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Why ad-free journalism rocks!

Noted science and technology journalist Marc Saltzman interviews Editor Warren Perley.

Click to hear the April 28, 2013 discussion on Montreal radio station CJAD 800, part of Astral Media.

New journalism model with old print values!

It took us more than 3 1/2 years from concept to launch date to build a unique website, the first in the world dedicated solely to original, long-form journalism with multiple graphics devoid of advertising, and sold on a story-by-story basis.

Advertising is clutter

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Editing with great care
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Misson Statement

We're dedicated to promoting independent long-form journalism with no affiliations to government, political parties, big business, unions, or religious organizations.

section: category name

BOOKS – HISTORY – NAZIS

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Illustration: © Rodney J. Hall, BestStory.ca
Posted: APRIL 2014

World War II wounds still fester on subject of French collaboration

By TILAR J. MAZZEO
Reporting from Paris

Almost 70 years after the Second World War ended, the subject of collaboration with the Nazis by the elite of Parisian society is still a verboten subject. On at least one occasion, author Tilar Mazzeo was warned not to write about it. What happened at the Hôtel Ritz, where the German High Command set up headquarters in September 1940, should have been an easy story to tell in her new book titled, The Hotel on Place Vendôme. Instead French bureaucrats blocked her every attempt to find the hotel registry with the names of guests who had wined, dined and bed their Nazi captors. Now a best-selling, non-fiction author gives us a glimpse into the challenges of researching the dirty secrets of war.

Barman’s cocktail mix: Nazis on the rocks

Frank of the Ritz looked elegant and suave in his white bar coat and pince-nez, but he wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty when it came to working with the French Resistance against Nazi occupiers of his beloved Paris. Known to be a gambler, Frank, who was an Austrian of Jewish heritage, would both take and place bets on everything from horses races to current events, such as Charles Lindbergh’s first solo trans-Atlantic flight in May 1927. But that was nothing compared to the biggest gamble of his life when he got involved with the July 20, 1944 plot by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg to assassinate Adolph Hitler by planting a bomb at his command post in Prussia.

3,774 WORDS – 14 PHOTOS – 1 ILLUSTRATION
READER BONUS

We have included an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 7 of The Hotel On Place Vendôme — The Jewish Bartender and The German Resistance — courtesy of TILAR MAZZEO and HarperCollins Publishers.

[Author mixes non-fiction with champagne:
See April 2, 2014 Notes From The Editor.]

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POLITICS – HUMAN RIGHTS – HISTORY

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Dmitry Szamrej
Posted: March 2014

The real view from inside Crimea: Let my people go…back to Russia

Analysis by DMITRY TAMOIKIN
Writing from Halifax, Nova Scotia

Western politicians, such as President Barack Obama, say Russia is on the wrong side of history in its support of the Crimean people deciding through a referendum whether they wish to separate from the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, their ancestral homeland. But those living inside Crimea tell a different story, demanding that the Ukraine and the world respect their wishes as expressed in the referendum of March 16, 2014. Now a Soviet-born citizen from Crimea with both Ukrainian and Russian bloodlines and a Canadian passport shares his unique historical, political, social and religious insights into the Ukrainian crisis.

[See March 13, 2014 Notes From The Editor for legal comparison with Quebec referendums and March 17, 2014 note concerning the ballot questions in Crimea.]

7,351 WORDS – 20 PHOTOS – 2 ILLUSTRATIONS
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WAR – HUMAN RIGHTS – POLITICS

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Павел Кусмарцев Istock/Thinkstock
Posted: DECEMBER 2013

Western economic interests fuel
dirty, covert war in Afghanistan

Analysis by JEREMY KUZMAROV
Writing from Tulsa, Oklahoma

Like a loyal NATO partner, Canada has followed the U.S. into combat in Afghanistan under the guise of building a peaceful civilian society through financial assistance and training programs for the Afghan military and police. But all it has done is prop up a system of warlords, drug smugglers and corrupt politicians, bleeding the Canadian treasury of billions and bringing our young warriors home in body bags or shattered in body and spirit.

