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Can Tesla Data Help Us Understand Car Crashes?

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Shortly earlier than 2 p.m. on a transparent July day in 2020, as Tracy Forth was driving close to Tampa, Fla., her white Tesla Mannequin S was hit from behind by one other automotive within the left lane of Interstate 275.


It was the sort of accident that happens 1000’s of instances a day on American highways. When the autos collided, Ms. Forth’s automotive slid into the median as the opposite one, a blue Acura sport utility automobile, spun throughout the freeway and onto the far shoulder.


After the collision, Ms. Forth advised law enforcement officials that Autopilot — a Tesla driver-assistance system that may steer, brake and speed up vehicles — had instantly activated her brakes for no obvious motive. She was unable to regain management, in response to the police report, earlier than the Acura crashed into the again of her automotive.


However her description isn’t the one file of the accident. Tesla logged practically each specific, all the way down to the angle of the steering wheel within the milliseconds earlier than affect. Captured by cameras and different sensors put in on the automotive, this knowledge offers a startlingly detailed account of what occurred, together with video from the entrance and the rear of Ms. Forth’s automotive.

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It exhibits that 10 seconds earlier than the accident, Autopilot was in management because the Tesla traveled down the freeway at 77 miles per hour. Then she prompted Autopilot to alter lanes.


The information collected by Ms. Forth’s Mannequin S was no fluke. Tesla and different automakers more and more seize such data to function and enhance their driving applied sciences.


The automakers not often share this knowledge with the general public. That has clouded the understanding of the dangers and rewards of driver-assistance methods, which have been concerned in a whole bunch of crashes over the previous yr.


However specialists say this knowledge might basically change the best way regulators, police departments, insurance coverage firms and different organizations examine something that occurs on the highway, making such investigations extra correct and less expensive.


It might additionally enhance the best way vehicles are regulated, giving authorities officers a clearer concept of what ought to and shouldn’t be allowed. Fatalities on the nation’s highways and streets have been climbing in recent times, reaching a 20-year excessive within the first three months of this yr, and regulators are looking for methods to reverse the pattern.

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“This may help separate crashes associated to expertise from crashes associated to driver error,” stated Bryan Reimer, a analysis scientist on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise who focuses on driver-assistance methods and automatic autos.


This knowledge is considerably extra in depth and particular than the data collected by occasion knowledge recorders, also called “black bins,” which have lengthy been put in on cars. These units accumulate knowledge within the few seconds earlier than, throughout and after a crash.


Tesla’s knowledge, in contrast, is a continuing stream of data that features video of the automotive’s environment and statistics — typically referred to as automobile efficiency knowledge or telematics — that additional describes its conduct from millisecond to millisecond.


This offers a complete take a look at the automobile accumulating the information in addition to perception into the conduct of different vehicles and objects on the highway.

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Video alone offers perception into crashes that was not often obtainable prior to now. In April, a motorcyclist was killed after colliding with a Tesla in Jacksonville, Fla. Initially, the Tesla’s proprietor, Chuck Cook dinner, advised the police that he had no concept what had occurred. The motorbike struck the rear of his automotive, out of his visual view. However video captured by his Tesla confirmed that crash occurred as a result of the motorbike had misplaced a wheel. The offender was a unfastened lug nut.


When detailed statistics are paired with such video, the impact will be much more highly effective.


Matthew Wansley, a professor on the Cardozo Faculty of Regulation in New York who focuses on rising automotive applied sciences, noticed this energy throughout a stint at a self-driving automotive firm within the late 2010s. Knowledge gathered from cameras and different sensors, he stated, offered extraordinary perception into the causes of crashes and different site visitors incidents.


“We not solely knew what our automobile was doing at any given second, proper all the way down to fractions of a second, we knew what different autos, pedestrians and cyclists have been doing,” he stated. “Neglect eyewitness testimony.”


In a brand new educational paper, he argues that each one carmakers needs to be required to gather this type of knowledge and overtly share it with regulators each time a crash — any crash — happens. With this knowledge in hand, he believes, the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration can enhance highway security in ways in which have been beforehand not possible.

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The company, the nation’s prime auto security regulator, is already accumulating small quantities of this knowledge from Tesla because it investigates a collection of crashes involving Autopilot. Such knowledge “strengthens our investigation findings and might typically be useful in understanding crashes,” the company stated in a press release.


Others say this knowledge can have a fair bigger impact. Ms. Forth’s lawyer, Mike Nelson, is constructing a enterprise round it.


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Mike Nelson in his Tesla.




