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The Ultimate Summer Playlist



It’s still August, but I listened to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” several times the other day, thanks to a reader email proclaiming it “hands down the best feel-good song.” It appears on The Morning Summer 2022 Playlist, a collection of songs we put together based on reader suggestions. These songs have made you dance while driving, gotten you through breakups, soothed your crying babies and reminded you that this, too, shall pass.

I’m nostalgic for the mixtapes my friends and I made for each other in elementary school, with songs recorded clumsily off the radio. They were time capsules of feelings and moods, of semesters and seasons. I’ve always found the playlist a little too easy compared with the painstaking work of making a mixtape: trying to keep the clicking of the “record” and “stop” buttons between songs as unobtrusive as possible, the handwritten liner notes I inevitably smeared and had to do over (the lefty’s curse).

But as much as I miss mixtapes, I’m deeply in love with one innovation of the streaming era: the collaborative playlist. It’s an art project with limitless contributors, a way to easily gather the enthusiasms and inspirations from people all over the world. More than just a soundtrack, the collaborative playlist is an engine for discovery. (And rediscovery: I’d all but forgotten about They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse in Your Soul.”)

We received hundreds of readers’ contributions to our feel-good summer playlist. Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” was popular. For Crystal Hannan from Cornelius, Ore., it’s been her anthem during a challenging year. Joanna O. from Washington, D.C., loves “Silk Chiffon” by MUNA, featuring Phoebe Bridgers. “It’s a breezy, queer romantic bop that evokes summer and the excitement of meeting someone new,” she wrote.

Michelle Higgins in Haddon Heights, N.J., recommends “Don’t Wanna” and “Now I’m in It” by the Haim sisters. “These ladies are my yes vibe for the summer,” she wrote.

For Ridwan Khan in Houston, it’s “Music,” by Erick Sermon, featuring Marvin Gaye. “It lifts my spirits and takes me back to a simpler time in life, when all I had to worry about was having a fun-filled summer before I start college,” he wrote.

Kyle McVicker, a carpenter from Newport, R.I., listens to the mandolin compilation “Trattoria Italiana” on Spotify while he works. “The gaps between power tool screams are filled with something soothing and beautiful, gently guiding my adrenaline back down to earth,” he wrote.

Ashley Song from Lexington, Mass., shared “This Is A Life” by Son Lux, Mitski and David Byrne. It’s “quenching my summertime existential crisis as a rising high school senior,” she wrote.

And Jim Lin in Richardson, Texas, wrote, “When nations have summits or negotiations, ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall & Oates should be playing in the background. You can’t help smile and/or bop along joyously as it plays.”

My contribution to the playlist is “That’s Where I Am,” from Maggie Rogers’s recent album, “Surrender.” It’s the song I’ve listened to most this summer, easy to sing along to, with the refrain “It all works out in the end.” The whole album is irresistible. I agree with what Rogers told The Times last month: “Right now, the joy on the record feels like the greatest form of rebellion.”

  • Slow wage growth among middle- to upper-middle-income workers, like pharmacists, points to a larger shift that has made once sought-after jobs less rewarding.

  • A pregnant woman in Louisiana was told her fetus had a fatal condition, but doctors fearful of violating new bans would not perform an abortion.

  • Congressional districts in Manhattan and Brooklyn are holding an unusual August primary, but the voters are in the Hamptons.

  • The killing of Freya, a walrus who had gained fame this summer, polarized Norway and threatened to blight its nature-loving image.

  • Doctors are prescribing a cheap, longstanding baldness treatment in a new form: low-dose pills.

📺 “House of the Dragon” (Sunday): Three years have passed since we last saw King’s Landing. And whether or not you were satisfied with how “Game of Thrones” ended, you’re probably more than a little curious about the prequel series, which debuts tomorrow on HBO. Set almost 200 years before the time of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, “Dragon” focuses on a budding war of succession within the Targaryen family over who might assume the Iron Throne, that most uncomfortable and lusted-after piece of furniture. (Here’s a primer, if you want to brush up.)

🎧 “Cheat Codes” (Out now): The math is not particularly difficult: Take two great artists, put them together, magic. Here, you have the prolific musician Danger Mouse — half of the group Gnarls Barkley as well as a producer on albums by Gorillaz, the Black Keys, MF Doom and Adele — and the incomparable Black Thought, frontman for the Roots, delivering a late-summer gem of an album.

