Highly Secretive Iranian Rebels Are Holed Up in Albania. They Gave Us a Tour.
In a valley in the Albanian countryside, a group of celibate Iranian dissidents have built a vast and tightly guarded barracks that few outsiders have ever entered. Depending on whom you ask, the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Jihadists, are either Iran’s replacement government-in-waiting or a duplicitous terrorist cult.
Ramzan Kadyrov: Brutal Tyrant, Instagram Star
Ramzan Kadyrov is the leader of Chechnya. He is a Putin proxy that has been in charge of the Russian republic since 2007. Despite revelations about kidnapping, torturing and killing gay people, Kadyrov has continued to maintain an upbeat profile on Instagram, where he is a prolific user.
How ‘Taco Friday’ Became A Swedish Tradition
Fredagsmys, or Cozy Friday, is a beloved Swedish tradition. Across the Scandinavian country, families stay home on Friday night, watch TV, and eat Tex-Mex-style tacos. This dinner choice is so common that, for most Swedes, Cozy Friday is also Taco Fredag, or Taco Friday.
Thirty-Six Thousand Feet Under The Sea
For more than a year, the team trying to reach the deepest point in every ocean faced challenges as timeless as bad weather and as novel as the equipment they invented. This is the story of the explorers who set one of the last meaningful records on earth.
The Data That Turned The World Upside Down
How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help the Donald Trump campaign in the 2016 election. A then little-known British company sent out a press release: “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win.”
How The Views Of A Few Can Determine A Country’s Fate
Some of the latest research shows us that one reason for the polarisation we see today comes down to a few, incredibly influential minorities. For better or worse, small but incredibly influential groups can change the course of political debate. But is this leading us to hold more polarised views?
Japan’s Yakuza: Inside The Syndicate
With at least 50,000 members, Japan’s Yakuza gangs form one of the world’s largest criminal networks. Anton Kusters, a Belgian photographer, was allowed a rare glimpse inside a Yakuza family in early 2009. He documented the family for two years.
A Belief In Meritocracy Is Not Only False: It’s Bad For You
Meritocracy has become a leading social ideal. Politicians across the ideological spectrum continually return to the theme that the rewards of life – money, power, jobs, university admission – should be distributed according to skill and effort.
The Jungle Prince Of Delhi
For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true?
What’s It Like To Be Among The First To Motorbike In Jordan?
Riding along the Desert Highway, northwest of the famed Wadi Rum on a large-bore, high-powered motorcycle was a joy afforded only by Jordanian royalty for nearly four decades.
Is An Island Off Cuba The Last Surviving Piece Of East Germany?
The Unification Treaty signed in August 1990 re-Germanied the Germanies, and that West Germany (now known as “Germany”) inherited East Germany’s territories. But there may have been a tiny oversight. Turns out, there could still be a sliver of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik remaining in the Caribbean, just west of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.
They Tried To Save The Lives Of Immigrants Fleeing Danger. Now They’re Facing Prosecution.
On the afternoon of Jan. 17, 2018, immigration agents descended on a building on the outskirts of Ajo known to be a staging area for aid workers. The agents bundled Scott Warren, an aid worker, into a vehicle and drove to the Ajo Border Patrol station. The next day, he was driven two hours to Tucson, where he was charged with three felony counts.
The One Route Ghost Airline Between Egypt & Israel
Air Sinai appeared on the Internet in February 2020 and for the scarce few who were in the know about Air Sinai, it was a real shock. What’s so special about this ghost airline and how come up until now it was impossible to book a flight without being transferred endlessly between travel agents?
How Journalists Covered The Rise Of Mussolini And Hitler
How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society?
Inside The Daring Mission To Reach The Bottom Of All Earth’s Oceans
Science fiction obsessed Victor Vescovo wanted to be the first person to reach the deepest points of all five oceans – but first he had to build a submarine that was up to it.
Inside The Abandoned Babylon That Saddam Hussein Built
In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein became obsessed with the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. Saddam saw himself as a modern reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, and to prove it, he spent millions building a massive reconstruction of Babylon.
Why Are Millions Of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves?
Generations of Wang Ying’s family farmed the misty mountains of Liangshan, one of China’s poorest regions. But now, the 14-year-old girl lives on her own as the sole caretaker of her two younger siblings. They are among an estimated 9 million “left-behind children” raising themselves in the Chinese countryside.
National Geographic’s Best Pictures Of 2019
National Geographic’s 100 best images of the year-curated from 106 photographers, 121 stories, and more than two million photographs.
Three Years Of Misery Inside Google, The Happiest Company In Tech
In the first days of the Trump era, Google’s leaders were desperate to avoid confrontation with the new regime. The company’s history of close ties to the Obama administration left executives feeling especially vulnerable to the reactionary movement.
The Unraveling Of America
If and when the Chinese are ascendant, with their concentration camps for the Uighurs, the ruthless reach of their military, their 200 million surveillance cameras watching every move and gesture of their people, we will surely long for the best years of the American century.
Is This A Chinese City In Malaysia?
Forest City is being built in the Malaysian state of Johor in the southern part of the country. Here, the Johore Strait acts as a natural border between Malaysia and the independent city-state Singapore. It is one of the most ambitious urban development projects currently underway. An entire new city built from scratch.