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January 20, 2021



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A field of flags is spread across the National Mall, with the Washington Monument in the background on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, as seen from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on the evening ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


Colleagues,


Good Wednesday morning on this the 20th day of January 2021,


Today is Inauguration Day as Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris becomes the first woman to serve as vice president. We wish our colleagues covering inauguration activities today a safe day as events unfold in Washington.
One hundred years ago today, Frances Lewine was born in New York City and grew up to become what our colleague Edie Lederer terms “one of the most important trailblazers for the advancement of women in the media.”


Another of our colleagues, Pulitzer Prize winner Shirley Christian, said, “Fran made a deep and lasting imprint as the world of journalism opened wider to women.”


Linda Deutsch noted that like Kamala Harris, "Fran was a trailblazer for women. She made it possible for me and other women journalists to build important careers in a profession that underestimated them for many years."


In our lead story today, we celebrate Fran's contributions to The Associated Press and to our world of journalism.


Our colleague Doug Mills, a photographer in The New York Times’ Washington bureau, has followed President Trump for the past four years and was interviewed in the Times about his experiences covering “by far the most iconic president I’ve photographed.”


Doug worked in the AP’s Washington bureau before joining the Times in 2002. We bring you the story.


Have a great day – be safe, stay healthy.


Paul


Recalling Fran Lewine on 100th anniversary of her birth
President Ford answers questions from Fran Lewine (at coffee table with tape recorder at hand) during an informal news conference in 1976. (AP Photo/Corporate Archives)


Francesca Pitaro (Email) – Today marks the centenary of the birth of Frances Lewine (1921-2008), the first woman full-time White House reporter for the AP. Lewine began her AP career in 1944 as a reporter in Newark, then transferred to the Washington bureau in 1956 where she covered six administrations from Eisenhower to Carter.


Often relegated to covering social events and the first family, while male colleagues garnered front page headlines, Lewine became a leader among women journalists and a mentor to many aspiring reporters. advocating for equal access to assignments and equal pay.


Lewine served as president of The Women's National Press Club, and in 1976 was the second woman to be elected to the Gridiron Club. Her friend (and UPI competitor) Helen Thomas had been elected the year before. Lewine was also a member of Executive Women in Government and the Society of Professional Journalists. She was elected to the Washington Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame and to the Hunter College Hall of Fame and was awarded the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.


Lewine left the AP in 1977 to join the Carter administration and became deputy director of public affairs for the Transportation Department. When President Carter left office in 1981, she moved to the fledgling Cable News Network as an assignment editor and field producer. She died on Jan. 19, 2008.
Frances Lewine (left) of The Associated Press talks with Mrs. Jaqueline Kennedy on the lawn of the Governor's residence at Karachi, Pakistan. Miss Lewine was a member of the press contingent that covered Mrs. Kennedy's world tour in March, 1962. (AP Photo/Corporate Archives)


Two of her former colleagues remember her:


Edie Lederer (Email) – AP’s chief United Nations correspondent - Fran Lewine was an often-unsung pioneer in putting women into the top echelons of political reporting. She broke a barrier at the White House where previous female reporters for AP only got to cover the First Lady. Fran’s talent and determination led to her assignment covering President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. But she wrote that it was a "source of disappointment and anger" that the AP never considered her an equal to male White House colleagues.


That spurred Fran to become a protest leader in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s against discrimination of women in the media, not only in assignments and pay, but as editors and publishers. Fran was a plaintiff in the AP sex discrimination suit and she was instrumental in opening the male-only National Press Club and the Gridiron club to women.


Fran never lost her love for reporting and for the news and worked for CNN until her death, just before her 87th birthday in 2008. She remains one of the most important trailblazers for the advancement of women in the media.


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Shirley Christian (Email) – A few weeks after I first joined The AP in Kansas City at the end of 1966, I recall an article in The AP Log reporting that the roughly 1.200 "newsmen" of The AP were now a whopping five per cent female! That worked out to about 60 women nationally, maybe globally.


