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Mike Ives

Hanoi, Vietnam
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About Mike
Mike Ives is a journalist based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and a regular contributor to The Economist and The New York Times.
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Live Reporting Fact Checking
Fact Checking

Baltimore Says Owner of Ship That Hit Key Bridge Was Negligent

23 Apr 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
The City of Baltimore has filed court documents accusing the owner and manager of the cargo ship that caused the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine, of negligence. The bridge's collapse on March 26 resulted in six deaths, port closure, and shipping disruptions. The Singapore-based companies sought exoneration from liability, while the city is pursuing legal claims for compensation. The city's claims are based on allegations of carelessness, negligence, and unseaworthiness of the vessel.

Patti Astor, Doyenne of New York’s Avant-Garde Scene, Dies at 74

15 Apr 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Patti Astor, known for her role in New York's avant-garde scene as an indie film star and co-founder of Fun Gallery, has passed away at 74 in Hermosa Beach, California. Her death was confirmed by her friend Richard Roth. Astor was a key figure in the East Village art movement, nurturing graffiti artists and showcasing prominent figures like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Here Are the 10 Biggest U.S. Lottery Jackpots Ever

07 Apr 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Since 2016, over 10 U.S. lottery jackpots have exceeded $1 billion, with four in 2023 and two in 2024. The largest was a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot won in California in 2022. Other significant wins include a $1.765 billion Powerball jackpot in California and a $1.33 billion Powerball jackpot in Oregon in 2024. Winners have variously chosen to remain anonymous or claim prizes through legal entities, with the California Lottery, Florida Lottery, and Oregon Lottery providing details on the winners.

A Look at Taiwan’s Strongest Earthquakes

02 Apr 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
The magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck Taiwan on Wednesday was the strongest in 25 years, with at least four fatalities. The article recounts significant earthquakes in Taiwan's history, including the deadliest in Taichung in 1935 with over 3,200 deaths, a 1941 quake in Tainan, and the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake that killed nearly 2,500 people.

Wanted in South Korea: Imperialism-Free Cherry Blossoms

29 Mar 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Shin Joon Hwan, an ecologist and former director of South Korea’s national arboretum, leads an advocacy group aiming to replace Japanese Yoshino cherry trees in Gyeongju with native king cherry trees. This initiative is part of a broader debate entangled with nationalist propaganda and genetic evolution, reflecting the cultural significance of cherry blossoms in both South Korea and Japan. The article highlights the historical and cultural context provided by anthropologist Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney.

Hong Kong’s New Security Legislation Took Decades to Pass. Here’s What to Know.

19 Mar 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Hong Kong passed national security legislation on Tuesday, enhancing officials' power to curb dissent and imposing penalties up to life imprisonment for political offenses. This marks a significant erosion of freedoms in the territory, which has seen its civil society and political opposition weaken over the past four years. The legislation, known as Article 23, faced massive protests in 2003 but passed without major resistance in 2024, reflecting the changed political landscape after a four-year crackdown on dissent. The ease of its passage through a pro-Beijing legislature contrasts with the lack of public support and the shutdown of independent news outlets and polling.

New Wildfires Threaten Chile’s Pacific Coast

13 Mar 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Dangerous wildfires are threatening communities along Chile's Pacific Coast, with evacuations underway in the Valparaíso region. Despite containment, three fast-moving blazes continue to burn. Interior Minister Carolina Tohá Morales reported challenges, including the inability to deploy water-dropping planes at night, and estimated that 15 to 40 homes have been affected.

Why Does Ramadan Start at Different Times in Different Places?

11 Mar 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, starts on different days in various countries due to the local sighting of the new moon, which marks the beginning of the observance. The start time varies based on factors such as who observes the moon, how it is observed, and weather conditions. For instance, Saudi Arabia declared Ramadan to start on Monday, while Oman and Iran declared it to start on Tuesday. Similarly, several Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, will begin observing Ramadan on Tuesday.

