News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sara met her future husband when she was 18. He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, but Sara thought marriage would change him for the better. It didn’t. Sara gave birth to two kids before the age of 25, and she says her husband grew controlling and abusive. A few weeks ago, he got drunk and punched her in the face repeatedly, she says, and she realized they had to divorce.

Sara’s divorce is one of the most difficult kinds—a contested divorce in which she and her husband don’t agree on child-custody and financial matters. She initially had trouble getting a lawyer to represent her. “I have reached out to every lawyer that I can to see if they’ll represent me, but because I have no money, nobody will,” she told me recently. (The Atlantic is withholding Sara’s last name for her protection.)

I found Sara through a Facebook group for people looking for pro bono lawyers to take on their divorce cases. Women post photos of their bruises. They upload mugshots of their spouses. They ask for help divorcing someone they wish they had never met.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to a lawyer in criminal cases, but there’s no such right for civil cases, where matters including eviction, child-custody disputes, and divorce are litigated. Paying a private attorney to help with a divorce can cost $10,000 to $20,000. People can seek help at legal-aid organizations, but there aren’t enough pro bono attorneys to help everyone. (A 2017 report found that 86 percent of the civil legal problems experienced by low-income Americans received no or inadequate legal help.) Out of necessity, divorce gets the least attention. All the other scenarios—someone is about to lose their house or kids—seem much more urgent. “Poor people who can’t afford lawyers do not have the same America as everyone else,” says Rohan Pavuluri, the CEO of Upsolve, which helps people file for bankruptcy without a lawyer.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

A woman walking to her car found them: two teenage girls, naked and dead in a sliver of woods behind an apartment parking lot. They were facedown, side by side, as if placed there with care. “A horrible scene,” the police commissioner said that day. “Like two little dolls at Christmastime.”

It was Aug. 14, 1974, in Montvale, N.J., a suburb just over the New York state line. The girls, Mary Ann Pryor, 17, and Lorraine Kelly, 16, had last been seen days earlier at a nearby bus stop. The police believed they had given up on the bus and were trying to hitchhike to a mall.

Their murders shook the region. No one could find any clues in the girls’ backgrounds: no drugs, no trouble with the law. Boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, family members — all were questioned and cleared of suspicion. The police “pursued a welter of tips, rumors and false alarms,” The New York Times reported at the time.

Years ticked past, 1974 into 1975, into the 1980s, the 1990s. When the 40th year since the killings arrived in 2014, the local police asked the public for any new information. No leads were forthcoming. The 45th year passed in the same way.

Over time, though, one investigator was slowly developing a theory. In 2000, as a young detective in the Bergen County prosecutor’s office, Robert Anzilotti was tasked with looking into the murders, along with a few other similar cold cases from the 1960s and 1970s. There were at least five unsolved killings of girls, each an open wound for families seeking resolution.

With an uncomplicated enthusiasm for his work, Detective Anzilotti rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the chief of detectives with a busy office to lead. But he carried those cold cases with him — literally, his thick files in cardboard boxes that he moved from office to office — chipping away at the false leads, seeking similarities in the victims and in the crime scenes.

His search for a killer led him to a man already locked away, in New Jersey State Prison, 75 miles from his office. That man, Richard Cottingham, had been convicted of crimes that seemed to bear little resemblance to the murders of the girls. In the 1970s, he had preyed on prostitutes in Times Square — 30 miles but a world away from Montvale — not just killing them, but torturing and dismembering them.

But something — a hunch, past investigative speculation, the proximity of the crimes — drew Mr. Anzilotti to the prisoner. Again and again, for 15 years, Mr. Anzilotti met with the inmate, seeking the truth. Did the old man kill those girls?

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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Quitting your job is hot this summer. More Americans quit in May than any other month on record going back to the beginning of the century, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For every 100 workers in hotels, restaurants, bars, and retailers, about five of them quit last month.

Low-wage workers aren’t the only ones eyeing the door. In May, more than 700,000 workers in the bureau’s mostly white-collar category of “professional and business services” left their job—the highest monthly number ever. Across all sectors and occupations, four in 10 employees now say they’ve considered peacing out of their current place of work.

