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  • Built to Separate: Border Barriers Around the World
    Ilya Terentyev / Getty The current debate in the United States about building up and reinforcing the border wall with Mexico may have distinctly American roots, but the problems, and the controversial solutions, are global. Growing numbers of immigrants, terrorist activity, continued drug trafficking, and protracted wars have sparked the construction of temporary and permanent border barriers in many regions worldwide. Our own Uri Friedman wrote in his 2016 article “A World of Walls,” “Of the 51 fortified boundaries built between countries since the end of World War II, around half were constructed between 2000 and 2014.” Below, a look ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-15
  • The Brexit Deal’s Historic Defeat
    LONDON—The likelihood of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal just got a whole lot higher—and Prime Minister Theresa May is largely to blame.On Tuesday, British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against May’s negotiated agreement with the EU, delivering a damaging (albeit foreseeable) blow to her Brexit strategy. The deal, which outlines the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and paves the way for the next phase of negotiations that will decide their future trade relationship, was reached by negotiators late last year. But it still needs to be ratified by both the British and European Parliaments before it can ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-15
  • Hungary’s Workers Are the Victims of a Policy That Limits Migration
    BUDAPEST—Viktor Orbán has found himself in something of a bind: Hungary’s growing economy has given him cover to dismiss his detractors, who rail against his moves to weaken the country’s institutions and his anti-immigrant rhetoric. But that same economic boom, paired with a dearth of workers—both homegrown and from abroad—is counterintuitively uniting a political opposition against him.Orbán has been criticized for what critics say has been his authoritarian dismantling of democratic institutions, as well as for his stance against immigrants. But he has consistently been able to fend off opponents, thanks in large part to Hungary’s economy: The country’s gross ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-14
  • A Theatrical Moscow Trial Draws the Ire of Russia’s Cultural Elite
    MOSCOW—Outside a courtroom here in the Russian capital, dozens of people crowded along a narrow corridor, some wearing T-shirts calling for those on trial to be freed, others clad in hipster and designer outfits. In many ways, the scene at the Meshansky District Court of Moscow was much the same as when human-rights activists or opposition politicians have gone before a judge, facing an almost certain conviction for having challenged the authority of President Vladimir Putin.Except this time, the person on trial is not your typical activist. He is the country’s leading modern theater director, and those outside the courtroom ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-14
  • Donald Trump Stars in a North Korean Reality Show
    Editor’s Note: This article is one of 50 in a series about Trump's first two years as president. When historians in the 22nd century search for the moment when reality television was at its most influential, they may well pinpoint June 12, 2018.That was the day entertainment converged with existential danger, low-budget cinematography with high-stakes diplomacy. Less than a year after threatening to unleash “fire and fury” on the leader he called “Little Rocket Man” (and also “short and fat”)—and just a few months after trading threats with him about the size and potency of their respective “Nuclear Buttons”— Donald ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • The World Isn’t Laughing at Just Trump
    Editor’s Note: This article is one of 50 in a series about Trump's first two years as president. Before The Laugh, there was The Handshake.In May 2017, ahead of a Nato summit in Belgium, President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shook hands—and neither would let go. For six seconds, an eternity in handshaking, the two men gripped hands, each wanting to assert his manual superiority. The handshake quickly became a meme, a gif, even the object of a “handshake tracker” in the British press that analyzed Trump’s handshake style. (“Stage #1: The clasp.” “Stage #2: The yank.” “Stage ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • Putting a Dollar Sign on Jamal Khashoggi’s Life
    Editor’s Note: This article is one of 50 in a series about Trump's first two years as president. It was the year’s most horrifying whodunit. Who murdered and dismembered the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October? The CIA came to the view that the murder couldn’t have happened without an order from the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. MbS, as he is known, vehemently denies any role in killing a critical voice, a U.S. resident whose columns in The Washington Post were read all over the world.President Donald Trump, however, isn’t sure, at least ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • Why the President Praises Dictators
    Editor’s Note: This article is one of 50 in a series about Trump's first two years as president. In February 2016,Donald Trump retweeted a Twitter bot that regularly took quotes from Benito Mussolini and attributed them to Trump. When subsequently asked whether he knew he’d actually been quoting a fascist dictator, the president declined to admit an error. “I know who said it,” he insisted. “But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”[Read: Nine notorious dictators, nine shout-outs from Donald Trump]Trump’s affinity for dictators apparently extends beyond an affection for the putative sayings of deceased authoritarians ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • The Buck Stops Over There
    Editor’s Note: This article is one of 50 in a series about Trump's first two years as president. Donald Trump hadn’t yet served two full weeks in office when the U.S. military suffered the first combat fatality of his administration. William “Ryan” Owens, a 36-year-old father of three, had died in a Special Operations mission in Yemen that Trump personally approved. His reaction: Blame the generals.The moment established Trump as a leader who would fall far short of the buck-stops-here burden-shouldering ideal of presidential tradition. Owens had been part of a SEAL Team 6 raid to gather intelligence, and possibly ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • Want to Cultivate a Liberal European Islam? Look to Bosnia.
