08/02/2013 11:40 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2013

Best World Reads Of The Week: July 27 - August 2


Spending our days on the interwebs has its advantages, one being that we come across lots of excellent pieces of journalism. Every week, we'll bring you our favorite online reads that didn't appear on our site. Disagree with the selection? Leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet #bestreads at @HuffPostWorld.

In Afghanistan, Fathers Barter Daughters to Settle Drug Debts
The Atlantic -- Fariba Nawa
When she was 12, Darya and her sister were sold by their father to smugglers he was heavily indebted to. Her future husband, 32 years her elder, already had a wife and eight children. Ten years after Darya's marriage, journalist Fariba Nawa sets out on a journey to find the young woman.

The Serial Killer Has Second Thoughts: The Confessions of Thomas Quick
GQ -- Chris Heath
Swedish prosecutors announced Wednesday they were forced to drop the last remaining charges against Sture Bergwall, a man once known as Sweden's worst serial killer. Bergwall confessed to numerous gruesome killings, but later retracted his statements. Take a look at GQ's fascinating profile of the Swede.

Stone Wars
Guernica -- Mohamed Juneid
"The first tear gas shells started landing on the protesters a few minutes after the slogans began. A few enterprising young boys had brought big, wet jute bags with them, and instantly placed them over the shells spurting noxious gas. One boy even managed to catch a couple straight into his bag. Everyone clapped and whistled. This was an old game. Both sides were good at it. In the distance, a couple of armored cars appeared on the scene and started driving quickly toward the crowd, which just as quickly splintered into the alleys. As the lead car reached where the protesters had been, a spatter of stones greeted it. The car stood there as if stupefied, unable to move, unsure of its purpose. No one came out of it. The intensity of stones increased. The car retreated. The stone warriors returned in triumphant joy. They had won the first round. "

13th-Century Alleyways And A Modern Plague Of Illegal Renovations
The New York Times -- Sue-Lin Wong
In Beijing, large-scale commercial projects are rapidly replacing ancient courtyard houses. The result? "A shoddy mess of concrete, plastic awnings and tarpaulins, with an extra few floors or an extension going up in a day or two of surreptitious construction."

Mugabe Holds On, Zimbabwe Loses
The New Yorker -- Jon Lee Anderson
Zimbabwe's long-time ruler Robert Mugabe seems determined to die in office. Jon Lee Anderson explains how the strongman has been able to cling to power, and why his "reelection" is far from good news for the country's impoverished citizens.