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Lena Dunham is back with a new project. The actor-writer-director-controversy creator now has a plus-size clothing line. And about the whole body positivity thing? She has thoughts. “The online plus community was really healing for me, after so many years of having my body dissected on television and talked about and treated like it was either a revelation or a problem,” Dunham said on a Zoom call from London, where she has been shooting a film. This week 11 Honoré x Lena Dunham debuts, a collaboration between Dunham and the e-tail site that has championed high fashion for plus-size women, getting runway designers to make their brands accessible beyond Size 10. It will be 11 Honoré’s first celebrity foray, and it is a tightly edited collection of only five items. After years of having a complicated and very public relationship with her body, of yo-yoing in weight because of medical and personal issues, Dunham, 34, said she has come to terms with it. “It doesn’t mean I haven’t felt a lot of body hatred in lockdown,” she said. She is not a fan of some current terminology, of words like “plus” or “curve” or “body positive.” “The thing that’s complicated about the body positive movement,” Dunham said, “is it can be for the privileged few who have a body that looks the way people want to feel positive. We want curvy bodies that look like Kim Kardashian has been up-sized slightly. We want big beautiful butts and big beautiful breasts and no cellulite and faces that look like you could smack them on to thin women.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about Dunham’s clothing line and what she thinks designers don’t understand. Photo by @dedecim .
A new finding at @fermilab , physicists say, could eventually lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of the universe more dramatic than the heralded discovery in 2012 of the Higgs boson. “I’m very excited,” said Marcela Carena, head of theoretical physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. “I feel like this tiny wobble may shake the foundations of what we thought we knew.” Evidence is mounting that a tiny subatomic particle called a muon is disobeying the laws of physics as we thought we knew them, the scientists announced on Wednesday. The best explanation, physicists say, is that the muon is being influenced by forms of matter and energy that are not yet known to science, but which may nevertheless affect the nature and evolution of the universe. The new work, they said, could eventually have a bigger impact than the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle that imbues other particles with mass. Muons are like electrons but far heavier. When muons were subjected to an intense magnetic field in experiments performed at Fermilab, they wobbled like spinning tops in a manner slightly but stubbornly and inexplicably inconsistent with the most precise calculations currently available. The results confirmed results in similar experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2001 that have tantalized physicists ever since. Above, the Muon g-2 ring, at Fermilab, operates at minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit and studies the wobble of muons as they travel through the magnetic field. Tap the link in our bio to read more about disobedient muons and what scientists are calling an “extraordinary day.” Photo by Reidar Hahn/Fermilab, via U.S. Department of @energy .
In Taiwan, a drought has pitted chip makers against farmers. The island is going to great lengths to keep water flowing to its all-important semiconductor industry, including shutting off irrigation to legions of rice growers. “The government is using money to seal farmers’ mouths shut,” said Chuang Cheng-deng, a rice farmer surveying his parched brown fields. Officials are calling the drought Taiwan’s worst in more than half a century. And it is exposing the enormous challenges involved in hosting the island’s semiconductor industry, which is an increasingly indispensable node in the global supply chains for smartphones, cars and other keystones of modern life. Chip makers use lots of water to clean their factories and wafers, the thin slices of silicon that form the basis of the chips. And with worldwide semiconductor supplies already strained by surging demand for electronics, the added uncertainty about Taiwan’s water supply is not likely to ease concerns about the tech world’s reliance on the island and on one chip maker in particular: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. More than 90% of the world’s manufacturing capacity for the most advanced chips is in Taiwan and run by TSMC, which makes chips for Apple, Intel and other big names. The company said last week that it would invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase capacity, which will most likely further strengthen its commanding presence in the market. Tap the link in our bio to read more about how the government, farmers and chip companies are managing the crisis. Photos by @anrizzy
Just as Israel became a real-world laboratory for the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, it is now becoming a test case for a post-lockdown, post-vaccinated society. Our correspondent Isabel Kershner and more than half of Israel’s nine million people are getting a taste of a post-pandemic future. Membership in the group is certified by the Green Pass, a document you can download and carry in your phone. It includes a sort of GIF, a little moving animation of green people walking along, looking like a happy, fully vaccinated family. Green Pass holders may dine indoors in restaurants, stay in hotels and attend indoor and outdoor cultural, sports and religious gatherings in the thousands. They can go to gyms, swimming pools and the theater. They can get married in wedding halls. They celebrated the spring holidays of Passover and Easter in the company of family and friends. Local newspapers and television stations are advertising summer getaways for the fully vaccinated in countries prepared to take them, including Greece, Georgia and the Seychelles. But Israel’s real-time experiment in post-lockdown living leaves many questions unanswered. Tap the link in our bio to read more from Tel Aviv. Photos by @danbalilty
During the pandemic, funerals and memorial services have been curtailed, leaving many of us unable to celebrate a lost loved one’s memory in traditional ways. To acknowledge our collective losses, The Times asked readers to share photos of objects that remind them of those who died over the last year, whether from the coronavirus or other causes. At a time when we may not be able to honor our loved ones together, these images and interviews form a virtual memorial. Tap the link in our bio to read more about each artifact and for more stories showing what grief looks like.
