Politics

Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum

Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum

Forget a real war with Cuba. Enter the prospect of a rum war.With the Cold War in the rearview mirror, President Obama’s decision to loosen American trade restrictions on Cuba has made a diplomatic détente possible—but could also set off a corpora...

Havana Club or ‘American’ Havana Club? How untangling decades of Washington’s embargo politics could start a rum war among the world’s most powerful alcohol companies.

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Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Panic

Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Panic

In the ebullience that surrounded the supposed end of the Cold War, few analysts worried about the nuggets of communist opposition that the tide of freedom had failed to sweep away. Cuba was harmless. China was capitalizing. Those weird little sta...

Was it DPRK? Hollywood sure hopes so, because the idea that disgruntled insiders could do this is terrifying to Tinsel Town.

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Why the Left Won’t Swoon for Sanders

Why the Left Won’t Swoon for Sanders

“From our point of view, the defining issue of the moment is the crisis of the middle class and the explosion of inequality where the rules are rigged by the 1 percent and Wall Street to the detriment or ordinary Americans,” said Ben Wikler, the W...

There’s already a liberal champion of the middle class that’s running for president. But Bernie Sanders isn’t feeling much love at all from progressives.

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Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum

Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum

Forget a real war with Cuba. Enter the prospect of a rum war.With the Cold War in the rearview mirror, President Obama’s decision to loosen American trade restrictions on Cuba has made a diplomatic détente possible—but could also set off a corpora...

Havana Club or ‘American’ Havana Club? How untangling decades of Washington’s embargo politics could start a rum war among the world’s most powerful alcohol companies.

Keep Reading

Rubio’s Embargo Anger Plays to the Past

Rubio’s Embargo Anger Plays to the Past

Is Marco Rubio the stupidest politician in Washington? Okay, probably not. The House of Representatives is bursting to the rafters with contenders for the title. But after watching Rubio’s comical response to the Cuba announcement, we should all b...

In his aggressive anti-Obama play on Cuba, Rubio is pandering to a constituency that barely exists now— and he looks cowardly doing it.

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How Naive is Elizabeth Warren?

How Naive is Elizabeth Warren?

If there’s a big winner to emerge from last week’s “Cromnibus” budget battle, it’s Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. While Ted Cruz turned himself into a pariah yet again (he is fast becoming the Cousin Oliver) of the GOP), Warren gave a spe...

The progressive rock star is right about Wall Street’s pernicious influence, but clueless about how to fix it.

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Entertainment

'Colbert Report' Signs Off With a Song

'Colbert Report' Signs Off With a Song

Based on the number of people on stage singing along with Stephen Colbert on the final episode of The Colbert Report, there’s a strong chance that you were there yourself.Colbert wrapped up his show singing "We’ll Meet Again," joined at ...

Stephen Colbert’s goodbye includes, pretty much, everyone.

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Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook

Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook

There may be some wonderful places to watch the rightly acclaimed scary movie The Babadook, but screen five of New York’s IFC cinema the night I went was not to be one of them.At a packed-to-capacity recent screening, there was a couple making out...

It’s being hailed as a great horror film. But at its heart it is also about the realities of grieving and loss—both monsters that don’t have to consume us.

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Biggest Bombs of the Year

Biggest Bombs of the Year

Each new year brings with it great hope and excitement. And with that great hope and excitement comes crippling, embarrassing disappointment. It’s with the utmost respect—in most cases—that we shame the movies, TV shows, musicians, and celebrities...

It was the year no one wanted to see Cameron Diaz have sex, everyone cringed at Mariah Carey’s singing, and everyone threw out their TVs after the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ finale.

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A&E’s Awful Sex Worker Ambush Show

A&E’s Awful Sex Worker Ambush Show

Picture the movie Pretty Woman as a reality TV show. Keep the male fantasy of “rescuing” a sex worker intact, replace Richard Gere’s lonely businessman with an ex-cop turned pastor named—of course—Kevin, and swap out Julia Robert’s Rodeo Drive sho...

