Lian Marrero edits a photo of Miami-based Cuban Javier Fontanella.Ramon Espinosa / AP

How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS
Carlotta Gall | The New York Times
“How Kosovo and the very nature of its society was fundamentally recast is a story of a decades-long global ambition by Saudi Arabia to spread its hard-line version of Islam—heavily funded and systematically applied, including with threats and intimidation by followers.”

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The History of Pho
Andrea Nguyen | Lucky Peach
“Pho is so elemental to Vietnamese culture that people talk about it in terms of romantic relationships. Rice is the dutiful wife you can rely on, we say. Pho is the flirty mistress you slip away to visit.”

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The Kurds: A Divided Future?
Joost Hiltermann | The New York Review of Books
“Here is the quandary in which the Kurds find themselves when they make their claim for independence: Whose claim exactly? And how to realize it? To what territory, and under whose authority? As these questions remain unanswered, the old borders are proving stubbornly persistent—by the Kurds’ own hands.”

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Snow in Vietnam and Other New Climate Patterns Threaten Farmers
Christina Larson | MIT Technology Review
“In the hour before sunrise, as farmers prepare to leave for their fields, village chief Nguyen Van Tam reads out weather updates and planting directives from the local meteorological bureau. In recent years, these once-routine broadcasts have contained increasingly bizarre information.”

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Hot New Trend in Cuban ID Photos: Digital Suits and Blouses
Michael Weissenstein | AP
“Across Cuba and the world, tens of thousands of Cubans stare out of ID photos in elegant suits and dressy blouses they have never actually worn. Each imperceptibly altered photo is a tiny tribute to Cubans’ finely honed ability to apply ingeniously homebrewed technical solutions to the problems of an island beset by economic scarcity.”

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The Bank Robber
Patrick Radden Keefe | The New Yorker
“[Hervé] Falciani’s flight to France coincided with the onset of the global financial crisis. Many countries were scrambling to secure revenues and crack down on citizens whose fortunes were stashed in offshore tax havens. Years before the leak, this April, of the Panama Papers—a cache of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama City that specializes in the creation of anonymous shell companies—there was ample evidence that the global plutocracy has many outlets for dissimulation in the realm of personal finance.”

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