But the proof that they weren't all hidden on the overnight in, say, Albany, Salt Lake, or Kansas City (as I was at the time) was that the byline Fran Lewine kept popping up on the A-wire. I didn't aspire to cover the White House or Washington, but the fact that Fran was there, doing just that, meant that lots of things were possible. She wasn't the first AP woman to take a prominent role in covering Washington -- Lorena Hickock had already established herself covering the Roosevelt White House in the 1930s -- but Fran made a deep and lasting imprint as the world of journalism opened wider to women.


The fact is that Fran was more or less consigned to covering First Ladies. I don't know whether that was her choice or not, though I doubt it. My recollection is that she backstopped with the president when the male correspondents took a weekend off.


Fran went to lots of parties at the White House, which is how I met her, not at a party but while slaving away on the World Services desk. She was an old friend of Angelo Natale, who came back from Rome in the early 1970's and took over as day supervisor in World Services. Angelo also moved into an apartment on Second Avenue, a few doors from me, and we became good friends. I don't know how Fran and Angelo became friends, but Angelo had an unofficial role as Fran's arm date whenever she needed an escort for a big White House event. As a good New York Italian with a taste for opera and fine food, Angelo had the charm and wardrobe for the unpaid job. When Fran summoned, Angelo put on his tux and bow-tie shoes and got on the train to Washington.


Whenever Fran came to New York she always hung out with Angelo, and he would proudly show her around our corner of the fourth floor at 50 Rock. I confess that the main thing I recall from occasional chats with her was that she wore very classy clothes, as probably expected at the Nixon/Ford White House. That was before Edie Lederer laid claim to being the clothes-hound of The AP.


Years later, it was an honor to have Fran join our 10-year-long discrimination complaint and suit against The AP. The settlement of the suit opened many more doors for women and minorities, but Fran proved that determination can accomplish a lot even when the odds are against you.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Christian joined the AP in 1968 on the Foreign Desk in New York and went on to work as the AP’s UN correspondent and as an editor at its Foreign and World Desk. She then became the AP bureau chief for Chile and Bolivia. In 1980, Christian joined the Latin America Bureau for the Miami Herald and began reporting on the Central American crisis, the political turmoil that was sweeping across Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. She won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting “for her dispatches from Central America.” She lived in Latin America for 20 years, rising to become the New York Times Bureau Chief for Argentina.


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Linda Deutsch (Email) - Fran Lewine was always proud that her birthday fell on Inauguration Day. I’m sure this year she would have been thrilled to share the day not only with Joe Biden, whom she knew, but with Kamala Harris, the first woman to hold the office of Vice President.


Like Harris, Fran was a trailblazer for women. She made it possible for me and other women journalists to build important careers in a profession that underestimated them for many years. She was my role model before I got to know her and I was the rare person who had the honor to have my hero become a best friend.


Our history was unusual. When I was in college in New Jersey, dreaming of a career as a reporter, I attended an event sponsored by Theta Sigma Phi, a woman’s journalism sorority that would later become part of the Society for Professional Journalists. The speaker was Fran Lewine, then the AP’s White House correspondent. Once, when she worked in New Jersey, she had been a stringer for the AP Newark bureau, a role that I would play when I worked for the Asbury Park Press. When I heard her speak, I was mesmerized. Her career showed that women did not have to be relegated to the social pages but could climb to the highest realms of journalism. She was an inspiration.


A few years later I graduated and moved to California where I became the only woman reporter in the AP Los Angeles bureau. I was a newbie when I got the plum assignment of backing up the AP team at the Nixon Western White House in San Clemente. That was where I got to meet the AP greats: Frank Cormier, Doug Cornell, and best of all, Fran Lewine. They welcomed me as an equal and I learned by watching them work. Fran quickly took me under her wing. When the day was done, she invited me to go out to dinner with her and her best friend, the legendary Helen Thomas of UPI. I was in heaven. On subsequent nights, the AP crew made sure I was always included in their dinner plans. I was amused to see that Fran and Helen, who battled each other for scoops every day, always shared a dish at dinner — a journalistic example of bipartisanship.