Hannah Yoon for The New York Occasions


Backed by knowledge from her Tesla, Ms. Forth finally determined to sue the motive force and the proprietor of the automotive that hit her, claiming that the automotive tried to go hers at an unsafe pace. (A lawyer representing the opposite automotive’s proprietor declined to remark.) However Mr. Nelson says such knowledge has extra necessary makes use of.

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His lately based start-up, QuantivRisk, goals to gather driving knowledge from Tesla and different carmakers earlier than analyzing it and promoting the outcomes to police departments, insurance coverage firms, regulation workplaces and analysis labs. “We anticipate to be promoting to everyone,” stated Mr. Nelson, a Tesla driver himself. “It is a method of gaining a greater understanding of the expertise and bettering security.”


Mr. Nelson has obtained knowledge associated to about 100 crashes involving Tesla autos, however increasing to a lot bigger numbers may very well be troublesome. Due to Tesla’s insurance policies, he can collect the information solely with the approval of every particular person automotive proprietor.


Tesla’s chief govt, Elon Musk, and a Tesla lawyer didn’t reply to requests for remark for this text. However Mr. Nelson says he thinks Tesla and different carmakers will finally comply with share such knowledge extra broadly. It might expose when their vehicles malfunction, he says, however it would additionally present when the vehicles behave as marketed — and when drivers or different autos are at fault.


“The information related to driving needs to be extra open to people who want to know how accidents occur,” Mr. Nelson stated.


Mr. Wansley and different specialists say that overtly sharing knowledge on this method might require a brand new authorized framework. In the intervening time, it’s not all the time clear whom the information belongs to — the carmaker or the automotive proprietor. And if the carmakers begin sharing the information with out the approval of automotive homeowners, this might elevate privateness issues.

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“For safety-related knowledge, the case for overtly sharing this knowledge is fairly sturdy,” Mr. Wansley stated. “However there shall be a privateness price.”


Mr. Reimer, of M.I.T., additionally cautions that this knowledge isn’t infallible. Although it’s extremely detailed, it may be incomplete or open to interpretation.


With the crash in Tampa, for example, Tesla offered Mr. Nelson with knowledge for under a brief window of time. And it’s unclear why Autopilot instantly hit the brakes, although the truck on the aspect of the highway appears to be the trigger.


However Mr. Reimer and others additionally say the video and different digital knowledge collected by firms like Tesla may very well be an amazing asset.


“When you’ve gotten goal knowledge,” he stated, “opinions don’t matter.”

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U.S. Penalizes Chinese Companies for Aiding Iran’s Oil Exports

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration introduced on Thursday that it could impose sanctions on two Chinese language corporations that transport and retailer Iranian oil, a shift to a harder stance on Tehran amid indicators that efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have failed.

In an announcement, the State Division mentioned america was focusing on Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd., which it mentioned operates a industrial crude oil storage facility for Iranian petroleum, and WS Delivery Co. Ltd., which it mentioned manages a vessel that has transported Iranian petroleum merchandise.

The Treasury Division additionally mentioned eight entities primarily based in Hong Kong, Iran, India and the United Arab Emirates had been designated as sanctions violators.

The actions come as officers within the Biden administration fear that greater than 18 months of negotiations to comprise Iran’s nuclear program could have reached a useless finish and counsel they’ve begun reaching for brand spanking new types of leverage over the nation’s hard-line management.

The sanctions towards Chinese language corporations may additionally presage a tense confrontation with Beijing over its substantial purchases of Iranian oil, which have supplied Iran’s authorities with a badly wanted windfall, to the frustration of the Biden administration.

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President Donald J. Trump withdrew from a 2015 settlement clinched by the Obama administration and imposed new sanctions on Iran, main Tehran to considerably speed up its nuclear program. U.S. officers estimate that Iran could possibly be inside one month of getting sufficient extremely enriched uranium to provide a nuclear weapon, which could take a 12 months or extra to construct.

This month, america and Iran appeared getting ready to restoring the nuclear deal after the European Union introduced a “closing textual content” for his or her joint settlement. Biden officers say that Iranian negotiators raised Eleventh-hour obstacles, together with a requirement that the Worldwide Atomic Power Company shut an investigation into previous undeclared Iranian nuclear exercise.

Throughout a go to to the U.N. gathering, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, struck a bellicose tone and demanded extra U.S. concessions.

As Iran struggles with punishing American sanctions imposed by Mr. Trump after he unilaterally deserted the nuclear deal in 2018, China has helped Tehran keep solvent by buying giant portions of oil, which is its major export. Reuters reported in March that China now imports extra oil from Iran than it did earlier than Mr. Trump piled new sanctions on Tehran, citing knowledge from three tanker-tracking corporations that indicated China was importing round 700,000 barrels per day.