The retired cop used to interfere in sex worker’s lives by arresting them, now he just ambushes them with cameras. The problem with the reality show ‘8 Minutes.’

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Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook

Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook

There may be some wonderful places to watch the rightly acclaimed scary movie The Babadook, but screen five of New York’s IFC cinema the night I went was not to be one of them.At a packed-to-capacity recent screening, there was a couple making out...

It’s being hailed as a great horror film. But at its heart it is also about the realities of grieving and loss—both monsters that don’t have to consume us.

Keep Reading

Sony Put Kim Jong-Un In ‘The Interview’

Sony Put Kim Jong-Un In ‘The Interview’

The controversy surrounding the Kim Jong Un assassination comedy The Interview reaches new levels of insanity by the day.On Wednesday, U.S. government sources informed the media that the cyber-attack on the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures Entert...

Hacked emails also reveal that Sony execs didn’t take the threat from North Korea seriously, and that a CIA agent and a former Hillary Clinton aide looked at the film’s script.

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Serial’s Uncertain, True-to-Reality End

Serial’s Uncertain, True-to-Reality End

If you’re one of the five million people who downloaded Serial and have been obsessing over who killed Hae Min Lee over 15 years ago on January 13, 1999, you couldn’t have realistically expected an answer in the final episode. In the end, the show...

So did Adnan do it? For the podcast listeners salivating for a tidy conclusion to ‘Serial,’ that’s not what you’ll get.

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The Funniest Commercials of the Year

The Funniest Commercials of the Year

Gone are the days when commercials were the talk of the watercooler—or, rather, the reason everyone was shouting “Wahhzzzzzuupp?” at the watercooler—because gone are the days when people are forced to watch commercials. Between online streaming, D...

The year's 10 funniest commercials of 2014 will be counted down Thursday night. Colbert's pistachio pitch made the cut. But is it top?

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Sony Put Kim Jong-Un In ‘The Interview’

Sony Put Kim Jong-Un In ‘The Interview’

The controversy surrounding the Kim Jong Un assassination comedy The Interview reaches new levels of insanity by the day.On Wednesday, U.S. government sources informed the media that the cyber-attack on the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures Entert...

Hacked emails also reveal that Sony execs didn’t take the threat from North Korea seriously, and that a CIA agent and a former Hillary Clinton aide looked at the film’s script.

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World News

From Gitmo To ISIS Governor

From Gitmo To ISIS Governor

LONDON — Few sayings of the Prophet Mohammed have a stronger hold on the imagination of the world’s jihadists than his prophecy about the flags: "If you see the black banners coming from Khorasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl ove...

Former U.S. detainee pledges his allegiance to the so-called Islamic State as ISIS sets its sights on expanding into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

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America's Craven Capitulation To Terror

America's Craven Capitulation To Terror

If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the principle of freedom. It is to champion the idea that all men and women are endowed with certain unalienable rights—free to think our thoughts, speak our mind...

Americans are giving in to North Korean blackmail—and it will only get worse.

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Putin Needs A Hug

Putin Needs A Hug

Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference disappointed many in Russia, despite the fact that his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, had promised the announcement of some “special measures” to save the economy. But nothing of the sort happened during the thr...

Putin’s press conference today gave no solutions for Russia’s plummeting economy—but he did spend a lot of time talking about bears.

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Castro’s Hipster Apologists

Castro’s Hipster Apologists

Alan Gross was in a cheery mood, having survived a grim five-year stint in a Cuban prison. The former USAID subcontractor smiled broadly for the cameras, the inside of his mouth looking like a diorama of Highgate Cemetery: a few little tombstones ...

The thawing of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba has elicited a lot of patronizing, asinine fretting about the imminent “Americanization” of Cuba.

