Is Cuba on the Rise?

Seismic changes in the communist economy built by Fidel Castro are enriching some Cubans, scaring others, and sparking imaginations. Will the Caribbean gem shine again?

Imagine Havana with billboards advertising competitive prices on repairs for cars. Imagine those cars are not 1950s Chevys but the newest models off a US assembly line. Imagine those same cars lining up at a McDonalds takeout window. For many Cubans who have lived their entire lives "making do" in a nation without industry and entrepreneurial opportunity, this latest fissure of reform is seismic—for better or worse. But most observers say any opening, even after the 84-year-old Castro is gone, would most probably follow a Chinese model that tolerates a degree of free market with a heavy government hand.

California wildfires death toll climbs to 50

Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
  • 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
  • On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

Photo: Vladislav Muslakvo / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
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Russian reporters discover 'tortured' orcas and belugas jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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