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Muslim Marine Trainee Killed Himself ... or Did He?

Mystery of Raheel Siddiqui's death gets closer look from 'Esquire'

(Newser) - The Marine Corps Recruit Depot at South Carolina's Parris Island hosts nearly 20,000 recruits each year for 12 weeks of basic training. Alex French looks into the journey of one recruit, Raheel Siddiqui, for Esquire's March issue, exploring the 20-year-old Muslim's likely first moments at the... More »

'Single Worst Case' of Child Murder in Miami Still in Flux

'I did not kill my baby,' Ana Maria Cardona says of horrific death of 3-year-old son

(Newser) - The body of 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa, dressed in a lollipop-adorned T-shirt, was found underneath a bush in Miami Beach in November 1990. Injuries on his body showed "Baby Lollipops" had been a victim of extreme domestic violence, and as Jaquira Diaz writes for Rolling Stone , local law enforcement and... More »

Sent to Prison as a Kid, Asking for Mercy as an Adult

Edwin Debrow's story highlights complex task of dealing with violent juvenile criminals

(Newser) - In a maximum-security prison in Beeville, Texas, 37-year-old Edwin Debrow often dreams about running in the grass—like he was able to do before 1991, the year he turned 12 and shot and killed a cabbie named Curtis Edwards. Skip Hollandsworth dives into Debrow's story for Texas Monthly , noting... More »

He Had a Dream. It Involved a Pillow

Now Mike Lindell runs a spectacularly successful business

(Newser) - You may have seen one of the ubiquitous ads : Mike Lindell makes his personal appeal for you to buy the pillow he literally dreamed up because he could never find one he liked. As Bloomberg reports, plenty of people have done just that, making his MyPillow company wildly successful. Consider... More »

They Call Him the 'Codfather.' It's Not Exactly a Compliment

Carlos Rafael has become rich using unsavory methods—but is there another way?

(Newser) - Almost as soon as the profanity-hurling fisherman sporting an electronic bracelet sauntered into the fish auction, Brendan Borrell knew he was seeing the Codfather. In his piece for Hakai Magazine , Borrell dives into the murky waters around Carlos Rafael, the 65-year-old he describes as "the most powerful man" in... More »

An Extreme Sport Few Are Brave Enough to Try

Spencer Seabrooke tells how he got into slacklining and yes, our hearts are racing

(Newser) - When Spencer Seabrooke first witnessed the sport of slacklining, or highlining—traversing a not-taut rope stretched high above the ground, calling for greater balance than a traditional tightrope—at a 2012 film fest, he "walked out of there a different person," he says. Writing for Victory Journal , Laura... More »

40+ Years in Solitary: 'Ask Me in 20 Years' How Freedom Feels

Albert Woodfox of 'Angola 3' was in isolation more than any other inmate in US history

(Newser) - Albert Woodfox, the last of the famous "Angola Three," was released from prison last February after pleading no contest to manslaughter in the 1972 killing of prison guard Brent Miller. In a piece for the New Yorker , Rachel Aviv offers some insight into the "reserved" and "... More »

NYC Elites Who Dissed Kushner Can Forget Mending Ties

Their emails went into the trash, says 'New York' profile of Jared Kushner

(Newser) - Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to end up with an influential White House role, and pundit Mike Allen's new Axios newsletter says lawyers have figured out a way around nepotism rules that will result in a title as "senior adviser." The latest cover of New ... More »

Inside American's Mysterious Disappearance at Sea

Keith Davis' friends believe he didn't go missing from fishing vessel by accident

(Newser) - “Keith was not going to compromise his morals for anyone,” Bubba Cook says. “It’s not beyond my imagination that he was told to look the other way and he refused.” Hakai Magazine goes deep on the story of Keith Davis, an American fisheries observer who... More »

The VA Pumped Vets With Opioids. Now There's a Bigger Problem

How ex-service members got hooked on painkillers, and how the VA is letting them down: 'WSJ'

(Newser) - Veterans who return from service not only have to deal with everyday re-entry issues (finding jobs, reacclimating to life with family and friends), but also with the injuries and PTSD they may have brought home with them. To cope with the physical and mental pain, many of them are prescribed... More »

The Tiny House Movement: a Dream or a Facade?

