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Good Reads: Qaddafi's African mercenaries, Tripoli's water, and Mexican gangs

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Francois Mori/AP

(Read caption) A man, suspected of being a mercenary for Muammar Qaddafi, is held in a district sports center next to the medina, set up as a jail in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug. 30.

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Good journalism is dead. We know this because good journalists tell us this every day, in well-written, well-researched, logical, persuasive stories about the dying news industry. We trust these articles, because they are published by reputable news organizations that still care about things like fact-checking and penetrating questions and deep analysis.

All of which proves that good journalism is not, in fact, dead. (Terribly undervalued, maybe.… Not that I’m complaining.)

Today’s collection of Good Reads is a reminder that good journalism goes beyond mere information – that pesky little crawl of type at the bottom of the TV screen – into a satisfying exploration of an issue that gives readers a new way to think about issues that affect their lives.

Timbuktu and mercenaries

In the fabled city of Timbuktu (see map), where the deserts of the Sahara meet up with the mighty Niger River, The Atlantic’s reporter on the ground, Peter Gwin, meets up with Tuareg mercenaries who fought to defend ousted Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Qaddafi from his own people.

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