Next month, Arthur Ashe Stadium will be teeming with Lacoste polo shirts and tasteful chinos. Tennis fans will order $69 caviar plates (one ounce of hackleback) and $17 signature cocktails (vodka, lemonade, raspberry liqueur and honeydew melon balls) at Lure Oyster Bar. The fortunate few will watch players like Federer, Williams and Nadal from suites paid for by credit card companies and white-shoe law firms. That is all in the future, though. This weekend, Arthur Ashe Stadium was teeming with, well, teenagers. There were also preteens (with their attendant parents) and men in their 20s, and occasionally 30s. But there were a lot of teenagers. They made their way to the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens to watch their favorite competitors play their favorite game: Fortnite. Kyle Giersdorf, 16, known as Bugha, won the first prize of $3 million . “Everything I’ve done, the grind, it’s all paid off,” he said. “It’s insane.” [ Read more about what … [Read more...] about At the Fortnite World Cup, Slurp Juice, Zip Lines and a Teenage Millionaire Winner
Citing Doubt, Officials Free Woman Convicted in 4 Children’s Deaths in 2003
Two decades ago, Kathleen Folbigg was convicted of smothering all four of her young children. Australian tabloids called her the country’s worst female serial killer. But Ms. Folbigg, who was serving a 30-year term, insisted she was innocent. And in recent years, a growing number of scientists began to argue that she was telling the truth. Genetic evidence, they said, indicated that the children had very likely died of natural causes. On Monday, the attorney general of New South Wales, Michael Daley, announced that Ms. Folbigg, 55, had been given a full pardon and released from prison. He cited an official inquiry’s preliminary conclusion that there was “reasonable doubt” about her guilt. “What is the difference between today and what has transpired in the past is that new evidence has come to light,” Mr. Daley said. “It is appropriate that we do have the mechanisms to reconsider the source of questions in light of new evidence.” The Australian Academy of Science, which … [Read more...] about Citing Doubt, Officials Free Woman Convicted in 4 Children’s Deaths in 2003
As Assad’s Isolation Lifts, Syrian Refugees Fear Pressure to Return Home
Early one recent morning, Lebanese soldiers swept through the Bourj Hammoud neighborhood in Beirut, emptying two buildings of the Syrian refugees living in them. They forced them into trucks and drove them to a no-man’s land between the Lebanese and Syrian borders. After days stuck along the border, hundreds of refugees were taken by Syrian forces back to Syria. Among them was Rasha, a 34-year-old mother of three who fled the country in 2011. The family spent their first night back in Syria sleeping on the streets of the capital, Damascus. The next day, she said, she paid a smuggler to help them cross back into Lebanon. If the soldiers ever come back, Rasha vowed, she would die before being forced back to Syria again. “Even if they shoot me, I won’t go back,” she said after returning to her home in Beirut where her family, especially her 12-year-old son, is living in fear that the soldiers will return. “My son keeps waking up in the middle of the night screaming, ‘Mama, they’ve … [Read more...] about As Assad’s Isolation Lifts, Syrian Refugees Fear Pressure to Return Home
Jacinda Ardern becomes a dame as New Zealand honors her service during shooting, Covid-19
Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday received one of New Zealand’s highest honors for her service leading the country through a mass shooting and pandemic . Ardern was made a Dame Grand Companion, the second-highest honor in New Zealand, as part of King Charles III’s Birthday Honors. It means people will now call her Dame Jacinda. Royal honorees are typically chosen twice a year in New Zealand by the prime minister and signed off by Charles, the British king who is also recognized as New Zealand’s king. Ardern was just 37 when she became prime minister in 2017, and was seen as a global icon of the left. She shocked New Zealanders in January when she said she was stepping down as leader after more than five years because she no longer had “enough in the tank” to do it justice. She was facing mounting political pressures at home, including for her handling of Covid-19, which was initially widely lauded but later criticized by those opposed to mandates and … [Read more...] about Jacinda Ardern becomes a dame as New Zealand honors her service during shooting, Covid-19
Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History
KYIV, Ukraine — Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last year, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck. In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups. The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II. That relationship has become especially delicate because President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has falsely declared Ukraine to be a Nazi state, a claim he has used to justify his illegal invasion. Ukraine has worked for years through legislation and military restructuring … [Read more...] about Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History
Russia says it repelled a large-scale Ukrainian assault.
Ukrainian ground forces tried to break through Russian defenses in eastern Ukraine, in an area of the front that had not shifted significantly for months, and staged large-scale assaults across much of the frontline, Russian authorities and military bloggers aligned with the Kremlin said Monday. Ukraine has remained silent about military operations after months of preparing for a major counteroffensive in the war. Consequently, Russian reports were expected to signal the start of military action before any formal Ukrainian announcements. The only indication from the Ukrainian side that an operation may have started was a video released by the military Sunday showing soldiers putting a finger to their lips, asking for silence. Two unverified Russian reports said Ukrainian forces had pushed through Russian defenses in two areas. While the Russian Ministry of Defense said early Monday that a major Ukrainian operation had begun along multiple sections of the front in the Donetsk … [Read more...] about Russia says it repelled a large-scale Ukrainian assault.