This Weeks Longreads from Myspace to Wachovia’s Money Laundering
From the billions of dollars Wachovia laundered for Mexican drug cartels to the inside story of how News Corp. destroyed MySpace, The Daily Beast picks the best longform journalism from around the Web this week.
Jonathan Mahler, New York Times Magazine
Ramón González, an ambitious young principal in the South Bronx, is struggling to engage parents, improve teachers, and rescue students to create a thriving public school. González's mission is different from the increasingly trendy charter schools taking over New York City, and his experience shows how the school-reform movement both inspires and hinders efforts to improve public education.
Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen, was a friend and protégé of Saddam Hussein. He’s also been treated with unusual friendliness by the U.S. because of his masterful skill at keeping Yemen’s tribes apart—and his watchful eye over the 200 al Qaeda fighters gaining a foothold in the country. After weeks of uprisings, both the Obama administration and Yemen’s revolutionaries are unsure that they can achieve a desirable outcome. Can Saleh be pushed out without a radical regime taking his place?
Ed Vuillamy, The Guardian
In April 2006, a plane landed in Cuidad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, packed with nearly 6 tons of cocaine. When the plane’s paper trail was investigated, an even bigger crime was revealed: The American bank Wachovia, now owned by Wells Fargo, helped Mexican drug gangs launder $300 billion at the height of the border war between the U.S. and Mexico. What followed was one of the biggest settlements in American history, in which Wachovia got off with a penalty of less than 2 percent of its annual profit.
Yinka Adegoke, Reuters
In 2007, Rupert Murdoch was a rock star at MySpace headquarters in San Francisco. But six years later, News Corp. has the social network on the auction block, and is rumored to be looking to dump it at a bargain price. Through interviews with MySpace employees, Adegoke discovers the narrative of a media corporation that thrust its entrenched ways on an a still-growing startup and hastened its demise.
Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books
As Glenn Beck announces he’s leaving his Fox News show, Lilla examines the conservative rabble-rouser’s long list of bestsellers. Searching for the real Beck is a waste of time, he concludes, because “the truth is, demagogues don’t have cores.” Beck allows himself to be a blank slate onto which his surprisingly diverse band of followers project their own anxieties.
Jesse Ellison, Newsweek
When men in the military rape other men in the ranks, no one wants to talk about it. In this week's Newsweek, Jesse Ellison looks at why the sexual assault of males in the service is finally being confronted.
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