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Carmen Gentile

Zagreb, Croatia
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About Carmen
Carmen Gentile has written for some of the world’s leading publications including the New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, USA Today and many others. He has also produced online video reporting for The Times and TIME. He also regularly produces radio reports and has published numerous photos with his work.

He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed book "Blindsided by the Taliban." 

Carmen has covered both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, embedding with soldiers on the frontline. His work has also taken him to Nigeria, where he reported on the continuing unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

For four years he was based in Brazil, traveling throughout the region and covering bouts of unrest in Venezuela, Bolivia and Haiti.

He began his international reporting career in the late 1990s when he was based in Cairo, Egypt.

In September 2010, Carmen was shot by a rocket-propelled grenade while reporting on U.S. and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan, an experience he chronicles in his book “Kissed by the Taliban.” 

Following a lengthy recovery, he returned to Afghanistan and resumed embed reporting for USA Today and others. For more information, go to: www.carmengentile.com
English Spanish Portuguese
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Current Affairs Fact Checking

When will America legalize marijuana nationwide?

18 Feb 2024  |  postindustrial.com
The landscape of marijuana legalization in the United States has dramatically changed, with 24 states fully legalizing it and 38 allowing medical use. Despite scientific evidence showing marijuana's benefits and non-addictive nature, financial incentives have been more persuasive to lawmakers. California led the way in 1996, followed by Colorado and Washington in 2012. Public opinion has shifted, with a recent Gallup Poll indicating 70% of American adults support full legalization. President Biden has taken steps to review marijuana's Schedule 1 status and pardoned federal simple possession convictions, acknowledging the racial disparities in drug law enforcement. However, with a divided Congress and some states still resistant, nationwide legalization seems distant.

A Michigan jury gets it right on gun violence, while Pennsylvania’s governor urges lawmakers to legalize recreational weed

11 Feb 2024  |  postindustrial.com
A Michigan jury convicted Jennifer Crumbley on involuntary manslaughter charges for her role in her son Ethan's school shooting, highlighting parental negligence in gun violence cases. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana, facing resistance from conservative state legislators despite the economic benefits seen in neighboring states.

How worried should we be about America’s democracy?

02 Feb 2024  |  postindustrial.com
The article expresses deep concern for the state of American democracy, not because of the resilience of figures like Donald Trump, but due to a widespread crisis of confidence among Americans. It highlights the irony of past American bravado about democracy leading to dark paths such as the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, which have contributed to current disillusionment. The piece also criticizes the celebration of authoritarian leaders by some Americans and the spread of anti-democratic sentiment through extremist media and propaganda. The author argues that a commitment to education and understanding history and civics is essential for maintaining a healthy democracy.

VOICES: How come there’s so much hate in some Postindustrial Communities?

17 Aug 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Postindustrial has reported on the alarming increase in hate groups and toxic extremism in communities it covers. A conversation with Jeff Tischauser, a senior research analyst for the South Poverty Law Center, revealed insights into the root causes of this rise, including economic failures and political neglect. Ohio and Pennsylvania are among the top states for hate group activity, with groups like the National Justice Party and Blood Tribe exploiting community anger and insecurity for recruitment.

Postindustrial America is front and center in latest, “historic” Trump indictment

02 Aug 2023  |  postindustrial.com
The latest indictment of Donald Trump is detailed, alleging attempts to undermine American democracy by interfering with free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power. The 45-page indictment includes four counts against Trump, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding. It highlights Trump's persistent claims of election fraud despite being told he lost the 2020 election. States in Postindustrial America, such as Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, are central to the alleged plot to undermine the election. Georgia, mentioned 48 times, may see Trump facing a fourth indictment for attempting to interfere with the state's election count. The indictment's political implications are significant ahead of the 2024 election, with Postindustrial voters potentially playing a decisive role.

Women motorcyclists use an old coal site to sharpen their riding skills

15 Jul 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Kelly McCaughey, after learning to ride, created Over And Out, an off-road riding event series aimed at empowering female motorcyclists of all skill levels. The series includes events such as the annual flagship event near Allentown, Eastern Pennsylvania, featuring riding, camping, and lessons on private land adjacent to old coal mining sites. Over And Out also hosted a co-ed clinic for kids in California and a 'Ladies' Choice' event. The initiative has seen a growing interest, with events often selling out and more women eager to participate.

