Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul was found dead in Stockholm on Tuesday. Bendjelloul, 36, made just one film in his short career, but that one documentary — Searching for Sugar Man, about mysterious, obscure (outside of South Africa)1970s American folk-rocker Sixto Rodriguez — won him an Oscar in 2013 for best documentary, along with numerous other awards. Police didn't give a cause of death, but said they don't suspect foul play.
Bendjelloul, also a child actor in a Swedish TV show, will mostly be remembered for Sugar Man, a self-financed, largely DIY project that took four years to complete. That's quite a legacy for a life cut too short. --Peter Weber
Legend Preston, age 10, was playing basketball with friends in his neighborhood a couple weeks ago when the ball bounced out into the street. He went to retrieve it and looked up to see multiple police officers running at him, shotguns drawn.
Legend panicked, as any fifth grader would do under the circumstances. "I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose," he said, "and they were just holding shotguns at me trying to shoot me." The cops gave chase, and soon he was cornered in an alley with the guns pointed at his head.
Fortunately, neighbors saw the whole thing happen, and a group followed the officers into the alley to intervene. "This is a child!" they yelled, while the police insisted he "matches the description" of the suspect they sought. Though both Legend and the suspect in question are African-American, the man the police were after is twice the grade-schooler's age, several inches taller, and has dreadlocks and facial hair (Legend has a buzz cut and is too young to shave).
"When I think about my child staring at the end of a gun," said Legend's mother, Patisha Solomon, "one wrong move, and my child wouldn’t be here right now. My son could have tripped. He could have reached for a toy. They could have done anything to my son and it could have been his fault." Solomon said the officers told her she could file a complaint but admitted no wrongdoing. Bonnie Kristian
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson thinks it's only right that "elderly" candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton release their medical records. During an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, the one-time 2016 GOP presidential candidate said that while it's already "common sense" for anyone running for president to "disclose their medical history," it becomes particularly pertinent if the candidates are getting up there in age. (Trump is 70, while Clinton will turn 69 just before Election Day.) "It makes sense. Because as people get older, things begin to happen to them," Carson said.
Last year, Trump released a letter from his gastroenterologist regarding his health that declared him ready to be the "healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, released a statement from her internist last summer detailing everything from her seasonal allergies to her concussion in 2012 — though that hasn't quelled rumors among conservatives that her health is failing.
Carson, a Trump surrogate, agrees with calls for Clinton to release her medical records — but he thinks that's a standard Trump should be held to as well. "Because [being president is] a very stressful job — it's not an eight-hour-a-day job, it's 24/7," Carson said. "We need to make sure that that is taken care of."
Watch the segment, below. Becca Stanek
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 24, 2016
The world's largest aircraft's second attempt at flight didn't go nearly as well as its first. A week after the Airlander 10 successfully completed its maiden flight, the 302-foot-long aircraft took a nosedive while attempting a second test flight Wednesday. The aircraft, nicknamed the "Flying Bum" because of its rounded backside, reportedly hit a telegraph pole while it was landing at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, located in south-central England.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2016
"The flight went really well and the only issue was when it landed," a spokesman told BBC. The crew is reported "safe and well," but the Airlander 10 wasn't so lucky. Reports indicate the aircraft's "front and sides," as well as its cockpit, were damaged in the botched landing, Sky News reported.
The aircraft, which measures about 50 feet longer than the world's largest passenger jet, is a hybrid between a helicopter and a blimp, as it's filled with helium. When Airlander 10 is fully up and running, it's expected to be able to stay in the air for up to five days. Becca Stanek
Donald Trump used campaign money to buy thousands of copies of his own book, a move that experts are saying is suspicious and possibly illegal. A spokesperson for Trump explained to The Daily Beast that the books, bought from Barnes & Noble, were purchased "as part of gifting at the convention, which we have to do." Gift bags at the Republican convention indeed held copies of Trump's November 2015 release, Crippled America.
