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  • Photos of the Week: Space Snowman, Chilean Puma, Frozen Beak
    Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty A wild encounter in Scotland, a lunar landing made by China, the 116th Congress begins in the U.S., Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is sworn in, New Year celebrations in Australia, surfing in Hawaii, snow on the Grand Canyon, ice castles in Utah, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-04
  • Photos: A Collection of Lunar Firsts
    John William Draper / Wikimedia Fifty years after humankind first laid eyes on the far side of the moon, a Chinese spacecraft called Chang’e 4 gently touched down and released a rover onto the unexplored terrain Thursday. The far side is incredibly difficult to reach; mission control can’t send radio signals to spacecraft if they’re out of sight. To communicate with Chang’e 4, China put a separate probe in orbit around the moon to relay messages back and forth. Then again, the entire moon is difficult to reach. Space agencies have launched dozens of ambitious missions to Earth’s companion, succeeding ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-03
  • The Murmurations of Starlings
    Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty When starlings flock together, wheeling and darting through the sky in tight, fluid formations, we call it a murmuration. These murmurations can range from small groups of a few hundred starlings in a small ball to undulating seas of millions of birds that might block out the sun. I thought today would be a good day to take a few moments and appreciate the simple beauty of murmurations, captured by a number of photographers over the past few years. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-02
  • The President Who Wants to Break Up His Own Country
    SARAJEVO—Few national leaders would call their own country an “impossible state.” Fewer still would actively advocate for it to be broken up. Almost none would risk a decades-old peace accord to do so. And then there is Bosnia’s Milorad Dodik.“I am a Serb ... Bosnia is only my place of employment,” Dodik proclaimed just a day after his inauguration as Bosnia’s head of state. A Serb nationalist, he has publicly called for the statelet he comes from, Republika Srpska, to break away from Bosnia. And, as Bosnian president, he has said he will not use his Bosnian passport for overseas ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-02
  • America, Meet Your (Acting) Secretary of Defense
    It hasn’t received much attention, what with Donald Trump suddenly declaring victory against ISIS, ordering U.S. troops out of Syria, and provoking James Mattis to resign in protest.But the man who is now the president’s principal adviser on the nation’s defense, tasked with leading the largest employer in the world and managing the fallout from Trump’s military retrenchment, has less experience in government (a year and a half) or the military (none) than any defense secretary since an oil magnate served as the acting head of the Pentagon for several weeks during Watergate 45 years ago.The man’s name is Patrick ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-01-01
  • New Year’s Eve Photos: Welcoming 2019
    Ilya Naymushin / Reuters Festive and colorful images from Australia, China, the United States, Spain, and many other countries around the world as people greet the new year with fireworks, polar-bear swims, traditional festivals, and solemn observations ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-31
  • Photos of the Week: Vertical Dancers, Pagan Solstice, Panda Monitor
    Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Strange blue lights in the night sky over New York, Christmas calls from the White House, a fox hunt in Ireland, icy weather in China, the Sahara Festival in Tunisia, Santa Claus on Copacabana Beach in Rio, recovery from a tsunami in Indonesia, an eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily, penguins in Italy and Antarctica, and much more. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-28
  • How a Guy With a Camera Outsmarted the United States
    On the morning of December 26, Alan Meloy stood on the front porch of his home in northern England and noticed that “murky” early clouds were clearing into a crisp and sunny winter’s day.Meloy, a retired IT professional and a plane spotter of 45 years, decided to grab his best camera to see whether he could catch any interesting flyovers. Before long, he saw a “jumbo”—a Boeing VC-25A—and, knowing there were few such aircraft left, took about 20 photos of the plane. He could tell immediately that there was something unusual about it, though.“It was just so shiny,” he told ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-28
  • The Adrenaline Rush of Herding Reindeer in the North Pole
    As winter approaches in Finnish Lapland, daylight rapidly retreats. The Sami—the estimated 80,000 people who are indigenous to the region and live in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia—prepare for winter by bringing their reindeer down from the mountains. More than 7,000 reindeer herders, known as boazovazzi, or “reindeer walkers,” work together to herd 500,000 reindeer from their grazing pastures. Once the animals are down from the mountain, they are separated by their owners in large herding pens. Some reindeer go to the slaughterhouse, while others are kept for breeding. A select few males are neutered and trained to work, ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-27
  • 2018 Seen Through the Lens of Yasuyoshi Chiba
    Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty Yasuyoshi Chiba, a staff photographer with AFP, spent nearly the entire year of 2018 in Kenya, documenting an incredibly wide range of subjects, landscapes, and issues. Chiba has been on staff with AFP since 2011, winning multiple awards for his photojournalism, which is based mostly in Brazil and Kenya. This year, he captured the faces and stories of some of the 50 million people who live in Kenya, an East African nation of incredible diversity in culture, landscape, and wildlife. His photos cover subjects from a China-backed railway cutting across Nairobi National Park to ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-27
  • The President is Visiting Troops in Iraq. To What End?
