“They made the cheapest slice, and they wanted to prove they could make the best slice.” Eli and Oren Halali, the 2 brothers behind New York’s popular @2brospizza, are the masters of the fast, cheap lunch — and the $1 slice. Now, with Noam Grossman, they've opened @upsidepizza, a slice shop that prizes flavor and high-quality ingredients above all. The cooks make fresh #mozzarella every morning. The plain cheese slice has 4 kinds of cheese, fresh, naturally leavened crust and costs $3. @jeenahmoon shot this photo of Upside’s #sicilian slice with #pepperoni. Visit the link in our profile for more #🍕
Meet "Miss Val," the @ucla#gymnastics coach who has created something of an oasis in a sport often characterized by intense turbulence. @katelyn_ohashi, the viral gymnastics sensation who stunned millions of viewers last month, calls Miss Val, whose real name is Valorie Kondos Field, “my mentor, my mom, my sister, my best friend. She’s literally everything to me.” Valorie is a former professional #ballerina who had little experience in gymnastics instruction when she joined the program nearly 4 decades ago. Her team has won 7 national championships since 1997. Valorie’s presence has special import right now. She’s retiring at the end of the season. After discovering she had breast cancer in 2014, she considered what else she could accomplish. She is now considered cancer-free. @kaylareefer shot this photo of Valorie watching one of her gymnasts practice a routine. Visit the link in our profile to read more about Valorie’s coaching style and her team at UCLA.
Gianni Bisoli said he was abused by priests when he was a pupil at the Antonio Provolo Institute, a Catholic school for the deaf in Verona, Italy. “The #pope talks and talks, but doesn’t do anything,” he said of the clerical abuse scandal. In #italy, home to the Roman #catholic Church, clerical sexual abuse is rarely discussed. Experts consider Italy’s response to be one of the worst among Western nations. Italy’s record on the issue is in the spotlight this week, with Pope Francis having convened a meeting at the #vatican meant to help church leadership remedy the scourge of abuse. In Italian, “there is no corresponding word for accountability,” said the Rev. Hans Zollner, one of the Vatican’s top experts in safeguarding minors and an organizer of this week’s meeting. “This says something.” If a word doesn’t exist, he said, “it means that in this culture there is not much reflection on this.” Recognizing the problem, the Italian Bishops’ Conference is redrafting its 2014 guidelines for protecting minors. The ones currently in use, they acknowledge, are too legalistic and not sensitive to survivors. @francesca_volpi_photo took this photo of Gianni in #sirmione, Italy. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
As Venezuela’s politicians fight over aid, patients are dying without it. This 8-year-old girl, photographed by @meridithkohut, fractured her skull and right leg in a traffic accident. Her father has been hunting for medical supplies in pharmacies, the black market and #colombia, in an endless search for the medications and supplies they need to survive in a country where the health care system is in collapse and hospitals lack even basics like soap and alcohol. The arrival of American donations of food and medical supplies to the Colombian border with #venezuela appeared to be a lifeline for the family and dozens of other patients in critical condition or with serious chronic diseases. But the delivery of aid has become the epicenter of an escalating political confrontation between President Nicolás #maduro of Venezuela and the country’s opposition. The impasse has kept the supplies stuck in a converted customs warehouse in the Colombian border town of Cúcuta — and out of Venezuela — for nearly 2 weeks. Venezuela’s chronic patients say the political theater is eclipsing their needs — with dire consequences. Maduro has denied there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and said Monday the country can export medication. He called American aid a “Trojan horse” aimed at overthrowing his government and blocked a bridge between Venezuela and Cúcuta with barricades and soldiers. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
As Senator Amy Klobuchar joins the 2020 U.S. presidential race, former aides say she was not just demanding but often dehumanizing, the steward of a work environment colored by volatility and distrust. For years, she has had among the highest rates of staff turnover in the U.S. Senate. Our reporting is based on interviews with more than 2 dozen current and former Klobuchar staff members and internal emails. While there was wide consensus in the interviews that women were often held to a different standard as bosses, former aides — female and male — said their concerns about @amyklobuchar’s behavior should not be dismissed as gender bias. Many of the aides said they had worked for both men and women, for lawmakers both compassionate and unkind, without encountering anyone else like #klobuchar. @erinschaff took this photo of Klobuchar talking with aides at the U.S. Capitol in December. Visit the link in our profile to read more from #nytimes politics reporters Matt Flegenheimer and Sydney Ember.
Scuba diving, anyone? Every year, @nytimestravel releases a list of 52 places to go. This year, our traveler @sebmodak is going to all 52 destinations. For stop number 2, he traveled to #panama, home to some of the best #surfing in the world, pristine #scuba diving sites and #beaches that seem to go on forever. Throughout his 5 days at #santacatalina on Panama's Pacific Coast, he met many locals, enjoyed perfectly fried whole fish and came to understand that the coast isn’t the fast-moving development he was expecting, but instead a quiet destination that’s in no rush. The best moment, he says, was a life-changing encounter 20 feet underwater. “Out of nowhere, a giant shadow appeared above me and my fellow scuba divers,” Sebastian writes. “A male whale shark had come to see who these visitors, so clearly out of their element, were. For at least 15 minutes I floated, looking up at the huge creature slowly circling above, chasing and inhaling the bubbles being let out by our regulators.” Sebastian captured that moment, seen on video here. Visit the link in our profile to see more.
