January 18, 2021

True-Crime Podcast Puts Spotlight on Irish Coach Accused of Abuse

Since then, numerous Irish pedophiles have faced successful prosecution on even older charges, based mainly on victim testimony.

In the late 1990s, the Irish police investigated other child sex assault allegations against Mr. Gibney, but public prosecutors declined to press charges or seek his extradition, according to Justine McCarthy, a journalist for The Sunday Times of London and author of “Deep Deception,” a 2009 book about sexual abuse scandals in Irish swimming.

When asked for comment, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, an Irish government agency, said it “does not comment on individual cases.”

No criminal complaints or charges have been brought against Mr. Gibney in the United States. But Ms. McCarthy said she had interviewed an Irish woman — once a prospect for Ireland’s Olympic swimming team — who said she had been raped by Mr. Gibney at a training camp in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 1991, when she was 17.

John D. Fitzgerald, a senior trial lawyer with expertise on Irish criminal and extradition law, said that were there to be new criminal charges in Ireland, this could potentially result in an extradition request under Ireland’s bilateral treaty with the United States. This application could then be contested in the American courts.

After leaving Ireland in 1994, Mr. Gibney sought to resume his career, first in Scotland — where he was forced to resign from his position at an elite swimming team in Edinburgh after an uproar from parents — and then in the United States.

After his case was dropped, he was able to enter the United States on a visa he obtained in 1992, soon after he was accused of abuse by two leading figures in Irish swimming — Francis White, a coach who said he was abused by Mr. Gibney, and the former Olympic swimmer Gary O’Toole, who heard about abuses from other swimmers — but before charges were brought.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/world/europe/ireland-george-gibney.html

Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook

The Wall Street Journal had reported on aspects of the draft complaint earlier.

The swell of recent antitrust cases filed against Google and Facebook has cast a spotlight on lucrative deals among Big Tech. In October, the Justice Department sued Google and homed in on an agreement with Apple to feature Google as the preselected search engine on iPhones and other devices.

“This idea that the major tech platforms are robustly competing against each other is very much overstated,” said Sally Hubbard, a former assistant attorney general in New York’s antitrust bureau who now works at Open Markets Institute, a think tank. “In many ways, they reinforce each other’s monopoly power.”

Google and Facebook accounted for more than half of all digital advertising spending in 2019. In addition to displaying advertising on their own platforms, such as Google’s search engine and Facebook’s home page, websites, app developers and publishers rely on the companies to secure advertising for their pages.

The agreement between Facebook and Google, code-named “Jedi Blue” inside Google, pertains to a growing segment of the online advertising market called programmatic advertising. Online advertising pulls in hundreds of billions of dollars in global revenue each year, and the automated buying and selling of ad space accounts for more than 60 percent of the total, according to researchers.

In the milliseconds between a user clicking on a link to a web page and the page’s ads loading, bids for available ad space are placed behind the scenes in marketplaces known as exchanges, with the winning bid passed to an ad server. Because Google’s ad exchange and ad server were both dominant, it often directed the business to its own exchange.

A method called header bidding emerged, in part as a workaround to reduce reliance on Google’s ad platforms. News outlets and other sites could solicit bids from multiple exchanges at once, helping to increase competition and leading to better prices for publishers. By 2016, more than 70 percent of publishers had adopted the technology, according to one estimate.

Seeing a potentially significant loss of business to header bidding, Google developed an alternative called Open Bidding, which supported an alliance of exchanges. While Open Bidding allows other exchanges to simultaneously compete alongside Google, the search company extracts a fee for every winning bid, and competitors say there is less transparency for publishers.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/technology/google-facebook-ad-deal-antitrust.html

For Times Journalists, the Page One Press Plate Is Precious Metal

The commemorative plates, however, do not see any printing action, according to Mike Connors, the managing director at College Point.

A used plate, Mr. Connors said, “would be filthy, dirty, bent, and it would have holes punched into it to attach it to the presses.” The plant uses more than 1,400 plates a day to print The Times and other newspapers, then recycles the plates, he said.

With the newsroom scattered because of the coronavirus pandemic, the delivery of plates has become more sporadic. Mr. Connors has been mailing more commemoratives in boxes that are altered and heavily taped to fit the plates’ 12-by-23-inch dimensions. Reporters have picked up their own plates in Manhattan while we try different distribution options.

