Author: Benjamin Hall

F.D.A. Warned of Mental Side Effects from Asthma Drug, Singulair. Few Were Told.
Health

F.D.A. Warned of Mental Side Effects from Asthma Drug, Singulair. Few Were Told.

In early 2020, the Food and Drug Administration responded to decades of escalating concerns about a commonly prescribed drug for asthma and allergies by deploying one of its most potent tools: a stark warning on the drug’s label that it could cause aggression, agitation and even suicidal thoughts.The agency’s label, which was primarily aimed at doctors, was supposed to sound an alert about the 25-year-old medication, Singulair, also known by its generic name, montelukast. But it barely dented use: The drug was still prescribed to 12 million people in the United States in 2022.Children face the greatest risks of the drug’s ill effects, and while usage by minors did decline, it was still taken by 1.6 million of them — including Nicole Sims’s son. Ms. Sims had no idea why, at 6, her son start...
Michigan stymies Michael Penix Jr., Washington to claim first national championship since 1997 season
Sports

Michigan stymies Michael Penix Jr., Washington to claim first national championship since 1997 season

By Lauren Merola, Max Olson, Austin Meek, Jim Trotter and Nicole AuerbachIt’s been 26 years, but finally, no one has it better than Michigan.The Wolverines rushed for 303 yards and held flame-throwing Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in check to emerge as the College Football Playoff national champion with a 34-13 defeat of the Huskies on Monday night at NRG Stadium in Houston. The win marked Michigan’s first national title since 1997 and the completion of a long-anticipated return to the top of college football under head coach Jim Harbaugh.The Wolverines, who entered the night ranked second in the FBS in passing yards allowed per game, held the Heisman Trophy runner-up Penix to 255 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 27-of-51 passing, well below the usual output from th...
Editor of The Los Angeles Times Steps Down
Technology

Editor of The Los Angeles Times Steps Down

When he joined The Los Angeles Times as its top editor nearly three years ago, Kevin Merida was hailed as a leader who would restore calm to a newsroom that had been buffeted by cost-cutting and corporate ownership battles.Now, he’s exiting with little warning, an abrupt departure that leaves the largest news organization in the West in a state of flux.Mr. Merida told staff members on Tuesday that he was stepping down “after considerable soul-searching about my career.”He did not specify exactly why he was leaving, but he did say that his last day would be on Friday.Patrick Soon-Shiong, the biotechnology billionaire who owns The Times, said in a note to the newspaper’s staff that he and Mr. Merida had “mutually agreed” that Mr. Merida should leave.“Given the persistent challenges we face, ...
SEC’s X Account Hacked, Causing Frenzy Over Bitcoin ETF
Business

SEC’s X Account Hacked, Causing Frenzy Over Bitcoin ETF

For 15 minutes, the cryptocurrency industry was euphoric.At 4:11 p.m. on Tuesday, the official X account of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that regulators had approved a new investment product tracking the price of Bitcoin, an apparent victory for the embattled crypto industry. Coinbase, a giant crypto exchange, posted a celebratory banner. Crypto fans hailed it as a historic day for the industry. Bitcoin’s price spiked.Then at 4:26 p.m., Gary Gensler, the chair of the S.E.C., posted that the agency’s account had been compromised, resulting in an “unauthorized tweet.” An S.E.C. spokeswoman confirmed the hack in an emailed statement.The security breach was the latest twist in the crypto industry’s yearslong pursuit of an investment vehicle known as an exchange traded fund ...
Israel Says It Has Begun to Scale Back War: Live Updates
World

Israel Says It Has Begun to Scale Back War: Live Updates

Israel, which said over the weekend that it had successfully dismantled Hamas’s military structure in the north of the Gaza Strip, said it was taking a different tactical approach in the south, where a population that sought safety there fears how the war will play out over the coming months.Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Saturday that the military was working differently in central and southern Gaza, where most of the enclave’s population of about 2.2 million people is crowded, including about a million evacuees from the north, than it was in the north. But he did not elaborate on what, specifically, would change, saying the shift was based on lessons “learned from the fighting so far.”In the northern half of the strip, where Israel began its ground invasion in late October, the military...
F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada
Health

