Longform

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From 'Callous' Child to Full-Blown Psychopath

The 'Atlantic' looks at treatment advances for 'untreatable' kids who lack empathy

(Newser) - The story of Samantha is a heartbreaking one, as told by Barbara Bradley Hagerty in the Atlantic . Adopted into a large family, the 11-year-old started exhibiting cruel traits from the time she was a toddler, trying to choke two younger siblings before she turned 7, and when her mom finally... More »

New Apple HQ's Attention to Detail Is, Frankly, Insane

Is it an 'anal-retentive nightmare of indulgence gone wild'?

(Newser) - A glass door four stories tall; nearly 9,000 trees; a cafe with patented box technology to keep pizzas from getting soggy; a two-story yoga room covered in stones specifically distressed to look like those at Steve Jobs' favorite hotel. These are but a few of the features of the... More »

Hackers Could Have a Field Day at Mar-a-Lago

ProPublica and Gizmodo do some cyber-sleuthing

(Newser) - Some cyber-sleuths from ProPublica and Gizmodo poked around President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and other Trump locales and came to an inescapable conclusion: They're easy pickins for hackers. The investigators detected vulnerable WiFi networks, software, printers, servers, and the like, all of which leave open the potential... More »

He Fought AIDS by Convincing World It Was Security Threat

No modern epidemic had ever been considered a security matter before

(Newser) - No one person turned the tide in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but Richard Holbrooke—former US ambassador to the UN and president of the Security Council—was an instrumental part of saving millions of lives from the disease. In 2000, Holbrooke—having visited places like Cambodia and Namibia—was convinced... More »

A Nasty Custody Fight May Rewrite Definition of 'Parent'

'New Yorker' takes a long look at dispute between 2 women who are ex-partners

(Newser) - The New Yorker is devoting a great deal of space to a custody dispute, but the reason becomes clear soon enough. As the headline on Ian Parker's piece puts it, the outcome just might "redefine the legal meaning of family." The case pits Circe Hamilton, in her... More »

The Life of Lola, an American Slave

A Pulitzer Prize-winner's family had a slave for 56 years

(Newser) - When Alex Tizon's family moved to the US from the Philippines in 1964, they were seen as "model immigrants." It's unclear whether their new neighbors would have felt that way had they known Tizon's family was keeping a slave. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist's final... More »

Chelsea Manning's Freedom: 'We Didn't Think It Would Work'

Lawyers recount long-shot struggle ahead of her prison release this week

(Newser) - Chelsea Manning will be released from prison on Wednesday, thanks to former President Obama's decision to commute the bulk of her 35-year sentence for leaking government secrets. If you were surprised by that decision, you're not alone: As a story in Mother Jones explains, her legal team was,... More »

This Serial Killer's True Toll May Never Be Known

'Boston Globe' relates the amazing story, revolving around an abandoned girl

(Newser) - Meet Bob Evans. Or maybe it's Curtis Kimball, or Gordon Jenson, or Jerry Gorman, or Gerry Mockerman, or Larry Vanner. Or none of the above. The Boston Globe relates the incredible true-crime story of a man believed to have been a serial killer who used all of those aliases... More »

Shady Treatment Centers Help Fuel Drug Addiction

Alison Flory was living in a so-called 'sober living' house until her fatal OD

(Newser) - The US is in the midst of a well-documented opioid epidemic, but less well-known is how some people are making money off it through shady treatment centers that bilk insurance companies and do little to help their actual clients. In a feature in the Christian Science Monitor , Jennifer Flory describes... More »

A Healthy Baby, a Tragic Twist for Her Mom

Lauren Bloomstein died from childbirth complications, and her US case isn't unusual

(Newser) - Pregnant at 33, New Jersey's Lauren Bloomstein was excited to soon welcome her first baby into the world. But in a joint effort by ProPublica and NPR , Nina Martin and Renee Montagne document how things went terribly wrong on Oct. 1, 2011—the day Bloomstein's daughter, Hailey Anne,... More »

