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Dispatches: Five Essential Reads From the Past Week

A collection of some of our most important and timely stories, from an investigation into Nike's control over the University of Oregon to a profile of Canada's Desmond Cole.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. "Those of us who heard about it thought it was outright extortion, but we kept our mouths shut because we felt terrible for Dave Frohnmayer and understood what he was going through. It was like there was a loaded gun pointed at his child's head." Joshua Hunt investigated the brutal, secret history of how Nike Chief Executive Officer Phil Knight crushed an anti-sweatshop movement at the University of Oregon and sealed the company's influence at the school by using funding for a rare disease as a negotiating tool. Read Hunt's investigation here.
  2. After a months-long public records scuffle with the Utah government, contributing writer Jimmy Tobias obtained an internal document offering insights into the full scope of the state's public lands agenda. The document shows how far Utah has gone in its efforts to roll back key protections for public lands across the country. Read Tobias' story here.
  3. A recent Supreme Court decision that requires proof of residential address in order to vote is threatening to turn many indigenous people away from the polls. But, as contributing writer Massoud Hayoun reports, Native American voting rights advocates in North Dakota are scrambling to ensure that tribal nations in the state will be able to cast a ballot in the mid-term elections next month. Read Hayoun's story here.
  4. "Anti-black racism is always terrible for black people. So it is a bit rich for white Canadians to congratulate themselves on inhabiting a space that is less racist." Brian J. Barth profiled journalist-turned-activist Desmond Cole, who is at the center of Canada's burgeoning black resistance movement. Read Barth's profile of Cole here.
  5. David Leffler went to the Texas–Mexico border where the proposed border wall is set to bisect federal lands and family properties that have been passed down for generations. Leffler spent time with Rey Anzaldua and Fred Cavazos, both direct descendants of some of the Rio Grande Valley's most prominent landowners. THeir family land is under threat due to President Donald Trump's proposed wall. Read Leffler's story here.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive early access to feature stories, an ad-free version of, and other benefits.