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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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Sitdown Sunday: 'If you want to kill someone, we're your guys'

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

Image: Shutterstock/BR Photo Addicted

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. Greedy professions

Why are so many women in Western countries working fewer hours than their partners, despite being as qualified? It’s not because they don’t want to, it’s because the push to work harder and longer results in doing better, and often when it comes to families one person has to take the brunt, as this in-depth article explains.

(New York Times, approx 16 mins reading time)

There’s no gender gap in the financial rewards for working extra long hours. For the most part, women who work extreme hours get paid as much as men who do. But far fewer women do it, particularly mothers. Twenty percent of fathers now work at least 50 hours a week, and just 6 percent of mothers do, Ms. Cha and Ms. Weeden found. There has always been a pay gap between mothers and fathers, but it would be 15 percent smaller today if the financial returns to long hours hadn’t increased, they found.

2. Was Russia’s intervention for Trump a failure?

That’s what Vox is investigating in this piece.

(Vox, approx 12 mins reading time)

The operation had hammered the reputation of both Clinton and the Democratic Party while deflecting attention from embarrassing news about Putin’s preferred candidate, Trump. The same group had even made digital forays into state election systems before the vote, possibly practicing for more disruptive future activities.

3. Being honest about miscarriage

Jamie Stelter has two babies, but she’s been pregnant seven times. She writes here about why she decided to be honest about what she went through on the journey to parenthood.

(Glamour, approx 10 mins reading time)

That number doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. One time—our fourth attempt at starting a family—I was pregnant with twins and miscarried them both weeks apart. Another time I miscarried what doctors call a chemical pregnancy, which is a miscarriage before five weeks, before most women even know they’re pregnant. I knew, if only for a few days. 

4. Hand dryers vs paper

Turns out there’s a bit of a war on when it comes to the humble act of drying your hands.

(The Guardian, approx 34 mins reading time)

The holy grail for such phobists is the contactless restroom. In the industry, people speak with shining eyes about this ideal chamber, where our hands need not touch anything that other hands have defiled. Already, we enter some airport bathrooms through a brief switchback of walls, so that we don’t ever grasp a door handle.

5. ‘If you want to kill someone, we’re your guys’

It’s your weekly read about some dodgy killers…

(Wired, approx 32 mins reading time)

Yura promised that customers’ money was held by an escrow service and paid out only after a job was completed. But Allwine worried that when he deposited money it would simply end up in someone’s bitcoin wallet. He wanted Yura’s claims to be true, though, so against his better instincts he transferred the bitcoin. 

6. Child influencers

The rise of social media has meant the rise of child influencers. This article gets into what it really means when young kids become big stars.

(The Guardian, approx 14 mins reading time)

“I don’t care if it’s simply unboxing presents, that’s work,” said Sheila James Kuehl, a former child star and co-author of the 1999 law that overhauled California’s labor protections for child performers. “It is not play if you’re making money off it.”

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

Let’s go back to Greece, in 2019, and riot-stricken Athens.

(Vanity Fair, approx 58 mins reading time)

As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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