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

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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