Thursday, September 8

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Can Brian Moynihan Save Bank of America?

The CEO of the US’s biggest bank doesn’t have much charisma or a track record, but he’s “doing as well as any little Dutch boy can—sticking his fingers in the dike.”

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Blowback in Somalia

The notorious Somali paramilitary warlord who goes by the nom de guerre Indha Adde, or White Eyes, walks alongside trenches on the outskirts of Mogadishu’s Bakara Market once occupied by fighters from the Shabab, the Islamic militant group that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. In one of the trenches, the foot of a corpse pokes out from a makeshift grave consisting of some sand dumped loosely over the body. One of Indha Adde’s militiamen says the body is that of a foreigner who fought alongside the Shabab. “We bury their dead, and we also capture them alive,” says Indha Adde in a low, raspy voice. “We take care of them if they are Somali, but if we capture a foreigner we execute them so that others will see we have no mercy.”
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Wednesday, September 7

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Girls at War

On a group of teenage believers raised in settlements on the West Bank:

They say it takes one generation to found a new language. These girls are a new language, believing that they belong to the land on which they were born, and sponsored by the government they despise, which pays for their roads and electricity.

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On Change in India

What it means to become a superpower while three quarters of the population lives on less than fifty cents per day—four scenes from India in transition.

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The Informant

Brandon Darby’s journey from revolutionary activist to FBI informant.

Tuesday, September 6

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GPS and the End of the Road

On the transformation of travel:

[I]t is astounding how quickly these technologies have changed one of the most basic aspects of our existence: the way we move through the world. When driving down the highway, you can now expect to see, in a sizable portion of the cars around you, GPS screens glowing on dashboards and windshields. What these devices promise, like the opening of the Western frontier, and like the automobile and the open road, is a greater freedom — although the freedom promised by GPS is of a very strange new sort.

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The Rarely Noticed Casualties of Sept. 11

On the people who were working at Logan Airport when the hijacked flights departed:

They are the rarely noticed casualties of the terrorist attacks: the security guard, the ticket agent, the baggage handler on the ramp. They made it home that night, but with images they couldn’t shake, a pain uncomfortable to voice. They can’t believe it has been 10 years. They can’t believe it has only been 10 years.

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L.A. Confidential

Rogue cops in the LAPD Rampart division’s anti-gang CRASH unit (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) were involved in everything from drug smuggling and bank robberies to, allegedly, the murder of Christopher “Notorious BIG” Wallace.

Monday, September 5

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The Local-global Flip

The idea that people would “inexpensively have access to a tremendous global computation and networking facility” was supposed to create wealth and wellbeing. Has it instead created a technologically advanced dystopia?

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The Teenager & The Porn Star

An early profile of Sasha Grey.