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Posted by Worldkrap on

Golden Globe Awards Carry On, But Without Stars or a Telecast

If the Golden Globe Awards aren’t on television, will anyone care?

That’s just one of the uneasy questions facing the embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is proceeding with its film awards Sunday night without a telecast, nominees, celebrity guests, a red carpet, a host, press or even a livestream. In a year beset by controversy, the self-proclaimed biggest party in Hollywood, has been reduced to little more than a Twitter feed.

Members of the HFPA and some recipients of the group’s philanthropic grants are gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for a 90-minute private event starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday. The names of the film and television winners will be revealed to the world in real time on the organization’s social media feeds and website. Special emphasis, they say, will be given to their charitable efforts over the years.

That the organization is proceeding with any kind of event came as a surprise to many in Hollywood. The HFPA came under fire after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed in February ethical lapses and a stunning lack of diversity — there was not a single Black journalist in the 87-person group. Studios and PR firms threatened to boycott. Tom Cruise even returned his three Golden Globes, while other A-listers condemned the group on social media. 

They pledged reform last year, but even after a public declaration during the 78th show, their longtime broadcast partner NBC announced in May that it would not air the 2022 Golden Globes because, “Change of this magnitude takes time and work.” The broadcaster typically pays some $60 million for the rights to air the show, which ranks among the most-watched awards shows behind the Oscars and the Grammys.

Though often ridiculed, Hollywood had come to accept the Golden Globes as a legitimate and helpful stop in a competitive awards season. And for audiences around the world, it was a reasonably lively night, with glamorous fashion, major stars, the promise of champagne-fueled speeches, and hosts — from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Ricky Gervais — that regularly poked fun at the HFPA. 

After the NBC blow, it was widely expected that the HFPA would simply sit the year out. Hollywood studios and publicists also largely opted out from engaging with the group as they had in years past, with some declining to provide screeners of films for consideration. When nominees were announced last month, few celebrated publicly.

This year Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical drama “Belfast,” about growing up during the Troubles, and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” a gothic Western set in 1925 Montana with Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch, both received a leading seven nominations, including best picture. HBO’s “Succession” led the TV side with five nominations, including nods for best drama.

Many A-listers got acting nominations as well, including Will Smith (“King Richard”), Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Don’t Look Up”), Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Ben Affleck (“The Tender Bar”) and Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”). In a normal year, the nomination would be added to promotional campaigns and advertisements, but this year most chose to not acknowledge the nod.

The press association claims that in the months since its 2021 show, it has remade itself. The group has added a chief diversity officer; overhauled its board; inducted 21 new members, including six Black journalists; brought in the NAACP on a five-year partnership; and updated its code of conduct.

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19 Dead, Including 9 Children, in New York City Apartment Fire

Nineteen people, including 9 children, have been killed in an apartment fire in New York City, in what the city’s fire commissioner called one of the worst blazes in recent memory.

Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser to Mayor Eric Adams, confirmed the death toll Sunday to The Associated Press, while a city official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed the number of children dead.

More than five dozen people were injured and 13 people were still in critical condition in the hospital, Ringel said. The majority of victims were suffering from severe smoke inhalation, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said at a press conference earlier that afternoon.

According to the FDNY, approximately 200 firefighters responded to the scene at the Bronx’s Twin Park apartments, a 19-story building on East 181st Street.

Firefighters “found victims on every floor and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” Nigro said. “That is unprecedented in our city. We expect there to be numerous fatalities.”

Nigro compared the severity of the fire to the Happy Land social club fire, which killed 87 people in 1990 when man set fire to the building after getting into an argument with his former girlfriend and being thrown out of the club.

According to Nigro, Sunday’s fire originated in a duplex apartment spanning the second and third floors. Firefighters found the door to the apartment open, he said, which apparently allowed the fire to accelerate and spread smoke upward quickly. 

The fire is not believed to be suspicious in origin but the cause is under investigation.

Sunday’s fire comes just days after a house fire in Philadelphia left 12 people — including eight children — dead.

Posted by Ukrap on

Держсекретар США: наказ силам безпеки Казахстану стріляти на ураження має бути скасований

Токаєв 7 січня віддав наказ армії та правоохоронцям стріляти на ураження в «бандитів й терористів»

Posted by Ukrap on

Блінкен не очікує проривів від переговорів між США й Росією

«Дуже складно побачити [реальний прогрес] в умовах ескалації, коли Росія приставила пістолет до голови України, розмістивши 100 тисяч військовослужбовців біля її кордонів»

Posted by Ukrap on

«Рейсовий літак із Нур-Султана з 33 українцями незабаром сяде у Києві» – Кулеба

Очільник МЗС України повідомив, що наступні рейси з цього міста заплановані на 13 і 16 січня

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Russia, US on Familiar Ground in Peace Capital Geneva

Geneva, dubbed the capital of peace, is a favored spot for meetings between the two great post-World War II powers and once again hosts talks between Russia and the United States on Monday.

