Stories to Read

From the New York Times


Journalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.

President Trump will try to put the media on the ballot, and reporters face the increasing temptation to posture for those most eager to oust him.




The worst thing about being a reporter in the age of Donald Trump is, of course, the president’s concerted attacks on the free press. The second-worst thing is well-meaning readers who say things like, “Thank you for what you do.”

I mean, I appreciate it. Last week, on assignment in Cape Cod — hardship travel, I know — I thanked myself for what I do with a dip in the Atlantic and a buttery lobster roll. Some of my more frontline colleagues, from Elmhurst, Queens, to Wuhan, China, take physical and psychological risks to deliver information that deserve true gratitude.

But when some of you who are alarmed by the rise of Mr. Trump thank a political journalist or a television pundit, you’re feeding our worst instincts — toward self-importance, toward making ourselves the story and toward telling you exactly what you want to hear. And you’re leading us into a dangerous temptation at a time of maximum pressure on the free press.

“The many mainstream journalists who have been charting Trump’s ceaseless outrages for four long years, myself included, inevitably risk becoming performance artists for appreciative readers who already agree with us,” said Frank Rich, the executive producer of the HBO shows “Veep” and “Succession” and a former New York Times columnist. “You have to wonder if any of it has swayed a single Trump voter.”

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From the Washington Post

Damage in Oregon alone may add up to more than 1,000 homes.

A table stands outside the destroyed Cressman's General Store after the Creek Fire burned through Fresno County, Calif. on Tuesday. (Noah Berger/AP)
A table stands outside the destroyed Cressman’s General Store after the Creek Fire burned through Fresno County, Calif. on Tuesday. (Noah Berger/AP)

From the New York Daily News

Teen, 18, dies after he’s stabbed and set ablaze in Bronx apartment building

Investigators at the scene of a teenager's death in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge.
Investigators at the scene of a teenager’s death in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge. (Sam Costanza/for New York Daily News)

A teenager died after he was stabbed and set on fire in a gruesome attack in a Bronx apartment hallway Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Winston Ortiz, 18, had been in an argument with the assailant sometime before the brutal assault at 3:10 p.m. in a fifth-floor hallway on Woodycrest Ave. at W. 165th St. in Highbridge, police said.

He was stabbed three times in the chest before his assailant poured accelerant on him and lit him ablaze, cops said. Responding cops found him semi-conscious, with extensive burns on his body.

Medics rushed Ortiz to Harlem Hospital in critical condition, but he couldn’t be saved. There were no immediate arrests in the case.


Residents of the fifth floor rushed to the teen’s aid after hearing a girl screaming nearby.

A girl was screaming and I thought her apartment was on fire. When I got there, I saw a kid on the floor. He was on fire,” said one woman, a 34-year-old mom who lives down the hell. She asked her name not be used because the attacker is still at large.

“I started screaming. I was panicked. I screamed to my daughter to call 911,” she said. “I grabbed a bucket and filled it with water. Another woman came and got a bucket.”

She added, “We passed the buckets to other people, and they put him out. I couldn’t recognize him. He was too badly burned.”

The building’s super, Evaristo Rodriguez, 59, said he didn’t recognize the victim.

“When they called us, we thought the apartment was on fire,” he said. He was eating lunch with his adult daughter at the time.

“But when we got up there it was a different story. Somebody had burned somebody else,” Rodriguez said.

“He doesn’t live here. We didn’t recognize this guy. We have no idea what he was doing here.”

The attack happened on the same block where two men were shot outside a bodega Tuesday night. One victim, 21, was shot seven times, while the second, 37, was hit twice. Both survived their wounds.

With Rocco Parascandola


From The New York Times

18-Year-Old Dies After He Is Stabbed and Set on Fire in the Bronx

The teenager was attacked in an apartment building near Yankee Stadium. The police later arrested the brother of his former girlfriend.

By Troy Closson and Edgar Sandoval

Published Aug. 13, 2020Updated Aug. 14, 20

Winston Ortiz was shy teenager who family members said had become depressed in recent days over a breakup with his first girlfriend. So, he was excited when he heard from her on Wednesday afternoon, they said, and he left his family’s Bronx apartment in high spirits.

He never returned.

About 3 p.m., Mr. Ortiz was stabbed in the chest, doused with a flammable liquid and then set on fire while he was still alive in the hallway of a nearby apartment building, the police said. He died hours later at a hospital in Harlem.

The next day, the police arrested his former girlfriend’s brother, Adones Betances, 22, on charges of manslaughter and murder. Detectives believed that the two men had argued about Mr. Ortiz’s relationship with Mr. Betances’ 15-year-old sister, said a law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation.

“We got a call from one of the police officers who was at the scene,” his father, who is also named Winston Ortiz, said. “They said his last words to them were his mother’s phone number.”

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