Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Penn report condemns mishandling of MOVE remains | Morning Newsletter

And a former Inquirer photojournalist reflects on his 2003 Afghanistan photos.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning, and welcome to The Inquirer Morning Newsletter. It’s Thursday, Aug. 26. Today, we take a look at Penn’s report on the mishandling of MOVE remains, a former Inquirer photojournalist’s reflection on his 2003 photos from Afghanistan, and Philly’s slowing rebound from the pandemic.

We’d love to know what you think. Reply to this email, and let’s start a conversation.

— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan,

The University of Pennsylvania released a 217-page report Wednesday condemning the behavior of two Penn anthropologists on how they handled the remains of a child killed in the 1985 MOVE bombing, in which six adult MOVE members and five children died when police dropped a bomb on their fortified rowhouse.

The exhaustive report chastised retired professor Alan Mann for failing to find a way to return to the MOVE family the remains he was given by the Philadelphia medical examiner. The city gave Mann the bones to see if he could verify them as the remains of 14-year-old Katricia Dotson Africa, but he was unsuccessful.

The report also sharply criticized Janet Monge, a curator at the Penn Museum, for using the bones as a teaching aid, particularly in a video class.

But the review also concluded that neither Mann nor Monge violated any “professional, ethical or legal standards, but critics question why that is.

Reporters Craig R. McCoy and Oona Goodin-Smith have the full story.

Earlier this month, former Inquirer photojournalist David Swanson was documenting wildfires in California. That experience ⏤ the smell of diesel fuel, the sound of generators ⏤ gave him flashbacks to his time in Afghanistan almost two decades ago.

Swanson traveled to the country three times in 2003, documenting the United States’ attempts to rebuild following its invasion after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In this photo essay, Swanson reflects on his photojournalism of the war-torn country, which in 2003 was “one of the most, if not the, bleakest places I’ve ever been.”

Reopening resources

  1. Some people are changing their minds about the coronavirus vaccine. Here’s how doctors persuaded them.

  2. Here is a full list of restaurants, large performance venues, universities, and gyms in the Philly region where you need to show proof of vaccination.

  3. Should you laminate your vaccination card? What if you lose it? Here are the dos and don’ts.

What you need to know today

  1. The delta variant is slowing Philly’s pandemic rebound. Businesses in the region and across the country are pushing back return-to-office dates as infections surge.

  2. Violence at Philadelphia jails — documented in internal records and video obtained by The Inquirer — portrays what staff, incarcerated people, and advocates call a dire situation inside the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.

  3. This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan to address groundwater contaminated with radium at the Welsbach/General Gas Mantle Superfund site located in Camden and Gloucester City.

  4. The summer of 2021 has been brutally uncomfortable, and after this weekend, it could gain a steamy distinction. Based on an analysis of absolute moisture in the air, it might be the muggiest summer since 1995.

  5. Philadelphia has green-lighted plans for an Old City apartment building that would preserve Isaiah Zagar’s celebrated Painted Bride mosaics.

  6. Frustrated teachers at Masterman say asbestos makes their school building unsafe. And until the Philadelphia School District provides answers, they plan to work outside.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Good morning, @justjo1002.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

👋 Affable 6abc meteorologist David Murphy is leaving Action News after 31 years.

🦅 The Eagles have to get their squad down to 53 players by next Tuesday. Here’s how Paul Domowitch sees the final roster.

🦏 Could a nurse from Media and a bunch of Philly health-care workers unite to save endangered animals half a world away?


“...when Mayor Jim Kenney or District Attorney Larry Krasner talk about the city’s epidemic of gun violence, it’s difficult not to come away with the impression that they believe they are the greatest victims of this crisis,” writes The Inquirer Editorial Board.

  1. As a solution to the college debt crisis, John Dominguez of the Pittsburgh Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants Pennsylvania colleges and universities to publish income distribution data ranging from two to ten years after graduation, separated by degree type and academic concentration. “Just like a nutrition label on food, this disclosure informs students of what they are buying,” he says.

  2. For a pro/con on the “buy American” slogan and philosophy embraced by President Biden, we asked two company presidents who have done business in Pennsylvania: Does the push to “buy American” make sense for the U.S. right now?

What we're reading

  1. In a Q&A for GQ magazine, Adam McKay, the Malvern-raised writer and director, spoke with actor Jonah Hill about his evolution from raunchy comedies to Oscar-nominated dramas.

  2. Earlier this month, The Ringer spent a week celebrating Nickelodeon nostalgia as it marked Nicktoons’ 30th anniversary. Among the top offerings was a deep dive on the creation of the kids network’s slime-drenched ’90s style.

  3. The pandemic has been a turning point for many American workers. A record number of them have quit — four million this April alone — a phenomenon so widespread it’s been called the Great Resignation. And it’s leading employers, policymakers, and society at large to rethink jobs and how they dominate our days. Vox wonders: What if paid work were no longer the centerpiece of American life?

Photo of the Day