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America's Craven Capitulation To Terror

America's Craven Capitulation To Terror

If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the principle of freedom. It is to champion the idea that all men and women are endowed with certain unalienable rights—free to think our thoughts, speak our mind...

Americans are giving in to North Korean blackmail—and it will only get worse.

Keep Reading

The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays

The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays

In the Jewish community, Christians who saved Jews from the Holocaust are known as “righteous gentiles.”  Thanks to the film bearing his name, Oskar Schindler is probably the most well-known of these, but there are many others.When the history of ...

Why has 69-year-old Alice N’kom risked everything to defend gays in a country where homosexuality is illegal? Because ‘someone has to do this.’

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Pakistan Lets Terrorists Walk Free

Pakistan Lets Terrorists Walk Free

It’s been a rough week for Pakistan. On Tuesday, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban) attacked a school for the children of army officers, killing at least 141 people, among them 132 kids.Many commenters, including me, said this was a...

Calls to hang terrorists in Pakistan will accomplish little. They’re rarely convicted anyway.

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Return To Church Roots With Woman Bishop

Return To Church Roots With Woman Bishop

This week the Church of England named the Reverend Libby Lane as its first female bishop. The announcement comes twenty years after the—at the time—controversial move to admit women to the clergy and nearly 40 years after the general Synod of the ...

Women played a much larger role in the early Christian church than most people realize. The new Bishop of Stockport recalls the old traditions.

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The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays

The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays

In the Jewish community, Christians who saved Jews from the Holocaust are known as “righteous gentiles.”  Thanks to the film bearing his name, Oskar Schindler is probably the most well-known of these, but there are many others.When the history of ...

Why has 69-year-old Alice N’kom risked everything to defend gays in a country where homosexuality is illegal? Because ‘someone has to do this.’

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U.S. News

NYC’s Cop-Puncher Is a $100K Union Rep

NYC’s Cop-Puncher Is a $100K Union Rep

A protester who has been charged with assaulting a New York police officer was making six-figures working for one the country’s largest unions, The Daily Beast has learned.Robert Murray, 43, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, surrendered to police at Man...

Robert Murray, an SEIU organizing coordinator, has been charged for Saturday night’s assault on police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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The Brave Fight For Global LGBT Equality

The Brave Fight For Global LGBT Equality

Western culture has taught us that it is getting better for members of the LGBT community.But, throughout the rest of the world, many still face the same draconian laws and societal pressures that most of us regard as history.Statistically, some f...

On Wednesday, activists from around the world met in New York for The Daily Beast’s Quorum: Global LGBT Voices event. They shared their struggles and triumphs, and illuminated the fr...

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The Ruin Of Our Military Interrogators

The Ruin Of Our Military Interrogators

Plenty of CIA defenders, and some of its critics, have cautioned us in the last week not to judge too harshly those who conceived, facilitated, or carried out torture in the name of counterterrorism. We are asked to recall the extraordinary enviro...

The U.S. responded to security threats with cool heads and plenty of expertise in WWII and the Cold War. After 9/11, we behaved as though we’d forgotten everything we knew.

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NYC’s Cop-Puncher Is a $100K Union Rep

NYC’s Cop-Puncher Is a $100K Union Rep

A protester who has been charged with assaulting a New York police officer was making six-figures working for one the country’s largest unions, The Daily Beast has learned.Robert Murray, 43, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, surrendered to police at Man...

Robert Murray, an SEIU organizing coordinator, has been charged for Saturday night’s assault on police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Goodbye, Bahamas. Hello, Havana!

Goodbye, Bahamas. Hello, Havana!

U.S. airlines have been waiting a long while. They have pushed into just about every other corner of the Caribbean and Central America where airports exist. But there was never a prospect more juicy than Cuba. So near and yet—til now—so far.Althou...

A re-opening of Cuba leads U.S. carriers to again eye the Caribbean’s biggest tourist trap.

