Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.
A prescription for more black doctors (New York Times Magazine)
"Just 515 black men entered medical school last year. Even though the nation's black population is much larger now, that number is 27 fewer than the 542 black men who went to medical school in 1978."
Private insurer pays government lawyers to pursue fraud charges (The Texas Tribune, Austin American-Statesman)
"None of the myriad public-private partnerships examined by the Tribune and the Statesman are as direct and intimate as the one in the Texas capital. In Travis County, the arrangement is singularly focused on one company: Texas Mutual makes the referrals, provides the investigators and directly pays all the bills. At one time the company even provided office space for the lead prosecutor."
Whatsoever Things Are True (The Atavist)
Matthew Shaer revisits a double murder on Chicago's South Side to find a "story of ruined reputations and failed memory, of courage and corruption, of a pair of poor black men who became pawns in a bitter political war, and of the inability of a broken system to render justice in a 33-year-old murder."
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged the practices after inspections last month at an Army lab in Maryland, one of the Pentagon's most secure labs. That helped prompt an emergency ban on research on all bioterror pathogens at nine laboratories run by the Pentagon, which was already reeling from revelations that another Army lab in Utah had mishandled anthrax samples for 10 years."
40 years after Vietnam, Blue Water Navy vets still fighting for Agent Orange compensation (ProPublica, The Virginian-Pilot)
"The VA presumes any vet who served on land in Vietnam or on boats in its inland waters was exposed to the herbicide, and it compensates them for a litany of associated illnesses ... But the agency has repeatedly argued there's no scientific justification or legal requirement for covering veterans who served off the coast."
In their own words: Five U.S. Navy veterans describe their Vietnam tours, their Agent Orange concerns and their fight for VA benefits.
Help us investigate: We're working with The Virginian-Pilot to gather 5,000 stories from veterans and their families about the generational impact of Agent Orange. So far we've collected more than 2,700. Help us reach our goal.