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  • Bound for the Moon: Apollo 11 Preparation in Photos
    Ralph Morse / The Life Picture Collection / Getty Building on years of work with Project Mercury and Project Gemini in the early 1960s, NASA’s Apollo program dedicated itself to putting Americans safely on the lunar surface before 1970, fulfilling a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy. The systems, materials, and techniques necessary to do this were nearly all brand new, and required extensive testing and research before they were sent 240,000 miles away from home. The astronauts were new to this as well, pioneers headed to a new world—literally. The world was fascinated with NASA’s progress as ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-15
  • Democrats Have Found Their Battle Cry
    U.S. presidential elections used to be about which candidate would best lead the free world. Now Democrats are advancing an unprecedented argument in modern American politics: Elect one of them to lead the free world; otherwise, Donald Trump will irreparably unravel it.By cozying up to dictators and casting aside democratic allies abroad, and mimicking strongmen while undermining institutions at home, Trump is making the world safe for autocracy, the 2020 presidential candidates assert. The defining struggle of our time is between the forces of democracy and authoritarianism, they say, and the leader of the land of the free has strayed ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-15
  • Malta’s Fledgling Movement for Abortion Rights
    VALETTA, Malta—Maria Borg stood with five other women outside the prime minister’s office here on a recent day, holding a banner that read: Welcome to Malta, where women and girls are just incubators.The women, part of an abortion-rights collective called Voice for Choice, were welcoming European leaders, including France’s Emmanuel Macron and Spain’s Pedro Sánchez, who were attending a Southern European Union summit. As the women stood in silence under the hot Mediterranean sun for more than two hours, various people stopped by in support—many of them tourists. The demonstration was live-streamed on Facebook and was covered by all the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-14
  • Why New Zealanders Love DIY Coffins
    There are coffins, and then there is the Batesville Z94, better known as the Promethean. This bronze sarcophagus weighs 310 pounds; trimmings include gold-plated hardware, “Rumba Red” velvet upholstery, and a finish so shiny that pallbearers will be able to see their reflections. Price: up to $45,000, depending on the retailer. Remember Aretha Franklin’s golden casket? That was a Promethean.Now imagine a different type of casket: a humble wooden box built alongside a small community of like-minded souls who are choosing to embrace life by preparing for death, board by board. That’s what’s happening at various “coffin clubs” founded in ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-13
  • To Survive in a Wetter World, Raise Ducks, Not Chickens
    DHAKA, Bangladesh—Here at Binni, a slightly run-down restaurant in one of Dhaka’s trendier neighborhoods, beef, chicken, and mutton dishes are slapped down on the table with a mere murmur. But when the waiter brings Hash Bhuna to the table, he announces it to the whole room, laying down the plate and pulling off the ceramic lid with a theatrical hand flick.Coated in a thick layer of spicy sauce, the duck (hash in Bengali) is succulent and dark, and well deserving of its reputation as a traditional South Asian delicacy. Once a special treat reserved for winter, Hash Bhuna is more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-13
  • The Chinese Influence Effort Hiding in Plain Sight
    In centuries past, Prussian, Napoleonic, Nazi, and Allied soldiers all tramped the Strasse des 17. Juni, an east–west boulevard traversing Berlin’s leafy Tiergarten park, over which soars a winged, golden statue of the Roman goddess Victoria.More recently, in the auditorium of the Technische Universität Berlin, which lies along the thoroughfare, a thousand patriotic voices swelled in song for a different rising power: China.“Though I live in a foreign country, I cannot change my Chinese heart,” the mostly doctoral-level science students chorused to images of the Great Wall rolling onstage in a karaoke version of “My Chinese Heart,” a Chinese Communist ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • Photos of the Week: Toxic Beauty, Giant Boots, Twilight Swimming
    Murat Oner Tas / Anadolu Agency / Getty Hot birds in France, the Festival of the Trays in Portugal, kid “muggers” in Washington State, a giant Frida Kahlo in Mexico City, a sea-lion rescue in California, the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, earthquake damage in California, the World Roller Games in Barcelona, a Melania Trump monument in Slovenia, the Women’s World Cup final in France, bull festivals in Spain, and much more. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • Running of the Bulls 2019: The Fiesta de San Fermín
    Susana Vera / Reuters The annual nine-day Fiesta de San Fermín began in Spain this week. The festival, including the famous Running of the Bulls, attracts thousands of visitors to Pamplona every year. The festival kicks off with massive crowds awaiting the chupinazo in Pamplona’s town square, followed by a carnival, fireworks, the Running of the Bulls, and many bullfights. Held since 1591, San Fermín remains a popular, though dangerous and controversial, event. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • The U.S. Is Worried About China’s Investments—This Time in Israel
    U.S. national-security officials have for years warned developing nations about the dangers of allowing Chinese investment in their countries. But now the Defense Department is worried about China’s investments in one of America’s closest allies, Israel. China’s ultimate aim, defense officials fear, is the same as the one it has pursued in Africa, East Asia, and elsewhere: to chip away at America’s influence.For the U.S., a Chinese incursion in Israel, which cooperates with Washington on some of the most sensitive national-security issues—including Iran’s regional activities and the ongoing fight against the Islamic State—is especially concerning.China’s economic campaign is under way ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • Teflon Salvini: Italy’s Untouchable Politician
    ROME—The scoop from BuzzFeed News was a huge one: audio recordings in which a close associate of Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister and the country’s most powerful politician, is heard negotiating a complex energy deal with Russian interlocutors that would route funds to Salvini’s right-wing populist League party ahead of European Parliament elections. “A new Europe has to be close to Russia as before because we want to have our sovereignty,” Salvini’s associate is heard saying.There’s no evidence that the deal, which would have violated Italian campaign-finance law, ever happened. But that’s hardly the point. The audio showed incontrovertible if ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • Joe Biden Remembers When
