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nytimes: Hundreds of years ago, under traditional Hindu culture,

Hundreds of years ago, under traditional Hindu culture, hijras — who include transgender and intersex people — enjoyed a certain degree of respect. But Victorian England changed that. When the British colonized India in the mid-19th century, they brought a strict sense of judgment to sexual mores, criminalizing “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” That was the beginning, scholars say, of a mainstream discomfort in India with homosexuality, transgender people and hijras. Today, many say they feel a sense of alienation, of being looked at as freaks. They complain about being heckled, harassed and assaulted. Many are engaged in sex work; others beg for money in high-traffic areas. “Personally, I don’t want to beg. Nobody wants to beg,” one hijra told our reporter “And the situation is worse now for begging. The police harass us. They don’t let us beg anymore on trains. But we aren’t given any other opportunity, and now you ask us not to beg? This is not fair. This is not justice.” photographed these at a train station in . Visit the link in our profile to read more in about India’s third gender.

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nytimes: Today in India, hijras — who include transgender and

Today in India, hijras — who include transgender and intersex people — are hard to miss. Dressed in glittering saris, their faces heavily coated in makeup, they sashay through crowded intersections knocking on car windows with the edge of a coin and offering blessings. They dance at temples. They crash fancy weddings and birth ceremonies, singing bawdy songs and leaving with fistfuls of rupees. Many Indians believe hijras have the power to bless or curse, and hijras trade off this uneasy ambivalence. “There is this mixture of negativity and positivity, a laughter, a fear, this sense they are oddities,” said Gurvinder Kalra, a psychiatrist who has studied the hijra community. But behind the theatrics are often sad stories — of the sex trade and exploitation, cruel and dangerous castrations, being cast out and constantly humiliated. took this portrait of Honey, 22, outside of the room where she’s been staying near a Mumbai train station. Visit the link in our profile to read more in about hijras and their fraught position in modern Mumbai.

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nytimes: Radhika didn’t think of herself as different

Radhika didn’t think of herself as different until she started school. But after being teased by other children, she realized she wasn’t exactly a girl, but she wasn’t a boy either. Her mother told her not to dwell on it. “She told me, ‘You’re a girl. Stick to it.’” It hasn’t been easy for Radhika. After her parents split up and her mother died, none of her relatives wanted to take care of her. Then, when she was 8, a prostitute introduced her to sex work. A decade and a half later, Radhika makes a living in Mumbai, India, by performing blessings, begging on trains and through sex work. When asked how she feels each evening as she heads off to work, to stand in a line of other prostitutes along the railway tracks, she shrugged. “Ever since I was a little girl, I learned the world runs on money,” she said. “I learned that if I don’t have money, I don’t exist.’’ took this portrait of Radhika’s “daughters,” as she affectionately calls them, near their shared settlement in Mumbai. Swipe left to see a portrait of Radhika, and visit the link in our profile to read more in about the peculiar position of , who include transgender and intersex people, in India.

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nytimes: On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared independence from

On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. Yet far from ending Kosovo’s troubles, independence seems to have brought a new set of problems to the mountainous, landlocked region of less than 2 million people. The photographer has been photographing for 2 decades now. He took this photo last month on a Saturday night at the Duplex nightclub in Pristina, the capital. Kosovo is booming artistically and culturally. The clubs, bars and live music venues in Pristina have few ethnic boundaries. Kosovo-born artists like Rita Ora, Dua Lipa and Era Istrefi are regulars on the international music charts. Petrit Halilaj, a young artist, was awarded a special jury prize at the Venice Biennale last year. While a lot has changed for Kosovo and its people, noticed something different on his recent visit: “The relentless optimism of Kosovars had yielded to disillusionment,” he writes. “The people seemed weighed down by resignation, as well as widespread disgust at perceived government corruption.” Visit the link in our profile to see more of his photos.