Singapore Has Taylor Swift to Itself This Week, and the Neighbors Are Complaining

05 Mar 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Taylor Swift's Eras Tour in Singapore, consisting of six sold-out shows, has caused disappointment among fans in Southeast Asia and diplomatic tension with Thailand and the Philippines. Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin claimed Singapore paid Swift up to $3 million per show for exclusivity in the region, which was criticized by Philippine lawmaker Joey Salceda. Despite the controversy, the Singaporean government views the concerts as beneficial for the country's post-pandemic economic recovery. The exclusivity deal, while standard in the music industry, is unusually broad, covering neighboring countries. The situation has sparked regional debate, with some fans accepting the limited tour schedule and others expressing frustration.

Profile Palestinian Prisoners, Officials Say

26 Feb 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
International negotiations for a truce between Israel and Hamas have progressed, with Israel agreeing to a U.S. proposal to exchange five female Israeli soldiers for 15 Palestinians convicted of terrorism. The negotiations, which also involve Egypt, Qatar, and the U.S., aim to address a permanent cease-fire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The potential deal includes the release of 40 hostages captured by Hamas and could lead to a six-week truce coinciding with Ramadan. President Biden expressed optimism about reaching a cease-fire soon, while Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized the possibility of invading Rafah regardless of a cease-fire. The Palestinian Authority's Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh resigned, with President Mahmoud Abbas remaining in power. Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon killed two Hezbollah fighters, with Hezbollah retaliating by firing rockets toward the Golan Heights.

Hostage Talks Are Set to Continue in Qatar

25 Feb 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Negotiations for a potential hostage deal involving Israel and Hamas are set to continue in Qatar, following initial talks in Paris. Israel's war cabinet has approved broad terms for a deal, aiming to finalize it before Ramadan. Key issues include Hamas's demand for a complete cessation of hostilities and the release of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli officials plan to send a delegation to Qatar to negotiate details. The article also covers the broader context of the Israel-Hamas conflict, including international reactions, humanitarian concerns, and political protests in Israel.

Moving Nor’easter Causes Headaches, Not Crippling Snowfall

13 Feb 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
The nor’easter that was expected to bring heavy snowfall to Boston shifted south, resulting in rain and minimal snow, much to the relief of residents. The storm caused disruptions in remote learning for New York City students, highlighting issues with the city's preparedness and the tech company's authentication services. The article also covers Tom Suozzi's political comeback in Long Island, where he won against Mazi Pilip in a closely watched election, emphasizing his moderate approach and experience. The storm and its impact on local politics and education are central themes.

A snow plowing company prepares in New York

13 Feb 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Jan Gautam, manager of Novus Maintenance, a snow-plowing business in Manhattan, is preparing his crews for New York City's potential heaviest snowfall in over two years. The company, with 10 vehicles and various snow-removal equipment, plans to serve around 200 regular clients, including hospitals, hotels, and apartment buildings, as well as new customers. Despite the challenges of the nor'easter starting as rain, which hinders pre-treatment with salt, Gautam and his team are ready and excited for the snow.

A Plant That Flowers Underground Is New to Science, but Not to Borneo

20 Jan 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
European botanists discovered a palm species, Pinanga subterranea, that flowers underground in Borneo, a plant known to local Indigenous groups. This discovery underscores the importance of Indigenous knowledge in scientific research. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, collaborated with local scientists and Indigenous representatives to document the plant. The article discusses the broader context of scientific colonialism and the need for sensitive collaboration with Indigenous communities.

U.S. Releases Navy Officer Imprisoned After Causing Fatal Crash in Japan

14 Jan 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Lt. Ridge Alkonis, a Navy officer convicted in Japan for a fatal traffic accident, was released from prison by the U.S. Parole Commission after serving half of his three-year sentence. The case, which involved Alkonis falling asleep at the wheel and colliding with five cars, resulting in two fatalities, had strained U.S.-Japan relations. Alkonis had paid $1.6 million to the victims' families and pleaded guilty, hoping for a suspended sentence. His family argued he suffered from altitude sickness and was denied due process. President Biden was involved in securing Alkonis's release under a prisoner transfer program.

