‘No Smile, No Trash Talk’: Behind Tim Duncan’s Quiet Excellence

A bank shot carried Duncan from St. Croix to Wake Forest, five championships with the Spurs and now the Hall of Fame.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/sports/basketball/tim-duncan-hall-of-fame.html
When we were playing together, he’d come in after a loss and he’d be like, “That’s my fault guys.” And you’d look at the box score, he’d have 30 and 17 and 6 blocks.

A Press Corps Deceived, and the Gaza Invasion That Wasn’t

A spokesman led the international media to believe that Israeli forces had entered Gaza. They hadn’t. But the army wanted Hamas to think they had.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-disinformation.html
All through the week, the conflict has inspired a broader storm of misinformation on social media, as well. False claims are being widely shared around the world — sometimes with misidentified or mischaracterized photos and videos, or fake rumors about Israeli troop movements or Palestinian threats.

The Raw DIY Documentaries Transforming Journalism

Jake Hanrahan of Popular Front is part of a new wave of war reporters making their own documentaries and podcasts to offer us a candid look at conflicts around the world.

Link: https://hyperallergic.com/645721/the-raw-diy-documentaries-transforming-journalism/
“Honestly, I got sick of commissioning editors who are completely out of touch with their audience telling me what people are and aren’t interested in,” Hanrahan explained to Hyperallergic. “These commissioners sit in their offices making hundreds of thousands a year doing very little — they’re never in the field, many of them have never even been in the field, yet they dictate what people in the field get to do. I’ve been reporting on war and conflict on the ground, on the frontlines, since I was 24 years old. By the time I was 28, I found myself constantly battling with these short-minded editors, and I was getting sick of it. I wasn’t seeing the kind of journalism I wanted to make and I was constantly broke, so I thought, fuck it, I’ll start my own thing, and if it fails it fails. I started Popular Front in 2018 with a grassroots ethos, and ever since it’s been doing great. I’m really happy with the growth. We’re free to report on whatever we want and there’s no corporate investment dictating what we do. Popular Front is always adversarial as well; I think journalism is supposed to be like that.”

A City Under Siege: What the War Looks Like on Afghanistan’s Front Line

As bullets from a Taliban machine gun ricocheted through the street below, an Afghan soldier wearing an “I Heart Kabul” T-shirt took a brief rest. “There has been fighting day and night.”

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/13/world/asia/afghanistan-helmand-taliban.html
As the planes departed and the smoke drifted lazily into the air, Captain Safi laid back on a green cot and put his hand to his temple, exhausted. At 28, he had been in the military for 11 years. “It has been a tough decade,” he said.

Mysterious Ailments Are Said to Be More Widespread Among U.S. Personnel

The Biden administration has begun more aggressively investigating episodes that left spies, diplomats, soldiers and others with brain injuries.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/12/us/politics/biden-cia-brain-injury.html
And in one case in 2019 that has not previously been reported, a military officer serving overseas pulled his vehicle into an intersection, then was overcome by nausea and headaches, according to four current and former officials briefed on the events. His 2-year-old son, sitting in the back seat, began crying. After the officer pulled away from the intersection, his nausea stopped, and the child stopped crying.

Opinion | The Trump G.O.P.’s Plot Against Liz Cheney — and Our Democracy

Wednesday's House leadership vote is one step among many that will hurt America. 

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/opinion/liz-cheney-gop.html
There are also the new laws to enable Republican legislatures to legally manipulate the administration and counting of the votes in their states. Election expert Rick Hasen explained it all in an essay in this newspaper last month: “At stake is something I never expected to worry about in the United States: the integrity of the vote count. The danger of manipulated election results looms.”

Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved?

The strange fate of a group of skiers in the Ural Mountains has generated endless speculation.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/05/17/has-an-old-soviet-mystery-at-last-been-solved
All the Dyatlov theories share a basic assumption that the full story has not been told. In a place where information has been as tightly controlled as in the former Soviet Union, mistrust of official narratives is natural, and nothing in the record can explain why people would leave a tent undressed, in near-suicidal fashion. For decades, the families and the Dyatlov Group Memorial Foundation pressed for a new investigation; two years ago, elderly relatives of several victims finally succeeded in getting the case reopened.

A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism

How Doug Mastriano’s rise embodies the spread of a movement centered on the belief that God intended America to be a Christian nation.

Link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/on-religion/a-pennsylvania-lawmaker-and-the-resurgence-of-christian-nationalism
Later that evening, Mastriano appeared on Facebook Live for his fireside chat, looking spooked. He told viewers that he had left the Capitol after he saw things “get weird,” saying, “When it was apparent that this was no longer a peaceful protest, my wife and I left the area.” Mastriano later told a radio interviewer that he stayed long enough to witness both the first and second breaches of the building. “There were several speaking events planned," he told me, by e-mail. "It was to be a peaceful gathering as it had been previously. When it no longer looked that way, the buses departed.” James Sinclair, a man from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, who rode one of the buses to the Capitol, was arrested for a curfew violation and possession of a weapon. Sandy Weyer, a bus rider who was photographed at the door of the Capitol with her first raised, tweeted, “Truth be known about storming the capitol . . . we were sick and tired of DITHERING!!!” Rick Groves, another bus rider, told a local radio host, of the insurrection, “All I saw was unity and love, and it was a beautiful thing, like Woodstock almost, with Trump flags.”

The COVID Reporters Are Not Okay. Extremely Not Okay.

When I told my editors at The Daily Beast that I needed to quit my job as the newsroom’s lead COVID reporter, I couldn’t even say the word “quit.”Even now, weeks later, it feels like a

I was struggling to stay above water when the footage of the January 6 insurrection triggered the post-traumatic stress disorder I thought I’d shaken years ago. By the time someone I loved died a few weeks later, I was already drowning.

‘Belonging Is Stronger Than Facts’: The Age of Misinformation

Social and psychological forces are combining to make the sharing and believing of misinformation an endemic problem with no easy solution.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html
We are in an era of endemic misinformation — and outright disinformation. Plenty of bad actors are helping the trend along. But the real drivers, some experts believe, are social and psychological forces that make people prone to sharing and believing misinformation in the first place. And those forces are on the rise.

The G.O.P. Won It All in Texas. Then It Turned on Itself.

The Republican Party trounced the Democrats at every level in Texas in November, only to see its politicians turn on one another over the pandemic and voter-fraud conspiracy theories.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/magazine/texas-republicans.html
Early on the morning of Oct. 19, an air-conditioner repairman named David Lopez was driving his small box truck in Houston, Texas, when a black S.U.V. slammed into him from behind and forced him off the road. After the vehicles came to a stop, Lopez heard the S.U.V.’s driver scream for help. He approached the vehicle, whereupon the driver, a man named Mark Aguirre, jumped out and ordered him to the ground at gunpoint. Aguirre had been surveilling Lopez for four days, convinced that he was the mastermind of a scheme to steal the election from President Trump.

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing

The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html
Part of the danger is that when you’re languishing, you might not notice the dulling of delight or the dwindling of drive. You don’t catch yourself slipping slowly into solitude; you’re indifferent to your indifference. When you can’t see your own suffering, you don’t seek help or even do much to help yourself.