“China is principally chargeable for preserving the Iranian regime in enterprise by way of oil purchases which have totaled $38 billion since President Joe Biden assumed workplace,” the nonprofit group United In opposition to a Nuclear Iran mentioned in a report final week.

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“China has subsequently confirmed to be the savior of Tehran by persevering with to import thousands and thousands of barrels of oil each single day,” the group mentioned, calling for harder U.S. motion towards Chinese language entities.

A State Division spokesman mentioned on Wednesday that some public estimates of Iranian oil commerce with China “have been inflated.”

Present U.S. sanctions enable for penalties towards international governments whose corporations import oil from Iran, however the Biden administration has avoided taking that step towards China.

As a substitute, the administration has tried for months to influence Beijing to stop Chinese language corporations from facilitating the export of Iranian oil, however to little avail. Thursday’s motion means that the Biden administration could also be dropping its persistence with China and can take growing unilateral steps.

The State Division mentioned in an announcement that as Iran pursues its nuclear program in violation of the 2015 settlement’s limits, “we are going to proceed to speed up our enforcement of sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical gross sales underneath authorities that might be eliminated” underneath a restored nuclear deal.

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“These enforcement actions will proceed regularly, with an purpose to severely limit Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports,” the assertion mentioned. “Anybody concerned in facilitating these unlawful gross sales and transactions ought to stop and desist instantly in the event that they want to keep away from U.S. sanctions.”

The USA first imposed sanctions on a Chinese language firm for violating restrictions on the acquisition of Iranian oil in July 2019, when Mike Pompeo, then the secretary of state underneath Mr. Trump, introduced penalties towards a state-owned oil buying and selling firm, Zhuhai Zhenrong, and its chief govt, Li Youmin.

After Washington imposed expansive sanctions on Iran in 2018, the Trump administration granted waivers to eight governments, together with that of China, to proceed importing restricted quantities of oil. However these waivers expired in Might 2019.

Zhuhai Zhenrong and Sinopec, one other state-owned enterprise, have been the biggest importers in China of Iranian oil.

A New York Occasions investigation from August 2019 discovered that China and different international locations have been receiving oil shipments from a bigger variety of Iranian oil tankers than beforehand recognized. Even after the waivers expired that 12 months, 12 Iranian tankers loaded and delivered oil throughout Asia and the Mediterranean, with six of these unloading their cargo at ports in China.

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Final month, the State and Treasury Departments introduced sanctions towards six corporations, 4 of them primarily based in Hong Kong, for serving to promote tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} of Iranian oil and petrochemical merchandise.

Edward Wong contributed reporting.

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Can most Californians even afford to retire?

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Steven Johnson spent 19 years at least wage laborer for a Los Angeles transferring firm, lifting heavy furnishings and struggling three hernias alongside the best way.

For the final decade, the 61-year-old has labored as a waiter and as a prepare dinner in fast-paced kitchens.

Now arthritis has swollen his knees. “I attempted to robust it out, icing myself down,” Johnson mentioned. However he’s needed to in the reduction of to 2 days every week.

Johnson’s earnings final yr: $11,000. As for retirement financial savings, he says: “That may be a giant, fats zero.”

His employers provided neither pensions nor 401(ok) plans.

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Johnson is hardly alone. Some 52% of California’s personal sector workers ages 18 to 64 work for companies which have failed to supply both type of retirement plan, the AARP reported in August.

That’s 7.4 million folks.

Company executives take pleasure in hefty retirement payouts, however over a long time firms have jettisoned defined-benefit pensions that when assured many rank-and-file employees a gentle earnings till dying. Voluntary 401(ok) plans change them in some instances however depart thousands and thousands of employees susceptible to inventory market downturns. Others are unable to contribute given their low wages.

Amongst low- and middle-income earners, worry of old-age poverty will be notably acute. Eight in ten Californians who’ve lacked entry to an employer-provided retirement plan make lower than $50,000 a yr.

Though many authorities workers nonetheless get pensions, as do many union members, and a few personal firms provide 401(ok) plans, widespread inequity has spurred California and several other different states to fill the void by enacting state-sponsored retirement packages for the personal sector.

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The Golden State initiative, CalSavers, requires companies with out their very own plans to add their worker rosters. CalSavers then enrolls the employees, routinely deducts 5% from payroll checks and deposits it right into a Roth particular person retirement account. Staff can decide out or increase or reduce the quantity they stash away.

