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Inside the Final Days of Robin Williams

New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff details the beloved star’s heartbreaking decline in this exclusive excerpt from Robin, his new biography.<p><i>Robin Williams’s August 2014 suicide was devastating to those who knew him best—and it also came at the end of a long and difficult decline, as this excerpt</i> …

Mind

Christopher Steele and the Russian Dossier, and a North Korean Poet

The notorious dossier on the President’s ties to Russia is one of the most hotly debated documents in Washington. Jane Mayer profiles the dossier’s author, a former British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele, who has been maligned as a criminal by defenders of Donald Trump. We look at the …

The Plot Against America

Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort’s pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.<p>I. The Wisdom of Friends<p><b>The clinic permitted Paul Manafort</b> one 10-minute call each day. And each day, he would use it to ring his wife from Arizona, …

The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla

Match the following figures – Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, Alfred Nobel and Nikola Tesla – with these biographical facts:<p>Spoke …

Engineering

How Trump’s skepticism of U.S. intelligence on Russia left an election threat unchecked

In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was real.<p>Hacking Democracy<p>This report on how President Trump …

Donald Trump

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow

In 1987, a young real estate developer traveled to the Soviet Union. The KGB almost certainly made the trip happen.<p>It was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the …

Russia

How Trump walked into Putin’s web

The inside story of how a former British spy was hired to investigate Russia’s influence on Trump – and uncovered explosive evidence that Moscow had been cultivating Trump for years. By Luke Harding<p>Moscow, summer 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev is in power. Official relations with the west have softened, …

Russia

How to Fake a Bank

When FBI agents Jim Wedick and Jack Brennan began to track the '70s most notorious financial fraudster, Phil Kitzer, they had no idea how wrapped up in his world they’d become.<p>March 9th, 1977: Nassau, Bahamas<p>Jim Wedick stared at his watch, wiped the sweat off his forehead, and cursed. The line he …

Penguin Random House

How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

Newly released documents from long-secret Kennedy assassination files raise startling questions about what top agency officials knew and when they knew it.<p>After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, the CIA appeared eager, even desperate, to embrace the version of events …

Fidel Castro

How to Monitor Your Retirement Readiness

Back-of-the-envelope calculations and spending assumptions can help determine progress<p>Whether you’re just starting out or are well into your career, you may wonder: Are my retirement savings on track?<p>An online calculator may help, provided you find one that makes reasonable assumptions about the …

Retirement

President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List

We have catalogued nearly every outright lie the president has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

List-Worthy

The Man Who Knew Too Much

His nuclear research helped a judge determine that former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko had been assassinated – likely on Putin’s orders. Just months after the verdict, the scientist himself was found stabbed to death with two knives. Police deemed it a suicide, but US intelligence officials …

Russia

The Death Knell for America's Global Leadership

In an op-ed, the Trump administration’s “adults in the room” envision America in the image of its leader: selfish, isolated, brutish, domineering, and driven by immediate appetites rather than ideals or even longer-term interests.<p>H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn may not be the most influential people in …

My Father Was a Spy Who Helped Keep the Cold War From Heating Up

As we enter into a murky new Cold War 2.0 with Russia, his story has lessons for us about the human cost of conflict.<p>Former CIA chief of the …

The Threat in President Trump’s Interview with Lester Holt

President Trump is a selfish liar, and a vain one. Those traits, together, can cause chaos, as they did on Thursday, when, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump undermined his own alibi for firing the F.B.I. director, James Comey. The official story had been that Trump was moved to act on …

Five Reasons the Comey Affair Is Worse Than Watergate

A journalist who covered Nixon’s fall 45 years ago explains why the current challenge to America may be more severe—and the democratic system less capable of handling it.<p>The tangled affair now known as Watergate began 45 years ago, before most of today’s U.S. population had even been born. (The …

The House G.O.P.’s Shameful Health-Care Victory

When the House Republican Conference gathered in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning, it was greeted by a couple of motivational songs: “Eye of the Tiger” and “Taking Care of Business.” On Twitter, the A.P.’s Erica Werner also relayed the message that the Party’s leadership sent to the rank and …

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How the DEA Got A Cartel Queen to Flip

After leaving her life laundering money for top cartel leaders, Pilar found herself running out of funds necessary to keep up her luxurious …

Mexico

Cheap Words

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?<p>Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, …

State of Deception

Why won’t the President rein in the intelligence community?<p>On March 12, 2013, James R. Clapper appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the threats facing America. Clapper, who is seventy-two, is a retired Air Force general and Barack Obama’s director of National …

The Jewish Gangsters Who Went to Yom Kippur Services

On Yom Kippur in 1929, Louis Fleisher, Harry Fleisher, and Henry Shorr attended services at Orthodox Congregation B’nai David in Northwest Detroit. …

Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire

The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch …

Obama Administration

A Bombshell Document at the Vatican Synod

Since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, a little more than a year and a half ago, the Argentine has radically changed the tone and the mood surrounding the Catholic Church. But the question remained: How would he handle the difficult doctrinal issues of sexuality and family life that have …

The Crooked Ladder

The criminal’s guide to upward mobility.<p>In 1964, the anthropologist Francis Ianni was introduced to a man in a congressional waiting room. His name was Philip Alcamo. People called him Uncle Phil, and he was, in the words of the person who made the introduction, “a business leader from New York …

The Elvis Presley coverup: What America didn’t hear about the death of the king

After Presley’s death, an effort was launched to protect the reputation of the hospital that had treated him<p>The call came to Memphis Fire Station No. 29 at 2:33 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 1977. The dispatcher indicated that someone at 3754 Elvis Presley Boulevard was having difficulty breathing. …

The Twilight of Baseball

If Mike Trout walked into your neighborhood bar, would you recognize him? Let me rephrase: If the baseball player who is widely considered the best in the world—a once-in-a-generation talent, the greatest outfielder since Barry Bonds, the most accomplished twenty-two-year-old that the activity …

Obama’s Powerful Message: Donald Trump Is Un-American

It was about 8:40 <i>P.M.</i> last night when President Obama climbed aboard Air Force One for the hop to Philadelphia, where he was scheduled to speak at about 10:30 <i>P.M.</i> As an accomplished speaker, he must have known that the speech that would be fed into the teleprompters at the Wells Fargo Center was …

Why Are Corporations Hoarding Trillions?

There is an economic mystery I’ve been struggling to understand for quite some time, and I’m not the only one who’s confused: Among financial experts, it is often referred to as a conundrum, a paradox, a puzzle. The mystery is as follows: Collectively, American businesses currently have $1.9 …

General Motors

The Ponzi State

Florida’s foreclosure disaster.<p>All along State Road 54 in Pasco County, Florida—forty-five minutes northeast of Tampa—the pine trees and palmettos and orange groves have been cleared to make way for new developments. Over the past few years, these inland subdivisions, which are sometimes called …