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70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?

Officials have been stunned by a "surge" of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States.

Although some have traveled from as far away as Sri Lanka and Tanzania, the bulk are minors from Mexico and from Central America's so-called Northern Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which together account for 74 percent of the surge. Long plagued by instability and unrest, these countries have grown especially dangerous in recent years: Honduras imploded following a military coup in 2009 and now has the world's highest murder rate. El Salvador has the second-highest, despite the 2012 gang truce between Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. Guatemala, new territory for the Zetas cartel, has the fifth-highest murder rate; meanwhile, the cost of tortillas has doubled as corn prices have skyrocketed due to increased American ethanol production (Guatemala imports half of its corn) and the conversion of farmland to sugarcane and oil palm for biofuel.

AUTHOR:Ian Gordon
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2014
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2878 words)

Run and Gun

How a promising basketball star ended up facing drug and murder charges.
SOURCE:Fox Sports
PUBLISHED: June 30, 2014
LENGTH: 30 minutes (7537 words)

Death in Cell 10

How a murder and a suicide at a San Diego County jail became intertwined.

PUBLISHED: June 25, 2014
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2175 words)

A Sister's Sleuthing Unravels a Teenage Love Triangle Murder Mystery

A twisted tale of teenage love and cold-blooded murder in Hollywood, Florida.

For detectives, the killing at first glance must have seemed an all-too-common crime: another dead thug, likely felled by the same drug culture that had left him homeless and broke. Yet Savage's life and death — as told through hundreds of pages of police records, text messages, and interviews with his family and itinerant friends — were far more complex.

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2014
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6501 words)

Woo Cho Bang Bang

In Brownsville, Brooklyn kids are joining gangs whose territories are based on the housing projects where they grew up. The warring gangs have helped made Brownsville the "murder capital of New York":

Prosecutors and detectives still don’t know when the battle of Brownsville started or what it was over. Some think it grew out of a perceived slight at a dance-hall party in one of the warring projects, whose turf is separated by about ten blocks. But the authorities did establish a connection to the current group of principals by the summer of 2010, when a series of shootings, allegedly by Hoodstarz members, wounded two associates of the Brownsville Fly Guys (a gang aligned with the Wave Gang). In October, one of them died from the injuries.

Two days later, in what was likely B.F.G. retaliation, the purported Hoodstarz leader, 16-year-old Hakeem (“OCC”) Gravenhise, was ambushed in front of his apartment building with a fatal barrage of gunfire. His mother witnessed the shooting. There have been no arrests in his murder.

PUBLISHED: June 19, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5179 words)

The Dangerous Business of Laughter in Ancient Rome

Humor in Ancient Rome could be a matter of life and death, at least when an emperor was involved.

Laughter and joking were just as high-stakes for ancient Roman emperors as they are for modern royalty and politicians. It has always been bad for your public image to laugh in the wrong way or to crack jokes about the wrong targets. The Duke of Edinburgh got into trouble with his (to say the least) ill-judged “slitty-eyed” quip, just as Tony Abbott recently lost votes after being caught smirking about the grandmother who said she made ends meet by working on a telephone sex line. For the Romans, blindness – not to mention threats of murder – was a definite no-go area for joking, though they treated baldness as fair game for a laugh (Julius Caesar was often ribbed by his rivals for trying to conceal his bald patch by brushing his hair forward, or wearing a strategically placed laurel wreath). Politicians must always manage their chuckles, chortles, grins and banter with care.

AUTHOR:Mary Beard
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2014
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1705 words)

The Prisoner's Daughter

What if your dad had been doing time for murder for as long as you'd known him?

She was a leader like her father, Amanda's relatives told her. She'd inherited his forceful personality and his stubborn streak. She took gymnastics classes and sang in the school chorus -- a natural performer, just like her father.

She took pride in the comments, but they wore on her, comparisons to a man she had never really met. As her 13th birthday approached, she resolved to see her father again. She told her mother, making it clear she didn't believe the stories about him serving overseas.

Conceded Minerva: "Your father is in prison for a crime he didn't commit."

"Why is he there if he didn't do it?"

PUBLISHED: June 10, 2014
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4856 words)

For a Respected Prosecutor, An Unpardonable Failure

Evidence of a convicted murderer’s possible innocence sat buried in a case file for more than two decades. Now, a prosecutor in Brooklyn will have to answer for the mistake.

On the afternoon of July 18, 1990, James Leeper, a newly minted homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn, had to make a challenging closing argument. The man he had charged with murder had mounted a substantial defense—offering plane tickets and video footage indicating he had been vacationing at Disney World when a man named Darryl Rush was shot dead in front of a Brooklyn housing project. Leeper acknowledged to the jury that it seemed like the "perfect alibi."

PUBLISHED: June 4, 2014
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4960 words)

Being Gay in Iran

What happens when a young man in Iran is outed by a documentary:

“May I ask you something personal?”

I know what’s coming.

I look at my aunt as she takes her time to assemble the correct words. She is a tiny, sweet woman wearing a loosely draped head scarf, staring at me with shining dark-brown eyes. I love her more dearly than anything in the world. Of course I will tell her the truth. I can’t think of a reason to hide from her. It isn’t as if she might murder me or run around spreading my secret. She’s not one of those closed-minded, brainwashed people who would automatically judge me. She spent most of her life outside of Iran, living and working as an architect in Norway and Germany. If there is anyone out there who would understand me, it’s her.

“Are you gay, Feri Kitty?” she asks.

PUBLISHED: June 1, 2014
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2984 words)