After a post-pandemic shopping spree, some Americans are becoming more selective with their spending as they struggle with factors like inflation. Although overall consumer spending remains strong, analysts say they detect worrying shifts in shopping habits.
Financial reports this week from retailers including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Foot Locker and Nordstrom suggest that consumers are no longer buying with abandon. Executives also flagged rising credit card delinquencies and higher rates of retail theft as ominous signs that consumers could be strapped for cash.
At the annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming — think Cannes for economists — Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said the central bank would stick by its push to stamp out high inflation “until the job is done,” with officials ready to raise interest rates further if needed.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, which once seemed unstoppable, is plagued by a series of problems and a growing lack of faith in the future.
Hundreds are still missing in the Maui fires
Authorities in Hawaii released a list naming 388 people who were still unaccounted for, two weeks after the deadliest American wildfires in more than a century.
Search-and-rescue teams are still combing through rubble in the coastal town of Lahaina, looking for human remains. The blazes killed at least 115 people, and authorities have been bracing the public for the likelihood that the number will rise substantially, though the total may not be confirmed for months.
A vast majority of the publicly identified victims of the fires were older than 60. But yesterday, Maui officials identified the first child known to have been killed by the fires: Tony Takafua, who was 7 years old.
The Kremlin denied involvement in Prigozhin’s death
A spokesman dismissed any government involvement in the presumed death of the mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, saying suggestions by Western officials that the Kremlin was behind a fatal plane crash were “an absolute lie.”
U.S. and Western officials see Prigozhin’s apparent death as a projection of Putin’s power. Prigozhin was once a brutally effective ally for the Kremlin, building an internet “troll farm” that helped Russia interfere in the 2016 American presidential election and a private paramilitary force that fought on Russia’s behalf in Ukraine and Africa.
The remarkable story behind ‘Gran Turismo’
Jann Mardenborough has lived the kind of life that many kids dream about: After spending much of his childhood playing countless hours of the racing video game Gran Turismo, he used those skills to become a professional. He eventually earned a podium finish at Le Mans, the famous endurance race in France.
His improbable story has now made it to the big screen. “Gran Turismo,” a film directed by Neill Blomkamp and starring Archie Madekwe as Mardenborough, opened in theaters today. Read our review.
Tracking Amazon tribes from the shadows
For years, logging companies in the Brazilian Amazon claimed that isolated Indigenous groups were a myth — but then came Jair Candor. His stealthily captured videos have shown families trekking through the forest, nude and with children on their backs.
Candor is one of the country’s most accomplished tracers of isolated tribes, seeking out evidence of people who were not seen or contacted for generations. His goal is to prove to the government that they exist, so their land can be protected.
Over the last 35 years, Candor has led hundreds of expeditions, repeatedly catching malaria and surviving two attempts on his life. In total, he has discovered evidence of four tiny civilizations, each with its own language, culture and stories. They include Brazil’s smallest known tribe, the Piripkura, which has only three remaining survivors.
Revisiting ‘Blueberries for Sal’
One morning in Maine this summer, 225 people — young and old, bald and pigtailed — crowded into a library. The star of the occasion: Sarah McCloskey, the real-life inspiration for the beloved children’s book “Blueberries for Sal,” written by her father, Robert.
McCloskey, now 78, has aged a bit since she was depicted in the 1948 story. But when she began to read, it was as if an adult version of Matilda, Pippi or Eloise had just strolled into the room. The children crept closer until they were practically sitting on her shoes.