International

A Nation on the Brink

It’s not just Al-Qaeda. Water shortages, collapsing oil supplies, war, refugees, pirates, poverty—why Yemen is failing.

Man Versus Afghanistan

Divided by geography, cursed by corruption, stunted by poverty, staggered by a growing insurgency—Afghanistan seems beyond salvation. Is it? From Somalia and the Balkans to Iraq, the U.S. military has been embroiled in conflicts that reflect an age-old debate: Can individual agency triumph over deep-seated historical, cultural, ethnic, and economic forces? Drawing on his experiences in Iraq, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, has his own answer to that question.

Exodus

Less traffic through the Suez Canal means less of everything else for Egyptians—including hope.

All the Sheikh’s Horses

By the skin of his teeth, Dubai’s ruler opens the world’s most ambitious—and outrageous—racetrack.

Kabul Makeover

Reality-TV shows like Afghan Model are rewiring Afghan culture—for better and for worse.

Chet of Arabia

In defense of exotic travel with young children

Death Becomes Him

Over the past decade, Ludwig Minelli has helped more than 1,000 people kill themselves and has turned Zurich into the undisputed world capital of assisted suicide. Minelli sees himself as a crusader for what he calls “the last human right”—and he believes that helping more and more people to die advances his cause. Even if you believe in an absolute right to die on your own terms, how far is too far in the quest to secure that right?

Cyber Warriors

When will China emerge as a military threat to the U.S.? In most respects the answer is: not anytime soon—China doesn’t even contemplate a time it might challenge America directly. But one significant threat already exists: cyberwar. Attacks—not just from China but from Russia and elsewhere—on America’s electronic networks cost millions of dollars and could in the extreme cause the collapse of financial life, the halt of most manufacturing systems, and the evaporation of all the data and knowledge stored on the Internet.

Don't Panic About China

Why we should embrace—rather than fear—the next superpower.

SimCity Baghdad

A new computer game lets army officers practice counterinsurgency off the battlefield.

The Scourge of TB

In South Africa, good intentions and poor follow-through are helping to spread deadly drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Among the Mullahs

In Qom, the site of Iran’s secret uranium-enrichment facility, the Islamic Revolution remains as strong as ever.

Paris Under Glass

Exploring the city’s historic, and seductive, shopping arcades

A Winter’s Tale

Squaw Valley celebrates its Olympics, 50 years later.

Frenemies of the State

Once the most outspoken critic of Zimbabwe’s government, David Coltart is now on the inside

The Tijuana of the Caspian

At the border between Azerbaijan and Iran, everything’s for sale: sex, booze, tattoos—and maybe some revolutionary fervor.

The Fall of Mexico

In the almost three years since President Felipe Calderón launched a war on drug cartels, border towns in Mexico have turned into halls of mirrors where no one knows who is on which side or what chance remark could get you murdered. Some 14,000 people have been killed in that time—the worst carnage since the Mexican Revolution—and part of the country is effectively under martial law. Is this evidence of a creeping coup by the military? A war between drug cartels? Between the president and his opposition? Or just collateral damage from the (U.S.-supported) war on drugs? Nobody knows: Mexico is where facts, like people, simply disappear. The stakes for the U.S. are high, especially as the prospect of a failed state on our southern border begins to seem all too real.

The Trial of Thomas Lubanga

For years, the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga allegedly sanctioned massacres, pressed children into military service, and institutionalized mass rape. Now he is the first defendant being tried by the recently created International Criminal Court, seated in Holland. His trial is seen as a major landmark by Western human-rights activists, and it is being publicized extensively in Congo, where the fog of war still lingers. What do the Congolese make of Lubanga’s trial? Will it deter other would-be war criminals? Is justice even possible for the most heinous of crimes?

On the Brink

Photographer Juliàn Cardona shares grim images from Juàrez

How I Survived China

Our man in Beijing returns home, with lungs only somewhat the worse for wear.

Oil on Ice

Will Greenland become the Nigeria of the Arctic?

Finding Peace in Colombia

A thrill seeker surrenders to South America’s scariest nation.

¡Hola, Hezbollah!

How a Lebanese mullah found happiness in Paraguay

Village Dreamers

In Yunnan province, two Americans struggle to save an ancient town from kitsch.

The Doctor’s War

For wounded civilians at a U.S. military hospital in Afghanistan, the gatekeeper is God.

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

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