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Mexican Whiskey Is on the Rise, Powered by Ancient Corn
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Mexican Whiskey Is on the Rise, Powered by Ancient Corn

Of the 59 varieties of native corn in Mexico, nal t’eel is one of the oldest, having emerged in the Yucatán Peninsula some 4,000 years ago. It grows quickly, largely unbothered by heavy rains or drought — so robust that the Mayans called it “rooster corn.”Like almost all of Mexico’s indigenous corn varieties, nal t’eel in recent decades has faced a seemingly unbeatable threat: high-yield hybrids, developed primarily in the United States and favored for their efficiency, though rarely their flavor. Fields once dotted with a rainbow of heirloom ears are now awash in wan yellows and whites.But in 2020 nal t’eel was thrown a lifeline of sorts by Gran Maizal, a distillery outside the Yucatán city of Merida. Working with local farmers, the company uses nal t’eel and two other indigenous varietie...
Ecuador in Crisis: What to Know
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Ecuador in Crisis: What to Know

Violence erupted across Ecuador this week after a well-known gang leader disappeared from prison. Explosions, looting, gunfire and burning vehicles were reported, and there were uprisings in several prisons. In the largest city, Guayaquil, gunmen stormed a TV studio during a live broadcast on Tuesday. President Daniel Noboa declared a 60-day state of emergency, imposing a nationwide curfew and authorizing the military to patrol the streets and take control of prisons. Mr. Noboa also deployed thousands of police officers and military personnel to search for the gang leader, Adolfo Macías. Here is what we know so far: What is the latest?By Tuesday, violence in Guayaquil had left at least eight people dead, Mayor Aquiles Álvarez said at a news conference. Shops, schools and government offices...
Two Capitol Riots. Two Very Different Results.
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Two Capitol Riots. Two Very Different Results.

Monday marks one year since thousands of right-wing protesters draped in the colors of the Brazilian flag stormed into Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices with a violent fury and the goal of overturning an election. Saturday marked three years since thousands of Americans did just about the same thing.They were two shocking attacks on the Western Hemisphere’s two largest democracies, both broadcast around the world and both prompted by presidents who had questioned their legitimate election losses. Each posed an extraordinary test of the country’s democracy, and each raised the question of how a deeply polarized society would move forward in the wake of such an assault.With time, the answer to that question is becoming clear: The parallel attacks have had nearly oppos...
Boeing’s 737 Max 9 and the Alaska Airline Grounding: What to Know
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Boeing’s 737 Max 9 and the Alaska Airline Grounding: What to Know

An emergency landing on Friday of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jet in Portland, Ore., led the Federal Aviation Administration to order some U.S. airlines to stop using some Max 9 planes until they are inspected. The order will affect about 171 planes owned by Alaska, United and other airlines. The episode also raised troubling new questions about the safety of a workhorse aircraft design dogged by years of problems and multiple deadly crashes.No one was seriously injured in Friday’s incident. The jetliner returned to the airport in Portland shortly after the plane’s fuselage broke open in midair, leaving a door-size hole in the side of the aircraft.Within hours of the episode, Alaska Airlines said it would ground all 65 of the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft in its fleet until mechanics c...
Canada’s Boreal Forests Badly Damaged by Logging
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Canada’s Boreal Forests Badly Damaged by Logging

Canada has long promoted itself globally as a model for protecting one of the country’s most vital natural resources: the world’s largest swath of boreal forest, which is crucial to fighting climate change.But a new study using nearly half a century of data from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec — two of the country’s main commercial logging regions — reveals that harvesting trees has inflicted severe damage on the boreal forest that will be difficult to reverse.Researchers led by a group from Griffith University in Australia found that since 1976 logging in the two provinces has caused the removal of 35.4 million acres of boreal forest, an area roughly the size of New York State.While nearly 56 million acres of well-established trees at least a century old remain in the region, logging ...
Order and Calm Eased Evacuation from Burning Japan Airlines Jet
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Order and Calm Eased Evacuation from Burning Japan Airlines Jet