But that is where things start to get a little fishy. First of all, it is illegal to convert campaign funds into personal funds in any way, so Trump would be required to forgo any royalties he made off the purchase of those books. "What any author that I know would most likely do is go to the publisher and say, 'I want a bunch of these in the goody bag.' [The author would] come to the publisher and say he needed books for a charity or an event, and we would donate 500 all the time. And we'll sell more to you at a 40 percent discount," Ben Bruton, a publishing PR veteran, told The Daily Beast.
The fact that the purchases were made through Barnes & Noble adds another layer of intrigue. Book sales from Amazon or the book's publisher aren't looked at when composing bestseller lists; only purchases at brick-and-mortar locations like Barnes & Noble are.
Trump's book failed to make the charts the week of the purchase. Still, The New York Times is aware of attempts to bulk-purchase books and has measures in place to count against it on their bestseller lists. "You can't just buy your way onto the bestsellers list," Bruton said, although he added, "I do believe that [Trump's purchase] was definitely an attempt to both make money and to get onto the bestseller list." Read the full scoop over at The Daily Beast. Jeva Lange
The National Park Service turns 100 years old on Thursday, and one of its goals for its second century is to attract more tourists of color to the 131,000 square miles of parks, monuments, and other public landmarks it manages. This isn't just a matter of diversity for diversity's sake or "this land is your land" idealism, say Felicia Fonseca and Beatriz Costa-Lima at The Associated Press. The U.S. is expected to be majority minority by 2050, and the National Park Service sees broadening its tourist base as an existential challenge.
"If public lands aren't telling their story, and they don't see themselves reflected in these beautiful places, they may not support them," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell tells AP. "They may not recognize that these are their assets and protect them for future generations." Studies commissioned by the National Park Service suggest that about 75 percent of park visitors are white, and there are several reasons minorities don't visit in proportionate number.
For black communities, there's not a strong tradition of visiting national parks, due in part to historic exclusion, says Myron F. Floyd, a scholar at North Carolina State University. Jose Gonzales, the founder of Latino Outdoors, says many Latinos don't know the national parks exist or have no transportation to get to them. Many Asian Americans, meanwhile, face language barriers at national parks or don't like to travel outside their ethnic enclaves, according to Mark Masaoka at the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. You can see what the National Park Service plans to do about it, and be reminded of how beautiful some of the national treasures are, in the video below. Peter Weber
Truman Capote fans will soon have the chance to bring a piece of the writer home with them — literally. On September 24, Capote's ashes will go up for auction in Los Angeles, for a starting price of $2,000. The ashes are expected to sell for upwards of $6,000.
The author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's died 32 years ago, but the keeper of his ashes, Joanne Carson, the wife of former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, died last year. The ashes are part of her estate. Joanne was a close friend of Capote's, and the writer often lived and worked at her and her husband's home in Los Angeles until he died there in 1984.
While it might seem kind of macabre to auction off a dead man's ashes, some suspect this would've been right up Capote's alley. "In this case it's absolutely fine because it really embodies what Truman Capote was and what he loved to do," Darren Julien, president of Julien's Auctions, told The Guardian. "Truman told Joanne that he didn't want his ashes to sit on a shelf. So this is a different way of honoring his request. It is just furthering the adventures of Truman Capote." Becca Stanek
The world's biggest pearl might have been discovered nearly a decade ago, but no one knew about it until now. That's because the Filipino fisherman who found the treasure hid it under his bed for 10 years as a good luck charm and didn't tell anyone about it, The Independent reports. His relatives eventually brought it to authorities.
The pearl measures an incredible 12 inches by 26.4 inches in size. It weighs a mind-blowing 75 pounds; the next largest pearl in the world weighs just 14 pounds.
While the pearl is confirmed to have come from a giant clam, if verified as authentic by international gemologists, it will be worth over an estimated $100 million. Jeva Lange