Pay attention out there — it just may save your life!

14 Jul 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Andria Yu, director of media relations for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and an MSF-certified RiderCoach, shares her journey from being considered 'klutzy' to becoming a coordinated and attentive motorcycle rider. She emphasizes the importance of training and paying attention on the road, which has kept her safe for 22 years of riding. Yu discusses the rise in traffic fatalities reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and advocates for continuous training to make smart riding decisions and respond appropriately to dangers. She compares the focus required for motorcycling to meditation and credits her training for her ability to handle potential hazards on the road.

Should we be worried about what’s happening in Russia?

26 Jun 2023  |  The Postindustrial
Recent events in Russia, including a standoff between Yevgeny Prigozhin and President Vladimir Putin, have raised global concerns due to Putin's control of nuclear weapons and threats of their use. Prigozhin's uncertain whereabouts and the status of his private army, the Wagner Group, contribute to the instability. Putin's perceived weakness and the potential economic impact on Postindustrial America, including rising gas prices and inflation, are also worrying. The U.S. response, including President Biden's silence and Secretary of State Blinken's comments on Putin's weakened authority, are noteworthy. The situation remains unresolved and could have broader implications for global security and the U.S. military.

Partisanship largely holds firm following Trump’s arraignment

14 Jun 2023  |  The Postindustrial
Lawmakers' reactions to Donald Trump's indictment and arraignment for mishandling classified documents and other charges remained predictably partisan. Republicans, including the likely 2024 GOP presidential nominee, decried the arraignment as a political witch hunt, while Democrats offered a mix of silence and criticism. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were vocal in their disapproval of Republican responses. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell avoided commenting directly on Trump's legal situation. West Virginia and Ohio Republicans expressed their support for Trump, with Ohio Senator JD Vance threatening to halt DOJ nominees. Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville faced criticism for skipping a Senate vote to attend a Trump fundraiser. The article suggests that Trump supporters are unlikely to change their stance, even with more evidence or indictments.

Wisconsin students with disabilities often denied public school options

01 Jun 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Wisconsin's open enrollment program allows students to attend public schools outside their home districts, but schools can deny students with disabilities due to resource constraints. Approximately 70,000 students participate, but those with disabilities face a 40% rejection rate, compared to 14% for other students. The funding gap for special education services is a core issue, with Wisconsin reimbursing only 30% of costs. Advocates suggest following Minnesota's model, which prohibits rejections based on disabilities. The closure of Penfield Montessori Academy, a Milwaukee charter school serving children with disabilities, highlights the challenges faced by these students and their families in finding suitable education options.

Meet the man who wants to remake the Mountain State

28 Feb 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Brandon Dennison, CEO of Coalfield Development and an eighth-generation West Virginian, is leading efforts to transform the state's industrial economy into a new era focused on job creation and renewable energy. Coalfield Development, founded in 2010, has recently won a $62.8 million federal grant to expand its transformative work in southern West Virginia. The organization's initiatives include repurposing dilapidated structures into workplaces, creating jobs, and promoting sustainable practices such as solar energy installations and organic farming on reclaimed mining land. The federal grant will support eight projects across 21 counties, aiming to drive economic activity in distressed regions.

Iranian women won’t go back

05 Jan 2023  |  postindustrial.com
Since September, Iran has seen unprecedented protests led by women against the nation's theocratic rule, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody. Women have been burning headscarves and defying hijab laws, with social media showing increased aggression towards religious figures. Despite thousands arrested and hundreds killed, the protests have persisted. Reports of the morality police's disbandment remain unconfirmed, and the struggle against 'religious fascism' continues. The Persian Solstice Festival of Yalda became a symbol of hope and remembrance for those killed in the protests.

Enduring images of 2022

31 Dec 2022  |  postindustrial.com
The article captures significant moments from 2022, including the resettlement of an Afghan family in Pittsburgh following the chaotic US troop withdrawal and Taliban takeover, the collapse and subsequent reopening of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh, the activities of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, and the transformation of New Castle, Pennsylvania from a bustling city to one facing economic despair. Key stakeholders include the Taliban, Pittsburgh City Council, and various individuals impacted by these events.

