The U.S. Soccer Federation has reached milestone agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally. That makes the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes completely matching compensation. The federation has announced separate collective bargaining agreements through 2028 with the unions for both national teams. The move ends years of often acrimonious negotiations. One of the main sticking points was World Cup prize money. The unions agreed to pool FIFA’s payments for the men’s World Cup this year and next year’s Women’s World Cup. It will also pool the 2026 and 2027 tournaments.
The Buffalo store where 10 Black people were killed in a racist shooting rampage was more than a place to buy groceries. As the only supermarket for miles, residents say Tops Friendly Market was a sort of community hub where they chatted with neighbors and caught up on each other’s lives. Now they’re grappling not just with the attack, but also with being targeted in a place that has been so vital to the community. Before Tops opened in 2003, residents had to travel long distances to buy nutritious food or settle for snacks and higher-priced staples from corner stores and gas stations. Residents say the fact that there are no other options lays bare the racial and economic divide that existed in Buffalo long before the shooting.
An outbreak of avian flu is forcing farmers to cull their flocks and leading to concerns about even higher food prices. While it doesn't pose a significant threat to humans, the outbreak is prompting a new wave of some of the same conspiracy theories that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts who study misinformation say claims that the avian flu is a bioweapon or an elaborate hoax reflect a deepening distrust of the media and scientific experts. For poultry farmers and animal health officials in affected states, however, the flu poses a threat that's all too real for both their animals and their local economies.
Experts are calling for a broader discussion around livestreams after a white gunman killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket. The self-described white supremacist mounted a GoPro camera to his helmet to stream his assault live on Twitch, the video game streaming platform. Twitch and other sites like Twitter and Facebook have learned painful lessons from dealing with the violent videos that now often accompany such shootings. Experts are discussing whether livestreams should exist at all, since once such videos go online, they’re almost impossible to erase completely.
A woman has entered an Alford plea in the case of a baby boy and a baby girl found dead in South Carolina decades ago. News outlets report Brook Graham entered the plea Thursday to two counts of unlawful conduct of a child and one of improperly disposing of remains. It means she maintains her innocence but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict her of the charges. The boy's remains were found in 1989 and the girl's in 1990. Graham is free on bond until a pre-sentence investigation is completed. Her attorney says Grahm is the mother and the babies were born dead, adding the full facts would come out in a pre-sentencing report.
Many people are puzzling what a Elon Musk takeover of Twitter would mean for the company and even whether he’ll go through with the deal. If the 50-year-old Musk’s gambit has made anything clear it’s that he thrives on contradiction. Musk boasts that he’s acquiring Twitter to defend freedom of speech. But he has long used the platform to attack those who disagree with him. He’s a brilliant visionary, widely admired for reimagining what a car can be, not to mention his ventures in rocket travel and solar energy. But his apparent joy in trashing the conventions of corporate behavior have alienated some analysts, regulators and employees.
Google on Wednesday took a big step toward pushing its Pixel product line-up down a road already paved by Apple and its array of trendsetting phones, tablets and watches. The internet giant's latest additions to its six-year-old Pixel brand will include Google’s first smartwatch that draws on features and expertise it's gained from last year’s $2.1 billion acquisition of the fitness gadget maker Fitbit. The new watch, targeted for an autumn release, marks Google’s first major attempt to make a dent in a steadily growing segment of the wearable technology market. Google also used its annual developers conference to tease a Pixel tablet due out next year.
On Tuesday, Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter’s ban of former President Donald Trump, who was booted in January 2021 for inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol, should he succeed in acquiring the social platform for $44 billion. But the day before, Musk also said he agrees with the European Union’s new Digital Services Act, a law that will require big tech companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook parent Meta to police their platforms more strictly for content like hate speech and disinformation. Critics say the apparent contradiction underscores the steep learning curve awaiting the world’s richest man once he encounters the complexity of Twitter’s content moderation policies.
Just as Americans gear up for summer road trips, the price of oil remains stubbornly high, pushing prices at the gas pump to painful heights. AAA says drivers are paying $4.37 for a gallon of regular gasoline. That’s especially hard on people who drive for a living. The high price of oil is the main cause of the biting gasoline prices. A barrel of the U.S. benchmark crude has been selling for around $100. Oil prices worldwide have been high in recent months, mainly because many buyers are refusing to purchase Russian oil after its invasion of Ukraine.
The Federal Reserve no longer views the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest threat to the global financial system. Instead, the central bank is pointing to Russia's war in Ukraine and surging as inflation the chief perils. The observations came Monday in the Fed’s semiannual Financial Stability Report focusing on trends in trading and investing as well as broad economic issues. The Fed says that economic uncertainty has increased since its previous report, with Ukraine war being a big part of the deterioration. Inflation was also a big part of the report, as prices jump at rates not seen since the early 1980s.
