9 million between 2002 and 2016. Ratings are …

Deadly Tensions Rise as India’s Water Supply Runs Dangerously Low

SHIMLA, India — The people of Shimla haven’t agreed on much lately. A drought in the Himalayan resort has had residents blaming farmers, the tourism industry and one another for depleting the strained water supplies.<p>And everyone’s been angry at the key men.<p>Shimla’s decrepit network of water pipes, …

Climate Change Is Already Sparking A New Era Of Fishing Wars, Study Finds

At a time when the Trump administration is already waging trade wars, new research suggests seafood could be the next battleground.<p>Fish are migrating …

How India’s Fishermen Turn Ocean Plastic Into Roads

Kollam, India<p>In an innovative project, fishermen in Kerala collect ocean plastic for recycling, cleaning the ocean in the process.<p><i>Kadalamma</i>—Mother Sea—that’s what Xavier Peter calls the Arabian Sea. His own mother gave him life, but Kadalamma gave him purpose, a livelihood. She has provided for …

Where Female Elephants Without Tusks Roam — and Poachers Stay Away

ADDO, South Africa — Through the narrow slit of the underground hide in front of the water hole, an African morning revealed itself. The sun painted the earth orange. A lion stepped out of the bush and a small herd of perfectly camouflaged kudus, a large antelope-like animal, started and bolted …

Mammals Go Nocturnal in Bid to Avoid Humans

Humans, it turns out, can annoy more than just one another. In fact, some animal populations are escaping their Homo sapiens cohabitants by sleeping more during the day, a new study finds.<p>Mammals across the globe are becoming increasingly nocturnal to avoid humans’ expanding presence, according to …

Research