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A Fern’s ‘Zombie’ Leaves Sprout Unusual Roots
World

A Fern’s ‘Zombie’ Leaves Sprout Unusual Roots

In the rainforests of western Panama, the plant biologist Jim Dalling stumbled upon some tree ferns with six-foot-long leaves that bent to the ground as they were dying, encircling the plant like a skirt.“I was trying to move these things out of the way and then in the process, I realized these were rooted into the ground,” Dr. Dalling said. A professor and forest ecologist at the University of Illinois, he had been searching for a completely unrelated plant.The fern’s leaf remnants were brown and withered — dead, by all appearances (though still attached at their base to the tree fern’s trunk). How could lifeless plant matter be endowed with roots? he wondered.“I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing,” Dr. Dalling said.Further study revealed that this tree fern, known as Cyathea rojas...
U.S. Imposes Major New Sanctions on Russia, Targeting Finance and Defense
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U.S. Imposes Major New Sanctions on Russia, Targeting Finance and Defense

The United States on Friday unleashed its most extensive package of sanctions on Russia since the invasion of Ukraine two years ago, targeting Russia’s financial sector and military-industrial complex in a broad effort to degrade the Kremlin’s war machine.The sweeping sanctions come as the war enters its third year, and exactly one week after the death of the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, for which the Biden administration blames President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. With Congress struggling to reach an agreement on providing more aid to Ukraine, the United States has become increasingly reliant on financial tools to slow Russia’s ability to restock its military supplies and to put pressure on its economy.Announcing the sanctions on Friday, President Biden reiterated his calls on ...
As Latin America’s Prison Population Explodes, Gangs Seize Control
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As Latin America’s Prison Population Explodes, Gangs Seize Control

Ecuador’s military was sent in to seize control of the country’s prisons last month after two major gang leaders escaped and criminal groups quickly set off a nationwide revolt that paralyzed the country.In Brazil last week, two inmates with connections to a major gang became the first to escape from one of the nation’s five maximum-security federal prisons, officials said.Officials in Colombia have declared an emergency in its prisons after two guards were killed and several more targeted in what the government said was retaliation for its crackdown on major criminal groups.Inside prisons across Latin America, criminal groups exercise unchallenged authority over prisoners, extracting money from them to buy protection or basic necessities, like food.The prisons also act as a safe haven of ...
Hundreds of Navalny Mourners Detained Across Russia
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Hundreds of Navalny Mourners Detained Across Russia

For the second day in a row, mourners walked purposefully along Moscow’s snow-heaped Garden Ring on Saturday carrying bouquets to lay at one of the improvised memorials to Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition figure who perished in a prison colony the day before.The flowers, wrapped in paper to shield them from the icy wind, were not only a symbol of mourning. They also served as a form of protest in a country where even the mildest dissent can risk detention. And the people who laid bouquets at the Wall of Grief, a monument to the victims of political persecution during the Stalin era, shared the conviction that the Russian state was behind Mr. Navalny’s death.“He didn’t die, he was killed,” said Alla, 75, a pensioner who declined to give her last name because of possible repercussi...
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 ...
Tucker Carlson’s Lesson in the Perils of Giving Airtime to an Autocrat
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Tucker Carlson’s Lesson in the Perils of Giving Airtime to an Autocrat

Tucker Carlson left Moscow more than a week ago, riding high from an interview with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that returned him to the spotlight after his abrupt cancellation by Fox News last spring.But the interview with the wartime autocrat, mocked in various corners of the political-media world for its soft touch, continues to have a long and tortured afterlife — becoming a trending topic all over again on Friday after Mr. Putin’s most vocal domestic opponent, Aleksei A. Navalny, turned up dead in a Russian prison.“This is what Putin’s Russia is, @TuckerCarlson,’’ Liz Cheney, the former Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, wrote on X after the news of Mr. Navalny’s death broke on Friday. “And you are Putin’s useful idiot.”Naomi Biden, President Biden’s granddaughter, also ...
How to Vote in the Mexican Elections From Abroad
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How to Vote in the Mexican Elections From Abroad

Two women will face off for Mexico’s highest office in what is set to be a historic election this spring.Mexicans will choose their first female president on June 2, and they will also vote to renew all 500 deputies for the lower chamber of Congress and the 128 members of the Senate. At the same time, 30 of the country’s 32 states will be holding elections — with 19,000 state and local offices up for grabs.This is the first national election in which Mexico will allow residents living abroad to vote in person. More than 12 million citizens live outside the country, 97 percent of them in the United States, according to the Institute of Mexicans Abroad. But in order to vote, those citizens must first register by Feb. 20.Here’s what you need to do now to be eligible to cast a ballot in June.W...
Israel-Hamas War News: C.I.A. Chief Helps Push for Gaza Cease-Fire in Egypt
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Israel-Hamas War News: C.I.A. Chief Helps Push for Gaza Cease-Fire in Egypt

President Biden said on Monday that Israel should not proceed with a major ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah without a “credible plan” to protect more than one million people who are sheltering there.Mr. Biden spoke after meeting at the White House with King Abdullah II of Jordan, a key figure in the push for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. It was the first face-to-face conversation between the two leaders since the Israel-Hamas war started.“Many people there have been displaced — displaced multiple times, fleeing the violence to the north, and now they’re packed into Rafah, exposed and vulnerable,” Mr. Biden said during an appearance with King Abdullah. “They need to be protected.”The visit came as King Abdullah sought to shore up international support for an immediate c...
Brazil Has a Dengue Emergency, Portending a Health Crisis for the Americas
World

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: Netanyahu Asks Military for Plans to Evacuate Rafah, Where 1.4 Million Are Sheltering
World

Middle East Crisis: Netanyahu Asks Military for Plans to Evacuate Rafah, Where 1.4 Million Are Sheltering

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has ordered the Israeli military to come up with a plan for civilians sheltering in the southern city of Rafah to evacuate, his office said on Friday, as Israeli leaders have increasingly indicated they intend to ultimately send ground troops into the crowded city.“Any forceful action in Rafah would require the evacuation of the civilian population from combat zones,” the prime minister’s office said, without saying what area those zones would cover or when such an operation would begin.Roughly 1.4 million Palestinians are now sheltering in Rafah, according to the United Nations. Lying on the border with Egypt, the city is one of the last areas of the Gaza Strip in which Israeli ground troops have yet to deploy in force. Many of the people who ha...