TIME nebraska

Federal Judge Blocks Nebraska’s Gay Marriage Ban

The decision will not take effect until March 9

(OMAHA, Neb.) — A federal judge has blocked Nebraska’s gay marriage ban, but the decision will not take effect until March 9.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon on Monday ordered the state to not enforce its ban.

Seven same-sex couples filed a lawsuit last year challenging the state’s voter-backed ban. Last week, Bataillon heard arguments for and against a motion for an injunction to block enforcement of the ban while the lawsuit is pending.

The Nebraska Attorney General’s office has said it will appeal any decision blocking or overturning the voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Jan. 17 that it would decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry under the Constitution. A decision is expected by late June.

 

TIME conflict

ISIS Releases 19 Christian Hostages, Activists Say

Fears remain over the fate of the hundreds still held captive

(BEIRUT) — The Islamic State group released at least 19 Christians on Sunday who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said.

The news provided a modicum of relief to a Christian Assyrian community that has been devastated by the abductions, which saw Islamic State fighters haul off entire families from a string of villages along the Khabur River in Hassakeh province. But fears remain over the fate of the hundreds still held captive.

Bashir Saedi, a senior official in the Assyrian Democratic Organization, said the 16 men and three women arrived safely Sunday at the Church of the Virgin Mary in the city of Hassakeh. He said the 19 — all of them from the village of Tal Ghoran — had traveled by bus from the Islamic State-held town of Shaddadeh south of Hassakeh.

The Assyrian Human Rights Network also reported the release, and published photographs on its Facebook page that it said were from Hassakeh showing a crowd dressed in winter coats greeting the returnees.

The photos appeared genuine and corresponded to Associated Press reporting.

It was not immediately clear why the Islamic State group freed these captives.

Saedi said all those released were around 50 years of age or older, which suggests age might have been a factor. The Assyrian Human Rights Network, meanwhile, said the captives had been ordered released by a Shariah court after paying an unspecified amount of money levied as a tax on non-Muslims.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said a Shariah court had ruled the captives be freed, but the reasoning behind the decision was unknown.

The fate of the more than 200 other Christian Assyrians still in the Islamic State group’s hands remains unclear. Most of them are believed to have been taken by Islamic State fighters to Shaddadeh, which is located 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Hassakeh.

Assyrian leaders and Sunni tribal sheikhs have begun reaching out to the Islamic State group to try to negotiate the release of the captives, activists said.

“We’re trying to contact any party that might help. We’re working through our friends the tribal sheikhs,” said Younan Talia, a senior official in the Assyrian Democratic Organization. “Some friends of Daesh are trying to send messages.”

Talia said there has been no response yet. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The Sweden-based director of the Assyrian Network for Human Rights in Syria, Osama Edward, also said efforts were underway to try to negotiate the captives’ release.

The abductions have added to fears among religious minorities in both Syria and Iraq, who have been repeatedly targeted by the Islamic State group. During the militants’ bloody campaign in both countries, where they have declared a self-styled caliphate, minorities have been repeatedly targeted and killed, driven from their homes, had their women enslaved and places of worship destroyed.

___

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Ashraf Khalil in Beirut contributed to this report.

TIME

Iraq Begins Assault on ISIS North of Baghdad

Members of the Iraqi security forces coming from the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, drive towards al-Dawr area located south of Tikrit to launch an assault against the Islamic State group on Feb. 28, 2015.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye—AFP/Getty Images Members of the Iraqi security forces coming from the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, drive towards al-Dawr area located south of Tikrit to launch an assault against the Islamic State group on Feb. 28, 2015.

Tikrit, the provincial capital for Salauhddin province, fell into the hands of the Islamic State group last summer

(BAGHDAD) — Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown from the Islamic State extremist group, state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants.

But hours into the operation, a key test for the embattled Iraqi army, the military said it still hadn’t entered the city of Tikrit, indicating a long battle lies ahead.

Tikrit, the provincial capital for Salauhddin province, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, fell into the hands of the Islamic State group last summer along with the country’s second-largest city of Mosul and other areas in the country’s Sunni heartland after the collapse of national security forces. Tikrit is one of the largest cities held by IS forces and sits on the road to Mosul.

Security forces have so far been unable to retake Tikrit, but momentum has begun to shift since soldiers, backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, took back the nearby refinery town of Beiji in November. Any operation to take Mosul would require Iraq to seize Tikrit first because of its strategic location for military enforcements.

U.S. military officials have said a coordinated military mission to retake Mosul will likely begin in April or May and involve up to 25,000 Iraqi troops. But they have cautioned that if the Iraqis aren’t ready, the timing could be delayed.

Past attempts to retake Tikrit have failed, and Iraqi authorities say they have not set a date to launch a major operation to recapture Mosul. Heavy fighting between Islamic State and Kurdish forces is taking place only outside the city.

Al-Iraqiya television said that the forces were attacking Tikrit from different directions, backed by artillery and airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets. It said the militants were dislodged from some areas outside the city. Several hours into the operation, it gave no details.

The military commander of Salahuddin region, Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, told the state TV the operation was “going on as planned,” with fighting taking place outside Tikrit mainly on its eastern side.

“Until this moment we have not entered the city,” al-Saadi said. “God willing, we will enter, but we need some time as planned,” he said, adding that there is no timeframe for the operations.

“God willing, victory will be achieved and Salahuddin will be turned into a grave for all terrorist groups,” he said.

Tikrit is an important test case for Iraq’s Shiite-led government, which is trying to reassert authority over the divided country. Islamic State fighters have a strong presence in the city and are expected to put up fierce resistance.

Iraq is bitterly split between minority Sunnis, who were an important base of support for Saddam, and the Shiite majority. Since Saddam was toppled in a U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Sunni minority has felt increasingly marginalized by the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, and in 2006 long-running tensions boiled over into sectarian violence that claimed tens of thousands of lives.

While the TV said Shiite and Sunni tribal fighters were cooperating in Monday’s offensive, Tikrit is an important Sunni stronghold, and the presence of Shiite forces risks could prompt a backlash among Sunnis. The Iraqi military is heavily dependent on Shiite militias that have been accused of abusing Sunni communities elsewhere in Iraq.

Hours ahead of the operation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, called on Sunni tribal fighters to abandon the Islamic State extremist group, offering what he described as “the last chance” and promising them a pardon.

“I call upon those who have been misled or committed a mistake to lay down arms and join their people and security forces in order to liberate their cities,” al-Abadi said Sunday during a news conference in Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

Al-Abadi offered what he called “the last chance” for Sunni tribal fighters, promising them a pardon. “The city will soon return to its people,” he added.

His comments appeared to be targeting former members of Iraq’s outlawed Baath party, loyalists to Saddam, who joined the Islamic State group during its offensive, as well as other Sunnis who were dissatisfied with Baghdad’s Shiite-led government.

Saddam, whose Sunni-dominated government ruled the country for some two decades, was executed after his ouster. Tikrit frequently saw attacks on U.S. forces during the American occupation of the country.

TIME Afghanistan

Afghan Army Takes On Taliban in First Solo Offensive

In this Feb. 26, 2015 photo, Afghan security police stand guard at checkpoint in Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan
Abdul Khaliq—AP Afghan security police stand guard at checkpoint in Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 26, 2015

The Afghan army hopes to prove it can rout the Taliban without the aid of U.S. or NATO troops

(KABUL) — The Afghan army is waging its largest-ever solo offensive against the Taliban, hoping to strike a decisive blow ahead of the spring fighting season and prove it can rout the insurgents without the aid of U.S. and NATO combat troops.

Afghan troops have been slowly pushing up through a fertile river valley in the southern Helmand province, with special forces mounting nighttime helicopter raids into mud brick compounds and ground troops gradually advancing across the poppy fields that in past years have furnished the insurgents’ main cash crop.

U.S. and British troops suffered some of their biggest losses of the decade-long war here, seizing territory that was later lost by ill-equipped and poorly trained Afghan forces. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to break the grim cycle, and the latest offensive is widely seen as a test for his efforts to overhaul the army and police since taking office in September.

Ghani was personally involved in planning the operation, which is codenamed Zolfiqar — meaning double-edged sword — and which began on Feb. 10, according to Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, deputy chief of staff for U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan. Ghani heads to Washington later this month, where he is expected to seek enhanced U.S. military backup, particularly air support.

“This is an incredibly important operation,” said a Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the secret operation. “This is Ghani’s attempt to demonstrate to the U.S. and the U.S. Congress that Afghan ground forces are able to take the lead and conduct offensive operations if they have the right enablers to support them.”

U.S. and Afghan officials say local security forces are so far proving they can take the fight to the Taliban without the aid of foreign combat troops. There are 13,000 foreign soldiers in the country, down from a peak of 140,000 in 2009-2010, with 5,000 U.S. troops engaged in counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

U.S. military leaders have advised the troops in Helmand and helped plan the operation, but American troops are not involved in the fighting.

Fuller said the troops have already cleared large areas where the insurgents had been entrenched for more than a decade, saying the Taliban’s casualties were higher than those of government forces by “a factor of 10 to one.”

He said Afghan forces had found bunkers, tunnels, trench lines, and a giant slingshot apparently used to fling grenades at government forces.

He said the Sangin district, which had seen months of heavy fighting, was declared clear on Friday, adding that Afghan forces had “met with heavy resistance that was more than they anticipated.”

Gen. Mohammad Salim Ahses, the head of the national police, told The Associated Press by telephone from Sangin that 385 Taliban fighters had been killed there, including 31 commanders. It was not possible to confirm those figures. The areas where the fighting is taking place are not accessible to journalists, and few Afghan officials were willing to speak about the operation.

The international charity Emergency said its hospitals in Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s capital, and the national capital Kabul had seen casualties almost double in February to 226 over the same month last year due to increased insurgent violence across the country, according to program coordinator Luca Radaelli.

“We are definitely seeing a spike in the number of war casualties coming in from the operation in Helmand,” he said, adding that most were men and many were policemen. Further details on the casualties, including a breakdown of dead and wounded on each side, were not immediately available.

The real test will come later, when Afghan forces try to hold hard-won territory.

Fuller said Afghan officials have begun meeting with local leaders to plan the building of new schools, clinics, police stations and courthouses. He said tribal elders are already helping to recruit residents for the local police and border guard.

Helmand’s deputy governor, Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, said small army and police posts, each of which will house 100 men, are being built across the valley. “This time we are moving according to a proper plan” to keep the Taliban from returning, he said. “We will not leave this place alone.

TIME Ukraine

U.N. Rights Office: Death Toll in Eastern Ukraine Passes 6,000

An elderly woman walks across a destroyed bridge, in an area with heavy fighting in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 1, 2015
Vadim Ghirda—AP An elderly woman walks across a destroyed bridge in an area with heavy fighting in Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 1, 2015

The conflict has led to a "merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure," the U.N. says

(BERLIN) — More than 6,000 people have died in eastern Ukraine since the start of the conflict almost a year ago that has led to a “merciless devastation of civilian lives and infrastructure,” the U.N. human rights office said Monday.

Hundreds of civilians and military personnel have been killed in recent weeks alone after an upswing in fighting particularly near Donetsk airport and in the Debaltseve area, the Geneva-based body said in a report covering the period from December to February. The strategic railroad town of Debaltseve was captured from Ukrainian government forces last month by pro-Russian separatists.

While Russia denies its troops are fighting in Ukraine, the U.N. cited “credible reports (that) indicate a continuing flow of heavy weaponry and foreign fighters” from Russia.

“This has sustained and enhanced the capacity of armed groups of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ and ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ to resist Government armed forces and to launch new offensives in some areas, including around the Donetsk airport, Mariupol and Debaltseve,” it said.

U.N. rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said many civilians stay in embattled areas “because they fear for their lives if they try to move.”

“Many others stay to protect children, other family members, or their property,” while some are forced to stay or unable to leave, he said.

The report cited “credible allegations of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances, committed mostly by the armed groups but in some instances also by the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.” It noted video footage appeared to support allegations of summary executions by the rebels.

The displacement of 1 million people has also increased the risk for women from sex traffickers, the report found.

Zeid called on all sides to comply with a recent accord signed in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, that foresees the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.

TIME los angeles

Los Angeles Police Shoot, Kill Man After Skid Row Struggle

The shooting is the latest in a recent series of fatal police shootings around the country

(LOS ANGELES) — Police shot and killed a man Sunday who struggled with officers on a sidewalk in the Skid Row section of downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

The officers, who were answering a robbery call in the area at about noon, got into a struggle with the man, and tried to use a stun gun on him before shooting him, LAPD spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said. He was later declared dead at a hospital.

Police did not immediately say how many officers were involved or how many shots were fired. Nor did they say whether the man was armed or identify him.

The shooting is the latest in a recent series of fatal police shootings around the country that have drawn widespread protest.

Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that the man is known on the street in the area, where tents and cardboard shelters for the homeless cover the sidewalks, as “Africa,” and that he had been there for four or five months.

Five or six officers were involved in the struggle, and two of them broke away to handcuff a woman who had picked up one of their dropped batons as the others wrestled the man to the ground, witnesses said.

One witness, Jose Gil, 38, told the Times he saw the man swinging at police then heard one of them shout, “he’s got my gun!” before multiple shots were fired.

