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January 23, 2016

The feud between Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Jeb Bush is nothing new. But things escalated Friday, with Trump bringing Jeb's mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, into the squabble.

It all started when the former Florida governor released an ad featuring his mom:

So Trump painted Bush as a momma's boy.

Bush hit back, apparently not realizing his response invites more teasing. Julie Kliegman

2:11 a.m. ET
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Frank Deford, a sportswriter who began his career at Sports Illustrated in 1962 and didn't quit until right before his death on Sunday, was "a dedicated writer and storyteller" who "offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love," reads his citation for the National Humanities Medal former President Barack Obama awarded him in 2013, the first such honor for a sportswriter. It was one of many awards Deford won over his long career. He died at his home in Key West, Deford's wife, Carol, confirmed on Monday. He was 78.

Benjamin Franklin Deford III was born in Baltimore in 1938, and along with 30-plus years writing for Sports Illustrated he was a regular on HBO's Real Sports and on NPR's Morning Edition, from which he retired only on May 3, after 1,656 commentaries about the human side of sports. Hired as a researcher at Sports Illustrated, he made his bones writing about basketball, hardly a focus of sportswriters in the 1960s.

Deford "understood the particular legacy he had carved out," writes Bryan Curtis at The Ringer. "He would be seen more as a great sportswriter rather than a great writer, full stop. ... And he decided  —  though he was more talented than many writers who pass through the gates of The New Yorker  —  that he was more or less comfortable with the slur." At the same time, Curtis says, "Deford wrote so well it obscured his divining-rod abilities as a reporter. He always seemed to land on just the right quote."

So, a quote from Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports in 2004, when he told the Los Angeles Times: "Frank Deford with a pen in his hand is like Michael Jordan with a basketball and Tiger Woods with a driver." And a quote from Deford — who leaves behind a wife, two children, and two grandchildren, having lost a daughter to cystic fibrosis at age 8 — from his 2012 collection Over Time: My Life As a Sportswriter: "I think there are more good sportswriters doing more good sportswriting than ever before. But I also believe that the one thing that's largely gone out is what made sport such fertile literary territory — the characters, the tales, the humor, the pain, what Hollywood calls 'the arc.' That is: stories. We have, all by ourselves, ceded that one neat thing about sport that we owned." Peter Weber

1:55 a.m. ET
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A zookeeper at the Hamerton Zoo in Cambridgeshire, England, was killed Monday after a tiger entered the enclosure she was in and attacked, police said.

The unidentified zookeeper died at the scene. A witness told The Sun zookeepers came running up to the enclosure "with pieces of meat trying to get whatever's attention" and it was "heartbreaking seeing them trying to help." In a statement to visitors, the zoo said the mauling was "a freak accident," and is being investigated. The zoo will be closed through Wednesday. Catherine Garcia

1:37 a.m. ET
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Manuel Noriega, who ruled Panama as a military dictator from 1983 until he was ousted by U.S. troops in 1989, has died, the government of Panama announced early Tuesday. He was 83.

Noriega was in poor health, and after undergoing brain surgery in March, he suffered a brain hemorrhage and was placed in a medically induced coma. Born in Panama City on Feb. 11, 1934, Noriega was a career soldier. Beginning in the late 1950s up until the 1980s, Noriega worked with the CIA, while at the same time trafficking cocaine. He was indicted by the United States in early 1989 on charges of racketeering, laundering drug money, and drug smuggling, and in 1990, after spending 10 days in the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City, he surrendered.

Noriega was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1992, and was convicted in absentia of murder and laundering $2.8 million in drug money by purchasing property in France. He was extradited back to Panama in 2011. Catherine Garcia

12:54 a.m. ET

In the eighth inning of Monday's game between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants at San Francisco's AT&T Park, Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland slammed a 98-mph fastball into Bryce Harper's hip, in their first matchup since Harper smacked two home runs off of Strickland in the 2014 MLB playoffs. Harper, and almost everyone else watching, viewed the hit as intentional.