Man Killed Son in 1989, Then Staged Tearful TV Discovery, Officials Say

12 Jan 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Victor Lee Turner and Megan R. Turner have been charged with the 1989 murder of Justin Lee Turner, Victor's son, in South Carolina. The case remained unsolved for over three decades until it was reopened nearly three years ago. The couple was arrested in Cross Hill, Laurens County, S.C. The authorities have contradicted the initial report by the Turners that Justin had disappeared after getting on a school bus, and a news footage from 1989 shows Victor Turner discovering his son's body and displaying grief.

Tornadoes, Blizzards, Floods: Severe Storms Hit Vast Sections of U.S.

10 Jan 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Severe storms have affected large sections of the U.S., causing flood warnings along the East Coast and heavy snow in the West. At least four deaths in the South have been attributed to the weather. Over half a million customers lost power, and schools and air travel were disrupted. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported a record number of billion-dollar disasters last year, highlighting the impact of climate change. The weather is expected to remain volatile, with another winter storm and an Arctic blast forecasted.

Citing Misinformation, Florida Health Official Calls for Halt to Covid Vaccines

03 Jan 2024  |  www.nytimes.com
Florida's surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, called for a halt to Covid vaccines, citing unfounded concerns that contaminants could integrate into human DNA. Federal health officials and experts have refuted his claims, emphasizing the safety and efficacy of mRNA vaccines. The FDA criticized Ladapo for contributing to misinformation, which has led to low vaccine uptake and continued Covid-related deaths and illnesses. Florida has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S. Experts have labeled Ladapo's ideas as nonsensical, and federal agencies have directly addressed his claims, defending the vaccines' life-saving impact.

Tensions Spilling Over From Gaza to Red Sea Escalate

16 Dec 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Tensions from the Gaza war have escalated to the Red Sea, with the Houthis launching drone and missile attacks on Israeli and American targets. The U.S. and British militaries have intercepted several drones, and the shipping industry is bracing for economic fallout. The Houthis' actions, intended to disrupt Israeli shipping, have led to significant disruptions in the Red Sea, a crucial global trade route. Major shipping companies have temporarily halted operations in the region, and there are concerns about the broader implications for international trade and maritime security.

Kissinger’s Legacy Still Ripples Through Vietnam and Cambodia

30 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Henry A. Kissinger's controversial decisions during the Vietnam War, such as authorizing the secret bombing of Cambodia and negotiating the American exit, have had lasting effects on Southeast Asia. Despite winning the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the peace accords, Kissinger faced criticism for potentially prolonging the war. His actions continue to spark debate over their legality and morality.

New Zealand’s New Government Says It Will Scrap Smoking Ban

28 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
New Zealand's incoming right-wing government intends to repeal a law that would have banned cigarette sales over several decades. The law, enacted by the previous administration under Jacinda Ardern, aimed to raise the smoking age incrementally until tobacco sales were illegal. The new finance minister, Nicola Willis, criticized the policy, suggesting it could create a black market. As of November 2022, about 8 percent of New Zealanders were daily smokers.

Rob Reiner Teases Details of ‘Spinal Tap’ Sequel

28 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Rob Reiner revealed that the sequel to his 1984 film 'This Is Spinal Tap' will start shooting in late February, featuring stars like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Garth Brooks. The original film, a parody documentary, was mostly improvised and inspired by 'The Last Waltz.' The sequel, 'Spinal Tap II,' was delayed due to Hollywood strikes, with no new release date announced. Reiner shared these details on Richard Herring's podcast, where he also discussed his new podcast 'Who Killed JFK?' and reflected on the original 'Spinal Tap' movie, noting the confusion it initially caused among viewers in Dallas, Texas.

