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A Parent's Unthinkable Crime: Injecting Son With HIV

'I wouldn't even recognize him as my father'

(Newser) - There's a reason Brryan Jackson spells his first name with two r's and uses his mother's surname. It's to put as much distance as possible between himself and his father, Bryan Stewart, which is more than understandable: When Jackson was a baby in 1992, Stewart stole... More »

Did Disgraced Cop Kill Boxing Champ Sonny Liston?

'So, you've come to ask me if I killed Sonny Liston'

(Newser) - "So, you've come to ask me if I killed Sonny Liston," a large tattoo-covered man asks the ESPN writer standing at his door outside Las Vegas. That writer, Shaun Assael, has written a book called The Murder of Sonny Liston, and the Undefeated has an excerpt. It'... More »

He Built a Trendy Sex Utopia, but Now He's 'Heartbroken'

'Esquire' profiles Damon Lawner, founder of Snctm

(Newser) - When he was 42 years old, Damon Lawner rented the movie Eyes Wide Shut, and it profoundly changed his life. As Mike Sager writes at Esquire , Lawner was in a mid-life funk, dissatisfied with his life as a real estate agent and a married father of two girls. Intrigued by... More »

China's Version of the SAT Is Kind of Insane

The notorious gaokao is often a life-defining test

(Newser) - The SATs are notorious for putting undue amounts of pressure on US students, but the Guardian takes a look at the college entrance exam in China and suggests the American version is tame by comparison. In fact, China's gaokao ("higher examination") just may be the "world'... More »

Trouble-Making Cookie Monster Is 'National Nuisance'

Adam Sandler, the man behind the blue mask, has left trail of complaints from coast to coast

(Newser) - "No one wants to hear the Cookie Monster say he's going to kill their family," says a man who filed a battery report against the Sesame Street character. The Los Angeles Times takes a long look at Adam Sandler (not that one), a man currently cavorting around... More »

Leonard Cohen Is Putting His House in Order

'New Yorker' profiles 82-year-old

(Newser) - Leonard Cohen is 82 now, and fans will not be thrilled to learn in a lengthy New Yorker profile that he's almost certainly done touring—his body just isn't up to the rigors. But he's still making music, and an album out this month is classic Cohen... More »

What Really Happened the Night Will Smith Died

How 2 football players came together for one fateful night on the streets of New Orleans

(Newser) - Sean Flynn at GQ has put together an extensive piece of reporting about the shooting that took the life of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith in April. Retired Saints are basically, well, saints in New Orleans, so by the morning after Smith's death on a Saturday night,... More »

No Photo Exists of World's Most Wanted Migrant Smuggler

Guess that means he's pretty good at his job

(Newser) - German outlet Der Spiegel has published an in-depth investigative piece on the sprawling network that's bringing illegal African migrants across the Mediterranean and into Europe. Focusing on the operation of one man targeted by Italian and Libyan authorities, the paper traces the long, dangerous path migrants must cross before... More »

She Served 10 Years Because Her Boyfriend Killed Her Son

Arlena Lindley got out 35 years early: BuzzFeed

(Newser) - The crime itself is unthinkable: A decade ago, Arlena Lindley's boyfriend beat her 3-year-old son to death. But for Lindley, the aftermath managed to get worse: She was convicted of failing to protect her child, and after prosecutors asked for a sentence of 10 years, the judge gave her... More »

HGTV Couple's Ultimate Fixer Upper: Waco

Renovation experts Chip and Joanna Gaines have given their hometown a new shine

(Newser) - "The story of Waco is the story of how a city can break your heart." And from David Koresh and the Branch Davidians to biker shootouts and sex assault scandals at Baylor, Waco's heart has been broken again and again. But Taffy Brodesser-Akner, writing at Texas Monthly ... More »

For This Soldier, WWII Didn't End Until 1974

Hiroo Onoda stuck by his orders to never surrender

(Newser) - Deep in the Philippine jungle, a lone soldier continued to fight World War II for three decades, becoming a "figure of legend" while surviving on "bananas, coconut milk, and stolen cattle." Mashable has the incredible true story of Japan's Hiroo Onoda. After the end of WWII... More »

500K US Homes Can't Afford Plumbing

It's yet another threat faced by rural communities trapped in poverty

(Newser) - Americans living in nearly 500,000 homes in the US don't have what the New York Times —in an eye-opening piece—calls "basic dignity." That basic dignity includes running water, a bath or shower, or a working toilet. It's that last one plaguing rural black... More »

Giant Cross to Rise in Texas, 'Like God Is Pointing His Finger'

230-footer in Corpus Christi will be largest in the US

(Newser) - A big cross is going up in Texas, but "big" is a bit of an understatement. When the steel structure is completed in Corpus Christi, perhaps next year, it will stand 230 feet high. As a feature at Texas Monthly explains, that will make it the biggest in the... More »

Her Art Was Her Photos. She Didn't Take a Single One

'New Yorker' profiles Isabelle Mege, who sought out artists to photograph her

(Newser) - You've likely never heard the name Isabelle Mege unless you're plugged in to select photography circles. But from 1986 to 2008, the French woman was a prolific artist of sorts in the field. Except, as the New Yorker explains, Mege wasn't a photographer herself. She was the... More »

In 2,476 Words, Buzzfeed Dissects Angelina's Calculated Move

Jolie is the ultimate architect of our own impression of her

(Newser) - It's not wholly unexpected that the demise of Brangelina would spur a longform piece, and Anne Helen Petersen provides it at Buzzfeed . In 2,476 words, Petersen takes us on the familiar journey of how the couple came to be and then not be, but does it through the... More »

Chyna Just Couldn't Fend Off Her 'Demons'

Bleacher Report examines how the former wrestler lost her fight to addiction

(Newser) - A cover of Newsweek in 2000 featured two popular pro wrestlers of the era—Chyna and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson." Sixteen years later, Johnson has turned that fame into a big-time movie career. As for Chyna, the biggest female wrestler of all time died earlier this year of... More »

Amazon's Algorithm May Be Costing You Money

ProPublica says its own products often get preferred rankings

(Newser) - ProPublica has a warning for Amazon shoppers, i.e. pretty much everyone who shops: The results that come up first after a search are often not the best deals. Amazon gives preference to its own products or to companies who pay for its services when it comes to picking... More »

China's Hunger for Ginseng Is Wiping It Out in Appalachia

The lucrative root is prized by poachers looking for a quick buck

(Newser) - A gold rush of sorts is taking place in Appalachia, but this one involves the plant ginseng. As a story by Suzy Khimm at Foreign Policy lays out in fascinating detail, the root is a hot commodity in China because of its purported medicinal values, but wild ginseng is practically... More »

Museum 'Must-See' Dedicated to Black History, Culture

'NYT' review of Smithsonian's long-awaited museum, set to open next Saturday

(Newser) - A week from Saturday, a 130-year-old bell from a church erected by slaves will ring to herald the grand opening of a 400,000-square-foot DC museum that's been talked about since 1915, NPR reports. The idea for that museum, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and... More »

Original Blair Witch Actress Has One Big Regret

With a new sequel out, the original actors, creators talk about their experience

(Newser) - A sequel to the iconic Blair Witch Project of 1999 is opening Friday—the reviews aren't that great —which prompts Emalie Marthe at Broadly to interview the actors and creators from the original about the experience. As becomes clear, it has not been overwhelmingly positive for all. It'... More »

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