Longform

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It's a Head's Up to the Nation's Many Passive Investors

Harper's magazine takes a look at popular index funds, and hears from the doomsayers

(Newser) - Like a lot of Americans—an increasingly growing number, in fact—Andrew Lipstein is a passive investor. Broadly speaking, this kind of investing is "a buy-and-hold strategy using index (or similar) funds to match the overall performance of the market," writes Lipstein in the new cover story at...

Afghan General's Brutality May Have Backfired on US

'New York Times' reports on the legacy of Gen. Abdul Raziq

(Newser) - When the US was in Afghanistan, an Afghan general by the name of Abdul Raziq was seen as one of America's most valuable allies in the fight against the Taliban. On the upside, Raziq was young, brave, smart, and charismatic, and he kept order in crucial Kandahar, the New ...

Steamy Love Letters Found in Wall Take a Twisty Turn

'Baltimore Banner' helps fill in the cracks of tale told by century-old love letters

(Newser) - When Joanna Meade's contractor opened up the walls of her 1910 Baltimore home during a bathroom renovation, out came a tin box painted with golden stripes. Inside were 67 love letters postmarked between 1920 and 1921, the paper browned and delicate with age. As she began poring through them,...

Chess Can't Shake Its Dark Side as Popularity Rises

Business Insider piece says sexism, cheating, abuse remain factors

(Newser) - Chess has been exploding in popularity of late, and Rob Price takes a deep dive into the culture for Business Insider . What he paints is not a pretty picture. Chess "is uniquely positioned to act as an accelerant for the internet's worst impulses: sexism , abuse, cheating, elitism, and...

Critics See Danger in CO2 Pipelines: 'Zombie' Leaks

'The Lever' looks at safety concerns after two leaks led to scary symptoms for residents

(Newser) - Part of the White House plan to fight climate change involves the construction of carbon dioxide pipelines across the country—part of an experimental "carbon capture and storage" strategy. In short, the idea is "aimed at sequestering carbon emissions from power plants, sending it through pipelines, and injecting...

After Everest Was Conquered, He Ran 200 Miles to Tell the World

'Outside' shares the untold story of Ten Tsewang Sherpa

(Newser) - The legendary Greek messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to share news of a Greek victory over the Persians has nothing on Ten Tsewang Sherpa. He's a man who had slipped into the shadows of history after delivering "perhaps the last piece of world news ever sent...

OnlyFans Has a &#39;Murky Yet Vital&#39; Secret
OnlyFans Has a
'Murky Yet Vital' Secret
longform

OnlyFans Has a 'Murky Yet Vital' Secret

'Wired:' An army of low-paid professional chatters pose as the platform's performers

(Newser) - OnlyFans subscribers who cherish their one-on-one relationships with personalities on the site might want to consider the math problem involved here: The thriving platform has about 2 million creators and 190 million subscribers, writes Brendan I. Koerner at Wired . Meaning, "it's impossible for even a modestly popular creator...

Amanda Knox Turns on Killer She Thought Was Innocent

Her deep dive in the 'Atlantic' details how her belief in Jens Soering's innocence slowly crumbled

(Newser) - Jens Soering is a double murderer now out on parole, convicted in 1990 of killing the parents of his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, with Haysom's help. But during his more than three-decade stretch in prison before being released in 2019, the German national gained an infamous correspondent: Amanda Knox , who...

Her Conviction for Killing 7 Babies Isn&#39;t as Solid as You Think
She's Guilty
of Killing 7
Newborns.
Or Is She?
longform

She's Guilty of Killing 7 Newborns. Or Is She?

'New Yorker' casts doubt on the guilt of UK nurse Lucy Letby

(Newser) - Lucy Letby might be the most reviled person in all of the UK. The former nurse was convicted last year of murdering seven newborns and trying to kill six more. She is, in the eyes of the British press, evil personified. Now Rachel Aviv takes an in-depth look at the...

The Internet as We Know It Depends on 22 Ships
The Internet
as We Know It
Depends on
22 Ships
longform

The Internet as We Know It Depends on 22 Ships

Inside the world of undersea cable repair

(Newser) - When you think of what lurks in the ocean's depths, fiber-optic cables probably don't come to mind. They should. As Josh Dzieza reports in a lengthy piece for the Verge , there are some 800,000 miles of these cables running through our oceans that keep the world as...

