Weekend Edition: The week's best reads

Magazine Monitor
A collection of cultural artefacts

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A collection of some of the best features from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

"Fascinating insight," posted Fraser Allen. The elite unit that hunts the Sicilian Mafia is called the Catturandi. It is made up of fewer than 20 officers. In his two decades with the squad, one of its members - known as IMD - has helped to catch nearly 300 mafiosi. The Catturandi often wiretap and tail suspects for decades before making an arrest. "You hear them conceiving their children, you listen to their family issues, you see their kids growing up and their emotions become yours," says IMD. But after an arrest "you don't see them any more - it's psychologically hard to cope with and, as they were part of your daily life, you start missing them".

Work snooping

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"Moral of the story, never talk about anything but work to your co-workers. Ever," posted Shellie Smith. "I got called into a meeting one day with HR and my manager and they told me I'd been accused of making inappropriate comments about a colleague who had cancer," says an anonymous City worker. "I told them that I didn't even know the guy had cancer. Eventually HR told me they'd gone through all my emails and instant messages, at least those on the work-based accounts. They said they'd found one of my messages saying: 'That was a clever comment. You can't get fired for that.'"

Girl power

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"What a great story about two inspiring women," tweeted Claire Walsh. Hillary Clinton frequently cites Sofia Totti, a 17-year-old high school student, as her inspiration for launching a political career of her own. The Magazine's Jessica Lussenhop has been speaking to the former captain of the basketball team, who now lives in Paris, about that winter afternoon in 1999. "It's the worst feeling to regret not having said something, and it was just so genuine, I just couldn't resist," says the 34-year-old.

Victorian tech

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This humble plug is said to go back as far as 1878. With Apple rumoured to have designs on replacing it altogether in its imminent iPhone 7, the Magazine reflects on this remarkably resilient piece of technology. "They got rid of DVDs, they got rid of the floppy disk drive; they got rid of parallel ports, they're eventually getting rid of USB," says one expert. "This is how they move."

One to watch

"Love this," commented Rhiannon Hill. When Chloe Edwards moved with her family to Lewes in East Sussex she commuted daily to her teaching job in London. Then, she had to leave work when her young daughter became seriously ill with cancer. During her daughter's recovery, Chloe came up with a novel way to get back into work.

Recommended reads from elsewhere

The Body Snatchers - Toronto Life

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