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  • Photos: Delhi’s Toxic Sky
    Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Millions of people in Delhi, India, and neighboring states are struggling to cope with eye-watering smog that has settled on the region—creating some of the worst air quality in years. Government authorities have declared a public-health emergency, closing schools, halting construction, and restricting cars to an “odd-even” system, based on their license plates, to try to halve the number of vehicles on the roads. The toxic stew filling the air comes from a combination of vehicular and industrial emissions and smoke from the seasonal burning of rice-paddy stubble on farms in nearby states. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-11-04
  • How Europe Will Take On Britain After Brexit
    Much of Brexit is the application of logic to decisions that have already been made.Thus: British voters decided in 2016 that they wanted to end the right of European Union citizens to live and work in Britain, and to repatriate trade policy to Westminster, therefore the country has to leave the EU’s single economic market and customs union, which are not compatible with either goal. If Britain leaves the EU’s single market and customs union, there must therefore be an economic border between it and the EU. If there is an economic border between Britain and the EU, there has ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-11-03
  • India’s Diverging Paths in Kashmir
    SRINAGAR, India—Meet Rehman and Syed. The two, both in their mid-20s, live a short distance from each other in Indian-administered Kashmir. Both live under a heavy military presence, their movements circumscribed, and are unable to question the ubiquitous men in uniform. Both had brothers who opted for militancy, taking up arms against the Indian authorities, eventually dying at the hands of the Indian army.And now both symbolize a widening split among Kashmiris. On the one side is Rehman. His brother was killed in the 1990s, when an insurgency against the Indian government was at its peak, and his body lies ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-11-02
  • Should Britain Abolish Private Schools?
    WINDSOR, England—Nestled in a historic town across the river Thames from Windsor Castle, Eton College resembles a small city-state more than a high-school campus. It boasts hundreds of buildings, half a dozen museums and galleries, and a reputation for cultivating the who’s who of the British elite.Current and former prime ministers, lawmakers and judges, and countless others who make up this country’s ruling class have walked through its doors. After all, to have graduated from Eton, or any of the other handful of Britain’s top, tuition-charging private educational establishments, is to be guaranteed lifelong membership in an exclusive echelon of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-31
  • Photos of the Week: Bike Jousting, Mariachi Surfers, Frozen Whiskers
    Ringo H. W. Chiu / AP Wind-driven California wildfires, Saint Simon celebrations in Guatemala, a World Series victory in Houston, an ancient mosque in Niger, continuing protests in Chile, a bus in a sinkhole in Pittsburgh, an oil-tank art gallery in Australia, the vanishing Mekong river, Halloween in Belgium, and much more. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-31
  • A Dragon Approaches Calais
    Pascal Rossignol / Reuters For three days, starting on November 1, actors from the French street-theater company La Machine will escort a 10-meter-tall dragon marionette in a performance across the city of Calais, France. “Le Dragon de Calais,” a massive fire-breathing dragon built of steel and carved wood, stars in the tale of a fantasy creature that emerges from the sea and encounters the people of Calais. After the performance, the dragon will remain in the city, becoming a new tourist attraction. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-31
  • Meet the Spiritual Leader of the Hong Kong Protests
    HONG KONG—When reports of a possible law banning face masks at protests first surfaced this month, chat groups and online messaging boards popular with demonstrators lit up in fury over what seemed to be yet another (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to quell unrest here.Attention quickly turned to a snippet of a by-election debate from 2016, specifically to the words of a young man standing with other hopefuls on a U-shaped stage, his bright-blue hoodie and khakis a marked sartorial departure from the formal attire of his older rivals. In the debate, Edward Leung, his right hand gripping a microphone and his ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-30
  • Boris Johnson Thinks He’s in Control
    It’s just after 9:30 p.m., and Boris Johnson’s chief of staff, Edward Lister, is finally sitting down for dinner with a colleague in the corner of Mr. Cooper’s Restaurant and Bar in Manchester’s Midland Hotel. The next day is make or break time: Johnson will unveil his new Brexit plan, which the prime minister hopes will fire the starting gun on a frenetic two-week sprint to reach an agreement with the European Union on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal. If he fails, he is almost certain to miss his own “do or die” deadline to take Britain out of the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-30
  • The Last Chance to Stop Brexit
    The last time the United Kingdom held a general election in December—when some parts of the country have just seven hours of daylight—was in 1923. Then, the country’s third-biggest party, the Liberals, took more than 100 seats, leading to a hung Parliament.It is precisely that kind of deadlock that Britain is hoping to avoid with its next election, set for December 12. For months, every single major party has claimed to want a public vote, and now we finally have one coming. What changed? This week, the European Union granted Britain a three-month extension to its Brexit deadline, moving the ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-30
  • The Nationalist Movements Against Sectarian Politics
    In many ways, the ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon mirror demonstrations taking place all over the world: Huge numbers of people in Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, and Egypt have taken to the streets in recent weeks to challenge social and economic inequality and government corruption.In one crucial way, though, these Iraqi and Lebanese protests stand out: Shared grievances over economic dysfunction and a lack of government accountability have united people across ethno-religious lines. The demands of the demonstrators in those two countries, and the national unity underpinning them, are seen as posing a direct threat to the sectarian political systems ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-29
  • Preparing for the Day of the Dead
