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New York On Its Knees: A Foreign Eye On The Pandemic's Wrath

An immigrant's reflections on a dying city that is bound to be reborn.

NEW YORK — Back in March, just before the pandemic arrived, I walked down Broadway to Soho. It was an unusually hot, sunny day and the streets of New York City were packed with people. Something told me I did not want to be there. Suddenly, beyond the usual city noises, I heard the voice of a young man calling out to people, asking them if they might be interested in getting a tattoo. I felt that there was something strange in this call. Was this how to advertise a tattoo? Isn't redesigning your body a profoundly intimate decision? Getting a tattoo is not the same as getting a coffee.

However, that voice told me one thing: that the business must be short of customers. Since we already knew about coronavirus at the beginning of March, I associated the advertising voice with the pandemic knocking on the door of the most vital city in the nation. I looked around again, realizing that this city that I knew so well, and that I was no longer in love with, was the perfect place to spread the virus at the speed of light. What if it really happens? I wondered. Appalled by the possibility of a human catastrophe of massive proportions, I became worried about the people I know and love. New York, with its dense population, was the perfect setting for a virus outbreak.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcoming the Iraqi prime minister

Iran's Deepening Isolation On The World Stage

The Islamic Republic foreign minister made a series of trips recently to shore up support among his country's few remaining allies. He returned empty handed.


LONDON — Iran is busy with its diplomatic maneuverings in the Middle East and beyond, but it has yielded little. As Iran's oil minister, Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh, put it: "No country is willing to sign a deal with Iran anymore."

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