Last year, The Times’s book critics released a list of the 50 best memoirs of any kind over the past 50 years, including those by Gore Vidal and Maxine Hong Kingston.Not his first book. Obama, like Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, is on the short list of presidents who were published authors before they were well-known politicians. Obama’s two earlier books, “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” were both best sellers, although the first one became a best seller only after his star turn as a speaker at the 2004 Democratic convention.PLAY, WATCH, EATWhat to Cook Even before any vaccine becomes widely available, virus treatment is already improving, thanks to earlier diagnoses and drugs like dexamethasone and remdesivir. The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization yesterday to an Eli Lilly treatment that doctors recently gave to Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor.The improving quality of treatments is evident in the death rate: Only about 1.5 percent of diagnosed cases have been fatal in recent weeks, compared with 1.7 percent in late July and early August, and 7 percent during the virus’s initial surge in the early spring. Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.Good morning. There’s good news on a vaccine, but the next few months of the pandemic will be difficult. No matter what, though, much of the world will probably be coping with severe outbreaks — and thousands more deaths each day — for months to come. The second story is much more encouraging. It’s the rapid progress that medical researchers are making on both potential vaccines and treatments that can ameliorate the virus’s worst symptoms.Pfizer announced yesterday that early data showed its vaccine prevented Covid-19 in more than 90 percent of trial volunteers. Other companies, including Moderna and Novavax have also reported encouraging news about their vaccines. (The Times’s Carl Zimmer and Katie Thomas answer some common vaccine questions here.)- Advertisement – Utah will require all residents to wear a mask, as its hospitals are near crisis levels. The first story is grim: Worldwide, the virus is spreading more rapidly than at any other point. The U.S. and Europe are both setting records for new confirmed cases, while South America, North Africa, India and other regions are coping with serious outbreaks.The spread is bad enough that harsh measures — like again shutting some restaurants or banning indoor gatherings — may be necessary to get it under control. Much of Europe has taken such steps in recent weeks. President Trump has opposed them. But President-elect Joe Biden, in appointing a 13-member virus task force yesterday, emphasized that he would take a radically different approach and base his policy on scientists’ advice.“These are some of the smartest people in infectious diseases,” my colleague Apoorva Mandavilli, a science reporter, said about the task force’s members. Biden, who has worn a mask in public for months, may also be able to increase mask-wearing by delivering a more consistent message about it than Trump has, Apoorva added. Yesterday, Biden implored Americans to wear masks, saying: “Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor.”- Advertisement – The full picture, via Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s public health school: “We all need to keep two seemingly contradictory facts in mind: 1. We are entering the hardest days of the pandemic. The next two months will see a lot of infections and deaths; 2. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, that light got a bit brighter.”THE LATEST NEWSMore on the Virus A new Obama memoirThe first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoir, “A Promised Land,” will be published next week. To get you ready for the attention it will receive, we have prepared a short guide to memoirs, presidential and otherwise.Can Mr. match, or outdo, Mrs.? The top-selling print memoir in the U.S. is “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, according to the NPD Group, which began tracking the data in 2004. No. 2 on the list is “Becoming,” by Michelle Obama (which, of course, has been available for fewer years than “Eat, Pray, Love.”)Analysts expect “A Promised Land” to rise to near the top of the list, too. The book’s publisher, Penguin Random House, ordered a first U.S. printing of three million copies — about one million of which have to be printed in Germany because of a lack of printing capacity in the U.S.The top 10 list for memoirs also includes: “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates; “The Magnolia Story” by the former HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines; and “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.What will the critics say? Many presidential memoirs are panned or receive mixed reviews, partly because ex-presidents are often unwilling to be fully honest about their disappointments, grudges and more. Two exceptions — considered among the best memoirs by presidents — are by Thomas Jefferson and Ulysses S. Grant, as Allen Barra explains in The Daily Beast. Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that New York City was “getting dangerously close” to a second wave, and the governor of New Jersey announced new restrictions on indoor dining. The rate of spread in the region had been very low for months. The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was beatific. Today’s puzzle is above — or you can play online if you have a Games subscription. An epic drum battle: Nandi Bushell, a British 10-year-old, found an audience with her impressive drum performances on YouTube. But it was her challenge to the Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl that propelled her to stardom.From Opinion: The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Abbe Gluck, a Yale law professor, argues that the case is a test of whether the court is willing to leave political decisions to the elected branches of government.Lives Lived: During World War II, Viola Smith wrote an essay asking, “Why not let the girls play in the big bands?” Her plea went unheeded, but she later performed at President Harry Truman’s inauguration. She died at 107. As these charts show, U.S. deaths have stayed in a narrow range — albeit at a terribly high level — even though cases have been surging since September: At least three people who attended an election party at the White House last week have tested positive for the virus, including Ben Carson, Trump’s housing secretary, and David Bossie, who is leading the effort to challenge election results. The Election There are two very different coronavirus stories happening now.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
