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.
Portrait Of An Afghan Assassin
Mother Jones -- Matthieu Aikins
The seven Marines had 40 hours left before the end of their deployment in Southern Afghanistan when they hit a makeshift gym in a corner of their base. After four months of training police at the Garmsir headquarters of the Afghan National Police, they were thoroughly sick of the work. But during the workout, no one noticed when Aynuddin, the 17-year-old assistant of the police chief, approached the weights, carrying an AK-47. He opened fire, killing two of the Marines. The assault was just one of dozens of so-called insider attacks, where Afghan soldiers or policemen target U.S. and NATO colleagues. The number of attacks has spiked, up from six in 2007 and 2008 combined to 48 in 2012.
"The story seeks to illuminate this phenomenon that came out of the blue last year,"reporter Matthieu Aikins told HuffPostLive on Tuesday. "The story basically tries to follow these sad histories and the way that two young man were brought together in a circumstance where one ends up killing the other... It's a detailed and tragic portrait of how absurd some of the violence is."
The Death Of The Urdu Script
Medium.com -- Ali Eteraz
Are computers and the internet killing the South-Asian language Urdu? Sort of. Urdu is a spoken by 100 million to 125 million people, mainly in Pakistan and India, and it is written in a script called Nastaliq. Urdu has a rich vocabulary, but Nataliq is notoriously difficult to code or typeset. Because of this, media outlets have mainly use Naskh, a script derived from Arabic, to transcribe texts in Urdu. Speakers have taken to Naskh or Roman letters for text messages, Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
"Utility has defeated tradition," Eteraz writes. But there is hope: Windows 8 operating system is supposed to have the first available Unicode font to support Nastaliq.
FSB: Vladimir Putin's Immensely Powerful Modern-Day KGB
The Guardian -- Shaun Walker
On Sept. 18, members of Russia's Coast Guard descended on a Greenpeace International ship in the Arctic Ocean carrying activists who had been protesting near an offshore oil rig owned by the world's largest natural gas extractor, Gazprom. According to The New York Times, the armed security forces fired several warning shots before boarding the vessel from a helicopter. Border patrol agents involved in the raid belonged to the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Service and the successor of the infamous KGB.
For the Guardian, Walker details the power of Russia's modern security agency, writing "that combining the functions of an elite police force with those of a spy agency, and wielding immense power, it has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was on the brink of imploding." Headquartered in the main building of the former KGB, the agency employs an unknown number of people -- though experts put the number at at least 200,000.
The Unluckiest People On Earth
Laura Dean -- The New Republic
Just days after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's new administration dramatically shifted policy. Once Cairo welcoming toward victims of the conflict in Syria, Egyptian officials turned back a planeload of refugees on July 15 at Cairo's airport. Syrians were ordered to obtain visas to stay in Egypt, and refugee children's opportunities to attend school became limited.
The consequences for the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in the Egypt have been devastating. For the more than 8,700 Syrians who settled in the Egyptian town of Damietta since the start of the war, life changed in a day.
"Now being Syrian is like being Israeli," one of the refugees in Damietta says. "Before, Egyptians used to say Syrians were the bravest people," another Syrian said. "Now they say, 'You are liars.'"
The Mass Escape Of Jews From Nazi-Occupied Denmark
BBC -- Ellen Otzen
"We were afraid. My five-year-old brother had no idea what was going on," Bent Melchior told the BBC.
Melchior is one of 7,000 Jews who fled Denmark on Oct. 1st, 1943, after word spread that the Gestapo was planning a raid to send them to concentration camps. Almost the entire Danish Jewish population managed to flee in time. Melchior was just 14 years old. "We were gathered in this boat that was supposed to carry herrings, but instead it was now carrying human beings," he said, recounting details from that fateful night. "If it was dangerous to be out at sea it night, it was even more dangerous in daylight. We could hear German planes overhead. If they had seen us, the Gestapo would have captured us."
After 18 hours at sea, the boat carrying Melchior and his family reached Sweden, where a 6-year-old boy, Per-Arne Persson, spotted them from the beach.