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Photo: Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images

James Bennet has resigned as editor of the New York Times' editorial page, the paper announced Sunday.

Why it matters: Bennet had been under fire for green-lighting an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that called on President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests over the death of George Floyd. Times employees organized a protest on social media and claimed that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger.

  • Bennet did not personally read the op-ed before publication, but put out a statement amid employee backlash that outlined his defense for publishing the piece.
  • Shortly after, however, a Times spokesperson released a statement saying that Cotton's op-ed failed to meet company standards and that editorial-board processes would be changed as a result.

The big picture: Bennet was seen as a potential successor to current Times executive editor Dean Baquet. Katie Kingsbury has been named as acting editorial page editor through the November election, while Jim Dao, an opinion deputy who oversaw op-eds, is "stepping off the masthead and being reassigned to the newsroom."

What they're saying: "The journalism of Times Opinion has never mattered more than in this time of crisis at home and around the world, and I’ve been honored to be part of it," Bennet wrote in a statement.

  • "I’m so proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to focus attention on injustice and threats to freedom and to enrich debate about the right path forward by bringing new voices and ideas to Times readers."

New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote in an email to staff:

“Because we have faced questions in recent days about our core values, I want to say this plainly: As an institution we are opposed to racism in every corner of society. We are opposed to injustice. We believe deeply in principles of fairness, equality and human rights. Those values animate both our news report and our opinion report.
While this has been a painful week across the company, it has sparked urgent and important conversations. In the Gough town hall questions, in the Slack channels, in the countless searching conversations I have had with many of you, I have heard an extraordinary passion for the mission of the Times."

Go deeper

Trump says he won't pursue Kamala Harris birth smear

Trump speaking on Aug. 15. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told reporters Saturday his presidential campaign will "not be pursuing" a baseless claim that Sen. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's running mate, may be ineligible to serve as vice president because both her parents were not naturalized citizens at her birth.

Why it matters: Harris was born in Oakland, California. She is an American citizen and is eligible for the office. Critics, including some Republicans, denounced an op-ed published by Newsweek this week as a new attempt at "birtherism" — the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not actually born in the U.S. — targeting the first woman of color on a presidential ticket.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two assault rifles believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.