Thanks to Trump’s Family Separations, Democrats Are in the Hot Seat for Taking Private Prison Cash

In a theater outside Miami last month, as a debate between four Democratic candidates for Florida governor approached the two-hour mark, 18-year-old activist ErrDaisha Floyd took the mic and turned the conversation toward a topic close to her heart: private prisons. The companies that run them “provide a direct incentive to contract-holders to ensure and keep […]

A Photographer Captures Contrasts and Characters in Barcelona's Streets

A Photographer Captures Contrasts and Characters in Barcelona's Streets

This article is part of a series highlighting photographers who have submitted to Smithsonian.com’s annual photo contest. Josep Fabrega Agea has never forgotten the first time he set foot darkroom. At age nine, his father took him to Vildacens, a town close to Barcelona, to develop photo film. As he watched images emerge beneath the […]

Vibrant Art Installations Infuse New Life into Abandoned Houses in This Cleveland Neighborhood

Vibrant Art Installations Infuse New Life into Abandoned Houses in This Cleveland Neighborhood

A symphony of hammers, saws and chisels pierce the early-morning silence that had blanketed Slavic Village, a neighborhood tucked away on Cleveland’s south side. As daylight creeps in, a team of artists is busily creating a series of art installations that will transform several vacant houses that pockmark the neighborhood. Called Rooms to Let: CLE, […]

“If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine.”

This story was originally published by ProPublica.  Just five days after he reached the United States, the 15-year-old Honduran boy awoke in his Tucson, Arizona, immigrant shelter one morning in 2015 to find a youth care worker in his room, tickling his chest and stomach. When he asked the man, who was 46, what he […]

Get to Know Khorovats, Armenia’s Favorite Grilling Pastime

Get to Know Khorovats, Armenia’s Favorite Grilling Pastime

Sitting on a cliff overlooking the Debed Gorge in northern Armenia, the Haghpat monastery is a stunning Unesco World Heritage Site worth the hair-raising tour bus ride up a mountain road. Yet the monastery’s ancient kitchen has stood empty for years, and the only other food option is a snack bar at the edge of […]

A Brief (But Global) History of Ketchup

A Brief (But Global) History of Ketchup

Trade wars have an interesting way of revealing cultural stereotypes. Countries often propose tariffs not on the most valuable items in their trading relationships – since that would be painful to them as well – but rather products iconic of national character. A good example of this came in the European Union’s retaliation against U.S. […]

New Research Suggests Dr. Seuss Modeled the Lorax on This Real-Life Monkey

New Research Suggests Dr. Seuss Modeled the Lorax on This Real-Life Monkey

Millions of Americans grew up with Dr. Seuss’ Lorax, the gruff orange ball of fluff who doggedly guarded his forest of Truffula trees against the greedy Once-ler. Today, in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, scientists unveil a surprising possible inspiration for the stern Seuss stalwart: a mustachioed monkey native to the plains of Central […]

As Trial Date Is Finally Set for the Laquan McDonald Case, Chicago Grapples With Yet Another Police Shooting

A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday near the site where 37-year-old Harith Augustus was shot and killed by a police officer over the weekend, following three consecutive days of protests after the shooting on Saturday. The vigil comes a day after a judge announced the trial date for the former policeman who shot and killed African-American teenager Laquan McDonald four years […]

Jeff Sessions Wants to Crack Down on Fentanyl Dealers. Here’s the Problem With That.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a new plan: He vows to “systematically and relentlessly prosecute” anyone dealing synthetic opioids, regardless of the amount, in ten counties hit hard by the opioid epidemic. The so-called “enforcement surge” will send a new prosecutor to the ten areas, which include parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. […]