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  • The Case of an American Pastor Caught in a Geopolitical Fight
    After two years in Turkish custody, American Pastor Andrew Brunson was released following a hearing on Friday. A judge lifted the travel ban against Brunson, freeing him from two months of house arrest. Prior to that, he had served more than 22 months in jail on terrorism and espionage-related charges in connection with failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. He has denied all the charges. Following Friday’s hearing, he boarded a plane bound for Germany en route to the United States.Brunson’s case had become a major point of contention between U.S. and Turkish officials, as observers deemed ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-13
  • Photos of the Week: Sea Monsters, Hawaiian Sunrise, Cosmodrome Camels
    U.S. National Park Service / Reuters A seal pup in Wales, a luxury hotel in a quarry pit in Shanghai, horse racing in Cambodia, space-suit testing in a cave on a tropical island, dancers in Tanzania,  damage from Hurricane Michael in Florida, human towers in Catalonia, Swiss fighter aircraft in the Alps, and much more. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • A Russian Mail-Order Bride and a Jaw-Dropping Twist
    “The first time you hear this story, your jaw is on the floor,” said Nathan Miller in a recent interview with The Atlantic. “You just can’t believe it.” Miller is referring to a true story—his co-director Wes Hurley’s life story, to be exact. It comes to vivid and uproarious life in their short documentary, Little Potato. Told through artful film projections and interviews with Hurley and his mother, Elena, the film chronicles Hurley’s stranger-than-fiction experience emigrating to America from Soviet Union Russia. “There's a twist at the end that I don't want to give away,” said Hurley, “but when ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • The End of American Lip Service to Human Rights
    As the consensus grows that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there’s been a growing backlash to the regime in Riyadh.High-profile luminaries and media and business sponsors are bailing on Saudi initiatives and on a major upcoming investment conference in Riyadh. Thomas Friedman, who wrote a gushing endorsement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year, walked it back, a bit. Even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, no friend of press freedom or civil society, is pressing the kingdom.[Read: The growing crisis over a Saudi journalist’s disappearance]Yet the U.S. government remains markedly ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • How Saudi Media Is Addressing Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance
    Here’s what we know for sure: On October 2, Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork necessary to get married. He hasn’t been seen since then.Since that day, leaks from Turkish officials have painted a grim picture of what happened to the Saudi journalist and dissident: On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Turkish authorities possess audio and video recordings that show a Saudi security team interrogating, torturing, and ultimately killing Khashoggi inside the consulate.The Khashoggi case has become a cause célèbre for human-rights and free-press advocates, as well as critics of Saudi Arabia. And it’s ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • The ‘Silent Majority’ Fighting Germany’s Far Right
    BERLIN—In early September, as the sun set on one of this city’s final summer evenings, dozens of activists gathered at a bar in the lively Kreuzberg neighborhood to devise a plan to try to save their country from the far right. Much of the discussion concerned the details of a march taking place tomorrow in Berlin that they hoped would help reinvigorate the open-society values they felt defined their country.Plans for the demonstration were well underway before the stabbing death in late August of a 35-year-old German citizen, allegedly by immigrants, in the eastern city of Chemnitz. After the incident, ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal Takes Down a Cardinal
    On Friday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the head of the Archdiocese of Washington. Wuerl submitted his letter of resignation three years ago, when he turned 75, as is customary for bishops. But in September, Wuerl traveled to Rome to urge the pope to finally accept it because of growing accusations over his role in handling sexual-abuse allegations in the Church.It’s the first major American resignation to result from this round of the Church’s sex-abuse crisis. In certain ways, it is a hollow result: Wuerl was already in line to resign, and other, younger Church leaders ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • What Óscar Romero’s Canonization Says About Pope Francis
    “I implore you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God: stop the repression!”When the archbishop denounced the military government for its campaign of violence against its opponents—and called on soldiers carrying out the violence to disobey orders—some men in the military decided that it was time to kill him. El Salvador was on the brink of civil war—it was March of 1980—and the archbishop had made his plea in a Sunday homily broadcast nationwide on the radio. He was asking for trouble; he deserved to be killed. The killing itself was easy. The next day’s newspaper ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • The Dangers of a Neo-Nazi Woodstock
    APOLDA, GERMANY—On a recent sunny October afternoon, in a verdant field in central Germany, a vast stage stood beside a cluster of tents, concession stands, and porta-potties awaiting the arrival of some 5,000 attendees. It could have been the site of a music festival practically anywhere in Europe. But this was Rock Gegen Überfremdung, or, roughly, “Rock Against Foreign Inundation,” a sort of Woodstock for neo-Nazis, billed as one of the largest festivals held by Europe’s resurgent far right. Walking past the site, I could see the white memorial tower of the Buchenwald concentration camp gleaming from a hilltop in ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-12
  • Ukraine’s Spiritual Split From Russia Could Trigger a Global Schism
    “This is a victory of good over evil, light over darkness.” That’s how Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the announcement Thursday that the Orthodox Church’s Istanbul-based leader, Patriarch Bartholomew, will grant Ukraine’s Church independence from Russia.In televised remarks, Ukraine’s president dubbed this a “historic event,” which it undoubtedly is: For more than three centuries, Ukraine and Russia have been religiously united within the Russian Orthodox Church. It was a union Poroshenko characterized this summer as a “direct threat to the national security of Ukraine,” given his view that the Russian Orthodox Church fully supports Kremlin policy; he said then that ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • Congress Is Forcing a Confrontation With Saudi Arabia
    On October 2, Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known critic of the government of Saudi Arabia, walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork he needed to get married. He never walked out. Since then, Washington’s foreign-policy establishment has begun turning against Mohammed bin Salman, the brash, ambitious crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Within days, Turkish officials leaked details of Khashoggi’s alleged grisly murder by a team of 15 Saudi operatives. The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a columnist, reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had collected intercepts of Saudi officials discussing a plan, approved by bin Salman, to lure the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • Photographing the Microscopic: Winners of Nikon Small World 2018
    Nikon just announced the winners of the 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition, and it’s shared some of the winning and honored images with us. The contest invites photographers and scientists to submit images of all things visible under a microscope. Nearly 2,500 entries were received from 89 countries in 2018, the 44th year of the competition. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • Can the Chinese Be Trusted to Lead Global Institutions?
