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.
“In His Own Words: Omar Khadr” by Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star.
Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002. He was held in Guantanamo for years without charges. He was tortured. And earlier this month, after nearly 13 years behind bars, he was released on bail.
“When Khadr talks about his past, he says he feels emotionally detached as he remembers the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan during which an American soldier was fatally wounded, the days of interrogations at the U.S. prison in Bagram, or his decade in Guantanamo, where he was once used as a human mop after he urinated on himself.
At Bagram, the U.S. military base in Afghanistan where many detainees were interrogated before their transfer to Guantanamo, little was off limits in the treatment of detainees, according to Damien Corsetti, an American military interrogator nicknamed the ‘Monster.'”
“17 Shots in Pasco” by Brooke Jarvis, Seattle Met.
The police shooting of a Mexican field worker prompted a reckoning in a Washington farming town.
“They saw a blurry figure throw something at a parked patrol car, then run to the crosswalk, out of the frame. They saw two police officers raise their guns toward the intersection, heard six shots sound. They watched three officers chase the man across the street, to the sidewalk in front of Vinny’s, and watched the man turn toward them, his hands up in front of him. They heard another spurt of gunfire and watched the man fall to the ground and lie still. The video was short and baffling, so they watched it again and again. Many of them came to the same angry conclusion: They didn’t need to shoot him.”
“The Quest for Hitler’s Lost Treasures” by Konstantin von Hammerstein, Der Spiegel.
A Dutch detective and Berlin police spent months searching for art commissioned by Hitler that went missing after German reunification. Officials finally recovered the dubious works in raids last week — here’s how they did it.
“Edeltraud Immel-Sauer is a former Berlin gallerist. She claims was abandoned by her wealthy husband long ago and then, in the 1990s, was cheated out of the remainder of her fortune by a fake Indian prince in London, leaving her to live in a tiny apartment in Berlin’s Moabit neighborhood today with little more than the piles of books she has accumulated.
In September of 2013, Immel-Sauer was contacted by a former Berlin car dealer. He has faced charges in the past — for failing to file for insolvency in due time, as well as for bankruptcy and money laundering — but now advertises his services as an art consultant who offers his clients ‘interesting investment opportunities (also eligible for trust investment) starting at €50,000, and various merchandise on request.’ He also offers assistance with ‘infectious diseases (open wounds).'”
“In Sanaa” by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, London Review of Books.
A rundown of the Houthi coup in Yemen.
“One afternoon in Sanaa last November two lawyers in suits pushed, with purpose, through the doors of the Yemeni Tax Authority, a temple of nepotism and corruption. Several pairs of eyes followed them as they walked briskly down the corridors, the white walls rubbed into a grimy grey by the backs of those condemned to spend hours waiting in this purgatory of bureaucratic torment. People watched disbelievingly as the two men marched past the camouflage-clad armed guards into the office of the director himself. This was a place which no one could enter without the proper connections and/or a hefty bribe. The functionaries who tried to block the lawyers’ passage shrivelled and scuttled away when the younger of the two uttered the sacred words: ‘We are here on behalf of the legal wing of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Ansar Allah.’”
“What If ‘The Wire’ Were Set in Ramallah?” by Debra Kamin, Foreign Policy.
A hit TV series has found audiences among Israelis and Palestinians alike with its brutal honesty about the ugliness of war and the complexity of human life.
“He is chasing a terrorist down a long hallway, or an alley, or perhaps a dark street. The terrorist turns and pulls a gun from his hip. Raz, in the nick of time, pulls his own weapon and squeezes the trigger. But something is wrong with the gun. Instead of hitting their target, the bullets fall short, clattering to the ground like harmless pebbles. Raz is then left stranded, trapped by his own unconsciousness, the cold metal taste of death slowly seeping into his mouth.
It’s a nightmare, Raz says, that is common among veterans of the Israeli Special Forces.”
Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Navy/Getty Images; John Moore/Getty Images; STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images; MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images; Ohad Romano; MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images