One of my first mailings, swaddled in foam, cardboard, tape and just a little more tape that was begged from a stranger at the post office, went to Shawn Hubler, a reporter in Sacramento who joined The Times last year. Ms. Hubler, whose newspaper career dates back to the days of Royal typewriters with carbon paper, received her plate in October for an article that ran months earlier, on May 22. She and her husband toasted its arrival.

“When I got that plate in the mail, in the midst of a very sad year, for work I had done just for the joy of working, from an institution that is the pinnacle of this profession, it felt like a kind of grace,” she wrote in an email.

Presentations are rare these days because of the pandemic, but one such delivery I made was to the Metro reporter Ed Shanahan in December, when I had to run errands in his Manhattan neighborhood. We met on a frigid sidewalk as the clock ran down on alternate-side parking. It had been a long wait for Mr. Shanahan, who shared a front-page byline in February.

“Where it might go in my apartment is a riddle,” he mused later. He was most excited to share it with his father, a retired newsman.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/insider/front-page-press-plates.html

Banner Headlines for Tumultuous Times

Every once in a while, a news headline calls out for big, bold font.

This winter, those headlines kept coming. The news since Election Day has been dominated by the chaos of the presidential transition and the persistence of a devastating pandemic.

There were vaccine rollouts, economic crises, political battles, evictions, reckonings with racism, and congressional elections that made history. On Jan. 6, there was violence at the U.S. Capitol.

How do you mark the most significant events when the news is so relentlessly remarkable? At The New York Times, one way is to make the headlines very large.

A banner headline is typically one that stretches across a newspaper’s front page or website. It uses jumbo letters and bold type to convey the magnitude of a news item, pushing other articles out of its way.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/us/politics/banner-headlines-for-tumultuous-times.html

Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Donald J. Trump

Then came the Capitol storming.

On Jan. 6, as Congress met to certify the election, Twitter executives celebrated their acquisition of Ueno, a branding and design firm. Mr. Dorsey, who has often gone on retreats, had traveled to the South Pacific island, said the people with knowledge of his location.

When Mr. Trump used Twitter to lash out at Vice President Mike Pence and question the election result, the company added warnings to his tweets. Then as violence erupted at the Capitol, people urged Twitter and Facebook to take Mr. Trump offline entirely.

That led to virtual discussions among some of Mr. Dorsey’s lieutenants. The group included Ms. Gadde, a lawyer who had joined Twitter in 2011; Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety; and Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity. Ms. Harvey and Mr. Roth had helped build the company’s responses to spam, harassment and election interference.

The executives decided to suspend Mr. Trump because his comments appeared to incite the mob, said the people with knowledge of the discussions. Ms. Gadde then called Mr. Dorsey, who was not pleased, they said.

Mr. Trump was not barred completely. If he deleted several tweets that had stoked the mob, there would be a 12-hour cooling-off period. Then he could post again.

After Twitter locked Mr. Trump’s account, Facebook did the same. Snapchat, Twitch and others also placed limits on Mr. Trump.

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But Mr. Dorsey was not sold on a permanent ban of Mr. Trump. He emailed employees the next day, saying it was important for the company to remain consistent with its policies, including letting a user return after a suspension.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/technology/twitter-donald-trump-jack-dorsey.html

Inside Twitter’s Decision to Cut Off Trump

Then came the Capitol storming.

On Jan. 6, as Congress met to certify the election, Twitter executives celebrated their acquisition of Ueno, a branding and design firm. Mr. Dorsey, who has often gone on retreats, had traveled to the South Pacific island, said the people with knowledge of his location.

When Mr. Trump used Twitter to lash out at Vice President Mike Pence and question the election result, the company added warnings to his tweets. Then as violence erupted at the Capitol, people urged Twitter and Facebook to take Mr. Trump offline entirely.

That led to virtual discussions among some of Mr. Dorsey’s lieutenants. The group included Ms. Gadde, a lawyer who had joined Twitter in 2011; Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety; and Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity. Ms. Harvey and Mr. Roth had helped build the company’s responses to spam, harassment and election interference.

The executives decided to suspend Mr. Trump because his comments appeared to incite the mob, said the people with knowledge of the discussions. Ms. Gadde then called Mr. Dorsey, who was not pleased, they said.

Mr. Trump was not barred completely. If he deleted several tweets that had stoked the mob, there would be a 12-hour cooling-off period. Then he could post again.