New Castle, city in transition

16 Dec 2022  |  postindustrial.com
New Castle, Pennsylvania, once a bustling city, has faced decline since the steel industry's fall. Long-time barber Philip Salvatore Sunseri has witnessed the city's transformation into a place of despair. The population has been decreasing since the 1960s, and once-busy East Long Avenue is now lined with boarded-up storefronts. The local New Castle Playhouse, however, continues to operate. Lifelong resident Dorian Stewart Sr. laments the lack of activities in the city. Despite the challenges, there is potential for revitalization through reimagining old buildings and facilities. The Raney mansion, for instance, is being restored by Joe and Zenia Goodge to serve as an events center. The author, Willis Bretz, holds hope for New Castle's resurgence.

In the midterm elections, democracy won

09 Nov 2022  |  postindustrial.com
Democrats have outperformed expectations in the midterm elections, with key races like the Georgia Senate race between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker heading to a runoff, and Pennsylvania's John Fetterman defeating Mehmet Oz. Despite President Biden's low approval ratings and economic challenges, the Democratic Party showed resilience, though the House is likely to fall under Republican control, potentially empowering election-deniers and conspiracy theorists. Political scientist Alexandra Filindra expressed concerns about the future of American democracy and the potential negative impact of Republican House control on the policy agenda and Democratic politics.

America is at war with itself

27 May 2022  |  postindustrial.com
The author, reflecting on their experiences as a war correspondent, draws parallels between the violence witnessed in conflict zones and the mass shootings occurring in the United States. They express grief and frustration over the loss of life, particularly children, due to gun violence and criticize the lack of gun control measures. The author suggests that America is experiencing a form of internal conflict, with homegrown extremists and a political climate resistant to gun control contributing to a war-like state within the country.

We should all be embarrassed

30 Jan 2022  |  postindustrial.com
The collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh, with no fatalities, sparked anger over the state of American infrastructure. The bridge's poor condition reflects a national issue, with 44,000 bridges rated similarly. The recent infrastructure bill may address some problems, but the author argues that effective governance and prioritizing infrastructure should be instinctive. The article links infrastructure neglect to broader democratic issues, including the partisan divide and the January 6th Capitol attack. It calls for collective action to repair America's physical and ideological foundations.

Boathouse Living

08 May 2021  |  postindustrial.com
Marissa Myer, a 24-year-old from Bethel Park, has been living on a houseboat since 2018. She graduated from Graceland University in Iowa and is passionate about the ocean and living a life unattached to a single location. Myer shares her houseboat living experiences on her YouTube channel, Houseboat Girl, and works in marketing for an Annapolis marina. She emphasizes the need to be low maintenance and minimalist due to the limited space on a houseboat.

Heed the tale of the New Pied Piper

16 Feb 2021  |  postindustrial.com
The article draws a parallel between the Pied Piper fable and former President Donald Trump's influence over his followers, particularly in the context of the Capitol riot and the Republican Party's response. It criticizes Trump and his loyalists, including prominent GOP figures like Lindsay Graham, Kevin McCarthy, and Mitch McConnell, for their actions and rhetoric. The narrative suggests that Trump's era will serve as a grim warning for future generations about the dangers of divisive leadership and the undermining of democratic principles.

Documenting people and culture in Postindustrial communities

19 Aug 2020  |  postindustrial.com
Stephanie Strasburg, a staff photographer and filmmaker with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, discusses her approach to documenting the postindustrial experience and her investigative work on child sexual abuse in the Amish and Mennonite communities. She emphasizes the importance of spending time with subjects to capture the complexity of their situations, building relationships, and adapting to industry changes to support in-depth reporting. Strasburg's team was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

I’ve reported on war for years. I’m more afraid now than I’ve ever been.