    Since Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly flew to Morocco to finalize Allied war plans with Winston Churchill and surprise American soldiers stationed in the country, American presidents have engaged in the well-worn tradition of meeting with troops in combat zones. Bill Clinton met with troops in the Balkans; George W. Bush and Barack Obama both visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; Bush spent Thanksgiving with Americans in Iraq months after the invasion of the country.It is this precedent that President Donald Trump is following with his visit to Iraq on Wednesday.The unannounced stop should stifle some of the criticism Trump received ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-26
  • Christmas Around the World 2018
    Linh Pham / Getty One last photo look at this year’s Christmas and its many light shows, religious observances, charity events, and festivals that took place around the world. Gathered here are images from Australia, Japan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, England, Bolivia, the U.S., India, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, France, and many more countries. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-26
  • Gay Life in Berlin Is Starting to Echo a Darker Era
    BERLIN—The fetish cruising bar Bull is a place of pilgrimage in Berlin for more than one reason. To patrons, it is a 24-hour safe space that caters to every palate. To the British historian Brendan Nash, it is a symbol of “Babylon Berlin,” a golden decade of LGBT freedom in the city in the 1920s, when the bisexual Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich mixed with prostitutes and transgender dance-hall girls.“There’s been a gay bar of some kind at this address for more than 100 years,” Nash, an energetic 54-year-old, explained to a walking tour he was leading as he gestured enthusiastically ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-24
  • Will the Christmas Goat Meet a Fiery Death Like it Usually Does?
    Every year since 1966, the small town of Gävle in Sweden erects a 40-foot straw goat on the first day of Advent. For 37 of those years, the Gävle goat has been destroyed; more often than not, it has been set ablaze and burned to the ground. So ensues the annual conflict for the spirit of Christmas, fought between the Christians who run Gävle’s businesses—who believe that the effigy brings local families and tourists to the city, and also serves as a symbol of light in times of darkness—and the pagans who live in the surrounding forests. The pagans’ ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-24
  • Photos: Deadly Tsunami Strikes Indonesia’s Sunda Strait
    Ed Wray / Getty At least 222 people have reportedly been killed along the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, and another 800 injured late Saturday night by a tsunami, likely triggered by an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano. Water swept along the shoreline with no warning, crashing into homes, hotels, and beach side holiday events. Electricity and water services, as well as roads, have been badly damaged; remote areas have been the hardest hit. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-23
  • The Kurds: Betrayed Again by Washington
    The warning signs were there all along, yet President Donald Trump’s brusque decision to pull U.S. forces out of northeast Syria nevertheless stunned Syria’s Kurds. Overnight, their dream of establishing an autonomous Kurdish region has been dashed, and they must now choose between a return to the mountains in a bid for survival, or staying put, awaiting a resurgent Assad regime and what it has in mind for them after six years of self-rule.The fear of betrayal by superior powers is written into the Kurds’ DNA. Their birth as one of the world’s largest nonstate nations from the wreckage of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-22
  • Photos of the Week: Halo Moon, Crouching Boy, Festive Penguins
    Laszlo Balogh / Getty Keyboard art in the Ivory Coast, darts fans in London, a new Boring Company tunnel in California, a coast-guard rescue in Turkey, a terrible fire in Brazil, huge protests in Budapest, a giant Santa in Shanghai, a naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles, and much more ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-21
  • Four People Who Could Be the Next Defense Secretary
    Rumors about James Mattis’s impending departure as President Donald Trump’s defense secretary have swirled for months. On Thursday, those rumors became reality.Whoever succeeds Mattis—who resigned in protest over the president’s military policy—will face the same challenges as the outgoing defense secretary: an impetuous president, fraying alliances, and rising dangers from adversaries old and new. Significantly, though, the next defense secretary will almost certainly share Mattis’s views of the president’s decisions to withdraw troops from Syria and drastically reduce the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan. A nominee who doesn’t will face an uphill confirmation process, a muscular defense policy being ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-21
  • Much Ado About 2,200 Troops in Syria
    Rarely has the repositioning of 2,200 American troops out of a far-flung military theater caused such a ruckus.Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Syria left his hawkish allies in the Republican Party, along with much of the American foreign-policy establishment, positively aghast. It even prompted Trump’s secretary of defense, James Mattis, to resign on Thursday.“It has rattled the world,” declared a glum Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the president’s foe turned bosom buddy, who joined two senior Democrats on Thursday to plead with the president to change his mind. “If it isn’t reversed,” tweeted Senator ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-21
  • Photos: 50 Years Since Apollo 8 Showed Us Earthrise
    On December 21, 1968, three humans climbed atop a massive rocket and left our planet for a six-day, round-trip journey to our nearest companion in the solar system, the moon. During the Apollo 8 mission, NASA astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders flew hundreds of thousands of miles across translunar space, becoming the first human beings to see the entirety of the Earth at once with their own eyes. They orbited the moon 10 times, and came within 70 miles of the surface, taking dozens of photographs, including one of the most famous and powerful images in human ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2018-12-20