The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, July 26, 2014

From the last hours of MH17’s victims to the history of autocorrect, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

07.26.14 10:45 AM ET

Kristen Gelineau, The Associated Press

Flight 17 took off around 12:15 p.m. on what should have been an 11 hour and 45 minute flight. It lasted two hours.

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, The Intercerpt

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist

Evan Osnos, New Yorker

A former chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the veep has been visiting Eastern Europe since the nineteen-seventies, and he was tapped to be Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008 partly to compensate for the candidate’s inexperience abroad. Last year, Biden said that the President “sends me to places that he doesn’t want to go.”

Gideon Lewis-Krauz, Wired

Despite the inadvertent hilarity, the real marvel of our mobile text-correction systems is how astoundingly good they are.

William Deresiewicz, The New Republic

Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose.

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Robert Sapolsky, Nautilus

The teenage brain is unique. It’s not merely an adult brain that is half-cooked or a child’s brain left unrefrigerated for too long. Its distinctiveness arises from a key region, the frontal cortex, not being fully developed.