20 Apr 2020  |  marinecorpstimes.com
The author, a war reporter, expresses fear over the current state of America, comparing the armed protests and extremism to conflicts witnessed abroad. The anti-intellectualism and hatred of outsiders, reminiscent of tyrannical regimes, are seen as signs of America's decline. The author is particularly concerned about the economic fallout, the unraveling of the 'American Experiment,' and personal fears of being separated from their daughter in Croatia due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

On September 9, 2010, while embedded with an Army unit and talking with locals in a small village in eastern Afghanistan, journalist Carmen Gentile was struck in the face by a rocket-propelled grenade. Inexplicably, the grenade did not explode and Gentile survived, albeit with the right side of his face shattered and blinded in one eye. Making matters worse, his engagement was on the ropes and his fiancée absent from his bedside. Blindsided by the Taliban chronicles the author’s numerous missteps and shortcomings while coming to terms with injury and a lost love. Inventive and unprecedented surgeries would ultimately save Gentile’s face and eyesight, but the depression and trauma that followed his physical and emotional injuries proved a much harder recovery. Ultimately, Gentile would find that returning to the front lines and continuing the work he loved was the only way to become whole again.

In Love and War With Iraq’s Elite Fighters

07 Apr 2017  |  Defense One
The article details the experiences of the Iraqi Special Operation Forces (ISOF) as they engage in the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. Lt. Ali Sahib, who once aspired to be a computer engineer, is now a member of ISOF, fighting in a city left in ruins by the conflict. The story recounts the intense combat situations faced by ISOF, including suicide bombings, sniper fire, and the use of civilians as human shields by ISIS. Major Hazzam Kareem discusses the tactical shifts made to adapt to the urban warfare environment. The soldiers endure sleep deprivation, limited food supplies, and constant danger. Despite the hardships, Sgt. Yaseen Ibrahim Khaleel expresses a fervent passion for the military and combat. The article also touches on the personal lives of the soldiers, including Sahib's recent marriage and Khaleel's long-term relationship. The narrative conveys the relentless nature of the conflict and the personal toll it takes on those involved.

An example of my work in print, video and photos. I also am a radio reporter.

Student Suspended for Facebook Page Can Sue

16 Feb 2010  |  www.nytimes.com
Katherine Evans, a South Florida teenager, can proceed with her lawsuit against her former principal, Peter Bayer, after being suspended for creating a Facebook page criticizing her teacher, Sarah Phelps. The federal judge, Barry L. Garber, denied Bayer's petition for dismissal and his claims of qualified immunity. Evans, now a University of Florida sophomore, is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and seeks to expunge the suspension from her record, a nominal fee, and legal costs. The case highlights the extension of First Amendment rights to online speech.

Sea Turtles Under Increasing Threat in Miami Beach

10 Sep 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
Sea turtles in Miami Beach face increasing threats from beachgoers, poachers, and boat propellers. Conservationists like Bill Ahern and volunteers like Cliff Buchanan work to protect nests and hatchlings. Miami Beach has passed a law to limit artificial light on beaches, and injured turtles are treated at the Miami Seaquarium by Dr. Maya Rodriguez. Despite challenges, efforts continue to ensure the turtles' survival.

Judge Gives UBS and U.S. Time to Seek a Settlement

14 Jul 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
A federal judge postponed a hearing on the U.S. prosecutors' bid to compel UBS to reveal 52,000 American clients suspected of offshore tax evasion, as both Swiss and American parties are negotiating a settlement. UBS may face fines or indictment if it refuses to disclose the names, despite the Swiss government's intention to block such disclosure. The hearing is rescheduled for August 3, following UBS's $780 million settlement in February to resolve fraud accusations by the IRS.

Supreme Court Ruling Offers Little Guidance on Hiring

30 Jun 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
The Supreme Court's decision in favor of white firefighters in New Haven left employers with unclear guidance on handling employment tests that disproportionately favor whites. The ruling, which applies to public-sector hiring and civil service exams, indicates that employers generally must accept test results unless there is strong evidence of a flawed test. This is expected to lead to more litigation over employment discrimination. Some cities may move away from written tests, favoring methods like assessment centers. The ruling has elicited mixed reactions, with some predicting it will make it harder to address discrimination and others believing it will not significantly impact their current practices.

U.S. Begins Third Effort to Convict 6 in Terror Case

19 Feb 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
Federal prosecutors in Miami initiated a third trial against six men, including ringleader Narseal Batiste, for allegedly conspiring to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago as part of an Islamic jihad. Despite two previous trials resulting in hung juries, the prosecution aims to prove the group's serious support for terrorism. The defendants, who trained in martial arts and met in Liberty City, are charged with conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism and sedition. An FBI informant, posing as an Al Qaeda member, secretly recorded the group's oath of allegiance to the terror organization.

