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Nathan Fenno

Articles by Nathan Fenno

Cold Warrior: Secretary of State Dean Rusk sent a flurry of urgent cables to officials in Berlin in August 1962 trying to head off an escape that appeared to be doomed.

Declassified cables from Berlin Wall tell tale of drama, dare,

The cable is among more than 11,000 pages of declassified documents released by the CIA and the National Declassification Center last week. The trove from 19 U.S. government agencies explores life in divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Published January 19, 2014

FILE - In this April 9, 2013, file photo, former NFL player Dorsey Levens, right, extends a hand as Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, reacts as former NFL player Kevin Turner, left, looks on during a news conference in Philadelphia, after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Judge Anita Brody has announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, that the NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to settle concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit

More than 4,800 retired players have sued the NFL over head injuries. The settlement, if ultimately approved, would apply to all retired players, regardless of their participation in the litigation. Published January 14, 2014

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, left, and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher pose with The Coaches' Trophy during a news conference for the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Newport Beach, Calif. Florida State plays Auburn on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

FENNO: Championship game provides an opportunity to listen to those who play

Concussions aren't a pleasant conversation to have when the country's top two teams collide in one of the showcases of our national religion. We'd rather discuss point spreads and break down matchups and parse press conference double-speak than pull back the curtain around the helmeted gladiators who help the NCAA generate hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue. Published January 5, 2014

**FILE** Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen, left, and Owner Daniel Snyder watch the Redskins warm-up prior to their NFL football game with the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Redskins defeated the Vikings 38-26. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

FENNO: For Redskins, nonsensical is the new normal

They've had two winning seasons in the last eight years, haven't made back-to-back playoff appearances since 1991-92 and lost the final eight games of this season for the team's longest such streak since 1960. In the perpetually confused world of the Redskins under owner Dan Snyder, such impotence equates to "attractive" and "exciting." Published December 31, 2013

NFL head coaches fired by their respective teams. Washington Redskins Mike Shanahan, Minnesota Vikings Leslie Frazier, Cleveland Browns Rob Chudzinski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Greg Schiano, Detroit Lions Jim Schwartz.

Redskins fire Mike Shanahan after four seasons

The Washington Redskins fired Mike Shanahan on Monday morning, bringing to an end the tenure of a coach who four years ago seemed likely to return a once-proud franchise to its winning ways. Published December 30, 2013

Washington Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen (82), left, celebrates with Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) after he catches an eight yard touchdown pass in the third quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField, Landover, Md., Sunday, December 22, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

FENNO: Pierre Garcon’s record season can’t mask buffoonery around him

The last-ditch pass had fallen incomplete, bIn the third quarter, Garcon pulled in a 10-yard pass from Kirk Cousins. The receiver hurled the ball to the sideline. That gave Garcon 107 catches this year to break Art Monk's single-season franchise record that stood for 29 years.ut Pierre Garcon wasn't finished. Published December 22, 2013

**FILE** In this March 21, 2013, file photo, in this image taken with a fisheye lens, the NCAA logo is displayed at mid-court before Albany's practice for a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes

On the same page as the denial of any legal duty to protect athletes, the NCAA admitted that the motivation behind the organization's establishment in 1906 involved such protection. The NCAA grew out of two White House conferences in 1905 following a spate of football-related deaths. Published December 18, 2013

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan speaks with official Mike Weatherford during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

FENNO: Indignation is all Mike Shanahan has left

The 60 minutes of ugliness between two of the NFL's dregs served as a reminder of how far the Redskins are from becoming anything approaching a perennial contender. They aren't close. Published December 15, 2013

FENNO: Honestly, Mike Shanahan, why should we believe you now?

"What I'm trying to do is be as honest as I can," Shanahan said at one point. "And I don't normally do that because I don't really think it's anybody's business except the guys in our locker room." OK, then. The red-faced coach normally isn't honest. Those are his words. But this time, well, trust him. These words are the truth. At least until they aren't. Published December 11, 2013

Massachusetts high school student Chris Cotillo (left) has picked up a few scoops already this offseason, including being the first to report the trade of Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers to the Washington Nationals. Cotillo's Twitter account features pictures of him with Yahoo Sports MLB writer Jeff Passan, among others. (Via Twitter @ChrisCotillo)

FENNO: High schooler Chris Cotillo balances MLB scoops, Spanish homework

The senior at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, Mass., who has broken a string of national stories as Major League Baseball's offseason bazaar hums along. He doesn't make a dime for the pieces he writes for SB Nation's MLB Daily Dish, but views the non-stop demands of covering baseball's offseason as an investment in a career that has started earlier than he believed possible. Published December 10, 2013

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III talks to owner Dan Snyder. An ESPN report published before Sunday's game said that Shanahan entertained quitting last season over discontent about Snyder's close relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III. (Associated Press)

Turmoil now a major part of Redskins’ game plan

Three masts from satellite television trucks reached into the gray skies above Redskins Park on Monday afternoon, lured by turmoil the franchise can't seem to escape. Published December 10, 2013

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan walks the sideline in the fourth quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Kansas City Chiefs at FedExField, Landover, Md., Sunday, December 8, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Mike Shanahan says he’d like to return to Redskins

During the first part of the press conference, Shanahan declined to say if he wanted to return to the Redskins next season before relenting 16 minutes in. "You always want to come back," Shanahan said. "You always want to come back." Published December 9, 2013

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), left, talks with Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) and Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan (15) on the sideline late in the fourth quarter as the Washington Redskins go on to lose to the San Francisco 49ers 27-6 in Monday Night Football at FedExField, Landover, Md., Tuesday, November 26, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall

A deep voice carried through the locker room's gloom. "It hurts. It sucks," Brian Orakpo said. "What else can I say?" Used training tape, bits of turf and an orphaned white sock decorated the faded gold carpet under his feet. Late Sunday night, the locker room at FedEx Field emptied as fast as Redskins could shower and dress after the 24-17 loss to the Giants. Published December 2, 2013