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The Next Hobby Lobbys

The Next Hobby Lobbys

Six months after Hobby Lobby won an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage, the mainstream population has largely lost interest. In the meantime, 26 companies have followed suit.These 26 for-profit companies, less...

Half a year since Hobby Lobby won its Supreme Court case, a new wave of companies have won the right to stop paying for female employees’ birth control.

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Tech + Health

Ebola Vaccine May Cause Arthritis

Ebola Vaccine May Cause Arthritis

With Ebola still tearing through West Africa, surely the last thing anyone wants to hear about it are setbacks in the search for a vaccine. Unfortunately, in the face of 7,000 dead and over 11,000 confirmed cases, the Merck-NewLink stage 1 Ebola v...

Human trials of the Ebola vaccine have been temporarily shut down due to adverse side effects. What will it take to get it up and running again?

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The Next Hobby Lobbys

The Next Hobby Lobbys

Six months after Hobby Lobby won an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage, the mainstream population has largely lost interest. In the meantime, 26 companies have followed suit.These 26 for-profit companies, less...

Half a year since Hobby Lobby won its Supreme Court case, a new wave of companies have won the right to stop paying for female employees’ birth control.

Keep Reading

Methane on Mars: Life or Just Gas?

Methane on Mars: Life or Just Gas?

Methane is a familiar chemical, whether you know it by that name or not. It’s the major component of natural gas, which heats my house and possibly yours too. Methane is also a large part of human gas, which means I could start this article with a...

NASA’s Curiosity rover has measured methane—often a sign of life—on Mars. Could it be?

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In Defense of Uber’s Awful Surge Pricing

In Defense of Uber’s Awful Surge Pricing

As a cafe in Sydney, Australia came under siege by a hostage-taking gunman on Monday, those nearby attempted to flee the area. Many of them turned to the popular ride-sharing app Uber, causing the demand for cars to skyrocket and in turn, the comp...

As Sydney faced a hostage-taking gunman and people tried to flee the area, Uber’s surge pricing kicked in. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong.

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The Next Hobby Lobbys

The Next Hobby Lobbys

Six months after Hobby Lobby won an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage, the mainstream population has largely lost interest. In the meantime, 26 companies have followed suit.These 26 for-profit companies, less...

Half a year since Hobby Lobby won its Supreme Court case, a new wave of companies have won the right to stop paying for female employees’ birth control.

Keep Reading

How The U.S. Screws Disabled Prisoners

How The U.S. Screws Disabled Prisoners

Last week, Robert Wayne Holsey of Georgia and Paul Goodwin of Missouri were executed within just a few hours of each other. Each of them had IQs that hovered around 70. An IQ below 70 generally indicates someone with intellectual disability (ID). ...

From arrest to trial, suspects with intellectual disabilities face a system they don’t understand—often leading to false imprisonment or even execution.

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2014 Made Us Want to Shut Off the Web

2014 Made Us Want to Shut Off the Web

The Internet is like booze—a little bit gives you a pleasant buzz. Too much, though, and you’ll want to barf. And 2014’s Internet, a lot of times, had us running for the toilet. From creeps and trolls to hoaxes and hackers, these are the things th...

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Are Comets the Origin of Earth's Oceans?

Are Comets the Origin of Earth's Oceans?

Water, water everywhere, but where did it come from? One common explanation is that the water in Earth’s oceans was brought by comets, which bombarded the planet during its earliest period. It’s a simple, logical, and testable story.But that doesn...

A new study complicates the long-held idea that comets created Earth’s oceans.

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How The U.S. Screws Disabled Prisoners

How The U.S. Screws Disabled Prisoners

Last week, Robert Wayne Holsey of Georgia and Paul Goodwin of Missouri were executed within just a few hours of each other. Each of them had IQs that hovered around 70. An IQ below 70 generally indicates someone with intellectual disability (ID). ...

From arrest to trial, suspects with intellectual disabilities face a system they don’t understand—often leading to false imprisonment or even execution.

