An Official Wizard in New Zealand Loses His Job

No industry is safe from the realities of layoffs. Not even wizarding.

After more than two decades as the official wizard of Christchurch, Ian Brackenbury Channell, 88, saw his $10,000 annual contract go poof last week, according to Stuff, a news site in New Zealand.

No longer will the city payroll support “acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services,” as his contract had demanded since 1998. No longer will taxpayers pay for his rain dances, philosophizing and — perhaps more tangibly — his magnetism to tourists.

“They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination,” Mr. Channell, known most

America’s Cash Glut

Sluggish income growth has been a defining economic problem of recent decades. With only brief exceptions, the incomes of most middle-class and working-class American families have grown frustratingly slowly — trailing well behind economic growth — since the late 1970s.

Surprisingly, however, the past two years have been one of those exceptions. Even amid a global pandemic, most American households are doing better financially than they were in 2019.

How could that be? A pandemic is not a financial crisis. Covid-19 has caused a horrible amount of death and illness and interrupted the daily rhythms of life. But it has

For Christian Aid Ministries, Charity in Haiti Turns to Chaos

Christian Aid Ministries reported revenue of more than $130 million in 2019, according to its latest available tax filings. Almost all of that revenue came from contributions. The group is involved in 126 countries around the world.

Mr. Miller, who also serves on the board of a smaller relief group called the Haiti Christian Union Mission, said his group brought its two missionary families in Haiti, including seven children, back to the United States after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July.

One of those missionaries, Michael Martin, 34, had lived in northern Haiti with his wife and children …

Robert Durst, Millionaire Convicted of Murder, on Ventilator With Covid

Robert A. Durst, a former real estate mogul, is on a ventilator in a Los Angeles hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, days after being sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of his confidante.

“We were notified that he tested positive for Covid,” his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said on Saturday.

Mr. Durst, 78, was admitted Friday night to LAC+USC Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s inmate locator. The district attorney’s office said it could not comment because of medical privacy laws.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Mr. Durst sat slumped in a

American Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti, Officials Say

Seventeen people, including three children, associated with an American Christian aid group were kidnapped on Saturday by a gang in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as they were leaving an orphanage, according to a former field director for the group, Christian Aid Ministries.

The former field director, Dan Hooley, said Sunday morning that all of the adults were staff members for the group, which has fewer than 30 people in the country. Local authorities said the group that was kidnapped included 16 Americans and one Canadian. Mr. Dooley said a 2-year-old and another young child were among them.

Christian Aid Ministries said in

Eve Announces Pregnancy Wearing Black Outfit Including Eugenia Kim Black Chain Detail Cap

Eve announced to the world that she and her husband Maximillion Cooper are expecting! The rapper and actress revealed her growing baby bump in an Instagram post wearing an all-black look.

In her Instagram announcement post, Eve wore a black outfit which included a sheer button shirt, sleeveless crop top, and bottoms. She accessorized the look with a $325 Eugenia Kim “Sabrina” cap (sold out) which featured a stylish chain detail.

Congratulations to Eve and Maximillion Cooper! They are expecting their bundle of joy to arrive in February of 2022.

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Did You See That Video of the Subway Rat Hauling the Crab?

When Hurricane Ida struck New York last month, an incredible, terrifying scene occurred in the subway station at 28th and Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Water began gushing from under the platform in a violent, torrid geyser, turning the subway into a Universal ride.

One rider captured the moment on a smartphone and, within an hour, the video was posted to the Instagram account SubwayCreatures, where it racked up hundreds of thousands of views. TV stations across the globe picked up the 20-second clip, which became a defining image of the deadly storm, if not the precarity of urban life

Minnesota’s governor calls up the National Guard to ease crowding in hospitals.

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said on Friday that he would call upon the state’s National Guard to help ease staffing shortages that have kept hospitals from transferring Covid-19 patients for stepped-down care at long-term care facilities.

Mr. Walz called the transfers a “very typical thing in our medical system” and said they had been bottlenecked by capacity at those facilities. He said the National Guard will be given the training necessary to provide long-term care. He did not say how many soldiers will provide that relief, but said it will be “a fairly large contingent.”

The governor traveled to

New Zealand Attempts a Record-Setting ‘Vaxathon’

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Since New Zealand closed its borders in March 2020, setting the stage for one of the world’s most successful Covid-19 responses, the wide-body jets that once ferried its citizens to every corner of the globe have mostly been redeployed for shipping freight. And the vast majority of Kiwis have, throughout the pandemic, been as flightless as their eponymous birds.

But on Saturday, some 300 residents of Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, boarded an Air New Zealand Boeing 787 jet once again at the city’s international airport. This time, it was not to take a trip, but

Moderna and J.& J. Boosters: What Are the Next Steps?

An independent panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration voted on Thursday to recommend a booster shot for many recipients of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, and on Friday to recommend authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose.

So what happens now? There are further steps at the F.D.A., then steps at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the process ends with the states. Here’s how it breaks down.

  • The F.D.A., a federal agency of the Department of