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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: The poor girl, the rich boy - and the murder

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

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. Morgan Freeman accusations

Morgan Freeman-Accusations Morgan Freeman Source: Evan Agostini

This CNN article looks at the accusations made against actor Morgan Freeman, who has been accused of harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

(CNN, approx 26 mins reading time)

Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behavior was not limited to that one movie set, according to other sources who spoke to CNN. A woman who was a senior member of the production staff of the movie “Now You See Me” in 2012 told CNN that Freeman sexually harassed her and her female assistant on numerous occasions by making comments about their bodies.

2. Burnout for journalists writing about Trump 

It’s an intense time for journalists in the US as they write about the Trump presidency. How do they cope with it?

(Columbia Journalism Review, approx 10 mins reading time)

Burnout has long occupied a kind of mythical, worst-case scenario, future destination in my mind. It was a condition that would be met only by those unlucky few with bad bosses, bad assignments, bad luck. It was a threat that seemed credible only if I took obviously dangerous assignments. Education reporting? Covering the media? How could I be burnt out on those beats, and so soon?

3. The poor girl, the rich boy – and the murder

sitdown pic 1 Source: Tocando El Fondo

A pregnant teenager was murdered in the Dominican Republic, and her story highlights issues around underage pregnancy and treatment of women in the country.

(Buzzfeed, approx 20 mins reading time)

Martínez stopped speaking, staring back down at the floor. He threw his head into his hands, and sat silently, as the reporters behind the camera began to ask questions. After a moment of quiet, the shot panned out to show his mother, who then began to talk.
“She was already a part of us, and she was my son’s girlfriend,” she said, before correcting herself, “is the girlfriend of my son. She was five months pregnant, and when we found out, we gave her our support.”

4. The charitable billionaires

Is it a good thing to see people like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg giving some of their massive fortune to charities? Or does it create a whole new set of problems?

(The Guardian, approx 22 mins reading time)

Zuckerberg’s apparent generosity, it would seem, is a small contribution to a large problem that was created by the success of the industry he is involved in. In one sense, the housing grants (equivalent to the price of just one-and-a-half average Menlo Park homes) are trying to put a sticking plaster on a problem that Facebook and other Bay Area corporations aided and abetted. It would appear that Zuckerberg was redirecting a fraction of the spoils of neoliberal tech capitalism, in the name of generosity, to try to address the problems of wealth inequality created by a social and economic system that allowed those spoils to accrue in the first place.

5. The new drug kingpins

THE CANADIAN PRESS 2017-02-23 A police officer holds bags of fentanyl. Source: The Canadian Press/PA Images

The deadly drug Fentanyl has grown in popularity – and that means there’s now a new generation of drug kingpins in China.

(Bloomberg, approx 14 mins reading time)

Yan is the first Chinese national the U.S. has ever added to its “consolidated priority organization target” list of individuals thought to command the world’s most prolific drug-trafficking and money-laundering networks. Investigators say his strategy was to offer fentanyl-like compounds called analogues — which differ slightly on a molecular level but produce similar effects — in order to exploit discrepancies between the laws in the U.S. and China. Rosenstein expressed optimism that his Chinese counterparts would hold Yan accountable.

6. Blood will tell

A teacher named Mickey Bryan is murdered. Her devoted husband is charged with killing her. But did he do it?

(ProPublica, approx 55 mins reading time)

They were different from other married couples, a number of women who knew them noted appreciatively; Mickey and Joe seemed more like a team. They both loved being around children but were never able to have their own — an immutable fact of their marriage that seemed to only draw them closer. Nearly every evening, they went on long walks around Clifton, where it was common to see them strolling hand in hand down the town’s wide residential streets, absorbed in conversation.


Harvey Weinstein has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct over his encounters with two women. This New Yorker piece helped to propel the situation forward after it was published – and it won a Pulitzer.

(The New Yorker, approx 40 mins reading time)

Virtually all of the people I spoke with told me that they were frightened of retaliation. “If Harvey were to discover my identity, I’m worried that he could ruin my life,” one former employee told me. Many said that they had seen Weinstein’s associates confront and intimidate those who crossed him, and feared that they would be similarly targeted.

Comments are closed as Weinstein has been charged.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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