LONDON — The Edinburgh International Festival, a showcase of international dance, music and theater, will go ahead in front of audiences this August, the festival’s organizers said on Tuesday.
The festival, which normally floods the city with tourists, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But events will be staged Aug. 7-29 in three pavilions across Edinburgh, Fergus Linehan, the festival’s director, said in a telephone interview.
The pavilions will be specially built to maximize air flow and allow social distancing, he added.
The festival’s program will be released in June, Linehan said; the organizers are still waiting for a decision from the Scottish government about how many people will be allowed to attend. But the ongoing pandemic and the limits it has placed on international travel mean it will have a different flavor from normal.
“In terms of the people onstage, we’re not going to be flying in a big dance company from the U.S., or an opera company from Paris,” Linehan said. “But there are individual artists coming.”
Orchestre de Paris performing epic pieces by Beethoven and Berlioz, as well as several presentations by the Komische Oper Berlin. That will also change this year. “We can’t have that many musicians onstage, and we can’t have those big choral bits,” Linehan said, but he insisted smaller works would be just as exciting and innovative.
Many performances will be streamed free for international audiences, he added.
Coronavirus cases have fallen rapidly in Scotland this spring thanks to an extended lockdown and a strong vaccination program. On Monday, there were only 199 new cases reported among a population of around 5 million, and no deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to Scottish Government figures.
But many restrictions are still in place, including on cultural life. Museums cannot reopen until Apr. 26. Other cultural activities cannot restart until May 17 at the earliest, and even then, only with small audiences.
The Edinburgh International Festival is one of a host of arts events that normally take place in the city each summer. The festival’s organizers insist the others will occur in some form, too.
A spokeswoman for the scrappy Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which normally features thousands of small theater and comedy shows, said in an email that organizers were working toward an event to run Aug. 6-30. It was still unclear if the Fringe would be “digital, in person, or both,” she added.
Edinburgh International Book Festival will also proceed from Aug. 14 with in-person events “if circumstances permit,” a spokeswoman said in a telephone interview.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a popular series of parades involving bagpipe performances by armed forces from around the world, is also set to go on. It started selling tickets last October but has not provided any updates since. On Tuesday, its organizers did not respond to a request for comment.
Linehan said he hoped the International Festival’s announcement would give confidence to other events to press ahead with plans. His festival won’t make any money, he said, but that didn’t matter. “This is a really momentous moment for us,” Linehan said, adding: “It’s really important we get back to live performance.”
CAIRO — Downtown Cairo came to a near standstill Saturday night as 22 mummies were moved from a museum where they had resided for more than a century to a new home, transported atop custom-made vehicles in a glittering, meticulously planned procession.
The fanfare — broadcast live on state television and complete with a military band, a 21-gun salute and a host of Egyptian A-list celebrities — served as both a grand opening of sorts for the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization where the country’s oldest monarchs were set to land and an invitation to tourists to return to Cairo after the pandemic.
“These are the mummies of kings and queens who ruled during Egypt’s golden age,” said Zahi Hawass, a former minister of antiquities who supervised the discovery of tombs that date back thousands of years. “It’s a thrill, everyone will watch.”
Everyone, except many Egyptians.
Along the five-mile path to the new museum lay stretches of working-class neighborhoods that were deliberately hidden from view ahead of the parade, a reminder of the jarring divide between Egypt’s celebrated past and its uncertain present.
Banners proclaiming the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade” and large national flags prevented television viewers from peering inside Cairo’s impoverished areas and kept local residents from getting a glimpse of the polished, made-for-TV spectacle. In one spot, plastic screens at least 10 feet tall were mounted on scaffolding to close gaps in a cream-colored wall.
“They put it up to hide us,” said Mohammed Saad, a local resident who stood with two friends a few feet behind a barrier that separated them from the newly swept road where the ancestral parade would roll through.
Two security officers confirmed that no one would be allowed to leave nearby neighborhoods during the parade, or to step onto the street to watch. “They can watch on a screen,” one of them offered.
In a television interview, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities credited the president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for conceiving of the public procession as a way to draw tourists back after the coronavirus pandemic brought international travel to a halt last year.
But the spectacle also underlined the economic and social divisions in Egypt’s capital.
“There is a tendency to try to show a better picture instead of fixing the existing reality,” Ahmed Zaazaa, an urban planner, said of the government’s public image efforts. “The government says they are making reforms, but the vast majority of people in Cairo who live in working-class neighborhoods are excluded.”
