On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the U.S., which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn’t pony up the $800,000 in cash and guns as reparations, then who did? Read it at BuzzFeed.
3. Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers — The Intercept
A deep dive into the government’s massive Terrorist Screening Database, of which “more than 40 percent are described by the government as having ‘no recognized terrorist group affiliation.’ That category — 280,000 people — dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined.” Read it at The Intercept.
Syrians who knew Moner Mohammad Abusalha recall when the American first arrived: “When we received him, we were shocked. He didn’t look like a fighter at all.” Mike Giglio tells his story. Read it at BuzzFeed.
The non-profit group Move America Forward claims to have raised millions to send care packages to troops abroad. But a ProPublica investigation reveals that the money may have gone elsewhere — including to political operatives closely tied with Tea Party groups. Read it at ProPublica.
6. The (Straight, Male) History of Sex Dolls — The Atlantic
Julie Beck explores sex dolls through history and today, questioning why people (mostly men) seek them, and the implications therein: “…the phenomenon as a whole is like a funhouse mirror — it may show a skewed reflection of male-female relationships, but it emphasizes some aspects we’d rather not see.” Read it at The Atlantic.
7. The Many Battles of Nina Simone — New Yorker
Claudia Roth Pierpont contemplates the late songstress’s life and politics in light of the recent announcement that lighter skinned Zoe Saldana will be playing her in an upcoming biopic. Read it at the New Yorker.
8. Why Do So Many People Pretend to Be Native American? — This Land Press
Bill Clinton claims to be part Cherokee. So does Miley Cyrus. And they’re not alone in making claims they can’t prove. Read it at the Longreads blog.
A powerful essay by Khadija al-Saadi: “Lying on the Oval Office desk, I’m told, is an official report about what happened to me and my family on that night all those years ago. Our story will be part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA rendition and interrogation. The only question is whether you will be able to read it, or whether it will be hidden under a smear of black ink.” Read it at Gawker.
- Hidden from public view, there's a parallel legal universe that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will, an investigation reveals.
- Mexican music legend Juan Gabriel has died at 66. The singer was known for his mariachi tunes and love ballads.
- The 2016 MTV VMAs are airing at 8 p.m. ET tonight. Here are all the nominees 📺🎵