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Where is China's leading actor, Fan Bingbing? In past years, @bingbing_fan was a regular presence on #film festival red carpets and #fashion catwalks from Barcelona to Busan. And then, suddenly, she wasn’t. Film fans are expressing alarm at her disquieting recent disappearance from public life: she was last seen on July 1, while visiting a children’s hospital. Her account on China’s popular Sina #Weibo social media network, where she has 63 million followers, has been silent since July 23. Speculation is linking the disappearance of Fan, one of cinema’s top-earners, to an alleged tax evasion scandal at a time when China’s state-controlled film industry is cutting back on bloated budgets and star-driven blockbusters. If so, it would be a swift reversal for the 36-year-old, whose rapid ascent as an actor and fashion icon seemed eclipsed only by her potential. A Chinese state news report assured readers last week that matters were “under control.” But like its subject, Fan—photographed by @lizhingley1 in 2016 for a cover story on how #China was remaking the global film industry—the report quickly disappeared. Photograph by @lizhingley1 for TIME

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A stop sign barely withstands floodwaters from #HurricaneFlorence in Lumberton, N.C., on Sept. 16. Florence, once a Category 4 storm, was downgraded to Category 1, and by Friday evening had been downgraded to a Tropical Storm. Experts say that despite the apparent demotion, Florence still stands to be a destructive and deadly #storm for those in its path. The storm's rapid downgrade underscores a potential public safety issue with the way #hurricanes are measured and discussed. Hurricanes are categorized using what’s called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which takes only a single measurement into account: the speed of a hurricane’s sustained winds. But hurricanes like Florence bring other dangers: storm surge and flash flooding. Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures

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Coy Coley, 72, lives in a charming brick home on Simpson Street. He welcomed TIME into the Goldsboro, N.C., home that he and his wife have shared for 45 years. It was their first time checking on the house since they left on Sept. 13, before #HurricaneFlorence made landfall. The street in front of their home was flooded when they drove up. On Saturday, the #floodwaters stopped at the top of the brick steps just outside of their front door. Coley was just glad the water hadn’t reached the house. “I’m a Vietnam veteran. When you go through something like this, it’s just like PTSD. Once it starts raining. You get that fear," he told TIME. "You don’t want to step out of the bed and step in no water. It just bothers you. Even during heavy rainfall, you get that fear." Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures for TIME

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Office towers damaged by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on Sept. 17. Typhoon #Mangkhut was one of the most severe storms to hit Hong Kong in recent decades, after ravaging across the northern Philippines with ferocious winds and heavy rain that left at least 28 dead in landslides and collapsed houses, the Associated Press reports. The Hong Kong Observatory said that although Mangkhut had weakened slightly, its extensive and intense bands of rain were bringing heavy downfall. Storm surge of about 3 ½ meters (9.8 feet) or above is expected at the city’s waterfront Victoria Harbour, the observatory added, appealing on the public to avoid the shoreline. Photograph by @jerome_hong_kong—EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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China's southern coast was battered by heavy rain and wind as Typhoon #Mangkhut barreled forth on Sept. 16, regaining some strength after hitting the #Philippines a day prior and leaving more than two dozen people dead. The storm side-swiped the semiautonomous region of Hong Kong en route to China’s Guangdong province, where it made landfall late on Sunday with winds still roaring at 100 miles per hour. The biggest storm of the year was downgraded from a “super” to a “severe” typhoon, but is still considered a “high threat,” and Hong Kong maintained its highest storm warning of Level 10 through Sunday afternoon as winds of up to 117 mph rattled the city’s skyline. Thirty-four people were reported injured with no declared fatalities as of noon local time. A day earlier, the toll was far worse: Mangkhut tore across the Cagayan Valley of the Philippines’ Luzon island, a storm-prone agricultural region that produces mostly rice and corn, with winds and rain equivalent to a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane. While the impact took some edge off the storm, Mangkhut mustered more strength as it churned across the South China Sea. An estimated 270,000 people were affected by the storm in the Philippines, with 150,000 people displaced, according to government statistics. Read more on TIME.com.

