The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, Aug 24, 2014

From financing Mugabe to football in Ferguson, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

The Daily Beast

The Hedge Fund and the DespotBy Cam Simpson and Jesse Westbrook, BloombergBuisinessweekJames McGee wouldn’t find out for years, but as he worked with Washington to financially isolate Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, a Wall Street consortium provided the $100 million for the dictator’s government. These millions secured the rights to mine platinum, among the most valuable of minerals, from central Zimbabwe. Several firms were involved in the investment, including BlackRock, GLG Partners, and Credit Suisse. The most vital player was Och-Ziff Capital Management, the largest publicly traded hedge fund on Wall Street.

The Spy Who Loved MeBy Lauren Collins, New YorkerAn British undercover surveillance operation that went too far.

Football in FergusonBy Robery Klemko, Sports IllustratedAmid the turmoil tearing through this small Missouri town, a high school team prepares for its season opener, and a coach helps his players make sense of the madness around them. The first game is scheduled for Friday.

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True HermitBy Michael Finkel, GQFor nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest.

Fuck The Police?: On Cops, Guns, Black Men, and FergusonBy Zaron Burnet III, MediumI was twenty-one the first time the cops pointed their guns at me. There would be other times, but this was my first, so it was special. Being a young black man, I learned to expect that cops would draw their guns on me. I grew up in Davis, California, a small college town, and the only cops we worried about were bike cops. But when I moved to San Francisco, and later to Los Angeles, it became an occurrence. A thing that would happen.

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