After Twitter locked Mr. Trump’s account, Facebook did the same. Snapchat, Twitch and others also placed limits on Mr. Trump.

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But Mr. Dorsey was not sold on a permanent ban of Mr. Trump. He emailed employees the next day, saying it was important for the company to remain consistent with its policies, including letting a user return after a suspension.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/technology/inside-twitter-decision-trump.html

David Barclay, Reclusive British Business Mogul, Dies at 86

“Farewell with respect and admiration to Sir David Barclay,” Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, who had twice worked for The Telegraph, as a Brussels correspondent and as a political columnist, said on Twitter. The newspaper was founded as The Daily Telegraph and Courier in 1855.

Mr. Johnson lauded Mr. Barclay as someone who “rescued a great newspaper, created many thousands of jobs across the U.K., and who believed passionately in the independence of this country and what it could achieve.” Mr. Barclay supported Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

David Rowat Barclay was born on Oct. 27, 1934, in London 10 minutes before his twin brother. The family was a large one; different accounts put the number of children as high as nine. David was evacuated several times as a child during the Blitz. His father, also named Frederick, was a traveling salesman who died when the twins were 13, The Telegraph said. Their mother was Beatrice Cecilia (Taylor) Barclay.

After leaving school, Mr. Barclay held jobs in the accounts department at General Electric and as a decorator, and ran a corner shop. In 1961, the brothers set up an estate agency in West London.

They began buying hotels in London in the late 1960s and a decade later began branching out into other industries, purchasing the shipping company Ellerman Lines. Over the next four decades the brothers built their wealth by buying and selling breweries, shipping companies, media groups, retailers and hotels, including Claridge’s, which led to a bitter ownership battle about seven years ago.

Their first foray into media was in 1992, when they bought a new weekly newspaper called The European; it went out of business six years later. They bought The Scotsman, based in Edinburgh, in 1995, and owned it for 10 years; two years later they bought the financial newspaper Sunday Business, which closed 11 years later.

The brothers’ initial attempt to buy the Telegraph Group from its Canadian owners, led by Conrad M. Black, in a private deal in 2003 was blocked by U.S. courts. But in June 2004 they secured the company at auction for £665 million.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/business/media/david-barclay-dead.html

Tom Lankford, 85, Dies; Southern Journalist With Divided Loyalties

On one occasion, those ties probably saved his life. During the assault on the Freedom Riders in Birmingham, a group of Klansmen, seeing Mr. Lankford shooting pictures, dragged him into an alley. But before they could hit him, another Klansman said not to touch him, because he was “Bull’s boy.” They left him alone but took the film from his camera; one of them offered him a dollar as compensation, according to Diane McWhorter, who interviewed Mr. Lankford for the 2013 edition of her book “Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.”

At the same time, as he recounted to Ms. McWhorter, Mr. Lankford worked as a one-man intelligence unit for Vincent Townsend, the powerful assistant publisher of The Birmingham News. Mr. Townsend was a racial moderate and no fan of Mr. Connor, but above all he wanted to keep tabs on anyone who might disturb the city’s business community. Mr. Lankford was happy to help, and used an expense account provided by Mr. Townsend to buy equipment to spy on civil rights leaders.

Sometimes Mr. Lankford’s allegiances conflicted. In 1961, as part of a plan by Mr. Connor to undermine Tom King, a relatively progressive mayoral candidate Mr. Townsend backed, Mr. Connor arranged for a Black man to shake Mr. King’s hand unexpectedly. Mr. Lankford, positioned nearby, took a photo, copies of which Mr. Connor’s forces spread around town, implying that Mr. King was opposed to segregation. He lost decisively.

Then, a year later, during a vote over whether to do away with the city’s commissioner jobs — including Mr. Connor’s — Mr. Lankford wiretapped a meeting between Mr. Connor and leaders of the local firefighters union, a story he recounted for T.K. Thorne, a former Birmingham police officer and the author of the forthcoming book “Behind the Magic Curtain: Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days.” On the recording, Mr. Connor promised the firefighters a raise in exchange for their support. Mr. Lankford gave the tape to Mr. Townsend, who used it in a radio ad that helped sink Mr. Connor’s campaign. He left office in 1963, near the end of Martin Luther King’s campaign to desegregate Birmingham’s lunch counters and department stores.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/us/tom-lankford-dead.html

A Co-Founder of The Intercept Says She Was Fired for Airing Concerns

Ms. Poitras added that the focus of her criticism was not that a source was exposed — “journalists make mistakes, sometimes with serious consequences,” she wrote — but that the publication’s investigations into its handling of the Winner story were inadequate.

