North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to spectators in an undated photo released by North Korea's Central News Agency on March 28, 2018.KCNA / Reuters

What We’re Following

Diplomatic Developments: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un surprised international observers this week with a visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. The meeting demonstrates that China will likely be a major player as negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program continue. Uri Friedman breaks down what the leaders talked about.

Immigration Debate: The Trump administration announced that it will add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census for the first time since 1950—a move that could undermine the data (and some regions’ political power) if unauthorized immigrants avoid taking the survey. Amid a heated debate over how policy makers should approach undocumented workers, two scholars recently proposed a form of immigrant-labor “sponsorship,” but history suggests that such a plan could go seriously wrong.

Administration Staff: An Atlantic analysis of 2,475 Trump appointees shows a substantial gender imbalance across all departments and experience levels; overall, the men named to government positions by the White House outnumber the women two to one. The man at the top, President Trump, had been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter and at press events for several days—until he fired David Shulkin, his secretary of Veterans Affairs. Here’s our tracker to follow along with Trump’s Cabinet shakeup.

Rosa Inocencio Smith


Snapshot

Martin Luther King Jr. casts his ballot in Atlanta alongside his wife, Coretta Scott King, in this 1964 photo from the Bettmann archive. Read King’s case for the Voting Rights Act in our special KING issue honoring his legacy.

Evening Read

Alana Semuels points out a less recognized facet of America’s urban–rural divide:

Behind this divergence lies a straightforward story: The twin forces of globalization and technological change are enriching a handful of big urban areas, while resources are drained from the heartland, leaving it often devoid of opportunity and prosperity. But this neat division, rural versus urban, erases another part of the story of America’s changing economy: the pressure that those twin forces are exerting within cities, pulling some people up to the very top while pushing others to an unforgiving bottom. In some prosperous cities, such as Chicago, where the number of wealthy census tracts has grown fourfold since 1970, people at the bottom are struggling as much as they always have, if not more—illustrating that it’s not just the white rural poor who are being left behind in today’s economy. The disconnect is why Andrew Diamond, the author of Chicago on the Make, has called Chicago “a combination of Manhattan smashed against Detroit.”

Keep reading as Alana reports from Chicago on the obstacles faced by the city’s poorest residents.


What Do You Know … About Science, Technology, and Health?

As we witness the dramatic consequences of digital development this week—from hackers holding a city hostage to the widespread misuse of data by internet companies—it’s worth noticing the more mundane effects of technology on our lives. Whereas some martial-arts enthusiasts once promoted kicks and punches as a path to inner peace, a new wave of devotees are using video games to train their way to spiritual enlightenment. More and more romantic communications are happening via text message, creating a new set of rules for how crushes can talk with each other. Even selfies, taken from just a few inches away, distort the size of our nose and other facial features—in other words, smartphones are literally changing the way we see ourselves.

Can you remember the other key facts from this week’s science, technology, and health coverage? Test your knowledge below:

1. The country of ____________ is home to the world’s largest HIV epidemic.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Before the invention of foil pouches for ready-to-eat meals, military food was preserved mostly in ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. A recent study describes 32 people who have the unusual ability to voluntarily give themselves ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Rachel Gutman

Answers: south africa / cans / goose bumps


Look Back

In our December 1956 issue, the American hurdler Thomas P. Curtis looked back at the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, which was far less organized than the present-day competition:

The proprietor of our hotel ... explained that it had seemed to him inexpressibly droll that a man should travel 5,000 miles to take part in an event which he had no possible chance to win. Only that afternoon, the Greek hurdler in practice had hung up an absolutely unbeatable record ... the amazing time of nineteen and four-fifths seconds! …

When it came to the high hurdles, I learned how the Greek Threat had managed to spend nineteen and four-fifths seconds in covering the distance. It was entirely a matter of technique. His method was to treat each hurdle as a high jump, trotting up to it, leaping, and landing on both feet. At that, given the method, his time was really remarkable.

Curtis ended up winning a gold medal in his event. Read more of his account, share this story, and see more articles from our archives.


Reader Response

After James Fallows wrote about the lessons of the Iraq War, a reader replies:

Your mention of “tragic imagination” reminded me of the premortem, a risk management approach recommended by [the economist] Daniel Kahneman.

In a premortem, one imagines being in the future and that a decision being considered has led to failure, and thinking of the reasons why. This is a simple approach that frees one to more openly consider risks which might normally be dismissed.

Read more responses, and write to us via letters@theatlantic.com.


Adjectives

Empathetic adventure, perennial problem, singular talent, model children.


Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Daphna’s husband, Norbert (twice the age of Macintosh computers); to Lois’s daughter Amy (a year younger than The Simpsons); to Jason (the same age as the handheld scientific calculator); to Linda’s boss, Lew (a year younger than T-shirts); to Edward (the same age as the Hoover Dam); to Jane’s younger sister Martha (a year younger than Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech); and to Arlan’s brother Avron (a year younger than talkie movies).

Do you or a loved one have a birthday coming up? Sign up for a birthday shout-out, and explore the Timeline feature for yourself.


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