At this point in the pandemic, it feels that we have all, collectively, hit a wall. Last week, The New York Times asked readers to tell us about work burnout they’re experiencing — nearly 700 people responded in two days. The responses were funny, vulnerable and indicative of a universal sense of: “We’ve had enough.” The collective picture they painted was of a work force struggling to do tasks that were once easy, people who know they are lucky to have a job but dream of quitting, and people who would do anything to never have a Zoom meeting again. Responses have been lightly edited for clarity. Tap the link in our bio to read more from readers about feeling burned out.
Certain moments in life have the power to shift our core sense of being. The coronavirus pandemic and all it has wrought is one of them. Everyone knows someone who got sick or died or lost her job. Everyone has a personal “before” and “after.” It has been a collective near-death experience for those lucky enough to survive. People have found themselves close to life’s deepest questions about how we live, how we suffer, and how we make meaning of our short time here on this earth. Through it all, the world has not stopped. The killing of George Floyd. The Capitol siege. More mass shootings. For some, facing trauma feels too hard. Others have found unexpected resilience and courage, rage or stillness. Transformation was forced on some, and for others it was chosen. The process of reflection is just beginning. Where it takes us remains to be seen. But the clarity that comes with intense suffering often clouds as time moves on. We have a window now to look at our lives anew. Tap the link in our bio to read comments from people who are looking ahead to life after the pandemic and wondering what will be different in their lives. Photos by @ryanjenq , @elliotstudio , @rorosiemarie and @amr.alfiky
What does love look like in a time of hate? More than two dozen Asian and Asian-American photographers responded, showing the people, things, places and memories that have helped them keep love close during a time filled with worry and anti-Asian hate. “Throughout the pain that this past year and, specifically, the last few weeks have caused, I realize I have retained so much joy in little pockets of my life,” Heather Sten of Brooklyn, N.Y., writes. “The love that I receive on a daily basis from my partner and my friends is so nourishing and keeps me feeling like a whole person.” “I feel more invisible as an Asian-American now more than ever,” Chloe Pang of Los Angeles writes, “even as someone who strives every day with every shot and every breath to make the invisible visible and the ordinary extraordinary. I aim to protect those who cannot protect themselves. These are the microcosms of humanity. Behavioral change and softening of the heart cannot be rushed, but can be encouraged.” Tap the link in our bio to see photos from all 28 photographers and to read their reflections on love. Photos by @sandycandykim , @hisnameisricardo , @leonardsuryajaya , @stephaniemeiling and @hiroko.masuike
President Biden on Thursday announced his administration’s first steps to curb the “epidemic” of gun violence, noting that “much more needs to be done” while also pressing Congress to close background check loopholes and ban assault weapons. “We’ve got a long way to go, it seems like we always have a long way to go,” Biden said, acknowledging the limitations of measures he can pass through executive actions alone. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment.” Biden said the Justice Department would issue a proposed rule to stop the proliferation of so-called ghost guns — kits that allow a gun to be assembled from pieces with no serial numbers. “I want to see these kits treated as firearms under the gun control act,” Biden said. Ghost guns, experts said, have become particularly appealing to criminal organizations and right wing extremists who want access to untraceable firearms that do not require any background checks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated 10,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement in 2019. Biden also said he would make clear that when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace transforms a pistol into a short-barrel rifle, that weapon is subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. He said, too, that the Justice Department would also publish model “red flag” legislation for states. The measure would allow police officers and family members to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from people who may present a danger to themselves or others. Tap the link in our bio to read more about Biden’s executive actions. Photo by @amr.alfiky
The chief of the Minneapolis Police Department testified on Monday that the former officer Derek Chauvin had “absolutely” violated department policies when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes in May. Chief Medaria Arradondo said in court that Chauvin had failed to follow policies on de-escalation, use of force and the duty to render aid to people who need it. “I absolutely agree that violates our policy,” Chief Arradondo said in response to a prosecutor’s question about Chauvin’s actions. “That is not part of our policy; that is not what we teach.” The chief said that Chauvin’s actions may have been reasonable in the “first few seconds” to subdue Floyd, but that much of his actions had violated policies. “Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” Chief Arradondo said. Chief Arradondo, who became the city’s first Black police chief when he took over in 2017, fired Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest within a day of Floyd’s death. He publicly called Floyd’s death a “murder” the following month. The prospect that a police chief would take the witness stand against a fellow officer is exceedingly rare. The chief’s appearance, following testimony by two other Minneapolis police officials last week, underscored the difficulty that Chauvin and his lawyers will have in persuading the jury that the officer was just doing his job when he pinned Floyd to the ground. Tap the links in our bio to read the latest from the trial.