It's an idea that almost seems as compatible as Mickey and Minnie. Take the tens of millions of tourists who are thinking about visiting the Orlando area’s theme parks each year and sell them on the virtues of moving their companies or businesses to the region. In the half-century that Orlando has been a tourism hub, it hadn’t been done, until now. The quasi-public agencies that promote tourism and economic development in Orlando on Monday announced they're joining forces to market the region together under a single brand. Meanwhile, officials say Orlando had 59.3 million tourists in 2021, or almost 80% of its pre-pandemic visitor numbers.
Humans don’t know what they’re missing in Miami, just under the surface of a busy shipping channel in the “cruise capital of the world.” Just below massive ships, an underwater camera is sending a livestream from another world, showing marine life that’s trying its best to resist global warming. It's one of the most popular ventures of Coral Morphologic, a company formed by a marine biologist and an artist. Their mission is to raise awareness about dying coral reefs by combining science, art and commerce to bring gorgeous images into pop culture. They've even got a line of coral-themed beachwear.
The summer movie season is off to a blockbuster start thanks to “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” The superhero extravaganza grossed an estimated $185 million in ticket sales in its first weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters, the Walt Disney Co. said Sunday. Not only did it more than double the opening of the first “Doctor Strange,” which opened to $85 million in 2016, it’s also the biggest opener of the year, ahead of “The Batman’s” $134 million, the second biggest of the pandemic, behind “Spider-Man: Far From Home’s” $260.1 million, and the sixth biggest of all time globally.
As more companies mandate a return to the office, workers must readjust to pre-pandemic rituals like long commutes, juggling child care and physically interacting with colleagues. But such routines have even gotten more stressful two years later. The transition marks yet another reset in a pandemic that has already taken a toll on Americans’ mental health. In response, many companies are now expanding virtual wellness workshops and offering benefits like meditation apps and virtual therapy. A lot is at stake. Untreated mental illness already costs society up to $300 billion annually due to lost productivity and associated costs due to absenteeism, employee turnover and increases in medical and disability expenses.
Bird flu is killing an alarming number of bald eagles and other wild birds, with many sick birds arriving at rehabilitation centers unsteady on their talons and unable to fly. The latest bird flu outbreak of has led to the culling of about 37 million chickens and turkeys in U.S. farms since February, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed 956 cases of bird flu in wild birds, including at least 54 bald eagles. The number of wild birds that have died from the virus is likely significantly higher. University of Georgia researcher Rebecca Poulson, who has been studying avian influenza for 15 years, says the wild bird death toll in this outbreak is "unprecedented."
The Supreme Court’s apparent intention to abolish a nationwide right to abortion, spelled out in a draft opinion leaked this week, will not be the final chapter in the nation’s most pitched culture battle. Democrats in states where the right to abortion is enshrined in law are bracing for a wave of legal attacks and other maneuvers seeking to undermine access, including from other states. California and Colorado are pushing to protect access to abortion in their state constitutions. Connecticut and Washington state are shielding providers from possible lawsuits as they anticipate that women seeking abortions will need to cross state lines.
After working remotely in sweats and yoga pants for two years, many Americans are rethinking their wardrobes to balance comfort and professionalism as offices reopen. They’re giving a heave-ho to the structured suits, zip-front pants and pencil skirts they wore before the COVID-19 pandemic and experimenting with new looks. Retailers and brands are rushing to meet workers’ fashion needs for the future of work, with blazers in knit fabrics, pants with drawstrings or elastic bands, and casual twists on the button-down dress shirt.
A former U.S. Marine who died last week in Ukraine was believed to be the first American citizen killed while fighting there. An undetermined number of other Americans _ many with military backgrounds _ are thought to be in the country battling Russian forces beside both Ukrainians and volunteers from other countries, even though U.S. forces aren’t directly involved in fighting aside from sending military materiel, humanitarian aid and money. Russia’s invasion has given Ukraine’s embassy in Washington the task of fielding inquiries from thousands of Americans who want to help. Ukraine is using the internet to recruit volunteers for the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine.
Prices for Russian credit default swaps — insurance contracts that protect an investor against a default — have plunged sharply after Moscow used its precious foreign currency reserves to make a last minute debt payment on Friday. The cost for a five-year credit default swap on Russian debt was $5.84 million to protect $10 million in debt. That price was nearly half the one on Thursday. Russia used foreign currency reserves outside of the country to make the payment, backing down from the Kremlin’s earlier threats that it would use rubles. Despite the payment, investors remain largely convinced that Russia will eventually default on its debts for the first time since 1917.