Peaches (white, donut and yellow), little green plums, purple pluots, freckled orange apricots and a whole lot of nectarines. That’s what’s on my kitchen counter right now, after an overly enthusiastic trip to the farmers’ market. I will eat through most of it standing over the sink in the next few days. Whatever’s left will find a happy home in pastry dough, baked into a gorgeous fruit galette. My favorite recipe is supremely adaptable. Just use whatever fruits you have on hand and adjust the sugar depending on how sweet they are. A mix of stone fruit is my favorite (which is how I justified my recent shopping spree), but late-summer berries are another terrific option. Then, save the recipe for winter; it works nearly as well with frozen fruit.

A selection of New York Times recipes is available to all readers. Please consider a Cooking subscription for full access.

What you get for $2 million: a Tudor-style home in Nashville; a 1904 Edwardian in San Antonio; or a Greek Revival in Bethel, Maine.

The hunt: They wanted to buy a home on Long Island. Which did they choose? Play our game.

Bathroom clutter: How to banish it.

Getting the timing right: Should renters move now, or wait?

Accusations of undervaluing: A home was appraised at $472,000 with a Black owner. With a white owner, it was valued at $750,000.

Dig it: In New Jersey, a theme park lets children operate real construction equipment.

Wedding crawls: Some couples are extending the day with sightseeing and barhopping.

Love in the metaverse: What it’s like to date in virtual reality.

New York Liberty vs. Chicago Sky, W.N.B.A. Playoffs: Early in the season, these teams were on opposite trajectories. The Sky, last season’s champions, were one of the best teams in the league; the Liberty started 1-7 and looked like one of the worst. But the Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu started playing like a superstar, and a late-season hot streak carried them into the playoffs. Now, after an upset win in Game 1, the Liberty have pushed the defending champs to the brink of elimination. Noon Eastern today, ESPN.

For more: Liberty fans explained why they stick with the team during hard times.

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The F.D.A. Now Says It Plainly: Morning-After Pills Are Not Abortion Pills



The F.D.A. said it made the change now because it had completed a review of a 2018 application to alter the label that was submitted by Foundation Consumer Healthcare, a company that in 2017 bought the Plan B brand from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Agency officials said the pandemic delayed the review process and that the timing was not motivated by political considerations.

A spokeswoman for the company, Dani Hirsch, said in an interview that for its 2018 application, the company had not conducted any new studies but had submitted “what was already out there.”

In a statement, the company’s marketing director, Tara Evans, said “the misconception that Plan B works by interfering with implantation can present barriers to broader emergency contraception access. The Plan B labeling correction will help protect continued over-the-counter emergency contraception access and reduce confusion about how Plan B works and further clarify that Plan B does not affect implantation.”

Plan B One-Step and its generic versions — including brands like Take Action, My Way and Option 2 — contain levonorgestrel, one of a class of hormones called progestins that are also found at lower doses in birth control pills and intrauterine devices. The pills are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, although they can sometimes work if taken within five days.

Another type of morning-after pill, marketed as Ella and containing a compound called ulipristal acetate, is only available by prescription and is not affected by the F.D.A.’s label change. There has been less research on this type of pill, but studies suggest that it is highly unlikely to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. In 2009, after months of scrutiny, Ella was approved for sale in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, where laws would have barred it if it had been considered to induce abortions.

According to data published in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-quarter of women of reproductive age who have sex with men answered yes to the question: “Have you ever used emergency contraception, also known as ‘Plan B,’ ‘Preven,’ ‘Ella,’ ‘Next Choice,’ or ‘Morning after’ pills?” The agency did not break down the data by the type of pills taken.

As far back as the 1999 approval process, the maker of Plan B — Barr Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by Teva — asked the F.D.A. not to list an implantation effect on the label, The Times reported in 2012.

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Who are Caroline Ellison’s parents? Fraudster’s mom and dad are MIT economists



This apple fell far from the tree.

Caroline Ellison — who pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to her role in the FTX cryptocurrency scandal, which led to the extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried this week — is the daughter of high-profile economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to his curriculum vitae, Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, was educated at Harvard, Cambridge and MIT before becoming the Gregory K. Palm (1970) Professor of Economics at the latter. 

