The Epic Hunt for One of the World’s Most Wanted Men

“He was one of Africa’s richest moguls and helped unleash the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Then Félicien Kabuga vanished and stayed hidden for more than two decades—until recently, when the United Nations’ war crimes detectives picked up his trail and began to close in.”

Source: GQ
Length: 27 minutes (6,914 words)

Chaos at the Top of the World

Despite bitterly cold and harsh conditions, the prestige associated with summiting the highest mountain in the world continues to make Mount Everest a dangerous lure for many, regardless of their climbing skill and experience. Nepal and China handed out nearly 500 pricey climbing permits during the 2019 season. Partly due to a massive logjam of over 100 summit hopefuls crowding the ascent during a rare break in the weather on May 22nd and 23rd, over 11 people died on the mountain.

Source: GQ
Published: Dec 4, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,630 words)

The Egg Thief

“We’ll go into the Rhondda Valley and see how many peregrines we can get—right under Andy McWilliam’s nose. You do the climbing. We’ll make millions.”

Source: Outside
Published: Jan 7, 2019
Length: 27 minutes (6,995 words)

The Real Story of Germanwings Flight 9525

Last year, a young pilot crashed an airliner into the French Alps, killing the crew and 144 passengers. Hammer investigates how it happened.

Source: GQ
Published: Feb 22, 2016
Length: 23 minutes (5,859 words)

Did Sierra Leone’s Hero Doctor Have to Die?

A chilling account of the life’s work and death of Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, a globally renowned expert in tropical diseases who ran Sierra Leone’s worst Ebola ward.

Source: Matter
Published: Jan 12, 2015
Length: 34 minutes (8,554 words)

The Long Captivity of Michael Scott Moore

How should the media cover hostage situations? Examining the case of journalist Michael Scott Moore.

Source: Outside
Published: Oct 13, 2014
Length: 23 minutes (5,800 words)

The Race to Save Mali’s Priceless Artifacts

A secret operation to save medieval manuscripts in Timbuktu:

The jihadists soon shoved aside the secular Tuaregs, declared sharia law and began attacking anything they perceived as haram—forbidden—according to their strict definitions of Islam. They banned singing and dancing, and forbade the celebration of Sufi Islamic festivals. They demolished 16 mausoleums of Timbuktu’s beloved Sufi saints and scholars, claiming that veneration of such figures was a sacrilege. Eventually the militants set their sights on the city’s ultimate symbols of open-mindedness and reasoned discourse: its manuscripts.

A network of activists was determined to thwart them. For five months, smugglers mounted a huge and secret operation whose full details are only now coming to light. The objective: to carry 350,000 manuscripts to safety in the government-held south. The treasures moved by road and by river, by day and by night, past checkpoints manned by armed Islamic police. Haidara and Diakité raised $1 million to finance the rescue, then arranged for safe storage once the manuscripts arrived in Bamako.

Source: Smithsonian
Published: Jan 1, 2014
Length: 15 minutes (3,883 words)

Women: The Libyan Rebellion’s Secret Weapon

They helped overthrow Qaddafi, and now “women want what is due to them” :

“Until the war broke out, women generally were forced to keep a low profile. Married women who pursued careers were frowned upon. And Qaddafi’s own predatory nature kept the ambitions of some in check. Amel Jerary had aspired to a political career during the Qaddafi years. But the risks, she says, were too great. ‘I just could not get involved in the government, because of the sexual corruption. The higher up you got, the more exposed you were to [Qaddafi], and the greater the fear.’ According to Asma Gargoum, who worked as director of foreign sales for a ceramic tile company near Misrata before the war, ‘If Qaddafi and his people saw a woman he liked, they might kidnap her, so we tried to stay in the shadows.'”

Source: Smithsonian
Published: Mar 21, 2012
Length: 16 minutes (4,212 words)

A Mountain of Trouble

As we hiked into the Zagros Mountains, which rise to nearly 12,000 feet along the border between Iraq and Iran, the driver grew nervous. “We’re going to have lunch in Tehran,” he said with a tense laugh. He had reason for his gallows humor: Six months earlier, three Americans—Shane Bauer, 27; his girlfriend, Sarah Shourd, 31; and Josh Fattal, 27, Bauer’s former housemate from the University of California at Berkeley—had walked along this same trail, with disastrous results. The hikers had—accidentally, it seems—strayed across the unmarked border into Iran, been seized by border guards, accused of being U.S. spies, and transported to the notorious Evin Prison, in Tehran, where they remained as this story went to press, in March.

Source: Outside
Published: Apr 21, 2010
Length: 20 minutes (5,174 words)

The Contenders: Is Egypt’s Presidential Race Becoming a Real Contest?

Mubarak has suggested that he will never willingly step down. In 2006, he told Egypt’s Parliament that he would continue to serve “as long as there is in my chest a heart that beats and I draw breath.” … One part of the system that has sustained Mubarak in power is Egypt’s Emergency Law, which has been in effect since 1981, the year he became President. The law has been used to jail thousands of people without charges. Public gatherings of more than five people without prior official permission are illegal.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Apr 5, 2010
Length: 20 minutes (5,152 words)