The tranquil Swiss city held the 1985 summit between US president Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev.

Geneva also staged last June’s talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden.

 

On Monday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian opposite number, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, will hold much-anticipated discussions on European security and the Ukraine conflict.

Neutral territory

Geneva not only hosts the United Nations — having been the seat of its League of Nations predecessor — and several U.N. agencies; the French-speaking city is also home to the Red Cross and dozens of other international organizations.

Former Swiss president Guy Parmelin called it the “city of peace” at the Biden-Putin summit last year, showing the Alpine nation could play a role in international relations even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the heart of Europe, Switzerland is known for its centuries of neutrality and was never part of the NATO and Warsaw Pact Cold War blocs that divided the continent following World War II.

Indeed, the talks between Reagan and Gorbachev played an important role in thawing the Cold War ice.

Spooks and experts

In 2009 and 2010 in Geneva, Russia and the United States negotiated the New START treaty on reducing their nuclear arsenals.

The city is home to the U.N.-linked Conference on Disarmament — the only such forum thrashing out arms control and disarmament agreements — and Geneva is therefore brimming with experts in such negotiations.

The city overlooked by Mont Blanc has hosted several meetings between the US and Russian foreign ministers, such as the 2009 summit between Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton.

She offered him a plastic “reset button” to symbolize the revival of relations.

Lavrov and Clinton’s successor John Kerry also met several times for talks in the Calvinist city, on topics such as Syria and Ukraine.

The Russians and Americans, who have large diplomatic representations and a considerable intelligence presence in Geneva, have also organized several meetings there on Syria in recent years.

Since the Biden-Putin summit, Sherman and Ryabkov have held a series of follow-up meetings in Geneva to continue the strategic dialogue and smooth out disputes between Washington and Moscow.

The pair met for the first time at the U.S. mission on July 28 before meeting again at the Russian complex on September 30.

Discretion and security

The two missions are a few hundred meters apart, close to the U.N.’s Palais des Nations headquarters.

As ever, the area will be under high security on Monday.

Switzerland, and Geneva in particular, is appreciated by diplomats of all stripes for its flexibility and discretion as a host state, as well as for the security it offers.

Such conditions saw the city host talks in the 1990s on the Bosnian civil war, the 2013 Geneva interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and, more recently, on the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

Posted by Ukrap on

Пакистан: офіцер безпекової служби застрелив трьох товаришів і наклав на себе руки

Чоловік відкрив вогонь на території місцевого військового комплексу

Posted by Ukrap on

У Харкові мітингували проти російської агресії та на підтримку Казахстану

«Очільник Казахстану Токаєв відчинив двері для Путіна, тепер він звідти не піде»

Posted by Ukrap on

Російські військові вчилися атакувати безпілотники в окупованому Криму

Південний військовий округ Росії має намір у 2022 році провести понад три тисячі заходів бойової підготовки

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Italy Sends Back Parthenon Fragment in Landmark Loan to Greece

Greece this week takes delivery of an ancient fragment that once adorned the Parthenon temple, the country’s most important archeological site. The return from a museum in Italy is being seen as the strongest nudge yet to the British Museum, which holds the largest collection of Parthenon Sculptures and has refused for centuries to return the antiquities to their ancient home.

The marble fragment will be unveiled at the Acropolis Museum Monday, displayed in a full-size representation of the Parthenon’s frieze.

The return is part of a groundbreaking loan deal signed between the Acropolis Museum and the Antonio Salinas Regional Archeological Museum in Sicily, where the artifact has been on display since the 19th century.

 

The Parthenon fragment, depicting the foot of a goddess, will be lent for a four-year period in exchange for a fifth century B.C. headless statue of the goddess Athena and an eighth century B.C. amphora as part of an extensive cultural exchange agreement. The loan period may be extended a further four years, and the fragment’s move to Greece could eventually become permanent.

Sicily’s councilor for culture, Alberto Samonà, said this is an important cultural exchange that can pave the way for even bigger international exhibits organized by the Salinas museum and the Acropolis museum.

Experts in Greece say the loan deal adds to mounting pressure on Britain to follow suit with the so-called Elgin Marbles, a massive collection of sculptures assembled by Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, who in the early 1800s was the British ambassador to the Ottoman empire, which then controlled Greece. Britain bought them from Elgin in 1816 after a parliamentary inquiry into the legitimacy of his ownership.

