The Teenager Married Who’s Been Married Too Many Times to Count

“Despite being illegal in Iraq, the BBC found that mutaa marriages were widely available in Kadhimiya. Out of 10 clerics approached by a BBC undercover reporter, eight said they performed them. Of those eight, we had further conversations with two who agreed to approve them for girls as young as nine.”

Source: BBC
Published: Oct 4, 2019
Length: 14 minutes (3,554 words)

Why humans have evolved to drink milk

Humans didn’t start out being able to digest animal milk – but now many populations do. Why has evolution favored tolerating dairy?

Source: BBC
Published: Feb 20, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,259 words)

The Unexpected Magic of Mushrooms

Beneath a patch of woodland in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula there lies an organism over 1500 years old and heavier than three blue whales combined –  a mushroom. The secret of its longevity is an extremely low mutation rate – meaning it avoids potentially damaging alterations to its genetic code. Could this fungus hold the key to fighting some human diseases?

Source: BBC
Published: Mar 15, 2019
Length: 11 minutes (2,839 words)

Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

Many countries are dealing with scorching temperatures this summer, and there is a growing consensus amongst climate scientists that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis.

 

 

Source: BBC
Published: Jul 24, 2019
Length: 6 minutes (1,648 words)

The amateur sleuth who searched for a body — and found one

A car wreck found at the bottom of Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota brought the search for a missing young mother, Olivia Lone Bear, to an end. But the discovery was made not by the police, but a mostly-female volunteer team of indigenous sleuths and activists led by Lissa Yellowbird-Chase.

Source: BBC
Published: Mar 25, 2019
Length: 25 minutes (6,499 words)

Fighting the Vanilla Thieves of Madagascar

Demand for vanilla from Madagascar has skyrocketed in recent years, but the process of exporting the spice to markets around the world is fraught with risk, unpredictability, and — increasingly — violence.

Source: BBC
Published: Aug 16, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,967 words)

When Cops Became Robbers

Seven of the eight members of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force started robbing criminals of money, guns and drugs and violating citizens’ constitutional rights. Until they got caught.

Source: BBC
Published: Apr 3, 2018
Length: 35 minutes (8,784 words)

When Political Commentary Is a Case of Life or Death

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong recalls Saddam Hussein, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, and Muammar Gaddafi as she explores the history of comedy as not only a relief valve but also as a formidable resistance tactic against oppressive regimes.

Source: BBC
Published: Feb 6, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,779 words)

Why Vitamin Pills Don’t Work, and May Be Bad for You

Are you taking your vitamins? You might reconsider that.

Author: Alex Riley
Source: BBC
Published: Dec 8, 2016
Length: 9 minutes (2,388 words)

Arms Wide Open

The story of Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro’s most iconic landmark.

Source: BBC
Published: Mar 10, 2014
Length: 9 minutes (2,430 words)