F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed Florida to import millions of dollars worth of medications from Canada at far lower prices than in the United States, overriding fierce decades-long objections from the pharmaceutical industry.The approval, issued in a letter to Florida Friday, is a major policy shift for the United States, and supporters hope it will be a significant step forward in the long and largely unsuccessful effort to rein in drug prices. Individuals in the United States are allowed to buy directly from Canadian pharmacies, but states have long wanted to be able to purchase medicines in bulk for their Medicaid programs, government clinics and prisons from Canadian wholesalers.Florida has estimated that it could save up to $150 million in its first year of the program, i...
Bird, ‘The Wire,’ a life sentence paroled and a Colts game 40 years in the making
Sports

Bird, ‘The Wire,’ a life sentence paroled and a Colts game 40 years in the making

Bleary-eyed from 16 hours on a Greyhound bus, he strolled into the stadium running on fumes. He’d barely slept in two days. The ride he was supposed to hitch from Charlotte to Indianapolis canceled at the last minute, and for a few nervy hours, Antonio Barnes started to have his doubts. The trip he’d waited 40 years for looked like it wasn’t going to happen.But as he moved through the concourse at Lucas Oil Stadium an hour before the Colts faced the Raiders, it started to sink in. His pace quickened. His eyes widened. His voice picked up.“I got chills right now,” he said. “Chills.”Barnes, 57, is a lifer, a Colts fan since the Baltimore days. He wore No. 25 on his pee wee football team because that’s the number Nesby Glasgow wore on Sundays. He was a talent in his own right, too: one of his...
Boy, 13, Is Believed to Be the First to ‘Beat’ Tetris
Technology

Boy, 13, Is Believed to Be the First to ‘Beat’ Tetris

Ms. Cox bought her son a version of a Nintendo console called a RetroN, which used the same hardware as the original Nintendo console, from a pawnshop, as well as an old cathode-ray tube television to help him get started. In a given week, Willis said, he plays about 20 hours of Tetris.“I’m actually OK with it,” Ms. Cox, a high school math teacher, said. “He does other things outside of playing Tetris, so it really wasn’t that terribly difficult to say OK. It was harder to find an old CRT TV than it was to say, ‘Yeah, we can do this for a little bit.’”For decades, gamers “beat” Tetris by hacking into the game’s software. But Willis, who in the last year has become one of the country’s top Tetris players, is thought to be the first to do it on the original hardware.“It’s never been done by ...
U.S. Steel Acquisition Proposal Tests Biden’s Industrial Policy
Business

U.S. Steel Acquisition Proposal Tests Biden’s Industrial Policy

U.S. Steel is an iconic example of the lost manufacturing muscle that President Biden says his economic policies will bring back to the United States.But last month, the storied-but-diminished company announced plans to be acquired by a Japanese competitor. That development has put Mr. Biden in an awkward bind as he tries to balance attempts to revitalize the nation’s industrial sector with his efforts to rebuild international alliances.Mr. Biden’s administration has expressed some discomfort with the deal and is reviewing the proposed $14.1 billion takeover bid by Japan’s Nippon Steel. The company is offering a hefty premium for U.S. Steel, which has struggled to compete against a flood of cheap foreign metal and has been weighing takeover offers for several months.The proposal has quickl...
Canada’s Foreign Student Surge Prompts Changes, and Anxiety
World

Canada’s Foreign Student Surge Prompts Changes, and Anxiety

The education consultant in India didn’t reveal to Maninderjit Kaur, a Canada-bound student, where exactly, relative to Toronto, the college she had enrolled in was.Ms. Kaur told my colleague, Norimitsu Onishi, that after a never-ending Uber ride — eight hours and 800 Canadian dollars later — she had ended up in Timmins, Ontario, a place she had never heard of.But, as Nori reported, finishing a degree in this remote city was perhaps less of an isolating experience given that 82 percent of students at Northern College in Timmins are foreign nationals, mostly from India.[Read Nori’s story: In Remote Canada, a College Becomes a Magnet for Indian Students]Recruiting foreign students who pay higher tuition fees — roughly five times as much as Canadians to obtain an undergraduate degree, accordi...