Leaked Memo Reveals Trump’s Gift to Private Prison Companies

Prison companies that backed Donald Trump during the presidential campaign and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to his inaugural committee just got another boost from his administration. The Bureau of Prisons will now transfer more inmates from government-run lockups to private facilities, according to a memo sent to department staffers last week, as the […]

Smithsonian Leader Who Helped Launch the American Indian Museum Dies at 91

Smithsonian Leader Who Helped Launch the American Indian Museum Dies at 91

Robert McCormick Adams, who served as the ninth-number Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1984 through 1994, died Saturday, January 27, in Chula Vista, California. He was 91. Passionate about his causes and compassionate toward his coworkers, Adams was a serious academic who eschewed the ivory tower in favor of bettering the lives of those around […]

All Death Row Inmates in Pennsylvania Are Put in Solitary Confinement. Now the State Is Getting Sued.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Abolitionist Law Center, which advocates for the rights of prisoners, filed a federal lawsuit against officials in charge of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, alleging that their policy of holding death-sentenced inmates indefinitely in solitary confinement is in violation of the Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and […]

The Red Cross Ousted an Executive Over Sexual Harassment—Then Got Him a Job at Save the Children

This story was originally published by ProPublica. When Save the Children hired Gerald Anderson in 2013, the global charity believed it was hiring a veteran humanitarian executive with a sterling resume. Anderson had spent more than 15 years working around the world for the American Red Cross, rising through the ranks to lead the group’s massive […]

Your Brain Knows What Songs Are For, No Matter Where They Came From

Your Brain Knows What Songs Are For, No Matter Where They Came From

A Nyangatom woman from East Africa sings in an up and down lilt, her unadorned voice rising and falling like a hilly landscape. If you heard this song, with no geographical or cultural context, would you know it was a lullaby meant to soothe babies to sleep? It turns out you probably would, according to a […]

Larry Nassar Sentenced to Up to 175 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse

Larry Nassar, the former doctor for USA Gymnastics who pled guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault and child pornography, has been sentenced to between 40 to 175 years in prison. The sentencing on Wednesday comes after seven days of often-wrenching testimony in a Michigan courtroom by 156 of his victims, most of them current and former […]

Have Scientists Found a Greener Way to Make Blue Jeans?

Have Scientists Found a Greener Way to Make Blue Jeans?

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are trying to make the process of making blue jeans greener, by engineering bacteria to produce the indigo dye responsible for jeans’ characteristic hue. “Indigo dying for denim is unfortunately a pretty dirty process,” says John Dueber, a professor of bioengineering who co-led the research, recently published in […]

45 Years After Roe v. Wade, the War on Women Rages On

45 Years After Roe v. Wade, the War on Women Rages On

In 1969, 22-year-old Norma McCorvey was living in Dallas, Texas, when she discovered she was pregnant with her third child. As a poor, single mother struggling with alcohol addiction, McCorvey felt she wasn’t prepared to take on raising another child. She told her doctor she wanted an abortion, but under Texas law, abortion was prohibited […]

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