Frederic Godbout

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Buried Secrets

How an Israeli billionaire wrested control of one of Africa’s biggest prizes.<p>One of the world’s largest known deposits of untapped iron ore is buried inside a great, forested mountain range in the tiny West African republic of Guinea. In the country’s southeast highlands, far from any city or major …

A Pickpocket’s Tale

The spectacular thefts of Apollo Robbins.<p>A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks …

The N.S.A.’s Costly European Adventure

In the last few days, <i>Der Spiegel</i> and the <i>Guardian</i> published the latest revelations from Edward Snowden’s often random-seeming cache of PowerPoint slides, memoranda citing acronyms whose full import remains mysterious, and other top-secret files from the National Security Agency. The new disclosures …

The Ketchup Conundrum

Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same?<p>Many years ago, one mustard dominated the supermarket shelves: French’s. It came in a plastic bottle. People used it on hot dogs and bologna. It was a yellow mustard, made from ground white mustard seed with turmeric and …

Food Preservation

The Muslim Brotherhood's Post-Coup World

After days of high drama that saw millions of Egyptians out on the streets, all it took was an eight-minute televised speech to the nation by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to oust President Mohamed Morsi and bring the Muslim Brotherhood’s year in power to an abrupt, dangerous end. The Muslim …