Inspiring Wisdom From Last Surviving Nuremberg Prosecutor

'It takes courage not to be discouraged': 97-year-old Ben Ferencz

(Newser) - He was front and center at what some call the biggest murder trial in history. That would be the Nuremberg hearings, which brought German SS soldiers forward to face the consequences for their role in the massacre of more than a million people outside of the concentration camps. Lesley Stahl... More »

The Seedy Underside of the '60s Surf Scene

'Vanity Fair' peeks into life of legendary Miki Dora, and the 'lost boys' who followed him

(Newser) - Three teens featured in a 1961 Life magazine article thrust California surfing life into the spotlight, a seemingly carefree existence of surf, sand, and sun. But as Sheila Weller explores in Vanity Fair , there were darker undertones floating underneath the Malibu surfing scene, an "underground saga" that often masked... More »

Twist in Tale of Taxi Driver Abducted by Prison Escapees

One convict, whom driver Long Ma today calls 'son,' had a change of heart

(Newser) - Taxi driver Long Ma still remembers the words that changed a cab ride around Santa Ana, Calif., from uneasy to terrifying: "We need your help." What made that phrase, spoken to the 71-year-old Ma in his native Vietnamese, so frightening, as Paul Kix explains in his tale for... More »

Man Collects 50 BMWs but Loses Wife, Kids, and Freedom

Inside a strange addiction to German automotive engineering

(Newser) - Terrance's addiction cost him his family, job, and home. But it wasn't a need for drugs, or alcohol, or gambling that landed the Colorado accountant in a psychiatric hospital and high-security prison; it was an addiction to BMWs, Jalopnik reports in an unbelievable piece on the incredible lure... More »

The Mystery of Japan's 'Evaporated People'

'Time' looks at the phenomenon of 'johatsu'—the 'society underneath Japan's society'

(Newser) - The Japanese have no problem working insane hours—sometimes to the point of death —but when it comes to dealing with life's other stresses, they may simply pack it all in and vanish. It's what's known as "johatsu," or "evaporated people," a... More »

Brad Pitt Thought He'd Never Be in Another Scandal

Pitt talks divorce and more in extensive interview with 'GQ'

(Newser) - About a year and a half ago, as Brad Pitt learned of some "big scandal," he thought to himself how grateful he was that he'd never be a part of a Hollywood scandal again. "I live my life, I have my family, I do my thing,... More »

Has the US Forgotten About Otto Warmbier?

'Time' delves into the case of college student captive in North Korea

(Newser) - On Jan. 2, 2016, Otto Warmbier was detained at a North Korean airport just before entering the immigration area to return home to the US. Nearly 16 months later, he's still in North Korea, and Nash Jenkins wonders in a longform piece for Time : "Has America forgotten him?"... More »

Facebook's Big Problem: Its Own News Feed

To break 'fake news' cycle, Facebook may have to reconfigure most prominent feature

(Newser) - Facebook has become a formidable player on the news, political, and entertainment landscapes, with more than 1.8 billion active viewers a month. But its "gargantuan influence" has become its "biggest liability," Farhad Manjoo writes in the New York Times , unpacking how the site was the ideal... More »

Trauma Surgeon on Gun Violence: We Lost Our 'Teachable Moment'

Doctor says if people had seen autopsy pics of Sandy Hook kids, things may be different

(Newser) - He was told it would be "pointless," but Jason Fagone wrote his story for Highline anyway, diving deep into gun violence as seen by Philly trauma surgeons who "piece people back together after the most horrific acts." The person resigned to his efforts: Dr. Amy Goldberg,... More »

Steve Bannon: the Hollywood Bigwig Who Wasn't?

Trump's strategist brags about his time in Tinseltown, but others' memories are murky

(Newser) - Over the past eight months, Steve Bannon has worked his way into the general US consciousness, first as an ex-Breitbart exec tapped as Trump's new campaign chief , next as a "terrifying man" who wanted to set the DC establishment ablaze, and finally, as a White House fixture . But... More »

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