Top tier stories this morning

 "Well hoooleeee smokes. @mtaibbi got it," marvels financial crimes reporter Emily Flitter of Reuters, speaking of this Rolling Stones "get" by Matt Taibbi on the $9 billion witness, his first since leaving First Look Media (1,170 shares so far and counting). "Great to be back writing for RS, and telling the story of JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann," man-of-the-hour Taibbi tweets. Click on that profile, and meet the Canadian (!) paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep a secret. Well done and welcome back, Matt!

Next up in scandals, New York TimesDan Levin reveals that China's presidential delegation to Africa has been tied to illegal ivory purchases during their visit (10,096 shares). "Delegation led by China's president Xi Jinping bought so much illegal ivory the market price doubled," shares China correspondent Benjamin Haas with AFP.

Continuing in controversies, read the NYT's update on the AC/DC drummer accused of trying to arrange deaths (1,403 shares and climbing). "I remember walking around our childhood home blasting 'dirty deeds done dirt cheap' from a tape recorder. Oy," ABC's Dan Harris reluctantly reminisces.

And the parade of investigations doesn't end there. The Wall Street Journal uncovers a U.S. money-laundering probe that touches Putin’s inner circle (2,096 shares). "Popcorn, please. US money-laundering investigation reaches Putin's pal," crows Katie Martin there.

Reporting from NYT's Ben Hubbard helps the argument that the ISIS wave of might is turning into ripple (1,872). "Thanks, @nytben, for injecting measure of sanity," praises FT's Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi, although David Rieff counters him, "Interesting piece, but badly marred by far too much wishful thinking." Also on the subject of ISIS, Washington Post's Erin Cunningham describes the fascinating but "stark" transformation of an Egyptian rights activist-turned-IS-fighter.

But Vox isn't done with elections yet, guys. Republicans now have historic majorities in state legislatures; here's why that's a really big deal. as well as 17 interesting facts about the midterms (plus a bonus of 3 uninteresting ones!). Bloomberg has something to add, too--and by Bloomberg, we mean Michael R. Bloomberg for Bloomberg: Gridlock is leading voters out of Washington.

In happy news, which we always welcome, an abducted woman is found alive in Maryland, and the suspect is in custody.

Also, are there really 8 million rats in New York? Not literal ones, data suggests (1,655 shares).

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