Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Sitdown Sunday: Police brutality, controversial circumcision, and the great Orson Welles

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.  Interrogating like Guantanamo

Guantanamo Source: AP/Press Association Images

Richard Zuley was a detective who used brutal interrogation techniques in Guantanamo. He also went on to use them the US, this investigation reveals.

(The Guardian, approx 23 mins reading time, 4742 words)

Allegations stemming from interviews and court documents, concerning five Chicago suspects, suggest Zuley and his colleagues shackled suspects to walls for extended periods, threatened their family members, and perhaps even planted evidence on them.

2. A dark side to Bikram

WELL BEING OVERCROWDED GYMS Bikram Choudhury, front, founder of the Yoga College of India Source: AP/Press Association Images

Bikram Yoga has millions of devotees worldwide. But now its guru Bikram Choudhury is facing civil lawsuits from women accusing him of rape or assault.

(NY Times, approx 8 mins reading time, 1534 words)

The first complaint was filed two years ago. As more surfaced, and more women spoke publicly about accusations of assault and harassment, their accounts have created fissures in the close-knit world of yoga students and teachers who have spent thousands of dollars to study with Mr. Choudhury

3. Hadley goes to the Oscars

Oscars-Impossible Dream Source: AP/Press Association Images

The incomparable Hadley Freeman goes to the Oscars, and reports back.

(The Guardian, approx 13 mins reading time, 2677 words)

Everyone is just so damn excited to be there, including the celebrities, to the point that taking frequent selfies in front of the Oscars insignia seems almost obligatory.

4. Bits and pieces

Circumcision Oral Suction Abraham Romi Cohn, left, prepares his implements for a bris, or ritual circumcision, in New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

Male circumcision is becoming a hotly debated subject, and this essay looks at why. (Probably NSFW, if that’s where you are right now)

(Mosaic Science, approx 33 mins reading time, 6664 words)

Circumcision isn’t advised for health reasons in Europe, for instance, because the benefits remain unclear. Meanwhile, Western organisations are paying for the circumcision of millions of African men in an attempt to rein in HIV – a campaign that critics say is also based on questionable evidence.

5. Twitter finds balance

Twitter stock Source: Nick Ansell

We all know Twitter is a phenomenon, but does it have a fear of commitment? This in-depth article is a good one for those interested in the tech side of the social networking giant.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

(Tech Crunch, approx 17  mins reading time, 3435 words)

“The amazing thing about DMs is the graph on Twitter. It’s the fact that on Twitter, you’re not just connected to your friends. You’re connected to the people, the causes, the brands, and the products that you care about.

6. The killing of Tamir

Cleveland Police Shoot Boy Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Source: AP/Press Association Images

After the killing of Tamir Rice, the US Justice Department says the city of Cleveland is in crisis. The city’s mayor and police chief say that isn’t true. But what is the truth?

(Politico, approx 21 mins reading time, 4268 words)

“I’m not frustrated. I’m really not. When they say, ‘The mayor has lost trust,’ I say, ‘Lost trust with whom?’ I’m not hearing that from the people I talk to. Whenever someone says that, I say, ‘Consider the source. Check their agenda.’”


Orson Welles Orson Welles Source: AP/Press Association Images

Back in 1989, a biography of Orson Welles captured the dynamism of the director.

(NY Books, approx 28 mins reading time, 5774 words)

For the television generation he is remembered as an enormously fat and garrulous man with a booming voice, seen most often on talk shows and in commercials where he somberly assured us that a certain wine would not be sold “before its time,” whatever that meant. But Welles himself was on sale, as it were, long before his time in the sense that he was an astonishing prodigy

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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

Read next: