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He Spent 16 Months in Solitary, Was Acquitted in 2 Hours

The 'Washington Post' shares Andrew Johnson's story

(Newser) - The heart of Andrew Johnson's story is this: "It would take three years—almost half of it in solitary—before Johnson got the chance to testify in his own defense. It would take just two hours for a jury to acquit him." Writing for the Washington Post ...

The Ordeal of the Nave Andromeda Is a Confusing One

The ship was stormed in 2020 and stowaways removed. But were they ever a true threat?

(Newser) - When we covered the incident in October 2020, these were our headlines: Report: Stowaways Turn Violent on Oil Tanker and British Commandos Storm Tanker After Suspected Hijacking . In a lengthy piece for the Guardian , Samira Shackle delves into the "strange case of the Nave Andromeda," the tanker at...

Graham's Counsel After Abuse Claim Is Under Scrutiny

'Washington Post' reports he encouraged Naghmeh Panahi to reunite with husband

(Newser) - The Washington Post is out with a lengthy story critical about evangelical leader Franklin Graham's advice to a woman accusing her husband of physical abuse. Religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey draws a parallel between this and a controversy from a few years ago , when a Southern Baptist leader tried...

School District's Diversity Chief Quit Before She Even Started

ProPublica dives deep into the story of a Black educator driven out of 2 jobs by white parents

(Newser) - In early 2021, Cecilia Lewis was looking forward to pulling up roots from her Maryland home and starting a new job as a Georgia school district's first administrator for diversity, equity, and inclusion. What Lewis had seen as an exciting opportunity, however, never panned out, thanks to white parents...

It's One of the Last Great Robbery Tales of the Wild West

Rhema Sayers recounts a failed 1900 train heist at Medium, with surprise twists

(Newser) - The story of the last train robbery in the Old West has everything a novelist or screenwriter could conjure—gunfights, posses, cool facial hair, betrayal, redemption, plus some unexpected twists. It also offers an appropriate closing act for an era where the line between lawman and outlaw was often slim,...

He Won't Call It a Cult, but Acknowledges 'Cultlike Things'

In 'Esquire,' Jeff Gross tries to come to grips with decades he spent in Ganas commune

(Newser) - The story by David Gauvey Herbert in Esquire is in most respects about what its critics label a cult. If the Waco Branch Davidians were a 10 on the cult spectrum, this group—called Ganas—was more like a 5 or 6, renowned cult expert Rick Alan Ross tells Herbert....

Google Engineer Makes Alarming Claim About Chatbot
Google Engineer Makes
Alarming Claim About Chatbot
the rundown

Google Engineer Makes Alarming Claim About Chatbot

Blake Lemoine suspended over claims AI device is sentient, but many are skeptical he's correct

(Newser) - Have our computer overlords arrived? The Washington Post has an intriguing story about a Google engineer who argues that an artificially intelligent chatbot he was testing became sentient. If Blake Lemoine is correct, it might be step one of a sci-fi nightmare that critics of AI have long warned about....

Fake ID Saved Fugitive, Then Eventually Did Him In
Upon Fugitive's Arrest, 'the
Only Thing to Do Was Smile'
in case you missed it

Upon Fugitive's Arrest, 'the Only Thing to Do Was Smile'

'Atavist' examines the wild life of Howard Farley Jr., former Nebraska drug king

(Newser) - The life of Howard Farley has been irresistible fodder for writers since Farley's dramatic 2020 arrest in Florida at age 66. Dramatic because everybody in Florida—including his Vietnamese wife—knew Farley as "Tim Brown." Friends and neighbors didn't know that Farley assumed his "Brown"...

Language Preservationist Banished by Sioux Elders
Language Preservationist
Banished by Sioux Elders
longform

Language Preservationist Banished by Sioux Elders

Wilhelm Meya was accused of misappropriating Lakota language and culture

(Newser) - A nonprofit focused on preserving endangered languages has been banished from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The unusual and unanimous decision by the tribal council applies to the Lakota Language Consortium, including its co-founder Wilhelm Meya, according to NBC News . Like scores of other Native American languages, Lakota is highly...

It's in 50% of Packaged Foods, but the Cost Is Steep

The Baffler looks at the problem with palm oil plantations in Guatemala

(Newser) - Palm oil is in half of all packaged supermarket products, not only in foods but also cosmetics. The stout palm oil tree has always been an important food source in its native West Africa, but its use in global consumer products has exploded in the past few decades. Today, Indonesia...