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BeastStyle

The Brave Fight For Global LGBT Equality

The Brave Fight For Global LGBT Equality

Western culture has taught us that it is getting better for members of the LGBT community.But, throughout the rest of the world, many still face the same draconian laws and societal pressures that most of us regard as history.Statistically, some f...

On Wednesday, activists from around the world met in New York for The Daily Beast’s Quorum: Global LGBT Voices event. They shared their struggles and triumphs, and illuminated the fr...

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A Lost Island in the Heart of Darkness

A Lost Island in the Heart of Darkness

At the highest navigable point of the Congo River, thick jungle creates an impenetrable wall of green around a large island. Apart from the dug-out canoes transporting bundles of thin trees from its shores, there’s little sign that the land is inh...

An island in the Congo River was once a prime vacation hub and prosperous rubber plantation. Now, visitors are scarce and the jungle is taking over, leaving some locals nostalgic.

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The Perfect Gifts For…Don Draper

The Perfect Gifts For…Don Draper

The Perfect 100 Gift, $100The Merchants of Beverage mission is to perfectly outfit every tippler’s home bar. With this gift package, you can help save your friends from bar embarrassment (and ensure your own highfalutin drinking during your next v...

For the dapper gent whose favorite accessory is a strong cocktail.

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The Perfect Gifts For…Blue Ivy

The Perfect Gifts For…Blue Ivy

The Memory of an Elephant, $14Marcel the elephant takes readers on a journey through his life, recounting his memories full of travel and adventure. With rich illustrations and lots of facts, this children’s book is an enthralling and educational ...

For your cute little diva (or divo)-in-training.

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A Lost Island in the Heart of Darkness

A Lost Island in the Heart of Darkness

At the highest navigable point of the Congo River, thick jungle creates an impenetrable wall of green around a large island. Apart from the dug-out canoes transporting bundles of thin trees from its shores, there’s little sign that the land is inh...

An island in the Congo River was once a prime vacation hub and prosperous rubber plantation. Now, visitors are scarce and the jungle is taking over, leaving some locals nostalgic.

Keep Reading

The Perfect Gifts For…Carrie Bradshaw

The Perfect Gifts For…Carrie Bradshaw

Milly Blair Sleeveless Sequined & Feather Dress, $695The holiday season must-have: a fun party dress! Whether you’re gearing up to meet your true love under the mistletoe or to grab a flute of bubbly and ring in the New Year, this dress has ev...

For your fun, flirty, freewheeling fashionista.

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The Perfect Gifts for…Anthony Bourdain

The Perfect Gifts for…Anthony Bourdain

Vintage Kantha Blanket, $120A lovely blanket is a key accessory for any world traveler. Whether you’re keeping warm on a flight, having a picnic under the open sky, or adding an extra layer to a dodgy-looking hotel bed, this piece handmade from tw...

For your favorite food-obsessed globetrotter.

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The My Lai Massacre Inspires an Opera

The My Lai Massacre Inspires an Opera

This year, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded grants to fund a musical production about the life of Marilyn Monroe, a new staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd—and an opera based on the My Lai massacre of 1968.The horrific episod...

One of the most horrific episodes of the Vietnam War is being made into a government-funded opera. Expect intensity, though not explicit gore.

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The Perfect Gifts For…Carrie Bradshaw

The Perfect Gifts For…Carrie Bradshaw

Milly Blair Sleeveless Sequined & Feather Dress, $695The holiday season must-have: a fun party dress! Whether you’re gearing up to meet your true love under the mistletoe or to grab a flute of bubbly and ring in the New Year, this dress has ev...

For your fun, flirty, freewheeling fashionista.

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Women in the World

The Next Hobby Lobbys

The Next Hobby Lobbys

Six months after Hobby Lobby won an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage, the mainstream population has largely lost interest. In the meantime, 26 companies have followed suit.These 26 for-profit companies, less than half of the more than 100 entities that are currently challenging the mandatory coverage of birth control, have also won the right to stop paying for their employees’ birth control. Twenty-five more for-profits are...