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took this photo last month at a Serbian Orthodox service for Epiphany celebrations at Gazivoda Lake in northern Kosovo. He first traveled to nearly 20 years ago, when NATO intervened against Serbia in the war. “Having covered the conflict, I can’t help but view the people and the landscape through the wartime prism even now,” he writes. “Driving through the countryside, I remember the position of checkpoints, the lines of refugees, the displaced people searching for safety, the columns of thick black smoke that curled up from burning villages. Much has changed for the land and its people. Returning this winter, I was struck by how the relentless optimism of Kosovars had yielded to disillusionment.” Since its independence declaration a decade ago, Kosovo has been recognized by just 111 of the United Nation’s 193 member states. It’s the only country in Europe without visa liberalization, meaning that it’s almost impossible for its people to travel. And it has the youngest population in Europe — 70% of its people are under 35. Visit the link in our profile to see more photos has taken there over the years.

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nytimes: Ferdonije Qerkezi’s husband and 4 sons were

Ferdonije Qerkezi’s husband and 4 sons were abducted by the Serbian police in 1999. The remains of 2 of her sons have since been found and buried, but her husband and the other 2 sons are still missing. For women like Ferdonije, time does not move on. She has turned much of her home in Gjakova, Kosovo — where took her photo — into a museum dedicated to their memory. Upstairs, their rooms are as they left them. Toys, soccer balls and pieces of clothing are carefully wrapped in plastic. In another room, display cases hold the bullet-ridden clothes of the 2 sons whose bodies she recovered, a terrible reminder of how their lives ended. 10 years ago on February 17, Kosovo — a mountainous, landlocked region of less than 2 million people — declared independence from Serbia. Ferdonije dismisses questions of how she feels about the independence anniversary with a simple, “Pah, don’t ask!” | first traveled to Kosovo nearly 20 years ago, when NATO intervened against Serbia in the war. On his most recent visit, he found optimism yielding to fear and resignation. Visit the link in our profile to see more of his photos from .

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“I first arrived in nearly 20 years ago,” the photographer writes. “In 1999, NATO intervened on the side of ethnic Albanian rebels against the forces of Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia. I came to cover the war. As NATO bombs fell, Serbian forces opened a campaign of ethnic cleansing that drove almost a million Kosovar Albanians, predominantly Muslims, from their homes. Serbia, mostly Orthodox Christian, soon capitulated and withdrew its forces. Afterward, Kosovo spent 9 years under United Nations control, an internationally supervised limbo.” has since visited Kosovo frequently. He based himself in Pristina, the capital, from 1999 until 2005. It was in 1999 that he took this photo, of Ethnic Albanian refugees leaving the woods below Gajre, where they’d been hiding for 3 days from Serb shelling of their villages. A decade ago today, the mountainous, landlocked region of less than 2 million people declared independence from Serbia. Yet far from ending its troubles, independence seems to have brought a new set of problems. On ’s most recent visit, he witnessed optimism yielding to fear and resignation. Visit the link in our profile to see more of his photos.

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nytimes: Most North Koreans can’t actually watch the

Most North Koreans can’t actually watch the Olympic Games. The country has 22 athletes competing in , a South Korean town only 50 miles from its border. Technically its people could watch the on TV, because has free access to Olympic broadcasts. But it’s unlikely. So far, North Korea’s state-run television had broadcast none of the Games. “For the North Korean regime, there is no big incentive in reminding its people that the South lives well enough to host an Olympics,” said Lee Min-bok, a defector from North Korea. “Unless one of its athletes wins a surprise medal, it’s not likely to broadcast any competition to its people.” North Korea has won only 2 medals in the Winter Olympics, in 1964 and 1992. This year, the International Olympic Committee granted the 22 ns last-minute exemptions to compete in 5 sports. But the country also sent hundreds of cheerleaders, musicians and singers — and they’ve been the focus for state-run North Korean news outlets. photographed the North Korean at the pairs figure skating final on Wednesday. Visit the link in our profile to read more.

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nytimes: Black characters are rarely central to the imaginary

Black characters are rarely central to the imaginary worlds that fill the pages of comic books. That means the cosplay community — composed of fans who dress in character at conventions, movies and just for fun on weekends — is overwhelmingly white. set out to meet the who are disrupting popular ideas of what cosplay can and should look like. Portia Lewis, a 26-year-old actress and model, began cosplaying as a teenager. She has since branched out to other characters, including Storm, an important figure in the legacy. She said that being an African-American cosplayer helps create a more open world both within the world of cosplay and outside it. “We’re helping people see us as heroes,” said Portia, who lives in LA. “And I think black cosplayers are changing cosplay because we are now opening up a conversation about inclusion. We’re a subculture within a subculture, and we’re hoping the nerd community can be more inclusive toward us.” Watch our to see more. (And if you’re dressing up to see this weekend, show us: NYT.)

