Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran since 1989, may or may not have some interest in nuclear technology, but he is not especially known as an early adopter when it comes to social media tech. And yet the unelected septuagenarian, after successfully launching his Twitter account (almost 3,000 tweets, over 4,000 followers, and not following a soul), has taken to Instagram. Instagram!
The bearded, spectacled dictator has sent out four photos of himself in the week since joining. They're pretty banal, as far as propaganda goes -- praying, standing around with officials, sitting over a Koran -- which somehow makes them even more surreal. Three years after shutting down Internet service after Iranians used Twitter and photo-sharing services to coordinate mass protests and tell the word about the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown, that same regime is getting in on the Twitter and photo-sharing action themselves.
Here's Khamenei's first Instagram photo. It shows Action Ali, apparently sitting at a religious gathering, probably pertaining to Ramadan, which began a couple of days before. Yes, this is the sort of excitement we follow @khamenei_ir for.
That's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the right, just over Khamenei's left shoulder. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei have been bitterly feuding for over a year, the end result of which could be the president's "loss" in the 2013 "election." That doesn't mean the two leaders aren't still occasionally in the same room, of course, but it's interesting to see that Khamenei's social media handlers would make their second-ever Instagram one of their boss alongside his domestic rival. (That's head of Khamenei's security detail, Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi, over Khamanei's other shoulder, according to Al-Monitor's always-knowledgeable Laura Rozen).
The last two aren't so interesting, but they're here and here if you want to see them. We'll let you know if the supreme leader starts taking mirror shots, applying dreamy filters to his photos, or starts tweeting photos of "bikini babes," an ultimate Instagram cliche that would definitely make some news.
The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new clinical approach offers hope.
This is a good day, Samantha tells me: 10 on a scale of 10. We’re sitting in a conference room at the San Marcos Treatment Center, just south of Austin, Texas, a space that has witnessed countless difficult conversations between troubled children, their worried parents, and clinical therapists. But today promises unalloyed joy. Samantha’s mother is visiting from Idaho, as she does every six weeks, which means lunch off campus and an excursion to Target. The girl needs supplies: new jeans, yoga pants, nail polish.
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At 11, Samantha is just over 5 feet tall and has wavy black hair and a steady gaze. She flashes a smile when I ask about her favorite subject (history), and grimaces when I ask about her least favorite (math). She seems poised and cheerful, a normal preteen. But when we steer into uncomfortable territory—the events that led her to this juvenile-treatment facility nearly 2,000 miles from her family—Samantha hesitates and looks down at her hands. “I wanted the whole world to myself,” she says. “So I made a whole entire book about how to hurt people.”
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
The ashes filled a black plastic box about the size of a toaster. It weighed three and a half pounds. I put it in a canvas tote bag and packed it in my suitcase this past July for the transpacific flight to Manila. From there I would travel by car to a rural village. When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household.
The president’s business tells lawmakers it is too difficult to track all its foreign revenue in accordance with constitutional requirements, and it hasn’t asked Congress for a permission slip.
Days before taking office, Donald Trump said his company would donate all profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury, part of an effort to avoid even the appearance of a conflict with the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
Now, however, the Trump Organization is telling Congress that determining exactly how much of its profits come from foreign governments is simply more trouble than it’s worth.
In response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee, Trump’s company sent a copy of an eight-page pamphlet detailing how it plans to track payments it receives from foreign governments at the firm’s many hotels, golf courses, and restaurants across the globe. But while the Trump Organization said it would set aside all money it collects from customers that identify themselves as representing a foreign government, it would not undertake a more intensive effort to determine if a payment would violate the Constitution’s prohibition on public office holders accepting an “emolument” from a foreign state.
A recent push for diversity has been blamed for weak print sales, but the company’s decades-old business practices are the true culprit.
Marvel Comics has been having a rough time lately. Readers and critics met last year’s Civil War 2—a blockbuster crossover event (and aspiritual tie-in to the year’s big Marvel movie)—with disinterest and scorn. Two years of plummeting print comics sales culminated in a February during which only one series managed to sell over 50,000 copies. Three crossover events designed to pump up excitement came and went with little fanfare, while the lead-up to 2017’s blockbuster crossover Secret Empire—where a fascist Captain America subverts and conquers the United States—sparked such a negative response that the company later put out a statement imploring readers to buy the whole thing before judging it. On March 30, a battered Marvel decided to try and get to the bottom of the problem with a retailer summit—and promptly stuck its foot in its mouth.
Inside ABC’s tonally bizarro update of the seminal 1987 romantic drama Dirty Dancing are about four different projects trying to get out. There’s the most obvious one, a frame-by-frame remake of the original that’s as awkward and ill-conceived as Gus Van Sant’s 1997 carbon copy of Psycho. There’s the one Abigail Breslin’s starring in, an emotionally textured and realistic coming-of-age story about a clumsy but engaging wallflower. There’s a musical, in which Breslin and Nicole Scherzinger mime along to their own singing voices in a strange dance rehearsal while half-heartedly exploring the idea that power emanates from the vagina. And there’s the most compelling story, a Wide Sargasso Sea-inspired spinoff starring Debra Messing as a lonely housewife coming to terms with the turbulent depths of her own desire.
For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have abandoned many places around the world.
For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish from the planet. Collected here are recent scenes from abandoned construction projects, industrial disaster zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence or natural disasters, derelict Olympic venues, ghost towns, and more.
A Guardian reporter has accused Greg Gianforte, the GOP candidate for a hotly contested House seat, of assaulting him following a question about the American Health Care Act.
Updated 1:17 a.m. ET
Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, said he was assaulted Wednesday afternoon by Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate in the closely watched race for Montana’s House seat, after asking the candidate a question regarding the Republican health-care plan.
According to Jacobs’s Twitter account, Gianforte “body slammed” him to the ground, breaking his glasses in the process:
Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses
The alleged assault took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. At the time that Jacobs endeavored to ask Gianforte a question, the candidate was in a side room with a local news crew, The Guardianreports. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Gianforte spoke with deputies from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office following the incident, but left the scene without speaking to reporters.
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
What is the Islamic State?
Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.
Liza, a dancer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, talks about how the stereotypes about her profession affect how she’s treated by clientele.
The U.S. has thousands of strip clubs that, some reports say, collectively take in as much as $6 billion every year. Exact statistics about the dancers who work in them are hard to come by, though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes these workers alongside other types of dancers and choreographers, such as ballet and tango dancers, and cites their median salary as $16.85 per hour.
Liza, an exotic dancer in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says that her wages are incredibly unpredictable: On a given night she’s earned anywhere from less than $150 to as much as $1,500. For The Atlantic’s series of interviews with American workers, I spoke with Liza, who requested that we only use her stage name, about how she became an exotic dancer, how the adult-entertainment industry is changing with increasing priority of the internet, and why people don’t consider her job respectable. The interview that follows has been lightly edited for length and clarity.