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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. Meet Samantha Power 

Belgium Ebola Virus Samantha Power Source: AP/Press Association Images

Irish-born and raised in the US from the age of nine, Samantha Power has risen through the political ranks to become America’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations  the youngest-ever person to fill that role.

(The New Yorker, approx 63 mins reading time, 12746 words)

When Power visited Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, he consulted a page of notes marked with a highlighter. She recalled, “Everything I’d ever written had just been pulled out and reduced, basically, to the things in my search that were the most cringe-worthy, things that you’d just say out of the corner of your mouth in a church basement somewhere, or whatever—they’re not your considered view.”

2. Hunting the trolls

Google privacy court case Source: Chris Ison

They go where the rest of us fear to tread – the dark corners of the internet where the trolls dwell. Meet the troll hunters, and the people they find.

(Technology Review, approx 38 mins reading time, 7767 words)

Aschberg’s research team had linked the man to a months-long campaign of harassment against a teenage girl born with a shrunken hand. After meeting her online, the troll tormented her obsessively, leaving insulting comments about her hand on her Instagram page, barraging her with Facebook messages, even sending her taunts through the mail.

3. Saving Peter from Isis

Mideast Lebanon Islamic State Kassig Syrian refugee Amjad Moghrabi stands in front of a photograph of his colleague, American aid worker Peter Kassig, Source: AP/Press Association Images

Peter Kassig was killed by his Isis captors, as the US raced to save his life. Here’s the story of his attempted rescue.

(The Guardian, approx 34 mins reading time, 6915 words)

The callers were Palestinians from the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon who knew Kassig, and they were “very upset”, Cohen recalled. They had just seen the footage of Alan Henning, a British hostage, being beheaded. At the end of the video, when the masked terrorist who has been dubbed “Jihadi John” paraded another hostage before the camera, they recognised their friend Peter.

4. The fight for Scotland 

Review of the Year 2014 SNP leader Alex Salmond Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Over to the Scotland now, and an in-depth look at what went on during the last days of the country’s independence referendum.

(The Guardian, approx 35 mins reading time, 7199 words)

The news was even worse that Sunday morning as the prime minister came down to breakfast with the Queen – on the day that the banner headline in the Sunday Times declared “Yes vote leads in Scots poll”, reporting the shock YouGov surveyputting independence in the lead for the first time.

5. An oral history of the bank guarantee

File Photo Inquiry into the Banking Crisis Starts Today. Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

As the banking inquiry gets underway, we have republished our oral history of the bank guarantee, featuring the people who were there at the time.

(TheJournal.ie, approx 38 mins reading time, 7676 words)

David McWilliams: “I didn’t know what to think but when you have the Minister for Finance of a country that is going down the tubes sitting opposite you at your kitchen table, about to wolf down raw garlic, you have to suspend your disbelief…

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6. Giving Stephen Hawking a voice

The Theory of Everything premiere - London Source: Empics Entertainment

Stephen Hawking lost his ability to speak in 1985. Thanks to Intel, he was able to rapidly improve how he communicated throughout the years.

(Wired, approx 13 mins reading time, 2728 words)

Attached to his glasses, it could detect, via a low infrared beam, when Hawking tensed his cheek muscle. Since then, Hawking has achieved the feat of writing emails, browsing the internet, writing books and speaking using only one muscle. Nevertheless, his ability to communicate continued to decline.



Source: MOVIECLIPS Trailers/YouTube

You’ve heard of the film Foxcatcher, now read the true story behind it.

(Mainline Today, mins reading time, words)

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie>

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