In subsequent years, whenever Nixon visited California, I saw Fran and got to know her better. It turned out that she was a longtime friend of my best friend, the great Theo Wilson. They had spent a memorable time covering Jackie Kennedy on a trip to India that bonded them forever. I also found out that her beloved cousin was the legendary Nobel Prize winning scientist, Richard Feynman, who lived in Pasadena. Fran would often visit him during her vacations and soon she began to visit Theo and me as well. 


That’s when I found out about Fran’s secret life as a gambler. She was dedicated to casinos and managed to find one in every country she visited on a presidential trip. But Las Vegas was her favorite. She convinced Theo and me that we had to go with her to the gambling mecca and we did. What a revelation! Fran was a champion craps and blackjack player and always seemed to win. We were not so lucky, but we enjoyed watching Fran’s excitement at the games.


The key to Fran’s personality was joy. She was a glass-is-always-half-full person. She raved about the food at restaurants she frequented and savored our adventures traveling abroad. She was a great raconteur and her stories were always punctuated with her favorite adjective: “marvelous.” Her life with AP was not all roses (see Edie Lederer’s account of her career). But when she was pushed out, she found her way to the fledgling CNN and became a valued and beloved member of their news team. Politicians knew her from her days at AP and would give her scoops because she was Fran.
Edie Lederer and I became her regular house guests in Washington and she introduced us to the Gridiron dinners. It was the hottest ticket in town and Fran invited us as her guests. We dressed up in fancy gowns, heard Presidents speak and met the historic figures who attended. Often, Fran also hosted Secretary of State Madeline Albright who would sit with us. Like she had done when I was the Newbie at San Clemente, Fran made sure to introduce us to everyone. (Photo at right from Gridiron gala: from left, Edie Lederer, Linda Deutsch and Fran Lewine.)


And we introduced her to the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) where she became popular among young women who sought her out as a mentor and beloved by her contemporaries who honored her. She became the heart and soul of the organization. Since her passing, Edie and I have presented a Fran Lewine Trailblazer interview each year with a journalist who walked in her footsteps.


My proudest moment with Fran came a year before she passed. I had nominated her for the University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism and she was surprised and thrilled when it was announced she was going to be the honoree. She suggested that Edie and I join her at Columbia for the weekend of activities and she invited her nephew, journalist Chuck Hirshberg, to escort her, insisting he wear a tuxedo for the grand awards dinner. At our table was AP Kansas City bureau chief Paul Stevens and a young reporter named Kia Breaux who would later follow in his footsteps as bureau chief. Fran was resplendent in a lavender gown. She humbly accepted the accolades and gave a fine speech.


The amazing thing was that this trailblazer and epitome of journalistic excellence, a woman of humility who didn’t promote her own accomplishments, had never before received an award. It was a highlight of her life and I was proud to have been part of it. Mostly, I was proud and grateful to have been part of her extraordinary life.

More Access, More Anxiety: The Job of Photographing Trump
Photos by Doug Mills/The New York Times


In an interview, Doug Mills, a Times photographer in the Washington bureau, reflects on a relentless four years.


By Mark Shimabukuro


Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.


Over the past four years, Doug Mills, a photographer in The New York Times’s Washington bureau since 2002, has taken tens of thousands of shots of President Trump. With a new administration coming in, Mr. Mills reflected in an interview on his nonstop job, as well as the pressure and anxiety that come with his role. The following comments have been lightly edited.
In what ways have the past four years been more challenging for you than in previous administrations?


It’s been the most consuming four years in memory for everyone in the White House press corps. President Trump was the most unpredictable commander in chief in my 38 years of covering the White House. He drove news cycle after news cycle each and every day, and I was there for the majority of them.


Was your job easier in any way?


In many ways it has been easier because there was never a shortage of photo-ops, news conferences or world stage events to photograph President Trump. The White House press photographers have never had so much access to the Oval Office and Cabinet Room meetings. Many times, we were in Oval Office events for more than 30 minutes and in Cabinet Room meetings for over 90 minutes. Photographers can take a lot of different images during that time.


You’ve talked in the past about how President Trump was iconic. Can you elaborate?


President Trump was by far the most iconic president I’ve photographed. President Obama was the most photogenic. Mr. Trump’s hair, black jackets and red ties, along with his physical figure, makes almost any part of his body recognizable.


