There are Freudian slips and there's what former president George W. Bush said during a speech last May. Speaking to an audience in his presidential library in Texas, Bush condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching a full-scale invasion of his country's neighbor, Ukraine. But Bush then made a rather profound gaffe, publicly bemoaning "the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq." He swiftly corrected himself, saying "the Ukraine" with a shake of the head, and appealed to his septuagenarian status. Light chuckles swept through the sympathetic crowd. But there are many others who weren't laughing. The U.S. invasion of Iraq, which occurred 20 years ago this week, was seen at the time by critics as both "wholly unjustified" and potentially "brutal" - views that have only become more widespread in the years that followed. The Bush administration sold a false bill of goods to justify its "preemptive" intervention against the regime of … [Read more...] about 20 years later, U.S. invasion of Iraq hangs over war in Ukraine
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The children of troops lost to Iraq War are all grown up
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 12 TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Brandon Whiterock stared at his mother's grave, a collection of incongruous stones carefully configured above the ruddy, dusty desert soil, and contemplated all that had changed since her second burial. Twenty years ago, in March 2003, Lori Piestewa, a U.S. soldier, was listed as missing in action during the hellish and confused early hours of America's war in Iraq. Her convoy was ambushed, leading to the capture and eventual deaths of several troops, Piestewa among them. As her family would learn, the 23-year-old was fatally wounded in a frantic race to help others flee the kill zone, and her remains were crudely buried outside of an Iraqi hospital. U.S. personnel were dispatched later to recover the captives and remains, including Piestewa's body. Anguish washed over the Hopi tribal community in Arizona, … [Read more...] about The children of troops lost to Iraq War are all grown up
Adam Sandler doesn’t need your respect. He just wants to make you laugh.
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 3 EDITORS: EMBARGOED UNTIL SUNDAY, MARCH 19 - - - PITTSBURGH - During every Adam Sandler stand-up show, he straps on his electric guitar and sings a song. Unlike the bite-size ditties he's peppered through the set about selfies or baggy shorts, this one concerns his late, great "Saturday Night Live" buddy, Chris Farley. It is a perfect tribute. Sandler, singing softly as he strums in G, captures the complicated beauty of Farley as clips of his most memorable high jinks play on a giant screen behind him. The crowd roars as he references Farley's electrifying SNL turns as a Chippendales dancer and a motivational speaker "living in a van down by the river." There is a hush as Sandler slips into the bridge, a peek into his friend's vulnerability. "I saw him in the office, crying with his headphones on "Listening to a KC and the Sunshine Band song "I said, 'Buddy, how the hell is … [Read more...] about Adam Sandler doesn’t need your respect. He just wants to make you laugh.
Trump and ‘Joker 2’ collide in New York. Or is that Gotham City?
NEW YORK - After a week-long media circus surrounding the grand jury that may soon indict former president Donald Trump, the fake news finally arrived. Actual fake news, in the form of made-up Gotham City TV stations. On Saturday and Sunday, the production for the sequel to 2019's "Joker" - a film about a psychopathic criminal who becomes an inadvertent populist hero and throws a fictional New York into chaos - staged multiple scenes of mass protests (accompanied by Gotham City media coverage) in Lower Manhattan. Just across the street was the courthouse where Trump is facing possible criminal charges regarding hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. The former president had called on social media for his followers to "PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK" and warned of "death and destruction" if he was indicted. But the 700 extras playing pro- or anti-Joker demonstrators over two days of the movie shoot easily outnumbered the pro-Trump … [Read more...] about Trump and ‘Joker 2’ collide in New York. Or is that Gotham City?
Study: Biggest Hollywood films still go mostly to white men
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 5 NEW YORK (AP) — As Hollywood emerged from the pandemic, its biggest film productions dipped in diversity after years of incremental progress, according to a new study by UCLA researchers . Opportunities were notably greater for women and people of color on streaming platforms than in theatrically released films. The annual UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, published Thursday, presented one of the most detailed looks yet at how the film industry was shaped and, in many ways, set back during the pandemic. In analyzing 2022 movie releases, academics found that ethnic and gender inclusivity in theatrical films reverted back to 2019 or 2018 levels in many metrics, turning charts downward that had been slowly trending toward greater equity on screen and behind the camera. As the film industry sought to claw back moviegoers in 2022, it did so by leaning more on films starring … [Read more...] about Study: Biggest Hollywood films still go mostly to white men
Book World: How Vince McMahon and his wrestling empire explain America
Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America By Abraham Riesman Atria. 452 pp. $29.99 - - - The history of professional wrestling is a story of fixed matches, false narratives and the bloodthirsty consolidation of power. Standing at the heart of this uniquely violent hybrid of sport and entertainment is WWE majority owner and executive chairman Vince McMahon, the (uncooperative) subject of Abraham Riesman's revelatory new biography, "Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America." Riesman's book is a captivating dive into a spectacle that cannot genuinely be categorized as a real sport but that nonetheless relies on the talents of world-class athletes. It's a story that feels urgent today, thanks in part to McMahon's recent appearances in the news. He retired as the chief executive of WWE in 2022, in the wake of allegations that he had paid millions to suppress accusations of sexual misconduct and infidelity. In the process of unpacking how we got here, … [Read more...] about Book World: How Vince McMahon and his wrestling empire explain America
The aide who stayed: Walt Nauta, key witness in Trump documents case
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 6 As Donald Trump prepared to deplane for a rally in Iowa on Monday, another man in a navy suit and red tie popped out of the jet first, making his way down the stairs and ducking into the back of Trump's black Suburban, carrying some papers and a black bag. Walt Nauta, who serves as the former president's personal aide and general gofer, was a ubiquitous presence on the campaign swing, hovering behind the former president and 2024 candidate on the plane during an impromptu gaggle with traveling reporters, carrying Trump's overcoat and a change of tie across an airport tarmac. Nearly all of the other staffers who spent significant time with Trump in the White House have left his employ or found consulting roles in his political operation, which requires less personal interaction with the former commander in chief. Many were burned out by Trump's volcanic temper and … [Read more...] about The aide who stayed: Walt Nauta, key witness in Trump documents case
DeSantis’s pivotal service at Guantánamo during a violent year
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 3 Ron DeSantis was a 27-year-old Navy lawyer fresh out of Harvard Law School when he arrived in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, amid an escalating crisis at the U.S. military base. Hundreds of "enemy combatants," held without charges, had gone on hunger strikes. As pressure grew to end the protests, DeSantis later said, he was part of a team of military lawyers asked what could be done. "How do I combat this?" a commanding officer asked in 2006, as DeSantis recalled in an interview he gave years later to a local CBS television station. "Hey, you actually can force-feed," DeSantis said he responded in his role as a legal adviser. "Here's what you can do. Here's kind of the rules for that." Ultimately, it was the Pentagon's decision to authorize force feeding. Detainees were strapped into a chair and a lubricated tube was stuffed down their nose so a nurse could pour down two cans of a … [Read more...] about DeSantis’s pivotal service at Guantánamo during a violent year
‘He has a battle rifle’: Police feared Uvalde gunman’s AR-15
Editor’s note: This story includes graphic descriptions of injuries, and one graphic image taken from inside a classroom. We are not publishing images of injured or deceased victims. UVALDE — Once they saw a torrent of bullets tear through a classroom wall and metal door, the first police officers in the hallway of Robb Elementary School concluded they were outgunned. And that they could die. The gunman had an AR-15, a rifle design used by U.S. soldiers in every conflict since Vietnam. Its bullets flew toward the officers at three times the speed of sound and could have pierced their body armor like a hole punch through paper. They grazed two officers in the head, and the group retreated. Uvalde Police Department Sgt. Daniel Coronado stepped outside, breathing heavily, and got on his radio to warn the others. “I have a male subject with an AR,” Coronado said. The dispatch crackled on the radio of another officer on the opposite side of the building. “Fuck,” that officer … [Read more...] about ‘He has a battle rifle’: Police feared Uvalde gunman’s AR-15