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nytimes: Kengo Kuma (@kkaa_official) is the most famous Japanese

Kengo Kuma ( ) is the most famous Japanese architect Americans have never heard of. That’s mostly due to his sparse record of building outside of East Asia; he has only one public commission in the U.S., a “cultural village” for the in Portland, Oregon. Many of his notable works are in rural areas and serve an ostensibly minor purpose — say, to exhibit a collection of Hiroshige woodblock prints, or to sell Taiwanese pineapple cakes, or to house a Starbucks or a museum dedicated to the history of dentistry, like the GC Prostho Museum and Research Center, photographed here by But at 63, Kengo is now poised to achieve international renown. However, his potential status as a globally known may hinge on one building alone: the National Stadium for the Olympics. Kengo's plan, like much of his work, is rather simple in its initial impression and as unobtrusive as a massive stadium can be. But whether he can successfully translate his rural and minute designs to a global stage remains to be seen. Visit the link in our profile to read more about ’s architecture of the future.

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, who was born deaf, will star onstage opposite Joshua Jackson in , Mark Medoff’s 1979 play about a tumultuous romance between a deaf woman and a hearing man. It’s ’s first theater acting job — a testament to her presence. “I’ve been in a room with Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, and she has that,” the director Kenny Leon told . When she was 13, decided to communicate with sign language alone, having decided that her voice was not a reflection of her intelligence: “It was an act of self-preservation,” she said. For the series, asked the actress to read “Not,” excerpted from the 2017 book “All We Saw,” by Anne Michaels. This video was directed for by Visit the link in our profile to read more about the sign language tutor-turned lead actress.

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“This is my dream stage, and I want to give my dream performance,” Yuzuru Hanyu said in the days leading up to the short program in men’s Olympic figure skating. The 23-year-old defending Olympic champion from Japan did just that on Friday, winning the short program with 111.68 points, 10 points higher than he scored at the 2014 Winter Games. He received a 10% bonus for the axel and a quad toe-triple toe combination jump, which were done in the second half of his routine, when skaters’ legs begin to tire. The only thing missing for Yuzuru was his trademark doll, which serves rinkside as a tissue box and a totem of good luck with its smiling, uncritical gaze. The Disney character would be a violation of Olympic branding and sponsorship rules. But Yuzuru did pat a Pooh doll on the head in his room for good fortune before the competition. (“I’m sure he was cheering for me,” he said.) It probably helped that a handful of fans wore Winnie the Pooh costumes in the stands during the short program — and as usual, a hail of Pooh dolls rained onto the ice after Yuzuru performed. photographed one of them making its way to the ice. (The dolls are collected and donated to charities.)

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nytimes: Who knows who first mixed soy sauce and

Who knows who first mixed soy sauce and butter and discovered the pleasures the combination provides. Try the mixture on warm white rice, a steaming pile of greens or an old sneaker — it’s your call. Regardless, the taste is “a sublime velvet of sweet and salty, along with a kind of pop we call umami, a 5th taste beyond sweet, sour, bitter and salty,” ’s reports. To come up with this recipe, he adapted a dish that was on the menu at the chef Chris Jaeckle’s : a mixture of soy and butter with mushroom stock to pour over polenta and sautéed , photographed here by The result: comfort and joy. Visit the link in our profile to get ’s recipe for creamy with mushrooms.

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nytimes: The romance of a tiny portable home is

The romance of a tiny portable home is forever linked to images of open highways in postwar America. But such transient dwellings made their way into the public imagination in Europe much earlier. In the late 19th century, William Gordon Stables, a Scottish author of books for boys, commissioned the first “gentleman’s caravan” to travel the UK. The author called his horse-drawn cabin “The Wanderer.” Unlike him, the interior designer Paola Moretti wanted to keep her caravan — a dilapidated Roller Super 3, built in Italy around 1960 — in one place. She and her son live east of Milan. But Paola had spent her childhood summers in seaside Tuscany, and she knew the perfect spot to keep the caravan: a secluded beach in Punta Ala. “We pretend we are in a magic tiny house abandoned in a forest,” she says. “And, really, there is no reason not to believe it.” See more of ’s photos of this caravan in from

