U.S. retail sales grew 8.5%* this holiday season

The FINANCIAL — It’s been a resurgent season for retailers as consumers stocked their carts with gifts and gadgets. According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, holiday retail sales excluding automotive increased 8.5% year-over-year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24. Notably,…

Study holds warning on pandemic drinking

Scientists estimate that a one-year increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic will result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040.…

No Omicron immunity without booster, study finds

The FINANCIAL — An additional “booster” dose of Moderna or Pfizer mRNA-based vaccine is needed to provide immunity against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study by researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT…

Kazakhstan unrest, explained

Philip M. Nichols of the Wharton School and the Russia and East European Studies program in the School of Arts & Sciences offers some background on the protests and violence and why what happens in Kazakhstan matters to the region and the…