Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Americana, Marijuana, And Men’s Rights

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This week for BuzzFeed News, Adam Serwer and Katie J.M. Baker unravel the conflicting history and messages of men’s rights leader Paul Elam. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed News and around the web.

1. How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being a Deadbeat Dad Into a Moneymaking Movement — BuzzFeed News

Illustration by Jonathan Rodriguez for BuzzFeed News

Paul Elam has become the face of the modern men’s rights movement by rallying against false rape accusations and divorce courts that favor mothers. But interviews with his estranged daughter and ex-wife show that his pet causes are very, very personal. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

2. What Really Happened to Baby Johan? — Matter

Photographs by Talia Herman for Matter

An incredible piece by Elizabeth Weil that explores what happens when a child dies in the hand of a parent and family, physicians, and authorities don’t know whom to blame. “Does anyone know the truth?” Read it at Matter.

3. An Exclusive Look at the Sony Hacking SagaVanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Mark Seal chronicles the massive hack into Sony Pictures prompted by The Interview — and the subsequent leaks that created devastating consequences for its senior executives. “We always say, ‘I’d love to be a fly on the wall,’ and these e-mails made us privy to all these conversations.” Read it at Vanity Fair.

4. Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson’s Plea for Help Nine Weeks Before He Died — BuzzFeed News

Courtesy of the Reagan Library

Rock Hudson was desperately trying to get treatment for AIDS in France in 1985. Much of that story has been told but, as Chris Geidner finds, one part hasn’t: After a simple plea came in for White House help to get Hudson transferred to another hospital, First Lady Nancy Reagan turned down the request. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

5. Why Hasn’t California Legalized Marijuana Yet? — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Chris Tuite for BuzzFeed News

After decades of being at the forefront of the marijuana legalization movement, California has been left in the dust by other states. Amanda Chicago Lewis explores how infighting between activists may turn 2016 another losing year. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

6. The Brazilian Town Where the American Confederacy Lives OnVice

Photograph by Jackson Fager for Vice

Americana is a small town in Brazil where descendants of Southern defectors, or “Confederados,” still rally around the Stars and Bars. Mimi Dwyer visits to learn how its residents are — or aren’t — reconciling a present they claim is innocent with the legacies of the past. Read it at Vice.

7. Cambodia is China’s Newest Market for Foreign Brides — BuzzFeed News

Chhor Sokunthea/ World Bank / Via Flickr: breadfortheworld

Jina Moore reports from Cambodia where, little more than two years ago, there wasn’t a single recorded case of women trafficked from Cambodia to China to marry. Now, there are more than 150 — and experts expect that number to soar. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

8. Mail-Order Viruses are the New Antibiotics — BuzzFeed News

Illustration by Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed News

Hundreds of people have caught hellish bacterial infections and turned to Eastern Europe for a century-old viral therapy. With the world on the cusp of an antibiotics crisis, Azeen Ghorayshi asks, should we all follow suit? Read it at BuzzFeed News.

9. R U There? — The New Yorker

Illustration by Cristiana Coucerio for The New Yorker

Alice Gregory dials into the Crisis Text Line, a service that seeks to make therapy more accessible to teens. “A lot of times, when chatting with young people, it’s clear that they just need someone to listen to them.” Read it at The New Yorker.

Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for our Sunday features newsletter, and we’ll send you a curated list of great things to read every week!

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