Dennis Horne, 29, said the man had been fighting with someone else in his tent before officers arrived.

“It’s sad,” Horne said. “There’s no justification to take somebody’s life.”

Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff told the Times that the LAPD, the independent inspector general and the district attorney would all investigate the shooting “very, very carefully.”

TIME remembrances

Major League Baseball’s First Black Latino Star Minoso Dies

In a Aug. 24, 2013 file photo, former Negro Leaguer and Chicago White Sox player Minnie Minoso stands during the national anthem before a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers, in Chicago
David Banks—AP Minnie Minoso stands during the national anthem before a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers in Chicago on Aug. 24, 2013

"There has never been a better ambassador for the game or for the White Sox than Minnie"

(CHICAGO) — When Minnie Minoso broke into major league baseball, the “Cuban Comet” was part of a wave of black players who changed the game forever. By the time he played in his final game 35 years ago, he was a beloved figure with the Chicago White Sox.

It was one amazing ride for the seemingly ageless slugger, who died early Sunday morning after helping clear the way for generations of minority ballplayers, including a long list of stars from his home country.

“I know we’re all going to go at some time, but I had gotten to the point where I really thought Minnie was going to live forever,” White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said. “There has never been a better ambassador for the game or for the White Sox than Minnie.”

Minoso, who made his major league debut just two years after Jackie Robinson and turned into the game’s first black Latino star, died of natural causes, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. There is some question about Minoso’s age, but the medical examiner’s office and the White Sox said he was 90.

Minoso’s death comes on the heels of the loss of Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks, who passed away on Jan. 23 at age 83.

“For Minnie, every day was a reason to smile, and he would want us all to remember him that way, smiling at a ballgame,” Minoso’s family said in a statement released by the team. “As he so often said, ‘God Bless you, my friends.'”

Minoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. The White Sox retired his No. 9 in 1983 and there is a statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field.

For Minoso’s many admirers, his absence from the Hall of Fame remains a sore spot. President Barack Obama, a longtime White Sox fan, praised Minoso for his speed, power and “resilient optimism” while helping integrate baseball in the 1950s.

“Minnie may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie’s quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could,” Obama said.

Minoso made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949 and was dealt to the White Sox in a three-team trade two years later. He became major league baseball’s first black player in Chicago on May 1, 1951, and homered in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Vic Raschi.

It was the dawn of a long relationship between the slugger and the White Sox.

Minoso, a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field, is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox, who hired him as a team ambassador after his playing career and repeatedly lobbied for his inclusion in Cooperstown.

“I think that everybody has to respect his legacy because he did so much for the Latin players, for the Cubans, for everybody because when he arrived here it was a tough time because of racism and discrimination,” said White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, another Cuban star. “He wrote a huge legacy for all of us.”

Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta was selected for nine All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves in left. He was hit by a pitch 192 times, ninth on baseball’s career list, and finished in the top four in AL MVP voting four times.

Despite the push by the White Sox and other prominent Latin players, Minoso has never come close to making it to the Hall. His highest percentage during his 15 years on the writers’ ballot was 21.1 in 1988. He was considered by the Veterans Committee in 2014 and fell short of the required percentage for induction.

“My last dream is to be in Cooperstown, to be with those guys,” Minoso said in an informational package produced by the team for a 2011 Cooperstown push. “I want to be there. This is my life’s dream.”

Minoso, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949, hit .298 for his career with 186 homers and 1,023 RBIs. The speedy Minoso also led the AL in triples and steals three times in each category.

Playing in an era dominated by the Yankees, he never played in the postseason.

“He gave you 100 percent at all times,” former teammate Billy Pierce said. “You have to rate him with the better ballplayers of all time.”

Minoso finished that first season in Chicago with a .326 batting average, 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 146 games for the Indians and White Sox. He also had a major league-best 14 triples and an AL-best 31 steals.

It was Minoso’s first of eight seasons with at least a .300 batting average. He also had four seasons with at least 100 RBIs.

“I have baseball in my blood,” Minoso said. “Baseball is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

TIME Aviation

New Plane Tracking to Be Tested After Malaysia Jet Mystery

Aerial view of airplane
Stephan Zirwes—Brand X/Getty Images

(SYDNEY) — Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia will lead a trial of an enhanced method of tracking aircraft over remote oceans to allow planes to be more easily found should they vanish like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australia’s transport minister said Sunday.

The announcement comes one week ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of Flight 370, which vanished last year during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found.