“Everyone is talking about a European army,” said Lt. Col. Marco Niemeyer. “We are pioneers.” Marco is the German commander of Tank Battalion 414, a Dutch-German battalion that is an important baby step toward deeper European military cooperation and a political charged idea that is gaining ground: A European army. The group is #europe’s first battalion made up of soldiers from 2 countries; in this case, Netherlands and Germany. First floated after World War II, the idea of a European army is as old as the European Union itself, but has yet to become a reality. Now, though, the idea has taken on new urgency because of the #trump administration’s threat to withdraw the Continent’s security guarantee if it does not spend more on its defense. @laetitiavancon shot this photo of battalion soldiers preparing a tank for an exercise. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Biologists are searching caves and abandoned mines in the West, researching ways to spare many species of bats from a virulent and rapidly spreading invasive fungal disease called white-nose syndrome. “White-nose syndrome represents one of the most consequential wildlife diseases of modern times,” wrote the authors of one recent paper published in mSphere, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Since 2006, “the disease has killed millions of bats and threatens several formerly abundant species with extirpation or extinction.” Their loss could be consequential: Bats play a critical ecological role, pollinating plants in some places and controlling mosquitoes and other insects. Over the last decade, state, federal and tribal agencies, along with nonprofit organizations, have been working around the U.S. to try to get ahead of the disease and find a remedy to save the 47 species of bats in North America. So far the syndrome has defied the efforts. @kimraffphoto took this photo of western small-footed bat in a cave near Ely, Nevada. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Hoda Muthana says she regrets going to Syria to join ISIS, and wants to return to the U.S. President Trump said Wednesday that the American-born woman would not be re-admitted to the country, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said she doesn’t qualify for citizenship and has no legal basis to return to the U.S. Hoda is one of 2 American women who were recently interviewed by #nytimes correspondent Rukmini Callimachi at a detention camp in Syria. In 2014, Hoda, then a 20-year-old college student in Alabama, traveled to Turkey to join the Islamic State, hiding her plans from her family. When she arrived, she was smuggled into Syria, where she met up with the Islamic State and began urging attacks in the West. She took the name Umm Jihad, or “Mother of Jihad.” She posted toxic tweets under her pseudonym. “Hats off to the mujs in Paris,” she said in one tweet, using an abbreviation for “mujahedeen” on the day in 2015 when jihadists stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and killed 12 people. Now, with the militant group driven out of Syria, Hoda says she is deeply sorry and wants to return to the U.S. American officials appear intent on closing the door to her return. She surrendered last month to the coalition forces fighting ISIS, and now spends her days with her young son as a detainee in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. @ivorprickett took this photo of Hoda with her son at the camp. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Millions of Venezuelans are leaving the country — largely on foot. The economic crisis that has engulfed #venezuela under President Nicolás Maduro has set off a staggering exodus, reports #nytimes Andes bureau chief @caseysalbum and Jenny Carolina González. The economic damage is among the worst in Latin American history, researchers say, with more than 3 million people exiting the country in recent years. They are fleeing dangerous shortages of food, water, electricity and medicine, as well as the government’s political crackdowns, in which more than 40 people have been killed in the last few weeks alone. Rolling suitcases behind them, some walk along highways, their salaries so obliterated by Venezuela’s hyperinflation that bus tickets are out of reach. Others try to hitchhike for thousands of miles until they reach Ecuador or Peru. @historiassencillas recently captured this scene of a group of Venezuelan migrants riding in the back of a truck while crossing mountains in Colombia. Visit the link in our profile to read more about the exodus.
A pioneering black politician, Hulan Jack was once one of the most powerful municipal officials in the nation. Hulan was #manhattan borough president at a time when the job still wielded considerable clout, first elected in 1953 — 2 decades before any major city elected its first black mayor. But the beginning of the end for Hulan came in December 1959, when @nypost published an exclusive alleging that a developer seeking a city contract had paid for some renovations to Hulan’s #harlem apartment, leading to a grand jury investigation. This Carl T. Gossett Jr. photo, which ran on the front page of #nytimes on December 17, 1959, was taken outside City Hall a day earlier, as reporters converged around Hulan for a reaction. He said that he had “no reason to resign or even think of resigning,” and that an investigation would clear his name. But prosecutors went after Hulan with particular vigor, appealing a judge’s dismissal of the charges and taking the case to trial before a jury deadlocked. They then retried him successfully — landing 2 misdemeanor convictions and a suspended sentence, leading to the end of his tenure as borough president. Visit the link in our profile to read about Hulan Jack, and visit @nytarchives for more throwback photos. #tbt
No matter how you modify this delicious one-pot rice #recipe, it can’t help but simultaneously comfort and uplift. The #rice is cooked with turmeric, black pepper and rich coconut milk, which is all brightened by a mix of #coconut, sesame seeds and #lime. The greens, which conveniently cook on top of the rice, can be swapped out for anything that steams in 10 minutes, such as frozen peas or edamame, green beans, broccoli, grated carrots or sliced fennel. While a meal all on its own, this rice would also be great accompanied by tofu, white fish, chicken thighs or stewed black beans. @itsalislagle developed the one-pot turmeric coconut rice with greens recipe for @nytcooking, @romuloyanesphotography shot this photo and Vivian Lui styled the dish. Visit the link in our profile to get the #recipe.