Estimated at two-miles wide.
An enormous tornado--estimated at a mile wide--passed through Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb south of Oklahoma City. It was on the ground for about half an hour and witnesses said it was throwing houses in the air. As many as 28 tornadoes have torn through Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois since last night, killing at least two people. About 300 homes were destroyed in the state yesterday, and the storm system may still produce more tornadoes. The strongest winds on earth, at 302 mph, were recorded near Moore in 1999.
While some are criticizing Obama’s motives for resurrecting a media shield law, most journalists say it’s a good and necessary thing—and are demanding action. By Kurt Wimmer
The Daily Beast’s recent article, boldly titled “Media Balks at Band-Aid Shield Law,” concludes that the proposed media shield law—that nearly passed Congress in 2009, and was reintroduced again this month—is merely the White House’s attempt at damage control after the Associated Press subpoena scandal. The article further asserts that the media has roundly rejected the proposal as weak.
That conclusion is exactly wrong. In fact, the media overwhelmingly supports a shield law effort. The article reaches its conclusion without quoting a single news organization. Had the Daily Beast reached out to the news organizations that regularly receive and fight subpoenas, it would have learned of the widespread support to pass the first ever federal statute that protects the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. More than 50 media organizations have joined a coalition to support a shield law in the past week, including most newspaper publishers, television networks, and the associations for the newspaper, broadcasting and magazine publishing industries. The Society for Professional Journalists, quoted in the article as opposing the effort, has in fact supported the shield law effort since it began in 2004.
From her maternity leave to her acquisition strategy—including her move to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion—the Yahoo CEO’s business decisions and personal life are under the magnifying glass far more than those of male CEOs, says Jessica Grose.
Ever since Marissa Mayer’s new job as CEO of Yahoo and her pregnancy were announced nearly simultaneously last July, every one of her personal and executive decisions has been picked over by a million rubberneckers. First, there was the statement: “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it,” which spawned a thousand frothing blog posts for her and against her. Then she followed through on that promise and took only two weeks off and it sparked another spasm of praise and fury. After that, news broke that she built a nursery next to her office at the same time as she was putting an end to Yahoo’s telecommuting policy, which led to widespread criticism of Mayer as anti-family and out of touch; then she announced that Yahoo was expanding maternity leave to 16 weeks and paternity leave to eight weeks, which inspired mostly cheers. Now people are complaining that her new acquisition strategy will destroy employee morale.
Whatever one thinks about Mayer, it’s undeniable that no other current CEO, male or female, is scrutinized in the same nitpicky, ad hominem way. Are there articles about how much maternity leave Sam’s Club CEO Roz Brewer took? Or what parental leave policies Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi has instituted? Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post points out that numerous male CEOs—including Best Buy’s Hubert Joly and Bank of America’s Brian T. Moynihan—have scaled back their company’s telecommuting policies with no public blowback. It is Mayer’s job to do what she believes is best for her company and her board, not what the peanut gallery thinks is best. So is this kind of obsessive tracking of Mayer’s decisions going to affect her tenure as CEO? And, worse, is it also bad for the women who hope to follow in her footsteps?
The only predecessor who received as much attention as Mayer is former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, says Sheelah Kolhatkar, a features editor and national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek, who writes about women in the corporate world. Fiorina was in a similar position to Mayer: an attractive, telegenic woman who took over at a technology company when it was in trouble. This is such a familiar narrative for women in business that it has a name—the Glass Cliff—a term coined by British academics to refer to the idea that women are often given leadership positions when companies are imperiled and the chance of failure is higher. If and when failure does occur, the female CEOs are left holding the bag.
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)
If we do say so ourselves. Sex scandal be damned, the disgraced former congressman is now officially running for mayor of New York City. But what is Anthony Weiner really saying in his new campaign video?