Airservices Australia, a government-owned agency that manages the country’s airspace, will work with its Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts to test the new method, which would enable planes to be tracked every 15 minutes, rather than the previous rate of 30 to 40 minutes, Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said. The tracking would increase to 5 minutes or less if there is a deviation in the plane’s movements.

The trial is expected to use satellite-based positioning technology already on board 90 percent of long-haul aircraft that transmits the plane’s current position and its next two planned positions, said Airservices Australia chairman Angus Houston, who helped lead the search for Flight 370.

The trial will boost the frequency with which planes automatically report their position, allowing air traffic controllers to better track them, Houston said.

“This is not a silver bullet,” Houston told reporters in the nation’s capital, Canberra. “But it is an important step in delivering immediate improvements to the way we currently track aircraft while more comprehensive solutions are developed.”

There is no requirement for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft and ever since Flight 370 disappeared, air safety regulators and airlines have been trying to agree on how extensively planes should be tracked. The Boeing 777 veered sharply off-course and vanished from radar shortly into its flight on March 8.

An international team of experts that analyzed a series of hourly transmissions between the plane and a satellite later determined that the plane traveled for another seven hours before crashing somewhere within a remote 60,000-square-kilometer (23,000-square-mile) patch of the Indian Ocean. An extensive, monthslong search of that area is ongoing, but nothing has yet been found.

Houston warned that new method being trialed would not necessarily have allowed air traffic controllers to monitor Flight 370 — whose transponder and other tracking equipment shut down during the flight — to the point where it crashed.

“I think we’ve got to be very, very careful because you can turn this system off,” he said. “What would have happened while the system is operating, we’d know exactly where the aircraft was. If somebody had turned the system off, we’re in the same set of circumstances as we’ve experienced on the latter part of the flight of MH370.”

TIME Nigeria

Crowd Kills Girl Suspected to Be Suicide Bomber in Nigeria

(BAUCHI, Nigeria) — A crowd beat to death a teenage girl accused of being a suicide bomber and then set her body ablaze Sunday, according to police and witnesses at a northeastern Nigerian market.

A second suspect, also a teenage girl, was arrested at Muda Lawal, the biggest market in Bauchi city.

A spate of suicide bombings has been blamed on Nigeria’s home-grown Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which wants to enforce strict Islamic law across Nigeria. The group has threatened to disrupt Nigeria’s March 28 presidential and legislative elections, saying democracy is a corrupt Western concept.

In Bauchi, the two girls aroused suspicion by refusing to be searched when they arrived at the gate to the vegetable market, said yam vendor Mohd Adamu. People overpowered one girl and discovered she had two bottles strapped to her body, he said. They clubbed her to death, put a tired doused in fuel over her head and set it on fire, he said.

It seems doubtful the girl was actually a bomber as she did not detonate any explosives when she was attacked, said Police Deputy Superintendent Mohammad Haruna. He described her as the victim of “mob action carried out by an irate crowd.”

Recently some girls as young as 10 years old have been used to carry explosives that detonated in busy markets and bus stations, raising fears that Boko Haram may be using some of its hundreds of kidnap victims in bomb attacks. It’s unclear whether such girls detonate explosions themselves or whether the bombs are controlled remotely.

President Goodluck Jonathan last week condemned the Boko Haram insurgents for choosing soft targets and said the series of bombings are a response to the Nigerian military’s recent success in seizing back a score of towns that had been in the hands of the extremists for months.

A multinational military force including Nigeria’s neighbors is being formed to stop Boko Haram’s attacks outside Nigeria’s borders.

Some 10,000 people died in Nigeria from Boko Haram’s violence last year, compared to 2,000 in the first four years, according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, and some 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes.

TIME Basketball

New York Knicks Star Anthony Mason Dead at 48

New York Knicks Anthony Mason during game against Chicago Bu
Linda Cataffo—New York Daily News/Getty Images Anthony Mason during a game against the Chicago Bulls, May 12, 1996.

The 6-foot-7 Mason won the NBA's Sixth Man award in 1995

The New York Knicks say Anthony Mason, a rugged power forward who was a defensive force for several NBA teams in the 1990s, has died. He was 48.

Knicks spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz confirmed Mason’s death, which was first reported Saturday by the New York Daily News.

The 6-foot-7 Mason won the NBA’s Sixth Man award in 1995 with a Knicks team that was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in one of its classic clashes with the Indiana Pacers.

Mason played for New York from 1991-1996, and then for the Charlotte Hornets until 2000. He made his only All-Star team in 2001 as a member of the Miami Heat.

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