During a hostage rescue simulation.
Two FBI agents died during a hostage rescue training exercise off the coast of Virginia Beach, a spokeswoman for the bureau said Sunday. Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw were killed, but the FBI has so far declined to release any further information about the accident, which took place on Friday. Director Robert Mueller released a statement, praising the men for their courage. “Like all who serve on the Hostage Rescue Team, they accept the highest risk each and every day, when training and on operational missions, to keep our nation safe,” Mueller said. Both agents were based in Quantico, Va.
Freaking out about cicadas is a grand tradition—but 150 years ago, newspapers had to explain that the little bugs weren’t harbingers of war. Josh Dzieza mines the archives.
Every 17 years, a swarm of cicadas emerges from the ground and starts its cacophonous humming, and swarms of journalists rush to explain what on earth is going on with all these red-eyed insects everywhere.
A female cicada. (James Appleby/University of Illinois, via AP)
It was no different 150 years ago, a search through The New York Times’s archives confirms—except that, back then, journalists also had to reassure readers that the bugs were not the wrath of God, they don’t bite babies, and they don’t prophecy war. Also, instead of comparing the sound to a buzzsaw or a subway train, it was “a wood-working shop with every lathe and chisel and saw and band roaring full tilt” and “a big knife laid against a coarse, flying grindstone, at first lightly and then pressed down hard.”
It was a rough week for the president. IRS. Benghazi. The AP. Even the run-up to his graduation speech at Morehouse College turned into a fight.
“It has been a tough week for President Obama but Atlanta and Morehouse is ready to show our president much love,’’ said the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once delivered his Sunday sermons.
Morehouse College's graduating class of 2002 sings its school song during commencement ceremonies on May 19, 2002 in Atlanta. (Erik S. Lesser/Getty)
On Sunday morning, Rev. Warnock will offer a prayer at the commencement at the all-black Morehouse College (from which he and Dr. King both graduated). Then will come the president, fresh on the heels of one of the worst weeks of his presidency, hounded by controversies about the IRS singling out Tea Partiers, long-standing questions over the 2012 Benghazi attacks, and revelations involving the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records from the Associate Press.
From severed blood vessels to painful scars, doctors reveal what’s really involved in a double mastectomy. By Lizzie Crocker.
There's nothing sexy about a double mastectomy. A day after Angelina Jolie announced she'd had one, her doctor revealed a more detailed account about the actress's operations, including a painful "nipple delay" procedure. So far, it seems, Jolie is recovering well, and her nipples are intact. But it wasn't—and isn't going to be—easy.
We spoke with doctors about the brutal reality of these procedures, and the questions that linger even after a success is pronounced.
Less than half of American children and adolescents with mental disorders are getting the treatment they need, according to a comprehensive new CDC report, the first of its kind. Eliza Shapiro reports.
In the months after Adam Lanza killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, politicians and civilians alike seemed able to agree only that the nation’s mental-health system was in need of thorough examination and reform.
An early major piece of that puzzle was released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control, in the form of a comprehensive report about mental disorders in American children and adolescents, culled from years of data collection.
The public hates drones. We worry that they will invade our privacy. But what about all the other machines that are invading our privacy already?
The congressional hearing on domestic drone use scheduled to happen today is the second in three months. Four states have already passed laws curtailing the use of drones by law enforcement, and 32 other states are actively considering it. The speed and intensity—and remarkable bipartisanship—of the response to domestic drones are the latest signs that the technology occupies a uniquely sensitive spot in the public imagination.
An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator flies over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, May 14, 2013. George H.W. Bush is the first aircraft carrier to successfully catapult-launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. (Timothy Walter/U.S. Navy,via Getty)
Just look at the public outrage over rumors that the Los Angeles Police Department was using a drone to search for Christopher Dorner. No one cared that they were using helicopters with heat-sensing technology, dogs, and surveillance cameras to give them a leg up, but the idea of a drone was appalling. Or look at the people who demanded that Amazon stop selling a toy drone, when the rest of the toy aisle looks like a plastic arsenal. Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when telling people to get used to the idea of drone surveillance, acknowledges that they’re “scary.”
Will Smith’s son is joking about legally emancipating himself from his parents. Eliza Shapiro on the child stars who actually did it—and why it’s a terrible idea for everyone else.
Will Smith’s son may be able to joke about legally emancipating himself from his famous parents, but for the majority of kids, there’s nothing funny about it.
Jaden Smith, who co-stars with his father in the upcoming film After Earth, made headlines this week for suggesting that he wanted to divorce his mom and dad so he could have his own home. He was quick to clarify later that he wasn’t actually considering making it official. “I’m not going anywhere,” he told Ellen DeGeneres.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith. (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)
From the AP subpoena to the Pentagon Papers, Caitlin Dickson highlights five key cases of press intrusion.
Two days into what’s shaping up to be the most scandal-filled week of Barack Obama’s presidency, news broke that “the most transparent administration in history” was responsible for secretly obtaining two months’ worth of Associated Press telephone records, presumably in search of the source for a story on a foiled 2012 terror plot in Yemen. The news of the backdoor subpoenas has reignited a push for a media shield law that would keep journalists from having to give up their sources—federal legislation that was introduced to the Senate in 2009 but never came to a vote. The debate over whether government has the right to interfere in the press’s news-gathering process is as old as both institutions themselves, and this most recent instance brings to mind some of the most prominent cases of government meddling in the media.
John Nugent, Held Hostage in the Capitol
Five years after his sentencing for robbery, an almost unrecognizable Simpson took the stand Wednesday in a bid for a retrial. Christine Pelisek reports on his long-shot strategy—blaming the lawyer.
How the mighty have fallen.
O.J. Simpson, who was once a pro football star and Heisman Trophy winner turned actor, famously beat murder charges in 1995 when he was acquitted of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. On Wednesday, he appeared in court wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and looking significantly heavier, almost unrecognizably so, playing the part of a poor sap hoodwinked by his lawyer.
When travel writer Paul Theroux returned to his hometown after the marathon bombing, he found the mood of the city transformed, unified by a trauma, which he has seen elsewhere in the world.
For several decades, starting in the early 1970s, I traveled regularly from London, where I lived as a resident alien, to Boston, where I grew up, and each time it was like a tumble through the Looking Glass. Boston was so mild, so confident, still the joyous and even innocent city of my youth. The noteworthy Boston tragedies, vividly recalled by my father—the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 (21 killed), the Cocoanut Grove nightclub inferno of 1942 (492 killed)—were over, and such infernalities seemed unrepeatable.
A message written on a banner seen during a vigil on the Boston Common on April 16. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
Arriving in Boston was like landing upon the bosom of serenity from the derangement of a war zone. Britain at that time was in the grip of a bombing campaign by well-funded and feuding nationalists in Ulster, who were driven by spite, folklorism, and religious bigotry and were tribalistic in their antique grudges, absurd in their speechifying.
The respected young journalist died Tuesday in a car accident at age 33. In his too-short but impressive career, Hastings was never shy about voicing his convictions or opinions. Here are some of his most incisive on-air moments.