What was your own personal interaction with him like?


President Trump does know me by name and has pointed me out on a number of occasions. During a G7 summit in Canada, he told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that I was one of the world’s best photographers, but that I worked for The New York Times. While I was covering President Trump’s dinner with the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace, he pointed me out to the queen and said, “That’s Doug Mills of The New York Times.” I was shocked and just looked at the queen and said, “Your Majesty,” and the photo-op was over.


Did you develop a rapport with him, and what was that like?


Like many presidents I’ve covered, I did develop a rapport. He would often say hello when he came back on Air Force One to talk to reporters and called me a “genius.” Yes, my colleagues would give me a ton of grief about it.


Read more here. Shared by Mike Feinsilber.


And before Mills joined the Times…
In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, Chief of Staff Andy Card whispers into the ear of President George W. Bush to give him word of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center, during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. Doug Mills/AP file. Mills, a Connecting colleague, calls this his favorite AP photo as Card told Bush, "Mr. President, a second aircraft has just hit the World Trade Center, America is under attack."


Doug Mills (Email) - I spent 15 amazing years at the AP where I learned from the BEST in the business. When Bob Daugherty was the chief photographer, he instilled dedication, commitment and teamwork that has stuck with me for almost 20 years. We all worked day and night during the Clinton years. I was the AP photographer who was chosen to continue the historic day with President Bush on 9/11. The AP is still the largest news organization in the world and every photographer and editor there is respected by everyone in the industry. I still have AP in my blood and I always will. I’m always amazed that every photographer and editor at the AP are always willing to lend a hand to me in any story I come across.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Doug Mills has worked as a photographer in the Washington bureau of The New York Times since 2002. Previously, he served for 15 years as chief photographer for the AP in Washington. He joined the AP after working for four years in the Washington bureau of United Press International. Mills was part of two AP photo teams that won Pulitzer Prizes, in 1993 for coverage of the Clinton/Gore campaign and in 1999 for coverage of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair. Born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1960, Mills studied at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va. He is married with two daughters and lives in Arlington, Va.


Some final thoughts on Nick Ut Medal of Arts acceptance


Gene Herrick (Email) - Nick Ut is a great photographer. He has represented The Associated Press for years and years. Nick’s photographs have been outstanding. A Pulitzer Prize ain’t nothing to be sneezed at.


Nick’s accepting the Medal of Arts was just another well-deserved honor. The award had nothing to do with whether one likes, or dislikes President Trump. It has to do with our country honoring a man of greatness. 


Trump, in disgrace, will be gone today, but the honor to Nick will live on.


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Jim Hood (Email) - I think the question to ask in the Nick Ut affair is why he had to wait so long to receive the award that he so richly deserves. The award is given on behalf of the American people, passing only briefly through the hands of whoever is their elected leader at any given time. It is a great honor no matter who bestows it.


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Jim Limbach (Email) - He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone. (John 8:7)


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Ray Newton (Email) - Nick Ut won the award for his photography, not his political beliefs. Sheesh. Back off.


Editorial reaction to ‘White House snub’ of Jesse Owens


Dennis Conrad (Email) - In 1936, the Pittsburgh Courier was arguably one of the nation’s most important African-American newspapers. That same year, Jesse Owens was most certainly one of the best-known African Americans on planet Earth. He had, after all, won Gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the embarrassment of Hitler and his nation of white supremacists. Owens would also make news, however, by targeting President Franklin D. Roosevelt for what he considered to be a White House snub: no congratulatory telegram. Herein is the editorial reaction of the Pittsburgh Courier:
Sky shot: Midwest Winter Sunset
Peter Leabo (Email) - Flights of migrating Canada geese pass in front of a blazing winter sunset in rural farmland north of Kansas City, Mo.

Merrill Hartson - jrdhartson@peoplepc.com 

Stories of interest


Journalists Covering the 2021 Inauguration Urge Officials to Allow Them to Wear Protective Equipment (PetaPixel)


By JARON SCHNEIDER


The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), New York Times, and Washington Post are urging the Secret Service to allow credentialed journalists covering the 2021 inauguration to carry protective equipment.