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A car that was crushed by a fallen tree, due to winds from Hurricane Florence, in Goldsboro, N.C., on Sept. 15. As the death toll from Florence grew to at least 14 and hundreds of people were pulled from flooded homes, North Carolina braced for catastrophic, widespread river flooding that could be the next stage of a mounting disaster, the Associated Press reports. Florence weakened to a tropical depression early on Sept. 16 after blowing ashore two days earlier as a hurricane with 90 mph (145 kph) winds. Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures for TIME

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Colby Case, left, and Tomi Schuman pose for a portrait in floodwaters due to storm surge from Hurricane Florence in Washington, N.C., on Sept. 15. “This one shocked some of the old timers,” said Colby’s mother, Dawn Case. “Yesterday we were kayaking in the streets.” Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures for TIME

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Michael Rasberry, seen here with his younger brother Yahmad Tripp, left his home in Havelock, N.C., along with his family two days ago, first stopping at a hotel in Greensboro and eventually ending up at a motel in Cary. By Friday morning, Craven County — where Havelock is located — had already received more than 100 calls from people who said they were trapped in their homes and in vehicles due to flooding from Hurricane Florence. Some residents have reported that they are trapped in their attics and on their roofs as storm surge has flooded the lower levels of their homes. “I only brought one outfit. I was just ready to go. We had to get away from there,” says Rasberry. “They [his sisters] can’t swim. I can protect myself, but I can’t grab everybody. I’d rather have them out the way completely.” Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures for TIME

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The Brown Family fled from their home in Jacksonville, N.C., on Wednesday before Hurricane Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. this morning near Wrightsville Beach. They left 3 hours before their town curfew and headed to Cary, N.C. where they are now staying in a motel. When asked how long they plan on staying Bryan Brown (center) said, “Right now, I don’t know. I guess right now I’m just going to do what I can do until I run out of money.” Massive storm surge and heavy rainfall, rather than high winds, are authorities’ main concerns. As the slow-moving storm moves over the Carolinas, it could pummel towns with more than 3 feet of rainwater. “If I didn’t have kids, I would have stayed. I’m one of those people,” says Kathy Brown (second from left), “I would have stayed and tried to help people, if I could. But I’ve got kids.” Photograph by @bryananselm@reduxpictures for TIME

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Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded his street during Hurricane Florence in New Bern, N.C. on Sept. 13. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the hurricane approaches the United States. More than 150 people were reported to be trapped in New Bern late on Thursday. The city’s official Twitter account urged residents to move to the upper floors of their homes. Hurricane Florence officially made landfall at 7:15 a.m. Friday near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., 80 miles south of New Bern. Forecasters warn it will bring “catastrophic freshwater flooding,” according to the National Hurricane Center. Photograph by Chip Somodevilla (@somophoto)—@gettyimages

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The Italian election in March delivered a humbling defeat to the country’s traditional parties and put @matteosalviniofficial in the position of kingmaker—he chose to ally his far-right party, the League, with the first-place finisher, anti-establishment #FiveStarMovement. The #populist coalition represents a new era in this country’s famously fractious politics. #Salvini grabbed the powerful job of Interior Minister, and is now responsible for Italy’s policing, national security and immigration policies. He is not Italy’s head of government—that job is held by the Five Star Movement’s Giuseppe Conte—but he doesn’t need to be. The parade of foreign dignitaries lining up to meet Salvini leaves little doubt about who calls the shots. Salvini is now seen as the closest thing Italy has to a chief executive. The right-wing leader’s ambitions extend far beyond his country, however—and that’s what is sending jitters through #Europe. Many see him as the leader most capable of piecing together a large group of populist, #nationalist parties in Europe, one that crosses national boundaries in the name of nationalism. In rare, far-ranging interview with TIME in Rome on Sept. 4, Salvini laid out a plan that would not just shake the E.U. to its foundations but also might remake it from the inside out. “Changing Europe is a big goal,” he says. “But I think it is at our fingertips.” Read the full International cover story on TIME.com. Photograph by @marco.p.valli@cesura_

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"I’ve been teaching for 17 years, and I’ve been working two or three jobs since 2003 just to be able to afford to live in New York City." says Binh Thai, a humanities teacher at a middle school in NY "Almost every person I know who teaches has either a second or a third job. I’m 41 and I have always had to live with roommates to split the rent." Since the first U.S. public-school system was established in Massachusetts in 1647, many localities have struggled to pay teachers and searched for people willing to do the job for less. In the mid-1800s, California superintendent of public instruction John Swett lamented that the work of teachers was not “as well-paid as the brain labor of the lawyer, the physician, the clergyman, the editor.” In June, the Supreme Court ruled that public­-sector unions can’t mandate fees from nonmembers—a decision that experts estimate could cost influential teachers’ unions money and clout. And in August, the Arizona supreme court blocked a ballot initiative that would have added $690 million annually to state education funding. "With my education and my background, I can certainly make more than I’m making as a teacher." says Thai, "But just the draw of teaching and the energy that it brings ultimately made me stay." Read this week’s cover story on TIME.com. Photograph by @george_etheredge for TIME

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