Student Fights Record of ‘Cyberbullying’

08 Feb 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
Katherine Evans, a former high school senior and honor student, is suing the principal of Pembroke Pines Charter High School, Peter Bayer, for suspending her for 'cyberbullying' after she posted a rant against her English teacher, Sarah Phelps, on Facebook. Evans removed the post a few days later and is not seeking monetary compensation, only the removal of the suspension from her record. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has criticized the school's decision, arguing it is a free speech issue, while school officials maintain that inviting hatred towards a teacher crosses a line. The case recalls the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court ruling, which favored students' right to free speech.

Free speech or cyberbullying?

08 Feb 2009  |  www.nytimes.com
Katherine Evans, a high school senior and honor student, faced suspension for 'cyberbullying' after criticizing her English teacher, Sarah Phelps, on Facebook. Evans removed the post and is now suing the principal, Peter Bayer, to have the suspension removed from her record. Her lawyer, Matthew Bavaro, views the suspension as an attack on free speech, referencing the Tinker v. Des Moines case. Educational disciplinarians, such as Pamela Brown, believe inviting hatred towards a teacher crosses a line. The ACLU of Florida, represented by Howard Simon, defends Evans's right to free speech, comparing the incident to a conversation among friends at a mall.

Lottery Adds to Prizes: Now Gas as Well as Cash

08 Jul 2008  |  www.nytimes.com
Florida's state lottery introduces a new second-prize of free gasoline for life in its Summer Cash promotion, which some players find more appealing than the first prize of $250,000 due to rising fuel costs. The prize consists of 26 prepaid gas cards worth $100 each year until the winner's death. The promotion has seen increasing ticket sales since June 30, with Florida joining other states like Georgia and Washington in offering gasoline as a lottery prize. The decision was made after a poll showed 90% of regular players preferred free gas over other options like a year's mortgage payments. Some players remain skeptical about the prize's long-term value.

Car Chase in Miami Results in Mall Lockdown

03 Apr 2008  |  www.nytimes.com
A car chase in Miami involving four young men and a young father they allegedly attempted to rob culminated in a lockdown at Dolphin Mall. Two suspects entered the mall, leading to a five-and-a-half-hour search across 240 stores. The police arrested two of the men, but details about the group were limited. Witnesses feared a situation similar to a recent shooting in Chicago. Shoppers and employees were either evacuated or waited in stores until the police completed the search. By 6 p.m., the police had not found the men, who might have blended in with shoppers to escape. The man who chased the suspects was unavailable for comment.

Families sue Chiquita in deaths of 5 men

17 Mar 2008  |  www.nytimes.com
Tania Julin and the widows of four other men filed a lawsuit against Chiquita Brands International, alleging the company financed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which led to the deaths of their husbands. The men, missionaries from the New Tribe Mission, were abducted and presumed killed by FARC rebels in the early 1990s. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and was filed in U.S. District Court in Miami.

Padilla Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

22 Jan 2008  |  www.nytimes.com
Jose Padilla, previously accused of plotting a 'dirty bomb' attack in the U.S., was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison for conspiracy to aid Islamic jihadist fighters. The sentence by Judge Marcia G. Cooke was more lenient than federal guidelines suggested. Padilla's co-defendants, Ahmad Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, received 15 years and eight months, and 12 years and eight months, respectively. The government claimed the dismantling of their North American support cell, while critics argued the case showed the criminal justice system's capability to handle terrorism cases.

Florida: Arrest in Killing of Detective

10 Jan 2008  |  www.nytimes.com
Ricardo Ajuste, 21, is in custody for allegedly firing an assault rifle at a couple in a jealous rampage, inadvertently killing off-duty officer Detective James Walker. Ajuste, charged with two counts of attempted murder, is a prime suspect in Walker's death, found in his cruiser in North Miami Beach.

Authorities Search for Killer of Redskins’ Taylor

28 Nov 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
Sean Taylor, a safety for the Washington Redskins, died after being shot by an intruder at his home in Palmetto Bay, Miami. The authorities are investigating the murder, which has left the Redskins organization and South Florida community in mourning. Taylor had a history of legal issues, including a 2005 felony assault charge and a recent break-in at his home. The NFL is planning to honor Taylor with a moment of silence and possible helmet decals. Taylor's death follows another violent incident earlier in the year involving Denver Broncos player Darrent Williams.

