America’s Flight 17

How the US shot down an Iranian passenger plane and tried to cover it up

“The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children.” Image Credit

Fred Kaplan | Slate

Read It Now (3 min)

Wrestler, statesman, hostage negotiator, legend

The life of Japanese professional wrestler turned politician, Antonio Inoki

“But with higher stakes comes greater scrutiny. These days, not everybody cheers Inoki’s every move. In November 2013, he returned to North Korea, his 27th trip to the reclusive nation since the mid-1980s. This trip was different, however, because four months earlier Inoki had been elected to Japan’s parliament. His trip was unauthorized and he was expressly denied permission to visit.” Image Credit

Mimi Hanaoka | Grantland

Read It Now (17 min)


The secret US rulebook for labeling someone a terrorist

“The system has been criticized for years. In 2004, Sen. Ted Kennedy complained that he was barred from boarding flights on five separate occasions because his name resembled the alias of a suspected terrorist. Two years later, CBS News obtained a copy of the no fly list and reported that it included Bolivian president Evo Morales and Lebanese parliament head Nabih Berri. One of the watchlists snared Mikey Hicks, a Cub Scout who got his first of many airport pat-downs at age two.” Image Credit

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux | The Intercept

Read It Now (14 min)

Hell on two wheels

You need to beat the devil to understand the Tour de France

“So if no one takes chances, if everyone plays the same patient game, what’s to keep a race from coming to a complete standstill? At some point the rider must believe he is God, hear the Devil’s voice: show me. “Suddenly I know that I’m going to attack,” writes Krabbé, 18 kilometres from the finish. “The decision catches me off guard…” Image Credit

Tom Jokinen | Hazlitt

Read It Now (5 min)

A brutal loss, but an enduring conviction

Interview with Rita Bender, whose husband was killed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1964

“The Schwerners, both native New Yorkers, had moved to Meridian, Miss., that January to establish a community center for black residents and to begin efforts to register black voters. The killing of civil rights workers was not uncommon. But the murders of Schwerner and Goodman drew the attention of the national media…because, unlike the others who had been killed, they were white.” Image Credit

Nikole Hannah-Jones | ProPublica

Read It Now (14 min)

Road tripping through North Korea

Instagramming life in the DPRK

“So when Eric Talmadge and David Guttenfelder of the Associated Press embarked on a 1,400 mile road trip through rural DPRK to report on the state of the country’s farms (which are under pressure to keep the masses fed), it’s not surprising that they wanted to document it. Taking in the symbolic sites at Mount Paektu and “potato country” in the north, their trip ended up producing some stunning, and rare, images.” Image Credit

Maeve Shearlaw | The Guardian

Read It Now (5 min)

The article that told the world about the Holocaust

On Varian Fry’s historic report, “The Massacre of the Jews”

“Jews by the hundreds of thousands have been packed into cattle cars, without food, water or sanitary conveniences of any sort, and shipped the whole breadth of Europe. When the cars arrive at their destination, about a third of the passengers are already dead. There are the extermination centers, where Jews are destroyed by posion gas or electricity. There are specially constructed trucks, in which Jews are asphyxiated by carbon monoxide from the exhausts, on their way to burial trenches.” Image Credit

Hillary Kelly | The New Republic

Read It Now (8 min)

Will Libya’s militias defeat democracy?

Libya’s post-revolutionary struggles to control the revolutionaries

“There are two militia brigades at the airport…They are both on the ministry of defence’s payroll and earlier this month came under attack from the Libya Revolutionary Operation’s Room (LROR), which has known hardline Islamists within its ranks. Astonishingly this group, too, is on the official payroll, and was formed by the outgoing interim parliament. None of them appear to answer to any central authority – unless it suits their wider goals.” Image Credit

Rana Jawad | BBC

Read It Now (5 min)

The unbelievable life and death of Michael C. Ruppert

On the infamous conspiracy theorist, who eventually found fame before killing himself

“According to Ruppert, then-Vice President Dick Cheney ignored warnings that hijacked planes might be used for terrorism in the US’ northeast corridor in the months leading up to September 11th. In May of that year, Cheney sent fighter planes from military bases in the northeastern US to Alaska. Ruppert concluded that the move was a calculated effort to leave the northeastern US vulnerable.” Image Credit

Matt Stroud | The Verge

Read It Now (23 min)

Bikers of Baghdad

Could the The Iraq Bikers club serve as a model for the rest of the nation?

“Friday’s ride through Baghdad was only a brief interlude for Jasim. He doesn’t have much time on his bike before returning to the front. He says that soon he and 50 other fighters from Hezbollah in Iraq will join up with the Iraqi army at a training camp in Baghdad, then “We will go to Anbar together to fight ISIS there.” This could be posturing. Anbar, ISIS’s longest held stronghold in Iraq, is a Sunni-dominated region mired in intense fighting.” Image Credit

Jacob Siegel | The Daily Beast

Read It Now (6 min)