He Couldn't Afford a House, So He Bought an Ambulance

'Los Angeles Times' profiles one of the thousands of locals living out of their vehicles

(Newser) - Sky-high housing costs in California have forced thousands of people to live out of their vehicles. In Los Angeles County alone, the official count in 2023 was about 14,000, up 9% from the previous year. At the Los Angeles Times , Jack Flemming illustrates the issue with a profile of...

Newborns in Great Plains Tribes Paying a Steep Price

ProPublica explains syphilis rates are off the charts, with infants at unprecedented risk

(Newser) - Syphilis cases have been on the rise in the US, as has the number of infants born with the disease. But nowhere have those two stats wrought more misery than in South Dakota— more specifically among Native Americans on reservations there. ProPublica reports that "the syphilis rate among American...

Only Two States Had No Road Rage Shootings Over Decade

They were North and South Dakota; such shootings have surged nationally, however

(Newser) - American roads are notably more dangerous than they were a decade ago in at least one respect: road rage shootings. An analysis in the Gun Violence Archive by the nonprofit Trace lays out the issue. Some of the stats:
  • Overall: In 2014, someone was shot in a road rage incident
...

For California's Wine Industry, 'the Music Has Stopped'

'San Francisco Chronicle' finds that many wineries are in trouble as boom times wane

(Newser) - The San Francisco Chronicle is out with a bleak story about the future of the once-flourishing wine industry in California. The boom times, it appears, are over. "A lot of brands are dead but they don't even know it right now," says Michael Honig of Honig Vineyard...

What It's Like to Be in Total Darkness for 82 Hours

'Outside' writer Tim Neville details his experience at a 'dark cave' retreat

(Newser) - Darkness retreats made headlines last year, when NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers went on one in order to spend time contemplating his future in the league. Such retreats are nothing new—they've evolved from centuries of practices involving total darkness used by people like the Tibetan monks in the 10th...

His Idea to Help Homeless: Offering Space in Own Home

'Guardian' profiles a former crack addict who has turned into an 'unlikely do-gooder'

(Newser) - Stuart Potts is a 43-year-old former crack addict who has been in and out of prison much of his adult life. But as a profile in the Guardian reveals, he also is an "unlikely do-gooder" in an unusual way: Over the last few years, he has opened up his...

Whistleblower Calls Out Health Insurer Cigna
Whistleblower Calls Out
Health Insurer Cigna
longform

Whistleblower Calls Out Health Insurer Cigna

Debby Day says she and other doctors are pressured to review cases too quickly

(Newser) - A ProPublica story paints the picture of health insurance giant Cigna being more concerned about productivity—mainly through speedy denials of coverage—than the health of its customers. The story is told through the prism of Dr. Debby Day, who reviewed claims at Cigna for 15 years and says her...

Feds Allege an Audacious, Decades-Long Heist—of Water

'Los Angeles Times' unravels the charges out of the Panoche Water District in rural California

(Newser) - You might say the story of an alleged water heist described in the Los Angeles Times is so audacious it's made for Hollywood—except Chinatown pretty much already covered it. Like that Jack Nicholson classic, the true-life story involves allegations of illicit water siphoning on a massive scale in...

EPA Aims to Relax Limits on Common Pesticide
EPA Aims to Relax
Limits on Common Pesticide
LONGFORM

EPA Aims to Relax Limits on Common Pesticide

ProPublica reports on how critics say the agency is working too closely with chemical industry

(Newser) - "It's exactly what we recommended against." That's the view of Veena Singla, a member of a scientific advisory panel tapped by the EPA, on the agency's plan to loosen restrictions on a pesticide called acephate. Sharon Lerner of ProPublica digs into the issue and how...

Have We Gone Overboard on Trees?
Maybe We Should
Just Let Trees Be Trees
longform

Maybe We Should Just Let Trees Be Trees

'Guardian' explores the zeitgeisty principles of the 'wood-wide web' and the ensuing backlash

(Newser) - There's a movie in the works based on the popular memoir Finding the Mother Tree by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, with Amy Adams in line to play the title role. But as Daniel Immerwahr writes in the Guardian , "it is rare for academic ideas to reach the Amy...

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