Welcome to the weekend. New Zealand news has been dominated by the Labour sex assault claims this week.

Internationally it was a sombre week with thoughts turning to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks 18 years ago.

In amongst all this was a wealth of other excellent journalism. Here's a selection of some other pieces from our premium international syndicators you may have missed.

Jennifer Aniston: My acting career is 'just about to really bloom'

Since Friends ended, Jennifer Aniston has had critical success in smaller independent films, mixed reviews for mainstream movies, a lot of product endorsements, a couple of outright flops. But nothing has clicked quite like Rachel Green.

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Fifteen years later and she's returning to TV in Apple's The Morning Show as a news anchor dealing with ageism, sexism and her co-host's misconduct.

"I'm entering into what I feel is one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life," Aniston said.

"I've been doing this for 30 years and I feel like it's just about to really bloom."

Jessica Bennett of The New York Times sits down with the star.

• Also read: Brad Pitt on fame: 'I became a hermit and bonged myself into oblivion'

"There's a similarity to my life," Aniston acknowledged of her Morning Show role. Photo / Sandy Kim, The New York Times

Meet the woman who hacks the hackers

It's the murkiest of worlds – and most cybercrimes go unreported. For the criminals, the money to be made is worth the risks. But how do they do it?

One insider, Kate Fazzini, has broken ranks to reveal the world of digital fraud and corporate extortion.

Fazzini, 39, is a professor of cybersecurity – she has been a reporter on cyberwarfare for The Wall Street Journal and also a combatant, as part of a cybersecurity team in a major bank. She now works for CNBC. She knows a lot of the hackers on the other side, too. Will Pavia of The Times meets her.

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• Also read: Sextortion: How young men are falling victim to a new kind of online blackmail

An insider has broken ranks to give an insight into the murky world of cybercrime. Photo / 123RF
An insider has broken ranks to give an insight into the murky world of cybercrime. Photo / 123RF

Joaquin Phoenix, the wild card of Joker

Joaquin Phoenix likes that potential for danger in his work, and he cited it as one of the reasons he wanted to make Joker.

"I didn't know how to classify it. I didn't say, 'This is the character I'm playing.' I didn't know what we were going to do," he said. "It was terrifying."

So just how did this unpredictable star known for loners and killers wind up in a studio blockbuster based on a comic book?

David Itzkoff of The New York Times sits down with the actor.

"I don't really care about genre or budget size, anything like that," Phoenix said. "It's just whether there is a filmmaker that has a unique vision." Photo / Magdalena Wosinska, The New York Times

What happens to the tributes left at the 9/11 memorial

They were trinkets that whispered to lives wrenched away.

A jar of sand from Oahu, Hawaii, for a sister who danced on its shore. A blue herringbone scarf for the flight attendant who had taken a fateful extra shift. Six scraps of notebook paper, each with a word in Spanish written to the father of four from the Bronx.

Left at the plaza of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan, the items were placed with no expectation they would linger any longer than one night.

But even the tiniest of tributes can express so much.

The New York Times looks at how these items, along with thousands of others, made their way into the museum's vast storage facilities.

• Also read: The 9/11 tribute lights are endangering 160,000 birds a year

"I was with you in your hospital room a few days before you died. You taught me that life is too short to hate," reads one preserved 9/11 note. Photo / Caitlin Ochs, The New York Times

The UK's slow-burn $95 billion banking scandal

Major banks in the UK have admitted that they under-estimated the cost of compensating customers for mis-sold payment protection insurance.

At more than £50 billion ($95.8b), the financial impact now dwarfs all other British banking scandals in scale.

It rivals the penalties and profit destruction that hit the largest US banks after the 2008 financial crisis.

The Financial Times reports.

Some British banks pushed staff to aggressively sell payment protection insurance was much worse than anticipated. Photo / Bloomberg
Some British banks pushed staff to aggressively sell payment protection insurance was much worse than anticipated. Photo / Bloomberg

Rafael Nadal shows why the young tennis guard will have to wait

For a tennis champion devoted to his routines, Rafael Nadal has certainly managed to navigate plenty of change.

Signs of the times were everywhere as he prevailed in a draining and dazzling US Open final on Monday.

This wasn't one of Nadal's usual final match ups with Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka. Across the net was Daniil Medvedev, who at just 23, is 10 years younger than Nadal.

