Workers With Health Insurance Face Rising Out-of-Pocket Costs

The high cost of health care is persisting during the pandemic, even for people lucky enough to still have job-based insurance. The average annual cost of a health plan covering a family rose to $21,342 in 2020, according to the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group that tracks employer-based coverage. Workers…

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Harry and Meghan Get an Apology After Suing Paparazzi

LOS ANGELES — The case of the unauthorized backyard photographs of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has been solved. And the legal outcome, unveiled on Thursday by his parents, Prince Harry and Meghan, has left one of Hollywood’s biggest paparazzi agencies with its tail between its legs. In July, the couple filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit over photographs…

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What’s Special About Bat Viruses? What We Don’t Know Could Hurt Us

Bats were once of interest mainly to specialists and devoted conservationists. But the global pandemic pushed the animals squarely into the spotlight as the apparent original source of the novel coronavirus. Now, once arcane research into the large number of viruses that live in bats has acquired a new urgency, along with discussions of what…

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Turmoil, Strife and Wine: Reds From Lebanon

With the pandemic and all the damage it has done to economies, businesses and personal relations, and the daily consequences of climate change, 2020 has been a difficult year for wine in general. But few places in the world have faced the onslaught of obstacles that have challenged the wine industry of Lebanon. The country…

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For Northern Rhône Reds, It’s Not the Age but the Emotions

By virtue of job and inclination, I’ve got a lot of favorite wines. But of all my favorites, the reds of the Northern Rhône Valley of France, made entirely or almost entirely of the syrah grape, are possibly my favorite favorite. It’s not just the pleasures of the aromas and flavors that I love. A…

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Pandemic Travel, With Another Family or Maybe Three

Seven months into the pandemic, the recommended rules for families are clear: Safety first means safety in low numbers. Learning pods are small. Social bubbles are guarded. The “quaranteam” lines have been drawn — at home and on the road. “By this point, we’ve all gotten to know the tribe in our pandemic ‘lane’,” said…

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People With This Mutation Can’t Smell Stinky Fish

Researchers in Iceland have identified a new mutant superpower — but the genetic trait probably won’t be granting anyone admission to the X-Men. A small contingent of the world’s population carries a mutation that makes them immune to the odious funk that wafts off fish, according to a study of some 11,000 people published Thursday…

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India’s Covid-19 Outbreak Spreads Through Rural Areas

MASLI, India — Sliding out of their rickshaw, masks on, fresh sanitizer smeared across their hands, a team of health workers approached one of the mud-walled homes in Masli, a remote village in northeast India surrounded by miles of mountainous rainforest. “Are you Amit Deb?” they asked a lean, shirtless man standing in his yard.…

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Can You Watch My Son? (And Your Husband’s Rifle?)

I am a single mom with a young son. Because of the pandemic, I had to postpone a necessary (but nonemergency) surgery. My doctor thinks I should have it now. I plan to leave my son at my sister’s house for a few days. The problem: Her husband is an avid hunter, and I’m scared…

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