The Woman Who Fell to Earth

When COVID-19 came to Star City, the center of Russia’s secretive space program, just before a celebrated launch, people went looking for a scapegoat.

Source: Reuters
Published: Nov 13, 2020
Length: 13 minutes (3,400 words)

Dying Inside

4,998 inmates died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court. Reuters investigates the fatalities in America’s biggest jails.

Source: Reuters
Published: Oct 16, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,936 words)

Made in America

White House veterans helped a Gulf monarchy build a secret surveillance unit that was used to target human rights activists, journalists, and dissidents. It was called Project DREAD.

Source: Reuters
Published: Dec 10, 2019
Length: 22 minutes (5,500 words)

Hatebook

A Reuters investigation finds that Facebook is having a difficult time combating hate speech in Myanmar, a market where the platform dominates and where there have been regular outbreaks of ethnic violence. Reuters found more than 1,000 posts, comments, and images targeting the Rohingya Muslim minority group, some urging for them to be shot or exterminated.

Source: Reuters
Published: Aug 15, 2018
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

Cashing in on the Donated Dead

In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead.

Source: Reuters
Published: Oct 24, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,665 words)

Shock Tactics

A 911 plea for help, a Taser shot, a death — and the mounting toll of stun guns.

Source: Reuters
Published: Aug 22, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,850 words)

Assets of the Ayatollah

A Reuters investigation into the Iranian supreme leader’s $95 billion economic empire—which was partly built on confiscating family property from ordinary citizens:

Several other Iranians whose family properties were taken over by Setad described in interviews how men showed up and threatened to use violence if the owners didn’t leave the premises at once. One man said he had been told how an elderly family member had stood by distraught as workmen carried out all of the furniture from her home.

According to this account, she sat down on a carpet, refused to move and pleaded, “What can I do? Where can I go?”

“Then they reached down, lifted her up on the carpet and took her out.”

Source: Reuters
Published: Nov 11, 2013

The Child Exchange

An investigation into America’s underground market for adopted children. Using online forums like Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents often advertise their unwanted children—who have a tendency to have been adopted abroad and have special needs—and give custody rights to strangers in a practice called “private re-homing,” which has little or no government regulation:

“As the Puchallas drove away, Melissa sobbed. She calls the decision ‘the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our lives.’ Quita still can’t reconcile it. ‘How would you give me up when you brought me to be yours?’ she asks.

“In the days that followed, two puppies scampered through the trailer, gifts from the Easons to Quita. The dogs lifted the teenager’s spirits, but they weren’t housebroken and no one cleaned up after them. No one did the dishes, either, or the laundry.

“More troubling, Quita says, was that the Easons took her into their bed: ‘They call me in there to sleep … to lay in the bed with them.’ In bed, “Nicole used to be naked and stuff. It was not right to me.'”

Source: Reuters
Published: Sep 9, 2013
Length: 91 minutes (22,903 words)

The Problem with the Red Cross

Why the Red Cross hasn’t been as effective as small community groups when it has come to disaster relief post-Sandy:

“The real problem with the Red Cross was not that it was stretched thin, but rather that it was simply too big, and its people too inexperienced in disaster recovery, to be able to respond nimbly to Sandy. Eventually, after a week or two, it will lumber in to affected areas and take over from the ad-hoc groups who provided desperately-needed aid in the early days. It’s reasonably good at that. But that’s clearly not good enough, and it’s certainly nowhere near flawless.

“Of course, the Red Cross is burdened with massive expectations. If you’re stuck in a remote part of Staten Island without power or communication for days on end, no one’s going to blame Doctors Without Borders or Occupy Wall Street if you get no help — but they are going to blame the Red Cross.

“With $117 million in donations comes an expectation that the Red Cross can and should be everywhere it’s needed, when it’s needed, rather than in a handful of places, a week later, offering food but no shelter or blankets or power or lights. But probably those expectations are unrealistic. The US is fortunate in that it’s not a permanent disaster zone: it’s not a country where Red Cross volunteers are ever going to be experienced in responding to such things. And mobilizing thousands of volunteers and tens of millions of dollars to provide food and shelter in areas without electricity or pharmacies or heat — that’s a logistical nightmare.”

Source: Reuters
Published: Nov 12, 2012
Length: 9 minutes (2,288 words)

The Book of Jobs

The parallels between the story of the origin of the Great Depression and that of our Long Slump are strong. Back then we were moving from agriculture to manufacturing. Today we are moving from manufacturing to a service economy. The decline in manufacturing jobs has been dramatic—from about a third of the workforce 60 years ago to less than a tenth of it today. The pace has quickened markedly during the past decade. There are two reasons for the decline. One is greater productivity—the same dynamic that revolutionized agriculture and forced a majority of American farmers to look for work elsewhere. The other is globalization, which has sent millions of jobs overseas, to low-wage countries or those that have been investing more in infrastructure or technology. (As Greenwald has pointed out, most of the job loss in the 1990s was related to productivity increases, not to globalization.) Whatever the specific cause, the inevitable result is precisely the same as it was 80 years ago: a decline in income and jobs. The millions of jobless former factory workers once employed in cities such as Youngstown and Birmingham and Gary and Detroit are the modern-day equivalent of the Depression’s doomed farmers.

Source: Vanity Fair
Published: Dec 11, 2011
Length: 14 minutes (3,505 words)