NZ Herald 17 November 2018Family First Comment: Thank you Elizabeth! We are so grateful for you sharing your story and breaking through the sales pitch of groups like the Greens and the Drug Foundation“Hooked on synthetic cannabis before developing a serious marijuana addiction… “”I’d convinced myself that synthetic cannabis was bad and that marijuana, being a natural substance, was good. But within three months of regular use with him, I suffered another psychotic break down…” With a referendum on recreational use looming, she’s warning against the legalisation — and normalisation — of marijuana, which she says left her life in tatters.”#SayNopeToDope.nzwww.VoteNO.nzAt the peak of her addiction, Elizabeth Baird rammed her car into the back of another at 165km/h, believing its boot was a portal to parallel universe.The other driver escaped the smash on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge with whiplash. Baird suffered whiplash and bruising.Pressure mounted. She began smoking natural cannabis with a new man she had become acquainted with.“I’d convinced myself that synthetic cannabis was bad and that marijuana, being a natural substance, was good.“But within three months of regular use with him, I suffered another psychotic break down which resulted in a four-month stay in the Whangārei Hospital psychiatric unit.”Baird left hospital a “broken woman”.Looking back, Baird says she would never have believed such damage could have been done by two drugs.“For that reason, I don’t think cannabis should be legalised.“Laws are designed to protect the vulnerable members of our community. That includes young people and those who are predisposed to mental health problems or addiction.”Baird continues to attend regular group sessions at Narcotics Anonymous. Her sponsor, Amanda Nicol, says the damage drugs did to Baird was devastating.“Some people can use casually. But I do know plenty of people in those rooms have started with cannabis and moved onto other drugs.”Baird’s story was a reminder of how differently people responded to drugs, and that all substances could be addictive when in the wrong hands.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12155524&ref=twitterKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
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Billy Vela, the director of La CASA, said the floor also welcomes residents who don’t identify as Hispanic or Latinx as long as they’re willing to learn about new cultures. “There is a deep sense of culture,” said Ernesto Ortiz Zamora, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. “I feel like we all have this open-door policy where we can really talk to one another.” This lively environment is reflective of the residents themselves, who constantly visit one another’s rooms and embrace the Latin sense of community. However, for most, El Sol y La Luna helps build a sense of community for its residents. Roman Rodriguez, a freshman majoring in architecture, said living on the floor has allowed him to reconnect with his Latino heritage through weekly meetings, hangouts and talks. Rodriguez, who grew up in a military family and moved frequently, said he often felt cut off from his culture. Reds, blues and yellows line the hallways of the sixth floor of Fluor Tower Residential College, adorned with paintings of suns and moons done in the style of Mexican folk artists. From behind the doors of a few rooms peek Latin American flags and small trinkets. The space is home to El Sol y La Luna, a residential community dedicated solely to Latinx culture at USC that helps soften the transition to college for the small number of Latinx students attending the University. “It’s nice to go home and feel at home,” Arias said. “For me it was the opposite … I grew up speaking Spanish, it was my first language and I wanted to find that same family here,” Castillo said. Senior Director for Residential Education Emily Sandoval said these spaces create a community for students to connect with one another, learn about their identities and form relationships that will help them succeed during college. Freshman computer engineering and computer science major Nick Imig, who is not Latino, was randomly assigned to El Sol y La Luna . Other residents, like Selene Castillo, a freshman majoring in international relations, wanted to continue to feel connected to their heritage back home by finding a same similar of community at USC. “Even though we aren’t Latinos, they always try to include [me and my suitemates] in all their events,” he said. “They want us to be immersed in their culture too. Just the other night, one of them had their mom bringing us flan.” But the floor does much more for its residents than simply help them find their niche. El Sol y La Luna collaborates frequently with La CASA, a Latinx organization on campus. Jennifer Arias, a freshman majoring in theater on the floor’s executive board, said they plan group outings to attend events on campus. Earlier this month, they coordinated an outing to a campus event that hosted John Leguizamo, a well-known Latino actor. La CASA also plans events for holidays like Día de los Muertos. “I came across [El Sol y La Luna] when I was looking for housing options; I heard that there was a Latino floor, and I thought that was a good way for me to come back to the culture,” he said. “I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish, but most people here do at least understand it.” El Sol y la Luna, the Latinx floor in Fluor Tower, also welcomes students who don’t identify as Latinx or Hispanic to live on the floor and learn about the culture through events and experiences with their fellow residents. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) Imig’s suitemate, Carlos Casillas, identifies as Latino but said he didn’t choose to live on the Latinx floor — he was also randomly assigned. Casillas, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics & law, said he thinks residential communities can be isolating and limit students to one group of potential friends. “Starting college can be challenging for many students, but having a place to live where students can create a sense of family — having similar traditions and cultural backgrounds — can soften the experience,” Sandoval said. Sandoval also acknowledged that according to USC, the Latinx community only made up 15% of the student body in Fall 2018. Sandoval said that for that reason, these spaces are necessary to help students find and connect with one another and connect. Freshmen residents Selene Castillo and Vanessa Nuñez study in the lounge of El Sol y La Luna, a Latinx floor in Fluor Tower that brings together Latinx students and others wanting to learn more about Latinx culture to build a community. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) “The floor has also had non-Latinx members throughout the years, and the same goal [to successfully transition to USC] was set for them because all students living on the floor should feel like they belong by community connections being made on the floor,” Vela wrote in an email. Andrea Diaz, the residential assistant for El Sol y La Luna, is the photo editor for the Daily Trojan.