    If the election of Donald Trump and the rise of populists in Europe have killed off the liberal world order as we knew it, no one told Joe Biden. The former vice president is billing himself as the man who can revive it.Biden will deliver his first major foreign-policy address as a Democratic presidential contender today, and it will underscore a central theme of his campaign: that he can put a broken world—of estranged U.S. allies, emboldened autocrats, and ascendant nationalism—back together again.Previewing the speech in a background briefing with reporters, a senior Biden campaign official insisted that the candidate ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-11
  • Khashoggi’s Killers ‘Must Be Held to Account’
    Last year was the worst on record for violence and abuse toward journalists. Dozens were killed, including Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist allegedly murdered by a Saudi hit squad at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. More than nine months later, Riyadh deflects responsibility for his death: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MbS, continues to represent the country without much consequence, though a UN report said there was “credible evidence” to link him and others to the killing.At a gathering of reporters, activists, and foreign leaders at the Global Conference for Media Freedom, in London, the journalist’s ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-10
  • Trump’s Tweets Take Down Another Career
    No one who has to deal with President Donald Trump can long survive his wrath once he feels he’s been wronged. Rex Tillerson might still be secretary of state had press reports not revealed in October 2017 that he had privately called Trump a “moron.” Five months later, Tillerson was gone (having not jumped at Trump’s proposal that they square off in an IQ test). Jeff Sessions made the fatal error of recusing himself from the Russia investigation. After more than a year of emasculating the attorney general on Twitter, Trump booted Sessions right after the midterm elections.Kim Darroch, the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-10
  • Boris Johnson’s Pivot: Goodbye EU, Hello U.S.
    The British national story goes like this: Here is the country whose empire once spanned the globe, and whose plucky citizens stood up to the Nazis—several years before the United States deigned to get involved in the Second World War.That mythology has been hugely useful to supporters of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Freed from the shackles of the EU, these Brexiteers argue, the country can once again assume its rightful leading role on the world stage.But that argument comes with an asterisk, one that has been exposed by the resignation of Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to Washington. In ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-10
  • The Very British Tradition of ‘Verbal Cartooning’
    LONDON—When Boris Johnson joined a London-based radio program last month to discuss his ongoing bid to be Britain’s next prime minister, he was quizzed 26 times about the origins of a mysteriously timed photograph of him and his partner, Carrie Symonds, the Conservative Party’s former communications chief. Each time, the prime-ministerial hopeful evaded the question with his trademark bumble and bluster. In all, the four-minute exchange was awkward, incessant, and painful to watch. For John Crace, however, it was perfect.“Did he know who had taken the picture?” Crace wrote in his sketch of the interview for The Guardian the following ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-09
  • The Horrors of ICE’s ‘Trans-Pod’
    “I decided to come to the U.S. to save my life,” says Luz, a transgender asylum seeker, in Sylvia Johnson’s short documentary Luz’s Story. In Honduras, Luz was shot multiple times by alleged gang members who targeted her for her trans identity. She barely emerged with her life. As soon as she was released from the hospital, she was transferred to a Honduran prison on charges of defending her identity. Upon her release 10 months later, after being abused in prison, several gang members again threatened her life. Luz entered the United States via an official port of entry ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-09
  • Scenes From the Sydney Surf
    Mark Evans / Getty Recent excellent surf conditions in Sydney, Australia, have brought people out to enjoy some of Sydney’s dozens of beaches and surf spots. Several photographers have been out as well, capturing some of the dazzling light of the low sun on churning water, and some of the amazing encounters and rides experienced by surfers along the New South Wales coast. Gathered here: images from the past few years of the Sydney surf. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-09
  • The Iran Hawks Are Circling
    Lashing out against the Trump administration’s tightening sanctions, Iran is accelerating its steps out of the nuclear deal, breaching another of its limits yesterday and vowing that more will come. In the U.S., congressional hawks are circling, feeling vindicated by Iran’s provocations, and are trying to seize the opportunity to kill the Obama-era nuclear deal once and for all.Last week, the Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Marco Rubio sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to increase U.S. pressure even more on Iran. This was after Iran announced it had gone over a limit on its ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-09
  • Britain Has No Good Options for Its U.S. Ambassador
    Updated at 12:51 p.m. ETWhatever Britain gained from feting President Donald Trump during last month’s state visit, it appears to have swiftly lost: This week, President Trump announced that the U.S. “will no longer deal with” Britain’s ambassador to Washington after a leak to a British newspaper revealed that the envoy, in confidential correspondence to his government dating back to 2017, described the White House as “inept” and “uniquely dysfunctional.”Though Trump stopped short of declaring Sir Kim Darroch persona non grata, his broadside suggests the “special relationship” between the two countries has reached a new low. It also leaves Britain ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-09
  • Britain Is Hoarding a Treasure No One Is Allowed to See
    LONDON—In a storeroom of the British Museum here sits a collection of 11 wood and stone tablets that nobody is allowed to see. They are Christian plaques, or tabots, that represent the Ark of the Covenant, and they belong—though belong in this case is a contested term—to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which believes only its priests should view them.The tabots were seized, along with hundreds of other precious items—processional crosses, gold and silver jewelry, illustrated manuscripts—by the British army in 1868, after it defeated Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II at the battle of Maqdala. There is hardly a clearer case of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-07-08