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How the hit music podcast 'Song Exploder' became a Netflix series

Among the first instruments you hear in "Losing My Religion," the 1991 smash hit by R.E.M., is a mandolin. Played by guitarist Peter Buck, the minimalist melody moves through the song virtually unimpeded. Take it away and the song collapses. Opt instead for a piano, saxophone or a distorted electric guitar and it's a different thing altogether.But why? And how did that mandolin riff, combined with bassist Mike Mills' fluid undercurrent, Bill Berry's disco-informed drumming and singer Michael Stipe's disorienting confession - "Oh no I've said too much / I haven't said enough" - come to propel a...

The pandemic's effects on opioid users in the US and Europe

Substance abusers are at greater risk of contracting Covid-19, according to recent studies, a worrying fact as use of synthetic opioids gradually increases in Europe.Users of opioids or tobacco face a greater risk of catching the coronavirus and are more likely to suffer a more serious case of Covid-19 and to die, says a recent study by the National Institutes of Health in the US.The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, a trade journal, assessed more than 73 million patients and found that people with opioid use disorder are at a particularly high risk.Nora Volkow, who heads the National ...

By banishing cartoons and adding warnings, Mexico takes on obesity

Their days are numbered: the beaming parrot on infant cereal, the pastry chef bear, the cartoon chocolate drops.These cartoons, which have accompanied generations of Mexican consumers and promoted sales, will have to disappear from packaging, accused of being accomplices in the country's obesity epidemic.New regulations oblige the Mexican food industry, including the big international brands, to put warning labels on packaged food and sugary drinks, and to change the presentation of unhealthy products.Mexico, the world's largest consumer of soft drinks, is the country with the largest share of...

Trump's coronavirus infection puts him in company with other leaders

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has shown little respect for authority as it has spread around the world this year, infecting people from all walks of life.US President Donald Trump's early Friday announcement that he has also been infected adds to the list of world leaders who have had to suffer through a disease that is still spreading and whose long-term effects remain largely unclear.Here is a list of some of the world leaders who have so far come down with the novel coronavirus, which can lead to the deadly disease Covid-19.PRINCE ALBERT II of Monaco, 62, tested positive for the virus in March and q...

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