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Princeton economist Atif Mian only tweets a few times a month, and most if it is the kind of dry policy stuff you'd expect from a man whose area of specialization is finance and debt, mixed with the occasional foray into politics.

It's smart, but not necessarily viral material.

He hit Twitter gold this week, though, when he made a simple observation about the recent Nobel Laureates that resonated far and wide: Six people living in the US have won the prize in the sciences this year, and all six are immigrants.

The case for Trump negotiating with North Korea

Jul 5, 2017
Reuters via KCNA

North Korea has a working intercontinental missile that can hit US soil. It will only be a matter of time before the regime of Kim Jong-un can miniaturize a nuclear warhead to put in it. So, the question is what should the US do about it?

No one is suggesting Kim would randomly try to nuke America. “However ruthless and brutal Kim Jong-un is to his own people,” says Joseph Cirincione, “he’s not suicidal.”

Ukrainian musician Zhenya Topov teaches handpan now but remembers how mysterious the instrument seemed the first time he saw it. 

"I was very much, like, what is that thing?" he said.

Topov decided he needed it in his life, and he bought one. He became a traveling busker, playing handpan on the streets of Europe. A few years later, he had become good enough, and handpan internationally well-known enough, that he started giving workshops at a fashionably falling-apart artist collective in Berlin.

David Gray/Reuters 

President Donald Trump is selling his energy policies as an end to job-killing regulations and a boost to the US energy industry.

But around the world, many people from developing countries view the changes to the US climate policy differently. 

“I know that there is this new policy, that it’s this 'America First,'” says Anote Tong, former president of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati.

“But [that] doesn’t mean that you destroy our home by putting America first.”

Jason Margolis

The semiarid Mexican city of Monterrey has two major challenges with water: either there is not enough of it, or there's far too much.

Improving and fixing the area’s infrastructure could cost billions. But a US environmental organization has a far cheaper solution, and it’s getting rival corporations — like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo — to come together to pay for it.

Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

A new TV commercial set to air in Washington, DC, starting Tuesday makes a simple point: You’d follow the advice of 97 percent of dentists if they told you to get a tooth removed, so why won’t you believe 97 percent of climate scientists when they tell you man-made climate change is real?

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Germans tend to be suspicious of state surveillance. That wariness has been reflected in government policy since World War II. Until now.

On December 19, 2016, a man drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing twelve people and injuring 56. The attack shocked Germany.

“It became easier to push through laws and other projects that may have been in the works for a while,” says Deutsche Welle reporter Jefferson Chase. “There was a kind of impetus behind it.”

There's a new branch in the huge Antarctic ice crack

Jul 5, 2017
Alex Newman/PRI

A new branch was spotted this week in a massive crack on an Antarctic ice shelf, reopening the question of when a Delaware-sized piece of ice will break off and float away to sea.

The roughly 110-mile rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf has been relatively quiet for the past few months, leading scientists to believe it may not calve off for several months.

Eric Thayer/Reuters

This week and next, international climate experts are meeting in Bonn, Germany, as part of the United Nations process to hash out the rules and regulations that will govern the Paris climate change agreement.

On Saturday, the smaller-than-usual US delegation must explain and defend the progress made toward meeting its stated goal of reducing carbon emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025.

Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Speculation mounted Wednesday that President Donald Trump would pull the US out of the Paris climate change deal.

Multiple news outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported that the president plans to make good on a key campaign promise by removing the US from the 2015 agreement aimed at limiting global warming.  

International leaders responded by reaffirming their commitment to the agreement, even if the US backs away.

Rodi Said/Reuters

Iraq will declare victory over ISIS in Mosul during the "next few days," a senior commander said Friday, as the group's fighters fell back to neighboring Syria.

ISIS, which three years ago declared a cross-border "caliphate" encompassing vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, is now facing twin offensives in Mosul and Raqqa — its two most emblematic strongholds.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

North Dakota is a deeply conservative place, and its northwest corner is a deeply conservative part of the state — President Donald Trump captured nearly 80 percent of the vote in Williams County. Hillary Clinton manged just 13.5 percent.

Bureau of Land Management

The Trump administration has fired another shot in the long-smoldering Sagebrush Rebellion: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has issued a preliminary recommendation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, which spans over 1.3 million acres. 

No one quite knows how this will play out. The Antiquities Act allows presidents to create national monuments but has no mechanism for presidents to reduce or undo them.

<a href="">Ramses Morales Izquierdo</a>, Cuba

President Donald Trump put it out there.

Olivier Hoslet/Pool/Reuters

China and the European Union Friday affirmed their joint commitment to the Paris climate agreement, signaling a shift in diplomatic relations just a day after President Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the pact.

