THE ATLANTIC

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The Atlantic

  • The Slow Death of the Iran Nuclear Deal
    The 2015 Iran deal is dying—not with a bang, but with a series of whimpers. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement featured at its center a simple bargain: Iran would agree to verifiable limits on its civil nuclear program given past concerns about nuclear weaponization; in exchange, Tehran would receive economic relief from sanctions related to its nuclear activities. The agreement lasted in that form until last year, when the Trump administration announced that the United States would stop complying with its commitments under the agreement and reimpose sanctions on both Iran and, eventually, those who ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-08
  • The Flash Point Between America and Iran Could Be Iraq’s Militias
    All the Americans could do was shake their heads as a Shiite militia flag waved above their base.The troops from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division were still getting used to living alongside an old enemy. It was the fall of 2016, the start of a U.S.-backed offensive to retake the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. Some Americans who’d come to aid the effort had also fought in the Iraq War, when the U.S. military suffered hundreds of deaths in battles with Shiite militia groups. Five years after that war ended, they found themselves at an airfield south of Mosul, ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-08
  • Scenes From the 2019 Venice Biennale
    Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty The 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, held in locations throughout Venice, Italy, will open to the public on May 11. This year’s exhibition is titled “May You Live in Interesting Times,” and will remain open until November 24. Gathered here are a few images of artwork and installations created by artists from around the world. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-08
  • A U.S. Ally Is Turning to China to ‘Build, Build, Build’
    CLARK, Philippines—Vince Dizon makes sure his guests take in the view from his ninth-story office before they leave. A set of windows looks out over a hazy, expansive airfield that was the center of the United States’ largest overseas military base, until it was handed back to the Philippines in 1991.The concrete skeleton of a new commercial-airline terminal can now be seen in the distance. Dizon, who leads the Philippine government agency charged with redeveloping old military sites, is fond of telling visitors that the Americans built a runway of such quality that the U.S. Space Shuttle could have landed ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-07
  • A False Dawn for Journalists in Southeast Asia
    When the Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were freed Tuesday after more than a year in Myanmar’s Insein prison, it was heralded as a victory for press freedom. The Pulitzer Prize–winning reporters, who were jailed in December 2017 for their reporting on the country’s crackdown of its Rohingya minority, were among thousands of prisoners released by the Myanmar government as part of a traditional mass amnesty to mark the start of the Buddhist New Year.Their release was met with “relief” by the Committee to Protect Journalists, praised as “good news” by the United Nations, and dubbed an ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-07
  • The U.S.-China Trade Talks Have Already Changed the World
    Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, is no one’s idea of an optimist. He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been leading trade talks with China for the past several months, and Lighthizer has been careful to point out there’s no guarantee of success. “If there’s a great deal to be gotten, we’ll get it —if not, we’ll find another plan,” Lighthizer told NPR recently. That’s a lot of ifs for the most important economic relationship in the world.Pessimism won the day on Monday, when Lighthizer and Mnuchin announced that the U.S. would execute President Donald Trump’s recent threat to ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-07
  • The Far Right Wants to Gut the EU, Not Kill It
    BERLIN—Ahead of this month’s European Parliament elections, the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been advocating leaving the euro zone and even, potentially, the European Union entirely.A few years ago, the party membership’s decision to include a so-called Dexit in its 2019 platform—dependent, they say, on whether or not the EU accedes to its demands for significant reforms, including dissolving the European Parliament—would hardly have been notable. After all, the AfD was founded in 2013 as an anti-euro movement, and its counterparts across Europe rose to new electoral heights in part by portraying themselves as the bloc’s chief ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-06
  • The Many Ways Iran Could Target the United States
    “The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a Sunday-night statement announcing that U.S. warships were headed to the Middle East. But “any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”In the year since President Donald Trump left the Iran nuclear deal, his administration has steadily ratcheted up economic pressure against the Iranian regime, deploying an unprecedented number of sanctions to throttle its oil exports and punish its support for regional proxies. With Sunday’s announcement, though, Bolton invoked unspecified Iranian threats to ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-06
  • Winners of the 2019 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition
    Daniel Dietrich / BigPicture Photography Competition Entrants in this year’s contest were invited to submit images that showcase Earth’s biodiversity and show some of the mounting threats to the natural world. These images originally appeared on bioGraphic, an online magazine about science and sustainability and the official media sponsor for the California Academy of Sciences’ BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition.  The organizers were kind enough to share some of the winners and finalists here, selected from nearly 6,500 entries. The captions were written by the bioGraphic editorial staff, and lightly edited for style. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-06
  • A New Royal Baby Offers Brits a Welcome Reprieve
    With Brexit (briefly) on hold, Britons finally have the chance to focus on other important things: Climate change. Local elections. The upcoming state visit of President Donald Trump.But perhaps no topic has generated more interest—or gossip—than the arrival of the newest member of the British royal family. Prince Harry announced Monday that he was “absolutely thrilled” that his wife had given birth to a baby boy.If ever a distraction from Brexit was needed, this is it.The long-anticipated birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby was subject to intense tabloid and public scrutiny—fueled, in part, by the atypical secrecy surrounding ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-06