How a North Korean Soccer Prodigy Vanished, and Re-emerged

23 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Han Kwang-song, a North Korean soccer player, reappeared in the sport after a three-year absence due to U.N. sanctions on North Korean nationals. His early career was fostered by North Korea's efforts to develop soccer talent, leading him to train in Spain and play professionally in Italy. The enforcement of U.N. sanctions varied, with Italy not deporting him, but Qatar complying. Marcus Noland of the Peterson Institute for International Economics noted the unusual compliance by Qatar.

What Plants Will Survive in Your Garden? This Map Plans for a Warmer U.S.

21 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, reflecting warmer zones across half of the United States, a change that gardeners and horticulturists like Jason Reeves have observed in practice. The map, a key resource for determining the viability of perennials, now shows the average low temperatures based on recent data. Christopher Daly, director of the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University and lead author of the map, acknowledges climate change as a possible factor but emphasizes improvements in data collection as the cause for the updated zones.

Navy Plane Misses Runway in Hawaii and Ends Up in Water With 9 Aboard

20 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft overshot a runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and ended up in the water. All nine crew members were unharmed and rescued from an inflatable life raft. The incident occurred during a routine training mission. Emergency workers deployed a temporary barrier to protect the environment. The aircraft is primarily used for surveillance missions.

California Boat Captain Convicted of Manslaughter in Fire That Killed 34

07 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Jerry Nehl Boylan, the captain of the dive boat Conception, was convicted of seaman’s manslaughter for his role in the 2019 fire that resulted in the deaths of 33 passengers and one crew member off the coast of Southern California. Boylan, who escaped the fire uninjured, failed to perform lifesaving or firefighting activities. He faces up to 10 years in prison, with sentencing scheduled for February. The disaster led to new Coast Guard fire safety rules and multiple lawsuits. The National Transportation Safety Board cited the lack of a night patrol and smoke detectors as factors that delayed the response to the fire.

Ady Barkan, Health Care Activist Spurred by His Illness, Dies at 39

02 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Ady Barkan, a prominent activist known for his campaign for Medicare for all, passed away at 39 due to A.L.S. at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Diagnosed in 2016, Barkan used his remaining time to advocate for changes in the American health care system, gaining influence through his personal narrative and public engagements, including testifying before Congress and speaking at the Democratic National Convention.

Alaska Man Threatened to ‘Kidnap and Injure’ a U.S. Senator, Police Say

01 Nov 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
An Alaska man, Arther Charles Graham, was arrested for threatening to kidnap and injure a U.S. senator, believed to be Lisa Murkowski, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. The threat was made via email on September 28, and Graham was arrested on October 30 in Kenai, Alaska. He admitted to the FBI that he sent the threatening email. This incident is part of a growing trend of direct threats against U.S. Congress members.

Aaron Spears, Drummer for Usher and Other Stars, Dies at 47

31 Oct 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Aaron Spears, a Grammy-nominated drummer known for playing with Usher, Ariana Grande, and other pop stars, has passed away at the age of 47. His death was confirmed by his wife Jessica and their son August through an official statement on his Instagram account, which did not include details about the time, place, or cause of death.

Stereo Speaker Battles Blare Celine Dion Tunes and Torment a New Zealand City

27 Oct 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
In Porirua, New Zealand, residents have been experiencing disturbances due to 'siren battles,' a subculture event where Pacific Islander communities compete in playing music loudly through speakers on cars or bicycles. This phenomenon, which includes blaring songs like those of Celine Dion, started about a year ago.

Chinese Jet Flies Within 10 Feet of U.S. Bomber, Pentagon Says

27 Oct 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A Chinese J-11 fighter jet approached a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber within 10 feet over the South China Sea, nearly causing a collision. The U.S. military described the maneuver as unsafe and unprofessional, occurring in international airspace. The incident coincided with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to the U.S. for talks with officials amid tensions over security and economic competition. China's Foreign Ministry blamed U.S. military presence as the root cause of security risks, vowing to safeguard national sovereignty. The Pentagon reported an increase in intercepts by Chinese military jets of U.S. aircraft in the region, with over 180 recorded since autumn 2021.

