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The 10 Best Stories to Read This Week

How it feels to be a Syrian immigrant in America, a stunning new math proof, the post-fire buildings in the Loop, and more

James “Lem” Lemons at Lem’s Bar-B-Q   Photo: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

1. Chicago Pays Millions But Punishes Few in Killings by Police

From 2010 to 2014, Chicago officers killed 70 people, the most of any major city. But why? The New York Times makes the tally.

2. How It Feels to Be a Syrian Immigrant in America

Three years after leaving Damascus, one immigrant says Chicago feels like a home—but still a second home. Khaled Zarzour tells his story to Quartz.

3. Computer Scientists and Mathematicians Are Stunned by This Chicago Professor’s New Proof

Laszlo Babai has solved the problem of graph isomorphism. It may have massive implications, but if not, it’s still an astonishing achievement. Chicago magazine explains his breakthrough.

4. An Ethereal View of the People Who Roam Chicago’s Streets at Night

Satoki Nagata came to Chicago to work in neuroscience. Almost 15 years and four years of study later, he switched to street photography. Slate presents his work.

5. Black, Autistic, and Killed by Police

The death of 15-year-old Calumet City teen Stephon Watts highlights the special challenges autistic kids can have when interacting with officers. The Reader investigates his death.

6. The Surviving Post-Fire Buildings in Chicago’s Loop

From the beginning of the city’s resurrection, a handful of examples remain. Chicago Patterns tours them.

7. Recall: What Could Happen Next?

A majority of Chicagoans want Rahm to resign. Since that’s not gonna happen, how would a recall actually happen? Gapers Block explores the alternatives.

8. Wheaton Professor’s Suspension Is About Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Not Theology

Larycia Hawkins was placed on leave by the Christian school for claiming that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Do history and practice back her up? Theologian Miroslav Volf makes the case in the Washington Post.

9. For Some Illinois Kids, Budget Battle Means Going to Prison Instead of Home

Redeploy Illinois gives serious juvenile offenders intensive resources to keep them from reoffending. With the money on hold, it’s disappearing. WBEZ explores the consequences.

10. Talking with the Late South Side Pitmaster James Lemons of Lem’s

“His passing marks the end of the generation of African-American barbecue entrepreneurs who created the South Side style of Chicago barbecue.” Fooditor runs a 2010 interview in tribute.

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