Public school systems are beginning to feel the pinch from enrollment losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Funding for schools is driven partly by student headcounts, and emergency provisions in many states allowed them to maintain funding at pre-pandemic levels. But like the billions of dollars of federal relief money that have helped schools weather the crisis, those measures were not meant to last forever. A school system in suburban Kansas City is eliminating over 100 jobs, including kindergarten aides and library clerks. Oakland, California, is closing seven schools. Other districts around the country are merging classrooms, selling buildings and leaving teaching positions unfilled.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has been suspended for two full seasons without pay by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, which he denies. Bauer’s punishment comes after a San Diego woman whom the pitcher had met through social media alleged that Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. Bauer has repeatedly said that everything that happened between the two was consensual. He is appealing the suspension. If it is upheld, Bauer will lose about $60 million in salary.
A North Carolina city is suing three companies over the collapse of decorative, 40-ton wooden arches along a pedestrian walkway in February. The Hickory Daily Record reports the lawsuit was filed by the city of Hickory in Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday. It names Neill Grading & Construction Co., Mooresville-based subcontractor Dane Construction and Oregon-based arch manufacturer Western Wood Structures. The city contends that the arch collapse “could not and would not have occurred in the absence of negligence by one or more of the defendants.” The arches fell on Feb. 18. No one was hurt.
This year's NFL draft class speaks reluctantly about its COVID-19 experiences. To some, they are inspirational reminders of what they've already overcome. To others, the challenges were more akin to old war stories. Whether it was the travel restrictions that prevented Alabama receiver John Metchie III from seeing his family in Canada for two years, Louisiana tackle Max Mitchell being pulled off the practice field after a test revealed he had COVID-19 antibodies or Ohio State offensive lineman Nick Petit-Frere watching a season canceled and later reinstated, none of it has been easy to cope with.
At the first meeting of Disney World’s private government since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure to dissolve it next year, officials were still confused about what the new legislation meant, even as some ripple effects were starting to be felt. The administrator of the Reedy Creek Improvement District told its board of supervisors Wednesday that the expansion of a solar power program would likely be delayed because a developer was experiencing financing challenges related to the legislation. DeSantis signed the measure into law last week as punishment for Disney’s opposition to a new law that critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”
A new study says if you want to brainstorm during a meeting, it works better in person than over remote video conferencing. Wednesday's study in the journal Nature looks at pairs of engineers who tried to brainstorm ideas. In-person meetings generated 17% more ideas on average — and better ones at that. Researchers suggest that on video calls people stared at the other person instead of letting their eyes and minds wander, which dampens creativity. In real life, they tend to look around more because staring can be rude.
Coming up with $44 billion to buy Twitter was the easy part for Elon Musk. Next comes the real challenge for the world’s richest person: fulfilling his promise to make Twitter “better than ever” as a lightly regulated haven for free speech. Many of Musk’s proposed changes reflect his own experience as a high-profile and outspoken Twitter user with more than 85 million followers and a swarm of pesky impersonator accounts. But a key question is how the changes he is prioritizing will be received by the more than 200 million other users who aren’t getting banned or flooded with spam.
Officials say a loaded gun was found in North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s carry-on bag at an airport security checkpoint, the second time a weapon has been found in his possession at an airport checkpoint. A Transportation Security Administration spokesperson says when Cawthorn came through a Charlotte Douglas International Airport checkpoint with the gun Tuesday morning, TSA officers notified Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. Police say Cawthorn said the gun was his and he was issued a citation for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property. Officers took possession of the firearm. Langston says he's aware of a previous incident when a gun was found in Cawthorn’s carry-on at a checkpoint. He says penalties for such incidents can reach $13,900.
Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, seemingly intent on making the old new again, has successfully arranged to buy Twitter for about $44 billion. His stated aim is to turn it into a haven for free speech. But the social platform has been down this road before, and it didn’t end well last time. While Musk’s pitch may sound straightforward, neither tech giants and nor entrepreneurs have managed to make a free-for-all digital meeting ground work in practice. In past flirtations with light-touch moderation, harassment and misinformation have overwhelmed many, driving away users, advertisers or both.
As Virginia-based Dominion Energy seeks to build what it calls the country’s largest offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean, the company and its supporters have touted the economic development opportunities expected to accompany the 176-turbine project. But state regulators say the economic picture might not be so rosy. In testimony filed earlier this month, regulators said the company relied on a “stale” economic study that didn’t account for the impact of its Virginia ratepayers bearing the cost of the approximately $10 billion project. The State Corporation Commission found that because of increased electric rates, the project was expected to come with an economic cost that might negate any benefits. Dominion says the commission's analysis is flawed.
Some farmers are wondering if it's OK that eggs sold as free-range come from chickens being kept inside. It's a question that arises lately as farmers try to be open about their product while also protecting hens from a highly infectious bird flu that has resulted in the death of roughly 28 million poultry birds across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that chickens be moved indoors to protect against the disease but not everyone agrees. John Brunnquell, the CEO of Indiana-based Egg Innovations says his free-range chickens on more than 50 farms in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin will stay in “confinement mode” until the risk passes.