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Sitdown Sunday: The hunt for the thieves behind a massive jewel heist

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

Image: Shutterstock/Jens Rother

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. Left behind

The story of the death of Reuters journalist, Danish Siddiqui, who died in July.

(Reuters, approx 24 mins reading time)

The Humvee he was travelling in was hit by one of the RPGs. Three other vehicles were destroyed. Siddiqui captured on video the flash and jolt as a grenade struck the side of his vehicle and the commandos up front drove through the barrage. His images and report of the mission went on the Reuters wire, and he later shared the action on Twitter. “Holy mother of god,” one friend responded by WhatsApp. “This is insane.”

2. Succession

An interview with writer Jesse Armstrong about the amazing TV series Succession, which is back with its third season in October.

(The New Yorker, approx 37 mins reading time)

In general, the show makes affluence look vaguely diseased, and emphasizes the ways in which even the very rich cannot be entirely insulated from the drudgery of inconvenience. Mark Mylod, who has directed close to half the episodes of “Succession,” and is also an executive producer, told me, “We try to find situations where the characters cannot control the world, whether the weather’s bad or they are stuck in traffic.” For last season’s finale, Mylod filmed scenes on the yacht in the middle of the day, beneath harsh, overhead sunlight, in order to make the characters seem uncomfortably exposed, physically and emotionally. 

3. Ethical questions

Is it ethical to release music by deceased artists? That’s what Dean Van Nguyen asks in this article which stems from a tattoo that Anderson.Paak got on his arm. 

(The Face, approx 5 mins reading time)

2pac (credited as Makaveli) had more or less finished work on The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory – which was released in November 1996, around two months after his death. The same goes for The Notorious B.I.G and his ​‘97 opus Life After Death. These albums are core pillars of their artistic legacies. When I spoke to Swizz Beatz earlier this year, he insisted that DMX had finalised the recently released Exodus before he died in April and he was annoyed that the project was being called a posthumous album, no doubt because of the negative connotations connected to that term. 

4. Misdiagnosis

When Lucy Dawson went to the doctor with terrible headaches, she was misdiagnosed. Her experience changed her life. 

(The Guardian, approx 13 mins reading time)

Instead, Dawson was misdiagnosed with a breakdown and sectioned for three and a half months in a psychiatric ward. Worse was to follow. By the time she was discharged from hospital, she not only still had a serious acquired brain injury, she was physically disabled, too. After being given electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), she had a seizure and fell out of her hospital bed on to an exposed radiator pipe which burned through her sciatic nerve and left her left leg paralysed below the knee.

5. Double danger

The story of Afghanistan’s Uyghurs, who fear not just the Taliban, but China too.

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(BBC, approx 6 mins reading time)

There are about 12 million Uyghurs in China, concentrated in the northwestern Xinjiang province. Since 2017, they and other Muslim minorities have been subjected to a state campaign of mass detention, surveillance, forced labour, and, according to some accounts, sterilisation, torture and rape. China routinely denies all human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and says its camps are vocational centres designed to combat extremism.

6. Jewel heist

The story of a crime family based in Germany, a billion-dollar jewel heist and the race to catch the thieves.

(GQ, approx mins reading time)

When news of the heist hit the press, the robbery was described as one of the most costly art heists in history. Reports valued the looted treasure at as much as $1.2 billion. That figure was debatable, but the scale of the loss was staggering, and Syndram knew a detail that made the problem much, much worse: None of the art was insured. The premiums on a collection that valuable would be too taxing for the museum to handle.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

In 2018, Amia Srinivasan asked the question: does anyone have the right to sex? Her question has now been expanded into a book, but here’s the original article.

(The London Review of Books, approx 24 mins reading time)

In the hours between murdering three men in his apartment and driving to Alpha Phi, Rodger went to Starbucks, ordered coffee, and uploaded a video, ‘Elliot Rodger’s Retribution’, to his YouTube channel. He also emailed a 107,000-word memoir-manifesto, ‘My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger’, to a group of people including his parents, his therapist, former schoolteachers and childhood friends. Together these two documents detail the massacre to come and Rodger’s motivation. ‘All I ever wanted was to fit in and live a happy life,’ he explains at the beginning of ‘My Twisted World’, ‘but I was cast out and rejected, forced to endure an existence of loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeing the value in me.’

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday

Comments are off as the GQ story is about an ongoing trial.

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