Feb 20, 2019

Covington Catholic student suing Washington Post for $250M

Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann during an interview in January on NBC's "Today."

Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann and his parents on Tuesday filed a defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post for $250 million, accusing the publication of falsely characterizing him as racist and an instigator of a confrontation with a Native American elder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last month.

"[The Post] intended to harm Nicholas because he was a white, Catholic boy wearing a MAGA hat, and consciously ignored the threats of harm that it knew would inevitably ensue, in favor of its political agenda."

The big picture: The viral video Sandmann appeared in ignited widespread media coverage and debate, even after more evidence emerged that suggested the initial video did not accurately paint the whole picture. Kristine Coratti Kelly, the Post's Vice President for Communications, told Reuters: "We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defense."

Go deeper: Catholic boys' encounter gets second look

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.