Sitdown Sunday: The leaked files that raise more questions about how Roman Abramovich funded Chelsea FC
IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.
We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.
An interesting read about the prevalence of superstition around death in China’s urban cities and what has caused it.
(The Guardian, approx 16 mins reading time)
Secret offshore payments, questions over signings and a link to Moscow – a cache of leaked documents have raised questions about whether Chelsea FC breached European football rules during then-owner Roman Abramovich’s time there.
As warnings continue about the dangers posed by fake videos created using AI, Daniel Immerwahr chronicles the history of photographic manipulation and speaks to a computer scientist on whether we should be too worried just yet.
(The New Yorker, approx 17 mins reading time)
Almost 30 students have died in gunfire in Richmond, Virginia in the last three years. The Washington Post spent a year in one of the city’s high schools to document the strategies it is using to protect its students from gun violence.
(Washington Post, approx 16 mins reading time)
The director behind Promising Young Women chats about her upcoming film, Saltburn. Billed as Brideshead Revisited with a dark twist, the film sees Barry Keoghan’s character drawn into a world of envy, desire and privilege.
(The Atlantic, approx 8 mins reading time)
The movie follows Oliver (played by Barry Keoghan), a northern-English first-year student at Oxford who becomes infatuated with Felix (Jacob Elordi), the dazzling, frivolous heir to an aristocratic family whose stately home gives the film its title. Fennell has long been fascinated by outsider narratives such as Brideshead Revisited and Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels, and she’s drawn in particular to the yearning at their core—a kind of want so intense that it can easily turn dangerous. “When you look at online trolls, so much of the root of that is desire,” Fennell said. “So much of it is a furious kind of weird death-love … the fetishy relationship that we have with the things that we want, and then the way we immediately deflect that into disgust.” Saltburn’s exploration of that psychology seems pulled directly from classic 20th-century novels—Oliver is a character who could fit into virtually any historical moment—even as its visual preoccupation with the aughts alludes to that decade’s powerful influence on our understanding of intimacy and longing.
The secretive sixth branch of the US military was authorised by Congress and signed into law by then-president Donald Trump in 2019. But what does it actually do? Jon Gertner finds out.
(The New York Times Magazine, approx 18 mins reading time)
…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…
A longread from 2021 about a crime family based in Germany, a billion-dollar jewel heist and the race to catch the thieves.
(GQ, approx 29 mins reading time)
Syndram, who’d been the Green Vault’s director since 1993, was horrified and mystified: The museum, Syndram would later tell a reporter, had in recent years conducted tests of its security system and determined that all was working perfectly. What could have possibly gone wrong? When news of the heist hit the press, the robbery was described as one of the most costly art heists in history. Reports valued the looted treasure at as much as $1.2 billion. That figure was debatable, but the scale of the loss was staggering, and Syndram knew a detail that made the problem much, much worse: None of the art was insured. The premiums on a collection that valuable would be too taxing for the museum to handle.
Note: The Journal generally selects stories that are not paywalled, but some might not be accessible if you have exceeded your free article limit on the site in question.