Among the millions of Syrians who fled as the government bombed their towns, destroyed their homes and killed their loved ones are 150 families squatting in a soccer stadium in the northwestern city of Idlib, sheltering in rickety tents under the stands or in the rocky courtyard. Work is scarce and terror grips them whenever jets buzz overhead: New airstrikes could come at any time. But the fear of government retribution keeps them from returning home. More than 1,300 similar camps dot Syria’s last bastions under rebel control, eating up farmland, stretching along irrigation canals and filling lots next to apartment buildings where refugee families squat in damaged units with no windows. “People will stay in these places with all the catastrophes before they go live under the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” said Okba al-Rahoum, the manager of the camp in the soccer stadium. On a rare visit to Idlib Province, examples abounded of shocked and impoverished people trapped in a murky and often violent limbo. Stuck between a wall to prevent them from fleeing across the nearby border with Turkey and a hostile government that could attack at any moment, they struggle to secure basic needs in a territory controlled by a militant group formerly linked to Al Qaeda. “The question is: What is the future for these people?” said Mark Cutts, the United Nations deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria. “They can’t continue living forever in muddy fields under olive trees by the side of the road.” Tap the link in our bio to read our report from Idlib, Syria. Photos by @ivorprickett
Regulators in Britain and the European Union both said on Wednesday that it was possible that blood clots were a rare side effect of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Britain said it would offer alternative vaccines for adults under 30. It is a setback for the world’s most widely used vaccine and a blow to the more than 100 countries relying on it to save lives amid a global surge in coronavirus cases. Until the announcement, Britain had never wavered in its use of the vaccine, making it a holdout in Europe even as many countries detected unusual, sometimes fatal, blood clots in some recipients. But evidence has mounted that very small numbers of Britons had also been afflicted, leading the country to reduce the use of a vaccine in younger people that is the backbone of its world-beating inoculation program. “This case clearly demonstrates one of the challenges posed by large-scale vaccination campaigns,” Emer Cooke, the head of the European health regulator, said in a news conference on Wednesday. “When millions of people receive these vaccines, very rare events can occur that were not identified during the clinical trials.” “The risk of mortality from Covid is much greater than the risk of mortality from the side effects,” Cooke added. “And perhaps it’s useful to state what is not advised as well,” said Wei Shen Lim of the U.K. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. “We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group. We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.” Tap the link in our bio to learn more about the updates on the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
"Kung Fu," a gender-flipped martial-arts reboot, departs from its 1970s predecessor by having a predominantly Asian-American cast. The show of the ’70s, starring David Carradine, ran for three seasons and remained a fixture in syndication, introducing many Western audiences to the cross-cultural power of martial arts. But now the modern reboot, which premieres on the CW on Wednesday, is trying to right some of the wrongs of the original series. Olivia Liang stars as the high-kicking hero, Nicky Shen, a young Chinese-American woman who drops out of college and travels to a monastery in China, where she undergoes intensive martial-arts training. But when she returns to find San Francisco overrun with crime and corruption and her own parents at the mercy of a powerful organized crime group originating in China, Nicky uses her fighting skills to protect her hometown — all while reconnecting with her estranged family and friends and searching for the ruthless assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor. In the works since 2019, “Kung Fu” arrives amid an alarming spike in anti-Asian racism, giving its focus on Asian-American people who are victimized and fight back an additional, if unplanned and unwelcome, weight. The show will become part of the slight but steady advances that Hollywood has recently experienced in Asian representation onscreen, especially after the international success of films like “Parasite,” “Minari,” and “Raya and the Last Dragon.” “We talk about it all the time — we talk about the historic nature of what we’re doing, and we also try not to think about it too much because of how much pressure it brings on,” Liang said. “We just want to make our community proud.” Tap the link in our bio to read more. Photo by @lindsaysiu .
