The comeback is complete
All we’ve been hearing about is the big return of “Game of Thrones” (something to do with dragons and cold weather?), but an even bigger return stole the spotlight this weekend. As Francisco Villalobos says, “The comeback is complete,” and you’ll want to read Karen Crouse in The New York Times to follow the journey as Tiger Woods Takes the Masters in a Win for the Ages (261,000+ shares). Tweets Bill Pennington, “.@bykaren deftly captures all that Tiger Woods has overcome and what it all means.” “A 3,955-day drought between major championship wins. Has there ever been a greater sports comeback?” tweets Trip Gabriel. And Alex Flanagan shares, “I’m still on a high from watching this today. Great recap @bykaren of Tiger’s journey…” For more on Tiger’s victory, check out the coverage by Rob Hodgetts at CNN, Tiger Woods seals fifth Masters title and 15th major (205,000+ shares)
The political hellscape
Meanwhile, as Amanda Marcotte points out, “In the real world, politics is a hellscape where people strive for power by stoking bigotry and then gaslighting the people who oppose them. No wonder some of us unwind and relax by watching a show where they just murder each other with dragons.” Others of us turn to the Real Housewives, where they murder each other with pettiness and disdain. Here’s just a taste of what we’re trying to escape.
At The New York Times, Maggie Haberman writes that, In Attacking Ilhan Omar, Trump Revives His Familiar Refrain Against Muslims. On Twitter, she notes, “Trump aides and allies say they are pleased that some of the Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 presidential nomination are defending her against the president’s attacks, claiming they think it will be damaging for them in the general election.”
Liberal activists are also noticing which 2020 candidates are defending her. In another New York Times piece, Astead Herndon takes a look at How the 2020 Democrats Responded to Trump’s Attacks on Ilhan Omar, noting some advocacy groups “are monitoring how quickly and forcefully each responds to Mr. Trump’s most inflammatory moments.”
And there’s more drama as Bernie Sanders accuses liberal think tank the Center for American Progress of smearing progressive candidates. Kenneth Vogel and Sydney Ember of The New York Times write that Sanders’ criticism of the organization was delivered in a letter obtained by the Times and “reflects a simmering ideological battle within the Democratic Party and threatens to reopen wounds from the 2016 primary between him and Hillary Clinton’s allies.”
“Ah, yes, the action of a true leader, writing formal letters to websites to complain that they are allowed to criticize him,” tweets Sady Doyle. And Clyde Haberman thinks it’s “Not a banner day for people named Sanders. Trump's press secretary smears House members and the Vermont senator whines. I’m old enough to remember when Socialists were a lot tougher than this.” Moira Donegan points out, “If Warren threw this kind of tantrum over bad press the conventional wisdom would immediately become that she was too fragile and emotional for the job.”
Oh, one more thing, via Vogel: “Thanks, @Drudge, for linking our @nytimes scoop on @BernieSanders calling out @amprog! Oh, wait ... never mind, you linked a rip-off of our story on @HillReporter. If you want the link to the actual story, it can be found here.”
For a change of pace, there’s always Mayor Pete, and as Olivia Nuzzi writes in her New York magazine profile of the just-officially-declared candidate, Mayor Pete Is the Democrats’ Folksiest Heartland Hope. Really! Nuzzi captures the South Bend mayor in “that dreamy season between obscurity and overexposure,” and, as Jason Pontin says, “The only political journalist I actually *enjoy* reading (even when she's mostly just piling up the quotes with an endearing shrug, as here) is @Olivianuzzi. She's smart, funny, frank.” Adds Ian Frisch, “This is a great example of how a literary device (short sentences, oscillating between question and answer) can illuminate the underlying thesis of Mayor Pete: What’s not to like—and is that a good or bad thing? Digging this piece so far, @Olivianuzzi.”
What’s at stake
In a new piece for The New York Times, Paul Mozur takes a look at How China Is Using A.I. to Profile a Minority. Keith Bradsher highlights, “China programs outdoor facial recognition cameras to identify its Muslim Uighur minority: move makes ‘China a pioneer in applying next-generation technology to watch its people, potentially ushering in a new era of automated racism.’” Jennifer Valentino-DeVries says, “This important story by @paulmozur shows us what’s at stake in the use of surveillance technology. The issues in China are not the precise ones in the US, but the automation of racism — explicit or inexplicit — concerns us all.” And Christopher Mims notices a “Minor detail in this terrifying piece but one of the AI surveillance systems China is sinking billions into is actually called ‘Skynet.’”