    China has spent years trying to gain an equal footing in international institutions originally set up by the West. Those efforts have seen gradual success, as Chinese nationals have come to occupy leading positions on United Nations committees, multilateral development banks, international courts, and many other organizations.So when Meng Hongwei, a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party member who was chosen to serve as the president of Interpol in 2016, disappeared last month while visiting China, and was revealed two weeks later to have been detained by Chinese authorities, it seemed like an unforced error. Interpol is an important international organization tasked ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • The Growing Crisis Over a Saudi Journalist’s Disappearance
    The disappearance and possible murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and dissident, has brought sharp attention to Saudi-U.S. relations. On Thursday, President Donald Trump told Fox & Friends that Khashoggi “went in [to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey] and it doesn’t look like he came out.” That itself is a marked departure from the Saudi line that he left the facility that he had entered October 2 in order to obtain paperwork needed to get married. In an interview Wednesday on Fox, Trump ruled out cutting off arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the fate of Khashoggi, who ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • How Much Would You Pay for a Prayer?
    How can I get a divine intervention for my career? That’s the question Ravi Ganne, a young investment banker in Bangalore, typed into Google seven years ago. His search results led him to the website of a new company called ePuja. For about $15, the start-up would have a puja, a Hindu devotional-prayer ritual, performed on his behalf at one of its many in-network temples.A few clicks later, Ganne had arranged for a ritual at his favorite temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and located in Tamil Nadu. “It worked out for me,” he says. “I got a better ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-11
  • The Final Appearance of the Giant Puppets of Royal de Luxe
    Christopher Furlong / Getty The French street-theatre company Royal de Luxe has presented multiday outdoor performances featuring their giant marionettes for millions of people around the world for more than 20 years. Their current cast of puppets—Big Giant, Little Giantess, Xolo the Dog, Giant Grandmother, and Little Boy Giant—have just been retired, following their final performance last week in Liverpool, England. The BBC reports that the Royal de Luxe artistic director Jean-Luc Courcoult has decided to “end the saga of the Giants,” but he says the group has plans for a new show “involving a silverback gorilla.” Gathered here are ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-10
  • How to Tell When North Korea Starts to Denuclearize
    On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from what he described as “productive” conversations with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Although details are still emerging from the meeting, which took place in Pyongyang, one outcome is clear: Both sides are eager to push forward with a second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim as soon as possible.But the question of denuclearization still hangs over these negotiations. Despite North Korea’s consistent assertion that it will not disarm “unilaterally” and that Washington must remove sanctions against the country, the leaders of the United States and South Korea seem convinced ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-10
  • The Disappearance of a Saudi Critic Signals a Broader Danger for Journalists
    On October 2, Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork in order to get married to his Turkish fiancée. The Saudi journalist and dissident hasn’t been seen or heard from since then, though there has been no shortage of morbid speculation about his fate.Saudi Arabia has hardly been a beacon of press freedom at the best of times. But the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ushered in an era of optimism, allowing Saudi women to drive for the first time and unveiling a plan to modernize the kingdom’s economy and wean it off its overreliance ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-10
  • The Far Right Isn’t the Only Rising Force in Germany
    When Germany’s southern state of Bavaria holds its regional election on Sunday, its ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) is expected to lose its absolute majority—by a lot. The party’s projected losses appear to be part of a much broader trend of political fragmentation across Europe, in which bigger parties are shrinking while smaller parties—especially those on the far right—are growing.Such has been the case in recent elections in Sweden, Italy, and even in Germany’s general election last year. But in its own way, Bavaria is bucking this trend. Rather than the new main challenger coming from a populist party like ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-10
  • Nikki Haley’s Concern for Human Rights Only Went So Far
    During her confirmation hearing to be President Donald Trump’s envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley told U.S. senators, “I will never shy away from calling out other countries for actions taken in conflict with U.S. values and in violation of human rights and international norms.” For the most part, Haley, who announced Tuesday that she would step down at the end of the year, held true to that commitment.Yet at the same time, she was unsparing when the issue of human rights conflicted with American policy or that of its allies, as it did when she announced in June ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-10-09