Cooking in Antarctica and Urban Planning in Beijing: The Week in Global-Affairs Writing

Refugees in Greece, Waiting for the Unknown
Max Rothman | The Awl
“Tebri explained how he had managed to cross the Aegean, scamper through forests and over mountains near the Macedonian border, and sneak into Tirana, the Albanian capital. He was sent back to Greece when his friends got into a fight and were caught by police, and he has failed to gain asylum. Eyes sunken from constant anxiety, Tebri spent hours every day wondering how to find somewhere to live. ‘I start to lose my mind,’ he said. ‘If I stay here long time I will be crazy. I will be crazy.’”

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The Panama Papers: Where Are the Americans?
Danny Vinik | Politico
“If the Panama Papers had come out in the early 1980s, the scandal may have implicated far more Americans. Back then, experts say, Panama was a popular spot for parking money offshore for its lax bank secrecy laws and currency controls. But in 1989, under then President George H.W. Bush, the U.S. invaded Panama and deposed the military dictator, Manuel Noriega, and wealthy Americans have largely avoided the country since.”

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The Lone Chef of Palmer Station, Antarctica
Rachel Belle | Lucky Peach
“Hiller is the sole midwinter chef at Palmer Station, the northernmost and least populated U.S. research station in Antarctica. Every meal, snack, and birthday cake gobbled up by the researchers and scientists there is prepped, prepared, and ordered by him. The biggest challenge isn’t cooking and living on an isolated chunk of land in the middle of the Southern Ocean—it’s the fact that Hiller can only put in a single food order at the start of the season. Fresh fruit and vegetables, or ‘freshies,’ are fleeting and eventually fantasized about.”

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Inventing the Ghetto
Alexandra Fattal | 1843 Magazine
“Visiting Venice involves frequently shifting one’s eyes between wondrous beauty and maddening crowds of tourists. The city’s old Jewish ghetto, set back from the main attractions, has neither the hordes—though more and more people do stop by—nor the spectacular architecture of other neighbourhoods. But while it takes up just a few blocks, the ghetto offers ample space for reflection. Five hundred years since its creation, over two hundred since its demise, and amid a worsening global refugee crisis and increasingly incendiary anti-immigrant rhetoric, it offers plenty of food for thought, too.”

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The Islamic State in Turkey: A Deep Dive Into a Dark Place
Aaron Stein | War on the Rocks
“The prevalence of Al Qaeda-linked individuals in Turkey before the outbreak of the Syrian civil conflict in 2011, and the subsequent establishment of Jabhat al Nusra and the entry of the Islamic State into Syria from Iraq, underscore the complexity of the challenge Turkey—and Europe—now face. The Islamic State is taking advantage of previous conflicts to hone operational skill and develop new techniques to evade capture and detection by law enforcement. It also suggests that the networks Turkish and foreign fighters rely upon are deeply embedded in Turkey, with iterations dating back to the Afghan jihad during the 1980s, in addition to more modern conflicts like Iraq (2003–present) and Syria (2011–present).”

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Beijing and the Earliest Planning Document in History
Oliver Wainwright | The Guardian
“The model’s bird’s-eye view exposes something that is illegible from the ground: the rigid order that underlies the rambling sprawl. A rhythm of axes, grids and symmetrical walled compounds emerges from the chaos, pointing to the fact that this seemingly incoherent metropolis is in fact the carefully structured product of one of the earliest planning documents in history.”