4,995 words - 15 PHOTOS – I ILLUSTRATION
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Books – Literary – Biographies

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Posted: June 2013

Saul Bellow’s fame and foibles as seen through his eldest son’s eyes

By ANN WEINSTEIN
Writing from Montreal

“Was I a man or a jerk?” Saul Bellow [inset photo] asked a longtime friend shortly before the world-famous novelist, who was married five times, died in 2005. English literature professor Ann Weinstein, an acknowledged “Bellowphile”, answers that question in spades after reviewing Greg Bellow’s enlightening 2013 book, Saul Bellow’s Heart: A Son’s Memoir, and sharing with readers insights gleaned from 40 years of study and her own very unusual relationship with the Montreal-born, Chicago-raised novelist, considered one of the literary giants of the 20th century.

5,162 words - 12 photos
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Crime – technology – business

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Graphic: BestStory.ca
Posted: NOVEMBER 2013

Canadian company is No. 1 in world
for technology solving gun crimes

By WARREN PERLEY
Writing from Montreal

You may not have heard of a low-key company called Forensic Technology, but if you’ve ever watched a CSI show on the CBS television network, you’re aware of the kind of crime-solving techniques the company has pioneered in relation to ballistics. Behind the scenes, their technology is being used to match guns and bullets in a high-profile murder investigation involving former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. And it helped solve the brutal underworld execution of internationally-acclaimed Argentinian singer and songwriter Facundo Cabral in Guatemala City in the early-morning hours of July 9, 2011.

6,150 words - 16 photos - 1 illustration
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LEGAL – ETHICS – health

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: iStock/Thinkstock
Posted: APRIL 2012
UPDATED: August 2013

Burden of proof shifts in the debate about artificial water fluoridation

Analysis by MARGARET SOMERVILLE
Writing from Montreal

There is a debate raging in communities across Canada – and beyond – as to whether artificial fluoridation of public drinking water is either ethical or legal in the face of disagreement in the medical and scientific communities as to its possible harm, risks and benefits. It’s likely that the next legal challenge will be fought based on the precautionary principle requiring the exercise of restraint unless and until fluoridation can be clearly justified.

2,652 words - 4 photos - 2 Charts
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HOME – TRAVEL – LEGAL

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Feng Yu Istock/Thinkstock
Posted: February 2014

Need winter vacation down south? First check home insurance policy

By WARREN PERLEY
Reporting from Montreal

Linda Shohet was having a great Christmas vacation with family in Atlanta before she returned home to discover a frozen pipe had burst and her insurer was refusing to pay for costly damages because her home policy required daily visits during a winter absence. Unlike most consumers who feel abused, Shohet fought back, hired a lawyer, went to court and won her lawsuit against Aviva Insurance. The ruling could help millions of other Canadians with similarly restrictive home insurance policies.

[See Feb. 4, 2014 Notes From The Editor for background.]

4,868 WORDS – 13 PHOTOS
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CRIME – JUSTICE – HISTORY

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Courtesy Albert Lisacek
Posted: JULY 2012
updated NOVEMBER 2012

Little Albert’s whacky world of bullets, beatings and bad guys

By
Writing from Montreal

It’s no fun losing your testicles in a shootout with Canada’s toughest cop. But then again, Det.-Sgt. Albert Lisacek was never known as a guy with a sense of humour during his 25 years with the Sûreté du Québec. Now the outspoken Lisacek tells the real story of cops’n’robbers in the ’60s and ’70s, including what happened just before infamous killer Richard Blass was shot dead by police, the last moments of Machine Gun Molly and his near-death experience with Jacques Mesrine, Public Enemy No. 1 in France.

