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  • Photos of the Week: Metal Bull, First Snow, Raging Wildfires
    Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty A fireworks festival in Burma, a rocket launch in India, political turmoil in Sri Lanka, early Christmas decorations, Central American immigrants trek north through Mexico, observations of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, starlings over Rome, an Allosaurus in Paris, wintry scenes in northern China, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-16
  • Dizzying Heights: Vertical Tourism in China
    - / AFP / Getty In recent years, Chinese developers have opened a series of new tourist attractions in some very lofty places. Glass-bottomed bridges span deep canyons, narrow walkways cling to sheer cliffs, observation decks and “skywalks” top skyscrapers, and massive platforms cantilever out into thin air—all designed to entice the slightly adventurous traveler. Collected below, images of a few of these mountainside and urban destinations. A warning to any readers with a fear of heights: Some of these photos are a bit dizzying. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-15
  • What Turkey Stands to Gain From the Khashoggi Investigation
    Saudi authorities said Thursday that they charged 11 people in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Five of the 11 were charged with murder. Turkey’s response? It’s not enough.The journalist’s killing has cast Turkey, which under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stifled dissent, in an unusual role—that of a defender of human rights and a free press. So what does Turkey hope to get out of this? Two main things: the undermining of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and an end to the Riyadh-led blockade of Qatar.Since Khashoggi disappeared last month, Erdoğan has put on a masterful performance: ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-15
  • It Took 17 Years to Catch the Unabomber, but 5 Days to Find Cesar Sayoc
    The man law enforcement believes briefly terrorized the country with a series of mail bombs appeared in court on Thursday, pleading not guilty to a 30-count indictment including charges of mailing weapons of mass destruction. What he’s accused of was perhaps the largest attempted mass political assassination through the mail since anarchists mailed more than 30 bombs to public figures in 1919.What it wasn’t, however, was sophisticated. None of the bombs actually went off; more than one were incorrectly addressed; the packages were nearly identical, with the word “Florida” conspicuously misspelled as “Florids” on all of them. The Justice Department ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-15
  • Brexit Crisis. Theresa May in Trouble. Rinse. Repeat.
    Less than 24 hours after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet backed the text of her provisional Brexit deal, the walkouts began. On Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab submitted his resignation, noting he could not “in good conscience” support the government’s Brexit deal. Through the course of the day, six others followed.The string of departures from May’s cabinet reaffirm what is already widely known: Her negotiated deal is deeply unpopular among lawmakers both within and outside her ruling Conservative party. Even with her cabinet’s approval, the likelihood of the agreement gaining enough support in Parliament seemed uncertain. Now, it ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-15
  • The Ubiquity of Smartphones, as Captured by Photographers
    Charles Platiau / Reuters According to reports issued by several market-research firms, including Forrester Research, the total number of smartphone users worldwide will reach 3 billion this year—40 percent of the human population. For many, these versatile handheld devices have become indispensable tools, providing connections to loved ones, entertainment, business applications, shopping opportunities, windows into the greater world of social media, news, history, education, and more. And of course, they can always be put to use for a quick selfie. With so many devices in so many hands now, the visual landscape has changed greatly, making it a rare event ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-14
  • Britain Is Rushing to Seal a Brexit Deal Few Support
    LONDON—With less than 140 days left before Britain leaves the European Union, negotiators have reached a provisional Brexit deal. The agreement, which was backed by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet on Wednesday, marks a breakthrough in often fractious talks, and could offer businesses, officials, and private citizens a sorely-needed roadmap on what life looks like for Britain outside the EU.There is still one major hurdle for May to overcome, though: Will it pass muster with parliament? No one—not least the prime minister herself—appears certain of the answer. And if it doesn’t, what then was the point of her government ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-14
  • Why Young Pakistanis Are Learning Chinese
    GILGIT, Pakistan—On a July morning, Saqlain Abbas, 26 years old, stood before rows of students, Mandarin textbook in hand, while a Pakistani soldier sat silently at the back of the classroom with a gun at his side. Hanging on the wall was a collection of idyllic Chinese landscapes—the reddish-orange mountains of Gansu, the placid waters of a lake in Xinjiang. Here, at Karakoram International University, in a remote, rugged terrain that is still contested territory between India and Pakistan, the Pakistani military has been sponsoring free Mandarin courses for indigent students.“Previously, students were more inclined toward English,” Muhammad Ilyas, the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-14
  • The 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest
    Todd Kennedy National Geographic magazine’s annual photo contest is still open for entries for just a couple more days, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 15. The grand-prize winner this year will receive $5,000—all winners will be announced in December. The folks at National Geographic were once again kind enough to let me choose among the contest entries so far and share them here with you. Captions are written by the individual photographers and lightly edited for content. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-13
  • Trump’s Bromance With Macron Fizzles Spectacularly
    PARIS—The ceremony was planned long in advance. A chance for French President Emmanuel Macron to welcome world leaders to mark the centenary of the armistice that ended the hostilities of World War I. A way to decry nationalism and reinforce his deep commitment to multilateralism, and to a European Union born out of past conflicts.Then President Donald Trump came to town.Since his arrival late Friday night, Trump’s every action has seemed emblematic of the unilateralism he has made the hallmark of his administration. And of the whiplash he tends to inflict on his hosts. First, Trump tweeted a direct attack ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-11