In a letter sent to Justine Whelan, the Deputy Press Secretary at the United States Secret Service, the RCFP (backed by the NPPA, New York Times, and Washington Post) is asking for credentialed journalists to don protective equipment at least outside the most secured area where the inauguration will occur.


Citing the over 300 journalists who were injured in the United States while covering the multiple civil unrest cases across the country and specifically the multiple journalists who were assaulted two weeks ago while reporting on the January 6 riots, the organizations are asking for the Secret Service to allow them to wear life-saving non-lethal protective equipment such as helmets, ballistic vests, gas masks, and other items.


Read more here. Shared by Doug Pizac.


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The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021) (New York Times)


By Kevin Quealy


As a political figure, Donald J. Trump used Twitter to praise, to cajole, to entertain, to lobby, to establish his version of events — and, perhaps most notably, to amplify his scorn. This list documents the verbal attacks Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, from when he declared his candidacy in June 2015 to Jan. 8, when Twitter permanently barred him. More recent insults are highlighted.


Read more here. Shared by Marty Steinberg, including this on the AP:


The Associated Press
NEWS ORGANIZATION

“Fake News!” “false,” “dishonest reporting,” “always looking for a hit to bring them back into relevancy—ain’t working,” “has one of the worst reporters in the business,” “an organization that has totally lost its way,” “Reuters is a far more professional operation,” “they have lost their way and are no longer credible,” “reporting is terrible & highly inaccurate,” “now irrelevant,” “should change their fraudulent story”


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Two Fox News political executives out after Arizona call (AP)


By DAVID BAUDER


NEW YORK (AP) — Two of Fox News Channel’s top news executives involved in the controversial — but correct — election night call of Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden are out at the network.


Bill Sammon, senior vice president and managing editor at Fox’s Washington bureau, announced his retirement to staff members on Monday. On Tuesday, as part of a restructuring of Fox’s digital operations, politics editor Chris Stirewalt was let go.


Fox’s decision to call Arizona for Biden took the network’s anchors by surprise and infuriated the White House, which believed the determination was premature.


Read more here.


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At Fox News, a post-election shake-up brings more opinion at the expense of news (Washington Post)


By Jeremy Barr


Regular viewers of Fox News’s early-evening hours might have been surprised to see one of the network’s highly opinionated morning hosts, Brian Kilmeade, holding forth Monday night with a broadside against “the big tech crackdown on free speech.”


Fox’s 7 p.m. hour has traditionally been reserved for news coverage. But in a shake-up that has raised concerns within its news division, the network last week announced it would bump veteran anchor Martha MacCallum from that slot — part of a larger shift toward the conservative-leaning punditry programming that made Fox the most-watched cable channel in 2020.


Kilmeade is among the six opinionators who will get informal week-long tryouts to become the permanent host of the 7 p.m. hour, which is being called “Fox News Primetime.” Also getting a turn are business news anchor Maria Bartiromo and conservative Fox News contributors Katie Pavlich, Rachel Campos-Duffy and former congressman Trey Gowdy, as well as commentator Mark Steyn, a favorite guest of Fox ratings champ Tucker Carlson. (The names were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.)


Read more here. Shared by Dennis Conrad.


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When Radio Stations Stopped a Public Figure From Spreading Dangerous Lies (Smithsonian Magazine)


By William Kovarik, The Conversation


In speeches filled with hatred and falsehoods, a public figure attacks his enemies and calls for marches on Washington. Then, after one particularly virulent address, private media companies close down his channels of communication, prompting consternation from his supporters and calls for a code of conduct to filter out violent rhetoric.


Sound familiar? Well, this was 1938, and the individual in question was Father Charles E. Coughlin, a Nazi-sympathizing Catholic priest with unfettered access to America’s vast radio audiences. The firms silencing him were the broadcasters of the day.


As a media historian, I find more than a little similarity between the stand those stations took back then and the way Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have silenced false claims of election fraud and incitements to violence in the aftermath of the siege on the U.S. Capitol – noticeably by silencing the claims of Donald Trump and his supporters.


Read more here. Shared by Mike Holmes.
Today in History - Jan. 20, 2021
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2021. There are 345 days left in the year.