Egyptian television broadcast nonstop coverage of the parade preparations, emphasizing how the news was echoing abroad, pairing the visuals with dramatic theme music and a stream of information about the 22 kings and queens who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
The ancient royals who were on the move included Ramses II, the longest reigning pharaoh, and Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs.
After sunset, crowds gathered in downtown Cairo, among them enthusiastic young families who brought their children along in hopes of getting a glimpse of the historic moment.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. These are our ancestors.” said Sarah Zaher, who came with three friends.
But many of those who gathered were met by police barricades and turned back.
A uniformed officer yelled, “If you want to watch, go watch on television.” Disappointed, the crowds retreated into nearby coffee houses to watch on television or on their phones.
Nada Rashwan and Dawlat Magdy contributed reporting.
While your travel plans may be on hold, you can pretend you’re somewhere new for the night. Around the World at Home invites you to channel the spirit of a new place each week with recommendations on how to explore the culture, all from the comfort of your home.
Over the course of the decade since I first visited, I have often imagined myself at home in New Orleans. I think of the syncopated shuffle of a snare drum, the simple pleasure of an afternoon walk with a to-go beer in hand and the candy-colored shotgun houses that sink into the ground at odd angles. And so it wasn’t a huge surprise when, at the beginning of 2021, I found myself packing up my life and moving to the Crescent City for a few months. Why not be somewhere I love at this difficult time, I thought? Why not live in my daydreams for a little while?
New Orleans is above all else resilient. Mardi Gras parades were canceled this year, though it didn’t stop New Orleanians from finding ways to celebrate (nothing ever will). In recent months, brass bands have taken to street corners in front of masked, socially distant spectators instead of packed night clubs. Strangers still chat you up about the Saints from their front porches. My visions of this city may still be filtered through the fuzzy lens of a visitor, but I know I’ll be pretending I’m still there long after I’m gone. Here are a few ways you can, too.
bounce, popularized by superstars like Big Freedia, the call-and-response songs of Mardi Gras Indians, and so much more. For an overview of the sounds of this loud, percussive city there is no better place to start than the wonderfully eclectic WWOZ, a community-supported radio station that has been on the air since 1980. Luckily, you can listen to it from anywhere online. It’s only a matter of time before you start getting to know the various D.J.s and tuning in for your favorites.
a show on WWOZ for more than 25 years, told me. “New Orleans is the reason for it all.” Soul Sister was one of a handful of local experts I consulted in putting together a playlist that will send you straight to New Orleans. Among her recommendations are a bounce classic by DJ Jubilee and the music of Rebirth Brass Band, which brings her back to afternoons spent celebrating on the street: “It reminds me of the energy and freedom of being at the second line parades on Sundays, dancing through all the neighborhoods nonstop for three or four hours,” she said.
Professor Longhair, for example, starts it off — recommended by Keith Spera who writes about music for the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate. By the end of the playlist, you will undoubtedly agree with Mr. Spera’s assessment of New Orleans music: “There is no singular style of ‘New Orleans music’ — is it jazz? Rhythm & blues? Funk? Bounce? — but you know it when you hear it.”
Dooky Chase Cookbook, the collected recipes of Leah Chase, who died in 2019, of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, an institution that has hosted civil rights leaders, presidents and countless regulars at its location in Treme, the neighborhood where jazz was born. Next, tap into the Cajun influence on the city with “Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou,” by Melissa M. Martin who oversees a restaurant of the same name in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans. Ms. Martin recommends making her grandmother’s oyster soup. “I can picture her stirring a pot on Bayou Petit Caillou and seasoning a broth with salty Louisiana oysters, Creole tomatoes and salted pork,” Ms. Martin said. “The marriage of three ingredients transports me to the tiny fishing village I call home, where salt was and still is always in the air.”
Anthony Bourdain for encouraging her to keep it secret). But she has shared versions of her recipe, so you can try your hand at it at home. “That will get you pretty close to the real thing,” she said with a wink I could almost hear over the phone.
Free Tours by Foot, which has transferred their expertise to YouTube. You can now stroll the grandiose Garden District, pull away the sensationalism around New Orleans’ Voodoo traditions and take a deep dive into jazz history in Treme. “New Orleans is full of painful history, and it’s also known as one of the most fun cities in the world,” Andrew Farrier, one of the tour guides, said. “I think it’s useful for all of us to know how those two things can live so close to each other.”