As smoke filled the cabin of Japan Airlines Flight 516 after its fiery landing in Tokyo on Tuesday, the sound of a child’s voice rose above the din of confusion onboard. “Please, let us off quickly!” the child pleaded, using a polite form of Japanese despite the fear washing over the passengers as flight attendants began shouting instructions.In the minutes that followed, even as the flames that would eventually engulf the JAL plane flickered outside the windows, order held. The attendants evacuated all 367 passengers through the three exit doors deemed safest, sending them down the emergency slides one by one, with no major injuries. Most left behind everything but the phones that would capture the harrowing scenes for the world.While a number of factors aided what many have called a mira...
The World in Stories: 13 Favorite Dispatches From 2023
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The World in Stories: 13 Favorite Dispatches From 2023

Bearing witness, at close range and often at great risk, is the essence of a dispatch, and in 2023, our correspondents filed 80 of them from 37 countries, capturing the human experience from almost every angle: the good, the bad and the wrenching.In a year marked by conflicts, dozens of dispatches came directly from war zones: from a rare trip inside Gaza, where we saw a city utterly disfigured; from a ravaged Israel kibbutz, where more than 60 people were murdered on Oct. 7; and from the West Bank, where “there’s no such thing as sleeping at night.”And we got multiple, moving reports from Ukraine, where stoic faces started to crack under the war’s emotional toll. The effects of that war are being felt globally, from Bali, where Russians and Ukrainian expatriates try to get along, to towns...
Ukrainian Missile Attack on Belgorod Kills at Least 18, Officials Say
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Ukrainian Missile Attack on Belgorod Kills at Least 18, Officials Say

The Russian authorities said on Saturday that a Ukrainian attack on the city of Belgorod had killed at least 22 people and injured nearly 110 others, in what would be the deadliest single assault against a Russian city since the start of the war nearly two years ago.Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had hit Belgorod — a regional center of around 330,000 residents about 25 miles north of the Ukrainian border — with two missiles and several rockets, adding that the strike was “indiscriminate.”The ministry said that most of the rockets had been shot down, but that some debris had fallen on the city. The Ukrainian government has not officially commented on the Belgorod attack, and Russian claims could not be independently verified.The attack seemed to be Ukraine’s resp...
The Year in People: Our 12 Favorite Saturday Profiles of 2023
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The Year in People: Our 12 Favorite Saturday Profiles of 2023

A teenager jailed in Egypt, determined to bear witness to the abuses he suffered during years of detention. A proponent of peace in Colombia, shadowed by death threats. A father in India, fighting his own patriarchal impulses to give his two daughters a better life.With reports from six continents and 34 countries, the Saturday Profile in 2023 revealed people making a difference, mostly under the radar. Every week, our correspondents often sought out not the famous nor the powerful, but the unheralded with stories worth hearing.A Muslim cleric in Ukraine, now a medic on the front lines of the war. An anticorruption whistle-blower in Bangkok, with (he’d be the first to admit) a disreputable past. A scientist and hair salon owner in Paris, dedicated to styling curly hair.Some of our subjects...
Shakira Honored With a Statue in Her Hometown in Colombia
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Shakira Honored With a Statue in Her Hometown in Colombia

The Colombian coastal city of Barranquilla this week revealed a 21-foot-tall tribute to one of the country’s most famous cultural exports: Shakira.“A heart that composes, hips that don’t lie, an unmatched talent, a voice that moves the masses and bare feet that march for the good of children and humanity,” reads the plaque below the statue.“I am honored and moved by this incredible recognition in my Barranquilla, the city where I was born,” Shakira said in a statement. “Every barranquillero and barranquillera are my brothers and sisters and the inspiration of my life since my childhood.”The statue’s sculptor, Yino Márquez, said he was delighted by the way the sculpture had been received by the public and by Shakira and her family after it was unveiled on Tuesday. The singer’s mother, he sa...