"Strickland hit Harper so hard the ball flew into the air and landed halfway up the first base line, so flush that one could not mistake intent, though of course the perpetrators in these cases rarely admit that they had it planned," writes Chelsea Janes at the Nats' hometown paper, The Washington Post. Harper charged Strickland, throwing his helmet and then throwing punches. "In that situation," Harper said after the game, "you see red."

And in slow-motion:

It isn't clear why Strickland would hold a grudge against Harper for three years, or what perceived injury Harper caused him, especially when the Giants went on to win the 2014 World Series. Strickland denied any retaliatory intent, saying his goal was simply "to go inside." After the punches started flying, "it took four of his own teammates to carry him off the field, one grabbing his leg to render him immobile, removing him from the fray like one might a petulant child," the Post's Janes said. The Nats won the game, 3-0. Peter Weber

12:19 a.m. ET
Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

On Sunday, the day after he returned from a nine-day trip overseas, President Trump spent a lot of time on the phone with friends and lawyers fretting about the growing investigation into Russian election meddling and the negative press it is bringing his White House, Politico reports. "Two White House officials said Trump and some aides including Steve Bannon are becoming increasingly convinced that they are victims of a conspiracy against Trump's presidency, as evidenced by the number of leaks flowing out of government — that the crusade by the so-called 'deep state' is a legitimate threat, not just fodder for right wing defenders."

Though Trump was largely silent on Twitter during his trip, he sent several tweets on Sunday railing against "fake news" and anonymous sources, and he repeatedly brought up the Russia investigation while he was overseas, Politico says, citing "an ally close to the White House." An "outside adviser who is close to the president" added, "The more people talk to him about it, the more he obsesses about it." Trump's senior aides they don't know how Trump plans to deal with the Russia investigation and its fallout, and they don't know what shoe will drop next. You can read more at Politico. Peter Weber

May 29, 2017
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When it comes to global security, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a larger threat than the Islamic State.

"I think [Putin] is the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday, before he headed to Singapore for a defense summit. Russia continues to meddle in elections, most recently in France, McCain said, and because of that he views Russia as "the far greatest challenge that we have. So, we need to have increased sanctions and hopefully when we come back from our recess, the Senate will move forward with sanctions on Russia and enact other penalties for Russian behavior."

He also briefly touched on President Trump's national security team, and the strategy they are putting together for Afghanistan. "I do believe that most of the time he accepts their advice and counsel," McCain said. "Can I tell you that he does all the time? No. And does it bother me? Yes, it bothers me." Catherine Garcia

May 29, 2017

Armed with water, brushes, and environmentally safe cleaning solution, Andrew Lumish spends every Sunday at Woodlawn Cemetery in Tampa, cleaning the gravestones of veterans who fought in conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam.

"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he told WUSF. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here." Lumish says that over the last five years, he's cleaned about 600 gravestones, with some covered in so much mold and mildew it was impossible to read the names. It all started when Lumish, a history buff, was at another cemetery taking photos, and saw how the gravestones of some veterans were in complete disrepair. Because he owns his own cleaning company, Lumish decided he would give back by bringing new life to the gravestones.

It takes Lumish anywhere from four days to four months to finish cleaning a gravestone; it's easier when a stone is made of marble or granite and the dirt stays on the surface, rather than limestone and sandstone, which are porous. Lumish uses genealogy websites and records at the library stretching back to the 1800s to get information on the veterans, and he posts what he learns on a Facebook page called Good Cemeterian. He's also inspired others, now serving as a consultant and helping Potter County in Pennsylvania clean its own veterans' tombstones. "We uncover heroes," Lumish said. "They were not considered heroes of their day, so I hope that some of the stories that I tell make people appreciate the men and women that serve currently. There are heroes today that surround us on a daily basis." Catherine Garcia

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