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3 Little Letters May Hide an Ulterior Motive at Amazon

Gizmodo suggests VTO is a way to keep employee counts up while trimming costs

(Newser) - VTO: It's a part of Amazon's lexicon that might seem like an "innocuous sounding acronym." But in a lengthy piece, Gizmodo suggests it's anything but. VTO, or Voluntary Time Off, is a just that: an opportunity for Amazon's legions of warehouse workers to end... More »

He Was on a Quest to Perfect Ulysses, Then Vanished

Inside the search for James Joyce scholar John Kidd

(Newser) - Scholars have dedicated their lives to poring over the "enigmas and puzzles" of James Joyce's Ulysses. In the New York Times Magazine , Jack Hitt describes years preoccupied with the search for one of those scholars—arguably the preeminent one, and a brash, brilliant, and eccentric one at that—... More »

Laurene Powell Jobs Is on Her Own Mission Now

Widow of Steve Jobs is investing in various fields though her Emerson Collective

(Newser) - She's 54, the widow of Steve Jobs, one of the richest women on the planet, and the founder and driving force behind what might be "the most influential product of Silicon Valley that you've never heard of," according to a lengthy profile in the Washington Post ... More »

Years After Her Bones Washed Up, a Picture of Her Final Night

A family searches for answers in the death of Jaimee Mendez

(Newser) - After learning his 25-year-old daughter had gone missing from her apartment in Swampscott, Mass., Steven Mendez raced from his home in Maine to the office park where Jaimee Mendez's jacket had been found. She had been missing two days, having last been heard from in an ominous phone call... More »

Solve the Ciphers, Find the Treasure. Unless It's a Hoax

Mental Floss digs into the legend of Thomas Beale's buried fortune in Virginia

(Newser) - It may not be real, but it sure is a great yarn. And if by chance it is real, it could make you rich. Lucas Reilly at Mental Floss digs into the legend of Thomas Beale's buried fortune in Virginia's Bedford County. The short version: Beale was a... More »

The Flashlight Helped Convict Him. Maybe It Shouldn't Have

Part II of the investigation into Mickey Bryan's 1985 death

(Newser) - We'll start with the spoiler: The second and final part of Pamela Colloff's deep investigation for ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine into the 1985 murder of Clifton, Texas, schoolteacher Mickey Bryan doesn't wrap up in a neat little bow. Her husband, Joe, remains in prison,... More »

A Teacher Was Murdered. Then Her Brother Found a Flashlight

Part I of a ProPublica/NYT Magazine investigation into Mickey Bryan's 1985 murder

(Newser) - Mickey Bryan's 1985 murder rocked the small town of Clifton, Texas. She was a beloved elementary school teacher married to the equally beloved principal of the town's high school. And their love for each other was well known: The two were seen nearly nightly, "strolling hand in... More »

Rev. Moon's Son Hopes to Rule US With 'Rod of Iron'

Pastor Sean sees the AR-15 as a divine weapon

(Newser) - The Rev. Sun Myung Moon died in 2012, and the changeover in leadership of his Unification Church has been anything but orderly within the Moon family. In a lengthy story at the Washington Post , Tom Dunkel explains that two of his sons have formed their own church in Pennsylvania called... More »

Happiness: You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Yale's most popular course is all about learning to practice it

(Newser) - It's called "PSYC 157: Psychology and the Good Life," and the course taught by Laurie Santos just happens to be the most popular one ever offered at Yale, writes Adam Sternbergh at the Cut . Its aim is to teach students to be happier. Sternbergh took the course... More »

Arie of The Bachelor: I Was '100%' Betrayed by Show Producers

Luyendyk explains his struggle to choose between 2 women and why he's irked about his portrayal

(Newser) - It took some time for the din from March's Bachelor finale —after Arie Luyendyk Jr. dumped the girl he initially chose, Becca Kufrin, and got engaged to runner-up Lauren Burnham—to subside. Now, however, thanks to Kufrin's stint as the current Bachelorette and a new profile on... More »

'Holy Crap. We Have Caught an Evil Man'

BuzzFeed has the story of Jose Manuel Martinez

(Newser) - "Holy crap. We have caught an evil man." That authorities caught Jose Manuel Martinez—known as El Mano Negra, the Black Hand, the self-proclaimed killer of roughly 3 dozen men in the US—wasn't due to superior sleuthing. When being questioned about a rural Alabama murder five... More »

Sarah Silverman's Comedic Shift: She's Turning Nice

'GQ' looks at how the comedian has changed her ways

(Newser) - Earlier this year, comic Sarah Silverman won praise for how she dealt with an internet troll who dropped the c-word on her. It wasn't because she struck back with a lethal insult. Instead, she noticed that he'd once tweeted about back pain and reached out to him with... More »

Arrested Development Interview 'Got Under My Skin'

Linda Holmes of NPR explains why this story is so particularly bad

(Newser) - If you're not familiar with this week's controversy involving the cast of Arrested Development, the short version is this: During an interview, Jessica Walter described the verbal abuse she endured from Jeffrey Tambor as the worst in her 60-year career, while male cast members, particularly Jason Bateman, repeatedly... More »

He Got a New Heart and Immediately Started Dying

ProPublica, Houston Chronicle look at St. Luke's in Houston

(Newser) - Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is one of America's most storied hospitals when it comes to heart transplants. Or was. Though some of the first heart transplants took place at the Houston hospital, things have disintegrated to the point that it now "has had some of the... More »

Uber Was Killing His Livelihood, So He Killed Himself

'New York Magazine' looks at the rise and fall of Doug Schifter

(Newser) - "I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead." So read a line in the suicide note left by Doug Schifter, a 61-year-old who had for four decades driven cabs and black cars in New York City and who in February took... More »

Solution to Plastic Pollution Isn't a 'Sexy' One

'We need to just collect the trash,' says one resource economist

(Newser) - You want big picture? National Geographic provides it on the issue of plastic choking the world's waterways. Invented in the late 19th century, plastic didn't truly take off in terms of production until around 1950, when scientists began making it out of petroleum in earnest. Now, we have... More »

Congressional Baseball Attack: Everything Went 'Exactly Right'

BuzzFeed recounts how a 'series of miracles' prevented a much larger tragedy that day

(Newser) - On June 14, 2017, a gunman with a semiautomatic opened fire on congressional Republicans and staffers practicing for a baseball game. The shooting, which injured Rep. Steve Scalise and four others, has been well covered, but a report at BuzzFeed provides what is perhaps the most in-depth account so far... More »

Report: Trump Ends Most Days With Hannity Phone Call

President and Fox host talk most weeknights, according to the 'New Yorker'

(Newser) - The New Yorker is out with a story about President Trump's nightly routine, and the piece is drawing lots of attention because of the role of Fox's Sean Hannity. Trump and Hannity talk on the phone most weeknights, usually soon after Hannity's show ends at 10, writes... More »

He Was So Rich He Rented a Whole Brothel. Except He Wasn't

Luke Moore lived high, got caught, then cleared his name

(Newser) - At one point in 2012, Luke "Milky" Moore paid $40,000 to rent himself a brothel for four days. Two years prior, he was penniless, unemployed, and bracing himself for foreclosure. What happened in the interim is the subject of an Esquire piece by David Kushner, who explores the... More »

Inside the Case of the Girl Who Vanished on Mother's Day 1938

Marjorie West was last seen in the Allegheny Forest

(Newser) - It's the third oldest case in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's files, and it dates to a Mother's Day that took a tragic turn for one Bradford, Pennsylvania, family. At Narratively , Caren Lissner has the story of Marjorie West, a 4-year-old who vanished in... More »

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