This week, we’re sharing stories from Aaron Hamburger, William Finnegan, Cecilie Maria Kallestrup and Katrine Jo Anderson, Hannah Jane Parkinson, and Amy Westervelt.
The new president of the New York City Transit Authority is smart, seems almost unfailingly polite, and is very English. Whether that’s enough to enable him to wrangle the system he’s been tasked with fixing remains to be seen. William Finnegan paints a deft portrait of Andy Byford settling into his new job and getting his C train legs.
As Texans braced for a storm that would deliver flooding unlike anything the nation’s second-most populous state had ever experienced, President Donald Trump prioritized.
According to Philip Rucker and Ellen Nakashima at The Washington Post, the pardon had been months in the making and was “the culmination of a five-year political friendship with roots in the ‘birther’ movement to undermine President Barack Obama.”
While he was convicted of contempt for ignoring a federal judge’s order that he stop detaining people on suspicion of being undocumented immigrants, the cruelty of “Sheriff Joe,” as he’s known, has been well-documented for years. Here’s a sampling (many from the Phoenix New Times, a local alt-weekly that diligently kept tabs on Arpaio’s stunning behavior): Read more…
We asked a few writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in various categories. Here, the best in business and tech reporting. Read more…
Below, our favorite stories of the week.
The 2016 Pulitzer Prizes winners have been announced: The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum won the prize for criticism. Lin-Manuel Miranda won the drama prize for “Hamilton.” The New York Times’s Alissa J. Rubin won the international reporting prize for her work investigating the abuse of Afghan women. The Boston Globe’s Farah Stockman won the prize for commentary for her series examining race and education in Boston after busing.
A list of the all the winners and finalists can be found here. Below is a short list of other books and features that were honored today:
Corporate espionage takes many forms and is known by a number of names. At its most benign, it’s “competitive-intelligence,” which is the kind of information gathering that George Chidi describes in Inc. On the other end of the spectrum is the far more exciting—and illicit—line of work seen in Richard Behar’s 1999 story about the pharmaceutical industry. Here are five stories that delve deep into the murky world of corporate information gathering.
1. “Drug Spies” (Richard Behar, Fortune, September 1999)
This story about corporate spies fighting pirated drugs in the high stakes pharmaceutical industry reads like a summer action movie, complete with former Scotland Yard detectives, solitary confinement in a Cyprus prison and multinational drug giants. Read more…
Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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Unlike most sports, pro wrestling is unconcerned with numbers. Nobody seems to have a win-loss record. In lucha libre, the truly important matches, the bouts that make up one’s official record, are not even world championships. They are, rather, Mask vs. Mask matches, or Hair vs. Hair, or Hair vs. Mask. Luchadores wager their masks or their hair on the outcome of a fight. The mask is the more serious wager. When a wrestler is defeated and unmasked, his face is seen by the public for the first time. His name and his birthplace are published in the papers. His mask, which symbolized his honor, is retired and cannot be used again.
The loser in a Hair match is publicly shaved and humiliated, but lives to fight again. Hair grows back. Cassandro, whose hair is resplendent—it is currently dark blond and swept into what he calls his “Farrah Fawcett look” (“I’m so stuck in the seventies”)—has fought and won many Hair vs. Hair matches, as well as a couple of Hair vs. Masks. He has also lost a couple of Hair matches, including one to Hijo del Santo in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, in 2007. Videos of his public haircuts make for painful watching. Cassandro cries inconsolably and, with his cropped hair, seems to turn into a small, unhappy boy. Of course, unmasking Hijo del Santo was never going to happen. And the payday for losing that match—twenty-five thousand dollars—was a comfort.
—William Finnegan writing in the New Yorker about Cassandro, the drag queen star of Mexican wrestling.