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Overlooked No More: Pierre Toussaint, Philanthropist and Candidate for Sainthood
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Overlooked No More: Pierre Toussaint, Philanthropist and Candidate for Sainthood

This article is part of Overlooked, a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times.In 1849, Mary Ann Schuyler, a wealthy New Yorker, was reminded fondly of her longtime hairdresser, Pierre Toussaint, while visiting a Roman Catholic chapel in Europe. “Send my love to him,” she wrote to her sister, Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee. “Tell him I think of him very often and never go to one of the churches of his faith without remembering my own St. Pierre.”By then, Toussaint, 68, had built a reputation as “the Vidal Sassoon of his day,” as Daniel W. Bristol Jr. wrote in “Knights of the Razor: Black Barbers in Slavery and Freedom” (2015): He had mastered the in-vogue hairstyles of the French — powdered hair, or false hair added on — as well ...
Shaken by Grisly Killings of Women, Activists in Africa Demand Change
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Shaken by Grisly Killings of Women, Activists in Africa Demand Change

A wave of gruesome killings of women across several African countries in recent weeks has prompted outrage and indignation, triggered a wave of protests and precipitated calls for governments to take decisive action against gender-based violence.Kenyans were shocked when 31 women were killed in January after they were beaten, strangled or beheaded, activists and police said. In Somalia, a pregnant woman died this month after her husband allegedly set her on fire. In the West African nation of Cameroon, a powerful businessman was arrested in January on accusations, which he has denied, of brutalizing dozens of women.The upsurge in killings is part of a broader pattern that got worse during economic hard times and pandemic lockdowns, human rights activists say. An estimated 20,000 gender-rel...
Residents Oppose Expanding Drug Use Sites to Suburban Vancouver
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Residents Oppose Expanding Drug Use Sites to Suburban Vancouver

British Columbia’s rampant drug deaths have more than once thrust public health officials into uncharted territory. It became the first province to decriminalize small quantities of hard drugs for personal use in 2022, about two decades after Vancouver opened the first supervised injection site in North America. But as overdoses increase in some British Columbia towns, there is disagreement in one city about how to address it.In Richmond, one of British Columbia’s largest cities, with 230,000 people, municipal council chambers turned raucous this week as a full public gallery of residents opposed a plan for staff to study whether a safe consumption site for drug users would be viable in the community. The plan was adopted on Tuesday, but the effort is off to a rocky start, with few officia...
India’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Contentious Election Fund-Raising Tool
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India’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Contentious Election Fund-Raising Tool

India’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a contentious fund-raising mechanism that allowed individuals and corporations to make anonymous political donations, a system that was widely seen as an advantage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing party.Though the judgment came just months before the country’s next general election, probably too late to affect its outcome, activists said it could bring more accountability to campaign finance down the road.The ruling on “electoral bonds,” as the fund-raising instruments are known, came a full six years after Mr. Modi’s government introduced them. According to political analysts, his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party raised immense sums of money during that period — both from electoral bonds and other means — money it has used to trounce ...
Brazil’s Carnival Only Starts When 12-Foot John Travolta Arrives
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Brazil’s Carnival Only Starts When 12-Foot John Travolta Arrives

It was near the start of one of Brazil’s most famous Carnival celebrations, in the northern seaside city of Olinda, and the town plaza was jammed with thousands of revelers. They were all awaiting their idol.Just before 9 p.m., the doors to a dance hall swung open, a brass band pushed into the crowd and the star everyone had been waiting for stepped out: a 12-foot puppet of John Travolta.Confetti sprayed, the band began playing a catchy tune and the crowd sang along: “John Travolta is really cool. Throwing a great party. And in Olinda, the best carnival.” (It rhymes in Portuguese.)The giant John Travolta, perched on the head of a puppeteer, then led a parade through the cobblestone streets.The “boneco,” as such giant puppets are known in Brazil, wore a bedazzled disco-era turtleneck and su...
Israel-Hamas War in Gaza News: Live Updates
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Israel-Hamas War in Gaza News: Live Updates

A photo released by the Israeli military shows two freed hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, right, and Louis Har, second from left, being reunited with their families in Israel on Monday.Credit...Israeli military, via Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesIsraeli security forces said early Monday that they had freed two hostages who were being held in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, in only the second known rescue of its kind in Gaza since the start of the war. Officials in Gaza said that accompanying Israeli strikes had killed dozens of Palestinians in the city overnight.The hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were undergoing tests at a hospital near Tel Aviv and were both in good condition, according to a joint statement from the Israeli military, the police and the dome...
Brazil Has a Dengue Emergency, Portending a Health Crisis for the Americas
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Brazil Has a Dengue Emergency, Portending a Health Crisis for the Americas

Brazil is experiencing an enormous outbreak of dengue fever, the sometimes fatal mosquito-borne disease, and public health experts say it is a harbinger of a coming surge in cases in the Americas, including Puerto Rico.Brazil’s Health Ministry warns that it expects more than 4.2 million cases this year, outstripping the 4.1 million cases the Pan-American Health Organization recorded for all 42 countries in the region last year.Brazil was due for a bad dengue year — numbers of cases of the virus typically rise and fall on a roughly four-year cycle — but experts say a number of factors, including El Niño and climate change, have significantly amplified the problem this year.“The record heat in the country and the above-average rainfall since last year, even before the summer, have increased ...
Middle East Crisis: Airstrikes Hit Packed City in Southern Gaza as Israel Plans Advance
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Middle East Crisis: Airstrikes Hit Packed City in Southern Gaza as Israel Plans Advance

A U.S. Special Operations retaliatory drone strike in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday killed a senior leader of a militia that U.S. officials blame for recent attacks on American personnel, the Pentagon said, following up on President Biden’s promise that the response to a slew of attacks by Shiite militias would continue.The Pentagon said the man was a leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, the militia that officials have said was responsible for the drone attack in Jordan last month that killed three American service members and injured more than 40.A U.S. official said that the strike was a “dynamic” hit on the militia commander, whom American intelligence officials had been tracking for some time. A second official said the United States reserved the right to strike other Shiite militia leaders a...
For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China
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For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China

In the depths of the pandemic, as global supply chains buckled and the cost of shipping a container to China soared nearly twentyfold, Marco Villarreal spied an opportunity.In 2021, Mr. Villarreal resigned as Caterpillar’s director general in Mexico and began nurturing ties with companies looking to shift manufacturing from China to Mexico. He found a client in Hisun, a Chinese producer of all-terrain vehicles, which hired Mr. Villarreal to establish a $152 million manufacturing site in Saltillo, an industrial hub in northern Mexico.Mr. Villarreal said foreign companies, particularly those seeking to sell within North America, saw Mexico as a viable alternative to China for several reasons, including the simmering trade tensions between the United States and China.“The stars are aligning f...
Israel-Hamas War and Middle East News: Latest Updates
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Israel-Hamas War and Middle East News: Latest Updates

American warplanes destroyed or severely damaged most of the Iranian and militia targets they struck in Syria and Iraq on Friday, according to the Pentagon, the first major salvos in what President Biden and his aides have said will be a sustained campaign.Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said on Monday that “more than 80” of some 85 targets in Syria and Iraq were destroyed or rendered inoperable. The targets, he said, included command hubs; intelligence centers; depots for rockets, missiles and attack drones; as well as logistics and ammunition bunkers.It was the first military assessment of the strikes carried out in response to a drone attack in Jordan by an Iran-backed militia in Iraq on Jan. 28 that killed three American soldiers and injured at least 40 more s...