“When you think about low wages, the excessive value of dwelling, debt burdens,” CalSavers will not be “a panacea,” mentioned Katie Selenski, govt director of this system. “However we are able to stage the enjoying discipline.”

Up to now, 384,000 Californians have CalSavers accounts, with belongings of $272 million. Employers with 5 or extra employees had to enroll by June or arrange their very own plans. Employers with one to 5 employees should comply by December 2025.

However this system, launched in 2019, might do little to assist these already near retirement age or those that can’t afford to avoid wasting. Final yr, 1 in 4 Los Angeles-area employees earned $15 an hour or much less — $31,200 a yr in a full-time job — in line with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Greater than a 3rd of workers eligible for CalSavers have opted out. One was Johnson, struggling to outlive with arthritic knees and a part-time earnings. He withdrew the $620 in his account. “I wanted the additional cash,” he mentioned.

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Clara Mesa, 60, is a contractor for a corporation that gives in-flight flood and drink for airways at LAX. She worries she received’t have sufficient financial savings to retire anytime quickly.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Instances)

For 38 years, Clara Mesa, a single mom, has labored on an meeting line, loading beverage carts at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport. Unable to afford an residence, she pays $500 a month to reside in an Inglewood storage and commutes by bus.

At 60 years outdated, standing on her ft all day, the stress will get to her. “The supervisors say hurry up, hurry up,” she mentioned. “However I solely have two fingers. I’m not an octopus.”

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Nonetheless, Mesa, whose wages have regularly risen to $18 an hour, can’t think about how she’s going to afford to retire. She has $20,000 in a 401(ok), however with lease, meals and payments, her financial savings can be gone “within the blink of a watch,” she mentioned.

Staff like Johnson and Mesa will get Social Safety advantages as soon as they attain retirement age — however they’ll’t rely on it being sufficient.

“Social Safety is a bedrock,” Nari Rhee, director of UC Berkeley Labor Heart’s Retirement Safety Program, testified at a federal listening to final yr. However “the present common good thing about $1,500 a month is inadequate to cowl fundamental wants for many retirees, given the price of dwelling.”

Reasonably than beef up funding by lifting the $147,000 cap on taxed wages, Congress has raised the age to gather full advantages to 67 from 65 — a hardship for blue-collar employees whose jobs are most certainly to ivolve bodily stress.

“Thirty years of labor doesn’t add as much as pay for 30-plus years of retirement,” Ramsey Alwin, president and chief govt of the Nationwide Council on Getting old, mentioned at a latest symposium. “As we’re all having fun with the present of longevity, the mathematics simply doesn’t add up.”

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Greater than a 3rd of People in common well being at 65 are more likely to reside to 90, in line with actuarial research. To take care of their way of life over 20 to 25 years of retirement, Californians will want financial savings equal to at the least seven occasions their annual earnings at age 65, a UC Berkeley examine discovered.

Kerwin Garin, 64, goes from one gig job to a different, working as a chef for a temp company. He’s on seven medicines “for varied maladies,” he mentioned. And he’s suspending a really helpful cardiology appointment till he qualifies for Medicare.

Ought to the Monterey Park resident retire, he doubts that Social Safety advantages, along with a modest 401(ok) and a pension of simply $150 a month from earlier jobs, would totally cowl his bills, together with lease, utilities, healthcare, pupil loans, automobile funds and veterinary payments for his cat.

“I fear about it on a regular basis,” he mentioned. “I simply have to maintain working.”

As a lot as doable, Garin takes the bus to his cafeteria gigs throughout the area to keep away from including to the 83,000 miles on his Chevy Cruze odometer.

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His employer, Culinary Staffing Service, has enrolled its 920 employees, greater than 1 / 4 of whom are over 50 years outdated, in CalSavers. The cooks, servers and dishwashers, who work shifts at hospitals, universities and sports activities arenas, “are very glad we’re giving them a manner to economize,” mentioned Chief Working Officer Jessica Seastead.

The company had not provided retirement advantages earlier than, she mentioned, given the executive burden and expense concerned in establishing a 401(ok) program.

CalSavers, which doesn’t cost for its service, “holds your hand by the method and makes it straightforward,” she mentioned. Computerized deductions additionally make saving handy for employees with out the paperwork concerned in signing up for a 401(ok), she mentioned.

An AARP survey exhibits that People are 15 occasions extra more likely to save for retirement after they can achieve this at work. They’re 20 occasions extra probably if this system is automated.

