• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

A Historic Earthquake in Turkey, and a Spy Balloon Saga

ByGurinderbir Singh

Feb 16, 2023

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More than forty thousand people are dead after back-to-back earthquakes in Turkey and Syria last week. It’s a new level of disaster in a region that has been pummelled by violence and terrorism. As a Syrian refugee in Turkey told The New Yorker, “We’ve had eleven years of war in Syria . . . . But what happened in eleven years there happened in forty seconds here.” Meanwhile, a mysterious tale of espionage has been unfolding. After a Chinese spy balloon was seen over Montana, the United States identified several more floating bodies in its airspace. Are they proliferating, or have they been there for far longer than we realize?

Ben Taub, a New Yorker staff writer, has reported extensively from the Turkish-Syrian border, but his most recent piece for the magazine was about a man who travelled around the world in a balloon. He joins Tyler Foggatt to unravel two of the biggest stories in the news.

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