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nytimes: The roots of the the Catholic Church’s

The roots of the the Catholic Church’s problems in China go far back. But today, a new clash is resonating in Mindong, a rural region on China’s southeast coast. It’s centered on the thorniest issue dividing them: who controls the bishops and priests who run the Roman Catholic Church in China. The basic plan would give the Vatican a formal role, and possibly even veto power, in how clergy are appointed in China. In return, the Vatican may force many local communities to accept clerics appointed by China’s Communist authorities rather than popular “underground” church leaders who have resisted state control for decades. The prospect of such an agreement has unleashed intense emotions around the globe. But the people most affected by these proposed changes — residents in places like Mindong — say they have more pressing concerns. The total number of Catholics in China peaked around 2005 at 12 million and has since declined to an estimated 10 million. That makes Catholicism the smallest major religious group in China, and the only one that’s shrinking. photographed people praying at Bishop Bai Cave, a holy site in southeastern China where a Dominican friar hid from Qing dynasty soldiers before being executed in the 1700s. Visit the link in our profile to read more about China’s Catholics.

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nytimes: One day after the massacre at a school

One day after the massacre at a school in Parkland, Florida, residents of the community honored the 17 victims, supported the survivors and tried to make sense of a tragedy that had no logic. Among the grieving were football players, who lost teammates, a popular assistant coach and the school’s athletic director. As the sun set, they formed a circle and locked hands with former players, praying for those who would never play again. They spoke of their dead coach, Aaron Feis, 37, who was also the school security guard and would greet students at the gate each morning, sitting in his golf cart with a thumbs-up and a smile. Tyler Goodman, 18, the quarterback, had seen the coach just before the shooting. “I love you, Coach,” Tyler recalls saying. It was Valentine’s Day, after all. “I love you, too, Bub,” Mr. Feis replied. “I’ll see you at 2:30.” took this photo of a vigil honoring the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tonight. Among those who died: a teacher, a dancer and a trombonist. Visit the link in our profile to read more about them.

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nytimes: In the land of Tolstoy, Turgenev and now

In the land of Tolstoy, Turgenev and now Putin, what are the stories Russians are telling themselves? “When I was growing up,” the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard writes in , “Russia was not only closed, and therefore mysterious, it was presented as our antithesis: We were free, the Russians were oppressed; we were good, the Russians were evil. When I got older and started to read, the situation became more complicated, because it was from Russia that the best and most intense literature came.” Together, he and the photographer embarked on a road trip into the heart of . “What on earth was I getting myself into?” Karl writes of one stop along the way. “My whole view of Russia was based on myths and romantic imagery. What kind of hubris made me believe that I would be capable of saying something about the real Russia after a 9-day trip through one tiny corner of this vast country?” photographed him on the train between Moscow and Kazan, where Lenin studied law and where he was radicalized. Visit the link in our profile to read about their journey.

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nytimes: After 3 days of races were postponed by

After 3 days of races were postponed by strong winds, ’s celebrated quest for multiple gold medals at the Pyeongchang finally began. She lived up to her prophecy with a stirring, come-from-behind victory in the giant slalom. Roaring down a steep and especially taxing racecourse, the athlete was both the most aggressive and most technically sound skier. By winning in the , which is her 3rd-best event, has heightened her possibilities for at least 3 gold medals — the most any Alpine skier has won in any Olympics. “I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with giant slalom,” she said today. “It’s been a fight sometimes.” At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, she finished 5th in the event. Then just 18, she was peeved. “The next Olympics I go to,” she said at the time, “I’m sure as heck not getting 5th.” Tomorrow, will defend her Olympic title in her strongest event, the slalom. Our photographer took these photos.

