Welcome to another A2A Long Reads, a weekly roundup of the most in-depth and thought-provoking longform journalism pieces (according to me, of course). This week’s long reads are courtesy of Foreign Policy, The LA Times, Chicago Magazine, Toronto Star and Rolling Stone.

Nearly there, but never further away

In part three of Foreign Policy’s special series on Europe’s migrant crisis, readers get a dejected look into the UN-backed Libyan government’s migrant crackdown. As the main departure point for sub-Saharan Africans crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, Libya has capitalized on the EU’s efforts to curb the growing number of fleeing migrants. But with the country’s overcrowded detention centres and inhumane treatment of captured migrants, one must question how much good the EU’s efforts are actually doing.

An excerpt from this long read:

Set among pockmarked facades and structures hollowed out by heavy artillery in Zawiya’s industrial zone, the detention center is a sprawling concrete-and-sheet-metal monument to inhumanity. The main hanger is reserved for male inmates, who are packed inside windowless cells for all but a few minutes each day. The only view to the outside is through a single square-foot slot that guards slam shut at their whim. As I passed by, detained migrants reached their hands out and pleaded with me to contact their embassies and take down the numbers of loved ones back home.

Dirty John Part 2: Newlyweds

Last week‘s A2A Long Reads featured part one of The LA Times’ Dirty John series. In part two of this gripping story, as Debra settles into married life with John, she struggles to shake the feeling that her husband is hiding something from her. As her suspicions are confirmed, Debra realizes that her husband isn’t at all who he claims to be. (This series is also available as a podcast. You can download the entire series here.)

An excerpt from this long read:

John announced they needed to ramp up security. Even in a $6,500-a-month bayfront rental they couldn’t be too careful about drifters. Soon the home bristled with cameras that he monitored on his smartphone. He also insisted on cameras at the Irvine office of her interior design firm. He just wanted her to be safe. Is he watching me? Debra wondered. And she thought: I can watch him, too.

The Lonely Crusade of Jim DeRogatis

For more than 15 years, rock music critic Jim DeRogatis has worked tirelessly to share the stories of victims who say they were abused by R&B legend R. Kelly. Despite his explosive investigations (in 2002, DeRogatis reported on the notorious tape which appeared to show the singer having sex with an underage girl and earlier this year, for BuzzFeed News, he wrote about R. Kelly’s alleged cult), the singer has managed to evade criminal punishment. What else must it take for the world to pay attention?

An excerpt from this long read: 

Yet DeRogatis’s legacy, if we’re not being too precious by referring to such a thing, may ultimately depend not on his outsize role as a critic but on a pursuit that requires him to shut his mouth and open his ears. “They will call on Christmas Eve, and they will call on New Year’s Day, and they will call at midnight, and they will call at 6 in the morning,” says DeRogatis of the parents, aunts, and uncles of young women—and in some cases the women themselves—who have reached out with accusations of sexual abuse at the hands of R. Kelly, the Chicago- and Atlanta-based singer and producer famous for such 90’s and ’00s singles as Bump N’ Grind, I Believe I Can Fly, and Ignition (Remix). “And you are not a human being or a journalist if you don’t take those calls.”

Motherisk: Separated by a hair

Over a 20-year period, the Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory performed hair strand drug and alcohol tests on at least 25,000 Canadians. Its tests were used in thousands of child protection cases across the country. Now discredited, several provinces are reviewing past child protection cases that relied wholly or in part on Motherisk’s results. But despite the findings, for many parents who had their children taken away, the damage can’t be undone. (This is a joint investigation by the Toronto Star and CBC.)

An excerpt from this long read:

“I don’t know where my kids are. I don’t know if they’re safe. I don’t know if they’re happy. My daughters have a right to know where they come from. They have a right to know that they were loved. They have a right to know they were wanted.”

‘I Can’t Breathe’: An Excerpt From Matt Taibbi’s New Book on the Eric Garner Killing

They were three simple words that became a rallying cry for activists and protestors around the world. I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street explores the roots and consequences of Eric Garner’s killing at the hands of New York City police. Rolling Stone shares an excerpt from the soon-to-be released book.

An excerpt from this long read:

He’d arrived in Staten Island years before, an ex-con fresh out of prison on crack charges, and he didn’t have a way to feed his kids. After struggling to find a square job, he broke down and at first considered selling drugs again. But those doors on Bay Street were closed at the time, so he turned to something a little less dangerous and a little more entrepreneurial. There was an irony to the fact that Eric Garner eventually found himself making a living on the streets of Staten Island selling smuggled cigarettes. He was a symbol of the borough’s bizarre history.

These are the week’s best long reads According to Adrienne. If you’ve got a piece you think I’d be interested in, send it to info@accordingtoadrienne.com.

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