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    Growing numbers of people are flocking to U.S. churches that center their practice around a psychedelic tea known as ayahuasca. Organizers and their legal advisers argue a 2006 Supreme Court ruling protects them from prosecution and participants say they are taking part in a religious service. Some experts raise concerns that the benefits of ayahuasca haven’t been well studied. Many who attend the ceremonies, which can last for days, argue their experience on the illegal substance brings them closer to God than they ever felt at traditional religious services. Surveys have also found many come away feeling better afterwards, with some saying it helped with depression and problems with risky substance use.

      Sony has appointed a company veteran as its president to lead the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate through times of change. Hiroki Totoki, Sony's chief financial officer, will become the president and COO. Kenichiro Yoshida remains chairman and chief executive, signaling continuity at the Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation game machines, Bravia TVs and Spider-Man movies. Sony reported a decline in its profit in the last quarter. The managerial change is meant to strengthen Sony’s management across its diverse operations. It has won unanimous board approval. Sony, long synonymous with Japan's technological prowess, has struggled in recent years to optimize its sprawling operations.

        Asian stock markets have gained after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy is moving toward lower inflation but more interest rate hikes are planned. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced. Oil prices rose. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed 1% higher after the Fed raised its key lending rate by 0.25 percentage points, a smaller margin than previous increases. Chair Jerome Powell said the “disinflationary process has started” but “ongoing increases” in rates will be needed. That appeared to encourage investors who worry the Fed and European central banks might be willing to push the global economy into recession to cool inflation that is near multi-decade highs.

          The amount in state tax breaks Tesla could receive as part of its $3.6 billion expansion of a northern Nevada factory will remain private until late next month due to a nondisclosure agreement between the electric car company and a state board focused on economic development. The Feb. 27 release of the potential tax abatement numbers comes three days before the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development will vote on whether to approve the tax cuts to the electric car-maker. Announced last week, the project will expand an existing operation at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, about 20 miles east of Reno-Sparks.

            The Federal Trade Commission has imposed a $1.5 million penalty on telehealth and prescription drug discount provider GoodRx Holdings Inc. for sharing users’ personal health data with Facebook, Google and other third parties without their consent. In a first-of-its-kind enforcement, California-based GoodRx also accepted that it will be prohibited going forward from sharing user health data with third parties for advertising purposes. Consumer protection advocates are hailing Wednesday’s announcement as a potential game-changer that could seriously curtail a little-known phenomenon: The trafficking in sensitive health data by businesses not strictly classified as health care providers.

              Elon Musk’s former chief of staff has testified that the billionaire believed he had a “handshake deal” to take Tesla private in 2018. That was shortly before he tweeted he had the financing for an aborted buyout that still is still haunting him in a high-profile trial. The former aide, Sam Teller, detailed that Musk held with representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund during testimony in a trial triggered by a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Tesla shareholders alleging Musk misled them in August 2018 indicating a buyout of the electric automakers was in the works. A nine-person jury is expected to begin its deliberations Friday.

              Pasta is one of the world’s most popular foods: It’s versatile, convenient and satisfying. However, it’s a little-known fact that each shape and style is best suited to specific types of Italian cuisine.

              You may wonder how I got my start as a builder. The hook was set in Boy Scouts, when I obtained my home repairs merit badge. I then helped pay my way through college working on the weekends and during the summer for a man who restored old homes that he bought out of foreclosure. After graduating from college with my geology degree, I decided to start my own construction business.

              Q: I read your column regarding a condominium owner that was denied homeowner’s insurance coverage for sewer water damage he sustained. I don’t believe your answer adequately responds to the issue at hand. It may be relevant in Illinois, but there are substantial differences in other states, and specifically in Florida.


              The Biden administration on Thursday said 15 Native American tribes will get a total of $580 million this year to fund settlements that ensure access to water that's legally theirs. The money will help carry out agreements known as water rights settlements. They define the tribes' rights to water from rivers and other sources and pay for pipelines, pumping stations and canals that deliver it to reservations. Access to reliable, clean water and basic sanitation facilities on tribal lands remains a challenge across many Native American reservations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1908 that tribes have rights to as much water as they need to establish a permanent homeland.

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