17,127 words - 66 photos – 2 illustrationS
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SPORTS – ENTERTAINMENT – LIFESTYLE

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Sean Murphy
Posted: SEPTEMBER 2012

Sassy, flashy roller derby chicks skating like hell and kickin' ass

By
Reporting from Montreal

It’s a sports phenomenon sweeping the world: a punk subculture of fishnets, tank tops, spandex and short-shorts stirred in a frenetic cocktail of full-body contact skating. Women's flat track roller derby attracts athletes ranging from the ordinary to the stars, such as Smack Daddy (inset) of Montreal Roller Derby, voted tournament MVP at the first-ever Roller Derby World Cup, and Suzy Hotrod of New York City’s Gotham Girls Roller Derby. It's more than a sport; it’s a lifestyle. Join us at the rink and at the bar to find out why these gals love to play and party hard!

9,066 words - 41 photos
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POLITICS – HISTORY – GOVERNMENT

UPDATED:OCTOBER 2013
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Illustration Jaime Geary
Posted: APRIL 2012
updated OCTOBER 2013

Barack Obama is the natural heir to liberalism of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Analysis by
Writing from Montreal

With his re-election to a second term in the White House, Barack Obama continues to defy pundits who may now be questioning whether he is more a pragmatist than the raving socialist his opponents have made him out to be. It’s the same kind of conundrum Pierre Elliott Trudeau presented for critics who attempted to typecast the former Canadian prime minister as a communist. An analysis of issues ranging from health care, abortion and birth control to gay rights, cannabis and foreign policy proves that Obama and Trudeau, born two generations apart in neighbouring countries, have more in common than you might think.

13,487 words - 36 photos - 3 ILLUSTRATIONS
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TRAVEL – NATURE – ADVENTURE

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Posted: AUGUST 2012

Quirky, colorful characters emerge in winter tour of Yukon and Alaska

By DANIELLE METCALFE-CHENAIL
Reporting from the Yukon and Alaska

A September snowstorm blew in the day we arrived in Whitehorse. Other tourists were fleeing as we arrived. Were we foolhardy "outsiders" tempting Mother Nature’s mood swings with a three-month, car tour of the frigid North? The road sign as you enter the Yukon reads, "Larger Than Life". We discovered that it refers to more than the scenery!

4,355 words - 19 photos - 1 illustration
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TRAVEL – HISTORY – LIFESTYLE

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Lakov Kalinin/ iStock/Thinkstock
Posted: MAY 2013

Beyond the famous sights of Rome:
unusual Canadian guide & his tours

By DAPHNE LAVERS
Writing from Toronto

You have to figure that a professional who goes only by his first name and is fully booked must be good at what he does. So it was that my husband and I were referred to Garth, a Canadian artist, historian and tour guide living and working in the Eternal City for the last three decades. We stayed at his Home-in-Rome and partook of hidden treasures through his keen eye, knowledge and experience. To paraphrase the Star Trek mission statement: Garth boldly took us where few tourists have gone before!

5,949 words - 19 photos
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HUMOUR – BUSINESS – MEDIA

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Graphic: Istockphoto/Thinkstock
Posted: July 2013

Thanks for your long, loyal service: Too bad your job is being axed

By BRAD FLORY
Writing from Mason, Michigan

Veteran journalist Brad Flory gives a first-person account of losing his job at a daily newspaper, part of the massive corporate cutbacks convulsing the media industry throughout North America and beyond. Summoned to a meeting with the “boss”, the staff had a premonition of bad news when the public address system announced that doors to the building had been locked and the phones cut to prevent outside distractions. With his unique sense of humour, Flory explains how opportunity knocked on that dark day.

1,575 words - 4 ILLUSTRATIONS – 1 photo
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FISHING – ADVENTURE – NATURE

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Frank Hiribarne
Posted: JANUARY 2013

World renowned angler tormented by predator fish which got away

By ARI VINEBERG
Writing from Montreal

Globe-trotting, adrenaline junkie Franck Hiribarne, a fishing celebrity on network television in France, has never met a dangerous critter he didn't want to caress: razor teeth, big fangs and sharp claws turn him on. He returned to Canada recently for a fifth attempt to catch a musky, the largest member of the pike family which had always eluded his previous efforts. Witness the drama when two legends – obsessed expert angler and alpha piscatory predator – collide in dark icy waters.