Biden to Visit Israel Amid Gaza Crisis, as Fears Grow of Wider War

17 Oct 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
President Biden plans to visit Israel to show solidarity and address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid escalating tensions and the possibility of a wider war. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced the visit after meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The crisis in Gaza is worsening, with over 2,800 Palestinians killed and more than 10,000 wounded due to Israeli airstrikes, and over 400,000 people displaced. The U.S. is attempting to facilitate humanitarian aid and prevent the conflict from spreading, with Iran warning of preemptive action by regional militias if civilian deaths continue. The situation is further complicated by the hostage-taking of nearly 200 people by Hamas, including a 21-year-old woman, Mia Schem, whose video plea was released by the group.

TikTok Star Sentenced to Prison After Eating Pork on Camera

21 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
Indonesian TikTok influencer Lina Lutfiawati was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $16,269 for blasphemy after eating pork rinds on camera and saying 'Bismillah' in a video. The incident drew the attention of Indonesia's top Muslim clerical body, the Ulema Council. Blasphemy laws in Indonesia, which have been used more frequently since the early 2000s, apply to deviations from the central tenets of the country's six official religions. High-profile cases have occurred under President Joko Widodo's tenure, including the sentencing of Jakarta's former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. Lina, who did not have a lawyer at her trial, expressed surprise at the severity of her punishment and had apologized for her actions.

Margot Weakens to a Post-Tropical Cyclone

17 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
The National Weather Service has released the storm names for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. The naming follows six rotating alphabetical lists, with the 2023 list last used in 2017. Names are retired if a storm causes significant destruction or death, with Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate being retired from the 2017 list. The 2022 hurricane season saw 14 named storms, including two major hurricanes, Fiona and Ian, which reached Category 4.

Vietnam Apartment Block Fire Kills at Least 56 People

13 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A late-night fire at a nine-story apartment tower in Hanoi's Thanh Xuan district, Vietnam, resulted in at least 56 fatalities, with another 37 injured and over 100 rescued. The incident occurred shortly after President Biden's visit to Vietnam. The fire's cause is under investigation, and its containment was complicated by the building's location in a narrow alley. This event follows a history of deadly fires in Vietnam, including a karaoke bar blaze last year that killed 32 people, prompting new fire safety regulations.

Death Toll Surpasses 2,000 From Strong Quake in Morocco

09 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A powerful earthquake struck near Marrakesh, Morocco, killing over 2,000 people and injuring at least 2,059, with 1,400 critically. King Mohammed VI has directed rapid aid and reconstruction for the vulnerable, particularly orphans. The quake, with a magnitude of at least 6.8, was the strongest in the region in over a century. Rescue efforts are challenged by remote mountain villages' inaccessibility. International aid offers have come from various countries and organizations, including France, Turkey, and Doctors Without Borders. Morocco has declared three days of national mourning.

Death Toll Surpasses 2,000 From Strong Quake in Morocco

09 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A powerful earthquake struck the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakesh, Morocco, killing over 2,000 people and injuring at least 2,059, with more than 1,400 critically wounded. The quake, with a magnitude of at least 6.8, was the strongest in the region in over a century. King Mohammed VI has directed the government to provide rapid aid, particularly to orphans and the vulnerable. Rescue efforts are challenged by the remote and inaccessible mountain villages. International aid has been offered by various countries and organizations, including Turkey, France, and Doctors Without Borders. The Moroccan government has announced three days of national mourning.

Death Toll Surpasses 2,000 From Strong Quake in Morocco

09 Sep 2023  |  www.nytimes.com
A powerful earthquake struck near Marrakesh, Morocco, killing over 2,000 people and injuring at least 2,059, with 1,400 critically. The quake, with a magnitude of at least 6.8, was the strongest in the region in over a century. King Mohammed VI ordered rapid aid and reconstruction for the affected, particularly orphans and the vulnerable. Rescue efforts faced challenges due to inaccessible mountain villages. International aid was offered by various countries and organizations, including France, Turkey, and Doctors Without Borders. The Moroccan government announced three days of national mourning.

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