The Brief

Ryan Shapiro
Eleanor Bell—Center for Public Integrity

Meet the Prison Bankers

Companies like JPay, headed by CEO Ryan Shapiro, effectively serve as prison bankers that collect tens of millions of dollars every year from inmates’ families in fees for basic financial services. Some forego medical care and skip utility bills to make payments

Secret Service Director Pierson testifes on Capitol Hill in Washington

Secret Service Promises Change

The head of the Secret Service promised lawmakers a "complete and thorough" investigation and policy after a fence-jumper made it inside the White House

Reddit Gets $50 Million

The popular online message board received a large chunk of new venture capital funding from a long list of investors that includes the rapper Snoop Dogg

Olive oil.

Italy Was Right All Along: Olive Oil Repairs Failing Hearts

Researchers discovered that the presence of oleate, found in olive oil and canola oil, completely restored the fat content in a damaged cell back to normal, and that hearts contracted better and showed normalized genes that help in fat metabolism

NASA Is 3D-Printing a Better Rocket

The cash-strapped National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been toying around with rocket parts made using an additive manufacturing process, better known as 3D printing, a way to stretch its technological capabilities and its $17 billion budget

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong Protesters Up Ante

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators continued to clog central Hong Kong on Tuesday, as the movement's leaders vowed to maintain their campaign of civil disobedience until the city's Chief Executive (CE) resigns


Phelps Busted on DUI Charge

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was arrested and charged with DUI and other offenses in Maryland early Tuesday morning. Phelps was driving 84 mph inside a Baltimore tunnel, police said. The speed limit in the tunnel is 45 mph

Tom Brady

FCC Ends Rule That Led to NFL ‘Blackouts’

The FCC voted to revoke its support for "sports blackouts," in which a team can suppress local broadcasts of its games until it has sold a certain percentage of stadium seating. But the FCC said blackouts could continue as part of separate agreements

Plastic Bag

California Becomes the First State to Ban Plastic Bags

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that makes the state the nation's first to ban single-use plastic bags, a restriction that will go into effect in July 2015 for large grocery stores and in 2016 for smaller businesses

Washington DC: facade of US Capitol building

Political Groups Turn to Fibs for 2014 Fundraising

Campaigns and outside political groups are moving beyond the terrifying ALL-CAPS subject lines and pleas of poverty in their fundraising emails, instead resorting to bold-faced lies about matched donations and membership perks

Apple Inc.'s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Go On Sale

Apple's iPhone 6 Is Headed to China After Delay

China has become a critical market that now comprises 16% of Apple's sales. The iPhone 6 launch was reportedly delayed there because the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was slow to approve the new device. Pre-orders begin on Oct. 10

Beauty and the Beast

Perks of Being a Wallflower Author to Adapt Disney Classic

Stephen Chbosky will reportedly script a new draft of the 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast to make an updated live-action version. Disney has not yet commented on the matter but appears ready to capitalize on its success earlier this year with Maleficent