  • A Look Inside the School Professionalizing India’s Nationalists
    The reporting for this article was supported by The Masthead, The Atlantic’s membership program. Learn more.MUMBAI—Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is on a mission that is at once impossibly simple and yet somehow insurmountable: He is training Indian politicians to be competent.Not just any politicians, mind you—Hindu nationalist politicians.Sahasrabuddhe, a senior official in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, has for years been admitting election hopefuls to his Indian Institute of Democratic Leadership, teaching them to deliver speeches, debate while staying on message, and promote good governance, all to show them how to work the system and, ultimately, master it. In essence, ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-04
  • Photos of the Week: German Asparagus, Traffic Zebras, Enormous Bear
    Lee Jin-man / AP The Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali, pet rescue in flooded Quebec, sea lion rescue in California, memorials to a synagogue shooting in California, conflict in Libya, the NRA Fashion and Firearms show in Indiana, a giant “spider” in New York, May Day protests in Europe, an attempted uprising in Venezuela, a tornado in Romania, rusty locomotives in Lebanon, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-03
  • A Boom Time for U.S. Sanctions
    The United States, as of this writing, has 7,967 sanctions in place.Treasury Department data show them in many sizes. There are sanctions on individual people, like the Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman; on companies, like Cubacancun Cigars and Gift Shops; and even on entire governments or their branches, like on Iran and its main security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.There may even be sanctions ahead for some U.S. allies, who are facing a deadline to stop importing Iranian oil or get hit in the administration’s economic-pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.American policymakers have reached for the tool ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-03
  • ‘There Is Not Enough Land Here’
    ZOLANI, South Africa—On the outskirts of this overcrowded township in South Africa’s Cape Winelands, Phumlani Zota, a 32-year-old pig farmer, sifted through piles of waste in a refuse dump beneath the Langeberg mountains, filling a burlap sack with scraps of food for his livestock. “There is not enough land here,” he told me.Yet on all sides, the impoverished settlement was hemmed in by great tracts of white-owned farmland, neat rows of fruit trees and grapevines punctuated by ornate Cape Dutch architecture.The disjuncture is jarring, but mirrored all over South Africa. During apartheid, Zolani was designated a “blacks only” area by ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-02
  • 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest
    © David Odisho / National Geographic Travel Photo Contest This year’s National Geographic Travel Photo Contest is still under way, with entries being accepted for just one more day—the competition closes at noon ET on May 3. The grand-prize winner will be awarded $7,500. National Geographic was once again kind enough to allow me to share some of this year’s entries with you, gathered from three categories: Nature, Cities, and People. The photos and captions were written by the photographers and lightly edited for style. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-02
  • How the (Once) Most Corrupt Country in the World Got Clean(er)
    JAKARTA, Indonesia—Political corruption is a fact of life in many countries, and it can be fiendishly difficult to control. The worst offenders, almost by definition, are some of the most powerful figures in their community. Many of the police officers, prosecutors, and judges who might hold them in check owe their job to the very same individuals. It’s a thorny problem, even for countries with well-developed public institutions.So what does an anti-corruption drive look like when virtually everybody’s on the take?For decades in Indonesia, the corruption was like the humidity: always there. In Transparency International’s initial ranking, in 1995, of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-01
  • Pay Attention to What the U.S. Is Doing to Iran
    Iran is one of the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world. The United States will on Thursday go one severe step further toward strangling the country’s oil-dependent economy. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal a year ago—having called it “horrible,” “disastrous,” “incompetently negotiated,” and “laughable” at various points.  Ever since, the administration has vowed to drive Iran’s oil exports, which earlier this month were about a million barrels a day, to zero. In pursuit of that goal, U.S. officials have threatened that those still importing Iranian oil after Thursday will face potential sanctions of their own.Here ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-01
  • Photos: The Worshippers of the Valley of the Dawn
    Carl De Souza / AFP / Getty Every year on May 1, members of the Vale do Amanhecer spiritual community in Brazil gather for their biggest ceremony of the year, the Day of the Spiritual Indoctrinator. The religion known as Vale do Amanhecer (or Valley of the Dawn, or, officially, Social Works of the Christian Spiritualist Order) was founded in 1959 by a charismatic woman known as Tia Neiva. Neiva had been working as a truck driver in Brasilia when she began to experience visions of spirits and extraterrestrial beings that she said imparted lessons to her. The spiritual group ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-01
  • How an Elaborate Plan to Topple Venezuela’s President Went Wrong
    In the effort to topple Nicolás Maduro, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States once told me, the military men propping up Venezuela’s authoritarian president are like chess pieces.If they defect from the regime, “you lose that chess piece,” Francisco Santos explained. “They work better from the inside.”As Tuesday, April 30, began, the United States and its allies thought they finally had checkmate, after months of building up the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president and recruiting more than 50 nations to their cause.By the end of the day, the board had been flipped upside down, pieces were scattered ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-05-01
  • Photos: The Royal Life of Emperor Akihito
    Kyodo / Reuters After a nearly 30-year reign, Japan’s Emperor Akihito stepped down today in an abdication ceremony in Tokyo. The 85-year-old monarch is passing the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, after acknowledging that his age and poor health were making it difficult for him to fulfill his duties. Akihito was Japan’s 125th emperor, part of a line of succession that some have traced back more than 2,500 years. Below, a collection of images of Akihito and his wife, Michiko, through the years, first as prince and princess, then emperor and empress of Japan. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-04-30