In addition to coaching youth softball and his daughters’ middle school math teams, he writes “Hard Math,” a series of textbooks and workbooks about teaching arithmetic to younger students.

Glenn Ellison is also an Elected Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory and American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Caroline Ellison’s parents, Glenn and Sara Ellison, outside their Newton, Mass., home in early December.
Robert Miller

Ellison’s mother, Sara Ellison, is also an accomplished academic. Armed with an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a mathematical statistics diploma from Cambridge University, her profile shows she completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993. 

Sara Ellison is currently a senior lecturer in the department alongside her husband.

“We were definitely exposed to a lot of economics [growing up],” Ellison, 28, once told Forbes.

Ellison, 28, plead guilty to fraud this week.
Ellison, 28, pleaded guilty to fraud this week.
Twitter / @AlamedaResearch
Caroline Ellison's sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
Caroline Ellison’s sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.

Glenn and Sara Ellison were photographed by The Post outside their home in Newton, an affluent Boston suburb, earlier this month. Armed with several bags, they told reporters they were too “busy” to comment on the FTX scandal.

The eldest of three sisters — including Anna, 25, who now lives in Manhattan’s West Village — Ellison distinguished herself as a precocious math whiz at a young age. 

When she was just 8 years old, she reportedly presented her father with a paper analyzing stuffed animal prices at Toys ‘R’ Us.

Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Matthew McDermott
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Robert Miller

She went on to compete in the Math Prize for Girls while at Newton North High School before studying mathematics at Stanford University, where former professor Ruth Stackman described her to Forbes as “bright, focused, [and] very mathy.”

Ellison and Bankman-Fried, 30, crossed paths at the Wall Street trading firm Jane Street. Bankman-Fried’s parents are also both university lecturers, at Stanford in California. They became good friends and she joined Alameda Research, the hedge fund arm of the FTX crypto exchange, in 2018. She then became CEO in 2021. However, the company remained owned 90% by Bankman-Fried and 10% by another member of his circle.

In addition to documenting her supposed foray into polyamory on Tumblr, Ellison once boasted about drug use on social media.

Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Robert Miller

“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is,” she tweeted in 2021.

Ellison reportedly admitted to Alameda employees that FTX had used client funds to bail out the fledgeling hedge fund during a video call in November. She was eventually terminated as CEO by insolvency professional and current FTX CEO John J. Ray III after FTX and Alameda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

She pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Monday, and has subsequently been released on $250,000 bail.

Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Twitter / @AutismCapital

Although she could be sent to jail for up to 110 years for her part in the FTX-Alameda scandal — which has been said by federal prosecutors to have lost between $1 billion and $2 billion of customers’ cash — she is thought to have struck a deal with the feds for a much lighter sentence in return for her cooperation.

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Iran condemns Zelensky’s remarks to Congress as ‘baseless.’



Iran has condemned President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks to the U.S. Congress, warning the Ukrainian leader against further accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to Russia for use in the war.

Mr. Zelensky told Congress on Wednesday that Iranian-made drones “sent to Russia in hundreds” had been threatening Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, a view shared by American and European officials. In Iran, he said, Russia had found an “ally in its genocidal policy.”

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Nasser Kanaani, called Mr. Zelensky’s comments “rude” and “baseless.”

“Mr. Zelensky had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless,” Mr. Kanaani said in a statement on Thursday.

Although Iran has officially denied supplying Russia with the weapons since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials have said that the first shipment was delivered in August.

Mr. Zelensky has said that drones used in Monday’s wave of predawn attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were from a batch recently delivered to Russia by Iran. The strikes came after Biden administration officials said that Russia and Iran were strengthening their military ties into a “full-fledged defense partnership.”

The European Union last week condemned Iran’s military partnership with Russia as a gross violation of international law and announced new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities over their roles in supplying the drones that Moscow has used to attack Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. That followed a round of sanctions on Iranians over the drone deliveries in October.

Mr. Kanaani “once again emphasizes” that Iran has not supplied military equipment for use in Ukraine, the statement issued on Thursday added, and urged Mr. Zelensky to learn “the fate of some other political leaders” who were happy with U.S. support. It was not clear which other leaders the statement was referring to.

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