    Pedro Pardo / AFP / Getty As Mexicans get ready to celebrate Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, parades and processions have taken place in Mexico City and other towns, featuring representations of the character La Catrina, frightful skeletons, and other icons of death and the underworld. The two-day holiday begins on November 1, when people will honor departed family members as they celebrate death as a part of life. Gathered here, a few of the colorful holiday preparations in Mexico over the past week. ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-29
  • A New Exhibition Shows Women as Artists, Not Muses
    The meaning of art is in the eye of the beholder. To straitlaced Victorians, John Everett Millais’s painting Ophelia epitomized the shocking new ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of rebel artists who rejected the prevailing style of the period. To feminist art historians, however, Ophelia represents something else: the brutal limitations placed upon women by the artistic establishment.Surrounded by flowers, Shakespeare’s tragic heroine—exploited and rejected by Hamlet—floats lifelessly in the water in Millais’s rendering, an image of silent, still, passive beauty. The story of the painting’s creation is notorious: The model was Elizabeth Siddal, who later married another ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-29
  • The Quotidian Uncertainty of Britain’s Monumental Shift
    The Polish chef who was erroneously denied the right to indefinitely remain in Britain. The Italian partner of a British army veteran whose local member of Parliament had to intervene to secure hers. The Hungarian man who mistakenly accepted a temporary status.At first blush, these cases demonstrate some of the complications that have emerged as a result of Britain’s ambitious plan to absorb millions of European Union nationals into its immigration system as it leaves the bloc (a move currently set for January 31). But they are also illustrative of the almost quotidian uncertainty that has plagued EU citizens living ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-28
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Ugly Legacy
    In the Syrian rebel’s telling, he’d encountered Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi without even realizing it.It was early in Syria’s civil war, he explained, before the Islamic State surged to global notoriety. The jihadist group was then still in a tenuous partnership with rebel groups such as his in an insurgency against the Bashar al-Assad regime. During occasional meetings with ISIS leaders, the rebel said, he’d noticed a quiet man who seemed to be something like a secretary. This man would serve the guests tea, then blend into the background. Only later, when the man became infamous as the world’s most wanted ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-28
  • The Far Right Is Taking On Cultural Institutions
    BERLIN—Protests against public artworks in Dresden and Kassel. A ban on political discussions at the city theater in Freiberg. And a criminal investigation against a performance art collective.Germany’s far right is fighting a culture war—and at the forefront is the country’s largest opposition party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD). Founded only six years ago, the group has transitioned from a platform of opposing the euro to far-right nationalism. Fierce anti-immigrant rhetoric has helped the group gain sizable sway in regional parliaments, with significant victories in three regional elections this fall.Yet beyond its focus on immigration, the issue for which it ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-28
  • The Kingpin Problem
    Updated at 8:30 a.m.For nearly two decades, American leaders have stressed the need to address the root causes of terrorism. More often, though, they focus on something else: killing terrorists.Donald Trump did so with particular relish when he announced yesterday morning that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s leader and the world’s most wanted terrorist, had died “whimpering and crying and screaming” in a special-operations raid over the weekend. The president, who campaigned in part on “bombing the hell” out of ISIS, has been quicker than his predecessors to define victory in military terms. In March, after the fall of ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-28
  • Trump’s Defiant Message to Washington: My Approach to Alliances Just Worked
    We’ve heard a common refrain from all corners of Washington in recent weeks: In withdrawing troops from northeastern Syria and thus abandoning America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against the Islamic State, Donald Trump risked sacrificing the safety of Americans on the altar of “America first.”It was an argument made in various forms by Republican and Democratic lawmakers, experts, former U.S. officials, and even the president’s friends and members of his administration, from Senator Lindsey Graham to the president’s Syria envoy, James Jeffrey.This morning, however, Trump found himself in a better position than at any time in the three years ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-27
  • Pope Francis, the Revolutionary, Takes On the Traditionalists
    Pope Francis has helped open the door to allowing married men to become priests, albeit in just one region of the Amazon for now. He has made environmentalism a major focus of his papacy. Yesterday he gave a shout-out to Greta Thunberg and thanked journalists for doing their jobs, rather than calling them enemies of the people. He’s decried income inequality and nationalism and spoken out on behalf of gay people, Muslims, immigrants, and the poor.This pastoral approach has made him one of the clearest and most humane voices crying out in the wilderness today. Has it also made him ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-27
  • ‘The U.S. Should Have Committed to Its Promises’
    Ilham Ahmed was dispatched to Washington, D.C., this week to try to salvage some part of the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the United States and its Kurdish-led Syrian allies. She is one of the two leaders of the political council that, with U.S. backing, has overseen the region in northern Syria controlled by an umbrella militia called the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.Recent days haven’t gone well: President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw the 1,000 American soldiers who were effectively guaranteeing the peace there has triggered a series of shifts that, in sum, have led to significant violence and ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-26
  • China’s ‘Most Dangerous Profession’
    If you grew up in China in the 1950s and ’60s, as Jung Chang did, the last thing you aspired to be was a writer. “Writing was the most dangerous profession,” she told me recently.In fact, writing was taken so seriously that most of the violent purges engineered by the Chinese Communist Party’s demigod leader, Mao Zedong—including the Cultural Revolution—began with an attack on some article or play or piece of literary criticism on the grounds of its alleged bourgeois or anti-Mao characteristics. There would be an opening salvo written by a Maoist acolyte, after which everybody who was anybody ..... READ MORE
    Source: The AtlanticPublished on 2019-10-26