5,344 words - 20 photos
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SPACE – SCIENCE – TECHNOLOGY

40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Illustration: ESA
Posted: DECEMBER 2012

Space junk collisions threaten our way of life with catastrophe

By DAPHNE LAVERS
Writing from Toronto

A massive, three-dimensional debris cloud encircles our Earth, posing a danger to everything in orbit, including satellites, the Global Positioning System and astronauts. Future launches involving space travel are jeopardized by the risk of collisions, which are happening with greater frequency. Join us on a journey stretching back four decades, explaining how the problem grew so dire and how space scientists are now dealing with this threat to human life, which includes the unexpected launch of a rogue rocket by North Korea on December 12, 2012.

7,235 words - 20 PHOTOS - 12 ILLUSTRATIONS
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TRAVEL – NATURE – ADVENTURE

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Istock/Thinkstock
Posted: JULY 2012

Bush pilot and gold miner spirits pervade the wilds of Yellowknife

By DUANE RADFORD
Reporting from Yellowknife, N.W.T.

These days, hunting, fishing and ecotourism are mainstays of the Yellowknife economy, but there are reminders everywhere of the colourful bush pilots and gold miners who opened up this pristine region in the Northwest Territories of Canada, known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. It's still not uncommon to see float planes on Great Slave Lake ferrying visitors to and from remote wilderness adventures.

3,509 words - 22 photos – 1 illustration
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ARCHITECTURE – MUSIC – CELEBRITIES

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Robert Nowell
Posted: APRIL 2012

The secret passion of Daryl Hall for relevance in a feckless age

By CHRISTINE DARRAGH
Reporting from Dutchess County, N.Y.

For more than 40 years, most people have known Daryl Hall as an impressive solo musician and the illuminating half of the best selling duo of all-time, Hall & Oates. Lesser known, his span as a history buff enamored of antique restorations is equally impressive. Hall, the musical and architectural perfectionist, takes us on a personal tour of his restored 24-room, Colonial-era estate in upstate New York, where he shares his philosophy of musical zeitgeist and architectural tradition.

4,450 words - 12 photos & 48 photos in Robert Nowell's Gallery
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TRAVEL – NATURE – LIFESTYLE

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Duane Radford
Posted: JULY 2012

Yukon Discovery Day in Dawson: singing, dancing and a barrel of fun

By DUANE RADFORD
Reporting from the Yukon

Kelly O'Connor belts one out at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Casino in Dawson City, the oldest and most northerly gambling hall in Canada and a crowd favourite among the tourists who cram the Yukon every August to partake in red-hot festivities commemorating the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush. Live entertainment, games, sports, culture, history and nature. Care to try your hand at gold panning?

3,685 words - 19 photos
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MEDICine – Cancer – LIFESTYLE

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Marie-France Auger
Posted: APRIL 2012

Peter Pan warrior shares his secret for beating cancer five times

By
Writing from Montreal

Jonathan Truchon, 22, is intimate with the sterile cut of surgical steel. The young man from Châteauguay, Quebec, has left more than his fair share of body parts in the cold, kidney-shaped surgeon’s basin, including 85 percent of his cancerous liver. But when you’ve beaten cancer repeatedly, starting at 18 months of age, you don’t think of yourself as a victim. “Warrior” might be a more apt description, winning every medical battle, one at a time.

4,098 words - 15 photos
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Travel – NATURE – Lifestyle

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: TL Bar Ranch
Posted: APRIL 2012

Spirit of world’s oldest cowboy rides tranquil Alberta badlands

By DAPHNE LAVERS
Writing from Toronto

Tom Lynch was tall, lean — rangy some might say — in faded blue jeans and shirt, a cowboy hat that shaded his eyes, and beat-up old cowboy boots that had been set into a lot of stirrups. The first time I saw him, he was doing just what the country songs say real cowboys do. He was out mending fences…. Join us for a trail ride with the “cowboy poet” of the TL Bar Ranch.

