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Data abuses prompt calls for overseer to bare teeth

LAST spring, soon after Facebook acknowledged that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly obtained the data of tens of millions of the social network’s users, a top enforcement official at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) drafted a memo about the prospect...

‘Jesus isn’t only for the Christians’

BEIRUT—The Iranian cultural attaché stepped up to the microphone on a stage flanked by banners bearing the faces of Iran’s two foremost religious authorities: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—founder of the Islamic Republic, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—current supreme leader. To the left of Ayatollah Khomeini stood...

China holds secret trial for rights lawyer after 3 years in detention

By years after Wang Quanzhang disappeared in China’s fierce offensive against human rights lawyers, he faced charges of subversion in a closed trial on Wednesday, capping a year when the Communist Party redoubled efforts to stifle political and religious dissent. Wang, 42, was the...

Trump unites the Left and Right, vs his plans in Syria, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump managed to do something remarkable with his abrupt order last week to withdraw all US troops from Syria and half from Afghanistan: unite the left and right against a plan to extract the United States from two long, costly and...

Misconceptions about health costs when you’re older

SOME significant expenses decline as we age: Most mortgages are eventually paid off, and ideally children grow up and become self-supporting. But health care is one area in which costs are almost certain to rise. After all, one of the original justifications for Medicare—which...

The people of Mbomo tell their tales

CONGO Tales, a new book published recently by Prestel, began as a call to action to save the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the heart of the Congo Basin, which is the second-largest tropical forest in the world after the Amazon, from the threats...

‘Aquaman’ is the big finale in a strong year for the box office

LOS ANGELES—Fresh superheroes—Aquaman, Black Panther, Venom, the Wasp—and new twists on classic big-screen formulas delivered a box-office comeback for Hollywood in 2018. Ticket sales in the United States and Canada will total roughly $11.8 billion for the year, analysts say—a 6-percent increase from...

As seas warm, Galápagos Islands face a giant evolutionary test

ALCEDO VOLCANO, Galápagos—When the clouds break, the equatorial sun bears down on the crater of this steaming volcano, revealing a watery landscape where the theory of evolution began to be conceived. Across a shallow strip of sea lies the island of Santiago, where Charles...
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