A terrible secret
Adam Goldman links to a pretty big “SCOOP: For more than five years, her employer and her government imposed an especially strict media blackout, warning that any mention not only of her identity, but even of her nationality, could endanger her. w/@rcallimachi.” In ISIS Kidnapped Her 5 Years Ago. The Red Cross Thinks She May Still Be Alive, Goldman and Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times tell the story of Louisa Akavi, a New Zealand nurse and midwife who was abducted in late 2013 in the northwest Syrian city of Idlib. Callimachi explains, “For 5+ years, @adamgoldmanNYT and I were privy to a terrible secret: Louisa Akavi, a nurse from New Zealand had been kidnapped by ISIS. Her employer asked us not to publish her name for fear it could endanger her. Finally we can share her story.” Goldman adds, “I was conflicted over the years when it came to publicizing her case. These are not easy calls for journalists. In the end, I respected the wishes of the @ICRC but never forgot one day I would write about Louisa.”
Hey guess what. Hackers could read your Hotmail, MSN, and Outlook emails by abusing Microsoft support. That depressing scoop is from Joseph Cox at Motherboard, who tweets, “When a load of other tech sites reported on this, Microsoft only told them about the email metadata that was compromised (subject lines, etc). When I presented our evidence to Microsoft that inboxes had been compromised, the company changed their stance.”
Let’s move on to The Legend of Keanu Reeves, shall we? That’s the GQ profile of Keanu Reeves by Alex Pappademas, who writes, “Every generation gets its own Keanu Reeves, except every generation’s Keanu Reeves is this Keanu Reeves.” Bradford Pearson tweets, “Me: Monday morning baby! Let’s crack open these windows, pour a fresh cup of ‘joe,’ and get to writing! GQ: Pappademas profiled Keanu Reeves.” “And click,” Lacey Rose finishes the thought. Mark Berman tweets same: “you: I— me: shhhhhhh there’s a Keanu profile.”
Also, “This @PAPPADEMAS profile is great but more importantly Keanu Reeves is 54? Gimme that Paul Rudd age quiz comparing photos for this man,” tweets Ilana Kaplan. And as Heidi Moore says, “All I needed today was to know for certain that Keanu Reeves is a voracious reader. Now I'm set for life.”
Portugal’s secret pastry weapon
To find out why Wout Vergauwen “*reconsiders breakfast options*” read Bloomberg’s Alice Kantor on The Unlikely Rise of the Pastel de Nata, and Why It’s Suddenly Everywhere. Yes, “The rest of the world has finally gotten hip to Portugal’s secret pastry weapon,” as Chris Rovzar tweets. Timothy Coulter explains, “The Pastel de Nata is becoming ubiquitous. It's not 100% obvious why but part of it is government sponsorship and an upstart marketing campaign.” Seems to be working. Tweets Lisa Fleisher, “I’d have one for breakfast. Or three. Also, lunch.”
- It’s Tax Day, and Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut. At least that’s what Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley of The New York Times say.
- Madison Darbyshire and Barney Thompson of the Financial Times dare to ask, Can you be a mother and a senior law firm partner? Tweets Sarah O’Connor, “I once asked the head of a law firm why his firm had zero female partners. He said ‘Unfortunately being partner just isn’t compatible with having a family.’ He had a photo of his kids on his desk.”
- Zeke Miller of AP News reports that the Trump campaign will report a $30 million haul, an “unprecedented war chest” that edges out his top two Democratic rivals combined.
- Conservative former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Michael Heseltine tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News that there are some ‘Chilling’ similarities between the 1930s and the current political climate.
- At The Guardian, George Monbiot says the time for excuses is over, writing, Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse.
- In Australia, a 26-year-old Aboriginal woman has died in custody 20 years after her father died in custody, also at age 26, reports Calla Wahlquist of The Guardian.
- “Good morning. Kevin de Bruyne has a few things to tell you. So go @TPT_Global and Let Him Talk.” Carl Anka links to Kevin De Bruyne’s piece at The Players Tribune, Let Me Talk, in which, tweets Sean Conboy, “Kevin De Bruyne opens up about Raheem Sterling, Pep, Mourinho, and perhaps most importantly, loneliness and social anxiety.”
- And don’t miss this one. Kieran Pender says, “This is an amazing and important piece of photo journalism.” Check out Forough Alaei’s picture essay at The Guardian on female football fans in Iran. Tweets Natasha Fatah, “For 40 years, Iranian women have been banned from watching stadium football matches. This is the story of Zeinab, one of the first women to disguise herself as a man to watch matches.”