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C.J. Chivers, The New York Times
On the ground with antigovernment forces in Syria.
He roams the Aleppo region with dozens of armed men in camouflage, plotting attacks with other commanders, evading airstrikes, meeting with smugglers and bombmakers to gather more weapons, and rotating through front-line duties in a gritty street-by-street urban campaign. He prefers to sleep by day, and fight by night.
His fighters are a cross section of a nation at war with itself. They include a real estate agent, several farmers, construction workers and a nurse who owned a short-order restaurant. These men fight side by side with a cadre of army defectors, who say the government they once served must fall.
BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images
David Moss, The Guardian
On trying not to be an "oxygen thief."
The engineers call the nuclear reactor "the big kettle". It is what enables one of these fast-attack submarines to go on long operations, with no need to come into port for refuelling. Having it on board is a huge responsibility, as HMS Triumph's marine engineering officer, Lieutenant Commander Andy Sharp, makes clear. "It's never going to explode," he says when I ask him what's the worst thing that could happen, "but it could melt. If a nuclear submarine had an accident that caused it to have a slump and melt and drop out the bottom of the boat, I don't think we'd have a nuclear fleet any more. That would be the end of nuclear submarines. It's that level of responsibility." That pressure is enormous, but it works: to its credit, the navy has managed, over half a century, to run a fleet of submarines without a major incident.
JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP/Getty Images
Cam Simpson, Businessweek
The impact of tin mining on ordinary Indonesians.
Tin is often associated with soup and questionable meats, but tin cans were replaced long ago by containers made from far cheaper steel, lined with plastic or extremely thin coatings of tin, which does not corrode. Tin’s real use is for solder. Electronics manufacturers use solder, which today typically contains more than 95 percent tin, to attach and connect components. The solder points are tiny but omnipresent, numbering about 7,000 in just two of the components in an iPad, according to research company IHS’s iSuppli. A large flat-screen television can contain as much as 4.8 grams of solder, according to German solder maker Henkel. The iPad or a competing tablet can hold at least 20 percent of that amount, with its tin content weighing in at anywhere from 1 to 3 grams, according to Henkel and ITRI, a U.K.-based industry trade group. That means the construction of as few as five iPads, which weigh about 1.4 pounds each, consumes as much tin solder as the average car, which weighs about 4,000 pounds.
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images