Covid-19 vaccinations for people 16 and older are expanding in the U.S. Providers are administering about 3.03 million doses per day on average and, at the current pace of vaccination, it is projected that everyone could get a shot this year. But while the pace of vaccinations is accelerating, worrisome new variants are spreading. The death rate is declining, but caseloads and hospitalizations are on the rise. The work to distribute the vaccine comes as more than 555,000 people in the U.S. have died after contracting the virus. Some experts have estimated that 70% to 90% of the total population — adults and children — will need to acquire resistance to the coronavirus to reach herd immunity, defined as when transmission of the virus substantially slows because enough people have been protected through infection or vaccination. A number of factors will determine how quickly this threshold is met, especially the pace at which newly vaccinated people join those who are immune after past infections. But the presence of more transmissible virus variants could complicate that progress. And children, who are not yet eligible, may be key to reaching herd immunity, experts say. Tap the link in our bio to read more about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
America’s child-care industry is in crisis. Unlike every other developed country, the U.S. has never, except for a few years during World War II, treated child care as an essential service. And yet, the industry’s health is interwoven with the health of the overall economy. Child-care centers improvised during the pandemic, scrambling to stay open with razor-thin budgets and little government guidance. Initially, as parents pulled their children out of child-care centers in the first months of the coronavirus, revenue plummeted. Then, as child-care centers reopened, the burden of safety for the community’s children — including, in many cases, schoolchildren whose parents couldn’t help them with remote learning — fell on providers that were already struggling to survive on small budgets. The Times spoke to people who had run child-care centers across America — some of which were now operating at reduced capacity, while others have shut their doors for the last time. In Virginia (first and second photos), a child-care center for the children of essential workers found itself taking in the community’s school-age children, but without the kind of guidance from the government that schools get. In suburban Ohio (third photo), a decades-old child-care center that was thriving before the pandemic shut its doors for the final time in August. In Michigan (fourth photo), a child-care facility has been running at less than half its pre-pandemic capacity, bringing in less income, even as the costs of Covid-19 safety protocols continue to add up. In California (fifth photo), the owner of an in-home child-care center lost 70% of her clients and has burned through her savings to stay open, leaving her about two months away from having to close permanently. These stories, from four different parts of the United States, aren’t isolated pockets of struggle. They are emblematic of a larger problem, and at the root of this crisis is America’s relationship with child care itself. Tap the link in our bio to read more. Photos by @cherissmay , @dashaunaemarisa , @picvwdetroit and @virginialoz .
A year ago, a travel photographer in England started bringing a camera and a tripod with him on his morning bicycle rides, shooting them as though they were magazine assignments. It started out as just something to do — a challenge to try to see the familiar through fresh eyes. Soon it blossomed into a celebration of traveling at home. “I carry everything I need on my bicycle and work entirely alone,” Roff Smith writes. “I’m both the photographer and the cyclist in the photos. That part’s taken a bit of getting used to. I’ve never been comfortable in front of the camera.” Being grounded by the pandemic, Smith found a new way to look at travel: “What with social-distancing requirements and zero budget, I’m all I’ve got.” “These images, though, aren’t meant to be about me,” Smith says. “They’re meant to represent a cyclist on the landscape, anybody — you, perhaps.” Tap the link in our bio to read and see more from @roffsmith for @nytimestravel .
Honduras has barely begun to recover from two hurricanes that hit late last year. With relatively little disaster relief from the U.S., many of its residents are heading for the border. “We are doomed here,” said Magdalena Flores, a mother of seven in San Pedro Sula, standing on a mattress that peeked out from the dirt where her house used to be. “The desperation, the sadness, that’s what makes you migrate.” President Biden has insisted that the recent increase in migration to the United States is nothing out of the ordinary, just another peak in a long history of them, especially in months when the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border is cooler and more passable. But last month, apprehensions at the southwest border of the United States hit a 15-year high, part of a sharp uptick since Biden took office. A majority of families and unaccompanied children are coming from Honduras and Guatemala, the two countries hit hardest by the hurricanes — a sign that the president’s more welcoming policies on immigration have drawn people at a time when they are especially desperate to leave. Tap the link in our bio to read our report from Honduras. Photos by @daniele_volpe