Half a year since Hobby Lobby won its Supreme Court case, a new wave of companies have won the right to stop paying for female employees’ birth control.

Keep Reading

Nicki Minaj Bares Her Own Vulnerability

Nicki Minaj Bares Her Own Vulnerability

In early November, Nicki Minaj took a bat to a Mercedes Benz that she had lent to Safaree “SB” Samuels, her simultaneous hypeman, pseudo-assistant, and boyfriend of 12 years. Earlier in the year, TMZ alleged, citing a police report, that a hotel r...

The Pinkprint holds the weight of watching a relationship crumble; where some have public meltdowns and volleys of badmouthing, Nicki Minaj has her punchlines, flows, and ‘an empire ...

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The Vatican’s Rare Nod to Nuns

The Vatican’s Rare Nod to Nuns

VATICAN CITY—Six years ago Pope Benedict XVI aimed to curb “a certain feminist spirit” and “secularist mentality” that the Church fathers discerned, to their dismay, in the ranks of American nuns. On Tuesday, when the Vatican under Pope Francis de...

The Catholic Church released its final report on its investigation into ‘feminist’ American nuns—and it took a softer stance toward the sisters.

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Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back

Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back

For months now, I’ve been worried about Wonder Woman, ever since I learned that husband-and-wife team David and Meredith Finch were chosen to write the newest run of the most iconic female superhero of all time.David is familiar to comic book read...

Now a husband-and-wife team is in charge of Wonder Woman’s image and her story line, and the first comic they produced is both leering and condescending.

Keep Reading

Nicki Minaj Bares Her Own Vulnerability

Nicki Minaj Bares Her Own Vulnerability

In early November, Nicki Minaj took a bat to a Mercedes Benz that she had lent to Safaree “SB” Samuels, her simultaneous hypeman, pseudo-assistant, and boyfriend of 12 years. Earlier in the year, TMZ alleged, citing a police report, that a hotel r...

The Pinkprint holds the weight of watching a relationship crumble; where some have public meltdowns and volleys of badmouthing, Nicki Minaj has her punchlines, flows, and ‘an empire ...

Keep Reading

I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat

I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat

I was gang-raped at the University of Virginia. I was gang raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. We are all left with questions and opinions in the exhausting wake of the now-infamous Rolling Stone article about campus sexual assault, and h...

In the same house where Rolling Stone's Jackie says she was. No one did anything about it until one of my rapists contacted me to apologize.

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9/11 Mastermind Is Afraid of the Ladies

9/11 Mastermind Is Afraid of the Ladies

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE—On days when self-described 9/11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears before the war court, he is removed from his cell at the detention facility here and moved swiftly into an area designated Area of Operati...

The accused mass murderer has a rather, um, unusual life in captivity—from the body scanners to the anti-sniper netting to the demands that female guards stay far, far away.

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Men Need A Better Men’s Rights Movement

Men Need A Better Men’s Rights Movement

The first time I heard the phrase “men’s rights movement,” I think I rolled my eyes. And I probably rolled them pretty hard, because come on: Men have all of the rights. They control all of the things: The U.S. Congress, corporations, banks, Holly...

The world is changing, and men really could use a movement—just not the misogynistic, conspiracy-minded one they have now.

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I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat

I Was Gang Raped at a U-VA Frat

I was gang-raped at the University of Virginia. I was gang raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. We are all left with questions and opinions in the exhausting wake of the now-infamous Rolling Stone article about campus sexual assault, and h...

In the same house where Rolling Stone's Jackie says she was. No one did anything about it until one of my rapists contacted me to apologize.

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Books

The Best Books About the Volatile ’60s

The Best Books About the Volatile ’60s

This may well be the peak year of historians’ fascination with the ’60s—and particularly political and civil rights history. Here are 15 notable books published in 2014 about the decade of the moment.The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Vol. VII...