Mark Sundeen delves into the movement for 'Outside' magazine

(Newser) - There's a big revolution afoot that involves the least amount of livable square footage possible. In Outside magazine, Mark Sundeen takes on the tiny-house movement, a push that's evolved from "hipster alternative to mainstream phenomenon faster than an Amish barn raising." Sundeen, who's lived small... More »

Drugs, Hikes, and Vanishings in the Himalayas

Justin Shetler disappeared in September on a pilgrimage—and he's apparently not the first

(Newser) - Justin Shetler's last blog post was in August of this year, detailing how he'd just been invited on a Himalayan pilgrimage by a local holy man, or "baba"; his last photo on Instagram (posted around the same time) noted he "should be back to the Internet... More »

After Weight-Loss Surgery, Happiness Is Not Automatic

Formerly obese patients at first dazzled with results, then not as much: 'NYT'

(Newser) - Gastric-bypass surgery sounds like a sure path to a new life. But for the obese who undergo such radical weight-loss surgery, the ups and downs post-operation can take a precious toll, the New York Times finds after a year of tracking two of the 200,000 Americans who undergo bariatric... More »

The Biggest Self-Help Charlatan You Never Heard Of

Napoleon Hill wrote a best-selling book, but he also lived a life of 'countless scams'

(Newser) - Long before Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins started preaching about how to be the best you possible, Napoleon Hill was peddling his own self-help mantras, penning 1937's Think and Grow Rich and inspiring not just cult-like behavior, but an actual cult. Matt Novak dives into Hill's jaw-dropping backstory... More »

He Bet His Life and Brought Joy to Millions

'Newsweek' tells of the remarkable life of Henry Orenstein

(Newser) - His name is Henry Orenstein, and as a Newsweek profile makes clear, the 93-year-old New Jersey resident really ought to be a household name. For starters, he survived the Holocaust thanks to a risky gamble. For another, he's a prolific toy inventor and the brainchild behind the Transformers franchise.... More »

The Bizarre Empire of Kardashian-Linked Products

The family's got a mind-boggling business setup that goes far beyond its TV shows

(Newser) - If you want to keep up with the Kardashians, there's more to it than obsessively watching E!. Per a piece by Alice Hines on TheOutline.com , you have to embrace the clan's entire empire, which is "bigger and weirder than you think." It encompasses a staggering... More »

Cub Scouts Boot 8-Year-Old Transgender Boy

'How dare they judge me,' says New Jersey's Joe Maldonado

(Newser) - Joe Maldonado was excited about his new Cub Scout pack from the moment he joined it. But the 8-year-old had only been settled into the Secaucus, NJ, group for about a month when his mom received a phone call that stunned his family: He was being kicked out because he... More »

Iraq Facing Potential 'Catastrophe of Biblical Proportions'

Mosul Dam breach could pose greater threat than ISIS

(Newser) - As Iraqi forces continue their battle against ISIS in Mosul, there's another problem lurking just 25 miles away from the embattled city: the Mosul Dam, a structure the US Army Corps of Engineers has called the "most dangerous dam in the world," per a piece by Dexter... More »

5 Rwandan Rape Survivors Stood Up and Changed History

But after groundbreaking UN conviction, there's controversy over documentary

(Newser) - For millennia, rape has been considered "a thing men do" during war, as a story at BuzzFeed puts it. Only recently have stories told by the survivors of rape shined a light on the price of this brutality—a thing that "ruined our hearts, our bodies, even our... More »

Meet the Man Who's 'the Best at the Worst Job in the World'

Robert Jensen makes sense of the aftermath of the world's disasters

(Newser) - Robert Jensen is "the best at the worst job in the world"—and it's a job you've probably never given any thought to. Jensen handles the aftermath of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, plane crashes, and more, GQ reports in a haunting profile of the head of... More »

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