At a joint news conference in Brussels, European Council president Donald Tusk said, “Today we are stepping up our cooperation on climate change with China, which means that today, China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet."

The closing of the Navajo Generating Station could be seen as the first big test of President Donald Trump’s promise to bring back coal.

Navajo President Russell Begaye says he feels Trump has failed.

“The Trump administration has not lifted a finger for us, and I don’t believe that he will,” Begaye said.

The coal-fired power plant outside of Page, Arizona, is one of the biggest in the country, and an economic backbone of the Navajo reservation.  

The Navajo government is racing to extend the life of one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the country.

If the government and plant owners finalize a lease extension by Saturday, the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona will stay open through 2019.

If they don’t, the plant will start shutting down this year.

Levi Bridges

When Eric Dzhakhpevych found a construction job at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, he entered the jobsite each morning past a statue of Vladimir Lenin below an unlit fluorescent light that curved into the words “Dobro pozhalovat” — the Russian phrase for “welcome.”

But for many of the migrant workers renovating Luzhniki Stadium, where soccer fans will gather to watch the opening match of the 2018 World Cup, the entrance can lead to dangerous jobsites managed by exploitative employers.

How Russian meddling impacted the American Revolution

Jul 4, 2017
<a href=",_Tretyakov_gallery).jpg">Wikimedia&nbsp;Commons</a>

No man is an island. It’s as true in diplomacy as it is in ordinary life. And sometimes decisions made far away can have a big impact on our lives.

Russia was one of the great powers of the 18th century and, while far-off, its decisions had an impact on the outcome of the American Revolution.

The first significant impact was at the beginning of the war, before the Declaration of Independence was even a twinkle in Thomas Jefferson’s eye.

“Dear Catherine of Russia. May I please have 20,000 troops to crush American freedom. Regards, George.”

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday to challenge China to “put a heavy move on North Korea." But Chinese officials had their own plans, calling for de-escalation to ease tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

China and Russia on Tuesday called for a simultaneous freeze on North Korean nuclear and missile tests and joint military exercises by the US and South Korea as tensions escalated on the peninsula.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Brian Klaas studies despots.

And when he saw that President Donald Trump had tweeted out a video of himself, wrestling to the ground a man with a CNN logo covering his face, he couldn’t help but think of his research.

Carolyn Beeler

Tucked into a corner of physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed’s otherwise very cerebral-looking office is a computer with the '90s TV show, “Twin Peaks,” paused midscene.

The cult classic is constantly on in the background as Arkani-Hamed works on physics problems at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey.

“I find watching it inspiring because, there, they’re trying to figure out some crazy stuff, and we’re trying to figure out some crazy stuff,” says Arkani-Hamed. “So, it’s actually really nice to have it playing in the background.”

The smuggler

Jul 3, 2017

In 2015 French radio reporter Raphael Krafft was covering the refugee crisis. Then one day, one refugee asked for his help. Raphael followed his moral compass… which led him on the journey of a lifetime.

The key to eating more veggies? Trick your brain.

Jul 2, 2017
<a href="">hansbenn</a>/<a href="">CC</a><a href="">&nbsp;BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

If you’ve ever scanned a restaurant menu and found yourself torn between the “sizzling grilled sirloin” and the healthy option, “8-oz sirloin steak,” you’re not alone. The healthier one doesn’t sound nearly as mouthwatering, does it?

What theoretical physics says about the future of our government

Jul 2, 2017
<a href="">Diego Cambiaso</a>/<a href="">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>&nbsp;(image cropped)

We’ve all heard campaigning politicians — especially those who want to be president of the United States — say that if elected, they’ll fix what’s wrong in Washington. But what if the tangle of issues faced by our government is just too complex for one person to manage?

REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin

Hi, and welcome to my weekly column for Across Women's Lives at PRI's The World. Sign up here to get this in your weekly inbox. 

Take a dazzling new peek at Jupiter

Jul 1, 2017
<a href="">NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran &copy;&nbsp;PUBLIC DOMAIN</a>

Jupiter may be one of the planets we can spot with the naked eye, but scientists have long puzzled over what lies beneath its swirling clouds — or inside its stormy Great Red Spot.

Could an Amazon pharmacy be a prescription for industry change?

Jul 1, 2017
<a href="">Joanna Malinowska</a>/<a href="">CC</a><a href="">&nbsp;BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>

These days, you can find just about anything on Amazon — from toilet paper to textbooks and even groceries. For now, though, there’s still something you won’t find on the site: prescription drugs.

Flu? There’s A Patch For That

Jul 1, 2017

Curiosity Gets An AI Upgrade

Jul 1, 2017