The dispute marks one of the longest-standing cultural rows in history, with Athens demanding for decades that the British Museum return the marble masterpieces to Greece. Greeks have accused the late British aristocrat of cultural theft.

 

Last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mistotakis made a new bid for the return of the sculptures as the Acropolis Museum installed 10 fragments of the Parthenon frieze stored in the capital’s archeological Museum.

The return of the Parthenon Sculptures from the British museum, he said, is a political and ethical issue with international implications. The prime minister said the return is all about healing a wound created violently and illegally by Elgin.

Mitsotakis raised the issue in talks with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, late last year, offering to lend some Greek historical treasures to the British Museum.

The prime minister’s office has since said the offer is a matter for the British Museum to decide. It added, however, that the marbles were bound to remain in Britain, arguing they were legally acquired and not the subject of an ownership dispute. 

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EU Under Pressure on ‘Ghost Flights’

The European Union is under increasing pressure to further ease rules on airport take-off and landing slots to cut the number of “ghost flights” airlines are running to retain them.

Carriers say the requirement for them to use 50% of their slots — down from 80% in pre-pandemic days — or lose them is forcing them to operate empty or half-empty flights.

A sluggish return to air travel, as travelers shrink away from the omicron COVID variant and quickly changing rules for passengers, is dragging out the practice longer than they planned.

Belgium’s Brussels Airlines, for instance, says it will have to operate 3,000 under-capacity flights up to the end of March.

Its parent company Lufthansa warned last month it expected it would have to run 18,000 “pointless flights” over the European winter.

Belgium’s transport minister, Georges Gilkinet, has written to the European Commission urging it to loosen the slot rules, arguing the consequences run counter to the EU’s carbon-neutral ambitions.

The current reduced quotas were introduced in March last year in a nod to the hardship airlines faced as COVID washed over Europe for a second year running, shriveling passenger numbers.

In December, the commission said the 50% threshold would be raised to 64% for this year’s April-to-November summer flight season.

“Despite our urgings for more flexibility at the time, the EU approved a 50%-use rule for every flight schedule/frequency held for the winter. This has clearly been unrealistic in the EU this winter against the backdrop of the current crisis,” a spokesperson for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told AFP.

He said the commission needed to show more “flexibility … given the significant drop in passengers and impact of omicron numbers on crewing planned schedules.”

But a commission spokesperson on Wednesday said the EU executive believed “the overall reduced consumer demand… is already reflected in a much-reduced rate of 50% compared to the usual 80%-use rate rule.”

The spokesperson, Daniel Ferrie, said: “The Commission expects that operated flights follow consumer demand and offer much needed continued air connectivity to citizens.” 

 

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Prospects Dim as US, Russia Prepare to Meet Over Ukraine

With the fate of Ukraine and potentially broader post-Cold War European stability at stake, the United States and Russia are holding critical strategic talks that could shape the future of not only their relationship but the relationship between the U.S. and its NATO allies. Prospects are bleak.

Though the immediacy of the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine will top the agenda in a series of high-level meetings that get underway on Monday, there is a litany of festering but largely unrelated disputes, ranging from arms control to cybercrime and diplomatic issues, for Washington and Moscow to overcome if tensions are to ease. And the recent deployment of Russian troops to Kazakhstan may cast a shadow over the entire exercise.

With much at risk and both warning of dire consequences of failure, the two sides have been positioning themselves for what will be a nearly unprecedented flurry of activity in Europe this week. Yet the wide divergence in their opening positions bodes ill for any type of speedy resolution, and levels of distrust appear higher than at any point since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

U.S. officials on Saturday unveiled some details of the administration’s stance, which seem to fall well short of Russian demands. The officials said the U.S. is open to discussions on curtailing possible future deployments of offensive missiles in Ukraine and putting limits on American and NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe if Russia is willing to back off on Ukraine.

But they also said Russia will be hit hard with economic sanctions should it intervene in Ukraine. In addition to direct sanctions on Russian entities, those penalties could include significant restrictions on products exported from the U.S. to Russia and potentially foreign-made products subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Russia wants the talks initially to produce formally binding security guarantees for itself with a pledge that NATO will not further expand eastward and the removal of U.S. troops and weapons from parts of Europe. But the U.S. and its allies say those are non-starters intentionally designed by Moscow to distract and divide. They insist that any Russian military intervention in Ukraine will prompt “massive consequences” that will dramatically disrupt Russia’s economy even if they have global ripple effects.