New Orleans’ drinking scene extends far beyond the vortex of debauchery that is Bourbon Street. There are the classic New Orleans inventions, of course, like the Sazerac, but for something a little different, turn to one of the city’s most revered mixologists. Chris Hannah, of Jewel of the South, invented the Bywater as a New Orleanian spin on the Brooklyn. “Among the ingredient substitutions I swapped rum for rye as a cheeky nod to our age-old saying, ‘New Orleans is the northernmost tip of the Caribbean’,” Mr. Hannah said.
your quarantine pod and a “set-up” and you might just get close. What is a set-up, you ask? It’s a staple dive bar order that will get you a half-pint of your liquor of choice, a mixer and a stack of plastic cups. It’s also an often-overlooked part of New Orleans drinking culture, according to Deniseea Taylor, a cocktail enthusiast who goes by the Cocktail Goddess. “When you find a bar with a set-up, you are truly in Nola,” Ms. Taylor said. “First time I experienced a set-up, it was paired with a $5 fish plate, a match made in heaven.”
“The Yellow House,” a memoir by Sarah M. Broom, which the Times book critic Dwight Garner called “forceful, rolling and many-chambered.” Going further back in time, try “Coming Through Slaughter,” a fictionalized rendition of the life of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden by Michael Ondaatje.
If you are in the mood for a documentary, Clint Bowie, artistic director of the New Orleans Film Festival, recommends Lily Keber’s “Buckjumping,” which spotlights the city’s dancers. For something fictional, Mr. Bowie points to “Eve’s Bayou” directed by Kasi Lemmons. It’s hard to forget New Orleans is a city built on a swamp when you feel the crushing humidity or lose your footing on ruptured streets, and this movie will take you farther into that ethereal environment. “Set in the Louisiana bayou country in the ’60s, we could think of no better film to spark Southern Gothic daydreams about a visit to the Spanish moss-draped Louisiana swamps,” Mr. Bowie said.
SEOUL — North Korea test-launched what it called a newly developed tactical guided missile on Thursday, violating international sanctions.
It was the country’s first ballistic missile test in a year and its first provocation to the Biden administration, prompting the American president to warn that there will be “responses” if North Korea continues to escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The United States has tried both sanctions and dialogue to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programs.
Neither has worked.
Instead, North Korea has rapidly expanded its nuclear program and modernized its missile fleet under Kim Jong-un, the country’s young leader. The expansion of the arsenal is a growing threat to the United States and allies in the region. Here’s what’s in it.
last and most powerful nuclear test was conducted in September 2017, when North Korea claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear, or hydrogen, bomb. Estimates of the device’s explosive power ranged from 50 to 300 kilotons.
Arms Control Association.
Although the world is preoccupied with the North’s nuclear weapons, the country has also stockpiled thousands of tons of chemical and biological weapons agents that it can deliver with its missiles. When Mr. Kim’s estranged half brother, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur in 2017, North Korea used the internationally banned VX nerve agent in the operation.
Its missiles can fly longer ranges.
In 2017, North Korea made big strides in its weapons capabilities.
That year, the country fired its intermediate-range ballistic missile, Hwasong-12, over Japan and threatened an “enveloping” strike around the American territory of Guam. It also test-fired Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles.
By the end of the year, Mr. Kim claimed that his country had the ability to launch a nuclear strike against the continental United States.
threatened to end his moratorium when talks with President Donald J. Trump collapsed in 2019.
During a nighttime military parade last October, North Korea displayed a new, untested I.C.B.M. that looked bigger than any of the previous ones.
party congress in January, Mr. Kim doubled down on his nuclear arms buildup, offering a laundry list of weapons he said he planned to develop. They included “multi-warhead” nuclear missiles, “hypersonic” missiles, land- and submarine-launched I.C.B.M.s that use solid fuel, and “ultramodern tactical nuclear weapons.”
Whether North Korea has mastered the technology needed to send an intercontinental nuclear warhead into space and then guide it back through the earth’s atmosphere to its target is still unclear. North Korea has yet to demonstrate that its warhead can survive the intense heat and friction created by re-entry.
Its weapons are getting more sophisticated.
When North Korea resumed missile tests in 2019 following the collapse of the Kim-Trump talks, the tests featured three new weapons, code-named KN-23, KN-24 and KN-25 by outside experts.
They each marked big advances in North Korea’s short-range ballistic missile program.