3,631 words - 11 photos
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HISTORY – JUDAISM – WAR

UPDATED: APRIL, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: BestStory.ca
Posted: APRIL 2012

A Nazi bullet through the head can’t stop a survivor’s testimony

By
Writing from Montreal

Duddy Alt, who passed away at age 90 on June 18, 2013, talked openly for the first time about the horror of a little known massacre of Jews at Balf, Hungary just weeks before the end of the Second World War in the spring of 1945. Alt took four Nazi bullets to the body and one through the head. A few hours later, advancing Soviet troops found the young weightlifter barely conscious in the slimy ditch where he had fallen face first. This is the account of one survivor's odyssey to hell, and what we can learn from the Nazi horrors to prevent modern-day genocides.

9,144 words - 22 photos - 1 map
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LEGAL – ETHICS – Abortion

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: Hemera/ Thinkstock
Posted: APRIL 2012

Ethics and law governing abortion must catch up with current science

Analysis by MARGARET SOMERVILLE
Writing from Montreal

In Europe and North America, between one in three and one in four pregnancies ends in abortion, meaning abortion has become part of the norm. But abortion is a human tragedy, and we must consider its impact on both the individuals involved and society, especially its foundational values. It’s time for ethics and law to catch up with science as it relates to abortion. That requires understanding complex factors that have not been addressed.

6,823 words - 10 photos – 1 GRAPHIC
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SPORTS – RACING – Automobiles

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Posted: APRIL 2012
updated APRIL 2013

Limited F1 in-season testing
raises more questions for 2013

Analysis by ERWIN BLATTER
Writing from the Netherlands

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body of motorsport worldwide, lifted its total in-season test ban for F1 in 2012 in favour of very limited testing to try to improve competition. But when the final flag came down in late November 2012, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing was still world champion for the third year in a row, raising more questions for the 2013 season.

1,838 words - 6 photos
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HUMOUR – Shopping – lifestyle

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Illustration: Don Royer
Posted: APRIL 2012

Effete Canadian male is no match for female shoppers at Walmart

By
Writing from Montreal

American men, growing up secure in their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, have the requisite nerve to deal with the “big box” shopping experience. But Canadian men are shovellers of snow and mowers of grass. We’ve been habituated by our mothers, girlfriends and wives to do as we’re told. So how do you expect me to deal with predatory, bargain-hunting females elbowing their way through the Walmart aisles? This is one weak man’s tale of horror and survival!

1,572 words - 1 photo - 1 illustration
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LEGAL – GOVERNMENT – MOTORISTS

UPDATED: January, 2012
40 POINTS » BUY STORY
Photo: iStockphoto/ Thinkstock
Posted: APRIL 2012

$144 parking ticket forces writer to bare knuckles with City Hall

By
Writing from Montreal

The bureaucrats say they have proof of my guilt. If I go before a judge, I’m sure to lose and my parking fine will increase. They make me feel like the “punk” in a Dirty Harry movie. But I want my day in court. What crosses my mind is the Chinese proverb which says, “Be careful what you wish for.”

3,714 words - 10 photos
SIDEBAR

Best Canadian city to get a parking ticket?

By warren perley
Writing from Montreal

Which city among Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver affords its motorists the most favourable treatment of parking tickets? Officials in one of those three cities have started thinking like entrepreneurs. We’ll tell you who gives the best deal.

SIDEBAR

Parking Ticket Geek is Chicago’s Robin Hood

By warren perley
Writing from Montreal

If you want to beat a parking ticket in the Windy City, he’s your go-to guy. “Rip the cash out of the city’s dirty, greedy hands,” is his mantra. With an 85 percent success rate, the Parking Ticket Geek is a hero to thousands of Chicago motorists. He’s considering expansion to other cities, perhaps even Toronto. The Geek took time out from his busy schedule to share ticket-busting secrets with beststory.ca.

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