In a bid to forestall efforts by Russia to sow discord in the West, the Biden administration has gone out of its way to stress that neither Ukraine nor Europe more broadly will be excluded from any discussion of Ukraine’s or Europe’s security.

Biden administration officials allow that neither topic can be entirely ignored when senior American and Russian diplomats sit down in Geneva in Monday ahead of larger, more inclusive meetings in Brussels and Vienna on Wednesday and Thursday that will explore those issues in perhaps more depth.

Still, the mantras “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” and “nothing about Europe without Europe” have become almost cliche in Washington in recent weeks, and senior U.S. officials have gone so far as to say they expect Russia to lie about the content of Monday’s meeting to try to stoke divisions.

“We fully expect that the Russian side will make public comments following the meeting on Monday that will not reflect the true nature of the discussions that took place,” said one senior U.S. official who will participate in the talks. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

That official and others have urged allies to view with “extreme skepticism” anything Moscow says about the so-called Strategic Stability Talks and wait until they are briefed by the American participants to form opinions.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of “gaslighting” and mounting a full-scale disinformation campaign designed to blame Ukraine, NATO and particularly the United States for the current tensions and undercut Western unity. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in an all-out war on the truth that ignores Russia’s own provocative and destabilizing actions over the course of the past decade.

“Russia seeks to challenge the international system itself and to unravel our trans-Atlantic alliance, erode our unity, pressure democracies into failure,” Blnken said Friday, going through a list of offending Russian activity ranging from military intervention in Ukraine and Georgia to chemical weapons attacks on Putin critics to election interference in the U.S. and elsewhere, cybercrime and support for dictators.

Despite several conversations between President Joe Biden and Putin, including an in-person meeting last summer, Blinken said such behavior continues, at increasing risk to the post-World War II global order.

Thus, the intensified U.S. and allied effort to forge common positions on both the warnings and the “severe costs” to Russia if it moves against Ukraine. While expressions of unity have been forthcoming, Blinken was not optimistic about prospects for success in the talks.

“To the extent that there is progress to be made — and we hope that there is — actual progress is going to be very difficult to make, if not impossible, in an environment of escalation by Russia,” he said.

Russia, meanwhile, has spun a narrative that it is a threatened victim of Western aggression and wants quick results from the meetings despite what appear insurmountable differences.

Putin has repeatedly warned that Moscow will have to take unspecified “military-technical measures” if the West stonewalls Russia’s demands, and affirmed that NATO membership for Ukraine or the deployment of alliance weapons there is a red line for Moscow that it wouldn’t allow the West to cross.

“We have nowhere to retreat,” Putin said last month, adding that NATO could deploy missiles in Ukraine that would take just four or five minutes to reach Moscow. “They have pushed us to a line that we can’t cross. They have taken it to the point where we simply must tell them, ‘Stop!'”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who will lead Russia’s delegation at the Geneva talks across from U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, said last week that it will quickly become clear whether the talks could be productive.

“It will become clear after the next week’s events whether it’s possible to achieve quick progress, to quickly advance on issues that are of interest to us,” he said in an interview with the daily Izvestia.

“So far, we have heard some pretty abstract comment from the U.S., NATO and others about some things being acceptable and some not and an emphasis on dialogue and the importance for Russia to deescalate. There are very few rational elements in that approach due to the unstoppable and quite intensive military and geopolitical developments of the territories near Russian borders by NATO, the emergence of weapons systems there, activization of drills.”

On Sunday evening, Ryabkov and Shermana will meet over a working dinner to discuss topics for the next day’s talks, a U.S. official said. 

 

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Казахстан: число затриманих перевищило 5 тисяч, медіа повідомляють про вбитих цивільних

Зокрема, журналісти зі слів уповноваженої з прав дитини повідомили про загибель 11-річної дитини в Алмати

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Рятувальники попереджають про ожеледицю та мокрий сніг у низці регіонів

Погодні умови «можуть призвести до порушення руху транспорту на дорогах та вулицях»

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Omicron Explosion Spurs Nationwide Breakdown of Services in US

Ambulances in Kansas speed toward hospitals then suddenly change direction because hospitals are full. Employee shortages in New York City cause delays in trash and subway services and diminish the ranks of firefighters and emergency workers. Airport officials shut down security checkpoints at the biggest terminal in Phoenix, and schools across the nation struggle to find teachers for their classrooms.

The current explosion of omicron-fueled coronavirus infections in the U.S. is causing a breakdown in basic functions and services — the latest illustration of how COVID-19 keeps upending life more than two years into the pandemic.

