Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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1. ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape
Rukmini Callimachi | New York Times | Aug. 13, 2015 | 16 minutes (4,011 words)
Twenty-one women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority escaped the Islamic State and revealed how they were systematically raped by their captors. The Islamic State uses a selective reading of the Quran to argue that they have a religious right to enslave and rape those who practice a religion other than Islam.
2. When A Newborn’s Sex Is In Question, Why Do Doctors Get To Decide?
Azeen Ghorayshi | BuzzFeed | Aug. 5, 2015 | 20 minutes (5,241 words)
Azeen Ghorayshi looks at what happens when babies are born intersex—with ambiguous genitalia—and whether surgeons should get to decide what sex a child should be raised.
3. Hellbent, but Not Broken
Eva Holland | SB Nation | Aug. 14, 2015 | 27 minutes (6,904 words)
What it’s like to race in the 445-mile Yukon River Quest—paddling through pain and hallucinations.
4. The Ghosts of Pickering Trail
Matt Wolfe and Will Hunt | The Atavist | Aug. 11, 2015 | 39 minutes (9,761 words)
How do you quantify the lost value of houses in which violent crimes have been committed? A family discovers an answer with the help of a real estate expert who specializes in appraising stigmatized property.
5. A Mob Lawyer’s Vow
Roy Strom | Chicago Lawyer | Aug. 11, 2015 | 18 minutes (4,534 words)
In his 54 years on the job, criminal defense lawyer Allan Ackerman has made a career of inventive defenses for mob bosses and hitmen. But with this client, the defense is different: Ackerman truly believes Matthew Sopron is innocent, and has vowed to represent him pro bono until the day Sopron is free.