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nytimes: Behind a small storefront on Mott Street, in

Behind a small storefront on Mott Street, in Chinatown, every inch of free space has been turned over to Lunar New Year decorations: long-stringed lanterns, banners and paper charms celebrating the , which kicks off tomorrow. Typically, people come here for something else entirely: to do their laundry. For 8 weeks, though, Jie Li is filled with red and gold prosperity charms and souvenir cards, among other things. Yesterday, a few laundromat patrons had to wedge their way between customers paying for knickknacks and cartoon dog cards. “My mom is the real entrepreneur,” said Jason Luo, 24, who runs the family’s second business, a gadget shop, a few blocks away. “She knows a business can’t survive on one single thing. And if you have room, you should utilize it.” The parade will wend its way through the neighborhood tomorrow. took this photo while on in . #🏮 #🐕

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nytimes: A heavily armed young man barged into his

A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami yesterday, opening fire on terrified students and teachers and leaving a death toll of 17 that could rise even higher, the authorities said. The gunman, armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school. This morning, the authorities charged him with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He began his shooting rampage outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly before dismissal time. He then made his way inside and proceeded down hallways he knew well, firing at students and teachers who were scurrying for cover, the authorities said. The shooting is one of the deadliest in modern United States history, adding to the growing toll of mass killings on school grounds. took this photo of Lavinia Zapata embracing her son, Jorge, after the shooting. For updates on this story, visit the link in our profile.

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“I think it’s time for a new perspective on glamour in America,” told fashion recently, as he prepped for his New York Fashion Week show. In 2010, wrote about the designer, who was then just 21, calling him “that quintessential newcomer, driven, against daunting odds, to snatch the Fashion Week spotlight.” Since then, he has charmed , , and with his sophisticated, figure-hugging designs. This season, he decided to go all out with a runway show, which took place this afternoon. Although is known for his women’s eveningwear — like the dress photographed here by — he showed men’s clothing today, too. Watch fashion’s to see more from the runway. (Next up in the world of fashion: London.)

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nytimes: For every hopeful story of love, there is

For every hopeful story of love, there is a crushing tale of pain. For every soaring moment, an awkward stumble. If is a celebration of love in its entirety, shouldn’t we acknowledge the dark side of romance, too? George Taxi, who sells flowers outside of the Marriage Bureau in Brooklyn, knows about the dark side. “When I was in high school, I broke up with a girl because I had a fire in my house,” George said. “I really didn’t like her much, so I used that as an excuse. ‘My house went on fire, I lost everything, my head’s not right.’” The photographer and ’s spent a frigid February day wandering into food halls and shopping centers for warmth and asking strangers to tell them about their worst dates, breakups and Valentine’s Days. For George, the fire story was just the beginning. “One woman broke up with me over the phone the day after Christmas,” he said. We’ve all been there. Visit the link in our profile to read more stories. #💔

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nytimes: On Wednesday in South Korea, @shaunwhite won his

On Wednesday in South Korea, won his 3rd gold medal in 4 trips to the with a masterly final run that earned him 97.75 points. The quest for more complex tricks is coded in the DNA of adrenaline-seeking athletes like . “It’s just the evolution of the sport,” the 31-year-old said. This year, he pulled off something he hadn’t done before, not even in practice — a clean run with back-to-back 1440s, a quadruple corkscrew of sorts, performed in opposite directions on opposite walls. After learning that he’d won, howled in victory, hurled his board, then dropped to his knees in tears. When he embraced his family, the tears flowed even more heavily. “When they announced my score and I’d won, it crippled me,” he said. ’s gold medal was the 100th for in the Winter Games. Few have been as dramatic. How did he get it? Visit the link in our profile to see our analysis and more photos by #🏂 #🥇 NYTXXIII

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| “From my arms I express that I love him, but I can’t find him,” said the flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio. “I also express that I love music. I think a lot more about the guitar than about Salva.” Soledad, the star of , erupted into wicked laughter: The guitarist Salva De María is her partner in “Taranto.” As part of “La Ronde,” a series of duets exploring the good and bad in relationships currently at the , "Taranto" unfolds like an intimate conversation. The focus, said Soledad's husband, — together they direct the company — is a long-married couple. “It’s about their impossibility to connect after years and years of being together,” Martín said. “She’s asking for the man to pay attention to her, and he’s not.” In this technically demanding work, no one keeps the rhythm; instead, the 2 must follow each other. “I listen to the guitar, but maybe the guitar doesn’t listen to me,” Soledad told the writer “So I’m always trying to dance better, deeper, to be more inspired. It’s a thing with the guitar, with his music. It’s a fight.” took this for , our weekly exploration of .

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