    When French President Emmanuel Macron said last summer that he would create a new “framework and rules” for Islamic institutions in France, he was not alone. Other politicians and thinkers have also been involved in a broader effort to find an articulation of the religion that meshes with what they see as European values.What is too little noticed, however, is that a tolerant European Islam has already existed for centuries—on the southeastern part of the continent, where Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Turks, and others see themselves as fully Muslim and fully European. A 2013 Pew Research Center study shows that they’re ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • A Novel Made for the Yellow-Vest Moment
    PARIS—In Michel Houellebecq’s 2015 novel Submission, the narrator converts to Islam after France has elected a Muslim president. The book’s imagined future tapped into (and also questioned) a pervasive fear in some quarters of France that Muslims were taking over. It was hailed by the French right as prescient when it debuted the same day terrorists killed 12 people at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.Now, France’s most provocative novelist has done it again. Houellebecq’s latest novel, Serotonin, came out in the country last week to rave reviews, and was an instant best-seller, capturing a new moment. This time around it ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-13
  • Here’s How Jair Bolsonaro Wants to Transform Brazil
    RIO DE JANEIRO—If you’re shocked by the transformations that Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president, is planning for his country, you haven’t been paying attention.Riding in on a wave of frustration with more than a decade of left-wing leadership, Bolsonaro has promised to bring dramatic change to Brazil, change intended to make leftists squirm. And if his first two weeks in office tell us anything, it’s that those who thought his brash talk—of ending policies creating protected land reserves for indigenous populations or of liberalizing Brazil’s gun laws to make it easier for Brazilians to own guns—was just campaign bluster might ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-12
  • Photos of the Week: Denver Longhorns, Camel Shaving, Hero Pups
    Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Heavy snow across Central Europe, a partial solar eclipse in China, the Procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila, a sheep rescue in Turkey, the 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru, Carnival season in Spain, a Transformer on the streets of Bogota, a frozen harbor in China, the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Christmas fire in Saint Petersburg, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-11
  • Trump Is Rushing the Syria Withdrawal—And That Could Backfire
    After weeks of to-ing and fro-ing about timetables, Donald Trump is keeping his promise—sort of, with adjustments. On Friday, the military announced that it was beginning the process of withdrawing troops from Syria. This a few weeks after the president shocked Washington in December by declaring that he intended to get out, starting “now,” having vowed to do so on the campaign trail more than two years ago.The fallout from that announcement was significant and bipartisan, and helped to spark the resignation of Trump’s widely respected defense secretary, James Mattis. And even as the Defense Department under Mattis’s successor sets ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-11
  • $5 Billion Could Buy a Lot of Border Security
    As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump pledged to reduce illegal immigration from Central America, and since taking office he has paired that vow with professed concerns about not just the flow of asylum seekers into the United States, but the smuggling of drugs and the potential entry of terrorists, too. That, in his telling, is why he wants $5 billion from Congress for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.But what if there were other—better—ways of achieving the president’s goals than spending $5 billion on a wall? Here are a few possibilities.Fix the Asylum SystemThe surge of asylum seekers ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-11
  • In the Middle East, Is Trump the Anti-Obama or Obama 2.0?
    During a visit on Thursday to the nerve center of the Arab world, Mike Pompeo declared that reports of America’s departure from the Middle East under Donald Trump had been greatly exaggerated, and that it was Barack Obama who had abandoned the region—to devastating effect.And yet the irony is that while the conduct of Obama and Trump in the Middle East couldn’t be more different, they’ve in fact ended up engaged in the same struggle: to extract the United States from the Mideast morass.The U.S. secretary of state accused Obama—who 10 years ago in Cairo famously sought “a new beginning” ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-10
  • Der Spiegel Made Up Stories. How Can It Regain Readers’ Trust?
    BERLIN—On the Wednesday before Christmas, Christoph Scheuermann apprehensively called up a 99-year-old former member of the anti-Nazi resistance who had been imprisoned during World War II. The Washington bureau chief of Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, needed to ask her a question no journalist wants to reckon with: Did his colleague, a now-disgraced star reporter, invent an interview with her?“It was the most excruciating call,” Scheuermann told me. “I had to call this heroine in Germany after the war and ask her, you know, do you know this man, have you ever met him?”Spiegel—and the German media world writ ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-09
  • Terrible Lizards: Dinosaur Statues of Questionable Accuracy
    The term dinosaur comes from the ancient Greek root words deinos, or “terrible,” and sauros, or “lizard.” As our understanding of these prehistoric creatures has become more refined over time, attempts to create life-size models of them have, more or less, increased in accuracy and lifelike quality. Of course, many of the thousands of dinosaur statues in the world have been made with an eye more toward entertainment than accuracy. For your viewing enjoyment, a collection of photographs from the past century of large-scale mock dinosaurs, constructed to varying degrees of accuracy and based on what was known at the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-09
  • Scenes From Underground
    Peter Gedei / Barcroft Media via Getty Caves and tunnels have always been part of human life. We’ve grown more adept at shaping these underground shelters and passages over the millennia, and today we dig for hundreds of reasons. We excavate to find both literal and cultural treasures, digging mines and unearthing archaeological discoveries. We use caverns for stable storage, for entertainment, and for effective shelter from natural and man-made disasters. And as the planet’s surface becomes more crowded and national borders are closed, tunnels provide pathways for vehicles and smugglers of every kind. Collected below are more recent subterranean ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-08
  • Photos of the 2019 Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
    Tao Zhang / Getty Every year, in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province, the city of Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which features massive ice and snow sculptures—and attracts more than 1 million visitors. At night, the sculptures are colorfully illuminated and visitors can climb and play on some of the structures. This year, the 35th-annual festival opened on January 5, and will run through the end of February. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-07