CalSavers “is sweet, as a result of most people don’t get monetary savings,” Garin mentioned. The 5% subtracted from his paycheck means “I’ll have extra to fall again on.”

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Retirement advantages differ broadly by occupation. Sectors with excessive turnover and low wages additionally are likely to fail employees of their outdated age. Simply 30% of employees at U.S. eating places and accommodations had entry to a plan, 38% of rubbish collectors and sorters and 62% of development employees, in line with 2020 census knowledge.

Against this, 86% {of professional} and technical workers had both a 401(ok) or a pension plan.

Latino and Black employees are concentrated in jobs least more likely to provide retirement advantages. “The story of California’s retirement wealth is a narrative of racial inequality,” Rhee wrote in a UC Berkeley Labor Heart report.

Within the Golden State, 64% of Latino workers and 53% of Black workers weren’t lined by a office plan earlier than CalSavers, in line with the newest knowledge. That compares with 44% of Asian employees and 43% of white employees.

In the meantime, a whole bunch of 1000’s of California employees with out immigration paperwork don’t qualify for Social Safety. And one other group is usually disregarded of office retirement packages: some 1.4 million self-employed Californians, few of whom contribute to IRAs or benefit from CalSavers’ particular person sign-up possibility. Many work gigs for firms that sidestep conventional labor protections by claiming their employees are “impartial contractors” not “workers.”

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Robert Moreno stands in front of a car with Uber and Lyft stickers.

Robert Moreno, 47, drives for Uber and Lyft in San Diego. He worries about retirement as a result of the businesses don’t provide 401(ok) advantages.

(Margot Roosevelt / Los Angeles Instances)

Robert Moreno, 47, drives for Uber and Lyft, touring to San Diego from his trailer residence in Potrero, greater than an hour away. He picks up passengers from 11 p.m. Fridays to three a.m. Mondays, taking catnaps in his Honda Tucson between rides.

After fuel, tolls and upkeep, Moreno clears between $30,000 and $40,000 a yr. The remainder of the week, he lives throughout the border in Mexico, the place housing is cheaper and he works along with his spouse constructing a small garment enterprise.

These days, Moreno has begun to fret about retirement. The ride-hailing giants don’t provide 401(ok)s, nor did Moreno’s earlier jobs at an investigative consultancy and a vacationer company.

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“Uber and Lyft are multibillion-dollar firms,” he mentioned. “They take greater than half of what my passengers pay. They should handle their employees.”

Uber didn’t reply to a request for remark. In an e-mail, a Lyft spokesperson wrote: “Lyft drivers are impartial contractors…. Those that are self-employed can arrange CalSavers accounts to avoid wasting towards retirement.”

Moreno had not heard of CalSavers. As but, the state has executed little advertising and marketing to publicize the choice. About 2,200 self-employed Californians, a tiny fraction of the whole, have enrolled.

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David Gottesman, 96, Wall St. Power and Warren Buffett Partner, Dies

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In a telephone interview on Thursday, Mr. Buffett stated that deal proved decisive for each of their careers.

Mr. Gottesman, Mr. Buffett and one other accomplice, Charlie Munger, quickly determined that that they had made a “horrible mistake” with Hochschild Kohn, Mr. Buffett stated. Mr. Gottesman, lengthy often called Sandy to his intimates, took cost of reselling the corporate, which he managed to do at solely a small loss.

“Sandy made the sale for us — I didn’t know who to promote it to,” Mr. Buffett stated.

With the cash from that sale, Diversified purchased extra shares in Berkshire Hathaway, which went on to thrive. The 2 firms later merged. Berkshire Hathaway is now a sprawling conglomerate with a market capitalization of greater than $590 billion.

“He saved our asses in Diversified — me, Charlie and himself,” Mr. Buffett stated of Mr. Gottesman. “He saved that inventory, and now it’s value some huge cash — billions.”

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Mr. Buffett fondly recalled a few years of journeys and lengthy conversations with Mr. Gottesman. “Absent Sandy doing something financially for me, we’d have been the perfect of mates,” he stated.

David Sanford Gottesman was born in Manhattan on April 26, 1926. His household moved to New Rochelle, N.Y., when he was a baby. His father, Benjamin, was a banker and investor. His mom, Esther (Garfunkel) Gottesman, a supporter of Jewish and Zionist causes, helped organize the acquisition of the Lifeless Sea Scrolls for Israel.

“I used to be not an excellent scholar, extra serious about getting cash,” Mr. Gottesman stated. He peddled Collier’s journal door to door, hiring neighborhood youngsters to assist, and hawked beetle traps at a ironmongery store.

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