Unlike its older missiles that used liquid fuel, all three of the new missiles used solid fuel. The new solid-fuel weapons, mounted on mobile launchers, are easier to transport and hide and take less time to prepare. And at least two of them, KN-23 and KN-24, could perform low-altitude maneuvers, making them harder to intercept.
At a military parade earlier this year, North Korea displayed what looked like a bigger, upgraded version of KN-23. Photos released by the North Korean media indicate that was the weapon tested on Thursday.
The new missile was developed to be larger than KN-23 in order to carry a bigger warhead and more fuel.
Pukguksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles since 2015.
During the military parades held in October and earlier this year, North Korea displayed what looked like two upgraded versions of its Pukguksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The country currently has only one submarine that can launch a ballistic missile, but says it is building a new one with greater capabilities.
The arsenal ‘guarantees its success.’
North Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world, with more than one million soldiers. But much of its equipment is old and obsolete, and the military lacks fuel and spare parts.
North Korea has sought to make up for its shortcomings by building nuclear weapons.
Mr. Kim justifies his family’s dynastic rule of North Korea by saying that the nuclear arsenal his government has built was a “treasure sword” keeping North Koreans safe from foreign invasion. He tells his people that they are under the constant threat of an American attack.
At the January party congress, Mr. Kim said that his weapons program “never precludes diplomacy” but “guarantees its success.” He has also said he no longer holds any expectations for dialogue unless Washington makes an offer that satisfies his government.
The test this week reflected Mr. Kim’s determination, analysts said.
It showed that “North Korea was pushing ahead with the plans” set down by Mr. Kim during the party meeting, said Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “As it had stated before, North Korea had no intention of moving first to offer a concession or make a proposal.”
The pandemic in the United States, now more than a year old, is starting to hit some calendar milestones for a second time, including St. Patrick’s Day parades across the country. The sudden cancellation of the parades last year was one of the first big signs of how disruptive the pandemic would be to normal life in the U.S.
Though many states and cities have been tentatively loosening various Covid restrictions lately, most places have not cleared the way for a resumption of parades, which can be among the most ruthlessly effective kinds of super-spreading events.
So the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago has been canceled, again; the parade in Boston canceled, again; the one in Philadelphia, canceled, again. The parade in New York City, intent on retaining its distinction as the oldest uninterrupted St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world, will once again be largely ceremonial and very low-profile, with a small group walking up Fifth Avenue at an unannounced time very early in the morning — that is, if the city and state approve doing anything at all.
Some places are putting a spin on the commemorations. The 37th annual parade in St. James, on Long Island, is now going to be held by car; the one in Hilton Head, S.C., is moving to the water; and the one in Pittsburgh is moving to the fall (maybe). A drive-in Celtic rock concert is planned in Dublin, Calif.; a virtual 5K run in Naperville, Ill.; and a day of green beer in plastic cups being delivered by masked servers between plexiglass screens at McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia.
New Orleans were packed on the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day despite the cancellation of local parades, prompting stern admonitions from mayors and governors. This year, officials are pleading with people to stay at home, or at least to be vigilant when they are out.
“We are not at a point where we can start having major St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,” Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said to reporters in a recent briefing.
Still, not everyone is resigned to laying low for another year.
In the town of Erin, Wis., population around 3,800, the short-notice cancellation of last year’s parade, the 40th, was a heartbreaker: Floats had already been prepared, and past parade kings and queens were scheduled to appear. This year, local officials and volunteers are determined to do everything they can to make a parade happen.
“It was by the end of January that we decided,” said Dennis Kenealy, a retired lawyer who is chairman of the town board. “If we can’t pull together all the health precautions, we would still cancel it. But let’s go ahead and try.”
Mr. Kenealy listed reasons the organizers felt comfortable going forward: The parade is outdoors, along a stretch of highway; spectators can line up to watch from their cars; a Wednesday morning parade will probably draw fewer people than past years; and Wisconsin is currently doing better than most of the country, both in the percentage of people fully vaccinated and the rate of newly reported cases. A statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
Still, Mr. Kenealy said he hoped that holding one of the very few St. Patrick’s Day parades anywhere this year would not make Erin a magnet for big crowds from out of town.
“I would hope not too many show up for that reason,” Mr. Kenealy said. “I mean, we’re out here pretty far. And we’re not offering an awful lot, nothing that you couldn’t see somewhere else.”