He's Arguably the Most Famous Fiance in the World
He's Arguably
the Most Famous
Fiance in the World
longform

He's Arguably the Most Famous Fiance in the World

'GQ' profiles Sam Asghari

(Newser) - Sam Asghari might be the most famous fiance in the world. The Iranian-born 28-year-old personal trainer and actor is set to wed Britney Spears, though in a profile for GQ , Marisa Meltzer is quick to point out that he's not really known for those professional labels. It's his...

The LA Shootout Was Like Something Straight Out of Heat

Mel Magazine goes inside an infamous 1997 bank robbery

(Newser) - When it comes to Los Angeles bank robbers, Larry Phillips and Emil Matasareanu were like no others. In a lengthy piece for Mel Magazine , Zaron Burnett III takes a look into the havoc wrought by the two weightlifters, friends who teamed up to start robbing banks in the mid-'90s....

Crime Labs Often Reach Dubious Conclusions
Forensic Scientists Often
Produce Dubious Results
LONGFORM

Forensic Scientists Often Produce Dubious Results

For decades, flawed and fabricated evidence has been used to convict innocent people

(Newser) - G. Michele Yezzo worked for 32 years as a forensic scientist in Ohio. She resigned in 2009, after being reprimanded by her supervisor for "interpretational and observational errors" that "could lead to a substantial miscarriage of justice." By then, Yezzo had amassed a 449-page personnel file loaded...

The Clues Were Ingenious, but Staging the Hunt Would Kill Him

Inside the treasure hunt that would claim Hunter Lewis' life

(Newser) - A California college student who created an adventurous treasure hunt for family and friends as a Christmas gift is presumed to have died while hiding the treasure: Hunter Lewis, 21, was last seen on Dec. 30 paddling a canoe into the Pacific; the waters were frigid, he was clad in...

She Was the City's Only Doctor. Russians Put a Bag Over Her Head
She Was the
City's Only Doctor.
Russians Put a Bag
Over Her Head
in case you missed it

She Was the City's Only Doctor. Russians Put a Bag Over Her Head

Inside the horrors that befell Olena and her family in Hostomel

(Newser) - You likely know Ukraine's Bucha and Irpin and the horrors that have taken place there. Add Hostomel to that list. The small city north of Kyiv completes the "trio of satellites" that Danny Gold writes for Vanity Fair will "go down in history with the likes of...

His Startup Is About to Go Public. He's Also a Killer

Inside the story of Harel Hershtik

(Newser) - When he was 20 years old, Harel Hershtik planned and executed a murder, shooting his victim in the head and burying the body in a crime that a quarter of a century later is still widely remembered for its grisly details. Today, he is the brains behind an Israeli health-tech...

Friends Say He Was Exhausted, the Band Says Otherwise

Taylor Hawkins' death is still unexplained, but there may have been warning signs beforehand

(Newser) - Update: Following the publication of a Rolling Stone longform on the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron is walking back his quotes from that article. "When I agreed to take part in the Rolling Stone article about Taylor, I assumed it would be...

Ex-TikTok Workers: 85 Hours of Meetings Is the Norm

To say it sounds like employees work a lot is an understatement

(Newser) - "Relentless productivity and secrecy" seem like two things that might be common to plenty of tech companies. But in the telling of a number of TikTok employees, who came to the social media behemoth from elsewhere in tech, the degree to which those are demanded at TikTok is "...

He Wanted Male Genitals. Getting Them Would Take Years

A look into phalloplasty, a procedure that more trans men are opting for

(Newser) - As Benjamin Simpson describes it, the realization came like a thunderclap. "[Expletive]! I’m trans! I gotta go!" It's what he shouted to the friends he was having drinks with in Manhattan in 2015, an understanding that came after years of probing "why something in his...

Another Silicon Valley Whiz Kid Accused of Exaggerating Everything

'New York Times' out with critical story about Ryan Breslow of Bolt

(Newser) - Ryan Breslow dropped out of Stanford in 2014 to start Bolt Financial, which “promised to shake up the boring but important business of online payments,” according to the New York Times, which interviewed dozens of former and current employees, clients, and investors about the company’s current state....

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