02242020What's Hot:

Letter 19: American Shooting, Australian Pain

How or why would the officer shoot? Did he feel threatened somehow? Was his training too focused on risk rather than public assistance, or was there some other reason?

We don’t yet have clear answers to these questions, or many others. The officer, Mohamed Noor, has refused to talk, invoking the American legal right to stay silent if speaking up might incriminate him. His partner has only said that there was a noise before the shooting.

New York Times reporters will be writing more in the coming days about the officer, the Minneapolis police department, and how the case fits into the broader context of American policing. Both in Minneapolis and here in Australia, we’ll be covering the case closely, so if you have questions you think we should pursue, email nytaustralia@nytimes.com.

Our reporters have already begun to explore why the officers body cameras were not on; how Mr. Noor’s Somali-American community is responding; and the sense of shock and outrage that many Australians feel about the shooting and American gun culture. One of the people our reporter, Isabella Kwai, met after the silent vigil for Ms. Damond at Freshwater Beach in Sydney summed it up by saying that such a death at the hands of an officer “would have never happened here.”

Reflecting the views of many people we spoke to, Robina Mackenzie, one of our most engaged readers, wrote in our private Facebook group for New York Times subscribers: “Justine ran towards the police in her pyjamas as an Australian woman brought up to believe the police are there to serve and protect. The US police officers are trained to think she was carrying a gun. That’s the tragedy, with an innocent life lost.”

You can see the vigil for yourself on Facebook, where we streamed it live. And you can follow all our coverage of Australia at nytimes.com/au.

Now here are my stories of the week, and an especially Times-ian recommendation.



What’s on your bucket list? More beach time? Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Have Sex. Get a Little Tan.

I know it’s not summer here in Australia, far from it, but these two summer bucket lists are enough to get you thinking: What would I like to accomplish between now and the end of the year? My boss, Jodi Rudoren, proudly reports that she’s been bringing her lunch to work. I prefer the items in the headline above, which are, of course, drawn from what appears to be the list of a 35-year-old woman.



Dongsi, a neighborhood in Beijing known for traditional alleyways called hutongs, last month. In alley after alley throughout the city, once-thriving businesses now have bricked-up walls where storefronts or doors once were. Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Renovating or Ruining Beijing?

Cities change. Countries change. And sometimes there are telling stories in little streetscapes. After reading this wonderful Beijing journal from Steven Lee Myers I kept thinking about when urban modernization means progress and when it means loss. Great photos by Bryan Denton too — good to see such a talented friend shooting something other than war.



David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.” Credit The New York Times

Acting Class

What can be learned from watching actors like David Oyelowo prepare for performances that include rousing speeches? How does Andy Serkis transform from human to ape? Check out Acting Class, a new video series from The New York Times that reveals how world-class actors bring their characters to life onscreen.



Trump Brands People, not Policy

When The Upshot goes comprehensive on Trump’s linguistic quirks, it’s always worth paying attention. This time, they tally the consistency of his insults for his enemies, and his struggle to brand his policies with the same gusto and catchiness.


And We Recommend…

Here’s a not-so-novel recommendation: us. Yes, yes, I’m biased, but our NYT Australia Facebook group is worth checking out if you’re a Times subscriber. The group has grown from a little community-building experiment into a robust discussion group with around 3,600 members from all over Australia and the world.

We’re still very much figuring out how to make the group as useful and interesting as possible, but so far, we’ve had guest posts from Times books, fashion and food editors and Q&As with Times journalists, along with live streams and smart discussions on everything from comparing police shootings in Australia with the U.S., to the rise of Australia’s far-right movement to taste-testing sausage rolls (hey, intelligent debate doesn’t always have to be highbrow).

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be rolling out a series of special subscriber events around Australia, and you’ll hear it in the group first. You can also join and post yourself and help shape this community of readers and reporters, and our coverage. The group has already led us to stories we might not otherwise have done, and we look forward to more input as we grow.

Source: NYT > World

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic