First the trees dried up and cracked apart. Then the goats keeled over. Then the water in the village well began to disappear, turning cloudy, then red, then slime-green. But the villagers kept drinking it. Now on a hot, flat, stony plateau outside Baidoa, #Somalia, thousands of people pack into destitute camps, many clutching their stomachs, some defecating in the open, others already dead from a #cholera epidemic. Another #famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And for the first time since anyone can remember, there’s a very real possibility that 4 famines could break out at once (here, as well as in South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen). International aid officials say they are facing the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. And they’re determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. One powerful lesson from the last famine in Somalia, just 6 years ago? Famines aren’t just about food. They are about something even more elemental: water. Our photographer Tyler Hicks took this photo of a dusty dirt road winding across the stark landscape of Baidoa. Swipe left to see a photo of mothers tending to their children at a cholera treatment center. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
President Donald Trump suffered his first defeat on Capitol Hill on Friday when Paul Ryan, the House speaker, pulled the House health care bill. Can the White House still make good on its legislative promises? That’s the question @nytmag asks in this week’s cover story, by @draperrobert, a writer at large who spent considerable time on the campaign trail with @realdonaldtrump. When #DonaldTrump took office, he relished the prospect of becoming a new kind of deal maker in the White House. “By the time I spoke with him in early March, however, he already seemed to be taking stock of the limits to his powers,” writes @draperrobert. “He still saw himself as the closer in chief — but then that was ‘typical, I would think, of a president,’ he mused. ‘Some more than others.’” @realdonaldtrump spent his campaign railing against congressional Republicans. Now he's learning how much he needs them. Visit the link in our profile to read the @nytmag story, and to see another image by the @magnumphotos photographer @christopherandersonphoto, who took this #portrait in the Oval Office.
One year after Canada embraced Syrian refugees like no other country, a reckoning was underway. Canadians had essentially adopted thousands of Syrian families, donating a year of their time and money to guide them into new lives just as many other countries shunned them. But as 2016 turned to 2017, the question of how the newcomers would fare acquired a national nickname: Month 13, the month when the Syrians would try to stand on their own. On a visit to #Toronto, @damonwinter photographed 3 children from the Hajj family with Carole Atkins, one of the women who sponsored them and their parents. She and her friends poured themselves into resettling the family, becoming so close that they referred to one another as substitute grandparents, parents and children. But with the Month 13 deadline nearing, the sponsors faced uncomfortable questions: Were they doing too much? Even if they wanted to stop helping, would they be able to? They knew they should teach the family more bus routes, instead of driving them so much. But they rarely followed through. “I haven’t really fostered any independence,” Carole admitted. Watch our #InstagramStory to read more.
“I learned my geography by that wooden map of the United States — the jigsaw puzzle of the lower 48 with the inset Hawaii and Alaska to the side,” @jamielaurenkeiles writes in @nytmag. “The puzzle-piece states were the places to go, and everything else was just negative space. You could not visit the compass rose in the corner, nor the unvarnished pine off the coast of Oahu.” But if you let your eyes go blurry, she explains, you might imagine the inverse — wherein the eastern half of the U.S. is an island, circumnavigable by water across the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico, then back up north along the shores of the Atlantic. Last year, some 150 boaters did just that, circling the length of this so-called Great Loop; these Loopers, as they call themselves, set sail from any point along the way and cross their own wakes about 6,000 miles later. For @nytmag’s Voyages issue, @jamielaurenkeiles hopped aboard the 52-foot Bluewater yacht, Let It Ride, and tagged along with Tim and Karen Bartel as they knocked off the Central Florida leg of their Loop. @webb_norriswebb photographed early-morning fog on the third day of the couple’s voyage across Florida. Visit the link in our profile to read more about this improbable 6,000-mile boat trip around the East Coast.
The photographer @davidbenjaminsherry took this series of photos in #California’s Sequoia National Park, the land of giants. When photographed, #sequoias defy efforts to maintain a sense of their true size. The General Sherman Tree, the first tree pictured here, is 275 feet tall and 100 feet around — the largest tree on Earth. @nps drives home its massiveness with this fun fact: If it were hollowed out and filled with water, there’d be enough water for you to take a bath every day for 27 years. For a different perspective, swipe left to the royal-blue photograph and squint to see a teeny-tiny sign. These trees are so big “that it would be cowardly not to deal with their bigness head on,” Jon Mooallem writes in @nytmag. “They are very, very big. You already knew this — they’re called ‘giant sequoias’ — and I knew it, too. But in person, their bigness still feels unexpected, revelatory.” For @nytmag’s #Voyages issue, Jon went to see some of the world’s oldest, biggest trees so he could feel small. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Why did @shamblanderson, a staff writer for @nytmag, drag his wife, daughter and son away from work and school to see #MountRushmore? He can’t say exactly. “I felt drawn to Mount Rushmore, instinctively,” he writes. “I wanted to look American bigness squarely in the face.” Somewhere on the way, @shamblanderson and his family realized that none of them really knew which presidents were carved into the mountain. The ubiquitous American image was so familiar that they’d never really bothered to look closely. After some discussion, they managed to agree on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. But who was the fourth? They had to look it up. (Do you know?) When @shamblanderson arrived, he felt a rush of emotion that was not patriotism but awe — “at human weirdness, at our capacity to create, in the actual world, such an improbable and unnecessary artifact as this. Why had humans done this? Why did Mount Rushmore exist?”@gilesinfo, an @instituteartist photographer, photographed George Washington’s profile while on assignment for @nytmag at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Visit the link in our profile to read more.
Gary, 12, performed with the VIP Ladies and Kids Social Aid and Pleasure Club during a parade earlier this month in New Orleans. The photographer @kirstenluce went to #NOLA while on assignment for a @nytmag; her photos accompany an article in this week’s #Voyages issue written by the rapper, singer and essayist @dessa. "Work and play are both hard, and sometimes hard to tell apart,” @dessa writes. But on her recent trip to New Orleans, she was looking for the opposite — fun. “Most of my experience of the city has been nocturnal,” she writes. “If I spliced all my waking hours in New Orleans onto a continuous reel, it would play like footage from an Arctic observatory in winter: 20-some hours of darkness, then a paltry bit of daylight before the next 20-hour night.” This time, her trip hit the notes of a regular tourist: lunch on Frenchmen Street; a concert at the Maple Leaf Bar; the lagoons, botanical gardens and sculptures of City Park; walks down Bourbon Street and Chartres Street; sunrise over the Mississippi. Visit the link in our profile to read more, and follow @kirstenluce to see more photos from #NewOrleans. #🎺
“Can it be true? The aloha spirit is real? Paradise on earth? An Eden of happy Americans moated from our national ravages of malevolence, contempt, uncertainty and fear?” Those are just some of the questions the writer Wells Tower sought to answer while on a family vacation in #Hawaii. The 50th state has never tempted Wells — until now, in 2017. “I am not constitutionally geared for paradise,” he wrote in @nytmag. But in the current political climate, he wanted a place “where things are pretty and people are smiling, if only because it’s in their job description.” By his first morning, he wrote, “it would be overselling things to claim that I’ve achieved rapturous mind erasure my first morning in Hawaii, but this is, well, rather nice.” His visit ended with a close glimpse of Kilauea, the youngest and most effusive volcano on the Big Island. “You can’t get near it and not become a stoned teenager,” he wrote. The photographer @dina_litovsky went to Hawaii, too, where she captured a sea-life encounter at Carlsmith National Beach Park, views of Volcanoes National Park, a luau and poolside escapism. Swipe left to see more photos and watch our #InstagramStory to read the full @nytmag article from this week’s #Voyages issue.
The triple bill of dances by Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor on Sunday at @lincolncenter — presented by @paultaylordancecompany — was bound to be historic. No single program has ever brought together work by all 3 choreographers before, though their histories were interconnected. But would it be good? “The whole program shone,” writes our chief dance critic @alastair.macaulay. While there used to be hostilities among devotees of the 3 choreographers, @alastair.macaulay explains that “now, it’s easier to find room in our hearts to love all 3.” He concluded his review on a hopeful note, expressing his desire that this one-off event won’t be the last time the 3 giants share a program. @andrea_mohin, who photographs dance for @nytimes, took this photo of Sean Mahoney and Parisa Khobdeh dancing amid fellow members of @paultaylordancecompany during a recent performance of Martha Graham’s “Diversion of Angels” at @lincolncenter.
New York City is made up of 66,000 blocks, each a little world unto itself. To know them all is to know the city in its infinite variety. (It’s impossible, but we try.) Just about every year, as the mayor offers a State of the City address, we ask @nytimes readers to paint a crowdsourced municipal portrait by telling us the state of their blocks. Between the human inclination to use surveys as an opportunity to complain — the average grade readers gave was a C+ — and our dive into the 311 database, there was inevitably some accentuating the negative. But complaining about the city is a recognized art form. And if the song of the block is a symphony of complaint, there are bright passages amid the squawking — starting with these photos @samuelhodgson took for our crowdsourced portrait of NYC. He took this photo of Atlantic Avenue at Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn earlier this month. Visit the link in our profile to read more about New York at its noisy, gentrified, garbage-strewn best.
Children dressed up as #pandas to celebrate the first public appearance of Bao Bao, the 3-year-old panda that arrived in China last month. #BaoBao was born in August 2013 to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, 2 pandas on loan to the @smithsonianzoo in Washington. By agreement, pandas provided by China are considered loans. Before a young panda turns 4, it must be sent to China in preparation for breeding. At today’s ceremony, several U.S. diplomats and dozens of reporters and other guests were on hand to greet Bao Bao. Although they were clearly excited to see her for the first time, waving their hands and shouting her name to get her attention, Bao Bao seemed unimpressed. She spent most of the time sitting in her outdoor playground, munching on bamboo. @gillessabrie captured this scene while on #nytassignment at the Dujiangyan base of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province. Swipe left to see a photo of Bao Bao setting into the land of her ancestors. #🐼