The Great Escape

The first thing you should know about Caroline Potts of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is that she loves her pets. “I have five cats and three dogs,” she told me, proudly. “The only thing I don’t have is birds.”
So when she needed a job, PetSmart seemed like the perfect solution. “My sister worked at PetSmart and I was in there so much,” she said.
She started as a bather, and showed enough promise to be invited to the company’s dog grooming academy, where they teach how to cut hair. “I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life,” Caroline said.

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America’s Pandemic Star Loses Some Luster

Is Vermont the envy of America no more? The state long hailed for its pandemic response is experiencing one of the most intense COVID-19 surges in the country. Cases are twice as high as they’ve been at any other point. Hospitalizations are up sharply as well, confounding hopes that Vermont’s best-in-the-nation vaccination rate would protect its people from the Delta wave.

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How ‘Forza Horizon 5’ Became the Perfect Game for the COVID Era

Plenty of games received the “perfect game for the COVID era” title in the last two years. Nintendo’s timely Animal Crossing: New Horizons, InnerSloth’s mobile juggernaut Among Us, and PlayStation’s transportive samurai opus Ghost of Tsushima. Now, Microsoft has entered the fray with the latest edition in its storied racing imprint, Forza Horizon 5.
Critically and commercially, the reviews for Forza Horizon 5 sparkling. With more than four million players sprinting across its recreation of Mexico on the first day, Playground Games hits every mark.

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‘If everybody’s white, there can’t be any racial bias’: The disappearance of Hispanic drivers from traffic records

by Richard A. Webster
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Series: Unwatched
A Louisiana Law Department That Polices Itself

When sheriff’s deputies in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, pulled over Octavio Lopez for an expired inspection tag in 2018, they wrote on his traffic ticket that he is white. Lopez, who is from Nicaragua, is Hispanic and speaks only Spanish, said his wife.

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Prices for food and gas are rising sharply. Is health care next?

Inflation is on the rise, driving up the price of gas and food. One sector of the US economy is behaving particularly strangely: For once, medical prices have been increasing at a significantly lower rate than prices in the overall economy.
In October 2021, according to the nonprofit health care analysis group Altarum, prices for health care services rose at a 2 percent rate year-over-year, compared to a 6.2 percent rate for all consumer products.

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Project Censored, Part 2: The New Normal Is More Normalized Censorship

Project Censored’s State of the Free Press 2022, edited by Andy Lee Roth and Mickey Huff, is available for preorder now. Published in collaboration with Random Lengths News, this is the second of two parts. Read the first five stories on the list here. 
6. Canary Mission Blacklists Pro-Palestinian Activists, Chilling Free-Speech Rights
Before the “critical race theory” moral panic fueled a nationwide uprising to censor discussions of race in education, there was an opposite moral panic decrying “cancel culture” stifling certain people—especially in education.

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The greediest Thanksgiving ever

Now, they tell us, inflation might be happening — but it’s the fault of greedy corporations! And those companies must be punished.

Corporate greed is why your Thanksgiving turkey and energy prices are more expensive this year, alleges Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Corporate greed is also why Dollar Tree is finally raising its prices, after 35 years, from $1 to $1.25 for most items, says a senior staffer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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Inflation isn’t just a US thing

In the United States, it’s the gas and Thanksgiving dinner and holiday toys. In the United Kingdom, it’s the energy costs and snacks and Uber fares. In Brazil, it’s the cost of food. In Germany, it’s fuel, rent, and electronics.
Consumers around the world are seeing higher prices for goods and services, and though some reasons for this vary by country, inflation is turning into something of a worldwide phenomenon.
In the US, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks what consumers pay for goods and services, rose by 6.

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