Don’t Call It Street Style – Dec. 30, 2017

This year, 21 photographers captured the ways we present ourselves to the world.

the look

Clockwise from top left: Jake Michaels for The New York Times; Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times; Daniel Arnold for The New York Times; Rose Marie Cromwell for The New York Times

In a photograph by Sara Hylton, a confident woman stands in profile for a portrait. Wearing a patterned shirtdress and gleaming brass jewelry, she exudes style. What is not immediately apparent is that the picture was shot in South Sudan, a young, war-torn country where even carrying a camera in public is dangerous.

In this moment, though, the conflict is quiet; commanding the frame is Akuja de Garang’s self-possession, her unbroken spirit. What you see and what surrounds the subject are two seemingly contradictory stories, raising the question of how content and context inform each other.

Before the South Sudanese Civil War broke out, Akuja de Garang, 41, would organize fashion shows and markets. But even in wartime, she believes that style is essential. “We all have to wake up in the morning and get dressed,” she said. “Whatever is happening, life has to go on.”Sara Hylton for The New York Times

Over the past year, for The Look, I have assigned 21 photographers around the globe, including Andre Wagner, who navigated the streets of New York, capturing moments that celebrate race and community; Rose Marie Cromwell, who documented Latino culture in Cuba, Colombia and Panama; and An Rong Xu, who explored the hip-hop style of B-boys in South Korea.

The column features a rich perspective that examines style, identity and culture.

In the photo essay by Ms. Hylton, style tells a larger story about pride in South Sudan. Self-expression acts as a way to maintain a sense of normalcy in a place where there is constant conflict. The column will continue to uncover a diverse range of stories that are amplified, or hidden, by the way people present themselves in the world. Here are highlights from The Look in 2017.

Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times

How to take on winter in New York.

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The Divide Between America’s Prosperous Cities and Struggling Small Towns—in 20 Charts – By Paul Overberg | Graphics by Angela Calderon Dec. 29, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET

About 1 in 7 Americans lives in rural parts of the country—1,800 counties that sit outside any metropolitan area. A generation ago, most of these places had working economies, a strong social fabric and a way of life that drew a steady stream of urban migrants. Today, many are in crisis. Populations are aging, more working-age adults collect disability, and trends in teen pregnancy and divorce are diverging for the worse from metro areas. Deaths by suicide and in maternity are on the rise. Bank lending and business startups are falling behind. Here is the data that tells the story.

For decades, as migration to America’s small towns rose and fell, they barely managed to keep growing. Rural families formed and had just enough children to offset losses from those who left and those who died.


The Korean Missile Crisis – By Scott D. Sagan ESSAY November/December 2017 Issue

Why Deterrence Is Still the Best Option

It is time for the U.S. government to admit that it has failed to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. North Korea no longer poses a nonproliferation problem; it poses a nuclear deterrence problem. The gravest danger now is that North Korea, South Korea, and the United States will stumble into a catastrophic war that none of them wants.

The world has traveled down this perilous path before. In 1950, the Truman administration contemplated a preventive strike to keep the Soviet Union from acquiring nuclear weapons but decided that the resulting conflict would resemble World War II in scope and that containment and deterrence were better options. In the 1960s, the Kennedy administration feared that Chinese leader Mao Zedong was mentally unstable and proposed a joint strike against the nascent Chinese nuclear program to the Soviets. (Moscow rejected the idea.) Ultimately, the United States learned to live with a nuclear Russia and a nuclear China. It can now learn to live with a nuclear North Korea.

Doing so will not be risk free, however. Accidents, misperceptions, and volatile leaders could all too easily cause disaster. The Cold War offers important lessons in how to reduce these risks by practicing containment and deterrence wisely. But officials in the Pentagon and the White House face a new and unprecedented challenge: they must deter North Korean leader Kim Jong Un while also preventing U.S. President Donald Trump from bumbling into war. U.S. military leaders should make plain to their political superiors and the American public that any U.S. first strike on North Korea would result in a devastating loss of American and South Korean lives. And civilian leaders must convince Kim that the United States will not attempt to overthrow his regime unless he begins a war. If the U.S. civilian and military leaderships perform these tasks well, the same approach that prevented nuclear catastrophe during the Cold War can deter Pyongyang until the day that communist North Korea, like the Soviet Union before it, collapses under its own weight.


Fighting Climate Change, and Building a World to Withstand It – ADAM ROGERS SCIENCE 12.28.17

Heavy smoke covers Mondos Beach during the Thomas wildfire near Ventura, CA on December 6, 2017.


This past year, 2017, was the worst fire season in American history. Over 9.5 millionacres burned across North America. Firefighting efforts cost $2 billion.

This past year, 2017, was the seventh-worst Atlantic hurricane season on record and the worst since 2005. There were six major storms. Early estimates put the costs at more than $180 billion.

As the preventable disease hepatitis A spread through homeless populations in California cities in 2017, 1 million Yemenis contracted cholera amid a famine. Diphtheria killed 21 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, on the run from a genocide.

Disaster, Pestilence, War, and Famine are riding as horsemen of a particular apocalypse. In 2016, the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere reached 403 parts per million, higher than it has been since at least the last ice age. By the end of 2017, the United States was on track to have the most billion-dollar weather- and climate-related disasters since the government started counting in 1980. We did that.

Transnational corporations and the most powerful militaries on Earth are already building to prepare for higher sea levels and more extreme weather. The FIRE complex—finance, insurance, and real estate—knows exactly what 2017 cost them (natural and human-made disasters: $306 billion and 11,000 lives), and can calculate more of the same in 2018. They know that the radical alteration of Earth’s climate isn’t just something that’s going to happen in 100 years if we’re not careful, or in 50 years if we don’t change our economy and moonshot the crap out of science and technology. It’s here. Now. It happened. Look behind you.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend – Jacob Steinberg Last modified on Fri 29 Dec ‘17 07.55 GMT

Carvalhal needs immediate impact at Swansea, Schmeichel seeks redemption and Chelsea’s Azpilicueta-Morata combination threatens Stoke

Composite Premier League
Left to right: Fernandinho of Manchester City, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Álvaro Morata of Chelsea. Photograph: Getty Images

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On New Year’s Day, Many Low-Wage Workers Will Celebrate With A Raise Emily Sullivan – December 29, 20176:21 AM ET

Protesters rally outside a restaurant in St. Louis on Feb. 13. The service industry employs the largest percentage of minimum wage workers.

Jeff Curry/Getty Images

As midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve, many minimum wage workers will have an extra reason to celebrate: They’ll be getting a raise.

In 18 states and 20 localities, lawmakers are forcing up the minimum wage on Jan. 1.

For years, a large number of state and local governments have been driving up wages in response to federal inaction. Congress has kept the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour since 2009.

If lawmakers in Washington had adjusted the minimum to match inflation as measured by the federal Consumer Price Index, it would be about $8.50 today.

As of New Year’s Day, workers in the following states can expect a round of raises: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Those states already meet or exceed the federal minimum wage, so these new raises will push up the bottom even higher. For example, in Ohio, the state minimum wage is $8.15 an hour. After Jan. 1, it will be $8.30.

From Albuquerque, N.M., to Tacoma, Wash., many cities are taking wages to even higher levels than the state minimums. For example, in California, eleven local governments are sending the minimum wage to $13 an hour, or even more. In Mountain View and Sunnyvale, the wage floor will rise to $15.

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Top 10 NFL prospects in the College Football Playoff- Pete Thamel,Yahoo Sports•December 28, 2017


LOS ANGELES – The four teams competing in the College Football Playoff combined to have 21 players selected in the 2016 NFL draft. (Alabama alone had 10 players and Georgia just one.) This year, it’s likely that total number will be even higher, as Georgia will have a large uptick in overall prospects. Who are the top players from the four playoff teams that you’ll be seeing on Sundays? Yahoo Sports polled a half-dozen NFL scouts and executives to compile a Top 10* list of the best prospects for this NFL draft that you’ll see in the CFP.

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB Alabama – Scouts view Fitzpatrick as one of the safest picks in the draft, and it would be a surprise if he’s not among the top 10 players chosen. Can Fitzpatrick leap FSU safety Derwin James and be the first defensive back off the board? The guess here is yes. His value includes the versatility of playing corner, nickel and safety.

2. Roquan Smith, LB Georgia – There will be an interesting debate between Smith and Alabama’s Rashaan Evans as the top linebacker in this draft class. Smith is more dynamic than Evans, as he’s freakish sideline-to-sideline. Here’s the potential hiccup – his measurements will be important, as there’s questions about his true height. If he ends up being only 5-foot-11, he doesn’t fit in some NFL prototypes.

3. Clelin Ferrell, DE Clemson – Announced himself as a prospect after winning the Defensive MVP of last season’s Fiesta Bowl in a College Football Playoff shutout of Ohio State (3 TFLs). Ferrell is twitchy, unusually fast for his size (6-foot-5, 260 pounds). A knock will be lack of experience, as he’s only a redshirt sophomore. Ferrell’s production this season has been spotty, as he had just two sacks over the first six games. (He finished with 8.5, buoyed by a 3.5-sack showing in Clemson’s loss to Syracuse.)

4. Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama – This is an anomalously poor year for wide receivers, and there’s little doubt Ridley will be the first one picked. While Ridley projects high in a lot of early mock drafts, his modest size – 6-foot-1, 190 pounds – may give some teams pause.

5. Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma – We went in-depth on Mayfield’s pro prospects earlier this week. One NFL executive recently summed him up this way: “He’s a winner – that’s what you look for in quarterbacks. And remember, Drew Brees was 6-foot.”

Baker Mayfield could carry Oklahoma to a title this postseason and improve his NFL draft stock over the next two weeks. (AP)

6. Rashaan Evans LB Alabama – At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, he appears to be the latest bruiser in a lineage of linebackers that includes Reuben Foster, Reggie Ragland and C.J. Mosley. His versatility will be a plus, as a scout notes: “Teams have seen him do a little bit of everything.”

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