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Norway Moves to Allow Seabed Mining Exploration
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Norway Moves to Allow Seabed Mining Exploration

The Norwegian Parliament voted on Tuesday to authorize the opening of parts of the Norwegian Sea to seabed mining exploration, a move that reflects rising international demand for the metals needed to build batteries for electric vehicles worldwide.The decision clears the way for prospectors to look for seabed deposits between Norway and Greenland, mostly above the Arctic Circle, in areas under Norway’s national jurisdiction.Proposals for mining exploration in both international waters and coastal areas like those off Norway have encountered stiff opposition from environmentalists who say that not enough is known about the life at the bottom of sea to authorize mining.Initially, the work in Norway will involve collecting information about the amount of metals in the seabed and what harm la...
Mário Zagallo, Longtime Fixture of Brazilian Soccer, Dies at 92
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Mário Zagallo, Longtime Fixture of Brazilian Soccer, Dies at 92

Mário Zagallo, who as both a player and coach helped lead Brazil to four World Cup soccer championships, becoming a national hero and one of only three people to lift the tournament’s trophy in both roles, died on Friday in Rio de Janeiro. He was 92.His death was confirmed by his family on his social media channels. Barra D’Or Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, where he had been a patient several times in recent months, said the cause was multiple organ failure.An attack-minded wing as a player and a tactically minded coach known as “the Professor,” Zagallo was part of the Brazil teams that won consecutive World Cup championships in 1958 and 1962 and the head coach of Brazil’s 1970 champions.His 1970 triumph made Zagallo the first person to win the World Cup as both a player and a coach, a feat t...
Election Will Further Test Bangladesh’s Ailing Democracy
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Election Will Further Test Bangladesh’s Ailing Democracy

There is little doubt that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will seize a fourth consecutive term when Bangladesh goes to the polls on Sunday. The bigger question is what will remain of the country’s democracy.The main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, has been crushed and left with little mobilizing capacity. Its leaders who are not already in jail are bogged down with endless court appointments or are in hiding with the police on their tail. Ms. Hasina’s Awami League, in power since 2009, has cleared the way for a race so one-sided that the party urged its own contestants to prop up dummy candidates so it does not look as if they won unchallenged.The B.N.P. has boycotted the vote, after Ms. Hasina rejected its demand that she step aside during the campaign period so the elec...
Canada’s Boreal Forests Badly Damaged by Logging
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Canada’s Boreal Forests Badly Damaged by Logging

Canada has long promoted itself globally as a model for protecting one of the country’s most vital natural resources: the world’s largest swath of boreal forest, which is crucial to fighting climate change.But a new study using nearly half a century of data from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec — two of the country’s main commercial logging regions — reveals that harvesting trees has inflicted severe damage on the boreal forest that will be difficult to reverse.Researchers led by a group from Griffith University in Australia found that since 1976 logging in the two provinces has caused the removal of 35.4 million acres of boreal forest, an area roughly the size of New York State.While nearly 56 million acres of well-established trees at least a century old remain in the region, logging ...
Deputy Hamas Leader Killed by Blast in Beirut: Israel-Hamas War News
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Deputy Hamas Leader Killed by Blast in Beirut: Israel-Hamas War News

Hamas on Tuesday accused Israel of killing Saleh al-Arouri, a top leader of the group, along with two commanders from its armed wing, the Qassam Brigades. Mr. al-Arouri is the senior-most Hamas figure to be killed since Israel vowed to destroy the organization and eliminate its leadership after a deadly Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7.Mr. al-Arouri was assassinated in an explosion in a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, marking the first such assassination of a top Hamas official outside the West Bank and Gaza in recent years. It comes as officials across the region are worried about the war in Gaza igniting a wider conflagration.Israeli officials would not comment on whether their forces had targeted Mr. al-Arouri, but officials from Lebanon and the United States ascribed the attack to Israe...
How to Start the New Year? Keep the Sea Goddess Happy.
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How to Start the New Year? Keep the Sea Goddess Happy.

Each New Year’s Eve, more than two million revelers — twice as many as typically fill Times Square — dress in white and pack Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to watch a 15-minute midnight fireworks extravaganza.The one-night hedonistic release is one of the world’s largest New Year’s celebrations and leaves Copacabana’s famed 2.4 miles of sand strewed with trash.But it began as something far more spiritual.In the 1950s, followers of an Afro-Brazilian religion, Umbanda, began congregating on Copacabana on New Year’s Eve to make offerings to their goddess of the sea, Iemanjá, and ask for good fortune in the year ahead.It quickly became one of the holiest moments of the year for followers of a cluster of Afro-Brazilian religions that have roots in slavery, worship an array of deities and ha...
Israel-Hamas Live: Israel Strikes Gaza Areas Filled With Displaced Civilians
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Israel-Hamas Live: Israel Strikes Gaza Areas Filled With Displaced Civilians

Workers from South Asia are heading to Israel, whose need for labor has become more pressing since the Hamas-led attack in October.Israel’s government closed crossings from the West Bank, cutting off thousands of Palestinians from work, and many of the foreign workers that Israel relies on to operate its farms and construction industry left. Most of the roughly 30,000 foreign agricultural workers in Israel were from Thailand, dozens of whom were kidnapped or killed on Oct. 7.In the coming weeks, thousands of people from India and Sri Lanka will be sent to Israel, officials in the three countries said, as part of agreements to supply workers, primarily in construction, health care and agriculture. Both India and Sri Lanka suffer from high unemployment, and officials said they have received ...
Shakira Honored With a Statue in Her Hometown in Colombia
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Shakira Honored With a Statue in Her Hometown in Colombia

The Colombian coastal city of Barranquilla this week revealed a 21-foot-tall tribute to one of the country’s most famous cultural exports: Shakira.“A heart that composes, hips that don’t lie, an unmatched talent, a voice that moves the masses and bare feet that march for the good of children and humanity,” reads the plaque below the statue.“I am honored and moved by this incredible recognition in my Barranquilla, the city where I was born,” Shakira said in a statement. “Every barranquillero and barranquillera are my brothers and sisters and the inspiration of my life since my childhood.”The statue’s sculptor, Yino Márquez, said he was delighted by the way the sculpture had been received by the public and by Shakira and her family after it was unveiled on Tuesday. The singer’s mother, he sa...
Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times
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Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

Israel reports more gains in GazaIsrael is focusing its military efforts in the southern region of Gaza and expects the war to continue for “many more months,” Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israeli military chief of staff, said. More than 1.7 million displaced Gazans are registered in shelters in the south, including many who are sleeping along roads and in open spaces. Food and water are scarce.“We have killed many terrorists and Hamas commanders,” Halevi said. “Some surrendered to our forces and hundreds were taken prisoner. We have destroyed underground infrastructure and large quantities of weapons.” But, he acknowledged, “it seems likely that we will still encounter fighters in this area.”Satellite imagery verified by The Times showed Israeli forces at the outskirts of Al Bureij, a dense...
Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled
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Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled

Over the past two weeks, the owner of a hip wine bar in Buenos Aires saw the price of beef soar 73 percent, while the zucchini he puts in salads rose 140 percent. An Uber driver paid 60 percent more to fill her tank. And a father said he spent twice as much on diapers for his toddler than he did last month.In Argentina, a country synonymous with galloping inflation, people are used to paying more for just about everything. But under the country’s new president, life is quickly becoming even more painful.When Javier Milei was elected president on Nov. 19, the country was already suffering under the world’s third-highest rate of inflation, with prices up 160 percent from a year before.But since Mr. Milei took office on Dec. 10 and quickly devalued the Argentine currency, prices have soared a...