The killers of Swaziland

A tale of two very different serial killers, both hard at work in Swaziland 15 years ago

“South African police officers were brought in, including specialists in forensics, investigative psychology, and profiling. “As part of our effort to solve this historic mystery and to bring to book these heartless killer maniacs we have solicited assistance and support from our neighboring force,” said the Swazi police commissioner.” Image Credit

Shaun Raviv | The Big Roundtable

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The hardest job in Afghanistan

Azam Ahmed spends a week on the frontlines with the Afghan National Police

“In a district shadowed by constant violence, it was seemingly left to Qasim, and to him alone, to prevent a slide into anarchy. A week earlier, masked men dragged the district judge, Ghulam Hassan, from his car and pummeled him unconscious, leaving him on the side of a dirt road…he no longer felt safe working in Baraki Barak.” Image Credit

Azam Ahmed | The New York Times Magazine

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Life after Minecraft

Inside the post-Minecraft life of billionaire gamer god Markus Persson

“The results so far are unimpressive, as he’s mostly acted like a dog chasing cars. When Persson decided to buy a house in Beverly Hills, he went for a $70 million, 23,000-square-foot megamansion, the most expensive home ever in an enclave known for them. He’s become known for spending upwards of $180,000 a night at Las Vegas nightclubs.” Image Credit

Ryan Mac, David M. Ewalt and Max Jedeur-Palmgren | Forbes

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The fisherman’s dilemma

On a radical conservation experiment off the coast of California

“It was the sea otters with all their wet-suit-shredding ferocity that were the first piece to be removed. The otter’s dense fur made it the state’s first export product, cloaking Chinese royalty for nearly a century. By 1850, the otters were all but exterminated. With the otters gone, the urchin and abalone population exploded and started devouring the kelp forest. This caused another California fishing boom and bust.” Image Credit

Paul Greenberg | The California Sunday Magazine

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Anatomy of a hack

The story of an ‘overnight heist’ that shows just how hard it is to be secure in the digital age

“In the early morning hours of October 21st, 2014, Partap Davis lost $3,000. He had gone to sleep just after 2AM in his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after a late night playing World of Tanks. While he slept, an attacker undid every online security protection he set up. By the time he woke up, most of his online life had been compromised…” Image Credit

Russell Brandom | The Verge

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The original corporate raiders

Modern day lessons from the East India Company’s brutal reign in south Asia

“There are more Mughal artefacts stacked in this private house in the Welsh countryside than are on display at any one place in India – even the National Museum in Delhi…Such is the dazzle of these treasures that, as a visitor last summer, I nearly missed the huge framed canvas that explains how they came to be here.” Image Credit

William Dalrymple | The Guardian

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“If my family knew any of this, they would kill me.”

Why being LGBT in Cairo is more dangerous today than it was under the Islamists

“It’s as fierce a crackdown as the brutal days under ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak, whose police force arrested 52 gay men in one raid, most at a floating nightclub called Queen Boat in 2001. Twenty-one of the men were sentenced to three years in jail in a trial which marred Egypt’s rights records for over a decade.” Image Credit

Bel Trew | Matter

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“The human mind is a strange black box.”

Q&A with the legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris

“This is the day that we pull out of Vietnam, one of the worst debacles in American history. So I ask Rumsfeld, “What did you learn from all of this?” It’s a legitimate question. He’s in the Oval Office, we’re pulling out of Vietnam. I ask him, “What did that experience teach you?” Rumsfeld’s answer? “Some things work out, some things don’t. That didn’t.”” Image Credit

Alex Pappademas | Grantland

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Fist to brain

On boxing and the ‘vulnerable materiality’ of the human brain

“But for some performers the silence of the boxing ring was louder than for others. For almost a century, boxing was one of the few contexts in the US where a Black man could be respected by white people, where he could meet a white man face-to-face. In the 1960′s, Muhammad Ali made clear that he did not intend to limit his performance to the ring.” Image Credit

Anna Zett | The New Inquiry

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Kremlin Murder Incorporated

On the slow and steady elimination of Vladimir Putin’s critics

“In his play Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Eliot describes the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, as a silently ordered hit. The English king, Henry II, did not need to give a direct order; his knights knew what to do with somebody seen to be undermining the state.” Image Credit

Nina L. Krushcheva | Project Syndicate

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