A man collects desert truffles south of Samawah, Iraq.Mohammed Ameen / Reuters

The World Looks Away As Blood Flows in Burundi
Emma Graham-Harrison | The Guardian
“‘I want to forget everything about Burundi, even our names,’ said another young man, who has collapsed at a refugee registration post after carrying his 16-year-old sister, pregnant after rape, across a river to safety. They left behind the grave of another sister, killed last year by a government bullet.”

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The Assad Files
Ben Taub | The New Yorker
“One day in October, 2011, while Bill Wiley was visiting a Libyan exile in Niger, he received a phone call from a friend, relaying a request from the British government: as the crisis in Syria spiralled into civil war, it was looking for someone to train activists to document human-rights violations. Wiley told the caller that plenty of groups were already cataloguing the abuses. But he had a counter-proposal: he could train Syrians to collect the type of evidence that would better serve a prosecution, tracing criminal culpability up as high as it went. It was a novel approach—instead of raising awareness of crimes, he intended to pin them on state actors, whether or not the international community sanctioned the investigation. The British government approved of the idea.”

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The Murky World of the Ancient Artifact Market
Konstantin von Hammerstein | Der Spiegel
“At some point, Leonardo Patterson stopped counting. He no longer knows how often they turned up at his Munich apartment: customs agents, tax officials and investigators with the state criminal police office. They became familiar with every nook and cranny of his two-room apartment in a residential tower just northeast of the city center: the small stone altar with the gold cross and prayer books; the dark oil painting above his bed, portraying a bare Jesus being flagellated by two men; the keepsake photo with the pope; the Mayan heads on his desk.”

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Hunting for Truffles in Iraq
Campbell MacDiarmid | Roads and Kingdoms
“It’s early March, and a bath-warm breeze blows across the countryside east of Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city of one million people in northern Iraq. Men roam the hillsides in a meandering fashion, strolling slowly and changing course often in response to unseen signals. They walk pensively, arms clasped behind their backs, holding narrow trowels or long screwdrivers. They contemplate the ground, studying its nuances. Hidden next to low shrubs, covered by grass clumps or nearly obscured by the impressions of goat hooves, they seek the faint mound and tell-tale crack that reveals a desert truffle pushing its way to the surface.”

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What Does “Nuclear Terrorism” Really Mean?
Elisabeth Eaves | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
“Here is what nuclear terrorism most likely won’t look like: A self-styled Islamic State caliph successfully launching a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead at Washington, incinerating millions of people in a giant mushroom cloud. There are so many technical, financial, military, and logistical barriers that it would be extremely unlikely that even the most dogged, nuclear-obsessed extremist group could make that happen.”

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North Korean Ships With Corpses on Board Have Been Washing Ashore in Japan
Jonathan Kaiman | Los Angeles Times
“Shizuo Kakutani sees no great mystery in the things that wash ashore in Monzen, his quiet fishing village on the Sea of Japan — the fishing boats ravaged by fierce winter storms, the Chinese garbage carried to land by the strong winds, the occasional body that drifts in from Yaseno, the nearby cliffs notorious for suicides. The ghost ships, however, are harder to explain.”

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