Monday Briefing | April 15

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This image, of Honduran toddler Yanella Sanchez crying as she and her mother were taken into U.S. custody on June 12th, 2108, was just announced the winner of this year’s World Press Photo Contest, which recognizes professional photographers around the world for their contributions to journalism. Many more of these poignant images can be found here. Getty Images/John Moore. 

Stories to Follow

Haftar receives Sisi’s support against Libyan government. On April 14th, Egyptian leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced his unequivocal supportof Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan warlord who has been waging attacks on the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. On April 4th, Haftar announced his aims to capture the capital from Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and institute a parallel government based in eastern Libya. Sisi has been funding and arming Haftar’s “Libyan National Army” and has praised Haftar for his “efforts to fight terrorism and extremist militias to achieve security and stability” for Libya. Sisi’s remarks have been echoed by some inside the capital, like the head of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh. To assist Haftar, the eastern Libya National Army (LNA) is planning to overtake Libya’s biggest ports on the eastern coast. 

From 400 feet under the sea, the Seychelles President sends a plea to protect the world’s oceans. Last week, President Danny Faure joined a British expedition to explore ocean depthsaround Seychelles. From the submarine, he sent a live broadcast pleading with viewers to protect “the beating blue heart of our planet.” Last February, the Seychelles announced that 81,000 square miles of ocean around the country would become protected areas, limiting tourism and fishing to prevent more damage to the ocean ecosystem. Seychelles aims to protect 30% of its surrounding ocean by 2020, and then expand further into the Indian Ocean. Only 5% of the world’s oceans are protected, and islands like the Seychelles are more vulnerable to the rising tides and dying ecosystems caused by climate change. In an effort to increase awareness of the importance of protecting the ocean, the British nonprofit research institute, Nekton, has organized a series of expeditions, called First Descent, to map the ocean depths.

In addition to protecting ocean biodiversity, efforts to protect land animals face bitter obstacles. On April 13thSouth African police sieved 167 rhino horns, which they believe were heading to buyers in Southeast Asia. Although rates of rhino poaching have dropped in recent years due to conservation efforts, consumers in China and Vietnam drive demand for rhino horns, which are often used in traditional medicine. About 20,000 wild rhinos—nearly 80% of the rhino population— are located in South Africa, which has lost more than 7000 of the animals over the last decade. Rhino populations continue to decline around the world: there are fewer than 6000 black rhinos and 3500 one-horned rhinos left alive. 

Happening This Week

Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Gardens | April 19 – April 27 

The New York Botanical Gardens has opened up its annual orchid exhibition, which is based off of Singapore’s National Orchid Garden this year. In addition to visiting the exhibit during the day, those 21 and older can spend their evenings enjoying cocktails, light displays, and live music in the Orchid exhibit after dark. The conservatory also runs weekly workshops on orchid care—if you’d like to exercise your green thumb—and various displays of their research. 

Tickets are available for $38 here.

“Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything” at the Jewish Museum

Enter the Jewish Museums’ tribute to Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter legend who lives on in this exhibit, which spreads out over two floors and was greenlit by Cohen before his death. The exhibit features Cohen’s own drawings, as well as covers of his songs by other famous musicians. 

Find more information and tickets here.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving at the Brooklyn Museum 

View an extraordinary tribute to Mexican painter and activist, Frida Kahlo, at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit, which runs until May 12th, features personal artifacts celebrating Kahlo’s life, as well as pieces of her art and additional artifacts from the museum’s Art of the Americas collection, which provide context to her background and experiences. 

Find more information and tickets here.

In Your Free Time

For Your Reading Pleasure: Check out new releases like The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, by Melinda Gates. Other new books making the rounds include Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, which features a courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family, and WWII novel Lost Roses, by Martha Hall Kelly. If you’d rather watch the movie, Stephen King’s horror-flick Pet Semetary hit theaters last week.

To All Pod-Enthusiasts: Need something new to listen to? Reply All,a podcast produced by Gimlet media, is not just a podcast about the internet, but an “unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” Listen for stories about email chains, scam phone calls, and technological mysteries that take the hosts, and their listeners, across continents and across time. 

Reply All is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Find more information here.

Need some new TV? The final season of Game of Thrones premiered on Sunday, April 13th. If you’ve never bought into the hype, you have about 10 weeks to finish all episodes and still be in time for the season finale. For those who don’t want to make that investment, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Killing Evehave both returned to Netflix and Hulu, respectively. For those wanting something fresh, Russian Doll and Umbrella Academy are both recent (and amazing) releases on Netflix. 

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Bhavini Kakani.

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