But while the youth movement is well underway in the women's game, regime change will have to wait a little longer still in men's tennis.

At the end of the 2009 season, the top three players in the rankings were Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Today, the same three men are still on top.

The New York Times looks how Nadal again proved the logic-defying dominance of the Big Three.

• Also read: As new faces emerge, Serena Williams gets acquainted with failure

Rafael Nadal reacts after scoring a point against Daniil Medvedev. Nadal defeated Medvedev to win the US Open final. Photo / AP
Rafael Nadal reacts after scoring a point against Daniil Medvedev. Nadal defeated Medvedev to win the US Open final. Photo / AP

The #MeToo backlash in the workplace

In 2017, when the media began reporting on widespread sexual harassment and assault by powerful male entertainment figures, many people were heartened. The conventional wisdom was that bringing the issue to light and punishing those responsible would have a deterrent effect.

What was unexpected however was the backlash.

Men became more reluctant to hire attractive women, avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues and were more likely to exclude women from social interactions.

Harvard Business Review looks at the fallout from the #MeToo movement in the workplace.

Research shows a number of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female colleagues following the #MeToo movement. Photo / 123RF
Research shows a number of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female colleagues following the #MeToo movement. Photo / 123RF

What Spy? Kremlin mocks aide recruited by CIA as a boozy nobody

He drank too much, abandoned his sick, aged mother and — most important of all for Russia in its own account of the man portrayed in the United States as a highly valued spy burrowed deep into the Kremlin — he had no contact whatsoever with President Vladimir Putin.

Just hours after The New York Times and other US news outlets this week detailed how an unnamed Russian informant helped the CIA conclude that Putin ordered and orchestrated a campaign of interference in the 2016 US election, Russia fired up its propaganda machine to provide an entirely different picture of the same man, who the state-controlled news media identified as Oleg Smolenkov.

The New York Times looks at the conflicting reports on the American spy.

• Also read: CIA informant extracted from Russia had sent secrets to US for decades

The Kremlin. Whether a former Kremlin official turned informant was as valuable as Americans describe him or as derelict as the Russians claim is a question of paramount importance. Photo / 123RF
The Kremlin. Whether a former Kremlin official turned informant was as valuable as Americans describe him or as derelict as the Russians claim is a question of paramount importance. Photo / 123RF

She's a Hong Kong protester. Her husband is a cop. It's complicated

As weeks of protests have transformed Hong Kong into a battleground between demonstrators and police, few families have felt the polarising effects more than that of a young woman named Sunny.

Sunny, 26, is a protester who takes to the streets to denounce what she regards as the oppressive policies of the central government in Beijing. Her husband is a low-ranking police officer, working 12-hour nightly shifts to confront the demonstrations his wife supports.

The New York Times looks at how the protests have driven a wedge into the homes of some in Hong Kong.

Sunny, a protester whose husband is a police officer in Hong Kong, has been taking to the streets to protest. Photo / Lam Yik Fei, The New York Times
Sunny, a protester whose husband is a police officer in Hong Kong, has been taking to the streets to protest. Photo / Lam Yik Fei, The New York Times

The work diary of Google's 'security princess'

Parisa Tabriz used to be a hacker. Now she is a princess.

Tabriz, 36, is a director of engineering at Google, where she oversees its Chrome web browser and a team of security investigators called Project Zero. Several years ago, when Google required her to get business cards, she picked the title "security princess" because it seemed less boring than "information security engineer," her actual title at the time.

Tabriz breaks down her work week for The New York Times and we learn that when you oversee a web browser used by a billion people, you eat a lot of cereal for dinner.

Parisa Tabriz, director of engineering for Google, at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photo / Peter Prato, The New York Times
Parisa Tabriz, director of engineering for Google, at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photo / Peter Prato, The New York Times

'I don't sing. I don't dance': Why Tina Turner is having the time of her life

Tina Turner is 79 years old. She has been retired for 10 years. She has a Swiss chateau and a Broadway musical about her life. And she is basking in all of the nothing she has to do.

"I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy," Turner said.

Amanda Hess of The New York Times sits down with the star.

"I don't sing. I don't dance. I don't dress up," said Turner. Photo / Charlie Gates, The New York Times