Big Stories

9 Longform Stories We’re Reading This Week: The AIDS Granny, Grapefruits, And Apps For Love

This week for BuzzReads, Kathleen McLaughlin profiles an elderly activist who battled the Chinese government to expose the truth behind one of the country’s largest AIDS outbreaks. Read that, and these other great stories from around BuzzFeed and the web.

1. The AIDS Granny in Exile — BuzzReads

Photograph by Macey Foronda for BuzzFeed

In the ’90s, a gynecologist named Gao Yaojie exposed the horrifying cause of an AIDS epidemic in rural China and became an enemy of the state. Now 85, she lives in New York without her family, without her friends, and without regrets. Read it at BuzzReads.

2. Animals Were HarmedThe Hollywood Reporter

Illustration by Jeremy Enecio for Hollywood Reporter

A must-read investigation into the American Humane Association’s failure to protect of animals working in Hollywood: “… interviews with six AHA employees and an extensive review of internal AHA documents, including incident logs, emails, meeting minutes, audit assessments and more, strongly suggest that the organization’s fundamental work — protecting animals through credibly neutral on-set oversight — today is inadequate.” Read it at The Hollywood Reporter.

3. Riders on the Storm5280

Pool New / Reuters / Reuters

Natasha Gardner looks closely at mental illness care in Colorado — where spending has increased by $25 million since James Holmes’ massacre in an Aurora Movie Theater. The stigmatization of the mentally ill, thanks to a violent few, has set that state, where one in four suffer from mental illness, and our country at large. Read it at 5280.

4. Two GunshotsNew York Times

Photo provided by the O’Connell family / Via nytimes.com

A Times collaboration with Frontline that looks closely at the case of a sheriff’s deputy’s girlfriend found dead. The authorities ruled suicide even though her boyfriend’s story and history of violence — not to mention forensics — indicated otherwise. Were investigators complicit in covering up a crime? Read it at the New York Times.

5. The 40 Year Slump: The State of Work in the Age of AnxietyThe American Prospect

Jason Schneider for The American Prospect

A fascinating and depressing analysis by Harold Meyerson: “What has vanished over the past 40 years isn’t just Americans’ rising incomes. It’s their sense of control over their lives. The young college graduates working in jobs requiring no more than a high-school degree, the middle-aged unemployed who have permanently opted out of a labor market that has no place for them, the 45- to 60-year-olds who say they will have to delay their retirement because they have insufficient savings—all these and more are leading lives that have diverged from the aspirations that Americans until recently believed they could fulfill.” Read it at The American Prospect.

6. Better Off RedTexas Monthly

Illustration by Nate Blakeslee / Via texasmonthly.com

Nate Blakeslee reports from a battlefield: the grapefruit groves of the Rio Grande Valley. Largely considered the world’s best grapefruit because of their unique sweetness and eponymous color, Rio Reds — Texas’ pride — are now under threat. Read it at Texas Monthly.

7. The Ballad of Kiwi Gardner — Mashable

Josh Christopher/Fakework Sports / Via mashable.com

Kiwi Gardner was one of basketball’s first YouTube sensations, his stunts garnering millions of views and a small celebrity. But, Sam Laird argues, such potential doesn’t a pro career make. Read it at Mashable.

8. The Love AppThe New Yorker

Lauren Collins reports from the very wired South Korea — where 96% of society accesses broadband, as opposed to 68% of Americans and 73% use smartphones, compared with 56% of us — and gives a possible glimpse of our romantic futures. In particular she discusses a very app called Between, which acts as a digital keepsake manager for couples. Read it at The New Yorker.

9. How Grambling State University Got The World’s Attention By Boycotting Its Own Football Game — BuzzFeed Sports

Joel Anderson / BuzzFeed

Joel Anderson visits the football team of Grambling State University, in rural Arkansas. A recent player game boycott — in protest of facilities in such disrepair they threatened players’ health and safety — highlighted how budget cuts have disproportionately affected historically black colleges and universities. Read it at BuzzFeed Sports.

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