Today’s Highlight in History:


On Jan. 20, 1986, the United States observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.


On this date:


In 1265, England’s first representative Parliament met for the first time.


In 1801, Secretary of State John Marshall was nominated by President John Adams to be chief justice of the United States. (Marshall would be sworn in on Feb. 4, 1801.)


In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.


In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 instead of March 4.


In 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final solution” that called for exterminating Europe’s Jews.


In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.


In 1964, Capitol Records released the album “Meet the Beatles!”


In 1981, Iran released 52 Americans it had held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.


In 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. (Faulkner joined the cadet corps in Aug. 1995 under court order but soon dropped out, citing isolation and stress from the legal battle.)


In 2007, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., launched her first campaign for the White House, saying in a videotaped message on her website: “I’m in, and I’m in to win.”


In 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th, as well as first African-American, president.


In 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, pledging emphatically to empower America’s “forgotten men and women.” Protesters registered their rage against the new president in a chaotic confrontation with police just blocks from the inaugural parade.


Ten years ago: In a luncheon speech to American business executives in Washington, Chinese President Hu Jintao denied his country was a military threat despite its arms buildup and pressed the U.S. for closer cooperation between the global powers. Federal authorities orchestrated one of the biggest Mafia takedowns in FBI history, charging 127 suspected mobsters and associates in the Northeast with murders, extortion and other crimes spanning decades.


Five years ago: President Barack Obama hailed the revival of the nation’s auto industry during a visit to Detroit while acknowledging the water crisis in nearby Flint, Michigan. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA announced that 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. Kathryn Smith was promoted by the Buffalo Bills to take over as special teams quality control coach, making her the NFL’s first full-time female coach.


One year ago: Chinese government experts confirmed human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus, saying two people caught the virus from family members and that some health workers had tested positive. Tens of thousands of gun-rights activists rallied at the Virginia Capitol to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. (Lawmakers eventually approved seven of the eight measures in Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun-control package.) Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff moved into the second round at the Australian Open by beating Venus Williams in straight sets.


Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 91. Olympic gold medal figure skater Carol Heiss is 81. Singer Eric Stewart is 76. Movie director David Lynch is 75. Country-rock musician George Grantham (Poco) is 74. Israeli activist Natan Sharansky is 73. Actor Daniel Benzali is 71. Rock musician Paul Stanley (KISS) is 69. Rock musician Ian Hill (Judas Priest) is 69. Comedian Bill Maher (MAR) is 65. Actor Lorenzo Lamas is 63. Actor James Denton is 58. Rock musician Greg K. (The Offspring) is 56. Country singer John Michael Montgomery is 56. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is 56. Actor Rainn Wilson is 55. Actor Stacey Dash is 54. TV personality Melissa Rivers is 53. Actor Reno Wilson is 52. Singer Edwin McCain is 51. Actor Skeet Ulrich is 51. Rap musician ?uestlove (questlove) (The Roots) is 50. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is 49. Rock musician Rob Bourdon (Linkin Park) is 42. Singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee is 37. Country singer Brantley Gilbert is 36. Rock singer Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is 35. Actor Evan Peters is 34.

Got a story or photos to share?
Got a story to share? A favorite memory of your AP days? Don't keep them to yourself. Share with your colleagues by sending to Ye Olde Connecting Editor. And don't forget to include photos!


Here are some suggestions:

- Second chapters - You finished a great career. Now tell us about your second (and third and fourth?) chapters of life.
 
- Spousal support - How your spouse helped in supporting your work during your AP career. 

- My most unusual story - tell us about an unusual, off the wall story that you covered.

- "A silly mistake that you make"- a chance to 'fess up with a memorable mistake in your journalistic career.

- Multigenerational AP families - profiles of families whose service spanned two or more generations.

- Volunteering - benefit your colleagues by sharing volunteer stories - with ideas on such work they can do themselves.

- First job - How did you get your first job in journalism?

- Connecting "selfies" - a word and photo self-profile of you and your career, and what you are doing today. Both for new members and those who have been with us a while.

Most unusual place a story assignment took you.

Paul Stevens
Editor, Connecting newsletter
paulstevens46@gmail.com