Oct 7, 2017

This week's investigative stories worth reading

As President Trump continued his war against fake news this week, reporters around the country produced groundbreaking investigative reporting from the halls of nursing homes to the halls of power. Three longform reads that you should spend some time with this weekend:

  • The New Yorker's Rachel Aviv exposed the world of elder abuse via guardianships in Clark County, Nevada, detailing how seniors can lose control of their homes, assets, and livelihoods — all by a very legal process. It's commonly practiced in areas known for their extensive retirement communities, allowing lightly-trained legal guardians to sell off seniors' estates for extensive profit while providing them with a minimum of care.
  • BuzzFeed News' Joseph Bernstein obtained emails and documents from Breitbart News and examined how the right-wing news site's most popular personality interacted and worked to bring alt-right ideas into the public sphere. Come for Steve Bannon texting Milo Yiannopoulos "Dude!!! LMAO!" but stay for the revelation of Yiannopoulos' passwords, which are riddled with anti-Semitic and Nazi references.
  • The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan produced a harrowing account of the hazing death of Tim Piazza, a fraternity pledge at Penn State University, all while systemically exposing the procedures in place to shield the larger fraternity industry from similar incidents. While the minute-by-minute account of Piazza's abuse compiled via a grand jury presentment is terrifying enough, it's Flanagan's interview with his parents that might linger the longest.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,703,686 — Total deaths: 393,393 — Total recoveries — 2,906,748Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,885,197 — Total deaths: 108,708 — Total recoveries: 485,002 — Total tested: 18,680,529Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. States: Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.