Why the sudden burst of quitting? One general theory is that we’re living through a fundamental shift in the relationship between employees and bosses that could have profound implications for the future of work. Up and down the income ladder, workers have new reasons to tell their boss to shove it. Lower-wage workers who benefited from enhanced unemployment benefits throughout the pandemic may have returned to the job and realized they’re not being paid enough. Now they’re putting their foot down, forcing restaurants and clothing stores to fork over a higher wage to keep people on staff.

Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On a partly cloudy afternoon in August 2019, I followed a Spanish mountain guide named Simón Elías up steep granite terraces on the north face of a peak in the French portion of the Mont Blanc massif. The 12,561-foot summit of the mountain, called Les Courtes, loomed 1,000 feet above where we were climbing, and 2,000 feet below us lay the Argentière glacier, its surface striated with crevasses. We had entered the Argentière basin across a low point in the ridgeline called the Col des Cristaux—which in English translates to Crystal Pass—before traversing laterally across the mountainside. On another rope, photographer Nicolas Blandin moved alongside a 66-year-old named Christophe Péray.

The topography was complicated: fresh snow stuck to the mountainside, and I periodically lost sight of Elías ahead of me as he moved behind rocks. Communication with Blandin and Péray was only possible through echoing shouts.

I belayed Elías as he put in a cam before positioning himself on the face to uncover a fourFour is French for oven, but in this context, the word refers to cavities in the mountainside that, in the broadest sense, resemble somewhere you could bake bread. English has various equivalent geological terms: alpine-type fissure, alpine cleft, or, most simply, pocket. This one was on a snow-covered ledge, a couple feet wide at its broadest. Unless you were an expert, however, it would be hard to distinguish the site from any of 1,000 other such ledges on the face.

I shouted up, asking if the pocket was large. “No, it’s not enormous,” Elías’s voice echoed down in French. “But there are beautiful pieces here. Very beautiful pieces.”

This area contained several similar pockets, which Elías and Péray had discovered a few weeks earlier by rappelling down from the ridge above. It was, until recently, permanently covered by ice and snow, but that had melted out, likely due to climate change.

I scrambled up and joined Elías on the ledge. Some minutes later, Blandin and Péray also appeared at the site. The Spaniard sang a wordless melody as he drove in pitons and secured us to the rock face.

Now he and Péray began to clear the snow from the ledge and reach into the cavity. The opening expanded as they dug until it was roughly wide enough to fit a soccer ball. Their tools included a chisel and a green plastic rake that Péray had appropriated from his children’s sandcastle equipment. They also prepared with blowtorches to melt the remaining ice, the gas hissing in the thin, high-altitude air. “At the moment, the snow prevents me from seeing properly,” Péray said in French. “After clearing the snow and removing some stones, I should reach them very soon.”

We were high, north-facing, and out of the sun. I waited in the cold until eventually Elías, crouched on his knees, began to pull out chunks of a dark glassy substance. A few smaller pieces came first, which he held together in his orange-and-gray-gloved hand like oversized, irregular marbles. The block that followed was much larger, the size of a small brick, its surfaces angled together into a sharp point, like a microcosm of the spiky mountains all around us. It was translucent. This was what we had come for.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside

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News 23.06.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

How do these guys do it? Lutnick, who runs brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald, held out the most valuable commodity on Wall Street: information. He told investors earlier this year that he could find subtle ways to help research analysts tell a story, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Whether or not his pitch worked, he ultimately locked down hundreds of millions to make his latest SPAC deal possible.

Another SPAC maestro, Michael Klein, has been paid handsomely. Or rather, Klein has paid himself handsomely.

When Klein, a prominent financial adviser to Saudi Arabia, has needed a banker to consult on his SPACs, he’s hired his own boutique investment bank. Many millions in fees have rolled his way, regulatory filings show. Amid those riches, The Klein Group also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal pandemic relief money.

And when Tilman Fertitta, billionaire owner of the Houston Rockets, went looking for a business for his SPAC to acquire, he found one surprisingly close to home. It was a division of his Golden Nugget hotel and casino. The bonus: the SPAC promised to pay down Golden Nugget’s debt, a move that also stood to benefit his Wall Street partner in the deal.

An executive at Fertitta’s restaurant empire said the deal made business sense. A spokesman for Klein declined to comment on the fees. A representative for Cantor vigorously denied that Lutnick has ever spoken to analysts about his firm’s SPACs.

Read the rest of this article at: Bloomberg

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.