Half a century ago, everything seemed to turn upside down, from civil rights to the arms race to the sexual revolution and womens’ rights. Historians are just beginning to cope with ...

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  • The Five Best Books on Cuba

    The Five Best Books on Cuba

    Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy Carlos Eire (Free Press)Eire was one of thousands of children airlifted as part of Operation Pedro Pan from Cuba in 1962. His painful memoir, which won the National Book Award, depicts a vibr...

    It’s only 90 miles from the U.S., but to most Americans, Cuba could be on the moon. Here are five books that make the terra slightly less incognita.

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Your School Doesn’t Have to Suck

Your School Doesn’t Have to Suck

Joel Klein hates monopolies. As a Washington attorney, he took on companies that seemed immune to change, even when they were ineffective. When you’re the only game in town, you just don’t have to do things differently—even if you aren’t very good...

Hired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run New York City’s public schools, Joel Klein now describes his experience and offers plenty of advice worth heeding.

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Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back

Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back

For months now, I’ve been worried about Wonder Woman, ever since I learned that husband-and-wife team David and Meredith Finch were chosen to write the newest run of the most iconic female superhero of all time.David is familiar to comic book read...

Now a husband-and-wife team is in charge of Wonder Woman’s image and her story line, and the first comic they produced is both leering and condescending.

Keep Reading

The Many Faces of Chuck Close

The Many Faces of Chuck Close

In Colin Westerbeck’s new photobook, an up-close look at the decades of work from the extraordinary portrait artist.

In Colin Westerbeck’s new photobook, an up-close look at the decades of work from the extraordinary portrait artist.

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Your School Doesn’t Have to Suck

Your School Doesn’t Have to Suck

Joel Klein hates monopolies. As a Washington attorney, he took on companies that seemed immune to change, even when they were ineffective. When you’re the only game in town, you just don’t have to do things differently—even if you aren’t very good...

Hired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run New York City’s public schools, Joel Klein now describes his experience and offers plenty of advice worth heeding.

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Meet Moses the Swashbuckling Israelite

Meet Moses the Swashbuckling Israelite

Among the many inexplicably poor choices made by the producers of Exodus: Gods and Kings—a release date months from Passover, a subtitle that will surely discomfort some monotheists in the potential audience, a Red Sea crossing that, unadorned by ...

The Biblical Moses is interesting because he’s timid and not a natural leader. The Moses in ‘Exodus,’ now slaying Egyptians in a multiplex near you, has no such problems.

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Norman Mailer: Secret Teddy Bear

Norman Mailer: Secret Teddy Bear

“You have to be slightly innocent to be a novelist,” Martin Amis has observed. The remark comes to mind while reading The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. Of course, innocence is not a word usually associated with Mailer, a writer often caricatu...

Norman Mailer was known for his toughness and temper, and his letters have plenty of that, but they also show his kindness and generosity with other writers.

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The French Court’s Royal Ban on Smiles

The French Court’s Royal Ban on Smiles

Did the French monarchy end not with a bang—or a whimper—but a smile?In the fall of 1787, the art establishment—and by extension Paris—found itself shaken by a self-portrait hung in the Louvre by Elizabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun. Her sin? The smile ...

During the days of Louis XIV, smiling—in real life and in portraiture—was considered gauche, not least because dental care was lacking. Then one smile sparked a revolution.

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Meet Moses the Swashbuckling Israelite

Meet Moses the Swashbuckling Israelite

Among the many inexplicably poor choices made by the producers of Exodus: Gods and Kings—a release date months from Passover, a subtitle that will surely discomfort some monotheists in the potential audience, a Red Sea crossing that, unadorned by ...

The Biblical Moses is interesting because he’s timid and not a natural leader. The Moses in ‘Exodus,’ now slaying Egyptians in a multiplex near you, has no such problems.

Keep Reading