Torture Charges for Ex

11 Sep 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
Charles McArthur Emmanuel, son of former Liberian dictator Charles G. Taylor, pleaded not guilty to an eight-count indictment accusing him of torturing political opponents with methods including fire ants and electric shocks from 1999 to 2002. This indictment was filed in Miami's United States District Court, marking him as the first person charged under a 1994 law against Americans committing torture abroad. Known as Chuckie Taylor, he was previously arrested in Miami in March 2006 for passport fraud and served 11 months in prison.

Noriega Can Be Extradited to France

28 Aug 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
A federal judge in Miami ruled that former Panamanian general Manuel Antonio Noriega can be extradited to France to face money laundering charges. The final decision rests with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Noriega's lawyer criticized the ruling and plans to appeal. Noriega, who served 15 years in the U.S. for drug trafficking and racketeering, was convicted in absentia in France and Panama for various crimes. France has agreed to a new trial if extradited, while Panama allows older convicts to serve time at home.

Ruling Paves Way for Noriega to Be Sent to France

24 Aug 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
A federal judge in Miami ruled that former Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega can be extradited to France to face money laundering charges after his U.S. prison term ends. Noriega's status as a prisoner of war does not prevent future prosecution, and France has agreed to hold a new trial upon his extradition. Noriega also faces legal issues in Panama, where he was convicted in absentia of various crimes. The Bush administration prefers extradition to France, partly due to concerns that Noriega may avoid jail time in Panama.

Storm Homes In on Mexico After Sweep of the Caribbean

21 Aug 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
Hurricane Dean, a Category 5 hurricane with 160-mile-an-hour winds, is bearing down on the Yucatán coast after causing destruction across the Caribbean. Residents are preparing by securing their homes and stocking up on supplies, while tourists and locals are being evacuated from coastal areas. Petróleos Mexicanos is evacuating workers and shutting down wells, expecting significant losses in oil and natural gas production. The National Hurricane Center predicts high waves and potential flash floods. Local authorities are concerned about the capacity to handle the disaster, especially in towns with many traditional Mayan huts. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in a nature reserve, providing some buffer to nearby towns. The aftermath of the storm has left many in the Caribbean with damaged homes and livelihoods.

New Jersey Men Die in Dive to Explore Ship Off Keys

17 Mar 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
Three New Jersey men died while attempting a penetration dive into the Spiegel Grove, a sunken Navy ship off the Florida Keys. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported that the advanced certified divers became disoriented inside the ship, which is known to resemble a maze. One diver survived, staying outside the ship. The Coast Guard was alerted by the charter boat captain, Mark Cianciu, when the divers did not resurface. Recovery efforts were suspended until the next day due to challenging conditions. This incident increased the death toll to six since the ship's sinking in 2002. Dive instructor Jen Barker noted that while the site is generally safe, penetration dives are not allowed for her clients.

NASA Fires Arrested Astronaut

08 Mar 2007  |  www.nytimes.com
NASA dismissed Captain Lisa M. Nowak, an astronaut accused of attacking a romantic rival, due to the lack of administrative means to address her criminal charges. Nowak, who had a relationship with fellow astronaut Cmdr. William A. Oefelein, attacked Capt. Colleen Shipman with pepper spray in Orlando. Nowak was charged with attempted kidnapping and will return to the Navy, reporting to naval air training in Corpus Christi. She is on leave, living in Houston, and awaiting trial with an electronic monitoring device.

Standoff at Miami Papers Ends in Cartoonist’s Arrest

25 Nov 2006  |  www.nytimes.com
José Varela, a Cuban-born political cartoonist, was arrested after storming the building of The Miami Herald and its Spanish-language counterpart, El Nuevo Herald, while armed with a fake weapon and issuing threats. Varela, who was upset about biased coverage of Cuban-Americans, demanded the truth be told and the resignations of editors Tom Fiedler and Humberto Castelló. The standoff lasted three hours before Varela surrendered. No one was injured, and Varela faced charges of aggravated assault. The incident highlighted tensions within the newspapers, which had recently been embroiled in controversy over reporters being paid by the anti-Castro Radio and TV Martí.

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