Longform’s Picks of the Week
The best stories from around the world.
Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform's new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy.
Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform’s new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy.
Aarushi Talwar Murder: The Inside Story of India’s Most Controversial Trial
Shree Paradkar • The Toronto Star
On the killing of a 13-year-old girl and how her parents came to be charged with murder.
Sex. Illicit affairs. Murder. Indian media, which combines British tabloid sensibility with U.S. cable’s cutthroat competitiveness, snapped it up and fed it to a gossip-hungry audience, catapulting the crime to the top of the news cycle and making Aarushi a household name.
“India’s JonBenet Ramsey case??” asked a Time magazine headline.
Four-and-a-half years, one state police force, two federal investigative teams, two sets of suspects, five arrests and countless fumbles later, Aarushi’s murder remains unsolved.
Hackers in China Attacked the Times for Last 4 Months
Nicole Perlroth • New York Times
The paper of record reports on a battle of its own.
The mounting number of attacks that have been traced back to China suggest that hackers there are behind a far-reaching spying campaign aimed at an expanding set of targets including corporations, government agencies, activist groups and media organizations inside the United States. The intelligence-gathering campaign, foreign policy experts and computer security researchers say, is as much about trying to control China’s public image, domestically and abroad, as it is about stealing trade secrets.
Adam Berry/Getty Images
New Old Libya
Robert Draper • National Geographic
In the wake of revolution, Libyans envision their future.
Yet on the desert slog to rediscovery, flag-waving offers only the mirage of a shortcut. As Sury acknowledged, Libya’s rebuilding “starts at zero.” The terrorist attack last September casts a dark shadow over Libya’s attempts to increase stability and rebuild its government. Whether the 30,000 Libyans who protested against militias ten days later constitute a better predictor of Libya’s future, it is too early to say. In ways both obvious and insidious, Libya remains half-blinded by its former dictator’s heavy hand. Now, like the statue in the wooden box, it awaits its future in an unforgiving light.
John Moore/Getty Images
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
Mike Dash • Smithsonian
A team of scientists make an accidental discovery.
The sight that greeted the geologists as they entered the cabin was like something from the middle ages. Jerry-built from whatever materials came to hand, the dwelling was not much more than a burrow-“a low, soot-blackened log kennel that was as cold as a cellar,” with a floor consisting of potato peel and pine-nut shells. Looking around in the dim light, the visitors saw that it consisted of a single room. It was cramped, musty and indescribably filthy, propped up by sagging joists-and, astonishingly, home to a family of five:
The silence was suddenly broken by sobs and lamentations. Only then did we see the silhouettes of two women. One was in hysterics, praying: ‘This is for our sins, our sins.’ The other, keeping behind a post… sank slowly to the floor. The light from the little window fell on her wide, terrified eyes, and we realized we had to get out of there as quickly as possible.
VALERY TITIEVSKY/AFP/Getty Images
The Republic of Port Said
Evan C. Hill • Foreign Policy
How a local insurrection is challenging the Muslim Brotherhood’s control of Egypt.
What began as a soccer rivalry between Cairo and this city of 600,000 at the mouth of the Suez Canal sparked a tragic stadium riot in February 2012 and has now grown into a miniature insurrection. After a court’s decision to hand down 21 death sentences against Port Said soccer supporters for their role in the riot, outraged men allegedly rushed toward the prison and tried to shoot the inmates out, resulting in deaths on both sides.
The violent reaction has become the most critical test of Morsy’s ability to steer the nation since his election last June, and the president declared a curfew and state of emergency along the entire Suez Canal in an effort to contain the unrest. But Morsy’s attempt to restore order only highlighted his precarious control over Egypt and its institutions, and the canal cities reacted with outright defiance.
More from Foreign Policy
America Is a Heartbeat Away From a War It Could Lose
Global war is neither a theoretical contingency nor the fever dream of hawks and militarists.
The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy
The reality of fighting Hamas in Gaza makes this war terrible one way or another.
Biden Owns the Israel-Palestine Conflict Now
In tying Washington to Israel’s war in Gaza, the U.S. president now shares responsibility for the broader conflict’s fate.
Taiwan’s Room to Maneuver Shrinks as Biden and Xi Meet
As the latest crisis in the straits wraps up, Taipei is on the back foot.