  • Trump’s Evangelical Advisers Hear from the Saudi Crown Prince on Khashoggi
    A delegation of American evangelical Christians met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week in Riyadh. The group included some of President Trump’s top evangelical advisers, though they weren’t there in any official capacity. They’d come to talk about religious freedom with the young, self-styled reformer. But they found the trip overshadowed by the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The kingdom has acknowledged responsibility for the murder. The crown prince, known as MbS, says he did not authorize it. While the delegation knew it would be controversial to visit him in the wake of the crisis, they decided ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-09
  • Photos of the Week: Midterm Elections, Flaming Barrels, Diwali Lanterns
    Eric Miller / Reuters A visit to the Swiss Museum of Transport, NATO soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan, a giant’s house in Russia, new advances in powered exoskeleton technology, Californians mourn the victims of a mass shooting as they brace for destructive wildfires, autumn colors pass their peak in the North, Victoria’s Secret holds a fashion show in New York City, Bonfire Night across England, observing the centenary of the end of World War I, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-09
  • House Democrats Want to Investigate Trump’s Foreign Policy
    Donald Trump’s closing message ahead of the midterm elections was that voters faced a choice between imminent national catastrophe and salvation—with the United States besieged by unauthorized immigrants, shadowy terrorists, and predatory trade practices that he alone could repel.And the president, who enjoys wide latitude in foreign affairs and a Republican-controlled Senate, may largely be able to press ahead with his fiercely nationalist agenda even though voters responded by granting Democrats control of the House of Representatives.Some of Trump’s top foreign-policy initiatives—new trade deals, a potential peace treaty with North Korea, his proposed border wall,  Space Force, and a nuclear-weapons ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-09
  • Blue-Wave Photos
    Gregory Boissy / AFP / Getty I’ve been hearing a lot about a “blue wave” in the news lately, so it occurred to me that I should do my best to cover this tidal force with news photos. The images below capture some spectacular rides and wipeouts, as people try their hardest to navigate these massive waves and avoid washing out. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-08
  • An American Accused of Joining ISIS Is Free, and a Bigger Story Is Beginning
    A 13-month legal saga ended quietly last week when an American citizen accused of joining ISIS went free. For more than a year, the U.S. military had held him in Iraq without charging him. At one point, the government offered to release him somewhere in Syria with a cellphone and a few thousand dollars, an outcome his lawyers said would amount to a death sentence. In the end, he was transferred to a third country and let go.One case, then, is settled. The larger questions underlying it—the same ones three successive presidents have failed to resolve—are very much not. What, ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-08
  • Trump Repeatedly Threatens Retaliation Against Russia Investigators
    The day after Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives, Donald Trump threatened retaliation against lawmakers who “waste Taxpayer Money” by scrutinizing him and his administration, and boasted of his power to end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Then, late on Wednesday, he announced the resignation of the man at the helm of the department responsible for the Mueller probe: Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Representative Adam Schiff, one of the top Democrats preparing to investigate the president, had a response at the ready. On Wednesday, he tweeted: “We will protect ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-07
  • Trump Repeatedly Claims Not to Understand Certain Accents
    There is by now a familiar pattern to President Donald Trump’s news conferences: He loudly proclaims his victories and deal-making prowess; dismisses reporters he believes are unfair to him; and rails against policies he doesn’t like. And so it was on Tuesday—with an addition: The president had trouble understanding anyone with a foreign accent.  Taken in isolation, the exchanges at Tuesday’s presidential news conference could be understandable. The news conference was, at times, boisterous, with reporters shouting questions out of turn, which could of course have made it difficult for the president to focus. Or perhaps he simply has difficulty ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-07
  • Preparing for the Centenary of the End of World War I
    Matt Dunham / AP This Sunday, November 11, 2018, will mark the passing of 100 years since the end of World War I—the “war to end all wars.” In 1918, on “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in a forest near the French city of Compiègne, French, British, and German leaders met and signed an armistice that officially ended a horrific conflict that claimed the lives of more than 16 million people over four years. Earlier this month, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, inaugurated a series of commemorations of the centenary, combining messages of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-07
  • Europeans Are Obsessed With the U.S. Midterms
    “The very character of our nation is on the ballot on Tuesday,” Joe Biden, the former vice president, said in his final pitch to voters Monday ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. “The rest of the world is looking.”And the rest of the world is looking. Though the midterms are usually shrugged off by international audiences, who tend to focus more on U.S. presidential contests, this year is different. For those watching abroad, the midterms are as much about the presidency itself as they are about the statewide races that will determine the makeup of the next U.S. Congress. “Many ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-06
  • The Surprising Good News About Voting Security
    The hacking attempts haven’t slowed. The disinformation campaigns are ongoing. And the warning lights have been “blinking red” for a potential foreign operation aimed at disrupting the U.S. 2018 midterm elections, according to the country’s top intelligence official.But if there is anything positive to take away from Russia’s election interference in 2016, it’s this: America’s election infrastructure has never been more carefully monitored in the days, weeks, and months leading up to a nationwide vote—and voters themselves are more wary than ever of foreign propaganda masked as a political ad or Twitter troll.That heightened awareness is a key takeaway from ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-11-06