First Look Media disputed Ms. Poitras’s account, saying it had declined to renew her contract because she was working on projects outside the company. It also has defended its investigations.

“We did not renew Laura Poitras’s independent contractor agreement because, despite our financial arrangement, she has not been active in any capacity with our company for more than two years,” First Look Media said in a statement. “This is simply not a tenable situation for us or any company. For this and only this reason, her contract was not renewed in 2021. Any implication that our decision was based on her speaking to the press is false.”

The Intercept was started in 2014, with funding from the eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, after Ms. Poitras and Mr. Greenwald published blockbuster reports on National Security Agency secrets leaked by Edward J. Snowden. Their work earned the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and Ms. Poitras won an Academy Award for best documentary feature for “Citizenfour,” the 2014 film she directed on Mr. Snowden.

Mr. Greenwald left The Intercept in October, claiming an article he had written on Joseph R. Biden and his son Hunter had been censored by his editors, an accusation the publication denied.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/14/business/media/laura-poitras-fired-first-look.html

The Local N.Y. Paper Drawing Attention for Trump News Headlines

Mr. Trump was born in the borough’s Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and grew up in Jamaica Estates, an enclave partly developed by his father, the real estate executive Fred C. Trump.

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The Trump Impeachment ›

Answers to your questions about the impeachment process:

The current impeachment proceedings are testing the bounds of the process, raising questions never contemplated before. Here’s what we know.

    • How does the impeachment process work? Members of the House consider whether to impeach the president — the equivalent of an indictment in a criminal case — and members of the Senate consider whether to remove him, holding a trial in which senators act as the jury. The test, as set by the Constitution, is whether the president has committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House vote required only a simple majority of lawmakers to agree that the president has, in fact, committed high crimes and misdemeanors; the Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority.
    • Does impeaching Trump disqualify him from holding office again? Conviction in an impeachment trial does not automatically disqualify Mr. Trump from future public office. But if the Senate were to convict him, the Constitution allows a subsequent vote to bar an official from holding “any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” That vote would require only a simple majority of senators. There is no precedent, however, for disqualifying a president from future office, and the issue could end up before the Supreme Court.
    • Can the Senate hold a trial after Biden becomes president? The Senate could hold a trial for Mr. Trump even after he has left office, though there is no precedent for it. Democrats who control the House can choose when to send their article of impeachment to the Senate, at which point that chamber would have to immediately move to begin the trial. But even if the House immediately transmitted the charge to the other side of the Capitol, an agreement between Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate would be needed to take it up before Jan. 19, a day before Mr. Biden is inaugurated. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said on Wednesday that he would not agree to such an agreement. Given that timetable, the trial probably will not start until after Mr. Biden is president.

The first edition of the Queens Daily Eagle was printed on June 25, 2018. The only English-language daily newspaper in Queens, it is a sibling publication to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a paper that started in 1841, closed in 1955 and was revived in 1996 by Dozier Hasty, the owner and publisher of Brooklyn Heights Press.

Mr. Hasty is a co-publisher of the Queens Daily Eagle with Michael Nussbaum, a longtime public relations executive, political consultant and former publisher of the Queens Tribune. The Queens Daily Eagle, which also has a website, gets by with a bare-bones staff. The managing editor, Mr. Brand, said he was one of two newsroom employees.

Mr. Sperling said he was excited to see the latest “Queens man” headline gain traction on Twitter, with 4,000 retweets and more than 17,000 likes, but he added that financial support would do more good than social media engagements.

“If 1 percent of the people who like this tweet gave $5 a month to the Queens Daily Eagle, it would be enough money to pay a single reporter for a year,” he said. “Queens has a variety of cultures and languages and ethnicities and over two million people, and we just don’t have the news representation.”

Mr. Brand, 33, said Wednesday’s headline had helped raise the profile of a paper that covers Queens courts, transportation, neighborhood politics and social issues. “People come to the website because it’s gone viral, because some celebrity has posted it,” he said, “and they see, ‘Oh, they actually do really substantive writing as well.’”

The paper’s impeachment coverage held the local note throughout the Wednesday article, stating toward the end that Mr. Trump was the third president to be impeached by Congress — “and the first from Queens.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/14/business/media/queens-daily-eagle-trump.html