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The encounter at the Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Survival Media Agency via AP

"A fuller and more complicated picture emerged ... of the videotaped encounter between a Native American man and a throng of high school boys wearing 'Make America Great Again' gear outside the Lincoln Memorial," the New York Times' Sarah Mervosh and Emily Rueb write.

Backdrop: The Catholic students were accused of taunting the Native Americans, and their school and diocese issued a statement threatening the boys with expulsion. However, interviews and more video suggest the explosive encounter between race, religion and ideological beliefs was too good to be true.

This was the scene, per The Times:

  • "[A] rally for Native Americans and other Indigenous people was wrapping up. Dozens of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, who had been in Washington for the anti-abortion March for Life rally, were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial."
  • "There were also black men who identified themselves as Hebrew Israelites, preaching their beliefs and shouting racially combative comments at the Native Americans and the students."

Covington junior Nick Sandmann said in a statement yesterday that students were waiting for buses when protesters began insulting them, per AP:

  • "Sandmann says the students began yelling 'school spirit chants' to drown out the protesters and he did not hear students chant anything 'hateful or racist at any time.'"
  • Sandmann said he and his parents have received death threats: "I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family's name."

Yes, but: As more evidence emerged yesterday, N.Y. Times columnist David Brooks tweeted:

  • "[A]fter seeing more videos I have a different more complicated impression. Makes all the hot takes seem silly."'
  • "All of you who judged too quickly apologize!"

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.