“This really does, I think, remind everyone of when COVID-19 first appeared and there were such major disruptions across every part of our normal life,” said Tom Cotter, director of emergency response and preparedness at the global health nonprofit Project HOPE. “And the unfortunate reality is, there’s no way of predicting what will happen next until we get our vaccination numbers — globally — up.”

First responders, hospitals, schools and government agencies have employed an all-hands-on-deck approach to keep the public safe, but they are worried how much longer they can keep it up.

In Kansas’ Johnson County, paramedics are working 80 hours a week. Ambulances have frequently been forced to alter course when the hospitals they’re heading to tell them they’re too overwhelmed to help, confusing the patients’ already anxious family members driving behind them. When the ambulances arrive at hospitals, some of their emergency patients end up in waiting rooms because there are no beds.

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer for the University of Kansas Hospital, said when the leader of a rural hospital had no place to send its dialysis patients this week, the hospital’s staff consulted a textbook and “tried to put in some catheters and figure out how to do it.”

Medical facilities have been hit by a “double whammy,” he said. The number of COVID-19 patients at the University of Kansas Hospital rose from 40 on Dec. 1 to 139 on Friday. At the same time, more than 900 employees have been sickened with COVID-19 or are awaiting test results — 7% of the hospital’s 13,500-person workforce.

“What my hope is and what we’re going to cross our fingers around is that as it peaks … maybe it’ll have the same rapid fall we saw in South Africa,” Stites said, referring to the swiftness with which the number of cases fell in that country. “We don’t know that. That’s just hope.”

 

The omicron variant spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more readily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.

However, early studies show omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant, and vaccination and a booster still offer strong protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death.

Still, omicron’s easy transmissibility has led to skyrocketing cases in the U.S., which is affecting businesses, government offices and public services alike.

In downtown Boise, Idaho, customers were queued up outside a pharmacy before it opened Friday morning and before long, the line wound throughout the large drugstore.

Pharmacies have been slammed by staffing shortages, either because employees are out sick or have left altogether.

Pharmacy technician Anecia Mascorro said that prior to the pandemic, the Sav-On Pharmacy where she works always had prescriptions ready for the next day. Now, it’s taking a lot longer to fill the hundreds of orders that are pouring in.

“The demand is crazy — everybody’s not getting their scripts fast enough, so they keep transferring to us,” Mascorro said.

In Los Angeles, more than 800 police and fire personnel were sidelined because of the virus as of Thursday, causing slightly longer ambulance and fire response times.

In New York City, officials have had to delay or scale back trash and subway services because of a virus-fueled staffing hemorrhage. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said about one-fifth of subway operators and conductors — 1,300 people — have been absent in recent days. Almost one-fourth of the city sanitation department’s workers were out sick Thursday, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said.

“Everybody’s working ’round the clock, 12-hour shifts,” Grayson said.

 

The city’s fire department also has adjusted for higher absences. Officials said Thursday that 28% of EMS workers were out sick, compared with about 8% to 10% on a normal day. Twice as many firefighters as usual were also absent.

In contrast, the police department saw its sick rate fall over the past week, officials said.

At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, two checkpoints at the airport’s busiest terminal were shut down because not enough Transportation Security Administration agents showed up for work, according to statements from airport and TSA officials.

Meanwhile, schools from coast to coast tried to maintain in-person instruction despite massive teacher absences. In Chicago, a tense standoff between the school district and teachers union over remote learning and COVID-19 safety protocols led to classes being canceled over the past three days. In San Francisco, nearly 900 educators and aides called in sick Thursday.

In Hawaii, where public schools are under one statewide district, 1,600 teachers and staff were absent Wednesday because of illness or pre-arranged vacation or leave. The state’s teachers union criticized education officials for not better preparing for the ensuing void. Osa Tui Jr., head of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said counselors and security guards were being pulled to go “babysit a classroom.”

“That is very inappropriate,” Tui said at a news conference. “To have this model where there are so many teachers out and for the department to say, ‘Send your kid’ to a classroom that doesn’t have a teacher, what’s the point of that?”

In New Haven, Connecticut, where hundreds of teachers have been out each day this week, administrators have helped to cover classrooms. Some teachers say they appreciate that, but that it can be confusing for students, adding to the physical and mental stress they’re already feeling because of the pandemic.

“We’ve already been tested so much. How much can the rubber band stretch here?” asked Leslie Blatteau, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers. 

 

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Washington’s Trapeze School Knows How to Help You Raise Your Spirits

Whether you’re looking to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, explore the aerial arts, or just raise your spirits, the Trapeze School in Washington, DC, will make sure things are looking up. Maxim Moskalkov visited the school and met its many instructors.
Camera: David Gogokhia